JUNIOR RUGBY LEAGUE
FOOTY NEWS HERE
GAME'S ELITE STILL PLAY FOR BEER MONEY
ALCOHOL has triggered most of the off-field dramas to have scarred rugby league this season - but the Kangaroos are parading a beer as their major sponsor during the World Cup.
The Australian team will again have 'VB' splashed across their jumpers when they tackle England in Melbourne tonight. Every training session and interview is conducted wearing VB T-shirts.
The code's centenary year has been marred by serious alcohol-fuelled controversies involving Todd Carney, Tim Smith, internationals Greg Bird, Karmichael Hunt, Sam Thaiday and Darius Boyd, to name a few, but the Australian Rugby League is still prepared to have its flagship team promote the one thing that drags the game through the mud more than any other . . . alcohol.
Australian Rugby League chairman Colin Love yesterday told The Sun-Herald the Kangaroos were promoting responsible drinking.
"That's what we're about," Love said.
"We have education programs in place with players, we make all our players aware of the potential dangers. That's our stance. It's wrong to say they shouldn't have this kind of sponsor.
"If the government legislated, as they did with tobacco, and said there was to be no advertising associated with alcohol, that would be a different matter. But that is not the case. Our responsibility is to promote responsible drinking."
NSW premier Nathan Rees wants an official review of alcohol sponsorship in sport as part of his crackdown on binge drinking. As well as the Kangaroos, VB is the major sponsor of Australia's cricket tour of India.
A storm erupted earlier this year when Ricky Ponting's team wore baseball-style VB caps instead of the traditional baggy greens during a tour match in the West Indies. Their Test shirts have the distinctive VB emblem on the chest and sleeve.
NRL marketing director Paul Kind said VB's sponsorship of league was worth millions of dollars a year.
"The alcohol companies have a major investment in sport, and at all levels of senior football," Kind said.
"VB is a multmillion dollar spender in rugby league. The Kangaroos and this World Cup are less than a quarter of their total spend in the game. They're supporting footy at every level. They're supporting footy in the bush, they're supporting Origin, they're supporting the premiership, the clubs, the Kangaroos, so why is it any different that they would support the Kangaroos?
"It's a great sponsorship for us to have. They're a national brand. One of the considerations of VB was to sponsor both the Australian cricket team and the Australian rugby league team." ..
KUMULS INSPIRED BY LEGEND MARCUS BAI
|Marcas Bai talks to the PNG players
|The Kumuls with legends Marcus Bai (red shirt) and Tommy O’Reilly (blue/white shirt).
|L-R, Rod Griffin, Anton Kui, Paul Aiton, Makali Aizue, George Moni and Charlie Wabo (background) listen intently to Marcus Bai address
They might have been softly spoken words but an address from Papua New Guinean legend Marcus Bai today hit the Kumuls hard ahead of their crucial World Cup clash against New Zealand tomorrow night at Skilled Park.
Bai, a former Melbourne Storm star and Kumuls mainstay throughout the 1995 and 2000 World Cups, urged the team to lift to the next level tomorrow.
“Everyone is proud of the way PNG played last week against England but there is even more potential in this side,” Bai said today at the team’s final training run at Miami’s Pizzey Park.
“I see a real spirit in this side… something special.”
Bai, who was joined by fellow Kumuls legend Tommy O’Reilly, spoke of the impact coach Adrian Lam has had on the national side since he took up the post in 2006.
“What Adrian has done is bring together players of Papua New Guinean heritage from all over the world,” Bai said.
“Back when I was playing there were barely any half-caste players, and very rarely any white players.
“Today, the team is full of players who have been able to reconnect with their heritage and it looks to me that they have discovered the passion that burns inside when they represent PNG.
“Our country is like no other – Rugby League is absolutely everything to PNG.
“It is not just a sport… It is the one and only sport. That is what makes it so special for these guys to pull on the jersey.
“I know that whatever happens tomorrow night, PNG will be proud of them, and they will have so much to build on going into the future.”
Kumuls captain John Wilshere said the players felt privileged to be addressed by a former player regarded as one of the best the country has ever produced.
“Just what he has done for PNG Rugby League – he is a legend of the game and it’s humbling to receive his praise and encouragement,” Wilshere said.
“It was a great thing to hear him speak and I know the guys were rapt to have him show up to training and give us his support.”
– Saturday 1 November to Sunday 2 November
Saturday 1 November - Team walk, 10am Venue TBC Coach only available for interview
Sunday 2 November - Recovery, approx 8.30am (TBC, pls contact DM)Crowne Plaza pool Depart for Brisbane via coach, before flying to Townsville on Jetstar flight JQ-910 at 7.15pm..
WOMEN'S LEAGUE OFFERS REP POSITIONS
THE Queensland Women's Rugby League is calling for applications for coaching staff for its representative teams in 2009.
The league expanded its representative program in 2008, co-ordinating Divisional representative teams who competed in the annual National titles, and will continue this trend into the 2009 season.
The league has also commenced its development program, with a squad of 25 players currently named in the Queensland development squad.
These members will participate in a camp in early 2009, providing an opportunity to develop new skills and techniques in the sport.
Coaching applicants must be in possession of a minimum Level 2 ARL Coaching accreditation. Experience at a representative level is desired.
Trainer - minimum level 2 First Aid/Sports Trainer. Knowledge in developing strength and conditioning programs for female athletes is an advantage.
Manager - experience with representative teams desired. Must be in possession of relevant first aid qualifications.
Please attach a cover letter with your resume, stating the representative team you wish to apply for. For further information, in particular the proposed representative schedule, please email Veronica White on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications can be emailed or sent by post to QWRL Secretary, PO Box 3113, West Ipswich Q 4305.
SAMOA BEATS TONGA IN WORLD CUP POOL MATCH
|WEIGHT of the world . . . Samoa's Ali Lauititi goes down under strong Tongan defence in their World Cup match at Penrith. Picture: Gregg Porteous. / The Courier-Mail
SAMOA took a big step towards the rugby league World Cup semi-finals with a dogged 20-12 win over arch rival Tonga in their island derby at Penrith.
Samoa will clinch their World Cup pool if they beat Ireland in the last pool match at Parramatta next Wednesday.
The Friday night clash between Samoa and Tonga featured plenty of rugged defence and jarring hits, plus an occasional high tackle.
And when it was over, hundreds of excited Samoa fans charged onto the pitch to celebrate.
While it wasn't the spiteful battle some pundits had forecast, Australian referee Shayne Hayne still had his work cut out.
He placed two players on report - Samoan prop Kylie Leulua'i for a high tackle on Tongan fullback Fetuli Talanoa in the first half.
After the break, Hayne placed Tongan centre Etu Uaisele on report for a dangerous tackle on Samoan fullback Smith Samau, who was picked up and driven into the ground.
Samoa grabbed initiative early, with winger Francis Meli crossing in the third minute.
And they bolted to a 10-0 advantage in the 11th minute, when skipper Nigel Vagana picked off pass from Tongan hooker Tevita Leo-Latu and sprinted 90m for a try converted by Ben Roberts.
Tonga surged back into the game when classy centre Michael Jennings charged onto a brilliant flick pass from Tony Williams. The conversion cut the deficit to four points.
Vagana missed a glorious opportunity for another try when he dropped the ball over the line in what effectively became a 12 point turnaround.
Just a couple of minutes later Leo-Latu burst out of dummy half to set up a 12-10 Tongan lead.
Bulldogs NRL star Matt Utai weaved over in the right hand corner to give Samoa a 14-10 halftime lead.
But it was virtually one way traffic in the second half, with Samoa dominating possession against an outfit clearly still fatigued from last Monday's win over Ireland.
Samoa extended their lead with a brilliant try to centre George Carmont, who capitalised on some sensational lead-up work by forwards David Solomona and Lagi Setu.
The dominant Samoans had potential tries to Carmont and Ben Roberts rubbed out, but continued to monopolise possession until the closing minutes.
Tonga was further hampered by an apparent groin injury to halfback Willie Manu.
The result effectively eliminated Tonga, with Ireland needing to beat Samoa by six points to top the pool.
Vagana placed the game alongside his Test debut for New Zealand as one of the highlights of his career.
He admitted it hadn't been easy to control all the hype around the first World Cup fixture between the ancient rivals.
"The rivalry is instilled into you when you are born and it's something that we always have and it's always within us and trying to stay focused and not let the emotion take over can be a stretch," Vagana said.
"It's to the credit of us and the Tongans that we played a very disciplined game, no fights, no brawls or anything like that."
Samoa coach John Ackland praised Tonga for their courageous defensive effort in the second half.
"We always thought that they would tire but, to their credit, they didn't, they kept defending their line with tremendous courage," Ackland said.
Tonga coach Jim Dymock refused to use the short five-day turnaround as an excuse for their second half performance and said Samoa played well.
"We played well in patches, I just thought we played dumb some times, maybe we go caught in the hype a little bit in the second half," Dymock said.
Both coaches felt the game was a great advertisement for the international game and especially the Pacific Islands style of football.
Tonga captain Lopini Paea paid credit to the physicality of the Samoans, lightheartedly referring to the "13 big gorillas".
Paea said he didn't object to getting mobbed by the crowd at the end.
"It would have been better if you get mobbed when you win, I'm surprised I didn't get jumped by a couple of Tongan fans," joked Paea.. RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP
SCOTS TAKE HIGH ROAD ON THE HARBOUR
|Scottish RugbyLeague boys on top of Sydney Harbour Bridge
SCOTTISH prop Neil Lowe reckons his Sydney Harbour Bridge climb should have been a hair-raising experience.
"Yeah, but I had a few beers last night and the boys shaved me completely bald," he laughs. "So I made the climb looking like a bloody cue ball."
Playing with Keighley Cougars, Lowe was one of six Scotsmen who climbed Sydney's iconic landmark yesterday afternoon.
Sent up as guests of BridgeClimb, the group included centre Mick Nanyn, winger Dean Colton, hooker Ben Fisher, centre Gareth Morton and team media man Wayne Cousins.
"To get the opportunity to climb an Australian landmark like this, I just couldn't miss it," Lowe says.
"To be up there overlooking the harbour . . . it was like I'd hit the jackpot."
ROOS ON ALERT FOR POMMY BASHING
|New addition … Karmichael Hunt, who has been promoted to the bench for Sunday's clash with England in Melbourne, practises his kicking yesterday. Photo: Getty Images
Kangaroos coach Ricky Stuart has braced his players for a bruising, old fashioned-style Test against England in Sunday's World Cup clash in Melbourne as both teams seek a psychological advantage before a possible rematch in the tournament final.
With the draw structured so the top nations meet in their pool matches as well as the finals, unless Papua New Guinea cause an upset, there is the opportunity for teams to bash star opponents out of the tournament as injured players cannot be replaced.
Australian halfback Johnathan Thurston, who is battling to overcome a shoulder problem, is an obvious target for the Lions' big forwards, and Stuart expects the clash with England to be far more physical than last Sunday's 30-6 thrashing of the Kiwis.
"I think it will be a different game than we played in our first game against New Zealand where I found New Zealand really wanted to just hit the ground, play the ball quickly and roll on with the game," Stuart said. "I think with the English team it will be a traditional Test match.
Just some of the forwards they have and the experience they've got. Adrian Morley, for example, he's passionate towards his jumper, and his confrontational type of football will, I think, be spread right through the team.
"I think [England coach] Tony Smith will encourage a confrontational Test match, a traditional Test match, where there's a big start to the game. That's the way we will be preparing, and I think it will be a very physical game."
England's forward pack also boasts captain Jamie Peacock, Wigan hardman Gareth Hock, Wests Tigers recruit Gareth Ellis and 23-year-old St Helens front-rower James Graham - the Super League player of the year who lived up to his ranking as the best prop in the world by topping the statistics in the first week of the tournament for most runs, metres gained and offloads.
"They've been talking up a little bit about how good they're going so there's going to be some sorting each other out, for sure," Kangaroos interchange prop Josh Perry said.
"They're all big and strong and they all like to mix it up a bit but we've got a pretty good forward pack ourselves so we're all looking forward to a good, hard tussle like the old days, I guess."
England's last win over Australia in the 2006 Tri-Nations tournament was a fiery encounter at the SFS in which Willie Mason and Stuart Fielden traded blows during the opening exchanges.
In the 2003 Ashes series, Morley was sent off after just 12 seconds in the first Test. Kangaroos captain Darren Lockyer admitted that trying to lure the world champions into a physical battle up front was England's best chance of an upset.. LEARN MORE
SYDNEY EAST SECONDARY GIRLS TACKLE GALA DAY
|sydney east secondary girls tackle gala day
On Tuesday the 21st of October at Todd Park girls from high schools in the Sharks, Dragons, and Souths districts competed in the Sydney East Girls tackle Gala Day.
The games were played with 7 players on the field with 4 reserves under international rules with the safe play code in effect.
In the junior (yr 7 and 8) division due to some late cancellations found only two teams to play off in State of Origin best of 3 series between G.R.C Peakhurst and Kingsgrove.
The first two games both in back and forth battles ended in a draws which brought it down to the third and deciding game. Both teams came out fired up, ready to put on a great game but at the final siren G.R.C Peakhurst came from behind to be the eventual winners.
The seniors (yr 9 and 10) division saw eight teams participate being split into two pools of four where all teams were garranteed a certain three games.
There was a big display of heart from all the girls on the field, not to mention some impressive ball skills and some big hits that some NRL players would be proud of.
The Final came down to Matraville vs Engadine who had had a draw in there pool game earlier, this game was not going to be same this time Matraville proved to be to big and strong.
Congradulations to all the girls that played, they showed that given the chance to play a game they don't often get to the skill of the players proved to a make a very entertaining day of Rugby League.
If your school is interested in participating in this event next year please contact Huw Ellis at email@example.com
|PELO KEEN FOR WORLD CUP ACTION
France flyer Dimitri Pelo is getting set to make his World Cup debut on Saturday afternoon at WIN Stadium, after the Les Catalans winger was included in the starting side to take on Fiji.
Pelo has been battling a hamstring injury since arriving in Australia and missed the French win over Scotland, but he’s confident he’ll be ready to go on Saturday afternoon.
Speaking in Wollongong today Pelo said he was enjoying his time on the coast, and looked forward to a strong game against Fiji.
“It’s great to be back in Australia in some nice sunny weather It’s going to be good for people like me that are used to the heat, in France its fairly muggy but not as hot,” Pelo said. “Wollongong’s great, I’m from the Gold Coast so it’s a nice laid back atmosphere and we’re enjoying the experience so far.
“I’m looking forward to getting back on the field, and hopefully play the way I have been all year.”
Pelo had two seasons with NRL side Cronulla in 2003 and 2004 and has been a part of Les Catalans since 2005. He said the move France has been the best career move he’s made, and his form in the English Super League had benefited from the move.
“It’s been a great experience, I’ve never lived there before but I’ve been there from 2005 until now so it’s been a real life changing experience for me,” he said. “I can speak full French, my parents taught me French by speaking it at home so there’s been no problem with the language barrier.”
Ahead of Saturday’s match Pelo said the French team would look to combat the fast Fijian backs with some power up front, and said he was keen to make an impact against the Pacific islanders.
“We completed everything we needed to do and what we trained for against Scotland and dominating the ruck remains the focus for us,” he said. “I’m looking forward to getting back on the field, and hopefully play the way I have been all year.”
Pelo said he was aware of the talent that Fiji had within their ranks, and has had some experience with one of their players at a junior level
“We’ll have to look out for the likes of Jarryd Hayne and Wes Naiqama and make sure we don’t give them too much space,” he said. “I played with Ashton Sims with schoolboys so I know the way he plays.”
KUMULS COACH TOWNSVILLE STUDENTS
|SIDE-STEP ... Menzie Yere eludes a determined Brad Kettlewell
THE Willows Primary school had an early taste of World Cup Rugby League when PNG paid a special visit to their school last week.
Willows, who finished second in the State in the school rugby league competition, were rewarded for their effort with coaching clinics conducted by the Kumuls.
The clinics for Year 6 and Year 7 students ran for a few hours, allowing the children to work on the basic skills of the game including kicking, passing and running.
Willows rugby league team captain and five-eighth Cameron Griffiths said it was fun having PNG at his school.
"It was good to learn stuff off them – we've done a bit of passing, kicking and tackling so far," Griffiths said.
Kumuls forward Jason Chan was excited to be in Townsville and helping out the local kids.
"We were at the school to basically promote footy in the local area and to catch up with the school's team that finished second in the State for rugby league," Chan said.
"We've just been going through a few drills with them today and helping them out wherever they need it really.
"We've got defence drills, line running, passing, kicking and I think that's duck-duck- goose over there. "
PNG captain John Wilshere, who plays professionally in the UK, said he was surprised at the talent shown at Willows.
"I'm very impressed," Wilshere said.
"I was watching one kid who was there one second and then, all of a sudden, he was over the other side of the field – I couldn't believe how quick he was. All the kids are really enthusiastic about the drills."
TROPHY A SPECIAL LINK FOR FAMILIES
|Talented Muswellbrook Junior Rugby League player Daley Boney receives the Ron Langdon Memorial Trophy for 2008 from the late Ron Langdon’s grandson Jarrod Watts and his grandmother Thelma Langdon.
WHEN long-time junior rugby league supporter Ron Langdon passed away in 1997, his family created a perpetual memorial trophy to be awarded to the most promising under 16 player each season.
Little did Mr Langdon’s wife Thelma realise at the time, but the trophy would keep her in contact with a legion of talented young athletes with whom she has had an association over the years.
This season young lock Daley Boney’s name was added to the prestigious trophy, an honour his older brother Cade achieved in 2006.
The Boney family are very good friends of Thelma and her family and grandson Jarrod Watts presented Daley with the trophy.
“Nearly every name on the trophy has a family connection for us and to see both Cade and Daley with it - well, Ron would just be so proud of them,” Mrs Langdon said.
“It is a big thrill. It is lovely to see someone you’ve had a lot to do with win it.
As a daycare mum, Mrs Langdon took care of 2002 winner Brendan Hunt and 2000 winner Jaye Foot.
And the 2003 Ron Langdon Memorial Trophy winner Liam Dunn is the grandson of neighbours of Mrs Langdon.
Thelma and Ron’s son Wayne Langdon was good mates with 1999 trophy winner Mark Robinson’s father, and 2005 winner Daniel O’Connor is also a family friend.
Meanwhile, on the rugby league front, the future is promising for Cade and Daley, who are in year 11 and year 10 respectively at Muswellbrook High.
Cade has been selected in the Knights 2009 under 18s squad while Daley has been selected in the Knights 2009 under 16s squad.
Cade has also been invited to participate in the Under 18 SG Ball Summer Squad for Indigenous players, while Daley will has been invited to join to the Under 16 Harold Matthews Summer Squad for indigenous players. Both camps are at Narabeen this weekend.
Daley hopes to one day play at NRL level and his goal is to be selected in a representative national or Indigenous side.
“It was good to win the trophy, especially as I know so many of the others who have won it,” Daley said.
RINALDI OUT OF WORLD CUP
|FRANCE V FIJI
|SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 1,
5.30PM WIN STADIUM
1. Jared Taylor
2. Justin Murphy
3. John Wilson
4. Sebastien Raguin
5. Dimitri Pelo
6. Thomas Bosc
7. Christophe Moly
8. Jean Christophe Borlin
9. James Wynne
10. Olivier Elima
11. Jerome Guisset (C)
12. Teddy Sadaoui
13. Gregory Mounis
14. Laurent Carrasco
15. Remi Casty
16. Jamal Fakir
17. Maxime Gresque
18. Jean-Philippe Baile
French and London Harlequins hooker Julien Rinaldi’s World Cup campaign is over, after scans revealed today the tough number nine has a fractured cheekbone in three places.
Rinaldi’s loss has forced France to change their line-up for Saturday’s clash against Fiji at WIN Stadium, with man of the match from Sunday James Wynne set to start at hooker for France.
A shattered Rinaldi said he was extremely disappointed with the outcome of his scans, and was frustrated that he would take no further part in his countries campaign towards the semi-finals of the Cup.
“You never want your tournament to end this way and finish the World Cup with an injury,” Rinaldi said. “I have spoken with all the Coaching and management staff and they’re happy to let me stay with the team for the rest of the cup and help them out in anyway I can, especially if we can make it to the finals.”
Rinaldi said he would wait until after the cup finished until he had surgery on the injury and would most likely have it done in Australia.
“I’m meeting with the surgeon tomorrow and I’ll try and schedule something for when the team is finished,” he said. “Until then I’ll be here to support the team and hopefully see them do well.”
France have made several changes to the side that defeated Scotland on Sunday with concussed forward Eric Anselme being given a rest for the match, with Teddy Sadaoui moving into the back row and Les Catalans flyer Dimitri Pelo coming onto the wing.
Christophe Moly will swap places with halfback Maxime Gresque for the start of the match with Gresque shifting to the bench, while man mountain Jean Christophe Borlin replaces Adel Fellous in the front row.
Laurent Carrasco gets his chance to have a run for France coming into the side on the bench from 18th man, with Jean-Philippe Baile named in number 18 this week.
DOMINELLO WITHIN REACH OF FURTHER GOALS
|Jarrod Dominello was the only Cowra player chosen in Western Academy squad last week.
Jarrod Dominello has taken another step to carving out a career path in rugby league with selection in a Western Academy squad.
Dominello was the only Cowra Magpie drafted into the 41 -man squad which features players from Group 10, Group 11 and Group 14.
Dubbo players dominate the contingent, with nine players alone coming from the Macquarie Raiders alone.
Six players from Cowra trialled for the squad which held practice matches at Dubbo before finalising the list.
They will now head to a two - day training camp on November 8 - 9 before playing trial matches against the Northern Academy in Tamworth in February as well as a Far West Academy side.
Dominello, a speedy outside back who is comfortable at either fullback, wing or centre, said he hoped to further his ambitions in the sport with the selection in the Western Academy squad.
“I wouldn’t mind trying to get a contract with a football club,” he said. “They haven’t said anything about positions yet, just put us in the squad.”
Dominello was a key component of Cowra’s under 16s side winning the 2008 Group 10 title.
He thanks the support of Cowra Junior Rugby League, and will continue working on his fitness over the off-season in preparation for work with the squad early next year.
DREAMTEAM DROPS IN
| Cameron Clark and Preston Campbell
|Cameron Clarke, Kyle Baxter Dean Widders and Joe Gunn
Three students from Red Bend Catholic College, Cameron Clarke (Lake Cargelligo), Kyle Baxter (Billamari /Cowra) and Joe Gunn (Forbes) were invited to attend.
During this camp over three days, the players were put through drills and testing from the coaching staff (including Head Coach Chris Binge and former player Leo Dynevor), learnt Indigenous games and participated in Cultural Dance performed and demonstrated by the talented Jai Pittman.
In Another highlight the players had the opportunity to train against the Indigenous ‘Dreamtime’ team, in an oppose session, against players such as Preston Campbell, Dean Widders, Rhys Wesser and Carl Webb.
This excellent experience for Indigenous player from throughout NSW, was organised by Phil Duncan and overseen by Steve Hall (NSW RL). From this camp 17 - 20 players will be short listed to attend another camp next year prior to the NSW Indigenous under 16’s team being selected.
Past Red Bend students Zac Merritt and Les Pitt have represented this team in the annual clash against QLD, whilst Joel Thompson was selected in the Indigenous ‘Dreamtime’ team but unfortunately had to withdraw though injury.
FIRST TO ARRIVE, LAST TO LEAVE
|LIFE MEMBER: Jim Galvin has been recognised for his hard work in developing junior rugby league at Bowral.
ANYONE who has been involved with Bowral junior rugby league will know Jim Galvin.
He is always the first one to arrive at Loseby Park on a Saturday morning and generally the last one to leave.
Galvin’s tireless work for theclub as a junior coach, as well as a committee member, saw him made a life member of the Bowral Kookaburras at its presentation day at Loseby Park on Sunday.
Bowral’s junior club was resurrected in 2004 and Greg Moore was made its first life member last year.
Galvin was involved with the senior Bowral club as manager of both first and reserve grade in rhe 1990s and played for Chipping Norton in the 60’s as well as in the Army League in the 70’s and 80’s.
Galvin was corporal in the Royal Australian Electrical Engineers and was stationed at Townsville and Holsworthy. The 60-year-old said his time in the Army helped him coach junior league.
“It taught me that you need to be patient,” he said. “It is not about discipline with the young’ens. It’s not about winning, but enjoying it.”
Helping youngsters enjoy the game was paramount for Galvin.
“I like to coach the young’ens. They get so much fun and enjoyment out of it,” he said.
JUNIOR RUGBY LEAGUE IN SIEGSDORF, BAYERN
|German kids are learning to play Rugby League
Leonhard Berngruber and Andreas Kettner took the opportunity in the Upper Bavarian victory village were to teach to a fourth class in school sport instruction first handles in the Rugby League.
16 enthusiastic 10 year olds girls and boys let themselves show in that scarcely 90 minutes training unit, how one deals with the oval ball, is getackelt as and which means it to be a crew.
First rules Rugby of the League were converted like also immediately likewise described. After summer holidays is to be tried to let follow this first step further and to present different schools the sport. Click on the pictures for increasing
GERMANS COACH KIDS IN LEAGUE
The sport is continued to develop momentarily in the area Munich. Each week trains Simon Cooper a group of 10-year old in Ismaning, in the north of the Bavarian state capital.
The Youngster follows a training routine and plays then so-called “Touch Rugby”, which is based on Rugby League. In addition the children get DVDs with plays of the British Super League and NRL plays.
Also Rugby-Bälle can take in order then thereby throw it with home, and catch to practice. The group consists of girls and boys, from whom some also play hand ball.
This is of advantage, there it with Rugby League also on good, safe hands arrives. Rugby is relatively new in Munich, since most people know neither Rugby League nor Rugby union.
The Youngster makes good progress and many of them comes also during holidays the Trainigseinheiten. Presented in another quarter Rugby League of a group of 15-jährigen, which did not know this sport also, there it usually football, hand ball or basketball to play.
The Youngster wants to make League further after summer holidays again with Rugby and to learn more over this sport. The boys and girls finaljerked the coaches Simon Cooper, Felix Miernik and Donnie Wood with their play talents and also with the enthusiasm, which they put with the two-hour Traingseinheiten to the day.
Also this group got Rugby-Bälle of `Rugby League Deutschland', like also the DVDs of the Super League and the NRL in Australia. At first it believed some the participant that Rugby League was `American Football', but at the end of the successful Traings them the large difference between the two kinds of sport was clear. For the autumn are further Click on the pictures for increasing
|SLICK AUSSIES SET FOR BOLD SHOWING
AUSTRALIA begins its bid for the 2008 Women’s World Cup with an opening round clash against France next Thursday (November 6).
The bumper opening round also features matches between New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, England and Russia and Tonga and Samoa.
Kawana’s Stockland Park is hosting the Women’s World Cup, which will be run in conjunction with the Police World Cup featuring Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, Fiji and PNG.
The talented Australian team is the hot favourite to take out the Women’s World Cup.
In a major incentive for the competing teams, the final will be played at Suncorp Stadium on November 15.
KANGAROOS LOOK INVINCIBLE
AND the good news is there is still room for improvement.
The Kangaroos served warning that they were and are the team to beat in this Rugby League World Cup, dominating New Zealand from start to finish.
After a solid first half, Australia kept pace in the second half to push the lead from 14 - 6 to 30 - 6.
It could have been much more. It has already led to calls the World Cup is a foregone conclusion - difficult to deny when Australia has already identified its greatest opponent.
"We're not weak enough to let that be an obstacle for us,'' Stuart said. "We have got to be strong in the head in regard to every game of football and we have got to be at our absolute best.''
There is no question Australia's great fear is complacency. But that canot happen when the Kangaroos are as prepared for it as they are now.
"We're not going to get any faster,'' Stuart said. "We're not going to get any more skillful, we're now going to get any more power as a group of players, so it is very important our mental space is strong. England and New Zealand have shown over the years they can get us at some stage.''
Australia's biggest fear is a minor one, calls last night that Billy Slater be sanctioned for his controversial stoppage of Jerome Ropati when he dived feet first to get underneath and block the ball from being grounded.
While admitting it sails close to the wind, Stuart had no problem with the move if performed correctly. Other than that, the Kiwis are considered the second strongest team in this World Cup, yet Australia's win was controlled and determined, absolutely dominant, and yet still there was still mighty room for improvement.
The Kiwis paid the price for surrendering too much possession in the first half, for failing to trouble Australia in attack. They grew leg weary and struggled in direction, a vicious circle that saw them become more fatigued with each uninspired set, and yet each drawn out set leading to more fatigue.
The Kiwis played into Australia's hands. First Israel Folau scored with what was once again another outdown from the Contortionist Handbook. Wrestling Jerome Ropati and Manu Vatuvei, Folau eventually popped the ball over his head to touch down.
He made it look so easy. It pushed Australia ahead 18 - 6, a lead extended upon when Johnathan Thurston spun and wobbled and found himself in space midway through the second half.
With Australia already 12 points ahead, the Kiwis could not afford to let the Aussies push any further ahead. But the class of the Australians was difficult to stop.
As Thurston was pulled down he flicked it to Billy Slater, the ball ricocheting forward off Slater's hip for a beat into Slater's hands where he dived over.
Moments earlier, Brent Tate struggled to the sideline with the help of trainers, sagging to the ground, the news improving somewhat when it was declared Tate had suffered a concussion.
Australia's intentions were declared early, after the Kangaroos received a penalty for holding down. Nicely placed in New Zealand's half, after several sets that found space, the decision looked certain that Australia would kick for the line and mount pressure on the Kiwis.
No, they took the penalty attempt. This game was going to the trenches. Australia was obviously preparing itself for a long, hard dogfight and so was taking whatever points they were on offer.
Who knows when they might have the chance again?
As it turned out, it wasn't long.
Thurston took the penalty to push Australia 2 - 0 ahead, and from the kick return Australia marched up field, received a penalty, and found touch deep in New Zealand territory. Here is where trouble began to surface for New Zealand.
The Kangaroos found space along both edges. The dogfight Australia was preparing to dig in for was not eventuating.
When Steve Matai launched himself at Paul Gallen with a high shot that left Gallen concussed and Matai on report, and facing something of a nervous wait to see if he has a case to answer, the Aussies were suitably buoyed.
They were finding holes in New Zealand's defence. Cameron Smith tapped and pinged the ball left and then the Aussies made a quick shift back across the field.
It went through any number of wonderful hands - from Smith to Thurston to Darren Lockyer and then finally Greg Inglis with just enough space. Inglis exposed Matai's speed up in the line with a neat step inside, punching through to push Australia 8 - 0 ahead following Thurston's conversion.
The Kiwis looked like they were killing themselves through ill-discilpine ... and then as they do so often, turned the game on its head.
Despite the wealth of possession Australia's way, the Kiwis made good of their first extended trip into Australia's territory when Benji Marshall skipped across field and found Sika Manu on an inside run.
Manu, all power and aggression, brushed through a flimsy attempt from Josh Perry to bring New Zealand back within two. All the good work was undone within minutes.
The Kiwis failed to make their kick, Australia found the ball in good field position and soon enough the Kangaroos were in again.
Again by finding New Zealand short on the edges, again down New Zealand's right side where right centre Matai, normally a left centre, was playing in an unfamiliar position.
The tryscorer was Joel Monaghan, on debut, giving him a memory to take with him forever.
(I Folau 2 G Inglis J Monaghan B Slater tries J Thurston 4 C Smith goals)
bt (S Manu try S Matai goal) at Sydney Football Stadium. Referee: A Klein. Crowd: 34,157.
DUNN BROTHERS RETURN FOR CLUB REUNION DINNER
|EastRidge Cobra's came to play the Cronulla Sharks Under 13 teams on Shark Park, now all the kids in Dubbo want to play for the Cobra's ( Photo's : ourfooty media ) Check It Out
|Blake Dunn playing for Illawarra in the NSW Country Championships at Apex Oval in June.
The short but impressive history of the Eastridge Junior Rugby League Club will be celebrated tonight when members gather for a celebration at the Castlereagh Hotel.
Ten years ago the club formed out of necessity, according to president Gerard Dunn, and next year the Cobras plan to be involved in all age groups.
Tonight’s dinner comes in the middle of a big week for the club, which held its annual general meeting on Wednesday and will have its presentation at the Dubbo Aquatic and Leisure Centre tomorrow.
Two of the stars to progress through the ranks of the Cobras and go on to bigger things, Brock and Blake Dunn, will be in attendance tonight while another former star, John Gray, is also expected to be there.
Brock Dunn was part of the Canberra Raiders team that won the inaugural Toyota Cup competition this season while Blake Dunn’s Illawarra team won the Toyota Country Championship.
He was also selected to represent NSW Country in this year’s Quad Challenge in Queensland.
Gray played with Manly in the Toyota Cup competition and had impressed until injuries interrupted his season.
Ten years ago the club formed out of necessity, according to president Gerard Dunn, and next year the Cobras plan to be involved in all age groups.
Tonight’s dinner comes in the middle of a big week for the club, which held its annual general meeting on Wednesday and will have its presentation at the Dubbo Aquatic and Leisure Centre tomorrow.
Two of the stars to progress through the ranks of the Cobras and go on to bigger things, Brock and Blake Dunn, will be in attendance tonight while another former star, John Gray, is also expected to be there.
Brock Dunn was part of the Canberra Raiders team that won the inaugural Toyota Cup competition this season while Blake Dunn’s Illawarra team won the Toyota Country Championship.
He was also selected to represent NSW Country in this year’s Quad Challenge in Queensland.
Gray played with Manly in the Toyota Cup competition and had impressed until injuries interrupted his season.
|RLWC BOSSES STUFF IT UP
The deeper you get into the league World Cup, the more you realise how badly they have stuffed it up.
Not content with trying to make life as difficult as possible for minnows like Papua New Guinea and Tonga, the organisers orchestrated another PR disaster by starting the prime match between Australia and New Zealand at 10 o'clock (NZ time) last night.
What kind of way is that to promote league in New Zealand?
The Aussies haven't been all that kind on themselves either, with television coverage of the opening games being delayed so as not to disturb normal high-rating scheduling.
It's not like the international league bosses have had to plan the tournament in a rush. It's been eight years since the last World Cup.
PNG were brave in defeat against England in the opener on Saturday night. On that showing, England won't get close to the Kangaroos or Kiwis. But I suspect this English team has a lot more to give than that.
Despite claims of being the best-prepared team to ever leave their shores - a claim I'm sure I've heard before - they are not overwhelming in the ability department. But on any given day, the top English side can always beat Australia, and they've had the wood on the Kiwis recently.
|GUISSET GETS A DOUBLE ON RETURN TO CANBERRA
It was a happy homecoming for French Captain Jerome Guisset, as he scored two tries in his sides 36 - 18 victory over Scotland in the Rugby League World Cup match at Canberra Stadium this afternoon.
Guisset led by example for the French as he produced a powerhouse display to give his side victory, and was well backed up by his front row of Adel Fellous and Olivier Elima.
After the game an exhausted Guisset said he was just happy to score some points in the World Cup, and credited the win to the platform laid by his fellow forwards in the back end of the first half.
“I don’t get to score too many tries so to get two is a bit of a shock really but I’ll take it,” Guisset said. “The team went forward well all day and I think we can improve even more as we head into next week.”
Guisset said the team was impressed by the facilities and ground at Canberra Stadium, and said many of the players were also excited about the enthusiasm of the 9, 287 who turned up to the game.
“Canberra Stadium is a world class venue and it was a great way for us to start our campaign with a good win,” he said. “I think the crowd support here today was excellent and a big boost for the World Cup as a competition.”
Man of the match James Wynne said it was great to be back in Australia playing on his home turf, and was excited about the prospects of the team for the rest of the tournament.
“We started slowly today but once we got into some rhythm we managed to go on with the job and get a good win,” Wynne said. “A win like that sets up the rest of the Rugby League World Cup for us, and we have a chance now to take on Fiji for that qualifying spot.”
France will head to Wollongong tomorrow to prepare for their second pool match against the Pacific island nation of Fiji, with the carrot of a semi-final still dangling above their noses.
|FRANCE HOLD OFF BRAVE SCOTLAND TO WIN WORLD CUP OPENER
France has begun their Rugby League World Cup campaign in fine fashion, with a solid 36-18 win over Scotland in their opening match of the World Cup today.
The early exchanges were tight as both teams looked to find each other out, with the majority of the French attack coming through the middle and the use of their big forwards Adel Fellous and Olivier Elima.
It was Fellous who got the ball rolling for the French with a break from just on half way, with Jared Taylor linking up with Fellous from fullback to score the first try of their campaign.
It didn’t take long for the Scots to hit back though, with a French forward pass leading to some good field position for the Braveheart’s, and Jon Steel made the most of it with a try in the corner from a neat Lee Patterson pass.
The Scots were denied another try shortly after to Duncan MacGillivary, when a Danny Brough kick was knocked on from Scottish fullback Michael Robertson.
Former Canberra Raiders player and French Captain Jerome Guisset scored on his former home ground, to give the French a 12-6 lead ten minutes out from halftime when Thomas Bosc converted.
Maxime Greseque gave the French another attacking opportunity from the restart with a booming 40 - 20 kick, and John wilson made the most of the opportunity as he latched on to a neat Bosc cross-field kick to put them 18 - 6 when Bosc converted.
It was Scotland however who came out firing in the second half through Oliver Wilkes, who latched onto a fireball pass from halfback Danny Brough. When Brough converted it was in the balance again at 18 - 12
France took some time to warm up after halftime and it was Thomas Bosc who provided the wake-up call, with a kick through to centre Sebastien Raguin and a conversion to give France another 12 point advantage at 24 - 12.
James Wynne kicked the French’s second 40 - 20 to give them another chance after the restart, but it was Scotland who was next to score with Dean Colton scoring out wide. Brough’s second sideline conversion made it 24 - 18 with 20 minutes to play.
Scotland went close again with fifteen to play, but the video referee Phil Cooley ruled a knock on to deny them a chance at leveling the score line.
Guisset ensured it was a happy homecoming to Canberra Stadium when he picked up his second with six minutes left. Hooker Julien Rinaldi sent a grubber through, and while Scottish fullback Michael Robertson appeared to have it covered, Guisset pulled off a one-on-one strip to crash over.
France scored again to complete the win, and take home the opening points in pool two of the Rugby League World Cup.
The only injury concern for France was second row forward Eric Anselme who was taken from the field with concussion, but he was cleared of any further injury by team medical staff.
KUMULS IGNITE RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP
Papua New Guinean flair, power and passion ignited the Rugby League World Cup tonight as the Kumuls re-emerged on the international stage with a courageous 32 - 22 loss to England at Dairy Farmers Stadium in Townsville.
Kumuls coach Adrian Lam was overcome with emotion even at halftime of the scintillating match as his team – including just one regular NRL first-grader in Neville Costigan – leapt to a 16 - 12 halftime lead against their highly fancied opponents.
And there is more to come from Papua New Guinea with coach Adrian Lam saying tonight he believes the side will be just as competitive against Australia and New Zealand in the coming weeks.
“Tonight we showed we are a young, courageous and spirited side and I couldn’t be prouder of the way the guys played,” Lam said.
“Tonight was a little bit about getting some respect back from the world of Rugby League.
“Guys like David Moore who is just 19, George Kepa who put an outstanding finish on that try, and performances like the one from James Nightingale – we showed we have a lot to look forward to.
“We’ve obviously got a big task against New Zealand next week, and to be honest the last four weeks we have been planning to play and beat England.
“We entered the game truly believing we could win it and if we had a few of the 50/50 calls go our way who knows what could have happened.
“It’s a young team and it’s a team we’re going to grow with over a period of time, as long as we can get more international games year in and year out.
“I think we can be competitive against Australia and New Zealand, same as tonight, but it’s another big step up for us again.”
Local Papua New Guinean player Jesse Joe Parker typified the courageous Kumuls performance, putting his body on the line in a terrific first half before leaving the field with a fractured eye socket.
But with just 16 men and millions of dollars of UK Super League talent opposing them, the Kumuls produced the type of Rugby League fans love to see with a combination of raw power, incredible offloads and pure emotion fuelling an entertaining performance.
A devastating forward pass ruling denied the Kumuls of a 20 - 12 lead early in the second half, to which England responded and eventually wrapped up the match 32 - 22, but not before a spirited fight to the finish from the Kumuls had the crowd of 10,780 on their feet.
In fact, those fans present had a difficult time hearing any of the famous Barmy Army chants from English fans, with every Kumuls line break greeted with raucous applause.
The Kumuls will hold an 8.30am recovery session at the Holiday Inn swimming pool tomorrow morning before departing for Brisbane on Jetstar flight JQ907 departing at 12.35pm.. Rugby League World Cup
TIME TO PUSH AWAY THOSE BITTER TEARS, SAYS FOLAU
|Sensitive giant … the 198-centimetre, 105-kilogram Israel Folau at Coogee Beach. Photo: Steve Christo
For this prodigy, the World Cup is a chance to move on from a painful grand final loss, Jessica Halloran writes.
The last time Israel Folau cried like that was when his team lost the under-12s grand final. A big sea of tears streamed down his cheeks, just as it did on grand final night this year after Manly smashed his Storm side.
"It was my last game for Melbourne - the way we finished off was pretty disappointing," he said this week in Coogee, combing the sand with his big hands, making sandcastles. "That's probably why I was more sad than anything. It's all over now. I've just got to move on."
Here on the beach he is definitely a happy teenager again, a toothy grin decorating his face. A few minutes earlier, surf life saving nippers had been winding about his legs, marvelling at his size. He stands at 198 centimetres and weighs 105 kilograms.
"How old are you?" was the commonly asked question. Folau is 19. "How young are you!" many replied.
"They are shocked," Folau said.
He's still growing, too. This year his footy-boot size went from a 12 to 13. He grew 4cm in the last year and added 5kg.
And at just 19 he has done so much. "Sometimes I've got to pinch myself when I think what I've achieved over the last two years," he said. Two grand finals, one premiership ring, the record for most tries scored in a debut NRL season and tonight, again, he is a Kangaroo.
"I think I'm pretty blessed for all the things I've got and achieved," he said.
After the World Cup, he will pack up his things in Melbourne and shift back home to his parents' Boronia Heights house on the southern outskirts of Brisbane. He will move back into his old bedroom and share with his little brother again. Just for a few months.
Family, as Folau has said before, is the reason he wanted to move to the Broncos.
"We're a tight bunch," he says. "I think it's time to go back."
He signed a reported $1.6 million contract over four years but has never cared much for money. However, he cares greatly for the ones he loves, so he gives his parents, Amelia and Ebi, nearly all of his wage.
He does keep a little for himself. "Spending money," he calls it. But even then he doesn't always use it up.
"I'm not really fazed by how much money I get," Folau said. "I play footy because I enjoy it. It's good to get the money as well but I don't really care about the money at this time. I'm young. Most of my money goes to my parents, which I'm happy about anyway. I have a little bit of spending money, which is about it. I don't even spend too much anyway."..
|LOCAL JUNIOR INTO WESTERN ACADEMY SQUAD
Following trials at Dubbo, young Lithgow Storm rugby league player Brad Morris was named in the Western Academy for 2008-09.
Brad played front row for the Lithgow Storm Junior Rugby League and is a player of the future.
He suffered a major setback this year when he sustained a knee injury while representing Group 10, but looks to be back bigger and better than ever.
He is the son of Gavin and Tanya Morris of Lithgow.
One of the invited coaches from Group 10 is Lithgow Workmens Club’s Graeme Osborne.
There were a couple of other Lithgow players to try out and could consider themselves extremely unlucky not to get a start in the squad.
Joshua Annis-Brown, (CYMS Orange); Jordan Bearman, (South Dubbo); Riley Cape, (Narromine); Thomas Cary-Edwards, (Macquarie Raiders); Jacob Dargan, (Condobolin JRL); Mitch Davis, (Forbes Magpies); Jarad Dominello, (Cowra Magpies); Anthony Egan-Smith, (Macquarie Raiders) and Eric Fernando, (Macquarie Raiders).
Blake Fitzpatrick, (Oberon Tigers); Lyndon Gale, (Macquarie Raiders); Sandon Gibbs-O’Neill, (Orange CYMS); Lou Goodwin, (Forbes); Jake Grace, (Forbes); Dylan Hill, (South Dubbo); Bryce Jones, (Orange CYMS); Grant Kemp, (Macquarie Raiders); Ben McQuillan, (Macquarie Raiders); Joshua Merritt, (Macquarie Raiders); Jackson Merritt, (South Dubbo); Bradley Morris, (Lithgow).
Warwick Mylchreest, (Bathurst Panthers); Corey Nicholson, (Forbes Magpies); Lionel O'Mally, (Dubbo CYMS); Matthew Park, (Forbes Magpies); Cameron Picker, (Bathurst Panthers); James Pomfret, (Dubbo CYMS); Max Ray, (Dubbo CYMS); Zac Redfern, (Forbes Magpies); Corey Redman, (Narromine); Ryan Roach, (Orange Hawks); Alex Ronayne, (Macquarie Raiders).
Charly Runciman, (St Johns Dubbo); Oliver Scott, (South Dubbo); Brendon Simpson, (Mudgee Dragons); Tas Spackman, (Forbes Magpies); Bradley Spencer, (South Dubbo); Corey Stanley, (Macquarie Raiders); Lachlan Sturgeon, (Bloomfield JRL); Luke Symons, (Orange CYMS) and Jack Wighton, (Boomfield JRL).
FRENCH STARS HIT THE GOLF COURSE
|French rugby league players ham it up at the Gold Creek Country Club in Canberra on Friday afternoon
With a much deserved rest day on hand members of the French Rugby League World Cup squad took to the Gold Creek Country Club in Canberra on Friday afternoon, for a relaxing 18 holes ahead of Sunday’s match against Scotland at Canberra Stadium.
Among those to tee off were Captain Jerome Guisset, five-eighth Thomas Bosc, hooker Julien Rinaldi, and prop Olivier Elima, all who claim they are more than just hackers on the local French courses.
The group was joined by Canberra Raiders legend and current Les Catalans forward Jason Croker, who showed them all the tricks of the trade on his home course in Canberra.
French Captain Jerome Guisset said it was great to have ‘Toots’ show them around his home course, and the team as whole was enjoying their time in Canberra.
“Toots is a great golfer and it’s great for him to be able to have a game with us while we are in town,” Guisset said. “His house backs onto the course so we’ll have to call in on our way around today.
“The team is having a good time so far in Canberra and is enjoying their time in Australia, we’re just keen now to get on the field on Sunday and play some football.”
The French team will wrap up their preparations for Sunday’s match against Scotland with a training run at Canberra Stadium Saturday morning.
2008 NSWRL ACADEMY YOUNG ACHIEVERS TOUR OF PNG
|NSWRL 2008 U16 Young Achivers on their tour of PNG
|Jacob Neil playing against the Cronulla Sharks U 15 dev side at Cronulla earlier this year when the FWAS came for their annual visit to play the Sharks (Photo : ourfooty media)
|Col Wright (L) & Ken Fitzgerald are responsible of arranging the Sharks successful tour of Nyngan
Good on ya boys (Photo : ourfooty media)
||VIAPUNA TIA KILIFI
||JARRAD LINTON – HARLAND
September 26 – Off and Running
For many of the far west boys the trip actually began with the journey from the outskirts of NSW down to the Academy in Sydney.
Right from the start, the lads learnt the value of a passport with one unfortunate boy being unable to tour after the mysterious disappearance of this vital document.
For most of the group, this would be their first trip on an airplane, let alone the first time out of the country.
By 10.00 am they had all been “kitted up” and were ready for the first official training run under sunny skies at Narrabeen. Coach Wright lectured and ran the tam for an hour and a half and was only slightly satisfied with the effort – obviously a tough man to please!
A quick “tub” and a BBQ lunch in the Academy picnic grounds saw the boys nourished for the bus ride to the Airport.
A detour over the Harbour Bridge gave many first timers a glimpse of Sydney. It was smooth sailing onto Virgin Flight DJ247 even though Dylan looked in need of a new pair of underwear.
I guess preflight nerves had kicked in.
After a largely uneventful flight, we hit the streets of Brisbane.
Brisbane traffic is a joke. A 5km drive to the hotel took an hour! None the less, by 7.00pm we were all checked in for the night. The boys devoured 25 pizzas for dinner and topped it off with gallons of soft drink and 36 Magnum ice-creams.
An early start awaited in the morning.
SEPTEMBER 27 – THE HARD YARDS
The sound of big Mick Barlow pounding the corridors and bellowing instructions is scary.
At 5.30 in the morning it’s downright terrifying. The boys were hounded out of bed and hustled down to breakfast. Only problem was that breakfast didn’t get served until 7.30.
Maccas at the airport sufficed: and boy these kids can eat! After going through the rigmarole of check-ins, customs, (where big Brian was screened as a terror suspect), security and immigration, and the mandatory delays due to air traffic, APNG flight CG0201 left the tarmac on route to Port Moresby.
The real adventure was about to begin.
At Jacksons Airport the glass doors slid open to reveal 1000’s of hysterical men women and children cheering and waving. A traditional dance group performed a war cry and the crowd surged just to touch our boys. TK needed a change of underwear.
Most of the boys came close to freezing on the spot. Welcome to PNG! As we fought our way through the crowd and onto the bus, the crowd again went crazy.
The Australian PM’s XIII had arrived. Spectacular driving from our man “Gus” got us through the mob and onto the highway. Hundreds of kids chased the bus hoping to score a gift from the Young Achievers. Some succeeded.
Travelling to the Comfort Inn was a unique experience. Every person on the streets waved and cheered. Cars and busses honked and local faces beamed. Emotions on our bus were extreme. Some were scared, some were on adrenalin high, and all of us knew that we were in another world.
After check-in we met our tour guide Ripa and the tour organizer Iffy. Col decided on a training run at a nearby oval to blow out the cobwebs.
The ground was as hard as concrete and riddled with pot holes. It took no time at all for around 500 locals to turn up and watch.
After some skills work, the local kids joined in for a game of touch with us. This was the ice breaker that the boys needed. Our kids realized that the local people meant us no harm, and only wanted to see, touch and talk to future NRL stars.
This country is Rugby League mad, and we were seen as missionaries for the game.
SEPTEMBER 28 – THE FIRST SCRUM
Heading out of Moresby and along the southern coast to the traditional village of Boera gave us a chance to see a piece of this fascinating country. Turning off the main highway, we were greeted by a dirt track that wound down a steep mountain to the coastal village...
FRANCE VISIT AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL
|The French Rugby League team took some time out of their schedule on Thursday afternoon in Canberra to reflect on the past, as they visited the Australian War Memorial.
Les Tricolores are preparing to battle the Scotland Braveheart’s at Canberra Stadium on Sunday afternoon, but let their guard down for a bit as they made their way through one of the nation’s most important landmarks.
Members of the squad were particularly interested in the World War I display on show in the building, in particular the section which focused on the conflict’s that took part on their shores during the Great War.
French Hooker Julien Rinaldi said he didn’t realise how much of a contribution Australia made during the war years in France, and was amazed at the displays on show at the War Memorial.
“I always knew Australia was a great ally and it’s fantastic to learn more about what they did for France,” Rinaldi said. “The War Memorial is a beautiful building and a must see for anyone visiting Canberra.”
Australian born French player James Wynne has been playing Rugby League in France for seven years now and qualifies for the team under the residency rule, and said it was a fantastic opportunity for his team to see one of his countries most famous buildings.
“Its great for the players to see some of Australia during the World Cup and it’s a real treat for some of these guys to get the chance to come and visit such an historical Australian venue,” Wynne said. “There’s so much to see in here and I know we’ve really enjoyed making our way through the building today.”
The French side will have a rest day on Friday before wrapping up their preparations for Sunday’s match against Scotland with a ball work session at Canberra Stadium on Saturday morning.
RECOGNITION FOR RUGBY LEAGUE PIONEER DINNY LUTGE
|Pilgrimage...Lachlan Dwyer visits the grave of his great great grandfather Dinny Lutge, the first captain of the Kangaroos and (inset), the plaque on Lutge's grave. Picture: Gregg Porteous / The Daily Telegraph
WHEN nine-year-old Lachlan Hannagan Brown visited his great great grandfather's grave for the first time, it was one of the most poignant moments in rugby league's centenary year.
It came 100 years after Dinny Lutge captained the first Kangaroo side to England in 1908 and coincided with the year his young descendent started playing league with the Narellen Jets.
Going to Lutge's grave nestled amidst the peaceful setting of the Macquarie Park Cemetery was both a spiritual pilgrimage for young Lachlan and the chance to pay tribute to one of the games's sadly forgotten heroes.
"It's pretty awesome," the proud youngster said as he read the inscription on Lutge's gravestone. Lachlan is one of the few people to actually know Lutge's story. When he had to do a school project on "My Hero", he had no hesitation in choosing the Australian football pioneer as his subject.
While Lutge played a major role in the history of both union and league, he has never received the recognition he deserved.
Thanks to author Jeff Hewitt, who researched Lutge's life for his book Two Blues_ 100 Years of Mosman Rugby, his legacy is finally being recognised.
Lutge played in Australia's first rugby Test against New Zealand in August 1903 and in all three Tests against Great Britain in 1904.
In 1908 he became a foundation member of the North Sydney Rugby League Football Club and played in the first official Test series against New Zealand.
During the six-week journey to England with the first Kangaroos aboard the RMS Macedonia, Lutge was elected tour captain by his teammates. The legendary Dally Messenger was vice-captain.
He only played five of the 45 games after breaking his arm and Messenger took over as skipper.
Lutge died in 1953 aged 73. In a situation which did neither rugby code any credit, our first Kangaroo skipper and rugby Test pioneer was buried in an unmarked grave.
"It was very sad. He was forgotten and died a pauper," said Hewitt, who, after a painstaking search, found Lutge's plot and successfully lobbied the Bears to erect a long overdue memorial.
Now Lachlan intends to keep Lutge's memory alive by following in his footballing footsteps.
He scored 34 tries for the Jets in his debut season and his school, St Clare's at Narellen, made the State championships semi-finals.
ANDREW JOHNS RATES KNIGHT AKUILA UATE "BEST LEAGUE ATHLETE"
|Awesome talent...Andrew Johns rates Akuila Uate the greatest rugby league athlete he has ever seen. Picture: Gregg Porteous / The Daily Telegraph
MEET the Fijian flyer Andrew Johns is tipping to tear apart the 2008 World Cup - a kid he describes as "the greatest rugby league athlete I've ever seen".
In his exclusive column with The Daily Telegraph, Johns today lists boom Knight Akuila Uate among the centenary event's five danger men.
The nomination is a huge wrap for the 21-year-old winger who boasts just four NRL games yet is pushing 10 seconds for 100m sprints.
"In all my years in rugby league I've never seen a better athlete than this bloke." Johns enthused last night. "And it's all raw power. And he still has a long way to go.
"But whenever Aku gets the ball in his hands during this tournament . . . mate, strap yourself in because something is going to happen."
Born and raised in Fiji, Uate moved to Australia in 2003 at the urging of his father.
And ever since this easygoing rookie with lightning feet has been turning heads.
It started when a Newcastle talent scout spotted the unknown Islander playing for Woy Woy.
He drove back and told Knights officials: "I've just found the next Lote Tuqiri".
At 15, Uate was coming third in Australian 100m finals. Two years later covering the same distance in 10.9 seconds.
"The closest athlete I've seen to Aku is Timana Tahu," Johns continued. "But this kid is even better than T. I mean, we were doing speed work one time at the Knights and over 40 metres Aku was two metres quicker. That's serious speed.
"You touch him and the muscle fibre is incredible. His vertical leap is phenomenal and the bloke has a backside you could sit a drink on. It's frightening to think just how good he could be."
It's a sentiment shared by older brother Matthew who earlier this year described Uate as "the next personality player of the NRL".
"He's an excitement machine, no doubt," Johns said. "(Knights coach) Brian Smith held him back last year for good reason but there's definitely been an expectation about him for a good while now."
Currently walking from Newcastle to Sydney to raise money for the Black Dog Institute, Johns yesterday named his five danger men of the 2008 World Cup.
It's a solid hitlist that includes Uate, Kangaroo Anthony Laffranchi, Tongan playmaker Feleti Mateo, English halfback Rob Burrow and New Zealand centre Steve Matai.
Asked to nominate his most anticipated clash, Johns picked the October 31 Samoa-Tonga clash at Penrith.
"It's going to be incredible," Johns said. "Plenty of flesh on flesh."
FRENCH RUGBY LEAGUE VISIT LOCAL FRENCH SCHOOL
|PICTURE: Students from North Ainslie Primary join members of the French Rugby League team in front of the French banner made by the students
Chants of ‘Viva La France’ echoed through the assembly hall at North Ainslie Primary School today in Canberra, when members of the French Rugby League team paid a special visit to the French Speaking School.
North Ainslie Primary is one of the few Primary Schools in the ACT who teach French as part of their curriculum, and they got some first hand experience when French Rugby League Captain Jerome Guisset led some of his team into the assembly.
Guisset said it was fantastic to see the French language taught in an Australian Classroom, and commended the students on their fine efforts in greeting the team in French.
“Learning French is a great way for the students to learn some team work in the Classroom and it’s great to see so many students enjoying the language,” Guisset said. “It’s great to have some support from the Canberra community ahead of Sunday’s match as well.”
French prop forward Jean-Christophe Borlin was the star of the show for the French team, and got the students chanting ‘Viva La France’ in time as he clapped and danced in the hall.
North Ainslie Primary Deputy Principal Louise Owens said the students at the school appreciated the visit from the French team, and had gone all out in preparation for their arrival.
“The children are so excited and they have really gotten into the spirit of the teams arrival,” Ms Owens said. “They’ve made posters and banners, and I don’t think I’ve seen them this excited all year.”
Ms Owens said although the school was not a full French speaking school, they did focus their attention on teaching the language in the classroom.
“The year 5/6 children at the school have two half an hour French sessions per week and the younger students have 45 minutes of French a week,” Ms Owens said. “Apart from being able to communicate in another language it also allows the students to become aware of another culture and it also develops the children’s thinking qualities.”
The French rugby league team will name their team for Sunday’s match against Scotland at tomorrow’s joint media conference at Canberra Stadium at 11.15am
ROOSTERS YOUNGSTER BANNED FOR 26 WEEKS AFTER KICKING OPPONENT IN HEAD
|Gone for the season...Sydney Roosters Toyota Cup player Ulise Fahina appears on a kicking charge. Picture: Mark Evans / The Daily Telegraph
The NRL judiciary last night banned a teenage winger for a combined 26 weeks on two charges which included kicking a Toyota Cup opponent in the head.
Roosters rookie Ulise Fahina received 25 weeks for the kicking incident and a further week for a contrary conduct charge which stemmed from an incident earlier in the same match, the final-round Cup clash with St George Illawarra.
Fahina, 18, was described at the hearing as a player with "potential to play in the NRL at a very young age" but this carried little weight with the three-man panel charged with examining his actions during a wild brawl in the game. It was alleged Fahina ran more than 10 metres to launch his boot into the face of unsuspecting Dragons winger Daniel Nicastri.
NRL counsel Peter Kite said had a similar incident involved an experienced NRL player, "you'd wonder if they'd be welcome back in the game".
Roosters chief executive Brian Canavan said Fahina, who wore his Patrician Brothers Blacktown school blazer, was naturally disappointed with having to sit out the 2009 season. He said the club would continue to support him.
Kite said the video footage could not be ignored and a tough penalty was needed.
"It's difficult to concede there is a more serious offence," Kite said.
"It's an extraordinarily violent piece of behaviour and the pictures and the sound of the boot hitting the head says volumes about that.
"This is not a case of defending a mate. This is a case of supporting an attack. Yes, you have to consider his youth, but you'd expect players 12 and 13 years old to know they can't kick a player in the head."
The quietly-spoken Fahina said he felt remorse and was unaware what he had done until given his marching orders.
"Something just happened, I didn't realise what I had done until afterwards. That's when the ref sent me off," Fahina said.
"It's not good, not acceptable, (but I accept) there are no excuses for what happened."
Fahina was snapped up by the Roosters after starring for the Panthers earlier in the season.
KANGAROOS NAME FOUR DEBUTANTS
|Israel Falou ready to rock
AUSTRALIA has selected four debutants for its opening World Cup pool match against New Zealand.
Joel Monaghan, Glenn Stewart, Anthony Laffranchi and Josh Perry were today named as the debutants in the Kangaroos 17 for the clash against the Kiwis at the Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday.
Israel Folau (pictured)
Darren Lockyer ©
LOCAL PRODIGIES HIT THE BIG TIME
|In action...Marcus Bower during the University Shield final against Sarah Redfern High School.
|Farrer MAHS win the 2008 University Shirls for CHS schools (Photo : ourfooty media)
Local talents Marcus Bower and Joel Jackson have fulfilled the dreams of many young boys, both have signed contracts to play in the National Rugby League (NRL) competition.
Although both boys have signed two year deals with the West Tigers, their journey’s have been very different. Bower was scouted while playing as a member of the Farrer Memorial High School’s first XIII who took out the prestigious University Shield a few weeks ago.
While Jackson was a member of the Glen Innes 2008 minor and major premiership winning Under 18 and A grade Magpies sides.
Jackson has had a previous offer from another NRL club the Cronulla Sharks and a trial in Parramatta, secured through his manager Isaac Mosses. Mosses is the same manager of another Magpies A grade player and former Manly Under 20 Sam Key, who now plays in France.
Although their paths were different, their origins were the same, both boys began their football careers in a different code, soccer.
Playing in the local junior soccer competition Bower laced up his league boots for the first time in year five under the guidence of his first coach and current Glen Innes Rugby League Club President Gordon Creighton.
In his first year of football Bower was part of the Glen Innes Public School year five team that contested the final of the Westmont Shield in Campbelltown, Sydney.
He returned to that same stadium this year as part of Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School first XIII to contest the final of the University shield.
“He said to me before the match I remember the last time I was here in year five with Gordon Creighton, we lost that game. We are not going to loose this one,” Bower’s mother Maryanne Bower said.
Meanwhile Jackson played soccer until just four years ago, when he switched codes. Since then he has played in the Under 16s Minor League grand final winning side and this year won two grand finals, on the same day - under 18s and A grade. He has also played with representative sides the Northern Thunderbolts and the Group 19 senior team.
Bower’s representative accolades include being a member of Farrer first XIII for the last two years, the Greater Northern Academy Squad under 17s side, which he captained and he was a member of the Australia Institute of Sport training squad for the last two years trialling against numerous Sydney clubs.
This year Farrer also reached the quarterfinal of the Arrive Alive Cup. But winning the University Shield was the highlight of year, for Bower, who participated in a special awards ceremony in Tamworth on Friday Night, attended by Independent Member for New England Tony Windsor, honouring the efforts of the first XIII.
The Farrer five eight who signed his NRL contract in the middle of his Higher School Certificate exams said he owes a lot to his coaches at Farrer, his Dad show society president John Bower and uncle, former Magpies halfback and current Under 18s co-coach Andrew Say.
“I have learnt alot from them about what to expect. It is a good opportunity to go and test myself out, it is every young blokes dream to play in the NRL. I’m excited about the opportunity to mix with the best,” he said.
But this youngster isn’t about to throw away his HSC.
“Although I’m looking forward to it there is life after footy. I want to concentrate on my exams.
While I am young I am going to give football a fair go but I need something behind me. In the end there are a lot of guys who go down there and don’t make it.”
Bower will initially play in the Under 18s Tigers side and move on to join Jackson in the Toyota Cup Under 20s side.
Their contracts include numerous incentives such as representative and first grade bonuses. The club also help the boys to find accomodation and secure a job, traineeship or university placement depending on which direction the boys take.
Jackson who has had the opportunity to sign with an NRL team for the past year finally made the decision to make the move to Sydney after his 18th birthday on September 23.
“I don’t want to move away from my family and friends it will be tough. But I thought just go for it,” the centre/winger said.
“I am going to play to the best of my ability, it’s all I can do. I want to thank my coaches, friends and family who have helped me get to where I am. There are so many people who haved helped me, too many to name.”
The boys will be in Sydney for an Induction day on November 14. But have until January to relocate for pre-season training. Their first game will commence in February.
|Matt Forsyth leads the Cootamundra Bulldogs out for Sunday’s Sullivan Cup grand final against Southcity. Forsyth had double reason to celebrate as, not only did the Bulldogs record
JUST when Matt Forsyth didn’t think his day could get any better - it did.
Just hours after leading his Sullivan Cup side to a comprehensive 36-4 victory in the Group Nine Sullivan Cup grand final against Southcity, the Coota Bulldogs captain was named winner of this year’s Weissel Medal for Best and Fairest in the under 16s competition.
And Forsyth didn’t just win the prestigious medal, he literally romped away with it in what can only be described as one of the most dominant individual seasons of any player in any grade.
Forsyth finished with a massive 35 votes, 16 more than runner-up Ben Mackay from Wagga Kangaroos, while Junee’s Tom Lidden was third on 18.
Taking the field for 14 games this year, Forsyth polled votes in 13, nine of which were best - on-ground efforts (3 points), while he collected two votes in the other four.
In a remarkable streak early in the year, Forsyth, who is linked with NRL club the West Tigers, produced six consecutive man-of-the-match
performances from round two to give him the maximum 18 points at that stage of the season.
Representative commitments kept Forsyth out of the round eight clash against Temora, however he added another two votes the following week against Brothers.
When voting went behind closed doors after round 10 Forsyth enjoyed a nine-point buffer over his nearest rival and went on to increase his lead over the back half of the year with a further 15 votes.
Not only was he a key playmaker for the Bulldogs on the road to grand final glory, Forsyth proved to be a points scoring machine, finishing the season with 24 tries and 59 goals for a personally tally of 214 points.
Meanwhile Cootamundra Bulldogs first grade captain-coach Grant Boyd has been named on a short-list of players in contention for the coveted first grade Weissel Medal which will be presented at Wagga’s Capitol Nightclub this Friday night.
As well as the medal presentations in first and reserve grade and the Weissel Cup, the much-anticipated Group Nine Team of the Century will be announced.
|MEET BRETT KENNY @ CASTLE HILL
Meet Parramatta Eels Legend Brett Kenny Saturday 25th October 11am - 12.30pm Shop 1/305 Old Northern Rd Castle Hill - Next to Jax Tyres Opposite Castle Towers
Parramatta Eels, NSW & Australian Kangaroo legend Brett Kenny will be appearing at on Old Northern Rd from 11:00am Saturday Morning.
"We are kindly requesting a gold coin donation on the day for the benefit of Ronald Mcdonald Hose Westmead." said Jenny from Pro Sport.
What do Pro Sports do ?
"Pro Sports specialize in Fundraising auctions if we can assist Rugby League with generating revenue at no costs please keep us in mind we would be more than happy to assist in any way."
THE NEWTOWN JETS RETURN TO THE S G BALL COMPETITION.
|Cronulla's Stewie Mills runs away from the Rooster D in Rnd 6 of this years SG Ball ( Photo : ourfooty media) Check out the game
The Newtown Rugby League Football Club will field a team in the NSW Rugby League’s S G Ball competition in 2009, in close association with the Jets’ partnership club the Sydney Roosters.
The team will play its home games at Henson Park, will play in Newtown’s royal blue colours and will be administered and staffed by the Newtown RLFC.
Long-serving Newtown Jets Director and major sponsor Terry Rowney says that this a proud occasion for the game’s oldest club which will be celebrating its 101st birthday in early January 2009.
Mr. Rowney added: “This decision has been made in full consultation and agreement with our NRL allies the Sydney Roosters.
The S G Ball Cup team will provide a crucial link in the Roosters-Jets promotional pathway from the S G Ball (under 18’s) to the Roosters Toyota Cup team (under 20’s), then into Newtown’s flagship open age NSW Cup team, and then into the Roosters’ NRL full-time squad.
Newtown’s entry into this competition is entirely in keeping with our club’s well-known philosophy of maximising opportunities for ambitious players to advance themselves in Rugby League football.
We know that there will be many challenges in fielding this team but we look forward to seeing the Newtown Jets resume their place in this famous NSWRL junior developmental competition”.
Newtown last fielded a team (under the Newtown Jets RLFC banner) in the S G Ball Cup competition back in 1983.
It is anticipated that the Newtown S G Ball Cup team (along with the Sydney Roosters Harold Matthews Shield side) will be able to appear as curtain-raiser matches to the Newtown Jets NSW Cup team at Henson Park on several occasions in 2009.
GROUP 21 SUCCESS
|CHAMPS: Ethan Ernst, Damien Menzies and Ethan Andrews celebrate after the Under 15 Group 21side won the Country Championship plate final.
THE 2008 season was a tremendous one for the Singleton JRL and the achievements of its players, culminating in four premierships.
This success also filtered through to the Group 21 Representative teams, particularly the Under 15s, who secured the Country Championship plate final defeating the Group 20 side by 40 points to 10.
This year the Singleton club was heavily represented in all age divisions during the Country Championships that were held on the mid north coast.
There is little doubt that by playing in this very high standard of competition, the benefits were shared and able to be filtered back through the club competition.
UNDER 12 (Development Squad) – Coached by Gary Jones (Denman).
Marcus Carroll, Jake Hunter, Ryan Delboux, Jacob O’Hara, Kieren Nowland, Adam Hamilton, Thomas Tull, Blake Andrews, Bryce Field, Sam Smith.
UNDER 13 – Coached by Matt Kenny (Singleton).
Blake Kersley, Tyler Lambkin, Joshua Kenny, Jayden Stewart, Bradie Smith, Bailey Johnston, Brodie Rinkin, Josh Dicker.
UNDER 14 – Coached by Shaun Dawson (Scone).
Nathan Brock, Mitchell Carroll, Jake Willis, James Hamilton, Dylan Palmer and Jarrod Law.
UNDER 15 – Coached by David Adams (Scone).
Ben Hume, Damien Menzies, Ethan Ernst, Ethan Andrews, Nathan Wild.
UNDER 16 – Coached by Dennis Edwards (Aberdeen).
Dale Watson, Brendan Tucker, Scott Griffiths, Kerrod Holland, Nicholas Cox, Mitchell Roddam, Josh Rinkin, Bayden Mulholland, Matt Law, Adam Gardner, Matt Brock.
Preparations for a big weekend of junior league activity are well and truly in motion.
On Saturday the club will celebrate its 30th Anniversary with a function at Club Singleton which will pay tribute to former players and officials, culminating in the announcement of the 30th Anniversary Team.
There are tickets still available at $55 per person, which includes a three course meal and entertainment.
The club will also have a memorabilia section on display featuring items as far back as 1953 when the junior code initially began.
Anyone with items of interest is urged to contact Darren Ward on 6571 2261 as soon as possible.
On Sunday the club will hold its annual presentation day at Singleton Public School Auditorium.
Teams in the Under 6 to Under 11 age group will need to be there at 10.00am sharp.
At approximately 11.30am the Under 12 to Under 16 will begin their presentation.
The Singleton Lions Club barbecue will again be in operation to satisfy your lunchtime thirst and hunger.
Parents are reminded that your pre-purchased club photos will be available for collection as well as copies of the 84 page 2008 year book which is chock full of the years events and 30th anniversary history can be purchased for just $15.
As usual, every registered player receives a trophy or piece of club apparel so make sure you are there to get your rewards.
The Club AGM will be held at the conclusion of the presentation at approximately 1.30pm.
For more information visit www.singletonjrl.leaguenet.com.au.
FOLAU SET TO PARTNER INGLIS
|Mitch Aubusson, Dave Taylor & Israel Falou all the have NRL success (Photo : ourfooty media)
JUSTIN Hodges' withdrawal is likely to result in Australia fielding their youngest ever Test centre pairing in Saturday's World Cup opener against New Zealand.
Brisbane centre Hodges was ruled out of the tournament with a shoulder injury meaning Melbourne teenager Israel Folau will almost certainly move in a position from the wing alongside Storm teammate Greg Inglis.
Both were wingers when Australia last played a Test, against the Kiwis in May, but Mark Gasnier's defection to French rugby has opened up a spot for Inglis, who played in the centres for Queensland in this year's State of Origin series.
Folau played centre for Melbourne throughout the 2008 NRL season.
At a combined 41 years and 126 days, Folau, 19, and Inglis, 21, would become Australia's youngest centre pairing, beating the record of 42 years and 326 days set by Brent Tate and Jamie Lyon in 2003.
Folau said he would relish teaming up with Inglis.
"It would probably be one of the youngest centre pairings for Australia, it would be good to play with each other and represent our country," Folau said.
"If the opportunity comes up I'll take it but, if not, I'll just play wherever (coach Ricky Stuart) puts me.
"It would be good just to be a bit closer to the action playing for Australia.
"I've never played in the centres for Australia so it would be good."
Folau was confident the young pair would have no trouble matching it with wily Kiwi centres Steve Matai, 24, and Jerome Ropati, 23.
Tate and Joel Monaghan are likely to be Australia's wingers at the Sydney Football Stadium although both play centre for their clubs and could do so for the Kangaroos.
Australia's backline had looked like being an exact replica of Queensland's before Hodges' injury, with New South Welshmen Gasnier, Matt Cooper and Jamie Lyon all unavailable for the World Cup.
But Monaghan now looks likely to be the lone Blues representative in the backs.
"I'd feel very happy about slotting into that backline," Monaghan said.
"They've won three (Origin) series in a row so they obviously deserve where they are and they've got a combination going there in their backs.
"Obviously if you get a chance to play outside them they've got the combinations and they're just such special players.
"Some of the stuff that Israel Folau and Greg Inglis can do on a football field, not many other people can do, so just to be outside them would be something I'd treasure."
Monaghan, 26, prefers playing centre and said his experience could be a handy asset for Australia in that position.
"Obviously it would bring something to the team but you look at (Folau and Inglis) and personally I think they're two of the best players in the competition," he said.
"Playing for Australia it doesn't bother me one bit (where I play). Obviously in club footy centre's my preferred position but I'll play anywhere in an Australian side."
NEW ZEALAND THRASHES TONGA 56-8 AHEAD OF RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP
|HAT-trick ... New Zealand's Jerome Ropati scored three tries in his side's thrashing of Tonga. / News Limited picture
||56 - 8
|TRIES : Jerome Ropati 3, Jason Nightingale , Benji Marshall 2, Setaimata Sa, James Leuluai, Simon Mannering
GOALS : Krisnan Inu (6), Steve Matai (2)
Cooper Vuna, Tevita Leo-Latu
NEW Zealand has capped its preparation for the rugby league World Cup with a 56 - 8 win over Tonga.
New Zealand scored 10 tries to two including three from Jerome Ropati and two each by Jason Nightingale and Benji Marshall as the home side overwhelmed Tonga's lineup after leading 22 - 0 at halftime.
"We're reasonably happy but there are still one or two things we can work on," New Zealand's stand-in captain Jeremy Smith said.
Smith took over as captain when Nathan Cayless was ruled out of the match with injury.
The World Cup begins next Saturday October 25 with England playing Papua New Guinea in Townsville.
New Zealand opens its campaign against Australia at Sydney Football Stadium on October 26 while Tonga plays Ireland the following day at Parramatta Stadium.
|TONGANS SHOULD PLAY FOR TONGA
A message to the World Cup organisers: Wake up to yourselves - let the boys play. If I say the names Taniela Tuiaki and Fuifui Moimoi, do they sound as if they might be Tongan?
I think they sound Tongan. Do you think they sound Tongan?
Then why the bloody hell aren't they allowed to play for Tonga in the coming Rugby League World Cup?
These blokes have been prevented from playing for their country of heritage because qualification rules say they have previously chosen to play for New Zealand.
Can anyone else see how unbelievably stupid this ruling appears? The ruling body says if they let them play it will devalue the credibility of the tournament.
Let me say, a ruling like this does infinitely more harm to the credibility of the tournament than you could ever imagine.
It's not as though some bloke called Billy Bloggs has stowed away on a boat to the islands and is trying to con himself into an international football team where he doesn't belong.
It's not as if they have invented a great, great grandmother who once had a holiday in Tonga and tried to use it as a means of qualifying themselves to play for another country because they're not good enough to play for Australia.
Tonga doesn't get the chance to play in too many Test series. These footballers, quite understandably, took an opportunity a couple of years ago to further their careers by making themselves available for the Kiwis, who play their fair share of Test football every year.
However, in one of these rare opportunities where a league minnow such as Tonga get to play on the big stage against the big boys, surely, in the best interests of the game and all concerned, these players should be allowed to represent their country of heritage.
The Tongan team has been dealt a raw deal.
And don't even get me started on Anthony Tupou, either.
Australia's dominance of the international game has done irreparable harm to the code. This was a chance to put something back into the game, by letting Tupou represent Tonga, and they blew it.
Anyway, back to Tuiaki and Moimoi. They are bloody Tongan. They want to play for Tonga. Let them play! The fans would thank the tournament organisers if they did.
ACADEMY’S X FACTOR: SELECTORS MIX SOME ‘UNKNOWNS’ WITH THE NAME PLAYERS
|Ryan Pooley was one of the outstanding players at last week’s GNA trials and is part of the 40-man squad named yesterday. Photo: Grant Robertson 111008GRB03
|GNA SQUAD :
Johdin Mathers (all Tamworth),
Sam O’Shannessy (Nemingha),
Bobby Stewart (Coonabarabran),
Will Tufui (Narrabri),
Kyle Gallen (Boggabri),
Andy Mack (Gunnedah),
Beau Brummell (Rowena),
James Smith (Wee Waa),
Jock McHattan (Walcha),
Jason Hobday (Moree),
Tim Grob (Glen Innes),
Guy Berger (Inverell),
Chris Lewis (Ashford),
Blake Keeping (Guyra),
Michael Kelly (Armidale),
Jeb Hardy (Scone),
Corey Holman (Murrurundi),
Jake Hardy, Marty Carroll,
Dale Watson (Singleton).
A FEW “unknowns” have forced their way into this year’s Wests Greater Northern Academy squad, named yesterday.
Selectors had a hard time picking the final 40 for the 2008-09 program, especially with 13 returning players from last year already assured of their place
But head coach Jamie McCormack said he was happy with their choices even though a lot of good young players missed the cut after the trials at North Tamworth last week.
“We’re very happy with the squad we’ve picked,” he said.
“It was great to see so many kids who wanted to be part of the academy and that shows that we must be doing something right.
“The quality was very high and we look forward to working with them in the program.
“Unfortunately a lot of kids can feel unlucky that they weren’t successful.
“It’s just that we don’t have enough spots for all of them. “We can only pick 40 every year.
“And there’s a lot of kids who have just scraped through who will have to work hard in the off-season and we hope we can help them do it.”
While a number of outstanding representative players like Central Coast Storm Harold Matthews rep Ryan Pooley were named in the squad, there were also some players who came out of the blue.
“Ryan Pooley and Dale Watson, the lock from Singleton, were probably two of the really outstanding kids at the trials,” McCormack said.
“But then there were a few unknowns, like Janson Doughty.
“He was one kid who we saw on the video who did a lot of work that a lot of people wouldn’t have seen with the naked eye.
“He trialled well and really showed he was keen to be part of the program so that’s why he’s in the squad.
“We thought a kid like him would really benefit from the program.”
The Group 4 area dominates the squad again this year but there are plenty of players from the Group 19 and Group 21 regions as well.
The first event for the new squad will be induction on November 1 in Tamworth.
All players will receive a letter with further details early next week.
RAIDERS TERMINATE GOODWIN
|Bronx Goodwin sacked by the Canberra Raiders
The CFMEU Canberra Raiders have terminated the contract of Raiders player Bronx Goodwin, following a meeting of the Raiders board today.
The board met with Goodwin and his manager Sam Ayoub at Raiders HQ this afternoon, to decide Goodwin’s future following an incident earlier in the year.
Raiders CEO Don Furner said the board met for over an hour and a half at Raiders HQ to make the decision, but felt as if Goodwin’s actions had left them no option but to terminate his contract.
“The board of the club met today with Bronx and his manager and decided to terminate his contract, the club will offer him support if he needs it in the form of counseling, but he will no longer be with the club,” Furner said.
“The board felt like he brought the club into disrepute by his actions on that night, and we regrettably took the option to terminate his contract.”
CURTAIN RAISER A TRIAL MATCH
|Members of the Fiji Bati team who are gearing up for the World Cup
THE curtain-raiser match between Vodafone Fiji Bati Under 19 and St. George Illawara Dragons will be treated as a trial to select the new St. George U20 players for the NRL Toyota Cup next season.
The Junior Bati plays St George in a curtain-raiser to the France-Fiji world cup pool game on November 1.
Fiji National Rugby League chairman Peni Musunamasi said he made a request to NRL if they could make a contribution to the development of rugby league in the country.
He said this would be like an exam for the players and if they perform well they would be rewarded for tertiary and university educations in Australia under St. George.
Musunamasi said St George had been part of Fiji's development for the past five to six years and they have gone an extra mile on these U 19 players.
"The onus will be on the players, it will be like an exam to them, if they do well and pass, then surely they had what every league player's dream of having overseas contract," Musunamasi said.
"This is a lifetime opportunity and the future of these U19 players will depend on how they perform during the game.
"This golden opportunity will never come again and that leaves a great job for the coaches to prepare the boys well for this big game.
"It will be a 30-man trial and whoever performed above expectation that day gets the chance to represent St George at the NRL Toyota Cup next season."
"They should not take this game easily, because this is a lifetime chance for the young players to secure a career in future."
Head Coach Joe Savou this would be grand opportunity for his players to showcase their talents.
"These boys are very lucky indeed because it will be a trial to select the U20 St. George's players for the next season," Savou said.
"This rarely happens because they usually hunt for players whom they want to pick but these players are very lucky to be given this grand opportunity to be selected next season.
"The ball is in their hands now, and it depends on how they perform on that day, if they play well then the onus will on them to be selected." - The team will leave Fiji on October 29.
WESTS TIGERS CUBS RETURN HOME FROM SUCCESSFUL TOUR
THE 20 MAN WESTS TIGERS CUBS TOURING SQUAD |
|Daniel Ahsin (Wests)
Jay Bonnell (Wests)
Faleula Finau (Balmain)
Sean Finnerty (Wests)
Jason Green (Wests)
Matthew Groat (Wests)
Limoni Kamuta (Wests)
Joel Luani (Balmain)
Brodie Monroe (Balmain)
Jake Mullaney (Wests)
John Nicholas (Balmain)
Patrick Politoni (Balmain)
Junior Roqica (Balmain)
Tim Simona (Balmain)
Tim Sloman (Wests)
Sevao Stowers (Wests)
Jesse Sue (Wests)
Taniela Vaivaka (Balmain)
Sebastian Vourlos (Balmain)
Joel Wiseby (Wests)
Moses Pangai (Balmain), Lance Siataga (Wests), Shaun Spence (Wests), Luke Turner (Wests) and Aaron Woods (Balmain) could not make the trip due to injury.
|CUBS PLAYERS TO PLAY NRL FOR WESTS TIGERS
Year (s) in Cubs Squad Year /Age of Wests Tigers Debut
2002 & 2003 Debut in 2003 at 19 yrs old
2002 & 2003 Debut in 2003 at 19 yrs old
2002 & 2003 Debut in 2003 at 19 yrs old
2002 & 2003 Debut in 2004 at 19 yrs old
Isaac De Gois
2002 & 2003 Debut in 2006 at 22 yrs old
2003 Debut in 2003 at 18 yrs old
2003 & 2004 Debut in 2005 at 18 yrs old
2003 & 2004 Debut in 2006 at 20 yrs old
2003 & 2004 Debut in 2007 at 20 yrs old
2004 Debut in 2006 at 19 yrs old
2006 Debut in 2006 at 17 yrs old
Peni Tagive 2
006 Debut in 2008 at 19 yrs old
|TOURING STAFF :
|Andrew Willis (Head Coach, Wests Tigers), David Brooks (Assistant Coach, Balmain), Adam Booth (Assistant Coach – Wests), Tony Wignell (Head Trainer, Balmain) and Tim White (Tour Manager, Balmain).
Wests Tigers Cubs returned home to Sydney on Tuesday, October 14, following a successful two game tour of Fiji.
The opening game saw Wests Tigers beat a Western Fiji Schools side 28-0 on Thursday, October 9.
In a game played in 30 degree heat on a field more resembling Victoria Road than Leichhardt Oval, the Cubs were up against a very determined and enthusiastic Fijian outfit who made the young Tigers work hard for their points.
Wests Tigers led 14-0 at half-time. Limoni Kamuta scored two tries in the win with Tim Simona, Matthew Groat and Brodie Monroe also crossing for a four pointer each.
Jay Bonnell kicked two goals with John Nicholas and Tim Simona landing a goal each.
Best for the Cubs were Joel Wiseby, Jason Green, Daniel Ahsin and Limoni Kamuta.
Following the match, the Cubs players handed out Wests Tigers merchandise to the crowd.
The Cubs travelled to Suva on Friday, October 10, to prepare for their main match of the tour against a Fiji Under 19s team on Saturday, October 11.
In a real, hard physical encounter, Wests Tigers won 30-8.
Trailing 4-0 after five minutes, Wests Tigers rallied to lead 20-8 at half-time before going on with the match in the second half. Wests Tigers also won the penalty count 14-1.
Tryscorers for Wests Tigers were Jason Green, Faleula Finau, John Nicholas, Tim Simona, Junior Roqica and Limoni Kamuta.
Jay Bonnell, Tim Simona and John Nicholas kicked a goal each.
“Fiji were very tough and some of their players really do have a good future in the game,’’ said Cubs manager Tim White.
“The Fijians were very big, strong and fast. They were very well coached. It was a big step up in class from our first game.”
Props Jason Green and Sebastian Vourlos, winger Faleula Finau, back-rower Tim Sloman and centre Junior Roqica were the best players in the win.
The 2008 Wests Tigers Cubs were all Under 17s players, apart from the late inclusion of Jake Mullaney (Under 18) who replaced the injured Luke Turner.
The players raised money for their tour by selling doubles, raffle tickets and chocolates at Wests Tigers matches at Leichhardt Oval and ANZ Stadium. Balmain Leagues Club, Wests Ashfield and Wests Campbelltown also supported the tour by selling chocolates at their clubs.
Wests Tigers’ gear sponsor, Blades, again generously donated the playing gear for the Cubs tour.
The Cubs are now hoping to follow in the footsteps of the 12 former Cubs players who have gone on to play NRL for the Wests Tigers.
MUNDINE WILL GO TO SOUTHS IN 2009
|South Sydney-bound: Earlwood Saints junior Matt Mundine has been released by St George Illawarra and will join South Sydney in 2009. Picture: Tim Clayton
ST GEORGE Illawarra chief executive Peter Doust said the decision to release local junior Matt Mundine to join South Sydney was a difficult one.
Mundine, one of the Dragons' brightest new talents and who starred for the club's under-20 side this season, will link with South Sydney on a two-year-deal.
Doust said it was a matter of the two parties not agreeing on Mundine's development timetable into the top grade.
``Matt was a person who we had lot of hope for in 2009 and 2010,'' Doust said. ``We were of the view he would play first grade in 2010, not in 2009.''
Mundine, 18, was contracted to the Dragons until 2010. The Earlwood Saints junior is recovering from a broken bone in his foot.
``The 2009 coaching staff wanted him to stay in the under 20s in 2009 and he wasn't keen on that,'' Doust said.
``He wanted to play first grade next year. We said: `If that is what you want and you could get the opportunity elsewhere, we wouldn't stand in [your] way'.''
Mundine, cousin of former Dragons star Anthony Mundine, was named on the bench in the inaugural Toyota Cup Team of the Year.
The Dragons are back in the NSW Cup competition next season after linking up with Shellharbour Rugby League Club, now their official feeder club.
The Shellharbour Marlins made the finals of the Jim Beam Cup this year, when the Dragons had no side entered in the NSW Rugby League competition.
The Country Rugby League will approve the Shellharbour Sharks to move from the Group 7 competition to the Carlton League competition at an upcoming CRL Boundaries Committee meeting.
``When Shellharbour moved to the Jim Beam Cup in 2007 this was our overall objective,'' said Doust.
The addition of contracted Dragons players outside the top 17 should make Shellharbour City Dragons powerful in 2009.
COUNTRY Rugby League (CRL) is considering scrapping all borders in the Riverina and throwing teams into a Super League competition.
The Daily Advertiser has obtained secret documents outlining CRL’s bold proposal to dump Group Nine and Group 20 from their current formats.
In what would be the biggest upheaval in Riverina rugby league history, CRL sent an email to Group Nine and Group 20 clubs floating the possibility of forming a Super League.
Under the radical proposal six clubs from Group Nine would be placed in a Riverina Super League competition along with four Group 20 teams.
The remaining five Group Nine clubs would play in a Riverina Second Division competition along with five Group 20 teams.
The three Wagga clubs would be split-up under the proposal with Kangaroos and Southcity to play in Second Division and Brothers in Super League.
The proposal suggested a promotion-relegation system meaning at the end of each season the top four teams from Second Division would replace the bottom four in Super League for the next year.
Another option CRL floated in the email was the possibility of Yass or South West Brahmans joining the Group Nine and Group 20 clubs to make three separate competitions with seven teams in each.
Clubs are being urged to discuss the proposal with CRL southern region area manager David Skinner but it seems Riverina Super League may go ahead.
Among the documents was a dummy draw for next season for both the Super League and Second Division competitions.
Long-serving Yenda secretary Sam Panarello yesterday dismissed the Super League proposal and cited travel issues and financial problems as reasons against the change.
“They (CRL) are obviously looking at something new to try to get rugby league going again,” Panarello said.
“But it would be too much of a commitment for clubs, players and officials to make to travel on all those big road trips with five teams for the day.
“Most players don’t get paid very much out here and it costs a lot of money to travel so are CRL going to help fund this?
“Most clubs would not be able to survive if this came in unless CRL threw in the big dollars to help out and I don’t think that would happen.”
Panarello also claimed clubs would lose loyal servants if the proposal was adopted.
“If this happens I won’t be able to stay involved,” Panarello said.
“With a farm, a family and a business it would just be too much of a commitment to put aside an entire Sunday just for football.”
|PNG KUMULS WORLD CUP TEAM TOUCHES DOWN IN CAIRNS!
The PNG Kumuls will touch down in Cairns tomorrow morning to begin their preparations for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup.
The Kumuls will arrive from Port Moresby via Air Nuigini Flight PX090 at 11.10am.
The Papua New Guinea National squad will be using Cairns as their home training base before the nations opening match of the World Cup Tournament against England at Dairy Farmers Stadium on Saturday 25th October 2008.
The full squad, including PNG National Coach Adrian Lam will take part in a meet & greet and sausage sizzle at Barlow Park which is open to all of the community to attend.
Head Coach Adrian Lam said he hoped a large crowd would turn up at the meet & greet;
“There is a big base of PNG people living in the Cairns region and it would be great to see not only PNG fans but Rugby League fans turn out in full force to support the team and meet the players ahead of the World Cup.
I know it would give the players a lift and we are excited about using Cairns as our training base before we take on England in our opening home game.
The Cairns Taipans have also been kind enough to invite the full squad to their match against the Gold Coast on Saturday which all of the players are really looking forward to.”
THE PNG KUMULS INITIAL SCHEDULE IN CAIRNS :
Thursday 16th October
11.10am Arrive in Cairns 3pm – 5pm Training Barlow Park
Friday 17th October
Saturday 18th October
8.30am – 10am Training Barlow Park 3pm – 5pm Training Barlow Park
8.30am – 10.30am Training Barlow Park
11am - Open Meet & Greet and Sausage Sizzle at Barlow Park
7.30pm Attending Taipans vs. Gold Coast Blaze – Cairns Convention Centre
JUNIOR SHARKS SQUADS ANNOUNCED
|Joel Tubbs from the Sharks '08 Matty's Cup smashing the Dragons at OKI Stadium (Photo : ourfooty media)
The Sharks have announced train-on squads for the 2009 Toyota Cup, SG Ball and Harold Matthews Cup competitions.
The three respective squads will come together for an orientation meeting in November before commencing pre-season training shortly after.
After fielding a relatively young side in 2008, the Sharks Toyota Cup under-20’s will welcome back a number of last year’s team in 2009, including the likes of exciting youngsters Ben Orcher, Jayson Bukuya, Blake Ferguson and Nathan Stapleton along with last years Toyota Cup player of the year Jack Bosden.
The Toyota Cup Sharks will this year be coached by Joe Grima, with the start of their competition to coincide with round one of the NRL on the weekend of March 13-16, 2008.
A number of Toyota Cup players will train full time during pre-season with Ricky Stuart and the Sharks NRL squad.
As for the under-18 SG Ball and under-16 Matthews Cup Sharks, training will be on in earnest prior to the Christmas period, beginning November 12, with their seasons kicking off on February 21.
Both junior representative squads at this stage have extended rosters, with the naming of final teams to be delayed until closer to the start of the 2009 competitions.
Tony Herman will be in charge of the SG Ball, with Kevin Farquhar and Colin Ward, the former St George and Penrith NRL player, now a Sutherland Shire local with young boys playing for Gymea, his assistant coaches.
Dave Howlett, who overseas the rugby league program at Endeavour Sports High School, returns as coach of the 2009 Sharks Matthews Cup team. He will be assisted by Steve Holz from Engadine and Shane Walker, an ex-Tigers NRL player now involved with the De La Salle club.
Squad lists for the three teams are as follows : CHECK 'EM OUT HERE
MAGPIE YOUNGSTER OFF TO SYDNEY TO PLAY FOR TIGERS
|Teenage Glen Innes Magpie Joel Jackson has signed with West Tigers and starts his NRL career mid-November. Photo: John Hamilton
JOEL Jackson received the perfect 18th birthday present when he signed a two-year contract to play with the Wests Tigers in the toughest rugby league competition in the world.
The Glen Innes centre-winger, who helped his hometown Magpies win both under 18 and senior Group 19 premierships a few weeks ago, has been playing rugby league for just four seasons and admits to mixed feelings about his mid-November move to the “big smoke”.
“I’m excited to be going to the Tigers but it’s going to be hard to leave my family and friends,” Jackson said.
But the Tigers will arrange for Jackson to live with a support family when he makes the move and they will also provide a job for him.
His contract includes substantial bonuses if he makes the NRL team or achieves junior representative honours.
Jackson’s first year in rugby league was with the Glen Innes Under 16s in 2005 which he didn’t enjoy.
“We got flogged every game but the next year we won the competition,” he said.
He also won the best and fairest award in that U16s competition, the first Glen Innes player to do so.
During the year, he stepped up to senior football, scoring two superb individual tries against a very strong Guyra reserve grade team in his first senior outing.
Before the year was over, he made his A Grade debut and he was a permanent fixture in the Magpies’ top grade from then on.
He proved his toughness week after week by playing Under 18s and then backing up for the senior side.
This year was a memorable one for Jackson who won his second successive Group 19 Under 18s best and fairest award and played in both Glen Innes grand final winning teams, combining with his junior skipper, Nick Ehsman, to achieve the rare feat of winning two grand finals on the same day.
“That was a great day,” Jackson said with a grin.
“Not too many players get the chance to play in two grand finals on the same day.
“The atmosphere and the crowd were great and we won both games which made the day even better.”
He rates the experience of playing with Jason Ferris and Sam Key as the highlight of his career to date.
“They were fantastic to play with. I’d often defend alongside Jason and he was always so encouraging.”
Jackson’s speed and strength saw him tally more than 50 tries in each of the past two seasons, while his defensive work improved out of sight this year.
The Tigers program will see heavy conditioning work up until Christmas.
Then, after a short break in Glen, Jackson will return for new season preparation with the Under 20 squad.
He was quick to thank people in Glen Innes who have helped him in his rugby league development.
“All my coaches have been terrific and I’ve played with a great bunch of blokes in Under 18s and A Grade.
“ I appreciate the support of family and friends who have encouraged me and the local people who helped get me trials with NRL clubs.”
|YOUNG TALENT LOST IN VOID
Oh what a feeling! Yes, the Toyota Cup has been, largely, a success. A celebration of youth not seen in these parts since, well, World Youth Day. Both events were much-hyped, successful and took a lot of organising. But after the party, there was the revelation that it's all over. And then the clean-up.
Where to now? The pilgrims headed home. But many Toyota Cup players are struggling to find one. Out of the 320 players from the initial squads of 20 selected by all 16 NRL clubs in the inaugural Toyota Cup - the under-20s competition that mirrors the NRL premiership, 152 - almost half - will be ineligible to play in the youth competition next year.
Many are in danger of being forced out of the game. Sure, a number of them will be drafted into NRL squads, but the rest will be sent into a funny old place that is both no man's land and man's land.
The main NSW over-age competition, the tier below the NRL, is the NSW Cup - what used to be premier league and, even further back, reserve grade.
But the cost of fielding such teams means only Cronulla and the Bulldogs will do so in the NSW Cup in name and colours next year.
The Bulldogs are seriously considering changing that for the following season, for the bill is somewhere in the region of $500,000 - or what used to be Sonny Bill Williams's annual wage.
Manly will do away with their NSW Cup side, and are attempting to set up a link between the NRL club and Belrose, which would play in the over-age competition and nurture the talent.
Other players are likely to turn out for Manly's feeder club in Queensland, the Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles.
"That's always been our issue with the Toyota Cup - we need to have a sustainable over-age competition," Manly chief executive Grant Mayer said.
Take one of the club's major off-season recruits - hulking youngster Tony Williams. He was brought over to the Sea Eagles from Parramatta amid much fanfare, but who is to say he will be playing in the premiership-winning NRL side at the beginning of next season?
Sea Eagles wingers David Williams and Michael Robertson, who scored four tries between them in the grand final, won't just be moving aside for the bigger guy (even if he does have 18 kilograms on the biggest of them, Williams).
Williams can play in other positions, but one thing is certain - he will not be playing in the Toyota Cup, having been born exactly 20 days too early to be eligible for the youth competition next year (the criteria is being aged under 20 on January 1).
The growing feeling is that the competition should become an under-21s or under-22s tournament.. Follow the story & LEARN MORE
THOMPSON IN DREAM TEAM
|Mitchell Pearce Introduce Joel Thompson & Chris Sandow to the Mayor of Bridgend Lady Mayor is Cllr. Elizabeth Aldworth Mayor of Caerphilly Borough before the Aussies Schoolboys Test match vs Wales Dec '06 (Photo's : ourfooty media)
Former Forbes rugby league player and current Raiders NRL player Joel Thompson has been selected in the Rio Tinto Indigenous Dreamtime Team to play New Zealand Maori in the ‘Welcome to Country’ game as part of the Rugby League World Cup Official Opening on October 26 as the equal of any of his achievements in the game.
Thompson will be joined in the team by Justin Carney from Trangie, who is also a member of the Canberra Toyota Cup side which won this year’s competition.
Preston Campbell has described his appointment as captain of the team as special.
“Winning a premiership is every player’s dream, but to represent your people is an honour that all the boys are proud of,” the Gold Coast Titans Player of the Year said.
“To be named as captain is something I will cherish for the rest of my life.”
Dally M Coach of the Year Neil Henry has been handed a formidable squad by selectors Arthur Beetson, Larry Corowa and Ricky Walford.
Campbell has been reunited with his premiership-winning partner Rhys Wesser and fellow representative players Carl Webb, Sam Thaiday, Ty Williams, Maurice Blair and Dean Widders.
FENSOM LEADS RAIDERS TO TOYOTA CUP WIN
|Fensom is pictured above hoisting the inaugural Toyota Cup.
Former Bellingen junior, Shaun Fensom was captain of the Canberra Raiders Toyota Cup side that defeated the Brisbane Broncos 28 - 24 at ANZ Stadium before the NRL grand final on Sunday, October 4.
The under-20s showpiece went into double overtime and 87 minutes before Jarrad Kennedy followed up a kick by halfback Matt Smith to bag the clincher.
|SQUAD SELECTORS HAVE LOADS OF TALENT TO DRAW ON
SELECTORS will have to sit down tomorrow and make some tough decisions after 70 of the region’s brightest rugby league prospects battled it out in Saturday’s Wests Greater Northern Academy trials in Tamworth.
Players from Singleton to Moree and just about every league-playing town in between were vying for just 27 places in the final squad of 40, with 13 from last year’s squad assured of their place.
Narrowing that field down is going to be a difficult task for selectors.
“The standard was very high again, as we expected,” head coach Jamie McCormack said.
“It’s going to be hard to sit down and select a squad.
“That’s why I’m glad we’ve got the video of all four games so we’ll sit down and go through that.
“It’s good to have that on top of what we saw and the selectors’ tip sheets.”
The players were split into four teams for a series of games at North Tamworth’s Jack Woolaston Oval.
Some heavy rain also complicated matters but McCormack is confident the squad chosen will match the high standards set in the past couple of years.
“It’s going to be another strong Academy squad,” he said.
“It’ll be good to work with the best players in the northern area.”
Group 4 players Sam O’Shannessy, Dylan Baker, Kyle Gallen, Reece Jaeger, Kurt Resch, Marcus Bower, and Jai Smith were part of last year’s squad and will return while Nick Monckton, Blake Keeping, Nick Ehsman, Mike Kelly and Group 21’s Jeb Hardy and Corey Holman are also back for another year.
The new players to join that list will be announced in Friday’s edition of The Northern Daily Leader.
That squad will then get together for induction on November 1 where they will also do fitness testing.
The annual camp will then follow on November 7 and 8 at Scully Park.
SMALL CLUB BEAT HEAVYWEIGHTS
|Fairfield United Under 15's win 2008 Premiership
FAIRFIELD United, one of the smallest rugby league clubs in the district, overpowered one of the competition heavyweights in the under-15 grand final recently.
A field goal in extra time at Marconi Stadium was enough to upset Cabramatta Leagues Club and ensure the premiership trophy would head back to Fairfield United for the first time in many years.
Congratulations to the under-15 boys' division one side.
Many of the players have also tried out for the Harold Matthews Parramatta Eels squad recently.
FOOTY'S GREATEST GIFT
|Let the Sonshine in...Todd Payten is surrounded by children at Sonshine Boarding School in Rwanda. Picture: Gregg Porteous. / The Daily Telegraph
|Justin Poore from the St.George Illawarra Dragons with the kids Picture: Gregg Porteous. / The Daily Telegraph
|NRL stars helping to buid a community Justin Poore from the St.George Illawarra Dragons with the kids Picture: Gregg Porteous. / The Daily Telegraph
WHEN NRL stars visit schools in Australia, they are asked for autographs. In Rwanda, they are asked for email addresses and phone numbers.
In Australia, the kids can be stand-offish and disinterested.
In Rwanda, they form a human archipelago where each island is a player ringed by hundreds of curious fingers.
In Australia, the players are household names. In Rwanda, they are mistaken for famous wrestlers, Rambo or rappers.
Several hours after farewelling 500 primary students at the Sonshine Boarding School in the country's far north-west, Dragons prop Justin Poore still can't believe what he has just experienced.
"That was probably the most amazing thing I've ever done in my life," Poore says. "Nothing compares to meeting those kids today. I've never seen so many people so happy to see me."
Related Links * Gallery: NRL stars on tour in Rwanda
The rule with children in Rwanda is this: smile and they are guaranteed to smile back. Especially when five huge white male strangers appear in their playground.
A joyous assault was launched square at Nathan Hindmarsh, who was holding a new soccer ball he purchased that morning.
It proved to be the best 6500 Rwandan francs (A$15) he will ever spend. Suddenly the bundles of plastic bags that normally substitute for expensive real balls were forgotten.
Sandalled feet ran from all directions to touch the genuine article. Hindmarsh immediately gave up the prize, and over the next hour it darted in and out of dozens of personal moments that left each player in awe.
"I had this one kid who just wouldn't let go of my arm - wherever I went he just wouldn't let go of it," said Hindmarsh, whose biceps and shaggy hair convinced many that Rambo was in town.
Todd Carney's right arm knew the feeling, multiplied several times over. The extensive tattoo that runs from shoulder to wrist had the children mesmerised to such an extent they licked their fingers and tried to clean it off.
"They kept wanting to know what it was," Carney said. "Every kid was touching it and after a while they started lifting up my shirt to see if I had any others. A couple of kids were actually convinced that I was the famous tattooed wrestler John Cena.
"It was difficult when we had to go and they started asking when we'd come back. I found it hard to answer, so I just said we'd come back another day."
Constant requests for email contact came as shock, given the humble set-up does not suggest computer classes are part of the syllabus. But there are actually three machines, paid for by sponsorships. The same money also funds every child's board here, as more than three-quarters of the student body are orphans.
Poore discovered this first-hand when he approached a 14-year-old boy midway through the visit. "I spotted him looking a bit lonely and went over to say hello and ask a couple of questions.
"I asked about his parents, and he told me they were murdered in the genocide along with all his brothers and sisters.
"He was the only kid that survived from the family. He was quite open about it. He said he was sad about losing them, but was happy just to go to school.
"Later, he came up and asked if I would be his friend. It took my breath away."
Former Canberra Grand Final hero Paul Osborne has organised a charity mission called the Village of Hope, helping to build infrastructure in the tiny village that was set up by Australian missionaries to accommodate widows left behind after the 1994 genocide.
Rwanda is challenging the players - Nathan Hindmarsh, Todd Carney, Justin Poore, Jarryd Hickey, Todd Payten and Jared Waera-Hargreaves - every day. Each meal is eaten with the fear of illness, every mosquito eyed as a potential career-killer. But there have been no complaints, and none should be forthcoming after yesterday's encounter with the smiling little victims of unspeakable horror.
BIG TIME BECKONS IF LOCAL JUNIORS WANT IT
|Dunghutti Broncos junior Ray Marshall faces up to a Parramatta player.
Junior league players from the Mid North Coast have what it takes to compete in the big time - they just need to work a little harder.
That’s the assumption of former Mustangs first grade coach Mark Morrison, who oversaw a combined Group 2 under 18s outfit that took on the Parramatta Eels development squad in a trial match at Kempsey on Tuesday.
With players from Kempsey, Nambucca, Macksville and Port Macquarie in the side, the Group 2 squad took it to the boys from western Sydney early and led early, before the opposition’s superior fitness showed through and they romped away for a 20-14 win.
Morrison said it was a good learning curve for the local boys, most of whom had not played for at least a couple of weeks.
“The Parra blokes are already on their way, they’ll be the bulk of the SG Ball side next year,” he said.
“Considering they’ve been together for a while, they probably had a little more cohesion than us.
“But the local boys demonstrated if they get a little fitter, they could go further.”
Scouts from the Titans, Tigers, Broncos and the Eels were on sideline watching the game and spoke to Morrison afterwards.
“There are a few local guys they earmarked as possibilities,” he said.
“Gary Freeman from the Tigers came up to me afterwards and asked me about a few of the boys and so did Anthony Field from the Broncos.
“The good thing is there were five clubs represented by scouts who’d come along to have a look.”
Morrison said Kempsey players Craig Smith, Shaye Moran, Liam Meecham and Danny Copper had been particularly impressive while Nambucca’s Matt Archer, already signed by the Broncos, was another standout.
RAIDERS RE-SIGN PICKER
|Joe Picker scores a diving try for the Canberra Raiders
The CFMEU Canberra Raiders have continued to sure up their local talent, after exciting back row forward Joe Picker announced today he would be remaining in green until the end of 2011.
Picker, 20 who was named Raiders rookie of the year in 2007, has had a rapid rise through the grades at Canberra and was elevated to representative honour’s recently when he traveled to Papua New Guinea to play for the Prime Ministers XIII.
Originally from Bigga in NSW, Picker said he always wanted to make sure he had the chance to remain in Canberra and said he was looking forward to some exciting times with the Green Machine.
“The Raiders have been great to me and gave me the chance to play first grade so I’m really happy that I can stay here for another three years,” Picker said. “I think we’re a team on the rise and next year we can improve even more on our efforts this year.”
Raiders CEO Don Furner said Picker was high priority for re-signing by the club and said it continued the Raiders policy on identifying junior talent and bringing them through the system.
“Joe has shown this year what a talented prospect he is and obviously other people see it too after he was selected in the Prime Ministers XIII,” Furner said. “He is also another product of our strong junior development program and it’s always great for us when we can keep a local junior in Canberra.”
Furner said Picker was originally contracted until the end of 2009, but his form warranted an early contract extension.
“We always knew Joe would be a first grade player of the future and he’s always been in our plans for the future,” he said. “We wanted to make sure we locked him away before any other clubs had the chance of trying to get him.”
Furner said he was also working through the re-signing of Joe's younger brothers Michael and Ben
EIGHT-LEGGED LAMB ALMOST FREAKS EDITOR
|Natural oddity... Andrew Biddle and Tim Hughes examine the mutant lamb on Tuesday before it was sent for study to the Elizabeth Macarthur Institute at Camden.
A LAMB with one head, two bodies and eight legs discovered during a post-mortem on a ewe after an impossible birth, is to be studied for scientific research.
On Sunday morning I came across a ewe on her side while doing the rounds on our family property ‘Lilburn’ on the Red Range Road. With two back legs showing, I thought it was a breach delivery, but then another back leg and a front leg appeared.
I put my arm in to move the lamb around so I could pull it out more easily, but couldn’t find a head - it just didn’t make any sense.
The merino ewe died while straining to give birth - and I immediately did a post mortem, pulling from the uterus the knotted anatomy of what I first thought were two lambs. Unravelling it, I found a single head tucked under one of two, joined bodies, both male; it had only just died.
On Tuesday, Northern New England Rural Lands Protection Board vet Andrew Biddle had a look at the lamb, which had stored in a bag in a chest freezer.
“It’s bizarre, but very interesting. I’ve seen them in bottles, but never in the paddock,” he said.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS CRAZY 8 legged lamb
WILL OUR DIESELS BE GREEN MACHINES?
|Junee Diesels getting it on
AFTER his first year with the Diesels, 19-year-old Matthew Ward is now awaiting one of the biggest calls he will receive in his lifetime.
Along with Junee’s Wiremu “Woody” Hei Hei, Ward was chosen to compete in the selection trials for the under 20s Canberra Raiders team.
Diesels coach and former NRL player Adam Perry chose Ward and Hei Hei for the try-outs because the Canberra side was keen to see some Junee talent.
Ward was eager to take on the challenge to show the ACT team just what he had to offer.
After he scored a whopping four tries out of two short try-out matches, Ward’s mother, Sharon, is confident her son has a good chance.
“I am pretty damn proud of him,” she said.
“He played a fantastic two games while we were down there; he really showed them what he is made of.”
Until recently Ward was not so keen on league, having s been a part of the Junee Soccer Club since he was four years old.
It was when he proved successful during the University Shield with Junee High School last year that he decided league just might be for him.
Even though he is now classified as a league player, Ward still can not help but have a kick of the soccer ball.
Both Ward and WHei Hei will find out if they have scored a spot with the Raiders on Monday.
|ACADEMY HOPEFULS ON SHOW SATURDAY
THE WESTS Greater Northern Academy program starts here.
Saturday’s trials at North Tamworth’s Jack Woolaston Oval will select the cream of the north’s ample junior rugby league talents to join the summer program and this year’s squad is certain to be strong.
In fact, picking the final squad of 40 is going to cause selectors a few headaches, such is the quality of the 88 young players involved.
“It’s going to be very hard this year,” head coach Jamie McCormack said.
“We’ve got 75 kids nominated to trial plus we’ve got 13 who are returning who don’t need to trial.
“So it’s going to be difficult.
“That’s why we’ll be videoing all the games this year and spending half a day Tuesday sitting down the the selection panel choosing the squad.”
Group 4 dominates the nominee list but there are also a number of Group 19 and 21 players trying out.
Last year’s GNA teams were outstanding and McCormack said this year’s squad would be another strong one.
The success of the program is also reflected by an increase in sponsors this year.
In addition to gold sponsor Wests, Warialda’s Jurd Steel Works is on board as silver sponsor and Struddy’s Sports Tamworth and Monckton Concreting of Inverell are bronze sponsors.
For the first time, Groups 4, 19 and 21 are also contributing to help provide new equipment and there are two new staff involved with Warialda premiership-winning coach Peter Stevens and Singleton first aid officer-coach Matt Kenny joining the team.
The program aims to teach the region’s best under 18 players new skills and improve their on-field performance.
It also provides an opportunity for many local players to be seen by NRL scouts and helps players reach their representative goals.
Saturday’s trials begin at 3.30pm and will run until about 5.15pm, so players must be at Bear Park by 3pm.
Players can check the list of nominees online at the CRL Greater North website.
The final squad will be announced on Friday week in The Northern Daily Leader.
MITCHELL PEARCE NAMED JACK GIBSON MEDALLIST
|Mitchell Pearce wins Jack Gibson Medal
Roosters and NSW halfback Mitchell Pearce has taken out the prestigious Jack Gibson Medal at the club’s annual Awards Night in the Bondi Room of Easts Leagues Club Wednesday night, 8 October, 2008.
The award caps off a big year for Pearce, who in only his second year of first grade football earned a representative jersey for the third State of Origin game.
It was an especially poignant night for the Gibson family with the club also recognising the passing of Jack and his contribution to Easts. John Gibson was on hand to present the award to Pearce.
Almost 300 guests were on hand for the announcement that saw Pearce beat club stalwart Craig Fitzgibbon and the Roosters ‘Clubman of the Year’ Mark O’Meley.
Club Chairman Nick Politis began proceedings by thanking the players, sponsors and staff for all of their efforts throughout the club’s 101st year that saw the club make the finals for the first time since 2004.
Rookie Hooker Jake Friend took out the Chris Sykes Junior Representative Player of the Year award capping a stunning year for the young Queenslander. Friend was part of the SG Ball winning side in 2008 and progressed through the Under 20’s team before making his NRL debut.
Braith Anasta took home the Supporters Player of the Year award while Tom Symonds was the winner of the National Youth Competition Player of the Year.
Roosters players and coaching staff including Ron Palmer, Craig Fitzgibbon, Bryan Fletcher and Scott Murray were on hand to present the awards with the night wrapping up a successful 2008 season.
THE AWARD WINNERS ON THE NIGHT WERE:
Supporters Club Player of the Year - BRAITH ANASTA
National Youth Competition Player of the Year - TOM SYMONDS
Junior Rep Player of the Year- Chris Sykes Award - JAKE FRIEND
Barry Van Heekeren “Mocca” Award - BOB JONES
James Matthews Clubman of the Year - MARK O’MELEY
Jack Gibson Medal Winner - MITCHELL PEARCE
OH WHAT A FEELING!
|THE MOMENT: Tuross Head’s Jarrad Kennedy scores the try which sealed victory and the first-ever Toyota Cup for Canberra Raiders at ANZ Stadium on Sunday. PHOTO: Andrew Sheargold
FOR a footballer, it simply doesn’t get any better.
The grand final is all tied up in golden-point extra time, your team makes a neat break, and you accept the last pass and dive under the posts for the premiership-winning try.
This was the reality for Tuross Head boy and Canberra Raiders Toyota Cup second-rower Jarrad Kennedy, who scored the 87th-minute try which gave his team a memorable win in the inaugural Toyota Cup under 20 grand final against the Brisbane Broncos at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium on Sunday.
With the score at 24 - all, Canberra five-eighth Mick Picker linked up with former Goulburn team mate Jarrod Croker to perform the “G-Town” move - a deft kick over the top from Picker to Croker, before Croker drew the fullback and passed to Kennedy on the inside.
The 19-year-old bolted the remaining 20 metres to score.
“It’s a move we made up and have been practising all year at training, and we said before the game it would be the money ball, and it came up when we needed it,” Kennedy said.
“It’s a dream come true.”
Kennedy thought the premiership trophy was heading north as his team struggled against the Broncos.
“It’s still a bit hard to believe we won,” he said.
“We were in trouble all game. They had much of the momentum and we kept dropping the ball. To be honest, I thought they were going to win.”
Kennedy’s memory of the final act of the game is clear.
“I didn’t think I was going to get there, but the white line kept getting closer, so I just thought ‘stuff it, I’ll get there even if I have to slide over’.”
The moments following the decisive four-pointer aren’t so clear.
“It was all that quick,” he said.
“My mates jumped on me and my legs couldn’t get me up; it was like someone had killed me. I can’t remember after that.”
Mother Lynda Kennedy was sitting with Kennedy’s girlfriend Britt Monopoli in the stadium when her son crashed over for the winner.
“It was indescribable, I’m still getting over it,” she said.
“It was the most exciting thing I have ever watched.”
Kennedy and Monopoli were in the end seats and clearly saw Jarrad score the try.
“We were all screaming; it was really exciting,” she said.
The win was a memorable one for coach Tony Adam.
“There’s no better way to win than in extra time,” he said.
“It could have gone either way, so we were fortunate.”
Adam was also pleased with Kennedy’s contribution to the win.
“Jarrad was solid in defence and made some strong carries of the ball on the right edge,” he said.
“He made a couple of errors, but was a solid performer and good contributor.”
PLAYERS SOUGHT FOR RUGBY LEAGUE ACADEMY PROGRAM
|THE GANG - Sharks U 15's Vs FWAS after their 2nd annual game (Photo : ourfooty media)
| from Nyngan
Following a successful first year the Country Rugby League (CRL) and the Far West Academy of Sport (FWAS) are calling for rugby league players to attend the CRL Far West Rugby League Academy program trials.
The trials will be held in Warren on Sunday October 19 starting at 9.30am. They are open to all rugby league players who turn 14 - 18 years in 2009. An Academy Squad (16 - 18 years) and a Development Squad (14 - 16 years) will be selected from the trials.
About 40 athletes will be chosen in total. The CRL and FWAS are strongly encouraging all rugby league players to attend.
“We want to see as many players as possible come along and try out - we’re hoping there’s some great, undiscovered talent out here,” FWAS Development Officer, Matthew Thompson said.
“It’s a great day, it’s free and you just never know where it could lead, so we’re encouraging everyone to just have a go.”
Athletes from last year’s program were selected in the NSW Country U16’s side and the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) Rugby League program, as well as attracting interest from NRL clubs.
Selected players will receive some of the most modern and professional coaching programs available and have access to CRL mainstream programs and possible selection in elite teams.
Athletes will also have the opportunity to play in the Nyngan Easter Rugby League Challenge and participate in development tours.
CRL Western Development Manager and Head Coach, Steve McLellan, is looking forward to the trials and a continued relationship with the FWAS.
“From our development work in the Far West I believe there are some very talented athletes and I encourage them to attend as it will only make them better players,” said Mr McLellan.
“The opportunities are there for athletes if they are willing to take up the challenge and be part of the Academy.
“We are looking forward to continuing to work with the FWAS in providing opportunities for talented rugby league players in the Far West and nurturing the next generation of elite players.”
For an application form or more information, please contact the FWAS on (02) 6847 3638 or the CRL on (02) 6885 0265.
|Wes Middleton looks for support after making a break for the Wiradjuri Waratahs against the Waratah Young Guns during the David Peachey Foundation Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout played at Apex Oval at the weekend. Wiradjuri was announced joint winners with the Peak Hill Red Dust after the grand final was abandoned.
An ugly protest by players from the Goodooga and Enngonia rugby league sides resulted in a sudden end to the David Peachey Foundation Knockout grand final on Sunday.
The on-field protest at Apex Oval saw officials forced to call off the final between Dubbo’s Wiradjuri Waratahs and Peak Hill Red Dust, granting both sides a share in the title.
Founder of the knockout, David Peachey said the incident first came to light when Goodooga Lake Angels accused Bourke of ‘player hopping’, claiming they had players from other sides competing for them.
Enngonia then entered the dispute, making the same allegations about the Bourke side.
An official complaint was lodged to the elders of the competition, however both Enngonia and Lake Angels took the matter into their own hands by taking to the field just minutes after the grand final match kicked off.
Peachey said while the matter was a disappointing end to the competition, it was also a good learning curve for the event organisers.
“We want to take away positives from the matter rather than negatives,” Peachey said.
“At least now we will know how to better deal with incidents like this for the future.”
Peachey said organisers would spend the next week building on the events from the carnival to ensure they are better equipped for next year.
He said he looks forward to feedback from the public on the tournament, and said at this stage he was unsure whether Enngonia and Lake Angels would be returning for the competition next year.
The David Peachey Foundation Knockout wrapped up yesterday with some kids drills and activities at Apex Oval.
Peachey said he was pleased with how the weekend was carried out and happy to see Aboriginal players and communities from across the State come together for the event.
This is the third year the knockout has been run in Dubbo and in that time the number of sides competing in both rugby league and netball has more than doubled.
This year 24 rugby league sides registered for the competition, but wet weather saw the cancellation of the netball.
The David Peachey Foundation hopes to build on the success of the tournament to further assist Aboriginal children with sporting and educational scholarships.
DRAGON JUNIORS ARE PICKED FOR 2009 SEASON
|Hayden Fepuleai with a one handed off load in last years Dragons Vs Sharks thriller at IKI Stadium (Photo : ourfooty media ) CHeCK ouT THe ACTioN
FOLLOWING on from invitation-only trials, St George Dragons has announced its train-on squads for next year's S.G. Ball and Harold Matthews season.
The trials held at OKI Jubilee Stadium last month were well-attended, with the bulk of players chosen from St George junior clubs.
Players will start pre-season training on November 10 and complete six weeks of pre-Christmas training, before resuming in early January.
Newly-appointed junior representative manager Neil Lovett said he expected both sides to improve throughout the year.
``Not only is St George embarking on an exciting new page in terms of coaching staff to manage the 2009 junior representative teams,'' Lovett said, ``but St George Illawarra Dragons are introducing an entirely new development concept, called the Dragons High Performance Unit, which will provide a better pathway for the development of our young players through the ranks of St George Illawarra.''
Former St George great Graeme Wynn will coach the under 16 Harold Matthews side, assisted by former Cronulla S.G. Ball coach Mick Marton.
Tony Carson will coach the under 18 S.G. Ball side.
Former St George Illawarra and Wests Tigers player Warren Carney and Ben Haran who used to work with the Melbourne Storm will be among the skills coaches.
St George 1979 premiership winner Michel Sorridimi will manage the Harold Matthews side. Reece Simmonds (S.G. Ball) and Adam Sargent-Wilson (Harold Matthews) will coach Illawarra.
Harold Matthews squad :
ANDERSON Brent, ARAOUZOU James, BAILEY Hayden, BIDDLE Nicholas, BROWN Patrick, CARRION Daniel, CARROLL Neerim, CROSS Steven, DUNCAN Chris, FEPULEAI Hayden, GLYMIN Kiti, GRAY Kawana, LaMANNA Daniel, LEATIGAGA Joey, MAANA Jordan, MACPHERSON Tikirahi, MIRCESKI James, PIGGOTT Rikki, POLITONI Ekiaki, SEFO Anthony, SERU Kemueli, SROUR Amin, STANLEY Jamie, STOWERS Vincent, TANGALOA Rangi, TAUTE Mark, TEROI-FEPULEAI Taylor, UHI Joe.
SG Ball squad :
AYAD Zachariah, BAZZI Mohammed, CHERRINGTON Jared, CIASCHETTI Ernie, DUNN Nathan, FOSSE Blake, GARCIA Peter-James, GILLIES Kane, GORDON Doug, GREEN Nathan, HARRIS Dion, HARTNEY Matthew, KELLY Dion, LEI Morgan, LEILUA Joe, MALLYON Kyle, MUSOLINO Ben, PICKERD Luke, PULEIKU Sam, RAMEKA Terrence, SULTANA Andrew, TAURA Stanley, TOURNAY Ray, UHI Atunaisa, UHI David.
TERRY CAMPESE FOLLOWS DAVID CAMPESE INTO REP FOOTBALL
|LIKE uncle, like nephew . . . Australian World Cup bolter Terry Campese, of the Canberra Raiders, follows the grand tradition of his uncle, Wallaby speedster David Campese. / The Courier-Mail
LIKE uncle, like nephew . . . Australian World Cup bolter Terry Campese, of the Canberra Raiders, follows the grand tradition of his uncle, Wallaby speedster David Campese. / The Courier-Mail
FLAIR and the Campese name go hand in hand but Australian Rugby League captain Darren Lockyer rates self-sacrifice as the key factor in the selection of World Cup bolter Terry Campese.
Campese yesterday joined his uncle, former Wallaby star David Campese, as an Australian representative, one of seven rookies in the Kangaroos' 24-man squad for the Centenary World Cup which kicks off on October 25.
The 24-year-old Canberra five-eighth and Manly winger David "Wolfman" Williams are the bolters, while Joel Monaghan (Canberra), Anthony Laffranchi (Gold Coast), Josh Perry, Glenn Stewart and Anthony Watmough (all Manly) have also earned national honours for the first time.
Laffranchi's selection comes a few days after the death of his father.
Queensland has 12 representatives but only two Broncos – Lockyer and Justin Hodges – were chosen.
Lockyer said he felt for Broncos teammates Karmichael Hunt and Sam Thaiday, with Hunt having had an outstanding finish to 2008 and Thaiday having played in the Centenary Test.
"I'm sad for them but the selectors had a tough job," he said. "Campese is a bolter but he's definitely a talent. Late in the year he was carrying injuries but still shouldered a lot of responsibility and played really well for the Raiders." David Campese was capped 101 times by the Wallabies and was noted for his flair. His nephew is also exciting with the ball in hand but a better defender.
Campese and Titans skipper Scott Prince shape as shadow players for Lockyer, with Centenary Test five-eighth Greg Bird overlooked.
ARL chief executive Geoff Carr said the league had decided some time ago to respect the suspension handed down by Bird's club Cronulla while he faced a court appearance this month.
Carr said it was impossible to find a place for Hunt in the side with Billy Slater (Melbourne) and Brett Stewart (Manly) playing well in the grand final.
"Sam has missed out too for no other reason than that there were so many form forwards," Carr said. "There are no St George Illawarra players in the side even though Ben Creagh and Matt Cooper had strong claims."
Prince edged the grand-final halfbacks, Dally M Medal winner Matt Orford and Centenary Test stand-by Cooper Cronk.
Prince said he felt he had done enough but would have understood his omission if Orford had played a blinder.
"I thought he (Orford) might have a slight sort of a lead. I understood if he played an outstanding grand final I wouldn't be there," Prince said.
"'By all reports he did his job but didn't really stand out."
THE SQUAD : Terry Campese (Canberra Raiders), Petero Civoniceva (Penrith Panthers), Michael Crocker (Melbourne Storm), Craig Fitzgibbon (Sydney Roosters), Israel Folau (Melbourne Storm), Paul Gallen (Cronulla Sharks), Kurt Gidley (Newcastle Knights), Justin Hodges (Brisbane Broncos), Greg Inglis (Melbourne Storm), Brent Kite (Manly Sea Eagles) Anthony Laffranchi (Gold Coast Titans), Darren Lockyer (capt, Brisbane Broncos), Joel Monaghan (Canberra Raiders), Josh Perry (Manly Sea Eagles), Steve Price (NZ Warriors), Scott Prince (Gold Coast Titans), Billy Slater (Melbourne Storm), Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm), Brett Stewart (Manly Sea Eagles), Glenn Stewart (Manly Sea Eagles), Brent Tate (NZ Warriors), Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys), Anthony Watmough (Manly Sea Eagles), David Williams (Manly Sea Eagles).
HEARTBREAK FOR TOLMAN
FOR those of you sitting at home this Sunday watching the NRL grand final spare a thought for young Aiden Tolman.
The Hat Head raised 19 year-old was named 18th man in the Melbourne Storm’s squad to contest the season decider, edged out of his bench spot by the return of back-rower Jeremy Smith.
Storm coach Craig Bellamy named a 19-man squad for this weekend’s grand final, with two players to be omitted on game day.
Bar any late injuries Tolman is unlikely to be picked in the team with Bellamy specifying earlier this week that Tolman and fellow bench hopeful Brett Anderson are “18th and 19th men respectively”.
Smith’s return robs Tolman of what would have been the perfect ending to a dream debut year at the Storm.
The talented front-rower played his first NRL match against Canberra in round six, signed a new two year deal with Melbourne in June and had a 20 minute cameo in the Storm’s 28-nil qualifying final victory over Cronulla.
In all Tolman has played seven matches for Melbourne this season.
He made his starting debut in the Storm’s 36-12 loss against the Dragons in round 10.
The Macleay will have at least one representative taking part in Sunday’s grand final rematch between Melbourne and the Manly Sea Eagles.
Storm five-eighth Greg Inglis, who was born in Kempsey but raised in Macksville, will aim to repeat his 2007 feat in winning the coveted Clive Churchill Medal for best player on ground.
No player has won back to back Clive Churchill Medal’s since it was first awarded in 1986.
TIM THRILLED WITH AMAZING WIN
|WINNING FEELING: Orange’s Tim Mortimer (left) celebrates winning the NSW Cup with his Wentworthville team-mates yesterday.
THERE was no disguising Tim Mortimer’s happiness as he described winning yesterday’s NSW Cup grand final as “bloody fantastic”.
The former Orange junior was Wentworthville’s fullback as the Magpies downed Newtown 12-8 in an amazing grand final.
The game went for a record-equalling 104 minutes after the two sides were tied at 8-all after regulation time and extra-time.
The match went into golden point extra-time with both sides missing multiple field goal attempts.
Eventually Magpies five-eighth Mark O’Grady put on the grubber for winger Iwi Hauraki to score the match-winner for the Parramatta feeder club.
Mortimer, the son of Canterbury great Peter Mortimer, said he wasn’t keeping an eye on the clock but knew they had been out there for a long time.
“We couldn’t think of that while we were out there,” Mortimer said.
“We just wanted to win it so bad. We knew it would be tough. Newtown have been our biggest competition this year.”
A total of 13 field goals were missed during the game and Mortimer said he was nearly ready to have a go in an attempt to bring the long game to a close.
“I was there but I think eventually we realised the try was the best option and we managed to pull it off,” he said.
“We’re on the biggest high at the moment.”
Orange had another connection to the grand final winners in halfback James Maloney, who played with SJS as a junior.
Maloney and and Mortimer were team-mates for four years when they first started in the game.
“I played with James from under 6s through to under 9s with SJS,” Mortimer explained.
“We were good mates as kids. Now we’ve been reunited this year, so it’s been great catching up.”
The marathon game equalled the longest-ever rugby league match, a Super League Tri-Series game between NSW and Queensland in 1997.
The Jets were leading 8-4 at half-time but Wentworthville levelled the score and eventually went on to win.
Mortimer celebrated with a lap of honour at ANZ Stadium where he met up with his parents, Peter and Julie.
Peter Mortimer is no stranger to grand finals having played 190 first grade games for Canterbury between 1977 and 1987.
The winger was a member of the premiership-winning teams in 1980, 1984 and 1985 and played in Canterbury’s grand final losses in 1979 and 1986.
Tim said he hasn’t re-signed for the 2009 season but is likely to stay at Wentworthville where it is hoped he will be joined by older brother James, who played with Manly this season.
“I left James at Manly to come to Wenty this year and it has paid off,” Tim smiled.
RAIDERS MAKE BRONCOS GREEN WITH ENVY
Canberra 28 Brisbane 24
A SECRETLY rehearsed play by the Canberra Raiders under-20s side won them the inaugural National Youth Competition grand final yesterday in the most thrilling circumstances.
Back-rower Jarrad Kennedy raced away in the seventh minute of extra time to clinch a golden-point victory following a risky chip in midfield.
Kennedy revealed afterwards that the play had not been devised by the coaching staff but by the players themselves.
"We called a move we've been practising for a while, not one the coaches taught us, we thought we'd call it anyway," Kennedy said. "We thought it was the money ball. Surprise surprise, it came off."
The money play paid the ultimate dividend as the tournament's minor premiers prevailed 28-24 after trailing 20-12 shortly after half-time.
As the clock read two minutes to play in the second period of extra time, Raiders halfback Matt Smith received the ball and placed a deft chip-pass to his outside chasers.
"I just looked up and saw Jarrod Croker had caught the ball so I followed him," Kennedy said. "I didn't think I had the legs to get there but I just kept going and then fell over. I couldn't see in front of me [after scoring], all the boys just jumped on me."
In contrast, the Broncos - the youngest side in the competition - were left heartbroken with several players in tears after the try was scored.
Winger Jharal Yow Yeh had produced an excellent performance but it was not enough to prevent what was his third successive grand final defeat. "I've lost all these grand finals, I've got to win one soon," said Yow Yeh, the nephew of Balmain Tigers great Kevin Yow Yeh.
"I just can't describe the feeling at the moment. We've worked so hard all year, and to see it end like that … it's really hard."
Kennedy said he was behind Smith when the ball was kicked after it had appeared some chasers were offside.
"I was definitely behind him," Kennedy said. "Thirty weeks of training and hard work, it comes down to this."
Yow Yeh produced a brilliant try with 12 minutes to go in regulation time that seemed to set up the golden-point finish. He produced a one-on-one strip on opposite Drury Low before racing 30 metres and stumbling after an ankle tap, only to dive over and equal the scores at 24-24.
Yow Yeh scored his first try four minutes after half-time following a quick spread to the corner, where he was left unmarked. Broncos halfback Ben Hunt, the competition's player of the year, missed a field goal from 35 metres out with seven minutes remaining, the first of seven missed drop-goal attempts.
The Broncos held a 16-12 lead at half-time, taking the lead for the first time in the match one minute before the break. Centre Brendon Gibb did exceptionally well to spin out of two tackles after receiving the ball from Yow Yeh centimetres from the corner post, and powered over in the 39th.
The Raiders scored first through five-eighth Michael Picker in the 10th minute, and Brisbane hit back seven minutes later when halfback Ben Hunt followed a break by hooker Andrew McCullough and streaked away.
Picker scored his second in the 26th minute, while teammate Josh Dugan scored a try and won the Jack Gibson Medal for man of the match.
RAIDERS SNATCH GOLDEN POINT PREMIERSHIP
|Canberra Raiders win 1st Toyota Cup (Photo : Canberra Raiders)
|RAIDER'S TV - Check out what delighted Raiders Toyota Cup coach has to say - HERE
The CFMEU Canberra Raiders Toyota Cup side has taken out the inaugural National under 20's competition, defeating the Broncos 28-24 in a thrilling golden point grand final today.
The scores were locked at 24-all at fulltime after a heart-stopping final 10 minutes of play which saw a total of four field goal chances missed between the 2 teams.
Two more field goal chances were missed by the Raiders in extra time, before Jarrod Croker swooped on to a neat chip kick and dashed clear to send Jarrad Kennedy over under the posts for the match-winner.
The Raiders played the majority of the match in their own half of the field, but for the second week in a row they hung on grimly in the contest to eventually walk away with the spoils.
The Raiders took a 6-0 lead in the 10th minute after Michael Picker dove over next to the posts, but Brisbane hit straight back to level at 6-all shortly after. Picker was again in the action leter in the first half when he swooped on a Broncos error to dive over and send the Raiders out to a 12-6 lead.
Mistakes crept in however and the Raiders began to lose ascendency in the battle, with the Broncos crossing for 2 late tries to take a 16-12 lead into the halftime break.
The Broncos continued to surge after the break and when Yow Yeh scored early in the second half it looked as though the wheels were beginning to fall off the Green Machine, with more errors creeping into their game.
A brilliant team try by the Raiders got them back into the contest, with the ball going through multiple sets of hands before man-of-the-match Josh Dugan placed a neat grubber through the line to winger Drury Low, who grabbed the ball on the fly and crossed in the corner for a classic grand final try. Dugan's sideline conversion saw the Raiders close the gap to 2 points, before Dugan then backed up Travis Waddell to cross under the posts and give the Raiders a 24-20 lead.
Yow Yeh produced a great play in the shadows of fulltime, stripping the ball from Waddell's grasp and racing away to score out wide, but the missed conversion saw the game go into golden point time and set up a nail-biting finish to the match.
Canberra Raiders 28 (Michael Picker 2, Drury Low, Josh Dugan, Jarrad Kennedy tries; Josh Dugan 4 goals) d Brisbane Broncos 24 (Jharal Yow Yeh 2, Ben Hunt, Michael Spence, Brendon Gibb tries; Ben Hunt 2 goals) at ANZ Stadium
Referee: Shayne Hayne Halftime: Broncos 16-12 [Full review to come]
|SEAEAGLES ANNOUNCE JUNIOR REP SQUADS
2008 NRL CHAMPIONS
The Manly SeaEagles have announced their 2009 District Reps train - on squads for compete in the 2009 Harold Matthew's & SG Ball & Toyota Cup competitions :
| HAROLD MATTHEWS
|RAIDERS NURTURE TALENT
THE Raiders' NRL squad has lost more than $1.5million worth of playing talent for next season and, despite this year's success, they have already been installed as the wooden spoon favourites for 2009.
But bubbling beneath the surface, the Raiders have spent months re-signing the entire team that will start today's inaugural under-20s grand final against the Broncos.
It is Canberra's nest egg and the Raiders expect it to hatch as early as next season. Raiders development manager Dave Hamilton said they did not want to lose any of their talented juniors.
"This is just the start of a purple patch, it's the best crop of kids I've seen since I've been here (since 1998),'' Hamilton said.
JUNIOR TIGERS CRISIS
|BIG YEAR: Batemans Bay Tigers under 15s player Andrew Wallace goes for a gallop during the 2008 season.
THE Batemans Bay Junior Tigers will not take the field in 2009 unless an administration crisis is resolved at a meeting later this month.
The club received no nominations for the positions of president, vice-president, treasurer and secretary at the recent annual general meeting, therefore an emergency AGM has been scheduled for October 14 at Batemans Bay Bowling Club.
“We received four nominations for the committee at the AGM, but none for the executive positions,” 2008 club secretary Sean Carmody said.
“If we don’t have these positions filled we can’t run the club. We need fresh people and fresh ideas to make it happen.”
Tigers junior teams have had much success over the past two seasons, making the lack of interest baffling.
Carmody is handing over secretarial duties due to work commitments which require him to be on the road for much of the day. He said this position would be ideally suited to someone with a desk job.
“It’s not a hard job,” he said.
The crisis has not extended to the coaches of the teams, as most of last year’s coaches are expected to apply for the 2009 positions.
For further information about the meeting or the positions, call Carmody on 0414 805 721.
|BLAYNEY JUNIOR LEAGUE: AIMING FOR AN UNDER 18 SIDE IN 2009
At the end of the presentation ceremony, every player and coach involved with junior league in 2008 were presented with a centenary jumper.
Blayney Junior League held their presentation on Sunday at the Blayney High School.
A big crowd attended to see the players receive their trophies. Congratulations to all players for their efforts throughout the season. A special mention must go to Suzanne Hobby for the great work she does running the canteen. Without parents like Suzie we could not run such a successful club.
Annette Cock was awarded a centenary jersey for a great job as Ground Manager. Annette no longer has any children of her own playing, but is still keen to sit in the freezing cold every Saturday for the Juniors.
Elections for 2009 Blayney Junior Rugby League were held following the presentation. The new committee is:
PRESIDENT— Steve Mooney
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT—Ian Hobby
JUNIOR VICE PRESIDENT—Richard Hobby
SECRETARY— Lisa Oborn
ASSISTANT SECRETARY— Chris Smith
PUBLICITY OFFICER— Belinda Simmons
CANTEEN CO-ORDINATOR— Suzanne Hobby
GROUND MANAGER— Annette Cock
COMMITTEE— Scott Oborn, Richard Jarmen, Jill Pettit, Phil McKenzie, Jonathan Taylor, Alex Pettit, Ryan Hopkins, Robert Smith, Dallas Battle, Donna Simmons, Allison Farr, Kylie Cashen, Jason Pond, Mick Parfett, Lance Lowe, Malcolm Taylor, Clayton Farr, Steve McKenna.
Next Meeting Tuesday the 7th October 2008.
All interested players for Under 18’s 2009 are invited to attend.
All players and coaches received Blayney JRL centenary jerseys of their own to keep. We will be placing another order for the jerseys in 2 weeks. Full payment of $60.00 is to be placed with the order up front. Please contact Lisa Oborn on 6368 2536 for orders.
|TIGERS ANNOUNCE 2009 JUNIOR REP SQUADS
|HAROLD MATTHEWS CUP
|2009 SG Ball
RAIDERS RE-SIGN WADDELL
|Travis Waddell resigned with the Raiders until 2011
The Canberra Raiders Toyota Cup team has had a timely boost ahead of Sunday’s Grand Final against the Brisbane Broncos, with the announcement today that hooker Travis Waddell has extended his contract with the club until the end of 2011.
Waddell, 19, has been one of the stars of the Green Machines assault on the inaugural Toyota Cup in 2008, and his solid form has seen him earn a contract extension and a place at the Raiders for a further three seasons.
Originally from Proserpine in Northern Queensland, Waddell arrived in Canberra at the start of the 2008 season, and has gone on to stamp himself as the premier number nine at the Toyota Cup level.
He said the chance to remain with the Raiders is something he was excited about, and was keen to continue the success of the Toyota Cup team into 2009.
“I’m settled here in Canberra now, it’s a great place to live and I’m really enjoying my footy too,” Waddell said.
“The club have pretty much re-signed all of this years Toyota Cup team, so hopefully we can stick together next year.”
During the 2008 season Waddell was called into the Raiders NRL squad due to the mounting injury toll at the time, and said it was an experience which improved his game immensely.
“Getting the chance to train with the top squad this year allowed me to learn so much and I was able to bring that back to the Toyota Cup side,” he said.
“Now we’re in a Grand Final and hopefully by Sunday afternoon we’ll be the champions.”
Raiders CEO Don Furner said Waddell’s development as a player had been the biggest factor in his re-signing, and said he looked forward to seeing him continue his rise at the Raiders.
“Travis is a tough player who plays above his weight but mixes it with the bigger players,” Furner said. “We definitely have him in our future plans so we’ve made sure he remains with us for at least three more years.”
WORLD AT TAHNEE’S FOOTY FEET
|WORLD AT HER FEET: Former Orange resident Tahnee Norris (pictured with Constable Nick Paterson) will represent Australia at the Police and Women's Rugby League world cup.
LEARN MORE ABOUT 'WOMEN in LEAGUE'
FORMER Orange resident Tahnee Norris will feature in the Australian Rugby League’s Festival of World Cups.
Norris will captain the Australian team for the Women’s World Cup which will be played on the Sunshine Coast in November.
At the same time the world cup for Police will also be held at the Sunshine Coast.
A representative netballer, Norris’ move to league coincided with her move to Sydney, after having dabbled in the game as a youngster.
“I grew up with two brothers, in the backyard kicking the footy around, in Orange,” she said.
“I was playing netball, then moved to league when I knew there was a competition - I moved to Sydney and found out the South Sydney Rabbitohs had a women’s team.”
From there, next stop was state honours, which is where things go a little awry - in Norris’ wardrobe, you’ll find blue and maroon.
She has represented both states, and said pinning down her loyalties could be difficult.
“It’s a hard one - I still wear blue undies in games, put it that way,” Norris said.
“I play for the team whose jersey I’m wearing, it’s all about the girls.
“We don’t have the funding to fly me back down (from the Gold Coast) to play for NSW - I live up here now, so I play for Queensland.”
The Kiwi girls bumped Australia out of the last world cup in the semi-finals, a situation that will not repeat in November, with the sides in opposite halves of the draw, setting up a potential trans-Tasman decider.
“We’ve always done well, but there’s been a lot of changes, a lot of new young kids coming through,” Norris said.
“But there are still enough of us old guys hanging around to show the kids where to go.”
The Women’s World Cup will be played at Stockland Park from November 4.
NOT DUNN YET
|Brock Dunn in action for the Canberra Raiders. Dunn will play his first Toyota Cup grand final this Sunday for the Raiders at ANZ Stadium.
Dubbo’s 19-year-old Brock Dunn will play in his first Toyota Cup grand final this Sunday, when his side the Canberra Raiders take on the Brisbane Broncos at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium.
The former CYMS junior has spent the past two seasons with the Raiders and he said Sunday’s match would be his biggest yet, and with his mum Caroline and father Gerard there watching he hoped he could perform well and help his team come away with the win.
Dunn will be starting off the bench this weekend, but after sustaining a serious knock to his teeth last week against St George, the hooker is lucky to be playing at all.
“I wasn’t on for very long at all and I just copped a high shot,” Dunn said.
“The knock pushed my two front teeth in but I have been to see the team doctor and dentist and I have been given the all clear for this weekend.”
Dunn’s central west team-mate Justin Carney will also return for this weekend’s grand final, after sustaining a fractured eye-socket in round 26.
Disappointment however for Forbes second rower Joel Thompson who will miss out on the match after he too fractured his eye socket during Canberra’s match against St George last weekend - his first as captain.
Thompson, a 2006 Australian Schoolboy, and Carney were both named in the inaugural Toyota Cup team of the year this season.
Dunn acknowledged that Thompson’s presence on the field would be sorely missed on Sunday but remained upbeat about his side’s chances to take the premiership.
“I spoke to Joel this week and he didn’t say much, he is very disappointed he can’t play,” Dunn said.
Thompson’s former Forbes Magpies team-mate Zac Merritt will also be in action for the Raiders, named in the second row.
This season Dunn believes he has grown as a player and after signing with St George earlier this season for 2009 he hopes further doors will open for him in the future.
“I signed with St George simply for the opportunity to further my career,” Dunn said.
“I really want to go all the way.”
Last month Dunn’s Brother Blake won his Illawarra Carlton League grand final with Thirroul Butchers and with Brock’s grand final this weekend the Dunn family is hoping they can get two from two.
“I am very proud of both of them, I know how much hard work they have put in,” their father Gerard said.
“I am pretty excited about watching Brock this weekend and hopefully his side can come away with a win.”
Brock will be living with Blake next year when he starts his season with St George and he believes that will help make his transition a lot easier.
This Sunday’s Toyota Cup grand final will kick off at 2pm.
To progress to the grand final the Raiders defeated St George 18-14 at the weekend while the Broncos escaped with a down to the wire 28-26 win over the New Zealand Warriors.
The Raiders finished the regular season as minor premiers with 40 competition points while the Broncos finished second, ahead on for and against of three other sides (Warriors, Penrith and Parramatta) on 35.
Head-to-head the Raiders won both the earlier clashes between the two sides, 48-8 at Canberra Stadium in round 14 and 28-24 at Suncorp in round 21.
ROOSTERS OUT OF JUNIOR COMPS
|Matty's Cup Sharks Vs Roosters (Photo : ourfooty media)
FOUNDATION club Sydney Roosters have concluded their centenary season by pulling out of the Harold Matthews and SG Ball junior competitions, citing cost-cutting.
For the first time, the red white and blue will not be seen in the NSW under 16s and Under 18s competitions in 2009 following an historic decision made by the Roosters board last week.
Chief executive Brian Canavan said the Roosters would continue to offer scholarships to players in those age groups but admitted players may have to be recruited from other clubs and areas at an older age.
"It comes down to financial constraints, with the impact of the poker machine tax, the reduction in the leagues club grant and other factors,'' Canavan said. "It is very unfortunate but all clubs are dealing with it in different ways.
"This is what we've decided to do.''
The Roosters have competed in the under 16s since 1970 and the SG Ball since 1965. Canavan said he did not know of any other tradition clubs withdrawing from the 2009 Ball and Matthews at this stage.
But he rejected suggestions the culling of the teams would require the tricolours to do nothing but poach players from other clubs.
"We don't have a big junior base but we will still be offering scholarships, they will play school football which is a shorter season,'' he said.
"We won't send players out of our area to play,'' he said, adding they scholarship holders could play for rival teams "if they so wished''.
Manly chief executive Grant Mayer has confirmed, meanwhile, that the Sea Eagles have withdrawn from the NSW Cup for next season.
"We are going to enter a team in the Queensland Cup next year called the Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles,'' he said.
"There is still no structure for the NSW Cup for next year as far as I know.''
FARRER’S FABULOUS FOOTY WEEK
|FARRER MAHS Opens Rugby League team with this years University Shield (Photo's : ourfooty media)
WHAT a footballing triumph it was last week for Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School.
The Tamworth school started out by winning the Yeates Shield in Bathurst, the Mick Parker-coached side beating Kiama 41-3 in the open rugby union knockout final.
Two days later and the school’s open and Under 14 rugby league sides won the University and Buckley Shields with wins over Sarah Redfern High and Cromer High at Campbelltown Stadium.
The Clint Gallagher-coached Buckley Shield side beat Cromer 26-4 while the opens, coached by Steve Cavanagh and Gus Comi, beat Sarah Redfern High 42-16 despite playing more than half the game with 12 men.
Jake Hawkins’ sendoff late in the second half only made the open side more determined to win a second Uni Shield, with every one of the side stepping up.
The Yeates Shield win at Bathurst had kicked it all off and was the school’s second success in the open rugby KO after annexing the 2002 title with a 19-nil win over Orange’s James Sheahan Catholic High School in Orange.
The Yeates Shield only started in 1995 to give all types of schools outside the Sydney metropolitan area an opportunity of playing each other at open level.
Farrer’s side was 1 Sam O’Shannessy, 2 Beau Brummel, 3 Chris Chape, 4 Rob Carter, 5 Lachlan Stewart, 6 Henry Tanner, 7 Tim O’Shannessy, 8 Gerard Dillon, 9 Tom Mellor, 10 Nick Say, 11 Matt Swan, 12 Will Jackman, 13 Jacob Meredith, 14 Matt Barry, 15 Michael Adams, 16 Ben Lonergan, 17 Sam Bowden, 18 Mark Hellyer, 19 A Impey, 20 Matt Wilson, 21 Will Chaffey. Coach Mick Parker.
On the Tuesday Farrer then stepped out in the Buckley and University Shield finals at Campbelltown City to complete a masterly treble.
Farrer’s success wasn’t just on the field either.
The two captains also excelled.
Farrer’s Buckley Shield skipper Logan Harris was named played of the final and player of the series.
Then Farrer’s Uni Shield skipper Scott Blanch repeated that success when he was named player of the Uni Shield competition and player of the final.
JUNIOR COBRA'S HAVE SOME BITE IN THEM
|Cronulla Sharks U13's Development Team (Photo's : ourfooty media )
|Eastridge Cobra's touring U13's ( Photo's : ourfooty media )
|EastRidge Cobra's & Cronulla Sharks Under 13 teams atfer their game on Shark Park ( Photo's : ourfooty media )
It all started in about May when two footy mad old blokes started talking online looking for some games for the boys to play.
On Friday 27 th September the EastRidge Cobra's from the Dubbo Junior League brought their under 13's footy side to the big city for a big adventure and some footy.
Friday night the Dubbo boys where at the Sydney Football Stadium watching Melbourne Storm work their way into this years NRL Grand Final.
The Aquinas Colts JRLFC have put up the squad up at their clubhouse at Menai, this morning they all jumped onto the bus and headed for Cronulla Beach.
There was only one person in the team that had seen a beach before, as soon as the bus pulled up the boys were off, running down the sand like 3 legged greyhounds.
They enjoyed jumping around in the surf for a while before the big game against the Sharks.
Then it was time to play some footy.
The look on the Dubbo boys faces when they ran on Shark Park was fantastic, big eyed, open mouthed amazed kids (and coaching staff too)
Although the Cronulla side won the game with plenty of entertaining rugby league, the visiting Dubbo boys were not disgraced against this highly regarded Sharks Development team.
Dubbo best forward : Daniel Wirth
Dubbo best back : Swade Dunn
Cronulla best back : Lee Higgins
Cronulla best forward : Keeton Ross
SCORE FULL TIME : 36 - 14
score 1/3 rd : 8 - 10
score 2/3 rd : 22 - 10
TRIES : Daniel Wirth, Swade Dunn, Jai Dunn
GOALS : Jacob Hill
TRIES : Jackson Bagnall 2, Zac Hughes, Ben Issard, Andrew Shallboub, Lee Higgins, Keeton Ross
GOALS : Josh Baldacchino
MORE SOON ? & Heaps of Action from the Game
Sunday the Dubbo boys take on the Balmain Tigers U 13 Development Squad at Eastlakes.
RAIDERS ONE GAME FROM GLORY
|Travis Waddell running the ball
|Joel Thompson saying g'day to a Welsh player during a schoolboys game in '06 (Photo : ourfooty media)
|LEARN MORE ABOUT THE TOYOTA CUP
The CFMEU Canberra Raiders under-20s stormed through to the Toyota Cup playoff, with a tough 18-14 win over the St George Illawarra Dragons.
The minor premiers scored three first half tries and skipped to an 18-4 half time lead, before the Dragons crept back into the game early in the second period.
The battered and bruised Canberra side held on to their lead 18-14 for the final 20 minutes and coach Tony Adam said he was incredibly proud of the side's effort.
"I actually thought if we held the ball a bit more in the first half we could've got an even bigger lead," Adam said.
"But it was a very tough game and our physios will be busy this week."
Stand-in captain Joel Thompson was simply brilliant for the minor premiers. The former Junior Kangaroo made countless bursts down the left hand side and played through eye and rib injuries to inspire his team to victory.
"I had a big role to step in to [taking over the captaincy from Shaun Fensom], Shauno really knows how to lead good when he is in the team," Thompson said after the match.
"It was a pretty tough match, a very satisfying victory."
Justin Carney and Shaun Fensom have both vowed to return to the side for next week's decider, but it was the remaining players who stole the show in the preliminary final.
Utility forward Andrew Edwards was given Fensom's number 13 jumper, and he did it great justice.
"All week the boys have been calling me Shaun Fensom at training and reminding me of how much work I would have to do in this game," Edwards said.
"It was the biggest game in a lot of these boys' lives and there were a lot of nerves around during the week. But today we showed we could do it."
St George Illawarra got the better start, with half back John Kennedy scoring in just the third minute.
The Dragons received good filed position on the back of a Nick Skinner infringement, before Jake Marketo broke the line and look destined to score. But Josh Dugan stripped the ball out of Marketo's hand, and it bounced around the in-goal area. Kennedy dived on the loose ball to put the Dragons in front.
But referee Phil Haines soon blew two penalties the Raiders' way and Green Machine captain, Joel Thompson pushed his way through the Dragons defensive line to level the match.
The Raiders scored again, in the 16th minute, with prop Nick Skinner finishing off a dazzling Raiders' try. On the last tackle, the Raiders worked the ball down the blind side and Drury Low scooted down the touch line. He chip-kicked the ball back on the inside and Skinner, backing up, caught the ball, stepped inside the cover defence and dived over the line.
The minor premiers had another two good chances to extend their lead, but each time an intercept pass was thrown close to the line.
The Dragons got up the other end with the help of back to back penalties and forced two goal-line drop outs from the Raiders. But the Raiders' line not only held strong, but some punching hits from Jarrod Croker and Andrew Edwards got the Raiders back on the front foot.
The first half was littered with big hits by both sides.
The Raiders scored on the brink of half time, with Andrew Edwards crossing between the uprights. Edwards - recalled into the starting team for injured captain Shaun Fensom - burst straight up the middle of the ruck and through the Dragons defence from close range to give the Raiders an 18-4 lead at the break.
The Dragons came out firing in the second half and almost scored when Marketo dropped the ball over the line for the second time in the match. But they didn't make the same mistake again.
St George Illawarra winger Daniel Nicastri pushed past Low to score in the corner and reduced the Raiders' lead to 10 points with just under half an hour left to play.
Some scrappy errors crept into the Raiders' game, and it looked like the game's physicality had taken its toll on the minor premiers.
The Dragons scored again, this time it was Clifford Morris who scored next to the uprights. The red and whites battered the Raiders defensive line, and Canberra just couldn't keep them out.
The final half hour was scoreless, but thrilling none-the-less.
Both teams threw everything at each other, and in the end the minor premiers just held on.
The Raiders were absolutely out on their feet, but their character and class shone through in the end.
The Raiders will now play the winner of Brisbane and the Warriors next Sunday.
Canberra Raiders 18 (J Thompson, N Skinner, A Edwards tries; J Dugan 3 goals) beat St George Illawarra Dragons 14 (J Kennedy, D Nicastri, C Morris tries; N Dureau 1 goal) at the Sydney Football Stadium.
PALM BEACH CURRUMBIN WIN THRILLER
|Palm Beach Currumbin SHS with the Arrive alive Cup ( Photo's : ourfooty media )
Palm Beach Currumbin scored the first try in the first couple minuteswith some good lead up play which gave the 2nd rower a gap to barge over close to the goal post, Jordan Rankin coverted.
Matraville held out a determined PBC attack on their line with PBC having 3 sets to attack, Matraville held them out for the turn around.
Some very quick play the balls we was Matraville gain 80 meters when an Adam Reynolds chip kick was caught by Jordan Rankin who had the ball stripped in a one - on - one tackle, Matraville spread the ball and Matraville 5/eight Jerome Leolahi dive over close to the posts.
Matraville Sports hit straight back again from the PBC kick with Australian Scholboys Dominic Walsh creating plenty of meters and causing havoc amound the PBC defenders.
Matra ran the ball from dummy, Jordan Rakin... More Soon check out the action
SOUTH DELIVER CLASSIC VICTORY
|South Dubbo PS 2008 Classic Shield Champions (Photo's : ourfooty media)
|Ross Hill PS after this years Classic Shield at Campbelltown Stadium (Photo's : ourfooty media)
|Max Shearman takes it up for South Dubbo Primary in their Classic Shield final win over Inverell on Tuesday.(Photo's : ourfooty media )
In an amazing show of talent and determination South Dubbo Primary has taken out the NSW PSSA Rugby League Classic Shield knockout after downing Inverell 24-14 in the grand final on Tuesday.
It is the first time in the competition’s 32-year history that a Dubbo school has taken out the title, which capped off an enormously successful year for South Dubbo.
After ploughing through the Western Area competition, Dubbo faced a tough semi-final against Western Sydney’s Lethbridge Park last week.
Despite the size of Lethbridge, South Dubbo held strong and came away with the win to secure their spot in Tuesday’s grand final, which was held at Campbelltown.
Onlookers at this week’s match described Inverell as the most consistent side Dubbo has faced this season, and with scores locked at 10-all at half-time, the heat was on the young side.
But after running in two more tries before the final whistle the Dubbo boys knew they had the title, screaming away with a comfortable10-point win to secure the shield.
Coach of South Dubbo, Paul Loxley was over the moon with his sides win, saying he was pinching himself the whole way home in amazement.
“The boys had a lightning start with Joe Stagemen jumping on a loose ball for our first try,” Loxley said.
“They came back to level the scores at half time but we got a couple more in during the second to come away with it.”
Loxley said Dubbo’s attack was structured and flawless and their defence was solid.
“They had a couple of big players and we had a couple of bleeding noses, but they kept at them and defended well.”
Loxley said Tuesday’s win wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the support of the teachers and students at South Dubbo Primary.
He said the commitment and support they showed throughout the competition went a long way towards the success the school had in the winning the shield.
“The planets were aligned on Tuesday and our boys made history, and that’s something nobody will ever be able to take away from them,” Loxley said.
“For the boys to win a State title is absolutely wonderful.”
FARRER DOES DOUBLE: HISTORIC DAY FOR TAMWORTH SCHOOL WITH TWO STATE TRIUMPHS
|FARRER MAHS Opens Rugby League team with this years University Shield (Photo's : ourfooty media)
|Steve Cavanagh get wet during Farrer's post Grand Final celebrations ( Photo's ourfooty media )
|Ross Hill PS - runers - up in this years Classic Shield ( Photo's : ourfooty media )
|2008 NSW CHS PHOTO'S
NSW CHS UNIVERSITY SHIELD
Westfields SHS 46 - 18 Matraville SHS
NSW CHS UNIVERSITY CHS SHIELD
Farrer MAHS 42 - 16 Sarah Redfern HS
NSW CHS WC BUCKLEY SHIELD
Westfields SHS 40 - 22 Matraville SHS
NSW CHS WC BUCKLEY PLATE
Farrer MAHS 24 - 6 Cromer HS
CLASSIC SHIELD Photo's
South Dubbo PS 24 - 14 Ross Hill PS
FARRER Memorial Agricultural High School celebrated its best rugby league day in its history when it won both the Buckley and University Shields at a wet Campbelltown Stadium yesterday.
Inverell’s Ross Hill Public School wasn’t as lucky, losing its State PSSA Knockout Final 24 - 14 to Dubbo South.
But Farrer flew the North West flag high.
After Farrer’s Under 14s beat Cromer High 26-4 in the Buckley Shield final, the open side defeated Sarah Redfern High 42-16 to notch a second University Shield.
And Farrer had to win its second University Shield the hard way, playing all of the second half with 12 men.
Leading 10-nil about 10 minutes from half-time, the Farrer supporters and players were stunned when NRL referee Jason Robinson sent halfback Jake Hawkins off for a high tackle.
His teammates didn’t think there was anything in it but it opened the door for Sarah Redfern who hit back to score and make it 10-6.
The game had started in an arm wrestle for the first 20 minutes but Farrer took charge after Shae Collins made a strong run and popped a pass to captain Scott Blanch to cross.
Three minutes later Ryan Pooley was over out wide for a 10-nil lead.
Farrer went to the break up 14-6 after Jack Shelton was pulled down a metre from the line but managed to flick a pass to Josh Dutton for him to score.
Following a 60m dash from Matt Allwood, Andy Mack scored the killer try on the back of a great dummy half run from Ben Williams.
Dominic Bower also crossed for a double and Cameron Mitchell slid over in the same corner to stretch the advantage to 36-10.
Sarah Redfern scored another consolation try but Blanch scored the final try, a fitting reward for the Manly recruit who was named player of the final and player of the year after the game.
Farrer coaches Steve Cavanagh and Gus Comi were delighted and proud of their side which battled a bigger side in wet conditions with just 12 players.
“Not everything went to script today,” Cavanagh said.
“The strongest thing we had was our defence.
“They (Sarah Redfern) had a lot of ball in the first half and they cracked us a couple of times but they were just lucky kicks and that was all.
“And we did play most of the game with a key player missing and they’re 35-minute halves so it’s a long game.
“That just showed the character this side has and again the strength off the bench was evident.
“Ben Williams had a huge game, Andy Mack played really well and Cameron Mitchell played really well.
“Every single one of the players off the bench was good.
“Matt Allwood, to make that break from our corner when we were under the pump was brilliant.
“Shae Collins was huge, Josh Dutton was huge and Scott Blanch would have to be the best leader of a schoolboy football side I’ve seen. And I’ve been coaching since 1977.”
Turn to page 32 for more on the Buckley Shield and Classic Shield finals.
FARRER 42 (Scott Blanch 2, Dom Bower 2, Ryan Pooley, Josh Dutton, Cameron Mitchell, Andy Mack tries, Bower 4, Ben Williams gls) d SARAH REDFERN HIGH 16 (Vincent Chan Sau, Frost Matavao, Dean McKay tries, Chan Sau, Brett Lahey gls).
|WESTFIELDS MAKE IT 4 IN A ROW
Westfields Sports High School have now won the NSW CHS Under 14's WC Buckley Shield an amazing 4 years in a row after winning the 2008 Buckley Shield 40 - 22 against a gutsy Matraville SHS at Campbelltown Stadium. MORE SOON or Tomorrow
|Westfields SHS - 2008 BUCKLEY SHIELD 2008 CHAMPIONS ( Photo's : ourfooty media )
||Matraville SHS - 2008 Buckley Shield runners up ( Photo's : ourfooty media )
HeaPS oF PHoTo'S Soon,
Good on ya guys, the footy was gr8 to watch, thnx -
|Westfields SHS win 2008 NSW CHS Buckley Shield for the 4 th time in a row ( Photo's : ourfooty media )