NRL

Mitchell's heroics sink Warriors' slim NRL hopes

Needing to win to stay in finals contention, the Warriors led 6-0 early on Sunday afternoon but otherwise failed to land a punch as they conceded eight unanswered tries.

They also lost Gerard Beale to a serious knee injury early, while Jazz Tevaga might be suspended for a late shoulder charge on Cronk.

Tevaga was sin-binned for the hit and, while Cronk initially remained grounded, he played on without any real concerns.

Sivo, Brown keep Eels on finals charge

Tries to Maika Sivo and Dylan Brown in the first half enabled the Eels to take  a 10-0 lead into the break, but the second period proved far more difficult for the visitors to put the Dragons away.

St George Illawarra lost winger Zac Lomax in the pre-game warm-up to a hamstring concern with Mikaele Ravalawa coming into the side in No.21 jersey as a replacement.

Ravalawa helped get the Dragons on the board in the 47th minute to narrow the visitors' lead after a Corey Norman cross-field kick fell back to James Graham, who helped send the Fijian flyer over in the corner.

Isaako inspired by dad's brave battle with incurable cancer

Isaako, who spent several weeks by his father's side in hospital in late June and early July, said his dad collapsed one day at work and was sent for tests which revealed cancer in his nose, which then spread to his brain and through his body.

After playing in Samoa's 24-6 win over Papua New Guinea on June 22, Isaako dashed back to Christchurch to support his father.

"At one point, he was only given a few weeks to live when I went back home. It's now been a month and he has managed to do well," Isaako said.

Sharks bite back to beat Cowboys

The visiting Cowboys led 8-4 at the interval but were undone by two tries in the space of four minutes, as Shaun Johnson played a key role with hands and boot.

The Sharks had won the previous two meetings with the Cowboys and six of the past eight, but they fell behind three minutes in when Scott Drinkwater sprinted clear to score.

Ronaldo Mulitalo levelled after 36 minutes from Johnson's pass, but Matthew Scott restored the Cowboys' advantage just three minutes later, powering through a defensive blockade to spin and dot down just before the interval.

Pacific rising: Island nations chase RTS, Haas, Fifita for Nines

Tonga, Samoa and Fiji have been drawn in the same group for the October 18-19 "festival of rugby league", which will have a $250,000 purse on offer across the men's and women's competitions to ensure the game's star attractions turn out.

Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga has already indicated he will be taking the concept seriously with the likes of Kalyn Ponga, Josh Addo-Carr, Blake Ferguson and Cameron Munster amongst those in line for Australian selection.

Warriors eye Apisai Koroisau after Manly allow hooker to look elsewhere

The Warriors, almost certain to part company with Issac Luke at the end of the season, are one of three clubs that have already expressed interest in Koroisau. Canterbury is another, although they are also in negotiations with Newcastle's Kiwis hooker Danny Levi, another contracted player on the outer.

Jazz Tevaga sticking with Warriors for another two years

The 23-year-old hooker turned down down reported interest from other national rugby club to remain in Auckland until the end of the 2021 season.

Named the NRL's best interchange player last year, Tevaga has thrived in a starting role and is averaging 125 metres in his four starts while his 61 tackles in last week's draw with Brisbane was 18 more than anyone else.

Possibly the smallest middle forward in the NRL, coach Stephen Kearney lauded Tevaga for his courage.

"He isn't the biggest forward going around by a long way but that doesn't bother him," Kearney said.

NRL appoints first female referee for Broncos v Bulldogs clash

Belinda Sharpe will on Tuesday be confirmed as the first woman to take control of an NRL match, assigned as the assistant referee for Thursday night's Broncos and Bulldogs clash at Suncorp Stadium.

The Queensland-raised Sharpe and Kasey Badger were earlier this year elevated to the NRL's full-time referees squad, paving the way for the former to take the whistle in round 18.

She has been a constant as an NRL touch judge in recent times, as has Badger, but it won't be until this week that one of the pair has been given the task of refereeing an NRL fixture.

Penrith Panthers sink Warriors with long range late try and James Maloney field goal

The Warriors looked to have the match in the bag through 60 minutes of play, before the under-manned Panthers exposed shaky tackling to score with three minutes left, then former Warriors pivot Maloney delivered a field goal killer blow.

Even a stunning second half try by a flying David Fusitu'a - a contender for try of the season - couldn't get the home side the win.

Warriors centre Patrick Herbert kicked a 40 metre penalty goal to send the match into extra time, but that turned the game into the Maloney show, as the Warriors slumped to another loss in Auckland.

Michael Jennings out of Mate Ma'a Tonga squad to face Kiwis

As the Tongan team cut their squad to 19 on Monday, the loss of Jennings was the biggest blow.

The forced withdrawal of the 31-year-old who has played 10 Tests for Tonga and seven for Australia leaves Solomone Kata (Warriors) and Kotoni Staggs (Broncos) as the logical choices to play in the centres in Auckland on Saturday. 

"It is a shame to lose Michael because he has really been playing well for Parramatta," Mate Ma'a Tonga coach Kristian Woolf said.

"He has also brought wonderful experience to our side through the 2017 World Cup and in Tests last year.