Todd Greenberg's message to Queensland rugby league fans
“We won’t forget Queensland fans, I can assure you of that.” The SCG’s usefulness as a rugby league venue isn’t in dispute – everyone agrees it’s average. But it’s serving its purpose.“Part of me agrees with that [the SCG as a less than ideal rugby league venue], but it’s short-term decision-making now to secure our long-term future,” Greenberg said.“What that means is we’ll have some short-term pain to get through in the next few years but the ultimate prize is $2 billion of infrastructure development and three brand-new rectangular stadiums in Sydney.
© Getty Images Boyd Cordner Australia captain Boyd Cordner is eyeing off a special piece of history on Friday night as he aims to become the first New South Wales player to achieve rugby league's ultimate trifecta.
Already this season he has captained the Blues to back-to-back State of Origin titles, as well as winning the NRL premiership for the second year in a row with the Sydney Roosters.
However, should the Kangaroos defeat New Zealand at WIN Stadium on Friday night, he will be the first captain to add a Test victory against a tier one nation to his astounding tally for a season.
Former Queensland captains Mal Meninga, Darren Lockyer and Cameron Smith have all achieved the feat, but Cordner stands to be the first New South Welshman in history to celebrate the trinity.
Samoa in Nines box seat after early upsets
Samoa have flogged Fiji 32-17 to put themselves in prime position to qualify for the World Cup Nines finals in Sydney. 1/4 SLIDES © Getty SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 18: Maika Tudravu of Fiji scores a try during the round 1 Rugby League World Cup 9s match between Fiji and Samoa at Bankwest Stadium on October 18, 2019 in Sydney, Australia.
Pictures: The greatest moments in NRL history
From 1908 until 1994, Australia’s first rugby league competition was ran by New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL). However, the league along with other minor premiers were re-unified to form National Rugby League in 1998. A look at some of the most memorable moments over the years.
2015 - North Queensland Cowboys vs. Brisbane Broncos
In first NRL final that ended in a draw, North Queensland claimed victory over Brisbane 17-16 in golden point extra time. It was their first premiership title. The winning goal was scored by Johnathan Thurston (R), who was awarded the Clive Churchill medal.
Lebanon shock France to start Nines
Lebanon have overcome the absence of all their NRL players to shock France 12-8 in the opening game of rugby league's World Cup Nines.Western Suburbs reserve grader Bilal Maarbani scored the tournament's opening two tries in the 12-8 win at Bankwest Stadium on Friday, including one where he skipped past three French defenders.
(Pictured) Matthew Scott and Johnathan Thurston of the Cowboys hold aloft the premiership trophy after winning the 2015 NRL Grand Final match.
2014 – South Sydney Rabbitohs vs. Canterbury Bulldogs
Since 1971, Rabbitohs won their first ever title with the help of Sam Burgess’ (pictured) incredible performance that earned him the Clive Churchill Medal. The final score was 30-6.
2013 – Sydney Roosters vs. Manly Sea Eagles
With 18-8 lead, Manly had everything under control until the last 25 minutes when Roosters made a stunning comeback to win the final for the first time since 2002. Roosters secured 26-18 victory when Michael Jennings (pictured) broke through to ground James Maloney's grubber in the last few minutes of the game.
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2012 – Melbourne Storm vs. Canterbury Bulldogs
In one of the most controversial moment in NRL history, Bulldogs’ James Graham (R) bit the ear of Storm’s Billy Slater (L), for which the former received a 12-match ban. Storm won the final 14-4.
England's nines campaign on life support
England are on the brink of missing the semi-finals of the World Cup nines after a shock 16-13 loss to Lebanon.Without their boycotting NRL stars, the Cedars claimed what will likely be the biggest upset of the weekend against an England side full of NRL and Super League talent.
2008 – Manly Warringah Sea Eagles vs. Melbourne Storm
Team Manly thrashed their opponents by the biggest ever margin (40-0) in the game’s history. The highlight of the game was Michael Robertson’s (L) hat trick tries that made him the first player to score three tries since Steve Renouf in 1997. The final also saw Steven Menzies equal Terry Lamb's record of 349 first-grade games.
2005 – Wests Tigers vs. North Queensland Cowboys
It was the first ever grand final appearance for both the teams, where West Tigers’ won 30-16. Tigers’ Brett Hodgson displayed an incredible performance by scoring five goals.
2004 – Canterbury Bulldogs vs. Sydney Roosters
In the first half of the game, Bulldogs were trailing 13-6, but in the second half they quickly covered the lead with the help of Matt Utai and Hazem El Masri. During the last few minutes of the game, Bulldogs were leading 16-13, when Roosters’ Michael Crocker (pictured) made a break on the 40m line but was tackled by Bulldogs Captain Andrew Ryan. The Bulldogs win the final 16-13.
New York rugby league team setting sights on Super League by 2023 season
Rugby league is a constantly evolving and expanding game - and now the world's most famous city, New York, is setting their sights on the Super League by the 2023 season. A team from the 'Big Apple' are set to join England's third division competition (League 1) in 2021 - meaning they could realistically be in the top flight by 2023.According to senior journalist Dean 'Bulldog' Ritchie on Tuesday morning's Big Sports Breakfast, the reality is starting to set in.
2003 – Penrith Panthers vs. Sydney Roosters
In the last game with Penrith, Scott Sattler made one of the greatest tackle in NRL history. It was a turning point of the game when Sattler chased down and made a tackle on the Roosters’ winger Todd Byrne (in white), sending him out of the field. Panthers won the game – 18-6.
2001 – Newcastle Knights vs. Parramatta Eels
Parramatta Eels were trailing 24-0 at high time and did everything to fight back but fell short. Knights won the final 30-24. The highlight of the match was Timana Tahu's (pictured) second-half try, where he got tangled up with Luke Burt before putting the ball down inside the chalk.
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1999 – Melbourne Storm vs. St George Illawarra Dragons
At half-time Dragons were leading 14-0 and everyone thought the game was going to end in their favor. However, Storm made a stunning comeback when Anthony Mundine knocked on over the try line that proved to be a turning point in the game. Storm quickly covered up the lead to 18-14. In the 77th minute, Brett Kimmorley bombed to winger Craig Smith but before he could ground it, Dragons’ Jamie Ainscough knocked him unconscious. The video referee gave a penalty try to Storm, which was successfully converted. Storm won the game 20-18.
SBW fields staggering $9 million offer from Toronto Wolfpack
Sonny Bill Williams is weighing up the richest contract in the history of either rugby code after a jaw-dropping offer to switch back to the 13-a-side game.The Wolfpack are prepared to pay Williams as much as $9 million over two years, according to a source with knowledge of the contract negotiation.
1997 – Newcastle Knights vs. Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
Newcastle Knights’ Andrew Johns helped his team reach their first final against defending champions Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. Before the final game, there were concerns about Johns’ health as he had suffered a punctured lung, however, he went ahead and played the final. Both the teams were tied at 16-all and in the final moment of the game Johns ran down a narrow blind side and slipped a pass to winger Darren Albert who successfully scored, giving the Knights a 22-16 win over Manly.
1989 – Canberra Raiders vs. Balmain Tigers
In one of the greatest final, Canberra Raiders defeated Balmain Tigers 19-14. The final witnessed Canberra’s Steve Jackson come off the bench to score his memorable try that earned his team their first premiership.
1975 – Eastern Suburbs vs. St George
The 1975 final is best remembered for Graeme Langlands wearing white boots rather than the standard black. But the main highlight was his groin injury for which he was given a painkilling injection just before the game. Instead of reducing the pain it numbed his leg completely. Talking about the incident, he wrote in his book “Larrikin and Saint” – "It was an injection that went wrong. It wasn't the doctor's fault. The injection went in where the nerves shouldn't have been. They had moved because of all the injuries that I've had around the groin." Eastern Suburbs won 38-0.
Kiwis axe Shaun Johnson for Kieran Foran
New Zealand have made two changes for Saturday's rugby league Test against Great Britain, including dropping playmaker Shaun Johnson for Kieran Foran.Johnson is one of two changes from the side heavily beaten by Australia in Wollongong last Friday, with Joseph Tapine also coming in for Braden Hamlin-Uele.
(Pictured) Graeme Langlands talks to media during an NRL press conference at Sydney Cricket Ground on April 1, 2014.
1970 – South Sydney Rabbitohs vs. Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
In the 1970 final between South Sydney Rabbitohs and Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, South’s captain John Sattler turned out to be a star player. In the opening moments of the game, Sattler suffered a double fracture of his jaw after being punched by Manly’s John Bucknall. However, he decided to continue playing and said to his teammate Mike Cleary, "Hold me up so they don't know I'm hurt." South Sydney won the final 23-12.
(Pictured) John Sattler talks to the media during a NRL Grand Final media opportunity at Rugby League Central in Sydney on Oct. 3, 2014.
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It would cap off a remarkable year for the 27-year-old, who was handed the Kangaroos captaincy by Meninga at the end of 2018.
"Boyd leads by example," Meninga said of Cordner's leadership success.
"He is a man of few words but when he talks everyone listens.
"He is a great player in his own right and knows when to lead at the right times. He is a special player and a special talent. He understands the importance of putting on the green and gold jersey.
"He's the ideal captain for Australia."
The Kangaroos scored a 24-10 win over the Kiwis in the World Cup Nines final last weekend, but were not so lucky against their trans-Tasman rivals at the end of 2018.
Cordner had a chance to achieve the feat last year, but the Kiwis sprang a 26-24 upset on the Kangaroos at Mt Smart Stadium - just their fourth win from the past 17 games involving these two nations.
"You learn from your past, you learn from your mistakes so we've looked at it," Meninga said.
"We're no less passionate than the Kiwis. We're going to come with a lot of passion for the jersey on Friday night."
The Kiwis are aiming for back-to-back wins against Australia for just the fifth time in history.
STATS THAT MATTER
*This is the 137th Test match played between Australia and New Zealand, the Kangaroos winning 100 games (73.5 per cent) to the Kiwis 33 as well as three draws.
*This will be the first Test match between the two sides played at Wollongong with the Kangaroos winning 28 of the past 33 games in Australia including eight of the past 10.
*The Kiwis have won just two of their past 12 games outside of New Zealand but won their most recent (34-0 v England at Elland Road, Leeds).
*Stats: Fox Sports
Foran can find best form again: Maguire .
Recalled New Zealand playmaker Kieran Foran can find the form that made him one of the best playmakers in the game, according to coach Michael Maguire.New Zealand coach Michael Maguire is adamant recalled veteran Kieran Foran can regain the form that made him one of the best playmakers in the game.