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Junior Rugby League News MAY '07 SPEEDING : It's hard to impress a dead mate
Thursday 29 th May '07
Queensland State of Origin Hero Kevin Walters and the Queensland University squad members

Davies Park, West End
3pm Saturday, March 31

A BAND of Queensland academics had their proudest moment on Wednesday night, when they met with a man widely known as ‘Boxhead’.

Ahead of the first senior interstate rugby league match of 2007, members of the Queensland Universities team were presented their jerseys by former State of Origin legend Steve Walters over an informal barbeque.

Set to tackle New South Wales Universities at Davies Park, West End this Saturday at 3pm, the players will fight for Australian selection and the chance to tour Great Britain. Entry to the match is free.

Aside from being very capable group of footballers, the Queensland team includes a colourful assortment of budding engineering, teaching, accounting and marketing students. There’s even a nurse.

Previously the Universities team provided a springboard for those such as Nick Kenny (Brisbane Broncos) and Jordan Atkins (Gold Coast Titans), hoping to realise an NRL dream.

Among the most well-credentialled players this year is Liam Capewell, a Queensland Under 19 Maroons representative in 2006.

Originally from Charleville but now with the Burleigh Bears, Capewell scored three tries in FOGS Cup last weekend.

QLD Uni's RLAdding to his diverse background, he has represented Queensland in polocrosse and is now studying a Bachelor of Physical Education at the University of Southern Queensland.

Other well-known members of the team include Central Comets Queensland Wizard Cup players Kane Hardy and Dallas Williams.

Exemplifying the quality on show, half Paul Stanley has been a late withdrawal after being called up to play for Souths Logan against reigning State League champion Redcliffe on Sunday.

His replacement is Adam Lennon of Tugun, an education student at Griffith University.

The team will remain in camp at Griffith University, Mount Gravatt until Saturday’s game. Playing numbers to be finalised tonight.
Queensland University Rugy League logo2007 NSW Tertiary Representative side trials.QLD UNIVERSITIES V NSW UNIVERSITIES
Davies Park, West End
3pm Saturday, March 31
APPO, Rhys Southern Cross (Nursing) Lismore Marist

1. Jamen McCleod
2. Anthony Barnett
3. Phil Thurgood
4. Brent Pilgram
5. Yoni Charlupski
6. Blake Johnston
7. Gavin Duncan
8. Rob Harb
9. Daniel Smith
10. Bernie Zachulski
11. Kyle Myers
12. Clint Lovering
13. Troy Woodley

14. George Toubia
15. Lucas Duncombe
16. Jack Ducat
17. Rohan Kain
18. Joe Naddef

Coach: Matt Sharman

BELDHAM, Shane QUT (Advertising) Griffith Dragons
CAPEWELL, Liam USQ (Physical Education) Burleigh Bears
CASEY, Shaun Griffith (Accounting) Tugun Seahawks
CRAWLEY, Jonathan JCU (Physiotherapy) Charters Towers Miners
DAVISON, Shaun Southern Cross (Education) Grafton Ghosts
EXINTARIS, Daniel USQ (Engineering Tech) Western Districts Panthers
GRAY, Cody Griffith (Business) Wynnum Manly Seagulls
HABBEN, Rod TAFE (Horticulture) USQ Ironbarks
HARDY, Kane TAFE (Electrical Tech) Central Comets
JANNUSCH, Milton Griffith (Sports Mgmt) Easts Tigers
LENNON, Adam Griffith (Education) Tugun Seahawks
MacCOLL, Chris Griffith (Marketing) Burleigh Bears
MacGOUGAN, Jack TAFE (Electrical Tech) Burleigh Bears
McFARLANE, Rod Sthn Cross (Indig. Studies) Southern Cross
SPEARS, Brett Sthn Cross (Physical Ed) Tweed Heads Seagulls
WEBSTER, Pat ACU (Education) Griffith Dragons
WILLIAMS, Dallas CQU (Human Movements) Central Comets
For keeps ... Murray says Thurston should stay at No.7. Pic: ReutersMURRAY BACKS HOT THURSTON

JOHNATHAN Thurston's form is so hot he must be selected as Australia halfback, regardless of Andrew Johns's availability, according to New South Wales coach Graham Murray.

Murray, who will guide Johns should he make an Origin comeback, yesterday said Thurston's outstanding start to the season should ensure he keeps the Kangaroos' No.7 jersey.

As Queensland officials reiterated their belief Newcastle halfback Johns must make himself available for next month's Anzac Test against New Zealand if he presses ahead with plans for an Origin comeback, Murray went into bat for his North Queensland captain.

The Coowboys coach pointed out Johns would face a significant battle reclaiming the Auustralia halfback spot from incumbent Thurston, who has been in scintillating form for the Cowboys.

"I'm not a selector but Johnathan Thurston is going very well at the moment," Murray said.

"He can't play any better. He's the Australia halfback from last year and I reckon, on form, he'll be the Australian halfback this year."
Wednesday 28 th March '07
Former Australia international half-back Trent Barrett led Wigan to a third straight Super League win as the Warriors beat Hull 30-20 at the KC Stadium.

Barrett struggled initially on his introduction to the English game but has steadily improved and was simply sensational against last season's Grand Finalists.

Barrett scored two of Wigan's five tries, set up another for fellow Aussie Pat Richards and is starting to look one of the shrewder recent Super League imports from Down Under.

Hull came into the contest on the back of a morale-boosting win over champions St Helens on this ground last Saturday, but were completely outclassed once the Warriors found their stride.

The opening quarter was a reasonably even contest as both sides came up with a series of mistakes.

Wigan coach Brian Noble is predicting a big future for Trent Barrett after the Australian Test stand-off starred in the Warriors' 30-20 win at Hull.

After a slow start to his Super League career, the 29-year-old looks to be really hitting his straps and Noble is looking forward to plenty more from the Aussie.

"Trent's had touches in most games when he's been playing and he's a good bloke as well as a good player, and he's going to be big for our team," Noble said. "That was part and parcel of what we've been trying to build as a team performance."

As for the team's overall display in an impressive performance at the KC Stadium, Noble added: "I thought we showed some tough parts of our game tonight.

"We knew that they were a team that had found their form and were going to be fiery at home and we talked about matching them in the enthusiasm department, which we did.

"The team's been growing as well and I think we saw a bit more fluidity from us with the ball."
Bundaburg District Junior Rugby League
OUT FOR 5 YEARS BUNDABERG Rugby League has thrown the book at under-17 representative coach Jason Templeman, banning him from coaching or officiating until 2012.
Monday 27 th March '07

THE Australian Rugby League will officially launch the 2007 Representative season tomorrow at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.

With the Bundaberg Test between Australia and New Zealand only weeks away and two Harvey Norman State of Origin matches already sold-out, anticipation is high for this year’s representative fixtures.

In attendance tomorrow will be Australian coach Ricky Stuart and captain Darren Lockyer, while Sonny Bill Williams will join New Zealand national coach Brian McClennan on behalf of the Kiwis.

NSW Wizard Blues coach Graham Murray and captain Danny Buderus will also be present, with Mal Meninga and Petero Civoniceva appearing on behalf of the Queensland XXXX Maroons.

Queensland’s two State of Origin fixtures at Suncorp Stadium sold out within hours of going on sale last week. Tomorrow, NSW fans will get their chance to snare tickets to Game II at Sydney’s Telstra Stadium, with tickets available to NRL club season ticket holders. Tickets go on sale to the general public this Thursday 29th March via Ticketek.

ARL Representative Season launch Tuesday 27th March, 2007
Where: Paddington Room, Suncorp Stadium
When: 12pm
Who: Colin Love (Chairman, ARL)
Geoff Carr (CEO, ARL)
David Gallop (CEO, National Rugby League)
Darren Lockyer, Ricky Stuart (Australian Kangaroos)
Sonny Bill Williams, Brian McClennan (New Zealand Kiwis)
Danny Buderus, Graham Murray (NSW Wizard Blues)
Petero Civoniceva, Mal Meninga (Queensland XXXX Maroons)

When the new Gold Coast franchise was awarded a licence into the NRL for this season, the first player targeted was Preston Campbell, and last night the diminutive local hero repaid the Titans' faith by snatching a historic victory over Cronulla before a capacity home crowd.

Campbell scored a 75th-minute try to level the scores at 16-16 and then converted from out wide, matchwinning deeds that sparked jubilant scenes at the siren, with club founders Michael Searle and Paul Broughton racing on to the field to embrace coach John Cartwright as Queen's We Are the Champions roared over loudspeakers to the 17,946 fans who had packed Carrara Stadium.

It was a fitting result for the only survivor of the previous Gold Coast Chargers incarnation that was wound up at the end of the 1998 season as part of the Super League peace deal between the ARL and News Ltd.

Afterwards, Campbell recalled the club's final premiership match at Carrara. "It was against the Sharks and we lost that game by two points," Campbell said. "Now we've won our first game at home against the Sharks by two. The crowd that night wasn't too bad, there was about 3000 or 4000, so to have nearly 18,000 fans here tonight was awesome.. Learn More
Sunday 25 th March '07
Israel Falou & Mitchell Pearce australian schoolboys 2006 (Photo & ani : ourfooty media)SCHOOLBOYS RUN RIOT IN ROUND 2

Melbourne Storm's Israel Falou run in two trys for his team getting the points against the Raiders on Saturday night, and he also crossed the line last week with a strong try against WestsTigers last week in round 1.

The Roosters Mitchell Pearce faced none other that the Australian Half back Johnnathan Thurston in his debut NRL match in Townsville.

Young Mitchell took his opportunities in the match, skillfully using his pin point kicking time and time again to get the Roosters going forward and out of the danger zone.

On Friday night Chase Stanley score a good try with his very first touch of the football in his NRL debut.
Unfortunately the Dragons were not good enough and went down to a Joey-less Newcastle Knights.

Also on Friday night the Panthers own speedster Michael Jennings scored a try on debut as his team chewed through the Doggies 40 - 10.

Cameron White, Shannon Walker, Wil Matthews and Chris Sandow were running around for their Titans feeders clubs in Brisbane and the Gold Coast this weekend.

Easts Colts captain Luke Capewell once again used his magic boot to help keep his team in the game by kicking 5 goals and the tigers coming up just short and the final whistle going down to the Ipswitch Jet 36 - 30

Liam Foran & Jay Aston scored 1 try each and Foran kicked 6 goals in Norths big win against the Wynnum Manly SeaGulls 42 - 22 in another fast high scoring game.
Mackay District Secondary School Rugby LeagueCLASH OF THE GIANTS
Mackay daily mercury
TRADITIONAL Mackay rugby league powerhouse St Patrick’s College is destined for a round one date with emerging giants Mackay State High in the inaugural Super 8 series.

The competition, to begin on May 2, involves the best eight North Queensland open schoolboy sides and acts as a crucial stage of the 2007 Arrive Alive Cup with the top four sides advancing to the next round.

And St Patricks' glowing image as Mackay's premier rugby league school is about to be tested by a growing force in the game.

St Patricks’ rugby league co-ordinator Kevin Blakey, who manages his school’s open side, said the looming round one encounter with Mackay State High (MSHS) could be a thrilling contest.

"We'll still be a force to be reckoned with but Milton Street have got a crackerjack side," he said.. Learn More
Greg Inglis played a key role for the Storm in their 32-16 win over the Raiders  (Getty Images)STORM OUTGUN PLUCKY RAIDERS

Melbourne's class across the park eventually told as they kicked clear of a gutsy Raiders outfit to win their round two National Rugby League (NRL) encounter at Canberra Stadium tonight 32-16.

The Storm were fortunate to head into the half-time break with a 14-10 lead after being outplayed for the majority of the half by a Raiders side lacking superstars but playing with plenty of purpose.

After trading tries following the half-time break the home side clawed back to be down 20-16 in the 55th minute, but the Storm ran away with the match in the final 20 minutes, scoring two tries through young winger Israel Folau while shutting out the Canberra attack.

Storm prop Brett White scored his second try of the match in the 45th minute to extend the margin to 20-10 with Cameron Smith's conversion, before Colin Best strolled over on the right wing for Canberra to get within four points.

But it was as close as Neil Henry's men would get as the Storm big guns stood up, five-eighth Greg Inglis warming to his new position and the outside backs performing with aplomb.
First half

The Raiders had arguably the better of the first half but a try in the final minute to White ensured last year's runners-up went into the break in front after falling behind 10-4 in the 25th minute.

Todd Carney opened the scoring for the Raiders in the 12th minute, the pivot beating three Storm defenders to score with a jinking run from 10 metres out that gave his side an early 6-0 lead.

But Melbourne struck back seven minutes later when Raiders full-back William Zillman allowed an Inglis bomb to bounce only to see it fall into the hands of Matt Geyer to hand him one of the easiest tries of his career.

Phil Graham then chased down a kick on the left wing to put the Raiders out by six points before the Storm had the final say of the half through White.
Related Stories: Depleted Sea Eagles hold off Tigers
Jonathan Thurston scores for the Cowboys. / News Limited pictureDOMINANT THURSTON LEADS COWBOYS PAST ROOSTERS

A brilliant all-round display from North Queensland half-back Johnathan Thurston propelled his side to a massive 43-6 win over the Roosters in their round two National Rugby League (NRL) encounter in Townsville on Saturday night.

Thurston scored two tries, set up two more and landed six goals from as many attempts as the Cowboys ran in seven tries to one in front of a capacity home crowd to keep the Roosters winless after two starts.

The home side shot out of the blocks early, piling on three tries inside 20 minutes to lead 18-6 at half-time before going on with the job in the second period.

Winger Brenton Bowen had a double by the ninth minute and Thurston scored a superb individual try in the 19th minute to have the Roosters on the ropes early.

Both of Bowen's tries were engineered by veteran five-eighth Jason Smith, who delivered a perfectly-weighted crossfield chip into the right corner to set up the first and seven minutes later started a movement down the right wing that was finished by Bowen with a superb cut-out pass.

The Roosters struck back nine minutes from the half-time siren with a four-pointer to Lopini Paea but were held scoreless in the second half as the Cowboys defence muscled up while the attack ran roughshod.

Matt Bowen joined his cousin with a double in the second half, the second of which was a typically flashy effort in the final two minutes where he fumbled the ball, kicked it on the way down to the ground and beat the Roosters defence to touch down over the tryline.

Second-rower Luke O'Donnell also bagged a four-pointer and the match was finished with a field goal to hooker Aaron Payne seconds before the final siren.

Storm outgun plucky Raiders
Depleted Sea Eagles hold off Tigers


ABC Sport logo ABC Sport logo NRL INTERVIEWS: Braith Anasta, Aaron Payne & Johnathan Thurston
Grandstand spoke to Braith Anasta, Aaron Payne and Johnathan Thurston after the Cowboys' 43-6 victory over the Roosters on Saturday night. [RealMedia 28k+] [WinMedia 28k+] [MP3]
Saturday 24 th March '07

The St George Bank Dragons have tonight gone down 16-12 in a tight contest held at OKI Jubilee Stadium in front of 12,326 fans.

The Dragons were forced to make a couple of changes prior to the match with Matt Cooper (calf) and Adam Peek (neck) were forced to withdraw. Chase Stanley and Lagi Setu were both brought into the side to make their NRL Debut, which gives the Dragons six debutants in the first two rounds of the season.

Coach Nathan Brown was impressed with his sides effort but worried about his troops options at different stages throughout the match.

“Our effort was great, it was pleasing to see us create a number of different opportunities throughout the match.

“We didn’t take our chances at all, we got given them but our options that we took at times were something we will need to look at,” Brown said.

Captain Ben Hornby echoed his coaches comments.

“It was a great effort but I feel it was our senior blokes who made a couple of mistakes at crucial stages.

“We did some good things but our selection of plays at times is what we need to look at,” stated Hornby.

MACKAY State High School students were among the most impressive performers on the rugby league paddock at the Capricornia Secondary Schools Trials yesterday.

Eight of the school’s top athletes, including future stars Pat O’Hanlon, Ian Read and Leon Curry, were selected to represent the region at the State Secondary Schools Titles in May.

Mackay State High’s Don Saunders, who is the head coach of the school’s Rugby League Academy, said the strong presence of his students at the trials proved the academy and its students were making good progress since its foundation in 2004.

“I think it (the trial performance) is an indication that we’re heading in the right direction,” he said.
Friday 23 rd March '07

Rising star ... Mitchell Pearce trains with the Roosters yesterday and (inset) aged four with proud dad Wayne. / The Daily TelegraphANASTA-PEARCE NEW PAIRING

BRAITH Anasta's transition to lock has been put on hold with the former NSW State of Origin five-eighth returned to pivot for the Sydney Roosters in Saturday's NRL match against North Queensland.

A broken big toe to halfback Josh Lewis forced Roosters coach Chris Anderson into a reshuffle for the Dairy Farmers Stadium match.

Mitch Aubusson has been relegated from No.6 to the bench and Mitchell Pearce is the new halfback.

Test forward Anthony Tupou drops back from the second row to lock while ex-Bulldog Nate Myles comes into the run-on side in the back row. MORE Mitchell PEARCE STORIES

MATT King writes: It was near impossible not to get swept up in the drugs-in-sport saga this week.
Even in the Melbourne Storm gym, talk about Ben Cousins being indefinitely suspended was the most prominent topic of conversation, with players and officials eager to learn more about developments.

It's hard to imagine an athlete being so competitive and at the top of their game while abusing illicit substances.

I'm not specifically talking about Cousins, but any athlete.

You're kidding yourself if you think you can perform at the level needed and take so-called recreational drugs at the same time.

It's a deadly game of Russian roulette that is affecting society in general. And like most things, it's a minority that is giving the majority a bad name.

I can absolutely guarantee there is no such problem at the Storm. In the past two years, I have been drug-tested four times, once in the most recent pre-season.

It's a daunting prospect, especially for the younger guys, and very much an invasion of privacy. But at the same time it's a necessary evil.

They arrive unannounced and test at random. If your number's drawn, you can expect to be scrutinised closely until you can provide a sample.

The testing can happen any time and at any place, and it's the last thing you feel like doing after going flat-out on a football field for 80 minutes.

If the threat of suffering permanent brain damage, or worse, isn't a big enough deterrent, the prospect of losing your livelihood by being thrown out of the game should be.

It's been disappointing to hear some people using the pressure to maintain skin-fold levels as a reason to pop pills.

That's a myth. There is simply no excuse for it.

However, I don't see it as a massive issue among athletes.

Like I said, it seems to be a minority that is doing the wrong thing, and education remains the key.

There needs to be more of it because prevention is the best cure.

On a happier note, it's going to be great to line up against my good mate Glen Turner in tomorrow night's game in Canberra.

Turner was the ultimate clubman here at the Storm, but unfortunately for him injury cruelled his time in Melbourne.

I only hope he has better luck with the Raiders this year.
Thursday 22 nd March '07

Rugby league players will talk road safety to high school students under a Iemma Government program to reduce the road toll amongst young drivers called Challenging Attitudes to Risk (C.A.R.) – Arrive alive.

In addition the Iemma Government will sponsor for another three years the Schoolboy rugby league competition’s Arrive alive cup, said Minister for Tourism and Sport and Recreation, Sandra Nori at the Sydney Football Stadium today.

Three teams – Newcastle, Penrith and Manly – will be added to the Arrive alive program for the first time, joining the St George Illawarra Dragons and Wests Tigers, said Ms Nori.

Ms Nori also welcomed the announcement that NRL players will visit local schools and talk to students in Years 10, 11 and 12 to encourage safer driving and the consequences of risk taking. Sessions last about 50 minutes but are flexible to suit each school's timetable.

“Teenage road users are over-represented in road trauma data,” said Ms Nori.

“Young male drivers are more likely to suffer catastrophic injury.

“Each year around 125 people suffer catastrophic injuries in motor vehicle accidents– suffering quadriplegia, traumatic brain injury.

“More than half are less than 25 years old at the time of injury,” said Ms Nori.

“Arrive alive aims to reduce that terrible toll,” she said.

“The Iemma Government is working with rugby league teams to take the safe driving message to our schools.

“It is a program that relies on the support of rugby league teams and the hard work of people delivering services in our public sector.

“The Arrive alive program is another example of the services Peter Debnam would cut.

“You can’t cut 20,000 people out of the workforce without cutting a service like Arrive alive,” she said.
Arrive alive signage will also feature at club home games.

The continued sponsorship of the schoolboy rugby league competition – the Arrive alive Cup – with 232 NSW secondary schools participating was also welcome news, said Ms Nori.

Last year Endeavour Sports High and Keebra Park State High School played in the final, with Endeavour Sports emerging the winner.

Ms Nori said the Arrive alive football teams and the Arrive alive Schoolboy cup were practical way of getting a safety message across to teenagers at risk.

“Families with teenage children appreciate the need to get the Arrive alive message out to school students, said Ms Nori.

“This is a service the Iemma Government is committed to continuing.”

Schools can book a session with rugby league players by going to www.arrivealive.com.au
Tuesday 20 th March '07
Nigel Vagana crosses the line for the Rabbitohs. Photo: Craig GoldingRABBITOHS BEAT ARCH-RIVALS

South Sydney's on-field package proved just as impressive as the one off it with the new look Rabbitohs beat arch-rivals Sydney Roosters 18-6 as Monday night football made a return to the NRL at a wet Aussie Stadium tonight.

Dubbed the new silvertails of the competition following several big-money off-season signings, the Rabbitohs were never headed, racing in three tries to one to totally outclass a Roosters side still on 999 top grade wins.

The new recruits all justified their hefty price-tags by playing key roles in the win, but just as vital was the effect they had on Joe Williams, Shannon Hegarty and Peter Cusack all showing the benefits of playing with some high class teammates.

Playing behind a dominant pack led by Roy Asotasi and David Kidwell, Williams finally showed signs of living up to the hype that greeted his introduction to the NRL three years ago.

His untested halves combination with Jeremy Smith was impressive as they played a leading role in all three of the Rabbitohs tries.

The Roosters played into the hands of the opposition with their controversial one-marker policy proving a dud, hooker Daniel Irvine and Hegarty making easy metres straight up the middle throughout the match.
Welcome to Tigerland, home to the Eastern Suburbs Tigers.FOGS COLTS CHALLENGE

The Tigers got their season off to a great start against the club that played in last years Grand Final, though hardly the same team.

Played in oppressive heat, the forwards were evenly matched but it was the talent in the Tigers backline that led them to victory.

Junior Vai vai showed great speed and footwork to bamboozle the defence while Junioe S also had a great day with strong running and great offloads putting the Wynnum defence in disarray.

The Tigers looked to have the game comfortably in hand at halftime but the Seagulls came storming back before the Tiger Cubs settled and closed out a solid win. TJ Graham was adjudged the PLayer of he Match for the Tigers but he had plenty of competition for the award.

Welcome to Tigerland, home to the Eastern Suburbs Tigers. 40 - 18 Wynnum Manly Seagulls
Tries: Taioala Vai Vai 3, Daniel Tanswell 2, Fautua Kilipati, Luke Capewell, Joseph Zinghini
Goals:Taioala Vai Vai, Luke Capewell 2
  Tries: Vincent Silulu, Sam Moli, Jake Granville, Mitchell Dodds, Ryan Fox
Goals: Brendon O Neil 2, Ben Cronin
UNDER 22 (Albert Bishop Shield) Easts Juniors 34 defeated Sandgate 22
Monday 19 th March '07
So close ... the Titans fell just short of victory in their inaugural NRL match.  (Getty Images)TITANS FALL SHORT IN SEASON OPENER

New franchise Gold Coast Titans narrowly lost their first ever National Rugby League (NRL) match on Sunday afternoon, going down 20-18 to St George Illawarra at Lang Park.

With scores locked 6-6 after 40 minutes, the Dragons took the match away from the Titans with two tries inside 15 minutes after the break to open up a 20-6 advantage.

Titans co-captain Luke Bailey said he thought the Titans had plenty of chances to post a win over his former club, and lamented numerous opportunities to snatch victory late in the match.

"We were our own worst enemies, it's round one you know we've got a lot to learn and we're very, very disappointed," Bailey said.

"We had a chance to put them away a few times I think, but you can't do that when you [have] got the likes of Matty Cooper, Wes Naiqama, Jason Ryles and we've learnt our lesson but overall [it was] very disappointing."

After a penalty goal to Wes Naiqama in the 45th minute gave them the lead, the Dragons extended the margin with Richard Williams' second try and a four-pointer to Keith Lulia.

Central Comets lock Tyron Haynes will line up for the team in their opening clash against Souths Logans Magpies.TYRON STEPS UP AS SENIOR PLAYER
17.03 CENTRAL Comets lock Tyron Haynes means business in 2007, predicting his team will be a force come September.

At just 20, Haynes will carry more responsibility on his shoulders this season as one of the senior players in the side.

He has recovered from an ankle injury in the pre-season and will line-up for the Comets in their opening round Queensland Wizard Cup clash against Souths Logan in Brisbane today, sporting a jersey he hasn’t worn for a couple of seasons.


19 Mar07 TITANS coach John Cartwright said his troops only had themselves to blame after a golden chance to win on debut literally slipped through their hands against St George Illawarra at Suncorp Stadium yesterday.

In front of a bumper pro-Titans crowd of 42,030, the NRL newcomers were left to rue several missed opportunities as the Dragons converted almost all of their chances into points on the way to registering a thrilling 20-18 victory.

As well as errors at pivotal moments, referee Shayne Hayne also entered the equation, gifting the Dragons two points with the scores locked at 6-all by penalising Chris Walker for an incorrect play-the-ball and denying a likely try to Luke Bailey for a forward pass inside the final 15 minutes.

The penalty against Walker started a 10-minute onslaught from the Dragons, who kicked clear to take control of the game at 20-6 before the Titans made a gallant late comeback to no avail.

But Cartwright said the Titans didn't need to look outside their dejected dressing sheds for excuses as the Dragons spoiled the party on an historic day for the Gold Coast.

"I suppose there were sections of the game where we were probably unlucky," said Cartwright.

"But I think where we were unlucky was normally preceded by one of our errors.

Sunday 18th March '07

In a near-perfect start to the 2007 NRL season the Sharks have shut-out the Penrith Panthers in recording a resounding 18-0 victory at Toyota Park.

On difficult night for free-flowing football, with the southerly blowing and the rain falling, the Sharks turned on a tremendous defensive performance, shutting down the Panthers in a performance which pleased new coach Ricky Stuart.

It was the first time the Sharks had kept a team scoreless since round 23 of the 1999 season, when they defeated the Wests Tigers by 46-0.

“It’s only the first game but I was very happy with the performance,” Sharks coach Ricky Stuart said. “We did a lot of the little things right, the things we’ve practiced.

“We’ve had our knockers in the off-season. They were saying Kimmorley and Dykes can’t play together, we’ve lost however many games it is in a row, so this win was important to start to build our confidence.”

The match was something of an arm wrestle, with the conditions contributing to what was a defensive struggle. The Sharks defended grimly when it was required, limited their errors and controlled the ball and kicked intelligently with the wind at their backs.

In the first half there were very few genuine scoring opportunities, with the Sharks first points of the new season coming from a brilliantly worked set play from a scrum.

More News By : Brisbane Courier Mail - SHARKS FIND THEIR TEETH

ABC Sport logo ABC Sport logoGrandstand caught up with Cronulla lock Greg Bird after the Sharks downed Penrith 18-0 in the opening round of the NRL. [WinMedia 28k+][RealMedia 28k+][MP3] (18/03/2007)

The 2007 Telstra Premiership kicked off in style, with the Melbourne Storm running out eventual winners, 18-14, with both sides throwing everything at each other in front of 13,535 fans.

It was by no means a perfect performance by the 2006 minor premiers, leaving coach Craig Bellamy dissatisfied with all but ten minutes of his team's delivery.

The Storm didn't touch the ball for the first eight minutes of the match and off the back of a penalty and sharp in-goal kick, the Tigers had all the early running.

After targeting the wing of debutant Israel Folau, Wests spread the ball to the opposite wing and Jason Moodie, out of retirement, opened the scoring.

Marhsall converted from the sideline and anyone predicting an easy night for the home team were quickly silenced.


The Sea Eagles started the season in style with a resounding 32 points to 6 victory over the Canberra Raiders at Brookvale Oval.

Both teams struggled early in the challenging conditions. A wet surface and a strong southerly wind resulted in numerous handling errors and neither team successfully applied any pressure in the opening exchanges.

Manly lost Steve Matai 12 minutes in with an ankle injury that initially looked very worrying, however after receiving some on field treatment he was able to walk off with the assistance of the trainers. A quick reshuffle saw Lyon go to left centre and Travis Burns take up his old role at 5/8.

A break by Glenn Stewart gave the Sea Eagles some attacking momentum in the 25th minute. From the following play captain Matt Orford saw the fullback was missing and put a kick downfield. Brett Stewart took off after the ball and he looked all set to score however a cover defender halted his charge. The ball came loose and Michael Robertson found himself in the perfect position to score the Sea Eagles’ opening try of the season. Orford was unable to convert from the sideline.

Manly’s second try came from another piece of Matt Orford brilliance. A perfect kick from the halfback popped up for Luke Williamson who led the charge for the line. Williamson grounded the ball and after going to the video ref was awarded the try. Orford was unable to convert.

ABC Sport logoABC Sport logoGrandstand spoke with Matt Orford, Alan Tongue and Jamie Lyon after Manly thrashed Canberra 32-6 in the first round of the NRL at Brookvale Oval. [MP3][RealMedia 28k+][WinMedia 28k+] (18/03/2007)
Saturday 17th March '07
Greg Inglis is wrapped upSTORM EDGE OUT WESTSTIGERS

Melbourne opened their NRL season with a tense 18-16 victory over the Wests Tigers at Olympic Park tonight.

Last year's minor premiers the Storm prevailed in an entertaining encounter in front of 13,535 fans, with both sides scoring three tries in a superb start to the NRL season.

While the Storm were the better side, they didn't have the match all their own way as the Tigers put a disappointing premiership defence in 2006 behind them with some outstanding defence which kept them in the game.

The Storm, led by skipper Cameron Smith, lock Dallas Johnson and man-of-the-match Cooper Cronk, controlled the match after an indecisive opening 10 minutes where the Tigers skipped out to an early lead with a try to winger Jason Moodie.

Storm second rowers Jeremy Smith and Ryan Hoffman crossed for two tries midway through the opening 40 minutes, hooker Cameron Smith converting both efforts.

The Storm virtually handed the visitor's their second try three minutes from the break, conceding three successive penalties in attack for incorrect play the ball - referee Sean Hampstead showing the officials would be cracking down on the attacking indiscretion in 2007.

Friday 16 th March '07
Next big thing: Israel Falou trains at Princes Park yesterday. (photos ourfooty media & michael klien) ani oft mediaSTORM'S TEEN SENSATION

Melbourne Storm's new sensation Israel Folau will make his National Rugby League debut against the Wests Tigers on Friday night but there was disappointment for Cameron Smith, who will have to wait before he can claim the team captaincy by himself.

In the lead-up to the season opener at Olympic Park, Storm coach Craig Bellamy yesterday announced that he had decided to continue rotating the captaincy, a system that had proved successful last season.

Smith has been mentioned as a future captain and the rotational system was introduced last season partly to give him more time to develop his off-field leadership.. Learn More

Fired up ... Sharks playmaker Brett Kimmorley is determined to end the club's losing streak. / The Daily TelegraphCRONULLA SICK OF LOSING

ANXIOUS Cronulla players are ready to end a seven-month nightmare this weekend, determined to avenge the capitulation of 2006.

The Sharks play Penrith tomorrow night at Toyota Park where Penrith won last season in bizarre circumstances.

Cronulla led Penrith 28-8 with just 17 minutes remaining and lost.

The Panthers scored four late and unanswered tries to snatch a remarkable 32-28 victory in front of a stunned Sharks home crowd.

The loss, part of a 10-game losing streak , all but ended Cronulla's finals hopes and was another step toward the sacking of coach Stuart Raper.

"We had lost a fair few games in a row at that point and we thought (at 28-8) we were going to win comfortably," said Sharks halfback Brett Kimmorley.

"But Penrith went bang, bang, bang and we couldn't stop it. Our confidence at that stage of the season was pretty shattered. We panicked a bit and wondered how we were going to stop them.

"We were gutted when we came off.".. Learn More
LUKE Loos's decision to form a breakaway rugby league club from Minto Cobras in 1982 was not made lightly, nor was it popular.

Looking beyond the politics, Loos and his mates simply believed the Eagle Vale and St Andrews area was large enough to support its own club.

And they were willing to put in the work to prove the point.

Current president Craig Hutchen said people like Mal Hooks, Ross O'Neil and Tony Austin spent hours raffling vegies from a wheelbarrow to get the club up and running.

Twenty five years on, the foresight of those few people courageous enough to back their beliefs has been justified.

Eagle Vale/St Andrews Rugby League Club celebrates its silver anniversary this year and has a new strip to mark the occasion.

Eagle Vale/St Andrews teams have won 67 premierships and 11 club championships in the past 25 years.

The board is a parade of former and current NRL first graders including Matt Fuller, Robbie Mears, Reece Simmonds, Adrian Rainey, Daniel Heckenburg, Bryce Gibbs, Frank Pritchard, Eric Grothe Jr, Chris Lawrence and Brett Hodgson.

The season gets under way on April 21 and Eagle Vale/St Andrews are keen for another club championship and perhaps a few premierships to mark their silver year.

"Everyone is very excited," Hutchen said of the new season.

The oldest and craftiest five-eighth in the game, Jason Smith, believes that in three years, Greg Inglis will have succeeded Darren Lockyer as Australian five-eighth and begun duelling for international supremacy with New Zealand's Benji Marshall.

Tonight, all four No.6s will play when the NRL season kicks off: Smith for North Queensland against Brisbane's Lockyer at Suncorp Stadium and Marshall for Wests Tigers against Melbourne's Inglis at Olympic Park.

It's the young versus the even younger on one hand, with Marshall, 22, and Inglis, 20, and the old versus the positively ancient, in football terms at least, on the other, with Lockyer, who turns 30 tomorrow week, and Smith, who turned 35 on Thursday.

Smith, in that trademark croaky voice of his, said his kids gave him some gardening tools for his birthday, but don't be fooled by that. They weren't trying to tell him that his days might be better spent planting azaleas. "We've bought a 50-acre property in northern NSW and we're in the process of building a house there," Smith said. "The kids got me a pick and a shovel and they'll get plenty of use."
Thursday 15 th March '07
Bring it on ... Knights rookie Terence Seu Seu wants the Bulldogs pack to take him on. / The Daily TelegraphRUN@ME SAYS ROOKIE

FEARLESS Newcastle rookie Terence Seu Seu yesterday urged the big name Bulldogs pack to target him on Sunday, declaring: "I want big Willie to run at me straight up".

The teenage hooker will make his top grade debut in the absence of the suspended Danny Buderus at EnergyAustralia Stadium and faces a tough initiation against one of the premiership's most feared forward packs.

He is highly respectful of the Bulldogs but rather than be overawed, 19-year-old Seu Seu says he can't wait to test himself against the best in the business.

"Along with the Broncos, they probably have the best pack in the competition," he said. "They are big and strong and really aggressive and I know they are going to target me being new to the team.

"I'm not the biggest player around but it doesn't worry me. I'm looking forward to their big names running at me.

"You should always want to test yourself against the best around. It will give me a good idea of where I am at.".. Learn More
BUCKING Bronco . . . Joel Moon gets set to take on the Cowboys in the centres wearing jersey No. 4.YOUNG GUN OVER THE MOON

YOUNG star Joel Moon was presented with the No. 4 jersey last night in a shock Broncos selection at the Old Boys jersey presentation at Red Hill.
The 18-year-old Sunshine Coast school leaver was able to rub shoulders with greats of the game such as Alfie Langer and Shane Webcke.

Old Boys president Mark Hohn handed Moon the No. 4 jersey worn last year by Test centre Justin Hodges who has been moved to fullback. Test fullback Karmichael Hunt switches to halfback in a surprise move by coach Wayne Bennett.

Caloundra product Moon knocked back a Melbourne Storm offer to play at five-eighth to accept the challenge with the Broncos.

He gets his chance to repay Bennett's faith in him on Friday night when the Broncos take on the Cowboys at Suncorp Stadium.

Wednesday 14 th March '07

STAR Titans recruit Mat Rogers can't believe how many miles he's covered to get a shot at the centres in rugby league and says his dear departed dad Steve would be so proud.

Rogers left Cronulla for rugby union to get closer to the ball and after his deeds with the Waratahs and Wallabies, he's won a centre spot for the Gold Coast's return to the National Rugby League.

"It's been a long time coming," he said yesterday after the Titans side to play St George Illawarra at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday was announced.

"I was trying to get (then Cronulla coach) John Lang to do it about 10 years ago and it never happened, so I've finally got there. I've got the No.3 on my back."

While Rogers' fiancee Chloe Maxwell will be there to cheer her partner on, his return to the Coast will also be tinged with sadness with his dad Steve not having lived to see his son run out in the centres with the Titans.

Rogers though knows Steve will be there in spirit.


TEVIN Waerea was racing flat out on the touch footy paddock before his season was brought to a shuddering halt last year.

"I ran too hard, fell over and ended up head-butting someone," he said.

"My teeth got knocked up into my gums."

He missed a full season of junior rugby league after incurring the injury but now the fleet-footed youngster is on the comeback trail.

The talented under 13 fullback was playing alongside his Wests team-mates during the first round of the new season on Saturday.

And while Waerea's spent plenty of time playing touch, it's on a rugby league field where he prefers to be.

"I love knocking people around and I love getting knocked around myself," he said.

It's this rough and ready attitude which provides the Tigers flyer with an edge against his opponents.

And although he's only been playing footy for two years he is being touted as an emerging star.

Small in stature and light on his feet, Waerea's got the ability to beat the first tackle on most occasions.

"He's a real talent," coach Chris Fry said as Waerea snapped up a looping bomb on the full before charging back into the fray.

"He's got real good hands, good co-ordination and can read a play really well," Fry said.

"He didn't play last year because he busted himself up but he’s come back this year and is looking good."

Based at Glenden, Waerea doesn’t miss a training session and is always looking for the ball while his side is on the attack.

"It's fun to play at fullback because there's plenty of different ways to run,” he said before Saturday’s game.

A big fan of NRL club Bulldogs and powerhouse forward Sonny Bill Williams, Waerea has ambitions to play State of Origin matches for Queensland.

Tuesday 13 th March '07

March 12th, 2007: Thuringowa Norths Devils Under 8s player Cooper Gross cops a face full of dirt after tackling an Upper Ross player in a junior rugby league pre-season game on Saturday, March 10 Picture: Natalie GrossUPPER ROSS RAMS ROCK ON IN '07

March 12th, 2007: Thuringowa Norths Devils Under 8s player Cooper Gross cops a face full of dirt after tackling an Upper Ross player in a junior rugby league pre-season game on Saturday, March 10 Picture: Natalie Gross

SWITCH ... Karmichael Hunt trains with the Broncos yesterday. Picture: Steve PohlnerHUNT IN SHOCK RESHUFFLE

WAYNE Bennett is poised to drop a selection bombshell with Test fullback Karmichael Hunt set to play halfback in Friday night's premiership opener against North Queensland.

In a shock reshuffle, Hunt is likely to be given the task of shutting down Cowboys skipper Johnathan Thurston, with grand final playmaker Shane Perry becoming the first major casualty of Brisbane's indifferent trial form and World Club Challenge loss.

To accommodate the positional switch, grand final fullback Justin Hodges is expected to revert to the No. 1 jumper after playing in the centres during both the WCC and Australia's successful Tri Nations campaign late last year.

Hunt spent yesterday's training session at Red Hill attacking alongside Lockyer at first receiver. He was responsible for generating fifth tackle options and defending outside hard-hitting lock Tonie Carroll in the front line during a simulated session in oppressive heat.. Learn More

Making a splash ... Newcastle Knights players take off on a Jet Buzz boat ride on Lake Macquarie yesterday. / The Daily TelegraphKNIGHTS ROOKIES STEP UP

SCOTTISH-born winger James McManus and teenage hooker Terence Seu Seu are set to be handed a baptism of fire by being named in the Newcastle Knights line-up for Sunday's season-opener against the Bulldogs.

The rookie duo are poised to be named in the Knights' starting side for the EnergyAustralia Stadium clash with coach Brian Smith convinced they will handle the big occasion in front of a home crowd. In a massive boost to the side, skipper Andrew Johns is certain to play barring a recurrence of a hamstring injury which has plagued him over the past three weeks.

McManus, 20, will be preferred to teenager Aku Uate on one wing with veteran Adam MacDougall likely to be named on the other with the centre pairing of Brad Tighe and George Carmont tipped to be Smith's preferred option.

Seu Seu, 19, a standout in the trials, will fill the hooking role in the absence of the suspended Danny Buderus.

Several Knights stars went jet-boating yesterday in the build-up to the game but Smith said it would be business as usual today as the side prepares for Sunday's clash.

Monday 12 th March '07

THE Raiders have lost Jason Smith, Simon Woolford, Clinton Schifcofske, Jason Croker, Adam Mogg and Michael Hodgson from the team that finished seventh last year - and replaced them with arguably the best young talent in the NRL.

Of Canberra's top 25-man squad, 12 are either former Australian Schoolboys representatives or Junior Kangaroos. All of the big names that have left are aged 30 or over - a category that only forwards Matt Bickerstaff and Scott Logan and utility Andrew Dunemann now fit.

Halves Michael Dobson and Marc Herbert are yet to play NRL but both are highly rated; Dobson is being chased by English clubs after starring in Super League last season, while Herbert was the captain of Canberra's 2005 SG Ball-winning under-17s team. Only one of them can partner five-eighth Todd Carney at the scrumbase, however.. Learn More
Sharks Harold Matthews Cup boys keeping warm (Photo : ourfooty media)PANTHERS BITE SHARKS

Harold Matt's Cup. On the day the Panthers were to big & strong for Cronulla in the heat at Shark Park. Panthers 30 - Sharks 18.
A CLASSIC Noel Goldthorpe field goal three minutes from fulltime secured Noosa back-to-back Wide Bay Club Challenge titles as it beat Kawana 11-10 on Sunday.
WHAT'S THE WORLD'S MOST HORRIBLE NOISE?WHAT'S THE WORLD'S MOST HORRIBLE NOISE? The screech of nails down a chalkboard may come to mind, but a major international study instead points the finger at the mournful wail of someone being ill.
Sunday 11 th March '07
   Laurie Daley Shield and Mal Meninga cup begin LAURIE DALEY SHIELD AND MAL MENINGA CUP BEGIN

Two of the Canberra regions most prestigious Rugby League schools competitions commenced today, with the beginning of the 2007 Mal Meninga Cup and Laurie Daley shield.

Both of these Primary School tournaments are in the seven a side format, with the Mal Meninga Cup aimed at years 3/4 and the Laurie Daley shield at years 5/6.

Friday's tournament saw schools from the Northern side of Canberra take part at Nicholls playing fields in Gungahlin, with around 18 teams in attendance.

The winners from each of these pools will now go on to compete in the finals day later in the semester, after the Southern Canberra Schools have their chance to qualify on March 20.

ARL and Canberra Raiders development officer Brad Donald said it was great to see so many schools getting involved with junior rugby league, and mentioned the quality of the competition so far.

“The children obviously love their rugby league so to see them all here enjoying them is a fantastic achievement for the schools and organisers within those schools,” Donald said.

“We have a huge year planned this year at Primary and Secondary school level, and if today’s turn out is anything to go by than it should be a strong year for rugby league in Canberra.”

THE Country Rugby League (CRL) yesterday gave a 12-month rubber stamp to a new competition featuring up to nine Aboriginal clubs after a successful meeting in Tamworth.

Under the deal the CRL will oversee the new competition on a trial basis this season in a satisfying outcome for both sides.

"The outcome of the meeting is that we agreed to affiliate the NSW Aboriginal Rugby League and Sporting Association and they will conduct a competition," CRL chief executive Terry Quinn said.

"They will sign a deed of agreement with the CRL on Monday and they will have to comply with the governance of the CRL, submit business plans and so on."

Quinn said the decision was good for rugby league because it allowed towns devoid of football for several years to field sides again, while also ensuring the CRL kept control of the game in the bush.

"It allows us to get rugby league back in the Barwon-Darling and Far West, which we've been trying to do for some time," Quinn said.

"It also means we keep control of all football in the country and there's no rebel league, which wouldn't be beneficial to anyone.

"It would be a hindrance if anything.".. Learn More

I ORGANISED an important meeting with Lote Tuqiri and his manager last week.

The problem was, Lote wasn't there.

He was at the beach. This was the moment I realised Lote was never serious about pulling on a Sharks jersey.

It was also the moment it struck me that this whole contract saga has been one big game.

I've always stated that if a player isn't genuinely interested in playing for my club, the Sharks, then it's simple: I'm not interested either.

I'm trying to build a culture here at the Sharks where players turn up every day wanting to perform for the club, their team-mates and the supporters.

The meeting was set up to determine Lote's true appeal in wanting to play for the Sharks.

I wanted to talk to Lote about wanting to play football under me and the club.

Deals weren't going to be discussed, this was simply about getting a gauge on a potential employee's passion for the job.. Learn More


Australian and Queensland Half Johnathan Thurston has been named team Captain for season 2007.

In front of nearly 700 corporate and invited guests Thurston was handed the club reins by outgoing skipper Travis Norton at the lavish event at the Townsville Entertainment centre yesterday afternoon.

The glittering event was hosted by media personality Darryl Brohman with special guest former World Number 1 Tennis Start Pat Rafter with the centre piece being the naming of the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys top squad to playing during NRL Season 2007.

23 Year old Thurston is the youngest ever regular season skipper during the club's 12-year history. Aaron Payne was name Vice-Captain.. Learn More

March 15-17 will be an uplifting time for many people when hundreds of thousands of Australians unite to shave or colour their hair in a bid to help raise funds for the Leukemia Foundation.

This is one of Australia’s biggest fundraising events with many celebrities jumping on board in an effort to help find a cure for this terrible disease and Roosters’ star Jamie Soward is one of them.

Jamie came to the club a few weeks ago to let them know of his plan to shave his locks for the charity and the Roosters were more than happy to assist him in his effort to gain exposure and support for what is a worthwhile cause.

Sydney Roosters Online caught up with Jamie to chat about his upcoming initiative.

Sydney Roosters Online: What inspired you to want to do this?

Jamie Soward: This is something that all Australians should want to get involved in. Such a small sacrifice could be the difference in changing the lives of the thousands and thousands of families affected by this disease everyday. It’s important for everybody to get involved on March 15-17 and help make a difference.. Learn More
Saturday 10th March '07
 High hopes...Benji Marshall. / The Daily TelegraphBENJI - I WON'T RELY ON FOOTWORK

10/03 A BULKED-UP Benji Marshall believes the Wests Tigers can bounce back from poor trial form and make an impact in 2007 - but not on the back of the famous "Benji step".

After almost a year on the sidelines with a shoulder injury, Marshall has added 5kg to his frame and says his shoulder is "stronger than ever".

But in an exclusive interview with The Saturday Daily Telegraph, the Kiwi sensation says he is aiming to take the Tigers back to the heights of 2005 with an improved all-round game, and not just his razzle-dazzle footwork.

"I have toned my step down lately but if it is there to use I'll bring it out again," Marshall said.

"I am just going to concentrate on my all round game and improve as a footballer this year. I will play how I always play. I am just going to be myself.

"My role is a big role but blokes like Brett Hodgson and Robbie Farah have those roles as well.

"We can't put all our eggs in the one basket, we have to worry about the team as a whole."

After sweeping to a fairytale premiership, the Wests Tigers last year missed the top eight in a disappointing season.

Their early trial form has been concerning for fans, notably losing heavily to wooden spoon favourites Canberra, and prompted punters to draw a line through their 2007 chances.

"That's fine," says Marshall. "We have been written off lately and I don't mind it at all.

"We were written of in 2005 and we won the comp so I think it is a good thing," he said.

"We have a good young squad and we have trained harder then we have in the past so fingers crossed we will have a big season."

Wayne Bennett and Darren Lockyer enjoy the moment after the Broncos' win last night.  Photo: Craig GoldingPOOR CHEATED IN RICH MAN'S WORLD

ONLY yesterday, my mate's son turned nine. This boy doesn't follow football teams, he follows footballers. Two years ago, he tore around all winter in a Sydney Roosters jumper with a No.1 and Mini sewn on the back.

But when Anthony Minichiello was injured and out for a long time, the boy switched to a Melbourne Storm jumper with Matt King's surname on the back. He wore it proudly to the grand final.

For his birthday, he asked for and received a Bulldogs jumper with the words Sonny Bill emblazoned across the shoulders.

Right now, kids love Sonny Bill Williams. He's all of 21 and has his own website. At 191cm, he's half a centimetre taller than Muhammad Ali and 2kg heavier than Ali's preferred fighting weight of 100kg.

Sonny Bill, what a footballer. Wonderful footwork, tremendous hitter, great skill levels, speed, ability to offload. At this point of his career he runs the ball as well as any player in the game.

But ... but ... but..... Sonny Bill Williams doesn't create like Andrew Johns or Darren Lockyer or Benji Marshall, the way Brad Fittler did for the Roosters. He's not the money man... Learn More
Darren lockyer at the frontLEAGUE'S NEW ERA

IT WASN'T exactly a seismic change, more so a subtle shift.
But by the end of last season even the most ardent New South Welshman would have to concede the powerbase of rugby league no longer centred in Sydney.

Not only did Queensland bounce back to claim Origin glory, but the Broncos reclaimed their mantle as the competition's premier team -- by beating one from Melbourne, stocked primarily with Queensland-raised talent.

In the Test arena the shift was also evident.

Queensland's representation in the Australian side was at its highest level in more than a decade and the increased excitement surrounding international matches was far more prevalent in Brisbane, than in Sydney where shifting tickets proved a struggle.

"It was a good year for Queensland rugby league," Brisbane and Queensland skipper Darren Lockyer said.. Learn More
FRIDAY 09 th March '07
CRL GIVES NOD TO NEW COMPETITIONRugby League in the bush received a substantial boost yesterday after the NSW Country Rugby League (CRL) agreed, in principle, to support a NSW Aboriginal Rugby League and Sports Incorporated (ARLSI) push to establish a yet-to-be-named competition in North West NSW.

The proposed competition, represented at today’s meeting at West Tamworth Leagues Club by ARLSI Chairman Danny Thorne and Secretary Michael Anderson, will be managed by its own executive and general committees and function as an affiliate of the CRL.

ARLSI representatives will re-convene with CRL representatives on Monday 12 March to present final details regarding its competition governance structure and incorporation of competing clubs.

The CRL Board of Directors will then meet on Friday 16 March with the objective of ratifying the agreement, which includes;

· The ARLSI competition - which will field Under-15, Under-18 and First grade teams - complying with CRL rules and regulations.

· The implementation of a liaison officer to ensure efficient correspondence between the CRL and the proposed competition.

· CRL Group 4 referee availability for ARLSI competition matches – providing they do not clash with regular Group 4 matches.

“A rebel breakaway league would have been detrimental to Rugby League in the bush so it’s great we’ve come to an agreement to work together on this issue,” CRL General Manager Terry Quinn said.

“We [the CRL and ARLSI] resolved a lot of our differences today and can now focus on the main objective of ensuring there are further opportunities for kids in these areas.”

“There has been an enormous amount of effort from both parties and what appeared to be a confrontation really wasn’t in the end,” ARLSI Secretary Michael Anderson said.

“There was a bit of necessary bloodletting in getting to this point but the important thing is we’ve come to a positive resolution.

“In the end what we want to do here is get our kids playing football and getting our communities back heading in the right direction, and I think we took a major step towards that today.”

The CRL has also requested that the cases of barred clubs Gimbisi and Narwan be re-heard before their respective Groups Two and 19.

TEST halfback Johnathan Thurston yesterday promised to put his own stamp on the North Queensland Cowboys captaincy and labelled anything less than a top-eight finish as unacceptable.

Thurston, who was preferred to hooker Aaron Payne as skipper, said the Cowboys had the talent to win the NRL title and the players were jumping out of their skin in readiness for next Friday's round 1 blockbuster against Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.

Payne was named vice-captain and Thurston said he hoped the pair could work up a combination to rival that of Newcastle pair Andrew Johns and Danny Buderus.

At 23, Thurston is the Cowboys' youngest regular skipper in the club's 12-year history.

He rated his appointment on a par with his selection for Australia and Queensland and his announcement as Dally M Medal winner in 2005.. Learn More
Thursday 8th March '07

RICHARD Johnston claims he can sum up a referee in just five minutes.

The new Central Queensland/Wide Bay rugby league referees’ coaching and development manager has been in the business for 16 years. He said his job was to motivate and develop referees.

“The referee is a facilitator there to make the game more exciting,” he said during his visit to Rockhampton last week... READ all about it in today's edition of The Morning Bulletin.

Jack Russell leads the Sharks onto Shark Park (Photo : ourfooty media)MATCH REPORT HAROLD MATTHEWS CUP


From the first whistle both of these keen young junior rep teams played at 100 kilometers an hour in 30 degrees heat.

Cronulla soon dominated when their defence started pushing the Bears back at times up to 15 meters, it was great footy to watch.

the first half score was 28 - 6 and had the Sharks looking to press their advantage in the second half with their kick - chase game as the Bears seemed to lack speed.

A knock on from 20 mts out from their own line resulted in a bit of biffo which was disappointing because the ref's quickly took control before the forwards could get to the action.

Noth Sydney recieved a penality which the Bears were able to get out to their winger who crossed for his teams second try. Learn More


SYDNEY Roosters coach Chris Anderson has called for an urgent rethink on player development in rugby league, lamenting the dramatic decline of the footballer in favour of the athlete.

Anderson, who is returning to the NRL after three seasons out of the game, gave an alarming warning of the code's future yesterday, saying footballers could conceivably disappear from the game.

He claims most NRL teams contain two to four pure footballers, with the rest made up of athletes - big, strong and fast players without skill or instinct.

Asked if the footballer could be strangled out of the game, Anderson replied: "There's a danger of that because it's easier to produce athletes than to produce footballers. It's easier to drag a bloke in and make him big and strong and fast. It's hard to give them football instincts.".. Learn More


The young players from the Marist Junior Rugby League Club received a great thrill when put through their paces by the Canberra Raiders in the nation's capital.

Some 30 young players aged between 9 and 12 travelled to Canberra with their dads for two full days of rugby league training.

The players took part in a Kids to Kangaroos development program with ARL Development Officer Brad Donald at Bruce Stadium.

It was a great bonding session for all the junior players with their various levels of skill put to the test as Brad ran them through some new drills to help improve their game and make it more enjoyable.

Trevor Thurling, David Howell, Troy Thompson, Craig Frawley, Alan Rothery and Dane Tilse from the Canberra Raiders first grade squad, along with Steve Irwin, Brett Kelly, Joe Picker and Ryan Hinchliffe from the Canberra Premier League squad, were also on hand to help Brad out and run some drills with the boys.. Learn More

WEDNESDAY 7 th March '07
Mitchell PEARCE runs the ball for Australia AUSTRALIAN SCHOOLBOYS TOUR –

NSWCCC was well represented in the Australian Secondary Schools 18 Years team on their tour of England, Wales and France.

Nine players ( Mitchell Pearce – Team Captain; Liam Foran; Chris Lawrence; Joseph Paulo; Tim Robinson; Will Mataka; Ratu Peni Tagive; Joel Thompson and Aiden Tolman), representing 5 schools ( Marist College North Shore, Patrician Brothers Blacktown, St.Gregory’s College Campbelltown, St.Paul’s Kempsey and Red Bend Catholic College Forbes) as well as two staff (Simon Huntly (Coach) and Craig Brennan (Trainer) meant that NSWCCC made a significant contribution to the success of the tour.


The South Dubbo Raiders under 16s started the year off with a win against Coonabarabran in a trial last weekend.

New recruit Jordan Boney started the game in fine fashion running a great line to score within the first five minutes and convert his own try 20 metres wide of the uprights to lead 6-0.

From the kick off South continued to worry the Coonabarabran defence with some damaging runs from forwards Ben Olsen and Jye Forrester and again Jordan Boney showed great footwork and speed to score out wide.

South were impressive in defence putting on some bone jarring tackles to holt Coonabarabran's chances of scoring until late in the first quarter when a drop in intensity allowed a soft try.

More damaging runs from Robert Campbell and Thomas Smith and some good dummy-half runs from Allan Arnold put South in a good scoring position early in the second quarter with Mark Sternbeck running off a well-timed Jordan Boney pass to score out wide.

Coonabarabran hit back with a try of their own but from the restart a good run from Elliott Knight drew the defence and sent Ashley Widders untouched on a 80-metre run to the line to take a comfortable 20-10 lead at half time.. Learn More

Chip off the old Blocker...former Balmain star Steve Roach (left) his son Daniel (second right), with Sharks coach Ricky Stuart (right) and Daniel's manager Mike Newton. / The Daily TelegraphTAH TAH TO RUGBY

DANIEL Roach - the son of league legend Steve "Blocker" Roach - has sensationally turned his back on rugby union, walking out on the Waratahs to link up with Ricky Stuart's Sharks.

In a move which will rock the ARU, the talented young prop will now follow in his famous father's steps, carving out a career in rugby league.

The Daily Telegraph exclusively captured the moment yesterday when 18-year-old Roach, his father and manager met with Stuart at Woolloomooloo PCYC.

The former Australian rugby union schoolboy star knocked back an offer from his father's beloved Tigers for a chance to play under Kangaroo coach Stuart at the Sharks.

Roach is expected to begin training with Cronulla on Friday on a one-year deal after officially requesting a release from the NSWRU last week.

The teenager's switch is sure to leave the Waratahs red-faced, with the emerging young forward considered by many astute judges as a future Wallaby prop.

It is understood Roach had grown disillusioned with rugby after rarely playing in his year with the Tahs.

"I am excited about the opportunity," Roach said.. Learn More

Tuesday 6th March '07
NRL boss David Gallop - Photo: Moira Hogan ©Bigpond TELSTRA TO SPONSOR NRL FOR SIX YEARS

The NRL today announced a new six-year agreement with Telstra as competition Naming Rights sponsor and New Media partner until the end of the 2012 season.

The NRL today announced a new six-year agreement with Telstra as competition Naming Rights sponsor and New Media partner until the end of the 2012 season.

NRL Chief Executive Officer, Mr David Gallop, said the multi-million dollar agreement secured an exciting future for League fans by bringing them the best online and mobile access to their game, as well as a wide range of direct grassroots and development programme benefits.

“Telstra and BigPond are unequalled in their online and mobile content, coverage and their customer base,” Mr Gallop said.

“These negotiations have underlined their commitment to the development of leading-edge online and mobile NRL content for fans.. Learn More
THERE was no better advertisement for putting in the hard yards than Saturday’s victory by the Ipswich Diggers in the final of the South East Queensland Development Challenge.

Having come from second-last in 2006, the Diggers completed their rags-to-riches tale by downing the South West Mustangs 26-16 for the crown.

The match was effectively in the bag by halftime, with Ipswich leading 20-0 in extremely warm conditions.

The result was no mere fluke after coach Gary Perrett and staff put the players through a rigorous offseason to prime them for the Challenge and put their best feet forward for representative honours in 2007.

A good-sized crowd was on hand to appreciate the concerted effort, capped in the final by two tries to Ipswich Brothers centre Morgan Carroll.

For their part South West also did admirably well, rising from dead-last in 2006 to vie for the title.

Of the curtain-raisers the third-place playoff was the thriller of the day with Ross Strudwick’s South East White team holding off Gold Coast South 18-14.

FINAL: Ipswich Diggers 26 (Morgan Carroll 2, John Whittle, Kurtis Lingwoodock, Daniel Murray tries John Whittle 2, Ben Adams goals) def South West 16 (Lyndon Langton, Sam Dibble, Gary Jackson, Zac Smith tries)

THIRD PLACE PLAYOFF: South East White 18 (James Look, Dave Drotini, Jack Ford, Terence McLeod tries, Ben Moore a goal) def Gold Coast South 14 (Gage Paulson 2, Drew Madam tries, Michael Cooke a goal)

FIFTH PLACE PLAYOFF: Gold Coast North 28 (Tom Mills, Ricardo Parata, Mitch McMillan, Rocky Grosdanis, Blake Leary tries, Ricardo Parata 4 goals) def Sunshine Coast Black 6 (Justin Pope try, Todd Murphy a goal) .

SEVENTH PLACE PLAYOFF: South East Red 18 (Rory Mellor, Tom Tuttle, Vincent Pilo, Terence McLeod tries, Rory Mellor goal) def Sunshine Coast Gold 4 (Ryan Shallis try)

Final Standings

Ipswich - 16.5
South West - 15
South East White - 13
Gold Coast South - 11.5
Sunshine Coast Black 10.5
Gold Coast North - 2.5
South East Red - 2
Sunshine Coast Gold - 1
Israel Falou has been impressive during the pre-seson trial gamesTURNER'S INJURY GIVES FALOU LIFT

CONTROVERSIAL Melbourne winger Steve Turner will miss the opening month of the season with an ankle injury potentially fast-tracking Storm sensation Israel Falou's rise to the NRL.

Turner, who was at the centre of a long-running contractual battle between Melbourne and the Gold Coast, ruptured the medial ligament in his left ankle in a trial match against the Broncos on Saturday night.

A dejected Turner yesterday said the injury was likely to keep him out of action for at least six weeks.

"I made a tackle during the first half and fell on my ankle awkwardly and unfortunately Sam Thaiday landed on me and it got caught under him," Turner said.

"It wasn't that painful when I tried to run on it, but now that it has settled down there is a bit of pain."

Storm had feared initially that Turner, who spent 12 months out of the game in 2005 because of a foot injury that required three rounds of surgery, could be sidelined for three months.

Scans yesterday showed the ankle injury, to the same leg, was not as serious but that there could be complications in its treatment.. Learn More


THE long-running saga over whether the Cudgen Hornets should play in the Gold Coast league or the Northern Rivers comp has taken a dramatic new twist.

In the latest move an internal battle has broken out over the naming rights and colours of a breakaway club which will play across the border on the Coast.

The forming of a separate entity called the Gold Coast Cudgen Hornets was revealed over the weekend after football club president Mark McAskill claimed he had been sacked by the Cudgen Leagues Club. McAskill said he had received an email from a CLC representative on Sunday informing him he and his four-man committee had been sacked in the wake of the Hornets earlier failed bid to play in the Gold Coast Rugby League

wayne bennett watches Sam ThaidayCHANGING OF THE GUARD
THE Broncos have reaffirmed their intention to appoint a new coach to replace Wayne Bennett when his contract expires at the end of 2009.

Bennett, who guided the Broncos to last year's NRL title, yesterday intimated he may be keen to continue as head coach beyond 2009 – but chief executive Bruno Cullen said the club was ready for a new direction and would start the search for a successor at the end of the season.

"You never say never but we have made it plain there will be a changing of the guard in 2009 and that's something Wayne is aware of and has basically agreed to," Cullen said last night.

"The board was disappointed with everything that happened concerning Wayne and the (Sydney) Roosters last year and a strategy was put into place to ensure there was stability at the club.. Learn More
MONDAY 5 th March '07
Cruel twist: Melbourne Storm winger Steve Turner is caught in a tackle by Brisbane Broncos prop Sam Thaiday and ruptures the medial ligament in his left ankle. Picture: George SalpigtidisWING UP FOR GRABS
STEVE Turner fears his wing position could be permanently claimed by one of Melbourne's young guns, with an ankle injury sidelining him for six weeks.

Turner will miss the opening month of the NRL season after scans yesterday revealed the Storm flyer had ruptured the medial ligament in the joint.

The 22-year-old had hoped to be available for the Storm's opening-round clash against Wests Tigers at Olympic Park on March 16.

Instead, he faces a gruelling rehabilitation, the second time in three seasons he has suffered serious injury in a pre-season trial.

In 2005 Turner was ruled out for the season with a career-threatening injury after former North Queensland giant Paul Rauhihi trampled on his foot in Cairns.

Hulking Brisbane prop Sam Thaiday inflicted the damage in Melbourne's convincing 46-0 win against the Broncos at Princes Park.

His left ankle twisted when it became caught between Thaiday's legs after the Australian representative halted a promising first-half raid by Turner.

"It wasn't that painful when I tried to run on it, but now that it has settled down there is a bit of pain," Turner said.
STORM surge . . . centre Ryan Shortland leaves a trio of Broncos defenders in his wake. Picture: George SalpigtidisAXE OVER BRONCOS
Story By : Steve Ricketts
THE axe is hovering over several of the Broncos 2006 premiership side after a disappointing pre-season.

Coach Wayne Bennett yesterday said there was likely to be casualties from among the 14 survivors of last year's 15-8 grand final win against Melbourne.

Bennett, who will next week name his team for the round 1 clash with North Queensland, pinpointed the back row, halfback and wing as areas of concern following Saturday night's 46-0 loss to the Storm at Melbourne's Princes Park.

Cowboys coach Graham Murray was more upbeat after a 14-12 loss to Manly in Cairns on Saturday and declared his side in good shape for the showdown with Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium on Friday week.

Bennett said the easy way out was to name a team as close as possible to last year's grand final side.

"I've got to be careful there," Bennett said.

"I don't want to get caught in a situation where I hang on for a while and we play some ordinary footy and then I have to get it right. I don't want to go down that path, thanks.. Learn More
Top performance: Cairns Thunder Kacey Mitchell had a solid – albeit tough – day at the office against the Gold Coast.COAST SILENCES THUNDER ASSAULT
A MONSTROUS Gold Coast pack was too strong for the Cairns Thunder on Saturday, winning their Country Championship clash 19-6 at Ivanhoes.

The domination of the set pieces helped keep the Gold Coast’s three year unbeaten run intact but the Thunder were anything but disgraced in defeat.

"Overall I am really pleased with how the boys went," Thunder coach Jason Ramsamy said.

"The scoreline was not indicative of how close it was and even after the game I spoke to the Gold Coast coach and he was really surprised at just how well we played.

"But we knew they had a lot of size and weight and we didn’t want to play to their strengths so we tried to limit mistakes but we couldn’t do that.

"Their scrum was just far too good and we were on the skids there all day.".. Learn More

WHILE his experience in coaching is limited, there's no doubting new Moranbah Miners coach Ben Anderson has what it takes to lead his side to premiership glory this year.

The 29-year-old son of former Australian rugby league coach Chris Anderson should have gallons of rugby league knowledge coursing through his veins.

"Dad hasn't really given me any hints and tips but I've been around him and a few professional clubs to gain some insight into coaching," Anderson said.

"It's more about learning how to coach as you go along," he said during the lead up to his team’s first hit-out of the year tonight, a trial against Townsville District Rugby League heavyweights Burdekin Roosters.. Learn More


CAMPBELLTOWN Council has all but conceded it will not be in a position any time soon to lure the Wests Tigers back to their traditional heartland.

Using Campbelltown Sports Stadium as a full-time training venue is out of the question without a major refurbishment, and there are doubts about whether it would be capable of hosting more NRL games without an overhaul.

The Tigers moved to Concord Oval for training in 2003 and its administration moved in 2005.

Last week the council committed to spending $630,000 on lighting, but the scoreboard, disabled access, change rooms and media area are in dire need of upgrading.

Wests Tigers' three-year deal with Telstra Stadium finishes at the end of the 2007 season and there is a community perception that Campbelltown and Leichhardt will be awarded six home games each as in the status quo before the Telstra arrangement.

SUNDAY 4th March '07
Season Over... Mark Gasnier sustained a ruptured pectoral muscle and will miss the 2007 NRL seaon / The Sunday TelegraphBITTER BLOW AS GASNIER FACES YEAR ON SIDELINES

ST GEORGE Illawarra superstar Mark Gasnier is out for the season with a ruptured pectoral muscle.

Gasnier left the field midway through the second half, with the injury at first thought to be minor.

But as the Dragons celebrated their first Charity Shield win - courtesy of an intercept try - in three years, the news cast a pall over the dressing room.

"I am absolutely shattered, I can't believe it, but I will be back and I am going to work as hard as I can to return as soon as possible,'' Gasnier said.

The injury to Gasnier is a massive blow to the Dragons' title hopes. Coach Nathan Brown had appointed him a co-captain and expected him to lead the side's finals charge from his new position of five-eight, an experiment Brown said had gone well until the 65th minute. . Learn More
Cooper Cronk on his way to trylinePERFECT PRELUDE TO SEASON PROPER

A near full-strength Melbourne Storm delivered an emphatic victory today against a youthful Brisbane Broncos outfit at Princes Park. While not avenging 2006's Grand Final loss, the Storm gave over 8000 fans in attendance a display of potent attacking rugby league and an exciting preview of what 2007 might have in store when the season kicks-off in two weeks' time.

Echoes of former five-eighth Scott Hill were seen in the Storm's first try when Hill's positional replacement, Greg Inglis flirted with the defensive line before unleashing a bullet-like pass, cutting out Matt King and creating a path to the tryline that Ryan Hoffman was only too pleased to fill.. Learn More


A dazzling 70-metre intercept try from half back Ben Hornby has delivered the St George Illawarra Dragons a 16-14 victory over the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the annual Charity Shield clash.

A dazzling 70-metre intercept try from half back Ben Hornby has delivered the St George Illawarra Dragons a 16-14 victory over the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the annual Charity Shield clash tonight.

But the win appears to have come at a major cost with five-eighth and co-captain Mark Gasnier being forced from the field with a shoulder inury in the 63rd minute.

The extent of the injury is yet to be fully determined but reports indicate that Gasnier has a torn pectoral muscle, often a season-ending injury.

A Telstra Stadium crowd of over 20,000 were in attendance to see what is widely recognised at the unofficial start to the rugby league season.

With numerous new recruits on show for both sides, the Rabbitohs appeared to have the strongest team on paper with seven internationals taking the field. The Dragons named a side of relative unknowns with a number of rookies replacing injured regulars.. Learn More
St. George Illawarra Dragons  vs South Sydney Rabbitohs - Charity Shield Charity Shield - NRL

St George Illawarra Dragons 16 (Wes Naiqama, Josh Morris, Ben Hornby tries; Wes Naiqama 2 goals) defeated South Sydney Rabbitohs 14 (Luke Stuart, Shannon Hegarty, Nigel Vagana tries; Joe Williams goal)

Premier League
St George Illawarra Dragons 30 (Sene Tala 2, Richard Williams 2, Rota Setu, Ricardo Young tries; Reece Blayney 2, Richard Williams goals) defeated North Sydney Bears 6 (Troy Boston try; Eddie Paea goal)

COUNTRY Rugby League and Nations Aboriginal Super League officials will continue talks on the formation of the new NASL next week after yesterday's enlightening meeting in Tamworth.

Around 40 people representing the CRL, NASL, various clubs such as Goodooga, Toomelah, Moree Boomer-angs and Narwan Eels (Armidale), NSW Police plus rugby league great Arthur Beetson met at West Leagues Club in a four-hour summit.

Many issues were aired and debated including crowd control, refereeing, expulsion of teams from CRL competitions, alcohol, and strength of competitions.

These were just some of the topics identified as crucial to the NASL's development.

CRL chairman Warren Kimberley said he was satisfied with the discussions while CRL general manager Terry Quinn said a "smaller meeting" would convene in Tamworth next week to look at the NASL's financial and administrative structures.

He said the CRL could affiliate the NASL if it had those structures plus grounds and referees under control.

"If they have that in place we can help," he said.

Michael Anderson is the chief executive officer of the fledgling NASL and was delighted with the meeting.

"It's a very good starting point for us," Anderson said.. Learn More
Steve Menzies halts Luke O'DonnellSEAEAGLES OUT RIDE COWBOYS

04/03 The Sea Eagles have won their second and final pre-season trial with a 14-12 win over the North Queensland Cowboys.

The Sea Eagles got first points shortly after the mid half restart. Steve Matai scored the try but Matt Orford was unable to convert the goal.

Nine minutes later Matt Orford crossed under posts providing an easy shot at goal for Jamie Lyon.

Manly went into the sheds at half time with a 10-0 lead.

The Cowboys mounted a late second half charge with tries to Scott Bolton and Jason Smith, but no sooner had they taken the lead than Steve Matai crossed for his second try and took it back. Jamie Lyon was unable to convert.

The final score was 14-12 to Manly on a very hot and steamy evening in front of 12,500 fans. While both teams struggled with their handling it was an entertaining and tough match.

Jamie Lyon stared for the Sea Eagles along with Glenn Stewart. Lyon predominantly played 5/8 and was on the field for the entire 80 minutes. Steve Menzies, Anthony Watmough and Michael Monaghan were all taken from the field with what appears to be minor injuries.

The Sea Eagles trial match form has set up the club well for their first match at Brookvale on March 17, we look forward to seeing all our fans at a packed Brookvale Oval.

Earlier in the day the lower grades played trials aganst the Bulldogs at Belmore.
Jersey Flegg - Manly 4 Tries - Bulldogs 3 Tries (not a standard game)
Premier League - Manly 18 - 28 Bulldogs

The Roosters celebrate a try against the Eels. (Photo by Matt Blyth/Getty Images)ROOSTERS WIN A THRILLER

The Roosters have held off a determined Eels’ side to win a highly entertaining affair 30-22 at Bluetongue Central Coast Stadium in Gosford.

The game went down to the wire, but in the end it was the Roosters who held their nerve to score two late tries for their second win on the trot and the opportunity to take plenty of confidence into their Round 1 clash with Souths.

Anasta was the guiding light on the night putting in one his best performances in Roosters’ colours. Tupou, Nutley, Brown and Tonga were the pick of the forwards as the new look Roosters took home a well deserved victory in front of an appreciative Gosford crowd.

It was the Roosters who were on the board first when Monaghan took an intercept from deep inside his own half to sprint 80 metres for a great try. Fitzgibbon made the conversion and the Roosters led 6-0 after 10 minutes.

The Roosters looked to be in control, but the sin binning of Captain Craig Fitzgibbon in the 16th minute changed the momentum of the game with the Eels taking full advantage when Wagon crashed over.. Learn More
Story By : NRL
Dismissed as wooden spoon favourites, a depleted Canberra Raiders have received a welcome confidence boost by downing a near full-strength Wests Tigers 26-4 in their NRL trial in Brisbane.

The Raiders were the joke of the NRL when they were downed by a combined Redcliffe-Broncos feeder side last weekend in a crushing blow for new coach Neil Henry.

But they turned their form around by comfortably brushing aside a Tigers side boasting stars Benji Marshall, John Morris and Robbie Farah in their starting side for the first time.

GOLDEN MOMENT: A jubilant Scott Prince after the Titans thumped Penrith 28-6.TITANS FEEL THE PAIN

GOLD Coast coach John Cartwright admits injuries are threatening to derail the side's impressive NRL build-up after the Titans suffered more casualties in their final pre-season hitout.

The Titans' commanding 28-6 disposal of Penrith on Friday night was tempered by injuries to centre Jake Webster (hand) and utility Luke O'Dwyer (ankle).

O'Dwyer will have scans today, while Kiwi Test representative Webster hopes to be cleared of a broken hand.

The Titans now have seven players under an injury cloud, with O'Dwyer and Webster joining Mark Minichiello (thumb), Michael Henderson (hamstring), Nathan Friend (shoulder), Brad Meyers (ankle) and Michael Hodgson (hamstring). With their NRL debut against the Dragons 14 days away, Cartwright conceded the Titans could ill-afford to have their depth tested further.. Learn More

Saturday 03 rd March '07

The CFMEU Canberra Raiders have been welcomed with open arms to two of their associated Queensland clubs, with Logan Brothers and Acacia Ridge hosting the Raiders for a meet and great afternoon yesterday.

The Raiders 30 man squad split into two groups for the afternoon to pay the special visit to the junior clubs, with around 400 children given the chance to train with their NRL idols.

Raiders Captain Alan Tongue said the visit is a good chance to help strengthen the relationship north of the border, and reward the fans and junior players for their support of the Green Machine.

"It’s great to come out here and visit some true fans and offer a few tips for both the players and coaches," Tongue said. "Everyone that we’ve met here today really loves their footy and we are just glad we can come along and make some sort of contribution."

Tongue said the relationship between the Raiders and the Souths and Logan areas is an important one, and something that the club would be looking to continue in the future.

"Obviously there is a wealth of rugby league talent in this area so we need to make sure it doesn’t go to waste," he said. "The Raiders have had some great players come from these two areas in the past, and I’m sure there will be a whole lot more in the future."

The committee this year has introduced our new mascot "The Crocodile" and will be celebrating the launch of the crocodile on the 28th of April 2007 at Scylla Bay. There will be rides, balloons, disco and drinks for the kids.

Refreshments for the adults will be just $10.00 per person. Como-Jannali Crocodile merchandise will be on sale on the day including stubbie holders, hats, shirts and of course crocodiles.

Bring your Mum, Dad, Grandparents and neighbours along and meet our new mascot Mo the crocodile. See you there!
Michael Hughes 02 9576-5206

The Ikin Store It Laurie Spina Under 11 Rugby League Carnival will be again played in Townsville during the June / July school holidays. The carnival will be played over two days with the first games commencing on Friday 6 July and concluding on Saturday 7 July.

All games will be played at Brothers Rugby League Club and Dairy Farmers Stadium the home of the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys.

The Laurie Spina Carnival is an Under 11 age group competition for all junior rugby league clubs. All nomination packs will be posted and emailed to junior rugby league clubs over the next few weeks.

For any more information regarding the Laurie Spina Carnival, please check the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys webpage or contact us:

Ultimatum...Bulldogs stars Willie Mason and Mark O'Meley this week. / The Daily TelegraphYOU'VE GOT TO LEAVE, SHERK

WILLIE Mason kept up the Bulldogs' ultimatums towards Sonny Bill Williams and Mark O'Meley yesterday, telling his teammates to sign contracts or move on.

Just 24 hours after the club gave Williams a one-week deadline to sign a three-year $1.5 million deal and refused to increase the third and final offer given to O'Meley, Mason echoed the club's thoughts by telling both off-contract players to end the stalemate once and for all.

"If he's happy, stay. If not, move along so we can sign the next bloke," Mason told reporters in New Zealand.

"I don't think we can keep both. I just don't think it can happen.

"To the player it's not that distracting at all. They know what they are going to do in the end. They are just holding out for more money really."

Mason said he re-signed with the club last year hoping he would play out his career alongside Kiwi international Williams.

"I would love to have him around the club for as many years as I'm there because he was definitely a part of what I was thinking about when I was signing my contract," Mason said.

"I knew that Sonny Bill was coming through the ranks and was going to be a superstar in the game and a player that everyone wants to play with, so I hope he can sort of return the favour and sign.".. Learn More

Jack Russell leads out the Cronulla Sharks 2007 Harold Matthews Cup side against the Penrith Panthers at sharks park ( Photo : ourfooty media )JUNIOR SHARKS TO HOST THE BEARS

The Sharks SG Ball Cup and Harold Matthews Cup teams will host the North Sydney Bears on Saturday afternoon in matches to be played at Toyota Park.

Harold Matthews Cup (U/16's) will kick off at noon, with the SG Ball (U/18's) at 1.30pm. Starting line-ups are now available on the Junior League Website at http://cronulla.leaguenet.com.au. or here too.

Entry will be $5 at the gate for all adults, with children under 15 free.

Both Sharks sides will be looking to rebound with victories in their round two matches after suffering losses at the hands of the Manly Sea Eagles last weekend.

Friday 02 nd March '07

Macquarie coach Jim Kelly is predicting a bright future for Trent Carroll after the young prop starred for the Raiders in the side's 36-30 trial win against Coonabarabran on Saturday.

Carroll, 18, was a standout and despite getting limited game time, showed glimpses of the talent he has.

The talented junior will get a further chance to show his stuff in two further trials, against Narromine (March 10) and CYMS (March 16), and Kelly said those matches would show how good Carroll was.

"Trent stood out for a us the other day, he was probably the best player on the field," Kelly said.

"But in the next two trials, he will be up against the likes of Luke Thompson and Mick Ryan from Narromine, and Wes Maas and Josh Large from CYMS.

"All of those guys are representative quality players but I think in a few years' time, Trent can be at that level."

"We had 30 guys at the trial so they all got only 20 or 30 minutes on the field but I was happy with how we went, particularly in the forwards.".. Learn More

02/03 DAVIES Park has always been a crazy, magical place. When the floodlights flicker on Saturday night and the Wests Tigers and Canberra Raiders take to the famous field, it will be something truly surreal.

For many of those from Generation X onwards, Davies until now has been something akin to the Lost City of Gold. They have heard the legends, perhaps even made the pilgrimage, but never have they seen it in all its crowning glory.

Count this author among that bracket. There are vivid infant memories of television broadcasts and newspaper clippings, when the torso of Meninga and the legs of Belcher proudly bore black-and-white stripes.

To be a Souths Magpie back then was to run with the bulls. You received the ball from one star and passed it to another. At halftime you were addressed by Wayne Bennett.

Even as a kid, back before Grade One, there was this overwhelming sense that Davies Park was a place of immense pride.. Learn More

The Sharks SG Ball and Matthews Cup teams will host the North Sydney Bears on Saturday afternoon in matches to be played at Toyota Park.

Harold Matthews Cup (U/16's) will kick off at noon, with the SG Ball (U/18's) at 1.30pm. Starting line-ups are now available on the Junior League Website at http://cronulla.leaguenet.com.au.

Entry will be $5 at the gate for all adults, with children under 15 free.

Both Sharks sides will be looking to rebound with victories in their round two matches after suffering losses at the hands of the Manly Sea Eagles last weekend. www.sharks.com.au/
WestsTigers 2007 Scholarship Squad (Phot : ourfooty media)CAMP BENEFITS FUTURE WESTS TIGERS PLAYERS

The next generation of potential young Wests Tigers players are now applying their trade at home following the success of the annual Wests Tigers scholarship camp.

Held over four days, the coaching camp was open to scholarship holders that live outside Sydney.

The camp gave Wests Tigers coaching staff an opportunity to assess the progress of the players as well as a time to pass on valuable coaching and training tips.

With the players ranging in age from 15 to 17 years of age and coming from as far away as Auckland in New Zealand and Townsville in Queensland, this was the first time that many of them had been to Sydney.

“Training alongside some of their NRL heroes was an experience that I’m sure the players will remember and hopefully inspire them to strive towards fulfilling their own goals,’’ said Wests Tigers Welfare Manager Paul Heptonstall.

“The players are now at their clubs and schools for at least another year and hopefully they can put their best foot forward in securing a spot in any of the Wests Tigers, Wests Magpies or Balmain Tigers representative teams in 2008.’’

Regional coaches Kurt Richards (Keebra Park High School) and Tony Martin (Townsville) joined Wests Tigers assistant coach Peter Gentle, strength and conditioning co-ordinator David Boyle and performance co-ordinator Ciriaco Mescia in implementing the program.

Current NRL players that have an interest in pursuing a coaching or training career also took part in most sessions including Todd Payten, Ryan O’Hara, Chris Heighington, Rocky Trimarchi and Stuart Flanagan.

Wests Tigers scholarship squad:
Leon Curry (Qld, centre), Jarred Shelford (Qld, full-back), Johnnie Fox (Qld, second-row), Robert Lui (Qld, five-eighth), Kieran Quinn (Qld, second-row), Sioeli Makaui (NZ, half-back), Konelio Vaiga (NZ, prop), Kyle Bos (NZ, centre), Leivahu Pulu (NZ, prop), Simeon Fuller (Qld, centre, lock), Chris Eade (Qld, prop), Joel Townson (Qld,half), Todd Bride (NSW, five-eighth), Joey Latham (NSW, full-back), Matt Srama (Qld, half), Brendan Adams (Qld, prop), Kye Longford (NSW, hooker), Noa Fatu (NSW, wing/full-back).
Steve Rogers line up another goal for CronullaGOOD THINGS COME IN NO.3S: ROGERS WANTS THE SHIRT HIS FATHER WORE

March 2, 2007

IN THE lead-up to Mat Rogers's first outing in a rugby league jersey since 2001, he looked over at the Gold Coast's gear steward, a local league legend referred to as "Lemonade Tom", and asked him, slightly nervously: "What number am I wearing?"

The reply left him slightly disappointed. "No.4," Tom said. Then he followed it with a wink.

"I think he knew what I was asking for," Rogers said.

Specifically, he was asking to wear the No.3 - the number worn by his father, the Cronulla legend Steve Rogers, who died last year.

While Titans coach John Cartwright continues to pick him in the centres for his return season after five years in rugby union, Rogers said yesterday he would continue to insist on wearing the No.3 jumper, because of the affinity with his father, the prince of centres.. Learn More

Thursday 01st March '07
Story By : Townsville Bulletin
01/03 YOUNG Gun Jackson Nicolau has been named in the Cowboys first-grade squad for this weekend's trial against a full-strength Manly Sea Eagles side in Cairns.

After a stellar showing for the Young Guns in last week's trial against Mackay, the young five-eighth was called up in the late stages of the Cowboys match against the New Zealand Warriors.

And this week he will get another chance to shine after being selected on an extended six-man bench for the Cowboys.

The former Norths Devils playmaker heard the news yesterday afternoon while he was out fishing and said the idea of playing first-grade football was `pretty cool'.

"It sounds good, it's still sinking in, it's a bit surreal," Nicolau said.. Learn More
MOON also rises ... 18-year-old Joel Moon will play five-eighth for the Broncos against the Storm in Melbourne on Saturday. Picture: Glenn BarnesBRONCOS READY FOR GET - SQUARE

01/03 IT'S only a trial but the Broncos are expecting the Melbourne Storm to be "pumped up to give us a hammering" in Saturday's clash at Princes Park.

Brisbane defeated minor premiers Melbourne 15-8 in last year's grand final after the season began with the Storm thrashing Brisbane 58-10 in a trial in Toowoomba.

The rivalry between the clubs is now one of the most intense in the NRL and although Brisbane has named a below-strength team for Saturday's match the club is not expecting any favours from the star-studded Melbourne lineup.

"Our attacking superstars will be missing and the Storm will probably be pumped up to give us a hammering and good luck to them," Broncos chief executive Bruno Cullen said yesterday.. Learn More

IN SOMETHING of a role reversal, South Sydney yesterday named a line-up of internationals and seasoned campaigners for the Charity Shield, while St George Illawarra had to opt for up-and-comers.

With Brett Morris this week joining Jason Ryles, Dean Young and Justin Poore on the sidelines after scans revealed he suffered a broken thumb against the Bulldogs last weekend - putting him out of action for two months - it was Dragons coach Nathan Brown who was forced to draft in a young and vastly inexperienced batch of replacements.

Against a Rabbitohs side which will, for the first time, include high-profile recruits Roy Asotasi, David Kidwell and Nigel Vagana, Brown has selected a schoolboy and a player who paid his own way from New Zealand to trial with the club just a few months ago in his squad for the annual contest.. Learn More

01/03 A SPECIALLY-formed Country Rugby League committee will meet with the Nations Aboriginal Super League in Tamworth tomorrow to discuss the breakaway competition.

CRL general manager Terry Quinn heads a committee including Greg Mayhew (Kempsey), Frank Fish (Narrabri) and Peter Brissett (Inverell) to meet with a Nations Aboriginal Super League led by chief executive Michael Anderson.

Group 4 secretary Ross Hamilton is confident the meeting will be a positive one, looking at the improvement and enhancement of the whole code.

Anderson hopes the meeting (starting at 10am at West Leagues Club) will attempt to end the standoff between the new Nations Aboriginal Super League and Country Rugby League.

He said the CRL did not recognise the newly-formed Aboriginal body but he was hopeful tomorrow's meeting would reach a suitable outcome for both organisations.

"I'm hopeful of a positive outcome that will promote rugby league in the bush and make it what it should be – a great outing for the families, black and white," Anderson said.. Learn More
KEY PLAYMAKER ... Wests Tigers and their supporters will be hoping inspirational five-eighth Benji Marshall won't suffer a repeat of last year's season-ending shoulder injury in 2007SHEENS LOOKS AHEAD

FEW defending premiers have been brought back to earth in quite the dramatic fashion the West Tigers were in 2006.

FEW defending premiers have been brought back to earth in quite the dramatic fashion the West Tigers were in 2006.

On the back of their glorious and historic 2005 premiership win, the Tigers were plagued by injuries and inconsistency as they slumped to a forgetable 11th placing last season.

Such was their slide, doubts still remain as to whether the Tigers have fully overcome their premiership hangover as the 2007 season begins.

The departure of halfback Scott Prince and tireless forwards Anthony Laffranchi and John Skandalis in the off-season, plus the question mark over playmaker Benji Marshall's troublesome shoulder, have cast further queries over their potential to re-emerge as genuine contenders.

But coach Tim Sheens is looking forward rather than back as he bids to get the club back on the rails.

"I don't want to focus on what happened last year and in some ways I don't even want to think about the premiership the year before – it's long gone," Sheens said.. Learn More

01/03 RUMOURS continue to circulate that Country Rugby League favours a return by Gimbisi Valley to Carlton Mid Group 2 in the under-18 grade should a vacancy occur.

Regional Area Manager Scott Bone has confirmed this was one of many options considered in the wake of the Warriors expulsion from the competition but the parent body ‘could not force any Group to accept a club they didn’t want’.

"We remain keen to find a pathway to rugby league for kids in the Kempsey area," he said.

"We’ll sit down to discuss the situation with anybody who wants to look at the bigger picture but we won’t use force."

Bone will attend a conference in Tamworth tomorrow that will seek to end the conflict between CRL and the Aboriginal Nations Super League that threatens to tear bush football apart.. Learn More
BOOM prospect ... Storm back Israel Folau has been named on bench for trial against Broncos.STORM NAME STRONG LINEUP

28/02 MELBOURNE coach Craig Bellamy today named his strongest possible side for Saturday's NRL trial and grand final re-match against Brisbane at Princes Park.
Bellamy recalled all of his fit, experienced players after fielding a second-string outfit in last weekend's trial loss to Manly on the Sunshine Coast.

"It's our last game before the season proper begins and it's a dress rehearsal for what's ahead of us," said Bellamy.

"We've chosen a very strong side for the game, and there are a few spots still up for grabs so it should be a great game."

Test centre Greg Inglis was named at five-eighth while the Storm's latest teen sensation, Israel Falou, has been selected on the interchange bench.

MACKAY should know by November if its bid to join the State League in 2008 is successful.

QRL managing director Ross Livermore said at Saturday's Charity Match between the North Queensland Cowboys and New Zealand Warriors at Leprechaun Park that he expected Mackay to lodge its application in early October.

"We'll get all the financials by November and we'll make a decision by late November," he said.

Last year's application was rejected because Mackay had no players and no revenue guarantees, Livermore said.

"You've got to have a team and the money coming in," he said.

"You have to have revenue of half-a-million dollars to be competitive in the State League, and to have players signed up.. Learn More

MELBOURNE Storm ace Greg Inglis will shrug off a painful elbow injury to play against Brisbane in this weekend's final pre-season hitout.

Brisbane will be without Darren Lockyer after he said yesterday he would be rested from Saturday night's trial at Princes Park in the wake of the Broncos' disappointing World Club Challenge loss to St Helens in England.

Brisbane's other backline stars, Karmichael Hunt, Justin Hodges and Brent Tate, are also likely to be placed in bubble-wrap, with concerns over travel the major factor.

The Broncos arrived back in Australia yesterday and will fly to Melbourne on Friday.

Inglis, 20, said it was disappointing not to be lining up against Lockyer, with Joel Moon, strongly courted by Melbourne last year, his likely replacement.. Learn More
ELLO sunshine . . . Darren Lockyer squints at the light after two weeks in England. Picture: Nathan RichterTHE HEAT IS ON
28/02 THE Broncos have turned to Queensland's sunshine to help beat any lethargy resulting from almost two weeks in the dark and gloom of a harsh English winter.. Learn More
ACTION FOOTY PHOTOS BY : ourfooty media & ourfootyMate Ian Lovell (Photography, Wales UK) VISIT IAN'S WEBSITE
SEE MORE OF IAN LOVELL'S GREAT PHOTOS Australian Schoolboys Vs Wales U19s
FOR THE UK LEG VISIT ourfooty mate Dave @ RLPhotos.com ASSRL Vs ENGLAND 1st & 2nd Test, Vs BARLA Dec '06
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ROUND 2 Results & Ladder
Results & Match Reports
Drive Hammered, Get nailed
Aussie schoolboys on their 1st morning in France -  aniimation ourfootyteam media

(398 mgs .wmp)
NSW Sensation & Australian schoolboy Cameron WHITE  on tour in the UKNSW SENSATION CAMERON WHITE
Israel fulou on the burst for Australia Vs Wales '06 (photo : ourfooty media)ISRAEL FALOU

(398 mgs .wmp)
INTERVIEWS with the squad
Cameron WHITE Interview (03/12)
Luke CAPEWELL Interview (06/12)
Michael MAXWELL (England) (10/12)?
Tim ROBINSON Interview (10/12)
Chris SANDOW Interview (12/12)
Mitchell PEARCE (Captain) (14/12)
Joel BROWN Interview (16/12)
Simon HUNTLEY (Coach) (18/12)
2006 TOUR
2006 Australian NATIONAL
U18's Championships
2006 Australian NATIONAL
U15's Championships
French RL
RL Photos - With 64,000 pictures online and weekly coverage of the game at all levels,ourfooty team would like to thank all the friendly staff at RLPHOTOS.COM for help arranging all great ourfooty photos.
If you would linke to buy a copy of any of the aussie schoolboys tour, visit RLphotos.com
Dave, Peter, Ian
good on ya's blokes
(Wales) here
THE JUNIOR KANGAROOS GET IT ON WITH THE BARLA UNDER 18's this Wednesday night. Thanks to ourfootyMate Tom H. from RFL, you will be able to see the lastest ACTION photos and read how these games go. Beauty !
Sunday 26 November
Game 1 v Wales Under 19
The Brewery Fields, Bridgend (Bridgend RUFC) Kick-off 4.00pm
Wednesday 29 November
Game 2 v BARLA
The Coupland Stadium Kick-off 7.30pm
Saturday 2 December
Game 3: v GB Community Lions
Doncaster Rugby Union Club Kick-off 2.00pm?
Bradford Bulls will host the ASSRL Vs Lions ganeSaturday 9 December
Game 4:
Test 1v England Academy
Grattan Stadium, Odsal, Bradford Kick-off 2.30pm
Friday 15 December
Game 5: Test 2 v England Academy
Halton Stadium, Widnes. Kick-off 7.30pm
Sunday 17 December
Game 6: Game Australian Schoolboys vs France Juniors UNSS
(Stade Domec a Carcassonne)
Wednesday 20 December
Game 7: Test Match v French National Juniors Team
( Stade des Minimes a Toulouse)
SEATON ARL TEENAGER BRETT PHILLIPS has been picked for the Barla Great Britain U18 squad to play the Australian School Boys on November 29. The match is part of the celebrations to mark the £1m refurbishment of the Cumbria Sports Academy - formerly the Copeland Stadium - at Hensingham.. Learn More
Australian Secondary School Rugby League ASSRL Touring Squad
Jay Aston
Brisbane State High School
Joel Brown
St Philip's Christian College Waratah
Luke Capewell
Redcliffe State High School
Israel Folau
Marsden State High School
Liam Foran
Marist College North Shore
Obadiah Geia
Kirwan State High School
David Hala
Southern Cross College
Chris Lawrence
St Gregorys Campbelltown
Tim Mannah
Christian Community High School
William Mataka
St Gregorys, Campbelltown
Will Matthews
Palm Beach Currumbin State High
Luke Muttdon
Kiama High School
Joseph Paulo
- Patrician Brothers, Blacktown
Mitchell Pearce
Marist College North Shore
Kevin Proctor
Palm Beach Currumbin
State High
Timothy Robinson
Patrician Brothers, Blacktown
Chris Sandow
Marsden State High School
Nathan Strudwick
John Paul College
Ratu Peni Tagive
St Gregorys, Campbelltown
Joel Thompson
Red Bend Catholic College, Forbes
Aiden Tolman
St Paul's Kempsey
Shannon Walker
Palm Beach Currumbin State High
Jeremiah Walters
Marsden State High
Cameron White 
Oxley High
Simon Huntly NSWCCC
Team Manager:
Andrew Peach QSSRL
Tour Manager:
Stephen Duclos NSWCHS
Trainer: Craig Brennan NSWCCC
Physiotherapist: Kieran Morgan
Executive: Brian Pearson
Gold Coast City Council
Gold Coast City Council
Sutherland Shire Council  - Bithplace of our Nation
Sutherland Shire Council
Motor Accident Authority of NSW
Rugby League Review Latest issue is now out at all good newsagents,
Rugby League Review - OUT NOW
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