rugby league

Debutants in Kiwi and Kiwi Ferns teams for Mate Ma'a Tonga tests

Parramatta duo Dylan Brown and Marata Niukore plus Cronulla Sutherland winger Ronaldo Mulitalo and Penrith prop Moses Leota will all play their first Test for the Kiwis.

Brown is paired in the halves with Melbourne halfback Jahrome Hughes, Mulitalo is on the wing, Niukore is in the centres with the experienced Peta Hiku and Leota is on a potent bench.

Bennett, Young join Tonga coaching staff

Bennett, who will next year return to the NRL coaching ranks with the new Dolphins franchise, will act as a coaching advisor to Dean Young, who will deputise for Tonga mentor Kristian Woolf.

With Woolf unable to travel to Auckland for the Test due to his commitments with St Helens in the Super League, Young will take charge for the one-off Test.

The Mate Ma’a Tonga rugby league team will gain an injection of experience and youth in their coaching ranks for the upcoming Test against the New Zealand Kiwis.

Sharks bite Sea Eagles

Cronulla wrecking ball Siosifa Talakai was virtually unstoppable in the first half as he scored two tries and laid on three others in arguably the best 40 minute display by any player this season as the Sharks raced to a 32-0 half-time lead.

The Sydney-born Talakai, who played for the junior Kiwis but has pledged his World Cup allegiances to Tonga, also produced three line breaks, two line-break assists, seven tackle breaks and three off-loads while carrying the ball 202 metres in 13 runs at left centre.

Long-awaited Kiwis clash with Tonga in June to be officially announced next week

Newshub understands an official announcement will be made next week to confirm the clash at Mt Smart Stadium on June 25. 

The Kiwis haven't played since November 2019 and haven't played at Mt Smart, since they beat Tonga in June 2019. 

The game may form a doubleheader with the Kiwi Ferns, as both sides prepare for this year's Rugby League World Cup in England.

The international game took a major hit, when the Rugby League World Cup was postponed last year, and games leading up to the delayed tournament may reignite the test calendar.  

Tonga World Cup squad will be stronger than ever, insists Kristian Woolf

The Tongan national squad have enjoyed a meteoric rise through the rankings in international rugby league in recent years.

They reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2017 before going on to claim historic wins over Australia and Great Britain in 2019.

Woolf, who is also coach of Super League champions St Helens, believes Tonga will have their best squad yet at this autumn’s World Cup, which is hosted in England.

Woolf told Love Rugby League: “I think we have got a real opportunity at the end of the year.

Kaiviti Silktails season ended by Covid-19

  The Fijian side relocated to Australia six months ago to compete in the Ron Massey Cup, after last year's competition was cancelled because of Covid-19.

The Silktails managed six wins, six losses and one draw in 13 matches before the competition was suspended at the start of July, with their last hitout a 26-16 win over Blacktown Workers on 24 June.

Warriors coach Nathan Brown concedes finals hopes over after 'embarrassing' loss

The Warriors entered the contest needing a win to keep their finals ambitions on life support, only for the ruthless Rabbitohs to pull the plug with an 11-try rout of the injury-decimated Kiwi side.

Now placed 14th on the ladder and three wins outside the top eight with six games left, Brown admits a finals berth is now out of their reach.

"I think that [the finals] is starting to look beyond us now, if we are being truthful," Brown says.

Son of All Black committed to the Warriors

Son of former All Black Marty Berry, Rocco made the surprise move to the Warriors after starring in First XV rugby for St. Patrick's Silverstream College in 2019.

Having made his NRL debut this season, the 19-year-old has already impressed the Warriors management enough to earn a contract extension through to 2024.

"I've grown up being a Warriors fan and to have my future here sorted it's something I can't wait for," Berry said.

RTS try secures Warriors win

Dragons fullback Matt Dufty had touched down from an Adam Clune grubber with 20 minutes to go, and St George Illawarra looked on track to claim their fifth straight win.

But Tuivasa-Sheck beat Jack Bird and Tariq Sims to put his team in front with 15 minutes to play.

Warriors five-eighth Kodi Nikorima added a penalty goal shortly afterwards, capping a faultess kicking performance which included three conversions.

All Black TJ Perenara in talks to switch codes

The 29-year-old is currently playing rugby for the Red Hurricanes in Japan, but his contract with New Zealand Rugby is due to expire at the end of this year.

The Roosters have injuries at hooker and Perenara is seen as a potential No 9 option should he switch codes.

Robinson got Sonny Bill Williams back to the Roosters midway through last season, six years after the dual international had left league to chase another rugby World Cup with the All Blacks.