IN-FORM rookie Darnell McIntosh admits his development is well ahead of schedule at Huddersfield Giants.
The young winger scored twice in their impressive 46-18 win at double-chasing Hull FC on Friday, taking his tally to 12 tries in 21 games.
McIntosh was heavily involved, too, making plenty of quality carries and causing the Challenge Cup holders issues throughout.
However, the 20-year-old never expected to feature so heavily during only his second season in the Rick Stone’s first-team squad.
“At the beginning of the year, me, Rick and my agent spoke and we were targeting about five games to be fair,” explained McIntosh, who hails from Huddersfield.
“I was looking to do that and hoping to get out on a dual-reg deal somewhere but obviously with the injuries we’ve had and everything it’s just given me an opportunity here this year I couldn’t have dreamed of.
“Everyone’s been telling me I need to take it and I feel I have done it some good justice.”
McIntosh got some games under his belt when England winger Jermaine McGillvary was sidelined and he has been a regular on the left flank since Aaron Murphy was injured.
He added: “All Rick has asked me to do is improve each week as I’m still young and that was only my 20th (Super League) game on Friday. I feel like I am doing that. I’m getting more involved in different bits in the game.
“With Broughy going off injured in the second half and Jordan Rankin going to half, that let me float around a bit more.
“No one told me to but I went looking to get my hands on the ball a bit more and I did. I enjoyed it.
“Hull were probably the in-form team and we knew it’d be a big ask,” said McIntosh, after their second Super 8s success.
“Even though they have Wembley coming up we knew their coach is not the type to let them have a week off; we knew we’d have to fight for that win,” he added.
“We did that and I thought we went well for the full 80.”