15 May 2023

Former Weipa Raiders star kicking goals with the Pride

| Matt Nicholls
Weipa product Travis Cornthwaite is already making a positive impression with the Northern Pride Colts team.

Weipa product Travis Cornthwaite is already making a positive impression with the Northern Pride Colts team.

A PREMIERSHIP player with the Weipa Raiders in 2022, Travis Cornthwaite has found himself on a football pathway with no limitations.

The 19-year-old has moved to Cairns to play with the Northern Pride’s Colts team, a move suggested after his performances with the Raiders last year.

“We had a couple of people at the Gordonvale carnival last year and his talent was identified,” said the Pride’s first grade coach Ty Williams.

“Word came back that there was this kid from Weipa with some ability so we reached out to him to see if he wanted an opportunity.”

Cornthwaite jumped at the chance. He made the move from Weipa to Cairns and shacked up with Pride CEO Garreth Smith and his wife Florrie for a while, but now lives with former Weipa Raiders legend Karl Adams, who is the Pride’s project officer.

“I’m really enjoying it,” said Cornthwaite, a Wik man with family ties to Aurukun.

“I’m looking forward to getting a win on the board.”

While the Colts are 0-4 this season, they are much improved on last year when they struggled to be competitive.

Travis Cornthwaite in action for the Weipa Raiders.

Travis Cornthwaite in action for the Weipa Raiders.

Under the coaching of Bevan Walker, they have been in most of their four matches.

On Saturday, Cornthwaite scored his first try for the club in a tough 56-22 loss against the Clydesdales in Toowoomba.

“Bevo is the best coach I’ve had and we’re improving every week,” the halfback said.

“I think we’ll be a lot better in the second half of the year.”

Williams said if Cornthwaite’s progression continued, a first grade debut was not out of the question.

“We want to fast track his development because there are pieces of the puzzle that makes Travis ahead of where he should be, and other pieces where he’s behind on where he could be,” the veteran coach said.

“I’m not surprised to see how quickly he’s adapted and developed his game because he’s come in with the right attitude and asked questions with a view to improve.

“He doesn’t just stand in the background and think that he knows it all.”

Williams has already put the youngster to work in the first grade squad’s training sessions with an eye to the future.

“I think the club’s in a very strong position where we can pull on those kids in our catchment area, bring them to Cairns and hopefully help fulfil their potential,” he said.

Cornthwaite, who picked up individual honours in both the Cape Cluster competition and the Gordonvale Indigenous Rugby League carnival, says he now has ambitions to play first grade and potentially chase an NRL dream.

While he’s wearing the No. 7 jersey for now, the teenager says his best position is at hooker, a role he played for the Raiders last year.

“I think I need to get in the gym a bit more if I’m going to play there, though,” he said.

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