Posted: 1 May, 2016

Kiwis Test Squad Named

The Kiwis have named their Test squad to play Australia next Friday at Hunter Stadium in Newcastle.

As you can see below, it's a very strong side with a hell of a forward pack.

Earlier, Manu Vatuvei, Ben Matulino, Bodene Thompson, Albert Vete, Sam Lisone and Konrad Hurrell were ruled out of the NZ Test team for disciplinary reasons.

While, Kieran Foran has been granted indefinite leave for reported personal well-being issues.

Kiwis Squad

Adam Blair (Broncos)
Jesse Bromwich (Storm)
Lewis Brown (Sea Eagles)
Greg Eastwood (Bulldogs)
Alex Glenn (Broncos)
Tohu Harris (Storm)
Peta Hiku (Panthers)
Shaun Johnson (Warriors)
Jordan Kahu (Broncos)
Shaun Kenny-Dowall (Roosters)
Manu Ma’u (Eels)
Sam Moa (Roosters)
Jason Nightingale (Dragons)
Kodi Nikorima (Broncos)
Kevin Proctor (Storm)
Jason Taumalolo (Cowboys)
Martin Taupau (Sea Eagles)
Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (Panthers)
Danny Levi (Knights) (19th man)

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Tags: New Zealand Kiwis

Posted: 1 May, 2016

Bennett Has A Crack At Aussie Test Selectors

Wayne Bennett says that he was disappointed they announced Test squad early this week, saying it may have contributed to a few of his test stars being mentally flat during their 30-28 loss to the Cronulla at Shark Park today.

“I’m not hear to make excuses, but I was pretty disappointed when they announced the team this week,” said Bennett, during the post-match press conference.

The former Kangaroos coach believes it may have had an impact on the nine players they have participating in rep round next weekend.

"I sensed it yesterday. I kept the Australian and NZ players back in the room and I told them and I knew what was going on with them. I tried to help them try and handle it a bit better mentally so they get here today and play well," he said.

“It’s just not good policy to announce teams… they’d rather find out tonight.

“It’s not the reason why we lost today, but it’s part of the fact that we were a little bit flat.”

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Posted: 1 May, 2016

Warriors Stand Down Players From Rep Duty

Six Warriors players who missed the club's NRL win over St George Illawarra for disciplinary reasons will also be ineligible to represent their countries next week

Konrad Hurrell of the Warriors Photo: Getty Images

Six Warriors players who missed the club's NRL win over St George Illawarra for disciplinary reasons will also be ineligible to represent their countries next week.

Warriors managing director Jim Doyle confirmed on Sunday that the group - who include New Zealand pair Manu Vatuvei and Ben Matulino - have been told they cannot play in the representative round.

The six were not considered for NRL selection against the Dragons on Sunday over an apparent late night out in Melbourne following their dismal 42-0 loss to the Storm at the start of the week.

"What we've said to the players is that representing your country in international football is a reward," Doyle told NZ Newswire.

"It's a reward for both how you perform on the field and also how you conduct yourself off the field.

"Unfortunately this recent incident that we've had means they do not deserve a reward, hence the reason why they are not eligible to play."

The Kiwis are due to name their side on Sunday night to take on Australia in Newcastle on Friday night.

Vatuvei, Matulino, Bodene Thompson, Albert Vete, Sam Lisone and Konrad Hurrell were ruled out of the 26-10 win over the Dragons in Auckland for what the Warriors said was a breach of club protocol.

Instead, they turned out for the reserve-grade side in the curtain-raiser against the Canterbury Bulldogs.

Tonga face Samoa in Parramatta on Saturday.

Hurrell has played four times for Tonga, for whom Vete was considered to be in line for selection, while Lisone has one cap for Samoa.

Thompson has been a member of a Kiwis squad but didn't get game time.

Doyle said the Warriors had spoken to the respective national organisations and to the NRL, and those parties had accepted the club's decision.

He said the players were disappointed but understood the club's action.

"They are very remorseful for what they have done, but they understand that was caused by them and no one else," he said.

Asked if the six faced further sanction, Doyle said the focus was now on working with the players "to make sure these things don't happen again".

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Tags: New Zealand Warriors

Posted: 1 May, 2016

TEAM CHANGES: Sharks vs Broncos Round Nine

There are a couple of team changes for today’s match between the Sharks and Broncos.

Gerard Beale of Cronulla Photo: Getty Images

There are a couple of team changes for today’s match between the Sharks and Broncos.

For the home side, the Sharks, Gerard Beale, who has had little first grade time this year, is into the side in the centres. Ricky Leutele now goes onto the bench. So we might not see much of Leutele this afternoon.

Sam Tagatese swaps with Matt Prior in the front row, with Tagatese on the bench.

Sam Thaiday is in the second-row for the suspended Adam Blair. While Travis Waddell, who hasn’t played NRL for a year-and-a-half will go into the starting side at hooker with Kodi Nikorima back to his familiar spot on the bench.

And Herman Ese'ese is back for the Broncos on the bench. He played last week.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN LIVE: Hear all the NRL action live on Triple M.

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Tags: Brisbane Broncos, Cronulla Sharks

Posted: 1 May, 2016

Dragons Player Passes Ball, Hits Touch Judge On The Head

This gave us a chuckle.

In one of the lower grades today, a Dragons player has passed the ball out towards the touch judge and hit him on the head. Watch the video below.

Also See

Reports Manly Rookie To Get City Jersey

Addin Fonua-Blake will reportedly be named in next week’s City Origin squad.

Obstruction Confusion Reigns Over Benji Marshall Controversial No-Try

The Bunker ruled Warriors Ryan Hoffman was impeded in getting to Benji Marshall

Read more

Posted: 1 May, 2016

Reports Manly Rookie To Get City Jersey

Addin Fonua-Blake will reportedly be named in next week’s City Origin squad,

Addin Fonua-Blake of the Sea Eagles runs the ball during the round seven Photo: Getty Images

 In some big rep news, Manly rookie Addin Fonua-Blake will reportedly be named in next week’s City Origin squad, reports The 7th Tackle

“Bolter for CITY ORIGIN is @SeaEagles rookie Addin Fonua-Blake. Just 3 NRL games and banned last season over assault charges. @7Sport,” tweeted The 7th Tackle.

The Junior Kiwis star joined Manly this year after he was sacked by the Dragons in 2015 for breaches in his NRL contract following allegations of assault.

Adam Reynolds gets a pass away for City Photo: Getty Images

Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph reports Adam Reynolds will press for a Blues spot when he is named City halfback alongside the Bulldogs Josh Reynolds.

Fullback remains a bit of an unknown with James Tedesco out with a shoulder injury, while Lachlan Coote and Matt Moylan are also under an injury cloud.

Other players named to be in the running for City squad include Bryce Cartwright, Andrew Fifita, Nathan Peats, Josh Mansour, James Roberts, Jake Trbojevic and Dylan Walker.

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Tags: Addin Fonua-Blake, City Origin

Posted: 1 May, 2016

Obstruction Confusion Reigns Over Benji Marshall Controversial No-Try

The Bunker ruled Warriors Ryan Hoffman was impeded in getting to Benji Marshall

Is the obstruction rule destroying rugby league?

This is what a lot of fans are asking after another contentious ‘no try’ ruling that went against the Dragons during the Warriors 26-10 win at Mt Smart Stadium.

As you can see in the video below, the Bunker ruled Warriors Ryan Hoffman was impeded in getting to Benji Marshall after a Dragons attacker ran into into him.

The play continued with Marshall beating Solomone Kata and there were two other players around but it looked like it was just great footwork by Benji that got him over the line.

“This is getting ridiculous now," said Wendell Sailor and Adam MacDougall on Triple M NRL regarding the Bunker.

Dragons coach Paul McGregor was philosophical about the bunker's decisions.

"They had a big bearing on the momentum of how the game changes during that period but you just have to move on from that," he said, during the post-match press conference.

VIDEO: Benji Marshall Controversial No-Try

 

Warriors Bounce Back With Win

An under-strength Warriors line-up have turned around a sorry week for the NRL club with a morale-boosting 26-10 upset over St George Illawarra in Auckland.

The Warriors scored four tries to two, with two players not originally selected, Matthew Allwood and Jeff Robson, getting four-pointers.

The Warriors had 10 players unavailable through either injury or being dumped to reserve grade for breaking team protocol.

They were also backing up from a limp 42-0 defeat to the Storm and facing opponents they had lost to in their previous 11 meetings.

But a line-up stacked with fringe players, given a big cheer by the 12,752 crowd when they ran out, showed plenty of endeavour in a clash between two sides sitting outside the top eight.

After an early Gareth Widdop penalty, the Warriors hit the front when Shaun Johnson jinked his way over.

But the hosts kept handing the Dragons field position with mistakes and indiscipline and were made to pay when Euan Aitken crossed.

The home side went back into the lead when Allwood finished off a neat backline move and then benefited from a big call by the bunker.

Widdop had earlier had a try rubbed out because of obstruction.

This time it was Benji Marshall, in lively form on his return from a hamstring injury, who was denied after Warriors skipper Ryan Hoffman was deemed to have been impeded.

From the resulting penalty, the Warriors swept upfield and prop Charlie Gubb barged his way over.

The Dragons struck back to trail 18-10 at halftime after Marshall and Widdop's slick combination produced a simple finish for Kalifa Faifai Loa.

After being almost mistake-free in the opening spell, the visitors started coming up with errors.

One fumble on their goal line midway through the second half allowed Robson to score under the post.

Johnson's fourth conversion and a late penalty sealed just the Warriors' fourth win of the season.

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Tags: Benji Marshall

Posted: 1 May, 2016

Leuluai injury adds to Warriors' NRL woes

The Warriors have been further depleted for their NRL match with St George Illawarra

Thomas Leuluai of Warriors Photo: Getty Images

The Warriors have been further depleted for their NRL match with St George Illawarra, losing utility Thomas Leuluai to a hamstring injury.

Leuluai, who was named at five-eighth, is a late withdrawal from Sunday's clash in Auckland and has been replaced by Jeff Robson.

The 34-Test player Leuluai joins a Warriors casualty ward that includes fellow internationals Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Simon Mannering and Tuimoala Lolohea.

The absence of Leuluai means six of the squad originally named against the Dragons will be missing.

Five others were dropped to reserve grade after being among six players disciplined for breaching club protocols following a late night out.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN LIVE: Hear all the NRL action live on Triple M.

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Tags: New Zealand Warriors, Thomas Leuluai

Posted: 1 May, 2016

Cowboys Accuse Lyon Of Diving

Lyon was panned by commentators and on social media after being caught flagrantly milking a penalty

North Queensland have mocked Jamie Lyon for diving, suggesting an acting career beckons for the Manly skipper when he hangs up his boots at the end of the NRL season.

Lyon was panned by commentators and on social media after being caught flagrantly milking a penalty which cost North Queensland a try in their 34-18 win over the Sea Eagles at Brookvale Oval on Saturday night.

Fullback Lachlan Coote was denied a four-pointer after the bunker ruled an obstruction had occurred when Kane Linnett had made contact on Lyon while running a decoy line.

However replays showed Linnett making no contact with Lyon as the Sea Eagles centre was sent dramatically sprawling to the turf. Watch the video below from the 2.20-minute mark.

VIDEO: Cowboys Accuse Lyon Of Diving

Lyon did not even bother to defend himself against the accusations.

"I can't really remember it ... He was in the road, yeah. I probably went down. But as the rules go, sometimes you get them, sometimes you don't," Lyon said.

While Green - who was teammates with Lyon at Parramatta in 2003 - could see the humorous side, considering it had no bearing on the result, he suggested the Manly captain had a future on the stage and screen.

"I reckon Jamie Lyon should be nominated for a BAFTA, Golden Globe and an Academy Award," Green said.

"I know Killer well, he's a good bloke but that was one of his best."

He added: "Maybe (the video referees) didn't see that he was feigning. Maybe they just thought he just tripped over a blade of grass."

While Green made the comment with a smile on his face, he added that confusion continued to reign over the obstruction rules, and players, coaches and fans were frustrated at the inconsistent interpretation from the whistle-blowers.

"I just think everyone is a bit confused about the obstruction rule," Green said.

"We've got (the NRL coaches' conference) this week and I'm sure that will be on the agenda."

Lyon Panned On Social Media

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Tags: Jamie Lyon, Manly Sea Eagles, North Queensland Cowboys

Posted: 30 April, 2016

Ricky Stuart Blows Up About Field Goal In Post-Match Press Conference

Canberra players believed to have been 'blocked' by defenders while chasing down a field goal Photo: @WarrenSmithFOX

Canberra coach Ricky Stuart has been brutally honest in the post-match press conference following their last minute 19-18 loss, saying he feels sorry for the referees for not having the courage to make a decision after an incident involving blockers prevented his players from chasing down the winning field goal. Listen to the press conference below.

"Another word for gumption is courage. I feel sorry for the referees. The referees are being pushed into a corner here," Ricky said.

"I feel sorry for them (the referees) because they're that nervous and that petrified of making a decision, the poor buggers, that they don't."

Ricky Stuart Press Conference

Ricky was mostly concerned with the "blockers" which prevented the chase-down of a field goal.

"You're not allow to have blockers to impede a player from chasing down the kicker of a field goal.

"We were impeded by a wall of players. That's the rule - you're not allowed to do that any more. You want me to repeat it again?"

According to the NRL, the rule allows that: “if two or more players form a wall (side by side) next to the play and don’t allow the opportunity for a defending player to move directly towards the player in possession, the referee will penalise for obstruction.” Watch the video below from the 3-minute mark.

VIDEO: Panthers 'Block Play' Robs Raiders? Watch from the 3-minute mark.

Also See

Obstruction Confusion Reigns Over Benji Marshall Controversial No-Try

The Bunker ruled Warriors Ryan Hoffman was impeded in getting to Benji Marshall

Cowboys Accuse Lyon Of Diving

Lyon was panned by commentators and on social media after being caught flagrantly milking a penalty.

Read more

Tags: Canberra Raiders, Penrith Panthers, Ricky Stuart

Posted: 30 April, 2016

Billy Slater On The Parramatta Eels Salary Cap Saga

Saturday Triple M NRL's guest host Billy Slater has compared the situation at the Parramatta Eels to what happened at the Melbourne Storm in 2010. Listen to the discussion below.

"The decision came before we even knew anything about it," Slater said.

"It just smacked us in the face.

"These guys are going through the innuendo of not knowing what's going to happen.

"They're doing an extremely good job to put that aside and just play some good football."

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Tags: Billy Slater

Posted: 30 April, 2016

Chaotic Final Minutes As Panthers And Raiders Battle To Snatch Field Goal

Panthers v Raiders Photo: NRL Photos

The Panthers have managed to hang on to an early lead, edging out the Raiders with a field goal in the dying minutes.

Some mistakes from both sides saw a field-goal battle ensue, as the Raiders came back from a 12- point deficit to lock up the scores 18 - 18 at the back end of the game.

Bryce Cartwright scored for the Panthers in the eighth minute, 6 - 0.

The Raiders retaliated shortly after, 6 - 6.

Cartwright was involved in the next Panthers try, 10 - 6 after 26 minutes.

Jamie Soward popped over a penalty goal just before half time to put the Panthers a converted try ahead, 12 - 6.

The Panthers scored again in the 56th minute, 18 - 6.

Paul Vaughan closed the gap, 18 - 12 going into the final ten minutes of play.

A freak catch saw the scores locked up, 18 - 18.

Several failed attempts at field goal and a few brain explosions saw a tense final minutes of the game, but Peter Wallace managed to sail one over the crossbar, 19 - 18 with 30 seconds on the clock.

"Matt Moylan was really good tonight. Not just creating tries but saving a lot of tries," Triple M's Wendell Sailor said.

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