Knights’ Harold Matthews captain Thomas Cant got to experience what interstate rugby league is all about when he played in the winning under-16 NSW side at Suncorp Stadium.
The East Maitland Griffins junior was the only Knights representative in the NSW side, which beat Queensland 28-14 on Sunday, July 15 to retain the shield for the third consecutive year.
Despite not knowing anyone in the NSW team beforehand, Cant says he walked away with some brother-like friendships and valuable lessons to take home.
“We went into camp on the Thursday in Sydney and then flew out Saturday,” he said. “I’ve done a few camps, but never flying out as a team. Obviously we are still young, but it makes you mature heaps and realise how serious and how good it can be.”
The “real deal” and “professionalism” of the environment was an experience for Cant, but it was the training aligned to the senior side that was a true eye-opener.
“They were getting a whole new culture through the entire NSW system,” Cant said. “We were even doing the mediation and breathing stuff like first grade. You get a sense of what it’s really like, I’d never experience anything like that before.”
Cant was lucky enough to score a try in the 29th minute with his side trailing 10-6 and said it was an unexpected, but nice achievement with his immediate and extended family watching on.
“It was an unbelievable thrill playing there,” he said. “That was even better, it kind of happened really fast. The play kind of broke down, he just threw the me ball. I just had to score the try, really.”
Cant moves to SG Ball (under 18) next season where he is eligible for two years.
The Athletics NSW Road Relay Championships were held at Ourimbah on Saturday and girls teams from Newcastle maintained their strong results in the 4 x 2km event with podium finishes.
The winning under-12 team of Emerson Leadbeater, Kaitlin Rees, Anika Mc Carthy and Phoebe Doran finished almost a minute ahead. Cassandra Fayers, Lacie Quigley, Eleanor Barnett and Montana Monk led all the way in the under-16s to finish in front.
The under-14 team of Hannah Jarvis, Brooke Hosgood, Poppy Doran and Sienna Kinder managed to climb into third place.
Four Hunter students have been selected in the NSW All Schools orienteering team to compete at the 2018 Australia Schools Orienteering Championships in South Australia in October.
Claire Burgess of Hunter School of the Performing Arts made the senior girls; Mikayla Enderby of Warners Bay High School made the junior girls; and Alvin Craig of Merewether High School and Oskar Mella of Dungog High made the junior boys.