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  1. #1066
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    Seth Nikotemo. The big strong young Titans contracted forward had a more than solid 2019 season for both Runaway Bay and Keebra Park State High School as well as for the Titans U15 side in their matches which book ended Seth Nikotemo’s 2019 season.

    Seth Niketemo started in the second row of the Titans U15 side that defeated a Balmain Tigers U15 touring side 34 – 16 in early October performing strongly in the impressive Titans win and was near, if not the Titans best on the night.

    For Runaway Bay in the 2019 GCRL U15 Division One competition Seth Nikotemo played in eleven regular season matches scoring his first try in Round Thirteen against Ormeau and following that up with a try in Round Fourteen being the last regular season round against Helensvale.

    Seth Niketemo also kicked two goals from as many attempts in the regular season with both coming against Helensvale in early June in a Seagulls victory with from my recollection both goals coming in the second half.

    In Week Two of the GCRL U15 Division One finals Seth Nikotemo started for Runaway Bay against Nerang teaming with fellow Titan Joseph Shannon in the front row as Runaway Bay progressed to the Grand Final on the back of a 20 – 0 Friday night win.

    In the 2019 GCRL U15 Division One Grand Final Seth Nikotemo started the match in the front row once again with Joseph Shannon, scoring an outstanding first half try for the Seagulls. In the end though Runaway Bay went down 36 – 22 to Nerang in a tense physical encounter especially in the forwards.

    In relation to his try Seth Niketemo charged onto the ball off the dummy half around eighteen metres out from the try line to the right of the play the ball cutting back behind the play the ball a fraction and such was his speed that he broke through the initial defensive line before it could start to move up in a coherent fashion and the fullback was no match for him either as Seth Niketemo crashed over mid-way between the left corner post and goal posts.

    Seth Nikotemo made his GCRL U16 Division One debut in Round Fourteen against Helensvale when he came off the bench after playing and scoring in the U15 Division One match earlier in the evening. Seth Niketemo handled the step up in age group with aplomb.

    2019 also saw Seth Nikotemo represent the South Coast U15 side that played in the QSSRL U15 Championships held in Ipswich with South Coast going through the Championships undefeated and Seth Nikotemo played a key role in that positive outcome.

    In 2018 the former 2016 Queensland U12 representative started the season for Runaway Bay in the Gold Coast Rugby League U14 Division One competition before moving to the U15 Division One competition with the Seagulls before the half way mark of the season.

    In the GCRL U14 Division One competition in 2018, Seth Nikotemo played in seven matches scoring in the final regular season round against Ormeau and also late in the season kicked a conversion against Burleigh.

    Seth Nikotemo made his 2018 U15 Division One debut in June of that year against Burleigh and went on to play in ten matches. Seth Nikotemo started all of Runaway Bay’s U15 Division One Finals matches on the bench including the Grand Final and scored as the Seagulls went down 38 – 20 to a powerful Ormeau Shearers side.

    Running with the football, Seth Nikotemo has good footwork prior to the line and does not often just put his head down and run straight, but uses his solid footwork to try to work the gaps between defenders rather than trying to simply run over them although you can see that when he gets fired up all subtlety and thoughts of self-preservation goes out the window and he becomes a giant wrecking ball.

    Seth Nikotemo does not have great speed off the mark or necessary great high end speed, but he will work hard and make the most of his ability. Seth Nikotemo actually does have a decent off load usually with his right hand when he has impacted the defensive line as well and regularly showcases this in game situations.

    In game situations Seth Nikotemo is also showcasing his ability to offload prior to the defensive line, a skill that he has developed and incorporated is recent seasons.

    Defensively Seth Nikotemo can certainly hit very hard, usually aiming for just under the ribs and first intention is to lock up the ball to prevent offloads.

    Seth Nikotemo has more than reasonable lateral mobility for a forward and due to the fact that he bends his hips when looking to make a tackle he is usually is able to wrap up the smaller attackers without his tackles slipping up to around the head or neck, and thus giving away penalties. Seth Nikotemo can however get fired up and really cause havoc defensively.

    Seth Nikotemo will play the 2020 Gold Coast Rugby League season with the Runaway Bay Seagulls at the U16 Division One level and should also be a key member of one of the two Gold Coast Vikings sides for the 2020 South East Queensland U16 preseason challenge come February 2020.

    Seth Nikotemo will also be a key member of the Keebra Park side in their school boy competitions in 2020 specifically the GIO and Langer Cups. Of course the closer relationship now between the Titans and Keebra Park cannot but help keep Seth Nikotemo a Titan for the long haul with that certainly being a very desirable scenario.

    Seth Nikotemo has been a front rower a fair bit this season but with his ability to hit the defensive line with speed and power along with similar attributes in defence, I think that Seth Niketomo has a real chance of playing second row into the future.

    From an NRL player comparison perspective in relation to Seth Nikotemo, consider someone along the lines of the St George Dragons and New South Wales State of Origin front rower Paul Vaughan as a big strong tough mobile front rower who hits the defensive line hard when he runs as well as the opposition when they are running the ball.

    Like Vaughan, Seth Nikotemo is a throwback to the old style of forward who does not try to be too fancy, just effective, very effective. With his hard working attitude, Seth Nikotemo also has the leadership skills to be a potential NRL captain one day.

  2. #1067
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    Kobie Mackey-Taylor. The young Helensvale Hornets fullback, winger or centre signed a multi-year contract with the Titans early in 2019 after a stellar campaign with the Hornets in 2018 in the GCRL U14 Division One competition as well as for the Gold Coast Vikings U14 representative side.

    Kobie Mackay-Taylor played the 2019 season with Helensvale in the GCRL U15 Division One competition playing in six regular season matches for the Hornets scoring three tries including a double against Ormeau in May and also scoring in a match against Runaway Bay mid-season to finish with a 50% strike rate.

    In Week One of the 2019 Finals series Kobie Mackay-Taylor started in the centres and scored as the Hornets defeated Ormeau 20 – 14 to progress to the Preliminary Final.

    Week Three of the U15 Division One Finals saw Kobie Mackay-Taylor start in the centres but unfortunately his Helensvale Hornets side were defeated in the Preliminary Final 22 – 18 by Nerang to end their season one win short of a Grand Final berth.

    2019 also saw Kobie Mackay-Taylor represent the South Coast U15 QSSRL side that went through the Championships undefeated and as a result was selected in the Queensland White side for the ASSRL U15 Championships.

    At the ASSRL U15 Championships Kobie Mackay-Taylor played primarily on the left wing for the Queensland White side including scoring on Day One in a good win against ACT 20 – 4. Kobie Mackay-Taylor’s try was as a result of him backing up a long break from the Queensland White left centre.

    Kobie Mackay-Taylor stayed on his left wing and correctly positioned himself to take the pass four metres out from the try line when his centre was caught by the ACT cover defence. Kobie Mackay-Taylor was then able to bring the ball around a touch once he had gotten into the in-goal area.

    Kobie Mackay-Taylor also played for Coombabah State High School in their various school boy rugby league competitions in 2019.

    In 2018 Kobie Mackay-Taylor represented South East Queensland White U14’s in the Queensland Age Championships finishing as the competitions leading point scorer with thirty points from his four matches including three tries and nine goals playing on the wing.

    In Round One Kobie Mackay-Taylor kicked a goal against SEQ Green, Round Two saw him score a try and kick three goals against Central and in Round Three Kobie Mackay-Taylor scored a double and kicked three goals against Northern. Kobie Mackay-Taylor then started on the wing in the final kicking two conversions in a 16 all draw against SEQ Green.

    For the Helensvale Hornets U14 Division One side in 2018, Kobie Mackay-Taylor played primarily at fullback including in their 29 – 12 Grand Final victory over Coomera, playing in ten matches overall. Team mates in the Grand Final winning side were fellow Titans contracted players, second rower Zac Johnson and centre Te Haeta Takamore.

    Kobie Mackay-Taylor was also part of the Helensvale U14 side that won the Tassell Trophy in 2018 scoring in the Hornets 40 – 6 Tournament final victory over the Western Lions.

    Even though he does not have great top end speed Kobie Mackay-Taylor is quick enough to take advantage of any space that he is given down the touchline by opposing outside backs. His bread and butter play in the centres is a good in an away to hold the defender and beat him on the outside, Kobie Mackay-Taylor then has the ability to draw and pass to his support if the opposing winger looks to come in, thus creating an overlap either on the outside or the inside.

    When playing on the wing Kobie Mackay-Taylor always seems to stick to the sideline which means his inside attackers will know where he is at all times, thus allowing them to confidently off load the ball if an overlap is created. I have not seen him score any highlight reel tries that seem to be the norm for modern day wingers but Kobie Mackay-Taylor will score the tries that he needs to and the team needs him to.

    In terms of defence, Kobie Mackay-Taylor is solid and seemingly understands the attributes of his opposite number to the extent that he alters his defensive positioning if he is against speedy, elusive wingers and against larger wingers.

    His time at fullback has clearly helped Kobie Mackay-Taylor in situations where positioning in defence is critical in terms of when to tackle low compared to looking to when to wrap up the attacking player with a ball and all tackle. Kobie Mackay-Taylor has the size to handle both tackling low as well as defending in a ball and all fashion.

    Kobie Mackay-Taylor is already an outstanding goal kicker and there is little doubt that he has the ability to be any team’s first choice goal kicker regardless of the level of the competition that he is playing in. Kobie Mackay-Taylor has an effortless clean kicking action which is simple and repeatable and generates distance as well as accuracy.

    Kobie Mackay-Taylor will play the 2020 Gold Coast Rugby League season in the U16 Division One competition for Helensvale and is also a likely selection in one of the two Gold Coast Vikings U16 squads for the 2020 South East Queensland U16 pre-season Challenge.

    Kobie Mackay-Taylor will also be a key member of the Coombabah State High School Rugby League side in their school boy rugby league competitions in 2020, likely including their GIO Cup Open team.

    Kobie Mackay-Taylor has played on the wing or in the centres almost exclusively in club and representative sides and whilst he has played a couple of matches at fullback in recent seasons in representative rugby league sides I believe that his future likely lies on the wing.

    On the wing Kobie Mackay-Taylor can use his size to maintain his running line and balance under pressure and also use it to come in off his wing and take hit-ups either running from dummy half or taking the ball off the dummy half when his side is bringing the ball out from their own territory.

    Kobie Mackay-Taylor is also very safe under the high ball utilising a controlled jumping technique not dis-similar to that of Anthony Don in terms of the timing and height that Kobie Mackay-Taylor gets on his leap.

    From a player comparison perspective in relation to Kobie Mackay-Taylor of someone along the lines of North Queensland Cowboy, Australian Nine’s representative s and former Queensland State of Origin winger Kyle Feldt as a solid winger who will score his fair share of tries by being in the right place at the right time rather than individual heroics or spectacular plays per say and not make simple unforced errors to place his side under undue pressure.

    Like Feldt, Kobie Mackay-Taylor also has the size to run the ball effectively out of dummy half and make ground especially when his team is bringing the ball out of their own territory.

  3. #1068
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    Te Haeta Takamore. The young Helensvale Hornets strike centre/fullback deservedly signed a multi-year contract with the Titans early in 2019.

    For the Hornets in the GCRL U15 Division One competition Te Haeta Takamore played in ten matches scoring five tries (50% strike rate) playing both in the centres and at fullback for the Hornets.

    Te Haeta Takamore’s 2019 tries included a Round Three double against Ormeau and also scored in another match against Ormeau as well as against Nerang and Runaway Bay in consecutive mid-season matches.

    In Week One of the U15 Division One Finals series Te Haeta Takamore stated in the centres as Helensvale progressed as a result of defeating Ormeau.

    Week Three of the U15 Division One Finals being the Preliminary Final saw Te Haeta Takamore score a double from the centre position but Helensvale were knocked out by Nerang going down 22 – 18 to fall just short of a Grand Final appearance.

    2019 also saw Te Haeta Takamore represent South Coast at the U15 QSSRL Championships where South Coast went through undefeated to win the Championships and subsequently Te Haeta Takamore was named in the Queensland Whites side for the U15 ASSRL Championships.

    At the ASSRL U15 Championships Te Haeta Takamore played primarily at fullback for the Queensland White side, including scoring and being named player of the match on Day One against ACT in a good Queensland White win 20 – 4.

    Te Haeta Takamore was everywhere in the match, including scoring a long range fifty metre try when he received the ball early on the left from a Queensland White scrum win, he got outside his direct opponent and outpaced the cover defence to score untouched.

    Te Haeta Takamore also had a try assist early in the match on the right when he drew a defender to send the Queensland right centre over and also had a big hand in the try scored by fellow Titan Kobie Mackay-Taylor and to cap off an outstanding match produced a great try saving tackle mid-way through the first half.

    For the Helensvale Hornets U14 Division One side in 2018, Te Haeta Takamore played primarily in the centres including in their 29 – 12 Grand Final victory over Coomera. Team mates in the Grand Final winning were fellow Titans contracted players, second rower Zac Johnson and fullback Kobie Mackey-Taylor.

    In total of the Helensvale U14 Division One side in 2018 Te Haeta Takamore played in twelve matches, including the Grand Final and finished as his sides leading try scorer with ten tries including doubles against Beaudesert and Ormeau.

    Te Haeta Takamore also played in three U15 Division Two matches in 2018 scoring once with the first match being against Jimboomba in that Division.

    In 2018 Te Haeta Takamore also had the honour of being named on the wing in the Keebra Park Team of the Year and was also named Keebra Park Year 8 Player of the Year, deserved honours for the talented young man.

    Te Haeta Takamore was also part of the Helensvale U14 side that won the Tassell Trophy in 2018 scoring in the Hornets 40 – 6 Tournament final victory over the Western Lions to go through the competition undefeated.

    To cap off his 2018 season Te Haeta Takamore was part of the Queensland Nga-Hua U14 side that took part in the QPICC tournament.

    In attack, when the ball is given to Te Haeta Takamore early in seems just to have all the time in the work to make a determination of what to do and also he just seems to have a lot of room at his disposal, something that Te Haeta Takamore has already exploited this season.

    In Round Three of the GCRL U15 Division One competition, against Ormeau, Te Haeta Takamore got the ball early and expertly stepped the opposing centre on the inside and out paced the cover defence to the try line and that was just one of his two tries on the night.

    Whilst he is a big strong powerful young centre, Te Haeta Takamore also has a myriad of attacking moves, including a great in and away, and also being able to cut back on the inside of his defender if they over commit to the outside.

    I would consider that Te Haeta Takamore’s speed would in the plus category for a centre, add his power and strong fend and you really have a young centre who could develop in anything on a football field

    Te Haeta Takamore’s spacing, line running and ability to beat his opposite number on the inside seems to be purely instinctive. Te Haeta Takamore must be a play maker’s dream, when he gets the ball early he seems to cause real havoc for the defensive line.

    Defensively Te Haeta Takamore hits very hard and constantly is in a position to disrupt the attacking movement of the opposition. I would suggest that he would be more than capable to adapt and excel in either an up and in or sliding methodology.

    The other point I will make is that Te Haeta Takamore certainly does not shirk contact, both in attack or defence.

    Te Haeta Takamore will play the 2020 Gold Coast Rugby League season in the U16 Division One competition for Helensvale and is also a likely selection in one of the two Gold Coast Vikings U16 squads for the 2020 South East Queensland U16 pre-season Challenge.

    Te Haeta Takamore will also be a key member of the Keebra Park State High School Rugby League side in their school boy rugby league competitions and is a legitimate chance to be part of their Open A Langer Cup and GIO Cup school boy campaigns such is his skill and maturity level. Of course the closer relationship between the Titans and Keebra Park cannot but help keep Te Haeta Takamore a Titan for the long haul which of course is a very attractive scenario.

    There is no doubt in my mind that Te Haeta Takamore has the size, strength, speed and ability to stay in the centres long term and be an exceptionally talented one at that.

    I must admit however that I was exceptionally impressed with how Te Haeta Takamore played at fullback for the Queensland White U15 side at the U15 ASSRL Championships and to that extent acknowledge that Te Haeta Takamore having an outstanding rugby league career at fullback definitely cannot be overlooked or discounted in any way.

    Joseph Manu of the Sydney Roosters and New Zealand International is a good NRL comparison in relation to the play of Te Haeta Takamore as a big strong powerful young man who will not be beaten in a one on one contest in attack or defence but fairly or not is noted almost exclusively for his attacking credentials.

    Te Haeta Takamore is just a powerful young man learning the how to translate that power consistently and when he does the sky is the limit.

  4. #1069
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    Shannon Subritzky-Stewart. The Norths Devils centre signed a contract with the Titans early in 2019 after being part of the one of the Titans two U15 sides that played each other and a Western Mustangs selection at Mudgeeraba in February of this year.

    In 2019 Shannon Subritzky-Stewart is part of the Norths Devils GBJRL U15 Division One side and started at right centre in their grand Final against the Easts Tigers. In the Grand Final Shannon Subritzky-Stewart kicked seven conversions from ten attempts, including a few from right on the side line and had an outstanding second half try assist as Norths ran away in the second half to defeat Easts 51 – 14 after the scores were locked up 14 all at the half to avenge their 2018 Grand Final defeat to Easts.

    Shannon Subritzky-Stewart’s try assist came in the second half. He received the ball early about seventy five metres out from the line and as a result of him getting the ball early Shannon Subritzky-Stewart was able to get on the outside of the Easts left winger as a result of sheer pace and run forty metres down the right touch line unhindered.

    As the Easts fullback came across in cover defence, Shannon Subritzky-Stewart veered towards him to freeze him place and eliminate all of the momentum that the defender had before producing a right armed off load to his trailing five eight who scored under the posts.

    Shannon Subritzky-Stewart was a member of the 2019 U15 Emerging Origin squad and in 2018 was part of the South East Queensland White U14 side that took part in the Queensland U14 Age Championships, scoring in Round Two in a South East Queensland White 22 – 12 win over Central.

    In 2018 Shannon Subritzky-Stewart played for the Norths Devils in the GBJRL U14 Premier Division competition including starting in the centres for the Nundah based side in the Grand Final but unfortunately they went down 26 – 20 to an Easts Tigers side that included fellow 2019 Titans U15 signee, winger Antioch Faitala-Mariner.

    The outstanding feature of the attacking game of Shannon Subritzky-Stewart is his ability to continue to make ground after contact with the defensive line especially when he isolates a defender and attacks him in a one on one situation.

    Shannon Subritzky-Stewart will continue to pump his legs post contact and if a defender looks to engage him around the chest Shannon Subritzky-Stewart has the core strength to shrug off the defender and continue with limited loss of momentum.

    A solid hard straight fend is also a key component of his ability to make ground after contact. Shannon Subritzky-Stewart’ s speed off the mark and for that matter his speed overall can probably be consider a tick above average but plays faster as a result of his strength, power and the aggressiveness when he runs the ball. Shannon Subritzky-Stewart is certainly not shy in relation to initiating contact with the defensive line.

    The best strategy for defending against Shannon Subritzky-Stewart is for the defence to get up on him before he has the opportunity to generate momentum, the flip side of that is that Shannon Subritzky-Stewart has the ability to skip outside if the defensive is not on him as he receives the ball. If he has time and space, Shannon Subritzky-Stewart can be devastating when running with the ball.

    Defensively Shannon Subritzky-Stewart can defend against any size opponent, from small quick outside backs to big strong powerful backrowers running wide of the ruck. Shannon Subritzky-Stewart is more than strong enough to handle his defensive duties on a one on one basis.

    Shannon Subritzky-Stewart uses this strength to move up and hit just under the ribcage, redirecting the momentum of the ball carrier and thus eliminating the attacking threat in the short term. Defending out in the centres, he sets a good base and uses his leg strength to direct his strength through the core of his body into his opponent.

    Shannon Subritzky-Stewart is also an outstanding goal kicker with both accuracy and range (especially considered that he only takes three or four steps into the kick) as was evidenced by the seven goals that he kicked in the GBJRL U15 Division One Grand Final and looms as any sides primary goal kicking option moving forward.

    2020 will see Shannon Subritzky-Stewart play for the Norths Devils in the GBJRL U16 Division One competition and is also a likely selection in one of the three Brisbane Stingers U16 squads for the 2020 South East Queensland U16 pre-season Challenge where he will line up against multiple fellow Titans contracted players from Ipswich, other Brisbane Stingers teams and of course the two Gold Coast Vikings sides.

    For all intents and purposes Shannon Subritzky-Stewart has been a centre for the duration of his junior rugby league career and there is nothing in his play to suggest that that will change anytime soon.

    New Zealand International Joseph Manu from the Sydney Roosters for me has a similar skill set to Shannon Subritzky-Stewart as a young right centre who has all of the skill and physical attributes, specifically speed and strength to succeed in rugby league

  5. #1070
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    Irvine Tiomai. The Coomera Cutters front rower/ second rower is a Titans U15 player who could not have had a better 2018 season and commenced the 2019 season starting for one of the Titans U15 sides at Mudgeeraba.

    In 2019 Irvine Tiomai played in thirteen regular season matches for the Coomera Cutters in the U16 Division One competition, including scoring in Round Five against Southport, Round Seven against Runaway Bay and Round Twelve against Mudgeeraba.

    In Week One of the GCRL U16 Division One Finals Irvine Tiomai started in the front row as Coomera went down 38 – 24 to Currumbin.

    Week two of the Finals saw Coomera play Burleigh in an Elimination Final with Irvine Tiomai starting in the front row as Coomera prevailed to book their place in the Grand Final.

    In the 2019 GCRL U16 Division One Grand Final Irvine Tiomai started in the front row and was outstanding for Coomera against a far larger Ormeau Shearers forward pack but unfortunately Coomera went down 22 – 20 in controversial circumstances in golden point in a pulsating and thoroughly exciting and enjoyable game of rugby league.

    For me Irvine Tiomai was one of the best players on the field in the Grand Final an impressive feat when you consider that he was a year younger and a touch smaller than the giant forwards that populated both the Coomera and Ormeau teams.

    Irvine Tiomai also played rugby in 2019 including being named in the U15 Gold Coast Cyclones representative side.

    In addition to playing multiple matches for the Coomera Cutters in both the U14 and U15 Division One competitions in 2018, Irvine Tiomai represented the Gold Coast Vikings U14 side and from there was part of the South East Queensland White U14 side that participated in the 2018 Queensland Age Championships.

    In those Championships, Irvine Tiomai started all four of SEQ White’s matches in the second row, including the final against SEQ Green which ended in a 16 all draw.

    To cap off a great year, in late 2018 Irvine Tiomai was named in the Queensland 2019 U15 Emerging Origin squad.
    Irvine Tiomai is a powerful runner of the ball who runs with a slight jink, usually off his right foot, in his step prior to impacting the defensive line and from when he receives the ball until he hits the defensive line Irvine Tiomai is able to build up significant momentum.

    Irvine Tiomai displays outstanding speed both off the mark and over an extended distance when in the clear for a player his size. Also when he has impacted the defensive line he continues to pump his legs and gain extra metres after contact.

    As noted he is a solidly built young front rower with a low centre of gravity, which makes him quite difficult to tackle. Like his footwork Irvine Tiomai will show flashes of the ability to off load the ball and with experience this attribute will continue to develop both in terms of when he has impacted the defensive line and prior to contact.

    His lateral movement is outstanding for a front rower and he is powerful enough to combat the largest of opponents looking to run through the centre of the ruck. Xx also has the functional strength to combat attackers on a one on one basis. His initial contact is outstanding as is his ability to quickly and effectively put any size attacker on the ground and effectively slow down the speed of the play the ball.

    Another impressive aspect of Irvine Tiomai ’s play from a defensive stand point is the speed at which he gets around the field, in the games that I have seen him play, he is always in and around the ball, constantly getting low to disrupt the momentum of the attackers.

    In 2020 Irvine Tiomai will surely be part be of one of the Gold Coast Vikings U16 sides for the South East Queensland pre-season Challenge. In relation to club rugby league in 2020, Irvine Tiomai has been playing one age group up for the last couple of seasons but I would assume that in 2020 he will at least start the season in the U16 Division One age group rather than play in the U18 Division One competition, but I would not put anything past this outstanding talent and what he can do.

    Irvine Tiomai has played the majority of the last couple of seasons in the front row as a solidly built powerful young man, but with his speed, both off the mark and over extended distances definitely in the plus category for a forward I think that Irvine Tiomai has the attributes to be very effective in the second row (likely on the left side) for a number of years if not for the duration of his rugby league career.

    From a player comparison perspective for Irvine Tiomai, think of someone along the lines of New Zealand International and Melbourne Storms Kenny Bromwich as a hard working forward who will be a solid player but will also on occasion flash some plus skills and speed akin to older brother Jesse Bromwich
    Last edited by mdrew; 22-11-19 at 05:37 PM.

  6. #1071
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    Philip Hakaraia-Ngamotu. The powerful young second rower made a big splash for Burleigh in the GCRL U14 Division One competition this season, his first on the Gold Coast since his move down from Brisbane. In addition to playing for Burleigh Philip Hakaraia-Ngamotu attends Keebra Park and is part of their junior age school boy program which is now linked to the Titans.

    After performing well for the Gold Coast Vikings U14 side at the Hill Stumer Championships held at Ipswich, Philip Hakaraia-Ngamotu started in the second row, specifically right second row for the South East Queensland White side at the Queensland U14 Age Championships.

    At those Championships, Philip Hakaraia-Ngamotu started all four of South East Queensland White’s matches in the second row and scored a double in their third against fourth victory against Central.

    For Burleigh in the GCRL U14 Division One regular season competition Philip Hakaraia-Ngamotu started the majority of his twelve matches at right second row and scored eleven tries including a big four try effort in Round Eleven against Ormeau.

    Philip Hakaraia-Ngamotu’s remaining seven tries came in separate matches against Currumbin twice, Mudgeeraba twice, Helensvale, Ormeau and Beaudesert.

    In Week Two of the U14 Division One Finals series, Philip Hakaraia-Ngamotu started from the bench against Runaway Bay in a 40 – 6 win that that propelled Burleigh directly into the Grand Final.

    In the 2019 U14 Division One Grand final Philip Hakaraia-Ngamotu started at right second row and formed a lethal combination with Kalahni Lawrence and was rewarded with a try when he came back under his five eight to charge through a number of defenders to score adjacent to the right upright with the run accounting for fifteen metres.

    At the late September Gold Coast Rugby League Presentation Night, Philip Hakaraia-Ngamotu was named as the 2019 U14 GCRL Player of the Year.

    In early October Philip Hakaraia-Ngamotu was named on the bench for the 2019 Nga Hau e Wha Maori Tournament U14 Boys Merit Team after his impressive performances in the tournament.

    Philip Hakaraia-Ngamotu is a powerful aggressive ball runner who is adept at using late and quick footwork just prior to contact line which he hits with power and force in absolutely every hit up that he makes dropping his shoulder into the first defender that is looking to make the initial contact.

    Philip Hakaraia-Ngamotu ’s ability to get low to engage the defenders with his shoulder rather than allowing them to get in and under his ribs and also a substantial leg drive means that he drives defenders backwards even after they had engaged him with significant force rather than allowing them to impact on his momentum.

    In terms of ball skills, Philip Hakaraia-Ngamotu was able to regularly get his right hand free to deliver offloads when engaged with the defensive line especially when he was running one pass up the ruck and deliver some very good offloads to his support runners.

    Once he is in space, Philip Hakaraia-Ngamotu actually has very good speed, I would consider it above average when analysing his speed from a rugby league forward’s perspective, to add to the difficulties for the defensive line, he runs with a high knee lift and also has a powerful fend.

    Whilst his ball running skills are the first thing that you will likely notice when seeing Philip Hakaraia-Ngamotu his defence is equally effective even though it may not be as noticeable at first glance. Defensively Philip Hakaraia-Ngamotu has a hard edge to his play and his initial contact is more than sufficient to redirect the momentum of the ball carrier either in the centres or when defending in the forwards.

    Philip Hakaraia-Ngamotu sets a very good base with his lower body which he uses to look to use his opponents their own momentum against them.

    Defensively Philip Hakaraia-Ngamotu hits very hard and is adept at making sure the opposition do not get quick play the balls. Philip Hakaraia-Ngamotu also has a touch of aggression in his play and definitely finishes off each tackle that he is involved in.

    Philip Hakaraia-Ngamotu is set to play the 2020 season with Burleigh in the GCRL U15 Division One competition as well as continue to play for Keebra Park in their school boy competitions and is also a likely starter, barring injury of course, with the South Coast U15 QSSRL School Boy representative side.

    Philip Hakaraia-Ngamotu spent some time in the front row in the GBJRL U13 competition in 2018 but since his move to the Gold Coast has spent the majority of his time in the second row. With his size, speed and mobility I would think that he, whilst certainly being able to play in the front row, is more suited to the second row where he can use his speed and footwork to terrorise defenders on the fringes of the ruck.

    I can certainly see aspects of the play of Sydney Roosters forward Siosuia Taukeiaho when I have watched Philip Hakaraia-Ngamotu on the field, both a hard running, hard tackling forwards with some real skill in their game on the fringes of the ruck which on occasion is somewhat unfairly overlooked.

  7. #1072
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    Matari Donovan. He is a young centre who starred in his first year on the Gold Coast after moving from the Penrith region of Sydney and was an outstanding attacking force for Burleigh in the GCRL U14 Division One competition in 2019.

    For Burleigh in the GCRL U14 Division One regular season competition Matari Donovan played in eleven matches scoring twenty two tries (200% strike rate) including scoring six tries in Round Seven against Helensvale and five more in Round Nine against Currumbin.

    Matari Donovan also scored four doubles with those coming against Ormeau twice, Mudgeeraba and Beaudesert. Matari Donovan remaining three regular season tries were scored one each in the opening three rounds against Runaway Bay, Currumbin and Helensvale.

    Understandably as a result of the scoring figures noted above Matari Donovan finished the U14 Division One season as the competitions leading try scorer four ahead of his nearest rival being fellow Burleigh centre Kalahni Lawrence.

    Matari Donovan also kicked two goals over the course of the regular season with both of those goals coming in Round Seven when he converted two of his own tries against Helensvale when he finished that particular match with an individual point’s haul of twenty eight when you add in his six try haul.

    In the match against Helensvale in Round Seven when he scored six tries, Matari Donovan was also afforded the opportunity to convert two of those tries.

    Matari Donovan started the GCRL U14 Division One Grand Final on the bench, coming on to play left centre where he was a constant menace and had a second half try assist when he threw a great one arm around the corner pass with his left arm to his left for his winger to have a clear passage to the line.

    Matari Donovan also played for PBC in various school boy rugby league competitions in 2019 including starting at right centre and scoring a barnstorming try to put PBC in front in the Year Nine Hancock Cup Grand Final. In the final PBC erased a 12 – 6 half time deficit to win the final 24 – 18 against Coombabah State High School.

    In the final Matari Donovan took the ball from the dummy half about ten metres out from the Coombabah State High School line on the right of the play the ball and stormed over dragging three Coombabah defenders with him.

    Matari Donovan has very good speed off the mark, which I would consider above average for a centre and can break to the outside quickly, couple that with long arms, which he uses to great effect with a powerful fend makes him difficult to tackle.
    When opposing centres are able to get hold of him, Matari Donovan usually is able to maintain his balance and keeps an arm free, looking to offload to either his inside or outside support.

    Matari Donovan has more tools though than just an in and away, he will also use his size and strength to run straight over smaller opposing centres as well as also having the skill to step back inside of the defender if he is pushing to the outside too early.
    Matari Donovan also has a powerful fend which has served him well this season with his natural strength is just another impressive attribute in his ****nal.

    A real positive for me is that Matari Donovan can also run a good inside shoulder line due to the fact that he maintains his spacing in the back line and will quickly identify where his direct opponent is ling up to determine whether it is appropriate to run an inside or outside shoulder line or a “crash” line for that matter, he certainly has the courage to run that line regularly which not everybody has.

    As you would expect, due to his size and strength, Matari Donovan is a very good defender regardless of position. He will not necessarily hit hard but is definitely aggressive and he is very good at mirroring the movement of the opposing centre and wrapping him up ball and all.

    Matari Donovan is also quick enough to recover and chase if the opposing centre gets on the outside and his long reach is also a positive attribute in those situations.

    From a team defensive methodology stand point, Matari Donovan seems to be very comfortable in a sliding defensive scheme where he can use his speed and body control to their best advantage in though he can be an intimidating presence when he chooses to come out of the line to interrupt the attacking movement immediately prior to its development.

    Matari Donovan is set to play the 2020 season with Burleigh in the GCRL U15 Division One competition as well as continue to play school boy rugby league and is also a likely starter, barring injury of course, with the South Coast U15 QSSRL School Boy representative side. Matari Donovan will also be part of the PBC rugby League Excellence Program once again in 2020.

    Matari Donovan is a centre full stop and an outstanding one at that, thus for me there is absolutely no reason a coach would even consider moving him to another position now and for the foreseeable future.

    At the start of the season it would be fair to say that no one really could accurately predict how Matari Donovan’s 2019 season would turn out but very quickly it was clear that Matari Donovan is an outstanding talent.

    For me, when he is fit and firing Sydney Roosters and New South Wales State of Origin’s Latrell Mitchell is the best centre in the game at present and therefore is a more than apt comparison for Matari Donovan.

    They both play at left centre (although Matari Donovan did also spend time at right centre this season) and the skill set, power and sheer potential are eerily equilivant and like Mitchell Matari Donovan has a bit of mongrel in his game when the occasion warrants.

  8. #1073
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    Reece Tapine. (Revised) The former Sydney Roosters U18 SG Ball outside back made every post a winner in his first two seasons on the Gold Coast being 2018 and 2019.

    In 2019 Reece Tapine started the season as part of the Burleigh Bears Hastings Deering’s Colts side but quickly progressed to the Burleigh Gold Coast Rugby League First Grade side.

    Reece Tapine was back in the Burleigh Colts side for Round Five against Souths Logan scoring a double from the left win in an outstanding display. His first try came when he gathered a cross field kick and the second when he was on hand to score untouched as a result of a Burleigh backline move.

    Outside of the tries, two pieces of play stood out for me, the first when Souths Logan had a big overlap and looked certain to score, but Reece Tapine came out of the line to smash the Magpies centre to break up the movement and with Burleigh under pressure on their own line, Reece Tapine took the ball off a scrum and bustled his way thirty metres up field in a strong determined run to relive the pressure on his side.

    Reece Tapine scored a double in Round Nine against Redcliffe to continue his outstanding try scoring record, his first try came when he stayed wide on his left wing to dive over from a long cut out pass, and his second was a long range effort, left centre Kea Pere took an intercept ten metres out from his own line, running forty metres before Reece Tapine loomed up in his left to receive the ball and run the remaining fifty metres to score.

    Reece Tapine scored again in Round Eleven against the Central Queensland Capra’s when he pounced on a Cameron Brown grubber into the in-goal and also three the last pass for Lofi Khan-Periera to score his first Colts try in just his second match in the competition.

    Reece Tapine added another try in Round Sixteen against Souths Logan when he received the ball on the left before dummying outside and diving over from close range.

    In Week Two of the Finals Reece Tapine started on the right wing in Burleigh’s 42 – 12 win against Norths.

    In total for the Burleigh Colts side Reece Tapine played in twelve matches scoring a total of eight tries to finish with a 66.67% strike rate. From a position perspective Reece Tapine played two of his twelve matches in the centres with the remainder on the wing.

    Reece Tapine also played in twelve matches for the Burleigh GCRL First Grade side in 2019, including finals, scoring seventy points including kicking six goals in Round Eleven against Bilambil and four goals in Round Ten against Runaway Bay and scoring a double in Round Seventeen against Bilambil. Reece Tapine added a try and five goals in Round Twenty against Ormeau.

    In Burleigh’s GCRL Grand Final qualifying final against Currumbin, Reece Tapine scored a try and kicked three goals from the left wing. In relation to his try, Burleigh spun the ball to the left wing with Reece Tapine receiving the ball in a stationary position, he then cut back inside before stepping off his right foot to split the defence and he then was able to bring the ball around to put it down under the goal posts with a celebratory arm raised to the crowd at the dressing room end of Pizzey Park for good measure.

    Reece Tapine also started on the left wing and kicked two conversions as Burleigh won the GCRL First Grade Grand Final by defeating Southport 30 -12.

    Reece Tapine made his deserved Queensland Cup debut for Burleigh in the Queensland Cup Outback Round starting on the wing against the Townsville Blackhawks.

    Reece Tapine played all 80 minutes in the match, running for 46 metres (fifteen post contact), broke a tackle, played the ball at an average speed of 3.85 seconds and recorded a 100% tackling efficiency.

    In 2018 Reece Tapine was rewarded with a starting spot on the left wing for the Burleigh Bears U20 side for their Round One matches against the Sunshine Coast Falcons.

    Reece Tapine’s debut was a good one scoring in Burleigh’s big 52 -22 victory over the Sunshine Coast Falcons. Reece Tapine also started on the left wing for Burleigh’s Round Two match against the Redcliffe Dolphins on the Gold Coast and once again scored to have a 100% strike rate after the first two rounds of the 2018 season.

    In total in the 2018 Hastings Deering’s U20 Colts competition, Reece Tapine played in seventeen matches scoring eight tries. Reece Tapine scored doubles in Round Six against the Western Mustangs and in Round Eleven against Easts.

    Reece Tapine’s other four tries came in Rounds One, Two, Eight and Thirteen against Sunshine Coast, Redcliffe, Central Queensland and Ipswich.

    Reece Tapine started his first seven U20 Colts matches this season on the wing before moving to the centres in Round Eight against Central Queensland and remaining there for the remainder of the 2018 season.

    Late in the 2018 season Reece Tapine was promoted to the Burleigh Bears Gold Coast Rugby League First Grade side scoring on debut against Bilambil in Round Sixteen and also scored in his second and first GCRL First Grade match of the season against Tugun the following round being Round Seventeen. Reece Tapine started both of those matches in the centres.

    The former Springfield Panthers junior rugby league player played in two matches for the Sydney Roosters in the 2017 U18 SG Ball competition. In that competition the former Trinity College Beenleigh student played in matches against the Cronulla Sharks and the Penrith Panthers starting both matches being Rounds One and Two on the left wing.

    The Sydney Roosters signed Reece Tapine from the Ipswich region where he played for the Springfield Panthers with his last year there being the 2016 season representing the Panthers in the Ipswich U17 competition scoring eleven tries from just thirteen matches. For the Springfield Panthers, Reece Tapine spent the vast majority of his playing time in the centres.

    Reece Tapine also represented Trinity College with distinction across a number of seasons including at the Open level in the 2015 QISSRL Confraternity Shield Division Two competition as a 16 year old starring against St Joseph’s Assumption College when he scored a double starting in the centres.

    Reece Tapine’s Round One try against the Sunshine Coast Falcons came as a result of him maintaining his position and spacing. It was not a spectacular try in the context of a dive for the corner and so forth but as the ball went to the left through the hands of Titans five eight Taine Tuaupiki and former Titan in left centre Jaxon Paulo, Reece Tapine stayed on his wing and did not over run the ball to make it easy for Jaxson Paulo (who was outstanding on the day and on the season for that matter) to draw and pass to send Reece Tapine over in the left corner untouched.

    Reece Tapine’s try in Round Two against the Redcliffe Dolphins can also be put down to his positioning. After a long break by Burleigh and with the Redcliffe defence all over the place it would have been easy for Reece Tapine to come in from the left wing looking to be the hero, but instead he stayed on his wing.

    Burleigh half back Harry Fitzhugh got the ball from the dummy half and seeing Reece Tapine out wide to the left unmarked put in a deft chip which Reece Tapine took easily on the full to cross untouched and was even able to bring the ball around to near the posts to make the conversion a lot easier for Jaxson Paulo.

    Whilst in does not have a great deal of speed off the mark, Reece Tapine does have above average top end speed once he gets moving and can break tackles by using a very good fend, when he gets to the outside, this prevents defenders from getting he under his ribs and thus he can maintain his running line under defensive pressure.

    When engaged with the defensive line Reece Tapine also has a reasonable offload and when he breaks through the main defensive line he is also very effective at setting up his support players, by committing the fullback before off-loading.

    Reece Tapine also has a more than decent in and away to complement his other attacking attributes and is effective when attacking close to the try line and knows which routes to run to take advantage of situations where the defensive line has not come up off the try line and thus he is able to push through the defensive line and carry defenders over to score. Reece Tapine is just a solid attacking player and before you realise he has made a number of breaks and scored multiple tries.

    Reece Tapine is also adept at keeping his spacing on the wing and that attribute led to his second try for Burleigh on the weekend where he stayed outside his direct opponent on the blind side and thus was in a very good position to score from close range before his opposite winger could react.

    Reece Tapine seemingly has more strength that his size would indicate, and he uses this strength to move up and hit around the area where the ball is usually held, redirecting the momentum of the ball carrier and thus eliminating the attacking threat in the short term.

    Purely from a skill and physical attribute perspective Reece Tapine seems more suited to a sliding defensive methodology rather than an up and in style, but this is more conjecture from me rather than a fact based argument. Like with his attacking attributes Reece Tapine is just solid defensively there is really no other word to describe it.

    Reece Tapine will look to break into the Burleigh Bears Queensland Cup side on a permanent basis in 2020.

    Whilst he has spent some of his junior rugby league career in the centres I think that where Reece Tapine is playing for Burleigh Colts, being the left wing is his best position in terms of the utilisation of his key skills being his straight line speed and discipline in terms of the positioning and spacing.

    From a player comparison perspective for Reece Tapine, think of someone like Brisbane Broncos fullback or centre Jordan Kahu as an extremely competent winger who may not make highlight reel plays on a regular basis but quietly does what needs to be done in terms of safe hands, positioning spacing and scoring when the opportunity presents.

    Reece Tapine is a quietly effective player will not make mistakes either with his hands or his positioning and will also be a regular contributor on the score board from a try scoring perspective whether playing in the centres or on the wing.

    Reece Tapine is definitely not a flashy winger like say former Canberra Raiders winger Jordan Rapana but Reece Tapine is an effective one none the less.

  9. #1074
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    Cameron Brown. (Revised)He is a talented young half who was heavily involved late in the 2018 season with the Burleigh Bears Colts side and played just as well in the 2019 Colts competition for Burleigh this season.

    Cameron Brown played in all twenty two of Burleigh’s Hastings Deering’s Colts matches including their three finals this season scoring twelve tries for a 54.45% strike rate. Prior to Round Ten (tries post that noted below) Cameron Brown scored in Round One against Norths, Round Eight against the Western Mustangs and Round Nine against Redcliffe.

    One of Cameron Brown’s tries came in Round Ten against the Northern Pride. Cameron Brown had come off the bench to play the dummy half role and was able to dive over from close range to his right in the second half to score.

    Cameron Brown also scored in Round Eleven against the Central Capra’s when he followed through his own bomb and retrieved the ball after it was mishandled to score under the posts for Burleigh’s first try.

    Cameron Brown had an outstanding match in Round Fifteen against Ipswich constantly sniping at the Jets defensive line and scored a try of his own when he intercepted a pass to run ninety metres to score, with no defender able to keep up with him over the journey.

    Cameron Brown also recorded another try assist when he grubbered for Reece Tapine to score and was also heavily involved in tries for Lofi Khan-Periera and Will Evans.

    Cameron Brown also scored in Round Seventeen against Tweed Heads as a result of a good individual effort. He received the ball to the right of the play the ball around fourteen metres out from the line and after shaping to pass to his backline to his right, stepped off his right foot to get through the initial defensive line and then used another right foot step to round the fullback to score under the posts.

    Cameron Brown added a further try in Round Nineteen against Redcliffe when after sending a great ball to his left to allow Will Evans to get outside his man, he backed up on the inside to get the pass back from Will Evans to score untouched.

    Cameron Brown maintained his try scoring pace in Round Twenty against the Wester Mustangs when he backed up a break by fullback Jayden Campbell to score a long range try.

    Cameron Brown also had a try assist in the match when he grubbered into the in goal for the Burleigh left winger to dive on the ball. The kick was a lot harder than it looked as when he kicked it with the outside of his right foot Cameron Brown was running directly towards the left touch line.

    Cameron Brown scored for the third match in a row when he scored in Round Twenty One against the Northern Pride when he was on hand to dive on a Zac McCormack kick. Zac McCormack took a couple of steps to his left out of dummy half close to the line and put in a deft left foot kick into the in goal for Cameron Brown to dive on it after it bounced off the legs of a few Northern Pride defenders.

    Cameron Brown added a double in Round Twenty Three against the Central Queensland Capra’s. Cameron Brown’s first try (and the first of the match) resulted from him following through a short attacking kick from Shallin Fuller to get to the ball first about a metre from the dead goal line.

    Cameron Brown’s second try (and last of the match)was an opportunist one, Central Queensland were throwing the ball around with less than a minute to go and as they threw it out to their left, Cameron Brown was on hand to take the intercept and run twenty metres to score.

    Cameron Brown also had a try assist in the match and a spectacular one at that. Central Queensland were on the attack and put through a short grubber kick about twenty metres out, Cameron Brown trapped the ball with his left foot, picking it up and running seventy metres before the defence converged, Cameron Brown evaded the defence long enough for Will Evans to loop around behind him and score in the left corner.

    In Week Two of the Finals Cameron Brown started at half in Burleigh’s 42 – 12 win against Norths.

    Cameron Brown’s 201919 Hastings Deering’s Colts season came to an end when he started at half for Burleigh as they went down 23 – 16 to Sunshine Coast in the Preliminary Final

    Cameron Brown played a number of positions for Burleigh in the 2019 Hastings Deering’s Colts competition starting eighteen at half, two at hooker, being Rounds Two and Three against Ipswich and Tweed Heads, one at five eight being Round Five against Souths Logan and Round Ten against the Northern Pride from the bench.

    In addition to the tries noted above Cameron Brown has also scored against Norths in Round One, the Western Mustangs in Round Eight and Redcliffe in Round Nine.

    From a position perspective so far this season, Cameron Brown has played half, five eight (one match being Round Five against Souths Logan), hooker and came off the bench in one match being Round Ten against the Northern Pride.

    Cameron Brown started at half in Round One against Norths, before moving to hooker for Rounds Two and Three against Ipswich and Tweed Heads respectively.

    In total Cameron Brown has started eleven matches at half, one at five eight, one from the bench and the other two matches at hooker.

    In an early season Hastings Deering’s Colts competition bye week, Cameron Brown, instead of having the weekend off started at five eight for Helensvale in their GCRL Round Seven U20 match against Mudgeeraba and scored in the Hornets 38 – 32 victory.

    Cameron Brown also started at five eight in Round 12 of the GCRL U20 competition, scoring a double against Currumbin. Both tries highlighted Cameron Brown’s ability to run the ball and he also had a try assist when he put Brent Barnes through a gap on the right side of the field.

    During the Hasting Deering’s Colts Round Eighteen bye week, Cameron Brown was back in the Helensvale U20 side at half and added to his try scoring tally with another try as the Hornets defeated Runaway Bay 32 - 26.

    The try was a long range intercept. Cameron Brown flew out of the line as Runaway Bay were throwing the ball around taking the intercept and running ninety metres to score under the posts. As soon as he took the intercept it was shut the gate, no one was going to catch him.

    Cameron Brown came into the Burleigh Colts side in Round Eleven of 2018 against Easts starting from the interchange bench and went on to play an additional nine Colts matches, splitting time between starting in the halves and from the interchange bench. Cameron Brown started five matches, the first being in Round Twelve against the Mackay Cutters.

    Cameron Brown scored four Colts tries in 2018, including a Round Twenty Four double against Easts and tries in Round Twenty and Eighteen against Victoria and Redcliffe respectively. Whether or not it really means anything, all of Cameron Brown’s tries came in matches where he started.

    Cameron Brown has played for Helensvale for a number of seasons and this year was no different lining up for the Hornets in the GCRL U19 competition. In the U19 competition, Cameron Brown played in nine matches, scoring seven tries.

    Cameron Brown had an outstanding start to the U19 competition this season, scoring in his first five matches including a double against Southport and tries against Beaudesert, Currumbin and Ormeau in two separate matches. Cameron Brown also scored a late season try against Bilambil.

    Late in 2017 Cameron Brown was named in the Burleigh 2018 MM Cup squad but he did not play in any MM Cup matches this season.

    For Helensvale in the 2017 GCRL U17 Division One competition Cameron Brown played in thirteen matches in total including starting at half back in the Hornets 34 – 20 Grand Final win over Ormeau scoring to cap off a great match. In addition to his try in the Grand Final Cameron Brown scored another ten tries to finish third on the try scoring ladder for the U17 Division One competition including scoring a hat trick against Mudgeeraba in May and a double in June against Grand Final opponents Ormeau. Cameron Brown also scored in Helensvale’s other finals match which was against Bilambil.

    Cameron Brown is only slight of build but do not take his lack of size in any way as a lack of ability or courage, he has a lot of both, which is on display each time he runs onto the field. With the ball he is a very good distributor and will take the ball to the line in an effort to set up his supports. Cameron Brown is adept at drawing an opposing defender out of the defensive line and then putting his support runner through the resulting gap.

    In terms of his speed, I would suggest that an appropriate definition of Cameron Brown’s speed would be that he is quick off the mark but does not have an extra gear when he breaks into open space.

    Cameron Brown will back his judgement and take the game on especially when the game is on the line. Assisting his play is the fact that Cameron Brown makes the decision what to do with the ball quickly thus enabling the ball to get out wide quickly.

    In previous seasons when I have seen him play he sometimes took the line on himself too much, but the times that I have seen him play this season Cameron Brown has become more selective about when to pass and when to run. His passing game is solid but seems to be slightly better when he is passing to the right side of the field.

    Cameron Brown has a good short kicking game but he does not have the strongest leg in terms of kicking deep but is accurate and regularly finds the ground to enable the chasers to get down field to enhance his team’s field position.

    Defensively I like the way that he takes the line on, Cameron Brown is aggressive and attacks the ball carrier rather than waiting for the attackers to come to him. He clearly looks to limit the time opposition players have to generate momentum before they get to him.

    Against players similar in size or reasonably close to it, Cameron Brown is very aggressive and makes sure that he finishes off every tackle in an effort to win every one on one individual battle against his opponent.

    Cameron Brown is U20 Hastings Deering’s Colts competition once again in 2020 and will also likely get an opportunity with the Burleigh GCRL First Grade side in 2020.

    I would think that regardless of what level of competition rugby league takes Cameron Brown that he will be in a No. 7 jersey as a tough feisty half back. Gaining experience at hooker however can only be a positive for Cameron Brown as he would a coach’s dream in terms of being able to cover multiple positions effectively.

    For me a current NRL player with a similar playing style to that in Cameron Brown is Sydney Roosters five eight Luke Keary being that of a solid talented all round half who will surprise a defensive line with some very good short balls when it looks for all money like he is going to run himself.

    Also like Keary, Cameron Brown has more speed that defensive lines give him credit for and that is a recipe for disaster.

  10. #1075
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    Apiata Neoma-Matenga (Revised) He is a local young second rower who has had a solid 2017 NYC campaign with the Titans and was rewarded with being selected on an extended bench for the Titans final NRL match of that season against the Sydney Roosters. He did not however make his NRL debut that afternoon late last year. Apitia Neoma-Matenga also had the honour of captaining the Titans NYC side in 2017 and spent the pre-Christmas off-season that year training with the Titans NRL squad.

    Apitia Neoma-Matenga made his Queensland Cup debut in Round One of the 2019 season starting in the second row and playing the entire 80 minutes against Norths scoring on debut. Apitia Neoma-Matenga also scored in Round Twenty Four against Wynnum Manly to finish with two tries from his ten games, all of which were from the bench other than his debut in Round One.

    In total in the 2019 Queensland Cup competition Apitia Neoma-Matenga played 305 minutes, ran for 540 metres (203 post contact), made a line break, had a line break assist, offloaded the ball once, had two line breaks and made 101 tackles at am 86.1% tackling efficiency. Apitia Neoma-Matenga’s per game averages included playing 30.5 minutes, running for fifty four metres and making 10.1 tackles.

    Apitia Neoma-Matenga’s best match was his debut in Round One against Norths when he ran for 109 metres and made thirty one tackles as well as a line break and a line break assist.

    Apitia Neoma-Matenga also started from the bench for Burleigh in their tough last minute loss to Newtown on NRL Grand Final day. In the match Apitia Neoma-Matenga played thirty three minutes, ran for sixty metres (twenty two post contact) broke two tackles, played the ball at an average speed of 3.53 seconds and made twenty six tackles at a tackling efficiency of 96.3%.

    Post the season Apitia Neoma-Matenga was named the Burleigh 2019 Queensland Cup Rookie of the Year.

    Apitia Neoma-Matenga was part of the Burleigh Bears U20 Colts side in 2018 playing in seven matches starting all in the second row and scoring in Rounds Two, Six and Seven against Redcliffe, the Western Mustangs and Victoria respectively.

    Apitia Neoma-Matenga was also named in the 2018 Queensland U20 Emerging Origin Squad with Titan AJ Brimson.

    Apitia Neoma-Matenga’s try in Round Two of 2018 against Redcliffe came purely as a result of a powerful barn storming run. Apitia Neoma-Matenga who has been lining up on the right side and took a pass off Burleigh five eight Taine Tuaupiki and simply steam rolled over the couple of Redcliffe defenders score just to the right of the goal posts.

    Apitia Neoma-Matenga’s try assist also in Round Two of 2018 came once again on the right side of the field. Running a good inside shoulder route Apitia Neoma-Matenga took a great flat pass off Taine Tuaupiki once again, going through the Redcliffe line untouched about twenty metres out, Apitia Neoma-Matenga could have easily taken on the fullback himself but instead he drew the fullback and passed back to his left to Taine Tuaupiki who was backing up for the young five eight to score under the posts to extend the Burleigh lead.

    Apitia Neoma-Matenga has already established a very good combination with Taine Tuaupiki on the right hand side of the field and over the course of this season there is no doubt both will benefit greatly from it, as will the entire Burleigh Bears Colts team.

    Over the course of the 2017 NYC season Apitia Neoma-Matenga played in 23 of the Titans 26 matches scoring five tries which came against the Parramatta Eels in Round Three, the Cowboys in Rounds Four, against the Raiders in Round Six, and in Rounds Sixteen and Seventeen against the Wests Tigers and St George respectively. Of the 23 matches that he featured in Apitia Neoma-Matenga started every match in the second row except for two matches where he started at lock being Rounds Four and Ten.

    In total Apitia Neoma-Matenga spent 1,657 minutes on the field for the Titans NYC side in 2018 which equates to a per game average of approximately 72 minutes per game with Apitia Neoma-Matenga playing the entire 80 minutes on 18 occasions. Apitia Neoma-Matenga was on the field for every minute from Rounds Seventeen to Twenty-five inclusive.

    Apitia Neoma-Matenga’s 2017 season per game averages included 74 run metres on eight carries and 21 tackles at a tackling efficiency of just over 80%. On six occasions in 2018 Apitia Neoma-Matenga ran for in excess of 100 metres in a match with his “best” effort coming against the Wests Tigers in Round Twenty-One when he ran for 151 metres on just nine carries. From a defensive perspective in Round Seventeen against the Dragons Apitia Neoma-Matenga made 35 tackles.

    Apitia Neoma-Matenga made his NYC debut in Round 17 of the 2016 season against the New Zealand Warriors from the inter change bench, playing 33 minutes in his debut and taking a heavy knock to the head. Apitia Neoma-Matenga then kept his position in the 17 for the remainder of the season, playing five matches off the inter change bench and the other four matches starting at lock.

    Apitia Neoma-Matenga scored his first and only NYC try for the year in Round 19 against Parramatta. Apitia Neoma-Matenga in his nine NYC matches averaged just on 40 minutes per game with the most minutes being against the Penrith Panthers in Round 25 when he played the remainder of the match after coming off the inter change bench in the 19th minute of the first half.

    In his nine matches in 2016 Apitia Neoma-Matenga averaged 62.5 run metres per match on 5.5 hit ups and 17.5 tackles. His best match purely from a total run metre perspective came on his debut when he ran for 117 metres and tackling wise in his starting debut in Round 19 against St George, he made 28 tackles. Apitia Neoma-Matenga however did miss 31 tackles but I would agree that had more to do with his over enthusiasm rather than a defensive positioning or technique deficiency.

    For Gold Coast White in the 2016 MM competition, Apitia Neoma-Matenga played in all of Gold Coast White’s matches including their quarter and semi-finals scoring one try which came against the Ipswich Jets in the big quarter final win. Apitia Neoma-Matenga started his first five matches at lock before moving to the second row in Round Seven and then staying in the second row for the two finals matches.

    Over the course of his junior football the former PBC student made numerous representative sides including the Vikings, Kookaburras, South East Queensland, Queensland Maroon and South Coast at the U15 and U18 level. Apitia Neoma-Matenga attended PBC and was part of their GIO Cup side that lost the Queensland Grand Final, however they did defeat Keebra Park in the Queensland quarter finals in a high quality contest in front of a crowd of around 5,000.

    Other Titans linked PBC team mates in that game included former NYC team mate and current tweed Heads Seagull Ethan Roberts. In the Keebra side that day was Titans NRL contracted AJ Brimson. Previously Apitia Neoma-Matenga was part of the Broncos Elite Player Development Squad and was so for a number of years before signing with his local NRL club three years ago.

    Apitia Neoma-Matenga is a hard running backrower who really does look to run straight over people, especially when he played in the centres, towards the end of the year, in the back row, he did use more footwork prior to the line and was best running on the fringes of the ruck, rather than straight up the centre. Apitia Neoma-Matenga still has decent to above average top end speed but he does take a little bit of time to get up to his top speed these days.

    I would suggest his speed is above average for a back rower however. Apitia Neoma-Matenga also has a very good left hand fend to add to his stocky frame and good strength. His low centre of gravity and power make him a difficult proposition to defend against, regardless of where he lines up in attack.

    Apitia Neoma-Matenga now is best suited to defending in the centre of the ruck and that is where you will almost always find him and for a solidly built young player, he moves well in terms of moving up and back in defence. Another impressive aspect of his play from a defensive stand point is the speed at which Apitia Neoma-Matenga gets around the field to be always in and around the ruck.

    Towards the end of the 2018 year, Apitia Neoma-Matenga’s defensive technique in the forwards had improved immensely, especially as he transitioned to the NYC ranks and he set a good stable base with his lower body, which he them used to explode into the attacker. Apitia Neoma-Matenga’s aggression can on occasion get the best of him but he certainly does make an impact defensively.

    It is clear from his selection on the extended First Grade bench for Round Twenty-Six last year and spending the off-season training with the NRL side that Apitia Neoma-Matenga is highly thought of by the Titans.

    Apitia Neoma-Matenga will be part of the Burleigh Bears Queensland Cup squad for the second season in a row in 2020.

    From an ultimate position perspective, Apitia Neoma-Matenga’s transition from centre to the back row is now complete and Apitia Neoma-Matenga has now firmly established himself as a powerful young backrower with a low centre of gravity and aggressive attitude.

    From a style perspective, a player that stands out with a similar playing style, especially in terms of attack is former Titan Greg Bird as a tough nuggetty back rower with decent footwork prior to the line to add to sold speed for a backrower and someone who is aggressive (very aggressive) in defence. With Apitia Neoma-Matenga in a team, that team will definitely not lack aggression in both attack and defence on the right hand side of the field.

  11. #1076
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    Kalahni Lawrence. The Burleigh and Keebra Park youngster has been one of the best players in his age group of the last couple of seasons on the Gold Coast and wider for that matter and this year was no different with Kalahni Lawrence being a stand out for Burleigh in the GCRL U14 Division One competition, for the Gold Coast Vikings U14 representative side and for South East Queensland Green in the Queensland U14 Age Championships.

    For Burleigh in the GCRL U14 Division One competition this season Kalahni Lawrence played in eleven matches scoring eighteen tries (164% strike rate) including scoring four tries in Rounds Two and Ten against Helensvale and Beaudesert respectively to finish the regular season as the competitions second leading try scorer.

    Impressively Kalahni Lawrence scored at least one try in each of his first eleven regular season matches in the U14 Division One competition. In addition to the four tries noted above, in his first eleven matches, Kalahni Lawrence also scored doubles against Mudgeeraba and Currumbin and also scored in matches against Runaway Bay (twice), Helensvale, Beaudesert and Ormeau (twice).

    In Week two of the U14 Division One Finals series, Kalahni Lawrence started at right centre against Runaway Bay scoring a double in their 40 – 6 win that propelled Burleigh directly to the Grand Final.

    In the 2019 U14 Division One Grand final Kalahni Lawrence started at right centre in Burleigh’s convincing 38 – 10 win over Runaway Bay.

    For both the U14 Gold Coast Vikings side and the U14 South East Queensland Green side Kalahni Lawrence started at right centre dominating that side of the field in both attack and defence and aggressive defence at that.

    Kalahni Lawrence started at right centre in all four of South East Queensland Green’s four matches at the Queensland U14 Age Championships including their 26 – 4 Championship Final victory against Northern.

    In early October Kalahni Lawrence was named on the bench for the 2019 Nga Hau e Wha Maori Tournament U14 Boys Merit Team.

    Kalahni Lawrence’s main ability when you see him play is his foot work, it is absolutely outstanding at right centre. He can step off both feet and put multiple combinations of steps together in a short space of time and a small radius to get out of difficult situations and still make ground.

    Kalahni Lawrence’s speed off the mark would have to be considered above average and whilst his top end speed may not necessarily be elite he can sustain it over an extended distance. He also has a solid low centre of gravity type build and also a decent fend complicating the task of defending against him.

    Regardless of where Kalahni Lawrence receives the ball he is a sound attacking player. If he gets an off load from a forward through the middle he is through the gap before the defence can react, if he gets the ball in space out wide he makes it difficult for the opposing defender to get a clean shot at him. Seemingly like all modern day outside backs Kalahni Lawrence has exceptional body control enabling him to score some impressive tries along the touchline as a result of outstanding balance and body control.

    Defensively Kalahni Lawrence uses his size to good effect, he drives with his shoulder into his opponent and has very good timing in terms of when to come out of the line and certainly has the speed to readjust and chase if his timing is slightly off and his opposing centre gets on his outside.

    Kalahni Lawrence has the body control to redirect quickly and mirror the movement of the opposing attackers and anticipate what vector the attack comes from and understands when to allow the attacking play to develop in from of him and when to come out of the line to disrupt the attacking play prior to its formation and execution.

    Kalahni Lawrence is set to play the 2020 season with Burleigh in the GCRL U15 Division One competition as well as continue to play for Keebra Park in their school boy competitions and is also a likely starter, barring injury of course, with the South Coast U15 QSSRL School Boy representative side. The Titans new link with Keebra Park can only be of benefit to help to get young players like Kalahni Lawrence into their JTS program.

    Kalahni Lawrence is a centre pure and simple and an outstanding one at that, thus for me there is absolutely no reason a coach would even consider moving him to another position now and for the foreseeable future.

    Kalahni Lawrence is already some type of player let alone what he may become as he continues to grow and develop his game, thus when you are trying to identify an appropriate NRL player comparison for him, all you really need to do is to look at the best centres running around in the NRL to get an accurate comparison.

    For me Kalahni Lawrence’s style of play remains me of Penrith and New Zealand International centre Dean Whare. Like Whare Kalahni Lawrence is an outstanding strike centre and a very good defensive one as well which even at the NRL level is a difficult combination to find.

    Kalahni Lawrence is just a class rugby league player and is as good as any one currently in the Gold Coast Junior Rugby League regardless of age group or for that matter position.

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    Taelon Te Whiu-Hopa. The big strong young Southport front rower was in devastating form this season for the Tigers in the GCRL U14 Division One competition.

    For Southport in the GCRL U14 Division One regular season competition Taelon Te Whiu-Hopa played in nine matches scoring eleven tries (122% strike rate) including a Round Three hat trick against Currumbin and doubles in Round Ten and Round Twelve against Ormeau and Mudgeeraba respectively.

    Taelon Te Whiu-Hopa also scored in matches against Runaway Bay twice, Helensvale and Beaudesert to account for his eleven tries.

    In Week One of the Finals series Taelon Te Whiu-Hopa started in the front row in Southport’s 26 - 22 loss to Runaway Bay.

    In Week two of the U14 Division One Finals series, Taelon Te Whiu-Hopa started in the front row and scored a hat trick against Mudgeeraba as Southport progressed to the Preliminary Final.

    In the Preliminary Final against Runaway Bay Taelon Te Whiu-Hopa once again started in the front row and scored a double as Southport fell 22 – 16 to Runaway Bay to end their season one win short of the Grand Final.

    After performing well for the Gold Coast Vikings U14 side at the Hill Stumer Championships held at Ipswich this season, Taelon Te Whiu-Hopa started in the front row for the South East Queensland White side at the Queensland U14 Age Championships where he was a handful for opposing defences in each of SEQ Whites matches.

    Taelon Te Whiu-Hopa started all four of South East Queensland White’s matches in the front row and scored when he crashed over against Central on Day Two of the Championships.

    In early October 2019 Taelon Te Whiu-Hopa was named on the bench for the 2019 Nga Hau e Wha Maori Tournament U14 Boys Merit Team at the completion of the tournament.

    Taelon Te Whiu-Hopa is a hard running big strong front rower who is very good at running the right line including both and inside shoulder and outside shoulder line and consistently hits the pass off either the dummy half or play maker flat thus generating his best possible speed and momentum to hit the defensive line at full speed.

    Where he really excels though is his footwork, Taelon Te Whiu-Hopa has very good late and quick foot work which enables him to change direction quickly allowing him to readjust where he is running to take advantage of either a late developing hole in the defensive line or where the defensive line is repositioning late.

    Taelon Te Whiu-Hopa is adept at cutting back behind the play the ball area when the markers do not work hard and make ground as a result. When the Broncos NYC side were in the attacking area, Taelon Te Whiu-Hopa was regularly used to draw the defence into the centre of the ruck thus stretching the defensive line out wide to allow the backline more room to move.

    Taelon Te Whiu-Hopa also accepted the responsibility of regularly taking the first hit-up from kick offs and was regularly the first forward to take a hit-up after an opposition tactical kick.

    Even when he is taking a hit up in the centre of the ruck, Taelon Te Whiu-Hopa ’s feet are always moving and he is constantly making slight corrections to his running vector and he is also able to maintain his speed regardless of those multiple directional changes.

    Taelon Te Whiu-Hopa ’s speed is probably a bit above average but it is the speed that he is able to generate from only a few paces which makes it play faster from a defenders perspective.

    Defensively he hits very hard and had one of the better defensive technique s in the GCRL U18 Division One competition this season. Taelon Te Whiu-Hopa ’s technique revolves around timing and execution. Taelon Te Whiu-Hopa ’s head is almost always correctly positioned and he always drives with his shoulder and never just jersey grabs at an opponent. From the matches that I have seen Taelon Te Whiu-Hopa also tackles with both shoulders equally effectively.

    The impressive thing for me also is that Taelon Te Whiu-Hopa never seems to bounce off the ball (or the man) when he makes a front on tackle meaning his target area and the ability to hit the area on a regular basis is quite exceptional for a reasonably inexperienced forward. That aspect of his play means that Taelon Te Whiu-Hopa has a solid and repeatable defensive technique.

    Another defensive aspect that I noted during the 2017 season was that Taelon Te Whiu-Hopa does not just make one tackle at a time, he makes a series of tackles one after another all as clinical and effective as the one before.

    Taelon Te Whiu-Hopa lateral speed is quite good for a front row prospect due to his quick twitch feet and thus he is effective at defending against smaller dynamic runners out of dummy half as well as half backs and five eights running of the fringes looking to isolate forwards.

    Taelon Te Whiu-Hopa is set to play the 2020 season with Southport in the GCRL U15 Division One competition as well as continue to play school boy rugby league and is also a likely starter, barring injury of course, with the South Coast U15 QSSRL School Boy representative side.

    Taelon Te Whiu-Hopa will also be a key member of the Coombabah State High School U15 school boy rugby league side in 2020 in their various competitions.

    Taelon Te Whiu-Hopa is a big strong powerful young man with outstanding mobility for his size, who has been a standout front rower in both club and representative sides over the last two years on the Gold Coast and seems destined to be an NRL calibre, if not higher, front rower in coming years.

    Like most front rowers Taelon Te Whiu-Hopa also has a touch of aggression in his game and looks to dominate opposing forward packs both physically and mentally on every occasion in both attack and defence.

    The way that Taelon Te Whiu-Hopa handles himself on the football field reminds me of Sydney Roosters and New Zealand International enforcer Jarrod Warera-Hargraves as a big strong front rower with a skill set that belies the intimidating presence that he projects on the field in the most demanding position on a football field, a good mix all round talent and plenty of raw talent to work with.

    The scary thing is that I do not believe that Taelon Te Whiu-Hopa is even close to reaching his potential, a scary thought indeed for opposition sides in coming years.

  13. #1078
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    Kai Smallwood. In early in October 2019 the quick stepping young half or five eight was part of a Titans U14/15 NRRRL Invitational side that played the Titans U14 Gold Coast/Brisbane Academy side in a development match at Tweed Heads Seagulls Piggabeen ground with Kai Smallwood’s side going down 32 – 10 in an exciting and entertaining match.

    Kai Smallwood was part of the Group 18 representative U15 side that played at the 2019 New South Wales Country Age Championships held in Port Macquarie in September. In those Championships Kai Smallwood started in the halves in all three of Group 18’s matches and scoring eighteen points in the process to finish as Group 18’s leading point’s scorer at the Championships.

    Kai Smallwood scored on Day Two against Newcastle, kicking three goals in that match as well to finish with ten points in an 18 all draw. On Day One Kai Smallwood kicked three goals against Central Coast and then backed that up by kicking a conversion later in the day against Group Three.

    Late in the 2019 season Kai Smallwood was named the 2019 Group 18 U15 representative teams best back.

    Kai Smallwood played the 2019 club rugby league season with Bilambil in the Group 18 U15 competition and in fact was named player of the Grand Final as Bilambil defeated Byron Bay/Lennox Head in a high quality encounter.

    In late 2019 Kai Smallwood headed to Sydney to trial for the 2020 New South Wales Koori U16 side with fellow Titan Michael Roberts.

    Kai Smallwood also represented Group 18 in 2018 at the U14 level at the New South Wales Age Championships. In 2018 Kai Smallwood scored a double in Group 18’s first match against Group 21.

    From an attacking perspective at this stage of his career Kia Smallwood is more of a runner of the ball rather than necessarily being an organiser but certainly there are flashes that show Kia Smallwood is more than capable of being an organiser and leading his side around the field.

    Kia Smallwood’s regularly looks to take the line on himself with above average to near plus speed off the mark as well as exceptional evasive skills to complement his speed off the mark, Kia Smallwood is especially effective later in halves when the big forwards start to visibly fatigue.

    In the second half of last year, Kia Smallwood started to balance his game more and started to become more of a distributor and play maker. Kia Smallwood has always had this ability but as he has progressed up in age groups you can see that his understanding the game and his role in it with a more balanced approach to strategy and the game plan.

    Defensively Kia Smallwood is a feisty young man whose attitude and effectiveness in defence defies his size. He will take on any size opponent and even against the biggest of opponents will get in front of them and aim to fit them as hard as possible. Against opponents closer to his size Kia Smallwood will aggressively make the tackle and let his opponent know about it.

    From a position perspective, Kia Smallwood is only small in stature but with his organisational skills developing and speed off the mark nearing the plus category I believe that his best position as he transitions to senior rugby league is in the half back position. It would be interesting to see how Kia Smallwood would go at fullback with his elusive running style however.

    Kai Smallwood will play the 2020 season with Bilambil in the Group 18 U16 competition and will also push for a spot in the 2020 U16 Andrew Johns Cup Northern Rivers Titans side.

    For me Kai Smallwood has a similar playing style to that of former Titan and current English Super League player Albert Kelly. Like Kelly Kai Smallwood has the speed off the mark to be able to exploit gaps and also has a bit of unpredictability about him which keeps defensive lines honest especially when he runs with the ball in two hands.

    With continued development of his play making and passing skills Kai Smallwood has intriguing potential for the future. Kia Smallwood is a solid goal kicker as well and a developing tactical kicker who has the potential to be his side’s first choice kicker in both disciplines in future seasons.

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    Reshawn Anderson. Goal kicking front rower Reshawn Anderson started his 2019 campaign in impressive fashion scoring two tries and kicking a conversion for Ballina as they defeated Casino RSM 54 – 4 in Round Two in the Group One U14 competition, Ballina had a Round One bye.

    In Round Three Reshawn Anderson continued his impressive form scoring a try and kicking two conversions as Ballina defeated Clarence Coast 44 – 8. Reshawn Anderson also scored a Round Six double against Lismore Marist Brothers. In Round Twelve against Grafton Reshawn Anderson added a try and a goal to his season’s points tally.

    Reshawn Anderson had a huge Round Thirteen match against Lismore Marist Brothers scoring three tries and kicking three goals to finish the match with eighteen points.

    In total in the 2019 Group One U14 regular season competition Reshawn Anderson played in eight matches for Ballina scoring sixty two points from nine tries (113% strike rate) and thirteen goals to average just under eight points per game.

    In Week One of the Finals series, Reshawn Anderson scored as Ballina progressed on the back of a 34 – 6 win over South Grafton and was also a member of the Grand Final winning side and fact was named the Player of the Match in the Grand Final.

    Post the Grand Final Reshawn Anderson’s Group One U14 Ballina side was named Team of the Group One Junior Rugby League competition for their unbeaten season. On an individual level Reshawn Anderson was also named 2019 Group One U14 Representative Player of the Year.

    Reshawn Anderson in 2019 also played two matches in the Group One U15 competition, making his debut against Casino RSM and scored his first try in that competition in Round Thirteen against Lismore Marist Brothers.

    Reshawn Anderson was named in the front row for the Group One U14 Taipans for the New South Wales Country Age Championships that were held in Port Macquarie in late September. In Group One’s first qualifying match Reshawn Anderson kicked two conversions as Group One drew 14 all with Newcastle and added a try and a conversion in Group One’s Northern Cup semi-final.

    In early in October Reshawn Anderson was part of a Titans U14/15 NRRRL side that went down 32 – 10 to the Titans U14 Gold Coast/Brisbane Academy side in a development match at Tweed Heads a match for me at least Reshawn Anderson was one of the NRRRL sides best.

    Reshawn Anderson also represented Ballina Coast High School in multiple school boy competitions in 2019 including being part of the Ballina Coast High School side that won the 2019 U15 Titans Cup when they won all four of their matches on the day.

    Ballina Coast’s wins were against Alstonville High School 11 – 10 in Round One, St Joseph’s Banora Point 20 – 4 in Round Two, Woodlawn College 12 – 6 in the semi-final and Alstonville 18 – 6 in the Grand Final.

    The powerful Ballina Seagulls junior had a great season in the 2018 Group One U13 competition where he scored seven tries and kicked seven goals to finish with 42 points from his eleven matches.

    In 2018 Reshawn Anderson scored doubles against South Grafton and Casino RSM and also scored in other matches against South Grafton, Kyogle and Lismore Marist Brothers over the course of the season.

    With the boot Reshawn Anderson kicked two conversions in a late season match against Clarence Coast in 2018 with the remainder of his seven goals coming from individual matches over the course of the season as well.

    Reshawn Anderson is a big strong powerful young man and uses these attributes when he runs with the ball, he will take the line on and look to drop his shoulder into the defender who is looking initiate contact.

    Reshawn Anderson can also off load the football both before the line and when he is being tackled, he seems to be one of those players with the innate ability to get his hands free, or more accurately his right hand free.

    Whilst this can lead to some mistakes, usually Reshawn Anderson is very selective about when to pass. With his offloading skills, one aspect that Reshawn Anderson should develop as he progresses is in relation to short passes to supporting forwards.

    Reshawn Anderson also is quite quick for a big young bloke, both in terms of explosive speed off the mark and agile from a footwork perspective but also with speed over an extended distance. Once he gets into space, it is only going to be backs that will catch him.

    In defence, Reshawn Anderson can certainly hit very hard and for a big boy he has quite decent endurance thus allowing him to get back quickly into the defensive line. Where he is also very good, due to his good athletic skills is for a front rower is effectively tackling smaller attackers on the edge of the ruck.

    Reshawn Anderson does not fall for dummies and is difficult to step as he mirrors the lateral movement of the attacker to effectively wrap up the opposing player.

    Reshawn Anderson is also quite a good goal kicker who gets a lot of distance with his kicking to go with good accuracy. You do not see many goal kicking front rowers but Reshawn Anderson is legitimately a very solid goal kicker, although it is unlikely that he will be a first choice goal kicker for a side, but it is quite rare to see a front rower kick for goal.

    Reshawn Anderson Ferguson will play the 2020 season with the Ballina Seagulls in the Group One U15 competition and will be in line to represent Group One in the U15 age group at the 2020 New South Wales Country Age Championships.

    Reshawn Anderson will also be involved in the Ballina Coast High School Rugby League Excellence Program over the next couple of seasons which the school is running as an outstanding joint initiative with the Titans and is already producing exceptional results.

    Reshawn Anderson is a big strong powerful young man with outstanding attributes such as size, strength, speed, mobility and power and as such seems destined to stay in the front row for the duration of what should be a long and prosperous rugby league career.

    In saying that however, I believe that Reshawn Anderson definitely has the mobility and speed to spend time in the second row over the next couple of seasons before he moves to the front row on a permanent basis.

    For me Reshawn Anderson’s game has some similarities to Cronulla and former New South Wales State of Origin front row Andrew Fifita. Both have running styles that are difficult for defences to address due to the constant movement and momentum and directional changes as well as knees and elbows moving in unique directions and both are tough, hard and aggressive in all aspects of their game.

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    Lachlan Turnbull. The outstanding young hooker originally from Ipswich has been a great addition to the Burleigh Bears 2019 Hastings Deering’s Colts squad making an immediate impression in his first game being Round Five against Souths Logan when he started at hooker and scored in his first match in Burleigh’s maroon and white.

    Lachlan Turnbull also started at hooker in Round Six for Burleigh the following week in their big 50 – 20 win against Wynnum Manly with Lachlan Turnbull making it two tries from as many matches when he scored in the 21st minute of the first half and also kicked seven conversions from nine attempts to finish the match with an individual points tally of eighteen points.

    Round Eight against the Western Mustangs saw Lachlan Turnbull starring once again for the Bears scoring a double and kicking four goals as Burleigh ran riot to win 52 – 10. Both of Lachlan Turnbull’s two tries were typical Lachlan Turnbull tries .

    From a quick play the ball close to the Western Mustangs try line, Lachlan Turnbull exploded out of dummy half to his left and simply was too quick for the Mustangs defence to have any chance of stopping for his first try and in relation to his second he ran out of dummy half to his right.

    Round Nine saw Lachlan Turnbull once again in the points, when he kicked six from eight attempts as Burleigh defeated Redcliffe 50 – 6.

    In Round Ten against the Northern Pride Lachlan Turnbull kicked three more goals and kicked two goals in Round Eleven against Central Queensland and in Round Twelve against the Sunshine Coast including a penalty goal in the 59th minute that tied the scores at 22 all.

    Lachlan Turnbull also scored in Round Seventeen against Tweed Heads when he ran down a short blind side twenty metres out from the Tweed Heads line. As he took off to his right with the ball in both hands, it looked like he was going to pass but instead, Lachlan Turnbull sprinted through the resultant gap to score out wide untouched near the right corner flag leaving a disorganised defensive line behind him.

    In Round Twenty against the Western Mustangs, Lachlan Turnbull added a try assist to his body of work in 2019. Late in the match with Burleigh on the attack, Lachlan Turnbull took off out of dummy half to the right of the play the ball perpendicular to the defensive line and brought Burleigh front rower Larryon Tevita underneath him for the front rower to crash over.

    Lachlan Turnbull was credited with another try assist in Round Twenty One against the Northern Pride. The try assist was in fact almost identical to his one in Round Twenty, Lachlan Turnbull took off out of dummy half to the right of the play the ball perpendicular to the defensive line and brought lock Lochlyn Sheldon underneath him for him to crash over.

    After a number of matches where he was the creator, Lachlan Turnbull scored himself in Round Twenty Two against the Sunshine Coast Falcons as well as kicking a conversion. Close to the Falcons line, Lachlan Turnbull took off out of dummy half to his right and dummied one or twice to Like Maiden who was running a crash line and then as the defence focussed on Maiden, Lachlan Turnbull took the opportunity to dive over.

    Lachlan Turnbull was one of Burleigh try scorers in their Week One Hastings Deering’s Colts Major Semi-final loss to Wynnum Manly. Lachlan Turnbull scored when he chased through an attacking kick but five eight Shallin Fuller to scored adjacent to the right upright.

    In Week Two of the Finals Lachlan Turnbull started at hooker in Burleigh’s 42 – 12 win against Norths.

    Lachlan Turnbull’s 2019 Hastings Deering’s Colts season came to an end when he started at hooker for Burleigh as they went down 23 – 16 to Sunshine Coast in the Preliminary Final.

    In total in the 2019 Hastings Deering’s Colts competition Lachlan Turnbull played in eighteen matches for Burleigh including their three finals starting all at hooker, scoring 110 points from seven tries and forty one goals with the tries noted in the above paragraphs.

    When Lachlan Turnbull came into the Burleigh side he immediately became their primary goal kicker but towards the end of the season Lachlan Turnbull shared the goal kicking duties with Jayden Campbell.

    In the 2019 Hastings Deering’s Colts Player of the Year Award tally Lachlan Turnbull finished with four votes.

    Lachlan Turnbull came to Burleigh after an outstanding 2018 season for the Ipswich Jets that saw him play in both the MM Cup and Hastings Deering’s Colts competitions for the Jets. In fact Lachlan Turnbull finished third in the 2018 MM Cup Player of the Year voting just behind now Brisbane Broncos NRL player David Fifita.

    Lachlan Turnbull started in all six of Ipswich’s 2018 MM Cup matches at hooker, scoring three tries and kicking six goals to finish the competition with twenty four points.

    Lachlan Turnbull’s tries came in Round Two against Townsville, Round Four against Wynnum Manly and Round Seven against the Sunshine Coast Falcons. With the boot Lachlan Turnbull kicked four goals in a Round Three match against the Western Mustangs and kicked his other two goals in Round Six against the Mackay Cutters.

    Against Townsville in Round Two Lachlan Turnbull scooted out of dummy half to his right, dummied and then stepped back to the left and break the defensive line and score under the posts. Lachlan Turnbull’s try was as a result of a hard straight run. Ipswich had the ball about five metres out from the Wynnum try line, Lachlan Turnbull took the ball off the dummy half on the right side of the field and crashed over adjacent to the right upright.

    Lachlan Turnbull’s try against Sunshine Coast in Round Seven highlights his game to a tee, with Ipswich attacking close to the Falcons line, Lachlan Turnbull darted out of dummy half down a short blind side and ran at the line with the ball out in front of his body in both hands which put the defensive on the back foot, he then used his outstanding speed to slide between two defenders to score near the right corner from close range.

    In the 2018 MM Cup competition, Lachlan Turnbull had multiple try assists including one memorable one when he ran out of dummy half against the Western Mustangs and after a forty metre run, drew the fullback for his half back to score a long range try.

    Upon completion of the 2018 MM Cup competition, Lachlan Turnbull moved directly to the Ipswich Jets Colts side playing his first match in that Division in Round Ten against Tweed Heads scoring a try and kicking three goals on debut. Like in all of his Colts matches for the Jets in 2018 Lachlan Turnbull started the match in the second row.

    Lachlan Turnbull’s debut Colts try in 2018 came when he followed through a short chip kick and got to the ball first to score under the posts.

    In total in the 2018 Colts competition, Lachlan Turnbull played in twelve matches scoring fifty points from five tries and fifteen goals.

    In addition to his try on debut in Round Ten, Lachlan Turnbull scored a double in Round Twenty One against Sunshine Coast and also scored in Rounds Eleven and Twenty Two against Norths and Central Queensland respectively.

    Lachlan Turnbull’s Round Eleven try against Norths was like his debut try against Tweed Heads one where he chased through an attacking grubber kick to score close to the right upright. On both occasions Lachlan Turnbull was not the favourite to get to the ball first but he just wanted it more than his opposition.

    Also in the 2018 Colts competition, Lachlan Turnbull had an outstanding match against the Western Mustangs recording two try assists. For the first Lachlan Turnbull broke through the defensive line running from dummy half before off-loading under pressure. His second try assist against the Western Mustangs was even more impressive.

    The Western Mustangs fullback put up a mid-field bomb, kicking it from his own 40 metre line, Lachlan Turnbull ran back with the flight of the ball and after taking the ball on the full, spun around breaking three or four tackles of the Western Mustangs chasers, before drawing the fullback to put his winger away for a spectacular try.

    With the boot Lachlan Turnbull kicked three goals in a match on three occasions being his debut in Round Ten, in Round Thirteen against Burleigh and in Round Seventeen against the Mackay Cutters.

    From an attacking stand point, Lachlan Turnbull has solid distribution skills in relation to his passing skills to either side of his body and uses a solid, repeatable passing technique to ensure consistency, thus enabling his forwards and play makers have confidence that his passes will find the mark with the appropriate velocity attached on every occasion.

    From a speed perspective I would consider that his speed when running out of dummy half is above average for a hooker, but plays faster as he has become adept at running at the right time and focusses heavily when the markers are out of position, thus Lachlan Turnbull either makes ground putting his team on the front foot or draws a penalty, in both scenario’s he generates momentum for his side through the skill and intelligence he has.

    The impressive thing about when Lachlan Turnbull runs out of dummy half is the fact that he does not run to the same side all of the time, he will make a judgement on where the defence is the weakest and respond accordingly as was evidence in Round Nine of the Hastings Deering’s Colts competition this season when he scored tries by running on both sides of the ruck.

    From a defensive perspective Lachlan Turnbull is a very solid tackler who makes good initial contact and is able to generate momentum through his core and drive into his opponent with enough force to redirect the momentum of the ball carrier. He has both a solid low tackling technique as well as having the functional strength to make ball and all tackles effectively against the biggest of forwards looking to target him in the defensive line.

    Lachlan Turnbull is also very quick out of the marker position and will get to forwards how are running one out before they can generate any momentum. In short he defends like a backrower and certainly if he finds himself on the fringes of the ruck, Lachlan Turnbull has the lateral movement and anticipation to also defend against smaller quicker halves looking to exploit a perceived speed advantage.

    Lachlan Turnbull also has an intensity about his play which cannot be coached, one example is his chasing of kicks, in addition to his two tries in 2018 from chasing attacking kicks, Lachlan Turnbull is also always the first defender down field in relation to tactical kicking, and against Norths in the 2018 Colts competition somehow managed to get to the Norths winger and tackle him in the in goal when the winger seemed to have a lot of time to get to the ball and get into the field of play.

    Lachlan Turnbull is also able to combine his intensity with intelligence. On two occasions in 2018 being against Tweed Heads and Wynnum Manly Lachlan Turnbull took short kick-offs retrieving both and then on both occasions made substantial ground.

    I am not talking about high short kick off towards the touch line in my examples, I am talking about situations where Lachlan Turnbull has identified that the defence has switched off in the middle of the field and after identifying this he has grubbered the ball to just over the ten metre line and retrieving it.

    To add to his impressive skill repertoire Lachlan Turnbull is also an outstanding kicker of the ball both in terms of goal kicking as was evidenced by him kicking seven from nine in Round Six of the 2019 Colts competition and also from a tactical kicking perspective.

    In 2018 Lachlan Turnbull kicked two forty twenties with those coming against The Western Mustangs and Townsville Blackhawks. On both occasions Lachlan Turnbull stepped out from dummy half to his right and off one step gut impressive length and direction on his kicks.

    Lachlan Turnbull will play the 2020 season for Burleigh in the Hastings Deering’s Colts competition and for me Lachlan Turnbull is a real chance to break into the Queensland Cup competition in early 2020 and by 2021 season’s end even possibly the NRL such is his skill level, intensity and will to succeed.

    Lachlan Turnbull has been outstanding to date in 2019 in the dummy half role for the Burleigh U20 Hastings Deering’s Colts side and with his speed out of dummy half and his aggressive nature, hooker is his ideal position moving forward. Lachlan Turnbull is Colts eligible once again in 2020.

    For completeness however it should be noted that Lachlan Turnbull has spent a fair bit of time in the second row as early as last season when playing for the Ipswich Jets in the Hastings Deering’s Colts competition.

    Lachlan Turnbull with his speed out of dummy half and his ability to make the right decision in terms of when to run and when to pass reminds me of South Sydney and New South Wales State of Origin hooker Damien Cook, although Lachlan Turnbull has a bigger body shape and thus more power in his game than Cook but probably a touch less speed off the mark.

    Both Cook and Lachlan Turnbull however have the ability to change the game in a heartbeat with a decisive run out of dummy half whether that be to run themselves or to seek to pass to a support player running onto a gap which significantly alters the games momentum.


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