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.”

Rd 7 NRL News Stats Breakdown: Broncos v Storm


Melbourne Storm captain Cameron Smith

Brisbane Broncos v Melbourne Storm

The Brisbane Broncos and the Melbourne Storm have played 45 games; the Broncos have won 13, the Storm have won 29 and there have been 3 draws.

Brisbane need just five points to reach 700 points against the Melbourne Storm.

The Broncos have conceded 1063 points against the Melbourne Storm, their most conceded against any side in ARL/NRL history.

The Melbourne Storm are looking for four straight wins over the Brisbane Broncos.

The Melbourne Storm haven’t lost a game at Suncorp Stadium against the Brisbane Broncos in their last seven games at the venue. The last time the Broncos won against the Storm at Suncorp was March, 2009.

The first game between the two sides was played on Friday, July 3, 1998, in round 17. The Broncos won this game 32-16.

Biggest Wins

The Brisbane Broncos biggest win over Melbourne was a 48-20 success on Saturday, August 3, 2002, in round 21.

The Melbourne Storm’s biggest win over Brisbane was a 50-4 hiding on Saturday, April 2, 2005, in round 4.

Players to play for both sides

  1. Israel Folau (MEL: 2007-08 & BRI: 2009-10).
  2. Russell Bawden (BRI: 1994 & MEL: 1998-2001).
  3. Richard Swain (MEL: 1998-2002 & BRI: 2003).
  4. Glenn Lazarus (BRI: 1992-1997 & MEL: 1998-1999).
  5. Robbie Ross (BRI: 1996 & 1998-2003).
  6. Chris Walker (BRI: 1999-2002 & MEL: 2006).
  7. Nathan Friend (BRI: 2002 & MEL: 2003-2006).
  8. Tom Learoyd-Lahrs (BRI: 2004-2005 & MEL: 2015).
  9. Adam Blair (MEL: 2006-2011 & BRI: 2015-2017).
  10. Sam Tagataese (MEL: 2007-2008 & BRI: 2018).
  11. Clifford Manua (BRI: 2007 & MEL: 2008).
  12. Lagi Setu (BRI: 2009-2010 & MEL: 2013)
  13. Scott Anderson (MEL: 2007-2009 & BRI: 2010-2013).
  14. Todd Lowrie (MEL: 2010-2012 & BRI: 2014).

Head-to-head coaching records/winning percentages

Craig Bellamy v Brisbane (25 wins & 9 losses at 73.5%)
Chris Anderson v Brisbane (3 wins, 2 losses & 1 draw at 50%)
Ivan Henjak v Melbourne (2 wins & 2 losses at 50%)
Wayne Bennett v Melbourne (11 wins, 19 losses & 1 draw at 36.7%)
Mark Murray v Brisbane (1 win & 2 losses at 33.3%)
Anthony Griffin v Melbourne (0 wins & 7 losses at 0%).

Most prolific point-scorers in this clash

  1. Cameron Smith (MEL) – 3 tries & 88 goals (190 pts)
  2. Michael De Vere (BRI) – 5 tries & 39 goals (98 pts)
  3. Billy Slater (MEL) – 23 tries (92 pts)
  4. Darren Lockyer (BRI) – 7 tries, 22 goals & 1 field goal (73 pts)
  5. Matt Orford (MEL) – 4 tries, 24 goals & 2 field goals (66 pts)
  6. Matt Geyer (MEL) – 8 tries & 12 goals (56 pts)
  7. Corey Parker (BRI) – 1 try & 24 goals (52 pts)
  8. Matt King (MEL) – 9 tries (36 pts)
  9. Ryan Hoffman (MEL) – 9 tries (36 pts)
  10. Cooper Cronk (MEL) – 8 tries & 3 field goals (35 pts)
  11. Israel Folau (MEL/BRI) – 8 tries & 1 goal (34 pts)
  12. Greg Inglis (MEL) – 7 tries & 1 goal (30 pts)
  13. Robbie Ross (MEL) – 7 tries (28 pts)
  14. Steve Turner (MEL) – 7 tries (28 pts)
  15. Joseph Tomane (MEL) – 3 tries & 6 goals (24 pts)

Disclaimer: The above fifteen players are simply the 15 most prolific point-scorers across all clashes between the Storm and the Broncos.

Should you have any further stats you want to see or if there is anything we have missed, let us know.


Rd 7 NRL News Stats Breakdown: Warriors v Dragons

Former St George Illawarra Dragons half Jamie Soward

New Zealand Warriors v St George Illawarra Dragons

The New Zealand Warriors and St George Illawarra Dragons have played 28 games; the Warriors have won just five games, the Dragons have won 21 and there have been two draws.

The Warriors have won just one of the last thirteen games against the Dragons.

The Warriors have won just one game against the Dragons in Sydney.

The first clash between the two sides saw the Warriors win 32-18 in round 23 of the 1999 NRL season.

Biggest Wins

The St George Illawarra Dragons biggest win over the New Zealand Warriors was a 54-0 demolition on Saturday, May 6, 2000, in round 14.

The New Zealand Warriors biggest win over the St George Illawarra Dragons was a comfortable 34-6 win on Friday, March 9, 2001, in round 4.

Players sin-binned and/or sent off in this clash

  1. Richard Villasanti (WAR) & Aaron Gorrell (SGI) in round 15, 2002.
  2. Matt Cooper (SGI) in round 7, 2011.
  3. Ben Matulino (WAR) in round 25, 2011.

Most prolific point-scorers in this clash

Jamie Soward (SGI) – 3 tries, 25 goals & 2 field goals (64 pts)
Gareth Widdop (SGI) – 1 try, 21 goals & 1 field goal (47 pts)
Matt Cooper (SGI) – 11 tries (44 pts)
Nathan Blacklock (SGI) – 10 tries & 1 goal (42 pts)
Shaun Johnson (WAR) – 2 tries & 12 goals (32 pts)
Jason Nightingale (SGI) – 7 tries (28 pts)
Amos Roberts (SGI) – 2 tries & 9 goals (26 pts)
Mark Riddell (SGI) –  1 try & 11 goals (26 pts)
Mark Gasnier (SGI) – 4 tries & 5 goals (26 pts)
Ivan Cleary (WAR) – 1 try & 10 goals (24 pts)
James Maloney (WAR) – 1 try & 10 goals (24 pts)
Brett Morris (SGI) – 5 tries (20 pts)
Stacey Jones (WAR) – 2 tries, 5 goals & 1 field goal (19 pts)
Michael Witt (WAR) – 9 goals (18 pts)
Simon Mannering (WAR) – 4 tries (16 pts)

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.”

NRL Teams Rd 7

Well, there is just one team still undefeated and that is the St George Illawarra Dragons. 

Equally, one team is winless and that is the Parramatta Eels.

Can the Dragons continue their momentum and can the Eels finally open their account?

With some mouth-watering contests ahead in round 7, time will tell if the above happens as teams look for consistency.

Without further adieu, here are the teams for round 7 of the NRL Telstra Premiership:

Canterbury Bulldogs v Sydney Roosters (#NRLcbysyd); Thursday, April 19; ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park. Kick-off: 7:50 pm. 

Bulldogs: 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.

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

Interchange: 14. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 15. Frank-Paul Nuuausala 16. Nat Butcher 17. Victor Radley.

Reserves: 18. Sitili Tupouniua 19. Sio Siua Taukeiaho 20. Kurt Baptiste 21. Reece Robinson.

Coach: Trent Robinson.

Ricky’s View: The Roosters, for all their starpower and talent, have been woefully inconsistent in 2018. Their opponents, the Bulldogs, have been equally inconsistent. That one factor alone, inconsistency, makes this a hard clash to tip.
Given the star-studded line-up the Roosters possess, on paper and on the surface, you would imagine they will have too much for the Bulldogs. Roosters by 8.

New Zealand Warriors v St George Illawarra Dragons (#NRLwarsgi); Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland; Friday, April 20. Kick-off: 6 pm (AEST) & 8 pm (local time).

Warriors: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (C) 2. David Fusitu’a 3. Peta Hiku 4. Solomone Kata 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Blake Green 7. Shaun Johnson 15. Sam Lisone 9. Issac Luke 10. Agnatius Paasi 11. Simon Mannering 12. Tohu Harris 13. Adam Blair.

Interchange: 8. Bunty Afoa 14. Jazz Tevaga 16. Albert Vete 17. Anthony Gelling.

Reserves: 18. Chris Satae 19. Mason Lino 20. Isaiah Papali’i 21. Charnze Nicholl-Klokstad.

Coach: Stephen Kearney.

Dragons: 1. Matthew 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. Paul Vaughan 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Tariq Sims 13. Jack de Belin.

Interchange: 14. Jeremy Latimore 15. Kurt Mann 16. Leeson Ah Mau 17. Hame Sele.

Reserves: 18. Jacob Host 19. Zac Lomax 20. Mitchell Allgood 21. Blake Lawrie.

Coach: Paul McGregor.

Ricky’s View: This was potentially set to be the game that saw an undefeated streak come to an end. Though the Warriors loss last week prevented that from eventuating.
In fine, fine form, the Dragons seem to be firing on all cylinders with no end in sight. The Warriors, however, despite the loss, looked good and have found their mojo. Shaun Johnson’s moxie has returned and so too have the Warriors good fortune. Enough to the point that I think they can get the nod done and hand the Dragons a first loss.
Warriors by 2. 

Brisbane Broncos v Melbourne Storm (#NRLbrimel); Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane; Friday, April 20. Kick-off: 8:05 pm. 

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

Interchange: 14. Sam Thaiday 15. Joe Ofahengaue 16. Kodi Nikorima 17. Jaydn Su’A.

Reserves: 18. Jonus Pearson 19. Troy Dargan 20. Sam Tagataese 21. Payne Haas.

Coach: Wayne Bennett.

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

Interchange: 14. Brandon Smith 15. Kenny Bromwich 16. Christian Welch 17. Sam Kasiano.

Reserves: 18. Young Tonumaipea 19. Joe Stimson 20. Patrick Kaufusi 21. Brodie Croft.

Coach: Craig Bellamy.

Ricky’s View: After slow starts, both sides are slowly starting to work out the chinks and win games. With no easy game anymore and these two sides desperate for more wins, it looms as an interesting clash.
On paper, the Storm look better and the introduction of Ryley Jacks rejuvenated their attack last week but can it be that way again?
The Broncos halves pairing of Bird and Milford seemed to flow well, and they will want that momentum to continue.
That in mind, the Storm seem to have found fluidity once more and I back them to continue their good form at Suncorp. Storm by 10.

South Sydney Rabbitohs v Canberra Raiders (#NRLsoucan); Saturday, April 21; Central Coast Stadium, Gosford. Kick-off: 3 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. Sam Burgess.

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

Reserves: 18. Robbie Farah 19. Hymel Hunt 20. Cameron Murray 21. Kyle Turner.

Coach: Anthony Seibold

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. Luke Bateman.

Interchange: 14. Ata Hingano 15. Shannon Boyd 16. Josh Papalii 17. Dunamis Lui.

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

Coach: Ricky Stuart

Ricky’s View: Yet another tough one to pick given both sides have also been guilty of inconsistency. Sam Burgess returning for the Bunnies is a huge boost, as the Raiders look to overcome the off-field battles faced by Jack Wighton.
With no consistency to really based overall form on, the outcome could either be high-scoring or low-scoring. Rabbitohs by 2. 

Wests Tigers v Newcastle Knights (#NRLwstnew); Saturday, April 21; Scully Park, West Tamworth. Kick-off: 5:30 pm. 

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. Josh Aloiai 12. Robbie Rochow 13. Elijah Taylor.

Interchange: 14. Pita Godinet 15. Alex Twal 16. Michael Chee-Kam 17. Sauaso Sue.

Reserves: 18. Tim Grant 19. Chris McQueen 20. Tyson Gamble 21. Tuimoala Lolohea.

Coach: Ivan Cleary.

Knights: 1.Kalyn Ponga 2. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 3. Sione Mata’utia 4. Nathan Ross 5. Ken Sio 6. Jack Cogger 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. Herman Ese’ese 9. Slade Griffin 10. Jacob Lillyman 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 12. Aidan Guerra 13. Mitch Barnett.

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

Reserves: 18. Daniel Saifiti 19. Josh King 20. Luke Yates 21. Cory Denniss.

Coach: Nathan Brown.

Ricky’s View: The Tigers continue to surprise and impress and deserve to be in the position they are in. Brooks and Marshall are firing as a halves duo as players around them also step up.
The Knights are not to be overlooked, though, as their own talent is capable of producing exciting play.
Although a last-start loss to the Storm may have their confidence battered somewhat, they have been resilient and could come out with a new point to prove. Knights by 6. 

North Queensland Cowboys v Gold Coast Titans (#NRLnqlgld); Saturday, April 21; 1300 Smiles Stadium, Townsville. Kick-off: 7:35 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. John Asiata 16. Corey Jensen 17. Ethan Lowe.

Reserves: 18. Francis Molo 18. Javid Bowen 19. Enari Tuala 21. Sam Hoare.

Coach: Paul Green.

Titans: 1. Michael Gordon 2. Anthony Don 3. Philip Sami 4. Konrad Hurrell 5. Tyronne Roberts-Davis 6. Kane Elgey 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. Bryce Cartwright 16. Jack Stockwell 17. Keegan Hipgrave.

Reserves: 18. Morgan Boyle 19. Ryan Simpkins 20. Brenko Lee 21. Brendan Elliott.

Coach: Garth Brennan.

Ricky’s View: Both teams have had their struggles in season 2018 and so this clash comes as a perfect time for both to arrest their woes. With neither able to take the bull by the horns just yet, opportunities are rife. Can Morgan/Thurston rekindle their halves form and can Ash Taylor lead the Titans side from the front? In another tough one, I tip this with some uncertainty. Titans by 1.

Parramatta Eels v Manly Sea Eagles (#NRLparman); Sunday, April 22; ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park. Kick-off: 2 pm. 

Eels: 1. Clint Gutherson 2. Jarryd Hayne 3. Michael Jennings 4. Brad Takairangi 5. George Jennings 6. Corey Norman 7. Mitch Moses 8. Kane Evans 9. Kaysa Pritchard 10. Tim Mannah (C) 11. Manu Ma’u 12. Tony Williams 13. Peni Terepo.

Interchange: 14. Will Smith 15. Kenny Edwards 16. David Gower 17. Daniel Alvaro.

Reserves: 18. Beau Scott 19. Josh Hoffman 20. Suaia Matagi 21. Marata Niukore.

Coach: Brad Arthur.

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

Interchange: 14. Matthew Wright 15. Shaun Lane 16. Lloyd Perrett 17. Taniela Paseka.

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

Coach: Trent Barrett.

Ricky’s View: Manly trounced the Eels in their clash earlier this season but things are different now. Forced to make numerous changes due to injuries, poor form or disgruntled players, Manly will have to dig deep.
The Eels, on the other hand, well, they just want their first win. With both sides desperate to prove they are not out of the finals race altogether, some handy returns could be the catalyst both sides need to win this game and stake their claims.
Eels by 4. 

Cronulla Sharks v Penrith Panthers (#NRLcropen); Sunday, April 22; Southern Cross Group Stadium, Cronulla. Kick-off: 4 pm. 

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. Luke Lewis (C) 12. Kurt Capewell 13. Joseph Paulo.

Interchange: 14. Scott Sorenson 15. James Segeyaro 16. Ava Seumanufagai 17. Kurt Dillon.

Reserves: 18. Jack Williams 19. Trent Hodkinson 20. Wade Graham (C) 21. Braden Uele.

Coach: Shane Flanagan.

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

Interchange: 14. Sione Katoa. 15. Kaide Ellis 16. Moses Leota 17. James Tamou.

Reserves: 18. Wayde Egan 19. Nick Lui-Toso 20. Thomas Eisenhuth 21. Jack Hetherington.

Coach: Anthony Griffin.

Ricky’s View: Many thought Penrith would struggle without Cleary but it has been James Maloney leading the side with success. Against a Sharks team that, like many others, has been inconsistent, you would yet again back Penrith.
If rugby league teaches us anything, however, it is that we never assume a result is a given. The Sharks, with everything to play for – despite the loss of key personnel – will look to give their home fans something to cheer about. Sharks by 8.


Green re-commits as Cowboys coach

North Queensland Cowboys captain Paul Green

It took longer to confirm than expected but Paul Green will remain head coach of the North Queensland Cowboys.

Green, who became coach of the club in 2014, is set to stay on in the role until the end of the 2021 season.

The new deal will make him the longest serving coach in the Cowboys’ history.

With the deal done, Green is relieved to have his future sorted.

“I am very happy to have my future sorted and even happier my future is with the Cowboys,” he said.

“My family is really settled here, my wife hails from the region and we are all really pleased to be able to continue to be part of the North Queensland community.

“I am extremely blessed to be able to work with such a talented and committed playing group and look forward to continuing to help our players realise their full potential.”

Green praised the new talents coming through, the upcoming stadium shift and the direction of the club.

“The future looks very bright for our club as we usher in the next generation of talent and prepare for a move to our new home stadium from 2020,” continued the Cowboys coach.

“There is no question it is an extremely exciting time to be part of the Cowboys as we charge ahead into a new era.”

Green currently boasts the best record as Cowboys coach with 69 wins from 116 games at 59.5%.

Guiding the side to a maiden premiership in 2015, Green drew praise from Cowboys Chairman Lawrence Lancini.

“He has become an integral part of the history of this club, guiding us to a maiden premiership in 2015 and a grand final berth against all odds last year,” said Lancini.

“Finalising this deal is what we have all been working towards and it has always been the intention of both parties for Paul to continue being the head coach of this club.

“The entire negotiation between the club, Paul and his management was conducted in good faith and we were always confident a deal would be struck.”


Rd 6 NRL News Stats Breakdown: Manly v Tigers

Former Manly Sea Eagles centre Jamie Lyon

The final game of the round is the Manly Sea Eagles v the Wests Tigers. This is our final stats breakdown for the round.

Both sides have had some entertaining clashes in recent years with points galore being scored.

But just who has the rub of the green if anyone? Is there a standout?

Here is the full stats breakdown of games between Manly and the Wests Tigers:

Manly Sea Eagles v Wests Tigers

Manly and the Wests Tigers have played each other on 27 occasions; Manly have won 15 times, the Tigers 10 times and there have been two draws.

The sole game that Ben Cummins was referee for a match between these two sides was back in 2012, a game that Manly won 22-18.

Manly have the longest winning streak of games between the two sides with 5 consecutive wins from June 9, 2006 to April 12, 2009.

The first game played between the two sides was on Sunday, April 6, 2003 at Brookvale Oval. The Wests Tigers won 38-12 with Daniel Fitzhenry scoring a double.

Biggest Wins

The Wests Tigers biggest win over the Manly Sea Eagles came in their very first clash in 2003, when they won 38-12 at Brookvale Oval.

The Manly Sea Eagles biggest win over the Wests Tigers came on Saturday, August 23, 2008 in Rd 24 of the NRL Premiership at ANZ Stadium when they won 48-16.

Most prolific point-scorers in these clashes

Jamie Lyon (MAN) – 5 tries & 47 goals (112 pts)
Benji Marshall (WST) – 3 tries & 20 goals (52 pts)
Brett Stewart (MAN) –  13 tries (52 pts)
Brett Hodgson (WST) – 1 try & 18 goals (38 pts)
Matt Orford (MAN) – 12 goals & 1 field goal (29 pts)
Steve Menzies (MAN) – 7 tries (28 pts)
David Nofoaluma (WST) – 6 tries (24 pts)
Daly Cherry-Evans (MAN) – 6 tries (24 pts)
Michael Witt (MAN) – 1 try & 9 goals (22 pts)
Steve Matai (MAN) – 5 tries & 1 goal (22 pts)
Pat Richards (WST) – 2 tries & 9 goals (22 pts)
Anthony Watmough (MAN) – 5 tries (20 pts)
Ben Walker (MAN) – 9 goals (18 pts)
Robbie Farah (WST) – 4 tries & 1 field goal (17 pts)
Michael Robertson (MAN) – 4 tries (16 pts)
Glenn Stewart (MAN) – 4 tries (16 pts)
Beau Ryan (WST) – 4 tries (16 pts)
Kieran Foran (MAN) – 4 tries (16 pts)

Disclaimer: The above players noted here are simply those that were the most prolific scorers among all players to have played in the fixtures between these two sides. 

Should there be any an additional stat/s you would like to see or an oversight on our part, just let us know and we can add it or fix it.

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