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  1. #1381
    Kangaroo
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    Joseph Shannon. The giant young forward who signed a contract with the Titans in early 2019 has been one of a number of standouts of his age group on the Gold Coast over the last couple of seasons.

    Joseph Shannon’s old brothers Samuel and Daniel both have links with the Titans as well making it a family affair around the dinner table in the Shannon house hold when the subject of rugby league comes up.

    Joseph Shannon in late 2019 spent a session training alongside the Titans NRL squad with his fellow Titans contracted JTS players and Joseph Shannon was definitely not out of place from a size or skill perspective.

    One of Joseph Shannon’s most recent matches for the Titans was when he started from the interchange bench for the Titans U16 side in their annual match against the Newcastle Knights Harold Matthews Cup (U16) side in January 2020 in Coffs Harbour with the Titans coming away 18 – 14 winners in wet and slippery conditions.

    When he came on Joseph Shannon was his usual aggressive self and let the Newcastle Knights players that he was on the field as he belted them in defence. Similiarly some of Joseph Shannon’s charges in the Knights line can really only be described as fearsome and he regularly bent the line even though the Knights regularly three or four defenders to stopping Joseph Shannon from making significant post contact metres.

    Early in the 2020 season the powerful Coombabah State High School student was named in the forward pack for the Pacific Rim Open rugby league district side after the trials for that representative side were competed. Unfortunately the selection of a South Coast side for the QSSRL U18 Championships did not occur in 2020 due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

    In February 2020 Joseph Shannon was also named in the Gold Coast Vikings U16 Training Squad but unfortunately the U16 South East Queensland pre-season challenge had to be cancelled in the week leading up to the first day of the Challenge.

    Also in 2020 Joseph Shannon was part of the Coombabah State High School Langer Cup Open A school boy rugby league squad for the Term Three school boy rugby league competition playing against fellow Gold Coast schools PBC and Keebra Park.

    In July 2020 Joseph Shannon started in the front row for the Coombabah Open A Langer Cup side in their Langer Cup qualifying match against St Mary’s in Toowoomba but unfortunately Coombabah went down in the match.

    After being knocked out of the Langer Cup, Joseph Shannon and his Coombabah State High School team mates took part of the Gee Cup school boy competition, going through the competition as the undefeated Southern Division Champions and taking on Mabel Park State High School in the 2020 Gee Cup Grand Final that was held at Langlands Park.

    In the 2020 Gee Cup Grand Final that Coombabah won 50 – 8 Joseph Shannon started in the front row and had an outstanding match showcasing his size , strength, power and aggression. In the match Joseph Shannon played a key role in Coombabah’s first try of the match when he charged onto the ball in his own territory and got off a great left arm off load to send Harrydon Wilson away on a forty five metre run to the try line.

    Joseph Shannon played the 2020 Gold Coast Rugby League with Runaway Bay in the U16 Division One competition and was dominant in a number of matches including Round Six against Helensvale and Round Eight against Ormeau.

    Against Helensvale Joseph Shannon was at his powerful best off loading the ball seemingly at will and scored when he charged straight into the teeth of the Shearers forward pack from around ten metres out from the line. Joseph Shannon contacted the Ormeau defensive line around five metres out but kept pumping his legs to crash over just to the right of the uprights.

    Against Ormeau in Round Eight, Joseph Shannon also produced a powerful display and also one of controlled aggression, producing at least three exceptional one armed (right arm) off loads that I can recall to kep Runaway Bay momentum going in their victory on the Friday night.

    Joseph Shannon was also outstanding in Round Nine against Runaway Bay and has in his element starting in the front row in a fierce forward battle and making an outstanding line break which ended in Joseph Shannon producing an outstanding left arm out of the back of the hand off load as Runaway Bay prevailed 10 – 4.

    In late October 2020, Joseph Shannon was named in the 2021 Burleigh MM Cup squad.

    In January of 2019 Joseph Shannon started on the interchange bench for the Titans U16 (he was still U15 eligible in 2019) side in their match against the Newcastle Knights U16 Harrold Matthews side. When he came on Joseph Shannon had a huge impact especially running with the ball making positive metres, especially post contact on each of his hit-ups.

    In the first half Joseph Shannon also showcased his off-loading skills, when he threw a good left hand pass when engaged with the defensive line for a line break assist to Noah Johassnnsen who was able to continue to rumble down field into the Knights twenty metre line.

    A couple of his first half carries were very impressive especially when he was bringing the ball away from the Titans line. It was also great to see Joseph Shannon support his team mates, after a minor scuffle, Joseph Shannon made sure that the Newcastle Knights forward did not take advantage of the Titans player on the ground.

    Joseph Shannon also found himself at dummy half on a few occasions in the match but handled the situation well and got the ball to half Thomas Weaver quickly and efficiently.

    In the second half, Joseph Shannon made a fifty metre break from his own half when he ran a great line to the right of the field with Bailey Martin popping him a great ball for Joseph Shannon to charge down the field in a fearsome run including outpacing some of the Knights cover defence.

    Defensively Joseph Shannon also made his presence felt with a number of telling tackles including one outstanding front on tackle in the second half when he monstered the Knights replacement half who tried to beat him with a left foot step. Joseph Shannon just rag dolled him and dragged him back a number of metres in an aggressive tackle.

    Joseph Shannon played the 2019 club rugby league season with Southport in the GCRL U15 Division One competition, playing in a total of nine matches and scoring five tries including opening his tally in Round One against Helensvale, scoring a double in Round Thirteen against Ormeau and also scoring in matches against Ormeau once again and Nerang.

    In Week two of the 2019 GCRL U15 Division One Finals series, Joseph Shannon started against Nerang teaming with fellow Titan Seth Nikotemo in the front row scoring as Runaway Bay progressed directly to the Grand Final on the back of a 20 – 0 win.

    In the 2019 GCRL U15 Division One Grand Final Joseph Shannon started in the front row for Runaway Bay as they went down 26 – 22 in a fiery forward battle against Nerang.

    Joseph Shannon made his GCRL U16 Division One debut in Round Fourteen of the 2019 season against Helensvale when he came off the bench after playing in the corresponding U15 Division One match earlier in the evening.

    2019 also saw Joseph Shannon represent South Coast at the U15 QSSRL Championships where South Coast went through undefeated to win the Championships and subsequently Joseph Shannon was named in the Queensland Maroons side for the U15 ASSRL Championships.

    Joseph Shannon started in the front row for Queensland Maroon in their matches including on Day two when he scored in just the 5th minutes in a win against New South Wales Combined High Schools. Joseph Shannon ran a good straight line three metres out from the line and after receiving the ball dived over near the left upright.

    Unfortunately Joseph Shannon took a knock and was not able to play out the Championships but he was certainly destructive when he was on the field.

    Joseph Shannon was also a stand-out performer for Coombabah State High School in their various U15 schoolboy rugby league competitions in 2019.

    For the 2018 season, Joseph Shannon transferred from Southport to the Coomera Cutters for whom he played the U14 Division One season. Through eleven matches in that competition including finals matches, Joseph Shannon scored six tries and kicked five conversions to finish the U14 Division One season with 34 points.

    Joseph Shannon scored doubles in consecutive rounds mid-season against Beaudesert and Helensvale and also scored against Ormeau and Nerang. Four of Joseph Shannon’s goals came in a match against Beaudesert (he also scored a double in that match) with the other against Runaway Bay.

    Joseph Shannon also played in one U15 Division One match in 2018 for Coomera when he lined up against Currumbin in late July.

    Joseph Shannon at the start of this season represented the Gold Coast Vikings U14 side starting at lock in three matches and scored a double in Match Two of the South East Queensland U14 Championships in a win against Brisbane Red. His other match was against Ipswich.

    Post those Championships Joseph Shannon was selected at lock for South East Queensland White and scored against South East Queensland Green on Day One of the Queensland Age Championships.

    In 2019 Joseph Shannon was also selected in the Queensland Academy of Sport U15 Emerging Origin squad.

    Joseph Shannon also represented the Gold Coast Vikings in 2017 at the U13 level, playing three games in the 2017 Hill Stumer Championships that were held at Carina.

    Rarely can you find a young player who is equally at home running on both sides of the ruck but that is what a team has with Joseph Shannon, he runs a superb outside shoulder line and his excellent footwork enables him to step off either foot to enable him to cut back against the movement of the defensive line to take advantage of gaps back on the inside of his direct opponent.

    For a big strong young man, Joseph Shannon also has above average speed, not just off the mark but also when he is in clear space, when he makes a break Joseph Shannon is more than capable of going the distance and normally easily out paces the cover defence.

    Joseph Shannon is not just a strong runner of the ball he as noted above has excellent footwork prior to the line and also some very good short passing both before the line and when in contact with a defender.

    Joseph Shannon in schoolboy rugby and junior age groups is a magnet for defenders and is adept at identifying when multiple defenders are vectoring towards him and identifying the appropriate force to be applied to his passing when off-loading.

    On a lot of his runs Joseph Shannon rather than trying to step his opposite number will really look to initiate the contact and then use his strength to hold the defender off his body to either push through the tackle or draw in the next defender to create space for his outside support.

    Joseph Shannon is a scary young man when he is running at a defensive line. In addition to being a giant, Joseph Shannon runs at the line with speed and unbridled aggression. When you add to those traits his long hair which flows everywhere when he runs Joseph Shannon is a sight to behold when he crashes into the defensive line and then immediately fights with knees and elbows going in all directions to get a quick play the ball.

    On many occasions Joseph Shannon is the designated kick-up returner for his side and with added room to wind up Joseph Shannon’s front on crashes into the defensive line causes carnage and whilst he may not make a break himself the fact that he draws in so many defenders and gets quick play the ball means that his team mates have a lot more room to move, including dummy halves who use the fact that defenders are scattered all over the place to their advantage.

    Joseph Shannon, over the course of his junior rugby league career to date is a bit of a try scorer, many of which have come from kamikaze charges at the line and he has regualry had multiple defenders hanging off him when he puts the ball down.

    Defensively Joseph Shannon has a hard, aggressive edge to his play and his initial contact is more than sufficient to redirect the momentum of the ball carrier. Joseph Shannon sets a very good base which he uses to explode into the ball carrier looking to use their own momentum against them.

    Joseph Shannon’s good situation awareness also enables him to be well positioned when he is defending against smaller quicker opponents and he endeavours to minimise the time available for the opposing attacker to generate speed and to utilise their footwork.

    Joseph Shannon is also able to change direction quickly to adjust to the directional changes of the attacker especially when he is marking up against multiple attackers running in his direction where Joseph Shannon will hold his ground to let the play to develop in front of him before committing to a specific defensive course of action.

    Let’s cut to the chase, defensively (and for that matter in attack) Joseph Shannon is exceptionally aggressive and on occasion can sail close to the wind. In saying that on the vast majority of occasions Joseph channels his aggression the right way. Rarely have I seen such a dominant defender in junior rugby league.

    When you add his size and power with his aggression (throw in his hair flowing everywhere) you have a scary scary individual if you are an opposition forward running at him. Joseph Shannon does not just belt the opposition in relation to initial contact, Joseph Shannon makes sure that you know you have been hit and who hit you including when you are on the ground. No one and I mean no one is getting up to play the ball quickly when Joseph Shannon has hit you.

    Based on my commentary above, you would not think so but Joseph Shannon actually has a very good front on tackling technique including the critical aspect of head placement and Joseph Shannon also is very good at tracking the ball across the field and his defensive technique in relation to a side on low tackle is one out of the coaching manual.

    Joseph Shannon will play the 2021 season with Runaway Bay in the GCRL U18 Division One competition as well as line up for Burleigh in the 2021 MM Cup competition.

    Joseph Shannon also shapes as a key member of the Coombabah State High School Open Rugby League side for their 2021 Open A Langer Cup and GIO Cup campaigns.

    Joseph Shannon is a big strong powerful young man but he also has good speed and mobility and for that reason I believe that Joseph Shannon’s ideal spot on a rugby league field is in the second row where he can use his physical attributes and skill set a bit wider of the ruck.

    Joseph Shannon is a rare combination of size, power, incredible athletic ability and an exceptional understanding of timing and anticipation on a football thus to that extent for me Joseph Shannon has a young Ryan James athletic ability, football intelligence and aggressiveness.

    This young man is an extraordinary talent and is as good as any other player that the Titans have in their JTS program.

  2. #1382
    Kangaroo
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    Sep 2011
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    Kedan Chan-Tung. He is an outstanding talent in both rugby and rugby league from Ipswich that the Titans snared a couple of years ago and still post that time the exciting fullback or five eight has gone from strength to strength in both codes, with the potential of significantly more to come for the outstanding prospect. In great news for Titans fans, Kedan Chan-Tung resigned with the Titans in October 2020 and will spend some of the current off season training with the Titans NRL squad.

    The elusive Titans contracted outside back started at fullback for the Titans U18 side in their January 2020 match against the Newcastle Nights U18 SG Ball side scoring the Titans first try of the match and recording a try assist for the Titans second. Kedan Chan-Tung was deservedly named the Titans best back for his outstanding performance over the course of the match.

    Kedan Chan-Tung scored the Titans first try of the match early in the first half. With the Titans having a scrum feed around forty metres out from the Newcastle line, Kedan Chan-Tung lined up two passes off the back of the scrum to the right of the field around about in line with the uprights.

    After the Titans scrum win, Kedan Chan-Tung received the ball early running at the Newcastle line on a slight angle, probably around 30 degress, to the right of the field. Critically Kedan Chan-Tung ran at the line with the ball out in front of his body in two hands putting a degree of doubt in the Knights defensive line.

    As he approached the defensive line, Kedan Chan-Tung shaped to pass the ball to his right but instead pulled the ball back into his body quickly and slid expertly through a small gap in the defensive line and easily outpaced the Knights cover defence in a forty metre run to the line, scroring around fifteen metres from the right corner post.

    Late in the second half, Kedan Chan-Tung chased through a Thomas Weaver bomb, leaping over the Knights defence to take the ball on the full around three metres from the Knights line. With no way to get to the line Kedan Chan-Tung flicked the ball out of the back of his right hand to the left side of the field to an unmarked Jahreem Bula to dive over in the left corner untouched.

    Kedan Chan-Tung started Round One of the 2020 MM Cup competition at five eight for the Ipswich Jets against the Townsville Blackhawks. 2020 was the second season in a row that Kedan Chan-Tung has been the starting five eight for the Ipswich Jets MM Cup side scoring twice the first half as Ipswich started off their campaign with an impressive first up victory.

    Fellow Titans contracted player Orlando Swain was also a try scorer in that match for the Jets, in fact Orlando Swain scored the Jets first try of the match, with Kedan Chan-Tung scoring the second.

    Mid-way through the 2020 season Kedan Chan-Tung commenced training with the Titans U20 Rookie Squad on a regular basis, such is the regard that the Titans hold him in.

    In 2020 Kedan Chan-Tung also played rugby in Brisbane, playing for the Sunnybank Dragons in the Colts I competition operating primarily at No. 10 but also some matches at fullback.

    Kedan Chan-Tung had a particularly impressive match in Round Four when he started at fullback against Wests. Early in the second half Kedan Chan-Tung produced a great run beating at least four defenders before producing an outstanding off load to Samuel Samu who scored under the posts.

    Kedan Chan-Tung started the 2019 season off in the Ipswich Jets MM Cup squad starting Round One against the Townsville Blackhawks at five eight in the Jets impressive victory and also started at five eight in Round Two against the Burleigh Bears where he played against a multitude of Titans team mates.

    In total for the Ipswich Jets 2019 MM Cup squad Kedan Chan-Tung played in all six of their matches starting all at five eight.

    In 2019 Kedan Chan-Tung started Round One of the GPS School boy First XV school boy rugby competition at fullback for Ipswich Grammar School (IGS) contributing two tries as IGS had a big win over Brisbane State High School.

    Kedan Chan-Tung’s first try came about when he was on hand after a long break to take the ball and dive over close to the line. His second try came from a scrum move and after receiving the ball he flew thirty five metres down the left touch line to score out wide, unfortunately not long after that he limped off with what looked like an ankle injury, missing Round Two as a result.

    Kedan Chan-Tung was back at fullback for Round Three against Toowoomba Grammar School contributing a try to the IGS victory. The ball was spun out to the left, Kedan Chan-Tung received the ball in space, dummied to his left and strolled over from fifteen metres out.

    Kedan Chan-Tung also had a try assist in the match, he fielded a kick on the full on the half way mark, and simply spilt the Toowoomba Grammar School defence right through the centre of the ruck, he could have beaten the fullback who was flat footed but instead he threw a long pass to his left to his winger who crossed out wide untouched.

    Kedan Chan-Tung also produced an outstanding break in the second half, he folded around the back of the play on the left side of the field and after receiving the ball produced a great right arm field to gain separation before stepping off his left foot to break the line and charge down the centre of the field for a thirty metre run before the Toowoomba defence converged.

    Kedan Chan-Tung moved to outside centre for Round Four against Nudgee College and whilst me may not have had the space he did at fullback still as a major contributor including scoring his 4th try of the GPS First XV season when he pounced on a mistake by the Nudgee fullback to score late in the first half.

    In Round Five against Brisbane Boys College, Kedan Chan-Tung started at fullback and had a busy afternoon, making at least three try saving tackles in the first half alone as well as standing in at half back when IGS were reduced to 14 men in the first half as a result of a yellow card handed to the IGS No. 9.

    With the ball Kedan Chan-Tung did not get too many opportunities after the opening minutes, but his first run of the match was outstanding when he broke three BBC tackles returning a kick in general play.

    Kedan Chan-Tung was at his elusive best from fullback in Round Six against Anglican Church Grammar School scoring a try and setting up one both in the second half but Ipswich Grammar School went down 24 – 22 in a bit of an upset.

    In relation to his try assist Kedan Chan-Tung took the ball in the right field and took the ball right to the line, copping a hit to the ribs for his trouble before popping a great short ball for his outside centre to slice through a gap to score.

    Kedan Chan-Tung had a lot of work to do for his try, he received the ball once again on the right side of the field from Sam Walker, stepping off his right foot immediately upon receipt of the ball to get inside the immediate Churchie defender before accelerating over the ten metres to the line to dive over under pressure from three cover defenders.

    After an Ipswich Grammar School Round Seven bye Kedan Chan-Tung started Round Eight against TSS at fullback and was dangerous as the match ended in an exciting 29 all draw with both teams having chances that they could not convert.

    In Round Nine being the final round of the GPS School Boy First XV competition, Kedan Chan-Tung had two try assists from fullback both when he drew the Gregory Terrace fullback and passed to Roosters bound Sam Walker to score.

    Post the GPS season Kedan Chan-Tung was named in the U18 Reds Academy Maroon side for a double header at Nudgee College in late September with Kedan Chan-Tung starting the match against the News South Wales Waratahs Academy from the bench.

    In December 2019 Kedan Chan-Tung was part of the Queensland Maroons Boys U17 side that took part in the National Youth 7’s Championships on the Sunshine Coast.

    On Day One of the Championships Kedan Chan-Tung came off the bench in Queensland Maroons wins over Western Australian and Northern Territory and on Day Two came off the bench in Queensland I’s final pool match victory against Victoria.

    Kedan Chan-Tung also came off the bench in Queensland Maroons semi-final win 31 – 12 against Queensland White as well as their close, hard fought Championship final loss 17 – 14 to New South Wales One.

    Earlier in 2019 Kedan Chan-Tung was part of the Titans U18 side in their match at Coffs Harbour against the Newcastle Knights U18 SG Ball squad which ended five tries all. The match was the first for Kedan Chan-Tung in Titans colours and I am sure not the last.

    The Ipswich Grammar School student had an outstanding season in the 2018 U16 GPS School boy rugby competition which saw him being selected in the U16 Queensland Reds Rugby side after representing Queensland at the U15 level in 2017 with the Queensland side winning the Championships with a 69 – 10 win over the Sydney Rays.

    Kedan Chan-Tung had an outstanding 2018 season which started with his selection in the Ipswich U16 side and through to his selection in the South East Queensland White U16 side for the Queensland Age Championships where he was initially named on the interchange bench but regardless spent a lot of time on the field.

    Kedan Chan-Tung played the 2018 season with Northern Suburbs in the Ipswich U17 competition (he was U16 eligible) scoring seven tries from eleven matches. In 2017 in the Ipswich U15 competition Kedan Chan-Tung scored fourteen tries from just eleven matches.

    Kedan Chan-Tung had a couple of seasons on the Gold Coast playing for the Helensvale Hornets with those seasons being in 2013 and 2014.

    Kedan Chan-Tung has above average to plus top end speed and acceleration off the mark, and is more than quick enough to take advantage of any space that he is given down the touchline by opponents.

    One good think about his play in attack is that Kedan Chan-Tung stays wide and does not come in to crowd the ball carrier and is regularly outside his opposite number allowing his inside players to be able to find him in attack and in the games that I have seen he stays back and does not over run the players that are inside of him.

    Kedan Chan-Tung seems to be aware of his skill set as he does not take chances with the sideline and does his utmost to ensure that he is not taken over the sideline and knows when to cut back inside rather than taking his opposite number on along the touchline.

    Kedan Chan-Tung will also come in and take his fair share of hit ups to give his forwards a rest, when the ball needs to be brought out of his end of the field even though he is not the biggest or strongest player. In the situations previously described he runs at the defensive line from dummy half with vigour and Kedan Chan-Tung is definitely not intimidated by the size of any defender in front of him, regularly making significant post contact metres.

    In terms of defence, Kedan Chan-Tung 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 as against larger more straight running opponents.

    The 2020 season saw see Kedan Chan-Tung play for the Ipswich Jets MM Cup, starting at five eight for the second season in a row, well Round One at least before the season was cancelled after the opening round.

    I would suggest that barring the termination of the competition Kedan Chan-Tung would have been a certainly to play a number of matches for the Ipswich Jets Hastings Deering’s Colts U20 side post the competition of the MM Cup.

    In 2021 Kedan Chan-Tung will progress to the U20 Hastings Deering’s Colts competition, but at this stage I am unsure of which club that Kedan Chan-Tung will play for in 2021.

    Kedan Chan-Tung has played primarily at fullback for Ipswich Grammar School in school boy rugby but more so in the centres or five eight, especially in the MM Cup in rugby league in 2019 and in the one round of 2021. 2020 saw Kedan Chan-Tung line up at five eight for the Sunnybank Dragons in the high quality U20 Brisbane Premier Colts I competition, an impressive feat for a young man who was still U18 eligible.

    With his combination of elusiveness, speed and body control I can envisage a future at fullback in rugby league and his performance for the Titans U18 side in January 2020 all but confirmed that for me. There is no doubt though that Kedan Chan-Tung getting experience at No. 10 in Colts rugby in 2020 will develop his skills especially in relation to his tactical kicking and game management skills.

    From an NRL player comparison perspective, when seeing Kedan Chan-Tung in full flight you are seemingly looking at a mirror image for New Zealand Warriors and New Zealand test International fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.

    Like Tuivasa-Sheck, Kedan Chan-Tung has above average to plus top end speed, balance and body control when he has the ball in his hands. Every time that he touches the ball Kedan Chan-Tung is a threat to break the line himself or manufacture something his yeam mates.

    Simply put Kedan Chan-Tung looks like he is gliding across the field, Kedan Chan-Tung also has an extra gear to accelerate to and literally just explodes through gaps. When he is either returning a kick or hunting around the centre of the ruck looking for am off load, Kedan Chan-Tung just accelerates to full speed in a split second and leaves multiple defenders grasping to thin air behind him.

    Kedan Chan-Tung is an outstanding talent that the Titans have been able to get signed to a contract and he screams NRL calibre everytime that I see him play.

  3. #1383
    Kangaroo
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    Sep 2011
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    Keano Kini. The dynamic half is a Titans contracted youngster from Auckland New Zealand who started in the halves for the Titans U16 side that played the U16 Newcastle Knights Harold Matthews squad in Coffs Harbour in January 2020. In the match Keano Kini operated on the right side of the field with fellow New Zealander and halves partner Levon Pure on the left.

    Keano Kini was acknowledged for his performance by Titans JTS Co-ordinator Matt Srama in his review of the match in a video on the Titans Official Site after the match especially taking into account that Keano Kini had only two or three field sessions with the rest of the team prior to the match.

    In March 2020 Keano Kini was selected to captain the under 16 NZtag Black team that was due to compete in the 2020 Trans-Tasman Series however that competition was postponed as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic. Early 2020 also saw Keano Kini named in the initial New Zealand rugby league U16 representative squad.

    Keano Kini was not able to play much rugby league in 2020 but was able to play First XV school boy rugby in New Zealand for Rosmini College, not bad at all for a 16 year old.

    Keano Kini started the 2020 school boy rugby year at fullback (N0. 15) for Rosmini College in their pre-season match against Rangitoto Collage, and when he season proper started all six of Rosmini College's First XV matches at fullback, finishing second in the competition with five wins and just one loss.

    Keano Kini started against Kaipara High School (Round One 59 - 0 win), Westlake Boys High School (Round Two 24 - 19 loss), TGS (Round Three 31 - 5 win), Massey High School (Round Four 14 - 0), Orewa College (Round Five 48 - 5 win) and Whangarei Boys High (Round Six 43 - 10 win).

    Post the school boy First XV competition, Keano Kini was selected for the New Zealand Rugby Blues U18 training squad.

    In October 2020 Keano Kini played for Kotahitanga in the 2020 New Zeaand Maori tournament and post the competition of the tournament was named at fullback in the U17 All-tournament team.

    Keano Kine started the Grand Final of the 2020 New Zeaand Maori Tournament at fullback for Kotahitanga as they defeated Taranaki Whanau 36 – 12 with Keano Kini scoring a try and kicking two conversions in the victory. Keano Kini scored when he was operating on the right side of the field and chased through a chip kick, taking the ball on the full and rounding two defenders to score under the posts.

    The NZ Maori U17 side featuring Keano Kini at fullback played a New Zealand Residents U16 team on 24 October 2020 at Rotorua International Stadium with New Zealand Maori going down 46 – 6.

    In 2019 Keano Kini played for Marist Saints in the Auckland U16 Open Rugby League competition even though he was impressively still U15 eligible. To be fair Keano Kini did not just play in the Auckland U16 competition, he absolutely dominated it, finishing at or near the top of the competition in the try scoring, goal kicking and overall points scoring categories.

    Keano Kini moved to the Marist Saints from the Northcote Tigers where he had previously played his entire junior rugby league with before the 2019 season. Keano Kini currently attends Auckland’s Rosmini College where amongst other sporting pursuits Keano Kini played rugby, including sevens in Year Seven.

    In the 2019 Auckland U16 Open competition, even though he was still U15 eligible Keano Kini had some outstanding matches including scoring twenty eight points from three tries and kicking eight goals against Mangere East Hawks in Round One and eighteen points from two tries and five goals against the Te Atatu Roosters in Round Two.

    Being Marist Saints primary goal kicker meant that Keano Kini was one of the Auckland U16 Open competitions leading point’s scorers over the course of the 2019 season and try scorers for that matter.
    Keano Kini started at half for Marist Saints in their 24- 12 semi-final win over the Waitemta Seagulls to progress to the 2019 Auckland U16 Open Grand Final.

    In the 2019 Auckland U16 Open Grand Final Keano Kini started at half for Marist Saints against the Pakuranga Kingz with Marist Saints coming away with a 22 – 8 victory, with Keano Kini kicking three conversions from four attempts with his only miss being his first attempt of the Grand Final from wide out to the right of the uprights.

    Keano Kini also set up Marist Saints first try of the Grand Final. Early in the first half, Keano Kini, was operating on the right side of the field two off the ruck. After receiving the ball is space, Keano Kini ran at the line with the ball out in front of his body in two hands, accelerating as he went. Impressively Keano Kini ran at the gap between two defenders, drawing both before popping a great short ball to his right for his fullback to surge over.

    Also in 2019 Keano Kini started at half and kicked a conversion for the Auckland U16 side in their NRL curtain raiser in May 2019 against an U16 Future Warriors side at Mt Smart Stadium.

    Keano Kini was part of the Marist Saints side that toured Australian in July 2019 playing a number of matches including a match on the Gold Coast against a Keebra Park select side in prefect conditions on the Gold Coast at Keebra Park’s school campus. In that match Keano Kini kicked five conversions.

    Keano Kini also started at half in another tour match against the Mudgeeraba Redbacks with Kenao Kini kicking six goals as Marist Saints defeated the Redbacks 48 – 0, with Keano Kini also recording a try assist, when operating on the right of the field, he held the ball up bueatifully to put the Marist Saints right centre away on a twenty metre run to to score.

    To cap off an outstanding 2019, Keano Kini was selected in the New Zealand U16 side that played a TAO Samoa U16 side in Auckland in October. Keano Kini played the entire match at half for New Zealand and converted their final try with six minutes to go from directly in front as his New Zealand side went down 26 – 20.

    Even though he played the 2019 season in the Auckland Rugby League U16 competition and represented New Zealand at the U16 level, Keano Kini was still U15 eligible in 2019 and represented the Akarana Falcons in that age group in the 2019 New Zealand U15 National Youth Tournament, an impressive achievement.

    On Day One of the Tournament Keano Kini started at half and scored for the Akarana Falcons as they defeated the Wellington Orca’s 40 – 10. On Day Two Keano Kini once again started at half back as his Akarana Falcons side won 12 – 0 against the South Island Scorpions to be unbeaten after two matches.

    On Day Three Keano Kini had a huge match scoring a double and kicking four goals as the Akarana Falcons defeated the Northern Swords 48 – 4. In the Akarana Falcons semi-final clash against Wai Coa-Bay Keano Kini was once again at half and scored a double as the Akarana Falcons progressed to the Tournament final on the back of a 32 – 8 win.

    In the New Zealand U15 National Youth Cup Final against the Manakua Stingrays Keano Kini led his Akarana Falcons side from half back to the New Zealand U15 National Youth Title on the back of a 18 -6 win.

    At the conclusion of the Championship Final, Keano Kini was named the New Zealand U15 National Youth Tournament Player of the Tournament and was also named at half in the U15 All-Tournament Team to cap an outstanding week for the budding Titans super star.

    In 2018 Keano Kini represented the Akarana Falcons at the New Zealand U15 National Youth Tournament including kicking four conversions on Day One against the exceptionally named Wellington Orca’s.

    Rugby League recognition is not new to Keano Kini who in 2016 was named MVP of the U13 2016 ARL Jets camp, also making the merit squad from the camp and playing for the Auckland U13 side.

    2016 also saw Keano Kini named MVP of the Auckland Rugby League Regional Representative season when Keano Kini played in the U13 competition.

    Incredibly Keano Kini attended a Titans meet and great session in 2014 at the home of the Northcote Tigers. Obviously the Titans players that were there made a very positive impression that day on Keano Kini.

    In addition to also dabbling in rugby Keano Kini is also an outstanding athlete being named U13 Auckland Athlete of the year in 2016 for his exploits in other sports such as tennis and athletics amongst others.

    Keano Kini continues to have an outstanding athletes career with Rosmini College. In 2019 Keano Kini competed in the Auckland North Zone Athletics Championships, running in the 100 metre and 200 metre events.

    In the 100 metres, Keano Kini finished third in the final running 11.99 seconds into a head wind after running 11.88 seconds in the preliminaries. Keano Kini also finished second in the 200 metre final running 24.26 seconds improving the time that he ran in the preliminaries which was 24.35 seconds.

    Keano Kini also competed for Rosmini College in the 2018 Auckland North Zone Athletics Championships, representing his school in long jump and the 100 metre and 200 metre spring events.

    In the long jump Keano Kini finished second with a jump of 5.28 metres. In the 100 metres sprint Keano Kini finished sixth in the final running 11.65 seconds after running 12.50 in the preliminary round. In the 200 metre final Keano Kini finished second running 25.69 seconds after improving from running 25.95 seconds in the preliminary round.

    In 2016 Keano Kini had an outstanding year from an athletics perspective including being awarded an Integrated Schools Sporting Award for winning a gold, silver and bronze medal at the Colgate Games and two gold medals at the Trans-Tasman Athletics Championships.

    In 2016 Keano Kini was named the Rosmini College Intermediate Athlete of the Year after winning the long jump, 100 metres and 200 metres sprint races at the school athletics championships. Keano Kini jumped 5.87 metres to win the long jump, ran 11.65 seconds to win the 100 metres and 23.7 seconds to win the 200 metre sprint.

    To round off an impressive 2016 Keano Kini represented Rosmini College in basketball at the NZCT AIMS Games, ultimately being named in the boys merit side after leading Rosmini College to a second place finish.

    Even though Keano Kini has plus acceleration off the mark and above average top speed, his primary focus on a football field is to direct his side around the field, putting his side where they need to be to maintain pressure on the opposition.

    Holding the ball out in front of his body in both hands enables Keano Kini to put doubt into the minds of the opposing defensive line and thus he can dummy and run if there is a gap in the defensive line or put his support runners into gaps or for that matter get the ball out to his back line as quickly as possible.

    Getting the ball out to the back line quickly is no issue for Keano Kini as he has a very good long passing technique which delivers the ball quickly and accurately to the right place. Keano Kini’s decisive nature also means that when the ball needs to get out to his back line he will get it out there quickly to give his outside backs as much space as possible to work with prior to contact with the opposing defensive line.

    In defence, due to his size Keano Kini is obviously not going to come up with the big hit but reads the play well and can more than hold his own when defending much bigger players and against players with similar size is very aggressive when finishing off his tackles and slowing the resultant play the ball down.

    Keano Kini is also very vocal on the field always talking and encouraging his side and doing it in a positive way.

    Keano Kini is also a very good goal kicker with both good range and accuracy and as a consequence I would suggest that he is likely to be his side’s primary goal kicker regardless of the level he progresses to into the future.

    Keano Kini also has a very good short attacking kicking game with a positive being that he will go right to the line before dropping the ball to his foot, add to the fact that he regularly runs with the ball out in front of his body in both hands, he gives defensive lines a lot to consider, is Keano Kini going to kick, run or pass, a defensive line that anticipates incorrectly will be scrambling to recover before he makes them pay for their error in judgement.

    Like with his goal kicking Keano Kini has a real opportunity to be his team’s primary tactical kicking option going forward.

    Keano Kini’s season with Marist Saints in the Auckland Rugby League U16 Open competition came to a positive conclusion with their Grand Final victory and going forward Keano Kini should also be part of the Akarana Falcons side that takes part of the 2019 New Zealand National Youth Championships U15 tournament later in the year.

    Keano Kini will play in the MM Cup in 2021 and post that competition will play in the GCRL U18 Division One competition as well as playing in the GIO and Langer Cup school boy competitions.

    Keano Kini has played half for the duration of his young career to date and there is nothing in the way that he plays to indicate any necessity for that situation to change. I must note however that Keano Kini was more than impressive at fullback in school boy rugby in 2020 as well as for New Zealand Maori.

    My NRL player comparison for Keano Kini is fellow New Zealander, Cronulla Sharks and New Zealand International Shaun Johnson as a comparison from a playing stand point. Like Shaun Johnson, Keano Kiri has a wicked side step and plus acceleration as well as the ability to lead his side around the field and put them where they need to be. Like Johnson Keano Kini is also a solid (if not better) tactical and goal kicker and is more than good enough to be his team’s primary opinion in both of those kicking categories.

    No one can predict the future but how Keano Kini’s game develops over the coming years will be something that I will be keeping a very close eye on especially in relation to his ball playing and game management skills which will be outstanding supplements to Keano Kiri’s already outstanding attacking skills.

  4. #1384
    Kangaroo
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    Coby Black. The young Helensvale Hornets five eight played very well for the Titans U13 side in their 40 – 12 win over the Western Mustangs at Mudgeeraba early in 2019 leading the Titans around the field well in their big win. The match was the first for Coby Black in a Titans jersey and I am sure that it will definitely be his last. Coby Black is currently part of the Titans Gold Coast junior academy.

    Starting at five eight for the Titans U13 Invitational side Coby Black had a very good game including recording a try assist. Coby Black was operating on the left side of the field one off the ruck when he received the ball and subtly stepped off his left to push part way through the Western Mustangs defensive line and then as he was being tackled around his legs provided a great ball to Titans centre Juwann-Claude Wetere who ran around sixty metres to score an outstanding try.

    Coby Black also played for the Titans in early October 2020 when he was part of the Titans U14 side that played a Titans U14/15 NRRRL Development squad at Cbus Stadium.

    In 2020 Coby Black was a member of the Coombabah State High School Hancock Cup school boy rugby league side, playing at half in their matches.

    In Round One against Forest Lake State High School Coby Black kicked two conversions from as many attempts, including an outstanding conversion from the right touch line however Coombabah went down by two points in the opening round.

    In Round Two against Wavell State High School Coby Black kicked two conversions from as many attempts and also had a try assist in a 12 – 10 Coombabah victory in a physical and at times aggressive match.

    Coby Black’s try assist came in the first half when he took the ball to the line on the left side of the field about ten metres out from the Wavell line and threw a well weighted pass to left centre Izayah Petrichvech who ran an outside shoulder route into a gap to score out wide.

    Round Three saw Coby Black two two conversions from as many attempts and also a penalty goal agaisnt PBC and Coby Black was also kicked a towering bomb which was dropped by the PBC and subsequently collected by Coombabah to score.

    In Round Four against Keebra Park Coby Black was involved in all three of Coombabah’s tries and also converted all three as Coombabah defeated their Gold Coast school rivals in a close contest.

    In addition to putting up the bomb that led to one Coombabah try Coby Black recorded try assists for the other two tries which were both scored by the Coombabah fullback. In the first instance Coby Black threw an out the back pass to his right off a Coombabah scrum win to put his fullback into a gap and run sixty metres to score. Coby Black’s second try assist was as a result of a pass to left when he once again found his fullback in space to score from twenty metres out.

    Coby Black had an outstanding match in Round Five of the competition against Marsden State High School, kicking two conversions from four attempts, with his two misses being from the right touchline with both not missing by much. Coby Black also had a try assist in the match, was heavily involved in another and also produced an outstanding individual defensive play that saved a try mid-way through the second half.

    Coby Black’s ty assist came in the first half when he was operating on the right side of the field. Immediately upon receiving the ball Coby Black took the line one, popping his body partly through the tackle getting his left arm free and off-loading to his right second rower who charged to line to score. Coby Black was also heavily involved in Coombabah’s final try when he threw a long cut out pass to his left to his fullback in space who was able to get the ball to his left winger who dived over in the left corner.

    Coby Black’s outstanding piece of individual play came in the second half. Titans contracted William Semu made a long break down the left of the field and was in the process of being the ball around to put it down closer to the posts. Coby Black did not give up on the play and flew in to confront Semu. Even though William Semu braced himself for the contact, the strength of Coby Black’s hit, and his timing forced the ball lose, saving the try for Coombabah State High School.

    In 2020 Coby Black was part of the Helensvale Hornets U14 Division One side in the Gold Coast Rugby League competition. Helensvale finished the 2020 season with a 40 – 0 win in the first against second play off round against Burleigh.. The Helensvale U14 Division One side finished the regular season on top of the table with six wins from their seven matches, scoring 296 points and conceding only thirty eight to have a +258 points differential.

    Coby Black also played touch in 2020 making the U14 Boys Queensland Rebels side for the Queensland Oztag Super Series after representing the Labrador Rabbits who finished runner up in their competition with Coby Black being named as the competition Most Valuable Player.

    Early in the 2019 season Coby Black was named in the Gold Coast Vikings U13 representative squad starting their three matches at five eight and for me was one of their best in all three of those matches.

    In the 2019 Hill Stumer Championships Coby Black put on a goal kicking master class including two superb efforts from the left touch line in Game One on Day One against Brisbane Red. For me regardless of age group Coby Black was easily the best goal kicker on display, as ell as player in general, in the Hill Stumer Championships at Ipswich.

    After the completion of the competition, Coby Black was selected in the 2019 South East Queensland U13 training squad.

    Coby Black started at five eight for Helensvale against Southport in Round One of the 2019 U13 Division One competition and had a huge game scoring a double and kicking five goals as Helensvale defeated Southport 56 – 6.

    In Round Two as Helensvale defeated Nerang, Coby Black was in the points once again scoring a try and kicking an astounding fifteen goals as the Hornets prevailed 90 – 0.

    Coby Black continued to show why he was asked to start at five eight for the Titans U13 side earlier this season in Round Three scoring two tries and kicking two goals as his Helensvale side defeated Coomera 28 - 10.

    Round Four was also no impediment to Coby Black scoring three tries and kicking seven goals for Helensvale as they defeated Runaway Bay 50 – 10.

    In Round Five against Runaway Bay, Coby Black scored an incredible thirty eight points from four tries and eleven goals in a big 104 – 8 win for the Hornets.

    In Round Six Coby Black continued his outstanding form, scoring a try and kicking seven goals against Ormeau.

    After missing two rounds due to representative commitments Coby Black made his return to the Helensvale side at five eight in Round Nine against Southport and picked up where he left off scoring a double and kicking four goals and in Round Ten against Ormeau added a try and a conversion to his individual points tally.

    Coby Black had a big day with the boot in Round Eleven kicking eight goals as the Hornets had a big win against Runaway Bay. Amazingly the match was the first of the season where Coby Black did not score but regardless he had a huge impact on the result, proving that there is a lot more to rugby league than just scoring tries.

    In Round Twelve against Coomera, Coby Black scored twenty of Helensvale’s forty eight points (41.67%), from two tries and six goals against Coomera.

    Coby Black continued to score in bunches in Round Thirteen scoring a try and kicking six goals as Helensvale smashed Currumbin 78 – 0. Coby Black then added two conversions in Round Fourteen against Burleigh.

    In total in the 2019 GCRL U13 Division One regular season competition, Coby Black played in twelve matches scoring a staggering 224 points from nineteen tries (third leading try scorer in the competition) and seventy four goals to average 18.67 points per game in what can only be described as an outstanding season for the young play maker. Coby Black was also by far the leading point’s scorer in the U13 Division One competition as well as the leading goal kicker.

    In the 2019 GCRL U13 Division One Grand Final Coby Black kicked three conversions from four attempts, with his only miss hitting the goal post from literally right on the right touch line. I was not too far from being right behind the kick and Coby Black struck it perfectly and he was unlucky that it hit the post.

    Unfortunately Coby Black had to leave the field in the 2019 U13 Grand Final late in the match with what looked like a shoulder injury but helping to ease the pain was the fact that Helensvale won the Grand Final 26 – 22 over Burleigh in a high quality close hard fought contest.

    Whilst I have noted the three conversions that Coby Black kicked in the Grand Final there were two plays in that match that deserve mention that in many ways were far not noteworthy in terms of the outcome.

    The first was with Helensvale under pressure after a Burleigh try, Coby Black angled the ball expertly from the kick off to find touch and get Helensvale the ball back immediately. That type of smart, heads up play is the type that I have come to expect from Coby Black, even at such a young age.

    The second key play to note was also when Helensvale were under pressure, Burleigh grubber kicked into the in-goal and it looked like they were going to get a repeat set before Coby Black got to the ball first and instead of conceding the tackle with defenders all around him, Coby Black produced a great run to get out of his in-goal ensure Helensvale finished the first half in front on the score board.

    In 2019 Coby Black was also a key member of the Coombabah State High School Year 8 Renouf Cup school boy side starting at half and scoring a second half try as Coombabah overcame a six point half time deficit to defeat Forest Lake State High School 36 – 16 in the Renouf Cup Grand Final at the Brisbane Broncos facility at Red Hill.

    Strangely the Broncos made the competiting school teams wear variations of old Broncos jersey’s in the Final with the school only weating their normal shorts and socks, it just looked odd to say the least, and a touch hard to identify and track individual players on occasion.

    Getting back to his try in the Year Eight Renouf Cup Grand Final, Coby Black was operating on the left side of the field and took the ball one pass off the ruck, running at the defence with the ball out in front in both hands. Cody Black then dummied to his left and broke through an arm tackle to run fifteen metres to score under the posts.

    In 2018 Coby Black was a key member of the Helensvale Hornets U12 Division One side that won the premiership as a result of a 28 – 6 Grand Final win over Burleigh White with Coby Black starting the match at five eight and contributing a conversion in the win.

    In total in the U12 Division One competition in 2018 Coby Black played in nine matches scoring 30 points from four tries and seven goals. All four of Coby Black’s four tries came in separate matches against Nerang, Mudgeeraba and Burleigh White in two separate matches including week two of the finals. All seven of Coby Black’s goals were also kicked in separate matches.

    2018 was the second season in a row that Coby Black had played in the U12 age group. In 2017 even though he was still U11 eligible he played the season in the Helensvale U12 Division Two side amassing forty six points from nine tries (100% strike rate) and five goals.

    Coby Black scored four tries in a late May 2017 match against Ormeau and scored a double a fortnight prior against Runaway Bay.

    Coby Black also plays Oztag and in 2018 was named the U12 Junior State Cup Most Valuable Player and over the last two seasons being 2018/19 (U12) and 2019/20 (U13) was named his Labrador Rabbits Most Valuable Player.

    It is hard to put in words just how talented Coby Black is in terms of running the ball, he has outstanding speed both off the mark which I would consider in the plus plus category and top end speed which must be considered above average regardless of position. When Coby Black makes a decision to run the ball he is decisive and just explodes off the mark and on many occasions gets to the defensive line well before defenders had estimated his arrival time.

    Coby Black with his speed is able to exploit even small gaps in the defensive line with an exceptional step off either foot and incredible acceleration as well as outstanding balance and body control. It is that speed trait which opens up Coby Black’s incredible ball playing skills as well whether that is before the line, right at the line and even in contact with the line.

    Teams start to focus heavily on Coby Black when he has the ball with outside defenders looking to come in to assist that they open up holes wider out in the defensive line that Coby Black can and does exploit.

    Coby Black has exquisite timing on his passes and is able to weight them perfectly as well and can do so from either side of his body. Adding in this is that Coby Black can stop on a dime even travelling at full speed and pop the short pass, thus it looks for all money that he is going to run the ball thus the defence converges and then the ball is delivered to a support runner who is through a hole before the defensive line can react and readjust.

    Coby Black also runs with the ball in both hands which is another reason why the defensive line is unable to determine exactly what Coby Black is going to do and thus hesitates allowing Coby Black more time and space to do what he does best.

    Like when he has the ball in his hands, there is nothing that Coby Black cannot do in relation to kicking the ball. Coby Black is an exceptional tactical kicker with range and accuracy, he can put up pin point bombs and perfectly weighted grubber kicks into the in goal. In short if you can name a type of rugby league kick, Coby Black can execute it with precision.

    Without a doubt Coby Black is going to be his team’s primary tactical and goal kicker no matter where his rugby league career takes him.

    Defensively Coby Black is a very strong young man with exceptional functional strength for any position let alone a half/five eight, to go along with an innate understanding of the attacking strategies of rugby league thus he is able to anticipate what an attacking side is looking to do with the ball and then be in the best position to negate it.

    Coby Black has a very good low tackling technique which is simple and repeatable and effective against all size opponents and thus there is no need for a defensive minder on Coby Black’s side of the field. In short just like his attacking play Coby Black is an outstanding defender.

    Another area where Coby Black has a plus attribute is in relation to his leaderships skills. Coby Black is a strong confident personality and that translates to a leader on and off the field and you can see that the other players gravitate towards him both in club, school boy and representative rugby league.

    This is a trait that you cannot teach, you either have it or you don’t. Even if he is not the nominated captain on the field Coby Black is a leader regardless of which team he is lining up for and acts accordingly both on and off the field.

    Coby Black will play the 2021 school boy season with Marsden State High school. Coby Black will almost certainly also be part of the Met East U15 QSSRL representative side in 2021.

    When you have a player with the ability to see a number of plays ahead of what is currently happening and has the ball playing and game management skills to take advantage of that you put them in a position to have the balls in their hands as much as possible. Coby Black is one such player and therefore playing five eight or half seems to be the ideal position for him now and into the future.

    This young man can do it all run, pass, kick and tackle all whilst seemingly having all the time in the world to make a decision. Coby Black plays two or three plays ahead of everyone on the field and at a different level as well. Coby Black is also an outstanding competitor to go along with his outstanding skill set.

    After taking a deep breath, I still cannot get away from thinking of NRL immortal Andrew Johns (with some Darren Lockyer traits thrown in as well) every time that I see Coby Black play.

    Like Johns, Coby Black is just a class apart in every aspect and is just a natural rugby league player as well as an outstanding on field play maker and leader. When you add in his kicking traits Coby Black is as good a talent as you will on a rugby league field.
    Last edited by mdrew; 27-11-20 at 03:07 PM.

  5. #1385
    Kangaroo
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    Sep 2011
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    Alofiana (Lofi) Khan-Periera. (Revised) The young Burleigh Bears winger and former Keebra Park High School student signed a contract with the Titans as a fifteen year old in 2016 after also spending time in the Brisbane Broncos Junior Development System at the same time he was part of the Titans Junior Development Program.

    In 2018 Lofi Khan-Periera signed a new three year NRL Development contract with the Titans after the expiration of his initial two year contract.

    Lofi Khan-Periera spent at least part of the 2019/20 off-season training with the Titans NRL squad where his speed caught the attention of seasoned NRL players such as Ryan James who commented at the time that Lofi Khan-Periera was easily the fastest player in the Titans 2020 NRL pre-season training squad.

    Ryan James’s comments on Lofi Khan-Periera’s speed were backed up on multiple occasions with him regularly being the fastest player in the Titans NRL pre-season timed speed sessions. Lofi Khan-Periera has been timed (with proper equipment) at an impressive speed of 36.5 km/hour which would make him the second fastest player even in the NRL, just 0.4 km/hour behind the Bronco’s Xavier Coates.

    Lofi Khan-Periera started from the bench in the Titans first NRL trial of the 2020 season against Burleigh at Pizzey Park with the young flyer getting a touch or two under his belt in his first official senior game of rugby league.

    Lofi Khan-Periera also started on the left wing for the Burleigh A Grade side in their late February 2020 trial against the Tweed Heads Seagulls.

    Lofi Khan-Periera started Round One of the 2020 Hastings Deering’s Colts competition for the Burleigh Bears at right centre against the Wynnum Manly Seagulls and scoring a scintillating try down the right touch line showcasing his plus speed and evasion skills as Burleigh started their campaign with a first up victory.

    When the 2020 Gold Coast rugby league competition started in August Lofi Khan-Periera was part of the Burleigh First Grade squad starting Round One against Southport on the right wing.

    Burleigh defeated Southport 32 – 4 with Lofi Khan-Periera scoring a try in each half to finish the match with a double. Lofi Khan-Periera’s first try was in fact the first try of the match, he received a long cut out pass from Jayden Campbell, taking the ball five metres out from the Southport try line. When he received the ball Lofi Khan-Periera was stationary and had about two metres to move from a touch line perspective. Lofi Khan-Periera looked like he was going to step inside but in fact ended up beating the defender on the outside with a subtle effective move.

    Lofi Khan-Periera’s second half try was the polar opposite of his first try. Southport were attacking the Burleigh line but an errant pass went to ground and Lofi Khan-Periera was on hand to retrieve the ball and sprint seventy five metres to score under the posts untouched.

    After an impressive performance in Round One, Lofi Khan-Periera maintained his place on the right wing in Round Two against the Currumbin Eagles and scored his second double in as many matches. Lofi Khan-Periera’s first try came when he stayed on his wing to take a long pass to cross out wide. Lofi Khan-Periera’s second try was a long range seventy five metres intercept when he outpaced the cover defence after jumping up to take the intercept well above his head.

    Lofi Khan-Periera also started on the right wing in Round Three against the Ormeau Shearers scoring a double for the third week in a row. One of Lofi Khan-Periera’s tries was a long range effort when he backed up a break by the Burleigh right centre with Lofi Khan-Periera looming up on the inside to take the pass and run fifty metres to score.

    Round Four against Tugun saw Lofi Khan-Periera once again start on the right wing for Burleigh and he added a hat trick to his unbelievable start to the 2020 GCRL First Grade season. Lofi Khan-Periera’s first try was a long range team effort. Tugun were on the attack but lost the ball ten metres out from the Burleigh line, Bears half back Josh Rogers ran the ball back down the field before throwing a long pass to his right to find Lofi Khan-Periera in space and he ran forty metres before prouding a big dive to score.

    Lofi Khan-Periera’s second try was a ninety metres intercept effort early in the second half, with the Tugun defence no chance to catch him as he easily scored under the posts. Lofi Khan-Periera;s third and final try was one of the easier ones that he will ever score when he croseed after a Burleigh back line movement to the right. The Burleigh right centre could have scored but instead made sure that Lofi Khan-Periera got his hat trick.

    Lofi Khan-Periera also started on the right wing in Round Five against the Mudgeeraba Redbacks and whilst he did not score in the Bears 20 – 18 loss did record a try assist when the ball came in his direction from a Burleigh scrum win. After breaking down the right touch line, Lofi Khan-Periera put in a right foot kick just as he was about to be taken into touch for Dallas Wells to retrieve and score.

    After Burleigh had a Round Six bye, Lofi Khan-Periera started Round Seven against Runaway Bay on the bench for Burleigh coming onto the right wing.

    Lofi Khan-Periera started for the Titans U18 side in their match at Coffs Harbour against the Newcastle Knights SG Ball side in January 2019 and was also part of the Titans side that easily accounted for PNG in October 2019 at Pizzey Park. The Titans side were just too big, strong and fast for their opponents that Friday night.

    Lofi Khan-Periera was in late 2018 selected in the 2019 U18 Queensland Emerging Origin Squad with fellow Titans Will Evans, Tristian Powell and Juwan Compain all of whom also training with the Titans 2020 off-season NRL squad.

    Subsequently Lofi Khan-Periera was selected in the 2019 Queensland U18 side for their annual match against their New South Wales U18 counter parts in a Game One State or Origin curtain raiser starting on the left wing and scoring Queensland’s second try of the match.

    The ball was moved out to the left to Lofi Khan-Periera who had to jump up to take the ball well above his head in both hands before sprinting the twelve metres to the left corner, diving the last couple of metres to score. Interestingly Lofi Khan-Periera dived with the ball in his right hand instead of his left (very similar to how Corey Oates scored later in the night in the State of Origin match).

    In the2019 Interstate match against New South Wales, Lofi Khan-Periera played the entire seventy minutes of the match on the left wing, running for 77.9 metres (nine post contact), broke three tackles, made a line break which resulted in his try and had a 100% tackling efficiency.

    Lofi Khan-Periera started the 2019 MM Cup season for Burleigh on the wing but moved to fullback for Round Three against the Tweed Heads Seagulls where he stayed for Round Four against the Townsville Blackhawks. In total in the 2019 MM Cup competition Lofi Khan-Periera played in four matches for Burleigh starting two on the wing and two at fullback.

    Post the 2019 MM Cup Lofi Khan-Periera was named on an extended bench for the Burleigh Hastings Deering’s Colts side for their Round Ten match against the Northern Pride. In fact Lofi Khan-Periera ended up starting the match on the right wing and almost scored with his first touch, when he took a great cut out pass from Jayden Campbell to flash down the right touch line only to be brought down three metres out from the right corner.

    Lofi Khan-Periera switched sides in Round Eleven starting on the left wing against the Central Queensland Capra’s scoring his first try in the Colts competition. Lofi Khan-Periera’s first Colts try will be one of the easier ones that he scores when he was able to dive over untouched after receiving a pass from Reece Tapine around two metres out from the Capra’s line.

    Lofi Khan-Periera continued on the left wing in Round Fifteen against Ipswich, including a great run of around fifty metres down the left touch line, showing great hands to take the pass but unfortunately his pass inside just could not reach Jayden Campbell.

    Lofi Khan-Periera scored his second Colts try in Round Sixteen against Souths Logan when he scooted out from dummy half to the left of the play the ball from around three metres out to dive over.

    Lofi Khan-Periera scored his third Hastings Deering’s Colts try of the 2019 season in the Round Seventeen local derby against Tweed Heads when he stayed on his left wing and after receiving the ball streaked past his opposite winger who was defending a couple of metres inside him and outpaced the cover defence to score in the left corner in an impressive piece of running.

    Lofi Khan-Periera scored his first Hastings Deering’s Colts double in Round Nineteen scoring Burleigh’s first two tries against Redcliffe.

    Lofi Khan-Periera’s first try was an opportunist one, Cameron Brown put up a midfield and when it was mishandled by the Redcliffe fullback, Lofi Khan-Periera was on hand to scoop the ball up and run thirty five metres untouched to score.

    Lofi Khan-Periera’s second try spanned 110 metres, Jayden Campbell retrieved the ball literally on the dead goal line, before exploding down field and then off loaded to Lofi Khan-Periera who had backed up on the inside to run fifty metres to score once again untouched.

    Lofi Khan-Periera also had a try assist in the match in the second half when after he made a break down the left wing, put in a deft banana kick back inside with his right foot into the in-goal area for Jayden Campbell to dive on it to score.

    Lofi Khan-Periera maintained his try scoring purple patch in Round Twenty against the Western Mustangs when he was on hand to dive on a Cameron Brown kick into the in goal for the Bears first try of many in the match.

    Lofi Khan-Periera’s purple patch hit a new high in Round Twenty One against the Northern Pride when he scored a hat trick.

    For his first try which came in the first half Lofi Khan-Periera was on the end of a chain of short passes by Burleigh and he raced over in the left corner after a ten metre run to score under pressure from the Northern Pride fullback.

    Lofi Khan-Periera’s second try and first of the second half resulted from him using his speed to back up a break from Will Evans who was able to off-load for Lofi Khan-Periera to score in the corner untouched.

    Lofi Khan-Periera’s third try was also scored in the left corner, Lofi Khan-Periera received the ball in an overlap situation and came inside a fraction as the Easts fullback was coming over in cover defence, Lofi Khan-Periera’s movement was enough to slow the fullback, once that occurred Lofi Khan-Periera swerved back to the outside to score highlighting his outstanding speed and acceleration.

    Lofi Khan-Periera almost scored four tries in the match. He made a long break after taking the ball for what looked like a hit up to bring the ball out of their own territory but he used his speed and footwork to split the defence through the middle going on a sixty metre run before being brought down.

    Lofi Khan-Periera scored once again in Round Twenty Two against the Sunshine Coast Falcons to maintain his unbelievable try scoring streak. After a chain of passing that ended with Lofi Khan-Periera is space down the left touchline, Lofi Khan-Periera put in a grubber kick to prevent going into touch and then showed outstanding speed to get to the ball around the Falcons fullback who was trying to shield the ball just as it was about to go touch in goal.

    In total in the 2019 Hastings Deering’s Colts competition for Burleigh Lofi Khan-Periera played in nine matches, starting all on the wing scoring eleven tries for a strike rate of 122%.

    To cap off an outstanding 2019 season Lofi Khan-Periera, in late December was named in the 2020 Queensland U20 Emerging Origin Squad.

    Lofi Khan-Periera started on the wing for the Titans U18 side in their late 2018 victory over the PNG U18 side at Burleigh and also started there and scored one of the Titans three tries as they defeated NSW Country U18’s the flowing week at Cudgen.

    In the match against New South Wales Country U18’s Lofi Khan-Periera started on the right wing with his try being an intercept try which covered approximately 98 metres.

    Lofi Khan-Periera represented South Coast at the QSSRL U18 Championships in Toowoomba in 2018 scoring a number of long range tries from the left wing and was in my eyes an unlucky omission from the Queensland U18 QSSRL side.

    Lofi Khan-Periera played a number of matches for Keebra Park in 2018 season including matches against PBC which they lost by two, points, and in wins over Wavell State High School and St Mary’s College who Keebra Park defeated 24 – 18. Keebra Park were knocked out at the Queensland Quarter Final stage by Marsden State High School in a bit of an upset.

    Lofi Khan-Periera also played one or two matches for the Keebra Park B side and was awarded one point in the Open B Best Player Award race.

    Lofi Khan-Periera started the 2018 season off in the MM Cup competition with the Burleigh Bears, playing in all six of Burleigh’s matches, starting four on the wing and two at fullback. Lofi Khan-Periera started the Bears first four matches on the wing before moving to fullback for the Round Six match against the Western Mustangs.

    In his six matches Lofi Khan-Periera scored five tries including a Round Six double against the Western Mustangs. Lofi Khan-Periera also scored tries in Rounds One, Three and Four against the Sunshine Coast, Tweed Heads and South’s Logan respectively.

    Post the MM Cup, Lofi Khan-Periera played in one match for the Burleigh U17 Division One side this season and made the most of it by scoring a hat trick against Helensvale.

    In 2017 Lofi Khan-Periera was one of multiple standouts for the Keebra Park Open Rugby League side in their great GIO Cup run. Lofi Khan-Periera started on the left wing for Keebra Park in their Queensland GIO Cup Final win over Marsden State High School and also starting on the left wing in Keebra Park’s 25 – 12 National GIO Cup Final victory over Westfield Sports High.

    Lofi Khan-Periera had an outstanding National GIO Cup Final scoring Keebra Park’s first try in just the third minute when after the ball was swept wide to the left by Keebra Park. When the ball came to Lofi Khan-Periera he found himself in space and was able to outpace the Westfield Sports High cover defence on a ten metre run to the line to put the ball down just inside the left corner post after beating his direct opponent with a right arm fend.

    Lofi Khan-Periera also produced a bit of brilliance in the lead up to Keebra Parks second try in the National Final in the 6th minute, when immediately after receiving he flicked the ball back inside with his right arm to his centre who broke into space who ultimately scored after putting through a grubber kick when he got to the fullback.

    Lofi Khan-Periera had a great 2017 season representing Queensland Murri U16’s in their annual clash against New South Wales Kurri with former Titans linked hooker Jesse Brasslin being a team mate in the match.

    In the interstate clash held in Newcastle Lofi Khan-Periera scored a double as Queensland Murri went down 16 – 14 in a tight clash. 2017 also saw Lofi Khan-Periera as part of the 2017 U16 Queensland Academy of Sport squad and he also won the Keebra Park 2017 Year 11 Sport Specialisation student of the year award.

    In 2017 Lofi Khan-Periera finished on top of the try scoring list in the U16 Division One competition in 2017, finishing with eight tries from twelve matches. Unfortunately for Lofi Khan-Periera he missed the U16 Division One Grand Final with injury as Burleigh were defeated 34 – 4.

    Lofi Khan-Periera had a great start to the U16 Division One season scoring all eight of his tries through the first five rounds including four tries in a match against Ormeau and a Round One double against Helensvale.

    At the commencement of the 2017 season Lofi Khan-Periera represented the Gold Coast Vikings in the U16 South East Queensland pre-season competition and from there made the South East Queensland White U16 side for the Queensland Age Championships.

    In those Championships, Lofi Khan-Periera had an outstanding campaign, scoring a double on Day Two against Centre and a try on Day Three against South East Queensland Green. Lofi Khan-Periera also scored in each of SEQ Whites finals, including against Northern in a semi-final and against SEQ Green in the final which White won 42 – 30.

    As a result of his play over the last couple of seasons Lofi Khan-Periera was identified by both the Titans and the Broncos but has signed a deal with the Titans after being in both NRL team’s development squads.

    Lofi Khan-Pereira has also represented Samoa on multiple occasions including being named Samoan U14 player of the tournament in 2015 at the QPICC championships.

    Lofi Khan-Periera was also named in the Queensland Murri Probables side after the 2016 Queensland Murri championships.
    One of the reasons Lofi Khan-Pereira is so successful on a football field is his exceptional speed and elusiveness, he is the fastest player I have ever seen on a field and when you add in his elusiveness, he is a nightmare for opposing defences. In relation to his elusiveness the thing that makes it play even better is his ability to change direction with no loss of speed, this enables him to use the sideline exceptionally well with an in and away, all three of his first half tries against Ipswich in Round Thirteen last weekend are a testament to this skill.

    When the opposing defender’s momentum slows just for a split second, Lofi Khan-Pereira is away down the sideline and will not get caught and also regularly also beats the fullback who no matter how fast they are cannot recover the ground.

    Lofi Khan-Pereira is also adept at making ground out of dummy half. Once he has picked the ball up he simply explodes out of there and targets a gap between opposing forwards and looks to accelerate through it. If the defenders look to jersey grab or make an arm tackle, Lofi Khan-Pereira simply bursts through it and into the space behind the ruck.

    Lofi Khan-Pereira is not a big player at all and the obvious question is whether he is strong enough to handle the defensive side of rugby league at the higher levels, I would argue that the answer is absolutely yes. In defence against the bigger outside backs running around, Lofi Khan-Pereira looks to cut down the time that they have to gain momentum thus eliminating the size differential as a defensive aspect to take into consideration.

    At the opposite end of the spectrum when opposing a quick winger, Lofi Khan-Pereira will show them the side line and use his speed advantage to force the opponent towards the touch line, with their only real option to slow and try to come back inside towards Lofi Khan-Pereira and the cover defence.

    From a courage stand point Lofi Khan-Pereira also passes any objective measurement that can be considered when evaluating this criterion. He will stand his ground under the high ball and is one of the first players to take a run out of dummy half when the ball needs to be brought out of his side’s own end.

    Lofi Khan-Pereira also has the speed to show his opponent the sideline and cut him down and has the recovery speed to turn and chase if a break is made either on his side of the field or for that matter the other side.

    Lofi Khan-Periera was set to be a key part of the Burleigh side in the 2020 Hastings Deering’s Colts competition starting Round One which ultimately was the one and only round of the competition at right centre.

    Lofi Khan-Periera likely get an opportunity for Burleigh in the Queensland Cup competition in 2021. .

    Whilst I have no doubt that Lofi Khan-Periera could also play in the centres and fullback, but his straight line speed, elusiveness and power does project well on the wing and that is where I think that he ultimately ends up even if Lofi Khan-Periera does spend some time in the centres or at fullback over the course of the next couple of seasons.

    Impressively Lofi Khan-Periera can play on both the left and right side of the field. Interestingly Lofi Khan-Periera spent a significant portion of the 2020 NRL pre-season with the Titans NRL squad positioned at fullback in the ball work sessions.

    I note that Lofi Khan-Periera played a number of matches in 2017 at fullback for Burleigh in the U16 Division One competition and one match in the MM Cup in 2019 for Burleigh and I can understand why coaches would want him there to bring the ball back in relation to returning kicks with speed and flair or hunting around the centre of the ruck for offloads from his forwards, in those instances he certainly could use his dash and foot work to great advantage.

    Valentine Holmes of the North Queensland Cowboys, Queensland State of Origin and Australian International sides (and for a time on the practice squad of the New York Jets NFL side) is a very good playing comparison for Lofi Khan-Pereira in terms of a straight running exceptionally quick winger who is difficult to tackle every time he takes possession of the ball and from both a technical and positional perspective is solid defensively as well, if anything a touch underrated.

    Like Holmes, Lofi Khan-Pereira is just exciting to watch when he is running with the ball in relation to flying down the side line and also like Holmes, Lofi Khan-Periera will score plenty of highlight reel tries which will be played over and over again before his career is done and dusted.

    Lofi Khan-Pereira just attacks every aspect of rugby league with vigour, skill courage and confidence, the last of which is an extremely underrated quality for a young rugby league player. I am talking confidence but definitely not over confidence or cockiness from Lofi Khan-Pereira.

    Lofi Khan-Pereira does not wait for the game to come to him, he just attacks it full force invariably coming out on top on the vast majority of occasions due to the confidence that he has in himself.

  6. #1386
    Kangaroo
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    Sep 2011
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    David Fifita. The Titans secured the highly coverted signature of the powerhouse young second rower on a three year contract starting from the 2021 NRL season. The 186cm, 107kg young man is simply an outstanding, potentially once in a generation type of talent who will be wearing Titans colours for at least the next three seasons commencing in 2021.

    Put simply, David Fifita is one of the most damaging forward ball runners of the modern rugby league era, or in relation to any era for that matter.

    David Fifita will join fellow former Keebra Park students, Moeaki Fotuaika, AJ Brimson and Tannah Boyd in the Titans NRL Top 30 squad in 2021 and Lofi Khan-Periera who is on a Titans NRL Development contract or the equilivant of such.

    David Fifita started Round One of the 2020 NRL competition at left second row against the North Queensland Cowboys playing the entire eighty minutes and scoring one of the most outstanding individual tries that I have ever seen in the 57th minute of the match.

    David Fifita received the ball on the left side of the field approximately seventy metres out from the Cowboys line. David Fifita surged through the initial defensive line including brushing off Cohen Hess and one other defender. After outpacing the Cowboys cover defence including the a fore mentioned Coen Hess, David Fifita produced a brilliant right foot step to easily beat Cowboys fullback Valentine Holmes who could only throw out his right arm that barely brushed David Fifita who then outpaced Kyle Feldt to score under the posts to score one of the best individual tries that I have ever seen in any competition let alone the NRL.

    David Fifita played all eighty minutes of the match, running for 150 metres (twenty eight post contact), broke a team leading eight tackles, played the ball at an average speed of 3.44 seconds and made thirty one tackles at a 93.94% tackling efficiency.

    David Fifita also started at left second row in Round Two against Souths Sydney and produced another outstanding performance in his eighty minutes on the field. David Fifita ran for 154 metres (forty post contact), broke seven tackles, played the ball at an average speed of 4.08 seconds and made twenty six tackles at a tackling efficiency of 96.3%.

    After missing the restart of the 2020 NRL season post the Covid 19 “pause”, David Fifita came back into the Brisbane Broncos side for their Round Thirteen match against Souths Sydney playing the entire eighty minutes of the match in the right second row postion and scoring early in the second half.

    David Fifita received the ball early ten metres out from the line and brushed off Souths Sydney five eight Cody Walker before taking two other defenders over the line with him. In his return from injury David Fifita ran for 118 metres (fifity post contact), broke the line for his try, broke a team leading seven tackles, played the ball at an average speed of 4.05 seconds and made twenty tackles at a tackling efficiency of 95.24%.

    David Fifita maintained his spot at right second row for the Bronco’s in their Round Fourteen match against the Canberra Raiders in the nations capital playing the entire eighty minutes once again. In that time David Fifita ran for 129 metres (forty eight post contact), had a line break assist when he threw a great one armed out of the back of his right arm pass to Katoni Staggs, broke a team leading seven tackles, played the ball at an average speed of 4.13 seconds and made twenty five tackles at a tackling efficiency of 92.59%.

    David Fifita also started in the right second row position for the Broncos in their Round Fifteen match against St George once again playing the entire eighty minutes, running for 145 metres (seventy one post contact), broke four tackles, played the ball at an average speed of 3.25 seconds and made eighteen tackles at a 100% tackling efficiency.

    Round Sixteen of the 2020 NRL competition saw David Fifita move to left second row for the Bronco’s against the Sydney Roosters scoring an impressive try when he stepped twice off his right foot to get into space before running over the initial Roosters defender and breaking through another with a 360 degree clockwise spin and put the ball down under the posts.

    Playing the entire eighty minutes David Fifita ran for 160 metres (seventy seven post contact), broke a team leading six tackles, played the ball at an average speed of 3.59 seconds, off loaded twice and made twenty three tackles at a tackling efficiency of 88.46%.

    In Round Seventeen against the Penrith Panthers David Fifita started at left second row playing the entire eight minutes, running for ninety three metres (forty three post contact), broke two tackles, played the ball at an average speed of 3.59 seconds and made twenty eight tackles at a 100% tackling efficiency.

    Against his 2021 NRL side, being the Titans in Round Eighteen David Fifita started at right second row almost scoring in the first half but the bal was knocked out of his hands over the try line.

    Playing the entire eighty minutes, David Fifita ran for 132 metres (fifty nine post contact), broke two tackles, played the ball at an average speed of 3.41 seconds, off loaded the ball on three occasions and made eighteen tackles at a 100% tackling efficiency.

    Round Nineteen against the Parramatta Eels saw David Fifita start at left second row playing forty two minutes and scoring a solid try when he shrugged off an attempted tackle by Mitchell Moses to run twelve metres to score. Unfortunately David Fifits suffered an ankle injury which ended his Bronco’s career.

    In his forty two minutes on the field in his Bronco’s finale, David Fifita ran for seventy four metres (twenty seven post contact), had a line break for his try, broke two tackles, played the ball at an aaverage speed of 3.32 seconds and made seven tackles at a tackling efficiency of 87.5%.

    In total in the 2020 NRL season David Fifita played in nine NRL matches, scored four tries, made four line breaks, had a line break assist, offloaded the ball eleven times, made 196 tackles at a tackling efficiency of 92.1% and ran for 1 159 metres at an average of 128 metres per game.

    Unfortunately the injury that David Fifita suffered in Round Nineteen say David Fifita miss out on being selected in the initial 2020 Queensland State of Origin training squad that was selected from players whose teams did not make the 2020 NRL Finals Series.

    At the start of the 2020 season, David Fifita was part of the Brisbane Broncos NRL Nines squad playing in both of their matches in Perth. In match One against North Queensland, David Fifita ran for eleven metres and made five tackles at a 100% tackling efficiency and in Game Two against Melbourne David Fifita ran for fifty one metres, broke two tackles and made four of his own, once again at a 100% tackling efficiency.

    In 2019 David Fifita played in twenty four NRL matches for the Broncos, scoring seven tries. In the NRL in 2019 David Fifita ran for a total of 2 321 metres, made ten line breaks, off loaded the ball on fifteen occasions and made 525 tackles at a tackling efficiency of 93.86%.

    David Fifita’s 2019 NRL per game averages included running for 96.71 metres and making 22.29 tackles.

    A description of a number of David Fifita’s 2019 NRL tries are noted below:

    Agaisnt the New Zealand Warriors David Fifita received the ball on the right side of the field around twenty five metres out from the line with not a great deal happening for Brisbane. Four right foot steps and a powerful left arm fend on the Warriors half back later David Fifita put the ball down to the left of the goal posts for an outstanding individual try.

    Against the Canberra Raiders, David Fifita received the ball in space, David Fifita accelerated at the line and dummied to his right to beat Jarrod Crocker after that it was an easy run to the line for David Fifita.

    David Fifita scored a close range try against the Manly Sea Eagles when he dragged three defenders over from a metre or so out. David Fifita was able to maintain his balance as he spun clock wise to score ten metres from the left corner.

    In relation to his try against the North Queensland Cowboys, David Fifita scored a powerful individual try. David Fifita cut back inside and ten metres from the try line, powered over the top of Josh Maguire and then dived over close to the left uprights with three Cowboys defenders handing off him.

    David Fifita scored what on face value was a seemingly simple try against the Parrmatta Eels but a closer examination would suggest that it was not as simple as it initially seemed. The Bronco’s played the ball close to the Eels line near the left corner. David Fifita started literally behind the play the ball. Once he received the ball from the dummy half, David Fifita ran a 45 degree angle towards the try line to the right of the play the ball. David Fifita burst through three defenders right on the try line who was trying to prevent David Fifita from scoring, they had no chance.

    Against Souths Sydney David Fifita scored yet another outstanding individual try. David Fifita was operating on the left side of the field received the ball thirty metres out from the try line, bursting through two Souths Sydney defenders before veering around the fullback before spinning 360 degrees counter clockwise to beat Dane Gagai who was coming across in cover defence. After the spin David Fifita maintained his balance before diving over to score next to the left upright for an outstanding individual try.

    David Fifita made his State of Origin debut for Queensland in 2019 playing in all three matches in the series. David Fifita made history in Game One when he was the first player born in the 2000’s to play in a State Origin match.

    In his State of Origin debut in Game One in 2019, David Fifita started from the bench playing twenty seven minutes. In that time, David Fifita ran for eighty two metres (thirty one post contact), broke two tackles and made twelve of his own at a 100% tackling efficiency.

    In Game Two David Fifita also started from the bench coming on to play thirty five minutes. In his game time David Fifita ran for forty six metres (twelve post contact) and made twenty two tackles at a tackling efficiency of 95.65%.

    In Game Three David Fifita started from the bench for the third match in a row, playing nineteen minutes. David Fifita ran for twenty metres (five post contact), broke a tackle and made sixteen at a tackling efficiency of 84.21%.

    In his first State of Origin series, David Fifita played a total of eighty one minutes, rand for 149 metres and made fifity tackles at a 93.3% tackling efficiency.

    2019 also saw David Fifita represent the Indegenious all star’s coming off the bench and scoring in a 34 – 14 victory.

    In 2019 David Fifita was part of the Australian World Nine’s squad announcing himself on the International stage with a series of damaging displays in the nine format.

    In Game One against New Zealand David Fifita was devastating scoring a double. David Fifita’s first try was a brute strength effort from close range, but his second resulted from a series of punishing fends and a deft dummy leading to a diving try in the corner.

    In the match David Fifita played the entire eighteen minutes of the match, breaking the line twice and also breaking ten tackles on the way to running for fifty seven metres and making five tackles at a 100% tackling efficiency.

    In Game Two against PNG David Fifita palyed all eighteen minutes, ran for thirty five metres, broke a tackle and made three at a 100% tackling efficiency. David Fifita played all eighteen minutes once again in Game Three against Samoa on the way to running for twenty seven minutes and five tackles at a 100% tackling efficiency.

    In the finals against New Zealand David Fifita played all eighteen minutes, had a try assist, a line break, two broken tackles, ran for 116 metres and made four tackles at a 100% tackling efficiency. David Fifita’s try assist was an outstanding effort, he made a long break starting from sixty metres out from the line and just as he was being tackled by the New Zealand cover defence, he popped a great one armed pass to his inside to send Mitchell Moses away to score under the posts.

    In total in the 2019 World Nines for Australia, David Fifita played four matches, scored twice, broke the line on three occasions, off loaded four times, ran for 236 metres and did not miss a tackles whilst making seventeen.

    David Fifita made his NRL debut as an 18 year old in 2018 in Round Sixteen against the Canberra Raiders, going on to play in eleven NRL matches and scoring on two occasions with his first NRL try coming in Round Twenty Three against Souths Sydney. David Fifita’s other 2018 NRL try came against St George when he backed up a Kidi Nikorima break to run fifity metres to score in the first half.

    In the NRL in 2018 David Fifita made three line breaks, off loaded on nine occasions, ran for 1 109 metres and made 227 tackles at a tackling efficiency of 93.42%.

    David Fifita’s 2018 NRL per game averages included running for 100.85 metres and making 20.64 tackles.

    David Fifita started the 2018 season as part of the Souths Logan Magpies MM Cup side leading the Magpies to Queensland MM Cup success with an 18 – 16 win over Norths and was also part of the Souths Logan side that went down 38 – 32 to Penrith in the U18 National Final. In the National Final David Fifita scored an outstanding long range try.

    Current Penrith Panthers NRL five eight Matt Burton put up a bomb in the first half. Penrith recovered the ball and threw it around on the sixth tackle. David Fifita intercepted the ball on the twenty metre line taking off down the left touch line on an eighty metre run. With thirty metres to run David Fifita used a strong left arm fend to push away the fullback and just as he was crossing the try line used another left arm fend to knock the Penrith left winger off his feet.

    In the 2018 MM Cup competition for Souths Logan David Fifita scored thirteen tries from just ten matches (130% strike rate) including hat tricks in Rounds Five and Six against Wynnum Manly and the Central Queensland Capra’s respectively.

    David Fifita scored his first try against Wynnum Manly down the right side of the field when he pounced on a grubber kick that Tannah Boyd weighted perfectly into the in goal area. David Fifita’s second try of the match was also down the right when after receiving the ball ten metres out, got on the outside of the Wynnum Many left centre to score in the right corner.

    David Fifita complated his hat trick in the second half when he took a pass off the dummy half down the blind side on the right side of the field, once again getting on the outside of his direct opponent to crash over in the right corner.

    Two of David Fifita’s hat trick of tries against Central Queensland were outstanding individual long range efforts. David Fifita’s first try of the match was a long range ninety metre effort. David Fifita broke through the initial Capra’s defensive line and then charged down the right touch line getting rid of the Capra’s left winger and fullback with strong right arm fends and then brought the ball around to score under the posts.

    David Fifita’s second try of the match resulted from a charge down the right side of the field to score from around twelve metres out. David Fifita completed his hat trick with a second lange range effort in the match. David Fifita received the ball two off the ruck on the right side of the field eighty one metres out going through a gap in the Capra’s defensive line untouched. David Fifita beat the fullback with a deft slight of hand when he momentarily shaped to pass back on his inside to put off the fullback before charging untouched to score.

    A description of David Fifita’s remaining 2018 MM Cup tries for the Souths Logan Magpies are noted below:

    David Fifita scored a double against the Redcliffe Dolphins, with his first coming when Souths Logan threw the ball out to the right. David Fifita received the ball fifteen metres out from the line, immediately exploding through a gap and then was able to bring the ball around to score near the right goal post.

    David Fifita’s second try of the match was a strong individual effort. After Souths Logan kicked the ball out after receiving a penalty, David Fifita took the hit up from the tap restart forty three metres out from the Redcliffe line. David Fifita broke through the initial defensive line, leaving two defenders in his wake before rounding the fullback through sheer pace. A right palm into the chest of the Redcliffe five eight who had come across in cover defense ended any hope that Redcliffe had to him, with David Fifita diving over under the posts.

    David Fifita also scored a double against the Western Mustangs. His first try of the match came in the first half. David Fifita took a hit up on the right side of the field and was hit heavily by the Mustangs left winger, who initially rocked David Fifita backwards around twenty metres out from the line. David Fifita maintained his balance however and proceeded to power through three tackles and was also able to bring the ball around to put it down near the goal posts.

    David Fifita’s second try of the match came in the second half when he backed up a break by Tesi Nui to run fifteen metres to score.

    David Fifita also scored a double against against the Burleigh Bears, the first coming when he picked the ball up off the back of a scrum that was set ten metres out from the Burleigh try line. David Fifita broke to the right of the scrum down a fifteen metre blind side and was just too powerful for the Burleigh left side defence to score in the corner.

    David Fifita’s second try against the Bears was as a result of a twenty charge down the right side of the field to cross in the right corner.

    David Fifita’s final try of the 2018 MM Cup season came against the Mackay Cutters when David Fifita made a seventy metre break down the right side of the field with two strong left armed plams taking care of the Cutters defenders. David Fifita then was able to bring the ball around to score under the posts.

    Post the 2018 MM Cup competition David Fifita played for the Souths Logan Magpies in the Queensland Cup competition playing four matches prior to his NRL call up. In his four matches David Fifita ran for 660 metres (243 post contact), made eighty two tackles, broke thirty two tackles and made two line breaks.

    David Fifita’s debut Queensland Cup try came against the Ipswich Jets. David Fifita received the ball on the right side of the field one off the back of a scrum. David Fifita burst through three Jets defenders and then beat another defender coming across with a left arm fend before outpacing the Ipswich fullback and left winger on an eighty metre run to the line.

    David Fifita’s 2018 Queensland Cup per game averages included running for a staggering 165 metres, breaking eight tackles and making 20.5 tackles.

    In 2018 David Fifita won numerous individual awards including the Greg Veivers MM Cup Best Forward, MM Cup Player of the Year and Queensland Representative Player of the Year. David Fifita was also the Queensland U18 captain in 2018 and was due to represent Queensland at the U20 level as well but had to withdraw as he was called up to the NRL just prior to the match.

    In the 2018 U18 interstate match, David Fifita scored a strong try when thirteen metres out from the line on the right of the field, he received a pass from Tannah Boyd, immediately producing a left foot step to beat the initial defender and then crash over with two defenders hanging off him.

    David Fifita has also made a number of appearances for Australia in a number of teams, including starring for the Australian school boys side in 2017 when he scoreda double in a big win against the New Zealand U18 side. In that match David Fifita terrorised on the right side of the field and combined exceptionally well with Tannah Boyd.

    David Fifita’s first try came on the first half when he received the ball from Tannah Boyd around seventeen metres out from the New Zealand line. David Fifita immediately cut back inside before veering back to the right to outpace the cover defence to score. David Fifita’s second try came in the second half when he backed up a Tannah Boyd break to receive an inside pass from Boyd to score from six metres out.

    David Fifita also represented the Prime Ministers XIII in 2019 when he started from the interchange bench against Fiji. In his forty eighte minutes on the field, in addition to scoring David Fifita ran for 106 metres (eleven post contact), made a line break, had a line break assist and try assist, broke six tackles and made sixteen of his own at a 94.65 tackling efficiency.

    David Fifita played for the Junior Kangaroo’s in 2019 as well against France. Davif Fifita started the match at left second row, playing in the opening 65 minutes of the match before being replaced. David Fifita scored in the match as well as running for 118 metres (thirty eight post contact), made a line break, broke nine tackles, played the ball at an average speed of 3.6 seconds and made ten tackles at an 80% tackling efficiency.

    David Fifita’s try was a reasonably easy one by his standards, he received the ball in space on the left side of the field rumbling to the try line dragging two French defenders with him.

    David Fifita played his junior rugby league for Souths Acacia Ridge in Brisbane ‘s South/West. In 2015, David Fifita was 18th man for the Queensland Under-16 rugby league team despite being a year younger. David Fifita then competed at the ASSRL U15s Tournament, playing for Queensland U15s Schoolboys Maroons team. David Fifita was selected for the Australian U15s Schoolboys Merit team on the final day of those Championships.

    One of the first times that I saw David Fifita play was for the Souths Acacia Ridge U15 side that played against Logan Brothers in the GBJRL U15 at Nundah. David Fifita played lock that day for Souths Acacia Ridge and was simply outstanding against a Logan Brothers side that contained amongst others Geordie Brand.

    In 2016, David FIfita was once again selected for the Queensland Under 16 rugby league team at lock and captained the side. David Fifita was was part of the Keebra Park side, which also featured Payne Haasand Tannah Boyd, that narrowly lost to Westfields Sports High School in the GIO Schoolboy Cup Final.

    In 2017, David Fifita competed at the ASSRL U18s Tournament, playing for Queensland U18s Schoolboys team. David Fifita was chosen for the Australian U18s Schoolboys team, which toured New Zealand. Later in the 2017 year, David FIfita captained Keebra Park in the GIO Schoolboy Cup Final against Westfields Sports High School, which Keebra Park won with Tannah Boyd and Ioane Seuili also in the starting side. That same year David Fifita was awarded the Peter Sterling medal for the most outstanding GIO Cup school boy player of the competition.

    In the 2017 GIO Cup National Final win against Westfields Sports High David Fifita scored one try and set up another in a powerful display on the right side of the field. David Fifita scored from close range in the second half, when he charged onto the ball from two metres out when he took a short ball to the right of the play the ball to crash over.

    David Fifita’s try assist came from a line break on the right of the field and then an inside pass to the Keebra Park fullback to run away to score under the posts.

    David Fifita is an outstanding athlete and this can be seen when he is running with the football. In his carries David Fifita rarely takes a hit up without movement, he uses foot work prior to the line to look to break through as well as cutting either cutting back in behind the play the ball or cutting out towards the smaller defenders on the fringes of the ruck.

    David Fifita runs ‘fast’ into the defensive and his foot work prior to the line enables him to get partly through the line quite often, certainly more so than you would expect for a backrower taking the ball through the centre of the ruck. One reason for this is that he is a smart footballer, David Fifita does not try to run over defenders, but David Fifita runs at the gaps between defenders and uses his running speed to break through if defenders only use their arms on the tackle.

    David Fifita does not necessarily have a great top end speed, but he is certainly more than fast enough to get through to the full back prior to the arrival of the cover defence.

    Playing on the left hand side of the field seemingly more often (although he can certainly play on the right), means that his left foot step and his fending using his right hand are the effective attributes, but based on his physical attributes, his skill set and his understanding of how to play the game means that I have no doubt that these attributes are transferrable to playing on the right hand side of the field.

    In defence David Fifita regularly is the first player up to target the ball carriers, even though he is not always one of the bigger forwards in his team and will make solid initial contact as well as having the ability of defending one on one.

    When the opportunity presents David Fifita has the ability to hit very hard, by setting a good base and driving through his lower body and core into his opponent. Ultimately though David Fifita is a strong defender with a good front on technique and good lateral movement to track and defend against smaller opponents either on the fringes or centre of the ruck.

    David Fifita joins the Titans on a three year contract in 2021 and will be one of multiple young forwards that the Titans will be looking to help them build the foundations of a successful NRL side under Justin Holbrook. There is also absolutely no doubt that David Fifita will also continue to play State of Origin for Queensland and Internationals for Australia in his tenure with the Titans.

    What also cannot be overstated is David Fifita’s ability to bring other young players to the Titans over the coming seasons. There is no doubt that the Titans will leverage off having David Fifita, Tannah Boyd, AJ Brimson, Moeaki Foteuika, Ioane Seuili and Lofi Khan-Periera all going to Keebra Park to get the next generation of Keebra Park stars to link with the Titans.

    David Fifita spent his junior rugby league career at lock, including for Keebra Park at the school boy level but has spent his time in the NRL, in State of Origin and International level for Australia in the second row and impressively is outstanding whether he is playing on the left or right side of the field.

    There is no need to come up with an NRL player that David Fifita plays similar too, he is literally in a category all on his own. The only player that even comes close to David Fifita’s combination of size, strength, skill, speed and power was an at his prime Sonny Bill Williams.
    Last edited by mdrew; 28-11-20 at 11:29 AM.

  7. #1387
    Kangaroo
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    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui. The 197cm, 107kg Orange (New South Wales Country) born giant who played his junior rugby league on the Sunshine Coast is an outstanding signing for the Titans for the 2021 season and beyond. On the same day that he signed his three year contract with the Titans starting in 2021 Tino Fa’asuamaleaui was named in the 2020 Queensland U20 Emerging Origin Squad for the second season in a row.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui’s first action of the 2020 season came as part of the Melbourne Storm World Nine’s squad. In Perth Tino Fa’asuamaleaui played in both of the Storm’s matches. In Match One against Manly Tino Fa’asuamaleaui ran for 59 metres from four runs, broke three tackles and also made three tackles.

    In Match Two against the Brisbane Bronco’s Tino Fa’asuamaleaui carried the ball six times, making 44 metres, broke two tackles and made seven tackles at a 100% tackling efficiency as well as diving over to score from close range.

    In total in the 2020 NRL Nine’s tournament, Tino Fa’asuamaleaui played in both of the Storm’s matches, running 103 metres from ten runs, scored a try, broke five tackles and made ten tackles of his own.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui’s first NRL hit out of the 2020 season came when he started in the front row in the Melbourne Storm’s trial against the Warriors in New Zealand producing an outstanding display as the Storm scored late to win 18 – 16.

    In the match Tino Fa’asuamaleaui ran for 104 metres (thirty nine post contact), broke two tackles and made a team leading twenty nine tackles at a 93.55% tackling efficiency.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui started from the bench in the Storms final 2020 NRL trial against North Queensland running for 110 metres (forty five post contact), broke a tackle, played the ball at an average speed of 3.79 seconds and made twenty two tackles at a 100% tackling efficiency.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui started Round One of the 2020 NRL Premiership from the bench for the Melbourne Storm against Manly playing twenty nine minutes. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui made the most of that time running for 139 metres (forty one post contact), broke a tackle, played the ball at an average speed of 3.54 seconds and made fifteen tackles, including some heavy contact at a tackling efficiency of 93.75%. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui was also involved in the lead up to the Storms try of the match and 2020 season for that matter.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui was also named on the bench for the Storm for Round Two against the Cronulla Sharks and was very effective in his thirty three minutes on the field. In those minutes Tino Fa’asuamaleaui ran for seventy two metres (sixteen post contact), broke a tackle, played the ball at an average speed of 2.86 seconds and made twenty tackles at a 95% tackling efficiency.

    After the Covid 19 halt to the competition Tino Fa’asuamaleaui started on the bench for the Storm in their Round Three match against the Canberra Raiders. Whilst Tino Fa’asuamaleaui only played ten minutes in the second half he made the most of his time on the field running for fifty metres (twenty post contact) on seven hit-ups, played the ball at an average speed of 2.93 seconds and made eight tackles at a88.89% tackling efficiency.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui started from the bench also in Round Four against the Souths Sydney Rabbitohs and played a barnstorming twenty five minutes after coming on late in the first half. In his time on the field Tino Fa’asuamaleaui ran for 133 metres from eleven hit-ups (fifty nine post contact), broke two tackles, played the ball at an average speed of 3.34 seconds and made fifteen tackles at a tackling efficiency of 93.75%.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui was also named to start from the bench for Round Five against the Newcastle Knights scoring his career first NRL try when late in the first half Tino Fa’asuamaleaui ran onto a pass from Cameron Smith from around seven metres out crashing over after breaking through a David Klemmer tackle.

    In his thirty eight minutes on the field Tino Fa’asuamaleaui ran for 102 metres (forty three post contact), made a line break for his try, broke three tackles, played the ball at an average speed of 3.23 seconds and made twenty eight tackles at a 96.55%.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui started from the bench once again in Round Six against the Penrith Panthers playing forty minutes in another impressive appearance. In his time on the field Tino Fa’asuamaleaui ran for 138 metres (fifty five post contact), broke two tackles, played the ball at an average speed of 2.87 seconds and made sixteen tackles at an 88.89% tackling efficiency.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui once again started from the bench in Round Seven against the New Zealand Warriors but found himself on the field within the first ten minutes of the match after a head knock to Christian Welch going on to play fifty five minutes.

    In his time on the field Tino Fa’asuamaleaui ran for 174 metres (a team leading seventy seven of which were post contact), had an offload, played the ball at an average speed of 3.8 seconds and made thirty one tackles at a tackling efficiency of 83.78%.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui made a further start from the bench in Round Eight against the Sydney Roosters palying forty metres in what was an outstanding match. In his forty minutes Tino Fa’asuamaleaui ran for 114 metres (fifty five post contact), broke a tackle, played the ball at anaverage speed of 3.27 seconds and made twenty six tackles at a tackling efficiency of 92.86%.

    One of Tino Fa’asuamaleaui’s tackles in the match was a supurb low tackle in the first half when he hit the Toosters Lindsay Collins low with his right shoulder with Brandon Smith coming over the top to smash the Roosters forward dislodging the ball in one of the tackles of the 2020 NRL season.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui was to continue his run of NRL matches from the bench in Round Nine away to the Canberra Raiders but late in the week he came into the starting line up for the first time in his NRL career.

    Starting at the right second row position Tino Fa’asuamaleaui played the entire eighty minutes running for 113 metres (forty three post contact), broke five tackles, played the ball at an average speed of 3.74 seconds and made thirty six tackles at a 94.74% tackling efficiency.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui moved back to the interchange bench for Round Ten against the Titans and showed Titans supporters what they were getting in 2021 with a dominant display. In his forty one minutes on the field, Tino Fa’asuamaleaui ran for 120 metres (fifty one post contact), broke five tackles, played the ball at an average speed of 3.97 seconds and made twenty one tackles at a tackling efficiency of 95.45%.

    Round Eleven against the Brisbane Bronco’s saw Tino Fa’asuamaleaui start from the interchange bench once again. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui had an outstanding match including scoring a double. Both of Tino Fa’asuamaleaui’s tries came in the second half and both came as a result of him running off passes, the first from Dale Funicane when he crashed over amongst a host of Bronco’s and the second off a pass from Cameron Smith.

    In just fifty minutes Tino Fa’asuamaleaui ran for the most metres of any forward in the match, being 169, fifty one of which were post contract, broke four tackles, played the ball at an average speed of 3.54 seconds and made twenty three tackles of his own at a 100% tackling efficiency.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui also started from the bench for the Storm in Round Twelve in their match against the Newcastle Knights and was the best player on the field, producing a dominating performance that included an impressiveg try showcasing his outstanding ability.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui burst onto a pass from Brandon Smith, receiving the ball twenty metres out from the line, breaking through two defenders in the initial Knights defensive line and then easily breaking through an attempted Kayln Ponga tackle to score fifteen metres to the left of the goal posts.

    In total in the match Tino Fa’asuamaleaui played the final sixty three minutes of the match after coming off the bench in the 17th minute. In those minutes Tino Fa’asuamaleaui ran for 195 metres (a team leading eighty two of which were post contact), broke a team leading nine tackles, produced an off load, played the ball at an average speed of 3.55 seconds and made a team leading thirty five tackles at a tackling efficiency of 97.22%.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui also was named to start from the bench in Round Thirteen against the Canterbury Bulldogs but on game day came into the starting side at lock, going on to play seventy one minutes. In that time Tino Fa’asuamaleaui ran for 174 metres (a team leading eighy one post contact), broke two tackles, played the ball at an average speed of 3.24 seconds and made twenty nine tackles at a tackling efficiency of 91%.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui moved back to the bench for the Storms Round Fourteen match against the Sydney Roosters playing thirty five minutes in his two stints on the field. In that time, Tino Fa’asuamaleaui ran for 104 metres (fifty two post contact), played the ball at an average speed of 4.24 seconds and made eighteen tackles at a 90% tackling efficiency.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui moved back into the starting line up for Round Fifteen against the Parramatta Eels starting the match for the Storm at lock. Playing fifty four minutes in two stints, Tino Fa’asuamaleaui ran for 128 metres (sixty post contact), played the ball at an average speed of 3.67 seconds and made thirty tackles at a tackling efficiency of 96.77%.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui was set to move back to the bench for the Storm’s Round Sixteen NRL match against Manly but in the end started the match in the right second row position playing sixty nine minutes in the Storm 30 – 6 victory.

    In Round Seventeen Tino Fa’asuamaleaui started at lock against Souths Sydney scoring from close range when he charged onto a Cameron Smith pass to the left of the play the ball to crash over with a couple of Rabbitohs defenders hanging off him.

    In his forty nine minutes on the field Tino Fa’asuamaleaui ran for 101 metres (thirty seven post contact), made a line break, broke two tackles, played the ball at an average speed of 3.25 seconds and made forty tackles at a tackling efficiency of 97.56%.

    In his time on the field Tino Fa’asuamaleaui ran for 182 metres (a team leading sixty six post contact), broke two tackles, played the ball at an average speed of 3.87 seconds and made twenty eight tackles at a 96.55% tackling efficiency.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui also started at lock in Round Eighteen against the North Queensland Cowboys scoring once again when he ran onto a short pass to the right of the play the ball from Cameron Smith from three metres out to score under the posts.

    Playing fifty three minutes, Tino Fa’asuamaleaui ran for 167 metres (an equal team leading fifty six of which were post contact), broke a tackle, played the ball at an average speed of 3.27 seconds and made an impressive thirty one tackles at a tackling efficiency of 96.88%.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui was initially named to start on the bench for Round Nineteen against the Wests Tigers but ended up starting the match in the front row playing forty seven minutes and scoring the Storm’s final try of the match when he chased through a short grubber kick from Cameron Smith to score five metres in from the left corner post.

    In his forty seven minutes on the field Tino Fa’asuamaleaui ran for 138 metres (thirty six post contact), broke two tackles, played the ball at an average speed of 3.25 seconds and made nineteen tackles at a tackling efficiency of 90.48%.

    After being rested for the final 2020 NRL regular season round Tino Fa’asuamaleaui started from the bench for the Storm in Week One of the 2020 NRL Finals series against the Parramatta Eels having an impact in his thirty three minutes on the field. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui ran for 104 metres (thirty five post contact), broke two tackles, played the ball at an average speed of 3.13 seconds and made twelve tackles at a 100% tackling efficiency.

    In the Storm’s 2020 NRL Preliminary Final against the Canberra Raiders, Tino Fa’asuamaleaui came off the bench playing forty four minutes, running seventy three minutes (twenty post contact), broke a tackle, played the ball at an average speed of 3.99 seconds and made twenty five tackles at a tackling efficiency of 92.59%.

    In the 2020 NRL Grand Final Tino Fa’asuamaleaui started from the bench against the Penrith Panthers playing twenty minutes in two stints on the field. In those twenty minutes Tino Fa’asuamaleaui ran for forty eight metres (twenty one post contact), played the ball at an average speed of 3.81 seconds and made four tackles.

    In total in the NRL in 2020 Tino Fa’asuamaleaui played in twenty two matches, scoring seven tries. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui ran for 2 751 metres, made exactly 500 tackles at a tackling efficiency of 89.2%, made six line breaks, offloaded twice and made forty three tackles breaks.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui’s 2020 NRL per game averages included running for 125 metres and making 22.72 tackles per game whilst playing approximately forty two minutes. On a per eighty minute basis in the NRL in 2020 Tino Fa’asuamaleaui ran for 238 metres and made 43.28 tackles.

    Post the 2020 NRL Grand Final Tino Fa’asuamaleaui was named in the 2020 Queensland State of Origin squad alongside Titans, Phillip Sami, AJ Brimson and Moeaki Fotuaika.

    In Game One of the 2020 State of Origin Series, Tino Fa’asuamaleaui started at lock in Queensland’s victory, playing fifity minutes in two stints on the field. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui ran for 128 metres (fifty eight post contact), broke two tackles, played the ball at an average speed of 2.97 seconds and made twenty six tackles at a tackling efficiency of 92.86%.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui was also named to start at lock in Round Two of the 2020 State of Origin series and even taking into account a ten minutes stint in the sin bin, Tino Fa’asuamaleaui played forty four minutes, ran for 112 metres (fifty nine post contact), broke two tackles and made twenty six tackles of his own at a tackling efficiency of 92.86%.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui once again started at lock as Queensland sealed the 2020 State of Origin series 20 – 14. In the pivotal Game Three, Tino Fa’asuamaleaui played fifty six minutes in two stints running for 140 metres, a team leading seventy six of which were post contact, broke a tackle and made thirty four tackles at a tackling efficiency of 94.44%.

    In total in the 2020 State of Origin series, Tino Fa’asuamaleaui played 150 minutes, ran for 380 metres, 193 of which were post contact, broke five tackles and made eight six tackles at a tackling efficiency of 93.48%.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui’s 2020 State of Origin per game averages included, playing fifity minutes, running for 126.67 metres and making 28.7 tackles. Per eighty minutes in the 2020 State of Origin Series Tino Fa’asuamaleaui ran for 237.5 metres and made 53.81 tackles.
    To suggest that Tino Fa’asuamaleaui had a stellar 2019 season would be a significant understatement, in addition to making his NRL debut for the Storm, Tino Fa’asuamaleaui represented the Junior Kangaroo’s against France, played for the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII against a Fiji Prime Minister’s XIII and made his senior International debut for Samoa against Fiji starting in the second row.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui made his NRL debut for the Melbourne Storm in Round Sixteen of the 2019 NRL season when he started from the bench against St George. In his debut Tino Fa’asuamaleaui played twenty seven minutes, running for eighty four metres (thirty two post contact) and made fifteen tackles at a 100% tackling efficiency.

    In Round Eighteen Tino Fa’asuamaleaui also started from the bench against the Titans playing twenty minutes. In those minutes Tino Fa’asuamaleaui ran for thirty three metres (nine post contact) and made seventeen tackles at a 100% tackling efficiency.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui came off the bench again in Round Twenty One against Souths Sydney playing thirty minutes running for eighteen metres (six post contact) and made twenty two tackles at a tackling efficiency of 91.67%. The two tackles that Tino Fa’asuamaleaui missed in the match where the first of his NRL career and the only ones that he missed in the NRL in 2019.

    In Round Twenty Two against the Raiders, from the bench Tino Fa’asuamaleaui played twenty minutes running for fourteen metres (four post contact) and had a 100% tackling efficiency whilst making fifteen tackles.

    In his final NRL match of the 2019 season against Manly Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, once again from the bench, ran for seventy seven metres (twenty seven post contact) and made eight tackles at a 100% tackling efficiency in his sixteen minutes on the field.

    In total in the NRL in 2019 Tino Fa’asuamaleaui played 113 minutes out of a possible 400 (28.25%), ran for 196 metres, seventy eight of which were post contact (38.4%) and made 77 tackles missing only two, both coming in the same game for an outstanding tackling efficiency of 97.47%.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui’s per game averages included playing twenty three minutes, running for 39.1 metres and making 15.4 tackles, not missing a tackle in four of his five 2019 NRL matches. Thus per eighty minutes, Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, in 2019, ran for 138.41 metres and made 54.51 tackles.

    The table below compares Tino Fa’asuamaleaui’s 2019 and 2020 NRL per game averages:


    2019 NRL 2020 NRL

    Games played 5 21

    Minutes per game 23 42

    Runs per game 5.8 7.8

    Metres made per game 39.1 125

    Tackles per game 15.4 22.72

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui started in the second row in his International debut for Samoa against Fiji but his side went down 44 – 18. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui played the entire 80 minutes, running for seventy six metres (twenty one post contact), broke a tackle, played the ball at an average speed of 3.83 seconds and made twenty six tackles at a 92.9% tackling efficiency.

    For the Australian Prime Ministers XIII in 2019 in a 52 – 10 win over Fiji Tino Fa’asuamaleaui started from the interchange bench playing forty four minutes, running for 108 metres (forty four post contact), broke four tackles, played the ball at an average speed of 3.07 seconds and made nine tackles at a 100% tackling efficiency.

    For the Australian Junior Kangaroo’s against France in their big victory Tino Fa’asuamaleaui started from the interchange bench playing thirty seven minutes, running for 142 metres (fifty nine post contact), from thirteen hit-ups, broke three tackles, played the ball at an average speed of 3.98 seconds and made seven tackles at a 100% tackling efficiency.

    In addition to all of the matches above, in 2019 Tino Fa’asuamaleaui played in fourteen matches for the Sunshine Coast Falcons in the Queensland Cup scoring in Round Eight against the Mackay Cutters and Round Twelve against Burleigh.

    In his fourteen matches, three of which were Finals matches Tino Fa’asuamaleaui played 749 out of a possible 1 120 minutes (66.88%), running for 1 857 metres (705 post contact), made three line breaks, offloaded the ball four times, broke fifty eight tackles and made 288 tackles at an 87% tackling efficiency.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui’s 2019 Queensland Cup per game averages included playing 53.5 minutes, running for 132.7 metres and making 20.57 tackles.

    Of his fourteen 2019 Queensland Cup matches Tino Fa’asuamaleaui started eight from the bench, two in the second row beings Rounds Thirteen and Fourteen against Tweed Heads and Wynnum Manly, Round Nineteen at lock against Central Queensland and his remaining three matches in the front row including Sunshine Coast’s Preliminary Final loss to Burleigh.

    Interestingly the two games that Tino Fa’asuamaleaui started in the second row in 2019 were also the only two games that he played the entire eighty minutes.

    In eleven of his fourteen 2019 Queensland Cup matches Tino Fa’asuamaleaui ran for in excess of 100 metres including twice gaining more than 200 metres, including running for 231 metres in Round Thirteen against Tweed Heads and 202 metres in Week One of the Finals against the Townsville Blackhawks.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui certainly proved a handful for Queensland Cup defensives in 2019 as was evidenced by the fact that he broke nine tackles in Week One of the Finals against the Townsville Blackhawks and eight in Round Nineteen against the Central Queensland Capra’s.

    Defensively in seven of his fourteen matches Tino Fa’asuamaleaui made in excess of twenty tackles including his last six matches including the three finals. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui’s “best” defensive match came in the Preliminary Final against when he made thirty four tackles at a 97.14% tackling efficiency. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui also made twenty eight tackles in Round Six against the Easts Tigers at a 100% tackling efficiency.

    2019 was the second season that Tino Fa’asuamaleaui played in the Queensland Cup after making his debut as an 18 year old in 2018. In 2018 Tino Fa’asuamaleaui played in fourteen matches for the Easts Tigers, scoring once, broke the line on two occasions, offloaded the ball four times, ran for 1 185 metres at an average of 84.69 per match and made 212 tackles at a tackling efficiency of 87.6%.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui also started in the second row for the Queensland State of Origin U20 side in 2019 and impressively started from the bench for the Queensland U20 side in 2018 after playing in the U18 Interstate match that year as well when he started in the second row scoring Queensland first try of that match. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui also represented the Queensland U18 side in 2017 and the Queensland U16 side in 2016 where he started from the bench.

    Rarely can you find a young player who is equally at home running on both sides of the ruck but that is what the Titans now have with Tino Fa’asuamaleaui , he runs a superb inside or outside shoulder line and his excellent footwork enables him to step off either foot to enable him to cut back against the movement of the defensive line to take advantage of gaps back on the inside of his direct opponent.

    For a big strong young man, Tino Fa’asuamaleaui also has above average (to plus) speed, not just off the mark but also when he is in clear space, when he makes a break Tino Fa’asuamaleaui is more than capable of going the distance and normally easily out paces the cover defence.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui is not just a strong runner of the ball he as noted above has excellent footwork prior to the line and also some very good short passing both before the line and when in contact with defenders.

    On a lot of his runs Tino Fa’asuamaleaui rather than trying to step his opposite number will really look to initiate the contact and then use his strength to hold the defender off his body to either push through the tackle or draw in the next defender to create space for his outside support.

    Whilst his ball running skills are the first thing that you will likely notice when seeing Tino Fa’asuamaleaui play his defence is equally effective even though it may not be as noticeable at first glance.

    Defensively Tino Fa’asuamaleaui has a hard edge to his play and his initial contact is more than sufficient to redirect the momentum of the ball carrier regardless of the size of the opponent. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui sets a very good base which he uses to explode into the ball carrier looking to use their own momentum against them.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui good situation awareness also enables him to be well positioned when he is defending against smaller quicker players on the fringes of the ruck and he endeavours to minimise the time available for the opposing attacker to generate speed and to utilise their footwork but moving up quickly but at the same time maintaining his balance.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui is also able to change direction quickly to adjust to the directional changes of the attacker especially when he is marking up against multiple attackers running in his direction where he will hold his ground to let the play to develop in front of him before committing to a specific defensive course of action.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui with his development in 2020 with the Melbourne Storm seems set to be one of the first forwards picked for the Titans when the 2021 NRL season kicks off.

    At 197cm and 107kg Tino Fa’asuamaleaui has the size to play in the front row or lock but the speed and mobility to play in the second row, which is where I hope that Titans fans will see the best of him in 2021 and beyond.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui came off the bench for the Storm in 2020 playing in the front row or lock in the majority of his 2020 NRL matches but I really do believe that he can be an outstanding second rower in the NRL for the next decade including at the International level. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui did actually play a number of matches in the second row in 2020 and excelled in those handful of matches.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui for me he sits somewhere between Brisbane Broncos, State of Origin representatives and Australian International Payne Hass and and 2021 Titans super star signing David Fifita from a playing perspective.

    Tino Fa’asuamaleaui is a touch bigger than Fifita but slightly smaller than Haas, but has the same type of explosiveness, speed and mobility attributes as the two State of Origin and Australian Internationals.

  8. #1388
    Kangaroo
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    Sep 2011
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    Kaya Anapa. The powerful front rower moved down from Townsville where he attended Kirwan State High School and was part of the Keebra Park Open Rugby League side for the Langer Cup school boy competition in term three of the school year in 2020.

    Kaya Anapa made his first appearance in Round Three of the 2020 Langer Cup competition coming off the bench as Keebra Park defeated Ipswich State High School 22 – 16. Kaya Anapa came on towards the end of the first half and played in the front row in his time on the field, being approximately thirty minutes or half of the match.

    Kaya Anapa also started from the bench in the Round Four local derby against PBC as well as in Round Five against St Mary’s Toowoomba.

    Kaya Anapa played the 2020 Gold Coast Rugby League with the Ormeau Shearers in the U18 Division One competition and was dominant in a number of matches including Round Seven against Mudgeeraba when he scored playing left centre.

    Kaya Anapa also scored in Round Five after starting on the bench against Helensvale. After a strong run Kaya Anapa played the ball around fifteen metres out from the line, the Ormeau hooker darted out of dummy half but when he was corralled he passed the ball abck to Kaya Anapa who found himself in space, running the remaining ten metres to score mid-way between the gola posts and corner post on the left side of the field.

    Kaya Anapa received the ball in front of the uprights and took the ball to the left in a run that was parallel to the try line before stepping off his left foot to break through the line and dragged two Redbacks defenders over the line with him to score ten metres to the left of the uprights.

    In early November 2020, Kaya Anapa was named in the Easts Tigers 2021 Hastings Deerings Colts squad.

    In 2019 Kaya Anapa was a key member of Kirwan’s Queensland GIO Cup Final win over Marsden State High School and also their GIO Cup National Final 16 – 10 win over Westfield Sports High, scoring in both Final’s victories, on both cases as a result of straight hard running.

    The pace and power in terms of how Kaya Anapa runs the ball is the outstanding feature, he takes the ball to the line with speed, but Kaya Anapa does not just put his head down and rush forward. He uses subtle footwork prior to the line and seems to targets the gaps between defenders and will actively seek out opposing forwards who are slow to move up.

    Kaya Anapa’s movement prior to engaging the defensive line is actually quite impressive, from the moment that he receives the ball from the dummy half Kaya Anapa is moving subtly from side to side thus not allowing defences to key in on him.

    When the opposition are on the back foot Kaya Anapa will target the smaller defenders on the edge of the ruck and burst through and for a big young bloke he has very good speed over the medium term and has the strength to drag defenders with him after contact has been made.

    Close to the line Kaya Anapa was very effective for Kirwan State High School and scored a number of tries from reasonably close range near the goal posts, including in the GIO Cup Queensland and National Finals where he just carried multiple opposing forwards over the line with him and to be honest he never looked like he was going to be stopped.

    Kaya Anapa is aggressive in defence whether he is defending in the centre of the ruck or wider on the fringes, and due to his natural strength is more than capable of defending one on one and can and will stop even the biggest opposing forwards in their tracks and targets the area around where the attackers carry the football.

    Kaya Anapa’s speed and lateral movement means that he will not be beaten by light stepping halves trying to take advantage of tiring forwards or the opposition running out of dummy half. For a big front rower Kaya Anapa has impressive mobility, including leteral movement and speed, especially off the mark.

    In addition to playing for Keebra Park in the Langer Cup competition in 2020, Kaya Anapa was due to line up for the Easts Tigers in the MM Cup competition and potentially in line to even play a match or two for the Tigers in the U20 Hastings Deering’s Colts competition post the MM Cup. That of course is no longer a possibility.

    2020 saw the completion of Kaya Anapa’s schooling at Keebra Park and I was hoping that he would stay on the Gold Coast to play in the 2021 season in the U20 Hastings Deering’s Colts competition with either Tweed Heads or Burleigh, however Kaya Anpa has chosen to paly for the East Tigers in 2021 and he will also be U20 Colts eligible in 2022.

    Kaya Anapa was exceptional from the bench for Kirwan State High School in 2019 coming on and playing significant minutes in the front row and he will surely continue in that position as his rugby league career progresses to the senior ranks over the next season or two.

    Whilst Kaya Anapa was used primarily off the bench for Kirwan in their successful GIO Cup campaign in 2019, it should not be considered a given that Kaya Anapa’s role going forward will be as an impact player coming off the bench, he is more than capable of playing very effectively whilst playing extended minutes thus without doubt Kaya Anapa is a quality starting option for any team that he is part of.

    From an NRL player comparison perspective, a player with a similar skill set and playing style to Kaya Anapa is former Brisbane Bronco’s front rower George Fai who is currently playing rugby with Brothers in the Brisbane Premier Club rugby competition. Both Kaya Anapa and Fai are hard powerful ball runners whose low centre of gravity makes then difficult to tackle and who will also hit hard from a defensive perspective.

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    Jemaine Henderson-Sabato. In early October 2020 big strong front rower Jemaine Henderson-Sabato was part of a Titans Group 18 U16 Invitational side that played a trial match against another Titans squad with the match being played at Cbus Stadium, giving the young players a great match experience with an added bonus that both teams wore Titans jerseys in the match in a great touch by the Titans.

    In the 2020 Group 18 U16 competition Jemaine Henderson-Sabato played for the Bilambil Jets and was deservedly named joint 2020 Group 18 U16 Player of the Season alongside South Tweed’s Titans linked centre Michael Roberts.

    In the 2020 Group 18 U16 regular season, the Bilambil jets win five matches, scoring 152 points and conceding 118 to finish with a +34 points differential.

    As noted Jemaine Henderson-Sabato is a big and I mean big strong front rower who is a powerful runner of the football, who knows only one way and that is straight ahead and can offload once he has impacted the defensive line or has crashed through it, in addition Jemaine Henderson-Sabato is quite effective when his team is attacking close to the try line. Jemaine Henderson-Sabato can either take the ball himself, and when he gets low he is very difficult to stop or Jemaine Henderson-Sabato can run as a decoy and attract defenders away from the real axis of attack.

    For a big front rower Jemaine Henderson-Sabato does actually have quite decent speed and footwork, certainly above average for a player of his size. Jemaine Henderson-Sabato does however seem to carry the ball in his right hand away from his body which whilst it can make offloading easier once he engages the defensive line it can lead to a number of dropped balls when opposing defenders engage him.

    In defence Jemaine Henderson-Sabato is happy to go for the big hit often and is obviously suited to defending in the centre of the ruck rather that the fringes. Jemaine Henderson-Sabato’s calling card though is the strength and power to effectively engage the opposing forward early in their run and use his natural strength to win the forward battle in the centre of the ruck.

    Jemaine Henderson-Sabato can defensively handle any one on one battle that presents itself. At times in games Jemaine Henderson-Sabato really does prevent opposing gaining any ground at all through the centre of the ruck. With a continued emphasis on functional strength Jemaine Henderson-Sabato will only get better and better from a defensive perspective.

    Jemaine Henderson-Sabato also attends PBC High School as part of their Elite Rugby League Development program and in 2021 will push for a spot in PBC’s GIO Cup and Langer Cup school boy rugby league Open A sides.

    Jemaine Henderson-Sabato will play the 2021 season with the Bilambil Jets in the NRRRL U18 competition, and will also be U18 eligible in 2022, highlighting his current youth.

    Jermaine Henderson-Sabata is a giant of a young man and is destined to continue to stay in the front row for as long as he chooses to play rugby league.

    With his size and deft subtle late footwork whilst running the ball, I can see some similiarities from a playing perspective between Jermaine Henderson-Sabato and 2021 New Zealand Warriors signing, former Manly Sea Eagle and New Zealand International Addin Fonua-Blake. Both Jermaine Henderson-Sabata and Fonau-Blake are young men who play with intensity and their hearts on their sleeves as well as being hard running giant young front rowers with a degree of nastieness in their game.

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    Elijah Lui. The talented young 2020 Keebra Park student was in early November 2020 named to be part of the 2021 Tweed Heads Seagulls MM Cup squad.

    In 2020 Elijah Lui had an outstanding season for the Keebra Park school boy rugby league side in the 2020 Titans Cup Division One school boy rugby league competition, including starting the Grand Final of the competition at fullback against Marsden State High School.

    In the Grand Final that Keebra Park won 18 – 0 Elijah Lui scored a great Keebra Park long range try, through a break down the left side of the field, with Elijah Lui backing up on the inside and receiving an inside pass to finish an outstanding Keebra Park long range movement early in the second half to extend Keebra Park’s lead.

    Elijah Lui also had an outstanding earlier round match in the Titans Cup Division One competition against Marymount College when once again from fullback, Elijah Lui scored a double as Keebra Park accounted for their Gold Coast school rivals.

    Elijah Lui’s first try came in the first half down the left side of the field when he backed up a break by his left second rower and was able to bring the ball around to put it down under the posts.

    Elijah Lui’s second try came in the second half, when he looped around to the right, receiving the ball from his five eight two passes off the ruck and sliced through the Marymount defence twenty metres out from the line before beating the fullback with a right foot step to score ten metres from the right goal post.

    For a rangy type of player Elijah Lui is very quick off the mark and when the ball is being brought out of his teams half he is always around the forwards looking for off loads but as evidenced by one of his tries he also can play the way a lot of the current fullbacks play when they receive the football “out the back” from the half or five eight.

    In those circumstances, currently Elijah Lui runs more than he passes, but he is playing at the school boy level and I have no doubt that his passing skills will improve as he maturing and gets more experience in older age groups and possible representative games.

    Elijah Lui presents as a silky smooth player, who looks like he glides across the field picking and choosing his time to get involved and wants to have the ball in his hands when the game is on the line.

    In terms of his defence, one thing that stood out to me is when the opposition makes a break Elijah Lui moves forward looking to cut down the time of the attacking player, which is quite impressive for such a young player. Due to his height, Elijah Lui is good also at defending the high ball.

    Elijah Lui is part of the 2021 Tweed Heads Seagulls MM Cup squad and post that competition will play in the Gold Coast Rugby League U18 Division One competition.

    Prior to this season, I had not seen too much of Elijah Lui at all but his performances in 2020 for Keebra Park in the Titans Cup solidified in my mind at least that Elijah Lui’s best position moving forward is fullback, however his skill set would certainly suggest that Elijah Lui would also be able to operate effectively either on the wing or at centre.

    Recently resigned try scoring Souths Sydney fullback/winger Alex Johnston for me is a solid player comparison for Elijah Lui, both are smooth movers across the field and both are very solid dependable players who will not let their team mates down but also flash game changing ability as opportunities present themselves over the course of a match.

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    Kennyon Elisaia-Thomas. The young five eight has recently been selected in the 2020/21 Titans Group One Elite Academy Squad.

    In 2020 Kennyon Elisaia-Thomas played for the Clarence Coast Magpies in the Group One U14 competition, including starting at five eight in the Grand Final and scoring a try and kicking a conversion in the Magpies 30 - 16 Grand Final victory against Grafton.

    In addition to his 2020 Group One U14 Grand Final points Kennyon Elisaia-Thomas scored and kicked a conversion in Round Five against Ballina (his first match of the season) when he started at five eight and scored a double and kicked four goals for an individual points haul of sixteen points in Round Ten against Grafton once again starting the match at five eight. Kennyon Elisaia-Thomas’s other Group One U14 match in 2020 was in Round Six when he started from the bench against Casino RSM.

    Kennyon Elisaia-Thomas also played one match in the 2020 Group One U15 competition, being Round Seven when he started from the bench against the Kyogle Turkeys.

    In 2019 Kennyon Elisaia-Thomas also played for the Clarence Coast Magpies in that season in their Group One U13 side and was part of the Magpies Grand Final side that went down 24 – 16 to the Grafton Ghosts.

    When Elisaia-Thomas runs the ball, he is exceptionally quick and explosive, with outstanding plus speed, both off the mark and when he gets into open space, teams in his age group in the Group One junior competition teams just could not handleElisaia-Thomas when he runs the ball. Elisaia-Thomas can apbtly be described as a speed machine.

    Elisaia-Thomas also can step off both feet exceptionally well and also has a great swerve whilst maintaining top speed. On many occasions when he made a break, his support could not keep up and thus Elisaia-Thomas used his incredible footwork and speed to beat the opposing fullback by himself.

    There is nothing that Elisaia-Thomas cannot do running the ball and it is only now about developing his ball playing skills to make his footwork and running ability even more lethal. In attack Elisaia-Thomas also played at the line quite often and was his team’s primary attacking option but impressively is cognisent of getting his team mates involved in his teams attacking game plan and structure.

    In addition Elisaia-Thomas also has the ball playing skills to set up his support runners and get them appropriate lines to run into when defenders came out of the line to negate his time with the ball in hand. Elisaia-Thomas obviously was a key target for defences but he understands that he cannot do it all himself and thus became adept at drawing defenders out of the line and putting his support runners into the subsequent hole. As Elisaia-Thomas play making skills continue to evolve, the attacking possibilities for him and his team mates are limitless.

    Defensively Elisaia-Thomas is stronger than he looks and when you couple that with a naturally aggressive defensive mentality you have a very good defender on your hands. Elisaia-Thomas has a very good low tackling technique, including head placement when defending against big forwards running on the fringes of the ruck and has good initial contact.

    Against opposing halves Elisaia-Thomas will quickly get up into their face when they run the ball and physically and mentally dominate them making them experience the full effects of every tackle that he makes. Elisaia-Thomas also works very hard out of the marker position in defence and does not take that fact that he is at marker as an opportunity to have a rest.

    Elisaia-Thomas is also very quick at putting pressure on opposing kickers whether that be sprinting out of the marker position at the kicker or flying out of the defensive line when it is evident that a kick is in the offing.

    Kennyon Elisaia-Thomas will play the 2021 season with the Clarence Coast Magpies in the Group One U15 competition and will also push for a spot in the Group One U15 representative side for the 2021 New South Wales Country Age Championships.

    When you have a player with his natural play making ability and speed off the mark as well as a knack for doing the seemingly impossible you want the ball in their hands as much as possible, thus I believe that moving forward Kennyon Elisaia-Thomas will continue to excel at five eight.

    From an NRL player comparison perspective for Kennyon Elisaia-Thomas, the one player that does sprins to mind is South Sydney Rabbitohs and New South Wales State of Origin five eight Cody Walker.

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    Immanuel Kalakale. The powerful young man from Auckland has already come over to Australia from New Zealand to immediately start training with the Titans JTS Program and is set to be unleashed in Ipswich in the 2021 season.

    The 189cm, 100kg powerhouse attended the renouned Auckland High School, Kelston Boys High School, playing both rugby and rugby league.

    In 2019 Immanuel Kalakale represented the Auckland Vulcans U15 representative side at the New Zealand Age Championships, starting in the front row in three of the Vulcans matches at those Championships, with those matches coming against the Counties Manukau Stingrays, the Central Vipers and the Wellington Orca’s.

    In Auckland Immanuel Kalekale played for the Glenora Bears rugby league club and in 2019 played representative rugby for the Rugby West U16 representative side.

    The pace and power in terms of how Immanuel Kalekale runs the ball is the outstanding feature of his game, he takes the ball to the line with speed and quick and subtle footwork prior to the line and seems to targets the gaps between defenders and will actively seek out opposing forwards who are slow to move up.

    When the opposition are on the back foot Immanuel Kalekale will target the smaller defenders on the edge of the ruck and burst through and for a big young bloke he has very good speed over the medium term and has the strength to drag defenders with him.

    I would consider that Immanuel Kalekale’s speed would be considered above average for his position but plays faster as a result of him timing his runs so well that the dummy half can present a flat pass to him and also as a result of the power that he runs at. Immanuel Kalekale also runs a very good inside shoulder line to add variety to his running game.

    With his low centre of gravity coupled with his speed and power, Immanuel Kalekale is a difficult proposition for defensives and is able to draw in multiple defenders and still get a quick play the ball to gain forward momentum for his side on a regular basis.

    The defensive side of his game is similarly impressive, Immanuel Kalekale does not just charge wildly up looking for a huge hit, but is calculating in where and when to hit. Immanuel Kalekale drives hard with his legs and always uses his shoulder and core body strength to drive into his opponent with force and can use both shoulders depending upon the running line of the attacker.

    Immanuel Kalekale sets a strong lower base by setting his legs and generating force by driving through the tackle with his lower body, gaining leverage and momentum through his shoulders. In short Immanuel Kalekale is an outstanding defensive player both from a technique and initial contact perspective.

    Immanuel Kalekale’s initial contact is absolutely outstanding and more than enough to stop or redirect the momentum of the ball carrier regardless of their size and Immanuel Kalekale is also able to utilise his exceptional functional strength to slow the play the ball down sufficiently to allow his team’s defensive line to re-establish itself for the next play the ball.

    Immanuel Kalekale has already moved over to Australia and will play in the 2021 MM Cup competition for the Ipswich Jets as well as in the GIO and Langer Cup School Boy competitions in 2021. Immanuel Kalekale is also U18 eligible in 2022.

    At an imposing 189cm and 100kg at just 16 years old and still growing, Immanuel Kalekale is set to be an outstanding front row prospect for years to come.

    New Zealand International James Fisher-Harris of the Penrith Panthers with his power coupled with his non-stop movement (and motor) when running the ball into the defensive line as well as the intensity in his defence is an apt NRL player comparison for Immanuel Kalekale.

    Like Fisher-Harris, Immanuel Kalekale can and will play substantial minutes in a match and projects as one of the few NRL level middle third forwards that could play the entire 80 minutes of a match without being substituted.

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    Creedence Donovan. The talented Titans linked PBC student started at fullback for the PBC Hancock Cup School Boy Grand Final side that went down in heart breaking fashion 26 – 24 to Marsden State High School who kicked a penalty goal after the final siren.

    Creedence Donovan scored an impressive and critical try late in the first half he chased through a kick and was on the spot to pick up the ball when it could not be regathered by the Marsden defence to put the ball down under the posts literally as the half time siren was sounding.

    Creedence Donovan not only had a very good Hancock Cup Grand Final but also had a number of stand out matches in the regular rounds of the Hancock Cup including an impressive match against Wavell State High School in Round Five when he scored a hat trick, all three being long range efforts with all of those tries coming in the first half.

    One of Creedence Donovan’s tries was an impressive eighty metre solo effort off a PBC scrum win. Creedence Donovan received the ball two passes to the left of the scrum win, producing a bueatiful left foot step to beat the initial defender before a Creedence Donovan right foot step gained him separation from the Wavell inside defender coming across and then that point it was shut the gate as Creedence Donovan accelerated away to score near the left corner.

    Creedence Donovan’s second try of the match also highlighted Creedence Donovan’s speed, when he backed up a long break by PBC five eight Jake Lateo who drew the fullback, passing to his left to Creedence Donovan who accelerated away to score.

    Creedence Donovan scored his third try when he followed through a long PBC clearing kick. The Wavell fullback let the ball bounce and Creedence Donovan flew threw to grab the ball that had bounced arkwardly for the fullback to score untouched.

    In Round two of the 2020 Hancock Cup Creedence Donovan started agaisnt Keebra Park on the left wing and with Keebra Park on the attacked down their right, Creedence Donovan swooped on an attempted cut out pass by Keebra Park to take the intercept and run ninety metres to score with daylight second.

    In early October 2020 Creedence Donovan was part of the Titans Group 18 U14/15 side that played a trial match against a Titans Gold Coast U14 squad with the match being played at Cbus Stadium, giving the young players a great experience with an added bonus that the players wore Titans jerseys.

    In 2020 Creedence Donovan played for the Tweed Heads Seagulls U15 side in the Group 18 junior rugby league competition with the Seagulls winning two and losing eight of their ten regular season matches. In those matches Tweed Heads scored 142 points and conceded 256 to finish with a -114 points defferential.

    At the conclusion of the season, Creedence Donovan was named the Tweed Heads Seagulls U15 Group 18 Best Back.

    From an attacking perspective, Creedence Donovan has outstanding footwork to go along with above average to plus evasive skills and plus speed, both in terms of off the mark and top end speed where he has an extra gear to go to when he breaks into open space.

    Creedence Donovan has a very good step off both feet, although he seems to prefer a step off the right foot in the majority of instances and can put together combinations of steps over a short distance to exploit weaknesses in the defensive line.

    In addition Creedence Donovan also shown flashes of ability in relation to ball playing skills enabling him to set up his support runners and get them lines to run into when defenders came out of the line to negate his time with the ball in hand.

    In terms of running the ball back from kicks, Creedence Donovan’s timing and anticipation means that he gets to a lot of balls on the full and makes a quick decision whether to run the ball back into the oncoming defenders or look to create an opportunity by running across field and using his step if the defensive line is staggered or does not extend too far across the field.

    From a defensive perspective, as noted Creedence Donovan by no means a big player but his toughness and courage cannot be denied and can be seen every time he takes the field. Creedence Donovan will really try to hit hard in defence regardless of the size of the attacker running at him.

    At fullback Creedence Donovan will rush forward to cut down the time the attacking player has to make a decision of what to do with the ball when they make a break and even if they draw him and pass to a support player he was still look to hit them as hard as they can to make them earn it.

    As a result of his defensive mentality at fullback Creedence Donovan does not take the dummy when multiple attackers are running at him, thus forcing the decision back to the attacking player who must execute correctly.

    Creedence Donovan is obviously not the tallest fullback and thus finds fielding bombs difficult on occasion if the chasers get to the ball at the same time he is looking to catch it but and again he will not shirk his responsibility and always goes up and contest the ball at the very least.

    Assisting this is that Creedence Donovan does have quite a good standing leap which belies his overall height, but he will obviously be disadvantaged against taller opponents who are jumping with momentum to their advantage. Creedence Donovan’s hands are also very good in terms of fielding the ball when short attacking kicks are put through and Creedence Donovan will not wait for the ball to come to him, but will look to come forward and attack the ball.

    In 2021 Creedence Donovan will move up to the PBC Walters Cup school boy rugby league squad and Creedence Donovan is also a member of the 2021 Northern Rivers Titans U16 Andrew Johns Cup Squad. Creedence Donovan will also play for the Tweed Heads Seagulls in the Group 18 U16 competition.

    Creedence Donovan seems destined to end up as a lightning quick elusive fullback with more than enough ball playing skills to play as a second receiver in attack on either side of the field.

    From an NRL player comparison perspective for Creedence Donovan, think along the lines of former North Queensland Cowboys and Queensland State of Origin fullback Matt Bowen as a fullback with exceptional pace and footwork who is also courageous when it comes to defending against kicks and his defensive duties.

    Both have Creedence Donovan and Matt Bowen have strength and courage that belie their size and both just have an amazing knack of finding the try line on a regular basis as well as making the impossible look routine, something that Creedence Donovan did on a number of occasions ins 2020 for both Tweed Heads and PBC.

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    Patrick Gray. The aggressive young second rower is another Titans linked young man from northern New South Wales who currently attends Mt St Patrick High School in that region.

    Patrick Gray was due to start in the second row for the Northern Rivers Titans in Round One of the 2020 U16 Andrew Johns Cup against the Parramatta Eels at Cudgen however the match was cancelled due to the wet conditions in the region on that weekend.

    Patrick Gray started Round Two of the U16 Andrew Johns Cup in the second row against the Newcastle Knights in Ballina and produced an outstanding display in both attack and defence including scoring a first half try.

    Whilst his try was scored from just six metres out, Patrick Gray still had a lot of work to do to get to the line. After receiving a wide pass off the dummy half, Patrick Gray immediately cut back towards the play the ball to defeat the initial contact before changing direction once again to straighten up to get low and burrow over next to the right upright.

    Patrick Gray also started in the right second row position in Round Three against the Central Coast Roosters and in Round Four against the Greater Northern Tigers as well as in the Round Five local derby against the North Coast Bulldogs.

    When the NRRRL competition restarted in late July 2020 Patrick Gray played for Murwillumbah in the U18 NRRRL competition coming off the bench in Round One as the Mustangs defeated the Tweed Coast Raiders 22 – 16. In Round Two Patrick Gray made his first start of the season at right centre as Murwillumbabah defeated the Bilambil Jets 24 – 18, scoring his first try of the season in the match.

    In 2020 Patrick Gray also played for Murwillumbah in the Group 18 U16 competition and post the completion of the season, Patrick Gray was awarded the Ethan Booth Trophy for the Murwillumbah U16 Player with the most potential.

    In the 2020 Group 18 U16 competition, Murwillumbah went down 20 – 16 in the Grand Final after winning five matches, losing four and having a bye in their ten regular season matches. Murwillumbah scored 154 points and conceded 112 to finish with a +42 points defferential.

    In early October 2020 Patrick Gray was part of the Group 18 U14/15 side that played a trial match against a Titans Gold Coast U14 squad with the match being played at Cbus Stadium, giving the young players a great experience with an added bonus that the players wore Titans jerseys.

    Patrick Gray was part of the Titans 2019 U15 development squad and was involved in their matches against each other and a Western Mustangs U15 side at Mudgeeraba in February 2019 in shockingly hot conditions at Mudgeeraba.

    The Mount St Patrick College Murwillumbah student was selected in the New South Wales Combined Catholic Colleges (CCC) Lismore Diocese Northern Country U15 side for their for the NSW CCC selection trials that were held in Sydney in May 2019. The end result of those selection trials was that Patrick Gray was selected in the 2019 New South Wales Combined Catholic Colleges U15 Country side.

    2019 also saw Patrick Gray represent the Group 18 representative side in the U15 age group at the 2019 New South Wales Country Age Championships held late in the year at Port Macquarie when he started in the second row. Late in the 2019 season Patrick Gray was named the 2019 Group 18 U15 representative season’s best forward.

    In 2019 Patrick Gray also represented Mt St Patrick High School in the News South Wales School Boy Rugby League Regional Country Cup competition being named Man of the Match in one of their early round matches against McLean High School.

    The Murwillumbah second rower represented the Group 18 U14 representative side in 2018 in the New South Wales Country Age Championships and post those Championships was selected as part of the Titans 2018/19 Group 18 U15 Development Squad.

    In the U14 2018 New South Wales Country Age Championships for Group 18 Patrick Gray played in all three of Group 18’s matches which were against Group’s Twenty One, Four and Two starting all three in the second row.

    Patrick Gray is a hard running all effort player who runs not just with speed into the defensive line but with intelligence as well. Once he has gained speed, Patrick Gray will look to target the gaps between forwards rather than looking to initiate contact, what Patrick Gray will do is look to isolate a particular forward in the defensive line and at the last minute change the axis of his run with a slight step off either foot to look to throw off the timing of the defender this is why Patrick Gray makes so many half breaks and post contact metres.

    Defenders either side of the one that he has targeted incorrectly anticipate that he will be tackled by the defender immediately in from of him only to find Patrick Gray actually running into the gap which they should have been covering. From an overall speed perspective Patrick Gray’s speed can be considered in the above average to plus category for a second rower and plays faster as a result of the effort and intensity that he puts into every run.

    In relation to the defensive aspects of his game Patrick Gray is an exceptional cover defender. With his above average to plus speed for his position he is able to track the ball across the field and be in a position to make the cover defending tackle if breaks are made.

    From a front on tackling perspective for a player that plays with so much intensity and enthusiasm he actually has a solid repeatable technique which he can use against attackers of any size. The keys to his technique are his timing and anticipation as well as correct head placement.

    So many defenders in either rugby or rugby league have no idea about head placement but Patrick Gray is not one of them. Another impressive aspect from a defensive stand point for Patrick Gray is the fact that he came make multiple tackles one after another and then still be in position to track the ball across the field, he has exceptional stamina from an aerobic capacity stand point including the ability to consistently sprint short distances time and again in a short time span whilst maintaining his positioning on the field.

    Patrick Gray will play the 2021 season with Murwillumbah in the NRRRL U18 competition and Patrick Gray is also a member of the 2021 Northern Rivers Titans U18 Laurie Daley Cup Squad.

    With his speed and skill combination it is hard to envisage Patrick Gray playing anywhere but second row as his rugby league career progresses even though he will not be the biggest second rower running around no matter which team he is playing for.

    From a player comparison perspective for Patrick Gray one NRL player really does stand out as being an ideal comparison from a playing style perspective and that is recently retired Mitch Aubusson of the Sydney Roosters as a hard working player with a touch of speed and class about him that you may not appreciate until you see him play on a number of occasions.

    Like Aubusson, Patrick Gray is just an all action type of player who just pops up anywhere and everywhere that he is needed regardless of what the task is and whether it is related to attack or defence. The only real difference between the two is that Patrick Gray will likely end up being a touch bigger and solider than the recently retired Roosters forward.

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    Rocco Gollings. It was great to see the powerful young rugby centre named in late October 2020 in the 2021 Gold Coast Rugby League U16 Cyril Connell Cup rugby league Academy Squad.

    In 2020 Rocco Gollings played for the Surgers Paradise Rugby Club in the 2020 GCRU U15 competition, including starting the Grand Final at No. 12 (inside centre) as Surfers Paradise defeated the Bond Pirates 19 – 12.

    Over the course of the 2020 Gold Coast Rugby U15 season, Rocco Gollings was one of the stand out players, scoring seventeen tries from just twelve matches to finish with a 142% strike rate.

    Rocco Gollings scored an impressive four tries in Round Six against the Nerang Bulls and also scored two hat tricks, with those hat tricks coming in Rounds Two and Three against the Helensvale Hogs and Nerang respectively.

    Rocco Gollings added doubles in Rounds Four against the Bond Pirates and Eight against Helensvale as well as scoring agaisnt Helensvale in Round Five, Bond in Round Six and Nerang in Round Nine.

    In attack one of the positives in rugby compared to league is the space that centres have, when the ball is given to them early they seem to have a lot more room to move and this is something that Rocco Golllings has exploited this season in the Gold Coast U15 Rugby competition.

    Whilst he is a big strong powerful young centre, Rocco Gollings 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, as was evidenced in multiple times in 2020 in club rugby on the Gold Coast.

    From what I have seen I would consider that his speed would in the plus category if not in the plus plus category for a centre, add his power and strong fend and you really have a young centre that could develop in anything on a football field.

    Rocco Gollings must be a five eight’s dream, when he gets the ball early he causes real havoc for the defensive line whether he is playing in the centres or at fullback.

    Defensively Rocco Gollings hits very hard and constantly is in a position to disrupt the attacking movement of the opposition. Extrapolating his skill set to a rugby league setting, I would suggest that Rocco Gollings 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 Rocco Gollings certainly does not shirk contact, both in attack or defence and similarly in committing to the break down in rugby, he will put his head over the ball to protect the ball when Surfers Paradise have it and also clear out aggressively when looking for the turn over for Surfers Paradise.

    As noted above Rocco Gollings is part of the 2021 Gold Coast Rugby League U16 Cyril Connell Academy squad.

    Rocco Gollings will play rugby once again in 2021 for Surfers Paradise in the U17 competition as there is no U16 competition.

    Rocco Gollings plays in inside centre in rugby and in rugby league will also certainly play in the centres as he is big strong, powerful and exceptionally quick.

    I do not belive that Rocco Gollings has played rugby league before so it is great to see that Rocco Gollings is giving rugby league a crack and that may be a huge boost for the Titans, as this young man, whose father played Rugby Sevens for England is an immense talent.

    I had all sorts of trouble trying to identify a good NRL player comparision for Rocco Gollings, in the end the best comparison that I can identify is Newcastle Knights young centre Bradman Best. Rocco Gollings is not as solid around the chest as Best but Rocco Gollings is just as strong, synamic and powerful as him.

    Rocco Gollings is just an extraordinary combination is size, speed, strength and power. When Rocco Gollings gets a feel for rugby league, look out as the sky is the limit for this young man, such is his potential in the thirteen man game.
    Last edited by mdrew; 11-12-20 at 08:50 PM.


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