Marc Howard

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Recent Articles by Marc Howard

Queensland leave Blues Marooned

THE always proud Maroons of Queensland have kept a disappointing New South Wales side scoreless for the third time in their State Of Origin history...

Warriors get first away win in Newcastle

SOME great defence and a couple of timely interceptions have seen the New Zealand Warriors secure their first away victory in 2008

Eels finish on top in messy affair

THE Parramatta Eels have secured back to back wins after limping past an equally sub-standard St. George Illawarra Dragons by 19-18 at ANZ Stadium this afternoon

Sharks take the points in Newcastle

ROUND 16 Newcastle Knights 16 v Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 26at EnergyAustralia StadiumReferees: Ben CumminsMatch Summary:The Cronulla Sharks have cemented their place in the NRL top 4 with an outstanding albeit controversial come from behind victory over the Knights in Newcastle. The Video Referee was called upon 3 times in less than 10 minutes in the second half to judge on 3 possible Knights tries and came up with the red light on each occasion.An uneventful start by both teams was erased in the 22nd minute after Anthony Quinn crossed for the first of his 2 first half tries. A great run and an even greater pass by Carmont put Quinn on his bike for his second try which was converted by Johns, giving the Knights a commanding 10 point lead going into the break. Stuart Raper must have uttered some inspiring words to his players at half time, as by the 6th minute of the second half the Sharks found themselves in front for the first time, courtesy of back to back converted tries to Nigel Vagana and Brett Kearney. Andrew Johns replied instantly, sending prop Craig Smith over close to the posts, putting the novocastrians back in the lead.The Knights lost some attacking edge when Kurt Gidley came out of a tackle clutching at an injured right leg, and he left the field never to return. A Covell penalty goal put the Sharks within 2 points of the home team and with 20 minutes remaining, the match was there for the taking.However 3 no try decisions by the Video Referee in the 62nd, 65th, and 69th minutes had Knights fans seething, and they may have had a fair case for the first and second decisions, but the third red light came about through some great defensive work by Sharks fullback David Simmons, knocking the ball out of Todd Lowrie's hands as he was about to ground the ball. Cronulla then made their way up field for Beau Scott to score in the corner, which was beautifully converted from the sideline by Covell. From there the Sharks kept their heads and added further insult to injury via a second try to Vagana, darting from dummy half and exploiting some tired Knights defense. For the Sharks, Brett Kimmorley was impressive and certainly put his hand up for a State of Origin recall, and his combination with Adam Dykes should see the Sharks trouble all-comers in the next 10 weeks leading up to the finals. Brett Kearney's impact off the interchange bench was superb, making several breaks up the middle of the field as the second half wore on. At fullback, Simmons' play to knock the ball from Lowrie's grasp will be looked upon as the turning point of the match as far as Sharks fans are concerned, for the next set seen them score and take the match and the 2 points away from Newcastle. Andrew Johns never stopped trying for the Knights, and he was ably supported by Buderus, Carney, Quinn and Kurt Gidley prior to his injury. Next week the Knights make the tough journey to Brookvale to take on Manly, while the Sharks make the even tougher trip north to face the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium. Scorers:Newcastle Knights: 16Tries: Anthony Quinn(2), Craig SmithGoals: Andrew Johns 2/3Cronulla Sutherland Sharks: 26Tries: Beau Scott, Nigel Vagana(2), Brett KearneyGoals: Luke Covell 5/5Halftime: Knights 10-0Crowd: 18,212By the Clock:The Knights take on the Sharks in Round 16 action, live from Energy Australia Stadium, Newcastle. For the Knights, Nathan Hinton comes in to play fullback in place of David Seage. The Sharks will lineup as per program.1 min: KICK-OFF Andrew Johns kicks off and we are underway.14 min: NEWS Both teams are getting good second phase play but defence is overshadowing attack thus far.22 min: KNIGHTS TRY Quinn scores in the corner after great lead up work from Buderus and Kurt Gidley. Johns has the shot at goal from the sideline which is away to the left. Knights 4-027 min: NEWS Carney goes over in the right corner for Newcastle but the play is called back for a Johns forward pass.35 min: KNIGHTS TRY Quinn crosses for his second as Carmont attracts 2 defenders and slips a pass giving his winger a clear passage to the line untouched. Johns converts from close to the sideline. Knights 10-037 min: NEWS Johns has an unsuccessful shot at field goal just prior to halftime. 40 min: HALF TIME We go into halftime with the Knights leading 10 points to nil.Penalties: Sharks 3-2Completions: Knights - 16/20 Sharks - 17/22Errors: 5-5Tackles: Knights - 179 Sharks - 15541 min: KICK-OFF David Simmons gets play started in the second half.43 min: SHARKS TRYVagana scores a great try under the posts after an outstanding no-look pass from Greg Bird. Covell converts. Knights 10-446 min: SHARKS TRY Brett Kearney scores after backing up Gallen, who was put through a gap by a Dykes inside ball. Covell converts from in front. Sharks 12-1051 min: KNIGHTS TRY Andrew Johns runs to the line before passing on the inside for Smith to score beside the posts. Johns converts to put the Knights back in the lead. Knights 16-1255 min: KNIGHTS INJURY Kurt Gidley is assisted from the field, unable to put weight on his right leg.59 min: SHARKS PENALTY GOALDanny Buderus is penalised for stripping the ball in a 2 man tackle. Covell converts an easy shot from in front to reduce the Knights lead to 2. Knights 16-1462 min: NO TRY An Andrew Johns cross field kick is knocked on by Reegan Tanner, resulting in a touch and go no-try decision by the Video Referee. 65 min: NO TRY Simmons drops a Johns bomb, leaving Quinn and Albert challenging for the loose ball. Quinn wins the race but the Video Referee says NO TRY, knock-on by Quinn.69 min: NO TRY David Simmons makes the play of the night (so far), slapping the ball out of Lowrie's hands as he is about to score. NO TRY - 20 metre restart. 71 min: SHARKS TRY Beau Scott scores in the corner, following good passing plays from Williams, Kimmorley and Covell. Covell's conversion from the sideline is superb. Sharks 20-1676 min: NEWS Hinton is tackled over the sideline just metres out from his own line. The Sharks now have the chance to put the result beyond doubt. 77 min: SHARKS TRY Vagana darts from dummy half on the last tackle and plants the ball down to seal the game for the Sharks. Covell adds the extra 2. Sharks 26-1680 min: NEWS FULL TIME The Sharks take the cash in arguably their best away win of the season so far after being down 10-0 at halftime.Penalties: Sharks 5-3Completions: Knights - 26/37 Sharks - 31/41Errors: 12-12Tackles: Knights - 314 Sharks - players of the match:3 - Brett Kimmorley (Sharks)2 - David Simmons (Sharks)1 - Brett Kearney (Sharks)-----------------------------------------

Sharks account for Manly at home

ROUND 15 Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 15 v Manly Sea Eagles 12at Toyota ParkReferees: Sean HampsteadMatch Summary:The Cronulla Sharks have entered the NRL Top 4 for the first time in 2006 after putting Manly away 15-12 in match definitely not for the purists. At a cold and windy Toyota Park, the Sea Eagles opened the scoring via Steve Menzies, after he was denied by a Brett Stewart forward pass in the previous set of six. A penalty conversion seen them go up 8-0 after 30 minutes until Greg Bird crossed for his first try to take the teams into halftime, Manly ahead by 8 points to 6. In the second half the Sharks were aided by a stiff breeze at their backs and countless repeat sets of six which they were unable to take full advantage of, despite levelling the scores through a Covell penalty from in front. Bird then scored his second try of the match from a pinpoint Kimmorley grubber kick and Cronulla seemed comfortable, leading by 6 with less than 10 minutes to go. Kimmorley then made sure of the result by potting a field goal in the dying minutes, still Manly refused to concede as Stewart scored an unconverted try in the last seconds of the game.As far as injuries go, the Sharks lost Phil Bailey early in the match to a suspected broken cheekbone. For Manly Luke Williamson shouldn't remember too much about his 8 minutes spent on the field after he was knocked out cold whilst tackling Sharks prop James Stosic. Five-eighth Travis Burns also left the field of play late in the match with an injury not known at this time.Scorers:Cronulla Sutherland Sharks: 15Tries: Greg Bird(2)Goals: Luke Covell 3/3Field Goals: Brett KimmorleyManly Sea Eagles: 12Tries: Steve Menzies, Brett StewartGoals: Travis Burns 2/2Halftime: Sea Eagles 8-6Crowd: 11,083By the Clock:Round 15 action comes from a cold Toyota Park as the Sharks take on the Manly Sea Eagles. Steve Bell is out of action, suffering a facial injury after a headclash with Steve Menzies in Origin II. Menzies will take his position in the centres, Luke Williamson will start in the second row, George Rose comes into the side and will start from the interchange bench. Cronulla line up as per program.1 min: NEWS Covell kicks off and it's game on6 min: NEWS An awful set of six by Manly sees them fail to get a decent kick away despite having 2 attempts. Sharks are on the attack now.8 min: NEWS Luke Williamson has been flattened after an attempted tackle on James Stosic. The Medicab comes out onto the field but Williamson rises to his feet and walks off unassisted.9 min: NEWS Albert flies high to catch a Kimmorley bomb, but knocks on in attempting to ground the ball - NO TRY - 20 metre restart to Manly.15 min: NEWS 15 minutes gone and nobody has been able to cross the stripe as yet. Kimmorley and Orford are going set for set in trying to break the line and set up the opening score for the night. 16 min: NEWS Video Ref is called upon to check a possible Manly try but the resulting call is NO TRY - 20 metre restart to the Sharks.18 min: NEWS Menzies scores in the corner but the play is called back for a forward pass by Stewart. 19 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesThis time Steve Menzies won't be denied as the Sea Eagles put on pretty much the same play that got called back for a forward pass a set earlier. Burns converts. Sea Eagles 6-024 min: PENALTY GOAL Manly Sea EaglesBurns knocks over a penalty shot after a Sharks infringement in the play-the-ball. Sea Eagles 8-027 min: NEWS Luke Covell takes a Kimmorley bomb but knocks on to send the play back to the 20 metre line. Sharks have had their chances but have been unable to convert anything into points thus far.29 min: INJURY News comes through that Phil Bailey will not play again tonight after suffering a suspected broken cheekbone. Sharks are down to 16 for the remainder of the match.30 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksBird crosses out wide for the Sharks, giving them their first points 10 minutes out from halftime. Covell nails the conversion. Sea Eagles 8-635 min: NEWS Momentum has swung in favour of the Sharks in these last minutes before the break, they get a penalty and start on another attacking raid on the Sea Eagles line.38 min: NEWS Orford attempts a field goal but the ball takes a right turn off the boot and is waved away.HALFTIME. We go to oranges with Manly just shading the Sharks 8 points to 6. PENALTIES - Sharks 6-2COMPLETIONS - Sharks 16/24 Manly 14/20ERRORS - Sharks 9 Manly 641 min: NEWS Players are back out there, Burns kicks off and the second half is underway.43 min: NEWS Sharks get a repeat set early after the restart and go straight on the attack, but drop the ball cold at the play-the-ball.51 min: NEWS The Sharks waste a chance at points after earning another repeat set. 55 min: NEWS The Sharks butcher another chance after a great try saving tackle on Vagana by Dunley. 60 min: NEWS Great tryline defence sees Manly deny the Sharks again after yet another repeat set.61 min: PENALTY GOAL Cronulla Sutherland SharksCovell slots an easy penalty conversion to tie the match up at 8 all. The Sharks are enjoying great field position but they are failing to convert pressure into points, something which may come back to haunt them in the remaining 19 minutes. 8 all.64 min: NEWS Darren Albert goes down clutching at his throat after bringing down a runaway Menzies. He is ok though and play continues with the Sharks working the ball out from their own line.68 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksBird crosses for his second try after a pin-point grubber from Kimmorley. Pressure has finally paid off for Cronulla as Covell converts and the Sharks lead for the first time in the match. Sharks 14-873 min: NEWS Manly almost go over in the corner but end up in touch. 77 min: FIELD GOAL Cronulla Sutherland SharksKimmorley nails a sweetly hit field goal and the 2 points look like staying in the Shire. Sharks 15-878 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesStewart crosses out wide to set up a nail biter. Hicks misses the conversion. Sharks 15-12FULLTIME - In a dour struggle the Sharks have come out on top 15 points to 12, and as a result they will spend the night at equal second on the NRL points table. Manly will be disappointed at the outcome considering they led the match 8-0 after half an players of the match:3 - Greg Bird2 - Brett Kimmorley1 - Paul Gallen-----------------------------------------

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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