Broncos veteran helps Cook Islands seal rugby league World Cup spot

Jacksonville: Cook Islands have claimed the last spot at the 2021 Rugby League World Cup with a 38-16 win over the United States at the University of North Florida. Coached by former New Zealand international and NFL forward Tony Iro, Cook Islands took an early 12-0 lead thanks to tries from Troy Dargan and new Warrington signing Anthony Gelling. Tries either side of half-time from Matt Shipway and Hull winger Bureta Faraimo brought the US back into contention and they were favourites when the Cook Islands loose forward Dominique Peyroux…

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Sonny Bill Williams rates NRL triumphs over All Blacks’ World Cup wins

Loading One wonders how that remark will be received in New Zealand, where the All Blacks remain almost a state religion and where any questioning of their primacy is tantamount to heresy. Williams, though, has learnt to deflect criticism. He faced enough of it in union – not least after the second Test against the British and Irish Lions in 2017, when he became the first All Black to be sent off in 50 years – to develop the thickest hide. “My faith has allowed me to push boundaries and…

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Axe hanging over Wayne Bennett after Great Britain’s tour whitewash

Loading The statement said: “Like everyone involved on the tour, we are obviously bitterly disappointed by the results of the Test matches – for those loyal and passionate supporters who have followed the team in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea and for everyone backing the team from home. “As stated last week, an objective review of all aspects of the tour will take place when the tour party returns and that timetable has not altered.” Bennett has maintained he wants to finish the job he began in 2016 by…

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NRL won’t pay $1m for Tina Turner anthem

The NRL is planning to stick to its marketing budget. Unwell: Tina Turner with Oprah Winfrey in New York this month.Credit:AP If the NRL paid near $500,000 for Simply The Best it would be a massive win for Turner’s camp, but I’ve been told the NRL consider even that figure too much. I asked the NRL for comment but they won’t talk on the record at the moment because the deal is still being discussed. They do say though that they picked up Bon Jovi’s This is Our House for…

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papua New Guinea Kumuls humiliate Great Britain to heap pressure on Wayne Bennett

Bennett has spoken of his desire to take England into the 2021 World Cup but it is difficult to see how he can survive a disastrous tour, culminating in a thrashing by a team containing just two NRL regulars and two who play in the third tier of the English game. The Lions got off to the worst possible start, losing captain James Graham with a head knock in the very first tackle. Yet it was a promising opening quarter from the tourists, with makeshift winger Blake Austin opening the…

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How Wests Tigers hope to lure Sydney Roosters star Latrell Mitchell

Loading The bond Hartigan and Mitchell forged on Leichhardt Oval in those moments endures to this day. Hartigan is no longer at the Roosters after taking up the role of head of football at the Tigers in July. Mitchell is also likely to be departing Bondi Junction after the club pulled its offer of a contract extension, worth $1.6 million over two years, from the table earlier this month. The Tigers have $1.7 million to spend on talent in 2020 alone and have a shortlist of targets that include Dragons…

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What happens in Bali, stays in Bali – but fans can handle the truth

In a case like Fifita’s, the pay-off for freedom would usually be about $10,000. Once they find out you are an NRL star, it’s a lot more. In fact, after Fifita paid the $30,000 on Sunday, he was in the cells for a further eight hours as they tried to get more money off him after believing they may have sold themselves short the first time. On Monday, Fifita’s Bali lawyer Muhammad Rifan said no payment had been made to a third party to secure his client’s freedom. After Channel…

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Club instability at top could snowball into crisis

“Fearless” Facer evokes memories of an era when club “secretaries”, as they were then called, were all-powerful. Their job description was a misnomer because they couldn’t type or take shorthand. In some cases they wouldn’t answer the phone. But they were the dominant figures at the club. Think of Canterbury’s Peter “Bullfrog” Moore, Manly’s Ken “Arko” Arthurson and Parramatta’s Denis “The Emperor” Fitzgerald. The coach was the only one capable of challenging their authority, and Jack Gibson left the Eels after a dispute with Fitzgerald. Since the era of these…

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Sonny Bill Williams part of Toronto Wolfpack master plan

It might not make much sense, but it is paying off: three seasons after they first fielded a team inthe RFL’s League 1, the former underdogs have made it to the Super League – with a new international-level player to boot. The signing of Sonny Bill Williams – on a two-year contract, reportedly worth $10 million – was announced as the first winter snow fell in Toronto. The Wolfpack marked the coincidence on Twitter with an artist’s impression of Williams wearing their jersey, captioned: “It’s Always Sonny in the 6ix”…

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Tom and Jake Trbojevic commit to Manly Sea Eagles on mammoth six-year deal

The Trbojevics could have received more elsewhere, but never gave serious consideration to leaving. “The Sea Eagles mean the world to Tom and me. We’re proud to be Manly men,’’ Jake said. “To know that we will be playing together for the Sea Eagles for a further six years after next season is an incredible feeling. “I believe this club is certainly heading in the right direction. I can’t wait to get back to Lottoland and play in front of our great members again next season.” Tom added: “I know…

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