Over the last few weeks Vanuatu Rugby League (VRL) stars Kalpat Steedman, Tonny Lui, Robert Franklin, James Wilfred, Jean-Pierez Kenie, Roger Tokona and Ian Vuti have returned to Vanuatu after successful playing stints in Australia, following on from the highly successful Vanuatu-South Sea Island Invitational tour of Queensland.
Steedman, Lui, Franklin and Wilfred all played with the Noosa Pirates, Tokona and Vuti played with the Burdekin Roosters while Kenie had stints with both the Souths Mackay and Noosa Pirates clubs. The players return to Vanuatu and will take their new found skills into the local competitions in both Shefa and Sanma provinces.
Justin O’Neill’s Melbourne Storm have suffered their first defeat of the season going down 24-20 to the Canberra Raiders in Melbourne on Saturday night. In fact it was the first defeat for the Storm in 16 matches since their 26 to 18 Round 21 defeat by the St.George Illawarra back on 27th July, 2012. O’Neill scored a try in the 58th minute, playing all 80 minutes at centre in which he made 7 runs for 35 metres and made 12 tackles in addition to his try.
O’Neill has been selected to start in the centres for the Storm in their clash this Sunday with the Penrith Panthers at Centrebet Stadium (Sydney, Australia) at 6:30pm (7:30pm Vanuatu time) with the match live on Fox Sports 1.
U/20’s – National Youth Competition
Samsen O’Neill’s North Queensland Cowboys U/20 side was defeated by the Parramatta Eels 16 to 10 last Saturday night in Sydney. Playing all 80 minutes on the wing, O’Neill ran 11 times for 100 metres, including 2 tackle breaks and made 11 tackles.
O’Neill has been selected on the wing for the Cowboys game on Friday night against the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Stadium Australia (Sydney, Australia) with kick off at 5:15pm (6:15pm Vanuatu time).
Alehana Mara, in his second game back from injury and playing off the interchange bench was part of the Auckland Vulcans 48 to 10 loss by the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks last Saturday in Sydney.
Mara has been selected to come off the interchange bench for the Vulcans in their match with the Wyong Roos this Saturday at Westpac Stadium (Wellington, New Zealand) at 3pm (2pm Vanuatu time) with the match Live on Fox Sports 1.
Jarvan White scored his 4th try of the year in the Ipswich Jets 20 to 10 victory over the Burleigh Bears last Sunday on the Gold Coast. It was the Jets 5th win of the season, leaving them in 4th place in the competition. Despite missing the game through injury Ben Henaway’s Souths Logan Magpies had a 38 to 26 victory over James Wood’s Tweed Head Seagulls. Wood’s the Vanuatu and Seagulls Captain scored a try in the loss which has the club sitting in 7th place, with the Magpies in 5th.
Wood’s, selected at centre and White, selected at fullback will go head to head this week as the Seagulls take on the Jets. The match which will be shown live on Channel 9 throughout Queensland will be at North Ipswich Reserve (Brisbane Australia) on Sunday at 2pm (3pm Vanuatu time). Henaway’s Magpies have the bye this week.