Test of depth for Northern Hawks rugby league team in Newcastle Denton Cup series

Northern Hawks captain-coach Brad Tighe in action during his side’s gallant 20-10 loss to premiers Maitland in the Denton Engineering Cup. Photo: Scott Morris Photography.

NORTHERN Hawks Rugby League Club are bracing themselves for a tough assignment this week in the Newcastle Denton Engineering Cup series.

The rejuvenated Hawks face the challenging task of playing two matches in the space of four days after their second round fixture against Macquarie Scorpions last Saturday was postponed due to inclement weather.

Brad Tighe’s charges line up against Cessnock Goannas in an ANZAC Day clash at Baddeley Park on Thursday before backing up against the Scorpions in a rescheduled game at Toronto’s Lyall Peacock Field.

It is a massive test for the fledgling Hawks who opened the season with a hard fought 20-10 loss to premiers Maitland during the recent Magic Round at Newcastle No 2 Sportsground.

Experienced captain-coach Brad Tighe told News Of The Area that his Hawks turned in a courageous performance against last year’s Denton Cup champions.

“I was delighted with the effort from all our players against arguably the best team in country rugby league,” reflected Tighe, an elusive centre who chalked up 171 matches with the Newcastle Knights, Penrith Panthers and Gold Coast Titans during an eventful eleven year NRL career.

Northern second rower Henry Penn, hooker Floyd Tighe and fullback Callan Briggs, who ran 136 metres with fourteen carries, produced strong displays against the Pumpkin Pickers with winger Danny Vale and interchange David Dryden posting first half tries to keep the Hawks in the hunt.

A batch of Port Stephens products from the Nelson Bay Marlins and Raymond Terrace junior ranks have bolstered the Northern squad for 2024.

Talented prop Aden Jenkins, injured forward Jake Bennett and clever half back Liam Walsh are Marlins graduates along with promising Under 19s centre Pat Slade, second rower Jordan Hill and back rower Jarrod Williams.

The club’s Raymond Terrace connections include first grade centre Timanu Alexander, lock forward Lachlan Williams and utility Dean Langdon.

There is an abundance of Roosters and Magpies junior talent in the Hawks’ lower grade ranks with reserve grade prop Liam Blanch, hooker Jack Langdon, prop Caleb Langdon, front rower Mitch Goodman and Under 19s lock Nate Elkin-McDonald, second rower Aiden Coward and prop Riley Moses.

By Chris KARAS

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