Category Archives: NRL Club News

Individual NRL Team and Club News

Broncos keep finals hopes alive after demolition of the Knights

Justin Hodges

Every game is now a must win game for the Brisbane Broncos and the side responded, recording a commanding, easy win over the Newcastle Knights.

With solid wins needed to keep their finals hopes alive, the Broncos were led by some key players in Matt Gillett and Ben Barba, as they cruised to victory at Suncorp Stadium.

With the final score reading 46-6, it was not a good day for the Knights, who simply had no answer to the Broncos fluidity in attack and commitment to their play.

Having lost Jarrod Mullen pre-game and forward duo Jeremy Smith and Kade Snowden unable to play due to their involvement with the ASADA case, the Knights task was a tall order even before the game started.

In wet conditions in Brisbane, the Knights could not hold onto the ball and thus failed to produce any quality attack as a result.

Their cause was not helped with the clinical play of the Broncos, though, especially that of Justin Hodges, who moved to fullback and excelled as an additional play-maker for the Broncos.

For Broncos coach Anthony Griffin, although the first half was a bit poor in his eyes, he knows that they made up for it in the end.

“I thought the first half we were a bit scratchy when we needed to be a bit better,” said Griffin.

“At the back end of the game, the weight of possession told on them and we were a bit better with the ball.”

With games often uneven and predictable at times, Griffin knows that the bounce of the ball favoured his side tonight.

“The game went our way tonight,” said Griffin.

“Not withstanding that, he [Hodges] was good there tonight at the back.”

The loss came down to something simple for Knights coach Wayne Bennett. A lack of ball control and the inability to hold the ball.

“It was simply an inability to hold the ball and even when we had 5 to 6 good sets, we just couldn’t capitalise,” said Bennett.

“Our kicking game was poor and you just can’t afford to do that in the NRL.”

A dominant second half sees the Eels upset Manly

Issac De Gois

Manly and Parramatta are traditional rivals since their clashes in the 70′s and 80′s and the grudge match was built up last night, with the rivals pitting their wits against each other.

In front of a passionate home crowd, it was the Eels who came away with the victory, as they continued their terrific home form in 2014.

It was not all smooth sailing, though, as Manly took the ascendancy early to dominate the first half and take a 12-0 lead into the second half.

The Eels had no answers in the first half for Manly’s attack, as the competition heavyweights showed why they are an elite side and a tough team to beat.

Additionally, Manly’s first-half defence kept the Eels at bay, who threw several different types of attack at the Sea Eagles to no avail.

The second half was a different story, as a vocal home crowd, a man-of-the-match performance by Issac De Gois and a monster 40/20 by Chris Sandow, changed the course of the game.

The Eels ran in 22 unanswered points scoring four tries, including one to winger Semi Radradra who now leads the try-scoring list on 19.

Eels co-captain Tim Mannah, a part of the Eels 2009 resurgence to the grand final, says the club now know how to play efficiently and praised his side for their second-half efforts.

“It’s a completely different vibe [to 2009], we’ve got a whole new playing group,” Mannah said.

“I think everyone struggled in ’09 to put their finger on what made us good. I think this year we know what’s made us good. We’ve got a brand of footy we can be proud of for once. It’s more ‘Parra’ kind of footy, we play up-tempo, we play some footy, which is great.

“We’ve got a brand here we can be proud of.”

On the game itself, fellow captain Jarryd Hayne admits that the first-half was a poor one and believes the side were left in awe at Manly’s stern defence.

“I think we got a bit of stage fright in the first half; we put plenty of pressure on them but we just couldn’t execute,” Hayne said.

“You see when we execute we were able to put points on them. I think that was the difference – in the first half we didn’t execute our plays well enough, in the second half we did.”

The turning point was a no-try decision to Chris Sandow – one that had many scratching their heads – although Hayne believes that decision galvanised the team.

“I think we just came out [after the no-try] with a better attitude, with a better mind about executing,” Hayne said.

“That [attitude] was probably the biggest thing we spoke about at half time. There’s that rule about going behind the player but [decoy runner David Gower] didn’t impede anyone – they made the call.”

Eels coach Brad Arthur pinpointed the fluidity of his side’s second-half – confidence.

“If you’re executing OK and get half a break or some sort of reward out of it and grow in confidence and they stick to it, that’s what happened in the first half,” said Arthur.

“We didn’t quite get the reward out of it then that’s what happened in the second half, they grow another leg and find another gear in terms of energy.”

Manly coach Geoff Toovey was left disappointed, labelling his side as complacent.

“Pretty disappointed. I thought the boys were doing it too easy in the first half, it probably could have been 18 or 20 points up,” Toovey said.

“We came out in the second half and played accordingly. Fifty-three per cent completions in the second half – we just thought it was going to happen. A few things went Parramatta’s way and all of a sudden they’re back in the game.”

Knowing that the Eels would come out strong in the second half, Toovey did not expect that his side would be so flat.

“We played pretty well the first half, the scoreline could have been greater than it was but we came out in the second half, the first set where we just got a kick away, that was our attitude the whole second half. A couple of lucky things went their way and all of a sudden they’re back in the match.

“Their confidence rises, their enthusiasm rises and that’s the way it went.”

Tigers finals hopes gone as Dogs cement finals spot

Tim Lafai

A loss to the Canterbury Bulldogs last night effectively rules out any chance the Wests Tigers have of making the finals, with the Tigers outfit going down 30-10 at ANZ Stadium last night.

On a wet night in Sydney, the Dogs raced out to a 24-0 lead and looked to be in cruise control, before they took their foot off the accelerator in the second half.

It was all Canterbury early on as they produced their attacking flair on the left, the right and through the middle, as the Tigers just had no way to respond or to stop it.

Although they did end up fighting back well to reduce the deficit and score some points of their own, it was a spirited yet disappointing performance.

The loss was compounded by two injuries for the Tigers with Keith Galloway injuring his shoulder pre-game and halfback Luke Brooks limping off after scoring a try.

With the loss set to put further pressure on embattled Tigers coach Mick Potter, Brooks refused to go into specifics about the coaching future of Potter.

“I don’t really want to get into coaching talk. I leave that up to the board. Either way, I’m looking forward to next year and finishing off these next two games in this season,” he said.

Despite that, though, Brooks did praise Potter for showing faith in him and his ability this season.

“I think it’s been like that the past couple of years with injuries. I guess that’s up to the board. They’ve just got to decide what they’re doing. I just leave that to the board,” he said.

“He’s been good for me, personally. He gives me confidence to play what I see and that’s what you want as a halfback coming up. Even when you make errors, he says he’s always going to back to me. That’s what you want.”

With the Tigers now having lost their last five games and conceding 198 points in the process, the soul-searching will begin, as the club faces a nervous wait in terms of just who will coach them in 2015.

For the Dogs, their finals momentum continues and although they did fall asleep in the second half, Hasler knows that the key is for his players to remain healthy.

“Yeah, it was probably an opportunity to go on with it in the second half a bit,” Hasler said post-game.

“But in saying that, we executed probably a bit better in the first half. It was just a matter of probably staying healthy towards the end there and we rested a few blokes.”

Dogs skipper Michael Ennis echoed his the sentiments of his coach.

“Sometimes it happens,” he said.

“But one area I was really pleased with was our first half, in terms of the way we stuck to our processes and what we needed to do.

“And on the back of that came points. We didn’t try and force points. We earned them, which was good. But as Des said, in the second half, neither side really played any stable football. It was errors, [and it was] pretty stop-start, to be honest.”

Eels forward re-signs for two more years

David Gower

In his first year with the Parramatta Eels, David Gower has impressed Eels fans and fast turned into a favourite and the club has recognised that, re-signing the utility forward for a further two seasons.

Gower has always prided himself on hark work and commitment, with his efforts not going unnoticed by Eels head coach Brad Arthur.

“David is very hard-working on the field and committed to his training, and sets a great example for the rest of our side, particularly our younger forwards,” Head Coach Brad Arthur said.

“He’s really come into his own as a player this year, and I’m looking forward to seeing him continue to develop over the next two seasons.”

Since making his club debut in Rd 3, Gower has since played in every game for the Eels.

“I always felt I had the ability to play NRL week to week and I’m very grateful that Brad’s showed the faith in me not just to play me week to week but to reward me with another two years.” Gower said.

“We’ve got a great group of young kids coming through and there’s a little bit of experience littered in as well, and I just think it’s a club going forward for at least the next two years while I’ll be here.”

“For me personally, this year’s not over for us yet, we’ve got a big game on Friday night and then two more after that and hopefully into September.”

Eels CEO Scott Seward also weighed in on the debate, praising Gower for his work both on and off the field.

“David is a positive influence on our team both on and off the field, and he’s been nothing but outstanding for the club since joining us this year,” Seward said.

“He has exactly the attitude we want Parramatta players to have, and I’m excited to see what he will bring over the next two years.”

NZ prop extends Penrith stay

Sam McKendry

Shoring up their line-up for the future is a key for the Penrith Panthers and on the back of a solid 2014 so far, prop Sam McKendry has opted to re-sign until the end of 2019.

McKendry, who has received an extension to his current deal, will remain at the foot of the mountains for five more years.

Having played at Penrith for some time, the Kiwi prop could not be more excited.

“I couldn’t be happier to be staying on with Penrith and to be playing out the next 5 years with the club,” said McKendry.

“We have a really solid team at the moment and Ivan Cleary is an incredible leader, and I see a really bright future here with plenty more to come”

The club are just as pleased and know how important McKendry is to their line-up in the future.

“We couldn’t be happier to have Sam staying with the club,” said Panthers General Manager of Rugby League, Phil Moss.

“He has always been one of our most consistent players and we are confident he still has a lot of good football to play. His commitment to the Panthers club is second to none, and we’re looking forward to sharing his career with him”

Tigers re-sign talented young duo

Asipeli Fine

Despite some turbulent times both on and off the field for the Wests Tigers, re-signing talented youngsters is still something they focus on, as two more are locked up and retained within the club.

This time, it was Asipeli Fine and Dallas Graham who re-signed, both for a further two seasons.

With both players set to join the Tigers full-time squad for 2015, the club has the option of retaining the duo for the 2017 season also.

Fine, who has enjoyed a successful stint with the Tigers NSW Cup side, has played alongside some current first-graders in both the U20′s and the NSW Cup, and he was pleased to be able to re-sign.

“I’m really happy with the new deal,” Fine said.

“It’s really exciting to be part of the top squad next year and be able to train full-time.”

“I’m really enjoying my time at the Club and I was stoked when they told me I had been offered another two years.”

For the Mascot junior, knowing that some of his mates are still at the club, it made the decision even easier.

“A lot of the guys from the 2012 NYC squad are still at the Club which makes re-signing even more special,” said Fine.

“I’m looking forward to taking this opportunity with both hands.”

As for Graham, who is primarily a front-rower, the Kapiti Bears junior is also pleased to be able to stay with the club.

“It’s a really proud moment for me to re-sign with the Club,” Graham said. “I’m really excited for the future.”

“I came from a Rugby Union background and since joining the Club I have learnt a lot about the structure of the game.”

“I have made some really good friends at the Wests Tigers and the Club has been great to me.”

Having seen them in action, Tigers coach Mick Potter believes the duo have bright futures.

“Both players are really good prospects,” Potter said.

“Dallas is one of the best front rowers in the Under 20s competition and Asipeli has shown how valuable his versatility is this season.”

“I have been really encouraged by some of the young prospects that are coming through the grades at the Club.”

Dallas Graham

NRL Teams Rd 24

Another week and another week of NRL Teams. Some big players out and some likely returns – can your side win the game to retain their spot and push for the finals?

Without further adieu, here’s the teams for this week:

Canterbury Bulldogs v Wests Tigers (#NRLcbywst); ANZ Stadium; Thursday August 21. Kick-off: 7:45pm.

Bulldogs: 1. Sam Perrett 2. Corey Thompson 3. Josh Morris 4. Tim Lafai 5. Mitch Brown 6. Moses Mbye 7. Trent Hodkinson 8. Aiden Tolman 9. Michael Ennis (C) 10. James Graham 11. Josh Jackson 12. Tony Williams 13. Greg Eastwood.

Interchange: 14. Reni Maitua 15. Dale Finucane 16. Reni Maitua 17. Pat O’Hanlon 20. Harlan Alaalatoa (One to be omitted).

Coach: Des Hasler.

Tigers: 1. Kurtis Rowe 2. Jy Hitchcox 3. Blake Austin 4. Chris Lawrence 5. Cory Paterson 6. Mitch Moses 7. Luke Brooks 8. Aaron Woods 9. Robbie Farah 10. Keith Galloway 11. Curtis Sironen 12. Bodene Thompson 13. Adam Blair.

Interchange: 14. Ava Seumanafagai 15. Martin Taupau 16. Sauaso Sue 17. Jack Buchanan.

Coach: Mick Potter.

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Parramatta Eels v Manly Sea Eagles (#NRLparman); Pirtek Stadium; Friday August 22. Kick-off: 7:45pm.

Eels: 1. Jarryd Hayne (C) 2. Semi Radradra 3. Will Hopoate 4. Ryan Morgan 5. Vai Toutai 6. Corey Norman 7. Chris Sandow 8. Tim Mannah (C) 9. Issac De Gois 10. Junior Paulo 11. Kenny Edwards 12. Tepai Moeroa 13. Joseph Paulo.

Interchange: 14. Peni Terepo 15. David Gower 16. Darcy Lussick 17. Ben Smith.

Coach: Brad Arthur.

Manly: 1. Brett Stewart 2. Jorge Taufua 3. Jamie Lyon (C) 4. Steve Matai 5. Peta Hiku 6. Kieran Foran 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Josh Starling 9. Matt Ballin 10. Brenton Lawrence 11. Anthony Watmough 12. Jamie Buhrer 13. Tom Symonds.

Interchange: 14. Jesse Sene-Lefao 15. Justin Horo 16. James Hasson 17. Jason King.

Coach: Geoff Toovey.

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Brisbane Broncos v Newcastle Knights (#NRLbrinew); Suncorp Stadium. Saturday August 23. Kick-off: 5:30pm.

Broncos: 1. Lachlan Maranta 2. Daniel Vidot 3. Jack Reed 4. Justin Hodges (C) 5. Dale Copley 6. Ben Barba 7. Ben Hunt 8. Josh McGuire 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Corey Parker (C) 11. Alex Glenn 12. Matt Gillett 13. Sam Thaiday.

Interchange: 14. Jarrod Wallace 15. Martin Kennedy 16. Ben Hannant 17. Corey Oates.

Coach: Anthony Griffin.

Knights: 1. Kurt Gidley (C) 2. Chanel Mata’utia 3. Dane Gagai 4. Joey Leilua 5. Sione Mata’utia 6. Jarrod Mullen 7. Tyrone Roberts 8. Kade Snowden 9. Adam Clydsdale 10. Willie Mason 11. Beau Scott 12. Robbie Rochow 13. Jeremy Smith.

Interchange: 14. Travis Waddell 15. Korbin Sims 16. Adam Cuthbertson 18. David Fa’alogo 19. Chris Houston (One to be omitted).

Coach: Wayne Bennett.

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South Sydney Rabbitohs v North Queensland Cowboys (#NRLsounql); ANZ Stadium; Saturday August 23. Kick-off: 7:30pm.

Bunnies: 1. Greg Inglis 2. Alex Johnston 3. Dylan Wakker 4. Kirisome Auva’a 5. Lote Tuqiri 6. Luke Leary 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Luke Burgess 9. Issac Luke 10. David Tyrrell 11. Chris McQueen 12. Kyle Turner 13. Sam Burgess.

Interchange: 14. Jason Clark 15. Ben Lowe 16. Joe Picker 17. Thomas Burgess 18. Bryson Goodwin 19. Chris Grevsmuhl.

Coach: Michael Maguire.

Cowboys: 1. Michael Morgan 2. Tautau Moga 3. Kane Linnett 4. Matt Wright 5. Antonio Winterstein 6. Robert Lui 7. Johnathan Thurston (C) 8. Matt Scott (C) 9. Rory Kostjaysn 10. Ashton Sims 11. Tariq Sims 12. Jason Taumalolo 13. Glenn Hall.

Interchange: 14. Ray Thompson 15. Scott Bolton 16. Gavin Cooper 17. Sam Hoare.

Coach: Paul Green.

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New Zealand Warriors v Sydney Roosters (#NRLwarsyd); Mt Smart Stadium; Sunday August 24. Kick-off: 2pm (local time) & 12pm (AEST).

Warriors: 1. Sam Tomkins 2. David Fusitua 3. Konrad Hurrell 4. Ngani Laumape 5. Manu Vatuvei 6. Chad Townsend 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Jacob Lillyman 9. Thomas Leuluai 10. Ben Matulino 11. Ben Henry 12. Simon Mannering (C) 13. Sebastine Ikahihifo

Interchange: 14. Feleti Mateo 15. Suaia Matagi 16. Sione Lousi 17. Nathan Friend 18. Jayson Bukuya 20. Sam Rapira 21. Dominique Peyroux (Three to be omitted).

Coach: Andrew McFadden.

Roosters: 1. Anthony Minichiello (C) 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Michael Jennings 4. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 5. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 6. James Maloney 7. Mitch Pearce 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Mitch Aubusson 10. Sam Moa 11. Boyd Cordner 12. Aiden Guerra 13. Frank-Paul Nuuausala.

Interchange: 14. Remi Casty 15. Issac Liu 16. Dylan Napa 17. Kane Evans 18. Jackson Hastings (One to be omitted).

Coach: Trent Robinson.

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Cronulla Sharks v Canberra Raiders (#NRLcrocan); Remondis Stadium; Sunday August 24. Kick-off: 2pm.

Sharks: 1. Michael Gordon 2. Sosaia Feki 3. Jonathan Wright 4. Ricky Leutele 5. Valentine Holmes 6. Fa’amanu Brown 7. Jeff Robson 8. Tim Robinson 9. Michael Lichaa 10. Matt Prior 11. Chris Heighington 12. Anthony Tupou 13. Paul Gallen (C).

Interchange: 14. Pat Politoni 15. Junior Roqica 16. Tupou Sopoaga 17. Blake Ayshford 18. Sione Masima (One to be omitted).

Coach: James Shepherd.

Raiders: 1. Jack Wighton 2. Bill Tupou 3. Jarrod Croker (C) 4. Jeremy Hawkins 5. Edrick Lee 6. Anthony Milford 7. Josh McCrone (C) 8. Shannon Boyd 9. Glen Buttriss 10. Dane Tilse 11. Jarrad Kennedy 12. Josh Papalii 13. Joel Edwards.

Interchange: 14. Mitch Cornish 15. Matt McIlwrick. 16. Kyle O’Donnell 17. Paul Vaughan.

Coach: Ricky Stuart.

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St George Illawarra Dragons v Gold Coast Titans (#NRLsgigld); WIN Jubilee Stadium; Sunday August 24. Kick-off: 3pm.

Dragons: 1. Gerard Beale 2. Brett Morris 3. Josh Dugan 4. Peter Mata’utia 5. Jason Nightingale 6. Gareth Widdop 7. Benji Marshall 8. Mike Cooper 9. Mitch Rein 10. Jack De Belin 11. Leeson Ah Mau 12. Joel Thompson 13. Trent Merrin.

Interchange: 14. Tyson Frizell 15. Will Matthews 16. Jack Stockwell 17. Kyle Stanley 18. Bronson Harrison (One to be omitted).

Coach: Paul McGregor.

Titans: 1. Will Zillman 2. Kalifa Faifai Loa 3. James Roberts 4. Brad Takairangi 5. Kevin Gordon 6. Aiden Sezer 7. Daniel Mortimer 8. Luke Bailey 9. Beau Falloon 10. Luke Douglas 11. Mark Minichiello 12. Nate Myles (C) 13. Greg Bird (C).

Interchange: 14. Matt White 15. Mark Ioane 16. Cody Nelson 17. Paul Carter 18. Tom Kingston (One to be omitted).

Coach: Neil Henry.

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Penrith Panthers v Melbourne Storm (#NRLpenmel); Sportingbet Stadium; Monday August 25. Kick-off: 7pm.

Panthers: 1. Matt Moylan 2. Josh Mansour 3. Dean Whare 4. Jamal Idris 5. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 6. Will Smith 7. Jamie Soward 8. Nigel Plum 9. James Segeyaro 10. Sam McKendry 11. Sika Manu 12. Matt Robinson 13. Adam Docker.

Interchange: 14. Lewis Brown 15. Ben Murdoch-Masila 16. Jeremy Latimore 17. Tim Grant.

Coach: Ivan Cleary.

Storm: 1. Billy Slater 2. Sisa Waqa 3. Will Chambers 4. Mahe Fonua 5. Marika Koroibete 6. Ben Roberts 7. Cooper Cronk 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Cam Smith (C) 10. Bryan Norrie 11. Kevin Proctor 12. Ryan Hoffman 13. Ryan Hinchcliffe.

Interchange: 14. Tim Glasby 15. Tohu Harris 16. Junior Moors 17. Jordan McLean.

Coach: Craig Bellamy.

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Daley extends NSW contract

Laurie Daley

On the back of a successful Origin series win, the New South Wales Rugby League and Laurie Daley have opted to continue their tenure together, with Daley re-signing as coach until 2017.

The new deal is a 2-year extension on his current deal, with the NSW Origin winning coach still having a year left to run on his previous deal.

Introducing new plans, methods and ideas into NSW Origin camp over the last few years, Daley is committed to continuing his role and maintaining the current success of the group.

“This process has just started,” Daley said.

“It was an amazing year for everyone in NSW, and we look forward to building on what we achieved in this year’s series.

“It’s a special job and I am one of the lucky ones to be given the opportunity by the board of the NSWRL, and I’d like to thank Dr George Peponis, the other directors and chief executive David Trodden for the faith they have shown in me. Their support has been phenomenal.

“As an organisation and a team, we have strived for professionalism and that process has been made much easier by that support, as well as the work being done by everyone in the NSWRL.”

Daley, who enjoyed a successful Origin career as a player, knows how much of a role the fans play in winning and he was grateful for their support in helping them get over the line.

“I feel this is one of the best jobs in Australian sport. I really enjoyed working with the players this year and am looking forward to our squad evolving over the next few years,” said Daley.

“I’d also like to thank the supporters, who played a massive role in our success this year. I know that the players really fed off their energy, and the support that the VB Blues have received is one of the reasons I wanted to continue in the role.”

The board themselves are thrilled to retain Daley as coach, with NSWRL Chairman George Peponis praising Daley for his efforts.

“The board is absolutely thrilled with the job that Laurie has done since he took on the role and we are certainly excited about the future knowing that he will be coaching the squad until at least the 2017 series,” Dr Peponis said.

“He deserves to continue what he has started. The job isn’t finished for us as an organisation by any stretch of the imagination. We obviously want to be as successful as possible and we believe Laurie is the right man to continue to take us in that direction.”

NSWRL Chief Executive Dave Trodden also weighed in on the debate, as he too is pleased to retain Daley.

“This year Laurie proved himself to be the outstanding coach and the great leader that everyone knew he was, and to secure his services until the end of 2017 is a significant coup for our organisation,” said Trodden.

Inglis on fire as Souths steamroll the Broncos

Greg Inglis

Many fans were waiting for Inglis to make a mark once more and they were not disappointed last night, with the elite fullback putting on a show and guiding the South Sydney Rabbitohs to a comfortable win over the Brisbane Broncos.

Scoring three tries in a man-of-the-match performance and showing off an array of skills from speed, strength and teamwork, the Broncos simply had no answer when it came to Inglis.

The game was tit-for-tat to begin with and it looked like it was going to be a close affair but that was not to last for long, as the Bunnies ran away with the game on the back of crucial performances from their big stars.

The likes of Sam Burgess and Adam Reynolds also made their marks on the game but the focus post-game was all on Inglis, who received plaudits galore from his team-mates.

With Greg recently appointed captain of the Souths side in the absence of John Sutton, team-mate Lote Tuqiri believes that that is a key reason as to his newfound form.

“You never know with Greg, he sort of cruises around but I think what has been good with him is having the responsibility of the captaincy,” Tuqiri said.

“That is not to say he hasn’t turned up before but mentally he has to be switched on and I think that has really helped his game and I guess moved his game to another level. He has done that tonight and he has been doing that for the last couple of weeks. We’re just getting the fruits of it.”

Although Bunnies coach Michael Maguire did not label Inglis’ performance as a break-out game, he did point out that the efforts of the fullback from training are now evident in games.

“I think particularly in the last month he’s been pretty thorough for us and if you keep putting yourself in those situations and keep working hard like he is then the opportunities come,” Maguire said.

“He scored a pretty good one when we were up in Brisbane and he ran the length [of the field] so he keeps putting himself in the picture and one thing Greg has really tried to do is just to give himself an opportunity to be in the right place at the right time.

“That is how hard he is working and it is a big reflection on how he trains and where he is at the moment. Just with life and family and all of those sorts of things, he is very happy and that reflects on the team because he is a very big leader in what we have.”

To further complicate matters for the Broncos on top of their huge loss, fullback Josh Hoffman is out for the season after damaging his lower right leg.

“It’s not good,” said Broncos coach, Anthony Griffin.

“He’s done it before… he’ll have to get scans but he and the doctor are pretty sure it’s the same thing.”

“If that’s the injury it will be [the end of his season].”

Griffin made no excuses for the loss and knows that the impact of Inglis and his side’s inability to hold the ball, led to their loss .

“As we saw tonight [Inglis], can just do things that no one else can do if he gets himself in the right place at the right time,” Griffin said.

“He’s one of the greatest players in the game when he decides to do something. Sometimes you are sitting there and you can’t do anything about it.

“But the frustrating thing is we contributed to a lot of the field position and a lot of the points that came their way. The two balls Daniel Vidot dropped in defence and attack; that’s 12 points. If you leave them in range, you’re always at the mercy of someone like Inglis if he’s in that type of mood tonight.”

NRL veteran forced to retire due to injury

John Morris

Retiring due to injury is not something any player wants to do but it does unfortunately happen, with John Morris becoming the latest player forced to retire from the game.

The 300-game veteran last played for the Cronulla Sharks, succumbing to a neck injury – one that doctors advised him was serious enough to consider retirement.

Last playing in Rd 11, Morris hoped to return but knows that when it comes to injuries of this ilk, risking it is not worth it and so he decided to make a decision that was best for both his health and for his family.

“You can’t take any risks with an injury like this to your neck and with a young family with two young boys in Cruz and Taj and wife Michelle to consider, I had to think about the future,” Morris said.

The injury Morris sustained is described as a bulging disc in its most basic form and after a 15-year career, Morris was left to reminisce on a whole range of wonderful memories.

“It has been a privilege and an honour to be able to play 15 years and 300 games in the NRL, in particular the last five years here at the Sharks,” Morris said. “I’ve made numerous life-long friendships along the way and I’ve been fortunate to play with some of the world’s best players. I’ll be retiring with some great memories.

“I’d certainly like to thank my wife Michelle and my family, all those I’ve played with, as well as all the coaches, staff and fans for their support.”

As a result of his injury, Morris has recently been filing in as the assistant coach of the Cronulla Sharks, a role he enjoys. As a result, he is actively seeking to pursue some other sort of off-field role at the club.

“I’ve really enjoyed the last eight weeks as an assistant to James Shepherd. Gaining this sort of coaching experience at an NRL level has been invaluable. I’m hoping to discuss the prospect of continuing in some capacity in an off-field role here at the Sharks next season,” Morris said.

With many at the club appreciative of what Morris has done for the NRL and the club, CEO Steve Noyce praised Morris’s professionalism and career.

“In my experience I have always found John to be the consummate professional. Very committed, very dedicated,” Noyce said. “He has been a great ambassador for rugby league and for the NRL both on and off the field.

“While it’s disappointing his playing career has been cut short we’d like to think he has a future here in another capacity and once this season is over we’ll talk about an off-field role for John next year,” Noyce added.

It was back in 2001 when Morris made his debut for the Newcastle Knights, before enjoying stints with the Parramatta Eels and the Wests Tigers.