round 1

Match Preview: Sharks v Rabbitohs

After finishing the regular season in second place the Sharks went out in straight sets to the Cowboys and Rabbitohs last September but the positives far outweighed the negatives in Craig Fitzgibbon's first year at the helm.

From Nicho Hynes' dazzling Dally M deeds at halfback to the tryscoring deeds of Sione Katoa and Ronaldo Mulitalo to Matt Moylan's resurgence in the No.6, the Sharks were a force all season and there's every reason to think they can be again.

Match Preview: Cowboys v Raiders

Both sides were part of the finals action in 2022 but came up short of the ultimate prize with the grind of a long season taking its toll on Ricky Stuart's Raiders particularly, who dealt with a number of injuries throughout the year.

The Cowboys have lost Tom Gilbert to the Dolphins and are also without Heilum Luki (knee) and Luciano Leilua (stood down) but they still boast a strong pack which includes rep stars Reuben Cotter and Jeremiah Nanai.

Match preview: Panthers v Broncos

Both sides have been in the headlines over the summer with star players already sorting out their futures elsewhere in 2024 with coaches Ivan Cleary and Kevin Walters sure to want the focus to being back on the field. 

Penrith's golden point loss in the World Club Challenge to St Helens less than a fortnight ago will sting the two-time champions, who will officially start life without the services of Api Koroisau and Viliame Kikau. 

Match preview: Warriors v Knights

After a long stint away from home due to the COVID pandemic, the Warriors can expect huge support at Sky Stadium on Friday night and then at Mt Smart for clashes against the Bulldogs (round 4), Cowboys (round 7) and Roosters (round 9).

With new coach Andrew Webster at the helm and a number of key signings, the Warriors will look to hit the ground running as they look to return to the finals for the first time since 2018.

Big upsets in PRL Rd 1

On Sunday, U/20 Royals and West drew 6-6, Defence and Dobo Warriors drew 6-6 and Kone Storms and Paga Panthers drew 10-10. 

In the Women’s matches, Royals beat Butterflies 70-nil, and West beat Dobo Warriors 28-8. 

In 'A' grade, West beat Royals 2-nil, and Dobo Warriors beat Defence 22-4.

On Saturday, U/20 Tarangau and Hanuabada Hawks drew 6-6, and Butterflies beat Magani 4-nil. 

In the Women’s matches, Hanuabada Hawks beat Paga Panthers 10-8.

Fast Five Hottest Softball Tournament

Following the success of last month’s Easter Cup Challenge, Port Moresby softball continued with its annual Corporate Slow Pitch Women’s softball competition, however this time in mixed male and female teams format on Saturdays.

For the first time this Sunday the Bisini softball diamonds will host another new competition called FAST FIVE HOTTEST SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT ROUND1.

This is softball at another level and expected to be fast and explosive out of the blocks with time against you.

11 Teams have been confirmed for the Fast 5 Hottest Softball Tournament.

Hodgson ruled out for season

Canberra Raiders Club Dr. Greg Macleod said following further scans and assessment, the decision has been made for Hodgson to have surgery.

“Josh’s knee injury sustained in round one was a minor injury, however his return to training has since uncovered some instability in his knee which appears to have caused his current injury,” Dr. Macleod said. “After further scans and diagnosis, the decision has been made that it’s the club’s duty of care to Josh for him to have an ACL reconstruction due to a partial tear in his ACL and associated injuries.”

Namo To Lead Hunters Pack

The Hunters wrapped up a grueling preseason with a promising trial win over the West Brisbane Panthers A-grade side last week.

The Mackay Cutters went down 22-18 to the CQ Capras in their preseason trial game and were midway through a match against the NQ Cowboys Young Guns before extreme weather saw the game called off.

The last time these two sides met was in Round 12 last year when Mackey narrowly beat the Hunters 40-30 in a high scoring contest. The Hunters flew out to an early lead in that game but could not hold off a fast-finishing Cutters outfit.

Knights stun Roosters to open season in style

Newcastle dominated the match, making six line-breaks to nil and holding the Roosters tryless until four minutes before fulltime.

Five-eighth Jake Clifford was the star of the win but it was a team performance, with the back five of Kalyn Ponga (146m), Dominic Young (124m), Dane Gagai (200m), Bradman Best (146m) and Enari Tuala (109m) all running more than 100 metres with the ball.


Roosters v Knights: Keary, Collins, Manu return; Saifiti to miss

Both sides were part of the finals action in 2021 but came up short of the ultimate prize as the grind of a long season took its toll, particularly at the Roosters, who dealt with all manner of adversity along the journey.

With two of their most influential players, Luke Keary and Lindsay Collins, back from knee reconstructions, the Roosters take on a formidable look, while the addition of Dane Gagai gives the Knights more strike power.