Daine Laurie Happy Panthers recruitWests Tigers discard Daine Laurie continues to impress at the foot of the mountains after signing with the Panthers for the next 2 years.The towering forward has had some troubles in his young career, but judging by the pre-season his focus could have him not only challenging for a first grade spot, but it could be an instant return on investment for Penrith who have shown faith in the 25 year old Yamba product.Given his age, Laurie needs to roll his sleeves up and make the most of the next 2 years – as NRL standards these days show that players in their late 20’s find it hard to continue to compete unless they are in the top tier of remaining players in the competition.Laurie has shown flashes of brilliance while at the Tigers, but he failed to win the confidence of coach Tim Sheens and struggled for consistent appearances in the top grade.Fast forward to 2010, what has impressed new coach Matt Elliott so much about Laurie is not only his application to training during the pre-season, but Elliott has been seemingly in awe of the skills shown by the towering forward in recent weeks.As the Panthers wound down a training session, the players began a game of touch football. Pitting the forwards against the backs, new recruit Laurie impressed onlookers with a handy chip kick over the defence, then silky hands to regather – followed by successfully outsprinting the backs to score a try.With a well documented court case against him dismissed in recent times, the time is ideal for Laurie to move on to big things.Given his impressive sporting blood lines of African and Aboriginal descent, with continued persistence – Laurie could find himself achieving big things in the next 12-18 months at his Panthers tenure.

By ricky

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