Rookie Report: Workhorse forwards and crafty hooker

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.

Liam Wilkinson

The Wests Rosellas junior was immense in the Jersey Flegg sides’ defensive line, which was unlucky to be breached just twice in their 12-0 loss to eventual minor premiers Cronulla.

20s coach Scott Dureau was full of praise for Wilkinson, who has impressed this season at hooker but was forced to shift to five-eighth in the second half.

“He was one of our best,” Dureau said.

“He made 45 tackles and had to play out of position in the second half.

“He’s only played four or five times for us this year, but every time he’s been called-up he’s been outstanding.”

Matt Croker

The damaging front rower wasted no time getting back to his best following a stint on the sidelines thanks to a hamstring injury.

Dureau was particularly impressed with the skipper’s return to the paddock.

“He was outstanding,” Dureau said.

“We only decided on Friday night that he was actually going to play.

“He was our Captain and really lead from the front effort-wise.”

Joe Bromage

A tireless lock forward, Bromage was massive in the Flegg side’s final game of the season.

“He played big minutes and made 42 tackles,” Dureau said.

“He just worked to a stand-still basically, it was just a huge effort.”

The Jersey Flegg Knights will take on Canterbury in an elimination final this weekend.

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