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Big League Weekly Edition

Big League Weekly Edition 2018 - Round 07

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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.
cook sprints into origin contention

IF Damien Cook had a dollar for every time he was asked about State of Origin then the South Sydney No.9 could probably afford to retire young. Such has been his form over the first six rounds, the Rabbitohs’ rake has rocketed into calculations for a Blues debut, set to battle it out with in-form duo Cameron McInnes and Api Koroisau, as well as NSW incumbent, Nathan Peats, for a starting spot when the Game One squad is announced in a few weeks. While everyone else is happy to engage in the debate, Cook remains focused on maintaining his spot in the Rabbitohs’ starting side. “My first focus is the No.9 jersey at Souths and keeping it every week,” he said following his side’s emphatic win over the Roosters. “If those representative honours come,…

1 min.
kicking off

CRITICISM and rugby league go hand in hand. They’re like peas and carrots, peanut butter and chocolate or Craig Bellamy and Cameron Smith. They work together – they complement each other. On Sunday night NRL boss Todd Greenberg decided he was through with all of the criticism and took to Twitter to take aim at the “crisis merchants” of the game – those who find fault with everything. He asked people to kindly remember how great rugby league is and to hashtag ‘talk the game up’. While obviously, a competition with such a passionate supporter base as the NRL will always attract fiery and important debate (and a lot of criticism) it is worth remembering the reason it’s so easy to get caught up in a negativity spiral. It’s because…

2 min.
cowboys prepare for the future

NORTH Queensland have taken giant steps towards preparing for life after Johnathan Thurston by re-signing exciting young halfback Jack Clifford and coach Paul Green. As much as their short-term focus will be on turning their season around after starting with a 5-1 record, they also have their sights on next year and beyond. With Thurston retiring at season’s end, the Cowboys know how important it is to keep the club in good shape when he exits. Clifford (pictured) is the 2017 NYC Player of the Year and has been lining-up for the Cowboys’ feeder club Northern Pride in the Intrust Super Cup this season. He has re-signed until the end of 2020, and will be eager for the vacant halfback role next year. He’ll have stiff competition with grand final five-eighth Te Maire…

1 min.
swapped stars go face to face

WHEN James Maloney and Matt Moylan switched clubs during the off-season, this week’s clash between Cronulla and Penrith was marked down as one of the most anticipated games of the year. A quarter of the season has now passed and these two clubs, and their opposing players, will face off on Sunday at Southern Cross Group Stadium. Maloney may have changed clubs four times, but he’s still looking forward to the prospect of playing against the Sharks. “It’s always exciting to play against the old club. I’ve done it plenty of times. It’s no real big thing to me now,” he laughed. “Especially hitting them when they’re down on troops, it’s a good opportunity. They’ll have a backs-to-the-wall mentality so they’ll be tough. We’ll have to work out what our side looks like and…

2 min.
dragons ready for testing times

THEY’RE the only undefeated team in the competition, but make no mistake, there’s no risk of complacency sneaking into the Dragons’ camp as they prepare for one of the most challenging stretches of their schedule – starting with the high-flying Warriors on Friday. Though the Warriors’ loss to Brisbane has seen them fall to third on the ladder, Dragons second-rower Tyson Frizell knows they can’t underestimate their wounded opponents. “They’re a quality side and they’re going to play some good footy against us,” he said. “They’re going to want to come out and prove a point, but we’re going to be doing the same. It’s going to be a tough game in a packed stadium – but that’s the way we like it. We enjoy that environment, we’re looking forward to the challenge. “We…

1 min.
titans wary of failing favourites

AFTER a painful loss to the Panthers on Sunday, the Titans are looking to bounce back this weekend against the struggling Cowboys and edge their way back into the top eight. Despite the 2017 Grand Finalist’s dismal start to the season, Titans prop Jarrod Wallace isn’t getting complacent leading into Saturday’s clash in Townsville, noting that the Townsville team are never an easy prospect on home turf. “They’ll play a big game, they’re always tough at home. ‘JT’ [Johnathan Thurston], Matt Scott and the rest will be wanting to get a win,” Wallace told Big League. The Titans will go into the game with an even 3-3 record this season, while the Cowboys will be hoping to nail down just their second win for the year – something co-captain Thurston is confident his…