NRL

Nene Macdonald’s PNG pledge as NRL dream edges closer

Calls for the NRL to expand into Port Moresby are growing louder by the year, given the island nation’s love of rugby league and ability to produce athletes.

Australian coach and league legend Mal Meninga has led the charge, while other figures such as Matty Johns and James Graham have backed PNG entering the world’s best competition.

Perth may have more chance of joining Super League than the NRL

After beating the NRL to the punch by playing a premiership fixture on the other side of the world, English officials have revealed there had been discussions about a Perth team joining the likes of Toronto, New York, London and Toulouse in an expanded Super League.

"We've got New York and a number of other areas very interested and there are whispers from Perth that they are interested because there is a direct flight now into London," Wigan owner Ian Lenagan said.

Warriors taking extreme measures to make top eight

The message is simple - work hard.

Players have started on an even keel competing to impress at the upcoming trials ahead of game one of the season against South Sydney Rabbitohs in March.

"There was a gap we needed to close in certain areas, hence why we made a decision on the back end of the year to bring someone to the club like Alex (Corvo)." says Kearney.

"It's pretty demanding but that's because that's what the game asks for and the boys have really responded."

Flanagan: Holmes is Sharks No.1

Cronulla Sharks coach Shane Flanagan has confirmed there will be no positional switch in the Telstra Premiership for his talented speedster. 

“The speculation about Val comes because of how good he plays on the wing, not how poorly he plays at fullback,” Flanagan told NRL.com.

Marum on NRL possibilities for players

However team management have yet to confirm which clubs or players have been put on the radar.

According to Coach Michael Marum, several of the players have been approached, however that has yet to reach them on which players have been secured for possible team selection or recruitment.

Marum made the comments sighting several agents that have been reportedly observing players recently.

He told PNG Media that they will have to come through the coaching staff and then a decision will be made on the prospects of scouting these players.

PNG needs more players in the NRL

“We want to see a lot more of our players in the NRL and not just playing in feeder clubs.

“In order for us to be competitive in the next five years, we need another three or four David Meads playing in the Broncos.

“We have a few boys out there in the feeder clubs, but they need to do the hard work to get into the top 25 and be playing week in and week out in the NRL."

Marum said he is hoping to see PNG players who are contracted to NRL clubs break into the big league.

Tonga coach wants NRL to invest more money in to Pacific teams

Tonga sealed their second win in the tournament against Samoa on Saturday night at a packed-out FMG Stadium in Hamilton.

The stadium was a sea of colours as fans showed up to sing, cheer and dance for their Pacific teams. 

Woolf says the experience was one of a kind and it proves that Pacific teams are worth the investment.

"The first step I think is putting on more games. We'd love to play Samoa every year and I know they'd love to play us every year and I'm sure the fans would love to see that as well."

PNG hold on to beat Ireland

Kumuls winger Garry Lo was the difference, running for a game-high 200 metres, breaking 15 tackles and scoring a try.

His performance was a highlight in an error-riddled contest, with both sides pushing the pass and struggling to execute when it mattered most.

Leading 8-6 at half-time, PNG could not put the game away and it left the door open for an unlikely Irish victory.

Second-row forward Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook came within inches of becoming an Irish hero, knocking on over the goal line with 10 minutes to go.

NRL announces regional 2018 matches

Premiership matches will be held in Mudgee, Tamworth, Bathurst and Gosford next year, as well as Gladstone, Toowoomba and Cairns.

It means the 2018 season will include the most number of regional locations in NSW and Queensland in the history of the NRL Premiership.

The Gold Coast Titans will take two matches to regional centres (Gladstone and Toowoomba), while South Sydney will continue play one of its matches in Cairns.

NRL stand firm over fines

 

The governing body confirmed the Sharks would be slugged $30,000 and the Sea Eagles $20,000 after Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan and Manly's Trent Barrett both lashed the whistleblowers after their week-one finals exits.

Both clubs appealed their penalties after they were handed down a fortnight ago, however NRL head of football Brian Canavan said neither would be granted reductions in their fines.

"Given the seriousness of the breaches - and the need for the integrity of the game to be maintained - it was decided that the penalties should stand," Canavan said.