Leeds v Castleford - explanation

THE Castleford match has been confirmed as being re-arranged for this Sunday 5th March, kick off 3pm, at Headingley Carnegie Stadium.The original fixture was postponed at 7pm by referee Phil Bentham after concerns regarding a patch of frozen ground near the South Stand side.However, Head Groundsman Jason Booth and his team will be working round the clock to ensure Sunday's fixture gets the go ahead.Booth commented after the game, "We have had a constant dialogue with the Board all day about conditions and at 5 o'clock the pitch was passed fit to play. The pitch was 95% playable at 7pm unfortunately there was a patch that the referee deemed dangerous."We had anticipated the bad weather from forecasts and the frost sheets went down on Wednesday afternoon. We also had hot air blowers on the South Stand touchline as this area is prone to freezing because the sun does not get over the stand. However, the heaters had to be taken off when the turnstiles opened and a drop in temperature has caused an area to stiffen up."We will work round the clock to make sure everything possible is again done to get the game on on Sunday. The fact that it is a 3pm kick will make a big difference as the ground temperature will be above freezing. If the game had been at 3pm today we could have played, if the game had been at 5pm today we could have played."Operations Director Steve Ball also praised supporters for their actions after the postponement, "I would like thank the supporters for the manner they treated the announcement of the postponement. We were disappointed to have the game called off at such a late stage especially for the fans but the way they conducted themselves, both Leeds and Castleford supporters, was a credit to their clubs."The club also confirmed that the snow that fell on Friday afternoon had no bearing on the decision over the game. The majority of the snow had already been cleared from the frost sheets and there was no snow on the playing surface.All tickets for Friday's game are valid for Sunday's re-arranged fixture and anyone who requires any further details should contact the Headingley Carnegie ticket office which is open from 9am until 12 noon on Saturday.

Preview: Les Catalans v Bradford (Round 4)

CATALANS Dragons coaching assistant Paul Donkin believes his side will respond to the challenge of facing the man he rates as the world?s best player ? Bradford?s Stuart Fielden.The Great Britain forward visits the Aime Giral in Perpignan on Saturday as champions Bradford take their unbeaten engage Super League record to France.Donkin is looking forward to the clash as Catalans, following successive away defeats, aim to replicate their memorable opening-day home success over Wigan.?We are in a very privileged position,? said Donkin, who will continue to run the side along with David Waite until new coach Mick Potter arrives later this month.?Our first two games in France are against the two benchmark sides of the last decade, Wigan and Bradford.?The town is buzzing at the prospect of Bradford visiting, and we?re looking forward to the atmosphere in the stadium. We need it to be a cauldron.?My players are really up for the game. We know what to expect and we?re relishing matching their physical presence.?I believe that on current form, Stuart Fielden is the best player in the world. Facing him at the moment is the absolute test. He could do a job in the NRL no problem.?My forwards are pretty useful as well though, and are looking forward to facing him. We will raise our game to meet the challenge.?The Dragons have found life tougher since their Wigan success, suffering defeats at both Salford and Castleford whilst playmaker Stacey Jones has been ruled out for up to two months with a broken arm.?I believe if Jones had have been playing, we would be talking about taking three from three,? Donkin added.?We have to put that behind us now and have two home games against two great clubs (Bradford and Leeds) to look forward to.?Like any team, we need to be strong at home. I?ve been pleasantly surprised with how the French public have responded to us and we need it to continue.?Laurent Frayssinous is likely to continue at scrum-half for Catalans in the absence of Jones while Bradford could be unchanged from the side victorious over Salford last week.Catalans Dragons v Bradford Bulls, Saturday March 4Catalans Dragons 18-man: Bosc, Murphy, Wilson, Hughes, Verges, Rudder, Frayssinous, Chan, Rinaldi, Beattie, Fakir, Guisset, Hindmarsh, Mounis, Fellous, Touxagas, Guigue, Teixido.Bradford 18-man: Deacon, Bai, Fielden, I. Harris, Withers, Smith, B. Harris, Gene, Pryce, Ferres, Cook, Vagana, Langley, Hape, McKenna, Meyers, Lynch, Henderson.Referee: R Silverwood

Preview: Wakefield v Huddersfield (Round 4)

WAKEFIELD and Huddersfield clash at Belle Vue on Saturday night with each side desperate to hit form.Both sides have won just one of their opening three games but the Wildcats are in better heart after a surprise 26-6 victory at Harlequins last time out.Huddersfield were given a good working over at Wigan, where they shipped in 30 points in the opening 33 minutes, but after rallying to lose only 36-20, coach Jon Sharp remains positive.Sharp said: ?Immediately after the game I felt extremely disappointed, I felt it was a step back, but having looked at the tape I felt the last 50 minutes were really good. There were positives to come out of it.?It?s just disappointing we gave ourselves such a mountain to climb, but Wigan played very well.?When teams are completing sets like that it is very hard to get momentum and we found it difficult to get the ball.?We have played against Leeds, Warrington and Wigan ? teams who are going to be up there ? so we?ve had a tough start but I?m really happy with how we have played.?Judging by Wakefield?s result in London it shows they are a very good attacking side and they have got good quality players in their defensive ranks. It is going to be a real test.?Wakefield are without suspended half-back Sam Obst and Jon Whittle, who was carried off on a stretcher after injuring his back in the Wildcats? win over Harlequins last week, is also out. Tom Saxton, on loan from Hull as cover for injured full-back Mark Field, is in the squad.Playmaker Jamie Rooney is on the comeback trail after seven months out with a cruciate ligament injury but not ready for consideration.Huddersfield have no new injury problems following last week?s defeat at Wigan. Prop Jim Gannon remains a long-term casualty but coach Jon Sharp otherwise reports a clean bill of health.Wakefield Trinity Wildcats v Huddersfield Giants, Saturday March 4Wakefield 18-man: Halpenny, Demetriou, Tadulala, Jeffries, Griffin, March, Korkidas, Solomona, J. Field, Betham, White, Wrench, MacGillivray, Elima, Henderson, Applegarth, King, Saxton.Huddersfield 18-man: Reilly, Aspinwall, Evans, De Vere, Thorman, Paul, Crabtree, Drew, Nero, Snitch, Wild, Jones, Jackson, March, Smith, McDonald, Gardner, Torrens.Referee: S Ganson

Leeds v Castleford postponed

THE RFL is to investigate the circumstances surrounding the postponement of the engage Super League fixture between Leeds Rhinos and Castleford Tigers.The match was scheduled to kick off at 8pm on Friday, March 3.It has now been rescheduled for Sunday afternoon.

Cronulla Sharks 2006 season preview

LIKELY squad: David Simmons, Luke Covell, Ben Pomeroy, Beau Scott, Darren Albert, Nigel Vagana, Brett Kimmorley, Ben Ross, Kevin Kingston, Lance Thompson, Reece Williams, Phil Bailey, Paul GallenInterchange: Hutch Maiva, Luke Douglas, Clifford Manua, Matt HilderStrengths:The Sharks have one of the best halfbacks in the competition directing them around the park. If Brett Kimmorley has an injury-free year and is able to handle the increased ball carrying, then the Sharks can push the top 8.They have purchased quite well for next season. They have replaced stalwarts Jason Stevens and Danny Nutley with Origin prop Ben Ross and former Dragon Lance Thompson.The Sharks also have a very formidable and mobile forward pack for next season. They do not have a large forward pack in size, but they have a very mobile pack that has a lot of skill. With the likes of rising stars Luke Douglas and Clifford Manua the Sharks have a solid forward foundation for 2006.They have purchased great depth for their junior ranks. They raided the Bartercard Cup and the Junior Kiwis? teams and managed to secure some of the most exciting talent in New Zealand. Some of which will be working their way to first grade very shortly.The move to play Nigel Vagana at five-eighth is a smart move by the Sharks. He is a very good ball runner and will create many opportunities for the Sharks to score points in 2006.Weaknesses:The pressure on Brett Kimmorley will be tremendous. Two years ago, before the Sharks acquired Adam Dykes, they relied heavily on Kimmorley for their creative playmaking. Kimmorley was touching the ball 3-4 times a set, something he has found in the past he is uncomfortable doing. With Vagana not being a creative ball player, rather a ball runner, Kimmorley will be under a lot more pressure with the ball in hand this season. This could mean the Sharks have too much of a one-dimensional attack.The Sharks have lost a lot of experience and their team has a massive new look. Clubmen David Peachey, Jason Stevens and Danny Nutley have gone and this will affect the environment and culture within the club.Their inexperienced backline could also be a problem for the Sharks. Aside from veteran Darren Albert, who is returning from the UK, the Sharks? three-quarters are very inexperienced.One to Watch:Pee Wee Moke is one of the most promising centre prospects in the game today. The 19 year old, 182cm and 89kg centre is looking to push for First Grade honours this season after a disappointing season with the Roosters. A member of the premiership winning and undefeated Roosters Jersey Flegg team, he was not getting the opportunities he was craving at the Roosters and has linked up with the Sharks for this season. In doing so the Sharks have secured a great centre talent and if he gets a chance in First Grade he will not go down without a fight. He is a well built and fast individual with great footwork, similar to Paul Whaitura. If Cronulla want to have their backs firing on all cylinders this season, they need to give this young man a shot. Gains and Losses:Gains: Ben Ross, Ben Pomeroy, Lance Thompson, Darren Mapp, Darren Albert, Tevita Latu, Brett Kearney, Ryan Borg.Losses: Jason Stevens, David Peachey, Danny Nutley, Michael Sullivan, Nathan Merritt, Paul Mellor, Keith Galloway, Bryson Goodwin, Jon Green, Russell Aitken, Ryan McGoldrick, Vince MellarsAssessment:The Cronulla Sharks have a team that can surprise a lot of people. They have a solid nucleus of forwards, but I believe the lack of experience in the backline aside from Darren Albert and the sole reliance on Brett Kimmorley in the playmaking role will mean the Sharks will struggle this year.The Sharks have no depth whatsoever in the halfback role losing back up Russel Aitken to the Cowboys. If Kimmorley gets injured, it will be curtains for the Sharks? chances and they will get the wooden spoon. If Kimmorley stays fit, then they are a chance to push the top 8. But the Sharks are a young team with potential and this season will set a good platform for things to come.My prediction ? 11th-15th.

Barnes Keeps on Rockin

YOUNG Dolphins back Joel Barnes has made a vow to himself ... he doesn't want to go back to A grade. The 20-year-old has fought his way back into Neil Wharton's Premier Grade side and is determined to stay there. Despite playing 11 top grade fixtures last season, Barnes could not force his way past established centres Brian Jellick and Damien Richters for the start of the 2004 season. But the wedding of winger Phil Shilvock's sister provided the narrow opening that Barnes needed. He slotted straight on to Shilvock's wing for the away match against the Toowoomba Clydesdales, performing well enough in the loss to keep his spot when Shilvock returned while youngster Chris Bond dropped back to A grade. "I didn't go too bad against Toowoomba," Barnes said. "But of course it would have to be the only game the side has lost. It was good to get back up there in Premier Grade. It's a bit higher quality football and I want to make sure I stay there. "I want to stay in Premier Grade and want to keep improving so OI do stay there. That's my aim for the season." Barnes could have to bide his time on the left wing as Richters and Jellick are most probably the Queensland Cup's top centre pairing with Jellick a former New Zealand Test player and Richters closing on 100 appearances for the Dolphins and one of its leading points-scorers. Barnes has a preference for left centre, but he says he does not care where he plays as long as he gets a game. Now in his third season with the Dolphins, Barnes joined the club from the Nambour Crushers club, where he played under 19s after coming from Maroochydore. "I'm a Sunshine Coast boy and have lived at Mooloolaba and Buderim all my life," He said. "It was only this year I moved to Redcliffe. I'm living a minute's drive from the club at Scarborough as I decided this season to concentrate on my footy. It certainly has knocked the travelling down." Barnes came to Redcliffe via a schoolboys carnival at which he attracted the attention of Sydney Roosters recruitment boss Artie Beetson. "Arthur sent me a letter inviting me to a trial at Dolphin Oval," he said. "I made the grade at the trial and ended up playing Colts with Redcliffe in 2002. "We lost the grand final to Wests that year in the final year, but turned around last year and won the A grade decider. "That match was the biggest game of my career and I loved it. It was great." The 83 kilogram Barnes impressed last season with his elusive breaks from midfield, his pace allowing him to terrorise Wynnum and win the Don McLennan Trophy for best performance in a grand final. He also cannot speak highly enough of the Dolphins organisation. "It's the best club I've been at," he said. "They really look after you. "What I want to do is get more involved in a game, get my hands on the ball more often." Off the field Barnes has settled into life in property maintenance with local Peter Smink after earlier days as a machine operator with an earthmoving company on the Sunshine Coast. Nicknamed Barnesy or Jimmy after the Aussie rock legend, he says he knew no one at the club when he joined. But a recent influx of Sunshine Coast talent in Rod West (rejoined), Colt Peter Delaivuna (Maroochydore) and rookie Shane Anderson (Nambour), as well as his team-mates, meant he did not feel pangs for home. As it is, his parents travel from Buderim every weekend to watch him play, except for the long haul to Townsville for the Young Guns clash.

Dolphin News

AFTER another disappointing effort at home last Sunday when the Redcliffe Pepsi Dolphins failed to win a game in any grade only salvaging a draw in the Colts game. I?m sure the coaching staff will get the boys back on track. But it doesn?t get any easier this weekend the Dolphins travel down the M1 to clash with the very strong Burleigh Bears. If both clubs play to their potential in all three grades it should be a fantastic day of football. The award winners for last weekend against Easts were: Queensland Cup Searles Garden Products Man of the Match Adam Starr Keystar Motors Players Player Danny Green A Grade Hogs Breath Caf? Man of the Match Danny Burke Colts Leading Edge Sports Man of the Match Maddison Murphy Old Boys Play of the Day Matt Anderton

Robbo Reckons

ANOTHER month has passed us by and well let?s just say we aren?t going as well as this time last month with disappointing losses at home to the Comets and Tigers. But there has been some positives the good form of Joel Barnes and the first grade debuts of Nathan Black, Liam Georgetown and Mark Brown I?m sure all the boys will be better off for the run. Also well done to Kramer (Damien Richters) on breaking the Queensland Cup point scoring record held by John Wishire. It?s also good to see Daniel Jones string a few games together the marsh mellow man as he was so unkindly tagged by his team mates is starting to get back to playing the footy we know he can. With the rep season approaching us we can expect a few guys to be named in the sides although I suspect a few of our Queensland Cup players have played themselves out these sides in the last month. Congratulations to Gavin Cooper and Charlie Vis they are both in the Queensland under 19 side that is playing the curtain raiser to Origin One. So go out and kick some dirty, rotten, stinking cockroach butt boys. I have told you in previous months how I like to get on the net and travel through cyberspace. And I told you about a dolphins website I found http://redcliffe.leagueunlimited.com they had a competition to name the best Dolphins side since the inception of the Broncos in 1988. I bet Neil Wharton wouldn?t mind this side running out on the paddock for him especially the number 7. The side they come up with was Adam Mogg, Trent Leis, Ricky McGrady, Steve Cherry, Bevan Canning, Trevor Benson, PETER ROBINSON, Grant Cleal, Waverley Stanley, Troy Lindsay, Ian Graham, James Hinchey, Craig Spark Interchange Russell Lahiff, Shawn Rubesaame, Luke Scott and Tom O?Reilly. Now I?m feeling sick just thinking about getting bashed in the first 20 minutes by Cow, Crusher, Iggy then when they get tired on comes Rusty, Ruby and Cranky I reckon a few opposition forwards would develop side steps in a hurry. I have been calling on the fans to get to home games for the last few months and well after the last two efforts dished up I don?t blame you for not turning up and walking away in big numbers during the game but please stick solid grab a mate and bring them along, have a few coldies get in the pen and get behind the boys we will turn it around and there?s nothing better than a parochial home crowd behind you to do that. At every ground we go to we cop it from the other teams supporters let?s make Dolphin Oval a graveyard for visiting sides again.

Queensland Stateside RL- Review

QUEENSLAND CUP Results: Burleigh 24 d Central 18, North Queensland 40 d Brothers Valleys 0, Norths 30 d Ipswich 16, Toowoomba 36 d Wynnum 24, Easts 44 d Redcliffe 24, Souths Logan 38 d Tweed Heads 20. Standings: Toowoomba 16, Burleigh 15, Redcliffe 14, Easts 14, Wynnum 13, North Queensland 12, Norths 12, Central 10, Tweed Heads 6, Souths Logan 4, Ipswich 3, Brothers Valleys 1.

NSWRL teams for Round 12 - Premier League/Jersey Flegg

PREMIER League teams for Round 12:

Karena Bids Stallions Goodbye, Queensland Hello

YET another young kiwi showing a huge potential for the game has been snapped up by an Australian club, Hayden Karena swaps the Wai Coa Bay Stallions for the Central Queensland Comets.

PJ Marsh Undergoes Surgery for 2nd Time

NEW Zealand Warriors hooker PJ Marsh has had a second operation to use bone grafts from his hip to repair torn vertebrae in his neck.

Stop the rot! SAVE LEICHHARDT OVAL!

LEICHHARDT Oval has been the Tigers home since 1934. There?s no better place to watch footy. But Leichhardt Oval is in urgent need of repair.

Storm's Origin reps fit to back up

MELBOURNE Storm?s Queensland State of Origin representatives Billy Slater and Cameron Smith are set to back up for their second gruelling match in four days, when the Storm plays the Knights in Newcastle this Saturday.

Johns Staying Put

FORMER Australian captain Andrew Johns has decided to remain with rugby league despite interest from the NSW Waratahs.

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