Super League Heroes – Mick Weyman

09
Jul
Category: Heritage

Super League Heroes – Mick Weyman

Having played only the one season with Hull Kingston Rovers, Mick Weyman may to many be a surprise choice in our Super League heroes series. But the big Aussie prop made a huge impact in his short stay with the club, not only on the field, but the way in which he conducted himself off it.

Born in Moruya, New South Wales in September 1984, Weyman played his junior football for the Moruya Sharks. He captained the Australian Schoolboys team in 2001/2, played for the Junior Kangaroos in 2002/3, and for the New South Wales under 19s in 2003. That year, Weyman was signed by the Canberra Raiders and made his debut as a 19-year old against Penrith Panthers. But in six seasons at Canberra, Weyman was really never more than a fringe player, making just 47 appearances.

2008 was a low point in Weyman’s career; he was suspended for six weeks for striking Gold Coast Titans forward Daniel Conn, and played in only seven NRL matches for Canberra that year. But legendary coach Wayne Bennett could see Weyman’s potential and thought he was wasted at Canberra. Bennett took over the reins at St George Illawarra for the 2009 season, and Weyman was one of his first signings. He signed on a two-year deal, despite being offered a one-year extension with the Raiders.

His career blossomed under Bennett. In May 2009, Weyman was named in the squad to represent New South Wales in the opening game of the 2009 State of Origin series, making his Origin debut in Melbourne in June 2009. He was selected to play for Australia in their 2010 ANZAC Test victory against New Zealand, and he played two games in the 2010 State of Origin series. That year, Weyman also played St George’s 2010 NRL Grand Final win over the Sydney Roosters at the ANZ Stadium. In February 2011, he played in the 2011 World Club Challenge for St. George against the Wigan Warriors, the Dragons winning 21-15. But in 2012, he tore a cruciate ligament in his right knee and had to have reconstructive surgery. He was ruled out for the rest of the 2012 NRL season, having only played 10 games.

Rovers pulled off a real coup when they captured Weyman from St George for the 2014 season, by which time he had played 93 games in five seasons for the Dragons. He took a two or three games to really find his feet in the British game, but it was his two-try performance in a Friday night Super League game at Warrington that really announced him to the Rovers fans. His first try was particularly memorable, as he supported a Travis Burns break from the half way line to romp under the posts. It was the first of four tries he scored in four games, and it laid the platform for an impressive 25-12 win over the previous season’s Grand Finalists on their own ground. It was not Rovers best-ever season by any means, but Weyman’s performances were a bright spot in a disappointing campaign. He was runner-up to Josh Hodgson in the Player of the Year award and won the Community Player of the Year award.

After a pre-season operation on his knee had kept him out of the side for the first five matches, Weyman decided to retire in March 2015. “My knee isn’t responding to treatment and I wanted to do the right thing by the club as well,” he said, “I don’t want to be sitting in the stands for most of the year.” Doing the right thing was important to him, and it was in a stark contrast to some others who had preceded him. The supporters, who had warmed to him due to his committed on-field performances, now appreciated his honesty, and he was given an emotional ovation at the next home game, against Catalan, when he came onto the pitch to say his farewells.

In all, Mick Weyman made 24 appearances for the Robins, scoring seven tries. His last game was one of the more impressive performances of the 2014 season – a 42-18 win at Wakefield that September. Weyman’s Super League stats are worthy of full mention – in 23 appearances he made 2,035 metres and 539 tackles, with 28 tackle busts. He was always there to do the hard yards in his trademark bustling style, and could be relied upon to do more than his share of the defensive work. It was a tragedy for the club that his time at the club was cut short.

The last word goes to top Aussie coach Wayne Bennett. “He’s one of those really special guys you meet in rugby league, someone that everybody likes, and you can’t help but like because he’s genuine,” he said; “My proudest moment with him was at the Grand Final – I knew that we couldn’t win the Premiership without him. He was that important, because he gave confidence to everyone in the team. I’d have him in any team I coached. I wouldn’t have a hesitation.”

 

 

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