NRL

Whitbread ready for the Taumalolo challenge

With Jai Arrow named to play for the Maroons in Origin I, Jai Whitbread is likely to start at lock for the Titans on Sunday where he will go up against Cowboys colossus Jason Taumalolo.

The 21-year-old was called into the run-on side late last week when Arrow went down with a quadriceps injury during the captain's run and ran for 102 metres in 35 minutes.

More importantly, he limited the impact of Manly giant Martin Taupau.

Maroons Origin team: Emotional Walters names new faces, declares 'war'

The Maroons coach said debutants Moses Mbye, Joe Ofahengaue and David Fifita had earned their jerseys and would do the state proud as his eyes glazed over with the passion and emotion that has defined his tenure in charge of the Maroons.

Broncos forwards Ofahengaue and Fifita will come off the bench, as will Mbye with the Wests Tigers skipper beating Anthony Milford to the vital utility spot.

“I'm ready, we are ready. This is war,” Walters said.

Aussie veteran Cooper Cronk to announce NRL retirement

The 35-year-old, who won two premierships with the Melbourne Storm and then another last season with the Sydney Roosters, will hang up his boots at the end of the current campaign.

Cronk's retirement comes 16 years after he first pulled on a Storm jersey and, in the years since, only Johnathan Thurston has received as many plaudits as one of the NRL's very best playmakers.

Through 360 NRL games, 22 Origins and 38 Tests for Australia, Cronk has won it all.

Fifita and Prior should be right for Manly

The Sharks lost Fifita barely seven minutes into their Magic Round win over the Titans and Prior not long after.

But veteran skipper Paul Gallen lifted in the pair's absence along with big contributions from bench forwards Brayden Hamlin-Uele, Jack Williams and Jayson Bukuya to overturn an 18-10 halftime deficit to run home 26-18 winners over an ill-disciplined Gold Coast at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday night.

Fainu facing international eligibility decision

Born in Sydney, Fainu's rapid rise through the NRL ranks has landed him at the forefront of discussions for both Tonga and the Kiwis.

Another spanner was thrown into the works when the 20-year-old met with NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler and declared an interest in playing State of Origin for the Blues.

Fainu spent time with the Tongan squad ahead of the Pacific Test in June last season after representing the Junior Kiwis in 2017 on account of his mother's heritage.

He was selected for a Junior Kiwis' squad in 2018 but did not play.

NRL no place for Israel Folau, claims sport's chief

When Rugby Australia indicated its intention to sack Folau last month, eyes almost immediately turned to a handful of NRL clubs who could afford to bring the controversial fullback on board.

But before they could even pick up the phone, Beattie made a stand by declaring the NRL off limits for the fallen star.

Speaking in Brisbane ahead of the NRL Magic Round, Beattie reiterated the reasons behind that decision.

Kearney coy on Nikorima joining Warriors

Nikorima has been left out of the Broncos side to play South Sydney tomorrow with Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold saying he needed time to ponder his future.

Seibold has said he couldn't guarantee the out of form Nikorima a future at the NRL club beyond 2020.

An announcement on Nikorima's early release from the Broncos is believed to be imminent and Kearney confirmed the Warriors had offered Nikorima a four year deal from 2020 but Brisbane appear ready to let him go sooner although Kearney was sensitive about discussing Nikorima's immediate future.

Refs cost Warriors win over Melbourne NRL confirm

The Warriors were penalised for holding on to Storm prop Jesse Bromwich in the play the ball, which allowed the Storm to even up the scores before kicking the winning field goal.

But NRL head of football Graham Annesley said a scrum should have been called because Bromwich did not play the ball correctly and Cameron Smith knocked on.

 

     

NRL launches new campaign to attract referees

The make the call – be a ref campaign is aimed at informing new and aspiring referees about opportunities aligned with becoming a referee, including the ability to be part of a team and earn money, the potential to carve out a full-time career and the opportunity to become TAFE qualified.

NRL General Manager, Officiating for Pathways and Development, Tony Archer said that with an increase in competitions and pathways across rugby league, naturally, there were more opportunities for referees.

Roosters edge Storm in NRL golden point

In the second minute of extra time, all eyes were on Roosters halfback Cooper Cronk, who was playing in his first game back at AAMI Park since his 2017 departure from the Storm.

But the premiers turned to Mitchell, who slotted over the match winner from 40m out to end Melbourne's unbeaten start to the season.

It ended an epic comeback from the Storm, who trailed 20-8 at halftime as they failed to keep pace with the champions early on.

"It was uncomfortable and beautiful all in one," said Roosters coach Trent Robinson.