NRL

TNRL expulsion criticised: like "trying to kill a fly with a bazooka"

The Tonga National Rugby League (TNRL) was expelled from the International Rugby League (IRL) in March, after a long-running battle over governance, money and a threatened player boycott.

APRL Chairman Sandis Tsaka believed the approach was too heavy-handed.

"There may have been some issues but the way that we tried to resolve the issue in Tonga was, I think, trying to kill a fly with a bazooka, if you know what I mean," he said.

Souths season continues

The Eels led 18-8 at half time much to the delight of the home crowd before Damien Cook fired up the Rabbitohs with a hand in three tries as they rattled up 30 points in 40 minutes after the break.

Parramatta's week started with first Maika Sivo being lost to injury, then Blake Ferguson being scratched as well, before Michael Jennings was suspended yesterday for failing a drugs test.

A showdown with minor premiers Penrith next Saturday night is their reward, Wayne Bennett once more delivering them to within 80 minutes of another grand final.

Star Penrith forward Viliame Kikau banned by NRL judiciary for dangerous tackle

Kikau was on Tuesday night found guilty at the NRL judiciary of endangering Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and banned for one match.

The suspension came after his legal team failed with their argument that the Sydney Roosters prop had contributed by dipping his body and making the situation look worse.

The verdict comes as a blow to Penrith's hopes of playing in their first grand final in 17 years, given Kikau is the most damaging second-rower in the competition.

Fears rugby league players from region missing out on NRL due to Covid-19

The global pandemic has wreaked havoc on the domestic game in Aotearoa, with the national secondary schools and youth tournaments among a host of events to be cancelled.

Experienced administrator and rugby league agent, Jordan Friend, said the coronavirus has been devastating for the development of young players in New Zealand.

"Cancellations of these tournaments will affect players in terms of less exposure, but also mentally for kids not getting that opportunity," he said.

Warriors seal eventful season with high-scoring win

The Warriors ran in eight tries during Sunday's 40-28 win in a fitting farewell for retiring forward Adam Blair.

Blair announced on Saturday the Manly game would be his last after 15 seasons in the NRL and his teammates sent him off with an emotional haka and an entertaining game of rugby league.

Manly paid tribute to Warriors' sacrifices this season with a guard of honour prior to kick-off but did not look like they would go easy on the New Zealand club when they scored two tries inside the opening eight minutes.

Tuivasa-Sheck limps off in Warriors defeat

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck limped off midway through the second-half of the Warriors' 26-14 loss to the Raiders in Canberra with a hamstring strain.

It's expected to keep him out of their final round match against the Manly Sea Eagles next Sunday.

The Warriors were again in the contest for the entire 80 minutes.

They led 14-6 after half an hour courtesy of two tries from Peta Hiku and two penalties and a conversion from Chanel Harris-Tavita.

But the Raiders snatched a 16-14 halftime lead after two tries in six minutes.

Bulldogs stun Rabbitohs

There was no shortage of controversy with Canterbury scoring twice while Jaydn Su'A was in the sin bin for a high shot that knocked Lachlan Lewis out of the match, while a Souths try was awarded without the aid of a Bunker despite winger Jaxson Paulo going into touch before he grounded the ball.

The result puts Souths' hopes of a home final in jeopardy with Newcastle able to leapfrog them into sixth if they beat the Dragons while Brisbane drop to last and will now need to win one of their last two games to avoid the wooden spoon.

     

Tuivasa-Sheck nominated for medal for leading Warriors through Covid crisis

The Kiwis fullback is on a list of 14 nominees for the Ken Stephen Medal for outstanding community service.

He was nominated by the Warriors after leading the side through their four-month campaign in Australia during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tuivasa-Sheck – the NRL’s Dally M Medal player of the year in 2018 – was the only Warrior who did not have his family with him, and he has missed his daughter’s birthday during his enforced Australian exile.

Panthers win 13th straight NRL game

Penrith's now guaranteed a top two finish and a home qualifying final.

The Panthers will secure the minor premiership as early as tomorrow (Sunday) if the Melbourne Storm don't beat the North Queensland Cowboys.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs are poised to finish with the competition's wooden spoon after falling to their 16th defeat from 18 matches.

They've been beaten 32-20 by the Manly Sea Eagles in Sydney.

Manly's now 10th, level on points with the Warriors who play the Cronulla Sharks tomorrow night.

     

Warriors demand better from NRL refs

A couple of game-defining calls have gone against the Warriors this season - including the sin binning of Jazz Tevaga against the Eels in the last round.

The NRL's head of football, Graham Annesley, has since said Tevaga's sending off was wrong, but Payten doesn't know how to turn the tide in his side's favour.

"I just have the feeling that because it's us and the Warriors its forgotten about pretty quickly," Payten said.