Red and Black Report: Edition No.1
Each week we’ll be keeping you up to date with how our Canterbury Rugby League products are performing in Australia’s elite and lower-grade competitions.
Here’s how they went in Round 1:
Hornby product Fa’amanu Brown made a solid contribution in 21 minutes off the bench in Cronulla’s 26-18 loss to Brisbane in Thursday’s season opener. Brown replaced starting No.9 Jayden Brailey at dummy-half and racked up 11 tackles, along with two runs in a slick showing.
Matt McIlwrick started in Wests Tigers’ No.9 jumper on Friday night, playing opposite Tigers great Robbie Farah, who was making his first appearance for South Sydney. The Halswell junior, debuting for his fourth NRL club, reeled off 16 tackles and three runs in 37 minutes of game-time. McIlwrick’s service out of dummy-half was also excellent for the 34-18 victors, putting his hand up for a regular spot in the Tigers’ 17.
Riccarton’s favourite son Lewis Brown played 27 minutes off the bench for Manly in a tough 20-12 loss to Parramatta, slotting in at dummy-half and making 15 tackles and three runs.
INTRUST SUPER CUP
Central Queensland Capras went down to PNG Hunters 22-16 at Browne Park in Rockhampton, but it was nevertheless a memorable Capras club debut for Rockcote Canterbury Bulls reps Ken Tofilau and Phil Nati. Tofilau scored three of the Capras’ four tries in an outstanding wing display, while back-rower Nati produced a hardworking defensive effort off the bench.
The Setaimata Sa-led Mackay Cutters went down 24-4 to a strong Northern Pride line-up, but recent Papanui import Nathan Saumalu was amongst the highlights, scoring the Cutters’ only try.
Northern Bulldogs junior Sheldon Pitama featured in a torrid Round 1 outing for Redcliffe Dolphins, who went down 26-8 to Burleigh Bears, while Kodi Nikorima’s Norths Devils were edged out 18-16 by Townsville Blackhawks.
INTRUST SUPER PREMIERSHIP
Tevin Arona enjoyed a winning start at the Warriors, starting at hooker in a 52-24 demolition of the Newcastle Knights in their InTrust Super Premiership clash at Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday. The Hornby and Rockcote Canterbury Bulls half played the full 80 minutes in the middle, racking up 13 tackles and easing the pressure on halves Mason Lino and Sam Cook with his astute kicking game.
Christchurch-born utility Pita Godinet was a strong contributor at fullback for Manly feeder club Blacktown Workers in a 16-14 loss to Newtown Jets, making 10 tackles and 54 running metres. Meanwhile, five-eighth Jayden Nikorima steered Wyong Roos to a 42-0 rout of Wests Tigers on Saturday.
Shirley Boys High School product Cruz Topai-Aveai made a tryscoring debut for South Sydney Rabbtohs’ NYC side in a narrow loss to Wests Tigers. The 18-year-old Celebration Lions junior linked with the famous club at the end of last year, and crossed for a four-pointer early in the second-half of a 30-28 thriller.