NRL

Rabbitohs playmakers lead South Sydney to big NRL win

Walker and Reynolds put on a ball-playing clinic as they combined to create five of the Rabbitohs' eight tries with deft passing and skills on the fringes of the rucks.

Alex Johnston scored a hat-trick of tries for South Sydney and has now scored 13 tries in his past five games.

The result moves the Rabbitohs level on points with the Storm and Panthers, who will pick up two points each for the bye this weekend.

The North Queensland Cowboys remain 11th, two points above the Warriors who visit the Cronulla Sharks on Sunday evening.

 

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Warrior Reece Walsh rehabilitating well

Walsh missed the opportunity to make his controversial debut for the Maroons in the second State of Origin game against New South Wales, after pulling out of captain's run with a low grade hamstring strain.

Warriors assistant coach Justin Morgan said Walsh was back with NRL club and responding well to the rehabilitation.

Morgan could not confirm the timeframe on Walsh's return but expected it to be between one and three weeks given the severity of the injury.

Shaun Johnson coming 'home' to the Warriors

Johnson, 30, moved to the Cronulla Sharks but they won't be retaining him beyond this year.

Johnson who has played 162 games for the Warriors between 2011-2018 has signed a two-year deal.

He has played 40 games for the Sharks taking his NRL tally to 202.

"While he left to join the Sharks, Shaun's heart has always been with the Vodafone Warriors after starting his career here," said club CEO Cameron George.

"Shaun stands among the top playmakers in the competition and he'll give us a significant boost from next season."

Api to be here: Back-up Blue ready for any scenario

The livewire Panthers dummy half is 18th man for the Blues in Townsville, which means he won't be available for the depleted Panthers in their quest to remain unbeaten on Friday night.

Panthers coach Ivan Cleary delivered Koroisau his selection news on Sunday morning before mapping out his own plan to fill seven vacant spots for the clash with Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval.

Cleary will likely turn to Mitch Kenny to replace Koroisau at hooker.

Warriors' comeback thwarted by Cowboys kick

The Warriors looked set to overcome a 22-6 half-time deficit when they struck the lead with 15 minutes to go, but a late try to Cowboys flyer Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow and a late Valentine Holmes field goal gave the hosts a 29-28 victory.

While Chanel Harris-Tavita skewed what would have been a match-clinching one-pointer for the New Zealand club, Brown traced their downfall back to the period in which Tevaga was off the park.

The Warriors have now gone down by a field goal twice this season having also lost 13-12 to the Sea Eagles in round five.

Former Kangaroo Timana Tahu calls for tougher action on social media racial abuse

The former Australian and NSW representative made the impassioned plea on the eve of the NRL’s Indigenous Round, which will celebrate First Nations people and raise further awareness about bridging health and employment gaps with non-Indigenous Australians.

Some of the NRL’s biggest names, including Latrell Mitchell, have called out abhorrent social media abuse in more recent times, which resulted in two men being arrested last month for online vilification of the Rabbitohs star.

NRL star Will Hopoate's offer to free brother from jail denied after charge over large-scale cocaine supply

Jamil Hopoate, who is an off-contract NRL player, was charged with large-scale commercial drug supply on Tuesday as part of an investigation into the alleged importation of cocaine with a street value of AU$154.2 million (NZ$165.6m).

Police allege Hopoate ran from police with an 8kg substance in his backpack, which he threw over a fence into a nearby backyard in Mascot.

The 26-year-old appeared via audiovisual link at Sydney’s Central Local Court on Wednesday and wiped away tears as his daughter waved to him through the court’s cameras.

Warriors want to stay in Australia for NRL season

The Warriors have been based in Australia since January and the club has had to decide whether to return to New Zealand now that the trans-Tasman travel bubble is open or fly in and fly out of Auckland for home games.

There are five Warriors home games on the NRL schedule starting with a 2 July clash against the St George Illawarra Dragons.

Captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was liaising between his teammates and team management to assess the options in front of them and he said they needed to take into account that some new players have never lived in Auckland before.

Cross-code Reds star Suliasi Vunivalu going to mediation over assault charge

The 25-year-old was charged with common assault over the incident on January 30.

He didn’t face Brisbane Magistrates Court on Monday when his case was mentioned for the second time.

But his lawyer Jonathan Ivanisevic said Vunivalu was about to be referred for justice mediation.

Now called adult restorative justice conferencing, the mediation process is a facilitated meeting between a person who caused harm and those most affected by it.

NRL's bold plan to split competition into two conferences as part of expansion push

The plans have the backing of one of the game’s most influential figures, with Wayne Bennett throwing his support behind the concept that would revolutionise the professional game.

NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo and chairman Peter V’landys have met with several clubs over the past fortnight to outline the long-term vision for the game in regards to expansion and how they can maximise future broadcast rights deals.