PAULI PAULI’S hopes of playing a first-grade game for Newcastle this season have been shattered after he suffered a broken leg playing in NSW Cup against Canterbury last weekend.
The heavyweight 22-year-old fractured his fibula and is expected to be sidelined for between six and eight weeks.
Signed from Parramatta last season, Pauli played in 15 NRL games for Newcastle in 2016. But his pre-season preparations were cruelled this year when a serious car accident left him nursing a dislocated hip.
He missed the first two months of the season and, after returning in reserve grade, was a surprise selection for City Origin in the annual representative match against Country. Off contract at the end of the season, he now faces a nervous wait to learn if Newcastle intend to retain his services.
* NEWCASTLE’S NSW Cup side made it three straight wins with a 24-4 victory against Canterbury on Sunday. The Knights remain eighth on the ladder, two points behind fourth.
On Saturday they host Blacktown Workers, who are five points and two positions lower than Newcastle.
Knights coach Simon Woolford singled out 2016 Australian Schoolboys representative Pasami Saulo for special praise after his reserve-grade debut.
* THE Knights are on track for the under-20s play-offs after a 28-all draw with Canterbury last Sunday.
On Saturday fourth-placed Newcastle will face a desperate opponent in Brisbane, who are equal eighth.
* NEWCASTLE’S Bradman Best scored the match-winning try as NSW under-16s beat Queensland 22-16 on Wednesday night. His teammates included fellow Knights Cooper Jenkins, Jaron Purcell and Harry Croker.