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NRL Teams Rd 13

St George Illawarra Dragons centre Zac Lomax

Every week passes by so quickly and here we are at round 13 with many interesting clashes. 

Some closer wins in round 12 than many thought, surprise games but big wins.

The battle for the top four, the top eight and the wooden spoon all continues.

Here are the teams for round 13 of the NRL Telstra Premiership:

St George Illawarra Dragons v Sydney Roosters (#NRLDragonsRoosters); WIN Stadium, Wollongong; Thursday, August 6. Kick-off: 7:55 pm. 

Dragons: 1. Matthew Dufty 2. Jordan Pereira 3. Euan Aitken 4. Zac Lomax 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Ben Hunt 7. Adam Clune 8. Blake Lawrie 9. Cameron McInnes (C) 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Tariq Sims 13. Jackson Ford.

Interchange: 14. Tristan Sailor 15. Josh Kerr 16. Trent Merrin 17. Tyrell Fuimaono.

Reserves: 18. Jacob Host 19. Corey Norman 20. Jason Saab 21. Kaide Ellis.

Coach: Paul McGregor.

Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Ryan Hall 3. Josh Morris 4. Joseph Manu 5. Matt Ikuvalu 6. Luke Keary 7. Lachlan Lam 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Jake Friend (C) 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho 11. Sitili Tupouniua 12. Mitchell Aubusson 13. Isaac Liu.

Interchange: 14. Drew Hutchison 15. Poasa Faamausili 16. Nat Butcher 17. Lindsay Collins.

Reserves: 18. Daniel Fifita 19. Christian Tuipulotu 20. Max Bailey 21. Egan Butcher.

Coach: Trent Robinson.


Manly Sea Eagles v New Zealand Warriors (#NRLManlyWarriors); Lottoland, Brookvale; Friday, August 7. Kick-off: 6 pm. 

Manly: 1.

Warriors: 1.


South Sydney Rabbitohs v Brisbane Broncos (#NRLRabbitohsBroncos); ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park; Friday, August 7. Kick-off: 7:55 pm.

Rabbitohs: 1.

Broncos: 1.


Melbourne Storm v Canterbury Bulldogs (#NRLStormBulldogs); Sunshine Coast Stadium, Kawana Waters; Saturday, August 8. Kick-off: 3 pm.

Storm: 1.

Bulldogs: 1.


Newcastle Knights v Wests Tigers (#NRLKnightsTigers); McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle; Saturday, August 8. Kick-off: 5:30 pm.

Knights: 1.

Tigers: 1.


Penrith Panthers v Canberra Raiders (#NRLPanthersRaiders); Panthers Stadium, Penrith; Saturday, August 8. Kick-off: 7:35 pm.

Panthers: 1.

Raiders: 1.


Gold Coast Titans v North Queensland Cowboys (#NRLTitansCowboys); Cbus Super Stadium, Robina; Sunday, August 9. Kick-off: 2 pm.

Titans: 1.

Cowboys: 1.


Cronulla Sharks v Parramatta Eels (#NRLSharksEels); Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Kogarah; Sunday, August 9. Kick-off: 4 pm.

Sharks: 1.

Eels: 1.


 

Veteran halfback Green joins Knights effective immediately

Newly signed Newcastle Knights halfback Blake Green

Whether it surprises or angers, Blake Green will join the Newcastle Knights effective immediately after the New Zealand Warriors released him.

With some initial reports indicating that the club wanted to push Green out, the new challenge arises for the veteran half.

The club made it clear that they wanted to keep Green on board but he wanted a move elsewhere.

“We were committed to Blake staying with us for the rest of the season but he and his management have indicated they want an immediate release,” said Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George.

“Given the circumstances we have granted his request.

“We thank Blake for the contribution he has made to the Vodafone Warriors over the last three years and wish him and his family all the best for the future.”

Green played in 55 NRL games for the Warriors and had his ups and downs.

For the Knights, as they deal with a mounting injury toll – especially with Andrew McCullough and Connor Watson – Green’s addition helps their depth.

Adam O’Brien has worked with Green before and looks forward to adding his experience to the current Knights side.

“I’ve previously worked with Blake, know the family well and he’s only going to compliment us,”  O’Brien said.

“Further to that, I know he and Mitchell Pearce will complement each other.

“They share a lot of similar traits. They are educators and fiercely competitive.

“I have a responsibility to the players who are working their backsides off to keep fighting every day and give ourselves the best chance to win.”

With the Knights performing well and a chance to make the finals, O’Brien knows how crucial it is for the team to surround themselves with good people.

“We also have a responsibility to our supporters, sponsors and town to compete each week and strive for success,” O’Brien continued.

“Blake’s arrival helps us continue our fight and it’s something he’s excited to be part of.”

Green will take up the roster spot of Andrew McCullough who is out for the season.

New Rabbitohs deal for Graham

South Sydney Rabbitohs centre/winger Campbell Graham

Slowly becoming a reliable player for the South Sydney Rabbitohs, Campbell Graham has signed a new long-term deal with the club.

Still only 21, Graham has played in 59 NRL games for the club to date and is justly rewarded with his three-year extension.

In the end, Graham says it was an easy decision for him to re-sign.

“It really was a no brainer for me, re-signing here at Souths,” Graham said.

“This really is my club, the only club for me and being from the area, it’s a huge thing for me to be able to pull on the Rabbitohs jersey and represent our Members and the people of the South Sydney district each week.”

Graham is excited at what the club is building and looks forward to being a part of it.

“I think we have a great group building here and I’m really excited about the future over the next four years,” Graham continued.

“It’s a huge thing for me to be able to pull on the Rabbitohs jersey and represent our Members.”

“I think we’ll have some great successes and I think we’ll accomplish our goals for ourselves as well our Members and everyone that supports South Sydney.”

Graham has impressed the club and his contract is richly deserved in the eyes of Mark Ellison, the club’s head of football.

“Campbell has become a mainstay of our backline over the past few seasons and he still has a lot of improvement in his game,” Mr Ellison said.

“He’s a home-grown product that loves the Club. He comes from a great family who have settled in the South Sydney district and become just as much part of our Club as Campbell has.

“He’s also a great attacking weapon with his height and ability to stride out across the ground, as well as being rock solid in defence.“

“He’s only scratching the surface of his true ability at the moment and we look forward to helping him continue to develop over the next decade into one of the best outside backs in the competition.”

 

Baptiste rejoins Raiders to provide extra hooker cover

Returning Canberra Raiders hooker Kurt Baptiste

Kurt Baptiste will return to the Canberra Raiders, the club where it all began for him, for the remainder of 2020.

Canberra, who have lost talented Englishman Josh Hodgson for the season, will use Baptiste as extra cover at hooker.

Baptiste is set to join the club later in the week once he passes all the Apollo protocols set out by the NRL guidelines.

To date, Baptiste has played 79 NRL games, 56 of which came for the Raiders during his last stint from 2014 to 2017.

“Kurt is a talented hooker who has a proven record with the club and can provide our squad with experience and depth in a key position,” Raiders Recruitment Director Peter Mulholland said.

“We’re really happy to have him back at the club for the remainder of the year and we’re looking forward to him joining the squad as soon as he can.”

Storm sign veteran centre Leutele for rest of 2020

Newly signed Melbourne Storm centre Ricky Leutele

Needing to fill a spot due to injury, the Melbourne Storm have signed veteran centre Ricky Leutele for the rest of 2020.

Leutele, an experienced centre, has played in 129 NRL games and most recently played for the Toronto Wolfpack.

With the current climate barren due to the pandemic, the Wolfpack and their decision to withdraw from the Super League left Leutele without a club.

Leutele and his family will have to undergo the mandatory two-week isolation upon their arrival in Queensland.

Leutele will then join his Storm team-mates, with his experience set to prove invaluable.

With several appearances for Samoa to his name, Leutele’s greatest honour perhaps, is winning the 2016 NRL grand final.

At the Sharks during that time, it was the Storm who they beat, with Leutele a constant figure in a strong Sharks outfit at that time.

Roosters hold on against gutsy Titans

Roosters forward Siosiua Tauekahio

People may have expected a blowout but it was anything but as the Sydney Roosters only narrowly defeated a gutsy Gold Coast Titans side.

The Roosters looked to solidify their top 4 spot for the week while the Titans were trying to keep off the bottom of the ladder.

After Jamal Fogarty was denied a try early due to a pass off the ground, the Roosters opened the scoring.

Kyle Flanagan added a penalty goal after Jai Arrow was offside to make the lead 2-0.

The Titans struck back with the first try of the game after 10 minutes of play.

Dale Copley made a break up the right sideline and kicked infield for Anthony Don to put it down.

Ashley Taylor missed the conversion so the score remained 4-2 to the Titans.

Soon after, the Roosters had a scrum 10 metres out. the Titans were offside and Joey Manu was cost a try so Brian Kelly was sent to the sin bin.

Kyle Flanagan added another penalty goal to make the score 4-all.

The Roosters were quick to take advantage of the extra man.

James Tedesco sent Mitchell Aubusson over on the right sideline and Kyle Flanagan converted to make the score 10-4 to the Chooks.

On the half time buzzer, the Roosters were caught offside.

Titans kicked the penalty goal to make the HT score 10-6 to Sydney.

Not long into the second half, Keegan Hipgrave was sent to the sin bin for escorting Lindsay Collins.

Flanagan missed the penalty goal but he had another attempt 2 minutes later because Jarrod Wallace was offside.

He nailed it and the lead was 12-6.

As the battle waged on, both sides went set-for-set and tit-for-tat.

The Roosters got into good field position with a wonderful defensive set. on the set, Luke Keary put a chip up and Joey Manu took it to score a try.

Flanagan converted to make the lead 18-6.

With 5 minutes left, Phillip Sami found his way over the line.

Taylor converted to lower the lead to 18-12.

However, the Roosters would hold on for the victory.

The Roosters almost guaranteed their spot in the top four while the Titans were very gutsy but could possibly drop to 15th this week.

NRL News Player of the Game

3. Siosiua Taukeiaho

2. Philip Sami

  1. Joey Manu
Gold Coast Titans winger Philip Sami

Eels hang on as the Dogs show some bite

Parramatta Eels captain and fullback Clint Gutherson

A first half double for Clint Gutherson helped the Parramatta Eels hang on for an 18-16 victory over the Canterbury Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs hosted the Eels at ANZ stadium in the round 12 clash.

The sun was shining and the stage was set for some fast paced attacking football.

The Eels, who were without Ryan Matterson, started fast getting the scoring underway through Mitchell Moses in the sixth minute.

Junior Paulo. Source: Parramatta Eels.

The elusive halfback was set up by prop Junior Paulo who took the line on, attracted three defenders and offloaded in the tackle for Moses to cross untouched.

Moses converted his own try for a 6 – 0 lead.

The Bulldogs found themselves to good attacking position after getting a repeat set when Parramatta couldn’t contain a Lachlan Lewis kick.

They looked to have got themselves on the board through Marcelo Montoya but referee Chris Sutton ruled there had been an obstruction in the lead up.

If the Bulldogs had challenged the decision it most likely would have been reversed as it appeared Moses made a defensive decision to come in on Raymond Faitala-Mariner.

The missed opportunity was compounded when moments Dallin Watene-Zelezniak got up facing the wrong way after a heavy tackle. He played the ball in the wrong direction resulting in an Eels penalty.

A slick backline move saw Gutherson score the first of his two tries off a Michael Jennings linebreak.

Moses converted for a 12 – 0 lead.

The Bulldogs continued to give the Eels easy field position from penalties and about 10 minutes before halftime Gutherson got his second try.

Moses kicked in field toward the goalposts and Gutherson split two Bulldogs defenders to collect the  ball and score.

The resulting conversion gave the Eels an 18 point lead.

Eels Captain Clint Gutherson.

It looked like things were going to get ugly for the Dogs. But as they have all season the Dogs refused to go away.

They forced a repeat set when they pushed Blake Ferguson back into the in goal area.

Kieran Foran then showed his experience, going to the line and isolating Moses to put Faitala-Mariner over for the Dogs first try.

Jake Averillo converted to send the Bulldogs into the sheds trailing 18 – 6.

The Bulldogs picked up where they left off after the break. But despite dominating the second half they couldn’t overcome the Eels.

Averillo scored a contender for try of the seasons with a brilliant one handed put down in the corner.

Lewis threw a long ball to Watene-Zelezniak who drew in Maika Sivo and passed to Averillo looping around.

Averillo dove for the corner and managed to put the ball down millimetres from the touch line as Sivo tried to push him out of play.

Averillo missed what would turn out to be a crucial conversion attempt.

The Eels struggled to contain the Bulldogs, particularly down the left edge, and the Dogs were in again minutes later.

Lewis and Foran combined to draw in Moses and Waqa Blake creating an overlap for Montoya to cross over.

Averillo converted to make it a two point game.

The Bulldogs continued to dominate field position and possession but the Eels defence weathered the storm, as it has done most of the season.

There was a crucial moment with about 20 minutes to go when the Eels concerned a penalty for offside.

The Dogs could have taken a kick at goal to level the game but Aidan Tolman took a quick tap and was tackled a metre out from the line.

While it wasn’t a pretty win the Eels will be happy to have come away with the two competition points in a tight grinding match.

Their quest for a premiership continues with the Sharks in Round 13.

The Dogs have every right to be disappointed as it was a game they had their chances to win. But they will take confidence from their performance into their next game against the Storm.

NRL News Player of the Game

3 – Clint Gutherson

2  – Junior Paulo

1 – Kieran Foran

 

 

A late flurry of tries gives Sharks a crucial win over the Broncos

Brisbane Broncos utility back Darius Boyd

It summed up the Brisbane Broncos season. Leading late on, yet still losing, as the Cronulla Sharks scored three late tries to snatch a win.

The three tries in eight minutes gave the Sharks a 36-26 win at Suncorp Stadium.

It was quite a young Sharks side with Jackson Ferris and Braydon Trindall making their debuts.

The likes of Josh Dugan, Chad Townsend, Jesse Ramien and others all missing.

It would be the Sharks to open the scoring as Ronaldo Mulitalo pounced on a loose pass and ran 60 m to score.

Not to be outdone, Tevita Pangai Jnr showed his offloading prowess to put Herbie Farnworth into space.

Before the next play saw Darius Boyd deliver a pinpoint pass for Kotoni Staggs to slice over.

With a chance to go ahead even further, the Broncos failed to make the most of their chances and it cost them.

The Sharks would instead score, this time through a rampaging Siosifa Talakai off the back of Blayke Brailey’s crafty work.

The Broncos refused to give in, however, and eventually scored through Rhys Kennedy who scored a soft try.

Some quick hands on the left edge then saw the Broncos take the deserved lead.

Anthony Milford found Darius Boyd, who passed to Richard Kennar for the Broncos try to put them in front.

It seemed that the Broncos would go into the break ahead but the Sharks had other ideas.

It was debutant Jackson Ferris who would score with some dancing feet to get around defenders and plant the ball down.

The second half saw resolve from the Broncos and a staunch defensive sequence saw them repel numerous Shark attacks.

It paid off, as Milford and Boyd again combined for Kennar to score his second try of the match.

Boyd would then link up on the right edge, finding Staggs who scored a simple try – his seventh in seven games this year.

With the game on the line and needing the win, the Sharks would have to dig deep and find another gear. They did.

Johnson and Will Kennedy combined on the edge to put Sione Katoa into space as he burrowed over from close range.

Play would then shift to the left edge as Wade Graham put Mulitalo into space who kicked back in-field.

Connor Tracey was there to catch the ball on the fly and give the Sharks the lead once again.

The icing on the cake came when Braden Hamlin-Uele was too strong from close range, giving the Sharks their 36-24 win.

With numerous players in the side with less than 20 games to their belt, Sharks coach John Morris praised his side’s courageness.

“It was certainly one of the most courageous wins at our club that I have been a part of,” Morris said.

“At 26-18 [behind] the boys didn’t lose faith, dug in and found a way to come home strong.

“That is a really crucial two points for us and I am really happy for them.”

Although they were more potent in attack, Broncos coach Anthony Seibold saw the same old errors that contributed to their fadeout.

“In some ways, it is the story of our year,” Seibold said.

The frustrating thing is that we are just not good enough at defending our errors at the moment,” he said.

NRL News Player of the Game

3. Darius Boyd

2. Siosifa Talakai

  1. Anthony Milford
Cronulla Sharks utility Siosifa Talakai

Warriors resilience shines through in upset win over Tigers

New Zealand Warriors veteran centre Peta Hiku

A finals appearance may not be on the agenda for 2021 but the New Zealand Warriors managed to pull off an upset win over the Wests Tigers. 

Led by their veterans and on the back of a Peta Hiku double, the Warriors won the game 26-20 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Trailing by six at the half-time break, they dug deep and their perseverance paid off in spades.

It was a case of falling at the hurdle in games they are expected to win if they want to secure a finals berth for the Tigers.

It was a fast start for the Tigers who scored the opening two tries of the game.

The first came off a lovely offload from Luciano Leilua and captain Moses Mbye showed good hands to grab the ball low and score.

David Nofoaluma then continued his try-scoring exploits, tip-toeing down the sideline to score.

Both conversions were missed – one by Mbye and the other by Adam Doueihi – but the Tigers still lead 8-0 at this point.

The Warriors would soon hit back, as Karl Lawton scooted out of dummy half and carried three defenders with him to score.

With the try converted, the Warriors then levelled the score at 8-apiece after receiving a penalty for a strip.

The Warriors had all the momentum but the pendulum swung back in the Tigers favour just before the break.

Benji Marshall would step up to the plate and crack the defensive line to find a charging Sam McIntyre who crossed the line to score.

Down but not out, Hiku would score the first of his two tries soon after the break.

Despite four defenders around him, the veteran centre showed great strength to plant the ball down.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck then came to the fore by forcing repeat sets, eventually leading to Hiku’s second try.

He wrong-footed Nofoaluma with a smart dummy, giving him enough space to stay in the field of play and score his second.

The Warriors were not done there, though, as a Tommy Talau error gifted a simple chance for Tohu Harris.

Adam Pompey was there to collect the scraps from the dropped ball and found Harris who coasted over the line.

Talau redeemed himself when he was the recipient of a gem of a pass from Marshall as the Tigers found themselves with a chance.

Though a grandstand finish was not to eventuate and the Warriors hung on for their gutsiest win of the season.

Not one to hold back, Tigers coach Michael Maguire lambasted his side’s poor attitude.

“Defence is all about attitude,” Maguire said.

“We were rolled set after set through the park and weren’t prepared to put our body in front so paid for it.”

Warriors coach Todd Payten praised captain Tuivasa-Sheck, who he knows is doing it tough away from family.

“I feel for Roger, I think he’s doing a tremendous job. To be fair, he’s doing it tougher than all of us,” Payten said.

“He’s the only Kiwi over here without his family and he’s got two babies under three.

“He’s a personable kid. In Auckland, he doesn’t go out a lot. He lives on the edge of town.

NRL News Player of the Game

3. Peta Hiku

2. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck

  1. Benji Marshall
New Zealand Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck

Johnston hat trick helps Rabbitohs down Dragons in entertaining clash

South Sydney Rabbitohs five-eighth Cody Walker

The Indigenous Round inspired the South Sydney Rabbitohs in an entertaining clash to down the St George Illawarra Dragons 32-24 at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.

The Dragons recent poor record against the Rabbitohs continued, now losing their last five games against the cardinal and myrtle side.

Matt Dufty continued his great run of form by putting the Dragons on the board first at the 7 minute mark.

An Adam Reynolds kick found its way to him after Reynolds lost the ball on impact from Tariq Sims.

From this, Corey Norman in his 200th NRL game, found space to find Dufty in support who then raced 40 m to score untouched.

This was Dufty’s seventh try in 7 games.

Zac Lomax misses the conversion for the Dragons to lead 4-0.

Reynolds left the field not long after from the collision with Sims and did not return to the game.

The Dragons momentum continued 2 minutes later with a Damien Cook knock on.

The Dragons went down the short side and a great cut out ball from Dufty found its mark.

The Dufty ball fooled the Rabbitohs defenders for centre Euan Aitken to score an easy try.

This was Dufty’s ninth try assist for the season.

Lomax converted this try to take the lead out to 10-0 in favour of the Dragons.

Dufty couldn’t keep out of the action and he scored his second try of the match and tenth try of the season soon after.

The try was set up by Dufty himself through a back-line shift to find Aitken.

Aitken was able to break through the defensive line and he drew the fullback Mitchell to find Dufty in support.

His speed was too much for the Dragons defenders and he raced through to score.

After Lomax converted, the Dragons went out to a 16-nil lead.

It would be Cody Walker who led the Rabbitohs comeback with a resurgent individual performance.

He scored a great individual try through courtesy of a great left foot step to fool the Dragons defenders.

Mitchell who took over the kicking duties from the injured Reynolds converted the first Rabbitohs try of the match.

The Dragons lead was reduced to 16-6.

Alex Johnston would then score the first of his 3 tries after he intercepted a Dufty pass.

The try was against the run of play and Johnston’s speed meant he was not going to be run down.

Mitchell missed the conversion to bring the Rabbitohs back to a converted try deficit. 16-10 to the Dragons.

Just before the half-time break, Johnston was at his best again.

The ball was spread wide and off a good ball from Mitchell, he found Johnston on the flank.

He beat his opposite number to find space down the touch line with his blistering speed.

An optimistic kick back in field found no one but grass until the ball bounced nicely into Mitchell’s hands who was running through as a support player.

Mitchell ran 10 m to score adjacent to the goal posts.

He easily converted his own try to tie the game up at 16-all and this was the score at the break.

The Rabbitohs could of taken the lead for the first time in the match only three mins into the second half but they were disallowed a try through an obstruction call.

On the back of a Dragons error, Johnston scored his second try of the match.

Dane Gagai found space from a great ball from Walker.

Gagai then drew defenders in and passed to Johnston to ground the ball in the in-goal.

Mitchell’s conversion gave the Rabbitohs the lead for the first time at 20-16.

The Dragons didn’t give up and from a Ben Hunt grubber kick soon after saw Tyson Frizell ground the ball in the in-goal to score.

The game was again locked up as Lomax missed the conversion.

It was 20-all with 27 minutes remaining.

Walker, who was having his best match of the year, scored his second try of the match.

Gagai again found space and was pulled down just short of the goal-line.

From a quick play the ball to Johnston at dummy half he found Mark Nicholls at first receiver.

He  then threw a great ball to put Walker into a hole to put the Rabbitohs out to a 6 point lead.

Mitchell converted the easy try for the Rabbitohs to be ahead 26-20.

The Rabbitohs final try saw Johnston once again the beneficiary of an intercept pass.

This time it was Tristan Sailor who gifted Johnston possession for the speeder to ran 70 m untouched to score his fourth career hat-trick.

Mitchell failed to convert for the Rabbitohs to lead 30-20 with 7 minutes remaining.

On the back of a penalty, Mitchell extended the Rabbitohs lead to 32-20.

Mikaele Ravalawa scored a scored a late try with only 60 seconds remaining from a nice kick from Sailor into the in-goal.

Lomax missed the conversion from out wide from the game to end with the Rabbitohs winning by 8 points.

The Rabbitohs have now won 9 out of the last 11 matches between the teams.

This was only the second time in the joint venture history that after lead by 16 points they have lost the game.

Walker mentioning, “it was satisfying to win after being down early.

It was good to do a job for the team with Reynolds going off injured from a big lead up in the week due to the Indigenous Round”.

NRL News Player of the Game

3 – Cody Walker

2 – Latrell Mitchell

1 – Matt Dufty

South Sydney Rabbitohs fullback Latrell Mitchell