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ASSRL Nationals day 1 wrap

Nikora Williams playing for Sydney Red at the recent NSWCHS State trials is looking for another Green n Gold jersey (Photo - Steve Montgomery)
Nikora Williams playing for Sydney Red at the recent NSWCHS State trials is looking for another Green n Gold jersey (Photo - Steve Montgomery)

ASSRL Nationals day 1 wrap

Author : Author : Brent Read Daily Telegraph

ASSRL Nationals day 1 wrap: Five talking points from the rugby league under-18 schools carnival

Another Hopoate stars, the Panthers keep producing guns and the Roosters have a ready-made young halfback waiting in the wings. All that plus more from the first day of the Australian Secondary Schools Rugby League National Championships.

Replay: NSW CCC v Queensland (U18 Boys) – ASSRL National…

The Australian Secondary Schools Rugby League National Championships kicked off at Bellingen Park on Sunday with rugby league’s generation next taking centre stage on the NSW mid-north coast.

The carnival has hosted some of the game’s biggest names over the years – Dolphins gun Isaiya Katoa and Wests Tigers Lachlan Galvin have dominated the past two carnivals on their way to becoming NRL mainstays.

Day one of this year’s tournament showcased another batch of teenagers who are about to become household names. Here are the players and moments that stood out on the opening day.

ASSRL Nationals hub: How to watch, full schedules, what you need to know

WATCH THE ASSRL 18 YEARS NATIONALS LIVE

DAY ONE Sunday, July 7

9am: NSW CHS v ACT (U18 Girls)
9.55am: NSW CCC v NT (U18 Girls)
10.50am: NSW CIS v Queensland (U18 Girls)
11.45am: Victoria v WA (U18 Girls)
12.40pm: NSW CHS v NSW CIS (U18 Boys)
1.55pm: NSW CCC v Queensland (U18 Boys)

DAY TWO Monday, July 8

9am: Queensland v WA (U18 Girls)
9.55am: NSW CIS v Victoria (U18 Girls)
10.50am: NSW CHS v NT (U18 Girls)
11.45am: NSW CCC v ACT (U18 Girls)
12.40pm: NSW CIS v ACT (U18 Boys)
1.45pm: Queensland v CAS (U18 Boys)

DAY THREE Tuesday, July 9

9am: ACT v NT (U18 Girls)
9.55am: NSW CCC v NSW CHS (U18 Girls)
10.50am: Victoria v Queensland (U18 Girls)
11.45am: WA v NSW CIS (U18 Girls)
12.40pm: Combined Affiliated States v NSW CCC (U18 Boys)
1.45pm: ACT v NSW CHS (U18 Boys)

DAY FOUR Thursday, July 11

9am: Under-18 Boys Game X (Group 1 3rd v Group 2 3rd)
10.05am: Under-18 Boys SF (Group 1 1st v Group 2 2nd)
11.10am: Under-18 Boys SF (Group 1 2nd v Group 2 1st)
12.15pm: U18 Girls Selection Trial (Group 1 4th v Group 2 4th)
1.10pm: U18 Girls Selection Trial (Group 1 3rd v Group 2 3rd)
2.05pm: U18 Girls Selection Trial (Group 1 2nd v Group 2 2nd)

DAY FIVE Friday, July 12

9am: Under-18 Boys Selection Trial (Game X Winner v Loser SF)
10.15am: Under-18 Boys Selection Trial (Game X Loser v Loser SF)
11.40am: Under-18 Boys Championship
1.20pm: U18 Girls Championship
THE BIG FIVE TALKING POINTS

HEINZ CUTS LOOSE

Penrith have opened talks with Heinz Lemoto over a contract extension and you can understand why after watching the big back rower run rampant against NSW Combined High Schools on Sunday afternoon.

Lemoto proved too big and powerful for the opposition, finishing with a hat-trick of tries running off the smart ball play of Sydney Roosters youngster Toby Rodwell.

Lemoto has one year remaining on his deal with Penrith but an extension is in the wind.

Heinz Lemoto is shaping as a real problem for his rivals. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Martin Ollman

BATTLE OF THE BIG GUNS

In a beaten side, there were few better than Nikora Williams.

The Cronulla centre conceded a try early to much-hyped NSW CIS giant Heamasi Makasini but then led the fightback for NSW CHS as he showed his class.

He almost got his side over the line in the end, using his quality and guile to score one try and create plenty of chances for his winger Zailen Campbell-Cook.

Williams made the Australian Schoolboys team last year and this was a good start as he looks to retain his jersey.

ASSRL NATIONALS: RE-LIVE ALL THE DAY ONE ACTION HERE

DOLPHINS YOUNG GUN STARS FOR MAROONS

Zac Garton is on a long-term deal at the Dolphins and it looks like a smart piece of business after he starred for the Maroons as they lost a cliffhanger in the last few minutes on the opening day of the schoolboys.

Garton scored two tries in a dominant display as the Queensland side got off to a flyer but they were run down at the back end of the game.

ROOSTERS HAVE A READY-MADE HALF?

While Sam Walker was carving up St George Illawarra at Allianz Stadium on Sunday afternoon, Roosters young gun Toby Rodwell was going about his business at Bellingen Park.

Five-eighth Mitchell Woods got plenty of attention leading into the national schoolboy championships but Rodwell arguably had more sway as NSW CIS got their tournament off to a solid start.

He wasn’t the only half to shine – NSW CHS half Kade Reed almost masterminded a comeback for the ages as he threatened to steal the win. Reed, who is on the books at St George Illawarra, lost nothing in comparison to his highly-touted halves opponents.

Toby Rodwell is signed with the Roosters. Picture: Warren Gannon Photography

Toby Rodwell is signed with the Roosters. Picture: Warren Gannon Photography

ANOTHER HOPOATE STARS

There may be no more prolific name in rugby league than Hopoate. Leila Hopoate, the niece of John Hopoate, is the latest from the famous rugby league family to make her mark, starring on the opening day of the national titles for the NSW CCC.

Indie Bostock, the younger sister of Dolphins star Jack Bostock, also backed up her starring role for the NSW under-19 side recently with a big performance on day one of the championships.

TRY OF THE DAY

Kahu Capper, another Roosters youngster, came up with an early contender for try of the tournament when he flew high like his famous AFL namesake Warwick Capper to score a try for NSWCIS.

However, that effort was eclipsed soon after when Bulldogs star-in-waiting Mitchell Woods went to work.

After Toby Rodwell’s kick was charged down, Woods was the first to react as he swooped on the ball, stepped around Michael Nasser and floated a pass for Rex Bassingthwaighte to score.

It was brilliant stuff from Woods.

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