THIS weeks team was hard to pick, with so many clubs struggling after origin picking the standouts wasnt easy. Scraping into the fullback spot is Raiders custodian Clinton Schifcofske after a strong display against the Storm. Joining him at the back are wingers John Hopoate from the Eagles and John Carlaw from the Warriors. Hopoate made 26 hit ups against the Storm and scored 2 tries. Carlaw a centre played his guts out against the Broncos and forced his way into the backline. In the centre are mark Hughes from the Knights and Willie Talau from the Bulldogs. Both players playing a major roll in their clubs victories over the weekend. The halves selection sees team of the week regulars Brent Sherwin from the Bulldogs and Roosters captain Brad Fittler join forces to make a deadly combination.
WELL Origin is over, the draw debate may live on for weeks to come, but the series is well and truly over. Which means its time to get back to the premiership rounds. After this weekends games, only 10 rounds will be left for teams to make the top 8. So time is running out, and every game is important, so lets see how the rate this week.
AFTER looking at the 17 men that will be taking the field in the decider, its now time to turn the attention to the men behind them, the coaches.
THIS weeks team is a strong one, with a few surprises. After a strong game Rooster Luke Phillips grabs the fullback spot, fighting off Robbie Ross and David Peachey with his kamikaze runs against the Eels. On the flanks eagles flying Robert Miles and Shark Paul Mellor both snared two tries a piece to force their way into the side. Dragons centre Lee Hookey also bagged a double against new NRL heavy weights the Warriors. Joining him in the centres is Tiger Kevin McGuiness who looked dangerous every time he touched the ball against the Knights. Forcing their way into the halves are former origin stars Braith Anasta from the Bulldogs and Brett Kimmorley from the Sharks, both having strong games for their clubs.
AFTER an emergency board meeting, the Wests Tigers have decided not to offer coach Terry Lamb a new contract at years end.
BRAITH Anastas form in 2002 has been nothing special. There is no doubting that in 2001 Anasta set the NRL world alight and deserved all the accolades and rep call ups he got. This year though is another story, he has done very little for his club and state, and is not the strike weapon of the Bulldogs out fit.
GAME three couldnt have been set up better. With the Blues dominating game one, and Maroons returning the favor in game two, the series is wide open. Both games one and two have shown us that the game is really won and lost in the forwards. We saw as the forwards gained momentum the backs ran riot. The real test will be in an even contest, Lockyer and Hodgson, Tallis and Simpson, Langer and Johns, Berrigan and Barrett, Tuqiri and Tahu all going head to head in an even contest, with both forward packs firing and damn near killing each other. The thought is enough to make a league fan drool, and fans from other codes jealous. Lets just hope both packs of forwards fire and give the fans something to talk about.
ALL fired up and ready to go. The entire 17 man Queensland squad have been declared fit and ready to, including form front rower Petero Civoniceva.
BRISBANE Broncos high flying speedster Chris Walker is rumored to have rejected an offer from the club and is set to look at going to a Sydney based club. Walker knocked back the offer wanting more money, but as the Broncos look set to make an attempt to keep up to eleven players who are coming off contract the extra money just isnt there.
THE Cronulla Sharks have shown signs of returning to form by thrashing the North Queensland Cowboys 46 16 at Dairy Farmers Stadium.