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Manly’s Kaeo Weekes inches closer to making his NRL debut

Manly young gun Kaeo Weekes has been impressed with Reuben Garrick’s fullback play as he inches closer to making an NRL debut.

Reuben Garrick brings more than just an impressive try-scoring ability on the wing at Manly, despite his 51 four-pointers from 83 NRL games largely on the left flank.

That’s not to mention his goalkicking, knocking over 38 goals this year at a 76 per cent conversion rate.

It has been his fullback play as the replacement for injured superstar Tom Trbojevic which has won the respect of his teammates, including young gun Kaeo Weekes.

The 24-year-old was outstanding in the Manly Sea Eagles’ big 44-12 win over the Warriors at Brookvale last Saturday night, scoring two tries, running for 225m and kicking six from seven goals.

The victory kept the hosts in touch with the top eight ahead of today’s Round 14 clash against West Tigers at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.

It also meant the next in line for the Manly No.1 jersey, Weekes, continues to learn just by watching the 2021 Dally M Winger of the Year and Top Point Scorer from the sidelines.

“He’s more than just a winger – he’s very skillful and he pops up everywhere,” Weekes told bettingsite.com.au.

“It was good to see the footy we can play (against the Warriors). It was good to show people that we’ve still got the skills and the belief to win games.”

Weekes – Manly’s 19th man for its clash against the Tigers – has some pretty handy mentors in Trbojevic and Garrick to continue learning from.

“They’re really smart and intelligent. It’s great to watch how they play and to train against them,” he said.

The classy young backfield player with great speed and vision continues to impress at either NSW Cup level with Blacktown Workers, or Manly’s Jersey Flegg team.

He scored a try in the Sea Eagles’ 40-22 loss to the first-placed Roosters in Flegg action at Brookvale last Sunday, helping his second-last placed team compete against a side which has lost just twice this season.

“At the start of the first half we were fast, and getting on the front foot gave us a bit of belief,” he said.

“But that sort of went away. That’s what we try to do – just play eyes-up footy. Everyone has their structures, but we need to back our skills.”

Custodian Weekes – the former Newington College student and sprinting star who was recruited into the Manly system at 14 – is inching closer to the first-grade debut he has long been chasing.

This is because of his consistent performances in the lower grades which started back in 2017 when he scored 11 tries in the Harold Matthews competition, despite playing up an age group.

“There are always ways you can improve. It was good,” he said when asked about his impressive showing against the Roosters after last Sunday’s Jersey Flegg game.

“I want to crack first grade. But if it doesn’t come I want to keep learning here or at Cup level.

“I just want to keep getting better and building my confidence.

“I came up through Harold Matthews. It was good to come over and be in the system early.”
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