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Big League Weekly EditionBig League Weekly Edition

Big League Weekly Edition

2019 - Round 18

Your weekly guide to the NRL season, including the entire Final Series, the souvenir Grand Final program and our bumper Season Review. Every week Big League will feature stories on the big names, preview the big games and continue our popular Little League section for the young rugby league fans. With official team-lists, extensive statistics and up-to-date news, Big League provides everything you need to follow the NRL.

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32 Issues


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morris defends dugan’s durability

BRETT Morris has leapt to the defence of former team-mate Josh Dugan in the wake of calls suggesting the Sharks outside back should consider retiring given his history with injuries. Dugan limped from the field on Saturday night and is set to miss the next few weeks after picking up a hamstring injury during Cronulla’s loss to the Storm. The setback sparked debate on the Fox League panel, with former player Gorden Tallis questioning whether the 29-year-old was willing to keep getting hit anymore. “Every time I’ve watched him this year he’s down a lot and with the welfare of players now you’d think Josh Dugan is at the crossroads where he doesn’t finish a lot of games. He’s playing, what, 10 games a season for the Sharks?’’ Tallis said. “He’d be high on…

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kicking off

IT truly feels like the year of the fullback. Back in Round 14, Tom Trbojevic blasted out of the gates on his return from injury for the Sea Eagles and ran for an astonishing 341 metres – a new NRL record. But he only got to enjoy it for three weeks because, not to be outdone, Warriors fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck ran for a ridiculous 367 metres against the Broncos last weekend. After Origin III, many were asking whether Roosters fullback James Tedesco is the best player in the world at the moment. It’s hard to argue against. You’ve also got the up-and-coming brilliance of Knights fullback Kalyn Ponga. Beyond the ones who are always in the headlines, the revelation of Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad for the Raiders has been a great storyline, and guys like…

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walters in the hunt

MAROONS hooker Ben Hunt says he’d love Queensland coach Kevin Walters to remain at the helm for next year, but also backed him if he wanted to go for the vacant Titans role. News of Garth Brennan’s recent sacking led many to believe Walters would get the gig, but the man himself declared he didn’t want the role because he was focused on the Maroons and his commentary duties with Fox League. However, there is a widespread theory that Walters is still interested in the job, but that he doesn’t want to get involved in a drawn-out interview process which could lead to heartbreak as it did with the Broncos role at the end of 2018. Should he withdraw from the race, several candidates such as Roosters assistants Craig Fitzgibbon and Adam O’Brien,…

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klemmer managing wrist and reward

NEWCASTLE enforcer David Klemmer says he’ll play through pain for the rest of the season following a broken wrist suffered in Origin I. The Blues prop declined the chance to undergo surgery in a bid to be fit for the Origin decider, and he’ll now push through for the remainder of the season. “There will be lingering pain for the rest of the year,” Klemmer told Big League. “But it doesn’t bother me because I love playing footy. I’ve just got to manage it with the physios and look after it. “I’ll probably have to needle it before games, but I’ll be right to play for the rest of the year.” Following the Blues’ Origin victory, Klemmer hopes he can continue that success at Newcastle this season. The Knights currently sit seventh on the ladder…

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hoodoo haunting warriors hopes

FIGHTING to save their season, the Warriors head to Wellington this week to take on Cronulla also aiming to rectify one of the NRL’s most bewildering hoodoos. The club has played 30 games at New Zealand venues other than their Mt Smart Stadium since 1995 – for the shockingly poor record of seven wins, one draw and 22 losses. The Warriors boast just two wins and a draw from nine games at Westpac Stadium in the nation’s capital. Meanwhile, a 46-12 loss to Manly in Christchurch was arguably their worst performance of 2019. Former captain Monty Betham – who featured in the inaugural Wellington-hosted game, an unforgettable 24-all draw against the Bulldogs in 2001 after the Warriors scored three tries in the last six minutes – is at a loss to explain the…

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t-rex not extinct

FORMER wrecking ball Tony Williams is keen to sign a contract for next season and beyond after reviving his career with the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles in the Canterbury Cup. The 170-game veteran was limited to just six games in 2017 and 2018 following consecutive season-ending knee injuries, but has quickly found form in reserve grade with four matches under his belt. The winger-turned-back-rower says the crippling injuries should allow him to play on for a few years, with Williams keen to chat with Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler in the coming weeks about a possible NRL contract given their history together. “It’s hard to talk to him because he’s too busy and he’s got other stuff to do. We’ll probably sit down and have a chat soon. I’ve known him all my…