Rest assured, Orange product Jack Wighton’s mother will be Bathurst’s Carrington Park to watch the 24-year-old and his Canberra Raiders take on Penrith this weekend.
In a light-hearted and comical twist to his 100th NRL appearance in April, Wighton’s mother didn’t believe he’d crack the ton in that game against the New Zealand Warriors, so she didn’t go.
A number of websites listed the Warriors clash as his 99th, so she celebrated the milestone with him the week after instead.
“The old girl will be there I think, she’ll turn up,” Wighton laughed.
“I can’t wait to get home and have a game in the country, I always love the crowds out there and Bathurst has a good ground at Carrington.”
An Orange CYMS and Bloomfield Tigers junior, Wighton has long been a fan of NRL games heading to regional areas.
He once again applauded the move to Bathurst and with the annual City-Country Origin now defunct he called on more clubs to do the same.
“We get such a high percentage of country players coming through to the NRL I reckon we should keep it going, get more games out around the country areas,” he said.
“I reckon we’ll get a fair few numbers there you know, they really appreciate when we do get a game out there and giving back to the country a little bit is always good.”
Canberra has a strong fan base in the western region and Wighton said he’s hoping the notoriously boisterous Raiders fans will turn up in droves.
“Hopefully we get a good support base out there and that the green turns up in numbers,” he enthused.
Wighton will line-up at the back as his Raiders look to bounce back from a heartbreaking golden point loss to Manly last weekend.
He and his side are returning to the scene of another one-point defeat on Saturday, the Panthers winning last year’s corresponding fixture 19-18 thanks to a controversial Peter Wallace field goal.
The ninth-placed Raiders have a slight edge over Penrith on the competition standings, but the Panthers come into Saturday’s round round 14 clash on the back of a 38-0 whalloping of Canterbury.
“[Penrith] flowed really well against the Bulldogs on the weekend, so it’s going to be another tough game. We’ll have to turn up,” Wighton said.
“We go into every game knowing it’s going to be a tough battle. Sometimes we get them, sometimes we don’t.
“It’s always frustrating when you’re losing, you always want to win (but) there’s no use panicking.”