Newcastle Rugby League: Mick Campton joins 300 club as Kurri Kurri take on arch rivals Western Suburbs

SURVIVOR: Kurri Kurri prop Mick Campton will line up for his 300th game when the Bulldogs take on Western Suburbs on Saturday. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

MICK Campton is old school. Tough.Uncompromising. A throw back.

Whether it be a hard run off his own line or a big hit, the no-nonsense prop stickshis handup.

On Saturday, “Campo” will line up for his 300thgame in the Newcastle Rugby League when Kurri Kurri take on fierce rivals Western Suburbs at Kurri Kurri Sportsground.

It’s an incredible feat given the way the enforcer plays. Think Dallas Donnelly.

“It’s something I didn’t think I’d achieve,” the 35-year-old said. “My two boys are my motivation. They like to come and watch me play and are playing now themselves.”

The fact the milestone game is against Westsadds to the occasion.

“It’s a special rivalry,” Campton said. “To be honest I’m just glad I get to play it at home.”

Campton started his senior career for the Bulldogs in the under-19s in 2000. Saturday’s clash will be his 144th in the top grade for the Dogs. He also had six years at Cessnock (2003-08), playing 87 first-grade games.

Kurri born and bred, Campton’s first game for the Goannaswas the inaugural Charity Shield against his home town.

“I copped a fair bit of stick,” he laughed.

Campton was always going to return to Kurri.

“My wife, Bec, is a Kurri girl so I guessI had to,” he said.

Although in the twilight of his career, Campton more than holdshis own.

“His game has progressed over the years,” coach Ron Griffiths said. “He has had to adapt but still has a bit of the old-school mentality fromtime to time.The big thing for Mick is that he has trained as hard as anyone.When you get to a certain age, you understand there are a few shortcuts you cantake without compromising quality.”

Fittingly, Campton’s boys Darcy, 7, and Oliver, 5, will share in the milestone game.

“Junior development is something he is passionate about and has been involved in since he was a young player,” Griffiths said. “There are few guys playing first grade now, like Ben Wyborn, who he helped mentor.”

Kurri went down 26-12 to Central in an opening round.

“We were in the game for periods but were a little bit clunky in a few different areas,” Griffiths said.

In other games on Saturday, Macquarie take on first-round winners Maitland at Peackock Field and the Goannas host premiers South Newcastle.

On Sunday, Central are at home to Lakes United.

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