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REAL NRL: Musgrove, Huth ‘double coup’ for Goannas


Harry Siejka believes the “homecoming” of Brayden Musgrove and Luke Huth will be pivotal to the Cessnock Goannas’ charge to the top in 2023.

The pair, both members of the Newcastle Knights with the former making seven first grade appearances, severed ties with the NRL organisation in the off-season to again ply their respective trades in Tooheys Newcastle Rugby League (Real NRL).

And, the captain-coach couldn’t be more thankful. 

Luke Huth in action for the Newcastle Rebels. Photo: Rod Thompson

“Brayden, in particular, is a massive signing for us,” Siejka said.

“He’s not only come here straight from the NRL, he’s also a Cessnock junior.

“He played with the Goannas during the COVID-affected year, when they won the competition in 2020, and obviously enjoyed it.

“Brayden had plenty of NRL clubs interested in him.

“So, to sort of knock them back and return home, it’s a huge coup for Cessnock.

“As well as Brayden, we’ve picked up Luke Huth, too.

“In my honest opinion, he’s probably the best No 9 running around not in an NRL side.

“He’s a freak of a player and a really good person off the field.

“Actually, that’s the same for Brayden.

“We’re extremely lucky to get both of them back from the Knights.

“I guess they’re enjoying the environment here – and that sells the Goannas well.

“It’s a good family club… and very welcoming.

“So, we must be doing something right.”

Brayden Musgrove.

Cessnock fell agonisingly short of a grand final berth in 2022, succumbing to eventual runners up Macquarie Scorpions in a preliminary thriller.

And, Siejka is confident of another strong showing.

“I believe we’ll definitely be competitive,” he told the Newcastle Weekly.

“I said at the start of 2022 I just wanted to be energetic in every game – not be a team that puts the cue in the rack when it gets tough.

“This year, I’m hoping we get a little bit more with the new combinations.

“We experienced something similar last season.

“But, if I can get a strong 17 on the park every week, who wants to go forward, I think we’ll be there again… and challenge for the trophy.

“That’s ultimately where everyone wants to be.

“If you’re not doing that in the pre-season, you’re not there for the right reasons.”

The Goannas tackle the South Newcastle Lions at the Cessnock Sportsground in round one on Saturday 24 March.

Tooheys Newcastle Rugby League

Denton Engineering Cup round one

Saturday 24 March

  • 3pm: Wyong Roos v The Entrance Tigers (Morry Breen Oval)

Sunday 25 March

  • 3pm: Cessnock Goannas v South Newcastle Lions (Baddeley Park)
  • 3pm: Kurri Kurri Bulldogs v Maitland Pickers (Kurri Kurri Sportsground)
  • 3pm: Central Newcastle Butcher Boys v Macquarie Scorpions (St John Oval)
  • 3pm: Northern Hawks v Western Suburbs Rosellas (Tomaree Sportsground)
  • Bye: Lakes United Seagulls

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