Rookie Report: Workhorse backs and promising middle

We always have an eye on the future.

Each week the nib Newcastle Knights will identify the best performers from the Canterbury Cup and Jersey Flegg competitions so the supporters can get a feel for who is consistently performing in the lower grades.

These are the players to keep an eye out for as they climb the ranks or knock on the door for a future NRL debut.

DANIEL TICEHURST

A New Zealand product, the forward moved to Newcastle last year ahead of the SG Ball season.

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Unfortunately, Ticehurst broke his foot and never played a game but after a strong 20’s pre-season, Jersey Flegg coach Scott Dureau said the prop has impressed.

“Daniel Ticehurst was by far and away our best player,” Dureau said.

“Daniel was front rower but went back to the bench, been starting for six or eight weeks and been set a challenge to get us through the middle part of the game then put him on the bench.

“We were down 18-0 early and then we he got in the game, he got us back in the game.”

MITCH ANDREWS

A strong defensive outside back, Andrews spent the pre-season training fulltime with the NRL squad.

Canterbury Cup coach Rory Kostjasyn was impressed with his performance on the weekend against a Western Suburbs side stacked with NRL experience.

“Andrews, one of our part time players in the centres, was really good,” Kostjasyn said.

“They’re opposition centre is quite a good player. Defensively solid, got himself a nice try and huge amount of carries with meters made and a lot of involvement, we needed our outside backs to step and help with the workload, so I thought he was very good.”

TOBY MARKS

A versatile back, Marks has found a spot on the wing in Canterbury Cup.

Having spent several weeks in the side, coach Kostjasyn has been impressed by the teenager’s development.

“Toby’s a 19-year-old kid from Umina and been given an opportunity and every time he’s comes up, he does a really good job,” Kostjasyn said.

“On the weekend was the same against an experienced reserve grade side that had Josh Reynolds, (Chris) McQueen, Robbie Rochow, he’s been very safe on the wing and finished a really nice piece of play with a try in the corner, he’s been doing a really good job.”

GRANT ANDERSON

Jersey Flegg fullback Grant Anderson returned from injury on the weekend.

This talented youngster is a local lad who played for the Charlestown Butcher Boys and has made his way through the Knights ranks.

“Grant Anderson had a fair effort, first game back after an elbow injury for a month,” Dureau said.

“Certainly tried as hard as he could in a game that was pretty stop-start.

“We didn’t play very well, probably our worst performance of the year.”