James Tedesco and Nat Butcher are determined to bounce back into form in this week's Indigenous Round clash and have backed their younger players to continue the strong start to their careers against the Canberra Raiders on the Central Coast.
With Indigenous stars Arthur Beetson, Andrew Walker and Latrell Mitchell playing a strong part in the successes of the Club's esteemed and proud history, the pair say they are exciting and humbled to play in a round that celebrates the world's longest-surviving culture.
“Celebrating Indigenous Round, there are so many Indigenous players in our game that represent well and are great role models," Tedesco claimed.
“We had a few talks yesterday about culture and more about the Indigenous people.
“The jersey looks sick and I can’t wait to wear it on the weekend."
Round 12 Media - James Tedesco
“We’re pretty pumped for this week,” added Butcher.
“It’s always such an honour to wear the Indigenous jersey and to represent Indigenous people in our communities.
“It’s a game we look forward to every year, we saw the jersey yesterday and it looks pretty awesome so we can’t wait to put it on Saturday night."
The two experienced campaigners also backed teenage rookie halfback Sam Walker to continue his strong start to his career after the side's loss on Saturday night, with Butcher highlighting the debut of fellow rookie Joseph Suaalii.
They’ve shown that a few times this year and we can’t take them lightly and I know Ricky (Stuart) is going to have them fired up for a Grand Final rematch and what-not so we know it’s going to be a tough test for us.James Tedesco On taking on the Raiders
“It’s a disappointing loss, but he’s (Walker) had a few good chats with Robbo and the leadership group," Butcher said.
“He understands that the areas he needs to work on, finding his voice and as a young player.
“It was a big milestone and achievement for him (Suaalii) and very special to be a part of.
“I thought he played well and I can’t wait to see him play again."
“Sam’s obviously had a great start to his career," Tedesco added.
“He’s only eighteen years old and he’s going to learn the lessons and the ups and downs of the NRL - there are going to be highs and lows.
Round 12 Media - Nat Butcher
“He’s understanding the week-to-week grind of the NRL and he’s going to have ups and downs but we know how good of a player so there’s no stress."
Taking on a hungry Canberra Raiders side on the Central Coast - where the Club has played home games for the past six seasons - Tedesco and Butcher are determined to bounce back in style at their home away from home against a familiar adversary.
“The Raiders are always a strong team,” said Tedesco.
“They have got a lot of classy players and they’ve probably just been a little inconsistent, but we know if they’re on their game they are very hard to beat.
“They’ve shown that a few times this year and we can’t take them lightly, and I know Ricky (Stuart) is going to have them fired up for a Grand Final rematch and what-not so we know it’s going to be a tough test for us."
It’s always such an honour to wear the Indigenous jersey and to represent Indigenous people in our communities.Nat Butcher On Indigenous Round
“It’s a great community on the Central Coast,” Butcher stated.
“I played a bit of reserve grade up in Wyong, and a few of us did.
“We’re fond of that area and we know that community well so it’s something we enjoy each year, going up and playing our home games there.
“There were a couple of key areas we spoke about and points in the game that we needed to be better at.
“We know that the flow-on effect from that did hurt us in the end. We’ve learned our lessons and we’re looking forward to fixing the problems."
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