FORMER Milton-Ulladulla Bulldog Jack Murchie has enjoyed a dream 2017 season on the rugby league field – particularly with the Canberra Raiders under 20s side.
On the back of a strong start to the season in the National Youth Competition, the 20-year-old, was named in the Junior Kangaroos side, which defeated the Junior Kiwis 46-22 at Canberra’s GIO Stadium in May.
Three weeks later, Murchie was named man of the match in the New South Wales under 20s 30-16 victory against Queensland at Suncorp Stadium in May
To cap it all off, Murchie, who also helped the Gerringong Lions win the Group 7 premiership in 2015, was this week named in the NYC team of the year.
“It was a good feeling being recognised by my peers as one of the top players in the competition,” Murchie said.
“I was also a little surprised as I wasn't sure if I'd get in to the team, knowing how many great players there were in the competition.
‘I definitely had making this team in the back of my mind as something I would like to achieve this year but I tried to focus on just playing consistent good football every week, knowing these sort of things would come off the back of that.”
In his 19 games for the Raiders, Murchie scored eight tries, made 217 runs for 2262 metres, had nine line-breaks, 52 tackle breaks, four try assists and made 435 tackles.
“Yes it's been an awesome year - being able to tick off some major goals along the way,” he said.
“A lot of the success I've had this year has come from the help I've been given by guys like Brett White at the Raiders, who has really helped me fine tune my game this season.
“Although I think I performed well this year but there's always something to work on.
“I believe consistency and energy in defence is what I'll need to take the next step.
“I'll keep working on both of those plus trying to add some more size on in the off-season, to help me take that next step.”
To prepare him for a potential first grade debut in the coming years, the Raiders decided that Murchie would be best served finishing the season in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW with the Mounties.
“The step up was great – I really enjoyed my time up at the Mounties,” he said.
“The physicality is a big step up from under 20s, as you are playing against men each week.”
2017 NYC team of the year:
Fullback: Kalyn Ponga (Cowboys)
Wing: Sione Katoa (Sharks)
Centre: Phillip Sami (Titans)
Centre: Jesse Ramien (Sharks)
Wing: Greg Leleisiuao (Eels)
Five-Eighth: AJ Brimson (Titans)
Halfback: Kyle Flanagan (Sharks)
Prop: Patrick Carrigan (Broncos)
Hooker: Wayde Egan (Panthers)
Prop: Payne Haas (Broncos)
Second Row: Briton Nikora (Sharks)
Second Row: Jack Murchie (Raiders)
Lock: Billy Magoulias (Sharks)
Interchange: Victor Radley (Roosters)
Interchange: Blayke Brailey (Sharks)
Interchange: Reed Izzard (Panthers)
Interchange: Jake Clifford (Cowboys)
Coach: John Morrris (Sharks)