Rugby League ANZAC Test - 1 May 2015 - Aust v NZ

S J

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A year after his rugby union experiment fizzled out, Benji Marshall is lining up to wear the Kiwis jersey again.
The drums are beating for the in-form Marshall's Test career to be revived at the Anzac Test in Brisbane next week.
A hamstring injury suffered by Manly half Kieran Foran may force New Zealand coach Stephen Kearney to seek out a play-making partner for halfback Shaun Johnson.
The obvious solution would be Marshall, 30, who on Thursday will bring up one year since the release from his Super Rugby contract with the Blues.
He played out the 2014 NRL season with St George Illawarra and has lifted his game considerably this season with the Dragons, leading them to a share of the competition lead after seven rounds.
 

S J

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International Rugby League will return to South-East Queensland this year with Brisbane and the Gold Coast set to host a blockbuster stand-alone weekend of representative rugby league in May.
In a huge coup for NRL fans in Queensland, Suncorp Stadium will host the traditional Trans-Tasman Test Match between Australia and New Zealand, supported by Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ), on Friday May 1.
The Test is the only international match between the Kangaroos and the Kiwis in 2015. The Test Match will be a key game in rugby league's program of events to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli.
May 1 also sees the Australian Jillaroos take on the NZ Kiwi Ferns at Suncorp Stadium, while Pacific powerhouses Samoa, Fiji, Tonga and Papua New Guinea will be part of a triple-header at Gold Coast's Cbus Super Stadium on Saturday May 2.
The first match on Saturday night (May 2) will feature the Junior Kangaroos against the Junior Kiwis. The PNG Kumuls will then take on Fiji Bati, before Samoa return to the international stage following their successful Four Nations campaign against traditional rivals Tonga.
 

Northern_Union

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Going to be an interesting test this one. I said on the back of the years ANZAC test and SOO that Australia wouldn't win the 4 nations because the Kiwis (and lesser extend England) had caught up with Australia and that the Aussies had aged and weren't the team they were a year ago. Then came all of the injuries and Australia had to blood half of a new team. Are those young players that are coming through better than the older guys they are replacing? I'm not convinced they are and i believe that the Kiwis will beat Australia in the ANZAC test this year. That said, i do tend to wear blinkers where my Kiwi team is concerned so maybe i am being biased?

Love to hear what our Aussie friends and English friend make of my assertions.
 

TerryGaines

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Benji to play for NZ ?
No. Not unless Air New Zealand pulls a MH-370 with the rest team on board, and even then NO.

And now this.

Benji Marshall behind Kieran Foran, Shaun Johnson in running for Kiwis spots in ANZAC Test
Updated yesterday at 1:26pm


Photo: Former Kiwis captain Benji Marshall looks out of the reckoning for a halves spot. (Getty Images: Cameron Spencer, file photo)


Benji Marshall's pending omission from the Kiwis team to play Australia does not spell the end of his Test career, insists coach Stephen Kearney.

Despite his stand-out NRL form with St George Illawarra, the 30-year-old Marshall is not being considered by New Zealand's selectors for the Anzac Test in Brisbane on May 1.

Kearney says it is nothing to do with age, nor former captain Marshall's short-lived switch to rugby union last year.

The selectors want to persist with the halves pair of Shaun Johnson and Kieran Foran who steered the Kiwis to last year's Four Nations title and will be named in the squad on Sunday night, injuries permitting.

Kearney is confident Manly five-eighth Foran has overcome a hamstring niggle but says he will need to prove himself against Melbourne on Saturday.

"We've got the halves pairing that we've invested a lot of time and effort and energy into over the last three years. If they pass fit then they'll be picked," Kearney said.

"We've got a couple of options if that's not the case but for this Test match, Benji won't be one of them."

Kearney acknowledges Marshall's form has been "very impressive" for a Dragons side who share the top of the NRL table with Brisbane and Melbourne.

He had tried and failed to contact Marshall this week to tell him that his Test career is not necessarily over and ultimately delivered that message to Marshall's manager, Martin Tauber, on Wednesday night.

"We're never going to close the door on Benji or any player," Kearney said.

"But for this Test I've got two guys ... who are both 24 and players who have got all of their football in front of them."

Kearney says he has stayed in close contact with Foran over the past week, along with several other Kiwis candidates who are under injury clouds.

Centre Dean Whare appears to have also overcome a hamstring problem while Kearney says his Penrith team-mate Lewis Brown (ribs) is still a chance to play against Cronulla on Sunday despite not being named in their team.

The Test prognosis for Jason Nightingale (foot) was "50-50", according to Kearney, after the experienced winger was omitted by the Dragons.

The coach insists form will be a key plank in his squad selection, insisting he will not stick rigidly with his triumphant Four Nations squad.

He nominated Roosters full-back Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Warriors prop Ben Matulino as two obvious candidates who are knocking down the door for recalls.

AAP
 
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S J

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Sharks skipper Paul Gallen will be sidelined for at least the next two weeks after scans have revealed his hip/gluteal injury to be worse than first thought.
 

moto748

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I agree with NU about the Kangaroos and Kiwis. The difficulty for the Kiwis is that they don't have the strength in depth that the Aussies do. I'm a bit surprised that Benji isn't getting the nod; I thought Foran was injured? Obviously not.

And it goes without saying that if the Kiwis are going to win internationals, Shaun Johnson needs to find his form (which, to be fair, he did in the Four Nations and WC).

BTW I watched former Auckland Warrior(!) Ali Lauitiiti play last night! Did you know he's still turning out for Wakefield?
 
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S J

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The Aussie side is ageing and must start to renew soon. You can't reply on the old guard forever.
 

TerryGaines

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I thought Foran was injured? Obviously not.
You were right the first time. Foran has yet to show he is match fit, but that still doesn't give Benchy a shot.

The truth is that in these parts, the Kiwi jersey is the greatest prize of all and here Benchy has burnt his bridges.

1) Benchy shat all over his Tigers fans for the last 5 years with that team, meaning he's mentally weak.

2) Most of all Benchy shat on League accompli by jumping to and failing so spectacularly at club level Union. You can get a League Test jersey back after Union if you'er Sonny-Bill, Lote Tuqiri, Timana Tahu, Mat Rogers etc. on merit. But Benchy disgraced himself and all that is good about League. The votes are in and the verdict is phark Benchy.
 
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moto748

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Well I won't comment on whether Marshall *should* get a jersey for non-form related reasons, but on form alone he looks good enough to me.
 

S J

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1. Billy Slater (Melbourne Storm)
2. Alex Johnston (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
3. Greg Inglis (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
4. Will Chambers (Melbourne Storm)
5. Josh Dugan (St George Illawarra Dragons)
6. Johnathan Thurston (North Queensland Cowboys)
7. Cooper Cronk (Melbourne Storm)
8. Matt Scott (North Queensland Cowboys)
9. Cameron Smith (c) (Melbourne Storm)
10. Aaron Woods (Wests Tigers)
11. Greg Bird (Gold Coast Titans)
12. Sam Thaiday (Brisbane Broncos)
13. Corey Parker (Brisbane Broncos)

14. Luke Lewis (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)
15. Trent Merrin (St George Illawarra Dragons)
16. Nate Myles (Gold Coast Titans)
17. James Tamou (North Queensland Cowboys)

18. Daly Cherry-Evans (Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles)
19. Michael Jennings (Sydney Roosters)
20. Josh Papalii (Canberra Raiders)
 

S J

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New Zealand:

Jesse Bromwich (Melbourne Storm), Lewis Brown (Penrith Panthers), Greg Eastwood (Canterbury Bulldogs), Kieran Foran (Manly Sea Eagles), Tohu Harris (Melbourne Storm), Peta Hiku (Manly Sea Eagles), Shaun Johnson (NZ Warriors), Shaun Kenny-Dowall (Sydney Roosters), Thomas Leuluai (NZ Warriors), Issac Luke (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Simon Mannering (NZ Warriors), Ben Matulino (ZN Warriors), Sam Moa (Sydney Roosters), Kevin Proctor (Melbourne Storm), Matin Taupau (Wests Tigers), Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Sydney Roosters), Manu Vatuvei (NZ Warriors) and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (Penrith Panthers).
 
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TerryGaines

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Well I won't comment on whether Marshall *should* get a jersey for non-form related reasons, but on form alone he looks good enough to me.
Sir. In only three seasons of playing for the Kiwis (2012 - 2014) Shaun Johnson has amassed 48 goals, i.e. 5th all time highest.

After more than twice as long, (2005 - 2012) Benchy only kicked 42 goals.

To my simple maths, Benchy isn't fit to wash Shaun's Test undies and the Kiwi selectors got it right - for once :)

On a different note, let's start a whole new tradition and invite the Brits over for a Armistice Day game. November 11th is usually free on the League calender isn't it?