Unbeaten Under 16s ready for grand final
The nib Newcastle Knights Harold Matthews side have played out a perfect season with an undefeated run to the grand final.
In last weekend's preliminary final at Leichhardt Oval, the Knights took no mercy on a strong Canberra Raiders side.
“Last time we played them I think we were down at half time and this time to lead 40-0 at half time was an outstanding effort from our boys,” Elite Pathways Development Coach Scott Dureau said.
Dureau says it was the basics they got right, which led to a crushing preliminary final win.
“They just ran hard and tackled hard,” Dureau commented.
“They came up with some nice plays and the push in support was really good, they just seemed to run harder than Canberra did and they got the rewards.
“I think the guys clocked off a little bit in the second half, they probably had their heads already thinking about the grand final next week.
There was a plethora of try scorers in the match but it was vice-captain Bradman Best who impressed with the hat-trick.
“Bradman (Best) was crook through the week and wasn’t quite well on Friday and he come out and was outstanding in the first half,” explained Dureau.
“It was a credit for him to get up for the game.”
Meanwhile, Christian Ma’anaima dazzled in the forward pack.
“Big Christian I thought was our best player, the man of the match,” said Dureau.
“He laid the platform at the start of the match, he was outstanding.
“I think those guys in the middle really started the game and set up the win for us.”
Losing to the Parramatta Eels in the decider last year, the Under 16s side will be looking for some redemption when they take on the Manly Sea Eagles this Saturday.
“It is a good challenge for them, we’ve played Manly twice already this year, once in a trial and once in the regular season and were successful both times,” said Dureau.
“I think the guys know what to expect out of Manly, we’ll try and prepare them the best we can and at the end of the day it’s winner takes all."