Hat-trick of tries in NYC trial gives Lee confidence for year ahead
Thursday 14 February 2013 11:22 AM
After scoring a hat-trick of tries in his first taste of Under 20s rugby league, Brenko Lee believes that his nerves and self-doubt has subsided and his confidence is now starting to grow as he prepares for his first season in the National Youth Competition.
Lee’s nerves derived from the fact that he is still just 17 years of age and will be playing against players 2-3 years his senior. Lee was a one of the stars of last year’s SG Ball side which progressed through to the Grand Final and his stellar form in the Under 18s competition resulted in the blockbusting centre being promoted to the Raiders NYC squad.
It is clear to see why the Logan Brothers’ junior has risen so quickly through the junior ranks; Lee is has a powerful build for his age coupled with blockbusting pace and a deceptive swerve.
He terrorised opposition centres at a junior level but to make the most out of his boundless talent, Lee knows he has cannot rely on his physical advantage forever and was determined to make the most out of the NYC’s arduous pre-season training schedule.
“It’s the hardest training I’ve ever done but I’m trying my hardest to get a starting spot,” said Lee.
“I lost weight over the off-season but in the two weeks leading up to the game I put on two kilograms of muscle.
“I’m a lot fitter than I usually am aerobically. I was beating guys by just being able to out-run them on the weekend instead of just using some footwork or a palm.
“It was quite fun actually and putting on that little bit of extra muscle meant I didn’t get dominated physically but I still had the freedom to run wherever I wanted.”
Lee’s pre-season efforts are now starting to reap rewards with the Queensland Under 18s representative scoring the match-winning try in the trial against the Storm on Saturday.
Whilst Lee is in arguably the best shape of his short career and growing in confidence, he is not getting too far ahead of himself, instead deflecting the praise to that of his teammates.
“It was 16 all late in the game so to score that match winning try has given me a bit of confidence,” said Lee.
“It was quite challenging and they were pretty physical so it was quite hard to do stuff. It is the guys around me that should take most of the credit.
“Without the forwards we couldn’t do anything. They were the ones laying the platform down for me and they really got the Storm on the back foot.
“Mantas [NYC Head Coach Mick Mantelli] said that it was a good team performance but he was happy with the way that I put myself into the game.
"Being a 17 year old I try I’m trying to build my confidence up at this level so I was quite blessed and lucky enough to get three tries.
“It puts some confidence in my head leading into the Bulldogs trial. I don’t want to get ahead of myself but hopefully they pick me in the team after my form in the Storm trial.”
If Brenko continues with the first class attitude that he currently exudes, it may not be too much longer until he joins his cousin Edrick in first grade.