Holden Cup Teams Rd 5

Another quality round of the Holden Cup, as teams fought off late comebacks to win and individual talent was on display at will. Can that all continue and can the competition heavyweights maintain their current winning records?

Without further adieu, here are the Holden Cup sides for Rd 5:

Canterbury Bulldogs v South Sydney Rabbitohs (#NYCcbysou); ANZ Stadium; Friday April 3. Kick-off: 1:45pm.

Bulldogs: 1. Joseph Burchell 2. John Fomai 3. Reubenn Rennie 4. Michael Morgan 5. Ethan Natoli 6. Brad Keighran 7. Guy Hamilton 8. Jake Kamire 9. Ali Allouche 10. Darcy Maroske 11. Harry Pondekas 12. Peter Tiatia 13. Renouf To’amaga.

Interchange: 14. Alex Sorge 15. Mitch Subotin 16. Royce Hunt 17. Siaopo Tagaloa.

Coach: Scott Murray.

Souths: 1. Irae Simone 2. Damon Goolagong 3. Haimona Hiroti 4. John Olive 5. Josh Ellison 6. Wallace Tangiiti 7. Jordie Hedges 8. Treyvon Leuluai 9. Aaron Booth (C) 10. Zane Musgrove 11. Tulsa Saumamao 12. Hayden Preece 13. Clayton Williams.

Interchange: 14. Liam Coleman 15. Eden Syme 16. Joe Gardiner 17. Dominic Timeteo.

Coach: Ben Gardiner.

Referees: Peter Gough; Sideline Officials: Rohan Best & Kasey Badger.


Gold Coast Titans v Brisbane Broncos (#NYCgldbri); Cbus Super Stadium, Robina; Friday April 3. Kick-off: 6pm.

Titans: 1. Brian Kelly 2. Zac Spring 3. Jed Cartwright 4. Shaun Hudson 5. Rory Humphreys 6. Karl Lawton. 7. Brayden Torpy 8. Oshae Tuiasau 9. Deacon Fletcher 10. Max Elliott 11. Anthony Coleman 12. Shane Wright 13. Parahi Wilson.

Interchange: 14. Delayne Ahsby 15. Cade Maloney 16. Harrison Hughes 17. Jackson Clarke 18. Josh Berkers 19. Sam Swift (Two to be omitted).

Coach: Ben Woolf.

Broncos: 1. Paul Byrnes 2. Jonas Pearson 3. Jordan Drew 4. Jarryd Dodd 5. Nikau Terupe 6. Jayden Nikorima 7. Ash Taylor 8. George Fai 9. Jayden Berrell 10. Joe Ofahengaue 11. Jaydn Su’a 12. Alex Barr 13. Jai Arrow.

Interchange: 14. Kalolo Saitua 15. Keegan Hipgrave 16. Sam Lavea 17. Lindsay Collins.

Coach: Craig Hodges.

Referee: Nick Morel; Sideline Officials: Jarrod Cole & Belinda Sleeman.


Manly Sea Eagles v Canberra Raiders (#NRLmancan); Central Coast Stadium, Gosford; Saturday April 4. Kick-off: 12:10pm.

Manly: 1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Mitch Thomas 3. Luke Garner 4. Jesse Ramien 5. Lucas Price 6. Will Pearsall 7. Nicho Hynes 8. Addison Demetriou 9. Hugh Pratt 10. Jesse Maxwell 11. Matt Douglas 12. James Parker 13. Darcy Cox.

Interchange: 14. Jordan Sims 15. Moses Noovao-McGreal 16. Nick Lynn 17. Liam Knight.

Coach: David Heath.

Raiders: 1. Jack Hickson 2. Cameron Booth 3. Brenko Lee 4. Chevi ELlis 5. Thomas Cronan 6. Lachlan Lewis 7. Adam Lucas 8. Charlie MacKenzie 9. Dylan McGrath 10. Brett Solomon 11. Jack Williams 12. Jared McIlwrick 13. Luke Bateman (C).

Interchange: 14. Zac Woolford 15. Daniel Dole 16. Jordan Aiono 17. Connor Purcell 18. Morgan Boyle 19. Taniela Moa (Two to be omitted).

Coach: Michael Mantelli.

Referees: Phil Henderson & Chris Trenemann; Sideline Officials: Josh McGowan & Daniel Olford; Video Referees: Daniel Irvine & Chris Butler.


Newcastle Knights v St George Illawarra Dragons (#NYCnewsgi); Hunter Stadium, Newcastle. Saturday April 4. Kick-off: 5:15pm.

Knights: 1. Bryce Donovan 2. Brody Lam 3. Josh Birch 4. Braden Robson 5. Ken Tofilau 6. Brock Lamb 7. Jack Cogger 8. Josh King 9. Danny Levi (C) 10. Daniel Saifiti 11. Bradie Smith 12. Jacob Saifiti 13. Luke Yates.

Interchange: 14. Jack Kelly 15. Ben Steven 16. Faitotoa Faitotoa 17. Ben Stone 18. Fuiamamao Uta 19. Noah Easton (Two to be omitted).

Coach: Troy Pezet.

Dragons: 1. Matt Dufty 2. William Tom 3. Lachlan Stein 4. Izaac Thompson 5. Bessie Aufaga-Toomaga 6. Drew Hutchison 7. Adam Clune 8. Heheako Tuima 9. Abraham Atallah 10. Jack Kavanagh 11. Ryan James 12. Jacob Host 13. Hame Sele.

Interchange: 14. Josh Daley 15. Jay Gallagher 16. Nathan Leatigaga 17. Kelly Tate 18. Paora Kemp 19. Tom Freebairn (Two to be omitted).

Coach: Ben Hornby.

Referee: Tim Roby; Sideline Officials: Drew Oultram & Todd Smith.


Sydney Roosters v Cronulla Sharks (#NYCsydcro); Allianz Stadium; Sunday April 5. Kick-off: 1:45pm.

Roosters: 1. Latrell Mitchell 2. Charlie Taylor 3. Taane Milne 4. Joseph Manu 5. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 6. Connor Watson 7. Jackson Hastings 8. Poasa Faamausili 9. Joey Lussick 10. Willis Meehan 11. Vincent Leuluai (C) 12. Piki Rogers 13. Nat Butcher.

Interchange: 14. Nick Newman 15. Sukamanu Raki 16. Ryan Turner 17. Richard Skelton 20. Shaq Mitchell (One to be omitted).

Coach: Adam Hartigan.

Sharks: 1. Joshua Addo-Carr 2. Levy Sopi 3. Thomas Levi 4. Jamayne Isaako 5. Semisi Vea 6. Monson Paewai 7. Travis Edwards 8. Alec Susino 9. Jayden Brailey 10. Tepitasi Fuilava 11. Anthony Moraitis 12. Ashleigh Nisbet 13. Harrison Muller.

Interchange: 14. Brad Deitz 15. Jayden McDonough 16. Pat Hasson 17. Francis Loloua-Tui.

Coach: TBA.

Referee: Matt Noyen; Sideline Officials: Michael Laverty & Liam Nicholls.


Parramatta Eels v Wests Tigers; ANZ Stadium; Monday April 6. Kick-off: 12:45pm.

Eels: 1. Bevan French 2. Abbas Miski 3. Tui Oloapu 4. Nathan Davis 5. Reimis Smith 6. Dylan Izzard 7. Zach Dockar-Clay 8. Tom Amone 9. Alec Bush 10. Alex Twal (C) 11. Tyrrell Fuimanono 12. Jordan Muna 13. Jeff Markus.

Interchange: 14. Brandon Raeli 15. Paula Kaufusi 16. Aaron Pene 17. Tepai Tepu-Smith 18. Atini Gafa (One to be omitted).

Coach: Alex Hales.

Tigers: 1. Sione Alofi 2. John Tohi 3. Mason Cerruto 4. Ryland Jacobs 5. Obed Karwhin 6. Te Maire Martin (C) 7. Eli Levido 8. JJ Felise 9. Jacob Liddle 10. Tiawharangi Araniu 11. Mark McCormack 12. Junior Tatola 13. Tyler Cassell.

Interchange: 14. Hala Masila 15. Thomas Grearly 16. Veiru Mapesone 17. Pio Sokobalavu 18. Matthew Woods (One to be omitted).

Coach: Brett Kimmorley.

Referees: Chris James & Lawrence McDonald; Sideline Officials: Jon Stone, Tim Roby, Todd Smith & Rohan Best; Video Referees: Daniel Irvine & Daniel Munro.


Melbourne Storm v New Zealand Warriors (#NYCmelwar); AAMI Park, Melbourne; Monday April 6. Kick-off: 2:45pm.

Storm: 1. Latrell Robinson 2. Tony Tumusa 3. Charnz Nicholl-Klokstad 4. Junior Kirisome 5. Maxwell Fesolai 6. Mack Mason 7. Jake Turpin 8. Ben Nakubuwai 9. Connor Donehue 10. Josh Kerr 11. Joe Stimson 12. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 13. Brendan Frei.

Interchange: 14. Zion Ioka 15. Logan Houghton 16. Shae Ah Food 17. Charlie Galo 18. Jerry Lesai 19. Eli Vole (Two to be omitted).

Coach: Marc Brentnall

Warriors: TBA

Referee: Michael Gordon; Sideline Officials: James Vella & Phil Sung.


Penrith Panthers v North Queensland Cowboys (#NYCpennql); Pepper Stadium, Penrith; Monday April 6. Kick-off: 4:45pm.

Panthers: 1. Brent Naden 2. Braidon Burns 3. Christian Crighton 4. Jack Nelson 5. Joshua Jay 6. Dylan Edwards 7. Soni Luke 8. Stanton Albert 9. Maliko Filino 10. Moses Leota 11. Kade Ellis 12. Corey Harawira 13. Tyrone May.

Interchange: 14. Oliver Clark 15. Paea Pua 16. Thompson Tuigamala 17. Josh Grant.

Coach: Garth Brennan.

Cowboys: 1. Yamba Bowie 2. Gideon Mosby 3. Akeria Tia-Kilifi 4. Conor Carey 5. Scott Schulte 6. Ty Carucci 7. Cooper Bambling 8. Viliame Kikau 9. Brandon Smith 10. Braden Uele 11. Coen Hess 12. Andrew Niemoller 13. Kieran Quabba.

Interchange: 14. Trey Kemp 15. Jordan Kenworthy 16. David Munro 17. Ross Bella.

Coach: Todd Payten.

Referee: Kasey Badger; Sideline Officials: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski & Jeff Hartup.

NRL Rd 5 Teams

More than a month through the 2015 season already and there have been some beat-downs, some thrillers and some decisions that have left fans scratching their heads. Just one team remains undefeated and one team is yet to record a win. Can those trends change?

Here are the teams for Rd 5 of the NRL premiership:

Canterbury Bulldogs v South Sydney Rabbitohs (#NRLcbysou); ANZ Stadium; Friday April 3. Kick-off: 4pm.

Bulldogs: 1. Brett Morris 2. Curtis Rona 3. Josh Morris 4. Tim Lafai 5. Sam Perrett 6. Josh Reynolds 7. Trent Hodkinson 8. Aiden Tolman 9. Michael Lichaa 10. James Graham (C) 11. Josh Jackson 12. Tony Williams 13. Greg Eastwood.

Interchange: 14. Sam Kasiano 15. David Klemmer 16. Frank Pritchard 17. Tim Browne 18. Moses Mbye 19. Corey Thompson.

Coach: Des Hasler.

Souths: 1. Greg Inglis (C) 2. Alex Johnston 3. Daryl Millard 4. Bryson Goodwin 5. Joel Reddy 6. Luke Keary 7. Adam Reynolds 8. George Burgess 9. Issac Luke 10. Dave Tyrrell 11. Glenn Stewart 12. Chris McQueen 13. Tim Grant.

Interchange: 14. Cam McInnes 15. Ben Lowe 16. Chris Grevsmuhl 17. Thomas Burgess 18. Jason Clark 19. Nathan Brown.

Coach: Michael Maguire.


Gold Coast Titans v Brisbane Broncos (#NRLgldbri); Cbus Super Stadium, Robina; Friday April 3. Kick-off: 8:35pm (local time).

Titans: 1. Josh Hoffman 2. Anthony Don 3. James Roberts 4. Will Zillman 5. David Mead 6. Aidan Sezer 7. Kane Elgey 8. Luke Douglas 9. Kierran Moseley 10. Nate Myles (C) 11. Ryan James 12. Dave Taylor 13. Greg Bird.

Interchange: 14. Eddy Pettybourne 15. Agnatius Paasi 16. Ryan Simpkins 17. Matt Srama 18. Matt White 19. Lachlan Burr (Two to be omitted).

Coach: Neil Henry.

Broncos: 1. Jordan Kahu 2. Corey Oates 3. Jack Reed 4. Dale Copley 5. Lachlan Maranta 6. Anthony Milford 7. Ben Hunt 8. Josh McGuire 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Sam Thaiday 11. Alex Glenn 12. Matt Gillett 13. Corey Parker (C).

Interchange: 14. Jarrod Wallace 15. Mitch Garbutt 16. Mitchell Dodds 17. Kodi Nikorima 18. Francis Molo (One to be omitted).

Coach: Wayne Bennett.


Manly Sea Eagles v Canberra Raiders (#NRLmancan); Lavington Sports Ground, Albury; Saturday April 4. Kick-off: 5:30pm.

Manly: 1. Brett Stewart 2. Cheyse Blair 3. Brayden Wiliame 4. Steve Matai 5. Peta Hiku 6. Kieran Foran 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Luke Burgess 9. Matt Ballin 10. Willie Mason 11. Jamie Buhrer 12. Tom Symonds 13. Dunamis Lui.

Interchange: 14. Jesse Sene-Lefao 15. Jake Trbojevic 16. Justin Horo 17. Ligi Sao 18. James Hasson (One to be omitted).

Coach: Geoff Toovey.

Raiders: 1. Jack Wighton 2. Edrick Lee 3. Jarrod Croker (C) 4. Jeremy Hawkins 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Blake Austin 7. Sam Williams 8. Josh Papalii 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Dane Tilse 11. Jarrad Kennedy 12. Iosia Soliola 13. Shaun Fensom.

Interchange: 14. Glen Buttriss 15. Frank-Paul Nuuausala 16. Paul Vaughan 17. Mark Nicholls.

Coach: Ricky Stuart.


Newcastle Knights v St George Illawarra Dragons (#NRLnewsgi #AlexMcKinnonCup); Hunter Stadium; Saturday April 4. Kick-off: 7:30pm.

Knights: 1. Kurt Gidley (C) 2. James McManus 3. Dane Gagai 4. Joey Leilua 5. Akuila Uate 6. Jarrod Mullen 7. Tyrone Roberts 8. Kade Snowden 9. Adam Clydsdale 10. David Fa’alogo 11. Beau Scott 12. Tariq Sims 13. Jeremy Smith.

Interchange: 14. Tyler Randell 15. Chris Houston 16. Pat Vaivai 17. Jack Stockwell 18. Sione Mata’utia (One to be omitted).

Coach: Rick Stone.

Dragons: 1. Josh Dugan 2. Eto Nabuli 3. Euan Aitken 4. Dylan Farrell 5. Jason Nightingale 6. Gareth Widdop 7. Benji Marshall 8. Leeson Ah Mau 9. Mitch Rein 10. Mike Cooper 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Joel Thompson 13. Trent Merrin.

Interchange: 14. George Rose 15. Jack de Belin 16. Jake Marketo 17. Heath L’Estrange 20. Rory O’Brien.

Coach: Paul McGregor.


Sydney Roosters v Cronulla Sharks (#NRLsydcro); Allianz Stadium; Sunday April 5. Kick-off: 4pm.

Roosters: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Michael Jennings 4. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 5. Nene Macdonald 6. James Maloney 7. Mitch Pearce 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Matt McIlwrick 10. Sam Moa 11. Boyd Cordner 12. Aidan Guerra 13. Issac Liu.

Interchange: 14. Mitch Aubusson 15. Dylan Napa 16. Kane Evans 17. Sio Siua Taukeiaho 18. Willie Manu 19. Lagi Setu.

Coach: Trent Robinson.

Sharks: 1. Valentine Holmes 2. Sosaia Feki 3. Gerard Beale 4. Ricky Leutele 5. Michael Gordon 6. Jack Bird 7. Jeff Robson 8. Matt Prior 9. Michael Ennis 10. Chris Heighington 11. Luke Lewis 12. Wade Graham 13. Paul Gallen (C).

Interchange: 14. Jayson Bukuya 15. Anthony Tupou 16. Andrew Fifita 17. David Fifita.

Coach: Shane Flanagan.


Parramatta Eels v Wests Tigers (#NRLparwst); ANZ Stadium; Monday April 6. Kick-off: 3pm.

Eels: 1. Will Hopoate 2. Bureta Faraimo 3. Ryan Morgan 4. John Folau 5. Reece Robinson 6. Corey Norman 7. Chris Sandow 8. Darcy Lussick 9. Nathan Peats 10. Tim Mannah (C) 11. Manu Ma’u 12. Tepai Moeroa 13. Anthony Watmough.

Interchange: 14. Issac De Gois 15. Joseph Paulo 16. David Gower 17. Danny Wicks 18. Peni Terepo (One to be omitted).

Coach: Brad Arthur.

Tigers: 1. James Tedesco 2. Kevin Naiqama 3. Chris Lawrence 4. Tim Simona 5. Pat Richards 6. Mitch Moses 7. Luke Brooks 8. Aaron Woods 9. Robbie Farah 10. Keith Galloway 11. Curtis Sironen 12. Kyle Lovett 13. Martin Taupau.

Interchange: 14. Dene Halatau 15. Ava Seumanufagai 16. Jack Buchanan 17. Sauaso Sue 18. Brenden Santi (One to be omitted).

Coach: Jason Taylor.


Melbourne Storm v New Zealand Warriors (#NRLmelwar); AAMI Park, Melbourne; Monday April 6. Kick-off: 5pm.

Storm: 1. Billy Slater 2. Young Tonumaipea 3. Kurt Mann 4. Will Chambers 5. Marika Koroibete 6. Blake Green 7. Cooper Cronk 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Cam Smith (C) 10. Jordan McLean 11. Kevin Proctor 12. Tohu Harris 13. Dale Finucane.

Interchange: 14. Ryan Hinchcliffe 15. Tim Glasby 16. Dayne Weston 17. Felise Kaufusi 18. Tom Learoyd-Lahrs 19. Hymel Hunt.

Coach: Craig Bellamy.

Warriors: 1. Tuimoala Lolohea 2. Jonathan Wright 3. Ngani Laumape 4. Solomone Kata 5. Manu Vatuvei 6. Chad Townsend 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Jacob Lillyman 9. Thomas Leuluai 10. Ben Matulino 11. Bodene Thompson 12. Ryan Hoffman 13. Simon Mannering (C).

Interchange: 14. Nathan Friend 15. Sebastine Ikahihifo 16. Sam Lisone 17. Albert Vete 18. Sione Lousi (One to be omitted).

Coach: Andrew McFadden.


Penrith Panthers v North Queensland Cowboys (#NRLpennql); Pepper Stadium, Penrith; Monday April 6. Kick-off: 7pm.

Panthers: 1. Matt Moylan 2. Josh Mansour 3. Dean Whare 4. Jamal Idris 5. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 6. Issac John 7. Peter Wallace (C) 8. Sam McKendry 9. James Segeyaro 10. Jeremy Latimore 11. Sika Manu 12. Isaah Yeo 13. Elijah Taylor.

Interchange: 14. Tyrone Peachey 15. Nigel Plum 16. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 17. Bryce Cartwright.

Coach: Ivan Cleary.

Cowboys: 1. Lachlan Coote 2. Matt Wright 3. Tautau Moga 4. Kane Linnnett 5. Antonio Winterstein 6. Michael Morgan 7. Johnathan Thurston (C) 8. Matt Scott (C) 9. Jake Granville 10. James Tamou 11. Gavin Cooper 12. Ethan Lowe 13. Jason Taumalolo.

Interchange: 14. Rory Kostjaysn 15. Kelepi Tanginoa 16. Scott Bolton 17. Ben Hannant 18. John Asiata 19. Justin O’Neill.

Coach: Paul Green.


Ricky’s Team of the Week: Rd 4

Jason Taumalolo

Another round is complete and yet again, there were some brilliant displays by some of the game’s elite. Narrow wins, surprising games and down-to-the-wire finishes, Rd 4 had it all.

So, without further adieu, here is Ricky’s Rd 4 Team of the Week:

1. Matt Moylan – One of the most promising young players in the game, Moylan is slowly asserting his authority on the game. As one of the Panthers most important players, his efforts from fullback have not gone unnoticed, with a potential Origin berth on the horizon. His form both this year and last has been top-notch and as long as he remains on the field, the Panthers will have every chance to winning as many games as possible.

2. Akuila Uate – The Fijian flyer is back! Uate himself will tell you that the last couple of years were tough and that he was down on form. In 2015, though, he has improved dramatically, to the point where he is, at this point, one of the form wingers in the NRL. He has the venom back in his runs, he has the barnstorming ability back and most importantly, he is enjoying his footy once again. Ominous signs for the rest of the league.

3. Blake Ferguson – The long-term injury he sustained is a blow for Ferguson, who was just starting to re-discover his form in the NRL. Despite that, since his return, he has steadily gotten better and has worked hard to fit into the game once more. A talented player, Ferguson managed to get on the scoresheet a few times and set up numerous chances for his team-mates. The Roosters will miss his dynamism on the edges.

4. Justin Hodges – When in form, there is perhaps no better or more consistent centre than Justin Hodges. Although his form can be up and down, this year, he has been a catalyst for the Broncos, leading from the front as captain. Although injuries have slowed him down – and yet another appears to have done so – he seems to pick things up from where he left off every time he returns. His experience and skill are what the Broncos desperately need.

5. Daniel Tupou – A hulking winger, Tupou’s size and powerful fend are what make him so hard to defend against. He has also enjoyed a solid start to the season on the back of the Roosters successful start to the season thus far. The right side combination he is forming with Michael Jennings is becoming one of the most potent in the NRL so far and Roosters fans will hope that can continue in the coming rounds.

6. Johnathan Thurston – To put it simply, there is no better half in the game and you saw why last night. With the game on the line, some players would have cracked. But for JT, there is never any pressure. He slotted home a crucial conversion and then, for good measure, kicked two field goals – one that tied the game up and the other that won the game – to show that he really is, as cool as a cucumber. Is this the return of JT?

7. Chris Sandow – Sandow has had his fair share of critics in the past, many of whom have dismissed him as a threat in the NRL. But so far in 2015, Sandow has proved the doubters wrong, proving to be an essential part of the Eels cog, putting in quality, game-winning displays. The little maestro is everywhere and it is the free reign he has to play his natural ad-lib style of game, that is a big reason behind his own individual success and that of the Eels this year.

8. Sam Kasiano – By his own admission, he had a relatively poor 2014 season but after working hard in the off-season and getting himself in shape, Kasiano has looked better and played better. A huge forward, he runs at speed and is always causing problems for the defensive line. With safe hands for a big man, he is the perfect foil for the smaller, nippier players to run off, to try and create attacking opportunities.

9. Adam Clydsdale – With the Knights currently firing, Clydsdale might be one player that has flown under the radar somewhat during their so far undefeated season. But that should not fool you, as his efforts in both attack and defence have played their part, with the young hooker proving that he can cut the mustard in the NRL. His dummy half work often sets the tone for the Knights moving forward.

10. Jesse Bromwich – When you think of the best props in the NRL, Bromwich is up there and rightly so. Playing an astonishing 76 minutes in last night’s game as a prop, the man nicknamed JBrom is an integral part of not only the Storm’s forward pack but of the game in general. When he sets the tone with his runs and carries, the rest of the team follows suite and it makes life easier on the halves in attack when creating opportunities.

11. David Gower – Making the most of an opportunity when it is given to you is not one that all players take but they are not one David Gower. In the absence of Tepai Moeroa, Gower was given an opportunity to start and performed brilliantly. Able to cover both the back-row and prop, Gower has been a revelation for the Eels this year and last, becoming the fan favourite of many. His well-timed offloads create the crucial second-phase play the club needs.

12. Jason Taumalolo – When he is on, you cannot stop him. Although he can be inconsistent, there is no denying that Taumalolo is one of the most destructive forwards in the game. An absolute powerhouse of a player, the Cowboys back-rower often proves too hot to handle as he steamrolls his way into the defensive line on a regular basis. Last night was a taste of what he can do, he just has to go on with it and remain consistent.

13. Nate Myles (C) – The captaincy has helped Nate Myles both on and off the field as a player and a person, and it shows in his current form. A crafty piece of play to set up one of his side’s tries for their maiden win was the highlight, but his work-rate and carries also set the tone. With his partner undergoing a battle of her own, Myles has dug deep to find it within himself to play with her in mind, as he leads from the front for the Titans side.

14. Jarrod Wallace – Perhaps somewhat of a surprise packet on a list such as this one, it is a deserved one in every sense. Used predominantly as a bench forward, Wallace is finally getting the decent minutes and opportunities he has desired and is making the most of them. Running hard, flat lines, Wallace is showing that he can step up when required. A rare try for him was the highlight, as he continues to get better.

15. James Roberts – All incidents aside, if James Roberts stays out of trouble, he shows why he is one of the most promising centres in the NRL with consistently solid games. Regarded as one of the fastest players in the league, Roberts has all the tools to be a fine, young player, and potentially an elite player in years to come. Although the Titans have just the one win to their name so far in 2015, Rberts form has been tremendous and that will no doubt continue.

16. James Tedesco – Touch wood, young James Tedesco is slowly finding his feet after an unfortunate run with injuries in years past. Having not lost any of his blistering speed, the most surprising and pleasing aspect about Tedesco’s game is the partnership he is continually building with young half Luke Brooks. The two are mates both on and off the field and it is evident in spades, as the two often read each other’s minds, especially in attack. It could be the start of something very special.

17. Thomas Burgess – Often overshadowed by twin brother George, it was Thomas who got the better of his sibling this week, putting in a solid attacking display despite the Souths loss. With everyone expecting George to be the brother that steps up in the absence of brother Sam, it has been young Tom who has taken it upon himself to work hard and play hard. His numbers are even more impressive when you consider that he is playing from the bench.

Player of the Week: Jason Taumalolo

Hulking Bulldogs prop signs new deal

Sam Kasiano

One of the biggest props in the Canterbury Bulldogs side and in the NRL, Sam Kasiano packs a punch with his runs and hits and the barnstorming prop has now re-signed with the Dogs.

The new deal will see Kasiano remain at the club for a further three years until the end of 2018 and he is happy to commit to the club.

“It’s great,” Kasiano said.

“It’s a great club, great bunch of guys and it’s awesome that I know I will be here for another three years.

“Des is one the best coaches in the game and I’m happy that I can continue to learn from him. I’ve had a tough run with injuries lately so I’m just looking to string some games together.”

Having been a part of the Dogs organisation for a few years now, Kasiano praised the efforts of coach Des Hasler to work with him.

For Hasler, he too is excited with the opportunity to continue working alongside Kasiano.

“Sam is an exciting and skilful player who has represented his country,” Hasler said.

“He has got through a tough run of injuries and has started the season positively.”

With the focus on retaining the key players within their ranks, the Bulldogs look forward to seeing Kasiano back to his destructive best as the season wears on.

“We all know how destructive Sam can be on the field and hopefully we will see that continue over the next three years,” said club Chief Executive, Raelene Castle.

“It’ll be good to see him grow as a player and contribute week to week for the club.”

VB NSW Cup Wrap Rd 4

Another round of entertaining games in the NSW Cup this week, as players jostle for uncertain spots among some first-grade sides. A streak continued, both in the good sense and the bad sense. Some teams fly high, whereas others need improvement and fast.

Without further adieu, here is a wrap of the weekend’s NSW Cup action:

New Zealand Warriors 18 (Saula Solomona, Paul Ulberg, Api Pewhairangi tries; Pewhairangi 3 goals) bt North Sydney Bears 16 (Aaron Gray 2, Jack Gosiewski tries; Nikko Roberts 2 goals).
Ricky’s View: Despite putting in one of their best efforts of the season, the Bears fell just short against experience campaigners in the Warriors. Despite missing two of their most potent attackers, the Warriors just managed to do enough and grab the victory.


Newcastle Knights 18 (Chad Redman, Marvin Filipo, Jaelen Feeney tries; Honeti Tuha, Danny Kerr, Redman goals) bt Penrith Panthers 16 (Nu’u Akeripa 2, Sam Scarlett tries; Will Smith 2 goals).
Ricky’s View: They may have raced out to a big lead but the Knights only just managed to hold on. Resiliency was the key for the Panthers and they had a chance to snatch a late draw, before somewhat of a lucky call went the way of the Knights and they opted for the simple penalty goal to take home a win.


Newtown Jets 32 (Mitch Brown 2, Jacob Gagan, Dallas Wells, Nesiasi Mataitonga, Todd Murphy tries; Murphy 4 goals) bt Manly Sea Eagles 26 (David Williams, Ben Fritz, Luke Garner, Jayden Hodges, Manaia Rudolph tries; Kurt Aldridge 3 goals).
Ricky’s View: An entertaining game all-round, as the Jets secured just their 2nd win of the season against a quality Manly side. It was a run of 16 unanswered points that got the Jets home, with their momentum and dominance proving too much for the Manly side to handle.


Mounties 26 (Bill Tupou, Gus Aiga, Sam Williams, Clay Priest, Dave Cahalane tries; Williams 3 goals) bt Wests Tigers 22 (Chance Peni 2, Kurtis Rowe, Josh Drinkwater tries; Drinkwater 3 goals).
Ricky’s View: The clash of the round billed two of the heavyweights against each other and it was Mounties who got the win. It continues their unbeaten start to the season, with the halves battle particularly intriguing to watch. The Tigers clawed their way back into the contest but a 16-point deficit ultimately proved too much.


Canterbury Bulldogs 34 (Shaun Lane 2, Levi Dodd, Jarrod Mclinally, Adam Elliot, Tautalatasi Tasi tries; Lindon McGrady 5 goals) bt Wyong Roos 24 (Nene McDonald 2, Brendan Elliot 2, Leivaha Pulu tries; Nathan Stapleton 2 goals).
Ricky’s View: Points were hard to come by at first, in what was a defensive showdown. Ultimately, it was the class of some emerging players in attack that got the Bulldogs the win and their defence to deny the Roos further chances to score was steely and dogged.


Wentworthville Magpies 18 (Ryan Matterson, Bureta Faraimo, Fabian Goodall tries; Luke Kelly 3 goals) bt Illawarra Cutters 16 (Justin Hunt, Peter Mata’utia, Kiti Glymin tries; Shannon Crook, Mata’Utia goals).
Ricky’s View: They did it the hard way winning by just two points but that was all that mattered, as the Magpies recorded their first win of the season. The match went back and forth and could have gone either way, but all it took was one missed conversion to hand Wenty a maiden win.


Attacking potency on show as Roosters smoke Raiders

Blake Ferguson

It was simply a case of making it look easy, as the Sydney Roosters came away with a comfortable win over the Canberra Raiders.

In front of a vocal home crowd at Allianz Stadium, the Raiders were on the back foot the entire game and simply had no chance for a rampant Roosters side. They won the game 34-6 and showed just how good they can be when they are firing on all cylinders.

Impressively, it was young forward Dylan Napa who again showed his defensive prowess, much like he has done so far this season.

Although the Raiders fought well, it was clear that they still have work to do, especially when they come up against the elite sides of the competition.

The Roosters momentum continued to build throughout the game on the back of work from halves Mitchell Pearce and James Maloney, which pleased coach Trent Robinson.

“The boys were experimenting with the footy and also playing some really strong footy,” he said.

He praised Pearce further, highlighting his efforts in creating tries and attacking opportunities.

“He was in control of our whole attack so he had to keep us on track while we were trying lots of different stuff… we were never lost at all and that’s down to Junior (Pearce).”

Effort is not the issue out Raiders way if you ask coach Ricky Stuart. Rather, it is poor ball control and a lack of execution that is costing them.

“The first half we got down there seven times and didn’t execute correctly… we dropped the ball five times out of seven,” he said.

“There’s no concern with me about the boys with their effort… they’re a proud squad and they’re disappointed with themselves.”

Seeing how far off the pace they were, Stuart knows that the goal has to be to create a team as dynamic and potent as the Roosters outfit.

“That’s where our aspiration has got to be,” he said.

“There’s my goal and the benchmark I have to set for my club.

“We’ve got to aspire to have that type of roster if we ever think we’re going to be a top four team.”

Player of the Game:

3. Blake Ferguson
2. Daniel Tupou
1. Jordan Rapana

Sydney Roosters 34 (Kenny-Dowall, Tuivasa-Sheck, Ferguson, Jennings, Maloney, Tupou; Maloney 5 goals) defeated Canberra Raiders 6 (Croker; Croker 1 goal) at Allianz Stadium. Crowd: 9,582

Comeback not enough as Broncos defeat Warriors

Justin Hodges

A comeback makes for an entertaining game but it was not to be for the New Zealand Warriors who ultimately fell short at home against the Brisbane Broncos.

Down and out of the game at the end of the first half, the Warriors to their credit fought back well and looked to get something out of the game.

They were their own enemy, though, with errors and penalties galore, a lot of which led directly to promising attacking opportunities for the Broncos.

They started the game on fire, with clinical play and no handling errors until the 26th minute of the game.

They could have scored even more points in the first half, had it not been for some sloppy play and execution on their part.

Despite the best efforts of Shaun Johnson to kick-start the Warriors attack – and to some extent, he managed to do so – the deficit was simply too much and a late Broncos try sealed their win.

One aspect of the game that pleased Broncos coach Wayne Bennett was his side’s defence, which he praised.

“To these guys’ credit our defence is pretty good right now, they [the Warriors] got two tries off bombs and we denied them on a number of occasions which turned out to be the difference in the game,” Bennett said.

“They just got in the groove, they completed set after set [in the second half].

“We were working really hard defensively.”

It was a simple equation for Warriors coach Andrew McFadden – his side were in an attacking rut in the first half and just could not get out of it.

“That happens in a game. I thought we started well and were certainly very physical,” he said.

“We put the ball in goal and it looked like we were going to get a repeat set, it was overturned and then we didn’t touch the ball for 10 minutes.

“You have got to be prepared to work your way out of that.”

Injuries have not helped the Warriors by any means. With key players Konrad Hurrell and Sam Tomkins out, there are clear gaps in the Warriors attack.

“We had our opportunities to win the game, we just didn’t take them,” McFadden said.

“I think as a team we just lacked that composure in the end. Our young kids are doing a great job, we have plenty of them in the side at the moment but we got beat by a pretty good and experienced side today.”

Player of the Game:

3. Justin Hodges
2. Jarrod Wallace
1. Solomone Kata

Broncos 24 (Oates, Maranta, Wallace, McCullough tries Parker 4 goals) def. Warriors 16 (Townsend, Allwood, Kata tries; Johnson 2 goals at Mt Smart Stadium. Crowd: 14,67. Halftime: 16-0.

Titans overcome the adversity and record their first win of the season

James Roberts

One minute, it looked like the Cronulla Sharks were headed for victory. The next, an intercept try for James Roberts gave the Gold Coast Titans their first win of the season.

With the final score finishing up at 24-22, it was a close affair for the entire duration of the game as the Sharks lifted as a team and were poised to win.

With several players celebrating milestones, it was ultimately errors from the Sharks side that led to their loss, with the Titans instead celebrating a much-needed win.

The last minute try broke the hears of the Sharks fans, though they can be pleased with the overall side of their team and of Jack Bird, who was solid for the club on his debut.

Still only 19, Bird produced a solid first-up display with some powerful touches, big fends and solid runs. There was also a debutant for the Titans, with youngster Kane Elgey showing why he is so highly rated.

With solid touches, solid attacking ability and creativity, Elgey looked at home in his debut game, in what Titans fans hope is set to continue moving forward.

The opportunities to score went back and forth with both teams having their chances to get something more out of the game.

There was also a touch of controversy, with the Sharks disallowed a try due to an alleged obstruction by hooker, Michael Ennis.

Knowing how much effort his team put in, Flanagan was left disappointed by the late loss they suffered.

“That was just heartbreaking,” Flanagan said.

“They worked really hard and tried really hard… the effort was outstanding but that’s just not good enough in this competition, you need to play smart as well.”

After a turbulent few weeks for the Titans club, coach Neil Henry was just pleased to get a win and praised his side’s effort.

“It was a great win for the boys, we’ve had a couple of tight losses,” Henry said.

With the win their first of the year and a much-needed one, club captain Nate Myles hopes the victory can create that winning vibe at the club.

“Having been through some tough times like we have gone through it’s good, it’s a little bit of a confidence-booster.”

Player of the Game:

3. James Roberts
2. Michael Gordon
1. Nate Myles

Gold Coast Titans 24 (James Roberts 2, Dave Taylor, Agnatius Paasi tries; Aidan Sezer 4 goals) defeated Cronulla Sharks 22 (Valentine Holmes 2, Michael Ennis tries; Michael Gordon 5 goals) at Remondis Stadium. Crowd: 9,566.

Knights remain undefeated after solid win over Penrith

Akuila Uate

Perhaps not a team that many thought would be in the position they are, the Newcastle Knights have continued their undefeated start to the season, with a win over the Penrith Panthers.

Playing at home, it was a three-try blitz in the first half that set up the win for the Knights and a second consecutive loss for the Panthers.

Playing in bright orange high-vis jerseys to celebrate the Hunter’s own Voice of Mining Day, the win was the Knights sixth straight in the NRL overall.

The start was crucial for the Knights and it left coach Rick Stone pleased with their performance as a result.

“That first 20 minutes really set up our game. We played nice and direct and ran the footy with plenty of purpose,” said Stone.

There was a bit of variation there too and to lead by 18 after 20 minutes is a massive boost in a game.”

As for Panthers coach Ivan Cleary, he was greatly disappointed with the poor start by his side to the match.

“You’re always concerned about the short turnaround after a big game last Monday night but I didn’t expect it to be that bad,” Cleary said.

Those sentiments were echoed by captain Peter Wallace, who knows just how bad the start was.

“It was a terrible way to start and those first 20 minutes were pretty awful and that was the game over right there and then.”

Having to chase a game is never easy and although he cannot fault their effort, Cleary knows that they made it too hard for themselves.

“I definitely thought we were a chance to [win afterwards]. But the problem starting like that is you are trying to catch up though we certainly had our chances,” Clearly said.

“But when you’re in that catch-up mindset you’re probably not as clinical as you should be I suppose. Look, I thought we were a chance with three minutes to go – but it just wasn’t to be.”

Player of the Game:

3. Akuila Uate
2. Matt Moylan
1. Beau Scott

Newcastle Knights 26 (Chris Houston, Adam Clydsdale, Kurt Gidley, Akuila Uate Tries; Tyrone Roberts 5 Goals) defeated Penrith Panthers 14 (Josh Mansour, Matt Moylan, Dean Whare Tries; Matt Moylan 1 Goal) at Hunter Stadium. Crowd: 20,114. Half-time: Knights 18-4. On Report: N/A.

Golden point field goal secures remarkable win for the Bulldogs

Sam Kasiano

It was a tense affair and after a spirited comeback, a field goal in golden point by Moses Mbye secured a one-point win for the Canterbury Bulldogs over the Wests Tigers.

In front of a crowd of just over 20,000, the Tigers were all set for victory as they were leading 24-6 with 20 minutes to go in the game.

It was not to be, though, as three consecutive Dogs tries followed by Mbye’s field goal secured the comeback victory and the 25-24 win.

The Tigers had their chances to win it, firstly by not being able to hold onto their relatively big margin, before a Luke Brooks field goal missed from close range as it shaved the upright.

Mbye’s halves partner Trent Hodkinson also missed one but a switch play and a deferred pass to Mbye proved to be the game winner.

Dogs coach Des Hasler said it does not matter how field goals go over, as long as they do.

“It was a good idea to swap, have the first one, [then] switch it across,” coach Des Hasler said post-game.

“It doesn’t matter how they get over, as long as they get over. So it was a good result for us, particularly those kinds of games, when it comes down to extra time.”

It was the Tigers game to lose and they managed to do so, but the effort of the Dogs and their resolve cannot be faulted as their solid start to the season continues.

Although disappointed with the loss, Wests Tigers coach Jason Taylor said the efforts of the players pleased him.

“I said to the guys afterwards, it’s important we don’t bash ourselves up too much after that because you guys will write that we had that game and should’ve won it,” he said.

“And I think that’s right, but that’s not accurate in relation to players we had out tonight, the young players we had in our team, [and] the fact that we backed up from that game last week. It’s a really positive night for the club in my opinion.”

A further downside was Tigers centre Chris Lawrence put on report for dangerous contact.

Player of the Game:

3. Sam Kasiano
2. James Tedesco
1. Curtis Rona.

Canterbury-Bankstown 25 (Curtis Rona 2, Michael Lichaa, Josh Morris tries; Trent Hodkinson 4 goals, Moses Mbye field goal) def Wests Tigers 24 (James Tedesco 2, Kyle Lovett, Luke Brooks tries; Mitch Moses 4 goals). Crowd: 20,121. Halftime: 6-all.