The Best of the Holden Cup in 2015

Discussion in 'National Under 20s Competition' started by mikail-eagle, Jun 11, 2015.

  1. mikail-eagle

    mikail-eagle Juniors

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    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sp...lden-cup-in-2015/story-fni3g0bn-1227391351572

    The best of the Holden Cup in 2015

    THE future of the Holden Cup might be at the balance but as it stands the under-20s is still the premier showcase for young rugby league talent.

    With points-a-plenty and just enough talent to ensure that any team can beat any other on any given day, the unpredictability and high skill level of the under-20s make it worth getting to the game a little bit early.

    Now that the first half of the season is in the bag, we thought we’d take a look at the best nine players in the Holden Cup so far this season.

    BROCK LAMB

    Considering the strength and size of their junior base, the Knights have never really dominated at under-20s level the way you might expect but the club continues to produce and develop high level talent and in diminutive five-eighth Brock Lamb they’ve hit another winner.

    An Australian Schoolboys representative last season who made his under-20s debut after an excellent year with Newcastle’s SG Ball side, Lamb has emerged as one of the best playmakers in the competition.

    While the Knights have struggled for consistency in 2015 the form of Lamb has never wavered as he’s racked up six tries, 13 try assists, 10 line breaks and 10 line break assists in 13 games so far this season.

    Still only 18, Lamb has also turned matchwinner on a number of occasions, stealing the Knights a victory against the Raiders last weekend with a clutch field goal and also conjuring the matchwinning play earlier this season against the Titans and Sharks.

    The West Maitland junior might be a while away from cracking the top grade but he’s as fine a halves prospect to come through the ranks in a while.

    LACHLAN CROKER

    The Raiders Holden Cup team has the same attitude as the first graders — if the opposition scores 40, they’ll score 41.

    While it’s enough to send a coach to therapy, the free-flowing attacking style makes the Raiders brilliant to watch and at the heart of the pointscoring storm is halfback Lachlan Croker.

    Croker’s year has been hamstrung slightly by injury but he’s been electric when ever he’s taken the field.

    A nippy runner who always seems to be right where the action is, Croker has put together six tries, 10 try assists, five line breaks and 11 line break assists despite his abbreviated year thus far and has made a habit of putting up big points tallies — he scored 24 and 28 points against the Titans and Dragons respectively.

    STANTON ALBERT

    A raw-boned Papua New Guinean international, Albert has been one of the finds of the season for the ladder-leading Panthers.

    Following the lead of his older brother Wellington, Albert joined the Panthers at the end of last season after a strong season with the PNG Hunters in the Queensland Cup.

    While it took some time for Albert to find his feet, he was injected into the Penrith line-up for the Round 5 win over North Queensland and hasn’t looked back, providing the Panthers with the grunt and power they need up front.

    Albert started for the Kumuls in the front-row of the Pacific Test against Fiji and powered over for a try late in the game and is sure to push for a top-grade berth as his fitness and skills improve.

    GIDEON MOSBY-GELA

    People can talk about wingers having a good work rate, or being safe under the high ball or helping ruck the ball out of their end, but the original function of the men on the pick and swing was to score tries — and nobody scores tries like Gideon Mosby-Gela.

    On the end of an adventurous Cowboys backline, Mosby-Gela leads all tryscorers in the Holden Cup with a staggering 19 from just 12 games.

    The all-time Holden Cup record of 29 tries in a season, set by Jake Mullaney in 2009, seems to be under serious threat by the fleet-footed winger as he continues to accumulate tries at a rate not seen since Ben Barba tore the competition apart in 2008.

    Still a scrawny thing at 80 kilograms, Mosby-Gela can only get bigger and more powerful — a terrifying prospect for defenders everywhere.

    JAZZ TEVAGA

    The New Zealand under-20s team is mainly known as a factory of impossibly large forwards and terrifyingly skilled backs, but in Jazz Tevaga they’ve stumbled on a cornerstone forward of the future.

    A hardworking lock forward in the Shaun Fensom mould, Tevaga also runs great lines around the ruck and has a wicked late offload.

    The Warriors can rise and fall within games and seasons as their form fluctuates and changes, but the consistency of Tevaga is something to behold.

    Tevaga started at lock in the grand final win over the Broncos last season and can also operate as a dummy half.

    TE MAIRE MARTIN

    Well known to keen observers of the Holden Cup, the tricky Tigers five-eighth was a member of the 2014 under-20s team of the year and has continued that excellent form into 2015.

    There’s more than a little bit of Benji Marshall in Martin — he’s also a Kiwi who attended renowned Queensland rugby league factory Keebra Park High — but unlike young Marshall, Martin is a first and foremost a ballplayer.

    Twelve try assists and thirteen line break assists this season, despite the Tigers’ up and down form are a measure of Martin’s talent and his eight tries and eight line breaks are a measure of his gradually developing running game.

    With the Tigers currently well stocked with young halves Martin may need to go elsewhere for a crack at the big time but his time in the under-20s suggests that he’s just too talented to let go.

    TEVITA PANGAI JUNIOR

    Formerly a wide-running backrower, Pangai Junior has been shifted up front this year for the Raiders and the results have been nothing short of outstanding.

    Rangy and lean but powerful and mobile, Pangai Junior has quickly established himself to be one of the premier middle forwards in the Holden Cup.

    His constant drives into enemy defenders have made him a menace to forwards everywhere and his offloading is already prodigious.

    The Raiders have a legion of big men in the top grade but Pangai Junior offers a tantalising mix of workrate and athleticism that is difficult to match.

    JAYDEN NIKORIMA

    With the elevation of Kodi Nikorima to the top grade it could be expected for the Broncos under-20s to start the season on a slightly downward turn but Jayden Nikorima has risen to the challenge and completely replaced the attacking prowess of his brother.

    The younger Nikorima started the season in the centres and was solid without being spectacular but since his move into his favoured five-eighth position the Broncos have become a near unstoppable attacking force.

    Nikorima himself has eight tries, 15 try assists, 13 line breaks and 13 line-break assists and since Ashley Taylor left for the Queensland Cup he’s saddled the responsibility of being the dominant playmaker.

    Ben Hunt and Anthony Milford are poised to become the Broncos first-grade halves pairing for the next decade or more and his older brother securing the bench utility spot for the foreseeable future, Nikorima may be forced to head south for an NRL opportunity. He’s been heavily linked to the Dragons.

    TOM TRBOJEVIC

    It almost feels like cheating given his exploits in the top grade but Turbo Tom’s efforts in the under-20s just can’t be ignored.

    Despite floating between the Holden Cup and the NRL and losing a chunk of the season to injury, Trbojevic has scored 10 tries, made 13 line breaks and notched nine try assists in just six games for Manly’s Holden Cup side.

    It’s no coincidence that the Sea Eagles’ form fell away when Trbojevic was elevated to first grade and the mere presence of the willowy fullback makes Manly a title threat.
     
  2. isaiah

    isaiah Bench

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    Best 9 players? More like numbers 3 to 11. Best 2 in no particular order are latrell of the roosters and Kikau at the Cowboys. Just saying.
     
  3. roostersrule2

    roostersrule2 Bench

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    I don't watch much Holden Cup, but from what I hear Latrell isn't really dominating Holden Cup, yet. Which is to be expected as he's only 17, but is he really top two?
     
  4. Son of Minto

    Son of Minto Bench

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    Mitchell? No way. Guys like Paul Byrnes and Yamba Bowie are having better years than he is.
     
  5. DOGS AND EELS!!!

    DOGS AND EELS!!! Bench

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    So Tom scored 4 tries last week and ran for 486 metres, maybe the highest ever in a under 20's game? It's safe to say that he's way beyond Holden cup, I've seen him excell at NRL level let alone under 20, only reason he's not playing regular first grade is because he has a team full of rep or ex rep players ahead of him. The thing I'm wondering is why he wasn't playing under 20's last year? Wasn't he good enough then? It seems odd that he's come out of the 18's and suddenly just bypassed under 20's.
     
  6. DOGS AND EELS!!!

    DOGS AND EELS!!! Bench

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    Lol I guess I shouldn't have mentioned him, was a beast tonight!
     
  7. Son of Minto

    Son of Minto Bench

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    Tom Trbojevic did play NYC last year. He was Manlys top try scorer and played pretty much the full season.
     
  8. isaiah

    isaiah Bench

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    Did I count right? Did 5 of these 9 make the team of the year?
     
  9. Captain Apollo

    Captain Apollo First Grade

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    This is the Holden Cup Team of the Year for 2015 -

     

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