Winner: Brock Lamb
Let’s get this straight: Brock Lamb is a very, very talented player. One day he’ll reach the top. And on that day he will look down and survey the jagged, difficult path he took.
He will peer into the foothills and spy round 18, 2017 and consider the role that weekend played in shooting him to greatness. Because you can’t succeed without failing, and boy did Lamb cop a raw deal at Belmore Oval on that Sunday afternoon.
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Newcastle were clearly the better team, Lamb a big contributor with his control and kicking game. Then with just over a minute left a well-considered kick designed to find touch and close down the game hits Moses Mbye. It could’ve ricocheted anywhere... anywhere but Mbye’s grateful arms. He runs the length and Canterbury are in front. It’s a travesty. A heist. But the greatest indignity is still to come.
From the kickoff the Knights are given a penalty. A successful kick after the siren will send the game into golden ooint. After kicking well all day, veteran half Trent Hodkinson, who spent five years at this very ground, inexplicably hands the tee to Lamb. Reckons he can’t make the distance with a dodgy leg.
This is Lamb’s moment, the moment every kid dreams about in the backyard. What does he get instead? It’s a Lamb Shank. The ball skewing disgustedly low and to the left, finishing closer to the corner post than the goal post. Lamb is inconsolable. He doesn’t realise at the time: this will be the making of you, young man.
Honourable mention: Paul Aoun
Have you stood next to David Klemmer? It’s like taking shelter on the leeward side of a mountain range. Why anyone would want to crane their neck so high and spit 'constructive' feedback into that vast height can only raise questions about their desire to live. Or their levels on inebriation.
We can't explain why he made a bee-line for Klemmer in the sheds at full-time and found himself offering some friendly advice to the prop about his unwillingness to offload.
God knows Klemmer should need it, having only represented NSW and Australia for the past three years.
Not so long ago, Aoun would have been minced. But these are different times. Klemmer snarled and strained at the leash, but didn’t bite back too ferociously.
The fan won’t be back in Canterbury’s inner sanctum any time soon, but in our opinion he was lucky to escape at all.