The Grapple on Sport 101.5 2021-03-25

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The Grapple: Thursday 25 March 2021

Time Segments Notes
6.00-6.08 Segment 1: Panel
6.10-6.18 Segment 1 (continued): Panel
6.22-6.28 Segment 2: Macca phone interview with panel
6.30-6.38 Segment 2 (continued): Macca etc.
6.42-6.48 Segment 3: Panel
6.50-6.59 Segment 3 (continued): Panel
6.59 Sign-off


Segment 1



  • The brilliance of Maika Sivo was the difference in a stunning exhibition of wet-weather football won 16-12 by the Eels over Melbourne.


  • Knights Bradman Best produced a big play busting the line and offloading to winger Hymel Hunt to secure a 20-16 win with five minutes to go against the Warriors.

·       Embattled Brisbane showed no improvement from the form that won them the NRL’s wooden spoon last year. The Broncos won only three games in 2020 and have now lost their opening two outings of the 2021 campaign, going down 28-16 to southern Queensland rival Gold Coast. The Titans scored three tries in the space of seven minutes around half time, and David Fifita scored a brace. New coach Kevin Walters needs to turn it around, fast. The Broncos take on the Bulldogs on Saturday night.

  • The Panthers became the first team ever to keep their opponents scoreless in each of their first two matches of the season. Penrith’s 28-0 win over the Bulldogscomes after their 24-0 shutout of the Cowboys in round one. When added to their 42-0 win over the Bulldogs in round 26 last year, they’ve now gone three consecutive regular season matches without conceding a point, the first side to do so since the Roosters in 1919.
  • Adam Reynolds put the boot in for 40 minutes before Benji Marshall and Damien Cook ran the Rabbitohs to safety and a 26-12 triumph over the Sea Eagles.
  • Dragons d Cowboys 25-18 in Townsville to register their 1st win and leave Cowboys winless after 2 rounds. Captain Ben Hunt best for victors
  • Roosters winger Brett Morris is believed to be the first man in premiership history to bag hat-tricks in the opening two rounds of a season. The 34-year-old scored three times in the 40-6 smash-up of the Wests Tigers at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on Sunday to repeat what he achieved in last weekend’s 46-4 win against the Sea Eagles. Former West Tigers junior James Tedesco got a double while the Tigers were lucky to even get 6 points.
  • Sharks Chad Townsend landed just one goal from four attempts and missed two shots in the final minutes after the Sharks fought back from a 12-0 deficit at half-time with Townsend twice having the chance to level the scores after centre Josh Dugan scored in the 72nd minute and he attempted a penalty goal with only seconds on the clock.
  • So after 2 rounds: 5 teams undefeated and 5 winless with Roosters on top and Sea Eagles sitting on the bottom


Sunshine Coast Gympie RL: Round 2

  • 1 Men Sat- Stanley River lost at home to Kawana 30-12-6 tries to 2; although scoring 4 tries to 3 Gympie lost 22-20 to Nambour-Keith Gadd a double for Gympie while David Oakes kicked 5 goals for Nambour; Caloundra lost 20 to 16 against Beerwah- 3tries each but goal kicking of Bulldogs Matthew Kidd the difference;
  • In the wet on Sunday Cab lost to Maroochydore 14-4. Caboolture dedicated the game to the memory of Maroochydore forward Dale Best who passed away on the 20th of February – a minutes silence was observed and a commemorative shirt was presented to the Swans by Snakes captain Jake Tyler.
    • Maroochydore crossed first in the 4th minute, Caboolture hit back in the 18th minute with a try to second rower Steven Borg with the remainder of the half being a defensive arm wrestle – halftime score 4 all.
    • The Snakes defended well for the entire game but struggled with ball control in the sloppy conditions, only completing at 50% in both halves of football.
    • Despite the defensive effort, weight of possession saw the Swans cross for tries in the 47th and 59th minute, running out winners 14-4.
    • Best for Caboolture was hooker Mateus Chankay, whose defensive effort lifted the side, and whose service from dummy half kept the Snakes moving forward. Also strong was winger Luke Ford, who was safe all day, with his kick returns and carries providing plenty of go forward. Fullback Zac Miles was also safe and solid and captain Jake Tyler, played his usual inspirational game at lock.
  • 2: wins to Kawana, Gympie, Beerwah and snakes made it 2 from 2 d Maroochydore 20-14-Jake Keating double
  • U/18 boys: Gympie, Caloundra, Noosa and Maroochydore
  • 2B started last weekend: Beerwah d Mary Valley 18-8
  • u/17 girls round 2: Cab d Kawana/Beerwah and Nambour/Noosa/Palmwoods d SR;
  • Round 3 this weekend: Men’s Div. 1
    • Sat- Nambour/Noosa, Maroochydore/Gympie, Kawana/Cab and Caloundra/SR; Beerwah-bye
    • Open women round 1 this Saturday –Nambour/Kawana, Caloundra/Noosa and Gympie/Caboolture; Beerwah- bye


QLD Cup:

  • The Sunshine Coast Falcons kicked off their 2021 season with a disappointing 28-12 loss to the Northern Pride at Sunshine Coast Stadium. Under lights, and in wet and greasy conditions, the game was hampered by errors from both teams, making it a challenge for either side to build momentum for anything more than a few minutes at a time. The Pride closed out the game with a 76th minute try to Wiremu Greig, who became an instant cult hero off the back of his strong Maori All Stars performance in February. Greig had an impressive game and, along with making a whole stack of tackles, bagged himself a double, crossing for the first and last tries of the game.
  • In a losing side, Trent Loiero was awarded the Falcons man of the match; Loiero was a workhorse, putting his hand up and getting through a mountain of work in both attack and defence.
  • The Redcliffe Dolphins outlasted a valiant Mackay Cutters outfit showing poise and composure for much of the contest but were shadowed every step of the way by a plucky Mackay side keen to chance their arm in attack; the match was decided on the final play as Redcliffe held on to win 30-28 in a heart-stopping contest.

·       Other round 1 winners were Wynnum over PNG, Tweed d Capras, Blackhawks d Jets, Devils over Tigers and Burleigh d Magpies which saw Karmichael Hunt make his comeback to rugby league playing for Souths Logan

  • Round 2: Devils v Dolphins at Bishop Park and Magpies v Falcons at Davies Park- both games Sunday


Mal Meninga:

  • Falcons d Bulls 50-8-Mason Peut hat trick; led 26-4 at ½ time; Dolphins lost 26-16 to Wynnum
  • Falcons v Capras and Dolphins v Tigers- both games away on Sat.



  • Falcons d Mustangs 20-18 after trailing 8-4 at ½ time; Dolphins d Devils 26-18-Joshua Callaghan double for Redcliffe


u/19 women’s:

  • Falcons bye but v Capras on Sat in Rockhampton prior to Mal Meninga;


  • Taxi for Hayne!! Jarryd Hayne will now face a sentencing hearing on May 6 in Newcastle District Court. He is facing a maximum possible sentence of 14 years in jail. “A custodial sentence is inevitable,” Judge Syme said. Expensive taxi fare.

o   Won’t go away but South Sydney Rabbitohs halfback Adam Reynolds is one of the biggest names up for grabs at the end of the season and serious doubts he will remain at the club. Reynolds is looking for a longer deal in what potentially shapes as the final contract of his career. Souths though are only willing to offer a one-year extension and it has proven a sticking point.

  • Aaron Woods has refused to rule out a return to the Wests Tigers with his future at the Cronulla Sharks still uncertain. Woods is off-contract at the end of 2021 and is aware he may be on the lookout for another club.
  • Storm star Ryan Papenhuyzen won’t rush into what looms as a lucrative extension for the rising star while Craig Bellamy considers his next coaching move.
  • Can you believe that 34-year old Brett Morris leads the Dally M Medal count with six votes and with his career try tally now at 171 he is within striking distance of Sea Eagles great Steve Menzies (180) on the all-time leaderboard. Billy Slater (190) and Ken Irvine (212) are the only others above him.
  • Here’s two for you Mal:
    • Corey Norman played his best game for some time in the Dragons’ upset win over the Cowboys – but still faces the prospect of a massive pay cut for 2022. The former Queensland State of Origin five-eighth joined the Dragons on a massive $800,000 a season deal in 2019 but hasn’t lived up to the hype. Problems off the field haven’t helped his cause but on his day, he remains a class act and he looked sharp in the win over the Cowboys last weekend.
    • The Dragons won’t offer him much more than half his current wage to stay, however, while his chequered history will make rival clubs think twice before offering much more.
    • St George Illawarra is reportedly considering a shock play for out-of-favour Cronulla Sharks star Andrew Fifita. Fifita has found himself on the outer under coach John Morris’ reign, confined to reserve grade with Cronulla’s feeder club Newtown Jets for the past three weeks. But it appears the premiership-winning prop’s fortunes could soon change with the Dragons reportedly interested in luring the 31-year-old to the Red V.

·       Parramatta has received a big boost ahead of Round 3 with flying Fijian winger Maika Sivo signing a new deal. Sivo announced a fresh two-year contract which ties him to the Eels until the end of 2023.

Segment 2: 6.22-6.28: Macca and panel

  • Macca’s Minute and summary of NRL round 2
  • Mitchell Pearce set to join the 300 club with likes of Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk, Darren Lockyer, Terry Lamb, Steve Menzies, Paul Gallen,  Corey Parker, Benji Marshall- 326 and still going,  Josh Morris- 307 with power to add, Sam Thaiday, Mitchell Aubusson

·       Felise Kaufusi’s deliberate elbow on Ryan Matterson

  • Vale Manly’s first premiership-winning captain, Fred Jones who died at the age of 79. Jones was the 140th player to represent Manlyin first grade and skippered the club to NSWRL premierships in 1972 and 1973. The Sydney-born rugby league great compiled 241 games for the Sea Eagles from 1961-1963 and 1965-1975, making the legendary hooker Manly’s sixth-most-capped clubman in history. Jones also made three appearances for Australia in the 1968 World Cup.
  • Warriors props Addin Fonua-Blake and Ben Murdoch-Masila helped an elderly woman change a car tyre in pouring rain on Tuesday morning. The hulking NRL stars were spotted roadside at Tuggerah, on the NSW Central Coast, replacing the flat tyre in a lovely act of chivalry. They were on their way to training and walked in soaking wet. Chivalry is not dead.
  • What is going on at the Broncos? Now set to lose the services of boom back-rower Brendan Piakura. Rated the game’s next big thing, the teenager has attracted the interest of nine clubs but looks as if Piakura has decided to quit the Broncos at season’s end and join the Bulldogs. That’s on top of the Warriors rolling out the red carpet and landing rookie Reece Walsh in a deal thought to worth $1.2 million over three years. There is an option in his favour for the final year which is understood to have made him the highest-earning rookie in NRL history.
  • Emerging trend of players staying down in a bid to stop the game and give their teammates a chance to catch their breath.


  • English Super League: Round 1-27 March
    • St Helens v Salford; Leigh v Wigan; Wakefield v Leeds; Catalans Dragons v Hull KR; Hull FC v Huddersfield and Castleford v Warrington;
    • Magic Weekend will also return to Newcastle’s St James’ Park across the weekend of 29-30 May.

Break: 6.28-6.30

Segment 2 (continued): 6.30-6.38

Preview and selections round 3; match officials – any surprises?

  • Round 3:
    • Tonight: GF repeat with Panthers/Storm at Penrith if not under water-  Storm don’t lose 2 in a row
    • Tomorrow night:  Dragons/Eagles and Rabbits/Roosters
    • Sat: Raiders/Warriors, Broncos/Dogs and Eels/Sharks
    • Sun: Knights/Tigers and Cowboys/Titans


Segment 3: Panel

Follow up to Macca, chat about each round 3 game, panel selections and any topics not covered earlier etc.

Round 3

Game Macca Kel Amy GA Jimmy Robbo Mal