The Grapple for Thursday July 27 on Sport 101.5 2017-07

The Grapple for Thursday July 27 on Sport 101.5.

Analyse round 20 NRL games, cover the major news stories, grapple with the top issues during the week, predict our top 8 and speak with:

Sergeant Glen Peatling – Senior Vice President of the Queensland Police Service Rugby League Association at 6.20pm – based right here at Caboolture Police Station

At 6.40pm chat with Greg McCallum

And of course we’ll preview NRL round 21

Segment 1:

Tipster scores from last weekend-insider trading for Shane

Interstate clash last Sunday at Wollongong between NSW/Qld. A hat-trick of tries from debutante Jessica Sergis ensured the NSW women's rugby league team did what its men's side couldn't - beat Queensland when it mattered most. The Blues downed the Maroons 22-6 at WIN Stadium on Sunday to claim the Nellie Doherty Cup for consecutive years. Prior to that Queensland women had built a record that eclipsed even their male counterparts - going unbeaten since the challenge's inception in 1999 through until 2015.

Live on Fox and watched by a crowd of about 8000 spectators ahead of the NRL round-20 clash between St George Illawarra and Manly. Queensland's only try came when forward Stephanie Hancock, in her final state representative game, set up Jenni-Sue Hoepper late in the first half. Maroons captain Karina Brown was left "shattered" by the back-to-back losses.

Refs dropped, movement on the coach sacking meter





Thurs, July 20

Broncos 42

Bulldogs 12

Suncorp Stadium

Fri, July 21

Roosters 28

Knights 4

Allianz Stadium

Fri, July 21

Sharks 26

Rabbitohs 12

Southern Cross Group Stadium

Sat, July 22

Panthers 24

Titans 16

Pepper Stadium

Sat, July 22

Raiders 14

Storm 20

GIO Stadium

Sat, July 22

Cowboys 24

Warriors 12

1300Smiles Stadium

Sun, July 23

Dragons 52

Sea Eagles 22

WIN Stadium

Sun, July 23

Tigers 16

Eels 17

ANZ Stadium

Injury to Sam Burgess/Maloney/Hurrell/ Billy Slater and Cameron Smith. It was the first time since 2009 the Storm skipper had featured in less than 50 minutes of a match for Melbourne.

North Queensland's mid-season surge continues, with the Cowboys grinding out a 24-12 NRL win over the freefalling Warriors on Saturday night in Townsville. It was 12-12 at halftime after a dogged first half and, while the Cowboys never reached any great heights, they rolled on to a fourth-straight win without Johnathan Thurston. The Warriors were also without their injured half Shaun Johnson.

St George Illawarra's finals charge is back on track with a 52-22 flogging of Manly, but only after they repelled what threatened to be the biggest comeback in NRL history on Sunday. The Dragons produced the best first half of any team this year to go 30-0 up, before four Manly tries in the first 16 minutes after the break reduced the margin to eight at WIN Stadium. Incredibly, three of the Sea Eagles' tries came while they were down to 12 men after prop Darcy Lussick was sin-binned for punching Dragons lock Jack de Belin. The firebrand Manly prop was also put on report for a possible headbutt. Halves Josh McCrone and Gareth Widdop were electric for the Dragons in the first half.


Corey Norman kicked his first NRL field goal to sink Wests Tigers and solidify Parramatta’s position inside the competition’s top eight. And it was his teammate Mitchell Moses who got the last laugh over the club that burned him earlier in the year, and over his best mate Luke Brooks who will come under scrutiny for a shoulder charge and a trip on his long-time friend. The victory ensures the Eels remain in seventh spot on the NRL ladder, a game ahead of St George Illawarra.

Brisbane has re-signed exciting centre James Roberts to a new long-term deal. 'Jimmy the Jet' has agreed to a four-year contract extension that will keep him at the club until the end of the 2021 season. Roberts’ new four-year deal is the longest and most lucrative of a career that has had more twists and turns than most, and continues an impressive retention spree that has now secured 10 of the Broncos biggest names with skipper Darius Boyd and Kiwi international Jordan Kahu to follow suit in coming weeks.

Broncos new deals in 2017: David Mead (until end of 2018), Corey Oates (until end of 2018), Josh McGuire (until end of 2021), Jonus Pearson (until end of 2019), Andrew McCullough (until end of 2021), Anthony Milford (until end of 2021), Alex Glenn (until end of 2019), Kodi Nikorima (extension until end of 2020), Joe Ofahengaue (until end of 2019), James Roberts (until end of 2021); Jai Arrow?

The Melbourne Storm have received a significant boost to their plans for the coming years with young guns Brodie Croft, Brandon Smith and Jahrome Hughes joining Cheyse Blair in re-signing with the club. Still just 19, Croft has already captained both the Junior Kangaroos and Queensland under-20s and has shown he is an NRL star of the future with a match-winning field goal against the Cowboys in Round 15 of the Telstra Premiership. With Cooper Cronk departing at season's end Croft is sure to figure in Craig Bellamy's plans for 2018, the halfback signing a three-year deal. Brandon Smith has been groomed as the long-term successor for skipper and namesake Cameron Smith, and after making his NRL debut this season will remain with the Storm until at least the end of 2022. "These re-signings are a significant part of our retention strategy. All four players will form an integral part of our playing group for the years to come," Storm football director Frank Ponissi said via a club statement.

Wests Tigers halfback Luke Brooks has been charged by the NRL match review committee for his trip on former teammate and Eels counterpart Mitch Moses. ‌Brooks was slapped with a grade one tripping charge for his challenge on Moses. His $1,500 fine was reduced to $1,100 after he entered an early guilty plea.

NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg is confident Newcastle can become a rugby league powerhouse again after the league agreed to sell the club to the local Wests Group. The NRL confirmed on Saturday morning the Knights will likely have new owners by the start of November, after they saved the club from financial peril in 2014. Under the deal, Wests will spend up to $10 million on a centre of excellence for the club, while they will also invest $2.5 million into junior rugby league in the Hunter over the next five years. A plebiscite of Wests' 120,000 members will begin on Sunday and close in early August, as the group awaits their approval before proceeding with the purchase. The Knights are on track for their third successive wooden spoon since former mining magnate Nathan Tinkler lost ownership of the club four years ago. The move leaves the Gold Coast as the last club in full control of the NRL.

RUGBY league legend Peter Sterling could walk away from his new role as NSW adviser after just one series. Sterling made the shock revelation on Triple M radio on Saturday morning when asked if he will stick around for the 2018 State of Origin campaign. He was brought in as key adviser to coach Laurie Daley this year after NSW Rugby League’s staff cleanout. But after a horror series loss to Queensland and a week of intense scrutiny from media and fans alike, Sterling admits it’s taken its toll. “I don’t know. I thought so but I’m not so sure now,” Sterling said of his chances of retaining the job for next year.

Former Queensland premier Peter Beattie and leading constitutional lawyer Megan Davis have been named Australian Rugby League Commissioners. The pair will join the ARLC immediately and sit under chairman John Grant until his February departure. Beattie was one of Queensland's longest-serving premiers (1998-2007) and oversaw the renovation of Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium, also approving construction of Gold Coast's CBus Stadium. He is the chairman of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation. Describing himself as a "workaholic", Beattie is confident he can balance both roles effectively. Beattie shot down any suggestion he was in line to replace fellow  Queenslander Grant as chairman when his six-year tenure ends in early 2018. Davis, a professor of law at the University of NSW, has been an advocate for indigenous constitutional recognition as well as working as a diplomat to the United Nations. Davis grew up in Queensland's North Burnett region. The pair replace prominent businessmen Graeme Samuel and Jeremy Sutcliffe, who resigned in January. They join Catherine Harris, Wayne Pearce, Chris Sarra, Tony McGrath and Gary Weiss on the ARLC board. Grant said Davis and Beattie would join the work on the ARLC's agenda, including striking an agreement with clubs on funding and finalising the players' collective bargaining agreement.

The NRL has joined forces with the Men of League and The Star in Sydney to organise a tribute evening next month to remember the life of Sharnie Kimmorley. Sharnie tragically passed away earlier this year after fighting a brave battle against brain cancer. Sharnie was a loving wife and childhood sweetheart of NRL legend Brett Kimmorley and left behind Brett, the couple’s four daughters, as well as extended family and friends.

Former Parramatta Eels, NSW and Australia great Brett Kenny has been diagnosed with cancer. The 56-year-old has lymphoma cancer and will begin chemotherapy next week in a bid to beat the disease. On the field Kenny made his name in the blue and gold, winning four premierships during his 265 game career for the Eels.

WOLLONGONG will be part of history when the Illawarra city hosts the first ever Super League game outside Europe early next year. English club Wigan has announced it will host Hull FC in the historic game at WIN Stadium on Saturday, February 10. The Warriors initiated the game in partnership with the NSW government, as part of a plan to promote English club rugby league to other parts of the world. The two clubs will also play fixtures against South Sydney and St George Illawarra as part of their three-match tour. The marquee fixtures will be played at ANZ Stadium as a double-header on Saturday, February 17. The Super League clubs will then return home to England to compete in the World Club Challenge.

THE NRL has suspended the Auckland Nines for 2018 but insists the pre-season tournament has a future beyond next year. The league has blamed a packed rugby league schedule due to this year’s World Cup, which runs to December 2. The event has endured the same fate as the All Stars fixture, which also won’t be held again before 2019. The NRL also confirmed it is seeking expressions of interest to hold the Nines — which has been played at Eden Park since its inception in 2014 — elsewhere.



Segment 2:  Sergeant Glen Peatling  – Senior Vice President of the Queensland Police Service Rugby League Association   based right here at Caboolture Police Station

This event is viewed on our website click here to get it

Interview follow-up, mention English Super League Challenge Cup semis, impact of injury to Cameron Smith on Dally M’s, ongoing player movements


Segment 3: Greg McCallum  

Dally M’s

The pectoral injury to Melbourne captain Cameron Smith has thrown the Dally M Medal race wide open, with the Storm hooker to spend time on the sidelines. Dragons five-eighth Gareth Widdop moved within touching distance of Smith in's unofficial tally, with a starring role in St George-Illawarra's 52-22 rout of Manly at WIN Stadium. 

Widdop moved to equal second with Manly halfback Daly Cherry-Evans, just three points behind Smith. Widdop produced two try assists, a length of the field intercept, 173 running metres and kicked eight goals in a dominant performance against the Sea Eagles to keep his side firmly in the NRL Telstra Premiership top eight. 

Roosters halfback Mitchell Pearce moved to fifth on the unofficial list, registering two points in his side's win over Newcastle. 

Cronulla forward Wade Graham moved up to ninth in the count, scoring one point in the Sharks' comfortable win over the Rabbitohs. 

 preview all the games in round 21

Segment 4: Top 8:

Storm: Eagles, Cowboys, Roosters, Knights, Rabbits and Raiders

Roosters:  Cowboys, Eagles, Storm, Tigers, Sharks and Titans

Broncos: Eels, Titans, Sharks, Dragons, Eels and Cowboys

Sharks: Warriors, Raiders, Broncos, Cowboys, Roosters and Knights

Cowboys: Roosters, Storm, Panthers, Sharks, Tigers and Broncos

Eagles: Storm, Roosters, Tigers, Dogs, Warriors and Panthers

Eels: Broncos, Dogs, Knights, Titans, Broncos and Rabbits

Dragons: Knights, Rabbits, Titans, Broncos, Panthers and Dogs

Panthers: Dogs, Tigers, Cowboys, Raiders, Dragons and Eagles


Saturday 29th July 2017 Challenge Cup - Ladbrokes Challenge Cup Round: Semi Final  Hull FC 14:30 v Leeds Rhinos Preview / Tickets

Sunday 30th July 2017 Round: Semi Final Wigan Warriors 14:30 v Salford Red Devils Preview / Tickets

Saturday 26th August 2017: Challenge Cup - Round: Final





Thurs, July 27



Pepper Stadium

Fri, July 28



Mt Smart Stadium

Fri, July 28



ANZ Stadium

Sat, July 29



McDonald Jones Stadium

Sat, July 29



ANZ Stadium

Sat, July 29



Allianz Stadium

Sun, July 30


Sea Eagles


Sun, July 30



CBus Super Stadium




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