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Big League Weekly Edition 2018 - Round 15

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
munster confident in maroons fightback

QUEENSLAND five-eighth Cameron Munster is adamant the Maroons can replicate last year’s come-from-behind series victory in 2018. After dropping the first game for the second-straight year, Munster said the side still has the belief to bounce back in Game Two at ANZ Stadium. “We have the belief we can produce another fairy-tale ending like last year,” Munster told Big League. “It’s obviously tough losing Game One, but we came back to win the series last year. We’re in exactly the same position so there’s no reason we can’t do it again.” Munster said the Maroons haven’t had the chance to talk about replicating last year’s memorable result, but it will be discussed when they re-enter camp early next week. “Last year’s result will definitely be in the back of everyone’s mind and that’ll give us…

2 min
kicking off

I THOUGHT I would kick things off this week by making an announcement – I will be retiring from representative duties, effective immediately. Just kidding of course, I haven’t represented anything in any sport since primary school, but it seems to be the trend of the moment. Just this past week, Billy Slater announced this will be his last year playing representative football, as did Darius Boyd, Russell Packer, Ben Matulino and Simon Mannering. While it’s sad to know we won’t see these guys in their state or country colours anymore, it means we’re smack bang in the middle of rep footy season, and boy, I am loving it. Round 15 is another chance for players to impress their potential coaches – whether it be at State of Origin or…

2 min
no backflip for purring peachey

NRLPhotos.com PENRITH centre Tyrone Peachey has quashed reports he’s considering back-flipping on his Gold Coast deal. Before a ball had been kicked this season, the New South Wales representative penned a lucrative three-year-deal with the Titans, starting in 2019. But since signing with the Queensland club, a lot has changed for the 26-year-old star. He’s secured a starting role at the foot of the mountains and has been an influential figure in Penrith’s rise up the ladder, which saw him make his State of Origin debut last week. He told Big League he’s struggling with the idea of leaving the Panthers, but is adamant he’ll honour his deal at the Titans. “I’m happy with the decision I made. It was a decision that had to be made and I’ve got no regrets,” Peachey said. “It’s going…

1 min
next-gen beasts making their mark

THERE’S only one Manu Vatuvei, but some undeniable traces of ‘The Beast’s’ best traits are in Warriors wingers David Fusitu’a and Ken Maumalo. Fusitu’a is replicating Vatuvei’s legendary try-scoring strike-rate, while Maumalo’s powerhouse charges were a staple of Manu’s for more than a decade. The 23-year-old giants were again among the Warriors’ best in a 34-14 beatdown of Manly in Christchurch. “They’re terrific players in their own right but I don’t think you can compare anyone to Manu,” Shaun Johnson said after the resounding win. “But what [Fusitu’a and Maumalo] are doing in their own right, the path they’re carving for themselves is really special. “It’s cool spending the past few years with them, seeing them grow into their bodies, and at the same time evolve.” Johnson backed up a Fusitu’a break to score against the…

1 min
injury blow opens door for reynolds

WESTS Tigers have been dealt a massive blow with veteran playmaker Benji Marshall set to be sidelined for up to six weeks with a calf injury. The classy five-eighth picked up the injury in the club’s captain’s run the day before the Round 14 loss to the Sharks, with coach Ivan Cleary confirming in his post-match press conference that the 33-year-old would face an extended stint on the sidelines. Marshall’s successful return to the black and gold jersey had been one of the stories of the year, with the 2005 premiership winner a key cog in their string of early-season wins. Consistency in the all-important spine has been an issue for the Tigers in 2018, and while this latest setback will hurt, fullback Tui Lolohea is confident off-season recruit Josh Reynolds will handle…

1 min
turbo brothers ready to fire

TOM and Jake Trbojevic have declared they’ll bring their impressive State of Origin form back to club land to try and revive Manly’s season. The Sea Eagles sit 13th on the ladder – four wins outside the top eight – but the Trbojevic brothers believe the side has the ability to make a late-season charge towards the finals. “There’s still a long way to go in the season and we still have the belief we can do something special at Manly,” Tom Trbojevic told Big League. “It was good to get the win in Origin, but I know I’ve got to remain focused for Manly. We need to turn our season around and I can help out with that.” Jake praised Tom for an outstanding Origin debut last Wednesday and hopes his younger brother…