Big League Weekly Edition

Big League Weekly Edition 2018 - Round 05

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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in this issue

2 min.
errant eels pay the penalty

PARRAMATTA forward Tepai Moeroa says his side won’t play to their potential until they fix up their discipline. Tipped to challenge for the title after an impressive 2017 campaign, Parramatta are winless after four rounds following a 30-20 defeat at the hands of the Wests Tigers on Easter Monday. A late surge by the blue and golds made the scoreline respectable, but the contest was effectively over on the hour mark after the Eels shot themselves in the foot with a lopsided penalty count that finished 8-3 against them. “We showed in the last 20 minutes what we can do if we get some ball,” Moeroa told Big League. “However, if we continue to start like we do and give away silly penalties then the results will keep going against us. “The response to penalties…

1 min.
kicking off

ROUND 4 has forced me to look at the bigger picture. Everyone in the game has had their say about the way it should be refereed or played, about why Stadium A needs to be upgraded more than Stadium B, and how coaches are getting away with this tactic or that move. The only thing that’s clear is there is no way to make everyone happy. We’re getting closer though, I’m confident of that. But in among the gripes and swipes were a bucket-load of injuries – the cruellest of all to Knights centre Tautau Moga. I was at the game in Wollongong when his knee buckled underneath him and you could hear a pin drop in the press box – because it was clear the 24-year-old had just suffered…

2 min.
hard lessons in ricky’s soft serve

SOFT is how Canberra coach Ricky Stuart described his side’s performance against Manly last Saturday. A frustrated figure in his post-match press conference, Stuart uttered the word 10 times in the space of two minutes. Having just beaten them, Sea Eagles lock Jake Trbojevic said such an assessment from their coach would hurt the entire playing group and fire them up for the following game. “I’m not going to say they’re soft, but if the coach says you are, it will sting,” Trbojevic said. “It’d be disappointing as a player. I reckon they’ll respond to it and come out fired up next week.” Manly hooker Api Koroisau, who starred in the 32-16 victory, offered some advice for the hurting Raiders. “I think they’ve got to come together as a team. They can’t let any of…

1 min.
history beckons for grinding warriors

TO put the Warriors’ watershed start in perspective, the club has only won more than four games in the opening eight rounds twice in its previous 23 seasons. Club legend Kevin Campion was integral to the first Warriors side that got off to a genuine flyer – the 2002 combination, which finished as minor premiers and reached the grand final. The former hard-man can already foresee similar success for the Warriors this year after making the rugby league world sit up and take notice with a stunning 30-6 upset of the Roosters. “It’s early in the season but they’ve certainly set themselves up for the back-end of the year,” Campion told Big League. “They aren’t playing a razzledazzle style of football, they’re just in the grind and that’s where they’re beating teams. “They’re playing an…

1 min.
reynolds return will boost bunnies

SOUTH Sydney hooker Damien Cook expects his side to go up a notch when halfback Adam Reynolds returns from a knee injury on Friday. Although the Rabbitohs are coming off the back of consecutive wins, Cook described their attack as ‘clunky’ but said the return of Reynolds will help in that area of their game. “It’s a big boost to have him [Reynolds] come back into the team because he’s one of the best halfbacks in the comp,” Cooktold Big League. “Our attack has been a bit clunky of late, so hopefully his return will help. We’re looking forward to having him back.” The halfback hasn’t played since the opening round but is fully fit and ready to return against the undefeated Dragons at UOW Jubilee Oval. “I’m feeling fit and ready to go,” Reynolds…

2 min.
tiger attack moves off the endangered list

THE Wests Tigers have never recorded back-to-back victories over Melbourne, but that will change if they can secure another upset over the defending premiers this weekend. Ivan Cleary’s men stunned the rugby league world when they went to Melbourne and stole a thrilling 10-8 win in Billy Slater’s 300th NRL game earlier in the year, and history will be made if they can back it up in Auckland on Saturday. “We took a lot of confidence out of that first win,” Ben Matulino told Big League after his side’s impressive win over the Eels. “We just stayed in the game until the end down there. We played with 12 men for a while after I got sin-binned, but the boys rallied and stuck together and kept turning up and it showed with that…