HE might have been only playing his third game of first grade but Percy Duncan was one of Narrabri’s best in Saturday’s preliminary final win over Moree.
The 17 year old was electric out on the wing, showcasing the pace and talent that had Blue Boars coach Nick Lennon excited after watching him score four tries on debut.
That was against Scone back in round nine. It officially counted as a forfeit but the two played a bit of a muck around game and Lennon was suitably impressed with what he saw from the young rookie.
He would have liked to have had him for a few more games, but he was unavailable, either because of Country commitments or suspension, until the major semi-final.
“I know how damaging a runner he can be in open space,” Lennon said.
Even the times he didn’t have a lot of space on Saturday, he said, he still made something of it.
It was his weaving run on a kick return that set up the opportunity for what proved to be the decisive penalty for the Blue Boars.
Understandably, Duncan was a bit shocked when Lennon told him he’d be playing first grade, but excited at the same time.
“I was absolutely stoked. It’s an absolute honour to play alongside these guys,” he said.
And while he has only had a small taste, he has really enjoyed the challenge.
“Physically it’s 10 times harder. You’ve really got to think about it before you do things,” Duncan said.
That was reiterated in the major semi, where Pirates blew them off the park.
“It was a tough show. But it showed us what we've got to get to,” he said.
They did take a bit of a different approach into Saturday.
“We set a goal this week to get it a bit wider and we executed it well,” Duncan said.
Happily he saw a bit more ball and was unlucky not to cross the stripe, being twice denied in the first half.
Duncan also pushed into outside centre when Mitch kelly was in the blood bin. It's a position he is familiar with, playing there for the Blue Boars 18s and Country 17s.
He’s been a regular in the Country set-up and was part of the 15s side that toured Fiji two years ago.
This year the 17s traveled over to Perth, where they were undefeated.
“It was really different. They play a different style and are a lot bigger,” he said.
“We had a lot smaller side but executed well.”
Unfortunately though they couldn’t back up against City going down in their annual clash.
It was for Duncan quite ironic that he helped knock out Moree. He’s actually a Moree boy, but with no junior side linked up with the Blue Boars..