Sharing a famous rugby league surname can be tough.
- Scott Sorensen’s uncles Dane and Kurt were New Zealand trailblazers in rugby league
- Sorensen is on the Panthers’ interchange bench in the grand final
- He joined the Panthers this season after stints with the Sharks and Raiders
But Penrith forward Scott Sorensen is quickly making a name for himself, showing resilience that would make his legendary uncles proud in order to play his first NRL grand final.
Dane and Kurt Sorensen are regarded as New Zealand rugby league greats, having been mainstays for the Kiwis at the Test level.
They forged successful club careers with Cronulla during the 1970s and 1980s, while also having a brief stint at the Roosters.
Simply being mentioned in the same conversation as his uncles brings a smile to Sorensen’s face ahead of Sunday’s premiership decider against South Sydney.
Sorensen’s childhood was filled with constant reminders of his famous bloodline.
“In the family there are lots of clippings and photo albums of them, lots of stories about them,” said Sorensen, who was born in Sydney.
“They opened the door for Kiwi players to come across and play league in Australia, so it is humbling to be mentioned in the same conversation as them.
Still, Sorensen found it difficult to follow in the footsteps of his uncles, whose careers are still fondly remembered by rugby league fans.
He played for Cronulla — across two stints — and Canberra, and was cut by South Sydney without playing a match in 2015.
“At the time, South Sydney had a team that was going pretty well and the coach, Michael Maguire, told me there wouldn’t be an opportunity for me to play on,” Sorensen said.
“I appreciated his honesty. Maybe I wasn’t ready for first grade.”
Sorensen finally received regular match time on his Sharks return (2018-20) before linking with Penrith this year.
Finally, everything clicked.
He has been an interchange regular since round nine, helping the Panthers book a second straight grand-final berth.
Still, fate stepped in to test Sorensen once again. He suffered a dislocated wrist in the final round of the minor premiership.
But what was first diagnosed as a potential 10-week injury only sidelined him for one finals match.
“Once I knew there was no break I was focused on getting the wrist right,” Sorensen said.
“Now to be saying I will be involved in a grand final is very exciting.
Any doubts over his wrist were dismissed after his stunning cover tackle that cut short try-bound Melbourne Storm halfback Jahrome Hughes in last Saturday’s preliminary-final win.
Sorensen will start on the interchange bench in the grand final.
He now has the opportunity to achieve a feat that eluded his uncles during their time in the Sydney rugby league competition, winning a first-grade premiership.
The 28-year-old will be thinking about both of them as he prepares for Sunday’s clash with the Rabbitohs.
“They inspire and motivate me. It’s cool to share that [surname],” he said.