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REAL NRL: Brock Lamb loving life back at the Pickers

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Tooheys Newcastle Rugby League (Real NRL) is a far cry from the NRL but Maitland Pickers playmaker Brock Lamb wouldn’t have it any other way.

After making 32 appearances for the Newcastle Knights between 2016 and 2018, the gifted half returned to his junior club in 2020.

And, the move paid off handsomely for the Pickers.

With Maitland contesting the NSW President’s Cup that year, due to COVID-19 impacting the Real NRL competition, it was Lamb who kicked the winning field goal to upstage the Glebe Burwood Wolves 17-16 in the grand final.

He then guided the Pickers to a minor premiership 12 months later before the pandemic forced the abandonment of the 2021 play-off series.

“Coming back to Maitland has been really good,” he said.

“It’s a relaxing sort of footy (compared to the NRL).

“I’ve developed a love of the game again.

“Although, obviously, last season was a bit disappointing.

“We were in a really good position.

“The boys wanted to carry on with it and see how far we could take it.

“Unfortunately, it didn’t pan out that way thanks to COVID.

“But, in saying that, it’s been a long break – so we’re keen to rip in this year and demonstrate what we could have done at the end of 2021.

“Some might see it as unfinished business.

“However, we’re just treating it [2022] as a new challenge.

“We had the opportunity… but it was taken away from us.

“So, this season, pending everything goes well with COVID, we’re ready to go.

“We want to prove to everyone that we can do it in the Newcastle competition as well as the Sydney competition.”

That motivation will come to the fore when the Pickers tackle the Central Newcastle Butcher Boys in the opening round at St John Oval on Sunday 27 March.

“They’ll be a good test for us first up,” Lamb told the Newcastle Weekly.

“They have got a pretty strong side.

“So, we’ll see where we’re at, brush the cobwebs off a little bit, and start getting our shapes back.

“Clearly, we want to win another comp.

“But, we’re not really focussed on doing that [to begin with].

“We’ll concentrate on round one, then round five, and our goals throughout the year.

“I guess you always want to capture a premiership whatever season you’re playing.

“Ultimately, that’s the main objective.

“However, our immediate attention is on the Butcher Boys.

“Pre-season training has been good.

“We didn’t get affected by COVID too much.

“We’ve had a few injuries, but everyone goes through that.

“Like I said, we’re ready to go.”

Tooheys Newcastle Rugby League

2022 Denton Engineering Cup

Round one

Saturday 26 March

  • 3pm: Wyong Roos v The Entrance Tigers (Morry Breen Oval)
  • 3pm: Cessnock Goannas v Western Suburbs Rosellas (Cessnock Sports Ground)
  • 3pm: Kurri Kurri Bulldogs v Lakes United Seagulls (Kurri Kurri Sports Ground)
  • 3pm: Macquarie Scorpions v South Newcastle Lions (Lyall Peacock Field)

Sunday 27 March

  • 3pm: Central Newcastle Butcher Boys v Maitland Pickers (St John Oval)

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