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  1. #1471
    Kangaroo
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    Brock Priestley. The former Northern Territory junior signed a multi-year contract with the Titans in 2018 and in 2019 moved to PBC where he is part of their rugby league excellence program alongside multiple fellow Titans such as stand out utility forward Bailey Martin and play maker Tom Weaver amongst others.

    In early January 2021 Brock Priestley started at right second row for the Titans U19 side in their annual match against the Newcastle Knights in Coffs Harbour, a match that the Titans dominated, especially in the second half to record a 40 – 6 victory.

    Brock Priestley was solid throughout the match both in attack and defence and early in the second half was involved in a spectacular Jaylan De Groot try. Down a short blind side fifty five metres out from the Newcastle line, Brock Priestley received a short pass from Riley Lack. Noting that there was space to his right, Brock Priestley immediately upon getting the ball threw a great short pass to Reef Sommerville putting him into space, with Jaylan De Groot scoring when he was on hand to retrieve a Reef Sommerville kick back inside.

    Brock Priestley was also solid defensively in the match with a number of tackles standing out including a tackle in the third minute where Brock Priestley and Isaac Matalavea-Booth belted the Knight left winger who had come off his wing forcing him five metres backwards before driving him into the ground.

    Another impressive (and critical) tackle that Brock Priestley made came early in the second half. Defending on the right, Brock Priestley came out of the line to make a ball and all tackle on the Newcastle halfback around twenty metres out from the try line. If Brock Priestley had not came out of the line and made the tackle or allowed an offload, Newcastle would have developed a one man overlap against the Titans right sided defensive line with the Titans defensive line back peddling close to their own line.

    A week after the match against the Newcastle Knights Brock Priestley once again lined up for the Titans U19’s starting at right second row as the Titans took on a Burleigh Hastings Deering’s Colts squad with the Titans winning 32 – 20 with no conversions attempted.

    As he did against Newcastle Brock Priestley produced some smart pieces of play for the Titans including some impressive footwork in the first half to get in between two defenders and still Brock Priestley was able to get his right arm free to get an off-load away out of the back of his right arm to enable Reef Sommerville to progress the ball further down field, impressively Brock Priestley got to his feet to take the nexthit-up afte the off-load.

    Brock Priestley’s speed was highlighted in the 17th minute of the first half against the Bears. Brock Priestley packed into a scrum with a Bears feed in the second row. When the Bears won the scrum, Cole Geyer, who is probably the quickest hooker in the Gold Coast Rugby League, ran the ball to Brock Priestley’s right off the back of the scrum. After breaking from the scrum Brock Priestley chased Cole Geyer down tackling him from behind and dislodging the ball.

    Later in the first half Brock Priestley showcased his line running ability when he ran a great inside shoulder line, making ten metres with the run finishing inside the Bears twenty metre zone.

    In November 2020 Brock Priestley was named in the powerful Tweed Heads Seagulls 2021 MM Cup squad.

    Brock Priestley started the Seagulls final 2021 MM Cup trial at right second row against the SOuths Logan Magpies with Tweed Heads winning 32 -4 in a match where no conversions were taken.

    Brock Priestley started the 2020 season as part of the Tweed Heads Seagulls MM Cup squad, starting from on the bench for Round One against the Northern Pride and scoring late in the second half in the Seagulls big first up victory 50 - 20.

    Also in 2020 Brock Priestley was part of the PBC Langer Cup Open A squad, where he operated primarily at lock or in the second row, including starting at lock in Round One as PBC took on Ipswich State High School. Brock Priestley also started at lock in Round Two against Wavell State High School and in Round Three against St Mary’s Toowoomba.

    Brock Priesley moved to the front row in the Round Four local derby against Keebar Park and started at lock in Round Five against Marsden State High School.

    Brock Priestley moved right second row for PBC as they qualified for the 2020 Langer Cup final on the back of an impressive 34 – 6 victory over Ipswich State High School.

    Brock Priestley started the 2020 Langer Cup Grand Final at right second row for PBC as they defeated Keebra Park 16 – 8 in a high quality match, running some impressive lines especially close to the Keebra Park line.

    In the Courier Mail 2020 Langer Cup Team of the Year, Brock Priestley was named in starting side at lock.

    In the Queensland School Boys Final against Kirwan State High School Brock Priestley started at right second row as PBC travelled to take on their North Queensland based opponents and scored PBC’s opening two tries as PBC went down 24 – 20 with both tries coming in the first half.

    Brock Priestley’s first try of the match came when he was on hand to grab a kick from PBC five eight Ryan Rivett that had rebounded off the Kirwan foot. Brock Priestley displayed good hands to pluck the ball out of the air when running at full speed and once he was through the initial defensive line as a result, veered to his left to beat the fullback and score fifteen metres from the right upright.

    Brock Priestley’s second try came late in the first half and was a direct result of Brock Priestley running a perfect hard straight line into a gapt around twenty metres out down the blind side and once he was through the defensive line, no one had any chance of stopping him scoring five metres in from the right corner post.

    Brock Priestley 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 started at fullback, scored an impressive second half try and kicked three goals as the Shearers prevailed 22 – 12.

    Brock Priestley started his try scoring movement to the right of the play the ball around thirty metres out from the Mudgeeraba line, just as the ball was being played, he darted behind the play the ball down a short ten metre blind beating the initial defender the a left arm fend before holding off two other defnders to get the ball down five metres in from the right corner post.

    The former Northern Territory junior converted his outstanding performances since his move to the Gold Coast mid-way through the 2017 season into an opportunity with the Titans U15 Development squad and was part of the side that played against a Balmain Tigers U15 touring side in 2018 with the Titans winning 16 - 10.

    As a result of his performances Brock Priestley late in 2018 signed a Titans contract to join an outstanding crop of 2019 U16 players who are contracted to the Titans for the next couple of seasons.

    In January of 2019 Brock Priestley started from the interchange bench for the Titans U16 side in their match against the Newcastle Knights U16 Harold Matthews squad and once on the field showcased his ability with an outstanding display especially defensively.

    On at least three occasions that I recall, Brock Priestley flew out of marker and got to the Newcastle ball runner prior to them making any ground at all. I am not sure whether I was just not paying attention or not but on each of the occasions that I have noted above, Brock Priestley exploded out of the marker position to his right.

    The first involvement that Brock Priestley had in the game was also a moment to remember, Brock Priestley had come on after the Knights had scored their first try and on the subsequent kick return, Brock Priestley and Nicholas Hilton lined up the Knights forward returning the kick-off and hit him front on in an outstanding tackle.

    Running with the ball in the match, Brock Priestley showcased some neat and subtle footwork prior to impacting the Newcastle defensive line and on more than one occasion looked to target the area behind the Knights play the ball either by stepping back towards the ruck or by running an inside shoulder route.

    On each of the occasions that he used this tactic Brock Priestley made ground and was also in a position for a quick play the ball because by using his footwork and targeting sparely populated areas of the Knights defence he was not gang tackled and thus was able to generate the quick play the ball.

    Brock Priestley’s most recent match for the Titans was when he started at right second row for the Titans U16 squad in their early October 2019 match against PNG at Pizzey Park.

    Brock Priestley started Round One of the 2019 GCRL U16 Division One competition in the second row for Ormeau against Currumbin.

    In total in the 2019 GCRL U16 Division One competition for Ormeau Brock Priestley played in nine regular season matches including a big Round Nine match when he started at lock and scored two tries and kicked a conversion against Helensvale.

    Brock Priestley also scored against Helensvale in Round Thirteen and in Round Fourteen against Coomera to account for his two season tries.

    In Week two of the U16 Division One Finals series, Brock Priestley started at lock against Currumbin as Ormeau progressed directly to the Grand Final with a solid win.

    In the 2019 GCRL U16 Division One Grand Final against Coomera, Brock Priestley started at lock had was having a very good game until injury struck late in the match and Brock Priestley had to come off. Brock Priestley’s Ormeau side went on to win the U16 Division One Grand Final in golden point extra time 22 -20 in a great match of rugby league.

    2019 also saw Brock Priestley play for the Somerset College First XV in the Associated Private Schools competition, being a group of eight schools across the Gold Coast including starting in the Grand Final against All Saints Anglican School. For the first time in the competitions history the Grand Final ended in a 17 all draw with Brock Priestley prominent in attack especially in the second half.

    Post the season Brock Priestley was named the 2019 Somerset College First XV Best Forward and was also named the 2020 Rugby Captain. I note for completeness that Brock Priestley has moved to PBC as part of their rugby league excellence program.

    Brock Priestley was named in the 2019 South East Queensland Green U16 side for the Queensland Age Championships starting in the second row for the representative side scoring a first half double on Day Three against South East Queensland White. Post those Championships Brock Priestley was selected in the second row in the Queensland Country U16 side.

    Brock Priestley had an outstanding match for Country as they defeated City 44 – 4 with Brock Priestley playing fifty five minutes at right second row. In his fifty five minutes on the field, Brock Priestley ran for an impressive 121 metres (thirty four post contact), had a line break early in the second half and made five tackles, one of which was an outstanding tackle early in the first half when he used a perfect technique to absolutely smash fellow Titan Brody Smitka just as he received the ball.

    For Ormeau in the U15 Division One competition in 2018, including finals matches, Brock Priestley played in twelve matches scoring six tries for a solid 50% strike rate.

    In Week One of the 2018 U15 Division One of the Finals Brock Priestley started in the centres and scored as Ormeau defeated Runaway Bay 28 – 12. Brock Priestly backed that up in Week Two starting in the centres and scoring once again as the Shearers qualified for the Grand Final with a 44 – 6 win over Coomera.

    In addition to his three finals tries (from three finals matches), Brock Priestly scored three U15 Division One regular season tries including a double against Robina and a late June try against Southport.

    To cap off an outstanding 2018 season Brock Priestley was named in the Gold Coast Vikings U16 representative Training Squad of the 2019 U16 South East Queensland Challenge and as a result of his play in that competition Brock Priestley was named in the South East Queensland U16 train on squad.

    In addition to playing rugby league for Ormeau in 2018 Brock Priestley also played club rugby on the Gold Coast for the Griffith University Colleges U15 side who won the Grand Final which ended in a 47 – 19 victory over the Helensvale Hogs in a match that was curtain raiser to the Wallabies v Argentina test at Cbus stadium. Brock Priestley started the match at lock.

    In total for the Griffith University Colleges U15 side Brock Priestley played in eight matches including the Grand Final starting five and coming off the bench in the remaining three.

    Brock Priestley’s first match with the Griffith University Colleges U15 side was in Round Eleven when he started at lock against Wollongbar/Alstonville with his first match from the interchange bench being in Round Fourteen against the Gold Coast Eagles.

    Brock Priestley scored two tries for the Griffith University Colleges side, the first coming in Round Fourteen against the Gold Coast Eagles with his second try coming in their semi-final victory over the Helensvale Hogs.

    Brock Priestley played his first rugby league game in the Gold Coast in late June 2017 after his move down from the Northern Territory. Brock Priestley played one U14 Division Three match in 2017 for Ormeau scoring a try and kicking two goals against Mudgeeraba.

    Brock Priestley in 2017 also played in six U14 Division One matches and scored his first try in that age group actually in the Grand Final when he started a lock as Ormeau overcame Burleigh 31 – 16.

    The former Northern Territory youngster moved down to the Gold Coast midway through the 2017 season playing the 2018 season in the GCRL U15 Division One competition for the Ormeau Shearers and enjoyed success straight off the bat, starting the U15 Division One Grand Final in the centres and scoring as the Shearers defeated Runaway Bay 38 – 20 to make it two from two Grand Finals since his arrival on the Gold Coast.

    In 2017 prior to his Gold Coast move, Brock Priestley played for the Litchfield Rugby League club in the Harvey Norman U14 competition in Darwin, playing in seven matches and scoring eight tries and kicking nine goals to finish his abridged 2017 season with 50 points, scoring in each of his seven matches.

    Brock Priestley scored doubles against the Palmerston Raiders and the Nightcliff Dragons and also scored against South Darwin in two matches, Darwin Brothers and Litchfield Red.

    Brock Priestley in 2017 impressively also played in four U16 matches and scored in just his second match against the Nightcliff Dragons after making his U16 debut a fortnight earlier against the Northern Sharks.

    Brock Priestley also played some representative rugby league in the Northern Territory including in 2017 representing the Northern Territory in the U14 Northern Queensland Junior Championships.

    Brock Priestley played for the Good Shepherd Lutheran College including being named their Most Valuable Player in the final of the 2015 Palmerston with Good Shephard defeating Bakewell 28 – 12 in the final.

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

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

    A solid hard straight fend is also a key component of his ability to make ground after contact. Brock Priestley’ s speed off the mark and for that matter his speed overall can probably be consider a tick above average but plays faster as a result of his strength and power.

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

    Defensively Brock Priestley can defend against any size opponent, from small quick outside backs to big strong powerful backrowers running wide of the ruck. Brock Priestley uses this strength to move up and hit just under the ribcage, redirecting the momentum of the ball carrier and thus eliminating the attacking threat in the short term. Defending out wider of the ruck including in the centres when he has played there previously, Brock Priestley sets a good base and uses his leg strength to direct his strength through the core of his body into his opponent.

    Brock Priestley will play the 2021 season with Ormeau in the U18 Division One competition and will also be part of the Tweed Heads Seagulls 2021 MM Cup squad for the second season in a row.

    Brock Priestley will also return to PBC for his senior year and is a near certainity for the PBC GIO Cup and Langer Cup school boy competitions.

    In the Northern Territory before moving down to the Gold Coast, Brock Priestley played primarily in the front row but played primarily in the centres early in his time on the Gold Coast before moving to the second row. For completeness I note that Brock Priestley played a number of matches at fullback in 2020 for the Ormeau Shearers in the 2020 GCRL U18 Division One competition.

    I envisage that Brock Priestley can stay in the second row for the next couple of seasons due to the fact that he knows his way to the try line and his solid one on one defence.

    A player comparison for Brock Priestley is an interesting one as few players even at the NRL level have the same combination of raw skill, strength, power and intensity that Brock Priestley displays. I guess however a player who as least has a degree of similarity from a playing perspective is Sydney Roosters impressive backrower Nat Butcher.

  2. #1472
    Kangaroo
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    Sep 2011
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    Ediq Ambrosyev. (Revised) He is a local young utility who signed a multi-year year deal to join the Titans JTS Program in 2018 after also being part of the Brisbane Broncos Elite Junior Program for a number of seasons.

    Impressively Ediq Ambrosyev was one of a number of Titans rookie players that trained with the Titans NRL squad in the first five week block of the 2020/21 NRL pre-season.

    In early January 2021 Ediq ambrosyev started at hooker for the Titans U19 side in their annual match against the Newcastle Knights in Coffs Harbour with Ediq Ambrosyev putting in an impressive performance in the Titans 40 – 6 victory.

    Ediq Ambrosyev was in the action almost immediately, being involved in a solid hit in the second tackle after the Titans kicked off. Also involved in the tackle were Samuel Shannon and Isaac Matalavea-Booth.

    Ediq Ambrosyev was heavily involved in the Titans first try of the match early in the first half. Out of dummy half Ediq Ambrosyev darted to his left to draw the Knights A defender and put his front rower Isaac Matalavea-Booth into a gap and the giant Titan rumbled ten metres to score adjacent to the right upright.

    Ediq Ambrosyev was heavily involved in another one of the Titans first half tries, when from dummy half, Ediq Ambrosyev threw a good pass to his left a metre out from the line to bring left second rower Ryan Foran back underneath and onto the ball who was then able to crash over.

    Over the course of the match, Ediq Ambrosyev judicially ran out of dummy half, when potentially his bestrung coming early in the second half when a drat out of dummy half to his right led to Ediq Ambrosyev making seventeen metres through the centre of the Knights ruck. Ediq Ambrosyev was immediately up trying to get a quick play the ball but with the Knights defensive line in disarray, the Knights forwards who eventually brought Ediq Ambrosyev down were forced to prevent the quick play the ball, thus conceeding a penalty.

    Ediq Ambrosyev’s intelligence was also on display in the match on multiple occasions, including a one on one strip in the 16th minute of he first half. Ediq Ambrosyev was involved in a two man tackle just ten metres out and in front of the posts from their own line, but the other Titans defender dropped off the tackle, Ediq Ambrosyev recognised this a stripped the ball back towards his own line for the Titans to regain possession.

    Defensively Ediq Ambrosyev was also impressive in the match, including a good tackle early in the match, when the Knights half looked to isolate him on the right side of the field. Ediq Ambroysev found himself one on one one with the half back who ran at him, a looked to beat Ediq Ambrosyev with a dummy half to his left and a subsequent left foot step. Ediq Ambrosyev did not fall for the dummy half and hit the half around the midrift with his left shoulder just as he was stepping to put him on the ground smartly.

    A week after the match against the Newcastle Knights Ediq Ambrosyev once again lined up for the Titans U19’s starting at hooker as the Titans took on a Burleigh Hastings Deering’s Colts squad with the Titans winning 32 – 20 with no conversions attempted.

    Ediq Ambrosyev was almost on the score board early in the first half but was held up when he got out of dummy half to the right from close range but in the end was held up under the posts.

    In a sign of the regard that the Titans hold in him, Ediq Ambrosyev trained with the Titans Rookie Squad (U20) in the 2019-20 offseason and started from the bench coming on to play in the dummy half role for the Titans Rookie squad against the Tweed Heads Queensland Cup side in early February at Cudgen in wet conditions.

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

    Ediq Ambrosyev also spent a fair portion of the 2019/20 off season training with the Tweed Heads Seagulls U20 Hastings Deering’s Colts squad even though he was still MM Cup eligible such is his skill and maturity level.

    Ediq Ambrosyev started Round One of the 2020 MM Cup competition for the Tweed Heads Seagulls at hooker against the Northern Pride scoring in the 54th minute of the Seagulls big first up 52 – 20 victory diving over to score adjacent to the left upright.

    It was a near certainity that Ediq Ambrosyev would have moved immediately to the Tweed Heads Seagulls U20 Hastings Deering’s Colts squad at the end of the 2020 MM Cup season, adding to his two Hastings Deering’s U20 Colts games that Ediq Ambrosyev played late in 2019 for the Tweed Heads Seagulls.

    Ediq Ambrosyev moved to the Runaway Bay Seagulls in 2020 from the Currumbin Eagles, immediately making a big impact in the Seagulls Red, White and Blue. Such was Ediq Ambrosyev’s impact, that he was named to make his Gold Coast Rugby League First Grade debut in Runaway Bay’s critical semi-final in Week One of the Finals against the Mudgeeraba Redbacks.

    In January 2019 Ediq Ambrosyev started at hooker for the Titans U18 side against the Newcastle Knights U18 SG Ball squad in Coffs Harbour and provided great service and outstanding running out of dummy half and also scored when he took advantage of some tired Newcastle Knights defence to his left close to their own line in the first half when he darted out of dummy half to score under the posts.

    Ediq Ambrosyev started both halves at hooker, all be it in different coloured head gear and mid-way through each half alternated with Jed Edwards in the dummy half role for the Titans.

    Ediq Ambrosyev started on the bench for the 2019 Tweed Heads Seagulls MM Cup side in their Round One match with the Western Mustangs with Ediq Ambrosyev contributing a second half try in a big 58 – 18 Seagulls win.

    Ediq Ambrosyev’s 2019 Round One MM Cup try was one of the strangest that I have ever seen. After Tweed Heads lost the ball whilst attacking the Western Mustangs line, the Western Mustangs fullback retrieved the ball and kicked it downfield, assuming that the referee would stop play. The referee however deemed that the kick downfield constituted the Western Mustangs taking their advantage and ruled play on.

    Tweed Heads winger Troy Duckett was able to prevent the ball from going into touch before offloading to centre Caleb Hodges who in a tackle offloaded to Ediq Ambrosyev who beat two defenders in a forty run to the line to score midway between the touchline and uprights on the left side of the field.

    After also starting from the bench in their Round Two victory over the Townsville Blackhawks, Ediq Ambrosyev moved into the starting line-up at hooker for the Round Three local derby against the Burleigh Bears.

    Ediq Ambrosyev also started at hooker in Round Six against the Mackay Cutters and scored in a big 72 – 0 Seagulls victory. After passing to his right fifteen metres out from the Cutters line, Ediq Ambrosyev cahsed through a Toby Sexton kick which initially looked too long off the boot, but Ediq Ambrosyev would not give up on the chase, diving full length and managing to get the ball down centremetres from the dead ball line.

    In total in the 2019 MM Cup competition, Ediq Ambrosyev played in all eight of Tweed Heads matches starting two from the bench and six at hooker including both their semi-final and Grand Final victory over Wynnum Manly. In the 2019 MM Cup Player of the season voting Ediq Ambrosyev finished with two votes.

    In the Grand Final Ediq Ambrosyev scored Tweed Heads second try in just the 2nd minute when he pounced on a dropped bomb and was also named player of the final. Post-match Ediq Ambrosyev was named Player of the Match in the Queensland MM Cup Grand Final.

    Ediq Ambrosyev was equally effective in the U18 National Championship match against the Illawarra Steelers, constantly snipping in the centre of the field from dummy half.

    Ediq Ambrosyev played fifty five nine minutes in the National Final, running for thirty three metres (ten post contact), broke a tackle, played the ball at an average speed of an exceptional 2.4 seconds and made nineteen tackles at a tackling efficiency of 73.1%.

    Early in the 2019 season, Ediq Ambrosyev was selected in the South Coast U18 side for the QSSRL U18 Championships starting primarily from the interchange bench in the U18 QSSRL Championships in South Coasts matches.

    At the Championships Ediq Ambrosyev was outstanding including scoring a first half hat trick on Day Three as South Coast went through the Championships undefeated including coming from behind to defeated Northern in the final 22 – 16. Ediq Ambrosyev was subsequently named in the Queensland School boy’s side for the Australian School boy Championships.

    At the 2019 ASSRL U18 Championships Ediq Ambrosyev started all of his Queensland matches at dummy half.

    Post the MM Cup competitions Ediq Ambrosyev went back to playing for Currumbin, starting Round Six of the GCRL U18 Division One competition at five eight and scoring as Currumbin defeated Ormeau 38 - 12. Ediq Ambrosyev made it two tries from as many matches when he scored coming off the bench in Round Nine against Burleigh.

    In total for Currumbin in the GCRL U18 Division One regular season competition, Ediq Ambrosyev played in three matches scoring fourteen points from two tries and he also kicked three goals in Round Thirteen against Tugun.

    Ediq Ambrosyev’s tries came in his first two U18 Division One matches of the season against Ormeau and Burleigh.
    Ediq Ambrosyev in 2019 was once again part of the PBC Open A rugby league side including starting from the interchange bench in the Langer Cup derby against Keebra Park in June.

    Ediq Ambrosyev also started at hooker for PBC in their Queensland GIO Cup quarter final win over St Mary’s High School Toowoomba 50 – 6 scoring in the second half. Edqi Ambrosyev darted out of dummy half to his right and was just too quick for the St Mary’s defence running ten metres to score before the St Mary’s defence had a chance to get itself set.

    In the second half of the match, Ediq Ambrosyev actually spent some time in the halves for PBC as the coach rang the changes with PBC well on top.

    Ediq Ambrosyev was a solid performer for PBC when he started at hooker in their tough Gold Point loss in the Queensland GIO Cup semi-final loss to Marsden State High School.

    Ediq Ambrosyev made his Hastings Deering’s Colts debut In Round Twenty Three against the Northern Pride starting on the bench and scoring in the 29th and 38th minutes of the match as Tweed Heads qualified for the finals on the back of a 36 – 10 win. When he came on Ediq Ambrosyev played in the dummy half role.

    His try in the first half was a typical Ediq Ambrosyev try, the play before Ediq Ambrosyev brought a forward onto the ball from dummy half with a well timed short pass and after a quick play the ball Ediq Ambrosyev dived over to his left out of dummy half from close range to score his debut try in his debut game under the posts.

    Ediq Ambrosyev played his second Hastings Deering’s Colts match for Tweed Heads in their Week One Elimination Final loss to the Mackay Cutters 23 – 10 starting from the bench and when came off the bench provided his usual spark.

    To cap off an outstanding 2019 season Ediq Ambrosyev was named in the 2020 U18 Queensland Emerging Origin Squad with fellow Titans Isreal Higgins and Samuel Shannon.

    Ediq Ambrosyev was part of the 2018 Queensland Academy of Sport U16 squad and was late last year named as part of the 2018 U16 Emerging Origin squad that finished their first camp on the Sunshine Coast in February 2018.

    Ediq Ambrosyev also started for the Titans in an U15 match against the Balmain Tigers in late 2017 at Cudgen in northern New South Wales and also represented the Titans in late 2015 against a Toowoomba U14 side, a match which saw him score two tries including a long range effort in the second half after he took an intercept to run eighty metres to score. In that particular match Ediq Ambrosyev played left centre.

    Prior to the commencement of the 2018 Gold Coast Rugby League season, Ediq Ambrosyev starred for the U16 Gold Coast Vikings White side in the South East Queensland U16 Championship and post that competition was been named in South East Queensland U16 Green squad.

    At the 2018 Queensland Age Championships for SEQ Green Ediq Ambroysev played three matches at hooker. Titans linked team mates in the SEQ Green side were Daniel Butterini and William Parslow (former Titans linked players) all of whom played in the Championship final with Ediq Ambroysev scoring a good try with a snipping run in the first half.

    Ediq Ambrosyev was named to start from the interchange bench for the Queensland U16 side when they play New South Wales at Suncorp Stadium but in fact ended up starting the match at hooker. Fellow Titan Samuel Shannon (inter change) was also in the Queensland side.

    For the Currumbin Eagles in the 2018 Gold Coast Rugby League U16 Division One competition Ediq Ambrosyev was in outstanding form in the regular season finishing with a strike rate of 113% through eight matches. In all of those matches Ediq Ambrosyev started at five eight.

    Ediq Ambroysev’s tries in the 2018 regular season came against Mudgeeraba, Helensvale, Runaway Bay and Nerang in a match that was played as a curtain raiser to the Titans verses South Sydney NRL match at Cbus Stadium recently. Ediq Ambrosyev continued his try scoring trend in Round Six against Southport, the only difference is that he scored a hat trick in that match.

    Post the hat trick Ediq Ambrosyev also scored against Mudgeeraba and Southport. In only one 2018 regular season game did Ediq Ambrosyev not score which was in the final regular season round against Southport.

    In the 2018 GCRL U16 Division One Finals series, Ediq Ambrosyev started at five eight in all four of Currumbin’s matches including their Grand Final loss 24 – 8 against Currumbin. He did however have a great time against Burleigh in two Finals matches being a Week One victory 30 – 14 and a 28 -26 Preliminary Final victory scoring doubles in each of those matches.

    Ediq Ambrosyev has also been in outstanding form for PBC including scoring the match winning try against Keebra Park in their Langer Cup match at Pizzey Park and was also involved in their 24 – 18 victory over Ipswich State High School. Ediq Ambrosyev also played for PBC in their Langer Cup match against Marsden State High School at Waterford which ended in a 38 – 10 win for the Gold Coast based school.

    Ediq Ambrosyev was also part of the Titans U16 side that played matches against PNG and New South Wales Country U16’s and in fact scored against NSW Country on a wet afternoon at Cudgen. Ediq Amrbosyev’s try was as a result of a smart and quick dart out of dummy half.

    Over the course of the 2017 season Ediq Ambrosyev played in the U15 Division One competition on the Gold Coast with the Coomera Cutters, playing in a total of eight matches, including scoring a hat trick late in the season against Burleigh and early in the season also scored against the Southport Tigers.

    The PBC student also represented South Coast in the 2017 QSSRL U15 Championships and from there was selected in the Queensland U15 White side for the ASSRL U15 National Championships where Ediq Ambrosyev palyed a variety of positions. In those Championships Ediq Ambrosyev crossed on Day Two in a 44 – 0 Queensland White victory over the ACT.

    In 2016 Ediq Ambrosyev was part of the dominant Gold Coast Vikings U14 side that went through the 2016 Hill Stumer Championships undefeated playing a number of positions over the course of the three matches that the Vikings played including playing on the wing in the Sunday match against the Ipswich Diggers. Post Hill Stumer Championships, Ediq Ambrosyev was named on the inter change bench for the U14 South East Queensland Green team for the Queensland Age Championships.

    Previously Ediq Ambrosyev represented Qld at the U12 level, where he was selected in the second row. In Ediq Ambrosyev also started from the inter change bench for the U13 Titans development squad in a game against an U14 Toowoomba selection.

    In that development squad match Ediq Ambrosyev played a significant portion of the game in the centres, scoring two tries including an 80m run away intercept try when he raced down the left hand side of Pizzey park with the Toowoomba defenders chasing in vain.

    It is hard to put in words just how talented Ediq Ambrosyev is in terms of running the ball, he has
    outstanding speed both off the mark which I would consider in the above average category. Ediq Ambrosyev 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 body control. It is that speed trait which opens up his incredible ball playing skills as well.

    Teams start to focus heavily on Ediq Ambrosyev 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 Ediq Ambrosyev can exploit with his deception and speed.

    Ediq Ambrosyev 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 Ediq Ambrosyev 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 readjust.

    Ediq Ambrosyev also runs with the ball in both hands which is another reason why the defensive line is unable to determine exactly what he is going to do.

    Ediq Ambrosyev has an outstanding short kicking game especially in relation to perfectly weighted grubber kicks into the in goal. One such short kick very nearly led to a try for the Titans in their match against Newcastle in the second half.

    Ediq Ambrosyev is also a talker on the field, constantly willing his forwards onto the ball and is also constantly chirping when he is in the defensive line for his forwards to push off the line quickly with him. Ediq Ambrosyev also backs up his talk through is actions.

    Defensively Ediq Ambrosyev is a very strong young man with exceptional functional strength 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.

    Ediq Ambrosyev 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 Ediq Ambrosyev’s side of the field. Ediq Ambrosyev also is a aggressive defender and he will finish off every tackle that he makes and this enables him to slow the play the ball down.

    2020 saw Ediq Ambrosyev part of the Tweed Heads Seagulls MM Cup squad for the second season in a row and started at hooker in Round One of the competition. When rugby league recommenced
    Ediq Ambrosyev moved to Runaway Bay from the Currumbin Eagles playing in the GCRL U18 Division One, U20 and First Grade competitions.

    In 2021 Ediq Ambrosyev will be a certainty to be part of the Tweed Heads Seagulls U20 Hastings Deering’s Colts squad and it seems likely that he will also add to his Gold Coast Rugby League First Grade tally in 2021 for the Runaway Bay Seagulls. It also would not surprise at all if Ediq Ambrosyev makes his Queensland Cup debut over the course of the 2021 season for the Tweed Heads Seagulls.

    Positionally it appeared that Ediq Ambrosyev would move to hooker full time after the 2017 season but in 2018 he played five eight for Currumbin and well as the Vikings, but noting his play at hooker for South East Queensland Green U16’s in the Queensland Age Championships and of course for the Titans U18 against Newcastle who indicate that hooker will be Ediq Ambrosyev’s primary position going forward although his ability to play other positions, specifically in the halves will be a valuable commodity into the future.
    Ediq Ambrosyev is a natural on a rugby league field regardless of position with his ability to size up a situation and invariably take the correct option. Ediq Ambrosyev reminds me of a smarter more skilful and athletic version of Brisbane Broncos hooker/half Jake Turpin as a tough combative dummy half who will back himself and not die wondering as well has being a leader on the field through both his actions and words.

    In a great sign Ediq Ambrosyev is also fast becoming an outstanding leader on the field. Ediq Ambrosyev has always been vocal (very vocal) on the field but he has transformed from being a vocal dummy half to a bonefide leader who team mates will follow and excel under his leadership. I was previously unsure whether Ediq Ambrosyev would be considered a captain, but he has definitely proved me very wrong.

  3. #1473
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    Brent Barnes. The former Gold Coast Titans Junior Development Squad member, including captaining the Titans U14 side in 2015 has moved around a bit in recent years including spending time in Sydney as part of the Parramatta Eels 2018 SG Ball side and previously was part of the Broncos Development establishment.

    Early 2020 saw Brent Barnes move north to be part of the Redcliffe Dolphins U20 Hastings Deering’s Colts squad however ultimately the move hit a snag when the Covid 19 pandemic hit. Brent Barnes is also Colts eligible in 2021.

    After the Covid 19 pandemic Brent Barnes was back on the Gold Coast and played for the Helensvale Hornets in the Gold Coast Rugby League U20 competition, including starting at right centre in the 2020 GCRL U20 Grand Final against the Currumbin Eagles.

    Brent Barnes scored two tries for the Hornets in the 2020 Grand Final but it was not enough as Helensvale went down 22 – 20 to Currumbin in a thriller.

    One of Brent Barnes tries was as a result of him following through a grubber kick through the line by Josh Henare, with the ball sitting up perfectly for Brent Barnes to take the ball with no loss of momentum to score out wide on the right side of the field. Brent Barnes could have scored another try in the Grand Final but he was deemed held up over the line after he charged eight metres off a pass from the dummy half down a short blindside.

    Brent Barnes also had a try assist in the Grand Final when he leapt above the Currumbin defence to take a Cameron Brown chip kick on the full and whilst he was being pushed back, Brent Barnes was able to offload to Harrison Trathen to cross in the right corner.

    Brent Barnes was also heavily involved in Helensvale’s second try of the Grand Final when from a set move from a Helensvale scrum seventy metres out from the Currumbin line, Brenat Barnes chased through a kick from the five eight. Even though it looked as if the kick would be retrieved by Currumbin, Brent Barnes kept persisting and through competing for the ball ended up getting it back. Three tackles later, Cameron Brown dived over to score out of dummy half in the right corner.

    In the Preliminary Final Brent Barnes who started the match at right centre had a number of big moments, including a key second half try and a first half try assist as Helensvale scored on the last paly of the match to progress to the Grand Final on the back of a 26 – 24 victory.

    Brent Barne’s first half try assist came when he skipped to the outside of his direct opponent around twenty metres out from the Burleigh line and then drew the Burleigh winger and send his right winger away to score.

    As noted above, Brent Barnes Preliminary Final try came at a critical juncture of the second half. Brent Barnes charged on the ball coming back under Cameron Brown who was running to the right. When Brent Barnes received the ball cutting back to the left, there were Burleigh defenders everywhere but Brent Barnes smashed through the initial attempted tackle and then crashed through Burleigh defenders on the goal line to get the ball down adjacent to the right upright.

    Brent Barnes was a consistant try scorer in the 2020 GCRL U20 regular season, including scoring an impressive solo try in Round Eight against the Mudgeeraba Redbacks. Brent Barnes charged onto a pass off the dummy half whilst playing right centre, exploding through the defensive line. Brent Barnes then used a jump step to beat the Redbacks fullback comprehensively.

    It looked like Brent Barnes’s speed would take him to the try line, but he was dragged down just two metres short of the line. Brent Barnes had the foresight to realise that the defender had dropped off him, and he regained his feet to dive over under the posts.

    Brent Barnes also represented South Coast in the U15 QSSRL Championships in 2016 and from there went on to represent Queensland Maroon at the U15 ASSRL Championships where he was named in the Australian U15 Merit Side.

    In 2017 Brent Barnes represented Queensland Murri U16 in their annual match against New South Wales Kurri.

    Late last year however Brent Barnes returned to the Gold Coast and has made an impact with the Helensvale Hornets in the GCRL U20 and Doug Lipp Cup competitions this season.

    Earlier in 2019 Brent Barnes was selected in the South Coast U18 school bot side but did not play for South Coast in the QSSRL U18 Championships and also played a MM Cup trial with Norths in Brisbane but did not play in any regular season MM Cup matches for the Devils.

    After linking back with Helensvale Brent Barnes started the 2019 season at right centre for the Hornets U20 side before moving to five eight midway through the season.

    Brent Barnes had an outstanding Round Ten match in the U20 competition scoring four tries against Mudgeeraba.

    Brent Barnes first try was a long range effort when he received the ball early and get on the outside of his direct opponent and race 60 metres to score. His second try followed an outstanding chip and chase from Jayden Campbell who drew the fullback to send Brent Barnes on his way.

    His third try was a set play from a scrum, Jayden Campbell received the ball from the back of the scrum and immediately kicked behind the Mudgeeraba defensive line from twenty metres out for Brent Barnes to retrieve and put the ball down.

    His fourth try and his only one in the second half was one built from strength, from around ten metres out from the try line, he shrugged off the first defender before splitting two defenders and dragging them across the line to score near the right corner flag.

    Brent Barnes also scored in Round Twelve against Currumbin when he ran a hard straight line for Cameron Brown to find him with a good pass.

    Brent Barnes made it seven tries from as many U20 matches in Round Fourteen in Helensvale’s 30-22 loss to Burleigh. Playing five eight as he has in the last couple of weeks, Brent Barnes received the ball on the right side of the field about twelve metres out from the Burleigh line.

    Brent Barnes beat the initial defender with a powerful right arm fend before darting over as three Burleigh defenders closed in on him. Even though he has played primarily fullback, wing or centre in his career to date, Brent Barnes is making a good fist of the five eight position.

    In total for Helensvale in the 2019 GCRL U20 competition, Brent Barnes played in seven regular season matches scoring seven tries.

    Brent Barnes started at right centre even though he wore the No. 16 jersey in Week One of the GCRL U20 Finals Series and was one of Helensvale’s try scorers as they went down 27 – 20 to the Runaway Bay Seagulls.

    From a quick tap from a Helensvale penalty Brent Barnes received the ball from the Hornets fullback who took the quick tap and produced two powerful left arm fends to get clear and race forty five metres to score under the posts with a big celebratory dive at the end.

    Brent Barnes made his Doug Lipp Cup debut in Round Twelve against Currumbin scoring on debut with his try coming when he found space down the right touchline line and beat the fullback with a good in and away.

    Brent Barnes scored his second Doug Lipp Cup try from as many matches with an outstanding individual effort in Round Fifteen against the Bilambil Jets.

    Playing right centre Brent Barnes received the ball seventy metres out from the try line in space and then accelerated around the Bilambil left sided defence (James Roberts style) before cutting back inside off his left foot when it looked for all money like the Bilambil fullback and another cover defender was going to box him in before easily outpacing the remaining defenders to score an outstanding solo try.

    Brent Barnes has also played in a handful of GCRL U18 Division One regular season matches this season, including a double in Round Eight against Currumbin and also scoring in Round Nine against Ormeau and an outstanding Round Eleven match when he scored four tries and kicked two goals against Tugun for an individual points haul in the match of twenty being 40% of Helensvale’s total points in the match.

    Brent Barnes started at right centre for Helensvale in their 2019 Week Two U18 Division One Finals match against the Ormeau Shearers scoring a double as the Hornets went down 34 – 26 in a see sawing contest.

    Once you have seen Brent Barnes run with the ball on a football field, you probably will not see anyone move as well as he does. He has an effortless running style seemingly gliding over the field and has what can only be considered plus plus speed both from an acceleration and top speed perspective, I am talking James Roberts type speed.

    Brent Barnes is a silky smooth runner of the ball who seems to glide across the field effortlessly and certainly has an extra gear in relation to the speed he possesses as well as plus speed off the mark. In the centre position, he has the ability to stand up his direct opposite and then beat him with pace on the outside, something that is becoming increasingly rare in the modern game.

    When he gets the ball early from his inside play makers, Brent Barnes is incredibly difficult to deal with one on one, as whilst his speed has already been noted, he is also a powerful runner who has the power to also break tackles through sheer power and not just rely on his speed to beat his direct opponent.

    The one thing Brent Barnes also seems to be able to do well, is to step back inside without the loss of his speed or forward momentum, opposing defenders seem to push out quickly when he has the ball expecting him to look to beat them on their outside, if they come across to far, Brent Barnes has a very good step back side and if the inside defenders are not quick enough to cover across he has the speed to make a clean break in those circumstances.

    Similarly when an opposing defender looks to come out of the line quickly to put pressure on him, his quick twitch feet means that he can step off either foot quickly to negate the attempt to cut down his time. In short he is a very talented attacking player who looks to beat his opponent with speed and guile rather than purely by brute strength even though he has the capacity to do so when necessary.

    Defensively Brent Barnes is solid rather than exceptional but will commit to the initial contact and also has the speed to use the sideline to his advantage and also turn and chase if the need arises.

    Brent Barnes will play the 2021 season with the Helensvale Hornets and will be looking to break into the Hornets Gold Coast Rugby League First Grade side in the Hornets inaugural season in the GCRL First Grade competition.

    It will also be interesting to see if Brent Barnes looks link with either Burleigh or Tweed Heads for the 2021 Hastings Deering’s Colts competition.

    Brent Barnes played a lot of his early rugby league at fullback but in recent seasons has played wing, including for Parramatta in the U18 SG Ball competition and centre the last two seasons for Helensvale. Brent Barnes also played five eight in 2019 which I think will ultimately assist him to reach his full potential in though I do not think that he will ultimately end up there.

    At five eight Brent Barnes will get the opportunity to develop his play making skills as well as getting a lot of larger forwards running at him then he would if he was in the centres or at fullback.

    A couple of season’s ago I would have argued that Brent Barnes’s future lies at fullback, but I must admit his play over the course of the 2019 and 2020 seasons for Helensvale at right centre has made me alter my opinion somewhat.

    With his lightning speed, balance and body control I can see Brent Barnes maintaining his position in the centres into the future although there is no doubt that he could also play at fullback or on the wing at a very high level as well.

    Watching Brent Barnes at full speed with his ability to change direction without losing an ounce of speed, it is impossible for me not to see a mirror image for former Titan James Roberts. Both are just exceptional to terms of running with the ball and the ease in which they maintain their top speed over an extended distance.

    A lot of things have to go right for Brent Barnes to achieve his potential and get an opportunity in the NRL or even the Queensland Cup but in 2020 he made strides that get him closer to getting a shot at reaching his potential and getting there.

  4. #1474
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    Jerome Taupau. The former Victorian junior moved up from down South to attend Keebra Park State High School in late 2020 and be part of their Rugby Legue Excellence Program in partnership with the Titans. Jerome Taupau attended Keebra park for the final weeks of the 2020 school year and thus 2021 will be his first full year at the renouned school.

    Jerome Taupau’s first 2021 match in Keebra Park colours came in early February 2021 when he lined up against Mountain Creek High School.

    In 2019 Jerome Taupau played for the Victorian U14 representative side and the New South Wales Country Age Championships in the Southern Zone, starting a number of the Thunderbolts matches in the second row.

    In 2018 Jerome Taupau was selected on the wing for the Victorian U12 side for the ASSRL U12 Championships after an outstanding season in the Victorian U12 competition with the Altona Roosters.

    The giant young man is very difficult to stop once he is in motion, his speed, power and body height all contribute to this. On the wing when Jerome Taupau can wind up and build momentum he looks to run over his direct opponent rather than try to run around them. In fact in the majority of occasions it is Jerome Taupau that actually initiates the contact and I do not recall seeing a player being able to run over his direct opponent with absolutely no loss of momentum.

    From a speed perspective I would argue that Jermone Taupau’s speed is a tick above average for a winger but obviously the key attribute from an attacking perspective is how hard he hits the defensive line. Like his overall speed Jerome Taupau’s lateral mobility is probably just a tick above average. Jerome Taupau with his size and strength is also able to make a lot of ground after contact with his ability to absorb the defensive contact and maintain his balance and body control.

    When he is close to the line Jerome Taupau is able to absorb a significant amount of punishment and still hold his running line thus he is able to score close to the side line without being pushed over the sideline regardless of the number of defenders looking to do so. The ability to absorb contact is on display when Jerome Taupau comes into the centre of the ruck to take the ball up into the teeth of the defensive line.

    Defensively for a big strong powerful young man, Jerome Taupau actually has good discipline for such a young player and in the main stays on his man rather than coming in and looking for the big hit. Do not get me wrong Jerome Taupau will on occasion aim to smash the opposing outside if they do not see him coming but in the main Jerome Taupau is quite disciplined and looks to ensure his opposing winger does not get on his outside looking to use their speed against him.

    2021 will see Jerome Taupau line-up in a Keebra Park jersey for the 2021 School Boy Rugby League season and he will be eligible for U15 club and representative sides.

    Jerome Taupau has primarily been an outside back in his junior rugby league career to date in Victoria and even though he has the requisite size to play in the second row, as he did for the Victorian U14 representative side in 2019, I would consider that in the short term at least, Jerome Taupau will continue to line-up primarily on the wing, although Jerome Taupau is also likely to get at least some opportunities in the centres and probably in the second row as well.

    If you have some-one with Jerome Taupau’s size/speed combination you give them every chance to play in a position where one on one situations can be engineered for their advantage.

    If Jerome Taupau moves to the second row that would be an understandable move with his speed and size being suited to running on the fringes of the ruck, where like wider out, Jerome Taupau in the main would be in situations where he would be running at one defender.

    For completeness it requires notation that for the Altona Roosters in the Victorian Rugby League competition in recent seasons, Jerome Taupau played multiple positions including the a fore mentioned wing and second row positions as well as centre, hooker and five eight.

    Jerome Taupau is a big strong young man with a rare combination of size, speed and power and for that reason I can certainly see a similarity in playing style to New Zealand Warriors and New Zealand International right winger Ken Maumalo. For completeness, I note that Jerome Taupau and Maumalo have different body shapes but regardless they have a similar playing style from my perspective.

    Both Jerome Taupau and Maumalo are big strong powerful players who present significant challenges to a defensive line whether they are on the end of a backline movement, returning a kick from their own territory or running from dummy half.

    Similiarly both Jerome Taupau and Maumalo are exceptional in the air both from an attacking and defensive perspective, thus both regularly operate as a pressure release valve for their side at both ends of the field.

  5. #1475
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    Tyrus Salanoa. The elusive young fullback and former Victorian rugby and rugby league junior moved up from down South mid-way through 2020 to attend Keebra Park State High School and be part of their Rugby Legue Excellence Program in partnership with the Titans, playing the 2020 abridged school rugby league season in Keebra Park’s famous maroon and blue jersey.

    In mid-February 2021 Tyrus Salanoa played in a Titans U15 Invitational Trial at Burleigh, a trial which included only the best of the 2021 Titans U15 squad members.

    Early February 2021 saw Tyrus Salanoa made it through the first stage of the South Coast U15 QSSRL trials when he was named in the U15 Broadwater school boy U15 squad. Following the final round of trials, Tyrus Salanoa was named in the 2021 South Coast U15 school boy QSSRL squad.

    In 2019 Tyrus Salanoa was selected at fullback for the U13 Victorian Rugby representative side for the Australian Age Championships.

    In 2019 Tyrus Salanoa played for the Melton Rugby Club in the Victorian U13 club rugby competition, spending time at both fullback and No. 10 (fly half) and even though he was a year younger than a lot of his opponents, Tyrus Salanoa had some big matches in the competition including scoring four tries and kicking three conversions against Geelong Power House in Round Eight for an individual points haul in the game of twenty six points, being more than half of his team’s total points.

    Tyrus Salanoa added three tries and three conversions in Round Three against Footscray (twenty one points) and two tries and five conversions in Round Nine against Box Hill accounting for twenty of his teams points in the match.

    Tyrus Salanoa also scored in Round Six against Wyndham City (two conversions as well, nine points) and in Round Twelve (three conversions in the match, eleven points) against the Melbourne Rugby Club. Tyrus Salanoa also kicked two conversions in Round Two against Box Hill Racing.

    When he runs the ball, Tyrus Salanoa is exceptionally quick and explosive, with exceptional speed, both off the mark and when he gets into open space and gets to top pace, Tyrus Salanoa leaves multiple defenders in his wake.

    On many occasions when he makes a break, Tyrus Salanoa’s support could not keep up and thus he used his incredible footwork and speed to beat the opposing fullback by himself. There is nothing that Tyrus Salanoa 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 addition Tyrus Salanoa also has the ball playing skills 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. He 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 Tyrus Salanoa ’s play making skills continue to evolve, the attacking possibilities are endless for him and his team.

    In terms of running the ball back from kicks, his timing and anticipation means that Tyrus Salanoa gets to a lot of balls on the full and makes a quick decision whether to run the ball flat out back into the oncoming defenders or look to create an opportunity by running across field. Regardless Tyrus Salanoa is an absolute handful to tackle with his speed and evasion skills.

    Defensively in the fullback position Tyrus Salanoa understandably does not make a huge amount of tackles but the ones he makes are the ones that need to be made. If an attacker runs directly at him, Tyrus Salanoa will come forward to cut down the time the attacker has to make a decision and he will hit very hard and does not fall for a dummy in those situations.

    An impressive attribute that Tyrus Salanoa does have is ability to force attackers who are in open space to try to beat him down the side line. Tyrus Salanoa will stay inside the attacker and force him in the required direction and then use his timing, closing speed and anticipation to make the tackle, usually forcing the attacker into touch.

    Tyrus Salanoa is also a more than competent goal kicker, with both range and accuracy and whilst it is not a given, Tyrus Salanoa has a solid chance as being his teams primary goal kicker when he closes in to the senior rugby league ranks.

    2021 will see Tyrus Salanoa once again in a Keebra Park jersey for the 2021 School Boy Rugby League season and he will be eligible for U15 club and school boy representative sides.

    In rugby in Victoria before his move to the Gold Coast, Tyrus Salanoa excelled at both fullback and fly half (No. 10) but in 2020 for Keebra Park Tyrus Salanoa played primarily at fullback or out wide in the centres or on the wing. With his speed and elusiveness, I believe that ultimately Tyrus Salanoa’s best position on a rugby league field is at fullback although Tyrus Salanoa playing on the wing is a more than feasible alternative.

    There is no doubt however that Tyrus Salanoa’s experience at No. 10 in rugby will be a significant benefit to his play at fullback in rugby league with the increased emphasis of having a ball playing skill set as well as tactical kicking for anyone who plays as a rugby league fullback in the modern version of rugby league.

    From a player comparison perspective, when you see him in full flight it is scary how similar Tyrus Salanoa’s style compares to Sydney Roosters, New South Wales State of Origin and Australian International fullback James Tedesco, he is just so fast and elusive (and can change direction so quickly) and it looks so effortless but Tyrus Salanoa obviously has a long way to go to come close to reaching those heights however.

    The running styles of Tyrus Salanoa and Tedesco are not identical but the speed both off the mark and at full tilt as well as the elusiveness and anticipation certainly are.

  6. #1476
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    Isopo Taunuu. The giant young former Victorian U12 rugby league representative moved up from Melbourne mid-way through the 2020 school year to attend Keebra Park State High School and be part of their Rugby Legue Excellence Program that is in partnership with the Titans, playing the 2020 school rugby league season in Keebra Park’s famous jersey.

    Early February 2021 saw Isopo Taunuu made it through the first stage of the South Coast U15 QSSRL trials when he was named in the U15 Broadwater school boy U15 squad. Following the final round of trials, Isopo Taunuu was named in the 2021 South Coast U15 school boy QSSRL squad.

    In 2019 Isopo Taunuu was selected to start in the front row for the Victorian U12 side from River Gum Primary School for the ASSRL U12 Championships.

    Isopo Taunuu is a big, strong, solidly built young front rower with size and a low centre of gravity, which makes him quite difficult to tackle, especially in a one on one situation when he is running directly at an opponent. There is little subtlety to his game, Isopo Taunuu runs straight and hard, with the only concession to this being a slight step off either foot on occasion prior to the initial contact with the defensive line. Put simply Isopo Taunuu runs straight and hard.

    One thing that Isopo Taunuu does do will however is continuing to pump his legs once his initial momentum is halted by the defensive line, Isopo Taunuu makes more metres than he should as a result and also forces defending teams to commit multiple defensive assets to stopping his progress. In those cirsumstances Isopo Taunuu is adept at getting to his feet quickly and playing the ball quickly.

    When opponents try to go higher and tackle him around the chest, Isopo Taunuu is able to shrug them off and maintain his momentum forward and as a consequence teams have to commit multiple resources to stop him. The best way to look to combat Isopo Taunuu is to tackle him around the legs but even then Isopo Taunuu is adept at dropping his shoulder at the opportune moment to make even that type of tackle difficult to execute.

    Isopo Taunuu does not have a real off load to his attacking game, but that is not his role, his role is to take the ball into the heart of the opposition’s defensive line and make as many metres as possible.

    Like his attacking game, Isopo Taunuu’s defensive attributes and relatively simple, he moves up and hits the ball carrier as hard as he can, as often as he can, full stop. Isopo Taunuu is best suited to defending in the centre of the ruck and that is where you will almost always find him and for a solidly built young player, he moves well in terms of moving up and back in defence including his lateral mobility.

    2021 will see Isopo Taunuu once again in a Keebra Park jersey for the 2021 School Boy Rugby League season and he will be eligible for U14 club and representative sides.

    Isopo Taunuu is a big strong powerful young man who is built like a tank and has played his entire junior rugby league career in the front row and with his aggressiveness and low centre of gravity Isopo Taunuu will not be moving from the front row, full stop.

    With the a fore mentioned solid frame and low centre of gravity a player comparison to Penrith Panthers front rower Moses Leota is not unreasonable in relation to Isopo Taunuu. Isopo Taunuu is not as tall as Leota but has the same fearless hard charging, take no prisoners running style and attitude as the Penrith Panthers front rower.

  7. #1477
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    Jett Bryce. In February 2021 the second rower and Keebra Park SHS student was named in the U15 South Coast school boy rugby league squad for the 2021 U15 QSSRL Championships.

    The young man who plays for the Helensvale Hornets in the Gold Coast Junior Rugby League competition, in 2019 started in the second row and starred for the Gold Coast Vikings U13 representative side and post the Hill Stumer Championships Amare Milford was named in the 2019 U13 South East Queensland Development Squad.

    As a result of his performances for the U13 Gold Coast Vikings representative side in 2019, Jett Bryce was named the 2019 Gold Coast Rugby League U13 Representative Player of the Year.

    Jett Bryce does not necessarily get back deep to run onto the ball but uses his above average speed off the mark to generate significant speed and momentum to hit the defensive line with. When he breaks into open space Jett Bryce has above average to plus top end speed for his position and will not try to get too fancy in open space, if he does not have support to draw and pass to, Jett Bryce will take the fullback on and look to run directly over him and if he is tackled look to get a quick play the ball rather than to try for a spectacular play.

    When standing a little wider of the ruck, Jett Bryce can run multiple routes including both an inside or outside shoulder route depending on the defensive methodology of the opposition and also uses his lateral mobility to cut back on the inside of his play maker to great effect if the central ruck defenders do not track the ball across field.

    Even when running in the centre of the ruck however Jett Bryce ’s feet are always moving and he never sets himself up as an easy target for the defensive line to target when he is running with the ball.

    Defensively the best way that I can describe Jett Bryce’s tackling style is that he tackles hard, Jett Bryce has an exceptional front on tackling technique in relation to both his head placement and body control and as such he is able to generate significant force into his opponents body, Jett Bryce really does explode into the ball carrier and is aware of his fellow defenders and if one is going low Jett Bryce will go high and visa versa.

    For his size, Jett Bryce is an extremely strong young man and that clearly helps from a defensive perspective.

    When defending against smaller and quicker runners on the edge of the ruck, Jett Bryce gets low and mirrors their lateral movement aiming the subsequent tackle around the waist rather than the chest area where it is easier for tackles to slip up to around the head area.

    Jett Bryce will play the 2021 rugby league season with the Helensvale Hornets in the GCRL U15 Division One competition and will also line up for Keebra Park SHS in their various school boy rugby league competitions.

    With his size and speed combination to is hard to envisage Jett Bryce playing anywhere but the second row as his rugby league career goes from strength to strength.

    I would argue that former Brisbane Broncos, Queensland State of Origin and Australian International back rower Matt Gillett is a very good comparison with the way that Jett Bryce plays. Like Gillett, Jett Bryce is a hard running hard tackling young man with great leadership skills and a tough hard aggressive clinical and calculating edge to every aspect of his game.

  8. #1478
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    Amare Milford. In February 2021 the second rower and Keebra Park SHS student was named in the U15 South Coast school boy rugby league squad for the 2021 U15 QSSRL Championships.

    The young man who plays for the Runaway Bay Seagulls in the Gold Coast Junior Rugby League competition, in 2019 started in the front row for the Gold Coast Vikings U13 representative side and post the Hill Stumer Championships Amare Milford was named in the 2019 U13 South East Queensland Development Squad.

    Amare Milford is not just a talented sports person as is evidenced by the fact that the young man has a number of Academic Excellence Awards from Keebra Park SHS in his possession.

    Amare Milford is a big powerful young man who whilst using his size to his advantage by running hard and straight, does have quite decent footwork prior to the defensive line, which he uses to cut back behind the play the ball to take advantage of defenders who are slow to get back into the defensive line.

    An area where Amare Milford has really improved over the last two season is in relation to his off-loads in previous seasons he did not off load too much but this season he really has been able to get his arms free and get away some telling off-loads. Amare Milford continually put his hand up all day to take the ball up and has a very quick play the ball so that his team can maintain momentum.

    One area that he did not seem to use too often this year, but does seem to have the capacity to develop based on his size, skills and footwork is the ability to off load before the line, an example of what I am meaning is how the Canterbury Bulldogs forward pack uses those small offloads prior to the line. Amare Milford has shown glimpses of having the skills to utilise the same skills if the opportunities arise, developing this skill with only enhance his effectiveness.

    In defence Amare Milford uses his size and strength to make very solid initial contact and certainly can take on all opposing forwards one on one. He is not averse to looking for the big hit but does have a good front on defensive technique, maintaining decent leverage and reasonable agility and lateral movement when looking to tackle smaller opponents on the edge of the ruck.

    Although clearly he is more effective in the centre of the ruck, as most front rowers are, Amare Milford’s raw natural strength means that he is also dominant when looking to slow the play the ball down by winning the wrestling battle on the ground.

    Amare Milford is a big strong young man and as such has played his entire junior rugby league career in the front row, including in representative sides, and that is highly unlikely to change anytime into the future.

    Amare Milford will play the 2021 rugby league season with the Runaway Bay Seagulls in the GCRL U15 Division One competition and will also line up for Keebra Park SHS in their various school boy rugby league competitions.

    In many respects Amare Milford has a similar playing style to that of Titans NRL and Queensland State of Origin stand out front rower Moeaki Fotuaika. Both Arame Milford and Mo Fotuaika are solidly built young men with deceptive speed, late subtle deceptive and quick footwork and vastly under rated ball skills as well as defensively they are both very good as well.

  9. #1479
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    Kaden Rees. In early October 2020 Kaden Rees was part of the Titans Group 18 Invitational 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 from both team’s wore Titans jerseys.

    Kaden Rees started on the right wing for the 2021 Northern Rivers Titans U16 Andrew Johns Cup side for their Round One match against the Wests Tigers. Unfortunately the ball did not get out to Kaden Rees’s right wing that often in the match, but to his credit Kaden Rees went looking for the ball when the Northern Rivers Titans were bringing the ball out of their own territory and defended well against the giant Wests Tigers outside backs.

    Kaden Rees also started on the right wing in Round Two against local rivals the North Coast Bulldogs in Nambucca Heads. Round Three saw Kaden Rees move from the right wing to right centre as the Northern Rivers Titans took on the Greater Northern Tigers.

    From an attacking perspective the ball did not get out to his side of the field often but Kaden Rees certainly went looking for the ball producing some good runs out of dummy half but he certainly shined from a defensive perspective.

    Kaden Rees was involved in a strong tackle in the 21st minute of the match when along with Bo Peisley and Creedence Donovan he initially held up the Tigers fullback and dragged him into touch five metres out from the line.

    Kaden Rees continued at right centre in Round Four against the Central Coast Roosters and as in Round Three he was exceptional defensively producing a try saving tackle in the 56th minute of the match.

    Kaden Rees continued at right centre in Round Five being the final regular season round against the Newcastle Knights and as usual played well especially in defence but like in earlier rounds Kade Rees was also effective running out of dummy half.

    In the 2020 Group 18 U15 competition the PBC Rugby League Academy student played for the Bilambil Jets and played in the Jets 14 – 6 2020 Grand Final victory over Byron Bay/Lennox Head in a high quality decider.

    In the 2020 Group 18 U15 regular season the Bilambil Jets went through winning all ten of their matches, scoring 242 points and conceding 72 to finish the season with a +242 points differential.

    Even though he does not have great top end speed Kaden Rees is more than quick enough to take advantage of any space that he is given down the touchline by opposing outside backs. Kaden Rees’s bread and butter play out wide is a good in an away to hold the defender and beat him on the outside, Kaden Rees then has the ability to draw and pass to his support if the opposing defender looks to come in, thus creating an overlap on the outside.

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

    When defending Kaden Rees really does look to come out of the line and hit his opposite number as hard as possible to cut off the attacking play before it has time to fully develop, his timing in those situations is quite good to the extent that he does not often over comment thus allowing his opponent to get on his outside. Kaden Rees does not let the play unfold in front of him, he looks to disrupt as early as possible and usually does effectively.

    Kaden Rees will play the 2021 season with the Bilambil Jets in the Group 18 U16 competition and may even sneak a match or two for Bilambil in the NRRRL U18 competition as the 2021 season progresses. Kaden Rees is also a member of the 2021 Northern Rivers Titans U16 Andrew Johns Cup Squad and in relation to school boy rugby league, Kaden Rees will line up in the red and white of PBC once again in 2021.

    Kaden Rees is a reasonably tall young man and with that height and his speed and body control seems set to ply his trade on the wing on a rugby league field where in addition to being a threat to be able to break away down the touchline will also be a threat close to the try line in the air with his height and speed meaning that Kaden Rees can get up high above the defenders.

    I note however that mid-way through the 2021 U16 Andrew Johns Cup season for the Northern Rivers Titans, Kaden Rees moved into right centre and to be honest, his effectiveness ticked up a notch with the move a bit closer to the action, so I certainly now an not as definite that he is surely a winger going forward.

    For me with his ability to slip through gaps in the defensive line especially close to the line and a solid repeatable defensive technique, Kaden Rees has a playing style similar to that of former Titan and current Brisbane Bronco’s centre Dale Copley as a solid reliable centre or winger who find is way to the try line on a regular basis.

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    Thomas King. In early October 2020 Thomas King was part of the Titans Group 18 Invitational 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 from both team’s wore Titans jerseys for the occasion.

    Round Three saw Thomas King make his first appearance for the Northern Rivers Titans U16 Andrew Johns Cup squad when he started from the bench against the Greater Northern Tigers. Thomas King came onto the field early in the second half, playing in the centre of the field.

    Thomas King also started from the bench in Round Four against the Central Coast Roosters as well as in Round Five, being the final regular season round against the Newcastle Knights coming on early in the second half to operate in the front row.

    In the 2020 Group 18 U15 competition Thomas King played for the Bilambil Jets and played in the Jets 14 – 6 Grand Final victory over Byron Bay/Lennox Head.

    In the 2020 Group 18 U15 regular season the Bilambil Jets went through winning all ten of their matches, scoring 242 points and conceding 72 to finish the season with an impressive +242 points differential.

    Thomas King uses quick and a touch 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 Thomas King will target the smaller defenders on the edge of the ruck and burst through and for a big young bloke Thomas King has very good speed over the medium term and has the strength to drag defenders with him when they do not wrap up his legs correctly.

    I would consider that Thomas King’s speed would be considered above average for a front rower 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 Thomas King runs at.

    Defensively Thomas King aims hits very hard and usually hits around the top of the ball region and is certainly someone opposing forwards look for when running the ball up and is adept at making sure the opposition do not get quick play the balls by using wrestling techniques well. Over the last year or so Thomas King’s speed and mobility seemed to have increased and as a consequence he is better able to mirror the opposition attackers more effectively and thus be better positioned to defend against them.

    Thomas King will play the 2021 season with the Bilambil Jets in the Group 18 U16 competition and may even sneak in a match or two for the Jets in the NRRRL U18 competition as the 2021 season progresses.

    Thomas King has a bit of height and size about him as well as some decent speed for his size and whilst ultimately I believe that Thomas King will end up in the front row, for the short to medium term I have no doubt that Thomas King has the requisite speed and mobility to perform well in the second row.

    With his height and mobility whilst he is growing into his body, for me Thomas King has some playing style similarities to Brisbane Bronco’s NRL forward Ethan Bullemor. Like Bullemor, early in his career, Thomas King is likely to be able to alternate between the front row and second row but as he develops and grows into his frame, Thomas King, like Bullemor should settle into being a solid yet mobile front rower who can play long minutes in the limited interchange era of rugby league.

  11. #1481
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    Dahnte Te Whiu-Hopa. The exceptionally talented young Gold Coast local is the younger brother of Titans contracted Taelon Te Whiu-Hopa. Like his older brother Dahnte Te Whiu-Hopa is a front rower, attends Marsden State High School as part of their Rugby League Excellence Program and plays his club rugby league on the Gold Coast with the Southport Tigers.

    Make no mistake however Dahnte Te Whiu-Hopa is an exceptionally talented rugby league player in his own right.

    In 2019 Dahnte Te Whiu-Hopa attended Coombabah State High School and was part of the Year Eight Coombabah side that defeated Forest Lake State High School 36 – 16 in the Renouf Cup Grand Final with Dahnte Te Whiu-Hopa starting the Grand Final in the front row and he was also adjudged Player of the Match after a dominating display.

    Dahnte Te Whiu-Hopa’s first (and surely not last) taste of representative rugby league came in 2019 as part of the Queensland White U12 side that were the first team in the history of the Australian U12 School Championship to go through the Championships undefeated.

    For a big strong tall young man, Iszac 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 Iszac Fa’asuamaleaui is more than capable of going the distance and normally easily out paces the cover defence.

    Dahnte Te Whiu-Hopa 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 Dahnte Te Whiu-Hopa 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 Dahnte Te Whiu-Hopa play his defence is equally effective even though it may not be as noticeable at first glance.

    Defensively Dahnte Te Whiu-Hopa 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. Dahnte Te Whiu-Hopa sets a very good base which he uses to explode into the ball carrier looking to use their own momentum against them.

    Dahnte Te Whiu-Hopa’s 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.

    Dahnte Te Whiu-Hopa 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.

    In 2021 Dahnte Te Whiu-Hopa will play in the Gold Coast Rugby League U14 Division One competition for the Southport Tigers and will also line up for Titans partnered Marsden State High School in their various South East Queensland school boy competitions. Dahnte Te Whiu-Hopa will also be eligible for Gold Coast Vikings and South East Queensland U14 representative honours in 2021.

    Whilst Dahnte Te Whiu-Hopa has played a fair bit of his junior rugby league in the front row I am certainly not convinced that playing up front will be ultimately where he ends up. Dahnte Te Whiu-Hopa is quite a tall young man for his age and whilst he certainly will add weight, I can definitely see Dahnte Te Whiu-Hopa as an outstanding second row prospect in coming seasons, and to be honest one with a scary skill set as well as physical attributes that are rarely matched regardless of age group.

    Projecting a few years into the future, with his size and speed combination with added muscle mass, it is not difficult to imagine Dahnte Te Whiu-Hopa with similar physical characteristics and a similar playing style to the Titans very own Tino Fa’asuamaleaui. Dahnte Te Whiu-Hopa just seems to be a player that could well and truly end up similar to Tino Fa’asuamaleaui from a size and playing style perspective.

  12. #1482
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    Kyhan Weir. The tall front rower had an outstanding start to the 2021 U18 Laurie Daley Cup competition with the Northern Rivers Titans and turned that great start into a contract with the Titans.

    Kyhan Weir’s selection in the 2021 Northern Rivers Titans U18 Laurie Daley Cup squad was in fact surprisingly the first time in his junior rugby league career that Kyhan Weir was selected in any representative side.

    Round One of the 2021 U18 Laurie Daley Cup competition saw Kyhan Weir start in the front row against the Wests Tigers and Kyhan Weir also started in the front row in Round Two against the North Coast Bulldogs and once again was one of the Northern Rivers Titans best in the wet conditions against a far larger forward pack.

    Kyhan Weir also started in the front row in Round Three against the Greater Northern Tigers and produced another impressive display starting with his first run of the match which came in the 3rd minute when after making ground through the centre of the ruck, Kyhan Weir was able to offload to Tanu Nona. Kyhan Weir then backed up to take another hit-up from the next play the ball.

    Kyhan Weir continued his strong match in the 14th minute when he charged into a short pass from Rowan Mansfield surging forty metres downfield, showing some good speed from a front rower before he was brought down.

    Kyhan Weir continued his strong match in the second half with yet another strong run in the 59th minute and won a penalty for the Northern Rivers Titans when he was not allowed to get to his feet quickly to play the ball. Tanu Nona scored from the resultant set of six.

    Kyhan Weir made another strong charge in the 69th minute and once again was awarded a penalty when he was not allowed to get to his feet quickly to play the ball.

    Kyhan Weir also started in the front row in Round Four at Lismore against the Central Coast Roosters and as usual was heavily involved throughout, including taking the hit-up off the Central Coast kick-off and then also taking the fourth hit-up in the same set of six.

    Kyhan Weir was also strong defensively in the match including a strong front on tackle on one of the Central Coast Roosters front rowers in the 36th minute of the first half and then he followed that tackle up by bring down the Roosters half back to make back to back tackles.

    Kyhan Weir continued in the front row in Round Five being the final regular season round against the Newcastle Knights and made his presence felt from the kick off when in conjunction with Patrick Gray crunched the Newcastle front rower who took the ball from the kick-off.

    Kyhan Weir then took the first of his many hit-ups in just the 4th minute of the match and also charged onto the ball in the 17th minute making fifteen metres into the Knights twenty metre zone and then in the 23rd minute produced a good offload to Harvey Moase to keep the ball moving forward.

    Defensively Kyhan Weir also displayed his aggressiveness over the course of the match but also his intensity and effort including making three tackles in a row in the 22nd minute as Newcastle were trying to bring the ball out of their own twenty metre area.

    Kyhan Weir’s aggressiveness came to the fore in the 53rd minute of the match when a strong tackle forced the ball loose from his Newcastle opponent to put the Northern Rivers Titans back on the attack in the Knights territory.

    In late March 2021 Kyhan Weir was part of Diocesan of Lismore Opens Squad that attended the Northern Country Catholic Colleges Rugby League Selection Trial that were held at Smithtown.

    In 2020 Kyhan Weir played for the Byron Bay Devils in the NRRRL U18 competition, playing all of his matches in the front row including the Devils tough Preliminary Final loss to Marist Brothers Rams Lismore.

    Kyhan Weir is quite a tall front rower with plus speed for a front rower, in fact his speed would be above average for a forward of any position. Kyhan Weir uses this speed to impact the defensive at top speed. He does not necessarily get back deep, but his plus speed off the mark as well as plus top speed enables him to still fit the line hard.

    Kyhan Weir runs very front on but will lower his body into the defenders as the commit to the tackle, and through a combination of size, speed and determination regularly bumps the first defender off when they try to tackle Kyhan Weir around the chest area.

    Once he impacts the defensive line Kyhan Weir also is adept at redirecting his momentum to address the next defender who is coming in the defend him. Kyhan Weir’s core body strength also enables him to make significant ground after contact dragging defenders with him.

    In defence Kyhan Weir regularly is the first player up to target the ball carriers, even though he is 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.

    Kyhan Weir is not averse to looking for the big hit but does have a good front on defensive technique and decent agility and lateral movement when looking to tackle smaller opponents, his technique is also quite decent for a taller player and Kyhan Weir gets low in defence to look to mitigate the possibility of his tackles slipping up around the hard and neck area of shorter opponents.

    Kyhan Weir’s calling card though is the functional 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. Kyhan Weir can handle any one on one battle that presents itself from a defensive perspective.

    Post the 2021 U18 Laurie Daley Cup competition, Kyhan Weir will return to the NRRRL competition with the Byron Bay Devils, likely starting in the U18 competition for the second season in a row. It would seem likely however that Kyhan Weir will also get an opportunity in the NRRRL First Grade competition with the Devils as the 2021 season progresses.

    2022 is the final year that Kyhan Weir is U18 eligible, thus in 2022 I would anticipate that Kyhan Weir will be seen in a Tweed Heads Seagulls jersey in the Hastings Deering’s Colts competition. Kyhan Weir will also be Colts eligible in 2023.

    Kyhan Weir is a big strong tall young man who has outstanding (near elite level) athleticism for his size and thus I can see Kyhan Weir making the NRL as a front rower. Kyhan Weir at this stage is probably on the lighter side for a front rower but has the frame to add weight and additional muscle mass without compromising his athleticism.

    As a result when Kyhan Weir breaks into the senior rugby league ranks (being U20’s and above) it is potentially going to be initially in the second row but as time goes by and Kyhan Weir develops into his frame I would anticipate that Kyhan Weir will ultimately settle into the front row permanently.

    From a style perspective, think along the lines of the Regan Campbell-Gillard of the Parramatta Eels as a tall front rower with good footwork both in attack and defence and he is also a leader on the field who can set the direction and tempo for his team by leading from the front in the most physically demanding position on a football field.

    Kyhan Weir has a lot more aggressiveness in his game than Regan Campbell-Gillard, constantly looking out for his team mates and is the first one there if they are being roughed up in any way at all as was evidenced in the dying seconds of the Laurie Daley Cup match in Round Two against the North Coast Bulldogs when he stared down multiple Bulldogs and then again in Round Five when he stared down a few Central Coast Roosters players who were getting a touch fired up in the dying moments of that hard fought match.

  13. #1483
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    Andreas Mariner. The giant, powerful young man has moved over from Auckland, New Zealand to the Gold Coast to attend Titans partnered Keebra Park State High School.

    In late 2020, Andreas Mariner started from the bench for the Auckland U16 side that played a South Island U16 squad with Andreas Mariner performing well in his stints in the front row in each half in Auckland’s big victory.

    Andreas Mariner played his club rugby league in Auckland in 2020 with the Marist Saints after playing for the Glenora Bears previously. Also in 2020 Andreas Mariner played rugby league for Kelston Boys High in their various rugby league competitions.

    Also in 2020, Andreas Mariner captained the Hakula Rugby League side when they travelled to Sydney to play a Sydney based Tongan heritage side with Andreas Mariner captaining one of the U16 sides that came over from New Zealand.

    Playing for the Auckland U16 side in 2020 was not the first time that Andreas Mariner has made a representative side, with the powerhouse being named in the Akarana Falcons U15 side Auckland representative for the 2019 New Zealand U15 National Youth Tournament and in 2018 Andreas Mariner was a member of the U14 Auckland representative side.

    Andreas Mariner has also previously played rugby and in 2017 at the U13 level, he started at No. 8 for the Auckland Schools representative side from Wesley Intermediate School.

    Andreas Mariner is a big, strong, solidly built young front rower with size and a low centre of gravity, which makes him quite difficult to tackle, especially in a one on one situation when he is running directly at an opponent.

    There is little subtlety to his game, Andreas Mariner runs straight and hard, with the only concession to this being a slight step off either foot on occasion prior to the initial contact with the defensive line. Put simply Andreas Mariner runs straight and hard.

    One thing that Andreas Mariner does do will however is continuing to pump his legs once his initial momentum is temporarily halted by the defensive line, Andreas Mariner makes more metres than he should as a result and also forces defending teams to commit multiple defensive assets to stopping his progress. In those circumstances Andreas Mariner is adept at getting to his feet quickly and playing the ball quickly.

    When opponents try to go higher and tackle him around the chest, Andreas Mariner is able to shrug them off and maintain his momentum forward and as a consequence teams have to commit multiple resources to stop him.

    The best way to look to combat Andreas Mariner is to tackle him around the legs but even then Andreas Mariner is adept at dropping his shoulder at the opportune moment to make even that type of tackle difficult to execute on the big strong young man.

    Andreas Mariner does not necessarily have a real off load to his attacking game, but that is not his role, his role is to take the ball into the heart of the opposition’s defensive line and make as many metres as possible.

    Like his attacking game, Andreas Mariner’s defensive attributes and execution are relatively simple, he moves up and hits the ball carrier as hard as he can, as often as he can, full stop. Andreas Mariner is obviously best suited to defending in the centre of the ruck and that is where you will almost always find him and for a solidly built young player, Andreas Mariner moves well in terms of moving up and back in defence including his lateral mobility.

    Andreas Mariner will push for a spot in the Keebra Park Langer Cup and GIO Cup school boy sides this season as well as play club rugby league at the U18 level.

    Andreas Mariner is a solidly built powerful young man with a low centre of gravity and whilst he has surprising mobility it seems that Andreas Mariner has been and will also be a front rower.

    With the a fore mentioned powerful, solid frame and low centre of gravity a player comparison to Penrith Panthers front rower Moses Leota is not at all unreasonable in relation to Andreas Mariner. Andreas Mariner is not as tall as Leota but has the same fearless hard charging, take no prisoners running style and attitude as the Penrith Panthers front rower.


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