Talented Merewether Carlton youngster Lachlan Miller is confident the Greens can make a definitive mark on the 2021 Hunter Rugby season.
And, following two rounds of action, he might be on the money.
After thrashing Lake Macquarie 82-3 in the opener, the Greens claimed the inaugural Adams-Halter Anzac Shield at Townson Oval on 24 April, knocking over the Wanderers 30-19 in front of a big crowd.
Kostandreas Sykiotis grabbed a double for Merewether Carlton, while Thomas Smith and Brenton Gibson also posted tries.
Sam Bright landed two conversions and a couple of penalties for good measure.
The Wanderers’ points came from Luke Simmons, Lachlan Earp and Luke Menchin, with Simmons converting two of them.
As for Miller, a local junior, he’s rapt about what the future holds for the Greens this year.
“We’re looking good,” he said.
“We have a very young side, a very quick one.
“There’s not much experience [among the squad] but we’re training the house down.
“Realistically, we’re targeting the grand final – like all the other clubs.
“So, we’d be happy with a top four spot; and then take it from there.”
The No. 8 has progressed through the Merewether ranks to become an integral member of the Premier 1 line-up.
“I joined the under-16s after coming over from South Newcastle because that team folded,” Miller told the Newcastle Weekly.
“We ended up winning the grand final that season.
“I then fell in love with the club – and I’ve never left since.
“The social side of the Greens is great, too.
“Everywhere you go, you’ve always got a mate at Merewether.”
While COVID-19 derailed most players’ plans in 2020, Miller turned a bad situation into a positive – and fine-tuned his rugby skills.
“I was one of the lucky ones,” he said.
“I ended up playing for the Hunter Wildfires and league (for Central Newcastle), too.
“And, I was lucky enough to pick up the second grade best forward award.
“Having a run with the Wildfires was really hard on the body.
“However, the experience was awesome – I learned so much.”
Merewether Carlton next tackles University of Newcastle, who suffered a 29-5 loss to Nelson Bay, at Townson Oval on Saturday 1 May.
In other fixtures, the Hamilton Hawks face Lake Macquarie, Southern Beaches goes into battle with Maitland, and Nelson Bay plays Singleton.
2021 Hunter Rugby
Round two results:
Merewether Carlton d Wanderers 30-19
Nelson Bay d University of Newcastle 29-5
Hamilton Hawks d Maitland 41-35
Southern Beaches d Lake Macquarie 86-0
Round three draw:
(Saturday 1 May)
3pm: Merewether Carlton v University of Newcastle
3pm: Hamilton Hawks v Lake Macquarie
3pm: Southern Beaches v Maitland
3pm: Nelson Bay v Singleton