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Big League Weekly Edition

Big League Weekly Edition 2018 - Round 10

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
committed fifita relishes responsibility

CRONULLA prop Andrew Fifita has already pledged his allegiance to Tonga, but in a perfect world, he’d love the opportunity to play for both his country and New South Wales. With Tonga playing a Test match on the same weekend as Origin II, Fifita is ineligible to represent the Blues. However, he said he wouldn’t say no if new coach Brad Fittler asked him to line-up for the opening game on June 6. “In the ideal scenario, I’d love to play both,” Fifita told Big League. “It would be great if ‘Freddy’ gave me Game One and Three and they gave me Game Two off – I’d be stoked with that because I’m proud of both New South Wales and Tonga.” As much as the 28-year-old forward would love to pull on the sky…

1 min
kicking off

FEW things make me prouder to be an NRL supporter than Indigenous Round. I love the way we’re able to embrace everything that makes the game we love so special – our diversity. Some of the best players to ever lace on a boot have been Indigenous and they continue to be, even this weekend. But more than being able to celebrate our amazing athletes and their culture, this week is about showing Indigenous communities that they’re important, we appreciate them and we acknowledge their struggles. This year each player and official will be wearing Indigenous inspired jerseys – many of which have been designed with the help of some past and present Indigenous players. WE all know the brilliant work that Aboriginal champions Johnathan Thurston and Greg Inglis do for…

2 min
cowboys focused despite disruptions

NORTH Queensland players have insisted they won’t let the off-field drama surrounding Scott Bolton distract them ahead of their crucial match with the Wests Tigers. Bolton was charged with indecent assault last Sunday morning following an alleged incident at a Bondi bar on the weekend. The prop is set to face Waverley Local Court on June 19. The team travelled back to Sydney after their 26-20 win over Penrith in Bathurst last Friday night and had planned to spend the week bonding before facing the Tigers at Leichhardt Oval. Despite the distracting circumstances, five-eighth Michael Morgan said the entire playing group will stay focused on their job. “In-house, within our group, we’ll be able to focus on footy okay. Our concern will be for ‘Bolts’ and his welfare. We’ll be focusing on footy towards…

1 min
healed aitken putting in hard yards

HE’S done more than enough to earn a State of Origin debut, but Euan Aitken is just happy to be back on the field after an injury-disrupted year with the Dragons. After an impressive first 10 rounds in 2017, Aitken played just three more matches due to hamstring and shoulder injuries throughout the rest of the year. The youngster was a certainty to represent Scotland at last year’s World Cup but was instead forced to spend the off-season in the rehab ward as he fought to get his body right for the 2018 campaign. Finally back to 100 per cent fitness, Aitken has soared into Origin calculations having helped the Dragons to the top of the table. “I’ve had two injuries that set me back, but I’m feeling great now and it feels good…

2 min
bulldogs keeping the faith

THURSDAY night’s loss to Brisbane consigned the Bulldogs to 15th place on the ladder and coach Dean Pay was fined $25,000 for criticising the referees in the aftermath, but Raymond Faitala-Mariner could still find some positives from the game. Despite their position, the in- form big man said the team is close to their best. “There were a lot of positives in Thursday’s game. The main one was the effort from the boys, I can’t question that. We did everything we could and we were leading the game, a few calls didn’t come our way and it made it hard for us to turn around, but the effort was there and we’re not that far away from playing to the best of our abilities,” Faitala-Marinertold Big League. In the past two matches…

1 min
in-form bunnies cooked to perfection

RABBITOHS hooker Damien Cook has emerged as one of the most consistent players of the competition this season and his team-mate Greg Inglis said it’s the hard work behind the scenes that has led to his improvement. Cook again showed off his speed and agility at dummy-half during Friday’s win against the Knights, scoring a try, running for 119 metres and making four tackle-breaks. However, Inglis said there is more that contributes to Cook’s success than what we see on the field. “What you guys don’t see is the hard work he does here, all you guys see is the 80 minutes he puts in each week,” Inglis said. The captain was initially hesitant to share what makes Cook such a vital member of the team, before he gave some insight into the 26-year…