The Emerging Rebels will continue next season and potentially expand to feature a third game following Saturday’s convincing 40-12 win against the Victoria Thunderbolts at Cranbourne.
Cessnock’s Harry O’Brien scored twice off the bench for Newcastle in the end-of-season under-20 representative fixture at Casey Fields as the future of the Emerging Rebels program was confirmed.
“The Emerging Rebels will definitely run again in 2019,” Newcastle Rugby League football operations co-ordinator Adam Devich said.
“We’re still talking about where and who we will play, but we’d like to have three games.
“One at the start of the season, one in the middle that lines up with the senior side and one at the end similar to this.”
The Emerging Rebels formed earlier this year.
They defeated a Canberra regional side 42-22 in Sydney’s west in June.
On the weekend the Newcastle team scored eight-tries-to-three against the Victorian under-20 trialists.
The visitors led 14-0 after 20 minutes and 24-4 at half-time. They held a 34-point advantage before the hosts crossed for two late consolation tries.
Lachlan Walmsley and Jack Camerson also nabbed doubles. Emmanuel Sithole, Kye Hopwood and Jeremy Gibson were the others to cross for the Emerging Rebels.
Devich described it as a “convincing” victory and said Thunderbolts officials were impressed with the quality of the Newcastle players.
Lakes reserve-grade front-rower John Toleafoa was named players’ player for the Emerging Rebels.