Kurt Baptiste enjoyed his most consistent year of first grade to date, playing in a career-high number of NRL games in 2015.

After a handful of games in 2014, Baptiste established himself as a regular first grader for the Raiders this season and made a noticeable impact when he entered the fray from the interchange bench.

The 24 year old developed an effective rotational combination with hooker Josh Hodgson in 2015 that looks set to get a whole lot better next season.

Baptiste added attacking spark and enterprise when he entered the field late in each half with his speed out of dummy half and creative ball-play tearing the opposition apart on occasions.

The Queensland Residents representative’s high-energy playing style would lift the tempo in favour of the Green Machine after Hodgson came off for a rest.

Although he is one of the smallest players in the team, Baptiste is also a tenacious defender and averaged 16 tackles in the middle of the field in a short space of time.

Despite registering 18 games in 2015, Baptiste’s highest amount in a single season in his career, the year didn’t start out too well for the diminutive playmaker.

After recovering from a shoulder operation in the pre-season, Baptiste began the year with Mounties in the VB NSW Cup and played the first six matches of the year there.

Despite his disappointment, Baptiste worked hard to fight his way back into the side and was recalled in Round 7. His impressive performances from then on ensured that he kept his place in the top 17 for the remainder of the year.

Now that he has become a regular member of Ricky Stuart’s top 17, Baptiste will be striving for greater game time in 2016 in a bid to take his game to a new level.

Most Memorable Moment:

Although he scored two brilliant sniping tries out of dummy half in 2015, Baptiste’s most memorable moment this season was the outstanding try he created for Frank-Paul Nuuausala in Round 7 against the Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval.

Down 22-12 and with the Raiders desperate to put some points on, Ricky Stuart sent the signal to send Baptiste into the action.

Baptiste answered his coach’s wishes. His energy out of dummy half shifted the momentum in the Raiders favour as he orchestrated the platform for his big forwards to roll on downfield with ease.

Once down the other end, Baptiste then used wonderful sleight of hand to send Nuuausala over for a crucial try with a beautiful pass despite his eyes looking in the completely different direction.

On the back of that try, the Raiders then went onto fight their way back into the contest and ultimately win the match.

Statistics:

Matches

Runs

Metres

Tackles

Tries

Try Assists

Tackle Breaks

Offloads

Line Breaks

18

38

337

254

2

2

8

1

4


*In two matches Baptiste did not enter the field.