Corey Harawira-Naera made an impressive Holden Cup debut for the Penrith Panthers against Newcastle on Saturday. Although the defending champions did not get a win, Corey, who came off the bench in the second row in the second half, had a huge work rate and looked every bit a Holden Cup player.
After an outstanding season for the Swords 17s in 2013, Corey went to Auckland to train with the Warriors Academy, but never got a break. So RLN brought him back to play for the Swords Premiers in the 2013 NZRL Pirtek Premiership, where he had a star role. As a result of his performance, he got signed by the Panthers.
Corey is joined at the Panthers by James Fisher-Harris and Hamish Pomare who have been starring for the SG Ball U18s team. The Panthers SG Ball team sits in third place after four rounds and are undefeated with three wins and a draw.
The Panther’s NRL team also has a Northland touch to it, with Elijah Taylor and Sam McKendry having starring roles in their 30-8 thumping of Newcastle.