Northlander Caleb Aekins has made his debut for the Penrith Panthers Holden Cup team on Sunday. Aekins was part of the U20s winning side which dominated and outclassed the Canberra Raiders 74-10. Aekins was a late call up, but relished the opportunity to come off the bench and contribute to his teams win.
The former Whangarei Boys’ High School student made the trip across the Tasman after signing with the Panthers in 2015 after being an integral part of the Northern Swords junior system for the past three years. Aekins was recruited by Australian player representative Daryl Mather for his maturity, vision, strength, speed and impressive work ethic.
Aekins, a previous NZRL trialist, was also part of the Scott Electrical Premiership winning side, Hikurangi Stags in 2015 where he was awarded the Man of the Match award.
The Panthers now sit comfortable at the top of the Holden Cup table with only one loss to the Raiders in round one.