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REAL NRL: Rebels keen to maintain Tri Series rage


The Newcastle Rebels will be keen to assert their dominance in the upcoming Tri Series, again, after naming two strong squads during the week.

The Hunter-based powerhouse proved unstoppable in both seniors and under-20s in 2021 under the watchful eyes of respective coaches Aaron Watts and Adam Hall.

The open side pounded Illawarra 36-4 to claim the Steel City Challenge and then dismantled Canberra 48-8 at Maitland No 1 Sportsground.

As for the juniors, they did likewise, pipping the Wollongong representatives 26-22 before upsetting the highly-fancied ACT outfit 36-18.

Now, 12 months later, the A-Plus Contracting-sponsored teams are preparing to head to the nation’s capital to tackle Canberra first-up on Saturday 14 May.

But, this time, former Newcastle Knights star Daniel Abraham will oversee the Rebels’ first-graders.

And, his selectors have handed him an exceptionally gifted line-up.

The Maitland Pickers provides six members – Cal Burgess, Chad O’Donnell, Gary Anderson, James Taylor, Jayden Butterfield and Matt Soper-Lawler – while the Macquarie Scorpions are supplying four – Bayden Searle, Joe Woodbury, Luke Higgins and Matt Moon.

South Newcastle Lions trio Jack Welsh, Lewis Hamilton and Ryan Glanville, Cessnock Goannas’ Anthony Meleisea-Murray, Harry O’Brien and Jayden Young, Central Newcastle Butcher Boys duo Cameron Anderson and Nick Ritter and Lakes United Seagulls pair Jake O’Meley and Matt Cooper round out the posse.

Equally, the new man guiding the under-20s, Scott Robinson, has plenty to work with, too.

The talent pool in the Rebels includes youngsters from Central Newcastle, Cessnock, Kurri Kurri Bulldogs, Lakes United, Maitland, Northern Hawks, South Newcastle and the Western Suburbs Rosellas.

The Rosellas offer the bulk with the likes of Aidan Storrie, Isaiah Olsen, Jack Smith, Jordan Wilson and Macauley Aoake.

The Butcher Boys (Fletch Kennedy, Kain Anderson, Sam Robinson), Bulldogs (Brodie Linnane, Hunter Dever, Sam Fechner) and Lions (Jhett Butler, Logan Jones and Takarei Kuru) boast three rep each.

The Pickers have Ethan Butterfield and Jackson Shade in demand, similar to the Goannas with Hayden Regan and Tyrone Nean.

Aden Jenkins (Hawks) and Reegan Glover (Seagulls) are their club’s lone stars.

Meanwhile, the immediate focus for the players is round six this weekend.

On Saturday 30 April, the Rosellas and Wyong Roos will go head-to-head at Harker Oval, the Pickers host the Goannas at Maitland No 1 Sportsground and the Scorpions face the Seagulls at Lyall Peacock Field.

Twenty-four hours later, The Entrance Tigers tackle the Butcher Boys at EDSACC Oval North and the Lions take one the Bulldogs at Townson Oval.

Newcastle Rebels representative squads

  • Seniors (coach Daniel Abraham): Cameron Anderson (Central Newcastle Butcher Boys), Gary Anderson (Maitland Pickers), Cal Burgess (Maitland Pickers), Jayden Butterfield (Maitland Pickers), Matt Cooper (Lakes United Seagulls), Ryan Glanville (South Newcastle Lions), Lewis Hamilton (South Newcastle Lions), Luke Higgins (Macquarie Scorpions), Anthony Meleisea-Murray (Cessnock Goannas), Matt Moon (Macquarie Scorpions), Harry O’Brien (Cessnock Goannas), Chad O’Donnell (Maitland Pickers), Jake O’Meley (Lakes United Seagulls), Nick Ritter (Central Newcastle Butcher Boys), Bayden Searle (Macquarie Scorpions), Matt Soper-Lawler (Maitland Pickers), James Taylor (Maitland Pickers), Jack Welsh (South Newcastle Lions), Joe Woodbury (Macquarie Scorpions), Jayden Young (Cessnock Goannas)
  • Under-20s (coach Scott Robinson): Kain Anderson (Central Newcastle Butcher Boys), Macauley Aoake (Western Suburbs Rosellas), Jhett Butler (South Newcastle Lions), Ethan Butterfield (Maitland Pickers), Hunter Dever (Kurri Kurri Bulldogs), Sam Fechner (Kurri Kurri Bulldogs), Reegan Glover (Lakes United Seagulls), Aden Jenkins (Northern Hawks), Logan Jones (South Newcastle Lions), Fletch Kennedy (Central Newcastle Butcher Boys), Takarei Kuru (South Newcastle Lions), Brody Linnane (Kurri Kurri Bulldogs), Tyrone Nean (Cessnock Goannas), Isaiah Olsen (Western Suburbs Rosellas), Hayden Regan (Cessnock Goannas), Sam Robinson (Central Newcastle Butcher Boys), Jackson Shade (Maitland Pickers), Jack Smith (Western Suburbs Rosellas), Aidan Storrie (Western Suburbs Rosellas), Jordan Wilson (Western Suburbs Rosellas)

Tooheys Newcastle Rugby League (Real NRL)

Denton Engineering Cup

Round five results:

  • Maitland Pickers d Wyong Roos 22-12
  • South Newcastle Lions d Cessnock Goannas 22-14
  • The Entrance Tigers d Kurri Kurri Bulldogs 32-4
  • Central Newcastle Butcher Boys d Lakes United Seagulls 30-14
  • Macquarie Scorpions d Western Suburbs Rosellas 32-0

Round six draw:

Saturday 30 April

  • 3pm: Western Suburbs Rosellas v Wyong Roos (Harker Oval)
  • 3pm: Maitland Pickers v Cessnock Goannas (Maitland No 1 Sportsground)
  • 3pm: Macquarie Scorpions v Lakes United Seagulls (Lyall Peacock Field)

Sunday 1 May

  • 3pm: The Entrance Tigers v Central Newcastle Butcher Boys (EDSACC Oval North)
  • 3pm: South Newcastle Lions v Kurri Kurri Bulldogs (Townson Oval)

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