SAM Keenan repaid the faith of club coach Matt Lantry to score a hat-trick of tries and help steer Newcastle to a 30-20 win over a combined Ron Massey Cup side at Maitland Sportsground on Saturday.
Keenan, who plays for Wests, was one of a host of young players given a chance in the representative team by Newcastle coach Lantry. Lantry also coaches Wests.
He responded with a brilliant performance.
The livewire custodian opened Newcastle's account in the 15th minute and added a second in the 24th s the home side jumped to a 18-10 lead at the break.
But it was Keenan's third try which sealed the deal.
The visitors trailed 22-20 and had momentum when Newcastle attacked down the short side and grubbered in goal.
Ron Massey fullback failed to clean up and Keenan was on the spot to score for 28-20.
Chad O'Donnell added a penalty in the 73rd minute to give Newcastle extra breathing space.