Fancy footwork kicks off new year of try-making
WITH his very first touch of the ball in competitive rugby league for 2015, Jake Marker scored a try.
Not just a catch and put the ball down effort set up by someone else either.
The one Jake scored was an absolute beauty.
Picking the ball up around his own 20m line, the 12 year old fullback looked at the Wallabys defensive line coming towards him, danced around some tackling attempts with a right and left foot step and took off.
He was out into open space before anyone knew what was happening and cruised to the try line with his Valleys team mates trailing behind in delight.
It was a long way from what was going through Jake's mind when he first gripped the ball.
"I was thinking I shouldn't have let it go over my head," he said of the kick from the Wallabys.
"Then I put on some footwork, it is a good skill to have."
Everything else came naturally to Jake; the turn of pace, seeing the running lanes and then bursting away from potential tacklers.
It is something he hopes he can replicate a number of times this year.
After winning the under 11 premiership, the Valleys team lost in the semi-final last year, which Jake wants to rectify at the end of this season.
"We came unstuck in the semis, Brothers beat us, but it was close," he said. "We want it this year."
He also thinks the year will be good for his club in general.
There was also a lot of respect for the Wallabys, who the entire Valleys club played in the annual pre-season challenge of the two teams.
"It is a great trial day," Jake said. "It is quick because there are no conversions.
"It is a good way to get back with the boys."
For more sport, pick up Monday's Observer print edition for our eight-page lift-out.