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Sideline Eye: Rochow chats on the couch

ALL WINNERS: Robbie Rochow on the couch with Mercury journalist Josh Callinan at the Maitland Sportsperson of the Year awards.Many of you would have seen the Newcastle Knights score 18 unanswered points at Hunter Stadium on Saturday to claim a first-round victory against the New Zealand Warriors.

Many of you would have also seen Knights backrower Robbie Rochow crash over for the last try.

But what many of you did not get to see was Rochow in action on Friday night.

Less than 24 hours out from the 2015 NRL season kick-starting, the East Maitland Griffins junior generously gave up his time to attend the Maitland Sportsperson of the Year awards – ­presenting prizes and guest speaking on the now infamous red couch.

Love your work Robbie and look ­forward to what the year ahead holds in store – fingers crossed another NSW Country jersey and maybe even a Knights premiership.

Premiership winner

Maitland Magpies signing Matt Thompson also gave up his night to attend the Maitland Sportsperson of the Year awards on Friday.

The most capped A-League player and Newcastle Jets premiership winner presented awards and spent some time on the red couch – sharing a little-known story.

Thompson almost missed the call up to the Australian team by not answering his phone.

Thompson didn’t recognise the ­number calling him and was gathered with friends at the time.

But after contemplating the old-­fashioned flick, he picked up and the four Test caps are now history.

Price’s dad John delivers

Toby Price may have picked up the top gong at the 2014 Maitland Sportsperson of the Year awards, but it was his dad who delivered one of the best lines of the night.

After accepting the prize on Price’s behalf, John took part in an interview with trophies in hand.

When going through Price’s achievements and his comeback from an almost career-ending neck injury, John relayed a story about the ­recovery.

Post surgery, Price’s doctor passed on a piece of advice to lighten the ­serious nature of the situation.

“Well, at least you have your head screwed on,” was the comment, which brought a smile to Price’s dial and got a laugh out of the 150-strong crowd at Club Maitland City on Friday.

On the Lamb

Maitland Junior Sportsperson of the Year Brock Lamb had to make the hot shoe shuffle from training to Club Maitland City to receive his award on Friday night.

The Australian Schoolboys half was taking part in the captain’s run ahead of Saturday’s NRL season kick-off with the Newcastle Knights under 20s before making the dash to be crowned the city’s top junior for 2014.

The two Ricks

It was a case of two Ricks for the price of one at Robins Oval yesterday and not the Astley variety.

Local sports commentator Ricky Bush and local cricket celebrity Ricardo Poli were on the microphone for the Maitland T20 finals.

The pair added quite a bit of colour to the inaugural competition and livened up the atmosphere for all involved – even when the game got down to the final ball!


Congratulations to former Weston Bear and football referee Martin Henry on tying the knot with sweetheart and softballer Corinn Gardiner at Woodville on Saturday.


And the thoughts and prayers of the Mercury sports team are with the Holden family following the death of Trevor yesterday – a life member of Northern Suburbs Cricket Club and Maitland Blacks secretary.

Numbers Game: 300 – the number of riders going around yesterday at Hunter Economic Zone for the statewide cycling kermesse event.

Moment That Mattered: Aberglasslyn endurance motorcyclist Toby Price being named the 2014 Maitland Sportsperson of the Year.

Quote: “You can’t teach competitiveness,” Eastern Suburbs skipper Andrew Vickery on retiring three-time Maitland first grade district player of the year Jason Allen.

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