Unassuming: North Coast representative rugby league coach Phil Trembath believes Port Macquarie Shark James Kelly won’t let the team down. Pic: PETER GLEESON
PORT Macquarie Shark James Kelly claimed his first representative jumper this week when he was one of five players from Port Macquarie to be selected in the North Coast side.
Kelly impressed during Group 3’s 36-34 win over Group 2 in Taree on April 30.
He admitted he was surprised to be picked after thinking he could have played better despite spending half the game out of position on the wing.
Coach Phil Trembath said it had been a long time coming for Kelly and he was confident he wouldn’t let the team down on May 21 in Coffs Harbour.
“He’s one of those unassuming sorts of guys who goes about his job and doesn’t make a fuss,” Trembath said.
“He was placed in a situation last weekend where he started at hooker and then the winger went down so him and the other hooker in the side Mitch Collins shared the hooking and winger roles throughout the game so he showed his utility value to us there.”
Trembath said despite his wiry frame, Kelly would lead the way in defence for the North Coast side.
“He gives good line speed and he’s not afraid to jump out of dummy half like most good hookers to engage the markers,” he said.
“James won’t let you down; there’s not much to him … he’s a wiry character.”
Kelly said it was a surprise to be selected in the Group 3 side, let alone the North Coast side.
“I wasn’t the happiest with my game against Group 2, but I must have done something right,” he said.
“It means a lot to me because it’s a pretty big honour and playing at that level it only helps your game and makes you a better player.
“I’m on a little bit of a roll now so hopefully there’s a few more rep jumpers around the corner.”
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