When Manaia Rudolph took part in some light hearted goal-kicks at training earlier in the year, little did he realise what it would lead to.
Rudolph finished the regular season as the leading point scorer in the U20s competition despite not playing in last Saturday night’s game against Melbourne at Leichhardt Oval. He was originally named on the wing but was later dropped by Coach Todd Payten after some indifferent form.
The exciting back recorded 216 points through 13 tries and 82 goals, eight points clear of South Sydney hooker Apisai Koroisau. Rudolph kicked 82 goals from 119 attempts for a 69 per cent record.
Rudolph also scored the most tries and kicked the most goals of his fellow point scorers.
Payten recalled the time Rudolph caught his attention with the boot.
“It sort of just fell upon Manaia. A few of the boys were having a muck around kick before training at St Gregorys College Campbelltown,’’ Payten said.
“Balin Cupples and I were watching and Manaia appeared to be the most natural and the best striker.
“He hadn’t done a great deal of goal-kicking during games for Keebra Park High. We threw him at the start of the year and he has been really good with the boot.”
Rudolph will be looking to get back into the team to play minor premiers the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium this Friday at 5.15pm in the first week of the finals.
Posted using RoarFEED 2012
And he got dropped for the Storm game… As did the 5/8 who was kick happy in the Roosters 2O the week before …maybe Payton is not following closely in the First Grade coach’s foot steps after all and is prepared to make calls on players that underperform or do not follow the game plan?