After a superb two seasons for the North Sydney Bears and South Sydney Rabbitohs in Canterbury Cup NSW, 2019 culminated in a homecoming for halfback Connor Tracey when the Cronulla-Sutherland local junior made his return to the Shire.
Having represented the Australian Schoolboys and persevering through multiple ACL setbacks throughout his junior development, it was no surprise that Tracey’s determination led to immediate success once he earned an opportunity to play in the NSWRL’s premier competition.
After finishing his first Canterbury Cup NSW season with Five-eighth of the Year honours, 2019 saw his form reach new heights as the key playmaker in a dominant Rabbitohs outfit who recorded 14 regular season wins, the most of any side in the competition.
From 18 appearances in the 2019 season, Tracey produced 11 tries, five try-assists, 15 line-breaks, eight line-break assists and six forced dropouts, averaging 130 run metres, four tackle-breaks and 14 tackles per game.
Consistent performances saw Tracey force his way into the frame for an NRL debut, and he soon received a well-deserved call up to South Sydney’s top grade side, playing at five-eighth for their Round 12 clash with Parramatta and the following week against Newcastle.
His standout performance of the 2019 campaign was against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in Round 6, where the instrumental No.7 recorded one try, one try-assist, two line-breaks, four tackle-breaks and a game-high tally of 216 run metres.
After signing a two-year contract with the Sharks from 2020, Tracey wasted no time to prove himself during the pre-season, earning a place in the starting 17 for Rounds 1 and 2 of the NRL. If his beginning to the 2020 season is anything to go by, Connor Tracey will quickly become a permanent fixture of Cronulla-Sutherland’s first-grade side.