For veteran forward Clint Newton, the curtains are about to close on his career... but it would be fitting to end with a VB NSW Cup premiership with the club he started with back in 2001, the Newcastle Knights.
Newtown played 100 NRL games there before moving to the Melbourne Storm in 2007 for a season. For four years he played for Hull Kingston Rovers in the Super League, then moved to the Penrith Panthers for two years in 2012.
In 2014 he moved back to the Knights, where he was a part of the side that lost the grand final to the Penrith Panthers – the team they beat last week to book a place in this year's VB NSW Cup Preliminary Final.
“We were disappointing losers last year, they were just too good,” said Newton.
“They’re a very good side Penrith, and coached by a coach that I really respect in Garth [Brennan]. So to beat them this year, even with some of their players out, is just a really good performance.”
A grand final appearance, let alone a win, would be a perfect ending for the veteran, who has represented the United States of America on four occasions.
“It’s been an awesome career, and I’ve been really proud of what I’ve been able to achieve with the tools that I was given. Not the game's best player but I’ve certainly tried by best and I’ve loved every minute of it,” said Newton.
The focus, however, is primarily on qualifying for the grand final this Sunday when the Knights face the uphill battle of defeating the minor premiership-winning Mounties.
“They’re a really good side Mounties, their team’s hardly changed all year,” said Newton.
“They’re well coached and we’ve had some really good battles with them this year, so we’ve just got to rest up and get ourselves ready for another good performance.”
It has been a wonderful career for the veteran, who aims to lead a group of young players to their second grand final appearance in as many years. Good luck to him, the Knights and everyone else in this year's VB NSW Cup Finals Series.
The NSWRL Grand Final day, held at Pirtek Stadium on Sunday, 27 September, is the biggest day on the VB NSW Cup, Ron Massey Cup and Sydney Shield calendars and the only live rugby league in Sydney that weekend – and adult tickets are just $10, with kids under 12 free! With face painting, live music and a carnival-like atmosphere, it’s the perfect day out for young and old. Get your tickets here.