The halves are not a regular scoring position in NRLCEO. They can be quality one week and then quiet for the next two. But then all points count, so you should never leave an empty position in your team!
That’s where rookie halves come in. Often there will be an introduction of rookie halves for two or three weeks at a time which can help fill your needs during the representative season or injuries.
Here are eight rookies I believe could make an impact in the 2016 NRL season in the halves positions:
Te Maire Martin: (Halfback, Five Eighth)
Penrith young gun Te Maire Martin could be a chance of making the Panthers’ round one NRL line-up with the uncertain fait of Peter Wallace with new coach Anthony Griffin and a possible move of Matt Moylan moving to five eighth. Martin played 50 games in the NYC and scored 17 tries and set-up many more. Is touted to be next in line for Griffin if the Soward/Moylan/Wallace combinations dont work. The Kid will get plenty of opportunities in 2016 with new coach Griffin.
Cronulla Sharks: Josh Cleeland
The 24 year five-eighth played an integral role in the Jets’ Queensland Cup premiership and State Championship success in the 2015 season. Cleeland’s one-year-deal with the Sharks comes as a reward for an outstanding 2015 season playing for an all-conquering Jets team in the Intrust Super Cup, where he lead the competition in both try and line break assists. Cleeland will add to the depth to the Sharks halves, complementing the earlier signings of James Maloney, Chad Townsend.
Newcastle Knight: Jack Cogger
Will be Trent Hodkinson’s replacement whilst unavailable for NSW Representative duties (if he’s picked). Represented the Australian Schoolboys in 2014, the 18-year-old has been a star for Newcastle and managed to 21 games in the Holden Cup in 2015. Eligible to play in the Holden Cup until the end of 2017 but will get his opportunities in 2015.
Canberra Raiders: Lachlan Croker
Penrith Panthers: Zach Dockar-Clay
Dockar-Clay can play halfback and hooker and has represented the Junior Kiwis and NSW junior Origin teams. Played 78 games in four years for Parramatta in the NYC sitting him the third-most capped player in under 20s history. Probably sits behind other rookie Te Maire Martin for a shot at Jamie Sowards position. Despite that the Captain of the Junior Kiwis still a good chance to make his debut in 2016.
Melbourne Storm: Scott Drinkwater
Melbourne have secured the services of outstanding Australian Schoolboys half-back Scott Drinkwater with the hope he will take over play-making duties from Cooper Cronk. The Storm have signed Drinkwater on a three-year deal. The 18-year old possesses a number of the natural talents that make a talented halfback and will be able to learn from the best when he links up with Storm star Cooper Cronk. A kid to lookout for in 2016.
Manly Sea Eagles: Nicholas Hynes
With the Sea Eagles lacking depth in the halves, Hynes is a huge chance to make an appearance if Daly Cherry-Evans and/or Dylan Walker become unavailable due to Origin commitments. Will have other challenges for the job though, with the injury-prone Tim Moltzen who joined the club in 2016. But Definitely a Huge chance for this kid to Debut in 2016.
Gold Coast Titans: Karl Lawton
Has emerged as an unlikely contender for one of the vacant Gold Coast Titans halves positions. Lawton, 20, posses strong running game and is ready to compete in the NRL, he backs his ability to take on the defensive line with his speed, step and strength. Another option for coach Neil Henry if the Ash Taylor experiment fails.