Category Archives: NRL Club News

Individual NRL Team and Club News

Knights veteran to depart at season’s end

Kurt Gidley

It will be the end of an era at the Newcastle Knights, with club stalwart Kurt Gidley to depart at season’s end.

Involved with the club for such a long time, Gidley will take up a one-year deal with English Super League side, the Warrington Wolves, with an option for a second season.

Making his debut 14 years ago in Rd 24 of 2001, Gidley is to date, the third most capped Newcastle Knights player with 236 games to his name.

The veteran utility has had the honour of playing for both NSW and Australia throughout his career and is grateful to the club for the support he has been provided with over the years.

“I have been lucky, to grow up in Newcastle, to have my family’s support and to play for this great Club,” Gidley explained.

“I played at West Newcastle from seven years of age and then made the transition at 17 to play for the Knights, which was directly across from where I trained.

“I struggled to make the Knights juniors but I think that made me just work harder.

“So to play in my hometown as long as I have, to play alongside my eldest brother, have my family support at home and away games, as well as captain the club has just been a huge honour.”

Whilst he is sad that he has to leave the club he grew up with and loves, Gidley knows that the time is right for a new challenge.

“I have felt sad about leaving, I have felt excited about a new challenge but I am mostly relieved that I have reached the stage of making this decision,” Gidley said.

“It was a tough one. Newcastle people have been great; they are very supportive, both in good times and in bad.

“I appreciate the support I have had, and the way the town supports the team.”

Playing against the Knights would have been too hard to do, so the decision to move overseas was an easy one. Knowing that talented players were coming through the ranks, he knew it was time to let them shine as players.

“I have been thinking about this for over 12 months and I knew it had to come to an end at some stage,” Gidley added.

“I spoke to (CEO and brother) Matt (Gidley) before the season kicked off and I let him know that it was looking like it was going to be my last year.

“There were plenty of young players coming off contracts, who have come through our juniors like Sione (Mata’utia), Chanel (Mata’utia), Pat (Mata’utia), as well as Dane (Gagai) who has been a great buy for the Club.

The decision might be made but the focus will be on nothing but season 2015 with the club he loves.

“I am still fit and healthy, I love everything about rugby league and team sport and playing overseas is going to be to a new challenge,” he said.

“Everything I have done in my career so far, I am so proud and privileged to do what I have done but I will need to earn the respect of teammates and opponents over that way when the time comes.

“So while I have been very lucky and I am very thankful for the whole experience, I must say it isn’t over here yet. I wanted to get this news out there and move on from it.

“From now, every training session and every game is a step closer towards my last one in the Newcastle Knights jersey and I want to make the most of it all.”

NRL Teams Rd 9

Time flies, does it not! Round 9 already. Feels like just yesterday we were counting the days until Rd 9. Anyway, big week of action in Rd 9 and some great clashes coming up ahead of the Origin game in a few weeks time.

No more talking, here are the teams for Rd 9 of the NRL Telstra Premiership:

Brisbane Broncos v Penrith Panthers (#NRLbripen); Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane; Friday May 8. Kick-off: 7:35pm.

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

Interchange: 14. Jarrod Wallace 15. Francis Molo 16. Joe Ofahengaue 17. Kodi Nikorima.

Coach: Wayne Bennett.

Panthers: 1. Matt Moylan 2. George Jennings 3. Dean Whare 4. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 5. David Simmons 6. Will Smith 7. Issac John 8. Nigel Plum 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. Sam McKendry 11. Lewis Brown 12. Isaah Yeo 13. Sika Manu.

Interchange: 14. Tyrone Peachey 15. Jeremy Latimore 16. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 17. Bryce Cartwright.

Coach: Ivan Cleary.

Sydney Roosters v Wests Tigers (#NRLsydwst); Allianz Stadium, Moore Park; Friday May 8. Kick-off: 7:35pm.

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

Interchange: 14. Mitch Aubusson 15. Sio Siua Taukeiaho 16. Kane Evans 17. Dylan Napa.

Coach: Trent Robinson.

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

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

Coach: Jason Taylor.

Canberra Raiders v Gold Coast Titans (#NRLcangld); GIO Stadium, Canberra; Saturday May 9. Kick-off: 3pm.

Raiders: 1. Jack Wighton 2. Edrick Lee 3. Jarrod Croker (C) 4. Sisa Waqa 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Blake Austin 7. Sam Williams 8. Paul Vaughan 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Frank-Paul Nuuausala 11. Josh Papalii 12. Iosia Soliola 13. Shaun Fensom.

Interchange: 14. Kurt Baptiste 15. Jarrad Kennedy 16. Mark Nicholls 17. Shannon Boyd.

Coach: Ricky Stuart.

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. David Taylor 13. Lachlan Burr.

Interchange: 14. Matt White 15. Eddy Pettybourne 16. Mark Ioane 17. Daniel Mortimer 18. Davin Crampton (One to be omitted).

Coach: Neil Henry.

Cronulla Sharks v New Zealand Warriors (#NRLcrowar); Remondis Stadium, Cronulla; Saturday May 9. Kick-off: 5:30pm.

Sharks: 1. Ben Barba 2. Valentine Holmes 3. Gerard Beale 4. Ricky Leutele 5. Michael Gordon 6. Jack Bird 7. Jeff Robson 8. Andrew Fifita 9. Michael Ennis 10. Matt Prior 11. Jayson Bukuya 12. Wade Graham (C) 13. Luke Lewis.

Interchange: 14. Tinirau Arona 15. Anthony Tupou 16. Sami Sauiluma 17. Sam Tagataese 18. Pat Politoni (One to be omitted).

Coach: Shane Flanagan.

Warriors: 1. Tuimoala Lolohea 2. Jonathan Wright 3. Solomone Kata 4. Konrad Hurrell 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.

Interchange: 14. Nathan Friend 15. Dominique Peyroux 16. Sam Lisone 17. Sam Rapira 18. Albert Vete (One to be omitted).

Coach: Andrew McFadden.

North Queensland Cowboys v Canterbury Bulldogs (#NRLnqlcby); 1300 Smiles Stadium, Townsville; Saturday May 9. Kick-off: 7:30pm.

Cowboys: 1. Lachlan Coote 2. Matt Wright 3. Justin O’Neill 4. Kane Linnett 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. John Asiata.

Interchange: 14. Ray Thompson 15. Rory Kostjaysn 16. Ben Hannant 17. Kelepi Tanginoa 18. Patrick Kaufusi (One to be omitted).

Coach: Paul Green.

Bulldogs: 1. Sam Perrett 2. Curtis Rona 3. Josh Morris 4. Chase Stanley 5. Corey Thompson 6. Moses Mbye 7. Trent Hodkinson 8. Aiden Tolman 9. Michael Lichaa 10. David Klemmer 11. Josh Jackson 12. Tony Williams 13. Greg Eastwood.

Interchange: 14. Sam Kasiano 15. Tim Browne 16. Frank Pritchard 17. Lloyd Perrett 20. Antonio Kaufusi.

Coach: Des Hasler.

Manly Sea Eagles v Newcastle Knights (#NRLmannew); Brookvale Oval, Manly; Sunday May 10. Kick-off: 2pm.

Manly: 1. Brett Stewart 2. Jorge Taufua 3. Jamie Lyon 4. Peta Hiku 5. David Williams 6. Kieran Foran 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Jake Trbojevic 9. Matt Ballin 10. Luke Burgess 11. Tom Symonds 12. Justin Horo 13. Dunamis Lui.

Interchange: 14. Jayden Hodges 15. Willie Mason 16. Blake Leary 17. Ligi Sao.

Coach: Geoff Toovey.

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. Korbin Sims 11. Beau Scott 12. Tariq Sims 13. Jeremy Smith.

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

Coach: Rick Stone.

Parramatta Eels v Melbourne Storm (#NRLparmel); Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta; Sunday May 10. Kick-off: 4pm.

Eels: 1. Reece Robinson 2. Semi Radradra 3. Will Hopoate 4. Brad Takairangi 5. Ryan Morgan 6. Corey Norman 7. Chris Sandow 8. Danny Wicks 9. Nathan Peats 10. Tim Mannah (C) 11. Manu Ma’u 12. David Gower 13. Anthony Watmough.

Interchange: 14. Issac De Gois 15. Joseph Paulo 16. Richie Fa’aoso 17. Tepai Moeroa 18. Pauli Pauli (One to be omitted).

Coach: Brad Arthur.

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

Interchange: 14. Ryan Hinchcliffe 15. Tim Glasby 16. Dayne Weston 17. Tom Learoyd-Lahrs 18. Cameron Munster (One to be omitted).

Coach: Craig Bellamy.

South Sydney Rabbitohs v St George Illawarra Dragons (#NRLsousgi); ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park; Monday May 11. Kick-off: 7pm.

Bunnies: 1. Greg Inglis 2. Alex Johnston 3. Dylan Walker 4. Bryson Goodwin 5. Joel Reddy 6. John Sutton 7. Luke Keary 8. George Burgess 9. Issac Luke 10. Dave Tyrrell 11. Chris Grevsmuhl 12. Chris McQueen 13. Thomas Burgess.

Interchange: 14. Cam McInnes 15. Ben Lowe 16. Nathan Brown 17. Tim Grant 18. Aaron Gray (One to be omitted).

Coach: Michael Maguire.

Dragons: 1. Peter Mata’utia 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. Jake Marketo 15. Ben Creagh (C) 16. Jack de Belin 17. Heath L’Estrange 20. George Rose 24. Will Matthews (Two to be omitted).

Coach: Paul McGregor.

Defence the key as Samoa hold on to defeat Tonga

Frank Pritchard

Defence wins games and that was the case for Samoa, after a try-saving tackle from Frank Pritchard and Sam Kasiano sealed a narrow 18-16 win in a scintillating clash.

The second of two Pacific Tests at Cbus Super Stadium, the match produced the goods as the lower-ranked Tongan side pushed the Samoans all the way.

Some interesting late changes saw Josh McGuire at hooker for Samoa and Mahe Fonua at five-eighth, though the spectacle was not affected.

The Samoans dominated throughout and made the most of early opportunity, keeping the Tongans on their toes.

There was a period of sustained possession for the Tongans when they scored two quick tries and it looked like they might produce a comeback.

Though such hope was short-lived after a Samoan try to Dominique Peyroux.

There was a blow for Samoa despite their win, though, with both Tim Simona and Ben Murdoch-Masila departing the field with ankle and leg injuries respectively.

Knowing how crucial it is to retain the Tongan players in the core of the team for the long-run, coach Kristian Woolf praised Sio Siua Taukeiaho for his performance.

“I took him to PNG last year with the Tongan side and he was a young bloke I didn’t know a lot about,” said Woolf.

“He was tremendous for us over there and I thought he was probably close to the best player on the paddock for both teams. He’s certainly got a big NRL future ahead of him and I hope he’s got a really long future with Tonga as well because he’s a good player.”

Much like the Fijians and Papua New Guineans, Tongans and Samoans both adore the game of rugby league and the players know how much the fans love the game and want to see more out of every aspect.

“Both fans are very passionate and vocal and we carry a lot, for our family and our nations back home,” said Samoan captain Frank Pritchard.

“We play with a lot of expectations and we’re big on honesty and family and respect and we come away from that game with our head held high.”

Samoa 18 (Josh McGuire, Daniel Vidot, Frank Pritchard, Dominique Peyroux tries; Tim Simona goal) def. Tonga 16 (Jorge Taufua 2, Sika Manu tries; Solomone Kata 2 goals) at Cbus Super Stadium. Half-time: Samoa 10-4. Crowd: 12,336.

Koroibete stars as Fiji defeat PNG in entertaining clash

Marika Koroibete

The Pacific Tests always produce thrillers and the Fiji v Papua New Guinea clash was no different, with the Fijian side producing a 22-10 win on the back of a star performance from Marika Koroibete.

Two first-half tries scored in typical Koroibete fashion and a bone-jarring tackle were the keys behind a historic Fiji win.

The first Test of two, the match was evenly poised at 18-10 after the Papua New Guineans fought their way back. That was short-lived, though, as an intercept try for Fabian Goodall put the game beyond doubt.

Both teams produced some quality play filled with boundless energy, as they toiled, worked hard and put on a show for the fans at Cbus Super Stadium.

With Fiji in control to start the game, the second half saw the PNG side claw their way back in a big way, as they scored tries through Stanton Albert and Matt Trnka.

Following on from those tries, PNG had the ascendancy and attacked the Fijian line with some quality attacking play.

There was a downer for the Fijian side, with exciting prop Viliame Kikau leaving the field early in the second half due to concussion.

The star of the show was Koroibete, though, as he capitalised on solid attacking play and produced a try-saving tackle that no doubt consolidated the Fijian win.

After a strong first half showing, Fiji coach Rick Stone admits that his side let PNG back into the contest.

“We lost our way a little bit with a few errors and we didn’t start the second half well,” Stone said.

“In the end we defended our line strong, we just made things a little bit harder for ourselves.

“One of our main things was to bring Kumuls off their own line and I thought we did that pretty well in the first half. When we got back to it a little bit later in the second half I thought it helped us a bit.

“For the week it is, we had half a dozen NRL quality players with us and a lot of young blokes and a couple of local Fijians. It’s a good result for us.”

With NRL players galore in the Fijian side, the PNG side are yet to boast quality such as that. For PNG coach Mal Meninga, he knows they will all be better for the experience.

“With these guys it’s just about a bit of self belief, I know they’re playing against players that are in the NRL but when they think about it and how well they can be and get some confidence in their own ability they start to play well,” Meninga said.

PNG is all about spirit, heart and determination when playing rugby league and Meninga knows that the confidence and self belief will only grow and develop further.

“These guys, if they show the same sort of character and attitude they did in the second half, more of them will be playing in the 2017 World Cup,” Meninga said.

“It’s about growth and development of the players and certainly a better mindset around their self belief.”

Passion is also a big trait of fans from the island nations, with PNG captain Israel Eliab praising the fans for their phenomenal vocal support.

“Certainly we could hear our fans… it’s like they motivate us, giving us more strength and courage to play for our country,” Eliab said.

Former Warrior forced to hang up the boots

Lance Hohaia

Not being able to go out on your own terms in rugby league can be tough on some players but sometimes, it is necessary to avoid further injury.

So for former New Zealand Warrior Lance Hohaia – who recently played with Super League side St Helens – he had no other choice.

In his case, it is the recurring effects of concussion and Hohaia has sought the opinion of professional medical staff to determine the damage and where he stands in life.

Hohaia wants to understand the nature of it all and the intricacies involved but was grateful to both the Warriors and St Helens for providing him with opportunity and playing time.

“I am currently seeking expert medical advice to understand any potential effects to my long-term health.

“However, in the meantime I would like to say that I am extremely grateful for the career I have had and the opportunity to play for my country and such prestigious clubs as St Helens and the New Zealand Warriors.

“I would also like to sincerely thank all those who have supported me throughout my career and during this difficult time”.

His current club St Helens commented on the matter and released the following statement:

ST.HELENS announce that Lance Hohaia has informed us of his retirement from rugby league and will therefore not play for the Club again.

Lance has been a valued and integral member of the squad for the last three-and-a-half years and we thank him for his service.

We wish him and his family well in their life after rugby league with St Helens.

St Helens will make no further comment on this matter.

Titans rookie rejects overtures and re-signs with the club

Kane Elgey

For a long while, it looked like the Manly Sea Eagles would be a new home for Kane Elgey. Though that has changed, with the youngster agreeing to remain with the Gold Coast Titans for a further two seasons.

With just five first-grade games to his name so far, Elgey has shown that he has the ability and effort to cut it in the top-grade. A local junior of the Gold Coast system, Elgey was hands down the best half in the Holden Cup competition in 2014 and now has a chance to extend that to first-grade.

Although the lure of Manly was strong especially given the chance to work under a former great half like Andrew Johns, home is where the heart is and that rings true for Elgey.

“In the end I wanted to stay on the Gold Coast with my family and friends around me and with my teammates and coaching staff I have a lot of respect for, even though it was a very tempting opportunity presented by Manly,” Elgey said.

“Definitely the chance to play under probably the greatest halfback of all time in Andrew Johns, who is assistant coach at Manly, was a big consideration in developing my game.

“But I’m happy here and Neil Henry gave me my opportunity in the NRL and is a great coach and I’m just relieved I have made the decision and can now get on with my football.”

Grateful for all they have done for him and for the way the club developed him through the ranks, he felt he owed it to them to stay. He also looks forward to playing alongside Daly Cherry-Evans.

“And I’m excited to hopefully be able to play with Daly Cherry Evans too,” said Elgey.

“I’m really proud that I’m a local junior who has come through the Titans ranks and a lot of people have supported me here. I want to repay them and be part of a successful side on Gold Coast.”

The Tugun Seahawks local represented the Australian Schoolboys side and for the club themeselves, retaining a core player like Elgey does wonders both on and off the field.

“We are absolutely delighted Kane has decided to commit not only to the Titans but also the local community where he has learned his football,” said Gold Coast Titans CEO, Graham Annesley.

“Hopefully it will inspire a whole new generation of local talent hoping to follow in his footsteps.”

Manly re-sign junior trio

Jake Trbojevic

With a vast talent pool to choose from across the Manly and Northern Beaches area, the Manly Sea Eagles have produced some talents over the years.

With that pool, comes the ability to blood players and give them opportunity and for young Manly trio Clinton Gutherson, Tom Trbojevic and Jake Trbojevic, that convinced them to stay among other factors. The trio have re-signed until the end of 2017.

Jake and Tom, both brothers, are Mona Vale Raiders juniors and for both of them, Manly is the club they know and love.

“Manly are a great Club and I’m extremely proud to be playing my footy here over the next few seasons,” Jake said.

“Tom and I have grown up in Mona Vale, knowing nothing else than Manly being one of the best teams in the NRL. It’s a privilege to play for our local Club.”

Having made his debut earlier this year and excelling from the get-go, Tom is also excited about what lies ahead.

“I recently got a taste of what to expect as a NRL player and it was just as exhilarating as Jake had told me,” 18-year old Tom added.

“The opportunity to play alongside my brother in the maroon and white was something I just couldn’t turn down.”

Tom Trbojevic

Although Gutherson is currently injured after damaging his ACL earlier this year, the new deal will push him and motivate him to earn a spot in 2016.

“It’s a great feeling to have recommitted. I’d like to thank the Club for giving me the opportunity to continue my career for the team I have always supported,” Gutherson said.

“My immediate focus is recovering from my knee injury as quickly as possible, so that I can get back on the field and repay the faith the Club has shown in me,” he added.

Knowing the importance of retaining strong local talent, Manly CEO Joe Kelly is pleased to have retained the trio.

“A key part of our strategy is to recruit and retain local talent. Clinton, Jake and Tom are all exciting, home-grown juniors with bright futures and we’re delighted that they’re committed to the Sea Eagles,” Kelly said.

“I’m excited that the Sea Eagles Members, supporters and local community will have the opportunity to watch this trio in their backyard of Brookvale Oval,” added Kelly.

Having seen all three come through the ranks and emerge as future stars, Manly coach Geoff Toovey is pleased to see them re-sign, following on from the re-signings of other juniors in the past.

“We’ve had a number of great local juniors represent this Club over the years and it’s refreshing to see another three coming through now,” Toovey said.

“They are all fantastic young athletes, who have already had a taste of NRL and have proven that they are ready to embark on lengthy careers at the Club.

Now that their immediate future is sorted, they can continue their learning on the job.”

Clinton Gutherson

Cowboys bounce back from injuries to defeat Knights

Scott Bolton

Their start was not the best and it was extenuated by the loss of both Jake Granville and Jason Taumalolo but the North Queensland Cowboys bounced back and won the game.

It was a tense affair in the end with the Cowboys only just holding on, to continue their good run of form over the last few weeks.

Taumalolo’s injury is the biggest concern, with the hulking back-rower expected to miss 6-8 weeks with a medial ligament strain.

For periods, the game went back and forth, and it was the class of the Cowboys that eventually got them over the line when it mattered.

The loss continues the Knights recent run of losses, in which they have been unable to continue their good start to the season over the first four rounds.

There were plenty of chances for the Knights to win the game and late on, an opportunity presented itself before the ball was lost on the Knights behalf.

With 15 men and players forced to play longer minutes, the Cowboys somehow managed to hold on for a victory.

Usually a reliable player, there were some errors in Kurt Gidley’s game throughout the year and he has never been as disappointed in a personal game of his than today.

“I love playing team sport and I love the club but it’s one that I won’t forget for all the wrong reasons. It’s a hard one because I made multiple errors,” Gidley said post-game.

“Especially being a captain and being a leader I pride myself on leading the way, but the harder I tried the worse it got for me.

“It’s a tough one to sit in the sheds after the game and not being able to look your teammates in the eye but I can move on reasonably quick after a couple of days and I’ll look to the next game to win back my teammates respect.”

With ANZAC Day all about resiliency, courage and determination, Cowboys coach Paul Green felt that his players showed all those traits.

“It’s fitting considering the day it is, given it is Anzac Day, I thought the courage and toughness and resilience we showed was just outstanding. It was a massive effort from some of the boys there,” Green said.

“Ray Thompson came into the team, hasn’t played NRL this year and played 70-odd minutes in the middle. Scott Bolton nearly played the first half without a break so losing those guys just changes everything around and it was just a courageous effort from all of our blokes.”

Player of the Game:

3. Scott Bolton
2. Korbin Sims
1. Ray Thompson

North Queensland Cowboys 26 (Justin O’Neill 2, Scott Bolton, Lachlan Coote, Michael Morgan Tries; Johnathan Thurston 3 Goals) defeated Newcastle Knights 24 (Chris Houston, Akuila Uate, Joey Leilua, Sione Mata’utia Tries; Tyrone Roberts 4 Goals) Crowd: 15,518. Halftime: 16-6.

Titans momentum continues after thrilling win over Warriors

Kane Elgey

The Gold Coast Titans strong away record has continued, after they recorded a narrow 32-28 win over the New Zealand Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium.

Revolutionised under Neil Henry, the Titans style of play is attractive to watch and their attacking nous was on show throughout the game.

Although they did not lead in the game until the second half, it was an exciting game to watch from both teams’ perspectives.

The Titans attacking run came on the back of Warriors back-rower Ryan Hoffman being forced off the field due to concussion and from there, the Warriors downward spiral began.

With both sides guilty of making far too many errors in games past, the points were on offer in this clash and the teams made the most of the opportunity.

The man who stepped up when it mattered was an unlikely source. Titans young gun Kane Elgey, who played perhaps the best game of his short NRL career.

Elgey was involved in everything and had the ball on a string at times, for if he was not scoring them, he was setting them up and creating opportunity at will.

It has Titans fans salivating at the possibility of retaining him and having him play alongside Daly Cherry-Evans in 2016.

For the Warriors, despite their late resurgence, there were some disappointing patches from their end. In a game at home, they should have been expected to win but the little things are what let them down in the end.

There was nothing but praise from Henry for his side’s performances, with the players receiving plaudits from him.

“It was a bit nervous at the back end when they got some quick tries, and the boys had to hang on. I think we started the second half well, we were a bit loose defensively in the first half and probably underestimated the wind advantage too,” Henry said.

“It was a pretty brave performance, there were parts of the second half where we defended our line really well.

“We sort of kicked away but they are not a side you can allow to have the ball.”

With three right centres picked by the Warriors already this season, coach Andrew McFaden admitted they are no closer to finding the right long-term option.

“Good and bad, it’s another combination and we threw him out there very hopefully,” McFadden said of Fusitu’a’s performance.

Player of the Game:

3. Kane Elgey
2. Ryan James
1. Kierran Moseley

Titans 32 (Elgey 2, Don, Moseley, Roberts, James tries; Sezer x4 goals) def. Warriors 26 (Fusitu’a, Matulino, Wright, Kata, Thompson tries; Johnson 4 goals) at Mt Smart Stadium. Crowd: 15,102.

Young Bulldogs prop stood down after mid-range drink driving offence

Herman Ese'ese

Promising Canterbury Bulldogs forward Herman Ese’ese made his NRL debut just last week. It was meant to be a time of joy and jubilation.

Fast forward to this week and instead, he finds himself in trouble, being stood down by the club after being charged with a mid-range drink driving offence.

It is a blow for both Ese’ese and the Dogs club, especially with a game just around the corner in Rd 8.

The Bulldogs released the following statement on the matter:

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs rookie Herman Ese’ese has been stood down until further notice by the club after being charged with mid-range drink driving today.

Ese’ese has today appeared in court and been fined $1000 and also suspended from driving for nine months.

The Bulldogs are working with the NRL Integrity Unit in regards to the matter.

The club will offer further comment once all investigations are complete.