THE sixth annual 'battle of Saint Patrick's day' took place at the new venue for Ruby League of Savannah, Georgia on the eve of St Patrick's day.
Savannah has a tradition of holding a huge St Patrick's day parade, often attracting 400,000 spectators, and associated events, so it was a 'natural fit' for the annual match between USA and Ireland to be moved to the city.
The game was somewhat hastily organised when foxsports asked that it be played this year after an original proposal was made for the city to host the game next year by local organiser David Cox, who is also responsible for forming a new organisation named 'Georgia Rugby League', and has plans to launch a competition in Georgia.
The game attracted a crowd of 2000 very rowdy and appreciative fans, almost all of whom were new to the game. The new fans commented on the big hits and toughness of the game, but were most impressed by the speed and frequency of action, one fan commenting "I don't know how these guys hang in there. It looks like roughhousing. You can't really tell unless you're using your binoculars that they're rubbing their faces in the ground. They're pretty rough out there."
The Tomahawks showed the benefit of their recent trip to Australia in winning the game. Convert from college American football, Nate Smith, in only his 5th game of Rugby League, the other four being on the Australian tour, scored two tries and was a standout player in the game. One of his tries saw the big prop burst through the line and sprint 45 metres to score. The Americans blew the scoreline out by scoring three times in the last 10 minutes, demonstrating the fitness they have gained by playing games such as a trial against the Canberra Raiders in recent weeks.
The Irish took this game seriously after losing the last two in a row, and they held a selection match some weeks ago between Irish based and English based players so as to bring the best possible amatuer squad. It seems they may have to look at professional players next time if they hope to overcome the rapidly improving Tomahawks.
The tally now stands at 4 games to 2 in favour of the Tomahawks after six 'battles of Saint Patrick's day', with the Tomahawks having won the last three in a row. The scoreline margin in this game was the biggest ever in the series.
WYNNUM have not won a first grade game against Redcliffe at Dolphin Oval since 1984 and today was no different. The Dolphins were all class smashing the Seagulls 40 - 18.
FORMER Bulldogs football manager Garry Hughes claimed he had done nothing to justify being sacked by the National Rugby League club.
THE Newcastle Knights have defeated the Melbourne Storm 36-26 at a windy Olympic Park this afternoon.
THE South Sydney Rabbitohs have defeated Wests Tigers 17-16 in extra time at Aussie Stadium today.
HOT on the heels of Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy re-signing with the National Rugby League club earlier this week, several of the Storm?s young guns, including Queensland hooker Cameron Smith, have re-signed today.
THE Eels have managed to gather their first 2 points in the NRL competition, with a gutsy effort in front of a very vocal Suncorp Stadium crowd, downing the Broncos by 26-18.
THE Sydney Roosters tonight showed their depth and class as they put away a spirited Manly side 42-20, in front of a packed Brookvale Oval.
LAST week, it was difficult dividing the player of the week points; few if any players deserved them. This week, we have the same dilemma but for an entirely different reason - in a game where most experts were expecting a thirty point (or more) thrashing, Cronulla stood up and showed that they have what it takes to have an impact on the 2004 Telstra Premiership.
ST George Illawarra Dragons have come away from New Zealand with an enterprising 16-10 victory over a shocked Warriors' outfit.
NEW Zealand Warriors rugby league prop Iafeta Paleaaesina has gone from KFC to skinless chicken and rice, but put on about 5kg in the off-season.
ST George-Illawarra have recruited a leadership consultant in a desperate bid to shed their image as the National Rugby League's (NRL) most enigmatic team.
A very angry David Gallop, NRL chief executive, was not a happy man last night, threatening to sack officials who blundered during a disastrous weekend of mishaps in Round 2 of the NRL competition.
CRONULLA may have put in an extraodinary effort against the Bulldogs, but it won't be enough to save another player from the swinging axe. Last week, Andrew Lomu was punished for his inability to hold the ball - and responded with an awesome game this weekend. Unfortunately for him, being voted out of Sharks Den Survivor is a permanent infliction.
AFTER another controversial week off the field which saw Willie Mason fined $10000. The Bulldogs reaffirmed their status as one of this years teams to beat with a come from behind 24-20 victory over the Cronulla Sharks this evening at the Sydney Showground.