The Harold Matthews Cup is a 16-team under-16s competition staged by the NSWRL.
2017 Competing Clubs
Central Coast Roosters
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
North Sydney Bears
South Sydney Rabbitohs
St George Dragons
Western Suburbs Magpies
Western Sydney Academy of Sport
The competition is made up of NSW-based clubs and includes both junior representative teams of the NRL and clubs and academies that do not field teams in the NRL competition.
The competition is named after Harold Matthews, a Balmain Tigers secretary who later was appointed as manager of the Australian Test squad and later went on to become secretary of the NSWRL and ARL.
Parramatta has dominated the competition, claiming their 20th premiership in its 47-year in the 2016 season. They also won the national under-16 championship.
Undefeated throughout the regular season, Parramatta took the minor premiership and looked hard to beat throughout the finals - while Cronulla bowed out in straight sets thanks to upsets caused by the Newcastle and Penrith.
A Dylan Brown field goal was all that could separate the Eels and Panthers in the Grand Final Qualifier, sending them to the decider where they would face the Knights.
In the Grand Final at Pepper Stadium, the Knights were subject to a devastating injury toll, but they showed great character under adversity to draw within two points of Parramatta late in the game for a grandstand finish.
It wasn’t to be for the Knights, however, with the Eels hanging on to take their 19th title in the Harold Matthews competition. Captain Kyle Schneider was awarded Man of the Match Honours.
While the Harold Matthews decider provided a see-sawing battle between two evenly-matched sides, the same cannot be said about the under-16 National Junior Final, where the Eels took on the Townsville Blackhawks in Brisbane’s Albert Bishop Park.
Parramatta got on the scoreboard early - and never looked back, racing out to a 22-0 half-time lead.
A Man-of-the-Match performance from fullback John Paul Nohra continued their dominance, as the Eels kept the Blackhawks scoreless to win 32-0. In total, Parramatta completed the remarkable feat of winning every game they played in 2016.