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Harold Matthews Season Review

2021 was a season of 'what ifs' for our under 17s side.

It all started off with such promise, with Mark O'Meley taking the reins and guiding the side to back to back victories to start the season.

Lead by Player of the Year Rory Whitby, the Knights cruised to victories over the Dragons (24-12) and Balmain (22-10) before crashing back to earth via a 40-6 loss to Penrith on home soil.

It was a pattern that persisted throughout the remainder of the year, with the Knights again stringing back to back wins together before a comprehensive loss to Manly left them fighting for a place in the finals.

The 2021 competition saw the top six Clubs offered a place in the finals. Coming into the final round, the Knights sat in 6th, meaning a result over the struggling Bulldogs would be enough for them to secure safe passage into next stage of the competition.

Unfortunately, the rugby league gods didn't come to the party.

With their season on the line, the Knights fell heartbreakingly short, downed 26-20 in the final round and leaving them needing other results to fall in their favour.

Ultimately, the Knights ended the season in 7th place, falling out of the top six on points differential.

Despite the disappointing finish, forward Egan Verheyen collected O'Meley's coaches award in a season where the prop's efforts could never be questioned.

Back rower Liam Williams was the side's player's player.