Thunderbolts Ready for Jersey Flegg Debut
By Matt Hughes (NRL Victoria Media)
The Victoria Thunderbolts under 20’s will make their long-awaited debut in the NSWRL Jersey Flegg Cup competition, when they take on Canberra at GIO Stadium on Friday the 22nd March.
The Thunderbolts will be looking to make a good impression after a year playing in the QRL under 20’s Hastings Deering Colts competition.
Their 2018 season in that competition was successful, where they made week 2 of the final’s series.
Speaking ahead of the game, Thunderbolt’s coach Ben Jack was unsure of how his side would go.
“It’s really hard to tell, we were in this same predicament last year where we were playing in a new competition, so it’s hard to get a true indication on who we are playing.”
“I know Canberra traditionally have a hard-nosed strong work ethic throughout their game so regardless they are going to be a tough opponent.”
The work ethic he is talking about helped Canberra finish fourth last year, under their affiliate club, the Mount Pritchard Mounties.
When it comes to strengths, Jack has been impressed by his Victorian side’s “rugby league IQ”.
“The players down here in Victoria are genuinely smart players and their knowledge of playing the game is something I’ve noticed grow in the past few years.”
The Thunderbolts have been training hard since their pre-season began in November. Some of their stars include Trent Toelau, Matt Stimson and Jordin Leiu who all recently spent time training with the storm First Grade squad. However Jack is extremely excited to see some new faces in the Thunderbolts jersey.
“I am really looking forward to having some debutants for the Thunderbolts, it’s a rewarding experience for these players to make their debut and receive the Thunderbolt number.”
Asked about his expectation of his side, Jack just wants them to play to their potential.
“We’ve set internal goals and expectations for the year, for me as a coach I want the team to compete to their very best every week regardless of where we are and who we play.”
“If every individual finishes the season a better person and player then our staff have done their job.”
Jersey Flegg Cup Round 2
Victoria Thunderbolts v Canberra Raiders
GIO Stadium, Canberra
1. Troy Hanita-Paki (Thunderbolt #7)
2. Fua Schwalger (Thunderbolt #3)
3. Antonio Sanele (20's Debut)
4. Jacob Reedy-Bartlett (20's Debut)
5. Uala Salia (20's Debut)
6. Saimone Ahomana (20's Debut)
7. Trent Toelau (Thunderbolt #10)
8. Seu Seuiavatele (Thunderbolt #26)
9. Junior Teroi (Thunderbolt #27)
10. Jordin Leiu (Thunderbolt #11)
11. Mali Le Pou (Thunderbolt #28)
12. Matt Stimson © (Thunderbolt #1)
13. Nicholas Flocas (Thunderbolt #17)
14. Jermaine Tusa (20's Debut)
15. Teofilo Seigafo (20's Debut)
16. Ryan Wescombe (Thunderbolt #19)
20. Sulio Fifita (Thunderbolt #21)
Head Coach - Ben Jack