Red and Black Report: Edition No.7
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 7:
Making his maiden NRL start just a week after returning to Brisbane’s first-grade squad, utility Kodi Nikorima filled injured halfback Ben Hunt’s boots superbly in the Broncos’ nerve-shredding win over Gold Coast. The Burnham Chevaliers product scored a brilliant solo try, while also racking up 91 running metres and 25 tackles in the No.7.
Riccarton Knights’ favourite son Lewis Brown played 25 minutes off the bench in Manly’s narrow loss to Melbourne on Saturday. The Kiwi Test veteran made six runs for 58 metres and 17 tackles after replacing Curtis Sironen in the second-row.
After scoring just one try in his first five NRL seasons, Halswell boy Matt McIlwrick has crossed for four-pointers in consecutive weeks, showing remarkable strength to get over from dummy-half for Wests Tigers against Parramatta on Easter Monday. McIlwrick’s try gave the Tigers a handy 22-10 lead midway through the second half, but the in-form hooker was substituted soon afterwards and the Eels stormed back to win 26-22. The 25-year-old racked up 78 metres from seven runs and 25 tackles in another excellent display.
WATCH MATT MCILWRICK’S TRY HERE.
INTRUST SUPER PREMIERSHIP
Rockcote Canterbury Bulls and Linwood Keas centre Matt Sauni made his debut for the Warriors’ ISP side in a 30-all draw with Mounties, coming off the bench. Burnham Chevaliers junior Jazz Tevaga featured at hooker for the unbeaten Warriors.
Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles halfback and captain Pita Godinet scored a try in a 32-24 defeat of Newcastle at Lottoland on Saturday.
Former Hornby halves Fa’amanu Brown and Penani Manumalealii combined again in the playmaking roles again for Newtown, and they belatedly enjoyed a victory, 18-16 over Penrith. Brown played a key hand as the Jets came from 12-0 down, scoring their first try in the 56th minute and booting three conversions – including the 79th-minute match-winner.
Wyong Roos five-eighth Jayden Nikorima booted seven goals in a 34-6 drubbing of North Sydney to keep his name at the forefront of Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson’s mind, should injuries or rep duty rob him of one of his star halves.
INTRUST SUPER CUP
Phil Nati returned to the Central Queensland Capras bench on the weekend, but the Rockcote Canterbury Bulls’ 2016 Player of the Year shared in a 38-14 loss to Sunshine Coast along with former Halswell winger and Bulls rep Ken Tofilau.
Nathan Saumalu’s prolific season continued, scoring a try in the Setaimata Sa-led Mackay Cutters’ 42-24 loss to Souths Logan Magpies at the hallowed Davies Park in Brisbane’s West End.
Front-row hard-man Rulon Nutira made the trek to Papua New Guinea with the Redcliffe Dolphins, but they were edged out 12-10 by the Hunters.
Boom forward Cruz Topai-aveai missed South Sydney Under-20s’ Round 7 assignment against Canterbury through injury after leaving the field in the opening minutes of last week’s clash with Penrith.