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

Field goal hero Norman wins it for Dragons again

St George Illawarra Dragons prop Paul Vaughan

St George Illawarra Dragons fans are overcoming deja vu tonight as Corey Norman has won his team their second win of the season with a field goal, this time in golden point over the Newcastle Knights.

The affair was very different from the Brisbane Broncos defeat however, as Kalyn Ponga looked to have been driving his team to a victory with the number 1 back on his jersey.

The evening started slowly as the Dragons took the first points through a penalty goal.

The two teams went back and forth for the rest of the night.

Intensities were high as both teams were looking at a 1 win, 3 loss tally and the likes of Ponga stepped up to try and ensure that didn’t happen.

10 minutes in, Ponga delivered a near perfect pass to a wide open Edrick Lee for the first try of the evening.

With one pass, Ponga’s confidence at fullback was exemplified and he looked to have killed the five-eighth experiment for good.

The Knights, in control, suffered a huge momentum shift after Tyson Frizell (who returned substantially early from injury) stripped the ball from Mitchell Pearce to pounce on the try line between the posts.

Just 5 minutes later, Ponga got his team on the board again with an assist for a flying Hymel Hunt to go in untouched.

Holding on to a 2 point lead, Newcastle looked comfortable, however, the Dragons kept clawing their way back in.

After a potentially harsh forward pass call on what would have been a try, the Dragons managed to regather the ball to replicate the same play on the other side of the field.

This time courtesy of Matt Dufty putting Mikaele Ravalawa in for his second career try.

With 15 minutes to go, Kalyn Ponga jumped at the opportunity to even the game up converting a penalty goal from a head high tackle on birthday boy Mitchell Pearce from Tariq Sims.

From there, the match was neck and neck as the two struggled with the intensity which was only amplified by an incredibly vocal 19,105 fans at McDonald Jones Stadium.

3 missed field goals shared between the two teams – 1 by Pearce, 1 by Norman and 1 by Ponga.

The game clocked over into golden point and the intensities were skyrocketed even more.

The first 5 minutes flew by with Pearce and Norman failing field goal attempts again, both only slightly.

The second half saw both teams derail as exhaustion well and truly kicked in. Ben Hunt, attempting a 40/20 on third tackle, kicked the ball dead granting the Knights a 7 tackle set and the game on a silver plater.

Unfortunately for the home crowd, their team was unable to capitalise on the gift and the Dragons received the ball in good field position.

5 tackles in and 42 metres out proved third time lucky for Norman who kicked the winning field goal for his team once again and truly finding a place in the hearts of the Red V faithful.

Norman drew strong praise from Dragons coach Paul McGregor for his insistence in wanting the ball at the big moments.

“He’s a joy to coach because he’s an energetic kid that takes footy serious, but in and around that, he can have a bit of fun as well,” McGregor said.

“He wants the footy at important times, and that’s what your better playmakers do.”

Knights coach Nathan Brown was proud of his side’s effort but the lack of execution concerns him.

“Our effort was tremendous,” Brown said.

“Even against Penrith, going down 16-14, we probably weren’t quite as good as we were the week before against Cronulla, but I don’t think anyone would be critical of that.

“The challenge now is we’ve got to back up against Manly and come out and put in a good one on Saturday.

“That’s going to be a challenge … against Manly, who are playing some good footy.”

NRL News Man of the Match

3. Paul Vaughan

2. Kalyn Ponga

1. Tim Lafai

Eels wave ANZ Stadium goodbye with gritty win over Sharks

Parramatta Eels half Mitch Moses

Led by half Mitch Moses, who, like his religious namesake, parted the Cronulla Sharks defence – obviously, water for Moses – the Parramatta Eels have bid farewell to ANZ Stadium with a win. 

Keen to bounce back after a last start loss to the Roosters – although they were competitive – this was another stern test.

As the Sharks faced life without Paul Gallen, Wade Graham, Matt Moylan and Shaun Johnson, a late scratching, the conclusion was still in the air.

The win was the Eels first in the traditional Johnny Mannah Cup clash since 2014.

There were early ebbs and flows and a forced reshuffle due to Josh Dugan leaving the field with a HIA led to first points.

Moses’ cross-field kick was fumbled by Sosaia Feki and Marata Niukore pounced to score a rare meat pie.

Feki was keen to make amends and he soon did, as the bouncing ball evaded Eels winger Blake Ferguson as Feki grounded it ahead of the dead ball line.

The Eels would hit the lead again, however, as a set play on the right saw Brad Takairangi with acres of space to simply stroll over.

Not be outdone as the second half began, a sneaky trick play saw the Sharks right back in the contest.

Starting a play right, then feigning and going back to the left, Feki nabbed a double in the corner.

As the Sharks looked to assert their dominance on the match, several surging runs by Eels forwards quickly turned the game around.

Tepai Moeroa, Tim Mannah and Kane Evans all played their part in that build-up, as Moses was again involved to assist.

This time, a spill from Dugan off a Moses grubber, saw Michael Jennings ground the ball with his back to it.

It would then read game, set and match, as Moses found a bullocking Blake Ferguson who passed inside to Jennings for his second try.

With so much talk around attitude, Eels coach Brad Arthur said it is the players driving it and not him.

“It’s got nothing to do with me, it’s the players attitude. They’ve got a real drive in their attitude,” Arthur said.

“When the blowtorch started to get applied to us tonight, we stuck to our guns with what we needed to do and try to play field position and go with them.

“I thought both teams had a red-hot crack.

“The completion rates were high, attrition came into it and both teams were out on their feet.”

Despite the loss, John Morris was proud of his Cronulla Sharks team throughout the match.

“I’m really proud of them, they kept coming against a really powerful team that had a lot more ball than us in the first half and took a bit more juice out of us,” Morris said.

“We couldn’t cover the loss of Woodsy and no Shaun Johnson and no Matt Moylan took its toll when we were attacking their line, we looked a little bit lost.”

NRL News Player of the Game

3. Mitch Moses

2. Andrew Fifita

  1. Clint Gutherson

Cowboys season goes from bad to worse after home loss to Raiders

Canberra Raiders winger Jordan Rapana

They may not have had the best start but at home, the North Queensland Cowboys are usually pretty good. Not today, as the Canberra Raiders manhandled them to win.

The five tries to two victory for the Raiders saw them continue their impressive start to the year, now sitting at three wins and one loss.

The Raiders burst out of the blocks and pounced on a Javid Bowen error just four minutes in.

Nick Cotric was on hand to finish, with the winger scoring in the corner.

Poor Bowen had a turbulent opening period, as a fumble this time, led to a second Raiders try.

This try would go to Jordan Rapana who went on to have a stellar performance.

Try as they might to create some attacking spark soon after, errors let the Cowboys down.

Luckily for them, the Raiders were also making silly mistakes of their own and failing to pile on the pressure even more.

Their tenacity was on show but their lack of execution cost them until the 31st minute.

Just like the old Thurston and Cooper combination had people excited, Michael Morgan became the provider this time for the back-rower.

In perhaps his best game in Raiders colours, the Raiders third try was all set up by Charnze Nicholl-Klokstad.

His ball-work led to a break for Rapana, who kicked infield for Joey Leilua to score under the posts.

At 16-6 heading into half-time, things looked cruisy for the Raiders.

A further penalty goal early in the second half extended the Raiders lead to 12.

Morgan was again involved in the Cowboys second; this time finding John Asiata who simply flopped over the line.

There very nearly could have been more, but the Cowboys lack of execution yet again reared its ugly head.

That would prove costly, as a left-side play saw Jarrod Croker score.

Finding Cotric on his outside, the winger made the break and passed back infield to his centre to score.

Rapana would grab his second soon after when showed his dazzling skills to break the Cowboys defence and their spirits.

With many experienced players at his disposal, it was his veterans that pleased Raiders coach Ricky Stuart the most.

“Some experienced representative players in your squad is really beneficial because they’ve played big games and they’re good players,” he said.

“You get into scenarios where you need their experience and ability, and they get you over the line.

“I thought Ryan Sutton was probably one of our best.

“I was really impressed with Ryan’s game, he carried tough and made some really big efforts in defence when he had to.”

Cowboys coach Paul Green was in no mood to beat around the bush.

If his players continue to perform badly, the axe will continue to fall.

“If guys just aren’t doing their job, we’ve got to find some blokes that can,” he said strongly.

“You can’t keep tossing up performances like that and expect to keep your position.

“Our starts are putting us under pressure, we’re just not consistent enough at the moment.”

NRL News Player of the Game

3. Jordan Rapana

2. Charnze Nicholl-Klokstad

  1. Joey Leilua

Rabbitohs winning streak snapped by Manly’s golden point win

Manly Sea Eagles prop Addin Fonua-Blake

Flying high and expected to win, it instead went the other way as the Manly Sea Eagles snapped the South Sydney Rabbitohs unbeaten start to the year.

In the end, it came down to a field goal from Daly Cherry-Evans in golden point to hand Manly the win.

The sour note out of it all, however, is a re-occurrence of a hamstring injury for fullback Tom Trbojevic.

Although the severity is unknown, it does not bode well given he missed the first two rounds with the same injury.

Before his injury, it was Tom Trbojevic who scored the game’s first try.

Taking the line on, he slid past Sam Burgess and powered his way over as Manly took a surprise lead.

Souths would slowly wrestle back momentum and took the lead towards the end of the first half.

Sam Burgess got his revenge when he powered over for a try of his own to level things up.

Try as they might, the next chance to extend their lead failed to arise until the 35th minute when Campbell Graham arrived.

He finished off a set play that saw him slice through the line and over to score.

Not long into the second half, Tom Trbojevic pulled up lame and many expected that Manly would throw in the towel.

That was not the case; instead, they dug deep and dug hard, pushing Souths to their limits.

The reward came when Manase Fainu pounced on an errant pass and weaved his way through the Souths defence.

As both sides went tit-for-tat, eager to get a win, the game made its way towards golden point.

Missed field goals from Souths half Adam Reynolds proved costly as, when given the chance, Cherry-Evans slotted one over.

That proved all she wrote, as Souths winning streak ended and Manly’s confidence grows.

Not one to mince words, Manly coach Des Hasler knows injuries are, sadly, a part of the game.

“Look, it’s part and parcel of the game,” Hasler said.

“I felt sorry for the young fellow.

“He’s worked hard on the injury and he does it tough on the sideline too. So he’s going to have to do it a little bit tougher for a bit longer.”

As for their win, Hasler knows how crucial it was for his side.

“It was an important win for us,” Hasler said.

“It was an entertaining game where there was probably 21 reasons why we shouldn’t have won the game and one reason why we did.”

Also an honest coach, Wayne Bennett simply lamented his side’s lack of attitude and desire.

“I just thought we got what we deserved,” Bennett said.

“We were average. It was the attitude today that killed them.

“We’ve been heading in that direction – our performances have been getting worse since we played game one.

“We haven’t played a game for 80 minutes yet.”

NRL News Player of the Game

3. Addin Fonua-Blake

2. Sam Burgess

  1. Tom Trbojevic

Return of Cronk steers Roosters to dominating win over Broncos

Sydney Roosters halfback Cooper Cronk

Luke Keary is already playing well and now Cooper Cronk has joined in, with the two combining to help the Sydney Roosters crush the Brisbane Broncos. 

Playing in indifferent weather as rain battered the Sydney Cricket Ground, the Roosters were just far too good for an insipid Broncos side.

In the end, they ran out comfortable 36-4 winners, with Cronk the focus on his return from a hamstring injury.

It all began in just the ninth minute when a quick tap-on saw Roosters winger Matt Ikuvalu outpace Jack Bird to score.

Just a few short minutes later, the Roosters were in again.

This time, it was back-rower Angus Crichton who scored his first try in Roosters colours, off a short pass from Cooper Cronk.

The scoreline could have been much worse had the Roosters not bombed two further attempts.

They would, however, go ahead 18-0 when Mitch Aubusson ran a great line off a short pass for his fourth try of the year.

Cronk was again involved when the Roosters scored through winger Daniel Tupou on the cusp of half-time.

Cronk’s pinpoint chip saw Tupou jump highest to score with ease.

The Broncos would not go scoreless with Matt Gillett scoring their only try but that was all they got.

A second to Aubusson and a razzle-dazzle, offload-ridden and kick-frenzy led to a try for Joseph Manu.

In the end, it was a rout, as the Roosters soar and the Broncos are left scratching their heads.

Forced into some changes mid-game yet again, Roosters coach Trent Robinson said that proves your flexibility as a side.

“We’ve had the third week in a row where we’ve had some changes that have had to happen. It’s not ideal but I love it at the same time,” Robinson said.

“If it happens it means you’re flexible, guys can play different positions.”

Despite Jared Waerea-Hargreaves not playing, Broncos coach Anthony Seibold just admits his side were outmuscled.

“The Roosters ran harder than us and they defended more aggressively than us,” Seibold said.

“I thought that the Roosters forward pack missing [Jared] Waerea-Hargreaves did the job on our forward pack.”

NRL News Player of the Game

3. Cooper Cronk

2. James Tedesco

  1. Mitch Aubusson

NRL Teams Rd 4

Another week, another set of teamlists! Some surprises in round 3, some teams flying high, others dwindling. 

Some teams recorded much-needed wins, others may need to take a deep breath and do some soul searching.

Nevertheless, as always, we are in for an entertaining round of footy and here are your teams for round four of the NRL Telstra Premiership:

Sydney Roosters v Brisbane Broncos (#NRLsydbri); Sydney Cricket Ground, Moore Park; Thursday, April 4. Kick-off: 8:05 pm. 

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. Mitch Aubusson 13. Isaac Liu.

Interchange: 14. Lindsay Collins 15. Zane Tetevano 16. Poasa Faamausili 17. Angus Crichton.

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

Coach: Trent Robinson.

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

Interchange: 14. Gehamat Shibasaki 15. Jaydn Su’A 16. Thomas Flegler 17. David Fifita.

Reserves: 18. Patrick Carrigan 19. Shaun Fensom 20. Izaia Perese 21. Richie Kennar.

Coach: Anthony Seibold.


New Zealand Warriors v Gold Coast Titans (#NRLwargld); Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland; Friday, April 5. Kick-off: 6pm (AEDT) & 8pm (local). 

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. Isaiah Papali’i 12. Tohu Harris 13. Adam Blair.

Interchange: 14. Jazz Tevaga 15. Bunty Afoa 16. Lachlan Burr 17. Ligi Sao.

Reserves: 18. Gerard Beale 20. Leivaha Pulu 21. Adam Keighran 22. Blake Ayshford

Coach: Stephen Kearney

Titans: 1. Michael Gordon 2. Anthony Don 3. Tyrone Peachey 5. Brian Kelly 5. Dale Copley 6. Tyrone Robets 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. Moeaki Fotuaika 16. Shannon Boyd 17. Keegan Hipgrave.

Reserves: 18. Max King 19. Philip Sami 20. Ryley Jacks 21. Jai Whitbread.

Coach: Garth Brennan.


Penrith Panthers v Wests Tigers (#NRLpenwst); Panthers Stadium; Friday, April 5. Kick-off: 8:05 pm. 

Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Josh Mansour 3. Dean Whare 4. Waqa Blake 5. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 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. Frank Winterstein 16. Moses Leota 17. Hame Sele.

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

Coach: Ivan Cleary

Tigers: 1. Moses Mbye (C) 2. Mahe Fonua 3. Robert Jennings 4. Esan Marsters 5. David Nofoaluma 6. Josh Reynolds 7. Luke Brooks 8. Ben Matulino 9. Robbie Farah 10. Alex Twal 11. Ryan Matterson 12. Luke Garner 13. Elijah Taylor.

Interchange: 14. Russell Packer 15. Thomas Mikaele 16. Josh Aloiai 17. Michael Chee-Kam.

Reserves: 18. Paul Momirovski 19. Matthew Eisenhuth 20. Robbie Rochow 21. Chris McQueen.

Coach: Michael Maguire.


Manly Sea Eagles v South Sydney Rabbitohs (#NRLmansou); Lottoland, Manly; Saturday, April 6. Kick-off: 3 pm. 

Manly: 1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Jorge Taufua 3. Brendan Elliot 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.

Souths: 1. Alex Johnston 2. Corey Allan 3. Greg Inglis (C) 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. Kyle Turner.

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

Coach: Wayne Bennett.


North Queensland Cowboys v Canberra Raiders (#NRLnqlcan); 1300 Smiles Stadium, Townsville; Saturday, April 6. Kick-off: 5:30 pm (AEDT) & 3:30 pm (local). 

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

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

Reserves: 18. Shane Wright 19. Justin O’Neill 20. Peter Hola 21. Enari Tuala.

Coach: Paul Green

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. Corey Horsburgh.

Reserves: 18. Joseph Tapine 19. Jack Murchie 20. Bailey Simonsson 21. JJ Collins.

Coach: Ricky Stuart


Parramatta Eels v Cronulla Sharks (#NRLparcro); ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park; Saturday, April 6. Kick-off: 7:35 pm.

Eels: 1. Clinton 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. Ray Stone 19. Matt McIlwrick 20. Josh Hoffman 21. George Jennings.

Coach: Brad Arthur.

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. Aaron Woods 17. Jack Williams.

Reserves: 18. Scott Sorenson 19. Kyle Flanagan 20. Aaron Gray 21. Braden Hamlin-Uele.

Coach: John Morris.


Melbourne Storm v Canterbury Bulldogs (#NRLmelcby); AAMI Park, Melbourne; Sunday, April 7. Kick-off: 4:05 pm 

Storm: 1. Jahrome Hughes 2. Suliasi Vunivalu 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. Marion Seve.

Reserves: 18. Ryan Papenhuyzen 19. Patrick Kaufusi 20. Albert Vete 21. Billy Walters.

Coach: Craig Bellamy.

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

Interchange: 14. Michael Lichaa 15. Ofahiki Ogden 16. Adam Elliott 17. Chris Smith.

Reserves: 18. Danny Fualalo 19. Marcelo Montoya 20. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 21. Sauaso Sue.

Coach: Dean Pay.


Newcastle Knights v St George Illawarra Dragons (#NRLnewsgi); McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle; Sunday, April 7. Kick-off: 6:10 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. Tim Glasby 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 12. Sione Mata’utia 13. Mitchell Barnett.

Interchange: 14. Kurt Mann 15. Aidan Guerra 16. Daniel Saifiti 17. Josh King.

Reserves: 18. Herman Ese’ese 19. Brodie Jones 20. Jamie Buhrer 21. Tautau Moga.

Coach: Nathan Brown

Dragons: 1. Matthew Dufty 2. Jordan Pereira 3. Euan Aitken 4. Tim Lafai 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Corey Norman 7. Ben Hunt 8. James Graham 9. Cameron McInnes (C) 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Jacob Host 12. Tariq Sims 13. Blake Lawrie.

Interchange: 14. Jeremy Latimore 15. Zac Lomax 16. Korbin Sims 17. Luciano Leilua.

Reserves: 18. Tyson Frizell 19. Mitchell Allgood 20. Jai Field 21. Jonus Pearson.

Coach: Paul McGregor.


 

Bulldogs notch first win of 2019 with surprise victory over Tigers

Canterbury Bulldogs half Kieran Foran

The Canterbury Bulldogs were in the doldrums. The Wests Tigers soaring high. Easy conclusion, yes? Well, it was the opposite. 

The Bulldogs, who started the year 0-2, have notched their first win of the season at the hands of the Tigers.

Led by half Kieran Foran, who himself shook off an ankle injury, it was pretty much smooth sailing for the blue and white.

Although it is just one week, perhaps the re-signing of Dean Pay galvanised the roster and gave them some stability.

Completions went a long way towards the Bulldogs win, as they made just three errors in the entire match.

The first points did take a while to come but the Bulldogs would gain the momentum and three straight tries.

Reimis Smith capitalised first and finished off a nice play. Foran then bamboozled the Tigers defence and blasted his way over.

Prop Dylan Napa then put the Bulldogs further ahead when he powered over for his second try of the year.

Napa then turned provider as the Bulldogs ascendancy continued in the second half. Adam Elliott was the scorer here.

Desperate to get back into the game, the Tigers fought hard but it was not to be.

Esan Marsters and Mahe Fonua combined for their first try before Luke Garner pounced on a grubber with video ref confirmation.

It all came too little, too late, as the Bulldogs showed they can play well to win and win well.

With so much going on in recent times at the Bulldogs, coach Pay admits his re-signing released the tension around the club.

“It took a bit of the tension out of the place. That’s what it was,” Pay said.

“I could feel that coming through the players too. They were all rapt.

“We are a pretty tight group and we want to do well. We want to do well for our members and our fans but what we’ve got is what we’ve got.”

To make matters worse for the Tigers, Benji Marshall was forced from the field with a hamstring injury.

“He had a tight hamstring there so we’ll have to have a look at that and see how he goes,”  Tigers coach Michael Maguire said.

“I’ll have to assess that now, it was fairly tight towards the end. I spoke to him and he said he wasn’t quite sure.

“We’ll go through the things we need to, being a short turnaround we’ll have our focus on what we need to do and I’ll assess the team as we go through the week.”

NRL News Player of the Game

3. Kieran Foran

2. Dylan Napa

  1. Josh Jackson

Storm blow Panthers off the park in huge win in Bathurst

Melbourne Storm five-eighth Cameron Munster

With many tipping them as top four prospects, the Penrith Panthers have been blown off the park by the Melbourne Storm in Bathurst.

In cold conditions in Bathurst, it was the Storm who ended up running away with the contest 32-2.

It was also a night to forget for Panthers fullback Dylan Edwards who made six errors in total.

It was actually Penrith who took the lead courtesy of a penalty goal, as they looked to pepper the Storm line.

For much of the opening stanza, they were camped in the Storm half yet were unable to crack a resilient Storm defence.

It was all about Cameron Munster and his hat-trick of steals, in addition to his try, the first of the match.

It was not without a touch of controversy, with winger Josh Addo-Carr seemingly bumping his opposite winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak out of the way.

Edwards third error of the night then led to another Storm try with Brodie Croft following through to scoop up and score.

Two further Storm tries ensued; one to Addo-Carr who finished off a left-side play and a first NRL try for Marion Seve.

Just to rub salt into the growing wound, Jesse Bromwich bustled his way over to score.

Melbourne roll on as the win marks the seventh time in ten seasons that the Storm have won their opening three games of a season.

Penrith coach Ivan Cleary is concerned with how poorly his side is playing.

“Just all parts of our game I thought were just inept… I’m concerned, definitely,” he said.

“Just way too many fundamental errors, which makes all life difficult.”

There was nothing but praise for Munster from coach Craig Bellamy.

“He is a bit creative as well. He tries things,” the veteran coach said.

“Sometimes you’ve just got to play the high percentages.

“But that’s what you like about him too.

“He’s always thinking about the game, he’s very smart, he’s very clever as everyone can see.”

NRL News Player of the Game

3. Cameron Munster

2. Jesse Bromwich

  1. Marion Seve

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