Player number: 263
Positions played: Lock, second row
Average metres: 27.1
Average tackles: 27.3
David Bhana joined the Knights with an impressive juniors CV ahead of the 2016 season, and was one of the five rookies to make their debut in the Round 1 match against the Gold Coast Titans.
In Round 2 he picked up an ankle injury that ruled him out for the next month and a half, and he returned to first grade in the Round 7 match against the Brisbane Broncos to play in four consecutive first grade matches.
In Round 11 Bhana moved back down to reserve grade, and was one of the side’s strongest and most consistent performers for the rest of the year.
He made a brief return to first grade in Round 21 when he battled with an ankle injury for the majority of the match, but showed tenacity to come up with a try beneath the posts late in the piece.
At 23 years of age, Bhana’s competitiveness and consistency ensure that he has plenty of room to grow as a footballer and will be fighting for a spot in the NRL side again next year.
It was a typically solid and no-frills debut from Bhana at CBus Stadium, as he came off the bench to play 35 minutes.
In his time on the field he made three runs for 23 metres and produced 24 tackles for an accuracy of 92.3 per cent.
It was a nice first try in the NRL for the New Zealander in the Round 21 match against Manly, as he collected the ball from Chris Adams ten metres out and beat off two attempted tackles to get over the line.
What makes him special?
While he isn’t the fastest or flashiest player, Bhana brings plenty of great mental qualities to the table.
His leadership would be an asset to any team, and his consistency ensures he won’t miss many tackles or drop the ball.
His idol growing up was Jeremy Smith, and there are plenty of similarities between the two in the way that they play.
Over the next two weeks we look back over the debut seasons of all of our 2016 rookies. On Tuesday is player #264 Jaelen Feeney.