The Broncos belted the Titans to go into the NRL top eight

Brisbane has moved into the NRL top eight with a dominant 34-12 victory over struggling Gold Coast.

The Broncos ran in six attempts on two, including a first-half double to Kotoni Staggs, to leapfrog Newcastle into eighth position on 19 points after 18 games.

For the second week in a row, teen prop Payne Haas ran more than 200 yards, while fellow teammates Matt Lodge and David Fifita were hugely influential through the middle in Saturday night's first half.

Another young striker, Patrick Carrigan, played 60 minutes off the bench, finishing with 31 tackles and 158 yards.

That's far from Brisbane's position after three straight defeats in June, when the Broncos had dropped to 14th.

"We've been working really hard to give ourselves a chance, but we're certainly not being led away," coach Anthony Seibold said.

"We have six games to go. We're only three-quarters of the way through the season.

"We didn't get too pessimistic or too bad at ourselves when certain people put us in the luggage. We won't be too transported now."

The only sour notes for the Broncos were the lock Tevita Pangai Jnr, who was placed on report for a heavy tackle on Phillip Sami and a groin strain for veteran Alex Glenn, who excluded him from the second half.

Pangai was scapegoated as well as being placed on record after trapping the Sami with a shoulder while tackling the center of the Titans after he fired a kick.

Seibold was distraught over the referee's response and was convinced the Tongan international would not be in danger of missing out on Friday's clash with top-of-the-table Melbourne at Suncorp Stadium.

"I thought it should have been a scramble and a feed for us," Seibold said of the Pangai incident.

“He didn't get off the floor. Tevita didn't hit him until he landed, and Sami didn't leave.

"If he is charged … I will not comment, but I do not think he will be charged."

Defeat leaves the Titans rock bottom with just four wins in a miserable 2019.

Interim boss Craig Hodges, who said he knew nothing about his own future amid reports that the new Titans & # 39; coach may be announced early next week, said fundamental mistakes at crucial times continued to undermine the team's efforts.

"Right now, when two teams are competing, we're the first team to release the pressure valve," Hodges said.

While Sami underwent his initial assessment of head injuries, he was unable to return to the second half after self-report in dress shed.

The Titans also lost winger Dale Copley late in the game to a hamstring load, which likely sidelined him for a couple of weeks and possibly the rest of the season.

While Brisbane is hosting the Storm in a huge test of their final registration, the Gold Coast is gone to rule premiers the Sydney Roosters on Sunday week at SCG.



What the NRL refs wanted me to do: Ponga

Newyn star Kalyn Ponga admits to being surprised by the shoulder-charging call that could rub him out of next week's crucial NRL match against Manly.

Ponga was scapegoated late Friday night after a collision with West Tigers second-rower Michael Chee Kam, who has left him in the hospital as a precaution.

Chee Kam, Ponga and Knights winger Hymel Hunt were in search of a 78-minute Benji Marshall grubber as the three players collided.

Repeats later showed Chee Kam being pushed from behind by Hunt, propelling his head into the tucked left shoulder of Ponga.

The game was stopped for at least five minutes before Chee Kam was taken off the field in a medicab before being taken to John Hunter hospital.

Ponga was then marched after a review of the incident, but later defended his role in the collision.

“I was a little surprised. I don't know what the judges wanted me to do there, maybe let them score, I'm not too sure, ”Ponga told AAP.

"Obviously, he was heading for the ball. I dived with the intention of hitting it at first and obviously saw that he was right there and staggered for punches.

“I hit his head, which I'm obviously worried about.

"But at the end of the day, I also have to protect myself. Right after he looked in all kinds. It was pretty bad. I hope he's fine now."

Knights coach Nathan Brown thought it was a stiff decision at a time when his team was pulled by two by two minutes to be back in the competition.

"It's not what cost us the game, but I think Kalyn plays full-ball and he plays, he has to play. He can't just stand there," Brown said.

"He's a little unlucky. I don't think there's a cleaner player playing the game."

The incident comes less than a week after criticism of Penrith star Viliame Kikau being handed a two-game ban on a Class 1 shoulder charge.

He was initially synthesized in a late shot.

A shoulder charge on one class attracts a 200-point penalty, which would mean Ponga would have to bring his case to the judiciary to avoid suspension.

Even a game absence in a game would be a serious blow to the Knights, who could fall out of the top eight by the end of the weekend.

"I don't think he was trying to do a shoulder charge," Brown said.

"I'm pretty convinced he was trying to play for the ball. I don't think he was trying to shoulder anyone."

Tigers coach Michael Maguire described the contact as unintentional.

"I think it was more random than anything else. Obviously they were competing for the ball. I had to see it again in close view," he said.

"I could only have the broad vision of it. I want to wait and see how it pans out."



Gold Coast was ready to name a new NRL coach

The Gold Coast is ready to name their next NRL coach next week, with Queensland State of Origin chief Kevin Walters as the favorite for the role.

It is alleged that the Titans board will offer Walters the job, despite the 51-year-old indicating he would not apply for the position when Garth Brennan was fired earlier this month.

The news Walters is all but over the line seems to have excluded another candidate in St Helens chief Justin Holbrook, with reports that appeared on Friday that he had withdrawn his application.

Interim Titans coach Craig Hodges said he and his staff were unaware of the speculation ahead of Saturday's southeastern Queensland derby with Brisbane at Cbus Super Stadium.

"It's certainly much more exterior noise than inside," Hodges said Friday.

"Players – and I mean that with respect – the players are very simple creatures, they just want to play.

"All the other things that are going on, it's probably more exciting for their friends and family and people who know them."

If Walters gets the nod, it will be the first NRL main role for the six-time prime-winning player.

After a two-season stint in charge of the Super League team of Catalans in France, Walters played assistant roles with Brisbane, Newcastle and Melbourne before being named Queensland coach in 2015.

He won the first two Origin campaigns he was responsible for Maroons, but was unable to prevent NSW from winning the series 2018 and 2019.

Broncos coach Anthony Seibold believes Walters would be a good fit for the titans.

"He has shown for a long time that he is passionate about coaching," Seibold said.

"If Kevvie were to do so, there is no doubt that he could be an NRL coach."



Morris defends disciplined Fifita in NRL

Cronulla coach John Morris has launched an impassioned defense of suspended star Andrew Fifita by pointing to his huge improvement in discipline this NRL season.

Morris revealed Fifita was quick to apologize to his teammates after shoulder charging a Warriors player off the ball late in their last-start loss in Wellington.

Not only did his brain snap the last two points last week, Fifita's hit also resulted in a one-game suspension as his team pursues a berth in the top-eight.

"He apologized to the team and he understood it was a huge moment in the game," Morris said.

"We also gave away two other penalties that led to two points. But it was a big moment in the game. He's disappointed he let the team down."

It is the second time this year Fifita has been banned due to foul play, it just returned from a three-game absence for a crusher tackle.

However, Morris is adamant the two incidents should be taken in isolation by Fifita arguing has cleaned up his act on the field this season.

Not only has the 33 penalties been halved since last year, but Fifita's five errors are well down on his 16th from 2018.

In 2017, he committed 18 penalties and 24 errors.

"He's had two bad penalties, or trips to the judiciary and a suspension," Morris said.

"He just got out of the system and it was unwarranted what he did. He knows that he's stuffed up there, but he's actually been working real hard on his discipline.

13 penalties this year. Last year he gave away 33. He got it wrong with the crusher tackle and on the weekend he got it wrong.

"But in the main he's working real hard and his discipline is better than where it was this time last year.

"His errors are better this time than where it was last year but he's not happy with his game at the moment.

"I think having a week off will allow him to refocus and hopefully get the best out of him the next six weeks when he comes back."

Braden Hamlin-Uele will make the first start of his career when he deputises for Fifita in Thursday's clash with North Queensland at PointsBet Stadium.


Morris denies the gambling turmoil in Cronulla

Cronulla trainer John Morris has denied a move for players in the NRL club and insists he will not hesitate to choose stars from his position.

Morris was forced on Wednesday to answer a blockade of a single-player question held this week allegedly to tackle the growing tensions among the squad.

One discussion bill that was apparently discussed was beginner Bronson Xerri, who started in the centers of the more established Josh Dugan and Josh Morris most of the season.

The coach of insisted allegations of player anxiety, especially around Dugan and Morris, was untrue in front of North Queensland's visit to the PointsBet Stadium on Thursday.

"I've told them where they play and they've played there," Morris said.

"There has certainly been some outside noise that some players have not been happy, but I honestly don't see that."

His comments come just days after skipper Paul Gallen admitted that there was an "element of truth" for Josh Morris and Dugan who were not content with not playing in their preferred positions.

However, Morris believes that his veteran pair, both of whom have previously represented Australia and NSW, have posed as leaders to him this season.

"The way I look at it, we have three start centers, I've shown that I want to develop Bronson there in the left center," Morris said.

"So that means one of the Josh & # 39; s will spend some time on the wing.

"Josh Morris went there to Brisbane and scored a hat-trick in his first match there. So we have options there.

"Duges has the ability to go fullback as he does this week. I think they understand that they need to be versatile where they play.

"And they will definitely do the best for the team that goes on."

The 38-year-old rookie coach also rejected claims that he was too close to the squad, saying he has made lots of unpopular decisions already this year.

On an occasion earlier this month, he dragged star-studded Shaun Johnson late in a game.

"I have been there and have made the tough decisions and I will continue to take them and continue to do the best for the team," Morris said.

"If it means that senior players miss or do not get the playing time they want, then it must be. As long as it's the best for the team."

The sharks are again without Matt Moylan for a week after the heelback worsened a hamstring problem that has plagued his entire season.

Dugan will be playing fullback after his return from his own hamstring edition, while Billy Magoulias debuts instead of the suspended Andrew Fifita.

The Cowboys team is unchanged from the side that South Sydney has cut last week, while skipper Michael Morgan is still due to concussion.


* Sharks have won the last four and 14 of 19 matches gathered against Cowboys at the PointsBet Stadium.

* The sharks' current location on the 11th on the ladder is their lowest position this late in a season since the pick up of three spoons in 2014.

* The sharks 'two pieces inside the Warriors' 20-meter zone last week corresponded to the lowest for any team since the state's first record was recorded in 2007.



Storm's run-off misses Manly's NRL clashes

The Melbourne Wing Suliasi Vunivalu will miss his team's NRL showdown with Manly after taking an early guilty plea on his dangerous contact responsibility.

He is suspended for a match for his mid-air tackle at Gold Coast's Phillip Sami during Storm's 38-18 win at Cbus Super Stadium last weekend.

Charge controllers Melbourne meets season surprise packages 2019 Manly at AAMI Park Saturday night.



Bulldogs will take NRL games to Perth

Canterbury takes a NRL game to Perth for the next three years as the club plans to take home games during the ANZ Stadium clean-up.

A year after hosting their seasonal opener at HBF Park, Bulldogs confirmed on Tuesday that the Western Australian venue is home to a game of the year until 2022.

It comes when the club is looking for a temporary home when the ANZ Stadium begins its makeover, which is expected to begin after next year's State of Origin series.

"As the club enjoys strong support in Perth, we have been working closely with the McGowan government to secure battles at HBF Park over the next three seasons," said Bulldog chief Andrew Hill in a statement.

"HBF Park is an excellent place for rugby league matches, and Bulldogs look forward to the opportunity to continue growing our footprint on what is a major sports market."

The announcement also comes only weeks after a 59,721 crowd witnessed Origin I played at Optus Stadium.

Bulldogs are heavily linked to a shift to Bankwest Stadium next season, while ANZ Stadium is undergoing its renovation.

Canterbury is also expected to keep their traditional lonely struggle at home and headquarters at Belmore Sports Ground.

Bulldogs fall in the 15th on the NRL ladder.



Storm's Vunivalu facing one-game NRL ban

Melbourne winger Suliasi Vunivalu is facing a one-match ban after being charged for dangerous contact in the Storm's big NRL win over Gold Coast.

The Fijian flyer tackled Phillip Sami in the air as the Titan attempted to defuse a bomb in the 41st minute of the Storm's 38-18 win at Cbus Super Stadium.

With 50 per cent loading for a previous similar offense, Missing will miss Saturday's clash with Manly with or without an early guilty plea and will only be free to play if the challenges and wins.

Titans back Brenko Lee – for tackle on Vunivalu – and the Storm's Joe Stimson were also hit with grade one dangerous contact charges from the round 18 clash.

Both, however, can avoid a ban with early guilty pleas.

Penrith's Viliame Kikau will head to the judiciary on Tuesday night in a bid to avoid a one-game ban for a shoulder charge.

Kikau is risking a two-game ban by challenging his sanction after being challenged on St. George's Illawarra half Darren Nicholls during the Panthers' 40-18 win on Friday night.

Cronulla's Andrew Fifita, however, took the early plea after being cited for the Sharks' loss to the Warriors.

The Tongan international won the line to put a shot on Lachlan Burr, which led to a game-winning penalty conversion for the Warriors before they sealed a 19-18 win with Blake Green's field goal.

Fifita will miss Thursday's crucial clash with North Queensland, as both teams aim to stay in touch with the top eight.

Brisbane's young forward Thomas Flegler will also sit out this weekend, taking a one-match ban with an early guilty plea on his grade one dangerous contact head / neck charge from last Thursday's win over Canterbury at Suncorp Stadium.

Outside back Kotoni Staggs will be free to play against Queensland rivals Gold Coast this Saturday after avoiding a ban with an early guilty plea on his dangerous contact charge from the same game.


Manly fire but NRL top four state requirements

Has NRL become a four-horse race?

After Melbourne, South Sydney, Sydney Roosters and Canberra, all the big steps in round 18 took place to secure two bites on cherries, it certainly seems like that.

All the top four pages have come out of a difficult representative period to be well placed.

And Parramatta legend Peter Sterling declared Sunday: "I think it's another top-four competition."

But Storm coach Craig Bellamy warned against writing anyone in spots five to eight after his team disposed of the Gold Coast 38-18.

The storm remains six points clear on top of the ladder after moving off a rusty first half against an inspired Gold Coast outfit, spurred on action after coach Garth Brennan sacking seven days earlier.

Bellamy was ropeable his side trailed 12-0 early, but they eventually ran away with a seven-three-win.

"This competition, anyone can beat anyone," Bellamy said.

"When you get closer to the end of the season, there are things that can go with you and things that can go against you.

"There comes a day when eighth will come up and win it.

"It of course gives you a great advantage to be in the top four, even bigger in the top two.

"But you're still in the race if you're fifth to eighth, and I'm sure it will happen at some point in our history."

Manly is two pointers' drive of the fourth-placed Raiders after Tom Trbojevic returned to spark them to a 36-24 defeat at Parramatta.

And on Saturday they will face a litmus test of their title credentials against Storm.

"It's always a tough task to go down and play Melbourne," said Manly coach Des Hasler.

"It will be a game we need to generate the 80 minute performance.

Asked about his site's premiership hope, Hasler quipped: "Mate, there are only three pages in this competition – Melbourne, Roosters and Souths.

"I don't know if we have been under the radar."

Roosters are premiership favorites after enabling another half masterclass to rout Newcastle 48-10 Saturday at SCG.

Rabbitohs scored three tries in the last eight minutes to run over the top of North Queensland 30-18.

West Tiger's coach Michael Maguire stated that his side had to "harden" after their 20-12 defeat to the Raiders.

Penrith made it seven consecutive victories after the end of St. George Illawarra's weak final hope with a 40-18 victory.

An Andrew Fifita brain dish gave the warriors a one-man advantage before Blake Green kicked the winning field goal in his side 19-18 win over Cronulla.

On Thursday, Brisbane moved to a point outside of eight with a 28-6 win over Canterbury.



Kikau and Fifita face shoulder charge ban

Penrith's Viliame Kikau and Cronulla's Andrew Fifita are facing a battle ban after being quoted for shoulder charges by the NRL's Fighting Review Committee.

The couple can accept a one-match ban with early guilty pleas, but risk being sidelined for two weeks if they challenge the charge in the judiciary.

Fifita is set to pay a price for his brain fall into the deadly stages of Shark's Warriors in Wellington Friday night.

With his side two points ahead and defending their line by 12 minutes to play, the Tongan test prop flew out of the line to put a shot at Lachlan Burr.

Warriors started a penalty conversion to score before Blake Green kicked the winning field goal for an exciting 19-18 win. Through coach John Morris, he refused to blame Fifita's feet.

Kikau has been charged a shoulder charge on St. George Illawarra half Darren Nicholls during the Pantheres 40-18 victory.

The Pantheres host the Raiders in round 19, while the sharks are home to the cowboys.