The Newcastle Knights have found a great one in Bradman Best with the 19-year-old showing he has what it takes with the game on the line.
The Newcastle Knights have uncovered a superstar in Bradman Best as the young gun continues to build a strong reputation in the NRL.
At just 19, Best has shown off his matchwinning ability with a slick run down the sideline to had Hymel Hunt the easiest of tries to snatch a 20-16 win over the New Zealand Warriors.
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It means the Knights are now 2-0 for the season.
With five minutes left and two points down, Best forced his way through the line before passing to Hunt to cross after busting a futile attempted tackle from Warriors fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck to seal the victory.
“First a flick pass, then a tackle bust and an offload, Bradman is best when it comes to the Newcastle Knights,” Fox commentator Matt Russell said.
“He’s a special player this kid,” Steve Roach agreed. “Give him some early ball, he’s a tackle buster. Just needed that little extra from someone, Bradman Best produces.”
Best had a whale of a game with 11 runs for 118m. But he also had 54 post-contact metres, a line break, a line break assist and two try assists.
Coach Adam O’Brien praised his teenage charge for his starring role.
“We’re really fortunate we’ve been able to keep him long term,” he said in the post-match press conference.
“He’s a special kid, he’s hard to handle but got great skill too. He was certainly one of the ones we were thinking of at the end when we needed a try, he was definitely in the conversation to get the ball to.”
Similarly, co-captain Jayden Brailey told ABC Radio: “For a guy who’s so young, he’s having a huge influence on games”
He added that he believed the Bulldogs took advantage of “microsleeps” last week but that Best had improved during the week, which he said was all he could ask of a young player.
The Warriors battled hard to take the lead after 67 minutes after the Knights took an 8-6 lead to the halftime break before scoring early in the second half.
The Warriors were unlucky to be disallowed in the first half before scoring the first try but scores through Adam Pompey and Ken Maumalo then handed the Warriors the lead.
But Best hooking up with Hunt sealed a hard fought victory on the Central Coast.
And O’Brien was sounding a warning sign for the rest of the competition with players still to come back, including Kalyn Ponga, Edrick Lee, Blake Green and Lachlan Fitzgibbon and said the side “isn’t the finished product”.