Discarded Canberra Raiders star Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad BREAKS DOWN in emotional scenes as he leads their reserve grade side to victory in final game at GIO Stadium
- Nicoll-Klokstad was the Raiders fullback but was demoted to reserve grade
- He has signed with the New Zealand Warriors for the 2023 NRL season
- The fullback put in a masterclass in his final game for the Raiders NSW Cup side
- It was an emotional game and Nicoll-Klokstad let it show with tears on the field
Despite being dumped to reserve grade, an emotional Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad left it all on the field for the Canberra Raiders in his final appearance for the club on Saturday.
A combination of injuries, form and the fact he has signed with the New Zealand Warriors for the 2023 NRL season meant the former Raiders fullback was relegated to New South Wales Cup.
He turned it on one last time for the reserve grade side, swerving his way to two tries and laying on two more in a masterclass performance in a 24-12 win over the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles.
Unfortunately, it was not enough to earn another appearance.
The Raiders reserve grade side finished just one competition point short of playing finals while the NRL side is unlikely to recall him if Xavier Savage can lead them into the first grade finals.
Standing on the field and knowing the game was in the bag, Nicoll-Klokstad let it all out, breaking into tears in his final appearance at GIO Stadium.
‘It’s been an emotional week. Four good years here at this club. So grateful for all the memories that I’ve been able to share with these boys. So grateful for this club for the opportunity. And I’m so glad that I’ll forever be Raider #355,’ he said.
‘I just want to thank you guys so much. Even after I signed to go back home, everyone has been so supportive. I just want to thank everyone – my family back home, my boys and my wife in the stands. It means so much.
‘It’s been a rollercoaster two years so it’s good to be able to finish on a high and finish off with the future Canberra Raiders boys.’
Fans left a flood of well wishes and positive messages for the Raiders star who wore his passion on his sleeve.
‘That’s the passion and pride you want from every player that wears your clubs jersey,’ Brad Tanner said.
Api Koroisau of the Panthers evades Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad of the Raiders during the Round 7 NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Canberra Raiders at BlueBet Stadium
‘He’s been treated so poorly by the club and it’s fans and he still has this passion really shows how good a character he is,’ Brandon Savage said.
‘From a Rabbitohs supporter, it’s just so good to see a player have such passion for the game … as fans, that’s all we ask,’ Sharon Walmsley said.
‘An absolute gentleman and always played his heart out for the green. Wish him all the best,’ Jamie Richardson said.
‘Should have been playing in the first grade side. Elliott and Sutton are leaving too but they didn’t get demoted to ressies,’ Shay Geary said.