Cowboys prop Scott to hang up the boots at season’s end

Retiring North Queensland Cowboys prop Matt Scott

After a career spanning 16 seasons, veteran North Queensland Cowboys prop Matt Scott will retire from the NRL at season’s end.

Making his debut as an 18-year old in 2004, Scott has enjoyed an illustrious career that has included success at all levels.

With 263 games to his name, he is the club’s most capped forward and the third most capped overall.

Scott captained the club from 2011 to 2017 alongside Johnathan Thurston and was on-hand to celebrate the Cowboys maiden premiership success in 2015.

His love and passion for the game have not dwindled but Scott admits that his body just cannot handle the rigours of the game anymore.

“I am still extremely passionate about this club and the game of rugby league, but 16 years of NRL has taken its toll on my body and it’s time to stop,” Scott said.

“Thank you to my family and friends as well as Cowboys staff, players, members, partners and fans for your support.

“You have all played a part in making my rugby league career a life changing and unbelievable experience.

“Finally, thank you to the North Queensland region and Cowboys for letting me represent you on the rugby league field.

“I have loved every minute of it.”

The praise flew from the left, the right and the centre for Matt Scott from the Cowboys General Manger of Football, Peter Parr.

“In my opinion, Matt Scott ranks as the number one forward ever to don a Cowboys jersey,” Parr said.

“There is absolutely no doubt that at the peak of his powers he was unrivalled at the best front rower in the world.

“Matt was a major contributor to the most successful era of this club’s history.

“Not many people can say they were one of the most influential people in the best era of their club.

“He’s had an amazing career, one he and his family should be extremely proud of and a career the people of North Queensland should be thankful they were able to witness.”

Live-wire Tevaga sticks true and re-signs at the Warriors

New Zealand Warriors utility Jazz Tevaga

On the eve of his 50th appearance in the NRL, live-wire utility Jazz Tevaga has re-signed with the New Zealand Warriors for two more seasons. 

There was no beating around the bush from Warriors coach Stephen Kearney; he is pleased to retain Tevaga.

“We’re thrilled to have Jazz signed for two more seasons,” said Vodafone Warriors head coach Stephen Kearney.

“He brings so much to our group with his energy on and off the field.”

With a recent move to lock, Tevaga’s heart and ticker makes up for his lack of size.

Soldiering on as if he is 10-15 kilograms heavier, Tevaga came through the club’s development program.

Kearney continued by praising Tevaga for his intensity and tenacity.

“He isn’t the biggest forward going around by a long way but that doesn’t bother him,” the Warriors coach continued.

“What he offers is intensity and enthusiasm either starting or coming off the bench.

“He certainly gives us tremendous value and it’s wonderful having him around the club.”

Moeroa to depart Eels at season’s end to return to his rugby roots

Departing Parramatta Eels forward Tepai Moeroa

Rugby league or rugby union? It can be a hard choice for someone who grew up with both. After a lengthy Parramatta Eels stint, Tepai Moeroa will return to his rugby roots, signing with the NSW Waratahs.

Off-contract at season’s end, Moeroa made the decision to return to union and has signed a two-year deal with the Waratahs.

“I played rugby union throughout high school at Newington where I worked with Rappy [Tim Rapp – NSWRU General Manager of Rugby], it’s nice to be back and I’m really excited to represent the Waratahs,” Moeroa said.

Since debuting for the Eels in 2014, Moeroa has played in more than 100 games for the club with both highs and lows.

A two-time Australian schoolboy in rugby union, Tepai felt that it was the right time to get back into rugby union.

“I feel like this is the right time for me to come back [to rugby] and I’m in a position where I have time to get established in Super Rugby and then challenge myself to achieve more,” Moeroa continued.

“In speaking with Tim [Rapp] and Andrew [Hore] before signing I knew this was going to be a great place for me to reintroduce myself to the game to develop and achieve those goals.

“The Waratahs are home to some fantastic players, I’m looking forward to working with them and getting started in the pre-season.”

 

Titans and Brennan part ways

Now former Gold Coast Titans coach Garth Brennan

Try as he might, Garth Brennan just could not get the Gold Coast Titans to be the consistent force their fans and board crave. 

As a result, it has cost him his job, with the club today confirming that Garth Brennan will no longer be head coach of the club.

Although no-one at the club wanted to see him leave, Titans Executive Chairman Dennis Watt said the situation had become untenable.

“No one at this organisation, or anyone involved in rugby league, wanted Garth’s time as Head Coach of the Titans to end this way,” Titans Executive Chairman Dennis Watt said.

“However, the results the club has achieved on the field this season have not met expectations, and the team’s performance in recent weeks has fallen to a level that is unacceptable to the Board, our Members, fans, sponsors and partners.”

“Unfortunately, that has left the club in a situation where Garth remaining in the position of Head Coach has become untenable.”

Despite making the decision to part ways with Brennan, Watt did praise the now former Titans coach for his work.

“While the on-field results have not been what we hoped for, Garth will still leave a tremendous legacy for this club with his contribution to the creation of our development systems and pathways,” Watt said.

“These will ensure the Titans’ future will be built around the best young players growing up on the Gold Coast and northern New South Wales.

“Along the way, Garth has handed NRL debuts to players like AJ Brimson, Moeaki Fotuaika and Jai Whitbread – players who will be at the core of this club for the years ahead.”

In the interim, assistant coaches Craig Hodges & Luke Burt will take over the reins as head coach.

The club will begin their search for a full-time replacement.

Tevita Pangai Jr the latest Brisbane Broncos player to re-sign

Brisbane Broncos forward Tevita Pangai Jnr

One of the most talented up-and-comers of our game, the Brisbane Broncos today announced the re-signing of Tevita Pangai Junior for three more years.

As the Broncos look to build up their young core, Tongan international Pangai Junior is the latest to re-sign.

For the hulking forward himself, he admits he always wanted to stay.

“It’s good to have my future sorted – I wasn’t planning on leaving, I love the club, and they’ve welcomed me with open arms and it’s good to call this place home for the next three years,” said Pangai Junior.

“The weather is great, the fans, playing at the best stadium every week – it’s an honour and a blessing to pull on that Broncos jersey. I’m just thankful for the club for having faith in me and backing me.”

The young forward knows there is always room to improve and he wants the chance to do that at Brisbane under coach Anthony Seibold.

“I want to work on my preparation, this is my third year in the NRL so I want to get my stuff right off the field and get that balance right and then have no excuses when I come out to play on the weekend,” Pangai Junior continued.

“I’m a big fan of ‘Seibs’ and the how he coaches, it’s a big reason why I’m staying.

“We have no excuses now; we have the best facility, we play at the best stadium, we are a proud brand and it’s an honour to be here.”

Seibold believes that the key to potential success is to lock down your most impressive young players.

“We are locking in a really talented group of players who will be at the core of our success in years to come,” said Seibold.

“We see Tevita and Matt as key members of our forward pack, and we look forward to seeing them both step up every week to provide the platform we need for team success.

“They are in their early 20s and have a lot of great football ahead of them.”

Lodge commits to Broncos

Brisbane Broncos prop Matt Lodge

After turning down offers to join other clubs, the Brisbane Broncos have re-signed prop Matt Lodge until the end of 2022.

Digging deep and becoming one of the club’s most consistent players despite an inconsistent season, Lodge is pleased with the new deal.

“It’s been quite a long journey over the last few years but I’ve got my dream contract with my dream club and at the end of the day the decision was made pretty easy for me because this is where I want to be,” said Lodge.

“There was some interest from other places and the money  was good but at the end of the day I had to step back from that and I’m happy here.”

In the end, the support he has received was a big factor behind Lodge’s decision to stay.

“When I was out of the game, I guess I looked forward to the first contract that would be put on the table,” said Lodge.

“Eventually I just drew a line and I’m happy with where I am and with what the club has given me – I recommitted here and I love this place.

“When I made the decision to stay, I knew that this is a group of people that have supported me since I first got back.

“I wanted to repay the faith, and I wanted to give the fans and this club something they can be proud of and I’ll be working really hard to get that result.”

The Broncos have watched Lodge grow and develop as a player and a person are pleased that he opted to stay.

We have been unwavering in our support for Matt over recent years, and it has been really pleasing to see his growth both on and off the footy field,” said Broncos CEO Paul White.

“He has matured into a leader and mentor for many of our younger players, and continues to work on his own development through studies and community work, as well as being a loving father to young Coby and partner to Jess.”

 

English revolution continues at Raiders with signing of Williams

Departing Wigan Warriors half George Williams

Not content with the crop of Englishmen at their club already, the Canberra Raiders have signed English halfback George Williams from the Wigan Warriors for three years.

A winner of two Super League titles alongside John Bateman, the English international has played 172 games for Wigan to date.

An enigmatic player, Williams has 10 appearances for England to his name and club CEO Don Furner is pleased to have him at the Raiders.

“George is an experienced half who joins us after a very successful career with Wigan in the Super League,” Furner said.

“The clubs had success in recent times in recruiting proven performers from the Super League and we believe George will fit into our system like others have.

“The club would like to wish George all the best for the remainder of the season with Wigan and we look forward to him joining us for pre-season training.”

Williams praised the Wigan club, its players and staff for his treatment, having come through the system as a young junior.

“Firstly, I want to say a massive thanks to everyone at Wigan Warriors for everything they have done for me,” Williams said.

“Those people who have supported me, coached me and played with me – I really appreciated your support.

“I’ve been at Wigan since I was 12-years-old and I have managed to live my dream playing 170+ games and winning two Grand Final’s for my hometown Club, along the way making some incredible memories and friends for life.”

For Williams, playing in the NRL has always been a dream of his and he is grateful to the Wigan club for allowing him to pursue it.

“Another dream of mine was always to play and to test myself in the NRL so I want to thank Ian Lenagan and Kris Radlinski for their understanding in allowing me to do this,” the English international continued.

“It is something I have always wanted to pursue and playing in the NRL is a big goal of mine, so I’m excited and very much looking forward to the massive challenge ahead.”

New Raiders deal for Horsburgh

Canberra Raiders forward Corey Horsburgh

A surprise selection in round one, Corey Horsburgh has gone from strength-to-strength for the Canberra Raiders and has been rewarded with a new deal.

With ten appearances to his name so far this season, Horsburgh has impressed when given a chance so far.

As the season nears its business end, the new three-year deal for the back-rower is one he is grateful for.

“It’s really exciting for me to be able to sign a new deal with the Raiders and I’m looking forward to staying in Canberra,” Horsburgh said.

“The club gave me the chance to make my NRL debut this year and I’ve also had the chance to play more matches than I was expecting which has been a big bonus for me.”

Horsburgh just wants to keep getting better and knows he needs consistency if he is to achieve that.

“I just need to keep improving each chance I get at NRL level and hopefully I can become a regular first grade player for the club,” the young forward continued.

He drew nothing but praise from club CEO Don Furner.

“Corey put in a really strong pre-season and forced his way into the team this year with strong commitment to his training and a good attitude,” Furner said.

“He’s proven he has the ability to make it as an NRL player and we’re excited to watch him develop over the next three seasons.”

Eels enforcer Ma’u to join English side Hull FC

Parramatta Eels forward Manu Ma’u

He quickly became a fan favourite and a new club cult hero but that time will soon end, with Manu Ma’u to depart the Parramatta Eels to link up with Super League side Hull FC.

Off contract at season’s end, the Tongan and Kiwi international will join the black and whites from the 2020 season on a two year deal.

“I’m hugely excited for the challenge,” Ma’u said.

“I’ve read so much about Super League and about Hull FC itself, particularly about the passionate fans over there, so I can’t wait to make the move.”

Playing over 100 NRL games for the Eels across six seasons, Ma’u spoke about the move with his family and knows it was the right move.

“Having a young family with a wife and three kids, it was important they were happy with the decision, and they were,” Ma’u continued.

“We’re all thrilled.”

“I’m at a stage now where I want to challenge myself overseas and move out of my comfort zone. Hull have given me that chance.”

Hull FC coach Lee Radford is pleased to add a talent like Ma’u to his roster.

“I’m really pleased to get such a quality signing in Manu over the line,” Radford said.

”To get that level of player in our competition at the peak of his career, is a real coup for the club.

“I’ve only heard good things about him on and off the field.

“I’m sure his no-nonsense style of play will make him a firm fan-favourite when he arrives.

“Manu has a real toughness in his game which I really admire.”

NRL Rd 16 Stats Breakdown: Wests Tigers v Sydney Roosters

Veteran Wests Tigers half Benji Marshall

Here we are again, a new NRL stats breakdown! This time, we look at the Wests Tigers up against the Sydney Roosters. 

History for the Tigers against the Roosters is rather barren with the Tricolours enjoying the momentum and ascendancy against them.

Can the trend change tonight, or will it be another game, another loss?

Wests Tigers v Sydney Roosters Stats Breakdown

The Wests Tigers and Sydney Roosters have played each other on 34 occasions; the Tigers have won 9 games, the Roosters have won 24 games and there has been one draw.

The Roosters are one of only three sides in the NRL that the Tigers have fewer than 10 wins against (the other two being the Broncos and the Titans).

The Tigers have won just two of the last eighteen games against the Roosters.

The first game played between the two sides was a 35-6 win for the Roosters in round 7, 2000.

Sydney Roosters winger Daniel Tupou has scored 15 tries in 10 games against the Wests Tigers (including two hat-tricks). Tupou has scored in all but one of these 10 games.

Top try-scorers in this clash

Daniel Tupou (SYD) – 15
Mitchell Pearce (SYD) – 13
Ryan Cross (SYD) – 8
Aidan Guerra (SYD) – 8
Shannon Hegarty (SYD) – 7
Brett Finch (SYD) – 7
Anthony Minichiello (SYD) – 7
Mitch Aubusson (SYD) – 6
Amos Roberts (SYD) – 5
Beau Ryan (WST) – 5
Shaun Kenny-Dowall (SYD) – 5
Michael Jennings (SYD) – 5

Top point-scorers in this clash

Benji Marshall (WST) – 4 tries, 32 goals & 1 field goal (81 pts)
James Maloney (SYD) – 1 try, 33 goals & 1 field goal (71 pts)
Craig Fitzgibbon (SYD) – 34 goals (68 pts)
Daniel Tupou (SYD) – 15 tries (60 pts)
Mitchell Pearce (SYD) – 13 tries (52 pts)
Braith Anasta (SYD/WST) – 3 tries, 17 goals & 1 field goal (47 pts)
Joel Caine (WST) – 4 tries & 10 goals (36 pts)
Ryan Cross (SYD) – 8 tries & 1 goal (34 pts)
Brett Hodgson (WST) – 1 try & 15 goals (34 pts)
Todd Carney (SYD) – 2 tries & 13 goals (34 pts)
Amos Roberts (SYD) – 5 tries & 5 goals (30 pts)
Brett Finch (SYD) – 7 tries (28 pts)
Anthony Minichiello (SYD) – 7 tries (28 pts)
Aidan Guerra (SYD) – 7 tries (28 pts)

Head coaching records

Trent Robinson (SYD) – 10/11 (90.9%)
Brian Smith (SYD) – 6/7 (85.7%)
Graham Murray (SYD) – 3/4 (75%)
Brad Fittler (SYD) – 2/4 (50%)
Ricky Stuart (SYD) – 3/7 (42.9%)
Tim Sheens (WST) – 7/17 (41.2%)
Ivan Cleary (WST) – 1/4 (25%)
Michael Maguire (WST) – 0/1 (0%)
Wayne Pearce (WST) – 0/2 (0%)
Terry Lamb (WST) – 0/3 (0%)
Michael Potter (WST) – 0/3 (0%)
Jason Taylor (WST) – 0/3 (0%)

Sydney Roosters winger Daniel Tupou

Players to have played for both sides

  1. Terry Hill – 1991 (SYD) & 2000-2003 (WST)
  2. Steve Georgallis – 1989-1992 (SYD) & 2000 (WST)
  3. Luke O’Donnell – 2000-2003 (WST) & 2013 (SYD)
  4. Jason Lowrie – 1993 (SYD) & 2000-2001 (WST)
  5. Ben Duckworth – 1996-1997 (SYD) & 2000 (WST)
  6. Robert Miles – 1997-2000 (SYD) & 2003-2005 (WST)
  7. John Simon – 1996 (SYD) & 2001 (WST)
  8. Willie Manu – 2001-2003 (WST) & 2015 (SYD)
  9. Robert Mears – 1994-1996 (SYD) & 2002-2004 (WST)
  10. Steven Crouch – 2000-2002 (WST) & 2004 (SYD)
  11. Jason Cayless – 2002-2005 (SYD) & 2010 (WST)
  12. Todd Payten – 2003 (SYD) & 2004-2011 (WST)
  13. Braith Anasta – 2006-2012 (SYD) & 2013-2014 (WST)
  14. James Tedesco – 2012-2017 (WST) & 2018-2019 (SYD)
  15. Ryan Matterson – 2016-2018 (SYD) & 2019 (WST)

Biggest winning margins

The Wests Tigers biggest win over the Sydney Roosters was a high-scoring 40-24 victory in round 3, 2009.

The Sydney Roosters biggest win over the Wests Tigers was a 56-0 walloping in round 16, 2004.

Players to be sin-binned/sent-off in this fixture

  1. Michael Crocker (SYD) sin-binned in round 18, 2005.
  2. Anthony Minichiello (SYD) sin-binned in round 4, 2011.
  3. Martin Taupau (WST) sin-binned in round 20, 2015.

As always, if there are any issues you notice or if you just want to see more stats, let us know!

 

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