Freddy's U-18s Origin Verdict
1. Ryan Papenhuyzen
I look forward to seeing him tonight, especially when Tom Starling comes on. Ryan is one of the fastest players on a footy field that I have ever seen, and that is in any age group. He can see things happening so hopefully we get some good ball and get him into some space.
2. Isaac Lumelume
He’s just a workaholic, he’s impressed me this week with his catching skills, hopefully we can get him a nice kick down there, but I have no doubt he will work his butt off coming out of trouble for the Blues.
3. Tui Afualo
He’s just a powerhouse. Both of our centres are very similar so, really strong, looking for him to do some hit-ups off the tap, hopefully aiming at some of their little blokes.
4. Nick Cotric
Really strong runner of the ball, we need to be in good position to give him some good ball because if that’s the case, we should be winning.
5. Zac Lomax
He’s a year young, but a super talent. A real footballer, can play any position, and once again, fantastic in the air so if we can get him nice kick across field to isolate his opposition, who actually is a small player, so that’s one of our targets.
19. Dean Blore
Brought him in only yesterday due to an injury for Brendan O’Hagan from the Newcastle Knights. Young Deano is actually the halves partner of Sean from the Panthers and he’s playing in the under-20s at the moment doing a fantastic job. His brother Shaun played in the u-16s Origin match, so the genes run deep their in the Blore family. He’s a really classy footballer, and a bit bigger than I thought too he should hold his own in defence.
7. Sean O’Sullivan
He’s been one of the players of the under-18s SG Ball competition, he’ll direct them around the park, he’s a good goal kicker, just a classy little kid . He’s our vice captain and one of our leaders out there.
8. Emre Guler
He’s a front-rower that signed with the Canberra Raiders; he’s been at South Sydney and grew up at South Sydney. He’s our number eight so he stands at the front, he’s a big tough boy that hopefully won’t take a backward step and if so we get to follow him, which I look forward too.
9. Reece Robson
He’s a St George Illawarra hooker that has been playing in the under-20s for a while, and is a big, tough, rugged player. He can play a bit of lock forward too, he’s really strong, so I think along with our other two front rowers, he’s very experienced in playing against older people so will hold his own playing in the middle of the field.
10. Jai Whitbread
He plays in the Brisbane Broncos and is from up in Northern NSW, so he knows a lot of their players and given us some good insight into their team. He’s no nonsense, gets a quick play the ball, he’s “elbows and knees.” That’s all footy talk, I’m not sure if you understand that but it basically means he gets us going early in the set which is what we need.
11. Cameron Murray
He’s our captain and he’s been a real prodigy coming through the junior ranks. It’s Cam’s moment to shine, these games are all about working and he is a real workaholic. He’s also got really good footwork and he’s got a lot of footy in him so hopefully this is his game to star.
12. Samuel Radovu
He’s from the Penrith Panthers, and had a great year where they won the competition quite easily in the final against Illawarra. Sam is quite an unorthodox kind of player, he’s just one of those blokes that seems to never get tackled and is really hard to get down so we need to get him early ball.
13. Brodie Jones
Can play on the edge but he’s been injured a fair part of the season, and he was in our under-18s team last year and was one of our best players, so we gave him every opportunity to play. Really good fella, real honest country boy, and he won’t let us down.
14. Tom Starling
Off the bench, Tommy Starling is our hooker. Super fast, so hopefully we’re doing the right thing and he gets to run the ball instead of tackling, because he’s not very big, and if that’s the case that we’re not doing well, then the little fella will have to do a fair bit of tackling.
15. Pasami Saulo
He came to our attention recently, he worked really hard over the pre-season last year and lost a lot of weight and got really fit and healthy, and it’s really paid off. Big motor, big guy doing fantastic in the under-20s for the Newcastle Knights
16. Payne Haas
Along with Pasami, he should have big impact coming in late in the first half. A big bloke coming off the bench who can play big minutes and will be really good for us.
17. Keaon Koloamatangi
He’s from South Sydney; he’s a real good ball player so look for a few good trick shots off Keaon hopefully. He’s a big fella, but was injured most of the year, he just came back from a shoulder operation and played in the semi-final and final. What I saw in those two games say’s he’s got a really big future.