He’s far from a fresh face, but Jarrad Kennedy is certainly going places in 2016.
Put simply, Kennedy has been the form player of the competition this year. At 27 years of age, the second-rower is a proven competitor – and has had a fair share of NRL experience in the past, playing 43 games across 2014 and 2015. Such is the depth of forwards at the Raiders, Kennedy has been unable to add to his tally this season, but has proven a vital and consistent cog in the well-oiled Mounties machine.
Kennedy started his year in exceptional form, leading to selections in the Team Of The Week in the opening three rounds. It became apparent very quickly that Mounties would be the team to beat in 2016 and even in a forward pack boasting the likes of Glen Buttriss, Clay Priest, brother Rhys Kennedy and Mitch Barnett (who has since transferred to the Knights), Kennedy was a standout.
Often involved in a deadly right-edge that has seen winger Kato Ottio score a competition-high 26 tries, Kennedy has notched up nine of his own after 23 rounds. He managed a double in two consecutive games in Rounds 7 and 9, typically hitting the edge hard and fast to bring about try scoring opportunities.
With abilities in attack and defence that are obviously up to NRL standard, it is almost a shame that Kennedy hasn’t been required by the Raiders this year. Given that his team has secured the minor premiership and are red-hot favourites for the 2016 title, however, the hard-working forward will be looking forward to playing deep into finals football in September.
Witness history this September at the 2016 NSWRL Grand Final Day. On Sunday, 25 September the Intrust Super Premiership NSW decider, along with the Ron Massey Cup and Sydney Shield Grand Finals, take place at Pirtek Stadium, with tickets just $10 for adults and kids under 12 free. Click here to secure your seat.