NRL 2021 preliminary final: South Sydney Rabbitohs crush Manly Sea Eagles – as it happened

  • South Sydney Rabbitohs 36-16 Manly Sea Eagles
  • Bunnies to face Storm or Panthers in next week’s grand final

And now the Bunnies, in their green and red hoops with black accessories. Rabbitohs fans seem outnumbered in the stands to my eye.

Manly are out first onto the Suncorp Stadium turf. They’re in their traditional maroon and white. Plenty of fans cheering them out.

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Lack of coaching experience no barrier for Maroons coach Billy Slater

  • Slater to take the reins for Queensland’s 2022 State of Origin series
  • Wayne Bennett has been touted for possible mentoring role

The Kid is now the coach, with Billy Slater confirmed as Queensland’s new State of Origin mentor. The champion fullback, a key member of the Maroons’ most successful Origin dynasty, was named coach on a two-year deal on Friday.

He replaces Paul Green after the NRL premiership-winning mentor’s exit earlier this month following just one series at the helm. The job is Slater’s first in coaching since his retirement as a player in 2018.

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Jarryd Hayne’s rape victim sues for damages in NSW supreme court

Lawyer of former NRL star says sexual assault victim has filed an ‘embarrassingly hopeless’ case

The woman Jarryd Hayne was convicted of raping has filed an “embarrassingly hopeless” case against the jailed former NRL star, his lawyer has told a New South Wales court.

The victim, a woman aged in her late 20s, is claiming damages for battery and assault in the NSW supreme court after Hayne was convicted of sexual assault in March. He is appealing that conviction.

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Penrith trainer banned, Panthers fined $25k over controversial NRL stoppage

  • Pete Green allegedly breached NRL rules in semi against Eels
  • Stopped play in dying minutes to treat hooker Mitch Kenny

Penrith have been fined $25,000 and trainer Pete Green suspended for the rest of the season for allegedly breaching NRL rules in Saturday night’s controversial semi-final win over Parramatta.

On Tuesday the NRL handed down a breach notice to the Panthers and head trainer Green, who stopped play to attend to hooker Mitch Kenny in the 76th minute of Saturday’s game in Mackay.

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Manly Sea Eagles obliterate Sydney Roosters – as it happened

  • Manly Sea Eagles thrash Sydney Roosters 42-6
  • Manly through to preliminary final with South Sydney Rabbitohs

The Roosters walk out into the balmy Queensland night air in their predominately white change strip with blue trim.

It is warm and clear on Queensland’s central coast at the end of a beautiful dry sunny day. An onshore breeze may need to be accounted for off the kicking tee.

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NRL forward Jack de Belin and Daily Telegraph settle defamation case

The Sydney newspaper ran a front-page story titled ‘Rub Out the Grubs’ referring to calls for players facing serious criminal charges to be suspended from playing

Jack de Belin has dropped a defamation claim over a front-page story titled “Rub Out The Grubs” after the Daily Telegraph withdrew any suggestion the NRL forward was guilty of sexual assault.

The February 2019 article reported on Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga’s call for de Belin and other players who were then facing serious criminal charges to be banned from playing until the charges were resolved.

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NRL 2021 finals week one: South Sydney Rabbitohs stun Penrith Panthers – as it happened

  • South Sydney beat Penrith 16-10 in Townsville
  • Rabbitohs through to preliminary final

Penrith, in all black, return the kick-off towards the Rabbitohs, decked out tonight in the white-trimmed version of their famous green and red uniform.

A warm hazy day in North Queensland is giving way to a mild, dry evening. There is a brisk easterly breeze but it didn’t cause any issues for the Roosters or Titans earlier on.

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NRL 2021 finals week one: Melbourne Storm demolish Manly Sea Eagles – as it happened

  • Melbourne beat Manly 40-12 on the Sunshine Coast
  • Minor premiers ease through to preliminary final

Ryan Papenhuyzen will one to watch tonight. Craig Bellamy spoke about his star fullback’s disrupted season during the week. “He’s obviously lost a bit of confidence and had a fair few doubts,” Bellamy said. “The injury that he had was obviously pretty severe and he had six or seven weeks where he didn’t do much physically or fitness-wise. He’s had three starting games now so he should be getting back to his peak physically and I think we saw a little bit of that last week. Hopefully after what he’s been through he’s really confident in what he’s doing now and is ready to go on Friday night.”

It’s warm, dry, and pretty still on the Sunshine Coast tonight. Glorious conditions under lights.

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NRL grand final leaving Sydney for first time in game’s 114-year history, to be played in Brisbane

Suncorp Stadium will host decider after NSW government admits defeat amid state’s Covid outbreak

The first NRL grand final in the game’s 114-year history to be played outside Sydney will be held at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium after the New South Wales government admitted defeat in its hopes of hosting the title decider amid the current Covid outbreak.

In a statement issued on Wednesday afternoon, the NRL said an agreement had been reached with the Queensland government to host the remainder of the finals series, including the preliminary finals and the grand final on 3 October.

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