NRL’s the limit: Cornish

HIS foremost goal for 2013 is to follow the lead of Jarrod Croker and carve out a career in the NRL.

But before he dreams of marking up on Cooper Cronk or Johnathan Thurston, Goulburn’s Mitchell Cornish has a battle much closer to home.

His younger brother of 18 months, Tyler, is fast making a name for himself in the Sydney Roosters ranks. So much so it’s inevitable the pair will squareoff in the fifth round of the National Youth Competition, when the Raiders under 20s, captained by Mitch, play host to Tyler’s Roosters.

And the younger of the siblings is confident he can outperform his best friend and older brother.

“We’ve been talking about that game a fair bit. He reckons he’s going to give me a bit of a touch up,” Mitchell says.

“I speak to him every day. All of the boys up there are looking after him and from what I’ve heard from people I know at the Roosters, he’s doing unreal.”

While the younger of the brothers has confidence on his side, the more senior sibling has the edge in the experience stakes.

Mitchell captained the Raiders in last year’s National Youth Competition and helped the Canberrans earn a grand final berth.

He’s now made the step up to first grade, featuring for the Raiders in both trial matches this year.

It’s been a sizeable step up into the seniors, he says.

“Everyone’s a lot more switched on and physical in first grade,” he said.

“I’ve been lucky to have guys give me advice. Blokes like Josh McCrone have been helping out a lot.”

The under 20s skipper joined injured Raiders centre and fellow local, Croker, for a pre-trial promotion at Workers Arena on Wednesday.

Croker was noticeably disappointed he wouldn’t line-up for the Raiders on his home patch.

The 22-year-old suffered a ligament strain in his team’s trial with the Storm in Geelong and underwent surgery last week.

He’s confident of returning to full fitness in time for the Raiders round one match with the Penrith Panthers on March 10.

“The brace comes off this week,” he said.

“I’m still aiming for round one.”

The last time the centre attended an NRL trial at the ground, heart throb Ryan Girdler was the main attraction for most of the females in attendance.

“I think I remember the last game here,” Croker said.

“I had to get a picture of Ryan Girdler with my sister, that’s how long ago it was.

Good memories.”

Naturally, he’s disappointed he won’t be able to lace up his boots for the occasion.

“It’s pretty exciting. I’d love to be out here this weekend. I played plenty of footy up here with a lot of my mates.

“It’d be great to get back out on the old stomping ground, but as I said unfortunately I won’t be able to play this weekend.”

OPINION: Give back to the country

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