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Big League Weekly Edition

Big League Weekly Edition 2018 - Round 13

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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.
new-look teams signal clean slate for origin

NEW South Wales captain Boyd Cordner has vowed to take on extra responsibility this year after coach Brad Fittler selected 11 debutants for the opening State of Origin game. The Blues skipper is excited to lead a fresh side into a new Origin era, but admitted he’ll need to play more of a leadership role this time around. “With there being so many fresh faces, I know I need to step up as captain and lead the younger guys,” Cordner told Big League. “I’ll need to help them get them prepared the best way they can. I’ll try and pass my experience and my knowledge to them on how to get ready and what to expect.” Fittler selected his 17 players based purely on form and said he’s not concerned about the inexperience in…

1 min.
kicking off

IT might shock you to learn, so take a seat before you read the following: there is a round of NRL to be played this weekend. As surprising as that may be considering the unconquerable beast State of Origin has become, there is still a lot at stake for the eight teams who play this weekend. The representative period is when teams who have remained relatively untouched by Origin make their move, while those with a high quota of interstate stars rely on rookies and their early season results to get them through. The Rabbitohs and the Sharks will be hoping to maintain their place in the top four, albeit without some of their biggest names, while the Cowboys and the Eels will be desperate to score a win to…

2 min.
club and state get behind captain gi

WHEN Cameron Smith announced his retirement from the representative scene, there was only one logical name to replace him as Queensland skipper. The worst kept secret in State of Origin was confirmed on Monday morning when the Maroons announced Greg Inglis as their new leader for this year’s series starting in Melbourne on June 6. The Rabbitohs fullback has been a terrific servant for his state, scoring a record 18 tries from 30 appearances in the famous maroon jersey, and is set to terrorise the Blues when he returns to the left centre role after missing last year’s series through injury. His comeback has been one of the stories of the year so far, and South Sydney coach Anthony Seibold says his elevation to Queensland skipper is recognition for everything he’s done for…

1 min.
fonua backs cleary’s disciplined focus

WESTS Tigers centre Mahe Fonua has no hard feelings towards his coach Ivan Cleary, despite being dropped to NSW Cup in Round 11 after he arrived late for training. Fonua returned to the NRL in the Tigers’ win over the Bulldogs with a newfound respect for Cleary for choosing discipline over form. “I respect Ivan for that decision. Obviously there’s a culture we’re trying to build at the club, no one’s bigger than the team,” Fonua said. “If I got to play I would have thought yay, great, but I understand which direction the club is trying to move in so I see where he’s coming from. It just goes to show what type of man Ivan is, and what the values are of this club. ” The Tongan international remained positive during his…

1 min.
panthers prepare for intensity increase

PENRITH prop James Tamou believes his side’s days of flying under the radar are over following their convincing victory over the in-form St George Illawarra. The 28-2 triumph at home moved the mountain men to the top of the ladder and Tamou now expects opponents to come after them. “Things are going to get a lot harder now because we’ve put a target on our heads and teams are definitely going to step up when they play us,” Tamoutold Big League. He admitted it was a nice feeling being atop the ladder at the halfway stage of the season, but said it’s still too early to worry about the standings. “We don’t necessarily look at the ladder – more so what we need to improve on. Yes, it’s nice to be up the top…

2 min.
cronk to rise for depleted roosters

MITCHELL Aubusson has backed Roosters recruit Cooper Cronk to play a starring role as the club navigates its way through the tricky State of Origin period. This is usually the time of year when Cronk is away on Maroons duty, but for the first time since 2009, the champion halfback is on hand to help at club level. The Roosters will be without James Tedesco, Latrell Mitchell, Boyd Cordner and Dylan Napa for this weekend’s clash against the Wests Tigers due to their Origin involvement, but have the luxury of naming Cronk for their crunch game at Allianz Stadium. “‘Coops’ has been really good for us, and I think his time is now,” Aubusson told Big League. “With all those guys going away, I’m really excited to play with him. His leadership will be…