There were plenty of ups and downs for Lachlan Croker in 2016, in what was his first season full-time with the NRL squad.
Croker once again started his year at the Auckland Nines in February, playing a pivotal role in the Raiders march to the quarter-finals alongside his uncle Jason Croker.
Starting the season off in the NYC competition, Croker captained the Raiders to a fantastic last-minute win over the Penrith Panthers in Round One. Croker scored two tries and ran for 163 metres in the victory over the defending premiers.
Injuries to Blake Austin and Aidan Sezer in the first grade game opened the door for Croker to make his NRL debut against the Roosters in Round Two.
Unfortunately, Croker's debut didn't go accordingly to plan, having to lead the field just before half-time with a shoulder injury.
After recovering from the injury Croker would take his place in the Mounties team for the remainder of the season, also playing once more for the U20's when Mounties had a bye.
His partnership in the halves with Sam Williams was a major part of the Mounties dominant regular season form, with Croker showing plenty of maturity on the field at just 19 years of age.
Croker's strong season was rewarded with selection in the Australian Kangaroos U20's team and also the NSW Blues U20's Origin team.
Disaster struck late in the season for Croker, when he tore his ACL playing for the Mounties. The injury will require significant rehab and time off, with Croker having already returned from an off-season break to begin rehab work at Raiders HQ.