Topic: Jack Wighton  

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Re: Jack Wighton
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2012, 12:42:20 PM »
David Furner: Target Wighton at your own peril

It is common place for teams to target a talented rookie in his first game in the NRL, however Canberra Raiders Coach David Furner has warned the Gold Coast Titans to target debutant Jack Wighton at their own peril.

Wighton successfully beat a grade two dangerous throw charge at a judiciary hearing earlier in the week and has been named on the wing for Saturday evening’s clash with the Titans at Skilled Park.

“They can target him if they want but he’ll certainly them show what type of player he’s going to be. He’s probably one of our best in the air,” Furner said.

“He also had a trial in first grade against Melbourne so I’m expecting exactly what Jack can offer. He’s an aggressive type of runner and defender. He’s trained all pre-season with the top squad and he impressed everyone at training and obviously in his first game in 20s last week.”

“I’m really very excited for the kid to get the opportunity to play. Seeing his face when he had his charge downgraded is one of those little things that as a coach you get a little bit excited about.”

Wighton normally plays five-eighth or centre however his outstanding natural talents enable him to play anywhere in the backline.

Captain Terry Campese has every confidence in the Orange junior’s ability to not only handle playing wing in the NRL, but to thrive in the first grade arena.

“It’s definitely not a risk playing him on the wing. The key to Scott Prince’s game is his kicking game so no matter who’s going to be out there they’re going to get targeted.”

“He’s normally a centre and centre and wing are similar positions. He played in the NRL trials and he did play a bit on the wing against the Storm.”

“We’ve got a strong left side with Bronson Harrison and Crokes [Jarrod Croker] so we’ll be there to help him out.”

“He’s a young kid with great talent and if he can produce the form that he showed in the trials he’s going to be exciting to watch. I’m excited for him and can’t wait to see him out there.”

While Campese and Furner are confident in Wighton’s ability, Furner’s concern lays in the team’s ruck defence.

“The Titans have got plenty of speed and both of their nine’s are very good players so they’ll test us out around the ruck area. That’s certainly an area we’ll need to be very good at.”

Raiders were unlucky not to get away with the win last week against competition heavyweights the Melbourne Storm, however there was a renewed sense of confidence brought about by the match.

“We’re definitely confident heading into round two,” Campese said.

“Considering the weather our completion rate was excellent and our missed tackles were very low also. If we can take that into the Titans game and hold the ball for the same rate of completions then we’ll definitely be in with a good shot.”

“We need to we fix up a few little areas from last week but everyone’s feeling really confident around the place. Last week was a missed opportunity and we can’t wait for this week to redeem ourselves.”

The match kicks off on Saturday at 4:40pm (QLD time) at Skilled Park.

Source: Canberra Raiders

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Re: Jack Wighton
« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2012, 12:41:31 PM »
Wighton the centre of attention on the wing

HE WAS making his NRL debut after a tumultuous build-up, and had never played wing in his life.



But Jack Wighton endorsed his rating as the next Raiders whiz kid after producing a stellar display in Canberra's 24-12 win over Gold Coast at Skilled Park yesterday.

The 19-year-old revealed after the match it was his first-ever match on the flank, even at junior level.
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Normally a centre or five-eighth, Wighton pulled off a handful of crunching tackles, and made great reads to come off his wing when required.

But he will remember his first crack at the big time for a superb piece of work which set up a first-half try to centre Jarrod Croker.

With the Raiders leading 6-0, five-eighth Terry Campese kicked high to his wing and Wighton leapt high to bat the ball inside to Croker who scored.

It was the icing on the cake of a fine debut, and justified Canberra's decision to fight a charge at the judiciary on Wednesday night.

Wighton's debut was in danger of being put on hold after he was placed on report for a grade-two dangerous throw in the Toyota Cup last week.

Canberra coach David Furner represented the Orange junior himself and was successful in having the charge downgraded.

He justified that faith in yesterday's win, the Raiders' first since July 24 and their breakthrough win at Skilled Park in five attempts.

''We went down there on Wednesday [the judiciary] and I just had a really good feeling after that,'' Furner said.

''He got downgraded which allowed him to make his debut, and they're the things as a coach that are special. I was really proud of him.''

The two most nervous people in the 11,378-strong crowd were Wighton's parents David and Loretta.

David admitted his son was nervous before the judiciary hearing, but his modesty allowed him to focus on the job at hand.

''It was his first go at wing so they've obviously taught him very well,'' David said.

''What the club did for him [at the judiciary] was terrific, and he's looking like he may be able to repay that.

''I've seen him do tackles like that when he was 12 years old, he likes to whack them and get them square in the middle and that's what hurts them.''

With fellow prop Tom Learoyd-Lahrs missing through injury, Raiders giant David Shillington was in superb touch.

The 28-year-old pressed his claims to regain his Queensland Origin jersey after running for 196m off 21 hit-ups and making 21 tackles.

Raiders halfback Josh McCrone and fullback Josh Dugan were again influential, while Croker scored two tries.

Wighton, who replaced Reece Robinson in the side, was softly spoken after the match.

''Furnsey just talked to me during the week and told me to relax, fortunately we got off at the judiciary and it was great,'' Wighton said.

''Throughout the pre-season I've trained a bit on the wing, but I knew [Titans halfback] Scott Prince is a tricky little player and I didn't know what to expect. I thought I did ok, I guess.''

Raiders prop Dane Tilse (rib) is in some doubt to miss Sunday's away clash with the Roosters.

Source: The SMH

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Re: Jack Wighton
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2012, 12:42:09 PM »
Congrats on an outstanding debut, Jack! Well done!

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Re: Jack Wighton
« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2012, 12:55:42 PM »
Dream debut for Wighton in Raiders win over Titans

CANBERRA RAIDERS 24
Croker 2, Dugan, Thompson tries; Croker 4 goals

Defeated

GOLD COAST TITANS 12
Rankin, Peyroux tries; Prince 2 goals

Conditions were certainly different for the Raiders this afternoon.

Coming from torrential rain in Round 1 the Green Machine ran out in 35 degree heat at Skilled Park, QLD.

Not that it bothered them, the Raiders put on an excellent performance to defeat the Titans 24-12 in a very entertaining encounter.

Josh Dugan was the star of the match, he constantly troubled the titans defence, scored a fantastic try and also kicked the first 40/20 of the 2012 NRL season.

Another shining light was the performance of debutant Jack Wighton on the Wing who defended brilliantly with some bone-rattling tackles.

The Raiders dominated early gaining the early possession and territory which resulted in Dugan opening the scoring in the tenth minute. Dugan created something out of nothing, shrugging defenders and showing a nice turn of speed.

The action didn't stop there with Wighton showing some tremendous athleticism jumping through the air to bat down a cross field kick which Jarrod Croker happily dived on to extend the Raiders lead in the 21st minute.

However, just when it began to look easy for the Raiders the match seemed to turn on its head with the Titans gaining ascendency for the rest of the half. Young five-eighth Jordon Rankin scored a fantastic try showing some handy footwork after some fluent teamwork from the Titans which saw the ball go through numerous hands.

Just three minutes later the men from the Gold Coast were in again with centre Dominique Peyroux crashing over just before the half time break.

Both sides came out from the sheds with some extra intensity with Wighton and second rower Josh Papalii showing some crunching defence to put the Raiders on attack early. Shaun Fensom was held up by a fantastic Nate Myles tackle in the 45th minute but it didn't take long for the Raiders to get over the line with interchange Joel Thompson hitting a lovely angle at speed to cruise in near the posts.

The Titans had their chances in the following minutes but some poor handling cost them dearly with Jarrod Croker going over for his second after hitting a nice hole off a pin-point Campese pass. Croker converted his own try to give the Raiders a 24-12 lead.

As the match progressed the Titans rallied hard, with two tries denied by the video referee. Luke Douglas was agonisingly short and Mark Minichiello's try was disallowed due to obstruction.

As the siren sounded the Raiders finally broke their Skilled Park hoodoo and get their first win for the 2012 season. Dugan, Wighton, Papalii and Shillington were impressive for the Raiders whilst Myles and Rankin were the Titans best.

CANBERRA RAIDERS

J Dugan, B Ferguson, J Croker, S Berrigan, J Wighton, T Campese ©, J McCrone, D Shillington, T Waddell, B White, J Papalii, B Harrison, S Fensom. Bench: G Buttriss, J Thompson, D Tilse, T Thurling.

GOLD COAST TITANS
W Zillman, S Michaels, J Idris, D Peyroux, D Mead, J Rankin, S Prince ©, L Bailey, K Lawton, N Myles, G Bird, M Minichiello, A Harrison. Bench: L Douglas, M White, B Ridge, M Srama

Team and Injury news

Titans
David Mead - possible broken jaw.

Source: Raiders

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Re: Jack Wighton
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2012, 01:21:19 PM »
It's wonderful to watch when someone has an NRL debut as good as this. Boy we know how to produce some great young players. Have seen him do some good things in the NYC but that was a very special debut that I'm sure he will never forget. This kid is a future star, in fact I would keep him there on the wing for the moment just to see how he goes next game. After an effort like that Furner will have a very hard time of getting rid of him!

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Re: Jack Wighton
« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2012, 02:36:47 PM »
Wighton stars on debut to repay Raiders’ faith

HE WAS making his NRL debut after a tumultuous build-up, and had never played wing in his life.



But Jack Wighton endorsed his rating as the next Raiders whiz kid after producing a stellar display in Canberra’s 24-12 win over Gold Coast at Skilled Park on Saturday.

The 19-year-old revealed after the match it was his first-ever match on the flank, even at junior level.

Normally a centre or five-eighth, the Bloomfield Tigers and Orange CYMS junior pulled off a handful of crunching tackles, and made great reads to come off his wing when required.

But he will remember his first crack at the big time for a superb piece of work which set up a first-half try to centre Jarrod Croker.

With the Raiders leading 6-0, five-eighth Terry Campese kicked to his wing and Wighton leapt to bat the ball to Croker, who scored.

It was the icing on the cake of a fine debut, and justified Canberra’s decision to fight a charge at the judiciary on Wednesday night.

Wighton’s debut was in danger of being put on hold after he was placed on report for a grade-two dangerous throw in the Toyota Cup last week.

Canberra coach David Furner represented the Orange junior himself and was successful in having the charge downgraded.

He justified that faith in yesterday’s win, the Raiders’ first since July 24 and their breakthrough win at Skilled Park in five attempts.

“We went down there on Wednesday [the judiciary] and I just had a really good feeling after that,’’ Furner said.

“He got downgraded which allowed him to make his debut, and they’re the things as a coach that are special. I was really proud of him.’’

The two most nervous people in the 11,378-strong crowd were Wighton’s parents David and Loretta.

David admitted his son was nervous before the judiciary hearing, but his modesty allowed him to focus on the job at hand.

“It was his first go at wing so they’ve obviously taught him very well,’’ David said.

“What the club did for him [at the judiciary] was terrific, and he’s looking like he may be able to repay that.

“I’ve seen him do tackles like that when he was 12 years old, he likes to whack them and get them square in the middle and that’s what hurts them.’’

Source: Central Western Daily

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Re: Jack Wighton
« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2012, 03:12:51 PM »
The people saying 'move over Dugan' are over-exaggerating just a little.... I don't think Duges will be moving over for anyone anytime soon, but having said that it was a very impressive first game and he was playing out of pos. Why would you 'move over Dugan' anyway if you could and can have them both in the same side! Yeah I say keep him out there on the wing and let him rip right in.

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Re: Jack Wighton
« Reply #22 on: March 13, 2012, 03:24:11 PM »
Yeah I didn't think Furner could drop him after that great start and he hasn't. Kids if your wondering how to break into first grade and force the coach to keep you there just follow Jack's blueprint.  :D

I would be a little worried if I were Reece Robbo about his chances of getting his spot back the way things are going. Got to feel a little sorry for him because he was only dropped for injury and not bad form, but that's just footy I guess.

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Re: Jack Wighton
« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2012, 11:38:41 PM »
Wighton's pressing his claim

One of those headaches every coach loves to have will soon confront David Furner.

Young gun Jack Wighton has another three weeks to convince Furner he should be retained in the Raiders' side when winger Reece Robinson returns from injury.

Read more:
The Canberra Times

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Re: Jack Wighton
« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2012, 12:31:15 AM »
Wighton out to sew up place on the wing

ONE of those headaches every coach loves to have will soon confront Canberra mentor David Furner.



Young gun Jack Wighton has another three weeks to convince Furner he should be retained in the Raiders side before winger Reece Robinson returns from injury.

After an eye-catching debut in the Raiders' 24-12 win against Gold Coast last weekend, Wighton can further stake his claim for a permanent berth with another strong performance in Sunday's match with the Sydney Roosters at the Sydney Football Stadium.
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Wighton is predominantly a centre or five-eighth, but showed at Skilled Park he is equally adept at flying high for bombs and defending on the flank.

Raiders centre Jarrod Croker said he wasn't surprised by the 19-year-old's smooth adjustment to the NRL.

''As soon as he was picked in the side I knew he'd be sweet,'' Croker said. ''He killed it in the trials … so I knew he'd fit right in like he did on Saturday. If he keeps putting up performances like that though, he's going to be keeping people on their toes in the first-grade side.''

Wighton is under contract with the Raiders until the end of next year and is certain to get plenty of interest if he tests his worth on the open market.

Raiders chief executive Don Furner said Canberra fought off interest from other clubs to secure the Orange product and hoped he would be a long-term prospect in the mould of Josh Dugan and Croker.

''Not immediately, but certainly we'll look at next year,'' Furner said about extending Wighton's contract.

''That's what we've done with all the young guys when they've come through, the same with Josh Dugan and Jarrod Croker and all those young guys that … got pushed into first grade quicker because of injuries.

''We changed our strategy a couple of years ago to make sure we got the best country kids.''

Wighton's opportunity came after Robinson fractured his cheekbone in the last minute of the club's opening round loss to Melbourne.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

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Re: Jack Wighton
« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2012, 10:56:40 AM »
Canberra Raider's rookie Jack Wighton is taking the NRL by storm

So how does he go from office boy to poster boy in the space of 12 months?



The rookie teenager from Orange is the name on everyone's lips in the national capital after his sensational NRL debut for the Raiders in last weekend's 24-12 win over the Titans on the Gold Coast.

It wasn't just the 19-year-old winger's freakish tap back in-goal from a Terry Campese bomb for Jarrod Croker's opening try.

It was his brutal in-your-face defence that has also put the former Orange Cyms junior in the spotlight.

Not bad for a former Australian Schoolboy who is normally a halfback or five-eighth.

Wighton was only in the side following an injury to Reece Robinson. He also had to survive a midweek Toyota Cup judiciary hearing in which he successfully had a charge downgraded that stopped him receiving a one-match ban.

NSW Blues coach Ricky Stuart is not surprised at Wighton's great start.

He had the teenager in his NSW Emerging Blues squad well before his NRL debut.

Country Rugby League development officer Wade Judd is responsible for getting Wighton to the Raiders.

Judd spotted his talent at an under-15s carnival in Orange in 2008 and tipped off the Raiders.

Wighton was invited to a four-day camp in Canberra that season and impressed Raiders officials so much that he was signed by the club before he left to return home.

Raiders coach David Furner and club officials have done their best to keep the youngster out of the limelight following his performance.

He will line up on the wing again this afternoon when the Raiders play Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium.

* FORMER Kangaroo captain and Country Origin coach Laurie Daley made his feelings known about the future of the representative game against City Origin at the launch in Mudgee during the week.

Daley, City Origin coach Brad Fittler, NRL boss David Gallop, NSWRL boss Geoff Carr, CRL boss Terry Quinn and NRL ambassador Trent Barrett made a flying visit to Mudgee's new multi-million-dollar stadium Glen Willow for the launch on Wednesday.

All were impressed with the facility but Daley had plenty to say about suggestions that this season's clash might be the last."It definitely has to stay," Daley said.

"We (the bush) produce so many players for the NRL and this game means so much to country people."

The final decision on the game's future will rest with the ARL Commission following a review of the calendar.

CRL officials are hoping a bumper crowd of around 10,000 in Mudgee on a stand-alone Sunday on April 22 will help sway a few of the decision-makers.

* JUNIOR rugby league players, don't say you haven't been warned.

Throw a punch in a game this season and expect to be immediately sent off - irrespective of the circumstances.

The "Tough Love in League" program, the brainchild of the NSWRL, has been fully endorsed by the Country Rugby League, which has asked all junior league competitions in the bush to implement the scheme.

The objective is to make rugby league a safer game for kids to play and more attractive for parents of kids who want to play.

The rules are very simple.

Throw a punch during a game and expect to be sent off and face an automatic one-game suspension.

Offend three times during the season and you will be suspended for 12 months.

The rule will apply in competitions from the under-13s up to and including the under-18s.

"It's a NSWRL scheme which we have fully endorsed for all our junior competitions," CRL official Bert Lowrie said.

* SOME big-name ex-players turned back the clock last night in Armidale in a State of Origin legends match in the New England city.

Former Maroons stars Mat Rogers, Jamie Goddard, Danny Nutley and Kerry Boustead turned out for Queensland against a NSW boasting Scott Hill, Matt Geyer, Les Davidson, Nathan Blacklock, David Peachey, Ron Gibbs, Shaun Timmins and Mark McGaw.

Source: Herald Sun

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Re: Jack Wighton
« Reply #26 on: March 25, 2012, 12:57:01 AM »
Jumpin' Jack has feet on the ground

Jack Wighton won't be drawn on comparisons with Laurie Daley, but he has already hit some serious highs, LEE GASKIN writes

''I haven't heard it, but I couldn't compare myself to Laurie,'' Wighton shrugs.

Read more: The Canberra Times

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Re: Jack Wighton
« Reply #27 on: March 25, 2012, 10:27:51 AM »
Wighton shines in an unfamiliar position

To any observer of the Canberra Raiders last two NRL games, it would be safe to assume that teenage sensation Jack Wighton has played his entire junior career on the wing given his brilliant performances from the flank.

Surprisingly though, the talented Orange product had never played the position before. Wighton spent most of his junior career playing five-eighth or centre, however his all round game includes an instinctive ability to read the play, an impressive defensive technique and a spectacular ability in the air; all attributes he has displayed so far to the NRL’s vast audience.

“The positional switch has been alright,” said Wighton modestly.

“Furnsie and the coaching staff have been helping me out a lot with it positionally so it’s been pretty good. Centre’s probably my favourite position though. One spot in is where I feel the most comfortable playing at the moment but I’m happy to play anywhere for the Raiders.”

“I’m still learning to play from the wing and there are times when I get a little bit worried but it’s been going pretty well so far.”

An injury to Reece Robinson and a successful judiciary hearing enabled Wighton the opportunity to make his debut, something the NSW Under 18s Captain didn’t expect to make so early, let alone this year.

“It’s been exciting. I was happy to get off my charge at the judiciary and make my debut and have a bit of luck in the game too.”

“I didn’t think I was going to debut this early in the year or maybe not even at all this year but with a bit of luck and unfortunate injuries to a few fellows I was able to get my chance. It’s been a good experience.”

“Stepping up to the NRL has been great. It’s been a lot faster and the wrestle in defence is a lot harder but it’s been fun.”

“Hopefully I can play a few more games of first grade.”

Given Wighton’s seamless transition to first grade, Canberra Raiders fans are hoping the same thing.

The Raiders take on the West Tigers at 7pm on Monday night at Campbelltown Stadium.

Source: Raiders

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Re: Jack Wighton
« Reply #28 on: April 10, 2012, 01:25:24 PM »
Furner ‘amazed’ by Wighton

CANBERRA Raiders coach David Furner has been impressed with the way Orange junior Jack Wighton has handled the week-to-week demands of the National Rugby League since debuting in round two.



But really, Furner never doubted the 18-year-old would.

“I think he has always shown (he can handle it),” Furner told the Central Western Daily.

“In pre-season he didn’t look out of place and I think that helped with his selection. And when you have other first grade players around the club saying they can’t wait to get out there and play with Jack, it certainly says something about the kid.

“He has shown plenty of ability in the 20s and he has made his mark. He has handled the step up.”

Wighton scored his first try in the top grade in the Green Machine’s seven tries to two rout of the New Zealand Warriors at Canberra Stadium on Sunday.

It was the Bloomfield and Orange CYMS’ products first four pointer in five first grade games.

For a winger, one from five isn’t the best strike rate.

But Furner isn’t concerned. Far from it.

He said Wighton’s form “speaks for itself.”

“Jack, I’m amazed by the young kid,” Furner enthused.

“It’s an aggressive environment and he handles it quite well. Teams are going to test him and certainly on the wing he is going to see a few high balls but on kick returns he brings it straight back into the forwards.

“His mentality, he has shown he is level headed and that’s a good trait to have.”

The 32-12 win over the Warriors as an important one for Furner.

“I think it was a much needed win,” the Australian assistant coach said.

“We executed well but in saying that there is a lot of room for improvement. I think at times we, not so much let the gas off, but we need to be more patient.”

The Raiders will need patience this week.

Wighton and the Raiders will tackle the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

It’ll be the biggest challenge of the Raiders’ seasons so far.

Currently sitting sixth with a 3-3 record, the Raiders must be at their best to beat a Broncos team that has only tasted defeat once this year, a 28-26 loss to the North Queensland Cowboys.

Source: Central Western Daily

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Re: Jack Wighton
« Reply #29 on: April 10, 2012, 01:28:20 PM »
You're not the only one who is amazed Dave! Think all us Raiders fans have been in awe of how young Wighton has come in and taken the NRL by storm. It's great to watch a young bloke come in and just play out of his skin from the get go.