Competition - NRL Premiership Round. Round - Round 16. Teams - Newcastle Knights v St George Dragons. Date - 25th of June 2016. Venue - Hunter Stadium, Broadmeadow NSW. Photographer - Paul Barkley. Description - #Alex McKinnon Cup.

Debut number: 275

Matches: 6

Positions played: Halfback, five-eighth

Tries: 0

Average metres: 56

Average tackles: 21.3

 

Only just 19 year of age, Jack Cogger is even younger than Brock Lamb and has a similar level of experience.

Two and a half years of NYC football, represented the Australian Schoolboys and the NSW Under 18s and Under 16s, and captained the NSW Under 20s this year.

While his NRL debut came in the demoralising Round 10 rout to the Cronulla Sharks, he impressed in his own role and went on to play six more matches against some of the best teams in the competition.

Debut

It was a dark day for the Club, but one of the only positives to come from the 62-0 loss to the Sharks were the performances of Cogger and Lamb in the halves.

While he had very limited opportunities to make his mark on the game, Cogger did well behind a beaten forward pack and was solid in defence as well, with 92 per cent tackle accuracy from 24 tackles.

He earned praise from the coaches of both teams. “They’ll have a real good career (Cogger and Lamb),” Shane Flanagan said.

“I played with young Cogger’s old man and he’s going to be a good player.”

Best moment

Cogger grew into his role in the NRL team as he played more games, and in the Round 14 match against the Warriors he set up two tries that any NRL half would have been proud of.

For the first he received the ball from Danny Levi at dummy-half and went as close to the line as possible before throwing a short pass to put Sione Mata’utia through a hole.

15 minutes later he had the ball in his hands again ten metres out from the line, and dinked through a perfectly weighted grubber for debutant Brendan Elliot to score.

What makes him special?

Like Lamb, Cogger has a wide range of skills that give him the opportunity to become a regular first grader in future years.

His composure and maturity were his two most noticeable assets when he stepped into the NRL side, as he was more than comfortable to dish out the orders as halfback to far more experienced players.

His kick selection at the end of sets is consistently strong as well, and he has the physical toughness to run close to the line and put in tackles on far bigger players.

 

In our next and final Rookie Review, we look back over the season of Player #278 Dylan Phythian.