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REAL NRL: Humble Lamb delighted with ‘special’ season


In typical Brock Lamb fashion, the Maitland Pickers playmaker avoids praise like one of his brilliant side-steps.

But, it would be hard, even for him, to not be impressed by an incredible season in Tooheys Newcastle Rugby League (Real NRL).

The former NRL star led his team to a comprehensive 46-10 victory over the South Newcastle Lions in the 2023 decider, earning man of the match honours in the process.

Lamb then backed up with his cohorts to knock over the St Marys Saints 32-10 to claim Maitland’s third NSW President’s Cup.

If that wasn’t enough, he shared the Real NRL Player of the Year honours with Cessnock Goanna Luke Huth and snared the Pickers’ equivalent a few weeks later.

Maitland Pickers halfback Brock Lamb was instrumental in the side’s victory at the weekend. Photo: Michael Gorton Images

“I guess it’s been pretty good,” he said.

“To be honest, it was a bit of a weird year.

“It’s been full of ups and downs, as I suppose every season is.

“But, at the end of the day, it was enjoyable and I’m glad that, as a club, we could accomplish what we did… and we’ve all pushed through as a team.

“As weird as it sounds, I feel like we’ve actually grown closer to each other this year, compared to other seasons.

“There’s just a really special bond.

“We’ve had a few players deal with injuries and personal matters, during 2023, and the club’ just been amazing for everyone.

“So, that’s probably my highlight… just how close we are at the moment.

“Obviously, the rewards are the trophies and things like that.

“However, to have this really close-knit family club, it’s pretty crazy.”

Brock Lamb landed six goals in the Maitland Pickers’ 48-6 victory over the Kurri Kurri Bulldogs. Photo: Rod Thompson

Lamb said the success over the past couple of years was “special” as a born and bred Maitland product.

“Yeah, it is,” he told the Newcastle Weekly.

“But, in saying that, I know most of the guys are local.

“There’s a few who aren’t, however – in my eyes – they are now after three or four seasons.

“So, when I look at our side, I say they’re all Maitland boys, whether they’re born in Terrigal or wherever.

“We’re family, we’re all brothers.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy with the personal success and the team success, that’s why we play.

“However, the best thing for me, looking at the Pickers from the outside in, is seeing how close we are from the juniors through to the seniors.

“Maybe it’s because I’m getting older but, for some weird reason, I’ve noticed it a lot more this year than previous seasons.

“That includes the whole coaching staff, we are all good mates.

“I’ve played in teams before where you only talk to the coach on training days.

“Here, you know, we’re best mates… yeah, it’s different but it is working for us.

“And, it all bodes well for the future.”

Lamb sees no reason why Maitland can’t continue its supremacy in 2024.

“Hopefully, we can repeat this year,” he stated.

“Like I said, there were a lot of ups and downs this season for individual players and the team.

“So, if we can sort of limit them to, you know, half of what it was this year and then continue the on-field performances and things like that, that would be the perfect goal.

“I’m sure we can replicate what we’ve done this season.

“That would be pretty awesome.”

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