NRL

Warriors continue unbeaten run

Skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and his men have taken the club's best start to a campaign to 5-0, staying with St George Illawarra as the competition's only unbeaten teams.

Unfancied by many pundits at the beginning of 2018, the Warriors are firming as favourites to make their first finals appearance since 2011.

They again demonstrated their new-found defensive resilience against the Cowboys.

Last year's grand finalists have now lost four games in a row.

Raiders up and running

Four defeats out of four heaped the pressure on Raiders coach Ricky Stuart, but his side got up and running despite losing Ata Hingano, Michael Oldfield (both concussion) and Sam Williams (knee) - leaving Liam Knight as their only man on the bench for the second half.

Joey Leilua finished off a brilliant move which was started by Nick Cotric from his own in-goal area to put the Raiders in front and the centre added another try give the home side a 12-0 at the break, Croker converting both scores.

Patience needed as NRL goes through major transition

I used to think they were an acceptable form of chocolate, not the best, but passable. Worst of all, I would willingly choose them over actual treats with taste, especially around Easter.

Then somewhere along the way I changed my mind, my standards were raised.

Flavourless, pretend chocolate was no longer good enough because it was not nearly as delicious as the real thing, and why would I waste time (and calories) on a sub-par substitute? Yes, I’m still coming down from my post-holiday sugar high, but I have a point. I promise.

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Tigers too good for struggling Eels

Having failed to score over 10 points in their previous three games, Ivan Cleary's side cut loose in attack to bounce back from their golden-point loss to Brisbane Broncos last time out.

The Eels opened the scoring when Will Smith caught a high kick by Mitchell Moses before diving over, with the successful conversion making it 6-0 to the visitors.

However, inspired by half-back pairing Luke Brooks and Benji Marshall, the Tigers roared back with 20 unanswered points in the remainder of the first half.

Warriors win again

The Warriors were dealt a massive blow when halfback Shaun Johnson was ruled out with a groin injury on the eve of the Sydney game.

In past years, such a setback would have caused the New Zealand side to put the cue in the rack but they rallied to record an important two points.

Johnson's fill-in, Mason Lino, was superb. However, Green was the chief architect as the Warriors recorded their first win without Johnson since round 22, 2014.

The Warriors are unbeaten after four rounds and look genuine contenders after six years in the finals wilderness.

Round 4: NRL team lists

North Queensland Cowboys v Penrith Panthers, 7.05pm (8.05pm AEDT) Thursday at 1300Smiles Stadium

Cowboys: 1 Ben Hampton, 2 Kyle Feldt, 3 Justin O'Neill, 4 Javid Bowen, 5 Antonio Winterstein, 6 Michael Morgan, 7 Johnathan Thurston (c), 8 Matthew Scott (c), 9 Jake Granville, 10 Jordan McLean, 11 Gavin Cooper, 12 Coen Hess, 13 Jason Taumalolo

Interchange: 14 Te Maire Martin, 15 John Asiata, 16 Scott Bolton, 17 Ethan Lowe

Reserves: 18 Corey Jensen, 19 Lachlan Coote 

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NRL hands down heavy sanctions to Manly over salary cap breaches

The club has been fined $750,000 and two officials - chief operating officer Neil Bare and former CEO Joe Kelly, who is now the boss at the Sydney Roosters - receiving 12-month bans.

Manly will also have a $660,000 penalty applied to their salary cap for this season and the 2019 Telstra Premiership.

The breaches involve 13 players over five years, totalling $1.5 million.

Casualty Ward: Round 4 - Benji Marshall cleared of serious injury

Brisbane Broncos 

Broncos pair Corey Oates and Tevita Pangai jnr were the casualties to come out of the 9-7 win over Wests Tigers on Friday night. Sam Thaiday received treatment for a nasty head gash but remained on the field. 

Tevita Pangai jnr (hamstring, scans to confirm extent of damage) 
Andre Savelio (knee, season) 
Jordan Kahu (jaw, round 9-12) 
Corey Oates (hip, scans to confirm extent of damage)

Canberra Raiders

Warriors make injury-enforced change for Canberra Raiders

The 19-year-old Papali'i limped off early in last week's 20-8 win over Gold Coast and has since been ruled out for up to six weeks with a medial knee ligament sprain.

He'll be replaced in the second row by ex-Titan Pulu, who has twice started on the bench this season and will line up alongside Tohu Harris and lock Ligi Sao.

As a result, fellow Warriors recruit Agnatius Paasi comes onto the bench, where he'll join another new face in Jazz Tevaga, who replaces Sam Cook.

Coach Stephen Kearney talked up Pulu's NRL pedigree.

Greenberg apologises to Inglis over racial abuse

The NRL and Penrith Panthers are confident of identifying the culprit from CCTV footage as he was seated in a prominent position near the Panthers Stadium tunnel, with Inglis allegedly abused as he came from the field after full-time on Saturday night.

Greenberg commended the Panthers, who have made an unreserved apology, for "working around the clock" to identify the crowd member.