Posted: 24 November, 2014

NRL Lunchtime Wrap

Panthers utility Isaac Johns returns to training paddock, Eels to cut Justin Hunt loose and Darius Boyd addresses the media

Here's our Lunchtime wrap: Panthers utility Isaac Johns returns to training paddock, Eels to cut Justin Hunt loose and Darius Boyd addresses the media.

Isaac John Back Training

isaac john, penrith panthers

Isaac John back running again after a disappointing year with injury Photo: Penrith Panthers NSW Cup Facebook

Isaac John was spotted running freely at Panthers training after a disappointing year with injury.

The under-rated Panthers utility was having a great season in 2014, when little more than a week after making his Test debut for New Zealand, he ended his season with a ruptured achilles.

Eels Not Into Hunt

justin hunt, parramatta eels

Jarryd Hayne and Justin Hunt race during a Parramatta Eels training session in 2014 in Sydney Photo: Getty Images

On the back of Mitchell Allgood leaving the Eels, comes news Justin Hunt is on the outer at the blue and gold.

Justin Hunt came across from Souths last season but failed to set the world on fire, having played most of the year for Wentworthville in NSW Cup.

He only played one first grade game for the Eels, replacing Jarryd Hayne at fullback for their heavy loss to the Panthers at Centrebet Stadium.

According to reports, the Panthers are interested in securing the services of the fullback/winger.

Darius Boyd Address Media

Darius Boyd was in good spirits as he addressed the media this morning on his return to the Brisbane Broncos. Listen to the full audio below.

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Tags: NRL Lunchtime Wrap, Parramatta Eels, Justin Hunt, Penrith Panthers, Isaac John, Brisbane Broncos, Darius Boyd

Posted: 24 November, 2014

Drama At Sharks Training

Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan has shut down a media conference after taking offence to being questioned about the 2011 doping scandal

shane flanagan, cronulla sharks

Sharks coach Shane Flanagan talks to the media Photo: Getty Images

Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan has shut down a media conference after taking offence to being questioned about the 2011 doping scandal, including former player Matthew Wright's comments that he felt “badly let down by the Sharks".

“I’m disappointed Matthew made those comments that the club let him down. If he believes that, it’s unfortunate," responded Flanagan, to a series of questions from Channel 10 reporter Liam Cox at a press conference today. Listen to the full audio below.

C10 Reporter Forces Shane Flanagan To Shut Down Media Conference

“We are talking about season 2015 now. We have gone through paper after paper, comment after comment. We are concentrating on season 2015."

Having returned to coaching duties at Cronulla this month after the NRL lifted his year-long suspension over the Sharks 2011 supplements program, Flanagan made it clear he did not want to answer any questions about his ban.

“What questions?… we have gone through that numerous times. We are talking about season 2015 and the return of the players. That’s what I’m here to talk about," he said.

When he was asked if he was sorry for letting his players be injected with illegal substances, he said: “Excuse me, I have gone through this all before. I’m not going to go over it again."

Earlier this year, the Sharks signed Shane Flanagan to a three-year contract to be head coach at the Cronulla club for the 2015, 2016 and 2017 seasons.

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Tags: Cronulla Sharks, Shane Flanagan

Posted: 24 November, 2014

Boyd Returns To Brisbane

The Test star addresses the media on his return to the Broncos

Darius Boyd Addresses The Media

Darius Boyd was in good spirits as he addressed the media this morning on his return to the Brisbane Broncos. 

Also, coach Wayne Bennett confirmed the signing of the Test star was the final piece of the puzzle, which pretty much ends the club's aggressive recruitment drive for next season. Listen to the full audio below.

Earlier On Triple M

darius boyd brisbane broncos

Broncos celebrate signing of Darius Boyd Photo: Brisbane Broncos

The Broncos have confirmed the signing of Darius Boyd on a three-year deal.

Broncos Official Statement

THE NRMA Insurance Broncos can today confirm Darius Boyd will be a member of the club’s 2015 NRL squad after the Test back agreed to terms on a contract.

Boyd will re-join the club he began his NRL career with later this month after agreeing to take up a three-year deal with the Broncos.

Broncos’ chief executive Paul White said the club was ecstatic to have finalised the arrangement with the knowledge of what the international would add to the club.

“We are excited to have finalised this agreement with Darius,” said White.

“He began as a Bronco and has now played for his State and country and won premierships.

“He comes back to us now as one of the elite players of the competition.

“At age 27 he is at the top of the game and will bring us a point of difference with the skills he possesses.

“Those skills will add to what is already an exciting and emerging array of backline talent at our club.

“We look forward to welcoming him to the club and supporting him in his development both on and off the field.”

Boyd has now played 20 Origin matches for Queensland and 17 Tests for Australia, and earlier this season he played his 200th NRL match.

Boyd has been a part of two premiership wins, the first as a Bronco in his debut year in the NRL in 2006 as a 19-year-old.

He also won a grand final with the Dragons in 2010, a match in which he was named the best player on the field and received the Clive Churchill Medal.

Earlier On Triple M

wayne bennett, brisbane broncos, darius boyd

Brisbane Broncos coach Wayne Bennett Photo: Brisbane Broncos

Brisbane Broncos coach Wayne Bennett expects to have Darius Boyd signed, sealed and delivered within a week.

"The only reason why there's been a hold-up is because we've had to finalise the release from Newcastle," said the six-time premiership winning coach.

"We expect within 24-48 hours we'll have Darius (on board)." Full story below.

Wayne Bennett made the tip while welcoming dynamic back-rower Adam Blair, who they signed on a three-year deal.

He said the Kiwi international will bring plenty of grunt to the Broncos’ roster.

"I've always been a great admirer of Adam and never thought I could coach him," he said.

"I'd just thought he was beyond our reach but opportunity came and we were able to grab it.

"I'm elated for everyone here at the club and the fans that we could get a quality player like him."

Earlier On Triple M

darius boyd

Darius Boyd has reportedly agreed to join Brisbane on a three-year deal worth $1.2 million to be coached again by Wayne Bennett.

Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett confirmed the news, telling Fox Sports the Origin star will play fullback.

“There’s been a lot of speculation but the deal will be done in the next few days and I can move forward now," said Bennett.

“Darius will be great for the Broncos. He, Ben Hunt and Anthony (Milford) will be the crux of our backline."

Meanwhile, Broncos assistant coach Kevin Walters says Darius Boyd is a great buy for the Brisbane club.

"He's got his fans and his 'non' fans, poor old Darius, over the last 12 or 18 months, but he's a great acquisition for the Broncos," said assistant coach Kevin Walters, on Triple M Brisbane's Grill Team.

"The thing with Darius is he's so versatile, he can play fullback, he plays on the wing for Queensland and Australia [and] he can play in the centre, he can even play in the halves, so I think that's the cherry for Darius is his versatility.

"Obviously Wayne Bennett has stated that he will be playing fullback at the start, so good times ahead hopefully for the Broncos and for Darius."

He also discussed the Ben Barba situation, with the superstar fullback strongly linked to Cronulla.

"Wayne's not saying 'see you later Ben', he's saying 'mate, if you want to stay here, you are going to have to work hard to get a position'." Listen to the full audio below.

Kevin Walters On Triple M

 

Earlier On Triple M

darius boyd brisbane broncos

Darius Boyd of the Knights runs the ball during the round 15 match against the North Queensland Cowboys at Hunter Stadium Photo: Getty Images

Triple M's Dobbo caught up with Broncos superstar Justin Hodges, with him pretty much confirming troubled representative star Darius Boyd is coming to the Broncos after being released by Newcastle last week.

"Obviously losing [Josh Hoffman] is not great… but having Darius [Boyd] come is going to be good," Hodges told Triple M Brisbane.

"Darius gives you that little bit of… he's unpredictable [and] he's worked with Wayne [Bennett] his whole career so he knows what to expect."

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Tags: Darius Boyd, Brisbane Broncos, Newcastle Knights

Posted: 23 November, 2014

Rabbitoh Charged With Domestic Assault

Cody Walker could have his contract ripped up after being charged with domestic assault

cody walker

Cody Walker playing for Easts Tigers in the Intrust Super Cup Photo: Getty Images

There are reports another Souths player, Cody Walker could have his contract ripped up after being charged with domestic assault.

The 24-year-old has been stood down after being charged with 'stalk or intimidate intending to cause fear of physical or mental harm' and 'common assault.'

"The Rabbitohs are reviewing all of the information in conjunction with the NRL Integrity Unit and any further decisions in regards to this situation will be made following the completion of those investigations," the Rabbitohs said in a statement.

The NRL said it has been working with Souths and supported the club's decision to stand down the player.

"The Integrity Unit will continue to work with Souths to review all the information, including the criminal allegations and the player's previous conduct, to reach the Game's final response to the matter," said the NRL in a statement.

"The NRL has made it clear that there is no place for domestic violence in our game, and will respond accordingly."

The Rabbitohs plucked Cody Walker out of the Storm's feeder system and was expected to be used as cover for halves Adam Reynolds and Luke Keary.

Earlier, Souths centre Kirisome Auva’a was banned indefinitely by the NRL after pleading guilty to assaulting his former partner earlier this year.

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Tags: Cody Walker, South Sydney Rabbitohs

Posted: 22 November, 2014

Eels Release Mitch Allgood

Mitchell Allgood takes up contract in UK Super League

mitchell allgood, parramatta eels

Parramatta has released forward Mitchell Allgood from the final year of his contract.

After 70 games in Blue and Gold, the 25-year-old prop will join former Eels teammate Ken Sio at UK Super League club Hull KR.

"I've been at the Eels since I was a teenager and this place has been my home over the last seven years, and it¹s sad to be leaving," Allgood said.

"But at the same time, I'm excited and looking forward to this new opportunity I have to play at Hull KR.

"I've made a lot of lifetime mates and I'm very thankful for the opportunities I've had at this club, and I wish nothing but success for all the boys in the coming season."

Mitchell Allgood's Brain Explosion

A melee erupts after Mitchell Allgood of the Eels punched Steve Matai of Manly in this fiery encounter in 2013... he claimed it was in self-defence Video: YouTube

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Tags: Parramatta Eels, Mitchell Allgood

Posted: 21 November, 2014

Golden Boot Nominees 2015

Sam Burgess and Greg Inglis are among six players in contention

sam burgess, greg inglis, golden boot

The nominees for the prestigious Golden Boot Award has been announced, with Sam Burgess and Greg Inglis among six players in contention.

New Zealand test stars Shaun Johnson (Warriors) and Jesse Bromwich (Storm), Bulldogs prop James Graham and two-time winner Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys) are also on list.

johnathan thurston, golden boot

Past Golden Boot Winners

1984: Wally Lewis
1985: Brett Kenny
1986: Garry Jack
1987: Hugh McGahan & Peter Sterling
1988: Ellery Hanley
1989: Mal Meninga
1990: Garry Schofield
1999: Andrew Johns
2000: Brad Fittler
2001: Andrew Johns
2002: Stacey Jones
2003: Darren Lockyer
2004: Andrew Farrell
2005: Anthony Minichiello
2006: Darren Lockyer
2007: Cameron Smith
2008: Billy Slater
2009: Greg Inglis
2010: Benji Marshall
2011: Johnathan Thurston
2012: Kevin Sinfield
2013: Johnathan Thurston

Shaun Johnson's Amazing Try Uploaded at 31 March, 2014 - 1:28PM

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Rock, Shock

Is this the greatest try ever? Watch this amazing try scored by Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson on the stroke of halftime against Wests Tigers.

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Tags: Golden Boot, Johnathan Thurston, Sam Burgess, Greg Inglis, Jesse Bromwich, Shaun Johnson, James Graham

Posted: 21 November, 2014

Peats Says He'll Be Right For Season Opener

"I'm 100 per cent go by season time. Big year 2015."

nathan peats, parramatta eels

Nathan Peats working hard on the field and in the gym Photo: Parramatta Eels twitter

Nathan Peats has allayed the fears of Parramatta fans everywhere, confirming he'll be right to go for their round one clash against Manly at Pirtek Stadium on Friday March 6.

CLICK HERE to see the matches confirmed for the 2015 season.

"Just regarding what I said yesterday. It's not that I'm not ready to play 9's [Auckland Nines tournament] next season, it's just that it's more important to get a few more weeks or training into me and contact work before our last trial," Peats tweeted. See the tweets below.

"I'm 100 per cent go by season time. Big year 2015."

Parramatta fans will be hoping he takes all the time in the world so he can be right for season 2015.

The 24-year-old, former Souths player is regarded as a future Origin star and captain at Parramatta and the man that keeps the Eels ruck intact, which has been a massive problem area for the club in recent seasons.

Social Media

Earlier On Triple M

Nathan Peats of Parramatta Eels Photo: Getty Images

Parramatta fans are sweating on injury news surrounding star player Nathan Peats, with news he will miss the Nines and Indigenous All Stars games before the NRL season next year.

The tough hooker was the Eels' best player last season before tearing his ACL in Round 12 against the Panthers.

nathan peats

Nathan Peats of Parramatta will be an integral part to the team's success in 2015 Photo: Getty Images

Peats, who spent the second half of last season recovering from shoulder and knee surgeries, is itching to get back onto the field and help his teammates.

“The shoulder is coming along pretty well. I’ll probably start contact halfway through January and leading into trials,” Peats told www.nrl.com.

“I’ve never not played footy in my life. It’s starting to get to me.

“I’m getting angry about it, to be honest. It’s been long. I’m getting frustrated. But it’s just a process people go through.”

Former Sharks player Isaac De Gois filled his boots admirably last season, but coach Brad Arthur's considers Nathan Peats is the number one choice to wear the nine jersey.

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Tags: Nathan Peats, Parramatta Eels

Posted: 20 November, 2014

Rabs Fires Up Over NRL Player Movement

Triple M's Ray Warren believes clubs like the Dragons and Eels are just filling gaps

dane nielsen

The Dragons continue to be the busiest team in the off-season.

On Wednesday it was announced that they have allowed Gerard Beale and Kyle Stanley go, which Cronulla snapped up immediately and they've signed dane Nielsen from the Warriors.

Triple M's Ray Warren believes the Dragons are trying to clear some salary cap space, particularly after letting Brett Morris go to the Bulldogs. However, some of their recent signings has left him scratching his head.

You’ve got two clubs, the great Dragons and the great Eels, and they’re filling their clubs with players, yeah they’re nice blokes and they’re handy players but they’re not going to win you a competition," he said, on Triple M's Rush Hour.

Anthony [Watmough] is not the messiah [for Parramatta], they’ve lost [Jarryd] Hayne, they’ve got [Anthony] Watmough, they’ve got [Beau] Champion, they’ve got Reece Robinson." Listen to the full audio below.

Ray Warren On Triple M 


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Tags: St George Illawarra Dragons, Cronulla Sharks, Parramatta Eels

Posted: 20 November, 2014

Roosters Pick Up Jake Friend Back-Up

The Sydney Roosters have picked up promising young hooker Matt Srama from the Titans

matt srama, titans

Matt Srama of the Titans passes during the round 14 match against the Rabbitohs at Barlow Park in Cairns Photo: Getty Images

The Sydney Roosters have picked up promising young hooker Matt Srama from the Gold Coast Titans on a one-year deal, starting from 2015.

Srama was released from the Gold Coast Titans and it's believed the 23-year-old will act as a back-up to Jake Friend.

“Matt’s opportunities have been hindered by injury but he’s in terrific shape. A tough and uncompromising player, Matt’s experience and talent will add great depth to our squad,” said Roosters recruitment manager Peter O’Sullivan.

Srama has played 62 games in the NRL to date since making his debut with the Titans in 2011.

matt srama

Matt Srama throws water on his face during a Gold Coast Titans training session at cbus Super Stadium Photo: Getty Images

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Tags: Matt Srama, Sydney Roosters, Gold Coast Titans

Posted: 20 November, 2014

Sharks Want Manly Star

There are reports Cronulla is set to offer Daly Cherry Evans one of the biggest contracts in NRL history

daly cherry evans

There are reports Cronulla is set to offer Daly Cherry Evans one of the biggest contracts in NRL history.

The Sharks are in desperate need of a star playmaker and its believed the wooden spooner will move heaven and earth to get the Manly and representative halfback across to the Shire.

The deal is believed to be in the seven figures.

Cherry-Evans is also a close mate of new recruit Ben Barba, having played junior footy together in Mackay.

daly cherry evans

However, Manly chairman Scott Penn said he was determined to sign Daly Cherry-Evans, and Keiran Foran, to new, long-term deals by Christmas.

The Sea Eagles deal is reportedly worth about $6.6 million.

Triple M's Matty Johns believes Manly can't afford to lose these two players.

"If you've got great halves, you've got a great team. That's the bottom line," said Matty Johns, on Triple M Sydney's Grill Team.

"I believe they are the best halves combination in the competition already and they're only going to get better."

Daly Cherry-Evans has played 104 NRL games since making his debut with Manly in 2011. He's played five Origins for Queensland and 11 Tests for Australia.

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Tags: Daly Cherry-Evans, Manly Sea Eagles, Cronulla Sharks

Posted: 19 November, 2014

Sharks Sign Dragons Duo

Cronulla has announced the signings of Gerard Beale and Kyle Stanley

Cronulla has announced the signings of Kiwi international Gerard Beale and Kyle Stanley from rivals St George Illawarra.

Sharks Official Statement

gerard beale

Gerard Beale in his new colours Photo: Cronulla Sharks official website

Kiwi international Gerard Beale and former Dragons and current Samoan utility Kyle Stanley have both agreed to join the Sharks ahead of the 2015 season.

The 24-year-old Beale was released from the final year of his contract with the St George Illawarra Dragons and has signed a three-year deal with the Sharks, while Stanley has come on board for the 2015 season.

Beale is a quality outside back, capable of playing in the centres, on the wing or at fullback, with Stanley an extremely handy utility with experience in a number of positions.

Stanley most recently filled the role of half back for the Samoan team during the Four Nations, while Beale played on the wing for New Zealand in their first round victory over Australia in the same Four Nations tournament some four weeks ago.

After completing his duties with the Kiwis Beale met with Cronulla officials and coaching staff before enjoying a tour of the facilities and signing his new contract with the club.

“The Sharks are a club on the rise and I’m excited about this opportunity and to playing with them over the next three seasons,” Beale said.

“Add to that I’ve been living in the area for a little while now, my family is happy and settled and I’m really looking forward to the next few years.”

After debuting for the Broncos in 2009 Beale would go on to play 63 games for the Brisbane club before joining the Dragons in 2013.

A knee injury restricted his appearances in his first season at the Dragons however in returning to full fitness played in all 24 games for St George Illawarra in 2014, scoring 11 tries. He has played in 92 NRL games in all, crossing for 31 tries.

Beale has also played in seven Test Matches for New Zealand.

kyle stanley, sharks

Kyle Stanley of the Dragons looks to pass during the round 26 match against the Newcastle at Hunter Stadium Photo: Getty Images

Former Endeavour Sports High student Kyle Stanley follows his ex-Dragons teammate Beale to the Sharks, with his versatility set to be a handy commodity at Coach Shane Flanagan’s disposal next season.

Stanley has previously filled the centre, five eighth, fullback and hooker roles in his 46 games in the top grade.

Just 23 years of age, Stanley has plenty to offer in the NRL after overcoming a difficult run with injury since debuting with the Dragons as a teenager back in 2010. Stanley enjoyed a productive back end of 2014, one which saw him play all three pool matches for the Toa Samoa squad in the recently completed Four Nations tournament.

Coach Flanagan welcomed the pair to the Sharks and was confident they could both make a major contribution to the club.

“With Gerard it is exciting to be adding a player to our roster with his speed and skill, someone who is a test player and can cover a few different positions for us in the outside backs,” Flanagan said.

“As for Kyle, he has versatility, can play multiple positions and he gained some valuable experience with Samoa at an international level in the Four Nations.

“I’m sure we haven’t seen the best of him yet due to a bad run with injury but that is behind him and I can see 2015 being be a big year for Kyle.”

Now taking a well-earned break after completing the Four Nations with New Zealand and Samoa respectively, Beale and Stanley are expected to begin training with the Sharks in the coming weeks.

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Tags: Kyle Stanley, Gerard Beale, St George Illawarra Dragons, Cronulla Sharks

Posted: 19 November, 2014

Sharks Back From Midnight

Banned players have been told they can resume training from midnight Saturday night

remondis stadium, cronulla sharks

There are reports Cronulla players banned by ASADA have been told they're allowed to resume training this Saturday night at midnight.

Does this mean they'll be holding a special 1am training session by moonlight? If not... they should!

"Cronulla Sharks players have just been informed they are free to return from ASADA ban by @NRL this Sat night - midnight.," tweeted The Daily Telegraph's David Riccio.

The players include Cronulla skipper Paul Gallen, Nathan Gardner, Wade Graham and Anthony Tupou, having served a suspension for their involvement in the 2011 Cronulla Sharks supplements scandal.

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Sharks Announce Two Signings

Cronulla has announced the signings of Gerard Beale and Kyle Stanley from rivals St George Illawarra.

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Tags: Cronulla Sharks, ASADA, Gerard Beale, Kyle Stanley