The Knights? Under 16s and Under 18s squads returned to Lyle Peacock Oval in Toronto on Saturday, this time up against junior squads from Penrith.
The Under 16s played four quarters of 25 minutes each, and both squads had two complete teams, each 'team' playing for two of the four quarters. In the first two quarters Penrith seemed to put on their strongest squad and the Knights put on their weakest. It was all one-way traffic, with Penrith seemingly able to score at will. The second section saw a much stronger Knights outfit and a slightly weaker Penrith side. The Knights may have just shaded Penrith in the second half, but there wasn't much in it.
The Under 16 squad is yet to cut down to the final squad, but the signs are not good at this time. They were well beaten last week by Parramatta, only to suffer the same fate against Penrith on Saturday.
In the Under 18's several of the top-line players from last season were not in the squad this week. Luke Walsh, the second choice halfback all last season, did a pretty good job of leading them around the park, even though the team started with a very makeshift pack. First choice forwards such as Snowden and Andriessen started from the bench, and others such as Ison and Wooden didn't seem to be present at all. Other notable absentees were halfback Scott Dureau, five-eigth Leigh Abel and centre Matt Tredrea, all stars from last season. Despite the 'second string' look of the Knights, they were on top for most of the game.
Kade Snowden made his appearance towards the end of the first quarter. He played second row, but seemed to camp out in the centres and looked disinterested for the first ten minutes or so, then started calling for the ball and put on a dazzling display of skills that led to him scoring one try and setting up another. I think the best work I have ever seen from Kade is when he plays front row and absolutely monsters the opposition forwards, but seeing the big guy running with the centres and actually outpacing them makes it clear why coaches want to see him play out a little wider as well. He has every possible attribute as a forward. He is not only the biggest and meanest guy out there, but he is also the fastest and most skilful as well.
20 minutes of disinterested looking football from Kade easily put Penrith away in the game. Kade has the best off load at the club - in any grade.