Rugby League


Canberra Raiders young gun Nick Cotric used to cheer for the Brisbane Broncos - now he'll play them

He grew up in the south of Canberra but you were more likely to find a Brisbane Broncos jersey than a Raiders one in a young Nick Cotric's wardrobe.

Hie eyes would light up at the mention of his boyhood idol Darren Lockyer, who carved out a legacy as one of the game's greatest players in Brisbane.

Up Next

Des Hasler's demise

Video duration

More Rugby League Videos

Raiders get their mojo back

The Raiders have returned to form with an outstanding attacking performance as the green machine dismantled a meek Tigers outfit 46-6 in Canberra.

Now the 18-year-old Raider will get the chance to play against the club he once cheered for at Suncorp Stadium in one of the biggest tests of his short NRL career on Friday night.

"When I was a young pup I used to idolise all those players, I used to grow up going for them," Cotric said.

"Playing against them [is] a dream come true and I can't wait to play."

Cotric scored what is tipped to be the first of many NRL tries for the Raiders in Sunday's 46-6 thrashing of the Wests Tigers.


So excited was the youngster at making "a dream come true" that he threw his fist in the air before he had even dived over the try line.

But don't expect that to be the norm - Cotric doesn't want to incur the wrath of Raiders coach Ricky Stuart for celebrating too soon.

"Luckily he hasn't said anything about that - I won't be doing that again," Cotric laughed.

"It was a special moment for me and my family. I was pretty happy, my friends and family were happy, and the boys just made it extra special too."

The Raiders travel to Brisbane on Thursday with a five-day turnaround between games meaning preparation will be limited.

In contrast, the Broncos have eight days between games thanks to their constant presence on Thursday or Friday night football.

But Canberra refuse to use it as an excuse, and Cotric's plan to recover and be ready to go in time for Friday night is simple.

Eat healthy, stay hydrated, plenty of ice baths and massages.

Raiders back-rower Josh Papalii has no concerns about Cotric's ability to get up for another big game despite the short turnaround.

"Nick looks after himself pretty well so I think just more trying to keep him calm than anything," Papalii said. 

"He's a little energy ball out there so he tries to do the extra catches [at training] and sometimes we have to pull him up a little bit."

Raiders winger Jordan Rapana expects training to be "pretty light" this week as players get over some bumps and bruises following the Tigers clash.

Rapana has been a mentor for Cotric in the early stages of his NRL career, so naturally he was rapt to see his young teammate cross the line for a maiden try.

"I could see him from over the other side, I think he chucked his hand up with a little pre-celebration so I'm sure he's pretty pumped," Rapana said.

"He's teaching me as well. He brings a lot of enthusiasm here and he's a quality young talent so we've been working together and he's great for us."

  • NRL Round 4: Brisbane Broncos vs Canberra Raiders at Suncorp Stadium, Friday, 7.30pm. TV time: Live on WIN.