THERE was no respite for the injury-weakened Sydney Airport Jets when they travelled to Campbelltown Stadium last Sunday. Western Suburbs were keen to shore up their top six position on the NSW Premier League table, and the Mags looked to be coasting to an easy win when they led 26-4 at half-time.
The Jets had gifted three tries to the Magpies through unforced errors, and were in real trouble containing Wests' ball-playing forwards. The second half saw a considerable improvement, as Newtown ran in some of the best tries of the game. While the final scoreline of 44-26 pretty much indicates the extent to which Wests controlled this match, the Jets regained some pride by outpointing the 'Pies by 22-18 in the second session.
Newtown half-back and captain Craig Field gave another polished display, setting up two second half tries with superbly directed kicks in behind the Wests backline. Big prop Monah Elahmad showed no ill effects from his layoff due to injury, and indeed appeared to relish the hard work in the warm conditions. He received strong support from fellow packmen Ben Tickle and Aaron Trinder, while Andrew Le Breton, John Sinisa, Troy Barnes and Dustin Cooper were the best of the Newtown backs. Winger Alf Duncan added a further two tries to his increasingly impressive 2003 season tally.
One interesting feature of this match for trivia tragics was that controversial referee Shayne Hayne can now add having officiated in a NSW Premier League match involving Australia's first and oldest Rugby League club to his curriculum vitae!
In the Jim Beam Cup, Newtown travelled to Woy Woy with a squad bearing little resemblance to the team that had crushed the Roosters at Henson Park a few weeks ago. Despite the best efforts of classy Jets five-eighth Matt Rose, Woy Woy prevailed by 34-24, with other hard working performances coming from Newtown forwards Lee Trasler, Chris McBride, Luke Sant and Luke Ellis. The club's lengthy injury toll had the Jets down to one man on the interchange bench for the entire second half.
This weekend sees the final competition rounds for both Jets teams, and the end of a season that began in the steamy humidity of late January in the World Sevens Qualifying Tournament. In the NSW Premier League, the Sydney Airport Jets travel to Energy Australia Stadium on Sunday to play the Newcastle Knights, with this match timed to start at 1pm. The Jets Jim Beamers are at home to Windsor on Saturday, with this final match at Henson Park for 2003 kicking off at 3pm.
WHEN you're fighting for your life, up against a wall with someone advancing on you, I want a mate beside me. And not just any old mate, no stoner-pal or drinking buddy, I want a mate who is a also a forward !
MELBOURNE veteran Matt Geyer and retiring Brisbane five-eighth Ben Ikin have emerged as Kangaroo tour wildcards with incumbent Australian pivot Shaun Timmins expected to rule himself out of the tour this week.
WYNNUM ended Tweed Head?s fantastic debut season in the Queensland Cup with a
40-22 elimination final win in the ABC Television clash at Kougari Oval. In front of a big vocal crowd it was Tweed that dominated the first half with the Seagulls guilty of uncharacteristic errors. Halfback David Hicks crossed for an early try for Tweed to lead 6-0 but Wynnum front row Cameron Durnford levelled the scores with a strong try. Further tries to second rower Luke O?Dwyer and Eddie Harrison gave Tweed Heads a handy 16-6 advantage but a lapse of concentration allowed Jimmy Ahmat to sneak over for a try on the half-time hooter for a 16-10 scoreline.
THE semi final matches in New Zealand's Bartercard Cup competition proved to be very exciting as expected. The Eastern Tornadoes side now bow out of the running as we head into the major semi-final next weekend.
DESPITE losing to Warrington Woolston Rovers in the play-offs last week, St Albans Centurions' players have been honoured in the new issue of Rugby League World magazine, out now. Skipper Tom Eisenhuth has been rewarded for his string of outstanding displays in August by being voted National League Three Player of the Month, an honour he totally deserves and that before his magnificent effort in the defeat by Woolston.
STACEY Jones capped off a perfect weekend for the New Zealand Warriors with news he is fit to retake the field.
THE Roosters side to play Canberra this Sunday has been strengthened by the return of Chris Flannery. Craig Fitzgibbon has not been named in the side and is unlikely to play.
RADISSON Maine Wests Tigers Head Coach, Tim Sheens has announced his team for the game against the New Zealand Warriors, on Saturday 6 September 2003 at Ericsson Stadium. Kick off is at 7.30pm(NZ time).
DRAGONS centre Mark Gasnier has been named to play the Broncos in Brisbane on Friday night but will be subject to a fitness test.
THE Canberra Raiders have named their side for the blockbuster clash against the Roosters at Canberra Stadium on Sunday.
DRAGONS centre Mark Gasnier and winger Nathan Blacklock were last night ruled out of Friday's clash with the Broncos in Brisbane after failing to complete training.
Gasnier (quadriceps) and Blacklock (knee) were earlier named to play in the final regular season match for 2004, but they were unable to train through their injuries yesterday afternoon.
Gasnier will be replaced by John Wilshere and Blacklock will be replaced by Hassan Saleh.
FRIDAY 5th September 2003
BRISBANE v ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA at Suncorp Stadium at 7.35pm.
PENRITH Panthers coach , John Lang has named his squad to take on the Parramatta Eels at Penrith Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
THE National Rugby League has ruled out any immediate law changes as Warrior Brent Webb's lengthy goalkicking routine comes under the spotlight again.