Api to be here: Back-up Blue ready for any scenario

The livewire Panthers dummy half is 18th man for the Blues in Townsville, which means he won't be available for the depleted Panthers in their quest to remain unbeaten on Friday night.

Panthers coach Ivan Cleary delivered Koroisau his selection news on Sunday morning before mapping out his own plan to fill seven vacant spots for the clash with Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval.

Cleary will likely turn to Mitch Kenny to replace Koroisau at hooker.

Warriors' comeback thwarted by Cowboys kick

The Warriors looked set to overcome a 22-6 half-time deficit when they struck the lead with 15 minutes to go, but a late try to Cowboys flyer Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow and a late Valentine Holmes field goal gave the hosts a 29-28 victory.

While Chanel Harris-Tavita skewed what would have been a match-clinching one-pointer for the New Zealand club, Brown traced their downfall back to the period in which Tevaga was off the park.

The Warriors have now gone down by a field goal twice this season having also lost 13-12 to the Sea Eagles in round five.

Former Kangaroo Timana Tahu calls for tougher action on social media racial abuse

The former Australian and NSW representative made the impassioned plea on the eve of the NRL’s Indigenous Round, which will celebrate First Nations people and raise further awareness about bridging health and employment gaps with non-Indigenous Australians.

Some of the NRL’s biggest names, including Latrell Mitchell, have called out abhorrent social media abuse in more recent times, which resulted in two men being arrested last month for online vilification of the Rabbitohs star.

NRL star Will Hopoate's offer to free brother from jail denied after charge over large-scale cocaine supply

Jamil Hopoate, who is an off-contract NRL player, was charged with large-scale commercial drug supply on Tuesday as part of an investigation into the alleged importation of cocaine with a street value of AU$154.2 million (NZ$165.6m).

Police allege Hopoate ran from police with an 8kg substance in his backpack, which he threw over a fence into a nearby backyard in Mascot.

The 26-year-old appeared via audiovisual link at Sydney’s Central Local Court on Wednesday and wiped away tears as his daughter waved to him through the court’s cameras.

Warriors want to stay in Australia for NRL season

The Warriors have been based in Australia since January and the club has had to decide whether to return to New Zealand now that the trans-Tasman travel bubble is open or fly in and fly out of Auckland for home games.

There are five Warriors home games on the NRL schedule starting with a 2 July clash against the St George Illawarra Dragons.

Captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was liaising between his teammates and team management to assess the options in front of them and he said they needed to take into account that some new players have never lived in Auckland before.

Cross-code Reds star Suliasi Vunivalu going to mediation over assault charge

The 25-year-old was charged with common assault over the incident on January 30.

He didn’t face Brisbane Magistrates Court on Monday when his case was mentioned for the second time.

But his lawyer Jonathan Ivanisevic said Vunivalu was about to be referred for justice mediation.

Now called adult restorative justice conferencing, the mediation process is a facilitated meeting between a person who caused harm and those most affected by it.

NRL's bold plan to split competition into two conferences as part of expansion push

The plans have the backing of one of the game’s most influential figures, with Wayne Bennett throwing his support behind the concept that would revolutionise the professional game.

NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo and chairman Peter V’landys have met with several clubs over the past fortnight to outline the long-term vision for the game in regards to expansion and how they can maximise future broadcast rights deals.

Kiwi-born NRL ref Henry Perenara retires with a heart condition

Perenara, who played one test for the Kiwis in 2001, has been an NRL referee since 2011, after playing 72 first grade matches in the NRL for five clubs.

He is a cousin of All Blacks T J Perenara and Sonny Bill Williams.

Perenara has been diagnosed with supraventricular tachycardia, an abnormally fast heartbeat that causes shortness of breath, dizziness sweating or fainting, The Daily Telegraph reported.

He almost collapsed at training a week ago, Perenara told the newspaper. At times his heart raced to about 230 beats per minute.

Kotoni Staggs investigated by NRL over alleged drunken incident

The NRL boss has drawn a line in the sand after it emerged the Brisbane centre was allegedly involved in an off-field incident over the Easter long weekend, sources told the Sydney Morning Herald.

The NRL launched an investigation after a woman contacted the governing body to complain about Staggs, accusing him of making unwanted advances to her while intoxicated. No police charges have been laid.

Unbeaten Panthers keep the winning bug over Knights to stay top of NRL

In a high-quality game on Thursday night where Kalyn Ponga was dangerous as ever for Newcastle, Penrith's young guns Jarome Luai and Nathan Cleary still had the last laugh.

James Fisher-Harris was also immense in the middle for the Panthers, who have still only conceded two tries in the second half of games this year.

With the score stuck at 10-6 for what felt like an age after the break, Penrith looked in danger of dropping their first game of the year in round seven.

But in the big moments, Penrith just keep stepping up and winning.