General NRL Trial Games 2018


All in the Brown stuff!
Feb 3, 2014
NRL Trial Games 2018


Knights 26 (T: Fitzgibbon, Ponga, Sio, Buhrer, Cronan, G: Ponga 2/3, Lamb 1/2)
Storm 22 (T: Finucane, Glasby, K Bromwich, Olam, G: Munster 3/4)

The nib Newcastle Knights played out an impressive first trial match against the Melbourne Storm behind closed doors, defeating the home side 26-22 at AAMI Park on Wednesday afternoon.

While the Storm got on the board early, the Knights hit back with some impressive play from new combinations with young winger Thomas Cronan crashing over on the final siren to seal the win.

The Knights got on the front foot early with great sets in attack but a penalty 20 metres out saw the Storm’s Dale Finucane barge over under the posts.

Cameron Munster nailed the conversion to give the home side a 6-0 lead after 9 minutes.

The red and blue went straight back on the attack to see halfback Mitchell Pearce guide Lachlan Fitzgibbon to the line, just left of the post in the 12th minute.

In his first goal kicking duties for the Knights, Kalyn Ponga booted the conversion to level the scores, 6-all.

After a quarter break gave much needed relief for players from the heat, the Knights' new recruits combined as Pearce nudged a perfect grubber through to land in the hands of Ponga, who crashed over for Newcastle’s second.

The young fullback converted his own try for the Knights to lead 12-6.

It wasn’t long before Melbourne hit back. Tim Glasby beat Ponga to the ball and with no video referee to call on, the live call saw a try to the Storm. With the conversion missed, the Knights remained in front 12-10.

Just before half time the Knights struck again as winger Ken Sio dived over out wide and put the visitors in front 16-10.

A lot of changes were made for the third quarter, including Brock Lamb and Jack Cogger moving to six and seven, Nick Meaney into fullback and Luke Yates at lock.

Jamie Buhrer added to the try tally in the 43rd minute after collecting a nice grubber from Lamb under the posts, who then added the extras to extend the lead 22-10.

In the next ten minutes both teams had their chances but the score remained 22-10, and with a minute to go before three-quarter time, the Storm made a break through the middle for a Kenny Bromwich try. The Storm converted to close the gap 22-16.

With the final quarter underway Josh King, Jacob Saifiti, Danny Levi and Fitzgibon were back on the field, with Watson switching to fullback.

In the 70th minute,Justin Olam collected a loose ball and forced his way over on the left edge before Joe Stimson converted to level the score line at 22-all.

Despite a forward pass ruled in the 79th minute, the Knights got the ball back and right as the siren sounded young winger Thomas Cronan crossed over to see the Knights take out their first trial match 26-22 to the Storm.
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1st Grade Fringe
Nov 8, 2016
I heard that Slade Griffin (ex Storm) may have the starting hooker role over Danny Levi for Newcastle which would be interesting.

That's a signing that slipped past me.
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1st Grade Fringe
Nov 8, 2016
I see the Raiders are playing one trial while the Storm are playing four matches before Round One. Obviously the Raiders could be doing all manner of in-house games/trials that aren't official.

In the game against the Knights, it was basically a Storm B team by the sounds and their team against us in Rotorua will be very similar. It's got to be good exposure for their younger players and a real opportunity to strengthen their depth.


Warriors 1st Grader
May 7, 2012
14 penalties for incorrect play the balls.....get the message players!!!

Ah the hypocrisy of the NRLs officiating begins.

Quite often these preseason target areas fade by round two after a token display in round one.

The play the ball is really simple.

If you are in possession and you have been tackled you touch the ball with your foot.

So many ignore the rule....most of all the Refs.

Rugby league is from Rugby Union Which in turn is from soccer.

As a FOOTBALL code I have no sympathy for players that don't correctly execute a play the ball .

This play is the biggest shift between Union and league....the Rugby league play the ball.

There used to be an art to springing to your feet....pushing the marker and rolling the ball so that your ultra lite touch by your foot does not affect the line the ball was rolling backward into the dummy halfs hands.

The behavior of players at the play the ball hinted at their level of skill and experience.

The whole movement toward just rolling the ball means a specific skill of the sport which is entirely unique to the ignore
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Warriors Orange Peeler
Jun 21, 2012
Mt. Wellington, Auckland
This happens every year during the trials
As well as the first few Rounds of the season proper. When this crackdown happened last time in 2016 I asked a Warriors player about how they were going about practising for it and he told me bluntly that they don't. They all play exactly the same and soon enough the spotlight turns on the refs for slowing down the game and they stop blowing penalties for it.

It'll be status quo by Round 3...


Warriors 1st Grader
Jul 12, 2013
Not sure why they bother when they crack down on things every pre season. Come the middle rounds they let things slide and we then get a random penalty which pisses off one clubs fans who can then do a video showing multiple instances of the other 15 clubs doing the same thing.

Yes the refs do themselves no favours with some of the mistakes or decisions from the bunker etc. But the refs have it tough due to all the negativity pushed on the sport.

Coaches side looses = blame the ref
Journalists don't find the game entertaining as they did from the ages of 5-12 = blame the ref
Captain upset about too many penalties = blame the ref
Commentators don't understand the rules = blame the ref

Looking forward to next week with the Warriors Rotorua trial followed by the English sides playing afterwards. Been a long off season.
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