The Grapple: 21 Feb 2019





Segment 1: Panel

·       Introduction

·       Review of All Stars, WCC etc.

·       Latest news 





Segment 2: Greg McCallum

- our resident NRL expert former 1st grade referee, English Super League boss and Chairman of the NRL March Review Committee for 10 years

·       Play the 1 minute 2019 NRL promotion: Who will rise up? at start of segment- quick chat followed by:  

·       Analysis, key signings, loses etc. and chances of clubs for 2019 in alphabetical order (8 tomorrow and remaining 8 next week):

o   Broncos, Canberra, Canterbury, Cronulla, Gold Coast, Manly, Melbourne and Newcastle


Segment 3: Panel

·       Follow up to Greg’s comments and assessments etc. (1)




Segment 4: Panel

·       Follow up to Greg’s comments and assessments etc. (2)

·       Trial games this weekend 

·       Latest news (cont’d) 


Sign off


Segment 1:

Games last weekend:

  • Spirited pre-game ceremonies saw the Women's All Stars clash between New Zealand's Maori Ferns and the Indigenous All Stars start off with a bang after a hair-raising 'haka'. The haka lasted for just over two minutes as the Indigenous All Stars team stood arm in arm in an intense stare-down. Following the haka, the Indigenous All Stars gathered around to perform the traditional war cry as the Ferns stood with their arms locked. Maori won the game 8-4 with an emotional Krystal Rota scoring a late try to clinch the victory.
  • For the men the Maori All Stars kicked off proceedings with a customary fearsome haka also as the Indigenous side remained locked arm in arm. It was then the Maori All Stars turn to face the music as the Indigenous All Stars returned serve with their own war cry. Sydney Roosters superstar Latrell Mitchell led the Indigenous war cry, filling in after Greg Inglis was ruled out of the contest with a knee injury but it was Blake Ferguson’s celebration and somersault that left tongues wagging as the Indigenous All Stars played to their strengths and overcame the New Zealand Maori side 34-14.
  • WCC at Wigan saw the Sydney Roosters claim the trophy with a 20-8 win. Brett Morris scored a hat trick of tries to set a 14-4 lead at half-time.
  • Raiders 22 d Eels 20    


  • NRL 2019 promotion: Who will rise up? – hear it when Macca joins us live on line at 6.20 tonight
  • Belinda Sleeman is set to make some rugby league history when she becomes the first female to referee in an NRL trial match this weekend. Sleeman, who has previously been a sideline referee in the NRL and is a regular referee in Queensland's Intrust Super Cup, will officiate in Saturday night's trial between Brisbane and Wynnum at Kougari Oval.
  • PENRITH are in danger of losing match-winning skipper James Maloney to England for next season. Maloney is contracted to the Panthers until the end of 2020 but apparently, his manager Wayne Beavis has been offering him to English clubs. The Panthers want to keep Maloney for next year but are unlikely to stand in his way if he asks for a release.  At 32, the goalkicking ace is nearing the end of his career and has expressed a desire to finish in Super League.
  • Broncos behemoth Payne Haas has been stood down by Brisbane and fined $20,000 for refusing to cooperate with an NRL integrity unit investigation in the latest scandal to hit rugby league. Haas will miss the first 4 games of the 2019 season due to his role in two off-field incidents that involve family members.
  • North Queensland has snatched representative star Jordan Kahu from Brisbane as a last-minute replacement for the sacked Ben Barba. The Broncos agreed to release the 28-year-old from his contract. It looks like a win-win for all parties involved.
  • Melbourne has denied a report claiming the club is trying to offload three players to be salary cap compliant by Round 1. Apparently, the Storm are shopping three players to English Super League clubs in a desperate bid to balance their books before the season kicks off in three weeks’ time. The players named are veteran prop Sam Kasiano, journeyman back Cheyse Blair, and forward Patrick Kaufusi. If true, at least two of the three players will need to be offloaded to get the club below the cap.
  • Stephen Kearney is close to signing a three-year extension that will make him the equal-longest serving coach in the Warriors’ NRL history. Chief executive Cameron George confirmed negotiations with Kearney are nearing an end and the 46-year-old is poised to be retained until the end of 2022. Kearney, who is about to embark on the final leg of a three-season deal, would join Ivan Cleary as the only six-year coach in the club’s history dating back to 1995. George noted the Warriors have employed 11 coaches since John Monie led the inaugural side, which explained why they have largely underperformed.

Segment 4:

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22: Storm v Warriors at Kardinia Park, Geelong, 7.50pm (AEDT)


NRL COMES LOCAL ON SATURDAY NIGHT with Titans v Cowboys at Sunshine Coast Stadium, 5pm (6pm AEDT) Big day of rl at Sunshine Coast Stadium- weather permitting

Kawana Field 1: u/18’s: 10.15am and u/20’s: 11.45am

Stadium: Local Falcons: 1.30pm, ISC: 3.00pm and NRL Pre-season trial: Cowboys v Titans 5.00pm

Rabbitohs v Panthers at Redfern Oval, 6pm (AEDT)

Raiders v Bulldogs at Bega Recreation Ground, 6pm (AEDT)

Dragons v Knights at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, 6.30pm (AEDT)

Sea Eagles v Sharks at Southern Cross Group Stadium, 7.30pm (AEDT)

Broncos v Wynnum Manly Seagulls at Kougari Oval, Wynnum, 7pm (8pm AEDT)

Broncos: How will Jack Bird perform? The Brisbane star makes his long-awaited return after a 287-day injury lay-off and will be desperate to put in a good showing in the centres. The 28-year-old played just eight games in his first season with the club before a sternum injury sidelined him. It’s another inexperienced side for Brisbane, with regular halves Anthony Milford and Kodi Nikorima among the big guns not playing. David Fifita is back from All Stars duty and no doubt his teammates are excited to run out alongside the young gun.

Saturday March 2:

Knights v Sharks: 5.30pm at Maitland No. 1 Sportsground
Titans v Broncos: 6:30pm (7.30pm AEDT) at Cbus Super Stadium
Cowboys v Storm 7pm (8pm AEDT) at Mackay
Panthers v Eels: 7pm at Panthers Stadium
Sea Eagles v Roosters: 7pm Central Coast Stadium
Dragons v Rabbits-Charity Shield in Mudgee

ISC -9 March

Saturday, March 9


Ipswich Jets


Townsville Blackhawks

North Ipswich Reserve


Easts Tigers


Mackay Cutters

Langlands Park


Sunshine Coast Falcons


Wynnum Manly Seagulls

Sunshine Coast Stadium


Northern Pride


Redcliffe Dolphins

Barlow Park


Sunday, March 10

Tweed Heads Seagulls


PNG Hunters

Piggabeen Sports Complex

2.00pm (AEST)

Norths Devils


Burleigh Bears

Bishop Park


Souths Logan Magpies


CQ Capras

Davies Park



Local competitions: SCGRFL and Brisbane RL


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