Paul Cooke: Natural finisher Alex Brown can become a Hull KR star
HULL KR coach Craig Sandercock appears to have unearthed a born finisher in winger Alex Brown.
The former Batley man has taken his chance to shine with both hands by crossing for four tries in his first two games against Warrington and London.
Quite simply, he has come in and made it impossible for his coach to drop him from his side.
Credit has to go to Sandercock, though, as he stuck with Brown for the trip to London even though he is not yet a proven performer at this level.
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Sandercock's message is clear to his squad – play well enough and you will keep your place.
In terms of Brown, Batley coach John Kear was frank in his assessment that he can be a success at the highest level, and on present form who are we to argue?
Brown is a born finisher, he gets the ball and is decisive in his actions. As kids we are all taught the basic rule of running forwards, after all that's the only way to take you to the try-line.
Brown is a perfect example of a player looking to take the shortest and quickest route to that try line, no matter who or what's in the way.
Just ask Kieran Dixon of the London Broncos, who was swatted aside by the very big, physical Brown on more than one occasion on his way to his impressive first-half hat-trick. In fact, had Hull KR had Brown on the wing against Salford I'd bet they'd be at least one competition point better off than they currently are with the last-minute Omari Caro effort against the City Reds.
Like any player playing at Super League level for the first time, they need handling with care, something Sandercock has demonstrated. Brown has worked hard, was not in Sandercock's first 17 or maybe even his first 22 players at the start of the season, but has shown a hunger in his two appearances to suggest he wants to be around for a long time to come.
He will get knocks in games, just like last weekend's horror bounce which ended with London crossing for a try.
However, he still almost salvaged the situation with a try-saving tackle on Dixon.
Brown will learn with every minute of every game, as Super League is no place to hide.
He will make mistakes, but will produce quality when called upon, I have no doubt.
Every player in the KR squad can look at Brown for inspiration.
He was not in the coach's first thoughts, but now, heading to Bradford, he's a player who the coach pens straight into his team.
It shows what hard work, desire, and belief in yourself brings.