BIG BLOW: Steve Gordon playing for Western Suburbs. Now at Central Newcastle, Gordon injured his shoulder in a 28-22 win over Maitland on Saturday. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers CENTRAL Charlestown coach Craig Miller wanted a good start to the Newcastle Rugby League season to repay the faith the club had shown in the off-season.
OnSaturday, the Butcher Boys held out a fast-finishing Maitland 28-22 at Coronation Oval to make it three-straight wins to sit top of the table.
“The club is going great and I couldn’t be prouder today,” said Miller who took over the reins this season. “We spoke about the importance of getting some credibility at the start of the season. The club put its neck out a little bit and recruited well. It was important that we paid the club back and for the playing group to get some confidence. We have a pretty good squad and are entitled to set some lofty goals.”
Central set up the win in the first half, leading 24-10 at the break.
“Coronation Oval is as hard as a rock and down hill,” Miller said. “We ran down hill in the first half and had the wind behind us which was a pretty big advantage. We knew Maitland would come back. Maitland never stopped coming at us. We hung in there and probably did the little things a bit better than they did and our kicking game was strong. I know Maitland are one (win) and three (losses) but the way Tilse and Dorn are playing, they will win their fair share.”
Teenage fullback Jake Maizen was the hero for the visitors with a hat-trick.
“He ran 50 or 60 metres for a couple of them,” Miller said. “He has scored five or six tries in the first three rounds and for a kid in his first year of first grade, I think he has something a little special. He has real speed and is very much out of the James Tedesco mould the way he plays.”
The only down side for Central was a shoulder injury to Steve Gordon.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Cessnock broke their duck with a hard-fought 24-16 win over Kurri Kurri in coalfields derby at Cessnock Sportsground.
The Goannas led 14-0 at half-time.
In Sunday’s game Western Suburbs are at home to Lakes United.