THE Manly Sea Eagles have given their fans plenty of hope for season 2005 with a nail biting 30-28 victory over the finals bound Melbourne Storm at Brookvale Oval this afternoon.
IF you follow rugby league, you could be forgiven to thinking it was 1992 all over again.
NEW Zealand A took on NSW Country yesterday afternoon at Albany in Auckland and showed the value of the Bartercard Cup competition when they defeated the visiting Australian side by 36-18.
LANDMARKS are leaping out of the record books at Damian Richters.
The durable Dolphins centre last month racked up 100 first grade fixtures for the club, joining an elite group of players to make three figures.
"I never expected to make 100 games when I joined the club,'' he said. "It's not something you think about really. It's not a bad achievement as it's not a really big group who have made the hundred.
"I'm not really a player who looks at records and sets his mind on breaking them.''
With that in mind, Richters should not have too many worries as he zeroes in on 1000 points in the Queensland Cup.
He already has passed 900 points and an injury-free run for the remainder of the season should see become the first player in Cup history to reach the magical mark.
Richters played his 100th match for the red and whites against Souths at Dolphin Oval last month, a fixture also significant for the Dolphins breaking their losing run emphatically.
"Making a thousand points will be one of those things that happen,'' he said. "I know that I passed 900 points in my career against Easts, so to make 1000 will be great.''
Richters also holds the record for most points scored in an individual Queensland Cup fixture.
In a 88-0 belting of Logan in 2002, he nailed 40 points with five tries and 10 goals.
"These records tend to take care of themselves,'' he said. "The points just keep tallying up.''
Richters was keener to talk up the Dolphins chances this year than concentrate on his personal achievements.
"We might have lost four on the trot, but you always have to lose some time during a season,'' he said.
"But apart from the first two matches in that string, we have been competitive and the efforts against Burleigh and Wynnum were good.''
Richters is a firm believer in the theory that the Cup competition is hotting up. He said that after his side's victory over Souths, only two points separated the top spot from seventh-placed Redcliffe.
"It's certainly not a crisis as we are going alright,'' he said. "We've had a few injuries, but we're not in a dire situation. We could have been in a worse situation.''
Richters' form this season has been consistent enough for him to be selected in the City side to tackle Barcaldine, although he pulled out of the squad.
"It was a mix of things, including work, which saw me drop out," he said. "At least it means I get a week off."
Injuries have not dogged Richters this season after missing a large slice of the action last season with a torn quad muscle.
"I've been kicking alright too," he said. "Even though I missed four against Souths, my kicking's been good.
"I normally practise at our last session of the week and how long depends on how I'm striking them. It could be 15 minutes or 30 minutes."
In his seventh season with the club, Richters played only one fixture in his first season at Dolphin Oval while a broken bone in his leg ruined his second year, but since then he has accumulated a fine record, including multiple wins of the Ian "Bunny" Pearce Perpetual Trophy as highest points scorer in the club for a season.
As for the future, Richters is quite content to take the "one game at a time" philosophy.
"I've had a good run recently so it will be week by week," he said.
PENRITH coach John Lang has denied that star halfback Craig Gower will return to the side for their crucial match with St George-Illawarra at Penrith Stadium on Friday night.
LUKE Davico has been ruled out of Friday's Origin trial against City at Gosford after breaking a rib in a rugby league practice match at The Entrance last night.
SATURDAY MAY 8
Redcliffe Dolphins v Ipswich Jets, 2.10pm, Dolphin Oval
ABC Televised match of the round...Redcliffe is coming off its first loss of the season, while Ipswich is coming off its first win?The Jets will be missing three-quarter Gordon Rattler who broke his collarbone in the 38-8 victory against Tweed Heads?However, long-time North Queensland Cowboy Kyle Warren is fit for the visitors despite some concern about his knee?Redcliffe coach Neil Wharton has tinkered with his forwards, sliding forward mainstays Danny Burke and Grant Flugge back to bench and promoting Nathan Sologinkin and Gavin Cooper to the starting 13?Nathan Black has been elevated from the Dolphins? Mixwell Cup side and will play the reserve hooker role usually filled by Matt Anderton?The rivalry between these two clubs has grown since a heated grand final in 2002, with Wharton predicting several weeks ago that Trevor Gillmeister?s Jets would lift in time to face his club?Since the Queensland Cup began in 1996 Ipswich has never won at Dolphin Oval, amounting to a string of 10 successive losses on the peninsula.
SATURDAY night marks the most historic landmark for any of our players during the Warriors history. It marks a celebration of a club man who bleeds, breathes and savours the Warriors. That man is none other than our Little General, Stacey Jones.
AFTER a week off the Pepsi Dolphins are looking forward to getting back on to the paddock this weekend against the Ipswich Jets.
Congratulations go to Charles Vis and Gavin Cooper for their selection in the Queensland Under 19's team to play NSW.
Wayne Bond's good form has not only forced Terry Jones to comeback from injury in Colts but also earned him training stints with the first grade side. Should anything happen to Michael Roberts coach Wharton will have to look no further than the 17 year old Bond as his replacement.
A few lower grade players are starting to make their returns from injury with Val Fa'amoe, Bede Tuohy, Daley White, Sam Fillery and Daniel Jones all due to make returns to field this weekend.
Coach Wharton has made a couple of changes to the Queensland Cup side for the ABC TV game against Ipswich at Dolphin Oval this Saturday. Phil Shilvock returns after attending his sisters wedding two weeks ago and A Grade hooker Nathan Black makes his first grade debut.
The full Qld Cup side is
Troy Lindsay (c)
ONE of Australia's greatest living citizens, the incomparable Frank Hyde, will make a nostalgic return visit this Saturday (May 8) to the ground where his seventy-years connection with senior Rugby League football all began - Henson Park, the home-ground of the code's oldest club, Newtown. Frank will be attending the VB Premier League fixture between two of his former clubs, Newtown and North Sydney, which kicks off at 3.00pm. The clubs compete on an annual basis for the Frank Hyde Cup, which goes on the line this Saturday, as Newtown are already one-up in the 2004 three-match series.
Frank joined the Newtown Rugby League Football Club at the beginning of the 1934 season, and he went on to play with considerable distinction with the Bluebags, as well as with the Balmain, Waratah-Mayfield and North Sydney clubs. He won representative honours with NSW Country, Sydney and NSW. Only scoundrels of the calibre of Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo prevented Frank from winning certain Australian selection, as there was no international football played between 1939 and 1945. He went on to an illustrious career in radio broadcasting and other media work and to a permanent place in the folklore of NSW. It is no exaggeration to say that there is no more greatly admired and respected figure in NSW sporting history than this man.
The Newtown Rugby League Football Club is proud to welcome home one of its greatest sons, and here's hoping plenty of Newtown, North Sydney and other fans of Rugby League get down to Henson Park this coming Saturday afternoon to share this special moment with one of the game's finest.
THE Wigan club today announced that Brian Carney has met with a severe
setback in his efforts to recover from a broken ankle.
WIGAN could be at full strength for the Powergen Challenge Cup final on Saturday week, with their trio of injured three-quarters nearing fitness.
BRISBANE prop Shane Webcke's relief was evident on his battle-scarred face as he confirmed his rugby league career was alive and kicking.
FAMILY and friends will farewell veteran journalist Peter Frilingos at a private funeral service in Sydney on Monday morning.
THE Warriors have suffered another major setback.