Debut number: 272
Positions played: Half, five-eighth, hooker
Average metres: 33
Average tackles: 10
Captain of the Manly Sea Eagles’ NYC side last year, Will Pearsall joined the Knights in 2016.
While he played the vast majority of the season at five-eighth for the Knights’ reserve grade side, the 21-year-old also got a brief taste of NRL football at hooker and in the halves.
His first two chances came in Rounds 6 and 9, when he played a handful of minutes at hooker.
His real chance to shine came in the Round 24 match against the Gold Coast Titans when he replaced the injured Jarrod Mullen at five-eighth and impressed for 59 minutes before he was forced from the field with concussion.
Pearsall’s best moment on the field in the NRL side came several seconds before his most unfortunate as well.
58 minutes into the Round 24 match against the Titans he was in the right place at the right time to collect an offload from Sam Mataora on the halfway line.
He showed a burst of pace to make it through the middle of the field and looked even odds to score, until Jarryd Hayne proved a little too fast and pulled Pearsall down ten metres short of the line.
Hayne was penalized for stripping Pearsall of the ball, but the five-eighth was also concussed from the tackle and couldn’t return to finish the game.
What makes him special?
Pearsall is an all-round footballer that’s competitiveness stands out as his strongest attribute.
Whether dictating the play or putting in the defensive hard yards, his will to win is an asset to the team.
And while a five-eighth by trade, Pearsall also showed enough in his two stints at hooker to prove he has value as a utility as well.
Next we look back at the season of Player #273, Josh King.