I am of the opinion that if an NRL coach is expected to be a full-time employee, then the National coach should be too. Done properly and resourced sufficiently, all rugby league administrators, coaches, players and fans would benefit enormously.
THE Newtown Rugby League Football Club will be holding its annual players, officials and supporters reunion at Henson Park on Saturday, August 21, 2004.
I have received a number of requests for details of Newtown's away games in both competitions for the remainder of 2004.
We are usually informed of away game match details (i.e. the day and kick-off time) about three weeks in advance, so I am only able to forward you details as to who Newtown is playing away to in the VB Premier League and Jim Beam Cup on a particular weekend.
You can check the Newtown RLFC website
or call the Newtown RLFC information line on 1300 36 36 90 for all up-to-date away game details. Alternatively, you can call the opposition's licensed club and/or check your local papers if you live in the opposition team's area.
EASTER provides a feast of football for rugby league fans in Queensland even though both NRL clubs, the Cowboys and Broncos are playing inter-state.
Brisbane in particular is a hot bed of league action with four of the six matches from round five of the Queensland Cup to be played in the capital.
One match will be played over the border (just) at Piggabeen while the weekend kicks off at Ipswich at 2pm on Saturday when the Jets host the Wynnum Seagulls in the ABC televised clash at Bendigo Bank Oval.
These clubs met in a trial at Kougari Oval on February 28 when the Seagulls won 30-22.
The following week Wynnum turned in an abysmal performance in their final trial against Easts Tigers at Langlands Park before drawing 16-16 with Burleigh in round one of the premiership and then crashing 40-18 to Redcliffe.
In the past two weeks Wynnum?s 2004 campaign has really clicked into gear with wins over the North Queensland Young Guns in Townsville and Tweed Heads Seagulls at Kougari.
It goes without saying Wynnum will start hot favourites against Ipswich with the Jets chasing their first win, the club?s only point coming from a first round draw against new club, Brothers Valleys.
Easts play Burleigh at Langlands Park in the other Saturday clash with Easts in second place on the ladder ahead of the Toowoomba Clydesdales and Tweed on percentages.
On Sunday there are three matches in Brisbane ? at Bishop Park, Nundah; Davies Park, West End and O?Callaghan Park, Zillmere.
At Bishop Park, Norths Devils and the Central Comets clash with both clubs on four points, Norths claiming fifth spot on percentages.
At Davies Park Souths Logan Magpies, fresh from their first win of the season over Brothers Valleys, host Toowoomba who will be looking for revenge after a humiliating loss to the Magpies in a trial at Mitchell in South West Queensland.
At O?Callaghan Park, Brothers Valleys host premiers, Redcliffe Dolphins the only unbeaten side in the Queensland Cup. Redcliffe belted North Queensland 52-16 last week so Brothers Valleys, who lost 54-28 to Souths Logan, face a long afternoon.
Redcliffe have far and away the best attacking record in the Queensland Cup having scored 170 points in four matches with Easts, Toowoomba and Norths ? all on 132 points ? their nearest rivals.
The Dolphins also have the best defensive record conceding 72 points with Easts (84) relatively close behind.
Brothers Valleys have the worst attack and defence.
But Brothers Valleys are starting from scratch, a new club with a limited budget and a short pre-season in which to shop around.
North Queensland is made up entirely of players knocking on the door of NRL duty and yet Redcliffe made light work of their challenge last week.
The Young Guns travel to the Gold Coast and just over the border to the west of Tweed Heads to play the Tweed Seagulls at Piggabeen on Sunday.
This will be Tweed?s first home game of the season and with three wins from four starts on the road they will start favourites.
It promises to be a big day of football with curtain-raisers involving Group 1 and Group 18 senior and colts teams in New South Wales Country Rugby League selection trials.
FOUNDATION Cup 16's
(All Games Saturday 10 April 2004)
Auckland Crowns vs Wellington Cornwall Park, Auckland 1.00 pm Kick Off
Auckland Crowns: Matthew Parata, Kingi Akauola, Tamihana Hawea, Patrick Ah Van, Kurt Te Hira, Jody Henry, Shalom Suniula, Konelio Vaiga, Arron Pawley, Constantine Mika, Leeson Ah Mau, Sione Tongia, Scott Jones (C)
Reserves: Moeakiola Situa, Alexander Vaea, Javan Guttenbeil, Samuel Grey
Coach: Frank Harold
Wellington: Bronson Marino, Tautara Reihana-Gerrard, Michael Lealava'a, Karl McNichol, Arana Taumata, Shannon Bradbrook, Brendan Hikaka, Jackson Reihana, Kayne McDonald, Nathan King, Taikaha Brown, Teariki Peneha, Ashley Parker
Reserves: Andre Itula, Phillip Green, Amos Moala, Bradley Wardlaw
Coach: Darryl Marino
IN this week's Bulls Eye, Brian Noble, Joe Vagana and Stuart Fielden look ahead to Thursday's Tetley's Super League big local derby at Headingly when the Rhinos and the Bulls meet in the biggest game of all.
RUSSIAN National team is going to New Zealand to prepare for the International tournament ?Victory Cup?. There are 26 players in the delegation, the representatives of four clubs ? ?Locomotive? and ?Dinamo? (Moscow), ?Strela? and ?Energy? (Kazan).
The training session is taking place in four cities of the South island. The first test match will take place on the 12th of April in Nelson. Our National side will meet with the ?Tasmans? and will continue to get acquainted with the techniques of the New Zealand model of playing during the matches with the teams ?West Coast? (Greymouth) ? April 18th , ?Canterbury? (Christchurch) - April 21st, and will finish the series of friendly matches with ?Otago? (Dunedin).
The forthcoming series of the meetings with the New Zealand is the first one in the history of the development of Russian rugby-13, and that is why the players of the National team are waiting with impatience for the moment of getting the unique experience in the country where Rugby League is a national game gathering thousands of spectators in the stadiums.
The Head of the delegation Vladimir Nekrasov says that the tour to New Zealand ?will give wonderful souvenirs to all?, and what is really very important is that a world known coach Robert Baily will work with the National team.
The results of the planned matches in New Zealand will determine the players for the National team of Russia for the season 2004.
List of players for New Zealand Tour
1. Akhmetshin Aidar
2. Baskakov Valentin
3. Bojoukov Evgueni
4. Dobrynine Serguei
5. Fedchuk Vadim
6. Gavrilin Igor
7. Gvozdev Ian
8. Joukov Oleg
9. Chamsoutdinov Rinat
10. Katerinchuk Vitaly
11. Lebedev Vladimir
12. Lysenkov Alexander
13. Makovetski Alexey
14. Mamochka Andrey
15. Mishukov Danila
16. Nechaev Victor
17. Nisiforov Mikhail
18. Ovtchinnikov Roman
19. Ovtchinnikov Vladimir
20. Safiullin Adel
21. Sidorov Serguei
22. Sokolov Oleg
23. Trofimov Vladimir
24. Yakubov Rafael
25. Yamanaev Maxim
26. Zagoskin Nikolay
27. Koulemine Kirill
28. Vinogradov Georgy
THE Russian rugby league team looks pretty much as you'd expect - big and imposing.
DESPITE being one of two goalkickers to exceed the National Rugby League's 90-second "shot clock" last weekend, Canberra fullback Clinton Schifcofske was the only one to draw a breach notice on Wednesday.
STAND out Warriors second rower, Epalahame Lauaki, has learned a lesson the hard way.
CRONULLA CEO Steve Rogers last night accused the NRL judiciary of using Greg Bird as a scapegoat after the Sharks five-eighth was suspended for 10 matches.
EMBATTLED National Rugby League club the Bulldogs have received some good news with the announcement of a sponsorship deal with Vibe Clothing.
THE Gold Coast effort to become the 16th National Rugby League team gained considerable momentum on Wednesday by gaining an endorsement from the QRL executive.
THE Australian Rugby League has launched the game's first official Australian Players Register which embraces the game's greatest ever names and it youngest hopefuls.
TICKETS for the AAMI City v Country Origin match at Express Advocate Stadium on Friday May 7 go on sale today.