Red and Black Report: Edition No.18 and 19
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 Rounds 18 and 19:
None of the ex-Canterbury players in the NRL played in the abbreviated Round 18, but several were back on deck on the weekend – including a first-grade debutant.
Aranui Eagles junior Jamayne Isaako (pictured) made his first NRL appearance for Brisbane Broncos in their 34-22 win over Newcastle Knights. Originally named on the wing, the 21-year-old swapped with Jordan Kahu in a late change and made 156 metres from 15 carries at fullback.
Broncos teammate and Burnham Chevaliers junior Kodi Nikorima was bumped out of the match-day squad by Anthony Milford’s surprise return, but the Kiwi Test utility has recently secured an extension at the club that will keep him in Brisbane until 2020.
Former Hornby junior Fa’amanu Brown was again the starting hooker for injury-hit premiers Cronulla, making 15 tackles and five runs for 66 metres in the Sharks’ 30-10 loss to Gold Coast Titans at a waterlogged Cbus Super Stadium.
Halswell Hornets product Matt McIlwrick again came off the bench for Wests Tigers, but this week he played a season-high 76 minutes in the loss to Manly following a season-ending shoulder injury to starting hooker Jacob Liddle. McIlwrick topped the tackle count with 51 and looks certain to wear the Tigers’ No.9 for the rest of the year with Liddle and Matt Ballin unavailable.
After playing 29 games across five seasons for the Raiders, Roosters and Sharks, McIlwrick has played all 17 matches for the Tigers so far this season.
Meanwhile, Lewis Brown missed the Sea Eagles’ Round 18 and 19 clashes through injury, but is slated for a return this weekend.
INTRUST SUPER PREMIERSHIP
Pita Godinet continues to be a versatile stalwart for Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles, featuring at five-eighth in the 54-0 loss to Penrith in Round 18 and the 22-12 defeat to Newcastle last weekend.
Jazz Tevaga came off the bench in the high-flying New Zealand Warriors’ 28-14 win over Illawarra on Saturday.
INTRUST SUPER CUP
Jamayne Isaako sealed his NRL call-up after booting three goals in Souths Logan Magpies’ 30-22 loss to Ipswich Jets in Round 18. Isaako, who spent a couple of years in the Cronulla Sharks’ lower grades, is fourth in the ISC’s pointscoring stakes with 140.
Former Halswell Hornets and Rockcote Canterbury Bulls flyer Ken Tofilau’s hot tryscoring form has continued despite Central Queensland Capras’ struggles, crossing in their Round 18 loss to Wynnum Manly to take his season tally to 13 – fourth in the competition.
Tofilau was joined in the Capras’ side by another former Bulls star, Phil Nati, for the Round 19 defeat at the hands of Mackay Cutters.
Setaimata Sa, who has moved from the centres to second-row, and Nathan Saumalu, who returned at centre after a few weeks out, featured in the Cutters’ 38-20 win over the Capras, with Saumalu crossing for a late try.
Sheldon Pitama was back at hooker for Redcliffe Dolphins’ Round 18 loss to Sunshine Coast Falcons, but missed their defeat to Wynnum Manly on Saturday.
Talented half Joseph Taipari made his fourth Under-20s appearance for Parramatta in Round 18 and tasted victory for the first time, scoring his maiden NYC try and kicking six goals – as well as recording a line-break and running for 85 metres – in the Eels’ 48-16 demolition of Melbourne Storm.