Charlie Staines chimes in for ‘Pies as mid-season addition eyes more title success

BURSTING THROUGH: Forbes fullback Charlie Staines has been one of the under 18s and first grade sides' best throughout the back-half of 2018. Photo: NICK McGRATH
BURSTING THROUGH: Forbes fullback Charlie Staines has been one of the under 18s and first grade sides' best throughout the back-half of 2018. Photo: NICK McGRATH

Back in May Charlie Staines helped Penrith to the 2018 SG Ball premiership and almost immediately after that 25-14 win over Canterbury his attention turned to his home town.

That focus could net the prodigiously talented Magpies fullback a couple of more titles on Sunday.

Staines is in the enviable position of having the chance to win two premierships on Group 11 grand final day after helping the Forbes under 18s to the decider with a major semi-final win over Wellington a fortnight ago before lifting the Magpies’ first grade outfit to the big dance as well, scoring a double in the black and whites’ bumper 54-24 thrashing of the Cowboys at Apex Oval last week.

Should Staines complete the double it’d net the 17-year-old three titles in the one season, making 2018 a huge one for the young-gun custodian.

“It’s a pretty good situation to be in,” Staines said.

“I’m just blessed to have the opportunity to play in three grand finals this year.”

Although Staines set his sights on playing in Cameron Greenhalgh’s first grade side once his Panthers commitments were complete, he never thought 2018 would pan out like it has so far.

“Not at all. I didn’t think I’d go this well,” he added.

“It’s great with Camo and the boys. I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to play against the bigger boys.”

Which, Staines says, has been the biggest challenge for a young fullback stepping up to grade.

“The bigger bodies through the middle … the hits you cop are a bit bigger,” he said.

“But playing off the back of Burkey and Farren gives me a bit more space.”

Staines will line-up for the Magpies’ under 18s from 1.15pm in the juniors grand final, which will kick-off as the curtain-raiser for the main game.

I’m just blessed to have the opportunity to play in three grand finals this year.

Forbes fullback Charlie Staines.

The Magpies won the minor premiership and head into the decider undefeated, but will take on an in-form Dubbo CYMS side.

A Fishies team that also includes a member of that Panthers SG Ball grand final winning side – gifted five-eighth Matt Burton.

“Me and Burto going at it, it should be good,” Staines said.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: Panthers teammates, Charlie Staines and Matt Burton will lead their respective under 18s sides into the Group 11 grand finals on Sunday. Photos: NRL PHOTOS

HEAD-TO-HEAD: Panthers teammates, Charlie Staines and Matt Burton will lead their respective under 18s sides into the Group 11 grand finals on Sunday. Photos: NRL PHOTOS

“He’s a strong player and everyone knows what he can do. We should be sweet if can limit his impact on the game.”

Staines will move to Penrith full-time next season where he’ll line-up with the Panthers’ Jersey Flegg under 20s side and said Sunday’s games, win, lose or draw, are a great way to end his time at his junior club.

The first grade kick-off on Sunday is scheduled for 3pm.

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