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Posted 26/11/2018


“DON’T let Evan Child’s Bambi legs deceive you” is Northern Pride’s under-20s coach Dave Scott’s message to would-be defenders.

The affable Scott, who shifted the Brothers junior from the back row to halfback earlier this year, can’t help but smirk when talking about his rising star who first caught his eye playing in the Cairns A-grade competition last year.

The mentor’s faith was rewarded on the weekend, with Child enjoying his most dominant performance of the season in last Saturday’s 66-6 mauling of the Sunshine Coast Falcons in Hervey Bay.

The apprentice refrigeration mechanic scored the opening try, then set up half-a-dozen more in a commanding man-of-the-match performance.

“He’s got a lot of development but there’s a player in there,” Scott said this week.

“He’s a bit like Jake Clifford or John Sutton but he’s got a good first step.

“He’s so awkward and busts tackles with those long levers of his, pushing people out of the way.

“He is a kid who’s never been in a system and he’s been outstanding. He was having a laugh out there (last week).

“His skillset can improve still but he reads the game and is just a big gangly thing.”

With fellow halfback Jack Campagnolo promoted to the main squad in recent weeks, Child said he’d enjoyed taking control of the team in his absence.

“It’s good having Jack in the side but it gives me an opportunity to play where I want to play and a bit of license to go out there and be free,” he said.

“I had a full season in A grade with Brothers last year playing with my brother and that really changed the way I look at the game.

“I started to assert myself a little bit more. Transitioning into the Pride has been easy because of it.” With the Pride travelling all over the state each week, Child said he had enjoyed the chance to bond with his new teammates on long road trips.

“We’re all mates and we all hang out together even if we’re not playing rugby league,” he said. “Elijah Simpson is our serial pest. He’s always cranky. The boys love to hang it on him because he doesn’t take it too well.

“He doesn’t mind getting his kit off a bit, either.”

The second-placed Pride take on CQ Capras at Stan Williams Park on Saturday afternoon.

The match starts at 1pm.