rugby league

Warriors down Bulldogs in tight NRL battle

It took a Shaun Johnson field goal in the 69th minute to give the home side some breathing space.

A dart from dummy-half by skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck six minutes from time and Johnson's conversion virtually sealed victory at Mt Smart Stadium on Friday night.

The result keeps the Warriors - who had started the round in 11th place, one place ahead of the Bulldogs - within touching distance of the top eight.

But it was tempered by injury to hooker Issac Luke, who dislocated his shoulder in the 33rd minute after what seemed like an innocuous tackle.

Jennings the key to Eels backline reshuffle

All other playmakers are fit, but the Eels' successfully-rejigged backline actually came about largely due to the return from injury of veteran centre Michael Jennings.

Explaining the line-up changes after a 24-10 win over the Dragons on Sunday, Parramatta coach Brad Arthur said a lack of quality ball in a poor loss to the Cowboys last week denied Gutherson a chance to show what he is capable of in the centre position.

Nevertheless, the players available for Sunday's game made moving fullback Bevan French to the wing the best option.

Myles leaves Manly for Melbourne

The Australia international forward has been recruited as cover for Christian Welch, who has been ruled out of the remainder of the 2017 campaign with a knee injury.

Myles, 31, is currently recovering from an elbow problem sustained in the opening State of Origin match but will begin work with his new team immediately.

"I'm ecstatic to be able to join Melbourne Storm for the remainder of the season," he said. 

Rep wins set to spark Panthers' season

Emotion. 

That was the first word used to describe the experience for the Panthers prop-forward, who scored a double against Fiji including the match-winner with two minutes left on the clock.

Lined up behind another Tongan debutant in Manu Vatuvei, an emotional Latu admitted the occasion got the best of him before taking to the field.

"Everything felt like a blur, it all went so quick. Before we walked out I was standing behind Manu and could see that he was teary so I started as well and couldn't control it," Latu told NRL.com of the experience.

Right time to play Storm: James

Coming out of the Representative Round on the back of two straight wins, the Titans only have to travel an hour up the M1 for their 'away' clash with the Storm who have won seven of the nine matches played between the two teams in Melbourne.

Both clubs have been rocked this week by senior players Kevin Proctor and Jesse Bromwich being embroiled in a drugs scandal following New Zealand's Test loss in Canberra on Friday night and will take the field without the pair on Saturday night.

Fiji, Tonga both out to impress

The Pacific Test match will be the second of three blockbusters on Saturday with Tonga naming a strong line-up that includes former New Zealand winger Manu Vatuvei and Bulldogs fullback Will Hopoate for the first time.

Fiji also features plenty of NRL talent with Storm winger Suliasi Vunivalu making his international debut alongside Panthers centre Waqa Blake, while Wests Tigers utility back Kevin Naiqama will captain the side and start in the No.1 jersey.

Roosters sign Tigers star Tedesco

Tedesco, the 24-year-old who was the Dally M Fullback of the Year in 2016, will join the Roosters from next year.

A New South Wales State of Origin representative in 2016, Tedesco has played 78 NRL matches.

"James is a tremendously exciting talent whose signature we are pleased to have secured and we look forward to welcoming him to the Roosters in 2018," Roosters chief executive Joe Kelly said.

Samoa and Tonga name strong league sides

Some of the game's most exciting players feature in each of the line-ups, including Anthony Milford, Josh McGuire and Sam Kasiano for Toa Samoa, and Michael Jennings, Will Hopoate, Andrew Fifita and representing Mate Ma'a Tonga.

PNG will open proceedings in the first Test on May 6 when they take on the Cook Islands before traditional rivals Fiji and Tonga face off in the penultimate match of the evening.

Toa Samoa complete the triple-header when they take on England.

Tonga to unleash Hopoate, Jennings and Fifita

The Bulldogs have been subjected to heavy criticism for announcing their players would not be available for the May 7 City-Country match at Mudgee but that is due to scheduling as they play North Queensland just four days later.

If NSW coach Laurie Daley had advised that he wanted any specific Canterbury players to play City-Country with a view to assessing them for State of Origin selection, the Bulldogs would have allowed them to do so.

Kiwis forward set to become richest player in league

The Dally M medallist is on the verge of signing a 10-year contract worth over $10 million with North Queensland, according to a News Corp Australia report.

The deal, which will see 24-year-old Taumololo become a Cowboys players for life, dwarfs that of superstar teammate Johnathan Thurston who signed for $5 million four years ago.

An official announcement of Taumolo's re-signing is expected as early as today.

"We are very hopeful of keeping Jason," Cowboys chairman Laurence Lancini told News Corp Australia.