Knights ‘protruding’ halves get a boost as Sivo shines; 111kg Beast’s Brutal Dolphins Audition: Reserves Wrap

Knights halfback Jake Clifford returned in style, while his half, partner Tex Hoy, was also in glowing shape.

There is good news for Eels fans: not just Maika Sivo making his own from a torn ACL, but several players who shone over the weekend.

Sean O’Sullivan was instrumental in Penrith’s win, while Newtown center Kayal Iro, Wynnum Manly center Matthew Lyons and Dolphins fullback Trai Fuller impressed.

And speaking of the dolphins, there is one hard-working prop worth keeping an eye out for.

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Jake Clifford is back in action after missing footy for two weeks due to personal reasons. The 24-year-old was hooked during the Knights’ 50-2 loss to the Storm in round 8, then sat out the next three NRL games.

Knights coach Adam O’Brien had admitted Clifford was “down” after the Storm game and as a coach he had to “put an arm around him”.

Clifford looked a class above in the Knights’ 27-20 win over the Dragons with his trap play as a highlight. He set up two tries, got a linebreak assist and also ran another 100 meters.

Clifford told Fox League full-time that “it was good to get back out there after taking three weeks off,” revealing his goal in the match.

“Just be a little more on the ball, control the team and come away with a win like that,” he said.

“In these circumstances, your kicking game is vital, so that was my main focus.”

His halves partner Tex Hoy said Clifford’s trap game was “excellent” and enjoyed having the 63 NRL gamer next to him.

“He’s a pretty experienced half. He likes to talk, he likes to be on the ball, he likes to kick,” Hoy told Fox League.

“It’s good to see him there again, I think he really enjoyed that game.”

The impressive feat came after fellow Knight Jack Johns said before the match that Clifford had trained “very hard” but that it was up to the all 17 to improve their game.

“He’s doing well,” Johns said when asked how Clifford was doing.

“He’s been training really hard in the last three weeks, so we expect a big game from him, but we need to help him a little bit today.

“It’s not like a player can come back and do it all alone, so we all have to get up today and make sure we do him a favor.”

hoy, was equally impressive. He had played five-eighth in NRL in the past two weeks and carried that confidence into the cup match. The 22-year-old put up two tries, got a linebreak, four tackle busts and ran 156 yards. He also made 21 tackles with one miss.

Hoy has spent time in the halves and as a fullback, but told Fox League he sees his future in the No. 6 jersey.

“At least five-eighths I think,” he said.

“I played all my juniors as a fullback, but five-eighth isn’t really new to me, it’s just new to the class. I’m enjoying it, I just have a lot to work on.”

Maika Sivo played his first game on Friday since tore his ACL last August. The star winger scored a double, had three linebreaks, four tackle busts and two more offloads with his 152 running yards.

male veteran Jorge Taufua also came back from a hamstring injury over the weekend. The timing couldn’t be better as Tom Trbojevic’s shoulder injury will lead to a reshuffle of the NRL backline and with Jason Saab and Brad Parker still sidelined, Taufua could get into the mix. The 31-year-old scored 127 yards and made nine tackles, but missed five.

George Burgess and Josh Kerr were strong in a losing side. Burgess got to 130 running meters in 38 minutes, while Kerr scored and got close to a second.

Tyrell Sloan was back in reserve rank after being dropped in favor of Cody Ramsey. The 19-year-old made an attempted save, but was relatively quiet in the attack. The Knights did their homework and came up with a plan to pressure Sloan into trying to negate his influence.


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Sivo may have been the headline act for the Eels, but several of his teammates sparkled as well.

Jordan Rankin continues to prove he is the team’s most important player with the 30-year-old setting up two tries, receiving a linebreak, a linebreak assist and five tackle busts, as well as running 197 yards in Parramatta’s 26-6 win over Blacktown .

Jake Arthur had a busy afternoon, setting up a try, getting three linebreak assistants and running 164m, just like the center Zac Cini who recorded 239 running yards, two linebreaks and five tackle busts.

Elie El Zakhem was excellent in the second row. The Lebanon international scored, got a linebreak and eight tackle busts while running 169 meters. He also made 28 tackles with one miss.

On the other side of the field, Kurt De Luis again batted for 80 minutes, finishing with 172 running yards, three tackle busts and 51 tackles with just one miss.

Kayal Iro knocks on the door of an NRL debut with the center of Newtown Jets scoring a double, getting a linebreak, linebreak assist and nine tackle busts with his 210 running yards.

Sean O’Sullivan played a key role in Penrith’s 17-12 win over North Sydney. O’Sullivan ran 133 yards, put on two tries and made 25 tackles with one miss. He also scored an important field goal just before half-time.

It was a good weekend for the Canberra forwards, both in first division and in reserve. peta hola set up a try, got two linebreaks and five tackle busts while also running 192 yards.

Meanwhile a fan favorite Jackson Topine stood out in a dominating Bulldog performance with his try assist, linebreak, six tackle busts and 201 running yards. The 20-year-old also made 24 tackles with zero misses.

Broncos ahead TC Robati impressed Wynnum Manly with 173 running yards and six tackle busts, but his teammate Matthew Lyons stole the show in the centers. Lyons had 216 running meters – 122 after contact – eight tackle busts, a linebreak and four offloads.

Redcliffe Dolphins fullback Trai Fuller turned out to be a handful for the PNG Hunters. The 25-year-old scored a try, set up another, got three linebreaks, a linebreak assist, 12 tackle busts and four offloads.

Jamayne Taunoa-Brown endured a mountain of work for Northern Pride, running 245 yards – 105 on contact – got a linebreak, four tackle busts and made 19 tackles with one miss.

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The Warriors have signed Dunamis Lui to replace Matt Lodge. Lui has played for Warriors’ Queensland Cup feeder side, Redcliffe Dolphins this season and while his NRL experience will no doubt come in handy, there’s another prop that should also take a look.

Lachlan Timm was striking for the dolphins.

At 25, Timm has quite a bit of footy under his belt. He made progress with the Storm system before moving from the Sunshine Coast Falcons to the Dragons in 2019, finishing that season as the league’s leader in tackles made and second in running meters.

He then joined the Dolphins in 2020.

This season, the 186cm, 111kg prop has an average of 145 yards per game and a tackle efficiency of 96.4 percent. Timm was again outstanding over the weekend, hitting 80 minutes and finishing with 197 running yards, nine tackle busts and 35 tackles with no misses.

To you, Nathan Brown — or Wayne Bennett ahead of the Dolphins’ inaugural NRL season.

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Former Knights Utility Jaelen Feeney turned the clock back at the weekend and scored a hat-trick in Townsville Blackhawks’ 40-10 win over Ipswich Jets. The 27-year-old also had a linebreak and three tackle busts.

congratulations to Terrell May, Zach Dockar-Clay and Locky Miller who made their NRL debut this weekend. All three have been stars in the NSW Cup this season – and regulars in’s Reserve rank changes.

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