The Red and Black Report shines a spotlight on Canterbury Rugby League products featuring in Australia’s elite and lower-grade competitions.


Aranui Eagles junior Daejarn Asi continues to make the most of his opportunity at Parramatta following star five-eighth Dylan Brown’s suspension, playing his third successive game in the top grade as the Eels thumped the Dolphins 48-20 in Round 17.

Former Cowboys and Warriors utility back Asi forced two line dropouts, produced two try assists, made a line-break and ran for 115 metres in his 21st NRL appearance.

Hornby product Jordan Riki started in the second-row in each of high-flying Brisbane Broncos’ first 16 matches, but a foot injury sustained in their shock Round 17 loss to Gold Coast Titans is expected to sideline the 23-year-old until Round 24.

Riki has scored five tries in 2023 and is averaging 32.6 tackles and 81 running metres per game.

Another Aranui junior, Jamayne Isaako, continues to head the NRL’s pointscoring table with 160 points (14 tries, 52 goals) from 16 appearances. The winger added two goals in each of the Dolphins’ last two losses to Parramatta and Brisbane.

Isaako has been one of the Dolphins’ most consistent performers despite the newcomers’ recent dip, averaging 164 metres per game and making 20 line-breaks (equal-third in the NRL).

Teammate and Burnham Chevaliers junior Kodi Nikorima’s versatility has been a valuable commodity for the Dolphins. After two matches back at five-eighth, Nikorima returned to the fullback spot – with Origin star Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow switched to centre – and scored a try, recorded six tackle-breaks and ran for 149 metres in the hard-fought defeat to the Broncos on Saturday.

Nikorima has scored three tries and produced 11 try assists in 2023.



While an NRL recall is proving elusive, Hornby product Fa’amanu Brown is shining in Canterbury Bulldogs’ ladder-leading NSW Cup team.

Brown started at hooker in a 15-all draw with Western Suburbs two weeks ago and made 113 metres and racked up 36 tackles. The Bulldogs went down 38-12 to Newcastle on Sunday, but Brown toiled for a game-high 43 tackles and carted the ball up 13 times for 89 metres.

Settling into Sydney Roosters’ halfback role, Halswell junior Joseph Taipari had a fine game in their 30-22 loss to Canberra in Round 17 but lasted only 12 minutes of the 48-6 defeat to Blacktown Workers last weekend.

Warriors SG Ball captain and Halswell front-rower Tanner Stowers-Smith came off the bench in the NSW Cup side’s 18-16 loss to the Dragons in Round 17, chewing through 19 tackles and six hit-ups in 31 minutes of game-time.



A try, nine runs for 102 metres and 30 tackles from hooker and Northern Bulldogs product Sheldon Pitama wasn’t enough to get Redcliffe Dolphins over the line in a 28-26 loss to Wynnum Manly Seagulls a fortnight ago.

The former Warriors NYC star missed the Dolphins’ draw with Townsville Blackhawks on Sunday.



After turning out in Canterbury’s Ron Massey Cup side, Halswell winger Montel Lisala returned to the Jersey Flegg ranks and scored a try in the Bulldogs’ 38-28 win over Wests Tigers in Round 17.

Riccarton prop K-Ci Newton Whare – whose father, Vince Whare, was a stalwart for Riccarton and Canterbury – is making impressive progress after graduating from Melbourne’s SG Ball ranks earlier this season.

Newton Whare has become a permanent fixture on the Storm’s bench as the team sails along at fifth on the ladder.

2023-07-04 15_26_01-(24) NRL 2023 _ Brisbane Broncos v Dolphins _ Match Highlights - YouTube
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