STATE OF ORIGIN II
New South Wales Blues 32 v Queensland Maroons 22
THIS Saturday is a special day for the Melbourne Storm. Not only are the boys taking on the 2003 Premiers, the Penrith Panthers at Olympic Park. But two of the Storm?s star players are celebrating their 22nd birthdays, Queensland State-Of-Origin pair Billy Slater and Cameron Smith.
WEDNESDAY night will mark the second act of the Origin masterpiece played out within the sanitary confines of Homebush Bay where the NSW Blues trail the QLD Maroons by an intercept try in extra time.
TONIGHT'S second Origin may be a promoter's dream, but Queensland captain Darren Lockyer says his latest battle with champion Blues half Andrew Johns is not a "world title".
THE chips are down. Backs are to the wall. Blood is being spilt. Rules and bones are being broken. Legs are like cement blocks. The gas tank is down to the last droplet. OHHHHHHHHHH YEAHHHHHHHHHHHH. (Insert Tim ?The Tool-man? Taylor grunt here. Well, we are talking about Origin, so insert 5 grunts.) I can?t imagine watching a better scenario for any side. Nothing beats it.
THE Manly supporters are out in force this year, and why wouldn?t they be? Written off as wooden spoon contenders before the season started, they have come out as a surprise packet, firmly entrenched in the top 4. I was lucky enough to catch up with some of the Sea Eagle?s hardcore faithful, and this is what they?ve had to say about the rise and rise of the Silvertails in 2005: ?Un-****ing-believable! They really stuck it to us in the pre-season, but we?ve shown them. Carn the Mighty Sea Eagles!!!?
IT was a similar game to the Premier League in the Flegg, the Roosters team highlighted by a number of players with Premier League experience. As in the seniors match there were some notable performances. Coach Gavin Catanach made special mention of Captain Blake McLean, Lock Jessie Meleto, second rower Ryan Verlinden and Anthony Beare playing at half back.
AT Henson Park on Saturday the Bears (still hit with a number of injuries and without any first grade Storm players) felt the full force of an accomplished Roosters Premier League side. With the Roosters boasting Brett Firman at half back and a top performance from lock Ned Catic, it was a tough ask for the boys, but emerging from the battle were some fine performances from the North Sydney team. Outstanding throughout was Norths hooker Ben Ellis (pictured), topping the tackle count yet again and always looking dangerous in attack. Other good performances came from Matt Thurston at lock and Captain Kyle Arnold who both worked hard and consistently in defence. Jono Freeman in his second game positioned himself well in receiving kicks and Pat Galea slotted effortlessly into the forwards backing up from his performance in the Jersey Flegg team.
THE Mitsubishi Electric Bulldogs announced today that Cameron Phelps and Corey Hughes had re-signed with the Club for the 2006 and 2007 seasons.
FRIDAY, 17th June 2005
MALCOLM Noad,(pictured) CEO Mitsubishi Electric Bulldogs, announced today that Mitsubishi Electric had signed on for a further two years as naming rights sponsor of the Bulldogs, with a one-year option.
AFTER a stirring win last weekend at Oki Jubilee over the Cowboys, the Dragons this week face an opponent finding some rare form in the South Sydney Rabbitoh's.
BOOM youngster Jamie Soward will be out for up to a month after injuring his ankle at training yesterday.
A frustrated rugby league spectator who invaded the field late in Newcastle's 50-0 NRL thrashing by Parramatta has apologised to Knights CEO Ken Conway.
NORTH Queensland Toyota Cowboys Captain Travis Norton will return to the playing field this Saturday in the Queensland Wizard Cup when he lines up for the Toyota Young Guns against Burleigh at Pizzey Park Brisbane.