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Ogden closes on Cup try record

By Tony Webeck

ISC17_News_TonyWebeck_Round15

Scoring tries isn't the reason that Daniel Ogden plays rugby league, they're merely the bounty for doing what he believes is expected of a footballer.

When Ogden runs out for Wynnum Manly on Sunday against his former club Norths – the club where he is the greatest try-scorer in the Devils' history – Ogden has the opportunity to become the greatest try-scorer in the 22 years of the Intrust Super Cup.

After scoring a hat-trick in Wynnum's win over Tweed Heads last weekend, Ogden needs just three more to surpass Nathanael Barnes as the most prolific try-scorer the competition has seen.

Yet in many ways he is the accidental record breaker.

‘I only got picked in reserve grade because someone got injured’

Starting his rugby league career in the Under 10s with a group of mates from school at the Albany Creek Crushers, Ogden was invited to play with the Aspley Devils Colts when the friends he had started with gave the game away.

Joe Bond, fittingly Ogden's opposite number on Sunday, enticed him to the Devils and after a year with the Colts team he prepared for his first foray into senior footy.

"The start of that season in 2009, the first week, I only got picked in reserve grade because someone got injured the day before the game," Ogden recalled.

"Ten or 11 weeks later I made my Cup debut and haven't looked back."

Overawed

By the end of Ogden's first full season in the Intrust Super Cup in 2010, he had earned selection in the Queensland Residents team, topped the competition's try-scoring list with 19 and had been invited to do a pre-season with the Brisbane Broncos.

The closest he got to an NRL game was a February 2011 trial against the Titans at Kougari Oval where he shared the stage with the likes of Ben Hunt, Corey Norman, Dane Gagai, Jack Reed, Josh McGuire and Jordan Kahu.

Having turned 29 on Wednesday, Ogden is content with mixing footy for Wynnum with his job as a project engineer, but admits he was overawed at being elevated into such elite company at such a young age.

"I'd probably have a different attitude now, I was a bit overawed then," he admits.

"Because I was such a late bloomer – I didn't start playing decent footy until I was 20 years old – and then a year later I'm training with superstars of the game like Lockyer and Thaiday."

No-mistakes policy

But scoring tries, all 133 of them in the Intrust Super Cup (77 for Norths and 56 for Wynnum) has never been part of the plan.

He wasn't a big kid so he had to be quick yet he insists that crossing the stripe is secondary to getting through a game mistake-free.

"I honestly don't go out on the field and aim to score tries," Ogden said.

"I aim to do my job and I've always wanted to be someone that the boys want to play with.

‘I try to do all the little things right’

"I've always figured that the fullbacks and wingers that you want to play with, they're the guys who do their job every week and don't make mistakes.

"I haven't really based my game on scoring tries. I try to do all the little things right and push up and if you're pushing up in the right spot eventually the tries will come.

"It comes with the territory and if you play long enough and push up eventually you'll get tries."

Did you know?

The record for most tries scored in a single game is an astonishing seven and is jointly held by Chris Walker and Anthony Zipf. Walker scored his septuple of tries playing for Toowoomba against Wests in Round 2, 2000, while Zipf's haul came playing against Brothers-Valleys in Round 13, 2004.

A former editor of Big League, Tony Webeck is the Chief Queensland Correspondent for NRL.com.