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REAL NRL: Premiership title a fitting way to wrap up Kidd’s career

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The Macquarie Scorpions have an added incentive to lift the Tooheys Newcastle Rugby League (Real NRL) silverware in 2022.

As the side prepares to face minor premiers Maitland Pickers in the Denton Engineering Cup major semi-final at No 1 Sportsground on Saturday 27 August, it’s also one game closer to saying goodbye to respected mentor Steve Kidd and club stalwart Liam Higgins.

The pair will hang up their clipboard and boots respectively at season’s end.

So, a title would be a fitting way to wrap up their illustrious careers.

“There’s always that motivation to capture a competition,” Kidd said.

“But, I think, with the group we’ve got, it would be great to win it with them.

“Over the past couple of years, they’ve worked really hard.

“So, it’s more about them than me.

“However, I’ll admit, I’m looking forward to the break.

“I plan to do a bit of travelling with the family.”

Despite sitting out of the Real NRL in 2020, the Scorpions responded in the best possible fashion, securing a top five berth in 2021, before COVID intervened, and then locking in third this season.

“We had a bit of a high turnover rate [of players] during that first year of the pandemic – and didn’t field a team,” Kidd said.

“But, we’ve been able to maintain the same squad for the past two seasons.

“We also added bits and pieces to it.

“It’s certainly helped with our continuity and that sort of thing.

“And, with most of the guys re-signing for 2023, it will make it easier for the club next year, too.”

Macquarie stunned the Central Newcastle Butcher Boys 36-18 in the opening weekend of the finals series, setting up the showdown with the Pickers.

Kidd’s hoping for a case of lightning striking twice, with the winners of the clash progressing to the 2020 decider.

“Central Newcastle had beaten us both times this season,” he said.

“So, we knew it was going to be a big challenge.

“However, in saying that, I remained quietly confident.

“I believed if we played like we did against Lakes United [in the last round], we’d be a good chance.

“And, the boys produced the goods.

“All the remaining sides are dangerous.

“Obviously, Maitland has been consistent for a couple of years now, Central Newcastle has been super at the back end and Cessnock can beat anyone as well.

“But, we’ll give it a good crack.”

In the minor semi-final showdown, at Townson Oval on Sunday 28 August, the Butcher Boys will be keen to hit back against the Goannas, who eliminated the South Newcastle Lions.

The loser of this fixture bows out for 2022.

Tooheys Newcastle Rugby League (Real NRL)

2022 play-offs

Semi-final 1 results:

Saturday 20 August at St John Oval, Charlestown

  • Under-19s: Western Suburbs Rosellas d South Newcastle Lions 14-12
  • Reserve grade: Northern Hawks d Western Suburbs Rosellas 26-6
  • Denton Engineering Cup: Macquarie Scorpions d Central Newcastle Butcher Boys 36-18

Elimination semi-final results:

Sunday 21 August at Baddeley Park, Cessnock

  • Under-19s: Maitland Pickers d Macquarie Scorpions 34-0
  • Reserve grade: Macquarie Scorpions d Lakes United Seagulls 22-10
  • Denton Engineering Cup: Cessnock Goannas d South Newcastle Lions 26-16

Major semi-final draw:

Saturday 27 August at No 1 Sportsground, Maitland

  • 12.10pm: Under-19s – Lakes United Seagulls v Western Suburbs Rosellas
  • 1.30pm: Reserve grade – Maitland Pickers v Northern Hawks
  • 3pm: Denton Engineering Cup – Maitland Pickers v Macquarie Scorpions

Minor semi-final draw:

Sunday 28 August at Townson Oval

  • 11.10am: Under-19s – South Newcastle Lions v Maitland Pickers
  • 12.30pm: Reserve grade – Western Suburbs Rosellas v Macquarie Scorpions
  • 2pm: Denton Engineering Cup – Central Newcastle Butcher Boys v Cessnock Goannas

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