QUEENSLAND assistant coach Kevin Walters has ruled out a return to fullback for Darren Lockyer for the Maroons. There has been speculation Lockyer will return to the No.1 jersey at representative level, but Walters says this will not happen.Lockyer says he is happy to play wherever chosen at representative level but indicated his preferred position was five-eighth.
CANBERRA hooker Simon Woolford fears he could be forced out of the NRL after being suspended for the eighth time in six years. Woolford was last night unsuccessful in seeking a downgrade to a grade two careless high tackle charge on Penrith prop Joel Clinton and will be suspended for two matches.The veteran hooker, who is off contract at the end of the year, fears NRL clubs will baulk at signing him because of his lengthy judiciary record and says he may consider an offer to join the English Super League.
THE North Sydney Bears have posted a win against the Magpies at T G Milner Field with a solid second half, rolling on from a 14-8 lead at half time. Improving on their completion rate in the second half, North Sydney took control of the match and won 40-20.The Bears Filinga ?Fingers? Filiga scored first for the Bears to make it 4 points all after lead up work from Daniel Watkins and Ben Black. After the Maggies hit back again, Ben Black sent Daniel Watkins in to score in the corner levelling the score once again to 8 all. Then after looking for gaps for most of the half Chris Walker hit the floor running off a Ben Black pass and ran 40 metres, scoring under the posts and giving an easy conversion for Daniel Russell to make a half time score of 14-8 to Norths.In the second half the Magpies scored early to level the score for the last time. Then North Sydney captain Daniel Russell did great work to dodge a number of defenders to get to the line and convert his own try, and soon after he added a penalty goal to the growing score. Daniel Russell then set up Ben Black to score twice. Once with a pass to find a hole for Ben in the line and second a chip kick over the defence in to the hands of Ben to score. A final try to Wests occurred before Ben Black set up Ben Ellis to score. With Dan Russell successful with 6 from 8 kicks the score blew out to 40-20.Players Player Ben Black and hooker Ben Ellis shined in the second half. Coach White felt Blackie?s passing and kicking game and the controlled service from dummy half of Ben Ellis were major contributions to the successful second half. Daniel Russell (sporting a new peroxide hair cut) and a hard running Aaron Trinder were also major contributors to the win. ?We played ugly football but achieved the objective of getting the two points,? said Coach Josh White.Bears Harold Matthews team have only just missed out on the 2 points losing to the Magpies 28-26 in the last minutes of the match. Leading at the half way mark 20-6 a mistake at the kick off after the final try gave the Magpies the impetus to score 2 tries and over take the Bears.Coach Kevin Nicholls said ?We did very well in defence and scored some great tries?, Coach Nicholls named Junior Rika, Tom Scrivener and Kenneth Cheer as his best performers. This game also saw the return from injury of the talented back Paul Nguyen scoring a try on his return.PICTURED: Norths Daniel Watkins scores in the corner to help his team to a 40-20 win over Western Suburbs on Sunday. Photo: Steve Little
BILLY Slater will spend seven weeks on the sidelines after failing to have the severity of his kicking charge downgraded. The suspension has dashed any hope he had of playing fullback for Queensland in the 2006 State of Origin series.Canberra hooker Simon Woolford has also had a tough night at the judiciary, failing to have his grade two careless high tackle charge downgraded, and as such has received a two match suspension.Slater has 88 carryover judiciary points while Woolford has 85.
THE Newcastle Pepsi Knights continued their perfect start to the season on Sunday afternoon when they comprehensively beat Western Suburbs 42 points to 8. After just four rounds, the Knights differential stands at a massive +154.The Knights started the game strongly and young winger Aku Uate scored in the corner off a clever kick from Luke Walsh. In blustery conditions, Walsh failed with his conversion attempt from the sideline. The game to'd and fro'd for the next fifteen minutes with neither side able to convert possession into points. The Magpies looked quite pedestrian in attack and were easy for the Knights to defend against. In the 20th minute, Knights hooker Terence Seu Seu who had a sensational game crossed for the home sides second try of the afternoon and Walsh added the extras to send the Knights out to 10-0. This try was the first of three in a seven minute period leading up to halftime as the Knights started to get into gear. Centre Jonathon Wright crossed out wide in the 22nd minute, followed by winger Stephen Gordon who also crossed before halftime. Walsh again converted both tries and the Knights were well in control, going to the break leading by 22 points to 0.It was this game last year which had its controversy as the Knights squandered an early lead to lose on fulltime, but that was put to rest early in the second half when Uate crossed for his second try of the afternoon, putting the Knights up 26-0. Wests winger Nick Taylor dived over, centimetres in from the western touchline to open his sides account for the afternoon, adding some respectability to the scoreline. Knights interchange forward Warren Schillings continued the Knights scoring spree when he crashed over with twenty minutes remaining and Matt Cooper plucked an intercept and raced 65 metres to score in the far eastern corner with 13 to go. Halfback Walsh was then replaced after his conversion attempt waved away, with what looked like a lower back problem, hopefully not ruling him out of this weekends top of the table clash with the Dragons. With just a few minutes remaining, the Magpies crossed again, this time through centre Teason Fa'Avae-eli and the Knights rounded off the scoring right on the stroke of fulltime when second rower Cory Patterson, who had a strong game taking the ball up consistently, crashed over beside the posts. Gordon added the extras to continue the Knights sensational start to season 2006.For the Knights, the standout was undoubtedly hooker Terence Seu Seu, who made regular metres out of dummy half and tackled everything that moved.
NEW South Wales coach Graham Murray says St George Illawarra duo Mark Gasnier and Trent Barrett should be considered for State of Origin selection regardless of whether they leave the NRL next year.Barrett is considering a move to the English Super League while Gasnier is weighing up a lucrative offer to switch to rugby union. Speaking at the launch of the representative season today, Murray says the Dragons stars should not be black-banned by selectors this season.
BRENT Tate and Michael Crocker have been welcomed back by the XXXX Queensland State of Origin team, ahead of next Wednesday?s deciding State of Origin tie.
DRAGONS Centre Mark Gasnier has been recalled to the New South Wales side for the third State of Origin game, to be played next Wednesday night.
Result: City 48 d Country 16.
ROUND 9 of New Zealand's Bartercard Cup went pretty much to form for the first time this year. The Top 5 are standing to stamp their mark on the positions however as the competition has shown in 2004, no team can get complacent or they will be punished on the scoreboard.
ORGANISERS of Sunday?s fundraising dinner and auction in aid of seriously injured rugby league players Matt King and Danny Scott have expressed their delight after the event attracted a full house to Huddersfield?s George Hotel.
NSWRL VB Premier League.
Canberra Raiders 36
Newtown 22: Andrew Le Breton, Craig Field, David Hall, John Sinisa tries; Troy Barnes 3 goals.
Match played at Seiffert Oval, Queanbeyan on Saturday.
NSWRL Jim Beam Cup.
Sydney Bulls 42
Newtown 20: George Ghazal, Bruce Po, Chan Ly, David Vial tries; Chan Ly 2 goals.
Match played at Potts Park, Bankstown on Saturday, June 26th.
This coming Saturday, July 3rd.
Sydney Airport Jets home game double-header at Henson Park.
1.15pm: Newtown v Erina - Jim Beam Cup.
3.00pm: Newtown v Penrith-St.Marys Cougars - VB Premier League.
The NRL Road Train will be at Henson Park for this double header
THE Leagueunlimited.com leader board has suddenly become very congested with Nathan Hindmarsh (Eels), Brett Kimmorley (Sharks) and Paul Rauhihi (Cowboys) all equal front runners on 17 points. Rauhihi has been outstanding form in recent weeks and picked up another two points on the weekend.
ST.GEORGE Bank Dragons second rower Lance Thompson has been cleared of a broken ankle but will be out for up to six weeks.
A spectacular hat-trick to centre Matt King has steered the Storm to a 42-6 thrashing of the New Zealand Warriors as Melbourne celebrated a night of milestones at Olympic Park tonight.