After bombing a match-winning try against Penrith with a wayward ball to Edrick Lee in extra time, Bradman Best spent much of last week practising one-on-one passing with the Knights winger.
The result was two tries apiece to the Newcastle left-edge pairing as the Knights stunned Canberra 34-18 on Sunday to remain one of just three unbeaten NRL teams after the opening four rounds.
"For a kid of his age to move on [from the Panthers match] and ice the same situation just shows where is at as a player," Lee said of the 18-year-old Newcastle junior.
"I think the way he is with his body and the way he plays he is definitely a lot older than what he is.
"He is a mature kid and he is also a humble kid as well. This is just the start of his career and hopefully he can play 100 or 200 more games for the club."
Match Highlights: Raiders v Knights
Best’s name has always drawn attention on the team sheet during his junior career and anyone who watched him play for the Australian Schoolboys or NSW under 16s and under 18s knew he was destined for a career in the NRL.
However, what they wouldn’t have seen is the work Best has put in to transform himself from a forward - like father Roger, a former second-rower for Manly and London Broncos – into a barnstorming centre.
"He is physically and mentally the oldest 18-year-old I've ever met," Knights coach Adam O’Brien said.
Best makes it look easy from the scrum
"He's a credit to his family, he trains hard every day, he's hungry and he wants to make something of this football life. He'll stay pretty grounded, that's the sort of person he is."
After attending his first post-match press conference alongside O’Brien at Campbelltown Stadium on Sunday, Best asked Newcastle director of football Danny Buderus how he had done.
Most in attendance were impressed by not only how well the teenager had answered questions about his own performance but also one initially directed at O’Brien about the impact the return of Kalyn Ponga had on the team.
"He adds a lot to us boys, he is a really leader – especially for me," Best said. "He has taught me a lot and having him playing alongside me helps my game."
Ponga threw the final pass for both of Best’s tries and also created space for the teenager to put Lee over in the 45th and 50th minutes as the trio ran rampant against Canberra’s right-edge defence.
A week earlier, Best also scored a double but when he and Lee were in a two-on-one situation with Penrith winger Brian To’o in the 85th minute, his pass went over the sideline and the match-winning try went begging.
Lethal left edge provides again for Newcastle
"One thing he worked hard on during the week was just passing one-on-ones and when he had the opportunity in the game he iced it," Lee said.
"He is the ultimate competitor, he is a hard trainer and it is showing in his performance He is a junior at the club and if everyone keeps performing around him he will keep getting better and better."