State of Origin is not only an opportunity to see the games finest on the biggest stage, but a chance to see the up and coming talent from your club stake their claims for first grade selection. The Toyota and VB NSW Cup will provide the players who could potentially make-or-break your clubs chances to compete in September. Here we profile players who may have a large influence on the NRL over the representative season.
Illawarra Cutters/St George-Illawarra Dragons
With Michael Weyman and Dan Hunt knocking loudly on Ricky Stuart’s door for selection for the NSW VB Blues, the Dragons forward stocks will be severely tested over the representative season. Coach Steve Price will be looking to fill the engine room and NSW Under 20’s representative Jack Stockwell may be the answer. Stockwell displayed great potential from the interchange bench with several damaging runs during his limited time on the field and Coach Price will be hoping he can replicate his efforts on the big stage.
With an increasing injury toll that has now claimed Captain Kurt Gidley, the Knights may be left with no option but to fast-track the enigmatic Albert Kelly into their NRL squad. Only a month ago Knights CEO Matt Gidley declared it “unlikely” that Kelly would play NSW Cup, but since arriving at the Knights, Kelly has been plying his trade at five-eighth and showing the potential he has always threatened to posses. With William Marshall Mason recently arriving in town, it shows that anything is possible in the Hunter.
Windsor Wolves / Penrith Panthers
Taumata may prove to be the Panthers prodigal-son after several dominant performances this year for Windsor. After a maligned career involving many well-publicised misdemeanours, the Windsor playmaker has displayed with previously unseen maturity this year coinciding with the birth of his new daughter. The Wolves are on a four-match winning streak and a main ingredient for this success has been the form of Taumata. If the Panthers current indifferent form continues the re-birth of Arana Taumata may be complete.
Mounties / Canberra Raiders
Making his debut for the Raiders in Round 6 against the Warriors, Jarrad Kennedy is young man gaining plenty of respect in the nation’s Capital. Kennedy has been a major talking point for Raiders staff after blitzing pre-season test results and a string of impressive performances for feeder club Mounties this year. Likely State of Origin selections for David Shillington and Tom Learoyd-Lahrs may see the Tuross product become a regular fixture in the Raiders team.
Josh Davis & David Harris
Balmain Ryde-Eastwood / Wests Tigers
The wide-running Davis and workaholic Harris have been a feature of Balmain Ryde-Eastwood’s performances this year. Their combination in the back-row for the Tigers has caused many headaches for opposition coaches and Wests Tigers Coach Tim Sheens could look to the duo to bring some enthusiasm to an under-performing Tigers pack. David Harris was runner-up in the best and fairest for VB NSW Cup last year and if any more injuries occur at the top, don’t be surprised to see the duo make their cases heard.
Find out more about the VB NSW Cup:
- Round 10 Team Lists
- VB NSW Cup News
- VB NSW Cup Video
- 2012 Fixtures/Results
- 2012 Ladder