Thursday, October 26, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Mackay Young Gun Best On Ground Against Kiwis

Fans of popular American television sitcom My Three Sons that aired in the 1960s would remember notable actor Fred McMurray and the fortunes of his kids Mike, Robbie and Chip.

Wind the clock forward five decades and Mackay couple Teresa and Phil Simon are proud of the rugby league achievements of three of their off-spring Kane, Kai and Nate.

Originally hailing from the Sarina Crocodiles, the Simon trio have established themselves in the Mackay Junior League with the Walkerston Wanderers and Mackay Cutters Pathways Program.

Nineteen-year-old Kai, a talented utility back, has signed with the North Queensland Cowboys and will soon be based in Townsville while promising fullback Nate,13, shows enormous potential in the junior ranks.

All eyes are on 21-year-old Kane who has starred for the touring Australia Universities rugby league team against New Zealand across the Tasman.

The emerging fullback was named best on ground and Players’ Player after Australia’s 42-16 victory over the Kiwis in the first test match at Rotorua last week.

Kane has demonstrated his dynamic attacking skills - scoring two of his team’s eight tries and creating another to help the Aussies draw first blood in the three-match series at Puketawhero Park.

Australia clinched the series when they toppled the Kiwis 38-4 in the second test last Sunday with Simon capping another strong game by nabbing a try in the corner.

A naturally gifted sportsman who has also excelled in AFL and cricket, the fleet-footed custodian is a fierce competitor on the rugby league field and strong defender.

It is Kane’s second stint in the Australian Universities team after also shining for Queensland and the green and golds against the Australian Army, Police and Defence Force teams last season in Sydney.

The versatile Simon was identified as a bright prospect in the Cutters and Cowboys Academy squads and last year received the Mackay Colts Players’ Player Award.

A former Capricornia schoolboys centre, Kane recovered from a broken collarbone as a 16-year-old and had a stint with the Brothers Bulldogs while leaving his mark in the Cutters’ Mal Meninga Cup and Colts ranks.

He fielded an offer to join the Redcliffe Dolphins in the Queensland Cup but opted to stay in Mackay and serve his league apprenticeship.

Another highlight of the New Zealand trip was visiting Fairfield Public School in Hamilton where the Australian players conducted a coaching clinic and organised fun rugby league skill-based games.

For Kane the opportunity to travel across the Tasman with the Australian squad was made possible through the generous support of local sponsors such as the Mackay Cutters, Ryan McGovern of Independent Mining Solutions, Frank Attard from Key Solutions Group, Gardian Real Estate, Andrew Titlow of Powertrain Components Australia, Brothers Rugby League plus Paul and Roberta Morris from Morris Builders.

“I really appreciate the support of my sponsors and feel privileged to wear the green and gold,” a proud Simon told Mackay and Whitsunday Life.

Mackay’s Kane Simon starred for the Australian Universities rugby league team in their Test series triumph over New Zealand in Rotorua last week

Australian Universities fullback and emerging Mackay Cutters colt Kane Simon crosses for one of his two tries in the first test win over the Kiwis. Simon was named best on ground and also received the Players’ Player award

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