20.1 C

REAL NRL SEASON REVIEW: Hawks to benefit from learning experience



  • Coach: Brad Tighe
  • 2023 finish: 10th
  • Wins: 2
  • Losses: 14
  • Draws: 0
The Northern Hawks showed plenty of fight in 2023. Photo: Michael Gorton Images

Summary: After winning the 2022 Real NRL reserve grade premiership, the Northern Hawks were promoted to the Denton Engineering Cup in 2023. So, a disrupted pre-season probably hampered their preparation leading into the big dance. But, the Port Stephens outfit, which unveiled several talented players like Rookie of the Year contender Cody Hancock and Floyd Tighe, surprised many pundits over the opening rounds, losing by only a handful of points to Western Suburbs and Cessnock.

The Northern Hawks claimed two scalps in its first season. Photo: Michael Gorton Images

Success finally arrived two months later with wins at the expense of Central Newcastle (38-6) and Kurri Kurri (50-18). Unfortunately for Northern, the side’s performances dissipated the longer the competition wore on, as injuries, lack of depth and suspensions took their toll. With a full 12 months under the belt, and access to a strong junior nursery, the Hawks can look forward to better times, as long as the core group stays together.

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