HE is one of the best attacking fullbacks in the NSW Intrust Super Premiership, but Will Kennedy will likely need one of the biggest performances of his career on Sunday if he’s to help the Newtown Jets to premiership glory.
In the grand final Kennedy and his fellow Newtown Jets will take on a Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs outfit which boasts plenty of NRL experience.
The Bulldogs are led by second-rower Rhyse Martin, while lock Greg Eastwood, centre John Olive and halfback Fa’amanu Brown have also played in the top flight.
“There aren’t many names in the Newtown side that NRL fans would associate, there are not many NRL players there, but a lot of players on the rise, players who have come through the system, whereas with the Bulldogs, there are people they have seen playing NRL pretty regularly,” league commentator Phil Gould said.
“I think the Bulldogs have got the star power, but you can not dismiss the Newtown Jets’ spirit.”
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Still for Kennedy, the son of William ‘Bubba’ Kennedy and brother to Sydney Roosters contracted player Kandy, grand finals are nothing new.
The St Pat’s graduate won an SG Ball title with Cronulla in 2015 and last year played an integral role in the success of the Sharks’ Holden Cup side.
This season Kennedy has spent time training with the Cronulla Sharks’ NRL squad and learning off some of the best in the game, something that shows when he has lined up for feeder club the Jets.
He has not only been club’s most prolific try-scorer in 2018, but one of the leader’s in that statistic across the entire competition.
The Jets booked their place in decider by springing a preliminary final surprise last weekend against minor premiers Penrith Panthers.
The Panthers went into the contest as favourites given they had not lost since May, but the Jets won a tense battle 28-24.
As he had done in each of the Jets’ previous finals matches, Kennedy once more got his name on the score sheet.
Kennedy ran onto a ran onto a ball from halfback Kyle Flanagan and sliced through the Panthers defence in the 32nd minute.
The Bulldogs joined them in the grand final by running in five tries against the Dragons to win 28-26.
The Jets have beaten the Bulldogs in both their meetings so far this season – 22-20 then 20-6 - but know it will be a stronger opponent they meet on Sunday.
“If we complete well, hold the ball and just play real tidy footy, we’ll get there,” Jets Jaimin Jolliffe said.
Sunday’s grand final at Leichhardt Oval kicks off at 3.10pm.