BRIDGEND Blue Bulls face Aberavon Fighting Irish in the Welsh Grand Final on Saturday at Aberavon Greenstars RFC (kick-off 2.30pm).
TONY Rea has made a couple of team changes as the Broncos prepare for their game at the Halton Stadium on Sunday.
Andrew Hart will today have season-ending surgery after injuring his knee at Griffin Park last Sunday. The back-rower will be out for six months.
Russell Bawden looks set to return for what will be his first game since rejoining the Broncos from UTC and he will come in as a direct swap in the front row for Richard Moore who has returned to Bradford.
Jim Dymock, who has missed the last six games, returns from his own knee trouble to replace Hart.
Despite the personnel disruptions, it's been a buoyant week in training,says coach Tony Rea:
"These issues are nothing new to us."
We've done all we can to prepare as best we can and we're looking forward to taking that out onto the field."
Team as follows for Widnes game:
Wells, Greenwood, Roy, O'Halloran, Kirkpatrick, Sykes, Moran, Bawden, Budworth, Trindall, Retchless, Stringer, Purdham: Highton, Stephenson, Dymock, Jackson.
THE Newcastle Knights have staged a gutsy second half effort to defeat the Canberra Raiders 20-14 at EnergyAustralia Stadium tonight.
IN slippery and sometime very wet conditions in Auckland, the Broncos have finally come away with a win over the Vodafone Warriors 21-14, the first time at Ericsson Stadium since 2000.
TODAY'S Sydney Morning Herald (7/8/04) has confirmed that OKI Jubilee Stadium could host a night final if the Dragons can finish in the top four.
1. Stop the Rot on television tonight!
THE Wests Tigers have renewed hopes that this year will be the year they break their finals duck with a 56-6 demolition of the South Sydney Rabbitohs in front of a ground record crowd at Leichhardt Oval this afternoon.
THE Penrith Panthers have handed out a footballing lesson to the Manly Sea Eagles racking up a 72-12 cricket score at Penrith Stadium tonight.
BRIDGEND Blue Bulls 66 Valley Cougars 16
8TH July 2004- The Malta Knights are proud to announce their inaugural fixtures, which will take place within close proximity to the majority of the Maltese community outside of Malta itself at the Melita Stadium in Sydney, Australia.
THE UK?s most successful Rugby Club, World Champions, Bradford Bulls, have today announced the signings of two highly rated junior players.
CLUB legend Glyn Price has pleaded for the return of the statue that once graced the front of the Leagues Club following a letter from a Club member.
NSW Origin centre and two-try hero Mark Gasnier has a cracked collarbone and will be sidelined for 2-4 weeks.
Gasnier, 22, said he was thankful for the opportunity to make his Origin debut last night, but obviously disappointed to learn this afternoon that he had broken his collarbone in the final 25 minutes of the match. He continued to play after breaking it - and kicked a goal to convert Fittler's try.
"I thought it was a cork, but in the morning I was a bit sore and scans revealed it was broken," he said. "It's disappointing, but I'm thankful I got the opportunity to play. It's the first Origin series I have been fit for.
"It was great to be part of it, especially being Freddy (Brad Fittler) and Gus's (Phil Gould) farewell. I think their send-off was just reward for what they have put into rugby league."
Gasnier said his apparent "signed, sealed, delivered deal" with Wigan was purely speculation.
"I promise Dragons supporters I have not signed a deal with Wigan, despite continued speculation," he said.
Winger John Carlaw (abdominal strain) was also ruled out this afternoon, but Dragons coach Nathan Brown will not name their replacements for the clash with the Broncos at WIN Stadium tomorrow night until an hour before kick-off as per NRL guidelines.
CRONULLA utility forward Paul Gallen has extended his contract for a further three years in a boost for the southern Sydney club. Gallen had previously entered the player market before the June 30 deadline to get a guage on his market value, but was satisfied with the offer Cronulla offered him.
NRL team and fixtures round 18