Befitting the Origin concept it will be mate-against-mate when NSW take on Queensland in the Under-18’s interstate clash at the MCG tonight, with four Sharks set to represent the Blues, up against Queenslander and their SG Ball teammate Keenan Yorston.
A match which is always played with plenty of intensity and enthusiasm, this 2015 edition is sure to be no different, with the young Sharks certain to be keen to impress.
Sharks Ball captain Curtis Scott and prop Daniel Vasquez will start for the NSW side, with Billy Magoulias and Brock Illet to come into the game from the interchange bench, with four players from the Cronulla club representing an outstanding achievement.
As for the Maroons, Yorston starts the match on the wing.
Earlier in the week, NSWRL Performance Programmes Manager Jamie Feeney, provided his individual assessments on the NSW 18’s team.
In the NSWRL website article, Feeney had the following to say about the four young Sharks.
3. CURTIS SCOTT
Captain of the Cronulla Sharks’ victorious SG Ball team, Scott terrorised opposition with his speed and footwork. Queensland will have to stay focused on him at all times otherwise he could run riot.
Feeney said: “What makes Curtis so special is his work ethic. He’s very talented but his determination adds another level to his game.”
8. DANIEL VASQUEZ
The hard-hitting prop forward is ready to rock against Queensland. He runs hard, is strong defensively, and works well for a big man.
Feeney said: “He was one of the biggest reasons the Sharks captured the SG Ball trophy this year. His man-of-the-match performance in the Grand Final was one of his best games all year and I'm looking forward to seeing him step up against the Queensland pack.”
15. BROCK ILLETT
The X-factor of the NSW Under-18s team. Part of the Sharks’ SG Ball Premiership side, Illett provided his unique style of play that tore opponents to shreds.
Feeney said: “Illett has been sensational for the Sharks this season. He will provide an element off the bench that will catch Queensland off guard on Wednesday night.”
16. BILLY MAGOULIAS
Magoulias played a major part of the Cronulla Sharks’ unexpected SG Ball victory after storming from eighth place to win the Grand Final. He will provide plenty of strength against Queensland.
Feeney said: “Magoulias’ impact will be critical for us on Wednesday night. He is equally adept as a runner or ball player, and creates another option for us in attack.”
For the player ratings and assessments on the entire NSW 18’s team – CLICK HERE.
Those NSW and Queensland fans wanting to catch all action the NSWRL website will be providing a Live Stream from 5.45pm. Click on the following link to view – CLICK HERE - http://www.nswrl.com.au/news/2015/06/17/live_stream_under_18.html
And for a NSWRL preview article - “NSW ready” - coach Todd Payten – CLICK HERE - http://www.nswrl.com.au/news/2015/06/17/payten_says_nsw_18s_.html
NSW Under-18s Player Pathway 2015 Team
1. Ryan Papenhuyzen (Balmain Tigers)
2. Reimis Smith (Canterbury Bulldogs)
3. Curtis Scott (Cronulla Sharks)
4. Jesse Ramien (Manly Sea Eagles)
5. Reuben Garrick (Illawarra Steelers)
6. Brock Lamb (Newcastle Knights)
7. Jack Cogger (Newcastle Knights)
8. Daniel Vasquez (Cronulla Sharks)
9. Daniel Peck (Balmain Tigers)
10. Blake Lawrie (St George Illawarra Dragons)
11. Brodie Jones (Newcastle Knights)
12. Ray Stone (Western Suburbs Magpies)
13. Gabe Hamlin (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
14. Cade Cust (Manly Sea Eagles)
15. Brock Ilett (Cronulla Sharks)
16. Billy Magoulias (Cronulla Sharks)
17. Billy Bainbridge (Manly Sea Eagles)
18. Sam Elliott (Northern Rivers)