Category Archives: NRL News

Regular and General NRL News Articles and Information

Smith Injured as Storm Defeat Knights

The Melbourne Storm proved too strong for the gallant Newcastle Knights, prevailing 26-16 in an entertaining match to round out Indigenous Round.

In their second home game at Sunshine Coast Stadium, the Storm seemingly had an answer to everything Newcastle threw at them as they scored three first half tries and defended their lead without their captain in the second period.

Suliasi Vunivalu has an outstanding record against Newcastle and wasted no time getting his side on the board with a try in the fifth minute.

The Melbourne winger has now scored in eight straight games against the Knights and has ten tries in his past eight matches this season.

Bradman Best hit back three minutes later, slicing through three Melbourne would-be tackles to cross the stripe and level the match.

Cameron Smith was the next to score after receiving a pass from Kenny Bromwich to scoot away for his first four-pointer of the season.

Ryan Papenhuyzen then spectacularly doubled Melbourne’s lead by cleaning up a Kalyn Ponga kick, beating four defenders and running eighty metres to score.

Both sides were left counting the cost of a tough first half with Newcastle duo Chris Randall and Lachlan Fitzgibbon requiring halftime head-injury assessments while Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith suffered a shoulder injury.

The Storm would take a twelve point lead into the break.

The scoring slowed in the initial stages of the second period, with a Cameron Munster penalty goal being the only points registered through twenty minutes of play.

Newcastle found themselves down a player for ten minutes after interchange forward Pasami Saulo found himself in the sin bin after tackling the legs of an airborne Jahrome Hughes in the fiftieth minute.

Melbourne couldn’t convert however, and Newcastle were instead the next to score through veteran Aidan Guerra.

The Knight’s comeback claims were unfounded though, and Tino Fa’asuamaleaui ran onto a Brandon Smith pass to give Melbourne an unassailable fourteen-point lead.

Enari Tuala capitalised on a Kurt Mann grubber to score with five minutes to go but it was simply too little, too late for the Newcastle side.

Post-match, Adam O’Brian labelled his side as ‘brave’, but admitted that his side’s performance lacked the polish required to defeat a clinical side like Melbourne.

“On a whole, I couldn’t be more proud of them this week. I was really disappointed last week with our attitude, but I’ve now gone full-scale the other way” he stated.

Craig Bellamy praised his team’s efforts in overcoming the loss of Cameron Smith to win what he described as a ‘tough’ match that ebbed and flowed throughout much of the proceedings.

He then confirmed Smith’s initial diagnosis of an AC Joint injury, stating that he suffered a grade two sprain when scoring the try and will be out for ‘two to three weeks’.

With their win, Melbourne have advanced to second spot on the ladder and cemented their spot in the top four. Newcastle now sit precariously in seventh, just one point ahead of ninth placed Manly.

Both sides will now enjoy a six-day layoff as Melbourne will advance to face the Bulldogs next Saturday afternoon while Newcastle will play the Tigers in a crucial home match.

NRL News Player of the Match
3 Points – Tino Fa’asuamaleaui – Big Tino dominated the Newcastle pack, running for 195 metres off 18 runs (2nd to Papenhuyzen, who had an 80 metre try in the first half). Nabbed a try at a crucial stage in the second half to seal the match.

2 Points – Brandon Smith – Was required to fill in at hooker when Cameron Smith left the field and ultimately set up the try that secured the win. The man nicknamed ‘The Wombat’ received great praise from coach Bellamy after the game.

1 Point – Ryan Papenhuyzen – The Storm fullback was solid at the back but broke the game apart in the first half with a sizzling run, leaving Kalyn Ponga in his wake on the way to the line.

Sea Eagles Too Strong for Gallant Cowboys

The Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles have prevailed 24-12 against the North Queensland Cowboys in an entertaining affair at Queensland Country Bank Stadium.

Josh Hannay was given a tough challenge in his head coaching debut with his young side matching up against a much-fancied Sea Eagles lineup who are fighting for a top eight spot.

The Cowboys looked set to defy an early onslaught from Manly but Curtis Sironen crashed over after seven minutes to land the first blow of the match.

Neither side gained any clear momentum through the following twenty minutes with errors stifling the attack of both sides.

However, Manly slowly began to regain control of possession and reaped the rewards through a Danny Levi dummy-half scoot.

Jack Gosiewski looked to have further extended the lead in the following set but was denied by the Bunker.

Kyle Feldt would have no such issues at the other end of the field, rising above Jorge Taufua to score. He then slotted the sideline conversion to cut the lead to six.

It was Feldt’s tenth four pointer of the year, making it five consecutive seasons with a double-digit try tally for the Cowboys winger.

Both sides struggled to break through following the break, but Brendan Elliot was fortunate to remain on the field after a potential professional foul on Kyle Feldt.

It was Manly who struck first however, with Daly Cherry-Evans crossing for his second try in as many weeks to extend the lead to 12.

As time ticked down the Cowboys weren’t without their chances, the greatest of which came through a Daejarn Asi grubber that was inexcusably spilled by Coen Hess over the line.

When Cade Cust crossed on the following set, the result appeared to be confirmed.

Francis Molo crashed over with ten minutes to go but his efforts proved to be little more than a consolation try for the Cowboys.

The luckless North Queensland fans in attendance were treated to the sight of Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow in full flight, gliding his way downfield in an impressive 80-metre run.

Unfortunately, his efforts were unrewarded.

Following the match, Manly coach Des Hasler was pleased with his team’s efforts, directing praise to his side’s ability to ‘weather a couple of difficult patches’ throughout the match when the Cowboys gained momentum.

Despite the loss, Josh Hannay remained upbeat in his first press conference as head coach. He said that his team’s performance was encouraging, but just not enough to get the job done on the night.

“I’ve been harping on the need to become more consistent around the tough parts of the game… we need to make sure that the last fortnight’s effort and attitude are the standard for us for the rest of the year” Hannay stated.

With tonight’s victory Manly will sneak back into the top eight, while the Cowboys remain in twelfth position.

Both clubs will now enjoy an eight day turnaround with the Sea Eagles playing against the Panthers and the Cowboys facing off against Canberra next Saturday night.

NRL News Player of the Match:
3 Points – Cade Cust – One try and a try assist was enough for Cust to secure the player of the match honours. He’s been exceptional since taking the place of Dylan Walker and will certainly challenge for the starting role moving forward.

2 Points – Addin Fonua-Blake – His addition was somewhat controversial, but there’s no doubting that Manly are a much better side with Fonua-Blake on the pitch. He racked up 228 metres on 17 runs to go along with 33 tackles.

1 Point – Jason Taumalolo – Taumalolo put in a typically tough performance tonight, putting the team on his back for 212 metres on 22 carries in addition to 43 tackles.

Panthers maul floundering Sharks

Penrith Panthers fullback Dylan Edwards

It was a dream debut for rookie Charlie Staines who scored four tries as the Penrith Panthers downed the Cronulla Sharks 56 – 24.

A round nine clash with the number two Panthers was the perfect yardstick for a Cronulla side who were gathering momentum on the back of three wins in a row.

But it was the 19-year-old debutant Staines who crashed the party, becoming the first player since 2008 to score four tries on debut.

The Panthers opened the scoring in the third minute through Brent Naden who had moved to centre to accommodate Staines.

Fullback Dylan Edwards took on the line and delivered a brilliant one-handed offload to Naden who strolled through for an easy four-pointer.

The Panthers were in again eight minutes later through Liam Martin courtesy of some Api Koroisau sleight of hand.

Koroisau fooled the Cronulla defence by faking left before stepping right and putting Martin through a hole to score.

Nathan Cleary kicked his second conversion to put the Panthers up 12 – 0 within twelve minutes.

Stephen Crichton continued his run of try-scoring form when he dove over in the corner for the Panthers third try.

Five minutes later, Staines crossed for the first of his four tries off the back of quick hands from Cleary and Naden.

Staines was straight back in the action when he broke the line off the kickoff.

This drew in Sharks fullback Josh Dugan to put Edwards away.

Crichton converted to give the Panthers a 26 – 0 lead inside the first 30 minutes.

The game looked like it had gotten away from the Sharks, but two tries in the last 10 minutes of the first half gave them some hope going into halftime.

The first was set up by Shaun Johnson who continued his rich vein of form.

He ran the ball off the back of a quick play of the ball and put Briton Nikora through a hole to score.

Blayke Brailey then busted over from dummy half right on halftime.

Johnson converted to send the Sharks into the sheds trailing 26 – 12.

The Sharks needed to score first in the second half to have any chance of clawing the game back.

But it was Staines who grabbed the first try of the second half, and his second for the game.

Naden climbed up over two Sharks players to bat back a Cleary bomb for Staines to cross over.

The Sharks were given an opportunity when James Tamou was sent to the sin bin.

But they failed to capitalise when Chad Townsend kicked the ball dead and then they gave away a repeat set.

The Panthers scored through Billy Burns off the resulting possession.

The Sharks were lucky it wasn’t ruled an 8 point try with Aaron Woods contacting Burns high as he scored.

The Sharks were eventually able to use their numbers advantage scoring through Jesse Ramien before Tamou returned from the bin.

Woods was sent to the bin moments later when he was ruled to have committed a professional foul after an Edwards line-break.

While Woods was off the field, the Panthers scored again through Crichton and Staines and conceded an intercept try to Nene MacDonald.

Staines then crossed over in the 78th minute for his fourth try when Naden delivered a brilliant one-handed pass.

NRL News Player of the Game

3. Dylan Edwards

2. Charlie Staines

1. Brent Naden

Penrith Panthers winger Charlie Staines

 

NRL Rd 9: Canberra Raiders v Melbourne Storm Stats Breakdown

Melbourne Storm captain and hooker Cameron Smith

Canberra Raiders v Melbourne Storm Breakdown

The Canberra Raiders and Melbourne Storm have played each other on 45 occasions; the Raiders have won 14 games, the Storm have won 31 games and there have been zero draws.

The Canberra Raiders need to score just ten points to reach 700 total points scored against the Melbourne Storm.

The Canberra Raiders have won the last three games against the Storm, all of which have come in Melbourne.

The first game played between the two sides was a 16-12 victory for the Melbourne Storm in round 24, 1998.

Biggest Wins

The Canberra Raiders biggest win over the Melbourne Storm was a comfortable 40-12 victory in round 18, 2012.

The Melbourne Storm’s biggest win over the Canberra Raiders was a 68-4 demolition in round 21, 2013.

Melbourne Storm club legend Billy Slater

Leading Try Scorer

Billy Slater (MEL) – 13
Matt Geyer (MEL) – 11
Greg Inglis (MEL) – 11
Mahe Fonua (MEL) – 9
Marcus Bai (MEL) – 8

Leading Point Scorer

Cameron Smith (MEL) – 2 tries & 99 goals (206 pts)
Jarrod Croker (CAN) – 7 tries & 37 goals (102 pts)
Matt Orford (MEL/CAN) – 2 tries & 36 goals (80 pts)
Clinton Schifcofske (CAN) – 3 tries & 27 goals (62 pts)

Players to have played for both sides in this clash

  1. Andrew McFadden – 1997-2001 (CAN) & 2003-2004 (MEL)
  2. Brett Finch – 1999-2002 (CAN) & 2009-2010 & 2013 (MEL)
  3. Glenn Lazarus – 1987-1991 (CAN) & 1998-1999 (MEL)
  4. Matt Orford – 2001-2005 (MEL) & 2011 (CAN)
  5. Troy Thompson – 2001-2010 (CAN) & 2011 (MEL)
  6. Glen Turner – 2000 & 2003-2005 (MEL) & 2007-2009 (CAN)
  7. Brett White – 2005-2010 (MEL) & 2011-2014 (CAN)
  8. Ben Cross – 2003-2005 (CAN) & 2006-2007 (MEL)
  9. Jeff Lima – 2006-2010 (MEL) & 2016-2017 (CAN)
  10. Tom Learoyd-Lahrs – 2006-2013 (CAN) & 2015 (MEL)
  11. Ryan Hinchcliffe – 2007-2008 (CAN) & 2009-2015 (MEL)
  12. Sandor Earl – 2012-2013 (CAN) & 2019 (MEL)
  13. Sisi Waqa – 2011-2014 (MEL) & 2015 (CAN)
  14. Brenko Lee – 2014-2016 (CAN) & 2020 (MEL)
  15. Curtis Scott – 2016-2019 (MEL) & 2020 (CAN)
  16. Mark Nicholls – 2012-2013 & 2015 (CAN) & 2017 (MEL)

Players to have sin-binned/sent-off in this clash

  1. Adam Mogg (CAN) sin-binned in round 18, 2005.
  2. Michael Weyman (CAN) & Matt King (MEL) both sin-binned in round 25, 2006.
  3. Joseph Tapine & Jack Wighton (both CAN) both sin-binned in round 22, 2019.

Head coaching records

Craig Bellamy (MEL) – 26/35 (74.3%)
Mal Meninga (CAN) – 4/8 (50%)
Chris Anderson (MEL) – 3/6 (50%)
Mark Murray (MEL) – 2/4 (50%)
Ricky Stuart (CAN) – 5/12 (41.7%)
David Furner (CAN) – 3/10 (30%)
Matthew Elliott (CAN) – 1/11 (9.1%)
Neil Henry (CAN) – 0/4 (0%)

Players to have scored three tries or more in one game

  1. Greg Inglis (MEL) scored three tries in round 10, 2010.
  2. Edrick Lee (CAN) scored three tries in round 18, 2012.
  3. Mahe Fonua (MEL) scored three tries in round 21, 2013.
  4. Sisi Waqa (MEL) scored three tries in round 21, 2013.
  5. Suliasi Vunivalu (MEL) scored three tries in round 2, 2019.

 

 

Raiders Survive Dragons’ Comeback Scare

The Canberra Raiders have further improved their impressive record against the St George Illawarra Dragons through a 22-16 victory in the nation’s capital.

Although the infamous Canberra hoodoo was officially broken in 2014, the Raiders once more had too much strike power for the Dragons in their first game back at GIO Stadium.

Nick Cotric continued his run of form against the Dragons, scoring the first try of the clash for the fourth year in a row.

Bailey Simonsson doubled the Raiders’ lead ten minutes later on the other side of the field, outleaping Mikaele Ravalawa to cross for his second try of the season.

Both sides kept things relatively tidy for the remainder of the half, completing at over 85% through the first 30 minutes.

However, the Dragons discipline began to fade with minutes to go until the break.

Capitalising on a mid-field mistake, George Williams scooted through the non-existent Dragons’ defence to score in the final minute of the half, giving his side an 18-0 lead.

The first chance of the second half fell to the Dragons but fullback Matt Dufty was unable to clean up a Ben Hunt banana kick to score the Saints’ first points of the match.

Jarrod Croker would have no such troubles, crashing onto a Jack Wighton kick to score his first four-pointer of the season.

Matt Dufty then replied, making up for his earlier blunder to reduce the margin to 18.

Thoughts of a comeback were then amplified by Zac Lomax, who sent Jason Saab through the line before backing up to score the try himself.

Lomax has scored 62 of the Dragons 122 points so far this season.

When Euan Aitken sent Matt Dufty away to score untouched with a minute to go, the small Canberra crowd was provided with a grandstand finish.

But there was to be no fairytale win for the Dragons who were left to rue an abysmal first half.

The Raiders will be counting the cost of the win with Elliot Whitehead and Emre Guler suffering leg injuries while Sia Soliola was sent to hospital with a suspected fractured cheekbone.

Canberra coach Ricky Stuart said that he was proud of his team’s ability to stave off the late comeback after a tough few weeks of travel but demonstrated some concern over the growing injury toll.

“We had a short turnaround, for them to back up with all those injuries in the middle and show that energy at the back end of the game, why wouldn’t I be happy?” he stated.

For the Dragons, Paul McGregor was ‘filthy’ with his team’s first half performance but said that the improvements he saw in the second period would provide them with a platform off which they could build for the coming weeks.

The Raiders have jumped the Tigers into sixth position and will take on Melbourne next Saturday, while the Dragons will enjoy a nine-day turnaround before facing Manly next Sunday.

NRL News Player of the Game:
3 Points – George Williams – Tough to choose a standout player of the match, but Williams’ efforts in the first half put the Raiders in a position to survive the late scare. One try, one try assist and a line-break for the Englishman.

2 Points – Cameron McInnes – Monster night defensively for the Dragons’ rake who had 66 tackles, with no missed tackles. Also had 16 runs for over 120 metres.

1 Point – Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad – The man dubbed ‘CNK’ has been relatively quiet for the Green Machine this season, but had a solid night tonight with 260 running metres on 33 runs and a try assist to boot. Other standout performances came from Euan Aitken, Zac Lomax and Nick Cotric.

NRL Rd 5: St George Illawarra Dragons v Cronulla Sharks Stats Breakdown

St George Illawarra Dragons former half Gareth Widdop

St George Illawarra Dragons v Cronulla Breakdown

The St George Illawarra Dragons and Cronulla Sharks have played each other on 44 occasions; the Dragons have won 22 games, the Sharks have won 21 games and there has been one draw.

The Cronulla Sharks won seven of the first ten games between the two sides (7W, 2L, 1D).

The St George Illawarra Dragons have won fourteen of the last twenty-two games between the two sides but the Cronulla Sharks have won the last two.

The first game between the two sides was an 18-16 win to the Cronulla Sharks in round 8, 1999.

Biggest Wins

The St George Illawarra Dragons biggest win over the Cronulla Sharks was an easy 38-0 win in round 8, 2010.

The Cronulla Sharks biggest win over the St George Illawarra Dragons was a 40-4 rout in round 4, 2007.

Brett Morris during his days at the St George Illawarra Dragons

Leading Try Scorer

Brett Morris (SGI) – 15
Colin Best (CRO/SGI) – 9
Nathan Blacklock (SGI) – 8 (1G)
David Peachey (CRO) – 7
Ben Hornby (SGI) – 7
Matt Cooper (SGI) – 7
Jason Nightingale (SGI) – 7

Leading Point Scorer

Gareth Widdop (SGI) – 1 try & 38 goals (80 pts)
Jamie Soward (SGI) – 2 tries, 27 goals & 1 field goal (63 pts)
Mark Riddell (SGI) – 5 tries & 18 goals (56 pts)
Luke Covell (CRO) – 3 tries & 22 goals (56 pts)
Brett Kimmorley (CRO) – 2 tries, 19 goals & 1 field goal (47 pts)

Players to have played for both sides in this clash

  1. Sam Isemonger – 1998-2000 & 2002-2005 (CRO) & 2006-2007 (SGI)
  2. Trent Barrett – 1999-2006 (SGI) & 2009-2010 (CRO)
  3. Wade Forrester – 1997-1999 (CRO) & 2001 (SGI)
  4. Nathan Long – 1994-2001 (CRO) & 2004 (SGI)
  5. Luke Branighan – 2000 (SGI) & 2001 (CRO)
  6. Lance Thompson – 1999-2005 (SGI) & 2006-2008 (CRO)
  7. Craig Stapleton – 2001-2003 (SGI) & 2007 (CRO)
  8. Colin Best – 1998-2002 & 2011-2012 (CRO) & 2005-2006 (SGI)
  9. Matt Bickerstaff – 2002-2004 (CRO) & 2006 (SGI)
  10. Hassan Saleh – 2003 (SGI) & 2004 (CRO)
  11. Ian Donnelly – 2003 (SGI) & 2009 (CRO)
  12. Jason Kent – 2002 (SGI) & 2003-2004 (CRO)
  13. Michael Ennis – 2005 (SGI) & 2015-2016 (CRO)
  14. Beau Scott – 2005-2006 (CRO) & 2007-2012 (SGI)
  15. Tony Caine – 2006 & 2009 (CRO) & 2007 (SGI)
  16. Adam Peek – 2007 (SGI) & 2008 (CRO)
  17. Bryan Norrie – 2004-2005 (SGI) & 2006-2007 (CRO)
  18. Matt Prior – 2008-2013 (SGI) & 2014-2019 (CRO)
  19. Jeremy Smith – 2009-2010 (SGI) & 2011-2012 (CRO)
  20. Bronx Goodwin – 2009 (CRO) & 2011-2012 (SGI)
  21. Atelea Vea – 2009 (CRO) & 2012-2013 (SGI)
  22. Jon Green – 2008-2011 (SGI) & 2012-2013 (CRO)
  23. Michael Greenfield – 2004 (CRO) & 2010-2011 (SGI)
  24. Adam Cuthbertson – 2010 (CRO) & 2011 (SGI)
  25. Jeremy Latimore – 2012 & 2018-2019 (SGI) & 2017 (CRO)
  26. Gerard Beale – 2013-2014 (SGI) & 2015-2017 (CRO)
  27. Tyson Frizell – 2011-2012 (CRO) & 2013-2020 (SGI)
  28. Daniel Holdsworth – 2004-2005 (SGI) & 2014 (CRO)
  29. Josh Dugan – 2013-2017 (SGI) & 2018-2020 (CRO)

Players to have sin-binned/sent-off in this clash

  1. Shaun Timmins (SGI) & Paul Gallen/Ben Pomeroy (both CRO) all sin-binned in round 25, 2006.
  2. Adam Peek (SGI) sin-binned in round 13, 2007.
  3. Sosaia Feki (CRO) sin-binned in round 2, 2016.
  4. Jason Nightingale (SGI) sin-binned in round 2, 2018.
  5. Cameron McInnes (SGI) sin-binned in round 6, 2018.

Head coaching records

John Morris (SGI) – 2/2 (100%)
Wayne Bennett (SGI) 5/6 (83.3%)
Chris Anderson (CRO) – 4/5 (80%)
Steve Price (SGI) – 3/5 (60%)
John Lang (CRO) – 4/7 (57.1%) (1 draw)
Paul McGregor (SGI) – 6/11 (54.5%)
Nathan Brown (SGI) – 6/12 (50%)
Ricky Stuart (CRO) – 4/8 (50%)
Stuart Flanagan (CRO) – 6/14 (42.9%)
David Waite (SGI) – 1/5 (20%)
Andrew Farrar (SGI) – 1/5 (20%) (1 draw)
Stuart Raper (CRO) – 1/6 (16.7%)
Peter Sharp (CRO) – 0/2 (0%)

Players to have scored three tries or more in one game

  1. Anthony Mundine (SGI) scored three tries in the 1999 NRL preliminary final.
  2. Ben Hornby (SGI) scored three tries in round 8, 2004.
  3. Brett Kearney (CRO) scored three tries in round 4, 2007.
  4. Brett Morris (SGI) scored three tries in round 11, 2009.
  5. Brett Morris (SGI) sored three tries in round 8, 2010.
  6. Josh Dugan (SGI) scored three tries in round 13, 2014.
  7. Bronson Xerri (CRO) scored three tries in round 11, 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Titans break 364-day winning drought to defeat the Tigers

Gold Coast Titans halfback Ashley Taylor

It was the Wests Tigers who started as favourites but the Gold Coast Titans were desperate for their opening win.

In two days, had the Titans not won, it would have marked a year since their most last NRL win.

The Tigers opened the scoring on their first trip to the Titans end.

Five minutes in, Benji Marshall gave it under to Adam Doueihi who had enough space to power over the line.

He was almost held up but he got the ball down and Marshall converted. The Tigers lead 6-0.

Another five minutes later, the Tigers would crack the scoreboard again.

At the halfway line, the Titans lead a raid down the left side.

Ashley Taylor threw a cutout ball which was intercepted by David Nofoaluma who out jogged Jai Arrow to score.

Again, Marshall converted to make the lead 12-0.

20 minutes into the game, the Titans would get their first points on the board.

Taylor barely kicked a 40/20 before Kevin Proctor crashed over the line. Taylor converted to lower the deficit to 12-6.

Again, five minutes later, the Titans got a try to level the score.

Taylor put a crossfield bomb up for Anthony Don to make a magnificent catch and bring it down for a four-pointer.

Taylor converted to level the scores at 12-all. This score remained until half time.

The Tigers came out firing in the second half with a very early try. Luke Brooks bombed and the Titans let it bounce.

The Tigers got the ball and put it through the hands to the right side.

David Nofoaluma kicked back in perfectly to Joey Leilua who scored a try of the year contender.

Benji Marshall horribly hooked it to keep the lead 16-12 to the Tigers.

10 minutes later, the Tigers had the ball back down the Titans end.

On the last tackle, Benji Marshall and Luke Brooks were both unable to kick so the ball ended up with Doueihi.

Doueihi put in a crossfield kick to Nofoaluma who beat Dale Copley to it to score.

Marshall kicked the goal to make the lead 22-12.

The Titans would hit back a few minutes later.

On the Tigers goal line, Keegan Hipgrave powered over for his first NRL try of his career in his 29th game.

Taylor converted from right in front to lower the deficit to 22-18.

With 10 minutes left, the Titans again crossed the line.

Taylor dribbled a grubber into the corner and Brian Kelly picked it up to score.

Taylor missed the goal to keep the score 22-all and the grandstand finish was set up!

With just 3 minutes left, with the scores tied, it was the 300 game veteran, Benji Marshall who kicked the field goal.

The Tigers led 23-22 but the game wasn’t over.

After a short kickoff, with 2 minutes left, the Titans put a grubber through.

Phillip Sami dived on it to score and win the game.

Taylor converted to make the winning lead 28-23!

NRL News Player of the Game

3. Ashley Taylor (GLD)

2. David Nofoaluma (WST)

  1. Keegan Hipgrave (GLD)
Wests Tigers winger David Nofoaluma

McCullough joins Knights for remainder of 2020 season.

 

New Newcastle Knights signing Andrew McCullough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Perhaps a move surprising many, veteran hooker Andrew McCullough will depart the Brisbane Broncos and join the Newcastle Knights.

McCullough, who will join the Knights for the 2020 season, was a long term mainstay in the Broncos side under several coaches. 

The emergence of Jake Turpin, however, cast doubt over his position and tenure at the club.

Since debuting in 2008, McCullough has played in 260 NRL games and provides the Knights with added hooker strength.

“Andrew is a quality defensive player with a consistent passing game and kick threat,” Knights coach Adam O’Brien said.

“He’s a senior player with maturity which will only compliment Mitchell Pearce, Kurt Mann and Kalyn Ponga in the spine.

“I am looking forward to having him join our roster ahead of the 2020 season resumption.”

Brisbane Broncos CEO Paul White praised McCullough’s efforts at Brisbane and wished him the best moving forward.

“We wish Andrew and Carlie all the best in what will be a new and exciting opportunity for them,” White said.

“He has been a favourite son of the Broncos for a long period of time and has always been so well respected by his fellow players and staff.

“It is a sad day for the Broncos to see him depart Brisbane, but he will always be welcome back here at the club.

Ricky’s All-Time Teams Pt 9: St George Illawarra Dragons

St George Illawarra Dragons legend and prolific try-scorer Nathan Blacklock

A newer team overall given the joint venture but the St George Illawarra Dragons have still seen quality players. 

A premiership under Wayne Bennett, some good seasons but also some bad seasons, the road has not been easy for the the Dragons.

But where there are hard times, there are good times.

So here are our picks for the greatest St George Illawarra Dragons players ever:

  1. Ben Hornby – Proved his utility value early on but it was his work at custodian put him on the map. Later moved to halfback.

2. Jason Nightingale – A quality finisher for the Dragons, the man nicknamed ‘Flossy’ or ‘Gypsy’ loved a good try. He ran hard and quickly became a fan favourite.

3. Matt Cooper – A hard-running and gifted centre, Cooper had the looks to match his on-field play. His ability was on show for all to see and he was there through the good and bad.

4. Mark Gasnier – Playing alongside Cooper for years, Gasnier was the yin to Cooper’s yang. Physically imposing and strong, Gasnier quickly cemented his spot as an elite centre in the game.

5. Nathan Blacklock – The man from Tingha. He set try-scoring records, scored tries for fun, and all of it made Blacklock an electrifying winger. One of the best of his time.

6. Jamie Soward – A crafty player, Soward was always on the lookout for a defensive weakness to exploit either with a darting run or a classy kick.

7. Trent Barrett – A gifted player, even from a young age, people knew Barrett would shine at the Dragons. A deft kicking game, a solid passing game, Barrett often stood out.

8. Jason Ryles – 2001 is when Ryles came into his own as a player and he did not look back. He ran with heart and passion, and put the defence on notice.

9. Mark Riddell – The man they called Piggy. If he wasn’t winning fans over with his larrikin ways, it was his unique goal-kicking style. It gave him cult status and the fans would mimic him as he took goals.

10. Chris Leikvoll – Just a hard worker, a tenacious player and one that would bust his backside in attack and defence every week.

11. Ben Creagh – Started out as a centre/winger but made the move to back-row. A consistent performer, Creagh was a long-term mainstay of the Dragons side.

12.  Lance Thompson – One of the hardest workers on the footy field, his consistency was lauded by many fans and he quickly became a favourite.

13. Dean Young – Every team needs a guy like Dean Young. He was the Dragons heart and soul. Not flashy but he didn’t need to be; he was ever-present, always giving 100%.

14. Trent Merrin – Some of Merrin’s best years of rugby league have come at the Dragons. A hard-running, mobile forward, Merrin was known for his offloading ability.

15. Shaun Timmins – Just 17 when he debuted, it was evident Timmins had talent. Became a Dragons mainstay at centre but dabbled in the back-row as well, among other positions.

16. Brett Morris – Speed, strength, and skill, Brett Morris had it all. For years, he’s been an elite winger and he was a prolific try-scorer for the Dragons.

17. Dan Hunt – A surprise? Perhaps, but he worked hard, helped lay a platform and put the Dragons in good positions with consistent forward play.

St George Illawarra utility Shaun Timmins

Flegler agrees to additional contract extension with Broncos

Brisbane Broncos prop Thomas Flegler

A promising young prop coming through their ranks, Thomas Flegler will remain with the Brisbane Broncos for a further season.

With 23 games to his name in his debut season, Flegler is excited to get stuck into another season.

“It all happened pretty quick, so I’m pumped to be here for another year and get back into training and focus on 2020,” said Flegler.

Flegler wants to build on his 2019 season with more games and more minutes.

“First of all, I’d just like to get my minutes up, play as many rounds as I can,” he said.

“Ideally, I would love to get a starting spot in the number 13 jersey, but if that doesn’t happen I’m still going to go out next week and try my best”.

Flegler’s sights are set high on achievements, one of the biggest being to put himself in contention for a QLD Origin berth.

“That’s my goal. That’s my big one,” said a determined Flegler.