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Scorpions down but Simon not done trying

BREAKAWAY: Macquarie Scorpions fullback Matt Simon in full flight on his way to scoring another try in the Newcastle Rugby League first-grade competition. Picture: Jonathan CarrollMatt Simon can’t quite put his finger on it.
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After experiencing the highs of last year’s drought-breaking premiership with his junior club, the Macquarie Scorpions haven’t been able to get going in 2018 and currently sit last with three regular rounds remaining this season.

“Maybe it’s a hangover from what happened last year,” the Toronto 29-year-oldsaid.

“Maybe it was more draining than what we thought, putting in the hard yards to be there again in the grand final and then finally winning one.

“I’m not really sure, but we’ve been trying. We’ve been competitive, but we just haven’t been able to get those wins.”

The Scorpions last won a game on May 5, having lost their other nine outings since outside a 22-all draw with Central last month.

But despite the tough run of results, it hasn’t stopped fullback Simon from finding the try line.

He leads the way in the Newcastle Rugby League standings with 13, featuring two doubles against Souths and another playing Kurri.

“I want to try and finish the year off as the leading try scorer,” Simon said.

“I haven’t done that before in this competition so it’s a bit of a goal of mine.”

Simon sitsone in front of Souths custodian Lachlan Walmsley, who posted10 tries across his five Julyappearances.Central’s Cameron Anderson has 11.

He has embraced wearing Macquarie’s No.1 jersey this campaign after getting a shot in last year’s finals series.

South Coast recruit Kyle Eather was poised to occupy that position for the Scorpions in 2018 before sustaining a season-ending injury.

“I’ve really enjoyed it [playing fullback],” Simon said.

“I’ve bounced between wing, the halves and fullback over time. I put in over the pre-season and I was pleased to get the chance.I’ve tried to ‘push up on the ball’ as much as possible and just be there for any off loads.”

Simon, cousins with Macquarie siblings Scott, Randall and Isaac Briggs, works as an Indigenousmentor for school children in the Hunter region.

“Some days can be challenging, but it can bevery rewarding,” he said.

Simon has two sons of his own –Dshaun in Kindergarten and four-year-old Iluka.

“They love kicking the footy around,” he said.

Macquarie have this weekend off as part of the competition-wide bye before hosting Kurri on August 11, visiting Cessnock seven days later and finishing with 2017 runner’s up Wests at Lyall Peacock Field on August 25.

LEADERBOARD: Matt Simon (Macquarie) 13; Lachlan Walmsley (Souths) 12; Cameron Anderson (Central) 11; Harrison Van Dartel (Souths), Ryan Walker (Wests) 9.

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