ZINIO logo

Big League Weekly Edition 2019 - Season Review

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.

News Life Media Pty Limited
$4.49(Incl. tax)

in this issue

2 min
keary plays on through the pain

IT won’t quite enter grand final folklore as Cooper Cronk did in 2018 when he played with virtually one arm, but Luke Keary’s toughness to run out with a syndesmosis injury is only one rung below. The star five-eighth revealed after his side’s 14-8 grand final win over the Raiders that he played through the pain of a serious ankle injury that could cost him a Kangaroos jersey if he is ruled out of the upcoming Tests against New Zealand and Tonga. While he was unable to come up with the big plays that saw him claim last year’s Clive Churchill medal, Keary lifted at the death to set up the game-winning try when he spotted an opportunity down the short-side. The 27-year-old has now won three premierships, but none taste sweeter than…

1 min
kicking off

IF you’re anything like me, you’re still recovering from grand final day. It will take weeks as stories from the epic encounter between the Roosters and Raiders continue to filter through. Though it was at times controversial, you can’t take away from the Roosters and the dynasty they have built. They had their backs against the wall for much of the game and managed to find the energy to ice the few opportunities they were presented. As for Raiders fans, I’ve been where you are. It will take some time to recover but I hope grand final week was something special. As the Canberra coach and players all said after the match, this is just the beginning for them – and after that brilliant performance, that seems like a guarantee. The main match…

1 min
rookie roos face challenging test

THE dust has barely settled on one of the most dramatic grand finals in history, but attention is now shifting towards the international game with a number of representative squads announced for upcoming Tests and the Nines World Cup. The Kangaroos will take on New Zealand and Tonga in the coming weeks, and coach Mal Meninga has named an exciting 19-man squad featuring six debutants. Josh Addo-Carr, Nick Cotric, Payne Haas, Cameron Murray, Paul Vaughan and Jack Wighton are all in line to earn a green and gold jersey with several incumbents battling injuries. Boyd Cordner will again captain the side featuring plenty of Blues players following their dominant State of Origin series this year. “It’s about picking the best players – that’s what the national squad is all about,” Meninga said. “Yes Origin…

2 min
no blame game for green machine

IT may have taken Canberra a quarter of a century to reach another grand final, but veteran forward Sia Soliola has vowed it won’t take as long to do it all again. As much as last Sunday’s 14-8 loss broke the hearts of the Raiders, Soliola said it will only make them stronger and he sees positive signs for the future. “This is just the start of it,” Soliola told Big League. “It’s not the way we wanted it to end, unfortunately we weren’t on the winning side, but we’ll let it settle in and we’ll learn from it. “We’ve got a lot of young players and they’ll only get better from the experience. We’ll be back.” The Raiders may have been on the wrong end of some divisive refereeing decisions in the decider, however…

2 min
nrlw growth a matter of time

LEADING NRLW playmakers Ali Brigginshaw and Charntay Poko have called on the game’s governing body to give the women’s players more game time in 2020. This year’s format saw each team play three 60-minute games in the regular season, totalling 180 minutes of action. However there are calls for future seasons to be extended to six rounds with 35-minute halves, which would bump the total playing time to 420 minutes. “We want to play more footy,” Brigginshaw told Big League. “It’s really important for the competition to keep growing. We’ve seen how successful the NRLW has been since it started, but now it’s time to double the games. “Three games isn’t enough because teams are still finding their feet and then it’s finals. It would be great to be able to play each team twice…

1 min
verrills cherishing friendly relation

ROOKIE dummy-half Sam Verrills has declared he won’t be challenging co-captain Jake Friend for the No.9 jersey at the Roosters next season, despite starring for the club in the grand final. The 20-year-old hooker did an exceptional job while filling in for Friend over the past three months, and while some experts are calling for Verrills to take the permanent job next season, he’s certain Friend is still the main man in 2020. “No way mate, he’s the No.9 – he’s the club captain and I’m still here to learn off him,” Verrills told Big League. “I was so happy to see ‘Friendy’ out there. I’ve always looked up to him as a person and a player. I’ve always wanted to play with him. To play with him and win a grand final…