• Redfern All Blacks coach and Skipper, Dean Widders. (Luke Briscoe)Source: Luke Briscoe
The Koori Knockout is a breeding ground for future stars, such as Melbourne Storm’s Josh Addo-Carr, according to NITV rugby league commentator and expert, Owen Craigie.
By
Owen Craigie

27 Sep 2017 - 3:19 PM  UPDATED 27 Sep 2017 - 3:19 PM

What a weekend coming up. A buffet of rugby league with the Koori Knockout and the NRL grand final.

For the Knockout, we’ve got the draw live on NITV and Over the Black Dot on Wednesday night – there’s 64 teams this year in the men’s.

The Koori Knockout is one of the biggest cultural gatherings on the globe and is a modern-day corroboree.

Thirty-thousand or more people there over the next three or four days at Leichhardt Oval on the weekend and it all comes down to that draw. The draw can make or break you on the first day.

There’s of course more than just the men’s tournament and that’s part of what makes the Knockout special. There’s the women’s comp which keeps getting better and junior competitions too.

I’m coaching an under-15 Newcastle Yowies team this year. It’s great to help open doors for other young kids to try and have the same opportunities that myself and Georgie Rose and other players have had.

Regional knockouts have been taking place with teams getting things prepared, but it’s a different beast at the Koori Knockout.

To go with the current stars, the Koori Knockout is a breeding ground for future stars.

For the men’s comp, your Redfern All Blacks will be favourites again. Walgett Aboriginal Connection with Georgie Rose, they’re a red-hot team. Griffith Three Ways will have a red-hot team too.

The Newcastle All Blacks, they’ll have a really red-hot team. Bevan French is playing with them and also Will Smith.

To go with the current stars, the Koori Knockout is a breeding ground for future stars.

Josh Addo-Carr played for Redfern last year and won them the game out at Dubbo before. Look where Josh Addo-Carr is today.

There are opportunities everywhere now for these young boys and girls to do what they want in sport.

Now if all these young boys and girls don’t take a leaf out of his book, then they’re not seeing what life is all about. This kid was two years ago playing for Redfern All Blacks and scored that amazing try at Dubbo. Last year he absolutely carved it and got sacked by Wests Tigers and then the Storm picked him up and he’s in a grand final. The rest is history.

There are opportunities everywhere now for these young boys and girls to do what they want in sport.

It’s the opportunity and the Koori Knockout provides that.

Everyone’s sitting at home watching it on NITV, people are using social media talking about who the good players are. Thirty thousand people and all these talent scouts are there watching all these young boys.

You don’t need to go to a trial game at a club really because they’ll be all there watching ya. If you turn it on and entertain the crowd and play some good footy, you’ve just created an opportunity to enhance your lifestyle to either go into a private school, finish off school or go to a club and live a healthy lifestyle and get paid to play the game you love the most.

There can be pressure with taking that opportunity, but that’s good pressure.

You’ve got four days of rugby league and then you’ve got the NRL grand final. There’s so much happening. Do yourself a favour and come down and watch it.

At the end of the day, if we all had a magic wand we’d have a better life than we’re all living. But it is what it is, there’s going to be obstacles. And without adversity there is no success. And good is the evil of great, so you’ve just got to go out there and make it happen and make it work.

Get down to Leichhardt Oval this weekend for the Koori Knockout. Come and watch it. It’s a buffet of rugby league all weekend.

You’ve got four days of rugby league and then you’ve got the NRL grand final. There’s so much happening. Do yourself a favour and come down and watch it.

For those who can’t get there or are in remote and regional areas, tune into NITV and you can listen to our wonderful broadcast team, Djuro Sen, George and myself. If you can’t be at the games, we’ll make sure that you have good time watching it in your lounge rooms and in your communities. 

 

NITV will bring full day, live match coverage of the semi-final and grand final clashes on Sunday 1 and Monday 2 October.