North Queensland Cowboys hand the Brisbane Broncos their first ever wooden spoon in the Queensland Derby clash

North Queensland Cowboys half Jake Clifford

The Brisbane Broncos and the North Queensland Cowboys. Always fiery, lively and physical. Last night was no different.

There was plenty to play for, as both the Broncos and Cowboys were set to farewell club stalwarts.

In the end, the Cowboys scored bragging rights over the Broncos to confine them to last.

It is the first wooden spoon in the Broncos history but caps off a tumultuous season.

The Cowboys and the Broncos have had a great rivalry over the past few years including a grand final.

Recently, however, it was the Broncos who had the wood on the Cowboys in their most recent meetings.

This showed in the first fifteen minutes with the Broncos well on top.

It only took the Brisbane team three minutes to get the first try of the match.

Tom Dearden kicked into the Cowboys in-goal and a clumsy error from Kyle Feldt saw the ball bobbling on the ground.

 Payne Haas followed through and collected the loose ball to crash over for the Broncos to take the early lead.

Kotoni Staggs kicked the relatively easy conversion to have the Broncos up 6-nil.

Staggs, who has been a shining light for the Broncos in 2020 then suffered the unthinkable.

He went down clutching a knee, a confirmed ACL injury and did not return, a big blow for the Broncos.

Only a minute later and from a Cowboys knock-on deep in their own half, the Townsville club was under pressure again.

The pressure proved too much and the milestone man and the retiring veteran Darius Boyd scored his 87th try in his 337th and final game NRL game.

With a play the ball on the Cowboys goal-line, Boyd left the defenders napping from good vision out of dummy half to force his way over.

Isaac Luke took over the kicking duties and he extended the Broncos lead out to 12 due to his successful conversion.

On the half-way mark of the first half, a one on one strip from Jason Taumalolo inside their own half proved to be a big turning point.

The Cowboys worked the play down the field into the Broncos attacking zone.

Scott Drinkwater put in a clever kick for Jake Clifford to follow through.

He out jumped Boyd to run a short distance to score under the posts to get the Cowboys back in the game.

Valentine Holmes kicked the easy conversion to bridge the gap back to six.

Soon after, the Cowboys were denied a try by the bunker due to Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow due to being off-side from a Drinkwater kick on his own ten-metre line.

Feldt would continue his try-scoring form, nabbing his first of his three tries and his 17th of the year.

A right-hand side play by the Cowboys and an excellent cut-out pass by Holmes found an unmarked Feldt on the outside to score an easy try.

Holmes kicked a great sideline conversion to tie the game up at twelve apiece.

With only a few minutes left on the clock in the first stanza, the Broncos were penalised deep in their half due to a high tackle.

Holmes was again was on song with his passing game to deliver a good short ball to Justin O’Neill.

Running the perfect line, O’Neill was able to ground the ball in the in-goal to give the Cowboys a handy 16-12 lead at the break.

It took fifteen minutes for the score to change after half-time and fortunately for the Broncos, it was them who got a try through Corey Oates.

A Cowboys knock on fifteen metres out from their own line would prove costly.

A clever pass by Dearden put the Cowboys defence under pressure and Corey Oates was able to force the ball in the corner.

 Luke missed the kicked but the Broncos back in the contest with the scores again locked up, this time at 16-all.

This proved to be the Broncos last score of the game with the Cowboys running away with the match in the remaining 25 minutes.

With plenty of possession and momentum, the Cowboys were able to score again through Feldt just on ten minutes later.

Drinkwater fooled the Broncos defence, as Feldt crossed easily for his second of the match and his 18th of the season.

Holmes kicked the conversion from five metres in from touch.

It was not long later when Feldt registered his hat-trick of tries for the match.

Taumalolo gave the Cowboys great momentum into the Broncos half through from a great run.

Drinkwater kicked in behind the defensive line for a flying Feldt to retrieve the ball to cross again.

Holmes missed the conversion from the touchline but the Cowboys had a commanding lead with less than ten minutes left on the clock.

Tabuai-Fidow who was having an unlucky night due to unforced errors and having tries disallowed was not going to be denied four minutes from full-time.

Holmes retrieved a kick on his goal-line and found open space from a  scattered defensive line.

He worked across to the left-hand side of the field to find Tabuai-Fidow on the flank.

The lightning-fast winger was not going to be stopped in open space and he ran 60 metres untouched to score.

This gave the Cowboys an unassailable lead 32-16.

The conversion with four minutes remaining was kicked by Gavin Cooper who was playing his last game for the Cowboys.

The win was just the Cowboys second win at Suncorp Stadium in the past eleven meetings between the two teams.

Peter Gentle lamented his side’s performance after they officially took home the spoon.

“It’s extremely disappointing [to get the wooden spoon]. It is not the finish we wanted,” Gentle said.

“The table doesn’t lie.”

Although all the focus was on Cooper, grand final winner in 2015, John Asiata, was also playing his last game for the Cowboys.

“He is a grand final winner and that, unfortunately, gets lost in Coops’ send-off but it was great to send them both out the right way,” said Cowboys coach Josh Hannay.

“Both clubs are turning over a new chapter in their history and there were two footy sides out there with really young players.

NRL News Player of the Game

3 – Jake Clifford

2 – Scott Drinkwater

1 – Valentine Holmes

North Queensland Cowboys utility back Scott Drinkwater

Sea Eagles soften Fonua-Blake loss with re-signing of Paseka

Manly Sea Eagles prop Taniela Paseka

Proving he is more than capable, Taniela Paseka will likely be a starting prop full-time next season as he re-signs with the Manly Sea Eagles.

Paseka, who has deputized for the injured and now departing Addin Fonua-Blake has been in good form all year.

His new contract extension will see Paseka remain at Manly until the end of the 2024 season.

With a total of 43 NRL games to his name since making his NRL debut in 2018, Paseka has been impressive.

He was a part of the club’s 2017 NYC premiership winning team and brings all the traits that Manly coach Des Hasler wants to see.

“Taniela has really stepped up this season and we are delighted to have secured his services until the end of 2024 with this new deal,’’ Hasler said.

“For a young player in just his third season in the NRL, I know Taniela will only further improve and will play a major role in our forward pack in the years to come.”

Equally pleased is Paseka himself, and he knows the opportunity is there for the taking to make a starting prop spot his own.

“I’m really happy here at Manly,” Paseka said.

“This year has been a real learning curve for me as a young prop in the NRL.

Despite their overall tough season, Paseka believes the club is moving in the right direction and he backs himself to get better.

“I know there is a real opportunity for me now to secure a regular starting position at prop and I feel my game is only going to get better with the more matches I play,” Paseka continued.

“It may have been a tough season for us this year but I know this club is heading in the right direction under Coach Des Hasler and I’m looking forward to playing an even greater part.”

Manly Sea Eagles prop Taniela Paseka

2020 NRLW teamlists

Brisbane Broncos NRLW star Ali Brigginshaw

That time is upon us again, the NRLW. Telstra will be naming rights partners after Holden’s departure.

The 2020 competition sees many returning faces but also several new faces that are sure to excite many.

Of course, these are some of Australia’s top female rugby sevens stars, and they are suited to formats like these.

Here are the teams for the 2020 NRLW Telstra Premiership (we will update them as teams add more or announce their full teams as well as any changes):

New Zealand Warriors: Stephanie Ball, Madison Bartlett, Karina Brown, Brianna Clark, Kirra Dibb, Samantha Economos, Tazmin Gray, Ellia Green, Georgia Hale, Naomi Kara, Teaghan Laing & Taimane Levu.
New Zealand Warriors NRLW recruit and Australian rugby sevens star Ellia Green
Laken Paitai, Michaela Peck, Kanyon Paul, Evania Pelite, Hilda Peters, Shaniah Power, Kayla Sauvao, Simone Smith, Shontelle Stowers & Crystal Tamarua.
Four development players: Abii Church, Tyla Gambell, Tahlia Hunter & Patricia Raikadroka.
Coach: Aaron Donald.

Sydney Roosters: Charlotte Caslick, Kennedy Cherrington, Quincy Dodd, Vanessa Foliaki, Grace Hamilton, Filomina Hanisi, Melanie Howard, Jocelyn Kelleher, Bobbi Law, Amelia Mafi, Nita Maynard & Corban McGregor.
Sydney Roosters NRLW recruit and rugby sevens star Charlotte Caslick
Yasmin Meakes, Brydie Parker, Shanice Parker, Kaitlyn Phillips, Taleena Simon, Hannah Southwell, Simaima Taufa, Zahara Temara, Sarah Togatuki & Botille Vette-Welsh.
Coach: Jamie Feeney.

Brisbane Broncos: Amber Hall, Ali Brigginshaw, Millie Boyle, Lavinia Gould, Tarryn Aiken, Annette Brander, Tallisha Harden, Jayme Fressard, Chelsea Lenarduzzi, Lauren Brown, Julia Robinson, Meg Ward, Raecene McGregor, Tamika Upton.

Brisbane Broncos NRLW half and Kiwi Ferns international Raecene McGregor
*Note: the Broncos are yet to name their full quota of players.
Coach: Kelvin Wright.

St George Illawarra Dragons: Elsie Albert, Kezie Apps, Shaylee Bent, Teagan Berry, Sammy Bremner, Jaime Chapman, Keeley Davis, Jade Etherden, Aaliyah Fasavalu-Fa’amausili, Steph Hancock, Talei Holmes, Rikeya Horne, Ellie Johnston, Isabelle Kelly, Mahalia Murphy, Georgia Page, Christine Pauli, Tiana Penitani, Jessica Sergis, Maddie Studdon, Shakiah Tungai & Maddison Weatherall.

Coach: Dean Lacey


 

NRL Teams Rd 20

Junior Paulo. Source: Parramatta Eels.

 

 

 

 

 

Here we are. The final round of the 2020 season. It’s been different but exciting nevertheless. 

Jostling for spots will continue as teams need a win to hold onto their spots but there will be some dead rubbers.

All games should still offer some excitement and so here are the teams for round 20 of the NRL Telstra Premiership:

Brisbane Broncos v North Queensland Cowboys (#NRLBroncosCowboys); Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane; Thursday, September25. Kick-off: 7:50 pm. 

Broncos: 1. Darius Boyd 2. Xavier Coates 3. Jesse Arthars 4. Herbie Farnworth 5. Richard Kennar 6. Kotoni Staggs 7. Tom Dearden 8. Joe Ofahengaue 9. Issac Luke 10. Payne Haas 11. Jordan Riki 12. Alex Glenn 13. Patrick Carrigan (C).

Interchange: 14. Cory Paix 15. Ben Te’o 16. Corey Oates 17. Jamil Hopoate.

Reserves: 18. Rhys Kennedy 19. Ethan Bullemor 20. Sean O’Sullivan 21. Brodie Croft.

Coach: Peter Gentle.

Cowboys: 1. Valentine Holmes 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Murray Taulagi 4. Daejarn Asi 5. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 6. Scott Drinkwater 7. Jake Clifford 8. Josh McGuire 9. Reuben Cotter 10. Jordan McLean 11. Gavin Cooper 12. Mitchell Dunn 13. Jason Taumalolo.

Interchange: 14. John Asiata 15. Tom Gilbert 16. Corey Jensen 17. Francis Molo.

Reserves: 18. Emry Pere 19. Jake Granville 20. Ben Condon 21. Justin O’Neill.

Coach: Josh Hannay.


Gold Coast Titans v Newcastle Knights (#NRLTitansKnights); Cbus Super Stadium, Robina; Friday, September 26. Kick-off: 6 pm.

Titans: 1. Alexander Brimson 2. Anthony Don 3. Brian Kelly 4. Young Tonumaipea 5. Treymain Spry 6. Ashley Taylor 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Mitch Rein 10. Moeaki Fotuaika 11. Kevin Proctor (C) 12. Sam Stone 13. Tyrone Peachey.

Interchange: 14. Tanah Boyd 15. Sam Lisone 16. Jai Arrow 17. Jai Whitbread.

Reserves: 18. Darius Farmer 19. Corey Thompson 20. Philip Sami 21. Nathan Peats.

Coach: Justin Holbrook.

Knights: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Edrick Lee 3. Enari Tuala 4. Bradman Best 5. Hymel Hunt 6. Mason Lino 7. Mitchell Pearce (C) 8. David Klemmer 9. Kurt Mann 10. Daniel Saifiti 11. Sione Mata’utia 12. Aidan Guerra 13. Mitch Barnett.

Interchange: 14. Chris Randall 15. Jacob Saifiti 16. Herman Ese’ese 17. Brodie Jones.

Reserves: 18. Josh King 19. Gehamat Shibasaki 20. Starford To’A 21. Jirah Momoisea.

Coach: Adam O’Brien.


South Sydney Rabbitohs v Sydney Roosters (#NRLSouthsRoosters); ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park; Friday September, 26. Kick-off: 7:55 pm. 

Rabbitohs: 1. Corey Allan 2. Alex Johnston 3. Campbell Graham 4. Dane Gagai 5. Jaxson Paulo 6. Cody Walker 7. Adam Reynolds (C) 8. Liam Knight 9. Damien Cook 10. Thomas Burgess 11. Jed Cartwright 12. Bayley Sironen 13. Cameron Murray.

Interchange: 14. Mark Nicholls 15. Hame Sele 16. Patrick Mago 17. Keaon Koloamatangi.

Reserves: 18. Tevita Tatola 19. Jack Johns 20. Troy Dargan 21. Cory Denniss.

Coach: Wayne Bennett.

Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Josh Morris 4. Mitch Aubusson 5. Brett Morris 6. Luke Keary 7. Kyle Flanagan 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Jake Friend (C) 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho 11. Boyd Cordner (C) 12. Sitili Tupouniua 13. Angus Crichton

Interchange: 14. Lachlan Lam 15. Poasa Faamausili 16. Nat Butcher 17. Sonny Bill Williams.

Reserves: 18. Matt Ikuvalu 19. Daniel Fifita 20. Freddy Lussick 21. Ryan Hall.

Coach: Trent Robinson.


Canterbury Bulldogs v Penrith Panthers (#NRLBulldogsPanthers); ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park; Saturday, September 27. Kick-off: 3 pm.

Bulldogs: 1. Will Hopoate 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Reimis Smith 4. Tim Lafai 5. Jayden Okunbor 6. Jake Averillo 7. Lachlan Lewis 8. Aidan Tolman 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Luke Thompson 11. Chris Smith 12. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 13. Josh Jackson (C).

Interchange: 14. Brandon Wakeham 15. Renouf To’Omaga 16. Sione Katoa 17. Sauaso Sue.

Reserves: 19. Dean Britt 20. Jack Cogger 21. Tuipolutu Katoa 23. Kerrod Holland.

Coach: Steve Georgallis.

Panthers: 1. Daine Laurie 2. Josh Mansour 3. Tyrone May 4. Brent Naden 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. James Tamou 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo.

Interchange: 14. Matt Burton 15. Spencer Leniu 16. Moses Leota 17. Zane Tetevano.

Reserves: 18. Mitch Kenny 19. Dean Whare 20. Jack Hetherington 21. Billy Burns.

Coach: Ivan Cleary.


Cronulla Sharks v Canberra Raiders (#NRLSharksRaiders); Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Kogarah; Saturday, September 27. Kick-off: 5:30 pm.

Sharks: 1. William Kennedy 2. Nene Macdonald 3. Mawene Hiroti 4. Jesse Ramien 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Wade Graham 7. Connor Tracey 8. Braden Hamlin-Uele 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Aaron Woods 11. Briton Nikora 12. Siosifa Talakai 13. Toby Rudolf.

Interchange: 14. Scott Sorenson 15. Jack Williams 16. Andrew Fifita 17. Teig Wilton.

Reserves: 18. Billy Magoulias 19. Braydon Trindall 20. Bryson Goodwin 21. Daniel Vasquez.

Coach: John Morris.

Raiders: 1.  Adam Cook 2. Semi Valemei 3. Matthew Timoko 4. Harley Smith-Shields 5. Nick Cotric 6. Matt Frawley 7. Sam Williams 8. Dunamis Lui 9. Tom Starling 10. Iosia Soliola 11. Hudson Young 12. Corey Harawira-Naera 13. Siliva Havili.

Interchange: 14. Kai O’Donnell 15. Ryan Sutton 16. Darby Medlyn 17. Jarrett Subloo.

Reserves: 18. Ata Mariota 19. Joseph Tapine 20. Jack Wighton 21. Elliott Whitehead.

Coach: Ricky Stuart.


Wests Tigers v Parramatta Eels (#NRLTigersEels); Bankwest Stadium, Parramatta; Saturday, September 27. Kick-off: 7:35 pm.

Tigers: 1. Adam Doueihi 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Tommy Talau 4. Chris Lawrence 5. Asu Kepaoa 6. Benji Marshall 7. Luke Brooks 8. Zane Musgrove 9. Harry Grant 10. Thomas Mikaele 11. Luke Garner 12. Luciano Leilua 13. Alex Twal.

Interchange: 14. Matthew Eisenhuth 15. Elijah Taylor 16. Shawn Blore 17. Michael Chee-Kam.

Reserves: 18. Alex Seyfarth 19. Jacob Liddle 20. Josh Reynolds 21. Joey Leilua.

Coach: Michael Maguire.

Eels: 1. Clint Gutherson (C) 2. Maika Sivo 3. Michael Jennings 4. Waqa Blake 5. Blake Ferguson 6. Jai Field 7. Mitch Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Ryan Matterson 13. Nathan Brown.

Interchange: 14. Will Smith 15. Andrew Davey 16. Kane Evans 17. Oregon Kaufusi.

Reserves: 18. Haze Dunster 19. Brad Takairangi 20. George Jennings 21. Daniel Alvaro.

Coach: Brad Arthur.


New Zealand Warriors v Manly Sea Eagles (#NRLWarriorsManly); Central Coast Stadium, Gosford; Sunday, September 28. Kick-off: 2 pm. 

Warriors: 1. Peta Hiku 2. Adam Pompey 3. Adam Keighran 4. Hayze Perham 5. Patrick Herbert 6. Kodi Nikorima 7. Chanel Harris-Tavita 8. Lachlan Burr 9. Karl Lawton 10. Isaiah Papali’i 11. Eliesa Katoa 12. Tohu Harris 13. Jazz Tevaga.

Interchange: 14. Wayde Egan 15. Adam Blair 16. Jack Murchie 17. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown.

Reserves: 18. Josh Curran 19. Paul Turner 20. Gerard Beale 21. Tom Ale.

Coach: Todd Payten.

Manly: 1. Tevita Funa 2. Abbas Miski 3. Brad Parker 4. Morgan Harper 5. Reuben Garrick 6. Lachlan Croker 7. Daly Cherry-Evans (C) 8. Taniela Paseka 9. Danny Levi 10. Martin Taupau 11. Corey Waddell 12. Curtis Sironen 13. Jake Trbojevic.

Interchange: 14. Albert Hopoate 15. Morgan Boyle 16. Sean Keppie 17. Haumole Olakau’atu.

Reserves: 18. Ben Trbojevic 19. Luke Metcalf 20. Toafofoa Sipley 21. Sione Fainu.

Coach: Des Hasler.


St George Illawarra Dragons v Melbourne Storm (#NRLDragonsStorm); Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Kogarah; Sunday, September 28. Kick-off: 4:05 pm. 

Dragons: 1. Matt Dufty 2. Max Feagai 3. Euan Aitken 4. Zac Lomax 5. Cody Ramsey 6. Jayden Sullivan 7. Adam Clune 8. Blake Lawrie 9. Cameron McInnes (C) 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Jacob Host 13. Jackson Ford.

Interchange: 14. Tariq Sims 15. Kaide Ellis 16. Josh Kerr 17. Eddie Blacker.

Reserves: 18. Brayden Wiliame 19. Corey Norman 20. Jordan Pereira 21. Tyrell Fuimaono.

Coach: Dean Young.

Storm: 1. Ryan Papenhuyzen 2. Sandor Earl 3. Ricky Leutele 4. Paul Momirovski 5. Issac Lumelume 6. Ryley Jacks 7. Cooper Johns 8. Tui Kamikamica 9. Brandon Smith 10. Christian Welch 11. Tom Eisenhuth 12. Chris Lewis 13. Max King.

Interchange: 14. Nicho Hynes 15. Darryn Schonig 16. Albert Vete 17. Aaron Pene.

Reserves: 18. Aaron Booth 19. Dean Ieremia 20. Trent Lolero 21. Judda Turahui.

Coach: Craig Bellamy.


Powerhouse prop Fonua-Blake makes Warriors move official

Newly signed New Zealand Warriors prop Addin Fonua-Blake

Addin Fonua-Blake, a powerhouse prop, a Tongan international and a leading NRL forward has signed with the New Zealand Warriors.

Fonua-Blake’s deal will run until the end of the 2023 season, adding to an already solid pack.

The Warriors have re-signed Jack Murchie, signed Kane Evans and Ben Murdoch-Masila.

Adding Fonua-Blake gives the Warriors additional mongrel upfront and his combination with Murdoch-Masila should be electric.

“Addin’s signing could be one of the most important the club’s history,” said Vodafone Warriors recruitment manager Peter O’Sullivan.

“He is exactly what we have been looking for to bring into our squad.”

O’Sullivan described Fonua-Blake as the type of prop they need and believes he will fit in well with the club.

“Addin has a big motor, power, the skill set and the body shape we were looking for to take our pack to a new level.

“He’s very close to a lot of players in our squad having cemented relationships with them over a number of years at Test level and with the Junior Kiwis.

“At 24 years of age he has the best years in front of him as a premier front rower in the NRL.”

Just as pleased to sign Fonua-Blake is Warriors CEO Cameron George.

“It’s a huge coup for us and we’re thrilled to welcome Addin and his family to our club,” George said.

“Having him on board is the missing part of the puzzle as we have worked to establish a squad to compete with the best clubs in the competition.”

The Manly Sea Eagles issued a brief statement on Fonua-Blake’s early release.

“Manly Warringah Sea Eagles have today formally released prop Addin Fonua-Blake from the remainder of his contract.

Fonua-Blake was signed to the Sea Eagles for 2021-22. He asked for a release on compassionate grounds.

The 24-year-old played 97 NRL games for Manly after making his club debut in 2016.”

Knights pile on the points against Dragons and inch closer to a home final

Newcastle Knights fullback Kalyn Ponga

It was their start that got them the win, one that the Newcastle Knights can be proud of after a 42-18 rout of the St George Illawarra Dragons.

Leaping into sixth position after the win and holding a home final spot, next week’s clash with the Gold Coast Titans is crucial.

With the home final so close they can taste it, Knights coach Adam O’Brien admits it would be exciting for the club.

“I know capacity may only be at 50% but I’ve been here when the place was rocking. I know how difficult it is coming up the highway to play here,” O’Brien said.

“So it would be huge. It would be great for everyone but we’re not there yet.”

The Knights started off like a house on fire with two tries in the first seven minutes.

Makeshift hooker Chris Randall took the line on and found Kalyn Ponga who streaked away to score.

This was followed by an aerial leap from Gehamat Shibasaki off a Mason Lino crossfield kick, and the Knights were flying.

Before too long, the score blew out to 24-0, the Knights asserting their dominance.

Ponga would turn provider for the third, laying on a lovely short ball at the line for Aidan Guerra to crash over.

Daniel Saifiti then continued his good form this season, twisting in the tackle with three Dragons on him to plant the ball down.

It was a different story for the Dragons, though. Errors – and many of them – both from errant passing and predictable kicking.

It went from bad to worse when Ben Hunt was penalised and put on report for a crusher tackle.

Late in the first half, the Dragons would finally get on the scoreboard through in-form centre Zac Lomax.

Lomax, who has been a rare spark for the Dragons in 2020, jostled out of several tackles and found the try-line.

Halfback Mitchell Pearce would then combine with Enari Tuala to give the Knights a commanding 30-6 lead at the break.

The Knights dominance would continue with Jacob Saifiti joining brother Daniel on the scoreboard.

The Dragons would pull one try back, though.

Lomax and youngster Cody Ramsey combined on the right flank, before Ramsey found Norman inside to score.

That faint sniff was shortlived, however, when Tuala scored his second off a lovely short pass from Ponga.

The final try of the game would go the Dragons way and it was their best player in Lomax yet again.

Lomax leaped highest to steal the ball from Ponga and had a short run to the try-line to score a simple try.

The Knights will desperately hope they can hold onto sixth spot and secure their first home final since 2006.

The win was even more special, for it was Old Boys’ Day at the club; a tradition the Knights value highly.

Interim Dragons coach Dean Young was livid with his side’s meek effort and made it known post-game.

“It was just under-8s stuff,” said Young.

“In the end, they made 265 tackles and we made 406.

“So you’re going to get some poor defensive stuff and fundamental errors when you’re making that many tackles.

“But that’s not an excuse. We are much better than that and the players know it.”

NRL News Player of the Game

3. Kalyn Ponga (NEW)

2. Zac Lomax (SGI)

  1. Daniel Saifiti (NEW)
St George Illawarra Dragons centre Zac Lomax

 

Knights forward Glasby forced into premature retirement due to prolonged concussion symptoms

Retiring Newcastle Knights forward Tim Glasby

A successful NRL career, a premiership, and representing Queensland, Tim Glasby achieved plenty in his rugby league career.

Although he would have preferred to retire on his own terms, prolonged concussion symptoms have intervened.

Glasby has been forced into premature retirement after receiving doctor’s advice not to return to full contact.

That made Glasby’s decision easier with 138 NRL games and five QLD games, the forward had time to reflect.

“I’ve had a lot of time to sit back and reflect on my career and I am truly grateful for everything the game has given me,” Glasby said.

“If you had told me when I first signed with the Storm, I would go on to win a premiership and run out for Queensland in State of Origin, I would’ve thought you were joking.”

Glasby, who enjoyed stints with both the Storm and the Knights, was quick to thank both clubs and his family.

“I am appreciative for the opportunities I have had and the support of my family throughout the journey,” Glasby continued.

“I want to thank my mum and dad, my wife Casey, children Parker and Remy and all the teammates and staff at the Storm, Maroons and Knights.

“I have worked with some incredible people over the years.”

Knowing Glasby well, Knights coach Adam O’Brien praised Glasby’s work ethic and determination to succeed.

“Tim Glasby typifies exactly what hard work and determination can get you in life,” O’Brien said.

“All of his success at Club and representative level has come on the back of hard work.”

Working alongside each other in some capacity for a decade, O’Brien lauded Glasby for helping him with his coaching transition.

“I have been very fortunate to spend over a decade with Tim and share some special moments in the NRL with him,” O’Brien continued.

“He’s also been a huge help with my transition into head coaching.”

Former Melbourne Storm prop Tim Glasby

Raiders keep their top 4 hopes alive with a win over the Warriors

Canberra Raiders back-rower Elliott Whitehead

The Canberra Raiders have kept their top-four hopes alive this afternoon at GIO Stadium, with a 26-14 win over the New Zealand Warriors.

Despite the twelve-point margin, the result could have easily gone the other way after the Warriors dominated the first half.

The Raiders weren’t at their best early, with ill-discipline costing them.

They returned to the style they are known for in the second half and slowly gained control.

Injuries will be on Ricky Stuart’s mind this week, with George Williams, Josh Papalii, and John Bateman all under injury clouds.

Williams left the field for a HIA after eight minutes and never returned for the Raiders.

Nevertheless, the Warriors deserved their lead after ten minutes through plenty of possession.

Kodi Nikorima put a deft grubber in behind the defence and Hiku did well to ground it inside the dead-ball line.

It only took the Raiders seven minutes to level the score at 6-6.

With Williams off the field, Jack Wighton took the reins and put Jarrod Croker in with a great face ball at the line.

The next fifteen minutes would be a real concern for Stuart, with the Raiders side, temporarily at least, losing their focus.

Chanel Harris-Tavita knocked over two penalty goals in the 20th and 25th minutes, the latter coming from a melee arising out a scrum.

Minutes later, Josh Papalii pulled Tohu Harris down by grabbing his hair, something that may well be looked at by the Match Review Committee.

An offside penalty on the Raiders line was seen as enough infringements and Jack Wighton was sent to the sin bin.

The Warriors took advantage straight away, with a great no-look pass from Nikorima to Hiku.

The Warriors held a 14-6 advantage with ten minutes to go in the first half.

Momentum changes are commonplace in rugby league and there is no doubt the next one had a massive bearing on the game.

The Warriors were again threatening to score with Wighton still off the ground when Jazz Tevaga got a loose pass away.

Semi Valemei was the first to swoop and outpaced the Warriors’ cover to run the length of the field for the try.

The Raiders seemed energized by this and a further miracle try ensued.

Elliott Whitehead ran the ball down the right edge and grubbered through the line. He regathered and kicked back inside.

Ryan Sutton toed it forward and Hudson Young did well to score a most remarkable try.

Incredibly enough, with Wighton returning just before half time, Canberra held a 16-14 lead at the break, completely against the run of play.

Ten minutes after the re-start, the Raiders benefited from another intercept.

Tuivasa-Sheck threw a pass that could have led to a Warriors try if it wasn’t intercepted by Whitehead.

He linked up with Jordan Rapana who was chased down well upfield.

From there the Raiders swept left, with Croker turning Valemei back inside for an impressive try.

A kick out on the full and offside penalty allowed Croker to get the Raiders out to an eight-point lead going into the last quarter of the game.

A hamstring injury to Tuivasa-Sheck seemed to suck some of the resistance out of the Warriors although they never threw in the towel.

The Raiders sealed the win with seven minutes remaining after a right edge raid.

The ball went through nine pairs of hands in all, with Nick Cotric scoring in the corner.

The Raiders were home, but Stuart will know his team will need to produce better over the next month to progress far in the finals.

Stuart was far from pleased with the refereeing performance and made his thoughts clear post-game.

The Raiders coach saw the game mirroring that of a rugby union clash.

“If we had have put some lineouts in when the ball went out, we would’ve had two rugby union games here in two days,” Stuart said.

As his time at the Warriors comes to an end, Todd Payten praised the players for changing his life and his career journey.

“I’m really proud of this group of men, they’ve changed my life,” said Payten.

“I owe them a whole debt of gratitude.

“I’ll always be grateful for the opportunity they’ve given me and my family moving forward.”

NRL News Player of the Game

3 points: Elliott Whitehead (CAN) took on a lot of responsibility with George Williams missing much of the game.

Two of his kicks resulted in tries, an intercept led to effectively a twelve-point play, whilst he also did his usual work in attack and defence;

2 points: Kodi Nikorima (WAR) had a strong game for the Warriors, setting up two tries and continually threatening the Raiders’ defensive line.

1 point: Jack Wighton (CAN) was perhaps a bit unlucky to spend time in the sin bin, but the rest of his game was top-notch, especially with his halves partner out of the game.

New Zealand Warriors half Kodi Nikorima

Roosters celebrate Aubusson milestone in style with win over Sharks

Sydney Roosters forward Isaac Liu

303 games, a Sydney Roosters club record. Mitch Aubusson ran out and performed well to guide the Roosters to a win over the Cronulla Sharks.

The celebration was great for Aubusson but the Sharks will head into the finals with their talisman in Shaun Johnson.

Taking the line on, Johnson fell and injured his Achilles, an injury that rules him out for 4-6 months.

Johnson would not be the only Sharks injury, unfortunately.

Prop Royce Hunt dislocated his kneecap and Josh Dugan also had knee injuries of his own.

Before the game began, the Roosters players made a guard of honour celebrating Aubusson’s club milestone.

The first try of the game went to the milestone man, as he raced over off a Joey Manu short ball.

Cronulla came ready to play, though, and scored a near carbon copy try of their own.

Johnson the provider and Siosifa Talakai the scorer, to make it 6-apiece.

Kyle Flanagan continued his solid night with the boot when he slotted a penalty goal to give the Roosters the lead.

That lead was extended when Daniel Tupou wrestled his way over the line to avoid Sione Katoa.

Although their attack was not as fluid as last week, the fancy footwork was on show and that came via Isaac Liu.

He danced his way past the Sharks defence and found Keary on the inside to extend the Roosters lead even further.

Angus Crichton showed off his grubbering skills to find Aubusson for his second, beating Ronaldo Mulitalo to the punch.

Mulitalo would nab a try of his own, though, when he returned serve.

With all the focus on Johnson’s injury, the Sharks spirits were near broken and the Roosters capitalised.

A short side raid saw Keary grab his second as he coasted over untouched.

The spirit was not too broken to score points through prop Braden Hamlin-Uele, though.

He powered over from close range off a Blayke Brailey pass to give a slight sniff for the Sharks.

When Joey Manu crossed late on, however, the icing was on the cake.

Manu’s night ended sourly when he was sent to the sin-bin.

Trent Robinson was critical of some of his side’s effort, citing the lack of playing for each other as a key issue to focus on.

“We just didn’t have enough people doing those effort areas that the player next to you loves and loves you for,” said Robinson.

“There just wasn’t enough of that.”

NRL News Player of the Game

3. Isaac Liu (SYD)

2. Braden Hamlin-Uele (CRO)

  1. Joey Manu (SYD)
Cronulla Sharks prop Braden Hamlin-Uele

 

Storm secure second place with comfortable win over Tigers

Melbourne Storm halfback Jahrome Hughes

Playing at Sunshine Coast Stadium, their home away from home, the Melbourne Storm wrapped up second spot with a dominant win over the Wests Tigers.

The win sees Melbourne finish in the top two for the fifth consecutive season.

Storm coach Craig Bellamy was pleased to finish where they have and praised Penrith at the same time.

“One and two get the first home game and get a second chance,” Bellamy siad.

We don’t get the shield like Penrith have and what they have done to win the [JJ Giltinan] Shield with 14 games in a row is remarkable.”

The Storm have also been seen as the measuring stick for consistency and Bellamy is proud of their form.

“It is a really good result for us and I am really proud of the club the last five years,” Bellamy continued.

“This year has gone to another level, living away from home and a lot of things people wouldn’t know about that have been quite challenging and difficult.

The scoring started early for the Storm with Jahrome Hughes and Suliasi Vunivalu combining.

Hughes’ low, long-range kick found Vunivalu racing through and he scored with ease.

The second try went through the hands but was executed just as perfectly.

Nicho Hynes and Kenny Bromwich combined on the edge before Josh Addo-Carr nabbed the goods at the end.

The Tigers lost two men soon after when both Sam McIntyre and Matthew Eisenhuth were the casualties of a barnstorming Tino Fa’asuamaleaui run.

Not to be outdone in attack, though, the Tigers were the next ones to score.

Benji Marshall & Josh Reynolds combined to find winger Asu Kepaoa in the corner who finished acrobatically.

Kenny Bromwich would then show off his class with the ball, to find Hynes who bamboozled the Tigers defence to score.

The heart of the Tigers could not be understated, however, and Josh Aloiai powered over from close range.

Some resolute Storm defence forced Joey Leilua over the sidelines and they capitalised in attack soon after.

Vunivalu and Hughes combined again, this time through the air, with the Fijian soaring high to nab the ball and score.

Hughes then scored a try of his own when he darted through a yawning gap in the Tigers defence.

Addo-Carr would grab his second soon after, when he ran 60 m, weaving in and out of defenders to score.

The half would end with Luke Garner sent to the sin bin for a professional foul and the Storm led 32-10 at the break.

The Storm would not be strangers to casualty, however; Bromwich went off with a HIA and Vunivalu with hamstring tightness.

Harry Grant, Marshall and Reynolds would combine yet again for Kepaoa’s second try.

The Tigers would get a sniff with a quick-fire double to start the second half when Adam Doueihi sliced over.

Though the compounding factor on top of the loss was an ACL injury suffered by in-form forward Josh Aloiai.

The Storm found their mojo soon after, as the ball was spread from one side to the other with Justin Olam finishing the play off.

Cameron Smith then scored his 47th NRL try to pass Craig Bellamy that saw the two engage in some light-hearted banter.

It was Luciano Leilua’s interference in the play the ball that led to Smith’s try.

He would grubber ahead, beating Doueihi to the punch to score.

Smith would then turn provider as he grubbered for Fa’asuamaleaui to score, with the score finishing up 50-22 to the Storm.

Proud of how his side bounced back, Tigers coach Michael Maguire wants to farewell Chris Lawrence and Benji Marshall on the right note next week.

“It is a really important week for Chris Lawrence, Benji and a number of boys that will leave us,” Maguire said.

“It is a really important game for us to make sure we send everyone that is leaving off in the right manner.

“If we go out and put pressure on Parramatta we know what we are capable of doing, so we have got to go out and do that.”

NRL News Player of the Game

3. Jahrome Hughes (MEL)

2. Nicho Hynes (MEL)

  1. Cameron Smith (MEL)
Melbourne Storm fullback Nicho Hynes

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