Eels forward Peni Terepo pleads guilty to careless driving in Auckland incident

Peni Terepo

As a club, the Parramatta Eels would have hoped off-field incidents were behind them but one of their players is at it again, as Peni Terepo pleads guilty to careless driving after an incident in Auckland.

The incident allegedly occurred on January 8, with Terepo driving around Auckland drunk before crashing and being thrown into the windscreen.

The incident was heard at the Auckland District Court with Terepo refusing to register a blood alcohol reading when asked by Police.

The 25-year old Tongan international was deemed to be “significantly intoxicated” by the magistrate and had his mother in court supporting him.

“It was some type of accident, police noted you did significant damage to your car and were thrown into the windscreen,” said Magistrate Leigh Langridge.

“It sounds like you were very lucky you weren’t more hurt.”

Terepo, who has played in 74 NRL games for the club since debuting in 2013, refused to make comments outside the court.

Instead, his lawyer spoke on his behalf about the incident.

“He made an error of judgment and is truly remorseful for what he has done,” she said.

Terepo was fined $500 for the incident and disqualified from driving for seven months.

The Eels released a statement of their own on the matter, outlining that Terepo has been stood down from all club activities.

“Parramatta National Rugby League Club (PNRL) have been made aware that Peni Terepo today pleaded guilty and was convicted in Auckland District Court for careless driving and refusing to give a blood alcohol test.

PNRL Club officials were only today made aware of the matter via media reports in New Zealand and were not advised of the incident by Peni.

Parramatta Eels Chief Executive, Bernie Gurr, has made the following comments:

“The Club is extremely disappointed with Peni’s behaviour and we regard what’s taken place as extremely serious.”

“Upon learning of Peni’s conviction, we have immediately alerted the NRL Integrity Unity this morning and emphasised that no Club official was aware of this incident.”

“Peni has been stood down from all official club duties effective immediately and will also not be considered for selection in our Auckland Nines squad.”

“We will be making no further comment until we speak with Peni early next week and receive his comments.”

Dragons confirming signing of Hunt from 2018

Ben Hunt

Rumours persisted that Ben Hunt was set to leave the Brisbane Broncos and it has been confirmed, with the St George Illawarra Dragons confirming his signing from 2018.

Initially linked with other clubs, in the end, it was the Dragons who got their man, a signing that the club desperately needed in the halves in the eyes of their fans.

Hunt, a former Dally M U20’s Player of the Year, has played 166 games to date and from a Dragons perspective, the signing was a crucial one for them.

“We were looking for a really competent, world-class halfback. It was about signing someone who has been a regular halfback and who has played at the highest level,” said St George Illawarra Dragons Director of Rugby League Pathways, Ian Millward.

“Ben’s also a good family man and quite composed as a person. The Red V fans should be over the moon.”

Whilst the club has signed Ben Hunt for 2018, they remain focused on the 2017 season and what that has to offer.

“Ben’s made a massive commitment to the Dragons but he also has a season to go with the Broncos,” Millward said.

“It’s important he has a great season with the Broncos, and it’s important we have a great season with the personnel we currently have.”

The junior retention and retention of NRL players continues at the Dragons but Millward was not giving too much away.

“We’re still very active internally as well,” Millward said.

“I don’t want to speculate on specific names at present because we’re in negotiations but we are progressing well.”

Greatest Teams Ever Pt 9: North Queensland Cowboys

One of the newer teams in the Australian rugby league scene, the North Queensland Cowboys have boasted some tremendous players over their few short years that eventually culminated in a maiden premiership success in 2015. A fewer pool of players makes picking the team harder but after research and work, we narrowed it down and picked the best 17.

Again, we must stress, that whilst the Cowboys have had numerous players join them over the years from rival clubs, our greatest team ever is made up of players that have played almost exclusively for the Cowboys.

So, here we have it, our list of the greatest players to have ever donned the Cowboys jersey:

1. Matt Bowen – Born and raised in Cairns, Bowen had immense interest from several clubs outside of interest but in the end, he chose to stay close to home and signed with the Cowboys. He played in the Cowboys side that made the reserve grade competition in 2000 and was then selected for the Queensland U19’s team that year.
Making his debut in Rd 1, 2001, Bowen went on to play 15 games for the Cowboys scoring six tries and kicking 1 goal. Initially, he started as a bench utility and a five-eighth before he played his primary position of fullback for the final seven games of the season. He was also selected in the Junior Kangaroos side alongside several of his Cowboys teammates.
Although he finished the season at fullback well, he was shifted to the wing with Tim Brasher the preferred candidate for the custodian role. However, after Brasher was injured, Bowen became the long-term fullback and excelled in the role scoring 12 tries in 24 games.
He enjoyed yet another good season in 2003 and was rewarded with his first Origin opportunity. He scored his first hat-trick for the club to go with 20 total tries for the season. The Cowboys maiden finals appearance came in 2004 with Bowen one of the key factors behind their push towards it, although they fell just short of the grand final. He was again selected for Queensland as well as making his Test debut against France.
2005 resulted in a major shift for the Cowboys with Johnathan Thurston joining the club. This signing would see Bowen and Thurston become one of the most potent duos in the NRL competition. Their potency was on show immediately as they both led the side to the 2005 grand final. Although they were unsuccessful in the end, Bowen finished the year with 21 tries, the most in the competition.
2006 was a lean year for the custodian in several regards as he played just one game for Queensland that year, scored only five tries for the season and saw the Cowboys miss the finals.
2007 was a totally different proposition, however, as he regained his competition try-scoring mantle and led the league in both line breaks and tackle breaks. He returned to the Queensland side, helped the Cowboys make the finals and his peers named him as the Rugby League Players’ Association Player of the Year. He also won the Cowboys’ Player of the Year, Rugby League Week Player of the Year and was named Dally M Fullback of the Year.
2008 was a tough overall season for Bowen who only played a handful of games due to a knee injury that ruled him out for the season. He started 2009 well and by Rd 20, he had scored 12 tries in 20 games before he, unfortunately, suffered another knee injury that ruled him out for the remainder of that season. Bowen missed half of the 2010 season due to the injury he suffered in 2009 but upon his return, he did play in his 200th match for the club. The 2010 season was one to forget for the Cowboys fans.
2011 brought about greener pastures as Bowen found his try-scoring mojo and surpassed Paul Bowman to become the Cowboys most capped player at that time. He was selected for the Prime Minister’s XIII side again and played in his 250th match with the club in 2012.
2013 ended up being Bowen’s last with the Cowboys in the NRL, informing the fans and the team that he would be off to England to play with the Wigan Warriors. After his Wigan stint, he did return to the Cowboys to play in their NRL Auckland Nines side before playing with QLD Cup side, the Townsville Blackhawks.

2. Ty Williams – The Cairns junior, recognised by the headgear he wore whilst playing on the wing, had a successful career with the Cowboys. Debuting in 2002, he was a raw player but as he continued to find his feet, his try-scoring ability and link-up play saw him become an elite winger in the game by the end of 2005. He was a part of the Cowboys grand final appearance in 2005 and boasted a handy try-scoring record with 85 tries from his 151 games with the club.
2006 was a tough year for Williams after he injured his Achilles tendon which saw him miss the entire season and some of 2007. Upon his return, his form became rather sporadic but he always had the heart. Ultimately, niggling injuries lessened his game time and he made a decision to retire at the end of the 2010 season from the NRL. He would go on to play for the Northern Pride in several seasons, captaining the side during his time there.
His versatility was a key feature to his game, able to cover fullback, centre and wing in a pinch.

3. Paul Bowman – Hailing from Newcastle, Bowman made his debut in the Cowboys inaugural season in 1995. He found his way slowly but surely and soon became a mainstay of the side, locking down a centre position. In 1999, he enjoyed his best year to date after he was named the Cowboys’ Player of the Year before winning it again in 2000, sharing it with Julian O’Neill. Captaining the side for several seasons from 2001 to 2004, Bowman was alwaysa favourite among the Cowboys fans.
Regarded as one of the best defensive centres of his time, Bowman played in 203 games for the club, a record at that time. He was a key member in the Cowboys 2005 campaign that saw them make the grand final for the first time in their history and then announced his retirement at the end of the 2007 season. He played 12 games for Queensland in that time.
His time at the Cowboys did not end there, though, as he had a stint as assistant coach from 2008 to 2010. Given the impact he had on the side, the club’s best and fairest has been renamed to the Paul Bowman Medal.

4. Kane Linnett – Perhaps a surprising choice in this team, Linnett is one of the few centres to have played for the Cowboys that has accumulated a large number of games over the years. His career began at the Roosters, however, playing in 23 games for the club before moving to the Cowboys ahead of the 2012 season.
In this year, he set the club record for metres made in a game by a centre with 234 metres and was named the Cowboys Most Improved Player. By this stage, he was a mainstay of the side, playing in every single game of the 2013 season and scoring 9 tries in the process. He then represented Scotland in the 2013 World Cup.
His good form transcended into the NRL Auckland Nines in 2014 as he was a part of the victorious Cowboys team and was named in the Team of the Tournament. The milestones continued in 2015, as Linnett played his 100th game in the NRL before his Cowboys side went on to win their maiden grand final. He was then a part of the Cowboys winning World Club Challenge side before representing Scotland again at the 2016 Four Nations.

5. Ashley Graham – A Cairns Kangaroos junior, Graham’s first crack in the NRL came in 2002 with the Parramatta Eels where he impressed early to keep other teams interested. He won the club’s rookie of the year that year.
In 2007, after just 41 games with the Eels over 5 seasons, he moved to the Cowboys and from there, he began to flourish. Compared to previous years at the top level, 2007 was by far his best as he improved out of sight and performed brilliantly for the Cowboys that season, scoring 18 tries in just 22 games. Continuing to toil and score tries, Graham was awarded the club’s player of the year award in 2011. His stats that year justified the gong at the end of the season, as he finished first in metres gained, first in hit-ups and first in highest average metres. He also led the Cowboys try-scoring ranks for the third time with three tries. 2012 saw Graham play his 150th NRL game and his 100th for the Cowboys. 2012 was another productive year for Graham as he scored 21 tries over the course of the season. Unfortunately, 2013 brought about the end of his career as Graham required wrist surgery and was forced into early retirement.
In total, he played 202 games in his career, 161 of which came with the North Queensland Cowboys. At present, he works with the club as Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Holden Cup side.

6. Josh Hannay – Hannay’s career could have started two years earlier at just 16 years of age but the ARL vetoed that move as he was not 16 years old at the beginning of year. Instead, he had to wait until 1998 to get his debut and from there, he became an established first-grade centre up until the 2006 NRL season.
In that time, he became the club’s greatest point-scorer at the time and enjoyed individual success as a player during his time with the club. He was a member of the side that made the 2005 grand final and played in two games for Queensland.
After 150 games, 49 tries and 383 goals (totalling 882 points), Hannay departed the club and joined the Cronulla Sharks for a short stint. That preceded a stint with the Crusaders in England before he joined the Mackay Cutters for two seasons. He then coached in numerous roles.

7. Johnathan Thurston – Arguably the greatest player to don the Cowboys jersey, the man nicknamed ‘JT’ has done tremendous things as a player and achieved remarkable consistency in his career.
Initially making his debut with the Canterbury Bulldogs, Thurston’s final year at the club culminated in a grand final success as a player off the bench.
In 2005, he made the move to the Cowboys and has been with the club since, never looking back. He quickly became the starting halfback at the club, played for Queensland and won his first Dally M Medal after what was a stellar season for both Thurston and the Cowboys. They made the grand final that season, only to fall at the final hurdle.
Thurston has a knack for scoring tries and in 2006, he managed to score 11 tries from 17 games, including a hat-trick early on in the season. 2007 saw him rewarded with the captaincy and he continued his good, consistent form, winning his second Dally M Medal as well as the Dally M Halfback of the Year.
2008 was a bit of a low year for all at the Cowboys as a 15-game losing streak effectively ended any chances of a finals berth but Thurston did play in his 100th NRL match that year. 2009 was around the time whereby Thurston became the go-to man in the halves for Queensland and he was part of another successful series. Although he just missed out on the Dally M for a third time, he did win the Dally M Halfback of the Year Award yet again.
2010 started off with an appearance in the inaugural All-Stars game with the Indigenous side before going on to win a man-of-the-match award during Origin that year. 2011 threatened to be derailed by a serious knee injury but Thurston bounced back and after a tremendous start to the 2011 season and an equally good finish, he won the Golden Boot Award.
2012 saw Thurston play in his 150th NRL game as well as taking out the Dally M Five-Eighth of the Year Award. In 2013, whilst the Cowboys were knocked out of the finals controversially, Thurston’s greatest achievement of that year came at the World Cup when he broke Mick Cronin’s record of 309 for most points scored by a Kangaroo.
2013 was capped off with a second Golden Boot success for Thurston and he enjoyed yet another stellar season in 2014. It culminated in further controversy, again in the finals, but Thurston took home the individual honours as he won the Dally M Medal for a third time – tied with Jarryd Hayne – Dally M Five-Eighth of the Year and the Provan-Summons Medal.
2015 was perhaps the best year of Thurston’s career not from an individual perspective but a club perspective, as it was capped off a maiden premiership win for the North Queensland Cowboys. Thurston was again instrumental throughout the entire season and won another Dally M Medal – his fourth and currently a record – Dally M Halfback of the Year, Dally M Captain of the Year alongside teammate Matt Scott and a third Golden Boot. He also won the Clive Churchill Medal in the Cowboys grand final success as well.
Thurston also won numerous club awards throughout his career as well as Origin awards, Rugby League Player Association Awards and RLIF Awards.

8. Matt Scott – Born in Longreach, it made sense for Scott to play for a Queensland team and that ended up being the Cowboys. Making his club debut in 2004, it was unfortunately not one to remember after he broke his leg in the early minutes of the game and was ruled out for the season. In 2005, Scott played just 3 games for the first-grade side in total, instead spending most of the season in the QLD Cup.
2006 saw Scott enjoy a longer stint in the side as he played in 22 games and played in his maiden Origin game for Queensland. He was a key figure in the side’s 2007 charge towards the finals and was slowly establishing himself as an elite prop.
2008 was an injury-affected year for Scott. He played just the first three games of the season and the three final games of the season. Overcoming the injury concerns in 2009, Scott was back to his best and regained a spot in the Queensland side for Origin. He also played for the Prime Minister’s XIII side that year.
2010 saw Scott’s profile increase after he won both the Cowboys Player of the Year Award and the Players’ Player of the Year Award. The Cowboys finished 15th, however, in a disappointing season but Scott enjoyed individual success with his awards and again gaining selection for Queensland. 2011 saw him appointed as co-captain of the side along with Thurston before his good form continued that resulted in him being named Dally M Prop of the Year. Scott continued to play for Queensland and helped the Cowboys make the finals.
Scott won a man-of-the-match award whilst playing for Australia in 2012 and was a part of QLD’s side yet again, helping them to eight straight series victories by the end of 2013. After a monumental performance that saw him record 220 running metres as a prop, Scott was rewarded with a rare score of 10 by Rugby League Week, a year many regard as the best of his career.
2015 was a year to remember for Scott as he continued to perform consistently, ultimately helping his side to their maiden NRL premiership. To cap things off, he was named captain of the year at the Dally M’s.

9. Aaron Payne – A Townsville local, playing for the Cowboys was always on the cards for Payne as his career progressed. Making his debut in 2002, he quickly cemented a spot as the leading hooker for the club up until his retirement in 2012. In 2006 and 2008, he was named the Cowboys Player of the Year, also winning Player’s Player of the Year and Clubperson of the Year in 2008.
For much of his later days at the club, he was a vice captain and played in his 200th career game for the club during the 2011 season. Many regarded him as the glue that held the Cowboys side together, complementing Thurston perfectly during their time together at the Cowboys.
His sole representative honour came in 2012 when he was named in the NRL All-Stars squad. After 10 years with the club, Payne retired in 2012.

10. Shane Tronc – Debuting for the Cowboys in 2004, Tronc played with the club for six seasons and played in 125 games as a result. In just his second year with the club, the powerful forward played in the grand final (2005). A hard-working prop, Tronc suffered a knee injury that ruled him out of the 2007 season. He eventually departed the Cowboys and went on to join Super League side, Wakefield and then returned to the NRL with the Brisbane Broncos. He was forced to retire in 2011 due to a neck injury.

11. Glenn Morrison – A Terrigal junior, Morrison had stints at both the Balmain Tigers and North Sydney Bears before joining the Cowboys in 2000. A successful spell with the club and consistent form saw Morrison named as the Cowboys Player of the Year in 2001, a season that saw him score 13 tries in 23 games, a good return for a forward. He carried that form into 2002 where he played 15 games, scoring 60 points in the process (15 tries).
His stint at the Cowboys was regarded as one of his best in his career and he was at the club until the 2004 season before he made the move to the Parramatta Eels, before enjoying stints in England with Bradford and Wakefield. He also made four appearances for the Country Origin side in 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2005.

12. Gavin Cooper – Hailing from Murgon, Cooper was signed to the Cowboys in 2005 and played in the club’s reserve grade premiership side. 2006 saw him make his debut for the club playing in 18 games before he made the move to the Gold Coast Titans. After limited time on the Gold Coast, he joined Penrith for several seasons.
2011 marked an overhaul for the Cowboys side and Cooper rejoined the club in that season. He played in his 100th NRL game in that year and was named as the Clubman of the Year. 2012 saw him become a mainstay in the back-row and he score 10 tries for the club, the club record for a forward. After another successful season in 2013, he earned his first representative honour after he was picked for the Prime Minister’s XIII.
2014 saw the Auckland Nines begin with Cooper captaining the Cowboys team to victory that year. He was also named in the Team of the Tournament. In 2015, for the first time in his career, Cooper was named in the Queensland Emerging Origin side. In the same year, he again captained the Cowboys at the Nines competition and captained them for the first time in a regular first-grade game.
He was also a key contributor to the Cowboys season that saw them take out their maiden NRL premiership. In 2016, he captained the Cowboys at the Nines for a third time, made his Origin debut for Queensland and again captained the first-grade side.

13. Luke O’Donnell – A talented yet aggressive player, O’Donnell was a player that worked hard and played hard to get the best out of his own game. Playing for the Balmain Tigers and Wests Tigers before joining the Cowboys, his first season with the Townsville club came in 2004.
In just his first year at the club, he won the Cowboys Player of the Year Award. The next year, he played an active role in the Cowboys 2005 season that led to a grand final appearance.
Suffering a severe hamstring injury in 2007, he was ruled out for the remainder of the season and forced to claw his way back for the 2008 season. He copped a 7-week suspension in 2008 for two separate incidents – striking and abusing an official. He won the Cowboys Player of the Year for a second time in 2009.
He was also selected in the City v Country match and for NSW that year. He played in the NRL All-Stars game in his final year and happened to be sent off twice during his Cowboys career.

14. John Buttigieg – The hulking prop made his Cowboys debut in 1995 and spent his entire club career with the Cowboys. Playing in a total of 101 games for the club over 9 seasons, he won the Players’ Player Award in 1999. He also made three appearances for Queensland across the 2002-03 seasons.

15. Paul Rauhihi – Enjoying a small 3-year stint with the Cowboys, in that short time, Rauhihi both made an impact and became a favourite. Prior to that, he had played for both the Newcastle Knights and the Canterbury Bulldogs.
In 2003, he won the club’s Player of the Year Award after a solid individual season. The following year, he was captain for a while after Paul Bowman was injured and he captained again in 2005 when Travis Norton was injured.
2005 proved to the final year for Rauhihi at the club but he performed well individually as did the team, before they eventually lost in the grand final. In the end, he played in a total of 72 games for the club.

16. Mark Shipway – A versatile centre and back-rower, Shipway’s professional debut for the Cowboys came in 1997. An under-rated player during those years, he worked hard and forged a reputation as an honest toiler that impressed. In total, across his time at the club, he played in 91 NRL games and scored 9 tries in the process.
At the end of the 2001 season, he departed and played for the Northern Eagles and the Manly Sea Eagles, before going on to play for the Salford Devils.

17. Kyle Warren – A talented utility, Warren’s versatility saw him cover numerous positions during his time at the Cowboys. Over the course of his club career, he played fullback, centre, wing, front row, back row and lock, but he performed well no matter where he played.
His versatility is a testament to his approach to the game, playing where required. He enjoyed five seasons with the club, starting in the 1997 Super League season before finishing up in the 2001 season.
Across those 5 seasons, he played 87 games and scored 26 tries.

Former NRL coach appointed as head coach of Lebanon

Ivan Cleary

Still on the hunt for his next NRL coaching gig, in the meantime, Ivan Cleary has taken up a role of a different kind and has been named as the new head coach of the Lebanese rugby league team.

The former Penrith Panthers and New Zealand Warriors coach will take charge of the Cedars side for this year’s Rugby League World Cup.

With Lebanon always developing and growing, Cleary said he was excited to take part in helping them achieve their goals.

“I was privileged to have been involved in the previous Rugby League World Cup with the New Zealand squad, so to now have the opportunity to be the head coach of a developing nation such as Lebanon is something that I’m really excited about,” said the former NRL coach.

“The Lebanese Rugby League Federation has worked hard to establish their local competition and I believe that this is an important opportunity to help lift the exposure of the game – particularly from a grassroots level.”

The Rugby League World Cup often provides inspiring moments from developing nations and Cleary is looking forward to helping to ensuring their continued growth.

“With Lebanon qualifying for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, I believe we have a huge opportunity to increase participation numbers in Lebanon and that’s really important for the growth of the international game,” Cleary continued.

“From a cultural perspective, the tournament is important for a lot of players to either represent their country of birth or for those who were born outside of Lebanon, to represent their family heritage.

“I’m looking forward to working with the Lebanon team and the RLWC tournament is a great chance to showcase the great talent that the nation has to offer,” he added.

Just the second World Cup that the Lebanese side has qualified for in their history, Lebanon wants to make an impact. With their continued growth and the appointment of Cleary as head coach, they believe they are in a good place.

“Having Ivan appointed as the Lebanon Cedars head coach is definitely a move in the right direction and it’s an appointment that shows that we are genuine about the competing in this year’s World Cup,” said LRLF CEO, Remond Safi.

“Having a successful campaign and reaching the next round will certainly take the game to another level with attracting new interest to the game in Lebanon and lay a pathway for players to play at international level.”

His experience can help bring the best out of all players involved in the set-up from local players to those playing overseas which helps Lebanese rugby league.

“Working with players and staff in our local competition in Lebanon, as well as our Australian-based squad members, will be an important part of the role and we believe we have the right man for the job.

“Ivan has a wealth of experience in rugby league, both as a player and coach, and I believe it will be of great benefit to our players as preparations continue for the World Cup later this year,” he said.

Tigers player charged with drug possession

Kyle Lovett

Many hope for an off-season to be quiet but that is never the case in rugby league, as yet another incident has come to hand, this time involving the Wests Tigers.

NSW Police has charged Tigers back-rower Kyle Lovett with drug possession of a prohibited substance after an incident on December 23.

The Tigers statement reads as follows:

“Wests Tigers Club officials were only made aware of the matter by Lovett today.

Upon learning of Lovett’s charge, Wests Tigers immediately alerted the NRL Integrity Unity this morning and the two parties are currently working together on the matter.

Wests Tigers are incredibly disappointed with Lovett and do not in any way condone his behaviour.

Wests Tigers ensure that all players and staff receive the highest level of education in relation to drugs. The Club takes the welfare and education of its players and very seriously with the Wests Tigers Wellbeing and Education department ranked second in the NRL in 2016.

Wests Tigers will be making no further comment until the matter is resolved, both with the NSW Police and the NRL Integrity Unit.”

He will face court on February 1.

Former Manly coach appointed as new head coach of Bradford

Geoff Toovey

Relaunched as a club, the new Bradford team have made an astute performance in the head coaching department, appointing former Manly Sea Eagles coach Geoff Toovey.

Finding the right candidate was the key and after searching for that, new club owner Graham Lowe said Toovey was the man for the job.

“We wanted a coach that was courageous, experienced and was a good person. Respect was important as well,” said Lowe.

“At this time of year, it’s not an easy thing to come up with, to appoint a coach of the calibre that this club deserves.

“We scratched our heads and identified a number of people that could do a job and deliver the club to where it needs to be.”

Lowe is familiar with Toovey and what he can do during his time also working with the Manly club and knowing Toovey as a coach and person convinced Lowe he was the right fit.

“I started to think about coaches that I knew and players that I’d coach who I’d seen perform under pressure and perform courageously,” Lowe added.

“When I went to Manly in Sydney I met a gentleman that quickly became one of my dearest friends and one of the greatest players I’ve coached.”

Lowe is confident that the fans and players will like Toovey and backs him to guide the new Bradford side in a positive direction.

“Everybody is going to like Geoff. He’s a proud person and he’s not coming here to muck around. He’s a fantastic coach, a proven coach and an uncompromising coach,” said Lowe.

“He’s up for a challenge all the time and I can’t wait for him to get here. I think we’ve got a great rugby league person in this part of the world.”

Toovey, who can understand how tough the process has been on everyone, is looking forward to the role and making the most of it.

“I understand how tough it has been for everyone attached to the club but this is our time now to turn things around and get Bradford back to where they belong – playing entertaining rugby league,” said Toovey.

“I’m well aware of the challenge ahead of us but as coaches and players, these are the things that encourage us to do better and achieve our goals.

“I’m really excited about this role and can’t wait to start getting things together at the Bulls.

“The club, staff, players and fans deserve the best and that’s what I aim to deliver.”

Knights grant Sims an early release

Korbin Sims

In a surprise move, the Newcastle Knights have granted forward Korbin Sims an early release from his contract.

With rumours abound that he is set to join either the South Sydney Rabbitohs or the Brisbane Broncos, the club made a careful decision about the future of Sims.

“The Club carefully considered the request and following further discussions with Korbin and his management have decided to grant his release,” CEO Matt Gidley said.

“We thank Korbin for his contribution to the Club and wish him and his family all the best for the future.”

Sims joined the club in 2011 and played 76 NRL games as the Knights look to build upon their squad for 2017.

“The Club is in a very strong position to enter the player market and improve our squad for 2017 and beyond,” Gidley concluded.

Greatest Teams Ever Pt 8: Newcastle Knights

Another installment in our series as we preview the Newcastle Knights and what we view as their greatest team ever. They have also been privileged to have tremendous players donning the red and blue Knights jersey as well as several premierships to their name. Despite some lean years at present, their past is rich.

Once again, we must mention, the side is made up of players that have played almost exclusively for the Newcastle Knights throughout their career.

Without further hesitation, here is the Knights side we have chosen as our greatest 17 ever:

1. Kurt Gidley – The Knights won the 2001 NRL premiership but it was a game that Gidley did not play in. His first official game came a few weeks earlier in Rd 24 of the same season before he played in the Knights side that lost the 2002 World Club Challenge.
From there, he slowly became a regular of the side and etched himself into modern Knights folklore. He won the Knights’ first ever golden point game in 2004 but he unfortunately went on to miss most of the 2005 season due to injury. His first representative honour came with the NSW Country side in the City v Country game before he then represented the Prime Minister’s XIII.
After enjoying a solid 2007 season, Gidley was rewarded with Origin duties and in 2008, led the club in both point-scoring and try-scoring. His season was so good that he won the club’s player of the year award. With the departure of Danny Buderus, Gidley was made captain ahead of the 2009 season.
The following year in 2009, he was also named captain and fullback of the NSW side before playing in the NRL All-Stars game in successive years (2010 and 2011).
Gidley then continued to perform and impress for the Knights and forged a reputation as a loyal, hard-working player. His time at the Knights eventually came to an end after 251 games, 80 tries and 452 goals, before he headed to English side the Warrington Wolves where he currently plays.


2. Robbie O’Davis – Growing up in Toowoomba, O’Davis played for the Knights his entire career. Toiling away and performing for the first few years of his career, he played both wing and fullback for the duration of it. At the height of the Super League war, O’Davis played for both the Maroons and the Australian side, impressing for both when given the opportunity.
A popular player among the fans, O’Davis was impressive in the Knights 1997 ARL grand final and won the Clive Churchill Medal as a result. The following year was the opposite, however, after O’Davis as well as team-mate Wayne Richards were suspended for a whopping 22 weeks after testing positive to a banned anabolic steroid.
Slowly making his way back into the side and regaining the trust, O’Davis was also a member of the Knights 2001 premiership success and then in their 2002 World Club Challenge clash.
After a couple more seasons with the club, he retired at the end of the 2004 NRL season.


3. Matt Gidley – Regarded as one of the greatest players to ever don the Newcastle Knights jersey, right from his junior days through to his NRL career, Gidley played solely for the Knights. A youngster at the Wests club in the Newcastle rugby league competition, Gidley’s junior career actually began as a five-eighth. However, with the arrival of Matthew Johns, he was shifted to centre where he went on to forge a fantastic career.
In the end, his debut at the club came in 1996 and from there, Gidley never looked back as he made numerous appearances for both New South Wales and the Australian Kangaroos. He was a crucial player in the Knights charge towards the 2001 NRL premiership and like many other players, he became a very important player and a fan favourite at the club.
One major trait to Gidley’s game was his glorious flick pass that captivated fans and set up numerous tries. His partnership with Timana Tahu became a focal point for much of Gidley’s career as the two developed a playing bond at both club and state level.
He continued to perform well and eventually retired from the NRL and the Knights in 2006 becoming just the fourth Knights player to play 200 games. Gidley finished his Knights career with 221 games and 68 tries.
He then had a stint with St Helens in the Super League. His time with the Knights was not finished, though, as he joined the club as a Business Development Manager in 2011. Later on in the year, he was appointed as the CEO of Football by the Hunter Sports Group.


4. Mark Hughes – All teams need honest, hard-working players and Mark Hughes was all that and more. A genuine person, he had heart, passion and determination for the Knights team for the duration of his time there. A Kurri Kurri junior, Hughes joined the Knights during the 1997 season and enjoyed immediate success, playing on the wing in the club’s 1997 ARL premiership victory.
Eventually, Hughes was then shifted to centre where he enjoyed further premiership success, this time in 2001 when the Knights won the NRL premiership. That same year, he played for NSW in all three games, all at fullback.
As his Knights career wore on, the injuries became more frequent and hampered Hughes, his game and did not enable him to achieve the consistency he would have liked. At the end of the 2005 season, he departed the club and spent a season with Catalans. Knights fans, former players and the team itself gave him much needed support when he was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2013. Fighting hard against the illness, he set up the Mark Hughes Foundation and continues to make a recovery to this day.


5. Adam Macdougall – Whilst we all know and love Macdougall as a tremendous player for the Knights, his NRL career actually began with the Sydney Roosters in 1995. It was not until 1997 that he joined the Knights and enjoyed immediate success, with the club winning the competition. His good form continued in 1998 and he was rewarded with a maiden Origin jumper for New South Wales. However, later that year, he tested positive to stimulants Ephedrine and Amfepramone indicating the possible use of steroids and he was subsequently banned for 11 games.
It was later revealed that a prior head injury had damaged Macdougall’s pituitary gland and it was imperative that he take Sustanon 250 which included a banned steroid.
After serving his suspension, Macdougall returned to the Knights in 1999 and after just a couple of games, he was selected once again for New South Wales. Many believe that his two best seasons came in 2000 and 2001 where Macdougall scored 30 tries in 41 games before starring for NSW in their Origin series win in 2000. He also played in the 2000 World Cup Final and then won a second premiership with the Knights in 2001. Continuing to perform solidly for the club, he made a surprising move when he departed and signed with the South Sydney Rabbitohs. Playing with the Bunnies for three seasons, MacDougall then returned to the Knights in 2007 and enjoyed a further 6 seasons with the club.
In the end, Macdougall played 158 games for the Knights club and in 2011, he announced his retirement.


6. Matthew Johns – The eldest of the Johns brothers, Matthew was raised in Cessnock and played his junior footy in the region before joining the Knights in 1991. He made his NRL debut in 1992 and played alongside his brother in the halves for nine years. Forming a sound combination with his brother, their play led to success during the 1997 ARL season when they won the premiership before doing it for a second time in 2001, winning the NRL premiership. A part of the 1995 Rugby League World Cup squad, Johns enjoyed success with the Knights and for Australia but played few games with the Blues.
In the end, after 176 games with the club, Johns departed and signed with the Wigan Warriors for the 2001 season. Performing strongly there, he was involved in a grand final which Wigan lost but he returned to the NRL for one more season with the Sharks.
Injuries to his shoulder and neck forced him to retire. He remains a vocal figure in the NRL world and is currently a key member of the Fox Sports NRL team.


7. Andrew Johns – In the eyes of many, he is the greatest player to have ever donned the Knights jersey. A play-maker, a visionary and a tremendous player, the Knights won countless games and two premierships on the back of the form of Andrew Johns.
Like his brother Matt, Johns played his junior footy in Cessnock and it was clear that he had natural ability. At just 15, the Knights signed him onto their junior ranks and he would not have to wait long for a first-grade appearance as injury to the incumbent halfabck saw Johns rewarded with an opportunity. He made a tremendous first impression as he scored 23 points and won the man-of-the-match award.
In 1995, Johns had the chance to play for Australia at the Rugby League World Cup and made the most of that opportunity as he won a man-of-the-match award playing at hooker and was then named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament. From here, he became a mainstay across club, state and international teams.
The 1997 grand final could have been very different had Johns not played, as he was entering the game with an apparent rib injury. However, the club stalwart played and was the difference, leading the side to premiership victory that season. He was even better in the 1998 season as the club lost just five games and Johns was instrumental in that fantastic season. He was named the 1998 Dally M Player of the Year.
1999 was much of the same for the play-maker as another impressive season saw him take out successive Dally M Medal’s, the first player to go back-to-back in this regard at the time since Mick Cronin in 1977 and 1978. Named captain after the retirement of Paul Harragon and the departure of his brother, Johns continued to perform and again guided the side to glory, this time in the 2001 NRL premiership.
There was no stopping Johns as in 2002, he continued to impress and perform magnificently. Unfortunately, injury struck that year, after he broke a bone in his back in the finals, ending the Knights hopes of winning the premiership that year. His form throughout the season had been so good, that he won a third Dally M Medal, a feat that has only been replicated by Johnathan Thurston.
This one injury culminated in a turbulent time for Johns over the next few seasons. He suffered a serious neck injury that threatened his career in 2003, injured his ACL and was out for most of the 2004 season and then broke his jaw during the 2005 season.
After that, speculation was rife that Johns would consider a switch to Union but he eventually opted to remain in rugby league and ended up being the shining light that NSW needed to win an Origin series in 2005. He had a short-term deal with the Warrington Wolves after agreeing to re-sign with the Knights.
He then broke a long-standing rugby league record in Australia in 2006, when he surpassed Michael Cronin to claim the the point-scoring record for a player at a single club. He broke another record in the same year, passing Jason Taylor to become the highest point-scorer in the history of Australian rugby league.
2007 would prove to be the last season in the NRL for Johns after he was concussed early on in the season as with scans then confirming that he had a bulging disc in his neck. This injury led Johns to confirm that he was retiring from the game.


8. Tony Butterfield – A durable, hard-working prop, Butterfield’s career began with the Penrith Panthers but after just four games in two years, he made the move to the Newcastle Knights. Joining them in 1988 in their inaugural season, from there, he never looked back as he became a regular in the side up until his retirement from the game in 2000.
At the time of his retirement, he was the club’s highest capped player with 200 games before that record was broken by Andrew Johns. He played one game for the Country Origin side and one game for New South Wales in 1989 and 1998 respectively. His services to the club were honoured when he was named in the Knights Team of the Decade in 1997 and again in 2007 in their Team of the Era.


9. Danny Buderus – Yet another tremendous player to don the Knights jersey, Danny Buderus is the greatest hooker to have played for the club. Playing only for the Knights, his career with the club over two stints saw him play 257 games in total in club colours.
Early on in the 1997 ARL season, Buderus made his debut but that was the only game he would play that year. His game-time increased as the 1998 season wore on and eventually, he become a regular in the side that went on to win a premiership in 2001. 2001 was also the first year that Buderus was picked for both NSW Country and Australia, going on to play 5 games and 24 games respectively.
After another successful year in 2002, Buderus made his Origin debut and played 21 games for his state throughout his career. The 200th game of his career came in that year, as did just rewards for his performances as he took out the Dally M Hooker of the Year and Dally M Representative Player of the Year.
2004 was probably the best season in Buderus’ career as he took out the Dally M Medal – just the second hooker to do so after Mal Cochrane – as well as the Dally M Hooker of the Year Award yet again. He took out the award for a third time after winning it in 2005.
After several more years with the Knights, Buderus departed for a stint with Super League side, the Leeds Rhinos. He returned to the club in the 2012 season and was in the Country Origin side just 7 weeks upon his return. Still performing at a decent level, Buderus played on until the 2013 season before he announced his retirement from the game.


10. Paul Harragon – A Kurri Kurri local, Paul Harragon has been a part of the Newcastle system since his early days as a rugby league player. Joining the Knights in 1988 from Lakes United, he made his first-grade debut in 1989 against Balmain.
A genuine leader and a physical presence on the field, he led from the front and galvanised his team-mates to come together and be the best players they could be. Before long, he became a regular for both the NSW and the Australian sides, representing both on 20 occasions.
His toughness and determination was all the more impressive and noticeable in 1997 when as captain, he led the side to ARL premiership glory in 1997 despite suffering from headaches and seizures for most of that season.
1999 would prove to be Harragon’s last in the NRL as he was forced to retire from the game due to a knee injury. He would not be lost to the game, though, as he started work with NBN Newcastle and then Channel Nine and was at one point a Director at the Knights. He has also been made a life member.


11. Paul Marquet – He might be a household name but Marquet did not have to be one, for he was an honest, hard-working toiler that went on to win three premierships in his career. Adept primarily as a back-rower, Marquet was resilient in his efforts and consistent and in 1990, he was handed his Knights debut. He found a home on the edge at the club and in his final year of his first stint with them, he played a role in their 1996 ARL premiership success.
The following year, he had a stint with the Hunter Mariners before moving to the Storm for several seasons where he won another premiership. He returned home to Newcastle for a final NRL swansong in 2001 and yet again, won a title, with the Knights taking out the NRL premiership that year with Marquet playing off the bench.


12. Steve Simpson – Born in Maitland near Newcastle, the back-rower could also play both prop and lock and played out his entire career with the Knights. With 216 games for the Knights to his name, 3 games for Country NSW, 13 games for New South Wales and 7 games for Australia, Simpson enjoyed a successful career across all levels.
Simpson made his debut in 1999 and was lucky enough to win a premiership just two years later when the Knights took home the title in 2001. He enjoyed much consistency across his career but was forced to retire in 2010 due to a knee injury.


13. Billy Peden – Yet another Newcastle local, Peden hailed from Cessnock much like the Johns brothers and played alongside many of the aforementioned names here. Making his debut back in 1994, Peden played predominantly back-row but was also able to cover both the hooker and lock positions. He was a consistent performer who went on to play 190 games for the club and was a member of two premiership winning sides at the Knights in 1997 and then again in 2001.
He retired in the 2002 season before heading to England for a year to play with the London Broncos. He returned to the Knights as a coach later in his career.


14. Mark Sargent – A skilful prop, the local Newcastle junior started his career with the Canterbury Bulldogs but after just a few seasons that culminated in 19 games, he returned home to play for the Knights and never looked back. He made an immediate impact at the club with his form guiding him to the Rothmans Medal alongside Gavin Miller. His form continued in 1990 and this led to his sole Origin performance in that same year and then for Australia, who he played four games for.
1991 saw Sargent miss a lot of time due to injury but he did bounce back in 1992 to perform strongly and played for Australia at the World Cup that year. In addition to the above, Sargent was also captain of the Knights alongside fellow prop Paul Harragon for the 1995 season. This would be his last season as he then retired from the game.
He was a team manager at the Knights during their 2001 NRL premiership success before leaving the role in 2005.


15. Marc Glanville – A Wagga Wagga junior, Glanville’s first foray into the rugby league world came in a brief stint with the St George Dragons in 1986. Culminating in just 8 games over two seasons, he joined the Knights for their inaugural season in 1988 and never looked back.
He went on to enjoy a long, storied career with the club playing with them until 1997 when he retired. He was a member of the club’s 1996 ARL premiership success, their maiden title, and played for the Country Origin side on three occasions. In total, he played 188 games for the club, before making the move to England to play with Leeds for two seasons.
He is currently a part of the KOFM radio commentary team that calls Knights games.


16. Robbie McCormack – Starting his career with the Knights in 1988, McCormack soon become a mainstay of the team and was a nifty, lively hooker. Always looking to improve, his good form saw him rewarded with a maiden Origin appearance in 1992 and then again in 1993 when he replaced Benny Elias in the role. In total, he played in two games for the NSW side and three for Country Origin. He eventually became captain of the Knights team and was a member of their maiden premiership success in 1996.
The year after, though, he joined the Hunter Mariners for one season before moving to England to play for Wigan where he won the Super League grand final.


17. Sean Rudder – A versatile utility, Rudder was the ultimate professional. Happy to play wherever he was needed, a lot of his performances came from the bench. When he was on the field, he worked hard, played hard and showed heart and a 6-season career with the Knights yielded 131 games and 21 tries. He was a member of the Knights premiership-winning side in 2001 and then made a move to England where he had stints with both the Castleford Tigers and the Catalan Dragons, before returning to Australia to play with Newtown. This culminated in a sole performance for the Roosters.


Young Tigers back-rower signs new deal at club

Josh Aloiai

After winning the club’s Rookie of the Year award, the Wests Tigers knew they had a special player in Josh Aloiai and they have acted swiftly to retain him by re-signing him to a two-year deal.

Re-signing with the Tigers was an easy decision as he received his first major opportunity at the club.

“I feel really blessed to be able to sign on with Wests Tigers until the end of 2019,” Aloiai said.

“I’m just really thankful because I honestly love coming to training every day, I love turning up with the players and the staff at the Club; so, I’m just happy that I get to be here for a little bit longer.

“It’s a privilege to be able to live my dream (of playing first grade) – the players that we have here have pretty much become my brothers and we also have quality staff at the Club – they really make playing footy more enjoyable.”

Exceeding his own expectations last year, Aloiai wants to improve even further in 2017.

“Last year definitely exceeded all my expectations, I’m just really thankful for the opportunity and I want build off those games in 2017,” he added.

“I’m still just as hungry to keep trying my best, obviously with great players and staff around me I’m really looking forward to that journey.”

Head coach Jason Taylor praised Aloiai for his on-field form and his off-field persona.

“We are enormously happy to have Josh commit to the Club,” Taylor said.

“He is an absolutely superb person, first and foremost, from the way he carries himself around the place, to the way he trains and his values, we are very lucky to have him.”

Taylor is also excited at the improvement left in Aloiai and looks forward to watching him develop as a player.

“On the field, he had a great season in 2016 and played every game – we are looking for improvement on that and so is he,” Taylor added.

“We are really excited about what he can do on the field going forward.”

2017 NRL Auckland Nines Teams

One of the more entertaining fixtures on the NRL calendar, the NRL Auckland Nines have become a favourite of many fans across the league. Faster, quicker and full of exciting plays, it captures the audience and its fans in a different way.

Exciting for all to see, many look forward to the teams that are released and the players that are at the events. So, without further adieu, here are the named teams for this years’ competition (note, it will be updated constantly as players are revealed by their respective teams).

Here are the teams:

Waiheke Pool

Cronulla Sharks: Wade Graham, Luke Lewis, Matt Prior, Chris Heighington, Gerard Beale, Kurt Capewell, Joseph Paulo, Jack Bird, Ricky Leutele, Manaia Cherrington, Jesse Ramien, Will Kennedy, Jayden Walker, Kyle Flanagan, Sione Katoa, Billy Magoulias, Malakai Houma & Kurt Kara.

Coach: Shane Flanagan.


Gold Coast Titans: Morgan Boyle, Alexander Brimson, Tyler Cornish, Anthony Don, Kane Elgey, Jarryd Hayne, Ryan James, Max King, Chris McQueen, John Olive, Nathaniel Peteru, Pat Politoni, Leivaha Pulu, Tyrone Roberts, Tyronne Roberts-Davis, Hayden Schwass, Paterkia Vaivai, Daniel Vidot & William Zillman.

Coach: Neil Henry


Penrith Panthers: Dylan Edwards, Corey Waddell, Waqa Blake, Jed Cartwright, Malakai Watene-Zelezniak, Nathan Cleary, Kaide Ellis, Sione Katoa, Darren Nicholls, Tyrone May, Moses Leota, Sitaleki Akauola, James Tamou, Christian Crichton, Corey Harawira-Naera, Isaah Yeo (C), Zach Dockar-Clay & Oliver Clark.

Coach: Anthony Griffin.


Canterbury Bulldogs: Brad Abbey, Tom Carr, Danny Fualalo, Craig Garvey, Kerrod Holland, Sam Kasiano, David Klemmer, Lachlan Lewis, Michael Lichaa, Rhyse Martin, D’Rhys Miller, Marcelo Montoya, Tyrone Phillips, Josh Reynolds, Reimis Smith, Renouf To’Omaga & Francis Tualau.

Coach: Des Hasler.


Rangitoto Pool

Newcastle Knights: Danny Levi, Jamie Buhrer (C), Peter Mata’utia, Ken Sio, Brendan Elliott, Nathan Ross, Cory Denniss, Brock Lamb, Jaelen Feeney, Daniel Saifiti, Jacob Saifiti, Mitch Barnett, Luke Yates, Tyler Randell, Jack Stockwell, Sam Stone, Lachlan Fitzgibbon & Nick Meaney.

Coach: Nathan Brown.


Wests Tigers: 1. Jordan Rankin 2. Watson Heletea 3. Michael Chee Kam 4. Kevin Naiqama 5. Justin Hunt 6. Jack Littlejohn 7. Luke Brooks 8. Joel Edwards 9. Matt McIlwrick 10. Ava Seumanufagai 11. Sauaso Sue (VC) 12. Josh Aloiai 13. Eijah Taylor (C) 14. JJ Felise 15. Esan Marsters 16. Matt Eisenhuth 17. Tim Simona 18. Moses Suli.

Coach: Jason Taylor.


Brisbane Broncos: Lachlan Barr, Darius Boyd, Adam Blair, Gerome Burns, Mitch Cronin, Matt Gillett, Jordan Kahu, Sam Lavea, Matiu Love-Henry, Andrew McCullough, Benji Marshall, Anthony Milford, Francis Molo, Corey Oates, Jonas Pearson, James Roberts, Gehamat Shibaski & Jaydn Su’A.

Coach: Wayne Bennett.


Melbourne Storm: 1. Young Tonumaipea (C) 2. Josh Addo-Carr 3. Curtis Scott 4. Cheyse Blair 5. Linc Port 6. Cameron Munster 7. Brodie Croft 8. Mark Nicholls 9. Slade Griffin 10. Tim Glasby 11. Joe Stimson 12. Felise Kaufusi 13. Kenny Bromwich (C) 14. Scott Drinkwater 15. Ryley Jacks 16. Jake Turpin 17. Dean Britt 18. Vincent Leuluai 19. Charlie Galo (19th man).

Coach: Craig Bellamy.


Hunua Pool

North Queensland Cowboys: John Asiata, Javid Bowen, Gavin Cooper (C), Kyle Feldt, Gideon Gela-Mosby, Jake Granville, Ben Hampton, Coen Hess, Shaun Hudson, Corey Jensen, Kane Linnett, Ethan Lowe, Michael Morgan, Justin O’Neill, Kayln Ponga, Johnathan Thurston & Shane Wright.

Coach: Paul Green.


Sydney Roosters: Mitch Aubusson (C), Dale Copley, Paul Carter, Mitch Cornish, Brendan Frei, Kane Evans, Aidan Guerra, Bernard Lewis, Isaac Liu, Joseph Manu, Ryan Matterson, Latrell Mitchell, Paul Momirovski, Chris Smith, Zane Tetevano, Johnny Tuivasa-Sheck, Daniel Tupou & Connor Watson.

Coach: Trent Robinson.


Canberra Raiders: 1. Zac Santo 2. Eddie Aiono 3. Thomas Cronan 4. Brent Naden 5. Nick Cotric 6. Blake Austin 7. Aidan Sezer 8. Dunamis Lui 9. Adam Clydsdale 10. Jeff Lima (C) 11. Luke Bateman 12. Scott Sorenson 13. Jordan Turner 14. Paul Roache 15. Mark McCormack 16. Anthony Moraitis 17. Makahesi Makatoa 18. Topi Taufa.

Coach: Dean Pay.


South Sydney Rabbitohs: Angus Crichton, Damien Cook, Bryson Goodwin, Aaron Gray, Zane Musgrove, Siosifa Talakai, Adam Reynolds, Tyrell Fuimaono, Braidon Burns, Kyle Turner, Alex Johnston, Anthony Cherrington, Cody Walker, Hymel Hunt, Robert Jennings, Thomas Burgess, Robbie Rochow, Cam Murray & Dave Tyrrell.

Coach: Michael Maguire


Piha Pool

St George Illawarra Dragons: 1. Patrick Herbert 2. Nene Macdonald 3. Euan Aitken 4. Levi Dodd 5. Kalifa Fai Fai Loa 7. Kurt Mann 8. Siliva Havili 9. Cameron McInnes 10. Luciano Leilua 11. Jacob Host 12. Joel Thompson 13. Jack De Belin (C) 14. Tariq Sims (C) 15. Taane Milne 16. Shaun Nona 17. Will Matthews 18. Matt Dufty 21. Jai Field.

Coach: Paul McGregor


Manly Sea Eagles: Brenton Lawrence (C), Jonathan Wright, Dylan Walker, Brian Kelly, Akuila Uate, Jorge Taufua, Pita Godinet, Cameron Cullen, Peter Schuster, Tom Wright, Joey Lussick, Shaun Lane, Frank Winterstein, Jarrad Kennedy, Curtis Sironen, Addin Fonua-Blake, Martin Taupau & Lloyd Perrett.

Coach: Trent Barrett.


New Zealand Warriors: Ryan Hoffman, Junior Pauga, Matt Allwood, Blake Ayshford, Ata Hingano, Shaun Johnson, Ruben Wiki (C), Mason Lino, Bunty Afoa, James Gavet, Tuimoala Lolohea, Jazz Tevaga, Ofahiki Ogden, Lewis Soosemea, Tofoafoa Sipley, Isaiah Papalii & James Bell.

Coach: Stephen Kearney


Parramatta Eels: Nathan Brown, Kenny Edwards, Jamal Fogarty, Bevan French, David Gower, Clint Gutherson, Josh Hoffman, George Jennings, Cameron King, Suaia Matagi, Tepai Moeroa, Corey Norman (C), Marata Niukore, Scott Schulte, Rory O’Brien, Semi Radradra, Honeti Tuha, Joseph Ualesi & Troy Dargan.

Coach: Brad Arthur.