Blood, sweat, tears – the first episode of the NRL Rookie had it all.
We got our first look at the NRL Rookies when they assembled at the gates of Allianz Stadium in search of an NRL contract. It was a diverse playing group which consisted of eight nationalities and three second generation players.
For Jesse Shearer - son of legendary Queensland and Australian player Dale Shearer - it was an emotional start after he revealed his motivation to be successful in Rugby League. As teammates do, the boys got behind him and continued this encouragement into their first challenge, when they took on Moore Park’s dreaded Mount Steel.
If running up and down hills wasn’t hard enough, having to do it consistently for an hour straight tested the determination of some more than others. Barista Matt Gorman had no issues leading the way and he even managed to carry a teammate on his back who was lagging behind. That’s a pretty remarkable effort, especially seeing he had heart surgery only a week before. Former pro Rugby Union player come handbag collector, Daniel Caprice also showed he was amongst the fittest of the group.
Game day told a different story and as expected, more of the Rookies put their hands up to be noticed. Luck wasn’t on Hamza Anwer's side however. After turning up in quest of his NRL dream wearing a Manchester United jersey, he then injured his ankle only minutes into the match and was unable to return.
Englishmen and former bobsled pro, Luke Frixou showed he was a force to be reckoned with when he pulled off some big hits, while Papua New Guinea prospect, Karo Kauna Jr showed his talent in attack, crossing for a try out of nothing.
And then there was the guy who ran through the brick wall for his audition tape. 21-year-old David Andjelic who fled war torn Serbia at a young age and now resides in Mt Druitt. We all know he's tough, but it turns out, he's a pretty decent footballer and had a solid all round game. Speaking of tough, Elias Power showed that a high tackle wasn’t going to keep him down, while Roydon Gillett's cut to the head was easily solved with some strapping tape.
All of these tough acts were nothing compared to the job 'Freddy' had in halving the playing group, to make up the NRL Rookie’s Top 14, leaving grown men in floods of tears.
To learn more about the NRL Rookie Top 14 visit WWW.NRLROOKIE.COM
Head to WWW.NRLROOKIE.COM to watch full catch up episodes of the NRL Rookie as well as online exclusive extras.
AUSTRALIAN BROADCAST DETAILS:
Each episode will air five times during the week on free to air television across the Nine Network:
• PREMIERE – Tuesday – GO! 7.30PM (SYD/MEL/BRIS)
• ENCORE 1 - Wednesday - CH9 10.30PM (SYD/BRIS)
• ENCORE 2 - Saturday - CH9 2PM (BRIS)
• ENCORE 3 - Sunday - CH9 2.30PM (SYD)
• ENCORE 4 - Monday - GO! 11.30PM (SYD/MEL/BRIS/ADE/PER)
Please note: these time may vary from week to week so be sure to check the local guides.
NEW ZEALAND BROADCAST DETAILS:
Free to air broadcaster TVNZ will be showing the NRL Rookie on the Duke Channel. The show will go on air simultaneous with Australia (21:30 local NZ time) with another encore play later in the week. Please check the TVNZ website for more details (www.tvnz.co.nz).
PAPUA NEW GUINEA BROADCAST DETAILS:
National Broadcasting Corp of PNG will be showing the NRL Rookie on the NBCTV Channel. Please check the NBCPNG website for more details (www.nbcpng.com).