Former Orange Wanderers star Hayden Dillon has been on fire for NSW at the Hockey Australia Under 21 Men’s Championship at Wollongong, a trait his side has mirrored.
Dillon, who now plays his club hockey with Wests in Newcastle, has helped NSW go through its opening four games of the national titles undefeated, before Wednesday’s rest day.
As a result, the side is sitting pretty on top of its pool with just one game left before the play-offs.
Dillon, 19, and his side have easily been the most potent in the tournament with the ball, finding the back of the net 25 times in four showings – Isaac Farmilo accounting for six of those himself.
But, although that record would suggest otherwise, the side has been severely tested in two of its outings.
The other two have been complete blow-outs.
NSW started with one of the latter, thumping Tasmania 8-1 thanks to an Ehren Hazell double.
The sky blues were forced to fight back from a 2-1 deficit against Queensland, trailing 3-2 after that as well before Blake Glovers and Lachlan Sharp slotted goals give NSW a 4-3 win.
Then, Dillon and his troops annihilated South Australia 11-1, Farmilo scoring four.
Once again NSW was fought to fight back in its fourth game.
The West Australians led 1-0, but a Sharp double – coming either side of half-time – ensured NSW maintained its unbeaten status.
Dillon and his teammates take on Victoria on Thursday at noon, the Vics have only lost one game.