It’s the first week of pre-season trials and already the NRL has a highlight for the blooper reel — and it has nothing to do with the play on the field.
Locked at 12-all against last season’s grand finalists the South Sydney Rabbitohs, the North Queensland Cowboys forced their way over the line.
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Andre Niko scored out wide after fullback Tomas Chester spun out of a few tackles before finding Niko on the outside to beat two tackles and score.
However, he didn’t go over untouched as one of the defenders could only grab the back of his shorts, meaning he needed to beat a tackle and dive over to score with his behind hanging out for all to see.
With a decent crowd in at Cairns’ Barlow Park, it left some behind the play laughing as he showed plenty of coolness under pressure to complete the try before fixing his jocks.
“We’ve seen it all there,” Dan Ginnane said on Fox League commentary.
“Unperturbed by the wardrobe malfunction Niko gets over, Cowboys back in front.”
As Greg Alexander tried to describe the try as the cameras showed the reverse angle, he couldn’t help himself but laugh and say: “And that’s everything”.
“Nearly everything,” Ginanne said.
But as they kept showing replays Ginnane said: “Stop”, while Alexander replied: “Shorts down, scores the try”.
“That’s a bike rack if ever I’ve seen one,” Ginnane finished.
Niko, a 23-year-old former Raiders junior was released at the end of the 2020 season after a knee injury held him back.
He had 13 appearances in the Queensland Cup last year, scoring seven tries, four try assists, 12 line breaks and 34 tackle breaks, while running over 100m per game.
And although he doesn’t yet have a current contract in the NRL, his pre-season form was impressive in the trial game.
Pre-season results are rarely an accurate forecast of a team’s regular season form, but the Cowboys nevertheless claimed a 24-12 win over last year’s runners-up.