Marc Howard

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Maroon defence levels Origin series

STATE of Origin II Queensland 30 v New South Wales 6 at Suncorp Stadium Referees: Steve Clark Crowd: 52,468

Maroon defence levels Origin series

STATE of Origin II Queensland 30 v New South Wales 6at Suncorp StadiumReferees: Steve ClarkCrowd: 52,468Match Summary:Superb Maroon defence has seen Queensland completely outplay New South Wales in Game II of the 2006 State of Origin, taking the match 30-6.A Willie Mason knock-on in the first set of six set the pattern for the game as the Blues never recovered, being hammered from pillar to post in every Queensland tackle. The first try came from a crafty set play at the scrum base, Flannery peeling off at lock, passing back inside to Webb who strolled over untouched after breaking from the scrum himself. A great length of the field intercept try from Justin Hodges 12 minutes later saw the Maroons take a 14-0 lead into halftime.Unlike Queensland in Game I, there would be no comeback for the Blues as further tries to Berrigan and a double from debutant Adam Mogg saw them race away to a match-winning 30 point lead. New South Wales crossed late in the match through Tahu, but by then the game was well and truly lost, and minds were no doubt already focusing on Game III in three weeks time.Five eighth Darren Lockyer and halfback Johnathan Thurston had a field day, their running, kicking and passing games forcing the Blues backwards all night. New South Wales may be looking at some new faces in their squad for Game III, however they only played as well as Queensland would allow, so changes may only be forced through injury. Speaking of injuries, Queensland's Steve Bell went off the field after a headclash with Steve Menzies, whilst for the Blues Eric Grothe has apparently come away with a corked thigh. Both players are in doubt for their respective clubs this weekend. Scorers:Queensland: 30Tries: Shaun Berrigan, Carl Webb, Justin Hodges, Adam Mogg(2)Goals: Jonathon Thurston 5/6New South Wales: 6Tries: Timana TahuGoals: Brett Hodgson 1/1By the Clock:Game II - State of Origin 2006 is ready and waiting for Queensland to square the series, or for New South Wales to take their fourth consecutive interstate title. The weather is cool and clear, it's time to get this show on the road.The teams are out on the field, the anthem has been delivered, it's showtime!1 min: NEWS Darren Lockyer kicks off and we're underway in Game II 20062 min: NEWS Mason makes the first mistake of the match and Queensland go straight on the attack3 min: NEWS Hodges offloads with 6 defenders hanging off him, fortunately for the Blues the ball trickles into touch6 min: PENALTY GOAL QueenslandThurston converts a penalty after Kite is penalised for holding down in the play the ball QLD 2-012 min: NEWS Queensland are dominating field position in the early exchanges17 min: NEWS Luke Bailey makes his way onto the field for the first time tonight, as does Flannery for the Maroons18 min: NEWS The Blues handling is leaving alot to be desired as Buderus drops the ball cold after being tackled by Lockyer.20 min: TRY QueenslandCarl Webb strolls over one pass from the scrum, giving the Maroons the reward that their defence demanded. Thurston converts from in front of the posts QLD 8-023 min: NEWS O'Meley knocks on after a Civoniceva shoulder barge. QLD are back on the attack28 min: NEWS The Blues get a relieving penalty on their own line as Queensland's defence continues to force them backwards32 min: TRY QueenslandHodges races the length of the field to score after a Blues pass hits him on the chest. Thurston converts QLD 14-037 min: NEWS Tate is held up over the try line as the Maroons look to put this game out of reach before halftimeHALFTIME - Queensland leave the field to a standing ovation, almost erasing memories of their first half display in Game I. The Blues on the other hand have looked out of sorts since Mason knocked on from the opening set of six. Their game needs to lift in all facets if they are to have any chance of taking the series tonight.41 min: NEWS Hodgson kicks off and here we go for the second half42 min: NEWS After a great hit by Sam Thaiday, a Finch pass hits Mason in the face giving the Maroons a dream start to the second half44 min: NEWS Justin Hodges goes down injured after a hard Mark O'Meley tackle, he rises to his feet and looks able to play on.46 min: TRY QueenslandA horror pass from Anasta to Gasnier brings about a dropped ball. Thurston toes ahead, regathers, then passes spectacularly to Mogg who easily scores his first Origin try on debut. Thurston converts. QLD 20-047 min: NEWS An easily dropped ball by Smith gives the Blues a chance to get back into the match, but they squander yet another chance with good field position52 min: NEWS More of the same from the Blues, as Finch drops a more than catchable pass53 min: NEWS Jacob Lillyman is on the field for his debut Origin experience, not a bad time to do it with his team leading by 20 points55 min: NEWS Gasnier is given a chat by Steve Clark after blowing up following another NSW dropped ball. Queensland are on the attack now, but lose the ball after a bad pass from Lockyer58 min: NEWS NSW squander their best chance of the match after a great burst by King down the right flank. The ball goes through the hands to Menzies who looks to draw and pass only to lose it forward, relieving all pressure off the Maroons61 min: NEWS 20 minutes to go and it looks certain we are heading to Telstra Dome for a Game 3 decider. NSW need an act of God, actually make that 5 or 6 acts of God to snare the series from here64 min: TRY QueenslandMogg scores his second try, diving into the corner after King rushes up out of the line to stop the Maroon attack. Video ref says TRY and Game II belongs to Queensland. Thurston misses the conversion from the sideline QLD 24-067 min: TRY QueenslandLockyer makes a great break down the middle of the park, draws Hodgson to put Berrigan away under the sticks. Thurston converts easily from in front QLD 30-075 min: NEWS 5 minutes remaining and the match is going through the motions at the moment. NSW seem to want to get off the field as quickly as possible while Queensland look like they could play on all night77 min: TRY New South WalesGreat hands by the Blues sees Timana Tahu score nothing more than a consolation try, whilst leaving NSW fans wondering where those skills were in the previous 70-odd minutes. Hodgson converts QLD 30-6FULLTIME - Queensland have completely dominated from go to woah, squaring the series and taking all momentum into Game III. New South Wales could possibly be looking at changes to their squad after they appeared to be outplayed from jersey 1 to jersey players of the match:3 - Jonathon Thurston (Maroons)2 - Darren Lockyer (Maroons)1 - Adam Mogg (Maroons)-----------------------------------------

Eels hang on for the win...just

ROUND 12 Parramatta Eels 22 v Sydney Roosters 20at Parramatta StadiumReferees: Sean HampsteadMatch Summary:The Parramatta Eels have just outlasted the clock to score their third victory of the season, defeating the Sydney Roosters 22-20. In a match featuring it's fair share of handling errors, it was Parramatta who opened the scoring through Chad Robinson. Brett Delaney slotted the conversion to take the Eels to a 6 nil lead after 10 minutes. The match then appeared to be going through the motions until the Eels scored 3 tries in the last ten minutes, allowing them to go to oranges in front with a 22-0 scoreline.The Roosters bounced straight back into the match courtesy of a Chris Flannery try just after halftime, and from there the match went back and forth until the Roosters did what the Eels did to them, scoring 3 tries in 12 minutes to come within 2 points, with enough time remaining to snatch the win. Parramatta somehow managed to defend stoutly in the dying minutes, earning their third win of 2006, also giving coach Jason Taylor his first victory in the NRL, albeit a nail-biting one. From all reports, both teams came through this match without any major injuries. Next week the Eels take on the Dragons under lights at OKI Jubilee, while the Roosters head south to meet the Storm in Melbourne. Scorers:Parramatta Eels: 22Tries: John Morris, Chad Robinson, Daniel Wagon, Brett DelaneyGoals: Brett Delaney 3/4Sydney Roosters: 20Tries: Ryan Cross, Chris Flannery, Amos Roberts, Craig WingGoals: Craig Fitzgibbon 1/1, Amos Roberts 1/3By the Clock:The bookies are finding it tough to split the teams, Eels are paying $1.90, Roosters at $1.92. A win today for the Roosters should see them spend another week in the Top 8, whilst the Eels yet again need that elusive victory to kick-start their campaign and snap a 4-game losing streak. Weather: Bright and sunny.Team changes.Parramatta: Michael Vella will start in the front row, replacing the recently retired Paul Stringer. Justin Tsoulos comes onto the bench. Luke O'Dwyer drops off from the 18 players named.Roosters: Anthony Tupou has apparently suffered an asthma attack prior to the match and has been replaced by Shane Shackleton who will start the match. Jamie Soward comes into the side at halfback, shifting Amos Roberts to the wing. 1 min: NEWS Amos Roberts kicks-off and play is underway at Parramatta Stadium10 min: TRY Parramatta EelsRobinson barges over from close range after a repeat set of six. Delaney converts. Eels 6-015 min: NEWS Craig Wing makes his way onto the field as the Roosters struggle to get their kick-chase game into gear.20 min: NEWS Roosters concede a 5th tackle penalty, Eels now on the attack close to the Roosters line.23 min: NEWS Jeremy Smith wastes a great chance for the Eels, kicking the ball into touch on the 3rd tackle when they had the Roosters on the rack.26 min: NEWS Joel Reddy knocks on in his own in-goal from a Finch bomb. Roosters on the attack from the goal line restart.28 min: NEWS The Roosters knock-on after a repeat set of six, attacking the Eels line. Both sides are making errors at crucial times.30 min: NEWS Timana Tahu breaks the line and offloads to Reddy who takes Sowards' tackle. The ensuing grubber kick results in another set of 6 to the Eels.32 min: TRY Parramatta EelsJeremy Smith cross-kicks to Jarryd Hayne's wing, Hayne bats it down to Delaney who scores the try. Conversion attempt by Delaney is unsuccessful. Eels 10-036 min: TRY Parramatta EelsDean Widders breaks the line and offloads to Timana Tahu who in turn fires a rifle pass to John Morris who scores a great long-range try. Delaney converts. Eels 16-039 min: NEWS Wing kicks out on the full, giving the Eels one last chance to add to their already dominant scoreline.40 min: TRY Parramatta EelsJeremy Smith puts up a little chip-bomb which hits the upright and lands in the in-goal area, Wagon forces the ball to go to halftime with a commanding 22-0 lead. Delaney converts. Eels 22-040 min: NEWS HALFTIME. The Eels look to be on the road to resurrection after easily playing their best 40 minutes of the season. The Roosters on the other hand seem to be waiting for the next guy to do something special to get them going.41 min: NEWS Brett Delaney kicks off and the second half is underway.43 min: TRY Sydney RoostersChris Flannery barges over despite attention from Widders and Reddy. The try is awarded after consultation from the video ref. Roberts misses the conversion. Eels 22-446 min: NEWS The Roosters are targeting Delaney's wing as it leads to another break. The Eels get the handover as Hayne makes a try-saving tackle.48 min: NEWS Riddell offloads for Widders who uses quick hands to a flying Eric Grothe but the referee calls it back for a forward pass.58 min: NEWS PJ Marsh replaces Riddell who has given great service off the bench for the Eels. All Parramatta forwards have been given a rest thus far apart from Nathan Hindmarsh who of course is backing up from State of Origin I.60 min: NEWS Tahu intercepts a pass and streaks away only to be brought down 20 metres from the Roosters line. He plays the ball to Grothe who is penalised for playing on after being called held.63 min: NEWS Soward knocks on with the line wide open after a chip and chase from Wing and Roberts. The Roosters appear to be their own worst enemy today, they can't take any chances the Eels are giving to them. 66 min: TRY Sydney RoostersCraig Wing scores, backing up on the inside after the Roosters make a length of the field break down Grothe and Tahu's wing. Fitzgibbon converts the try. Eels 22-1071 min: NEWS Anasta gets the penalty as he chips through for himself and is knocked over. Roosters on the attack and playing the better footy at this stage.74 min: TRY Sydney RoostersParramatta players stop and stare as Amos Roberts scores after an uncontested bomb which the Eels allowed to bounce. Roberts misses the conversion. Eels 22-1476 min: NEWS Hindmarsh is penalised for stripping the ball, giving the Roosters a great chance with time running out.78 min: TRY Sydney RoostersRoberts knocks back a bomb close to the Eels line, it goes through the hands until Ryan Cross scores. Roberts converts. Eels 22-2079 min: NEWS Jarryd Hayne comes up with an ankle-tap try saver on Amos Roberts, forcing him into touch. If the Eels hold onto the ball for 6 tackles, they win, simple as that. 80 min: NEWS FULLTIME. The Eels can think themselves extremely lucky as they let in 20 unanswered points in the second half to sneak away with 2 vital competition players of the match:3 - Nathan Hindmarsh2 - Timana Tahu1 - Craig Wing-----------------------------------------

Stringer forced into retirement

PARRAMATTA Eels prop Paul Stringer has been forced into early retirement following a routine scan on Wednesday morning (24th May). In a Media Release issued this morning, Stringer was found to have a bulging disc in his back which is placing pressure on his spinal cord. He now faces surgery which will put a premature end to a career played over 9 seasons with 4 clubs, North Sydney, the Northern Eagles, South Sydney and Parramatta.Paul Stringer played a total of 143 NRL matches, scoring 14 tries.

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