GETTING the chance to beat Queensland on their home soil – it is a prospect that has Bathurst rugby league talent Noah Griffiths counting down the days until he runs out on Suncorp Stadium.
Griffiths was named in the New South Wales under 16s side to take on Queensland at the Brisbane stadium this Sunday, the match to be played as a curtain raiser to the Brisbane Broncos and New Zealand Warriors NRL fixture.
The selection continues the rise of the talented halfback, who has previously played for the NSW CHS side and named in the under 15s national schoolboys merit side.
Earlier this year Griffiths inked a four-year deal with Melbourne Storm, but given they do not have a side in the NSW under 16s Harold Matthews Cup competition, he did not think he was a shot at making the state side.
He was delighted to be proven wrong.
“We had our first training camp in January and from there they kept calling us back and finally picked the squad to take on Queensland,” he said.
“I didn’t really rate myself a chance at the start because everyone but two of us played Harold Matts and we thought that we really wouldn’t be looked at. It’s fantastic that we were.
“Especially being a half you’d think all those Harold Matts players had developed more, but I just thought I’d give it my best shot and hopefully get picked. Luckily it worked out.”
The form Griffiths has shown playing club football for the Bathurst Panthers under 16s and under 18s – plus a host of natural ability – saw selectors give him the nod for the annual clash with Queensland.
He will train with his team-mates at the NSWRL Centre of Excellence Field on Friday and Saturday before flying to Brisbane on Saturday afternoon.
The playmaker hopes he can add to NSW’s good run of results against Queensland.
“To get the chance to beat Queensland – especially up at Suncorp too – there’s nothing better than that,” he said.
“Playing before the Broncos and Warriors, it would probably be one of the bigger crowds I will get to play in front of, so nerve-racking but exciting at the same time.
“It’s going to be a big job, trying to keep them calm and guide them around, but I guess I’ll just focus on doing my job and hopefully everyone can do there’s too.
“I’m mostly excited, excited and nervous, but I’ll just go at it and give it my best shot.
“Everyone has won, the men won, the women won, the 18s, there was a police match and a wheelchair match New South Wales won too. So there’s a bit of pressure on us being the last ones to try and beat Queensland too.”