RED AND BLACK REPORT 2023: EDITION NO.12
The Red and Black Report shines a spotlight on Canterbury Rugby League products featuring in Australia’s elite and lower-grade competitions.
The Dolphins have faded out of NRL finals contention, but Aranui Eagles product Jamayne Isaako and Burnham Chevaliers junior Kodi Nikorima remain in great form.
Isaako scored a scintillating eight-minute hat-trick in the Dolphins’ 30-28 loss to Newcastle in Perth in Round 23, before becoming the first player to pass the 200-point barrier in the NRL in 2023 with a try and three goals as they went down to the Roosters 30-14 on Saturday.
The 27-year-old winger has scored 20 tries in 21 games this season – just one behind competition leader Alex Johnston. Isaako is a chance of becoming the first player since Mal Meninga in 1990 to top the premiership’s pointscoring and tryscoring charts.
After appearances at fullback, five-eighth and hooker in 2023, Nikorima added another string to his bow by playing centre against the Knights, recording a try assist (his 14th of the year), a line-break, six tackle-breaks and 131 metres. He returned to the No.1 jersey against the Roosters.
Hornby Panthers’ Jordan Riki returned to Brisbane’s second-row on Friday night after a six-week layoff with a foot injury.
The athletic tyro came back with 22 tackles and 85 metres in a 65-minute shift in the Broncos’ big win over Parramatta.
— SENQ 693 (@SENQLD) August 10, 2023
Meanwhile, Chevaliers junior Jazz Tevaga has played in the Warriors’ past two games – hard-fought wins over Gold Coast and Wests Tigers – after three months on the sidelines with a calf injury.
The lionhearted forward came off the bench for 20-minute stints and was as industrious as ever, averaging 15.5 tackles and 63 metres across the two games.
— One NZ Warriors (@NZWarriors) August 9, 2023
Versatile Aranui product Daejarn Asi returned to the Parramatta line-up at centre on the weekend after making way for returning five-eighth Dylan Brown in Round 23.
In a solid showing despite the 54-10 scoreline against the Eels, Asi produced a line-break, try assist, 85 metres and 18 tackles.
Another Burnham junior, rookie Sydney Roosters forward Siua Wong, has extended his CV to five NRL matches after making his first run-on appearances in the second-row in wins over Manly and the Dolphins.
The 20-year-old played the full 80 minutes against the Sea Eagles, racking up a whopping 55 tackles along with 74 running metres. He contributed another 28 tackles and a line-break against the Dolphins.
Siua Wong is now listed as a Burnham/Manurewa junior.
— The Niche Cache (@thenichecache) August 3, 2023
Hornby Panthers junior Fa’amanu Brown is three matches into his stint at Newcastle after making the mid-season switch from Canterbury-Bankstown.
The utility toiled for 27 tackles at hooker in a 54-14 defeat to ladder-leading North Sydney in Round 23 and revelled in a 42-28 upset of the Bulldogs on Sunday, making six runs and 20 tackles.
Warriors SG Ball captain and Halswell front-rower Tanner Stowers-Smith impressed again for the club’s high-flying NSW Cup side in Round 23.
In 35 minutes off the bench in a 26-14 win over Penrith, Stowers-Smith made four runs for 40 metres and 23 tackles, while he was retrenched to 18th man against Western Suburbs on Saturday and was not required.
Another Hornets product, Joseph Taipari was a standout in Sydney Roosters’ 28-18 loss to Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles in Round 23, scoring a try and racking up 114 metres and 18 tackles from five-eighth.
Switching to halfback on Sunday, Taipari led the Roosters with 167 running metres in a gallant 18-10 defeat to the dominant Bears.
Former Hornby and Canterbury Bulls forward Caius Faatili’s has maintained his industrious form off the pine for Wynnum Manly Seagulls.
In 29 minutes in a heavy loss to Burnleigh Bears, Faatili made four runs for 52 metres and 21 tackles. He featured again on Sunday as the Seagulls went down 42-30 to Souths Logan Magpies.
Former Northern Bulldogs hooker/lock Sheldon Pitama started at dummy-half in Redcliffe Dolphins’ away loss to PNG Hunters two weeks ago, chewing off 102 metres from 13 runs and 28 tackles. The veteran clubman then played 47 minutes off the bench in Redcliffe Dolphins’ 32-26 win over CQ Capras on Sunday and made 80 metres from eight runs and 20 tackles.
Burnham Chevaliers junior Jayden Nikorima came off after 20 minutes of Sunshine Coast Falcons’ win over Ipswich Jets two weeks ago and missed Saturday’s clash with Norths Devils.
Riccarton prop K-Ci Newton Whare came off the bench in Melbourne Storm’s 24-18 win over Wests Tigers on Saturday.
Hornby forward Felix Faatili has become an established member of Cronulla Sharks’ Flegg side, coming off the bench in Friday’s 34-16 win over Canberra Raiders that cemented a top-four spot.