Category: A Set Of Six With

A Set Of Six With: Tamika Upton

This week’s edition see’s us sit down with Rockhampton born Souths Logan Magpies Holcim Cup fullback Tamika Upton.

We discuss her first initiation into the game of league, to her touch football career and what she does to get away from the game!

1- Growing up what were your earliest memories of footy and when did you start playing League?

My earliest memories of league is playing U8s I believe and played until girls were no longer able to play. I then picked it back up in 2018. 

2- You were a gun touch football player going through school, how much has the sport helped your skillset in League?

Touch skills transfer very well to league especially for attack. The catch/pass and running is all very similar to touch.

3- You were able to achieve the highest honour in Touch Football when you represented Australia, what was the experience of wearing the Green and Gold like?

It was pretty awesome as I played touch for years so to play for Australia was pretty special. 

4- You made the transition back to League and ended up playing for the Broncos in the NRLW competition, how was it to pull on a Broncos jersey and play on Grand Final day?

It all happened very quickly for me but it was amazing the atmosphere was great and it was a really fun game to be apart of.

5-Away from footy what do you career wise and how did you get involved in that?

I am still deciding what I want to do but recently I was working in administration for a law firm.  

6- What do you do to relax in your spare time and get away from the day to day grind?

I watch a lot of Netflix, or I do something I enjoy like reading or going to the gym. 

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A Set Of Six With: Harrison Muller

This week’s edition of A Set of Six with, we sit down with Souths Logan Magpies back-rower and carpenter for ICM Project Solutions, Harrison Muller.

We discuss growing up in country NSW to playing under 20s at the Cronulla Sharks and then onto the mighty Magpies!

1- Growing up playing for Orange CYMS what were your earliest memories of footy?

Just loving footy and always wanting to be at training or playing a game no matter what.

2- Did you support a team growing up and who were your idols?

Supported the Dragons growing up and my idol was Jason Ryles.

3-You played NYC at the Cronulla Sharks, how was that experience of an NRL system coming from the bush?

Had a great time at Cronulla and really enjoyed being in that system, it was very full on compared to what I was used to but we had a really good group of blokes which made it enjoyable. 

4- You signed with Souths Logan after a few seasons with SC Falcons, what was it like to wear the Black and White for the first time and what does SLM mean to you?

Was pretty cool getting to run out for Souths knowing that some legends of the game have played there before me which I think makes Souths so special. 

5- You work as a chippy for ICM Project Solutions, how did you get into carpentry and how do you balance footy/work?

When I was at Cronulla I started my apprenticeship through them because we had to work and I always enjoyed woodwork at school. It’s a bit of a juggling act having fulltime work and footy but I think you just have to try and be as organised as possible, plus ICM are really helpful with that.

6- What do you do away from work and footy to relax and spend some down time?

Try and spend time with my mates and go for a ride on my motorbike whenever I can.

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A Set Of Six With: Guy Hamilton

For this week’s A Set Of Six yarn we sit down with Souths Logan Magpies all time leading QLD Cup conversion leader and current five-eighth Guy Hamilton.

Hamo explains growing up in Logan and going to Keebra Park to how he unwinds with a few cruisers on a Saturday afternoon!

1- Growing up playing junior footy for Logan Brothers, what were your first memories of the game?

Just having some fun with my mates, where we would spend all weekend watching every NRL game and then getting to play on a Sunday morning pretending I’m one of them.

2- You attended Keebra Park SHS, What did you learn about footy and life during those times?

The major thing I took away from Keebra was hard work.
I still to this day I don’t think I’ve trained harder or applied myself as well as I did at the school and it teaches you resilience and mental strength. 

3- You signed with the Bulldogs after a few solid seasons of Q Cup, What was it like to get your first NRL deal?

Was awesome to sign a contract with an NRL team, just all the hard work over the years at school felt like it had paid off.  Was an awesome experience to see first hand what it’s all about.

4- You’ve played for a few Intrust Super Cup teams now, What was it like to pull on the Black and White and play for Souths Logan and what does the club mean to you?

I’ve enjoyed my time at all 3 clubs the I have been to, but being a Logan junior it sort of feels more like home for me.
It was good to finally come back especially growing up around the area and having a lot of my mates there now it’s defiantly a place I enjoy playing my footy at. 

5- Away from footy you and fellow team mate Cam Booth run a landscaping business, How did you two get started with that and how’s it to work with a mate?

So when I came back from Sydney I jumped on the mower with a family friend who I spent a couple years learning off, then I got Boothy on board aswell cause he was looking for work when he came back from Canberra. Then my family friend eventually moved on and let us take over and now we’ve been doing it together for about 3 years. Defiantly worst jobs then working with your best mate day in having a laugh. 

6 What do you do away from footy and work to relax and unwind?

I enjoy having a few cruisers and a punt with the boys. 

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A Set Of Six With: Amelia Kuk

Welcome back to another edition of A Set Of Six, where this week we sit down with Amelia Kuk from the PNG Orchid’s and Brisbane Broncos NRLW team.

Lala has played for both PNG and Australia at an international level as well as Rugby 7s at an elite level and has done all that while being a full time nurse!

1- You were born in Mount Hagan in PNG, What were your first memories of Rugby League?

I grew up watching Rugby league at a very young age especially State of Origin. It was very big back home and we had half a day at school on origin day and it was pretty much a sports day where you’d come in NSW or QLD colours and take part in all these different activities. As soon as you got home the whole family would be getting ready cooking up a feast and painting  their faces ready for the big game. I was the kid with the paper and pen going around collecting everyone’s bets. The most memorable nights were origin nights. I didn’t play league until 2016 when I got a Phone call from Rob to come down to Souths and see if I’d be interested in playing some league. Never looked back ever since. 

2- Being only young when you debuted for both the Orchids and Jillaroos, what was it like being on the biggest stage so early on in your career?

I debuted for Jillaroos when I was 21 so a little after my teenage years and debuted for the Orchids the same year at the end of the year at the 2017 World Cup! It was unreal getting to put on both jerseys in the one year. I was really enjoying my footy and still new to the game that time so I put my best foot forward in every opportunity and came out having a really good year of footy.

3- You have a background in Rugby 7s, how does this help your Rugby League game?

I played 7’s a few years ago now but I think the awareness that I’ve gained from 7’s has helped transfer across to league. 

4- Having come back to Souths Logan Magpies this season, what is it like to pull on a Magpies jersey and play at Davies Park?

It is good to be home. I played my first game of rugby league for Souths in 2016 and had to move to brothers in 2017 because Souths didn’t have a team that year and again all it took was another phone call from Rob and I was back in the Magpie colours. 

5- You are a Registered Nurse and have been working full time while playing footy, how hard is it to balance the two especially given the current COVID pandemic?

It’s not easy juggling shift work with footy. I’m constantly coming off Night shifts and trying to rest in between training and doing proper recovery and then getting up and going again. Working during COVID has been mentally draining at times but I’m glad footy is back because I get to have fun and get in some Physical therapy with tackling as well as being surrounded by an awesome bunch of girls. Definitely healthy for my mental state.

6- What do you like to do away from work and footy to relax?

I love the outdoors so I’m always looking out for the next mountain to climb or waterfall to swim or the next hike. On my days off I catch up with friends which mostly involve doing adventurous stuff before getting breaky or a coffee which I find very refreshing and it’s like pressing the restart button to get up and go again. There’s something about nature that keeps me going back for more. I also love a bit of quality time with my sisters. They are some of the funniest people I know so whenever we get together it’s always good to have a banter and have a laugh . It’s very good for the soul 

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A Set Of Six With: Christian Hazard

Welcome back to another edition of A Set Of Six With, where this week we catch up with QLD Residents and Souths Logan Magpies Utility Christian Hazard.

Critta as he is affectionately known in Rugby League circles, discusses his love for the beach and all things Landscaping!

1- What are your first memories of playing footy and who were your junior club?

My first memories of playing footy were sitting in the back of the car with my brothers on the way to our games already dressed in our socks, boots and shorts. Then after the game getting to go to Macca’s was always a highlight of my week!

2- You played NYC for the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Attended Matraville Sports High as a junior. When did you start to think you could potentially make a career out of footy?

I thoroughly enjoyed my time down in Sydney during those years, but when the Gold Coast Titans offered me an NRL contract, that’s when I thought this is actually a chance to pursue this career.

3- You debuted in the QLD Cup for Burleigh in 2016, what was the step up to that level like from junior football?

My first Queensland Cup game wasn’t too much of a step up from playing NYC and Junior Reps. The only real difference was more getting used to the physicality side of playing against men. 

Critta during the NRL 9s in 2015.

4- You have played in the NRL 9s competition for the Gold Coast Titans, how is the 9 a side game different and how did you adapt?

The 9s competition is a lot different to a normal game due to it being a lot faster and a lot more space, where you tend to find yourself making more one on one tackles.
All in all it was a awesome experience and definitely suited for the faster players.

5- What do you for a career away from footy and how did you get into that profession?

Away from footy I work as a landscaper as well as doing maintenance work, which through Souths Logan I was able to get me a connection to get into the role.

6- What do like to do away from footy and work to relax on the weekends?

I like to just relax watch movies or go to the beach with mates very chilled.

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A Set Of Six With: Mitchell Frei

In this edition of A Set Of Six With, we sit down with former Sydney Rooster and current Souths Logan back rower Mitch Frei.

We discuss his talented sporting family, making his NRL debut in the bright lights to what he does to get away from the game!

1- What are your first memories of footy as a junior playing for Albany Creek Crushers?

Standing in the middle of the field and crying!

2- How was the experience of being signed with the Broncos at a young age and moving onto NYC with the Maroon and Yellow?

It was a great experience being inside the Broncos organisation, which has some great people and it was a massive chance to learn as much as I could.

3- You debuted in the NRL in 2016 for the Sydney Roosters, what was the experience of playing at the highest level?

It was something I’m truly grateful for and something I’ll never forget. You learn a lot about football and life. You learn things that you will carry for the rest of both.

Mitch carrying the ball up against Manly in 2016

4- What is your profession away from footy and how did you get involved in it?

I work as a roofer with a mate who I’ve known for about ten years.

5- Your dad Harry played VFL football for Footscray as well as First Class cricket for QLD, did you have a crack at either of those sports and what have you learnt from your dad about being a professional athlete?

Yeah I tried both and sucked at both. I really and enjoy both sports whether it’s mucking around playing or just watching. He was back in around the days where you worked and played, so he’s always had that hard work ethic which was always good to see.

6- What do you do to relax away from the game and what hobbies do you enjoy?

I love going for a trip away fishing when there is time. I don’t mind a bit of golf which is something I’ve played for a long time and another sport I’m horrible at!

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A Set Of Six With: Annette Brander

This week we return with another cracking edition of A Set Of Six, where we feature Australian Jillaroo and Queensland Maroons Lock Annette Brander.

The Caboolture native have enjoyed a rapid rise through the ranks from playing for the Caboolture Snakes to representing Dragons and Broncos in the NRLW competition, all while studying as well as working for a Law Firm!

1- Growing up in Caboolture, what are your childhood memories of footy and what was your first club?

​Growing up I didn’t really know much about Rugby League. I grew up playing tennis and basketball and never really thought about playing rugby league or even knew that I could, as a female. When I was 14 years old my high school (Caboolture State High School) wanted to start their first girls Rugby League 9 a side team, which my friends finally convinced me to join and I absolutely loved it. We would go to carnivals and spend the entire day playing rugby league against other schools.  After school I joined my first rugby league club, Caboolture Snakes and played in the under 18s girls’ team. That same year I played women’s rugby league for the Sunshine Coast Sirens.

2- What was your favourite NRL team growing up and did you look up to any male/female players?

I liked the Newcastle Knights and the Brisbane Broncos when I was younger as I was born in New South Wales but lived in QLD. I don’t know why but I always really liked Kurt Gidley. When I started playing Women’s Rugby league I played alongside Steph Hancock as a 17 year old and looked up to her because she was a great player but so humble and welcoming.

3- You debuted for the Jillaroos in 2014, What was that experience of playing in the Green and Gold for the first time?

It was surreal. I had just debuted for Queensland and was so caught up in that that I was not expecting to be picked for Australia . It was an unreal experience and was lucky enough to be able to play alongside some of the greats in Renae Kunst, Steph Hancock, Heather Ballinger and Ruan Sims. I was so nervous as it was only my second game ever playing in the centres but the week was amazing and all the girls and staff made it a very fun and memorable experience.

Annette Charging the ball forward for Queensland in the 2018 Women’s Origin Game

4- What is your profession away from footy and why/how did you get started in that field?

Away from footy I am a full time legal assistant and worked in the industry for the past 7 years. I studied legal studies in high school and while studying community services after school I applied for a full time job in a law firm and decided to go that way instead.

5- You played in the first two seasons of the NRLW with both St George and then Brisbane, What was the experience of being involved in the inaugural seasons?

Amazing! I never thought that I’d have the opportunity to play for an NRL team before I retired so being able to be apart of the first ever NRLW season was a dream come true. It was an unbelievable experience and such a great step for Women’s Rugby League. I loved my time at the Dragons, it was a privilege to play for such a great team along side some amazing team mate and get out of my comfort zone but moving to Illawarra for 9 weeks. Playing for the Brisbane Broncos last year was another dream come true, I followed them growing up and always loved what the club stood for and being able to play for my home team and win a premiership was an unreal experience.

6- What are some hobbies you have away from footy to relax in your down time?

Anything outdoors. I work full time in an office so love using my spare time to get outside. I love visiting different markets and going on nature walks etc.

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A Set Of Six With: Jamie-Lee Lewis

We return with another edition of A Set Of Six for this week and we are extremely excited to be sitting down with BHP Premiership Lock and former Australian Waterpolo representative Jamie-Lee Lewis.

Jamie-Lee is the daughter of League legend Wally Lewis but is more than paving her own way in the sport while inspiring everyone she meets by smashing through the adversity of playing with Cochlear Implants as JL was born profoundly deaf.

1- Growing up in Brisbane, what were your earliest footy memories and what was your first club?

My earliest footy memories would be Touch Football days. I remember playing touch footy games at the Redlands. My first Footy club was Redlands Touch Association. 

2- You played Water-Polo for Australia, have any of the skills or lessons from that sport transfer into playing Rugby League?

Yes, there has been a few skills that have transferred to footy. I use my eyes a lot more and passing has given me lots of strength. Also be able to catch the ball with one hand easier. Discipline has been the most important lesson in sport. Waterpolo has taught me how to be disciplined. Getting up early and go to training, how to look after myself, how to eat well and also respect the coach, the staff and your teammates as well. It teaches you how to read the game well, continue to obey the rules while producing your best performance. Never give up.

3- You have changed positions a few times over the past few seasons, What do you think is your best spot on the field is? 

Lock is one of my favourite positions on the field so far. I am loving it and learning a lot. My old man reckons I should be playing five eighth haha. 

4- What is it like to be able to play for Souths Logan with your longtime friend Steph Hancock, who both your fathers (Wally and Rohan) played for QLD Together? 

It has been a privilege to play alongside Steph. One of the legends of women’s rugby league football. She never gives up. She will always have your back. Not only is she a great football player, she’s a role model and a great mentor to everyone. Steph gives so much back to the game she loves and I intend to do the same. The very first game with Steph was a special moment because both our fathers watched their daughters together alongside each other on the sideline. Our fathers played for Queensland, in the very first state of origin together. 

5- What career do you currently work in and how did you get into that area?

I work for Systems Subfloor. I got into it by my good mate. I absolutely love it. We do floor prep. Lots of physical work. Carry concrete bags/buckets. Mix concrete, top the floors. Rip up the tiles, vinyls, carpets. Grind the floor and get it ready.  It’s almost like doing weight training. I hope to finish off my apprenticeship in carpentry/cabinet maker in the future. 

6- What do you like to do away from footy to relax?

It depends on the week or weekends. I like to go to camping/4WD/adventure. Go for a hike/walk up the mountains, explore different places. Spend time with family and my dog. Or do renovations which I love doing!

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A Set OF Six With: Luke Burton

In this edition of Set Of Six With, we sit down with 2nd Rower Luke Burton to discuss his childhood memories of growing up in Bowral, to making his Intrust Super Cup Debut in 2019 where he featured 7 times in the Black and White during last season’s competition.

1- Where were you born and what is your junior footy club?

I was born in Bowral, New South Wales and Goulburn Stockmen was the junior club I played my footy with.

2- Favourite NRL team as a kid and hero growing up?

Growing up I was a big North Queensland Cowboys fan and Johnathan Thurston was by favourite player I looked up too coming through the ranks.

3- What is your current occupation and how did you get into that field?

I currently work as a Service Locator. I did start as a Vac Truck Operator before moving onto what I currently do now.

4- What are some things you enjoy doing away from footy?

Do enjoy a few quiet beers with the boys as well as heading down to the beach.

5- What does it mean to you to wear a Souths Logan Magpies jersey and represent the club?

It means a lot to me as it’s the only Intrust Super Cup team I’ve played for. Absolutely love being able to pull that jersey on gamedays with my teammates.

6- What are some goals for the future with your footy?

I’m pretty happy playing Qld Cup at the moment, but if there’s further opportunities in the coming years with higher honours Ill have a crack and see where they take me.

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