Category Archives: NRL Club News

Individual NRL Team and Club News

Storm demolish Warriors in first half romp

Melbourne Storm winger Josh Addo-Carr

Their point-scoring prowess has returned as the Melbourne Storm easily accounted for the New Zealand Warriors on ANZAC Day.

Although they won convincingly, the loss was dampened by an injury to Curtis Scott who limped off.

Tim Glasby also suffered a thumb injury, as both face lengthy injury layoffs.

Prior to the game, the hype and excitement was high for this game.

The Warriors had no Shaun Johnson or Tohu Harris but many expected a close, tense affair.

It was anything but as the Storm proved that they are the real deal yet again, making it look easy.

The first try came after some adlib play, the ball going left and right before Ryley Jacks scored.

Ryan Hoffman then extended the Storm lead, reacting quickest to a kick from Cam Munster.

Three further tries in quick succession to Christian Welch, Billy Slater and Felise Kaufusi put the game to bed in the first half.

It was rounded off by a length of the field try to Addo-Carr, who many regard as the fastest player in the game.

Trailing 38-0 at half-time, the Warriors needed something.  It came through David Fusitu’a.

Scoring his ninth of the year, the half-time talk by coach Stephen Kearney worked somewhat.

The try-scoring exploits of the first half were not repeated as the game drifted in and out, both teams fatiguing.

The Storm got the last laugh as Jacks scored a second off a Munster break.

After his side’s romp, Storm coach Craig Bellamy described it as their best win of the year.

“We probably had a bit of luck with a couple of bounces, but I was really happy with the intent we started with,” Bellamy said.

“It was a bit of a whirlwind the first half. I think we shocked them there – maybe they were a little bit tired – they came off a five-day turnaround and had to travel.

“It’s a bit hard to be critical about our first half – it was outstanding.”

Warriors coach Kearney lamented his side’s poor start and lack of defensive prowess.

“It was one of those nights,” he said.

“They jumped out of the blocks early and executed some tries on the back of kicks early. We just couldn’t find our way back into the contest.

“I don’t think our defence was up to the standard [that] we set ourselves over the last six or seven weeks, and we paid the price for it in the first half.”

Player of the Game:

3. Josh Addo-Carr

2. Curtis Scott

  1. Cameron Munster

Dragons defence overwhelms poor Roosters side on ANZAC Day

St George Illawarra Dragons halfback Ben Hunt

Rugby league is never short on controversy and it reared its ugly head in the St George Illawarra Dragons win over the Sydney Roosters. 

On a day that means so much to so many, ANZAC Day, the two rivals did battle in the first of two games.

With the Dragons emerging 24-8 winners, it was a decision to award Nene Macdonald a try that had everyone up in arms.

In what seemed to be a great try-saver by Roosters half Cooper Cronk, it was instead given a try.

Appearing to lose control of the ball, the bunker gave the all-clear and thus awarded the try.

When asked about the decision, NRL referees boss Bernie Sutton said:

“Having reviewed the decision it can be seen that the ball rotates, which indicates possession has been lost,” Sutton said.

In the end, it was the Gareth Widdop and the Ben Hunt show as the latter scored a great individual try.

Try as they might, the Roosters were unable to effectively breakdown a resolute Dragons defence.

It was ominous early as the Dragons went 100m in their first set to score through Macdonald.

Despite penalties, knock downs and so much more, the Roosters instead opted for two points.

Then, with just mere seconds left in the half, Hunt’s magic feet saw him scoot over for the Dragons to lead 12-2.

The Dragons went further ahead when Tariq Sims barged over.

Though the Roosters would hit back as James Tedesco and Luke Keary combined for Latrell Mitchell to score.

It was in vain, however, as Macdonald scored his second try, the controversial one.

The win cements the Dragons spot in the top two for another week.

Despite the controversy surrounding the Dragons try, Roosters coach Trent Robinson says he does not care.

“To be honest, I don’t care,” Robinson said.

“I don’t think it was a try, simply, but we have got to get some stuff right for ourselves.”

Although the application is there in Robinson’s eyes, the execution is lacking for his side.

“That’s us pushing them to where we want them to get to but then the subtleties need to come off the back of that,” he said.

“These boys are working hard in that area and it is putting a lot of pressure on our game at the moment.

We are just not applying enough pressure in that area on opposition teams.”

With Hunt the difference between the two sides, he drew praise from Dragons coach Paul McGregor.

“To start the game you’d be looking for field position but if they see anything they’re allowed to go out there and execute it,” McGregor said.

“Benny did that. He was looking to put the ball deep in the corner or high in the air, it opened up for him, he created something, we reacted and got a try.

Player of the Game:

3. Ben Hunt

2. Tariq Sims

  1. Luke Keary

NRL Teams Rd 8

A duck was broken, the top eight change and plenty more as we look ahead to NRL Teams for round 8.

With teams wanting to continue momentum or get back in the winners’ circle, no game is an easy game in 2018.

So sit back, as we take you for a ride for the ups and downs of teamlist Tuesday.

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

St George Illawarra Dragons v Sydney Roosters (#NRLsgisyd); Allianz Stadium, Moore Park; Wednesday, April 25. Kick-off: 4:10 pm. 

Dragons: 1. Matt Dufty 2. Nene Macdonald 3. Euan Aitken 4. Tim Lafai 5. Jason Nightingale 6. Gareth Widdop (C) 7. Ben Hunt 8. James Graham 9. Cameron McInnes 10. James Graham 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Tariq Sims 13. Jack de Belin.

Interchange: 14. Jeremy Latimore 15. Kurt Mann 16. Leeson Ah Mau 17. Jacob Host.

Reserves: 18. Hame Sele 19. Zac Loma 20. Mitch Allgood 21. Reece Robson.

Coach: Paul McGregor

Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Joseph Manu 3. Latrell Mitchell 4. Mitchell Aubusson 5. Blake Ferguson 6. Luke Keary 7. Cooper Cronk 8. Zane Tetevano 9. Jake Friend (C) 10. Dylan Napa 11. Boyd Cordner 12. Ryan Matterson 13. Isaac Liu.

Interchange: 14. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 15. Sio Siua Taukeiaho 16. Nat Butcher 17. Victor Radley.

Reserves: 18. Frank-Paul Nuuausala 20. Kurt Baptiste 21. Sitili Tupouniua 22. Reece Robinson.

Coach: Trent Robinson.

Ricky’s View: It was bound to happen eventually and the Dragons lost their first game at the hands of the Warriors. No Shaun Johnson, yet they still stood up. For the Dragons, perhaps it was a reality check. Although they were not poor, it sends alarm bells that no game or team is a cakewalk.
As the Roosters build some momentum, it makes tipping this one tough. The clash means so much to so many players, fans, coaches and staff and there is always added meaning.
Dragons by 2

Melbourne Storm v New Zealand Warriors (#NRLmelwar); AAMI Park, Melbourne; Wednesday, April 25. Kick-off: 7 pm.

Storm: 1. Billy Slater 2. Suliasi Vunivalu 3. Will Chambers 4. Curtis Scott 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Cameron Munster 7. Ryley Jacks 8. Tim Glasby 9. Cameron Smith (C) 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Ryan Hoffman 13. Kenny Bromwich.

Interchange: 14. Brandon Smith 15. Christian Welch 16. Sam Kasiano 17. Joe Stimson.

Reserves: 18. Patrick Kaufusi 19. Tui Kamikamica 20. Brodie Croft 21. Young Tonumaipea.

Coach: Craig Bellamy.

Warriors: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (C) 2. David Fusitu’a 3. Peta Hiku 4. Anthony Gelling 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Blake Green 7. Mason Lino 8. Bunty Afoa 9. Issac Luke 10. Agnatius Paasi 11. Simon Mannering 12. Isaiah Papali’i 13. Adam Blair.

Interchange: 14. Jazz Tevaga 15. Sam Lisone 16. Albert Vete 17. Charnze Nicholl-Klokstad.

Reserves: 18. Ligi Sao 19. Joseph Vuna 20. Tevita Satae 21. Sam Cook.

Coach: Stephen Kearney.

Ricky’s View: Another traditional ANZAC Day clash, and one that the Storm enjoy immensely with the rub of the green. The Johnson-less Warriors proved they can still beat top sides. With depth in Lino and others, is this the year the Warriors put away late season flops for good?
The Storm are also building momentum on the back of the return of Ryley Jacks. The steady, no-nonsense half gives Munster a chance to play his natural running style.
The Warriors have been good but the Storm just look like they are yet to reach peak form.
Storm by 6.

South Sydney Rabbitohs v Brisbane Broncos (#NRLsoubri); ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park; Thursday, April 26. Kick-off: 7:50 pm. 

Rabbitohs: 1. Alex Johnston 2. Richie Kennar 3. Greg Inglis (C) 4. Dane Gagai 5. Robert Jennings 6. Cody Walker 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Thomas Burgess 9. Damien Cook 10. George Burgess 11. John Sutton 12. Angus Crichton 13. Cameron Murray.

Interchange: 14. Adam Doueihi 15. Mark Nicholls 16. Jason Clark 17. Tevita Tatola.

Reserves: 18. Robbie Farah 19. Hymel Hunt 20. Campbell Graham 21. Kyle Turner.

Coach: Anthony Seibold.

Broncos: 1. Darius Boyd (C) 2. Corey Oates 3. James Roberts 18. Tom Opacic 5. Jamayne Isaako 6. Anthony Milford 7. Jack Bird 8. Matthew Lodge 9. Josh McGuire 10. Sam Thaiday 11. Alex Glenn 12. Jaydn Su’A 13. Tevita Pangai Jr.

Interchange: 14. Sam Tagataese 15. Joe Ofahengaue 16. Kodi Nikorima 17. Korbin Sims.

Reserves: 18. Jonus Pearson 19. Todd Murphy 20. Patrick Mago 21. Payne Haas.

Coach: Wayne Bennett.

Ricky’s View: Another interesting contest at ANZ on Thursday. The loss of Sam Burgess will impact the Bunnies go forward. Although, the Broncos forced changes of their own may derail their recent momentum.
The halves battle looms as the key as the revamped Milford/Bird combo seek to gain rhythm. Up against Walker/Reynolds, the key battle is there as well as the forwards.
Both sides have been good and bad but where it matters, the Broncos might just have too much firepower. Broncos by 4. 

Manly Sea Eagles v Newcastle Knights (#NRLmannew); Lottoland, Brookvale; Friday, April 27. Kick-off: 6 pm. 

Manly: 1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Matt Wright 3. Dylan Walker 4. Brian Kelly 5. Akuila Uate 6. Lachlan Croker 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. Marty Taupau 11. Jack Gosiewski 12. Joel Thompson 13. Jake Trbojevic.

Interchange: 14. Lewis Brown 15. Shaun Lane 16. Lloyd Perrett 17. Taniela Paseka.

Reserves: 18. Frank Winterstein 19. Jonathan Wright 20. Thomas Wright 21. Toafofoa Sipley.

Coach: Trent Barrett.

Knights: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Ken Sio 3. Sione Mata’utia 4. Nathan Ross 5. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 6. Connor Watson 7. Jack Cogger 8. Herman Ese’ese 9. Slade Griffin 10. Daniel Saifiti 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 12. Aidan Guerra (C) 13. Mitchell Barnett.

Interchange: 14. Jamie Buhrer (C) 15. Chris Heighington 16. Luke Yates 17. Jacob Saifiti.

Reserves: 18. Cory Denniss 19. Josh King 20. Brock Lamb 21. Jacob Lillyman.

Coach: Nathan Brown.

Ricky’s View: After some heavy recent defeats, it is do-or-die for Manly. Buck the trend and your losing streak or continue to lose momentum and confidence. The firepower is there, it just, quite simply, needs to fire.
Pearce is a huge loss for the Knights with the structure and guidance he provided. Though Watson’s return is timely and a boost for the club. Given their relative consistency and strong attack, it’s hard not to pick the Knights in this one. Knights by 10. 

Penrith Panthers v Canterbury Bulldogs (#NRLpencby); Penrith Stadium; Friday, April 27. Kick-off: 7:55 pm. 

Penrith: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Christian Crichton 3. Corey Harawira-Naera 4. Dean Whare 5. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 6. Tyrone Peachey 7. James Maloney 8. Trent Merrin 9. Peter Wallace (C) 10. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 11. Isaah Yeo 12. Viliame Kikau 13. James Fisher-Harris.

Interchange: 14. Sione Katoa 15. Jack Hetherington 16. Moses Leota 17. James Tamou.

Reserves: 18. Wayde Egan 19. Nick Lui-Toso 20. Thomas Eisenhuth 21. Kaide Ellis.

Coach: Anthony Griffin.

Canterbury: 1. Moses Mbye 2. Brett Morris 3. Josh Morris 4. Will Hopoate 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Jeremy Marshall-King 7. Kieran Foran 8. Aaron Woods 9. Michael Lichaa 10. David Klemmer 11. Josh Jackson (C) 12. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 13. Adam Elliott.

Interchange: 14. Asipeli Fine 15. Danny Fualalo 16. Greg Eastwood 17. Kerrod Holland.

Reserves: 18. John Olive 19. Rhyse Martin 20. Renouf Toomaga 21. Matthew Frawley.

Coach: Dean Pay.

Ricky’s View: Although there was a mild improvement in the Dogs attack, in recent weeks, it seems to have disappeared. Struggling for points and cohesion, they need a change and fast. Although, they come up against a Penrith side with their own issues.
Inconsistency for one is a major issue, as well as giving up leads.
Rarely do Penrith set the tone, forcing themselves into a corner with nowhere to go. That said, their attack is more fluid.
Penrith by 6.

Gold Coast Titans v Cronulla Sharks (#NRLgldcro); Cbus Super Stadium, Robina; Saturday, April 28. Kick-off: 5:30 pm. 

Titans: 1. Michael Gordon 2. Anthony Don 3. Brendan Elliott 4. Konrad Hurrell 5. Philip Sami 6. Bryce Cartwright 7. Ashley Taylor 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Mitch Rein 10. Ryan James (C) 11. Kevin Proctor 12. Will Matthews 13. Jai Arrow.

Interchange: 14. Max King 15. Jack Stockwell 16. Keegan Hipgrave 17. Morgan Boyle.

Reserves: 18. Brenko Lee 19. Ryan Simpkins 20. AJ Brimson 21. Kane Elgey.

Coach: Garth Brennan.

Sharks: 1. Josh Dugan 2. Edrick Lee 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Ricky Leutele 5. Valentine Holmes 6. Matt Moylan 7. Chad Townsend 8. Andrew Fifita 9. Jayden Brailey 10. Matt Prior 11. Scott Sorenson 12. Wade Graham (C) 13. Joseph Paulo.

Interchange: 14. Jayson Bukuya 15. James Segeyaro 16. Ava Seumanufagai 17. Kurt Dillon.

Reserves: 18. Kurt Capewell 19. Jack Williams 20. Braden Uele 21. Trent Hodkinson.

Coach: Shane Flanagan.

Ricky’s View: The Sharks enjoyed a good win, the Titans, not so much. The axe has been thrown by Brennan, wielding it mightily to reverse their fortunes. With Cartwright to start at 5/8, is that the x-factor the Titans need?
The Sharks have craved consistency all season but injuries have stifled their progress. The return of Wade Graham is a boost and the energy of Scott Sorenson is promising.
Compared to the last couple of weeks of play, it has to be the Sharks. Sharks by 8.

North Queensland Cowboys v Canberra Raiders (#NRLnqlcan); 1300 Smiles Stadium, Townsville; Saturday, April 28. Kick-off: 7:30 pm. 

Cowboys: 1. Lachlan Coote 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Justin O’Neill 4. Ben Hampton 5. Antonio Winterstein 6. Michael Morgan 7. Johnathan Thurston (C) 8. Matt Scott (C) 9. Jake Granville 10. Scott Bolton 11. Gavin Cooper 12. Coen Hess 13. Jason Taumalolo.

Interchange: 14. Te Maire Martin 15. Shaun Fensom 16. Corey Jensen 17. Ethan Lowe.

Interchange: 18. Francis Molo 19. Jake Clifford 20. Enari Tuala 21. Sam Hoare.

Coach: Paul Green.

Raiders: 1. Jack Wighton 2. Nick Cotric 3. Jarrod Croker (C) 4. Joey Leilua 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Blake Austin 7. Aidan Sezer 8. Iosia Soliola 9. Siliva Havili 10. Junior Paulo 11. Joseph Tapine 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Josh Papalii.

Interchange: 14. Ata Hingano 15. Shannon Boyd 16. Luke Bateman 17. Dunamis Lui

Reserves: 18. Liam Knight 19. Michael Oldfield 20. Bradley Abbey 21. Jack Murchie.

Coach: Ricky Stuart.

Ricky’s View: It may well be close to do-or-die connotations for both sides. They need wins and they need consistency. Thurston and Morgan need to rediscover their mojo if the Cowboys are to gain consistency. The form of Coen Hess is promising.
For the Raiders, they can score the points, they just cannot defend the line to win. Defence is the key and they really need to shore that up against a Cowboys side nearing breaking point.
Cowboys by 1.

Parramatta Eels v Wests Tigers (#NRLparwst); ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park; Sunday, April 29. Kick-off: 4:10 pm. 

Eels: 1. Clint Gutherson (C) 2. Bevan French 3. Michael Jennings 4. Brad Takairangi 5. George Jennings 6. Corey Norman 7. Mitch Moses 8. Daniel Alvaro 9. Kaysa Pritchard 10. Suaia Matagi 11. Manu Ma’u 12. Tony Williams 13. Peni Terepo.

Interchange: 14. Will Smith 15. Kenny Edwards 16. David Gower 17. Tim Mannah (C).

Reserves: 18. Tepai Moeroa 19. Kane Evans 20. Josh Hoffman 21. Cameron King.

Coach: Brad Arthur.

Tigers: 1. Corey Thompson 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Esan Marsters 4. Kevin Naiqama 5. Malakai Watene-Zelezniak 6. Benji Marshall (C) 7. Luke Brooks 8. Matthew Eisenhuth 9. Jacob Liddle 10. Ben Matulino 11. Chris Lawrence 12. Robbie Rochow 13. Elijah Taylor (C).

Interchange: 14. Pita Godinet 15. Josh Aloiai 16. Michael Chee-Kam 17. Sauaso Sue.

Reserves: 18. Tim Grant 19. Chris McQueen 20. Tyson Gamble 21. Mahe Fonua.

Coach: Ivan Cleary.

Ricky’s View: The Eels broke their 2018 winless duck with a big win over Manly. Is it the start of a revival, though? The Tigers are no slouches, however, and will want to do the double over the Eels. With the form the Eels showed last week, they will have to dig deep.
The Eels need wins to climb up the ladder, the Tigers need wins to cement their current position. Plenty to play for but momentum and confidence is everything in the NRL. Eels by 8. 


Eels break 2018 duck after dismantling poor Manly side

Parramatta Eels halfback Mitchell Moses

‘Finally’, the Parramatta Eels fans will be crying out. Their opening win of 2018 was a big one over arch rivals, the Manly Sea Eagles.

After eight straight losses dating back to September, the Eels are off and running in season 2018.

Although, it was not all good news, as key utility Jarryd Hayne suffered a hip flexor injury.

It was a criticised man in Mitch Moses who made the difference, notching three try assists, two forced drop-outs and 16 points with the boot.

It was a very different story for Manly’s Daly Cherry-Evans.

After being fined $10,000, his week went from bad to worse. He conceded four penalties and made three errors.

In a week where the Eels used fiery training sessions to pump themselves up, it was Moses who benefited most.

“(Moses) has been trying very hard and it worked for him today,” Eels coach Brad Arthur said.

“He showed a good level of composure and patience, as both halves did. They’ve been trying hard, it just hasn’t been working.”

It was the Eels who started as the aggressors, camping themselves in Manly’s half but only coming away with a penalty goal.

In the end, some hot-potato, razzle-dazzle footy produced the first points, as back-rower Manu Ma’u got the Eels first try.

It was then George Jennings’ turn to score, finishing off the play after a great cut-out pass from Moses.

The scoring did not stop there; Kaysa Pritchard capitalised on an offside Jake Trbojevic and glided over to score.

Corey Norman then glided through Manly’s defensive line before Moses chipped ahead for Michael Jennings.

It was all one-way traffic for the Eels, although they answered back with two tries either side of Eels tries.

Brad Parker scored first in the corner, Kenny Edwards then ran a great line for the Eels before Manly winger Akuila Uate powered over.

The last laugh would go to the Eels, however,

Mitch Moses produced a tremendous darting run before finding Clint Gutherson inside to score in his first game as captain.

Despite much talk about the incident in Gladstone, Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans played the whole thing down.

“Not at all, considering how quickly we moved on from the situation,” Cherry-Evans said.

“There was no lingering awkwardness and it certainly didn’t leave it as an excuse to play poorly today. No way.”

After five years away from the Eels, Jarryd Hayne admits that he forgot the team song.

“I was a bit confused there when I was singing [the victory song], but I’ll get the hang of it,” he laughed.

“It’s taken us a while to get that first win, but right now it’s a big relief. That’s the word for it and obviously now we’ve got to back it up next week.”

Player of the Game:

3. Mitch Moses

2. Corey Norman

  1. Tim Mannah

Storm record back-to-back wins after dismantling Broncos

Melbourne Storm five-eighth Cameron Munster

The Melbourne Storm have found their mojo, going back-to-back for the first time this season. 

Putting themselves back on the map, it was a masterclass by Storm five-eighth Cameron Munster.

Doing his Origin credentials no harm, he was involved in everything in the Storm attack.

As the saying in Top Gun goes, ‘I feel the need…the need, for speed!’

It was all about the blistering speed of Josh Addo-Carr who was also involved in everything.

As the game went back and forth, the Brisbane Broncos looked to be in the hunt.

Although a late flurry from the Storm put any hopes of a win to bed.

The loss was exacerbated by an elbow ligament injury to hooker Andrew McCullough.

The Broncos refused to throw in the towel and found their inner resolve.

Tevita Pangai Jr. summoned his inner halfback to set up tries for both Alex Glenn and Jamayne Isaako.

Anthony Milford quickly turned from hero to villain for the Broncos fans.

First, he scored a brilliant solo effort, chipping, regathering and scoring under the posts.

Before he had a brain explosion, failed to clear a Will Chambers grubber and allowing winger Suliasi Vunivalu to score.

The Storm do have an injury concern of their own, though, with Kiwi international Jesse Bromwich injuring ligaments in his knee.

In the end, defensive lapses cost the Broncos. The Storm, though, look to have found their attacking spark once more.

It could be an ominous sign for the remainder of the season.

An interesting ruling was made concerning a Storm try and whether it was kicked, not kicked or a drop kick.

The rule baffled Broncos coach Wayne Bennett but he admits he does not know enough about it.

“That is a tough one. I’m not sure. I don’t know the rule well enough,” Bennett said.

“But that is a game changer if that is to be the standard going forward. It was never intended to be a drop-kick and the ball hit the ground.

“So what are we saying now – if we knock the ball on and it hits the ground and we still kick at it, it’s a drop-kick?”

“He definitely lost the ball. He went to kick it. He missed it. It hit the ground.”

There was nothing but praise for Munster, as Storm captain Cameron Smith praised his form.

”With the limited preparation that he had, being in that World Cup squad, he didn’t have a full preseason,” Smith said.

”He’s certainly found a fair bit of form in the last couple of weeks, and was very good in the opening round when he played fullback.

”The inclusion of Ryley Jacks has helped Cameron settle in to that [five-eighth] position.

He plays with a really level head and not many things fluster him. It’s allowed him to go out and play his natural game.”

Player of the Game:

3. Cameron Munster

2. Josh Addo-Carr

  1. Tevita Pangai Jr.

Dragons suffer first defeat at the hands of the Warriors

New Zealand Warriors hooker Issac Luke

A first loss. It was bound to happen. The St George Illawarra Dragons unbeaten run ends after a loss to the New Zealand Warriors.

Despite missing both Shaun Johnson and Solomone Kata, it was backup half Mason Lino who made his presence felt.

With 18,000 vocal fans cheering them on, the Warriors dug deep and showed steely resolve to win.

With many questioning their commitment, the Warriors have shown that they are a force to be reckoned with in 2018.

The win was made more remarkable by the fact that the Warriors only had 38% of possession in the game.

Repelling the Dragons attacking raids in the opening stanza, the start of the match was a genuine arm wrestle.

The Warriors heads could have gone down after form back-rower Tohu Harris left the field due to concussion.

Although it only galvanised them as Anthony Gelling scored his first NRL try, slicing through to score.

Up 10-0 at the break, the Warriors would start the second half with 12 men after Blake Green was sent to the sin-bin.

Some individual brilliance from Ben Hunt gave the Dragons a sniff before the Dragons were denied a second try.

In an aerial contest with Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, the bunker deemed that James Graham had knocked the ball on.

From there, the Warriors pounced. Issac Luke kicked a 40/20 before darting over from dummy half to score.

The Dragons refused to lie down, however, as Tariq Sims barged his way over to keep the pressure on.

It was not to be, though, as Isaiah Papali’i finished off an offloading frenzy of a play to score.

With less possession, a sin-binning, no star half and losing Harris, Warriors coach Stephen Kearney rated this win among the best.

”They showed a tremendous amount of courage tonight with all the adversity against a top of the table team,” he said.

”The guys found a way to keep the side with the best attack in the competition out – with 12 men at one point – so I was just so proud of how they went about their work.

”We spoke last week about commitment and attitude needing to improve and I thought they did that tonight.”

Dragons coach Paul McGregor praised the Warriors for executing their plan, even if it frustrated him.

“They came here with a plan, they gave away a lot of penalties and defended their line really well, whether that was part of it or not I’m not sure,” he said.

“Their line speed was incredible and their scramble defence was the best from any side I have seen this year. But it was frustrating because of the constant stop-start nature of that first period.”

Player of the Game:

3. Issac Luke

2. Anthony Gelling

  1. Ben Hunt

Adam Doueihi re-commits to the South Sydney Rabbitohs

South Sydney Rabbitohs utility Adam Doueihi

A sound performer for a rookie when given a chance, Adam Doueihi has re-signed with the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Representing Lebanon before he played for the Rabbitohs, it was his performances in the Rugby League World Cup that caught everyone’s eye.

It prompted discussion of a first-grade appearance and that came in round two of this season.

Since then, he has played in four of the six NRL games to date and performed well.

The club, the coach and a desire to stay made Doueihi’s decision easy.

“I love playing for this club and with this bunch of boys,” Doueihi Said.

“I told my manager I didn’t want to play anywhere else and he got a deal done with the club which is fantastic.

“The Rabbitohs have given me my shot in first grade, I enjoy playing under ‘Seibs’ (head coach Anthony Seibold) and I have a ton of respect for him,

I’m learning every day off the coaching staff and the senior players here at the Club and I love playing with the younger guys in the squad too.

A Souths fan when he was younger, Doueihi is simply focused on playing well each week.

“I was a Souths fan when I was younger and playing in the NRL has always been a dream of mine, so to do so in the red and green jersey is a dream come true,” the live-wire utility continued.

“Now my future is sorted, it’s my job to concentrate on my footy and to do my job for the team each and every week.

“I’m excited and my family are excited and I can’t wait to get out there and represent South Sydney in front of our Members and fans.”

Just as pleased is head coach Anthony Seibold.

“I see Adam as a player with immense potential and as a key player for our squad,” Coach Seibold said.

“We’ve seen great improvement and development in him since his return in the pre-season, and a lot of that comes down to his willingness to learn and his coachability.

“He has worked hard physically to get himself to a level to play in the NRL which is a credit to him as well and shows his desire to play at the top level.”

Defence the key as Sydney Roosters overcome Canterbury Bulldogs

Sydney Roosters back-rower Ryan Matterson

Fans are used to seeing free-flowing, attacking games. This one was anything but as the Sydney Roosters defeated the Canterbury Bulldogs 6-0. 

Instead, it was the defence that reigned supreme. Both sides threw a mountain of attack at the other but both held firm.

The resiliency of the Roosters side, who made 104 more tackles in defence, is a testament to their desire.

It appeared the floodgates would open early after Latrell Mitchell scored for the Roosters.

Though the tide stemmed and instead, the Bulldogs had every chance to score points of their own.

With Mitchell controversially sin-binned for a professional foul, the Bulldogs had the advantage.

Though that offensive sparked dogged the Belmore boys as they failed to crack the Roosters line even with a one-man advantage.

The repeat sets and pressure ensued as both sides went tit-for-tat, unable to produce points.

Despite the Bulldogs best efforts, they were simply unable to crack the steely Roosters defence.

The mountain of defensive work took its toll on Roosters players and left them fatigued.

Though it failed to dampen the mood as captain Boyd Cordner simply said it was about digging deep.

“For sure, if that’s what it took,” Cordner said.

“Although we were hurting out there, we just had that feeling that we were just going to keep turning up for each other.

“We defended our line in the first half and just kept turning up as a team.

Although our tackling and some details weren’t as good, the effort from the boys to keep turning up and hold our line and that desire to save the try and do whatever it takes, that was really, really pleasing.”

Despite their inability to get on the scoresheet, Bulldogs coach Dean Pay says his side’s attack is not an issue.

“There wasn’t much in it,” Pay said.

“I just thought from where we were last week I thought we improved again tonight, I really did.

“You can never question their effort. Their effort is fantastic. There were three or four times there where you’re one pass away from scoring.

We got over the line probably four or five times and couldn’t get the ball down.”

Player of the Game:

3. Ryan Matterson

2. Boyd Cordner

  1. Latrell Mitchell

Rd 7 NRL News Stats Breakdown: Canterbury Bulldogs v Sydney Roosters

Canterbury Bulldogs legend Hazem El Masri

It’s back! The NRL News Stats breakdown as the Canterbury Bulldogs and South Sydney Rabbitohs go under the microscope. 

So sit back, absorb the stats, make your comments and enjoy.

Canterbury Bulldogs v Sydney Roosters

The two sides have played 181 games against each other; the Canterbury Bulldogs have won 85 games, the Roosters have won 90 games and there have been six draws.

The Roosters are the only side to have scored in excess of 3,000 points against the Bulldogs.

The Roosters will be looking for four straight wins heading into this clash.

Biggest Wins

The Sydney Roosters biggest win against the Canterbury Bulldogs was an 87-7 annihilation, the second biggest loss by margin in NSWRFL/ARL/NRL history. The clash was also the first ever between the two sides, played on Saturday, May 5, 1935 at the Sydney Sports Ground.

The Canterbury Bulldogs biggest win over the Sydney Roosters was a comfortable 60-14 win in round 3 of the 2010 NRL premiership season.

Most prolific point-scorers in this clash

  1. Hazem El Masri (CBY) – 9 tries & 49 goals (134 pts)
  2. Dave Brown (SYD) – 15 tries & 32 goals (109 pts)*
  3. Terry Lamb (CBY) – 9 tries, 30 goals & 6 field goals (102 pts)
  4. Craig Fitzgibbon (SYD) – 2 tries & 46 goals (100 pts)
  5. Steve Gearin (CBY) – 9 tries & 34 goals (97 pts)*
  6. Allan McKean (SYD) – 1 try & 43 goals (89 pts)*
  7. John Brass (SYD) – 5 tries, 33 goals & 2 field goals (85 pts)*
  8. Dick Dunn (SYD) – 4 tries & 26 goals (65 pts)*
  9. Daryl Halligan (CBY) – 3 tries & 25 goals (62 pts)
  10. James Maloney (SYD) – 1 try & 29 goals (62 pts)
  11. Lin Johnson (CBY) – 27 goals (54 pts)
  12. Bob Landers (SYD) – 4 tries & 20 goals (52 pts)*
  13. Krisnan Inu (CBY) – 3 tries & 15 goals (50 pts)
  14. Tom Kirk (CBY) – 24 goals (48 pts)
  15. George Taylforth (CBY) – 1 try & 21 goals (47 pts)*

Disclaimer: As always, this is simply the top 15 most prolific scorers among all clashes between the two sides. 

Also, those players with an asterisk next to their total points played in an era when tries were three points and/or field goals were two points.

Finally, as always, if you want to see any more stats included or anything added, send us a buzz and we can add it in!

Wests Tigers re-sign in-form centre Esan Marsters

Wests Tigers centre Esan Marsters

Handed the centre spot at the start of the year, Wests Tigers centre Esan Marsters has grabbed the chance with both hands. 

In fine form and producing play-after-play, Marsters has cemented the spot as his own.

His good form has been rewarded with a new contract until the end of the 2020 season.

After making his debut in round 13 of the 2017 season, Marsters has since played in 19 NRL games.

In the end, the feeling of loyalty and opportunity prompted Marsters to stay.

“It was definitely an easy choice for me to stay at Wests Tigers,” said Marsters.

“They gave me a chance to play first-grade here and I really want to pay them back by playing some good footy.

“I just enjoy being around this club, all the boys are really tight and I’ve got some of my best mates here.”

Equally important to Marsters is Ivan Cleary, a coach that the young centre enjoys playing under.

“We’re all pretty close on the field and it’s really reflecting on the field,” Marsters continued.

“In saying that, I really want to play for Ivan as well.

He’s stuck by me this entire time so I really want to play some good footy for him and just finish the year on a good note.”

Although they are flying high, Marsters said the Tigers side are still looking to improve further.

“I think all the boys are really close this year and do things for each other,” he said.

“We’re showing on the field what we can do and I’m really happy to be a part of it.

“We definitely want to keep improving and working hard as a team and that’s the most important thing.”

With the way he is playing, the spot is his to lose as head coach Ivan Cleary looks forward to continuing their tenure.

“Esan is developing into an impressive player and I look forward to working with him on the next part of his career with Wests Tigers,” said Cleary.

“In a short period of time he’s shown himself to be a very valuable member of our team and we look forward to seeing him develop further over the coming two seasons.”