Matthew
Rossleigh

Articles Written: 41

Recent Articles by Matthew
Rossleigh

Titans Scrape Home in Error Riddled Affair

THE Gold Coast Titans have started the season with a come from behind 24-18 victory over the New Zealand Warriors at Skilled Park in front of a crowd of 16112.

Panthers edge out Knights in GF

JERSEY Flegg Grand Final Newcastle Knights 20 v Penrith Panthers 22at Telstra StadiumReferee: Steve LyonsMatch Summary:The Penrith Panthers have won the 2006 Jersey Flegg Grand Final with an upset 22-20 victory over Newcastle Knights at Telstra Stadium this afternoon. Minor premiers the Knights led 14-6 at the break before a couple of quick tries from the Panthers brought them right back into the contest.The Knights opened the scoring in the seventh minute after a flick ball from Callan Richardson found Jonathon Wright down the right hand flank. Wright passed back inside to Scott Dureau for the first try. Luke Walsh converted and the Knights were 6-0 in front.The Panthers were right back in the contest and in the 14th minute, Liam Campbell bursting on to a short pass to score in the corner. Scores were then level as the fullback Matthew Forwood converted from the sideline.The Knights then led 14-6 at the break, as two quick tries to hooker Terence SeuSeu and centre Callan Richardson sent the lead out to eight, but still the Panthers were in striking distance.Penrith got off to the perfect start in the second half, as winger Geoff Daniela made a breakand turned the ball back on the inside to Michael Jennings to score under the posts to put his side just two points behind.The Panthers hit the front for the first time in the match as captain Jaye Martleitner dived over from dummy half. Matthew Forwood's successful conversion gave Penrith a four point advantage.Newcastle needed to hit back and they did so as Fijian winger Akuila Uate set off down field from inside his own half. When confronted by the Panthers fullback, Uate stepped inside to score next to the uprights. Halfback Luke Walsh converted and the Knights had a 20-18 advantage.Just when it seemed the game was slipping away from the Panthers, and with just five minutes remaining on the clock, Jarrod Summut put up a bomb that was knocked backwards by a Panthers player. Wiremu Weepu was there to score in the corner. The conversion attempt missed, but the Panthers were now up 22-20, which ended up being the full time score.With just 35 seconds remaining in the match, a Panthers player knocked on and the Knights had one final chance, just 40 metres out from the line. In that set of six, the number six Scott Dureau put a chip over the top but the Panthers second rower claimed ithe ball.The Panthers this season have won the Harold Matthews Cup, SG Ball Cup and now the Jersey Flegg Cup. They take the Jersey Flegg Cup off last year?s winners St George Illawarra.Scorers:Newcastle Knights: 20Tries: Akuila Uate, Callan Richardson, Terence Seu Seu, Scott DureauGoals: Luke Walsh 2/4Penrith Panthers: 22Tries: Michael Jennings, Liam Campbell, Jaye Martleitner, Wiremu WeepuGoals: Matthew Forwood 3/4By the Clock:Good afternoon and welcome to the first fixture of 2006 Grand Final Day.In just under 10 minutes it is the Jersey Flegg Grand Final between Penrith and Newcastle.Newcastle were the minor premiers this year,and made the grand final after a 1 point victory over the Dragons last weekend.Penrith on the other hand,finished 5th at the end of the regular season,and dramatically earnt a week off after 2nd and 3rd were both defeated.Newcastle is as per the program,with Rip Taylor making no chances.For the Panthers,Hazelton comes in to the run on side in to prop with Grant going back to the bench.They are coached by legend Brett Kenny.Your referee is Steve Lyons.1 min: Kickoff!5 min: A kick downfield from Penrith's Jarrod Sammut is charged down and Martleitner knocks on with 40 metres of free space ahead of him.7 min: TRY Newcastle KnightsThe Knights get first blood as a slick backline play results in a flick pass from Richardson on to Wright who passes back inside to Dureau for the first try. The replay on the big screen shows that the pass from dummy half was in fact forward.Walsh converts the try. Knights 6-08 min: The Panthers get a piggy back down field from a penalty in the own quarter.9 min: The Panthers are deep on the attack before Lawrence Enosi is ruled to have knocked on in the play the ball,the second rower does not seem to pleased with the decision.11 min: Uate goes from dummy half on tackle 5 for the Knights and appears to have scored but a good call from the ingoal judge says that he knocked on.13 min: A penalty against Newcastle as Tupou has allegedly attempted to eye gouge a Penrith player.14 min: TRY Penrith PanthersOn the back of the penalty,the Panthers hit back as centre Liam Campbell pounces on an overlap down the right hand side.The kick from the sideline is a beauty from Matthew Forwood. 6 all.16 min: The kickoff from Dureau is dead on the full!21 min: TRY Newcastle KnightsKnights hooker Terence Seu Seu scoots out of dummy half,gets tackled on the 10,is not held,gets up,and keeps the legs pumping to score in the corner to get the Knights back in front.Walsh from the sideline just misses to the left. Knights 10-624 min: NEWS The Panthers throw the ball around on tackle 5 just 10 out from the Knights line before knocking on.27 min: TRY Newcastle KnightsCallan Richardson extends the margin for the Knights as,five-eight Scott Dureau latched on to a grubber kick on halfway before racing down 50 metres before a try saving tackle by the Panthers fullback Matthew Forwood.On the next play,Richardson wrong foots the marker to score in the corner.Walsh with the kick hooks away. Knights 14-631 min: Wright has a try disallowed for the Knights in the corner as when putting the ball down,the touchjudge rules he had been bumped tough ingoal.33 min: Just two out from halftime here as the Jersey Flegg halves are just 35 minutes.35 min: Halftime in the Jersey Flegg Grand Final - The Knights dominated the opening 15 minutes of the first half,before the Panthers came right back in to the match.Although dominating possession after this,the Panthers still find themselves down 14-6 at halftime.36 min: NEWS Second half underway!40 min: TRY Penrith PanthersThe Panthers get the try they needed after the break as a break from Geoff Daniela down the right flank is turned back on the inside to Michael Jennings who scores under the posts.Forwood converts the try. Knights 14-1244 min: A kick downfield from the Panthers is knocked on by Knights fullback Wooden.50 min: TRY Penrith PanthersThe Panthers are in front for the first time in the match as hooker Jaye Martleitner scores from dummy half.Forwood converts the try. Panthers 18-1453 min: TRY Newcastle KnightsUate gets the Knights back infront as he busts through the defence inside his own half,comes to the fullback,steps around him to score next to the posts.Walsh converts the try. Knights 20-1858 min: Just 12 out from fulltime as a Panthers penalty finds touch just 20 out from the Knights line.65 min: TRY Penrith PanthersThe Panthers are infront again with just 5 to go on the clock,a bomb goes up,it looks to be going dead ingoal,but it is knocked back by a Panthers player,and Wiremu Weepu is there to score outwide.Forwood hits the post with the conversion. Panthers 22-2065 min: TRY Penrith PanthersThe Panthers are infront again with just 5 to go on the clock,a bomb goes up,it looks to be going dead ingoal,but it is knocked back by a Panthers player,and Wiremu Weepu is there to score outwide.Forwood hits the post with the conversion. Panthers 26-2068 min: Just 2 minutes to go and the Panthers have the ball just 20 out.68 min: The Panthers have a try disallowed as the try scorer from a grubber kick is ruled to be offside.69 min: Some great ball movement from the Knights just the final pass is forward which may have sent the winger down 30 metres to score.70 min: A knockon from the Panthers and the Knights have 35 seconds and 45 metres to go to win the Grand Final.70 min: A kick through from Dureau is cleaned up by Corey Vlaciky for the Panthers,and the Panthers will win!Fulltime - The Panthers have kicked off Grand Final day by winning the Jersey Flegg Grand Final.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Jarrod Sammut (Panthers)2 - Scott Dureau (Knights)1 - Jaye Martleitner (Panthers)-----------------------------------------

Panthers edge out Knights in Flegg

JERSEY Flegg Grand Final Newcastle Knights 20 v Penrith Panthers 22at Telstra StadiumReferee: Steve LyonsMatch Summary:The Penrith Panthers have won the 2006 Jersey Flegg Grand Final with an upset 22-20 victory over Newcastle Knights at Telstra Stadium this afternoon. Minor premiers the Knights led 14-6 at the break before a couple of quick tries from the Panthers brought them right back into the contest.The Knights opened the scoring in the seventh minute after a flick ball from Callan Richardson found Jonathon Wright down the right hand flank. Wright passed back inside to Scott Dureau for the first try. Luke Walsh converted and the Knights were 6-0 in front.The Panthers were right back in the contest and in the 14th minute, Liam Campbell bursting on to a short pass to score in the corner. Scores were then level as the fullback Matthew Forwood converted from the sideline.The Knights then led 14-6 at the break, as two quick tries to hooker Terence SeuSeu and centre Callan Richardson sent the lead out to eight, but still the Panthers were in striking distance.Penrith got off to the perfect start in the second half, as winger Geoff Daniela made a breakand turned the ball back on the inside to Michael Jennings to score under the posts to put his side just two points behind.The Panthers hit the front for the first time in the match as captain Jaye Martleitner dived over from dummy half. Matthew Forwood's successful conversion gave Penrith a four point advantage.Newcastle needed to hit back and they did so as Fijian winger Akuila Uate set off down field from inside his own half. When confronted by the Panthers fullback, Uate stepped inside to score next to the uprights. Halfback Luke Walsh converted and the Knights had a 20-18 advantage.Just when it seemed the game was slipping away from the Panthers, and with just five minutes remaining on the clock, Jarrod Summut put up a bomb that was knocked backwards by a Panthers player. Wiremu Weepu was there to score in the corner. The conversion attempt missed, but the Panthers were now up 22-20, which ended up being the full time score.With just 35 seconds remaining in the match, a Panthers player knocked on and the Knights had one final chance, just 40 metres out from the line. In that set of six, the number six Scott Dureau put a chip over the top but the Panthers second rower claimed ithe ball.The Panthers this season have won the Harold Matthews Cup, SG Ball Cup and now the Jersey Flegg Cup. They take the Jersey Flegg Cup off last year?s winners St George Illawarra.Scorers:Newcastle Knights: 20Tries: Akuila Uate, Callan Richardson, Terence Seu Seu, Scott DureauGoals: Luke Walsh 2/4Penrith Panthers: 22Tries: Michael Jennings, Liam Campbell, Jaye Martleitner, Wiremu WeepuGoals: Matthew Forwood 3/4By the Clock:Good afternoon and welcome to the first fixture of 2006 Grand Final Day.In just under 10 minutes it is the Jersey Flegg Grand Final between Penrith and Newcastle.Newcastle were the minor premiers this year,and made the grand final after a 1 point victory over the Dragons last weekend.Penrith on the other hand,finished 5th at the end of the regular season,and dramatically earnt a week off after 2nd and 3rd were both defeated.Newcastle is as per the program,with Rip Taylor making no chances.For the Panthers,Hazelton comes in to the run on side in to prop with Grant going back to the bench.They are coached by legend Brett Kenny.Your referee is Steve Lyons.1 min: Kickoff!5 min: A kick downfield from Penrith's Jarrod Sammut is charged down and Martleitner knocks on with 40 metres of free space ahead of him.7 min: TRY Newcastle KnightsThe Knights get first blood as a slick backline play results in a flick pass from Richardson on to Wright who passes back inside to Dureau for the first try. The replay on the big screen shows that the pass from dummy half was in fact forward.Walsh converts the try. Knights 6-08 min: The Panthers get a piggy back down field from a penalty in the own quarter.9 min: The Panthers are deep on the attack before Lawrence Enosi is ruled to have knocked on in the play the ball,the second rower does not seem to pleased with the decision.11 min: Uate goes from dummy half on tackle 5 for the Knights and appears to have scored but a good call from the ingoal judge says that he knocked on.13 min: A penalty against Newcastle as Tupou has allegedly attempted to eye gouge a Penrith player.14 min: TRY Penrith PanthersOn the back of the penalty,the Panthers hit back as centre Liam Campbell pounces on an overlap down the right hand side.The kick from the sideline is a beauty from Matthew Forwood. 6 all.16 min: The kickoff from Dureau is dead on the full!21 min: TRY Newcastle KnightsKnights hooker Terence Seu Seu scoots out of dummy half,gets tackled on the 10,is not held,gets up,and keeps the legs pumping to score in the corner to get the Knights back in front.Walsh from the sideline just misses to the left. Knights 10-624 min: NEWS The Panthers throw the ball around on tackle 5 just 10 out from the Knights line before knocking on.27 min: TRY Newcastle KnightsCallan Richardson extends the margin for the Knights as,five-eight Scott Dureau latched on to a grubber kick on halfway before racing down 50 metres before a try saving tackle by the Panthers fullback Matthew Forwood.On the next play,Richardson wrong foots the marker to score in the corner.Walsh with the kick hooks away. Knights 14-631 min: Wright has a try disallowed for the Knights in the corner as when putting the ball down,the touchjudge rules he had been bumped tough ingoal.33 min: Just two out from halftime here as the Jersey Flegg halves are just 35 minutes.35 min: Halftime in the Jersey Flegg Grand Final - The Knights dominated the opening 15 minutes of the first half,before the Panthers came right back in to the match.Although dominating possession after this,the Panthers still find themselves down 14-6 at halftime.36 min: NEWS Second half underway!40 min: TRY Penrith PanthersThe Panthers get the try they needed after the break as a break from Geoff Daniela down the right flank is turned back on the inside to Michael Jennings who scores under the posts.Forwood converts the try. Knights 14-1244 min: A kick downfield from the Panthers is knocked on by Knights fullback Wooden.50 min: TRY Penrith PanthersThe Panthers are in front for the first time in the match as hooker Jaye Martleitner scores from dummy half.Forwood converts the try. Panthers 18-1453 min: TRY Newcastle KnightsUate gets the Knights back infront as he busts through the defence inside his own half,comes to the fullback,steps around him to score next to the posts.Walsh converts the try. Knights 20-1858 min: Just 12 out from fulltime as a Panthers penalty finds touch just 20 out from the Knights line.65 min: TRY Penrith PanthersThe Panthers are infront again with just 5 to go on the clock,a bomb goes up,it looks to be going dead ingoal,but it is knocked back by a Panthers player,and Wiremu Weepu is there to score outwide.Forwood hits the post with the conversion. Panthers 22-2065 min: TRY Penrith PanthersThe Panthers are infront again with just 5 to go on the clock,a bomb goes up,it looks to be going dead ingoal,but it is knocked back by a Panthers player,and Wiremu Weepu is there to score outwide.Forwood hits the post with the conversion. Panthers 26-2068 min: Just 2 minutes to go and the Panthers have the ball just 20 out.68 min: The Panthers have a try disallowed as the try scorer from a grubber kick is ruled to be offside.69 min: Some great ball movement from the Knights just the final pass is forward which may have sent the winger down 30 metres to score.70 min: A knockon from the Panthers and the Knights have 35 seconds and 45 metres to go to win the Grand Final.70 min: A kick through from Dureau is cleaned up by Corey Vlaciky for the Panthers,and the Panthers will win!Fulltime - The Panthers have kicked off Grand Final day by winning the Jersey Flegg Grand Final.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Jarrod Sammut (Panthers)2 - Scott Dureau (Knights)1 - Jaye Martleitner (Panthers)-----------------------------------------

Around the Grounds and Ref's report

WITH the NRL?s new rules about First Grade referees being able to do lower grade Grand Finals, the referees for this weekend are Paul Simpkins, Shayne Hayne, and veteran Steve Lyons.After spending many years thinking he wouldn?t achieve this goal, Paul Simpkins has been appointed to the NRL Grand Final in 2006. After Bill Harrigan retired at the end of the 2003 season, the number one position was up for grabs however it was Tim Mander who took the two deciders after Paul made costly errors in the previous matches before the Grand Final. Paul, however, has not done that this year. Last weekend he had a flawless performance with the only controversy coming from the video referees box. Steve Carrall and Rod Lawrence are on the line with Chris Ward and Bill Harrigan in the box.Shayne Hayne, who has had an outstanding year in 2006, has been named to do the Premier League between Parramatta and Newtown. Parramatta had a tight win over Manly last weekend while Newtown came from behind to beat the Dragons. Shayne refereed the NRL fixture in week one of the finals between the Bulldogs and Raiders but since then has done the Tigers v Manly and Dragons v Jets Premier League semi finals. The touch judges are Russell Turner and Steve Chiddy with Rickey McFarlane and Luke Potter in the in-goal. Despite not being from the NRL squad but the Premier squad in 2006, Steve Lyons has been appointed to do the Knights and Panthers Jersey Flegg Grand Final next Sunday afternoon. Last Sunday Newcastle beat the Dragons by a point and Penrith were too strong for the Bulldogs. Although doing the Premier League fixtures between the Dragons and Tigers in week one, Manly and Balmain-Ryde in week two and Parramatta v Manly in week three, Steve has been given the Flegg Grand Final behind Hayne. His touch judges are Jason Weinstein and Darren Lang with Andrew Zapantis and David Munro in the in-goal. Across to the players?and the Brisbane Broncos have named an unchanged side from the team that came from behind to beat the Bulldogs 37-20 last Friday night. The last time the Broncos played the Storm was in round 23, when the Storm came from 10-nil down to win 18-12 in one of Brisbane?s better performances of the season. Tame Tupou has been named as an 18th man just in case Karmichael Hunt succumbs to a niggling hamstring injury.Jeremy Smith has replaced Queenslander Michael Crocker on the Melbourne Storm bench for Sunday night?s Grand Final. Crocker injured his knee against the Dragons last Saturday night, and will sit out of his first grand final since making one in 2004 with the Sydney Roosters. These two sides also met in round 18 on a wet Friday night at Olympic Park when the Storm got the biscuits 10-4. Jake Webster, Garrett Crossman and Jamie Feeney have also been named on an extended bench pending any injuries in the lead up to the match.

Around the Grounds and Referee's Report

THE Bulldogs have been boosted just a few days ahead of their Grand Final qualifier against Brisbane with Kiwi international Roy Asotasi passed fit to play along with Reni Maitua. Asotasi injured his knee against the Broncos back in round 24 and at first analysis was ruled out until the Grand Final, but will play off the bench against Brisbane. Maitua also injured his knee but against the Panthers in round 26 and missed the side?s Qualifying Final victory over the Canberra Raiders. These two are the side?s only two changes while the team will have to overcome poor recent form against the Broncos with two losses this season to them 25-6 at Suncorp Stadium and 30-0 back in Sydney.

Broncos end Year of the Knight

FINALS 2006 Week 2 Newcastle Knights 6 v Brisbane Broncos 50at Aussie StadiumReferee: Steven ClarkCrowd: 22,081Match Summary:Newcastle?s season has ended in dramatic circumstances at Aussie Stadium in Sydney tonight, going down to the Brisbane Broncos 50 to 6. Brisbane led 24-0 at the break before scoring four tries to one in the second half. It is the Broncos? first victory in September since week one in 2002 at ANZ Stadium against Parramatta.The signs were ominous for the Knights in the opening stages, after captain Andrew Johns missed a penalty goal attempt. The Broncos opened the scoring just a quarter of an hour later with a long ball from Lockyer finding Hodges who put Stagg away on the western touchline to open the scoring for the match.Just a few minutes later, the Broncos had their second of many for the evening as a flick pass from Hunt found Tate who stepped through some ordinary defence to score near the posts. Both these tries were on the back of poor ball control from the Novocastrians.With the scoreboard reading 18-0 to the Broncos with just a minute left in the first half, hooker Shaun Berrigan struck a big blow to the Knights on the stroke of halftime. Berrigan caught the Knights? marker defence napping on halfway and went straight through. He picked up Australian fullback Karmichael Hunt back on the inside and the Broncos went to the break up by 24 points.The game was put out of reach of Newcastle with a Corey Parker penalty just after the interval, while the floodgates were opened just five minutes later when back rower Dane Carlaw crossed the stripe from close range to stretch the margin out to more than five converted tries.With the score at the half century mark with twenty minutes remaining, Brisbane captain Darren Lockyer got a spell from coach Wayne Bennett. The bench for the Broncos with just 10 minutes remaining then was Webcke, Lockyer, Berrigan and Civoniceva. The crowd was 22,081 that can be seen as quite reasonable with two out of towners taking part. However, it would have been good to move the game to Brisbane, where the game would have been able to get a sell out of 50,000.Kurt Gidley crossed for Newcastle?s only try just two minutes from time, however it was Brisbane?s night as they ran out victors 50-6. This was the last game for Brian Carney at the Knights as he moves to play for the Titans next season while prop Craig Smith will retire from the game of football.The Broncos live to fight another day in 2006, as they go on to meet the Bulldogs at Aussie Stadium next Friday night for a chance to play in the Grand Final.Scorers:Newcastle Knights: 6Tries: Kurt GidleyGoals: Andrew Johns 1/2Brisbane Broncos: 50Tries: Dane Carlaw, Petero Civoniceva, Justin Hodges, Karmichael Hunt, Darren Lockyer, David Stagg, Brent Tate, Darius BoydGoals: Darren Lockyer 1/1, Corey Parker 8/8By the Clock:The Jersey Flegg match has come to an end between the second placed Roosters and sixth placed Bulldogs.In the end the Bulldogs have just got home 22-18 and eliminate their arch rivals.The Doggies now go on to play the Panthers next weekend.Now Balmain-Ryde are taking on Manly in Premier League.The Tigers lead Manly 14-8 with 10 to go till halftime.Halftime now and Manly lead the Tigers 20-14.We now have a finish on our hands here with Manly leading 26-20.A classic end to the Premier League fixture as Manly knockout Balmain-Ryde by 32 to 26.Now First Grade is just around the corner...Steve Simpson is out for the Knights,with Reynoldson coming in to the 2nd row and Todd Lowrie comes on to the bench replacing Daniel Abraham.Luke Quigley has big shoes to fill tonight in the hooking position,replacing the suspended Danny Buderus.Brisbane are as per the program,with Karmichael Hunt coming back on to the wing replacing Tame Tupou.A crowd of around 20000 currently here inside Aussie Stadium,the venue of two out of town sides.Brisbane are in the tunnel,led out by captain Darren Lockyer in the white away jerseys.Now here come Newcastle,in their home navy jerseys,despite being lower on the ladder than Brisbane,led out by Matt Gidley.Your referee is Steven Clark in the green and black.1 min: Brisbane kickoff!2 min: After a penalty against Brisbane on the second tackle for a hand on the ball.The Knights go on the attack and force a repeat set.4 min: ATTEMPTED PENALTY GOAL Newcastle KnightsAfter another penalty for a hand in the play the ball,Johns takes a shot at goal from 30 out right in front, misses to the right and goes dead. 0 all.7 min: Brent Tate dives for the line for the Broncos however some great cover defence holds him up in goal.8 min: Brent Tate chips over the top on the last tackle and looks to be taken out by referee Clark rules play on.11 min: A penalty against Matt Gidley for a high tackle and Kurt Gidley runs in to defend his brother and could have been sinbinned for a 3rd man in.12 min: The Broncos are on the attack but a poor crossfield kick from Lockyer goes out on the full.16 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosThe Knights keep dropping ball in their own red zone and finally the crack as numbers open up on the left hand flank.A long ball from Lockyer finds Hodges who hits Stagg on the wing who dives for the corner to score.Lockyer's kick is a ripper from the sideline. Broncos 6-019 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosOnce again the Knights knock on in their own quarter and send the Broncos on the attack.The ball goes out to the right hand side and centre Brent Tate latches on to a Karmichael Hunt flick pass who strolls through some poor Newcastle defence to score.Parker converts. Broncos 12-021 min: Josh Perry goes up the tunnel for Newcastle.27 min: A grubber from Andrew Johns hits the post but luckily Shane Perry is there to clean up the scraps.28 min: Josh Perry has a bruised hip but will be back.29 min: Karmicharl Hunt hit in an absolute ripping shoulder charge from Matt Gidley on a kick return.31 min: Kurt Gidley makes a break midfield and on the next tackle a pass is knocked down by Brent Tate.33 min: Some great ball movement by the Broncos finds Boyd in open space who chips over the top of Gidley however Lowrie gets back in time but it is a goal line dropout.33 min: Checking for a Broncos try..35 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosA stabbing grubber kick through by Lockyer and out of no where like a thief in the night Hodges somehow gets the ball done.Parker converts from out wide. Broncos 18-038 min: Kurt Gidley goes on a 60m run from a grubber kick.On the next play a pass is knocked down by Shane Perry and the Knights get a repeat set.40 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosBerrigan goes straight through the marker area on halfway and finds Hunt backing up on the inside who stolls away to score under the posts.A big blow for Newcastle on halftime.Parker converts. Broncos 24-0Halftime - The Broncos have dominated the first half as the scoreboard shows.This is on the back of poor defence and ball control from the Knights.Newcastle have completed 15/21 sets while Brisbane 19/24.Newcastle have missed 21 tackles to the Broncos'15.Newcastle must score next.41 min: Second half underway!43 min: PENALTY GOAL Brisbane BroncosA penalty against Newcastle for a slow play the ball and from 38m out Corey Parker slots the kick.Surely Newcastle can't come back now. Broncos 26-046 min: A goal line dropout for the Knights and it is dropped by Smith!Josh Perry also won't be back with a rib problem.48 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosThe whitewash continues as on the back of Smith's blunder,Dane Carlaw barges over from close range on the next set to seal the match.Parker converts the try. Broncos 32-052 min: Checking for a Broncos try...53 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosThe murder at Aussie Stadium continues as a Refs Call decision from the video referee is awarded and Steve Clark rules try judging that Civoniceva put the ball on the line.Parker converts from next to the posts. Broncos 38-055 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosAs the ball goes to ground on the right hand side,Tate goes down the touchline and throws a ball back inside to Lockyer who scores under the posts.Parker converts and the romp continues. Broncos 44-059 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosOne of the tries of the year which goes through a thousand sets of hands before Lockyer throws a long cut out pass to Boyd who runs around to score under the posts.Brisbane hit the half century still with twenty minutes remaining. Broncos 50-064 min: Captain Darren Lockyer gets a well earned rest.74 min: A bombed try by the Broncos as Carroll goes through a gap on tackle 5,finds Boyd on the sideline who should have passed back to Carroll for the try but went himself and lost the ball.75 min: Crowd - 22,08178 min: TRY Newcastle KnightsIt has taken them almost the whole match and finally the Knights have their first try.Andrew Johns on the eastern sideline turns the ball back on the inside to Kurt Gidley who scores outwide.Johns kicks the goal from the sideline. Broncos 50-6Fulltime - The Knights have been eliminated in the worst possible fashion while the Broncos have advanced to week three of the finals and will take on Canterbury back at Aussie Stadium next Friday night.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Shaun Berrigan2 - Darren Lockyer1 - Petero Civoniceva-----------------------------------------

Referee's report - Semi-finals

AS we draw ever closer to Grand Final day on October 1, the number of referees for week two drops from four in week one to just two now in the second week of the finals. Unfortunately, it is an early end to season 2006 for Shayne Hayne and Sean Hampstead. Although all is not lost, if you cast your minds back to season 2005, Steve Clark was not around in week two of the Finals but came back in week three for Paul Simpkins who was dropped.On Friday night at Aussie Stadium, it will be Paul Simpkins who gets first shot at this week?s Finals Series as St George Illawarra take on Manly. Last week it was Paul who controlled the Dragons? 16 point victory over the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night. Although winning the match quite convincingly in the end, it was the Dragons on the wrong end of a 6-2 penalty count. The Dragons, with five games as Simpkins being the referee in 2006, have had three victories with two losses. Manly with Simpkins in charge have had four matches with an even share of two wins and two losses. The touch judges for this encounter are Russell Turner and Rod Lawrence while in the video referee?s box will be Tim Mander and Chris Ward.Steve Clark maintains his position in the NRL Finals Series, as he will be in charge of the Knights and Broncos match at Aussie Stadium on Saturday evening. Steve did not officiate in either of these two sides? matches last weekend, as he was at the helm of Melbourne?s home victory, which knocked out last season?s Minor Premiers the Parramatta Eels. On paper, Clark is the number one referee, with two State of Origins and the New Zealand vs. Great Britain Test Match all in 2006. However the gap has closed between himself and fellow referee Paul Simpkins.The Knights have had Clark just twice this season with victories in round three against the Bulldogs and in round 25 against the Panthers. The Broncos are quite similar to the Knights, as they have had Clark just three times this season, coming away with three victories. The touch judges for this match are Steve Carrall and Steve Chiddy.Incidentally, last year?s Grand Final touch judge, Matt Cecchin, has missed out on selection this weekend on the line.

Around the Grounds with Rosso

THE Dragons have named a side without Australian centre Mark Gasnier. Gasnier was ruled out on Monday morning with a hip flexor injury, after a cork to his hip in the side?s big victory over the Broncos last weekend. Former ball boy for the Dragons in 1996 Daryl Millard has been named as his replacement in what could be his last game at the club before moving to the Bulldogs next year. Despite not being named in the side for Friday night?s clash with the Sea Eagles, Manly coach Des Hasler today said that his side would train as if the champion centre was playing. Just a couple of months back, the Dragons had ruled out Gasnier with an injury in the lead up to their clash with the Raiders in Canberra, despite this, on that Sunday afternoon, Mark Gasnier was a late inclusion.

Mullen the Hero in Finals Cliffhanger

FINALS 2006 Week 1 Newcastle Knights 25 v Manly Sea Eagles 18at EnergyAustralia StadiumReferee: Sean HampsteadCrowd: 23,752Match Summary:The Newcastle Knights have kicked off the 2006 Finals Series with a bang coming from behind to beat the Sea Eagles 25-18 at a packed out Energy Australia Stadium in Newcastle tonight. The visiting Sea Eagles went into the break with a 12-0 lead but their achilles heel in the second half was their ball handling.In a game that lived up to its expectations, it was fiery at times with three sin bins in total throughout the match. This included a brawl ten minutes after halftime that resulted in the sinbinning of Knights? George Carmont and Sea Eagle Travis Burns. Just two minutes out from fulltime Manly captain Ben Kennedy was sinbinned after he escalated a situation after a spear tackle from Newcastle?s Danny Buderus.After all the possession with the Knights in the opening ten minutes, the away side opened the scoring on their first visit down in to the Newcastle 20. A long cut out pass from Matt Orford found Brett Stewart which sent him into a yawning gap as he sped away for the opening try.Once again the Knights had all the possession and on the back of a Brian Carney intercept were locked down in the Manly quarter. With numbers on his outside, hooker Danny Buderus lofted a long ball out to the wing which was intercepted by Manly?s Michael Robertson. He ran over 90 metres to stretch the margin out to 12.Frustration crept into the Knights as the game headed for the half time interval and it got even worse for the home side as Carmont had a try disallowed just a minute from halftime as he forced in touch ingoal from some outstanding Sea Eagles defence.The two sides entered the second half fired up for victory as less than ten minutes after the break a brawl started in a tackle with first punches thrown by Travis Burns. George Carmont reacted and was subsequently binned for ten minutes.On the back of this penalty going the home side?s way, Andrew Johns crashed over from close range to cut the margin back within a try.Just when things were looking positive for the Knights, in the space of two minutes veteran Craig Smith was put on report for a high tackle, which was followed by a miracle try for Manly that was finished off by Kiwi Steve Matai. A grubber kick through from Orford look to be heading for the corner post before Michael Robertson plucked the ball out of thin air and threw it back inside to Matai for the try.It may have looked bleak for the Knights, however it was Johns and Kurt Gidley who revived any hope that the home fans still had. Close to the line, Johns took the ball to the line and found LeagueUnlimited?s man of the match Kurt Gidley on the inside who scored under the posts.Under ten minutes later, Newcastle had levelled the score after Kurt Gidley once again took a ball back on the inside from Johns who stretched out and without any hint of a double movement scored beside the posts.After a field goal attempt from Andrew Johns was charged down from Ben Kennedy before rookie five-eighth Jarrod Mullen was given the honours of taking the next shot a minute later. He slotted the point and five out from fulltime the Knights were in front for the first time.With three minutes left in the match, Manly received another blow as captain Ben Kennedy was sent to the sin bin after escalating a situation following a 'spear tackle' from Danny Buderus.Just a minute later, Matt Orford had a field goal shot which was charged down by lock Reegan Tanner, which was followed by a penalty being awarded on the western touchline to the Sea Eagles for offside.The shot at goal from Matt Orford was waved away and caught by Jarrod Mullen who ran 99 metres before being stopped inches short of the try line. Later in the set the Knights sealed the match with a controversial try when winger Brian Carney appeared to be held after taking the ball from a cross-field kick. Referee Hampstead ruled play on and the Irish winger squirmed out of a tackle to score in the corner.Johns converted the try and the Knights had run out victors in the great escape 25-18. There are a few problems heading into next week for Newcastle however. Danny Buderus could miss the rest of the season through suspension after the lifting tackle he inflicted late in the match.Other problems include an expected crucial ligament tear to the knee of fullback David Seage that will leave him out for the rest of the season as well. Steve Simpson has a jarred shoulder which occurred early in the first half but is expected to play next weekend.Scorers:Newcastle Knights: 25Tries: Kurt Gidley(2), Andrew Johns, Brian CarneyGoals: Andrew Johns 4/4Field Goals: Jarrod MullenManly Sea Eagles: 18Tries: Brett Stewart, Steve Matai, Michael RobertsonGoals: Matt Orford 3/4By the Clock:For the Knights,Milton Thaiday is out with David Seage going to fullback.Todd Lowrie drops off the interchange bench with Jarrod Mullen to start from the interchange break with Kurt Gidley winning the number 6 jumper.Your referee for this First Qualifying Final is Sean Hampstead while the Sea Eagles are yet to win a game in the finals since 1990.Last year,finishing eighth,they were knocked out convincingly by the Eels at Parramatta Stadium while the Knights were wooden spooners.The Sea Eagles are on the way out,led by former Novocastrian Ben Kennedy in their all white jerseys.Here comes Joey Johns and the Knights in the navy blue jerseys.1 min: Manly kicks off!!!3 min: A vocal Newcastle crowd get a penalty for a Manly player being offside and they go straight on the attack.4 min: A cross-field bomb from Johns is tapped back by Carney and Matt Gidley goes within an inch of scoring off the rebound but is held up short of the line.6 min: Terrible news here for Newcastle as David Seage has done his knee and is assisted from the field.10 min: A knock on by Anthony Quinn in his own half sends Manly on the attack.12 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesA long cutout pass from Matt Orford sends Custodian Brett Stewart in to a yearning gap and he runs around to score outwide in the first points of the evening.Orford converts the try. Sea Eagles 6-014 min: A knockon on the first tackle from Manly sends Newcastle back on the attack.15 min: An amazing passage of play.Carney goes for the line on tackle 5 and is held up over the line,this if followed by Simpson going up the tunnel for Newcastle with a shoulder injury now Manly knock on on the first tackle.17 min: On the two injury fronts:Seage looks like a cruciate ligaement damage while Simpson a possible jarred shoulder.22 min: Touchjudge Steve Carrall is coming in for a report...It is a penalty to Newcastle on a late tackle from Matai on Johns but there looked to be nothing in it.26 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesAmazing passage of football by both sides..Manly attacks the Newcastle line before a Carney intercept sees Newcastle go on the attack with 3 consecutive attempts.Some amazing defence especially outwide by the visitors and the Knights with an overlap spin the ball outwide before winger Michael Robertson rushes up and takes an intercept to run 90 metres to score.Orford converts. Sea Eagles 12-030 min: A chip over the top from Johns is knocked on from Stewart so here come the Knights.32 min: Newcastle get a repeat set from a penalty but Matt Gidley throws the ball over the sideline,some outstanding goalline defence from Manly.35 min: Simpson back on for the Knights.37 min: A bit of push and shove in back play between Carmont and Hicks,the frustration really showing for the Knights.38 min: An error from Steve Bell and the Knights have two minutes and 20m to go to get something out of the first half.39 min: Going upstairs for an unlikely Knights try...39 min: NO TRY - George Carmont dives for the corner but great defence puts him over the touch ingoal line.Halftime - The Manly Sea Eagles are showing what it takes to win a premiership out there tonight.Some amazing cover and goal line defence with all the possession going Newcastle's way.On the Sea Eagles' first visit down field,Brett Stewart score through some poor defence from the Knights while their second try came from a 90m intercept.The Sea Eagles must hold on to the ball as their ball security has been quite poor in the first half,their defence is winning them the contest.The Knights have been attacking the fringes of the ruck including the centres till the cows come home,however to win this contest,they must go through the centre of the ruck using Danny Buderus.Both sides are back on the paddock,second half about to get underway.40 min: Knights kick off.46 min: Manly get a piggy back penalty and go on the attack as Carmont took out Steve Bell on a kick through.49 min: Referee Hampstead seems to be losing control as the Sea Eagles are giving too many penalties.50 min: Punch Up - A fight has started on the eastern touchline.Travis Burns and George Carmont are in the sin bin.51 min: TRY Newcastle KnightsAndrew Johns close to the line slices through some poor goal line defence and the Knights are back.A bit of push and shove after the try was scored aswell.Johns converts his own try. Sea Eagles 12-653 min: On Report - Veteran Craig Smith on report for a high tackle.54 min: Going to check for a Sea Eagles gem of a try...55 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesOne of the tries of the season as a short grubber through by Matt Orford is plucked just before htting the corner post by Michael Robertson and before he hits the corner post he somehow flings the ball back in for Steve Matai to score in the corner.The conversion from the sideline from Orford is a ripper. Sea Eagles 18-657 min: Kurt Gidley runs the ball from 40 out on tackle 5 and gets to the 20 before offloading wildly to Craig Smith who can't hang on to it.61 min: TRY Newcastle KnightsThe Knights are back and it is the brilliance of Johns close to the line once again.Johns runs the ball to the line with runners inside and out and he hits Kurt Gidley on the inside who goes over under the posts. Johns converts and they are back within a try. Sea Eagles 18-1263 min: Orford knocks on when trying to play the ball and once again it is poor handling from the Sea Eagles and the Knights go on the attack.65 min: Andrew Johns limping near the sideline.69 min: Checking for a Knights try...70 min: TRY Newcastle KnightsTry Try Try!!!It is Kurt Gidley again who is having an absolute blinder in the second half.Johns attacks the line and on the inside is the five-eighth come fullback to score despite Hampstead checking for a double movement.Johns converts and we are locked up. 18 all.72 min: This time Matt Gidley goes on a surge down the western touchline but once again his trademark flick goes in to touch.73 min: Kennedy knocks on and the Knights go on the attack,the Sea Eagles are self-destructing.74 min: ATTEMPTED FIELD GOAL Newcastle KnightsAndrew Johns takes the snap from 30 out and it is charged down,the rebound is knocked on by Orford and the Knights get a repeat. 18 all.75 min: FIELD GOAL Newcastle KnightsJarrod Mullen has become a cult hero as from 25m out he plots a field goal to put the Knights in front for the first time. Knights 19-1877 min: A spear tackle from Danny Buderus and they run in from left right and centre with push and shove.Kennedy in the bin and Buderus on report.78 min: ATTEMPTED FIELD GOAL Manly Sea EaglesAn attempt from Orford is charged down by Reegan Tanner. Knights 19-1879 min: ATTEMPTED PENALTY GOAL Manly Sea EaglesA penalty to the Sea Eagles on the western touchline and they elect to shoot for goal.The shot is waved away and Mullen runs 99m before being held up inches away from the line. Knights 19-1880 min: TRY Newcastle KnightsIt is all over here in Newcastle with a controversial try.A bomb from Johns to the corner with just seconds remaining is taken on the full by Carney and he looks to be held about 5m out from the line.Quite a few seconds later he squirms away and Hampstead rules play on and awards the try to Carney.Johns from the sideline converts. Knights 25-18Fulltime - The Knights have gotten out of jail in a controversial yet dramatic ending.Article to come.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Kurt Gidley (Knights)2 - Steve Matai (Sea Eagles)1 - Brent Kite (Sea Eagles)-----------------------------------------

Around the Grounds with Rosso

AFTER having the bye in round 26, Newcastle welcome back captain Andrew Johns from a contrary conduct suspension for their Qualifying Final against Manly. The match will be played at a sold out Energy Australia Stadium, where just a month ago, the exact same sides played in a corresponding match which was fuelled with controversy, as the Knights lost an attacking raid with just one minute on the clock. That night referee Paul Simpkins correctly ruled that a pass was not played at by Sea Eagles? centre Steve Matai.

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