SETTING SAIL: Newcastle Knights U16s centre Travis Petersen brushes aside defenders on his way to the tryline.
SETTING SAIL: Newcastle Knights U16s centre Travis Petersen brushes aside defenders on his way to the tryline. Sam Flanagan

Juniors bring the flair in the heat

RUGBY LEAGUE: In a month usually reserved for cricket, barbecues and the beach, rugby league took centre stage in Coffs Harbour on Sunday.

A healthy crowd was drawn to Geoff King Motors Oval to watch the Gold Coast Titans and Newcastle Knights elite development squads blow out the cobwebs in pre-season matches.

Due to the warm and humid conditions, the games were broken into quarters to ensure player safety.

The U16s game opened the show and both sides contained plenty of players for the future, though it was the Knights who were able to grab the ascendency in the first half to head to the break 8-0 up.

They extended their lead shortly after halftime through a try to Lachlan Crouch, before Titans halfback Thomas Weaver crossed for his side's first points.

Knights centre Travis Petersen was a standout throughout the fixture, with his game highlighted by a long range try down the right edge to seal the win.

The Titans scored a late consolation try through Brock Priestley to leave the final score at 16-8.

It was then the U18s turn to hit the field, with the Titans team featuring two North Coast juniors in Jake Martin and Ben Liyou.

The Knights opened the scoring through a barnstorming solo try from Sione Tui Tupoukutu, but the Titans lead at the break thanks to tries from hooker Ediq Ambrosyer, lock Carslil Varkas and Samuel Shannon.

The four-pointers kept on coming in the back half of the match, with Knights scoring four tries to the Titans two to leave the final score at 20-20.

The Knights teams will now continue their preparation for the upcoming NSWRL SG Ball and Harold Matthews competitions.



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