St George Illawarra Dragons National Youth Competition team hooker Ali Allouche is aiming to impress when he faces the Newcastle Knights at Hunter Stadium, Newcastle on Saturday.
Allouche is in the midst of his first season with the Young Dragons having arrived from the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs during the off-season and enjoying his time at his new club.
The Young Dragons were 38-30 winners over the Melbourne Storm last round in a game which saw rake start in the ruck in lieu of the absent Reece Robson who was on duty for the NSW Blues U18 State of Origin squad.
“I loved getting the start in that game as it provided a good step-up and challenge for me and I thought I did alright,” said Allouche.
“I thought our first half against the Storm was really good and we managed to complete a lot of sets and simply ran and tackled hard.
“To their credit they came out strong following-on from the break but we managed to hold on and give them a good run for their money.
“I love playing for the Dragons as we’re a really tight group with boys who are willing to work for one another.
“Head Coach Mat Head has been able to provide me with some important pointers including knowing when to make a run and when to stick to the structure as well as being smart around the ruck.
“He’s also encouraged me to bring a lot of energy to the team and keep being busy.
“I’ll just keep working hard wherever I play whether it be off the bench or starting and see what happens between now and the end of the season.”