NRL Rundown: Can the Warriors finish on a high and snap an eight-game losing streak?

Faleatua Malili and former Warrior Ben Henry break down the Warriors' final round NRL match-up against the Wests Tigers. Source: 1 NEWS



Storm star Billy Slater fatigued by judiciary fight

Melbourne are giving Billy Slater time to recover from the emotional toll of fighting his case at the NRL judiciary, which threatened to rule him out of Sunday's grand final.

Slater overturned a shoulder-charge citing on Tuesday night, allowing him to play against the Sydney Roosters in his career swansong.

Storm football manager Frank Ponissi said Slater was emotionally exhausted but that the successful hearing had brought a buzz to the club.

The retiring Storm star will get his swansong after getting his one match ban reversed. Source:

The Melbourne No.1 was put on light duties at training on Wednesday before the team flew to Sydney, with plans for him to build up his workload leading into the ANZ Stadium title showdown.

"There's no doubt he's emotionally fatigued," Ponissi said.

"He's put a lot of work in. He's sent me countless texts and emails over the last few days and some of that footage that was shown (at the hearing) was put together by he and (wife) Nicole.

"Coming home he was happy but just exhausted."

The retiring Storm star could face suspension for this hit on Sosaia Feki. Source: SKY

Ponissi said Slater's judiciary success had given the Storm a boost as they strive to become the first club in the NRL era to claim back-to-back titles.

He said the value that the Test custodian brought to the side in such a high- stakes match game couldn't be under estimated.

"We all saw in the preliminary final exactly how important he is," Ponissi said.

"He's a vital part of our team for lots of reasons.

"We would have had a wonderful replacement in Jahrome Hughes but there's only one Billy Slater and the way he's playing at the moment, especially in big games, you can't buy that sort of experience."

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 21: Sosaia Feki of the Sharks is shoulder charged over the sideline by Billy Slater of the Storm during the NRL Preliminary Final match at AAMI Park on September 21, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Sosaia Feki of the Sharks is shoulder charged over the sideline by Billy Slater of the Storm during the NRL Preliminary Final match at AAMI Park in Melbourne. Source: Getty



Roosters skipper Boyd Cordner confused by Billy Slater's shoulder charge ruling

Sydney Roosters captain Boyd Cordner admits he's confused about the NRL's shoulder-charge rule after Billy Slater's judiciary win last night.

Slater is free to play for Melbourne in the grand final against the Sydney Roosters on Sunday after a three-person panel found the champion fullback not guilty of the act last week.

"After that I don't know what a shoulder charge is anymore. I think you're all sitting there thinking the same thing," Cordner said on Triple M radio today.

Cordner said it was good to see the retiring legend farewell the game in a grand final.

The retiring Storm star will get his swansong after getting his one match ban reversed. Source:

"But on the other hand you sit there scratching your head about what actually are the rules around that. For me, personally, it was a shoulder charge."

The result means the NRL could now be under pressure to tighten its shoulder charge laws, particularly in the event where a player is coming from side on to force a collision.

And while the NSW State of Origin captain believed Slater was guilty of the charge, he expected the 35-year-old to be cleared by the panel.

"I always thought he would play. I think everyone did," Cordner said.

"Either way there was going to be some noise about it. Everyone, just move on. We were preparing for Billy to play anyway."

The retiring Storm star could face suspension for this hit on Sosaia Feki. Source: SKY

Cordner also provided an update on the shoulder injury to teammate Cooper Cronk, saying there remains a small chance the two-time premiership-winner could play at ANZ Stadium.

"It doesn't look too good at the moment but there is a slight chance and if I was going to be backing anyone in to play it would be Cooper Cronk," Cordner said.

"Being in at training, especially yesterday, he's the first one on the physio table doing his rehab. He's leaving no stone unturned, and it wouldn't be a surprise to us if he does pull through."

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 30:  Billy Slater of the Storm is tackled by Boyd Cordner of the Roosters during the round 25 NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the Melbourne Storm at Allianz Stadium on August 30, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
Billy Slater of the Storm is tackled by Boyd Cordner of the Roosters in an NRL match at Allianz Stadium in Sydney. Source: Getty



Broncos confirm 2019 will be Wayne Bennett's last NRL season as head coach

Foundation coach Wayne Bennett has vowed to see out his Brisbane contract next year after being told the 2019 NRL season will be his last at the Broncos helm.

Brisbane ended months of speculation when the board confirmed they had knocked back Bennett's request for a 2020 extension and that next year would draw the curtain on the coach's glittering Broncos career.

There was speculation Bennett may walk away if his request to coach one more year was denied but the seven-time premiership winner said he would be holding the 2019 reins.

"Having the decision made now puts an end to speculation and allows a clear focus on getting ready for next season," Bennett said in a statement.

"I firmly believe in the playing group we have here at the club."

Former Brisbane captain Justin Hodges said it was the "right decision" to cut ties with the 68-year-old, who will hold the Broncos reins for a 26th and final season next year.

"The board have made a strong stance and I think it is about time we move onto a different coach and try new things," Hodges told Fox Sports' NRL 360.

"I don't know which coach they are going to go for but whoever comes up has got to understand the Broncos are a massive club, expectations are high so we will need a strong coach to follow in the footsteps of Wayne Bennett.

"He's been a wonderful servant for the club. Hopefully the boys dig in for him next year and send him out on the right note."

Bennett had reportedly tabled a proposal to retain the reins in 2020 before moving into a Broncos football director role with current assistant Jason Demetriou as new head coach.

But Broncos chairman Karl Morris said on Tuesday he and Bennett had "agreed" that the master coach would see out his current contract to the end of 2019.

"The club will work through a thorough process, led by chief executive Paul White, to identify and select a coach for the 2020 season and beyond," Morris said.

The announcement calls a truce between Bennett and the Broncos board.

They fell out this year after Bennett criticised the club for what he believed was a lack of a succession plan.

Bennett admitted the constant speculation about his future had affected his team, which finished sixth and was thrashed 48-18 by St George Illawarra at home in their opening elimination final.

Broncos boss White said the NRL club was in "no rush" to find a replacement for the man who has masterminded all six of the club's premierships.

"We are in no rush to find the next coach of this club and we have been clear on that for the past year," White said.

South Sydney's Anthony Seibold, Michael Maguire and ex-Brisbane captain Kevin Walters have already been linked to the Broncos job.

Brisbane failed to lure Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy on a big money deal this year and reportedly made an ill-fated play for North Queensland mentor Paul Green.

Broncos coach Wayne Bennett. Vodafone Warriors v Brisbane Broncos, Round 12 of the 2017 NRL Rugby League Premiership season at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand. 27 May 2017. Copyright photo: Renee McKay /
Broncos coach Wayne Bennett. Source: Photosport


NRL slash Bulldogs' Mad Monday fine to $136,000

Canterbury have had their NRL fine for their lewd Mad Monday celebrations halved.

The club was fined $250,000 (NZD $273,000) after Adam Elliott and Asipeli Fine were photographed nude while celebrating at a Sydney pub.

The NRL on Tuesday said they had reduced the Bulldogs's fine to $125,000 (NZD $136,000) after taking into account the club's submission.

A spokesman said the Bulldogs had acknowledged the seriousness of the breach and apologised for the damage caused.

The club has also committed to put measures in place to ensure there is no repeat of the behaviour.

"Under those circumstances, the NRL will suspend half the original fine," the spokesman said.

"However the suspended part of the fine will be reimposed if there is any material breach of the Code of Conduct during the next two years.

"This incident should act as a reminder to all clubs and club officials that it is imperative to take extra precautions when organising club-sanctioned events."

Bulldogs chief executive Andrew Hill and chairwoman Lynne Anderson both said the NRL's findings acknowledge how closely the club had worked with the governing body since the fine was imposed.

They said Bulldogs management had acted swiftly to improve procedures and ensure there is no repeat.

Anderson said the club had learned from the experience.

"We acknowledge that some of the behaviours on the day were a poor look for the club and the game and we have reviewed everything that took place," she said.

"What we also need to remember here, however, is that good people will sometimes make mistakes and that should not take away from the fact that these same people have done a great deal in the community on behalf of the club and will continue to do so."

NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg came down hard after images of Bulldogs players dancing naked on a pub balcony and passed out on the street delivered the code a black eye on the eve of the finals.

The $250,000 fine was the biggest handed down to a club for player misbehaviour.

Elliott, 23, and Fine, 25, were both fined $25,000 (NZD $27,000) by the Bulldogs with $10,000 suspended after they were photographed nude on the balcony of the Harbour View Hotel in Sydney's The Rocks.

NSW Police have confirmed that two men aged 23 and 25 were issued with court attendance notices for wilful and obscene exposure and are due to face Downing Centre Local Court on October 24.

Police said a third man has been issued with an infringement notice for offensive conduct.

Front page of the Daily Telegraph of Bulldogs' Mad Monday celebrations.
Front page of the Daily Telegraph of Bulldogs' Mad Monday celebrations. Source: Daily Telegraph