Looking back at the 2014 NSW U18s side
Author : Andrew McEnallay NSWRL
The 2014 NSW Under 18s side featured several future superstars of the game as well as one of the most dangerous centre combinations in State of Origin history.
With Todd Payten at the helm, they played the curtain raiser for Game II of the 2014 State of Origin series – the same year the NSW Blues broke a lengthy series drought following a Man of the Match performance by captain Paul Gallen.
A double to Matt Dufty and tries to Lachlan Croker, Latrell Mitchell and Tom Trbojevic helped NSW to a 24-10 victory to bring up a second consecutive win for the Under 18s.
Returning from the successful 2013 side was Sione Mata’tuia, Jackson Hastings, Tyrell Fuimaono and Tevita Pangai-Junior.
Read more: NSW U18s – 2011, NSW U18s – 2012, NSW U18s – 2013
In 2014, two-time premiership winner Brett Stewart helped lead Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles to a minor premiership after falling agonisingly short in the 2013 NRL Grand Final a year earlier.
While Stewart was at the back end of a glittering career, Manly’s next superstar fullback was tearing up opposition defences in the Under 20s competition.
The very next year, Trbojevic marked himself as a genuine star of the future after scoring a double in his NRL debut.
Fast forward to 2021 and Trbojevic produced one of the greatest individual seasons the game has ever seen. After missing the first few months of the season through injury, Trbojevic was simply unstoppable.
Turbo broke several records throughout the year including most tries in a season for a Sea Eagles player, most tries in a season for a fullback as well as winning Fullback of the Year and the Dally M Medal – all from just 18 games.
He finished the year with 28 tries, 28 try assists, 124 tackle breaks and 33 linebreaks.
Turbo also returned to the Origin arena after missing the 2020 series through injury, scoring a hat-trick in Game I and a try in Game II.
He was also awarded the Wally Lewis Medal after helping the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues to their most dominant series victory in Origin history.
Tom Trbojevic is awarded the 2021 Wally Lewis Medal
Since representing his state in 2014, Mitchell has achieved it all in Rugby League. A two-time premiership winner with the Sydney Roosters, Mitchell has scored six tries from seven State of Origin games and has also represented the Kangaroos and Indigenous All-Stars.
He has a knack for coming up with the big play when his side need it the most. Notably, Mitchell helped set up James Tedesco’s winning try in the 2019 Grand Final and he also came up with an iconic intercept try in Game II of the 2021 State of Origin series.
After missing out on the majority of the 2020 season through injury, Mitchell began to establish himself as one of the best fullbacks in the game, playing a pivotal role in South Sydney’s lethal backline.
Latrell finished the 2021 season with 17 games, 13 tries, 14 try assists, 93 tackle busts, 18 linebreaks and 141 running metres per game.
NSW Under 18s 2014 side
Matthew Dufty – St George Dragons (82 NRL Games)
Paul Momirovski – Sydney Roosters (38 NRL Games)
Sione Mata’utia – Newcastle Knights (124 NRL Games)
Tom Trbojevic – Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles (114 NRL Games)
Latrell Mitchell – Sydney Roosters (127 NRL Games)
Jackson Hastings – Sydney Roosters (47 NRL Games)
Lachlan Croker – Canberra Raiders (59 NRL Games)
Sione Hala – Penrith Panthers
Grant Garvey – Sydney Roosters (1 NRL Game)
Jacob Host – St George Dragons (72 NRL Games)
Tyrell Fuimaono – Parramatta Eels (60 NRL Games)
Tevita Pangai Junior – Canberra Raiders (100 NRL Games)
Hame Sele – St George Dragons (40 NRL Games)
Tevita Cottrell – South Sydney Rabbitohs
Alex Twal – Parramatta Eels (89 NRL Games)
Luciano Leilua – St George Dragons (87 NRL Games)
Matthew Jurd – St George Dragons
NSW U18s 2018
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