Pacific Islands prepare for league test match blockbuster

first_imgNearly 50 of the players involved are already on NRL rosters. Saturday’s blockbuster schedule will see the Junior Kangaroos take on their Kiwi counterparts, before Fiji and Papua New Guinea lock horns. Samoa will clash with Tonga in the second test. “It’s definitely going to be physical, no player is going to be holding back, it’s just the history of the two nations,” Samoa captain Frank Pritchard told SBS News. “Come Saturday I’m sure there will be a lot of fans running on the ground at the end of the game.” Fiji captain James Storer said he had no doubt Pacific Islanders were almost born to play rugby league. “You look at Fijians naturally, rugby league is their game,” he said. “Look at Semi Radradra – it’s just an example, but there is a lot of them boys back in Fiji just waiting to get their chance.” Pacific Island players have long been a part of the NRL. Frank Puletua, the NRL’s recognition and award manager, knows first-hand just how much the face of the game has changed in the last two decades. Puletua played for the Penrith Panthers in the 1990s when almost the only other Pacific Islander in the team was his brother Tony. “When myself and my brother were coming through the ranks there was probably two or three of us,” he said. “It’s over about half the team now are Pacific Island players.”(Fiji will take on Papua New Guinea in the test match double-header this weekend.)last_img read more

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Softball Splits Pair Of Games At Illinois State

first_imgDrake put at least one base runner on second base in the second, third and fourth inning. Junior Maddie Hooyman (Trenton, Mo.) had the Bulldogs’ best scoring chance when she tried to score from third base on a Redbirds’ wild pitch in the fourth inning, but was thrown out at the plate. Full Schedule Roster Preview Pena finished with two runs batted in while Smith finished with three RBI. The duo each finished with two hits each. Watch Live Drake answered in the third inning as Pena delivered again with another run-scoring single and sophomore Kailee Smith (Murrieta, Calif.) drove in a pair of runs with a double as the Bulldogs led 4-2. Illinois State cut the deficit to 4-3 in the bottom of the inning with a RBI single from Jordan de los Reyes and then tied the game at 4-4 in the fourth as Standgard came through again, this time with an RBI single. Bradley 5/7/2016 – 2:00 PM The second game was back-and-forth as the Bulldogs scored one run in the first inning from an RBI single by freshman Taryn Pena (Columbia, Ill.). The Redbirds took the lead in the bottom of the frame with a two-run home run from Riley Strandgard. In the fifth inning it was Smith’s turn to come up in the clutch for Drake as she broke the tie with a run-scoring single and two batters later junior Kaitlyn Finneran (Morrison, Ill.) added another run with her own RBI single as the Bulldogs led 6-4 after five innings.center_img Newman took the tough loss after pitching six innings. She allowed one run on five hits and struck out 10 and walked three batters. With the one win and one loss on Friday, Newman is now 19-12 overall this season. Drake had just four hits in the loss. Sophomore Nicole Newman (Madison, Wis.), who started in the circle and tossed her 22nd complete game, helped her cause with a solo home run in the seventh inning. In the circle, Newman allowed four runs on seven hits with eight strikeouts and she worked around five walks. NORMAL, Ill. – The Drake University softball team rallied to defeat Illinois State, 7-4, in the nightcap of Friday’s Missouri Valley Conference doubleheader at Marian Kneer Softball Stadium. The two teams split the doubleheader as Illinois State (17-30, 9-12 MVC) edged Drake (26-23, 14-8 MVC), 1-0, in the first game. Illinois State squeaked out the opening game behind a third-inning, solo home run by Allison Spence off Newman. Live Stats Next Game: The teams will play the series finale Saturday at noon. Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

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