Cogger proving a fast learner
First up were Chad Townsend and current Blues half James Maloney, then came the scintillating attacking duo of Kieran Foran and Corey Norman.
It didn’t get any easier in Round 13 as the opposition threw up arguably the best player in the world in Johnathon Thurston.
Last but not least was Warriors half Shaun Johnson, one of the best attacking players in the game.
Every week has been a unique challenge for 18-year-old Jack Cogger, and in Round 16 it doesn’t get much easier with Benji Marshall and Gareth Widdop steering the Dragons around.
Cogger has shown maturity far beyond his years though, and has improved each game.
In Round 13 he was named Players’ Player for the Knights, and against the Warriors he put in arguably his best NRL performance with two try assists.
“Every game I’ve played, I’ve come up against quality opposition, especially in my position,” the young half said in a press conference.
“I suppose going into the game there are some superstars you’re coming up against that I’ve looked up to for the last couple of years.
“So I’ve taken a little bit out of every game on what it takes to be a good halfback.”
Cogger hasn’t looked out of place, and it’s easy to forget how young he is with his quiet confidence and thoroughly professional attitude.
“It’s a bit of a shock to me that it’s come this early, but I’ve just got to take it as it comes,” the 18-year old explained.
“When I’m out there I put that behind me and make sure I do my job.”
Cogger had mixed feelings about the bye last weekend, weighing up the positives of giving the body a rest against the negative of losing momentum.
“I was a bit sore after a couple of hard games in a row there, so it was good to have the week off and get away from footy for a bit,” he said.
“I know some of the boys would prefer to just go week in, week out. Against the Warriors we were definitely in it, but then we let it get away in the second half.
“You just want to play another game of football and make up for that loss.”
Cogger will have the opportunity to do just that this weekend.