Category Archives: NRL Club News

Individual NRL Team and Club News

Injury forces Rabbitohs star Inglis into early retirement

South Sydney Rabbitohs utility back Greg Inglis

Greg Inglis initially made a decision to retire at the end of 2020 but the South Sydney Rabbitohs centre will retire early due to injury.

With his body not coping with the strenuous demands that come with rugby league, the decision was made.

One of the greats of the modern era, Inglis won premierships, Clive Churchill Medals and had numerous successes with Queensland and Australia.

Although his playing career is over, Inglis knows this is just the beginning of a new chapter for his career.

“I’m not looking at today’s announcement as the end of my career. I’m looking at it as the start of my next one,” Inglis said.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have had the playing career I have had, and to have played in some awesome teams with great team mates and under some great coaches.

“I want to thank them all for everything they have done for me and my family.”

The decision was not one that he made lightly but he knows that it was the right one.

“This isn’t a decision I’ve taken lightly and over the last week, spending time with family and moving out of the spotlight, it has given me some clarity about the way forward for me and my family,” continued Inglis.

“People have always told me you’ll know when it’s time to retire from playing, and I know within myself that that time is now.”

Inglis has shown an interest in coaching and looks forward to learning under the tutelage of Wayne Bennett.

“I feel I have something to offer in coaching and I’m very keen to learn more from Wayne and the other coaches, and to work closely with the young players we have coming up through the grades here at the Rabbitohs,” said Inglis.

“I feel that my experiences over the past 15 years will be of value to them and I want to pass those on.”

In addition to that, Inglis will work with the South Cares program and has an NRL ambassador.

“I’ve been active in Souths Cares and I’m keen to learn more about the community and administration side of the Club, so working with Alisha and Blake is a perfect way to do that,” said an excited Inglis.

“And I’ll also have the opportunity to work with Todd’s (Greenberg’s) team over at the NRL this year in their ambassador program which will be a good way to stay connected with the game as a whole.”

Having seen a lot of him during his time with the Rabbitohs, General Manager of Football Shane Richardson praised the premiership winner.

“Greg is without doubt one of the greatest players to have played our game, he will feature in discussions around the Hall of Fame and the Immortals in years to come, and I know the influence he has had on the game on the field will carry over to his new ventures off the field,” Mr Richardson said.

Wayne Bennett also praised Inglis, making the most of the chance to coach the Rabbitohs star.

“I made no secret of the fact that I wanted to coach Greg one day, and even though it was only brief, I’ve really enjoyed coaching him since joining South Sydney in December,” Coach Bennett said.

“He has achieved so much during his playing career and I’m sure his name will be mentioned alongside the greats of the game in our history.”

Raiders shut out Eels at GIO Stadium once again

Canberra Raiders five-eighth Jack Wighton

If you had said that the Parramatta Eels and Canberra Raiders would be one of the games of the round in 2019 a year ago, many would not have believed you.

And yet here we were at GIO Stadium in Round 5, both teams with only 1 loss to their name.

The battle proved very vicious too – so vicious Blake Ferguson was left clutching what was surely a broken nose early in the first half and then left the field in the second half with suspected fractured ribs.

Ferguson not being the only casualty, with Joseph Tapine also suffering a bad ankle injury, the third of the round.

The Raiders led the possession leaving the visitors with only 38% of the ball in the first half, however, the boys in blue and gold refused to fold on defense.

After 6 repeat sets, the Raiders finally got their first points for the night in the 27th minute through Josh Papalii after he steamrolled an exhausted Eels defense.

The Eels held strong for the remaining of the half however the home team chose to turn a penalty into points which saw them heading to the sheds up by 8 at half time.

Despite being down by 8, the Eels showed their strength in their best defensive half in 2019 but also showed by far their worst attacking half with only 57% completion rate.

The Eels carried their poor completion into the second half, turning the ball over every time they had any sort of opportunity and leaving their fans feeling deja vu of the round 6 loss in 2018.

The Raiders capitalised, this time a lot quicker, through Elliott Whitehead jumping on a loose ball that the Eels were unable to clean up.

It appeared that the Eels were incapable of completing any sets and the Raiders took full control because of it.

Jack Wighton dominated in the second half and got himself 4 points after he outjumped the Eels defenders for a Sam Williams try assist with a beautiful cross field kick.

The Raiders had moments of excellence in attack but their defence was exceptional as well, holding out Parramatta every chance they had to score.

With 3 minutes to go, Sam Williams wrapped the game up and added some salt to the wounds with an uncontested field goal to extend the lead to 19.

The Eels will travel back to Parramatta having only completed 19 sets of 34 and well and truly feeling the reality check of the Canberra Raiders and GIO Stadium.

NRL News Man of the Match

3. Jack Wighton

2. Josh Papalii

1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad

Hunt Dominates in Bulldogs beatdown

St George Illawarra Dragons halfback Ben Hunt

After a rocky start to the season, the St George Illawarra dragons well and truly quietened their haters after a brutal beating of the Canterbury Bulldogs in front of 13,409 fans at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.

The Dragons were first on the board with Euan Aitken steam rolling over his defenders off a bullet pass from Ben Hunt.

Tim Lafai proved that he has been practicing his kicks on the training paddock converting the try and a penalty goal 5 minutes later.

With 10 minutes to go in the half, Lafai found himself attempting to convert his own try, a beauty which started with a one on one strip.

Hunt, who had his best game of 2019, jumped on an attacking opportunity stripping the ball one-on-one and then breaking down the field putting his team in excellent attacking position.

They carried the ball to the left and Corey Norman put Lafai over through a cut out pass, not before he broke through some defenders first, though.

Just 5 minutes later and with the game in full control, the Dragons extended their lead even more this time through Mikaele Ravalawa.

Once again, Ben Hunt was there to provide the assist.

The Dogs went up the tunnel at half time without any points to their name.

However, Dragons fans weren’t entirely comfortable with the 18 point lead knowing how unpredictable both teams can be.

The first half of the second half proved to be much more of a tug-o-war which saw both teams coming up with some costly errors and incapable of capitalising on prime opportunities.

Ben Hunt thought he had himself a try after having a part in every other try, however he was denied because Ravalawa took his defender out of play.

Just a few minutes later however, Jordan Pereira got himself his 4th try this season this time off a beautiful Matt Dufty play.

The Dragons spine, which was under so much scrutiny just a few weeks earlier, today proved their power.

After being denied one earlier, Ben Hunt got himself his 4 points, jumping on a poor offload decision from Kerrod Holland and extending the lead to 28.

Rhyse Martin looked to have got his team their first points but the Dragons defense was far too strong holding him up.

The Bulldogs were then unable to convert the goal line opportunity turning the ball over.

The Dragons, however, did capitalise on their opportunity through the help of no one else but Ben Hunt.

Norman put up a ginormous bomb which Jayden Okunbor was unable to handle, handing it over to Hunt who passed it off to Zac Lomax, fresh on the field and scoring his first NRL try.

In what could be called a consolation try, Reimis Smith got the Bulldogs their first points of the night turning a repeat set into points and giving their fans something to celebrate at least.

Despite letting their opponent on the board, the Dragons weren’t done.

Euan Aitken was denied his double but after the ball was turned around once again, Ben Hunt got his in what is being crowned as a potential try of the year so far.

After being under pressure to start the year, Hunt is enjoying his footy and that improves his overall game.

“Benny is really enjoying his footy,” Dragons coach Paul McGregor said.

“When someone with that much talent is enjoying his footy, it’s exciting to watch. He’s had a couple of good games this year but that was his best.”

NRL News Man of the Match:

3. Ben Hunt

2. James Graham

1. Corey Norman

Strong opening sees Manly hold off Knights

Manly Sea Eagles lock Jake Trbojevic

Despite the best efforts of the Newcastle Knights, the Novocastrians slumped to a fourth loss of the season, defeated by the Manly Sea Eagles. 

Unable to recover from an early 18-0 deficit, although they did their best to get back in the contest, it was too little, too late.

The Sea Eagles started with more energy as 200-gamer Daly Cherry-Evans and Kane Elgey both combined.

Their combination led to the game’s opening try for winger Jorge Taufua. A tough sideline conversion was made and Manly went up 6-0.

Just five minutes later, Manly extended their lead as Apisai Koroisau exploited poor defence to scoot away to find Taufua.

Chased down by Knights winger Edrick Lee, Taufua then found opposite winger Reuben Garrick inside who scored an easy try.

The Knights chances hit a snag when Kalyn Ponga was taken from the field for HIA after a high shot.

Ponga would return but not until the back end of the first-half and by then, the Manly side had a commanding 18-0 lead.

Jake Trbojevic then showed off his silky kicking skills, grubbering ahead for Joel Thompson to score a try.

Penalties galore for the Knights were not enough to see them score and they could have gone further behind but for a Manly shepherd.

Kalyn Ponga sprung into action when he returned to the field; first setting up Edrick Lee with a grubber kick.

Then kicking off numerous attacking raids with blistering line-breaks.

The pressure proved telling as Aidan Guerra then scored the Knights second try to get them back in the contest.

His night would end soon after, however, suffering a suspected broken tibia and fibula.

A Cherry-Evans penalty goal put Manly up 20-12 as the Knights had chances to narrow the deficit after Addin Fonua-Blake was sin-binned.

They failed to do so and were unable to crack the Manly line, with Nathan Brown’s job now facing further pressure.

With three straight wins to their name, Manly coach Des Hasler is not getting carried away yet.

“It’s only round five. We’ve got a long way to go. We’re still building,” Hasler said.

“We’re thereabouts. We’re in amongst it.

“I just thought that given our start, and we were probably in a position to maybe win one of those games, that it’s just good to get a little bit of momentum, and to pick up three wins is important.”

There were no excuses from Brown who just lamented his side’s poor start.

“Our lack of intensity to start the contest, we were really poor there, and not at the level we’ve certainly been at for the first four weeks,” Brown said.

“The fact that we had two real tough, tight losses, to think we could just mosey on through against a good side in that early part … was very, very disappointing.

“I can’t make any excuse for anything. I can’t offer anything.”

NRL News Player of the Game

3. Jake Trbojevic

2. Kalyn Ponga

  1. Daly Cherry-Evans

Walker’s four-try blitz guides Rabbitohs to comeback win over Warriors

South Sydney Rabbitohs 5/8 Cody Walker

A late two-try blitz from Cody Walker has guided the South Sydney Rabbitohs to a comeback win over the New Zealand Warriors. 

Playing at the Sunshine Coast Stadium, it was the New Zealand Warriors who looked the goods early.

They were eventually chased down by the Rabbitohs with Walker’s two tries gifting the Bunnies a narrow 28-24 win.

A reshuffle forced Peta Hiku to move into the halves and Gerard Beale called upon to play at centre.

The early forced change failed to dampen the Warriors rapid start to the game as captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck led from the front.

After blowing the chance for a try earlier, he made amends as he nabbed the game’s first four-pointer.

A quick-fire Cody Walker double then put Souths ahead as the cardinal and myrtle side began to gain ascendancy.

A rare try for Warriors utility hooker Jazz Tevaga was next, as he darted through the Bunnies line off a Lachlan Burr offload.

The match looked to be wrapped up for the Warriors as a barging Sam Lisone planted the ball down.

Tohu Harris crossed soon after in what looked like a match-winning lead for the Warriors.

It was not to be, however, as that man stood up again. Cody Walker scored two further tries in quick succession to gift the Rabbitohs victory.

His efforts saw him become the first Rabbitohs player to score four tries against the Warriors.

Souths coach Wayne Bennett has been there and done that, so he was not phased when his side was

“Strangely enough, I was more worried long before we were down 24-12,” Bennett said.

“I wasn’t worried when we were down 24-12. There was a lot of time left in the game and we were picking up the momentum we lost.

“The rhythm wasn’t there, it was stop-start, and I said to our assistant coach we’re starting to get back into a groove and we’ll be OK.”

Not blaming the loss of Blake Green as a reason for the loss, Warriors coach Stephen Kearney lamented his side’s lack of game management.

“I couldn’t fault the effort but I thought we weren’t that smart at the back end of sets in the second half,” Kearney said.

“When we got 12 points ahead, we had to manage the game more effectively. We didn’t do that so well and that was frustrating.

“I reckon we had enough occasions to manage the game properly but just failed to do so.

“That’s the NRL, you’ve got to work to the final whistle. Sixty-minute efforts don’t get you the win.”

NRL News Player of the Game

3. Cody Walker

2. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck

  1. Damien Cook

Smith breaks all-time points record as Storm overcome Cowboys

Melbourne Storm fullback Jahrome Hughes

Cameron Smith is now the great all-time scorer in NRL history, as his Melbourne Storm side beat the North Queensland Cowboys in a close affair.

Passing the mark in the 49th minute of the Storm’s win with a penalty goal, Smith surpassed previous record holder Hazem El Masri.

Both teams started rather sluggishly but the Cowboys pressure eventually saw them score the first points.

Michael Morgan’s crossfield kick saw Gavin Cooper soar highest to bat the ball back for Te Maire Martin to score.

In relative control of the match for large parts of the first half, a Morgan 40/20 then gave the Cowboys more chances.

Although they were only able to come away with a penalty goal to lead 8-0.

Not a team to rest on their laurels or admit defeat easily, the Storm hit back on the stroke of half-time.

A lovely pass by Cameron Munster saw Will Chambers slice right through to open the scoring for the Storm.

As both teams defended strongly, it was another penalty goal that saw the scores draw level and Smith break the record.

Not one to make his own mark in a game, Josh Addo-Carr nabbed two tries to put the Storm in the box seat.

Though the Cowboys showed resolve of their own, as a Jordan Kahu flick pass saw Ben Hampton score.

The Cowboys loss was worsened by a suspected compound fracture to winger Nene Macdonald after a collision with team-mate John Asiata.

Despite their loss that keeps them near the bottom, Cowboys coach Paul Green was pleased with how his side performed.

“I was proud of the way we played tonight,” Green said.

“I think we showed it in patches but never really consistently, in particular when we’d been under pressure in games up to this point.”

“We had a good win here against the Dragons but in the other games when the pressure was applied to us we probably didn’t show that.”

Having been around Smith for most of his career, Storm coach Craig Bellamy lauded his record-breaking captain.

“We’ve seen a lot of quality players in our game but I think that quality he’s shown for so long, to me, it makes him the best player I’ve seen,” Bellamy said.

“He’s tough, too.

Obviously Mother Nature was polite to him and given him a body that has allowed him to absorb the rigours of 18 seasons of NRL which is unbelievable, especially in the position that he plays and the size that he is.”

NRL News Player of the Game

3. Jahrome Hughes

2. Cameron Munster

  1. Michael Morgan

Titans record first win of the season against Panthers in high-scoring affair

Gold Coast Titans fullback Michael Gordon

Desperate for a win, the Gold Coast Titans fought valiantly and came away with the goods, recording their first victory in 2019 against the Penrith Panthers.

With both sides coming into the game with as the two lowest scoring teams, a result that produced 54 points was probably not something many expected.

In the end, the Titans 30-24 win was enough to give the team some renewed spirit as the fans at Cbus Super Stadium had something to cheer about.

Penrith started the brighter of the two sides and it was James Maloney who opened the scoring off a James Fisher-Harris pass.

The Titans clawed their way into the contest with some exciting footy and were eventually rewarded for their efforts.

Halves pairing Ash Taylor and Tyrone Roberts combined, with Roberts pouncing on a Maloney fumble to level things up.

Milestone man Michael Gordon took advantage of a penalty and raced away off a quick tap.

The Titans then took the lead for the first time all season with Anthony Don soared highest to score in the corner.

Penrith would hit back, as a barnstorming Viliame Kikau proved unstoppable as he plowed through several Titans defenders to score.

With some renewed spirit, the Titans would again hit the lead just before the break.

Tyrone Peachey laid on the try this time as Gordon scored a try in his 250th game.

The 18-12 Titans half-time lead was short-lived as some poor goal line defence saw Fisher-Harris barge over.

After a disallowed try due to obstruction, the Titans thought more points may not come.

Penrith took the lead soon after, as a crafty one-handed pass by Nathan Cleary found winger Josh Mansour to score.

The Titans resolve was strong, however, as prop Jarrod Wallace scored a rare but crucial try for the club.

To retake the lead, the Titans were then awarded a penalty try after interference from Tyrell Fuimaono.

Try as they might, and despite some chances deep inside Titans territory, they were unable to break the Gold Coast line again.

The win was soured with an injury to Ash Taylor, though, who will be in some doubt.

Also injured was Panthers back-rower Isaah Yeo, who suffered a shoulder injury.

Not overly impressed with his side, Panthers coach Ivan Cleary lamented his side’s lack of consistency.

“It wasn’t great,” Cleary said.

“We’ve got a long way to go in terms of being able to play consistently for 80 minutes either side of the ball.

“That was our biggest issue tonight.

“I thought we had every reason a couple of times tonight to be able to go on with it but through a whole bunch of different things we can’t quite be consistent enough.”

The Titans resolve and attitude impressed coach Garth Brennan.

“I knew they weren’t going to give up but I knew we weren’t going to give up either,” a relieved Brennan said.

“A few of the defensive sets when Penrith were coming out of trouble showed me the desire in the football team that I knew was there.

“The ball hasn’t been bouncing our way but I knew if we kept working hard it would go our way eventually.”

NRL News Player of the Game

3. Michael Gordon

2. James Fisher-Harris

  1. Tyrone Roberts

English adventure begins for Seumanufagai

Former Cronulla Sharks now Leeds Rhinos prop Ava Seumanufagai

Somewhat forced out in the end, an English adventure awaits now former Cronulla Sharks prop Ava Seumanufagai, who has signed with the Leeds Rhinos.

Seumanufagai has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal with the Super League side, a signing they are pleased with.

“We are delighted to get the deal finally done to sign Ava,” said Leeds Director of Rugby, Kevin Sinfield.

“He is a player we have been monitoring for a while and it is good that we have secured him until the end of the 2021 season.”

Sinfield praised the hard work that Seumanufagai puts in as a player and thanked the Sharks for the smooth transition.

“Ava is a big player with a great work ethic,” continued Sinfield.

“I would like to thank Cronulla Sharks for their help in getting the deal agreed and we look forward to welcoming Ava into our group once all the necessary paperwork has been completed.”

A Parramatta junior, Seumanufagai eventually made his way to the Wests Tigers and played for five years with the club.

2018 was his first season with the Sharks and with a new chapter ahead of him, the hulking prop is excited.

“I am really excited to be joining the Rhinos, “said Seumanufagai.

“I have been speaking to Kevin Sinfield for a while and I know a few blokes who have been over at Leeds and they have loved it at the club, so I am really looking forward to coming over.

“I like to play the game hard and aggressive, I like to get my job done and I enjoy the physical side of the game.”

Although their start to the season has not been the best, that does not phase the NZ-born forward.

“I know the Rhinos have had a tough start to the new season but I have been in teams that have had tough starts before and I know how rewarding it is when you turn your season around and achieve something as a group,” he continued.

“The Rhinos current form certainly wasn’t something that concerned me in terms of my long term decision to come to the club.

“That is the challenge and I am looking forward to doing my job. Once the paperwork is completed I will be heading over and I am keen to get started as soon as I arrive.”

NRL Teams Rd 5

Some surprise high fliers, some interesting cellar dwellars but entertaining footy nevertheless with NRL Teams Rd 5 now announced! 

With some needing to prove themselves and others looking to consolidate, no game is an easy one as teams jostle for spots.

So, we shall not keep you waiting much longer.

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

Brisbane Broncos v Wests Tigers (#NRLbriwst); Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane; Thursday, April 11. Kick-off: 7:50 pm. 

Broncos: 1. Darius Boyd (C) 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Jack Bird 5. Jamayne Isaako 6. Anthony Milford 7. Kodi Nikorima 8. Matthew Lodge 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Joe Ofahengaue 11. Alex Glenn 12. David Fifita 13. Matt Gillett.

Interchange: 14. Gehamat Shibasaki 15. Jaydn Su’A 16. Thomas Flegler 17. Patrick Carrigan.

Reserves: 18. Payne Haas 19. Shaun Fensom 20. James Roberts 21. Richie Kennar.

Coach: Anthony Seibold.

Tigers: 1. Moses Mbye (C) 2. Mahe Fonua 3. Robert Jennings 4. Esan Marsters 5. Corey Thompson 6. Josh Reynolds 7. Luke Brooks 8. Russell Packer 9. Robbie Farah 10. Alex Twal 11. Ryan Matterson 12. Luke Garner 13. Josh Aloiai.

Interchange: 14. Ben Matulino 15. Thomas Mikaele 16. Matthew Eisenhuth 17. Michael Chee-Kam.

Reserves: 18. Paul Momirovski 19. Elijah Taylor 20. David Nofoaluma 21. Chris McQueen.

Coach: Michael Maguire

Gold Coast Titans v Penrith Panthers (#NRLgldpen); Cbus Super Stadium, Robina; Friday, April 12. Kick-off: 6 pm.

Titans: 1. Michael Gordon 2. Anthony Don 3. Tyrone Peachey 4. Brian Kelly 5. Dale Copley 6. Tyrone Roberts 7. Ash Taylor 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Mitch Rein 10. Ryan James (C) 11. Kevin Proctor 12. Bryce Cartwright 13. Jai Arrow.

Interchange: 14. Alexander Brimson 15. Max King 16. Shannon Boyd 17. Keegan Hipgrave.

Reserves: 18. Jack Stockwell 19. Philip Sami 20. Jai Whitbread 21. Ryley Jacks.

Coach: Garth Brennan.

Panthers: 1. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 2. Josh Mansour 3. Dean Whare 4. Waqa Blake 5. Dylan Edwards 6. James Maloney (C) 7. Nathan Cleary 8. James Tamou 9. Sione Katoa 10. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Isaah Yeo 13. James Fisher-Harris.

Interchange: 14. Wayde Egan 15. Tyrell Fuimaono 16. Moses Letoa 17. Hame Sele.

Reserves: 18. Malakai Watene-Zelezniak 19. Tim Grant 20. Jarome Luai 21. Liam Martin.

Coach: Ivan Cleary.

North Queensland Cowboys v Melbourne Storm (#NRLnqlmel); 1300 Smiles Stadium, Townsville; Friday, April 12. Kick-off: 8:05 pm. 

Cowboys: 1. Te Maire Martin 2. Nene Macdonald 3. Jordan Kahu 4. Enari Tuala 5. Ben Hampton 6. Jake Clifford 7. Michael Morgan (C) 8. Matt Scott 9. Jake Granville 10. Jordan McLean 11. Gavin Cooper 12. Coen Hess 13. Jason Taumalolo.

Interchange: 14. John Asiata 15. Corey Jensen 16. Mitchell Dunn 17. Francis Molo.

Reserves: 18. Shane Wright 19. Justin O’Neill 20. Kurt Baptiste 21. Peter Hola.

Coach: Paul Green

Storm: 1. Jahrome Hughes 2. Marion Seve 3. Will Chambers 4. Curtis Scott 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Cameron Munster 7. Brodie Croft 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Cameron Smith (C) 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenneath Bromwich 13. Dale Finucane.

Interchange: 14. Brandon Smith 15. Christian Welch 16. Tui Kamikamica 17. Ryan Papenhuyzen.

Reserves: 18. Billy Walters 19. Patrick Kaufusi 20. Albert Vete 21. Sandor Earl.

Coach: Craig Bellamy

South Sydney Rabbitohs v New Zealand Warriors (#NRLsouwar); Sunshine Coast Stadium; Saturday, April 13. Kick-off: 3 pm. 

Rabbitohs: 1. Alex Johnston 2. Corey Allan 3. Kyle Turner 4. Dane Gagai 5. Campbell Graham 6. Cody Walker 7. Adam Reynolds 8. George Burgess 9. Damien Cook 10. Thomas Burgess 11. John Sutton 12. Sam Burgess 13. Cameron Murray.

Interchange: 14. Tevita Tatola 15. Mark Nicholls 16. Ethan Lowe 17. Liam Knight.

Reserves: 18. Connor Tracey 19. Bayley Sironen 20. Rhys Kennedy 21. Jacob Gagan.

Coach: Wayne Bennett.

Warriors: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (C) 2. David Fusitu’a 3. Peta Hiku 4. Solomone Kata 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Chanel Harris-Tavita 7. Blake Green 8. Agnatius Paasi 9. Karl Lawton 10. Leeson Ah Mau 11. Adam Blair 12. Tohu Harris 13. Lachlan Burr.

Interchange: 14. Jazz Tevaga 15. Isaiah Papali’i 16. Bunty Afoa 17. Sam Lisone.

Reserves: 18. Ligi Sao 19. Gerard Beale 21. Adam Keighran 23. Issac Luke.

Coach: Stephen Kearney.

Newcastle Knights v Manly Sea Eagles (#NRLnewman); McDonald Jones Stadium, Broadmeadow; Saturday, April 13. Kick-off: 5:30 pm. 

Knights: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Edrick Lee 3. Hymel Hunt 4. Jesse Ramien 5. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 6. Mason Lino 7. Mitch Pearce (C) 8. David Klemmer 9. Danny Levi 10. James Gavet 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 12. Sione Mata’utia 13. Tim Glasby.

Interchange: 14. Kurt Mann 15. Aidan Guerra 16. Jacob Saifiti 17. Mitch Barnett.

Reserves: 18. Josh King 19. Connor Watson 20. Herman Ese’ese 21. Tautau Moga.

Coach: Nathan Brown

Manly: 1. Brendan Elliot 2. Jorge Taufua 3. Moses Suli 4. Brad Parker 5. Reuben Garrick 6. Kane Elgey 7. Daly Cherry-Evans (C) 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. Martin Taupau 11. Joel Thompson 12. Curtis Sironen 13. Jake Trbojevic.

Interchange: 14. Manase Fainu 15. Jack Gosiewski 16. Corey Waddell 17. Toafofoa Sipley.

Reserves: 18. Trent Hodkinson 19. Lachlan Croker 20. Kelepi Tanginoa 21. Taniela Paseka.

Coach: Des Hasler.

Cronulla Sharks v Sydney Roosters (#NRLcrosyd); Pointsbet Stadium, Cronulla; Saturday, April 13. Kick-off: 7:35pm. 

Sharks: 1. Josh Dugan 2. Sosaia Feki 3. Bronson Xerri 4. Josh Morris 5. Sione Katoa 6. Shaun Johnson 7. Chad Townsend 8. Andrew Fifita 9. Jayden Brailey 10. Matt Prior 11. Briton Nikora 12. Kurt Capewell 13. Paul Gallen.

Interchange: 14. Blayke Brailey 15. Jayson Bukuya 16. Jack Williams 17. Scott Sorenson.

Reserves: 18. Kyle Flanagan 19. William Kennedy 20. Braden Hamlin-Uele 21. Aaron Gray.

Coach: John Morris

Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Latrell Mitchell 4. Joseph Manu 5. Matt Ikuvalu 6. Luke Keary 7. Cooper Cronk 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Victor Radley 10. Sio Siua Taukeiaho 11. Boyd Cordner (C) 12. Angus Crichton 13. Isaac Liu.

Interchange: 14. Lindsay Collins 15. Zane Tetevano 16. Poasa Faumausilii 17. Mitch Aubusson.

Reserves: 18. Nat Butcher 19. Sitili Tupouniua 20. Sam Verrills 23. Lachlan Lam.

Coach: Trent Robinson

St George Illawarra Dragons v Canterbury Bulldogs (#NRLsgicby); Netstrata Jubilee Stadium; Sunday, April 14. Kick-off: 4:05 pm. 

Dragons: 1. Matt Dufty 2. Jordan Pereiera 3. Euan Aitken 4. Tim Lafai 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Corey Norman 7. Ben Hunt 8. James Graham 9. Cameron McInnes 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Tariq Sims 13. Blake Lawrie.

Interchange: 14. Jeremy Latimore 15. Zac Lomax 16. Jacob Host 17. Luciano Leilua.

Reserves: 18. Mitchell Allgood 19. Jai Field 20. Josh Kerr 21. Jonus Pearson.

Coach: Paul McGregor

Bulldogs: 1. Nick Meaney 2. Jayden Okunbor 3. Kerrod Holland 4. Will Hopoate 5. Reimis Smith 6. Jack Cogger 7. Lachlan Lewis 8. Aiden Tolman 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Ofahiki Ogden 11. Josh Jackson(C) 12. Corey Harawira-Naera 13. Rhyse Martin.

Interchange: 14. Michael Lichaa 15. Sauaso Sue 16. Adam Elliott 17. Chris Smith.

Reserves: 18. Danny Fualalo 19. Marcelo Montoya 21. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 22. Fa’amanu Brown.

Canberra Raiders v Parramatta Eels (#NRLcanpar); GIO Stadium, Canberra; Sunday, April 14. Kick-off: 6:10 pm. 

Raiders: 1. Charnze Nicholl-Klokstad 2. Nick Cotric 3. Jarrod Croker (C) 4. Joey Leilua 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Jack Wighton 7. Sam Williams 8. Josh Papalii 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Dunamis Lui 11. John Bateman 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Ryan Sutton.

Interchange: 14. Siliva Havili 15. Hudson Young 16. Iosia Soliola 17. Joseph Tapine.

Reserves: 18. Royce Hunt 19. Aidan Sezer 20. Bailey Simonsson 21. JJ Collins.

Coach: Ricky Stuart

Eels: 1. Clint Gutherson (C) 2. Maika Sivo 3. Michael Jennings 4. Brad Takairangi 5. Blake Ferguson 6. Jaeman Salmon 7. Mitch Moses 8. Daniel Alvaro 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Marata Niukore 13. Tepai Moeroa.

Interchange: 14. Peni Terepo 15. Tim Mannah 16. Kane Evans 17. Oregon Kaufusi.

Reserves: 18. David Gower 19. Ray Stone 20. Josh Hoffman 21. Bevan French.

Coach: Brad Arthur.


Late comeback by gritty Bulldogs not enough as Storm prevail

Canterbury Bulldogs half Lachlan Lewis

One goal. That is all it would have taken to level it up. Instead, a conversion goes wide and the Melbourne Storm defeat a valiant Canterbury Bulldogs outfit.

Hardly at their best, the win maintains the Storm’s unbeaten start to the season, despite being overwhelmed and manhandled by the Dogs at times.

Looking to reverse their own fortunes around, the Bulldogs started the brighter of the two sides with some good attacking play.

It paid dividends as they peppered the Storm’s right side defence – as they would do all game – with Kerrod Holland scoring.

They then went further ahead as some slick back-line movement saw hulking winger Jayden Okunbor touch down.

Needing a rocket of a pep talk to get back into it, the Storm would then resolve in typical Storm fashion.

It was hard going, however, as two tries were disallowed; one to Christian Welch and the other to Dale Finucane.

Luck would finally come their way as they were awarded a rare penalty try.

Chasing after his own kick, Will Chambers was taken out prior to touching the ball by Reimis Smith, making the decision easy for the video referee.

The 15,000 strong crowd was ready to cheer their side home and there was plenty to be excited about soon after.

Cameron Smith produced a bullet-like pass for a barging Tui Kamikamica to score his first NRL try.

Desperate to hold onto the 12-all scoreline, it was in vain for the Bulldogs.

Always a threat at any time, Cam Munster threw a dummy, bamboozled defenders and darted over to score off a scrum play.

Then, came the defining moment.

As Reimis Smith scored in the corner, Martin lined up his shot, had it in his sights but missed.

The rest, as they say, is history.

After matching the Storm and outpacing them in numerous elements, Bulldogs coach Dean Pay now wants consistency.

“We played better than what we did last week,” he said.

“I was really proud of the boys the way they hung in and played until the death.

“We are starting to build and we want to make sure we turn up and do that next week.”

Although his side claimed the two points, Storm coach Craig Bellamy believes his side were lucky to win.

“We were pretty lucky to get the win,” Bellamy said.

“Where we won the game was that we ‘out-completed’ them in the second half.

“I don’t think we did a whole heap wrong, although some of our defence was out at times.

“But you have to give a lot of credit to the Bulldogs and how they played and how energetic they were.”

NRL News Player of the Game

3. Lachlan Lewis

2. Cameron Munster

  1. Jayden Okunbor