IT was only a small part and something he would ordinarily do without a second thought but Danny Addy’s contribution to Hull KR’s winning score in the derby was so significant for the Scotland star.
The former Bradford Bulls player came off the bench late on against Hull FC on Friday and provided a crucial pass in the build-up to Jimmy Keinhorst’s decisive try with just 13 seconds remaining of a pulsating contest.
For Addy, who missed the entire 2018 campaign due to a knee reconstruction, it was a simple and understated play but a perfect way to mark his long-awaited return after a torturous 12 months battling back to fitness.
Speaking to The Yorkshire Post, the versatile player admitted: “Obviously, it was awesome to be out there.
“To get in for such a big derby game and come up with a win in the end like that, with just seconds left, it was simply massive.
“It was just being in the right place at the right time but I was a bit disappointed I didn’t get on for very long, actually.
“I think I only played for about 15 minutes but I just tried to do what I could when I got out there.”
Rovers head coach Tim Sheens has long seen the value of the 28-year-old, who is one of the most versatile players around with his ability to play back-row, loose-forward, hooker, half-back and even centre.
It was no surprise, then, the Australian found space for the Yorkshireman in his 17 for the opening game of the new Super League season and Addy did not disappoint in the 18-16 success.
However, was Sheens worried about sending him on for his first competitive match in 16 months in such a tight and frenetic encounter?
I didn’t actually see him finish it as I was already too busy celebrating! But I was buzzing when they gave it as try. It was a class moment.Hull KR’s Darren Addy
“I don’t know,” admitted Addy, who was also playing his first Super League game since being relegated with Bradford in 2014.
“With the weather as it was, the game wasn’t as fast as we expected. We managed to only use three subs in the first half with people being fresher than what we thought they would be.
“But I was glad to get on in the end and just glad to be back, really, after everything that happened last year.
“Everything seems fine with the knee and I pulled through all right.”
It looked like Rovers were destined for a fourth successive home derby defeat to their fierce rivals when Bureta Faraimo put FC ahead in the 66th minute.
However, after defending their line heroically, the hosts made one last surge upfield and, when Hull failed to deal with Josh Drinkwater’s high kick, they capitalised.
Ben Crooks palmed the ball backwards and Addy instantly passed on to Danny McGuire, who swiftly sent Keinhorst charging for the corner.
Despite Faraimo’s tackle, and a foot going ever so close to the touchline, the former Leeds centre just managed to touch down but there was an agonising wait for the video referee to confirm.
“We all celebrated but then I looked around and it had gone to the big screen so I was just praying it was okay,” recollected Pontefract-born Addy.
“I didn’t actually see him finish it as I was already too busy celebrating! But I was buzzing when they gave it as try. It was a class moment.”
Certainly far better than his last experience of facing Hull; it was in a friendly against them in January last year that Addy ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament.
“That’s my first proper derby,” he added.
“Obviously, I’ve played in friendlies but that was awesome.
“The crowd was amazing and I can’t wait to kick on now and play as well as I can, put everything behind me.”
Addy, who played more than 150 games for Bradford after coming through their academy, was a pivotal part of Sheens’s side as Rovers earned promotion back into Super League in 2017.
The coach is a fan of the player’s numerous qualities and, after the victory over Hull, said: “He’s a seven playing in a back-rower’s body. There’s no doubt.
“I thought we missed him big time last year in crucial games.
“He’s got the pass that needs to be thrown, a kicking game and you saw with Scotland how he jumped into half-back there when they drew with Samoa in the World Cup a couple of years ago.
“He can play and he covers nine as well. He’s coming back from that knee and he’s still got a bit of work to do on his fitness but he’s getting there.”
It remains to be seen where Sheens will use him most; Addy played back-row off the bench against Hull but he is just keen to make the 17 each week and kick-start his career.
The Robins face another tough game on Saturday when they head to a Warrington Wolves side who demolished much-fancied Leeds Rhinos in their opening fixture at the weekend.
“They are a class team from one to 17 so we need to brush ourselves down and get ready again,” said Addy, with fit-again prop Lee Jewitt hoping to further add to KR’s forward options.
“We had the weekend off after Friday so we can put the derby to bed now and start thinking about Warrington, as we know they’re a quality side.”