RUGBY LEAGUE: On the same weekend that both his former junior clubs Grafton Ghosts and Clarence Coast Magpies wage war in the Group 1 junior grand finals at Casino, Daine Laurie will be a world away preparing for the toughest challenge he's faced on a football field to date.
Laurie, the 2016 NRRRL Under 18s player of the year, will step out in the black and teal of the Penrith Panthers Holden Cup side as they mount an assault on the national youth finals.
Laurie has been a revelation for the Panthers this season after impressing in their SG Ball Cup side for Under 18s before making the step-up to the youth ranks under the watchful gaze of coach David Tangata-Toa.
Now on the eve of his first finals appearance for the youth squad, Laurie is flying at full force running off the back of a dominant hat-trick for the Panthers last weekend against Manly Sea Eagles.
Playing on the wing, Laurie continued to produce clips for the highlight reel, including his solo chip and chase effort in the first half to start the scoring for the visiting Panthers.
Laurie's three-try heroics were enough to earn him a spot in the Holden Cup Team of the Week for Round 26.
Laurie will again line up for the Panthers on the wing this weekend for their qualifying final showdown against the St George Illawarra Dragons Holden Cup side at Allianz Stadium.
Laurie will be joined in the side by housemates and best friends Brad Gaut and Toby Westacott, which is a lethal combination according to Tangata-Toa.
"You can see that they bring out the confidence in each other," he said.