NEXT Wednesday?s Harvey Norman State of Origin match brought to you by Philips at Telstra Stadium is a virtual sell out with just 94 ?single? tickets left for sale in the 80,000 seat stadium.
VETERAN Wests Tigers lock Terry Hill is under consideration for a surprise State of Origin recall if N-S-W forward Craig Fitzgibbon succumbs to an eye injury this week.
BILL Harrigan has been appointed to referee the second match of the 2003 Harvey Norman State of Origin Series supported by Philips at Telstra Stadium on Wednesday June 25.
TWEED Heads dispelled any doubts of their claim on a finals berth with a hard fought 32-26 win over last year?s grand finalists Ipswich at Piggabeen in the ABC Television match. Two early tries, both to winger Clint Rothery and second row Luke O?Dwyer from well placed kicks by five eight Kris Flint, gave the Seagulls a 10-0 lead after only ten minutes. Big Graham Mackay crashed over from dummy half to reduce the margin to 10-4 but a good try to fullback Nathan Cross saw Tweed lead 16-4 after twenty-five minutes.
There was no quarter shown to the understrength Sydney Airport Jets teams in the Premier League - Jim Beam Cup double-header, played against the Cougars at the Western Weekender Stadium, St.Marys on Saturday.
In the NSW Premier League match, the Jets turned in their worst first half of the season, trailing the rampant Cougars 34-4 at half-time. Newtown regained some pride in the second half, containing Penrith-St.Marys to a final score of 50-22. The Cougars relished the prolonged spells of possession and favourable field position, and scored all six of their first half tries on the back of penalties conceded by the Jets.
The Jets competed well in the first half of the Jim Beam Cup match, with the half-time deficit of 14-6 being largely of their own making. The second half turned into a rout, as the Cougars raced away with the game to the tune of 56-12.
Newtown's best in the Premier League match were Nathan Marles, Monah Elahmad, Joe Lichaa, Luke Hession, Craig Field and Tabua Cakacaka. Several of the Jets played wounded, and are to be commended for toughing it out against physically powerful opponents.
The Sydney Airport Jets are at home to North Sydney next Saturday (June 21), in a match that is also the deciding tie for the 2003 Frank Hyde Cup. Frank himself will be at his old home-ground, Henson Park, to present the trophy to the inaugural winners. This NSW Premier League match will kick off at the usual time of 3pm. The Jets host Ryde-Eastwood in the Jim Beam Cup, with this curtain raiser due to start at 1.15pm.
FORMER New Zealand Test prop Quentin Pongia could be set to move to an English Super League club - and Wigan are amongst the favourites to sign him.
ST Helens have ended weeks of speculation by announcing the signing of Canterbury centre Willie Talau.
THE Manly Sea Eagles today fined winger John Hopoate $5,000 for his rash decision to play a half game of fifth grade rugby union last week. Hopoate met with Manly management and his own manager Wayne Beavis early today and accepted the fine with good grace.
YOUNG Warriors hooker Tevita Latu has been given another chance to fill in for PJ Marsh when the team hosts Canberra at Ericsson on Sunday.
NORTH Queensland second rower Chris Muckert will miss Saturday night's clash with Parramatta after being found guilty of a grade one dangerous throw by the National Rugby League judiciary.
THE National Rugby League (NRL) has threatened to fine clubs up to $A50,000 ($NZ57,930) for criticising referees.
CANBERRA Raiders? lock Tyran Smith today secured a new two-year contract with the Club, which will likely see him through to the end of his NRL career.
PARRAMATTA utility back Luke Burt has suffered a recurrence of a collarbone injury and is unlikely to play again this year in the NRL.
ST George Illawarra captain Lance Thompson will play against South Sydney with a fractured cheekbone at WIN Stadium on Saturday night, despite fears the Rabbitohs will target him.
HURSTVILLE Council tonight endorsed their Draft Management Plan and budget, which included a $50,000 donation to the Jubilee Oval Community Appeal. The Jubilee Oval donation is now a part of the final budget and it should be signed off just after the beginning of July. Following the meeting, a Hurstville Councillor informed an R2K representative that it's very unlikely that the donation will be rejected in the final budget.