THE Sydney Rugby League World Sevens kicks off this weekend at Aussie Stadium.
RUGBY League Ireland chairman Dave Southern has revealed that the organisation has received a flood of interest in the national competition that it plans to launch this summer.
PAUL Johnson could not have enjoyed a better debut as Bradford warmed up for the World Club Challenge clash against Penrith a 56-18 friendly win over Castleford.
The former Wigan centre scored four tries, including a first-half hat-trick.
LONDON Broncos are pleased to announce the signing of South Sydney second rower, Andrew Hart, who joined the full playing squad in Dubai today.
SUNDAY 29th February 2004
Robin Park Arena, Wigan
?2 Adults, ?1 Concessions
WARRINGTON Wolves arrived back yesterday evening after a week's warm winter training at Club La Santa in Lanzarote and are now preparing for their friendly fixture against Salford City Reds on Sunday 1st February, 2004 at Wilderspool Stadium, kick off 3.00pm. This will be the first time the Wolves have faced Salford since their relegation in 2002.
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BRISBANE Broncos skipper and former Kangaroo, Gorden Tallis, has given his strongest indication yet that 2004 will be his final year in rugby league.
NEW Zealand Warriors rugby league five-eighth Thomas Leuluai has agreed to a new three year contract with the club.
WIDNES suffered their third straight defeat at the World Sevens with a 35-11 loss to the Parramatta Eels.
Widnes, who were Britain's only representatives in Sydney, lost their opening match 22-18 to New South Wales Country, before going down 34-13 to Cronulla.
WESTS Tigers beat the odds to claim their first World Sevens rugby league title with an emphatic 18-7 final win over defending champions Parramatta at Aussie Stadium.
The rank outsiders only just made the finals thanks to a 43-14 win over Souths in their final pool game this morning but led all the way to claim the $100,000 winner's cheque.
Tigers new signing, Scott Sattler - Penrith's grand final hero - was voted player of the tournament.
The Eels, vying for a threepeat straight World Sevens titles, were favourites even though they only scraped into the finals when they beat Penrith in a repechage round held for the two best performed teams who didn't win their pool.
The Tigers led 11-0 at halftime in the final after Shane Elford scored and ex-Eel Pat Richards picked up a class Ben Reynolds offload to score under the posts.
In the second half, the Eels got on the scoreboard through Luke Burt but the Tigers answered immediately through a Daniel Fitzhenry try.
In the semi-finals, Richards scored in the final 30 seconds off a Fitzhenry grubber to hand the Tigers a 19-18 win over the undefeated St George Illawarra.
Richards' former team - Parramatta - cruised into the final after it blitzed Manly 21-10.
In the quarter-finals, the Eels were kept honest before downing surprise packets PNG 31-15 while Manly held out a determined Tonga 21-14.
Earlier, the Tigers put the brakes on Cronulla's unbeaten run with an 18-10 victory to book a semi-final showdown with the Dragons, who put out North Queensland 18-10.
France beat Fiji 26-18 in the International Cup final.
Big movers of the 2004 World Sevens included the quarter-finalists PNG and Tonga.
Tonga gave Manly a stir up in their 21-14 loss before thanking the appreciative crowd with a lap of honour and a "war dance" while PNG made the Eels sweat before going down 31-15.
Up till the quarter-final stage, PNG's Ricky Sibia was the highest point scorer in the tournament with 37 from two four-point tries, three-five pointers and seven conversions.
New concepts introduced this year included five points for a try scored between the posts and a four-tackle rule.
Bookies favourites the New Zealand Warriors,were very dissapointing and crashed out of finals calculations with a 19-10 loss to Manly in their final pool match today.
Armed with the likes of Ali Lauiti'iti, Clinton Toopi and ex-Melbourne gamebreaker Tony Martin, NZ was the pre-tournament favourites with the Eels but limped out with a 1-2 record.
But the real anti-climax was the sole England representative, 1989 World Club champions Widnes, which limped out with a 0-3 record - including a loss to qualifier NSW Country.
THE New Zealand Warriors were sentenced to an early grave from the Cougar World Sevens rugby league tournament in Sydney today when they were beaten 19-10 by Manly at Aussie Stadium.
AN amazing thing happened at Aussie Stadium here today - NSW fans cheered Gorden Tallis.
THE National Rugby League has dismissed Jim Hall as judiciary commissioner.
THERE are five good reasons why the Sharks could win the 2004 World Sevens rugby league tournament were provided at Aussie Stadium on Saturday as the young Cronulla outfit claimed first-day honours.