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Rookie Report: Exciting duo shine in opening round loss

We always have an eye on the future.

Each week the nib Newcastle Knights will identify the best performers from the Knock On Effect NSW Cup competition 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.

Knights fall to Mounties in NSW Cup

Big Moments in High Vis

Mat Croker

A development player in 2020, Croker has clearly benefited from his year training with the top squad.

Croker was voted best on ground by his team mates following their 26-8 loss to Mounties at McDonald Jones Stadium.

Head Coach Andrew Ryan was also impressed with his performance.

"He was super impressive," Ryan said.

"He was one of our co-captains alongside Zac Hosking and is still a young guy himself.

"He's a smaller front rower but his effort was incredible."

Dom Young

There almost wouldn't be a Knights supporter around who isn't yet aware of the sheer talent of the British centre.

Young has hit the ground running since arriving in Australia over the pre-season, seriously impressing both on the training paddock and in his two trial hit outs.

Young played a key role in the Knights' first try of the afternoon, producing a classy flick pass to put Jacob Kiraz over in the first half.

Ryan said he couldn't have been happier with how Young performed on Friday afternoon.

"Dom played right centre and was really damaging again," he said.

"He's doing some really good stuff at the moment, which is really good to see."