Set of six: Game of the week

By Michael Brown

Feleti Mateo last weekend made 228 metres, putting him second to Steve Price. Photo / Greg Bowker
Feleti Mateo last weekend made 228 metres, putting him second to Steve Price. Photo / Greg Bowker

1. Game of the Week

The Warriors are saying all the right things, that the Broncos will be dangerous even with four players out through Origin duty, but it's undeniably a good time to play them. Justin Hodges, Corey Parker, Sam Thaiday and Matt Gillett are key players for Brisbane and will be missed and their absences come on top of the injuries to Ben Hannant, David Stagg and Jack Reed. It's why the bookies are struggling to pick a winner in this match - Australian bookies have them both at $1.91 - even though the Warriors have won only three games this season and haven't won on the road in their past nine.

2. Another round

Lining up against the Warriors on Monday night will be a familiar face, with Denan Kemp due to start on the wing. The 26-year-old had an unhappy time at Mt Smart Stadium and trainspotters across the Tasman have calculated the game represents his first NRL match in exactly 1100 days. He last played for the Broncos against Newcastle on April 30, 2010 and since then has had stints in rugby union and the Australian sevens team (2011) and at the Dragons (2012).

He quit the game at the end of last year and was pulling pints at a Wollongong pub before answering a call to join Brisbane for a third time.

3. State of intrigue

Normally the lead-up to a State of Origin match can be as entertaining as the match itself as both camps fire barbs at each other. That has been disappointingly missing this week and some think this has to do with the fact Laurie Daley, widely regarded as one of the nicest men in rugby league, is in charge of the Blues. It probably has more to do with the fact there's so much swirling around the Queensland camp with the assault allegations against Ben Te'o and how much Darius Boyd, who is battling an ankle injury and long-term attitude problem, knew of the incident.

4. Radio silence

Te'o isn't the only rugby league player in the spotlight for the wrong reasons. An Australian radio commentator has refused to call the name of Cowboys halfback Robert Lui for their match with the Titans this weekend, and instead will refer to him as "the seven" or "the Cowboys halfback" . Triple M commentator Dan Ginnane last year vowed to refer to Lui as a "wife basher" when he played but has softened his stance a little. "I don't think we should be celebrating Robert Lui," Ginnane told Sydney's Daily Telegraph. In 2011 Lui pleaded guilty to assaulting his girlfriend and the mother of his young son after drunken Mad Monday celebrations.

5. Women in league

Rugby league is celebrating the fact a woman has been appointed chief executive of an NRL club for the first time in nearly 20 years. It's worthy of celebration but doesn't reflect well on the game when you consider New Zealand have had two women Prime Ministers in that time and Australia is also led by a woman.

6. Price is right

Feleti Mateo last weekend made the most metres (228) by a Warriors forward other than Steve Price. It was an impressive shift, especially when combined with his six tackle breaks, five offloads and 28 tackles, but was still some way short of what Price achieved. In 2007 the former Warriors captain was extraordinary, setting an NRL record of 4515m for a season - an average of 188m a game - and it earned him the Dally M Prop of the Year award. In round 14 he broke his own record of metres gained by a forward in an NRL match when he ran for 306m from 33 hit-ups and seven weeks later backed it up with 323m.

- NZ Herald

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