Layken Vassalo provided a rare shining light for Camden Haven Eagles in their 28-4 Group 3 junior rugby league defeat to Port City in Port Macquarie on Saturday (July 2).
He scored the Eagles' only try, but it was forwards Siro Bampton and Kayden Burnham that tried hard all day, and earned the praise of coach Adrian Wheeler.
"Siro was good and he was probably the only one who tackled like we do at training - shoulder in - and Kayden ran well too," Wheeler said.
"When he runs hard, he's hard to stop and he's a good kid. He listens, doesn't back chat and doesn't think he knows better."
The 24-point loss saw the Eagles remain at the bottom of the ladder although they do have two catch-up games still to play as a result of wet weather.
Wheeler admitted it had been a frustrating season where the team couldn't take their good form at training into weekend games.
"The boys are enthusiastic at training, but when it comes to game time that all goes out the window," he said.
"They're awesome at training, but when it comes to game time they get a bit overwhelmed and don't want to tackle and stick to a game plan.
"That's the frustrating thing because I know they've got the ability to do it, it's just transferring it from training into the game.
"If they did that, they'd be unbelievable."
The junior competition now takes a two-week break for school holidays ahead of the semi-finals which start on August 13.
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