Reigning Dally M Centre of the Year Justin Olam has extended his contract with the Storm for a further four years, keeping him in Melbourne until at least the end of the 2026 season.
The Papua New Guinea international Olam made his first-grade debut for the Storm in 2018 and has established himself as one of the finest centres in the game, playing 76 NRL games to date including the 2020 Telstra Premiership Grand Final.
The Redcliffe Dolphins will retain the Stan Joyce Cup in 2022 having defeated a fast-finishing Hunters side 30-16 in miserable conditions on Saturday in Round 9 of the QRL Hostplus Cup.
The Dolphins were animated from the kick-off, capitalising on a Hunters’ forward pass and ruck infringement in the opening sets to camp themselves on PNG’s try line. The Hunters were defending well until Redcliffe hooker Sheldon Pitama spied some space around the ruck and slid over in the slippery conditions to give Redcliffe a four point lead.
The Hunters would respond immediately, working upfield from the kick-off thanks to a relieving penalty before punching through Redcliffe’s middle to set up for a right edge shift. Hunters halfback Jamie Mavoko would provide the deft grubber for Rodrick Tai on the last tackle to bring the scores to 6-4.
The SP PNG Hunters have announced a strategic pathways partnership with the Dolphins NRL franchise that will include participation in a full NRL pre-season for four young Papua New Guinean players.
This agreement will provide a genuine pathway for Papua New Guinean rugby league players beginning in the Digicel Cup, through to the Hunters and right into an NRL system.
The partnership is in alignment with the Hunters’ strategic plan to develop more Papua New Guinean players into the NRL competition by 2025.
Under the agreement, four Hunters’ players will attend a full pre-season with the Dolphins NRL squad, starting in 2023.
COACH Matthew Church wants his SP Hunters to start well when they host Brisbane Tigers in round three of the Hostplus Cup at Bycroft Oval on the Gold Coast on Sunday (2.10pm kick-off).
Church told The National yesterday that changes to the line-up were necessary after a poor start in their 16-26 loss to hosts Central Queensland Capras at Browne Park in Rockhampton.
The PNG Hunters have kicked off the 2022 Hostplus Cup season with a tough 16-10 win over the Mackay Cutters at BB Print Stadium in Mackay.
The Hunters enjoyed an excellent start, getting through their opening set before strong contact in defence forced the Cutters into an error with their first possession.
Starting props Casey Dickson and Sylvester Namo consistently bent the line with their carries to open the game and Mackay had no answer. Left-edge backrower Benji Kott came awfully close to crashing over the line after collecting a late offload before the Hunters forced yet another error in Mackay’s half. From the attacking scrum, right-centre Rodrick Tai summed things up smartly to put Solo Wane over in the corner for the opening try.
Dilbert Issac was next to score for the Hunters, crashing over under the posts courtesy of a lovely pass from Wesser Tenza at half.
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