THE Newcastle Knights opened their season in style on Saturday afternoon with a comprehensive 34-6 victory over the Parramatta Eels. The opening twenty minutes was spent in the Newcastle half of the field, with Parramatta having plenty of ball. It seemed it was only a matter of time before the Eels opened the scoring, however, a mixture of poor ball control and some impressive Knights goal-line defence held them out. In the 22nd minute, Knights five-eight Scott Dureau, re-signed by the club, after having interest from the Dragons, opened the Knights account with a superb individual effort, leaving Parramatta players grasping at thin air. Promising halfback Luke Walsh converted to give the Knights a 6-0 lead. Four minutes later, the Knights were in again, this time through man-mountain Larry Taufua who ran onto a Luke Walsh pass like a freight train and was never going to be stopped. Again Walsh added the extras to put the Knights up 12-0. That remained the score until the halftime break, with the Knights going close a few times from hungry kick-chase efforts, in particular by Fijian winger Akuila Uate, who showed plenty of speed. The Eels hung on to the break trailing by 12 points.The Knights pushed their lead out further just three minutes into the second half when Jonathon Wright ran a perfect angled run into a space, courtesy of a superb ball from five-eight Dureau. Walsh continued with his perfect goal-kicking record for the day when he converted from wide out. Wright crossed for his second try of the afternoon just four minutes later, finishing off out wide from a perfect cut-out pass from halfback Walsh. Walsh missed his first attempt of the afternoon, but the Knights were well in control at 22-0. Parramatta second rower Trent Waicokacola scored his teams first and only try of the afternoon when he finished off a backline move, which started in their own half. Ben Farrar added the conversion to close the gap to 22-6, but that was as close as the Eels got. 16 minutes from fulltime, Simon Allen, coming off the bench for the Knights scored an opportunistic try for the home side after the ball went around like a pin-ball machine before landing in the Eels in-goal, requiring Allen to just touch down. Walsh added the conversion to extend the Knights lead. Young winger Uate finished the scoring for the Knights, and topped off a good game by crossing with just four minutes left. Again Walsh added the extras to give the Knights their first win of the year, 34-6 over Parramatta.For the Knights, halves Dureau and Walsh were outstanding. They were given the time and space by a dominant forward display. Larry Taufua and Cory Patterson were impressive for the Knights in the forwards, as was Terrence Seu Seu out of dummy half.
MEDIA personalities Andrew Denton and Don Lane will be among a high-profile group of supporters backing Peter Holmes A Court and Russell Crowe's privatisation bid for South Sydney today.Souths members will hold an extraordinary general meeting on Sunday to decide whether to accept the $3 million bid for 75 per cent of the NRL club. A pro-bid function will be held this morning at the Hilton Hotel in Sydney.
NEWCASTLE winger Brian Carney won't be facing any further punishment from the NRL club after his run-in with authorities at a hotel in Sydney on Sunday night.Police issued Carney with a $550 breach notice for refusing to leave the Steyne Hotel in Manly after an argument over use of a jukebox. The Great Britain international had been drinking with his former Wigan team-mate Matthew Johns who left without incident.
THE Sydney Roosters have until midday to decide whether to contest Adrian Morley's two-week NRL suspension for a high tackle on Souths halfback Ben Walker.Morley was charged with a grade three careless high tackle by the match review committee which carries a two-week ban with an early guilty plea. The English international will be banned for three weeks should he fight the charge and lose at the NRL judiciary tomorrow night.Three other players were charged by the match review committee though Wests Tigers backrower Anthony Laffranchi will escape punishment with an early guilty plea for his lifting tackle. New Zealand Warriors utility Sione Faumuina is facing a two-week ban for a grade three careless high tackle but that could expand to three weeks if he fails to beat the charge at the judiciary.Bulldogs prop Nate Myles is looking at a one-match suspension for a grade one dangerous throw charge.
WESTS Tigers utility Daniel Fitzhenry is today expected to be named to replace injured five-eighth Benji Marshall in the No.6 jumper for Friday night's NRL match against the Bulldogs.Marshall will be sidelined for the next six weeks with a fractured cheekbone although he won't need surgery. Fitzhenry is likely to resume the role he filled during the pre-season while Marshall continued his recovery from shoulder surgery. Fitzhenry played on the wing in last Friday night's win over St George Illawarra.Meanwhile Parramatta will be sweating on a the result of a fitness test for Test winger Timana Tahu after he complained of hamstring soreness following Saturday's loss to Newcastle.
AFTER a sensation weekend of NRL action, we?re happy to present the Round 1 League Unlimited Team of the Week. And oh boy, it?s a cracker!Fullback: Clinton Schifcofske (Raiders) ? He looks bigger and fitter this year. His kicking was terrific as usual and beat the first man most times from the kick-return. A great choice as the new captain.Wing: Amos Roberts (Roosters) ? Mossy bagged a double for the Roosters in a controversial game out at Telstra. He a genuine speedster with plenty of ball skills and a favourite with the fans.Centre: Mark Gasnier (Dragons) ? Showed he?s all class with the ball in his hand. The Tigers couldn?t contain Gaz, who scored a treble, and he has begun the season in menacing form.Centre: Paul Whatuira (Tigers) ? The silent hero for Wests on Friday night. He popped up everywhere, bagging a hat-trick and showing why he?s in the Team of the Week. A very under-rated player who manages to slip under the radar and get the work done.Wing: Brian Carney (Knights) ? The Irishman?s first game in the NRL was a good ?un, scoring a try and proving very hard to contain. He looks a very solid purchase for the Knights and should provide good service this year.Five-eighth: Jonathan Thurston (Cowboys) ? What can you say about this kid? Unbelievable match from Thurston who?s going the right way about displacing Darren Lockyer as the Queensland five-eighth. Scored three meat pies, kicked six goals and had a hand in everything.Halfback Andrew Johns (Knights) ? The old stager returned to footy in triumphant circumstances after having an operation on his knee in the off-season. He should steer clear of the fisticuffs though, he?s already proven himself a novice in that arena.Lock: Travis Norton (Cowboys) ? The retiring captain of the Cowboys had a solid game on the weekend against arch-rivals the Broncos, steering the ship when necessary. I?m sure he?s pumped for another big season and a possible premiership.Second-row: Willie Mason (Bulldogs) ? The Doggies may have gone down but Big Willie put up a good fight. He had a superb game and appears to be relishing a more senior role.Second-row: Ben Jones (Raiders) ? Hardly a household name, Jonesy put in for the Raiders as they toppled the more fancied Sea Eagles at ?Fortress? Brooky. He?ll be a mainstay if he continues that sort of form.Prop: John Skandalis (Tigers) ? Another unsung hero of the Tigers. Skando turns up each week and just loves copping it. His work-rate is to be admired for an old guy and he provides a cool head for the forwards when experience is called for.Hooker: Aaron Payne (Cowboys) ? Had a blinder and just edged out Simon Woolford here for Hooker of the Week. Brutality was certainly dished out by the truckload against Brisbane and the stoutly no.9 was carving up all day long.Prop: Craig Smith (Knights) ? Smithy packs in with Skando, proving age is no barrier in this competition. I thought he was great this week and appears to have really settled into a rhythm at Newcastle.Interchange: Benji Marshall (Tigers), Grant Rovelli (Warriors), Steve Southern (Cowboys), Anthony Tupou (Roosters) ? Plenty of impact here and flamboyance here on the bench. Marshall?s freakish feats are welcome, along with Rovelli who was a hit for the Warriors when he came on the field. Southern and Tupou add huge firepower to the interchange bench here.Merkin of the Week Award for Stupidity: Jason Ryles (Dragons) ? Rylesy decided to go on a one-man journey to Planet Brain Explosion, helping out the Tigers forwards and earning himself 10 in the bin. He?s gets the first Merkin of 2006 ? wear it with pride buddy!
THE Newtown Jets paid dearly for their high error-rate in Sunday?s opening VB Premier League competition match against neighbours South Sydney at Telstra Stadium. The Jets barely completed more than 50% of their sets of possession in either half, putting enormous pressure on themselves in the unseasonable sauna-like playing conditions. Newtown conceded 22 points inside the first twenty minutes and despite a brave fightback went down by 42-28. The Rabbitohs dominance of possession in the first half saw them take a 34-16 lead into the break. A resurgent Newtown kept Souths tryless until the final minute of the second half and fought back gamely to trail by 36-28 with seven minutes remaining. Lack of ball control killed off the Jets? hopes of a last gasp victory as Souths sprung a major upset against a team that had shown such promising trials form. Newtown coach Paul Young was quick to assure Jets fans that there are better days ahead for this side, but they needed to put this forgettable display behind them.Best for the Jets were powerful centre Lelea Paea, who continued his excellent 2006 form with two tries. Former North Queensland Cowboy John Doyle showed some deft touches with the ball, and fullback Aidan Kirk looked dangerous when in possession. Second rower Nigel Plum was outstanding in defence and attack and prop Glenn Hall worked hard in the oppressive conditions. Former British forward Mark Edmondson would have found the searing temperatures a far cry from playing at Knowsley Road, St. Helens.Newtown?s Jim Beam Cup squad turned on their best trial performance when they defeated Cabramatta by 32-18 at the Narellan Sports Ground on Saturday evening. Coach Greg Matterson used 32 players in the trial and would have been pleased with the improved form, the physical toughness and will to win shown in this game. Matterson?s difficulties in deciding upon which players to retain weren?t made any easier with this trial, but he could let Newtown supporters know that the Jets look like having another very competitive Jim Beam Cup team in this year?s premiership competition. The Newtown Jets are back at home this Saturday against Western Suburbs in the VB Premier League. Sunday?s surprise loss to Souths is sure to bring out the best in the Jets in their first home game of the year at Henson Park. The Jets-Magpies VB Premier League match kicks off at 4:00pm, and will be preceded by a Newtown versus Asquith Jim Beam Cup trial match starting at 2:30pm.Photo caption:Classy centre Lelea Paea has been in great form for the Jets in 2006.
JIM Dymock?s Jersey Flegg outfit kick-started their 2006 premiership assault in style this afternoon with a convincing 32-14 win over Souths Juniors at Telstra Stadium.One of the early favourites to take out this year?s title, the star-studded Roosters were never seriously headed in their six-tries-to-three victory.After a fiery start, classy five-eighth Anthony Watts got the ball rolling in the eighth minute with a perfectly weighted grubber for winger Shaun Kenny-Dowall to cross. Shaun Foley failed to convert from the sideline, leaving the Roosters 4-0 ahead.In stifling conditions, both sides toughed it out for the next 10 minutes before Souths fullback Alex Pattalis blew a golden opportunity to level the scores after knocking on his own grubber in the in-goal area.But centre Fetuli Talanoa made up for his team-mate?s error two minutes later after racing 60m to lock the match at 4-all.However, Sam McCartney restored the Roosters? lead in the 25th minute after shrugging off three defenders to plant the ball out wide. Shaun Foley?s sideline conversion speared the Roosters to a 10-4 lead.With half time approaching, a perfectly timed Shaun Foley pass sent giant back rower Frank Winterstein on a 30m dash to the try line to guide the Roosters to a 16-4 lead following Foley?s conversion from in front of the sticks.Both sides struggled to get going early in the second stanza but the visitors went further ahead on 40 minutes after a nice cross-field chip from Watts was batted into the arms of Jeremy Gordon by Kenny-Dowall. Another conversion from wide out by Foley extended the Roosters? lead to 22-4.Some great work from giant front rower Frank Paul Nuuausala saw Troy Savage pepper Souths? defence on a 30m dash ? but Savage?s grubber kick to open pastures just ran over the dead ball line to prevent the visitors from going further in front.With the Roosters looking to close the home side out of the clash, Souths replacement Chris Hyde notched a four pointer that reduced the score to 22-10 with 25 minutes remaining.And when Rabbitohs winger Isaac Tautaiolefua showed a clean pair of heels to sprint 60m down the left touchline and score, the home side was well and truly back in the hunt at 22-14.Needing to stop the rot, the Roosters looked to imposing back rower Grant Millington, who set up a crucial four pointer to star prop Danny Williams with a great break and offload close to the stripe. Foley converted from close range to give the Roosters a 28-14 lead.Nuuausala was rewarded for a strong all-round game with a determined try out wide with seven minutes remaining to guide the visitors to an unassailable 32-14 advantage.SYDNEY ROOSTERS 32 (Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Sam McCartney, Frank Winterstein, Jeremy Gordon, Danny Williams, Frank Paul Nuuausala tries; Shaun Foley 4/6 goals) defeated SOUTHS JUNIORS 14 (Fetuli Talanoa, Chris Hyde, Isaac Tautaiolefua tries; Michel Goward 1/3 goals) at Telstra Stadium; Sunday, March 12th, 2006; Referee: Adam Devcich.
THE NRL has been rocked by another alcohol-fuelled incident after Newcastle winger Brian Carney was ejected from a Manly bar last night.Carney, the man of the match in the Knights' 25-6 win over Parramatta on Saturday night, was issued with an infringement notice for failing to leave a licensed premises and fined $550 by police. The Great Britain international had been drinking with media personality and former Newcastle and Cronulla five-eighth Matthew Johns at the Steyne Hotel.Newcastle officials have been investigating the incident today and are expected to issue a statement shortly.
WESTS Tigers five-eighth Benji Marshall will be sidelined for at least six weeks following scans on his fractured cheekbone. Tigers club doctor Donald Kuah reviewed x-rays today which confirmed Marshall suffered a break in the facial bone during Friday night's opening round win over St George Illawarra.Superstar playmaker Marshall will not need to undergo surgery. The club is still awaiting results of scans on lock Liam Fulton's dislocated shoulder.
ST George Illawarra skipper Trent Barrett is in doubt for Sunday's NRL clash with Penrith on Sunday after being hospitalised by a stomach virus.Barrett has been struggling with the virus since last week and checked himself into Wollongong Hospital yesterday afternoon after playing in Friday night's loss to Wests Tigers. Barrett complained of being dehydrated and feeling unwell after the Tigers clash.He is expected to be released from hospital this afternoon. Dragons coach Nathan Brown says he is unsure when his star five-eighth will resume training.
SYDNEY Roosters prop Adrian Morley has been charged with a grade three careless high tackle for his hit on South Sydney halfback Ben Walker.Morley faces a two-week suspension if enters an early guilty plea, but will be out for three NRL matches if he contests the charge and is found guilty. In other judiciary news, Wests Tigers backrower Anthony Laffranchi will miss suspension if he enters an early guilty plea to a dangerous throw charge from the season opener against St George Illawarra.New Zealand Warriors five-eighth Sione Faumuina was charged with a dangerous high tackle and will be sidelined for two weeks with an early guilty plea or three matches if he unsuccessfully contests the charge. And Bulldogs forward Nate Myles faces a week on the sidelines after being charged with a dangerous throw.Here?s a list of players who sustained injuries over the weekend:Benji Marshall (Tigers) ? hairline fracture of the cheekbone, 4-6 weeksLiam Fulton (Tigers) ? dislocated shoulder, 3 monthsClint Newton (Knights) ? minor lower back injury, most likely fitCraig Gower (Panthers) ? rolled ankle, most likely fitJosh Miller (Raiders) ? probable ruptured ACL, potentially the seasonDarren Lockyer (Broncos) ? minor elbow complaint, most likely fitBen Walker (Rabbitohs) ? concussion and medial ligament damage, uncertain
A huge weekend of football to kick off round one of the NRL, but weekend of woe for punters with a number of upsets occurring around the grounds.Now in its fourth year, the LeagueUnlimited.com Player Awards are back with last year?s winner Andrew Johns joining six players on three points. The full leader board is below.The Leagueunlimited.com players of the match are decided by our live score updaters and tallied here each week on Monday's Expert League wrap.League Wrap: Round 1, 10-12 March 2006MATCH RESULTS:Wests Tigers: 24Tries: Anthony Laffranchi, Paul Whatuira (3), Michael CrockettGoals: Brett Hodgson 3/5St George Illawarra Dragons: 15Tries: Mark Gasnier (3)Goals: Wes Naiqama 1/3Field Goals: Trent BarrettHALF TIME: Dragons 10-8Telstra StadiumCrowd: 27,865Referee: Paul SimpkinsLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Mark Gasnier (Dragons)2 - Scott Prince (Tigers)1 - Paul Whatuira (Tigers)Newcastle Knights: 25Tries: Matthew Gidley, Adam Woolnough, Milton Thaiday, Brian Carney, Riley BrownGoals: Kurt Gidley 1/3, Andrew Johns 1/2Field Goals: Andrew JohnsParramatta Eels: 6Tries: Micheal VellaGoals: Luke Burt 1/1HALF TIME: Knights 8-6Energy Australia StadiumCrowd: 26,198Referee: Russell SmithLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Andrew Johns (Knights)2 - Milton Thaiday (Knights)1 - Danny Buderus (Knights)Canterbury Bulldogs: 22Tries: Hazem El Masri, Mark O'Meley, Luke Patten, Willie TongaGoals: Hazem El Masri 3/4Penrith Panthers: 24Tries: Craig Gower, Matthew Cross, Nick Youngquest, Lee HookeyGoals: Preston Campbell 4/5HALF TIME: Panthers 14-10Telstra StadiumCrowd: 17,510Referee: Sean HamptsteadLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Craig Gower (Panthers)2 - Willie Mason (Bulldogs)1 - Rhys Wesser (Panthers)Manly Sea Eagles: 14Tries: Brett Stewart, Steve Bell(2)Goals: Matt Orford 1/3Canberra Raiders: 27Tries: Todd Carney, Phillip Graham, Adam Mogg, Simon WoolfordGoals: Clinton Shifcofske 5/5Field Goals: Todd CarneyHALF TIME: Raiders 14-8Brookvale OvalCrowd: 17,135Referee: Shayne HayneLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Clinton Shifcofske (Raiders)2 - Jason Smith (Raiders)1 - Lincoln Withers (Raiders)New Zealand Warriors: 16Tries: Wairangi Koopu, Jerome Ropati, Manu VatuveiGoals: Tony Martin 2/3Melbourne Storm: 22Tries: Matt Geyer (2), Greg Inglis, Cameron Smith, Steve TurnerGoals: Greg Inglis 1/5HALF TIME: Storm 8-0Ericsson StadiumCrowd: 10,035Referee: Steven ClarkLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Cameron Smith (Storm)2 - Greg Inglis (Storm)1 - Wairangi Koopu (Warriors)Brisbane Broncos: 4Tries: Darius BoydNorth Queensland Cowboys: 36Tries: Matthew Bowen, Matt Sing, Jonathan Thurston (3), Neil SweeneyGoals: Jonathan Thurston 6/7HALF TIME: Cowboys 24-0Suncorp StadiumCrowd: 46,229Referee: Tony ArcherLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Jonathan Thurston (Cowboys)2 - Aaron Payne (Cowboys)1 - Paul Bowman (Cowboys)South Sydney Rabbitohs: 22Tries: Yileen Gordon, John Sutton, Ben Walker, Nathan Merritt(2)Goals: Ben Walker 3/3Sydney Roosters: 40Tries: Ryan Cross, Brett Finch, Anthony Minichello, Amos Roberts(2), Iosia Soliola, Jamie SowardGoals: Craig Fitzgibbon 4/4, Amos Roberts 2/3HALF TIME: Rabbitohs 18-6Telstra StadiumCrowd: 16,741Referee: Jason RobinsonLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Jamie Soward (Roosters)2 - Amos Roberts (Roosters)1 - John Sutton (Rabbitohs)Cronulla Sharks - ByeFULL DRAW, RESULTS & LINKS TO LIVE SCORES ? CLICK HERENext weekend?s matches:Round 2, 17-19 March 2006Fri 7:30 CANTERBURY BULLDOGS v WESTS TIGERS Telstra StadiumSat 7:30 (5:30 Syd) PARRAMATTA EELS v NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS Waikato Stadium NZSat 7:30 CRONULLA SHARKS v BRISBANE BRONCOS Toyota ParkSat 8:30 (9:30 Syd) NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS v MANLY SEA EAGLES Dairy Farmers Stadium Sun 2.30 SYDNEY ROOSTERS v MELBOURNE STORM Aussie Stadium Sun 3.00 ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS v PENRITH PANTHERS WIN StadiumSun 3.00 CANBERRA RAIDERS v NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS Canberra Stadium SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS - BYEFOR CENTREBET ODDS ? CLICK HERELEAGUEUNLIMITED.COM PLAYER AWARDS 2006LEADER BOARDThe Leagueunlimited.com players awards are decided by our live score updaters.Want to be a live score updater? For further enquiries, email us.3 pointsMark Gasnier (Dragons), Craig Gower (Panthers), Andrew Johns (Knights), Clinton Shifcofske (Raiders), Cameron Smith (Storm), Jamie Soward (Roosters), Jonathan Thurston (Cowboys)2 pointsGreg Inglis (Storm), Willie Mason (Bulldogs), Aaron Payne (Cowboys), Scott Prince (Tigers), Amos Roberts (Roosters), Jason Smith (Raiders), Milton Thaiday (Knights)1 pointsPaul Bowman (Cowboys), Danny Buderus (Knights), Wairangi Koopu (Warriors), John Sutton (Rabbitohs), Rhys Wesser (Panthers), Paul Whatuira (Tigers), Lincoln Withers (Raiders)
BRADFORD Bulls 18 (Pryce, St Hilaire, Vainikolo 2 tries; Deacon 1 goal) v Hull FC 12 (Brisoce, Domic tries; Brough 2 goals). Att: 10,700.Bradford extended their unbeaten run to 18 matches with hard fought win over Hull FC at Odsal. The Bulls opened the scoring after only 68 seconds when Karl Pryce barged over from close range. Hull, who were missing several key players, managed to hold out until the 33 minute when Bulls winger Lesley Vainikolo crashed over. But Hull never laid down and deservedly got on the score sheet just before half time through Sid Domic.At the start of the second half Vainikolo scored again but then turned villain by gifting a try to FC?s Kirk Dixon. With 20 minutes left on the clock the visitors cut the Bulls lead to only 14-12 with a Danny Brough penalty. Then with less than 10 minutes left Marcus St Hilaire, a surprise eve-of-season signing from Halifax, scored the important try to give the Bulls a cushion of 6 points. A draw looked on the cards with only minutes left when Shaun Briscoe spilled a pass from Peter Lupton with the line beckoning.Wigan Warriors 12 (Fletcher, Godwin tries; Tickle, Moran goals) v Warrington Wolves 24 (Fa?afili, Bridge, Barnett tries; Briers 4 goals, 4 field goals). Att: 16,640.The nightmare continued for Wigan Warriors as Warrington Wolves, led by their inspirational skipper Lee Briers, masterminded the visitors? first win at Wigan for over 13 years.The home side had opened the scoring through new signing Bryan Fletcher, making his debut after recovering from bowel surgery, but despite seeing little of the ball in the Wigan half, Warrington hit back through Richie Barnett and Chris Bridge to lead at the halfway mark.After the break Briers then took control of the game by landing 4-drop goals, a penalty goal and converting a Henry Fa?afili try. Wigan?s only consolation was a last minute try for Wayne Godwin converted by Denis Moran which by then was only witnessed by a small section of the 16,640 crowd as most of the home fans had enough of another poor Warriors performance.Catalans Dragons 10 (Murphy, Dobson tries; Frayssinous 1 goal) v Leeds Rhinos 58 (Senior, Walker, Diskin, Smith, McGuire 2, Donald, Tansey, Burrow, Lauitiiti; tries Sinfield 7, Burrow 2 goals). Att: 5,783.Seven days after being out muscled by Champions Bradford Bulls, the Dragons were given another harsh lesson of life in the Engage Super League as they were ripped apart by a rampant Leeds Rhinos team manfully lead by captain Kevin Sinfield.The Game was over in the first ten minutes as the Rhinos raced to an 18-0 lead with two tries by Danny McGuire and a walk-in by scrum-half Rob Burrow. Catalans new short-team Australian signing Michael Dobson finally got the home side on the board, but four further Rhinos tries gave them a commanding 34-6 lead after only 20 minutes. Surprisingly the visitors did not add to their tally in the remainder of the opening period. However on the stroke of Halftime the Dragons prop Alex Chan was sent off for punching Chev Walker who in turn was sin binned for retaliating.Catalans showed plenty of spirit and opened the second half scoring from a Justin Murphy try in the corner. With 20 minutes left on the clock the Dragons finally cracked as the Rhinos racked up four further converted tries to send home the near 3,000 travelling away fans happy on a cold, wet and windy evening in the South of France.Salford City Reds 48 (Highton 2, Robinson, Finnigan 3, Brocklehurst, Fitzpatrick tries; Hodgson 8 goals) v Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 10 (J Field, Demetriou tries; March 1 goal). Att: 4,060Simon Finnigan scored a hat-trick for Salford as they continued their fine start to the Engage Super League season, outclassing a dismal Wakefield Wildcats at The Willows.The Reds remained in the top four of the league with a thrilling first half performance by scoring 6 unanswered tries from Paul Highton (2), Finnigan (2), Fitzpatrick and Brocklehurst all converted by David Hodgson.Finnigan completed his hat-trick early in the second half before Jamie Field and Jason Demetriou restored some pride to the visitors. In the final minutes Luke Robinson wrapped up the scoring for the hosts with a try. The only downside it that only 4,060 turned out to watch another sparkling Reds display.Harlequins RL 20 (Leuluai, Weisner, Hopkins, Clubb tries; Gafa 2 goals) v Castleford Tigers 34 (Sculthorpe, Fletcher, Pryce, Henderson, McGoldrick, Shenton tries; Huby 5 goals). Att: 3,535Castleford Tigers got their season back on track as they overturned a 14-point deficit to beat Harlequins and move above them in the Super League table.Quins suffered a bitter blow when they lost captain Mark McLinden to injury in the warm-up. The home team scored all their points in the first half with tries by Leuluai, Weisner, Hopkins and Clubb with two Gafa conversions.Castleford replied with a Waine Pryce try and Ryan McGoldrick then further reduced the gap when he sprinted 60 meters for a fine individual try. After half-time, the Tigers controlled the game with Andy Henderson rounding off victory with a 73rd-minute try.Huddersfield Giants 16 (Drew, Wild tries; Thorman 4 goals) v St Helens 18 (Gardner, Lyon, Fa?asavalu tries; Lyon 3 goals). Att: 8,010.St Helens held off a spirited Huddersfield Giants to keep their 100% record intact and return to the top of the Engage Super League in front of another bumper crowd at the Galpharm Stadium.A first minute Ade Gardner try opened the scoring for the Saints and Jamie Lyon added a second try just before the break. Chris Thorman kept the Giants in touch with two first-half goals and a third after the restart before a try from ex-Raider Brad Drew reduced the deficit to two.Maurie Fa'asavalu hit back with a try for Saints, with a late Stephen Wild four-pointer not enough for the hosts.
SYDNEY Roosters prop Adrian Morley faces a nervous wait today to see whether he'll have to front the NRL judiciary over his controversial shoulder charge in yesterday's 40-22 win over Souths.Morley was reported for a high shot on Rabbitohs halfback Ben Walker early in the second half which helped spark his team's come-from-behind win. A number of other players will also come under scrutiny from the match review committee including Wests Tigers pair Anthony Laffranchi and Ryan O'Hara for a lifting tackle on St George Illawarra backrower Corey Payne and teammate Bryce Gibbs for a high shot on Dragons opposite Luke Bailey.Meanwhile, Premiers Wests Tigers will get a better idea today on how long star five-eighth Benji Marshall will have to sit out with a fractured cheekbone. Before undergoing x-rays at the weekend, it was believed Marshall could miss between four to six weeks.