Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
5 days ago
Superleague media (UK) reports that have Hull FC have agreed to release Nathan 'Tingha' Blacklock from his contract with immediate effect.
The former St George and Australian winger has been plagued by a knee injury this season and will now retire from the game and return home to Australia.
In the Superleague press release, Blacklock said: "I?m disappointed I?ve had to call it a day, but I simply can?t give the 100 per cent I want to anymore because of injuries. I can?t put my heart and soul into playing."
"Everyone at the club, from the coaching staff to the players and the office staff, have been great to me and I wish the team all the best for the play-offs and the future.
"There are some good young players who deserve a chance. They will have more enthusiasm for the game than I can offer now."
The 30-year-old product from Tingha arrived at the KC Stadium from the St George Illawarra Dragons last season. He quickly became a fans? favourite, scoring 16 tries in 24 Super League appearances to finish as the club?s leading try-scorer.
In 2006, he has crossed for 13 tries in 21 games, frequently playing injured.
Hull FC's Peter Sharp added: "Tingha has enjoyed a marvellous career. He has achieved some things in rugby league that most people can only dream about.
"He has contributed an awful lot to this club over the last two years and we wish him all the best in the future."
Hailing from Tingha, New South Wales, Nathan Blacklock came to the Dragons in 1997 after making just five appearances (and scoring one try) with the Roosters in 1995. He then linked up with St George and went onto become the competition's top try scorer for three consecutive years in 1999, 2000, and 2001. He is the only player to score 20 tries or more for four seasons in a row.
A crowd favourite and match winner, Blacklock often left his wing to attack the centre of the ruck. During the 1999 grand final, 'Tingha' gave fans one of many memorable moments when he accelerated onto a chip kick, scooped up the ball, and raced through a gap to score under posts 60 metres downfield.
During an outstanding season in 2001, Blacklock was controversially overlooked for NSW selection. In the same year he was selected for Australia, playing in two Tests and scoring two tries.
Following a short stint with the NSW Waratahs in rugby union, Blacklock made his return to the Dragons in 2003, where he was again the club's top try scorer in first grade.
At 28, Blacklock left Australia after signing a two year contract with UK club Hull, beginning in 2005.
A hugely popular player, Blacklock departed Australian club rugby league with first grade career total of 121 tries from 142 games.
TINGHA FACT FILE
Born 4 April 1976.
First club, Tingha Tigers.
1995: First Grade debut: Sydney City v Norths at SFS, July 8, 1995 (Rd 15).
1995-1996: 5 games
1997-2004: 137 games
120 tries, 14 goals. 508 points.
The Competition's top try scorer: 1999, 2000, 2001.
Club's top try scorer (first grade): 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003.
Club's top point scorer (first grade): 2000.
2005-2006: 45 games
2001: 2 Tests
CAREER FIRST CLASS TRY SCORING TOTAL
189 games: 1995-2006