Digital Image by Brett Crockford © nrlphotos.com :	    Kurt Baptiste   NRL, Rugby League, Round 19,  Melbourne Storm v  Canberra Raiders @ AAMI Park, Melbourne, VIC, Saturday 19th July, 2014.

Season Review: Kurt Baptiste

After coming down to the Nation’s Capital on a one year deal, Kurt Baptiste broke through for his club debut and did enough in his five appearances to earn a two year contract extension, keeping him at the Raiders until 2016.

Originally stuck behind Glen Buttriss, Matt McIlwrick and Josh McCrone in the pecking order for dummy half duties, Baptiste played the majority of the year for Souths Logan in the Intrust Super Cup.

Baptiste would prove to not only be consistently among the Magpies best but among the best in the entire Intrust Super Cup.

As such, the 23 year olds outstanding form forced him to be selected to make his Raiders debut against the Wests Tigers in Round 16.

Baptiste was impressive in his debut in lime green with his sharp service from dummy half and playmaking nous enhancing the Raiders play in his brief cameo on the field.

After his superb performances for Souths Logan, coupled with his promising debut for Canberra, Baptiste was chosen to represent the Queensland Residents against the NSW Cup Representative Team in what was a curtain raiser to State of Origin Game Three at Suncorp Stadium.

Baptiste would return to the Raiders line-up after his representative honour and would keep his place in the team for the next four matches until a shoulder injury in Round 21 ruled him out for the season and subsequently halted his progress at his new club.

Despite only a handful of games in his debut year, Baptiste performed well enough to warrant a two year contract extension in September.

“I’ve really enjoyed my first year at the Raiders and getting the chance to play in the NRL again has been a highlight, so I’m excited about signing for another two years,” Baptiste said.

“I’ve had shoulder surgery and I’ve started rehab so I’ll be ready to go for the start of next season.

“Ricky’s been great for me and my game and I want to repay the faith he’s shown in me by playing well over the next two years.

“We have some great players at the club and I’m looking forward to being a part of a successful team and building on our strong culture.”

Baptiste will again face stiff competition from Buttriss, McCrone and new recruit Josh Hodgson for hooking duties in 2015 however his encouraging displays this year will see him firmly placed to challenge for a spot in the top 17.

Games: 5

Average Minutes: 29.6

Tries: 0

Try Assists: 0

Line Breaks: 0

Line Break Assists: 0

Tackle Breaks: 2

Average Metres: 18.8

Average Tackles: 12.8

Offloads: 1

Kick Metres: 4 kicks for 104 metres