The NRL Rookie Episode 9: The top 3 is named
The NRL Rookie's final three have been named – Chris Hyde, Lou Goodwin and Jordan Martin. These are the three players who will travel to the NRL Rookie Live Final on Tuesday, 2nd August at the Star Event Centre, Sydney.
While Chris and Lou have been amongst the most consistent of the bunch, it was a tough squeeze into the final three for Jordan who has had an injury-riddled campaign.
It was a difficult decision for Freddy when he opted for Jordan over Reece. The Kiwi had shown big leaps of improvement during the competition, but the youthful exuberance of the outside back looked too promising to pass up.
Chris stepped up in the most important week when he finally took out his first Captain's Challenge!
The 28-year-old showed the youngsters how it's done when he powered up Mount Steele carrying the words "Age", "Family" and "Doubters" amongst his Besser Blocks.
Looking back at the first challenge to now, there's no doubt Chris has come a long way from the quivering mess we saw at the top of Australia Tower, to the conqueror of Mount Steele.
To celebrate their last Captain's Challenge the boys travelled to the game in style when they had a helicopter tour over Sydney before touching down in Cabramatta's New Era Stadium.
However, with such a physically demanding Captain's Challenge, the muscle soreness transpired into the game more so for Jordan - who had a less than impressive first half against the Combined Emergency team.
Physically and mentally Jordan looked off his game with a lack of fitness and desire to not give up on the play, working against the second-generation player.
After a mild altercation with Freddy at half-time, this lit the fire in the belly that Jordan so desperately needed and as a result, he made a break instantly and set up Lou for a try in the corner.
Chris and Lou were consistent as per usual, but Lou really stood out after a dominant attacking display all but guaranteed his spot in the Live Final.
Freddy later commented about Chris's performance by saying "I don't understand how he hasn't been in the system already."
No 'Shed' session meant that the NRL Rookies joined the coaches in the 'War Room', where they all had a chance to individually state their case and go over their form throughout the season.
Question marks around Chris's age resurfaced, while both Lou and Jordan's mental toughness were also scrutinised.
Despite this, Freddy said "with age comes maturity" and noticed whenever Chris was off the field, the NRL Rookies lacked control.
The 'extras' that come with being a first grade footballer shocked Jordan when Freddy revealed that he has been woken up in the middle of the night to train!
This is something the youngster will have to come to grips with if he is to progress to the next stage of rugby league.
For Lou, he knows all too well the schedule of an NRL player after being contracted with the Sydney Roosters following two successful seasons in their Under 20s side.
But at such a young age, that opportunity was too overwhelming which drove the country boy back to the bush to play park footy.
Has Lou matured from this experience? Is he ready for redemption?
Well we all know somebody who has been ready is Chris Hyde, but is he past his peak? And can young gun Jordan match it with the elite?
What we do know is that one of these outstanding talents will be the inaugural NRL Rookie and sign a contract with an NRL team, to begin their journey as a professional rugby league player - mentored by one of the best players of all time, Brad Fittler.
Stay tuned for the live final on Tuesday 2nd August at 7.30pm. The event will be a live broadcast from the Star Event Centre, Sydney to Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Papua New Guinea and Fiji.
It is now down to the 16 NRL Clubs to vote the winner of the NRL Rookie with Head Coach Brad Fittler's job all but done.
To understand which club the winner of the NRL Rookie will sign with, you'll have to tune in on the night!
Head to NRLROOKIE.COM to watch full catch up episodes of the NRL Rookie as well as online exclusive extras.
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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 1PM (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 your local guides.