The drama continues down at Souths

ACTOR Russell Crowe and businessman Peter Holmes a Court are offering to buy a controlling interest in the South Sydney Rabbitohs for $3 million. And they say if they can't turn Souths into a successful club on and off the field, they will sell their stake back to the members for $1.Holmes a Court has released details of the revised proposal but is facing fierce opposition from club legends led by George Piggins. The Souths patriarch is trying to overthrow the board, which cancelled a meeting last night to consider the buyout proposal.Holmes a Court says he will conduct a series of information nights for club supporters and wants the matter settled before the start of the NRL season.

Bulls announce WCC squad

SUPER League Champions, Bradford Bulls, have today announced a 19-man squad for the Carnegie World Club Challenge game against Wests Tigers.New signing Chris McKenna misses out through a hamstring injury and the Bulls could give debuts to Marcus Bai, Marcus St Hilaire and Stanley Gene. Michael Withers, Lesley Vainikolo, Joe Vagana and Stuart Fielden are seeking their third WCC win with the Bulls. All three were members of the sides that took the crown in 2002 v Newcastle Knights and 2004 v Penrith Panthers. Marcus Bai is looking for a hat trick of wins too. He was a member of the Melbourne Storm side that defeated St Helens in 2000 and played for Leeds last year against Canterbury Bulldogs. Karl Pryce is looking to emulate his brother who was a member of the successful Bulls sides in 2002 and 2004.The Squad is:Michael Withers, Marcus St Hilaire, Marcus Bai, Lesley Vainikolo, Shontayne Hape, Ben Harris, Paul Johnson, Jamie Langley, Karl Pryce, Paul Deacon, Iestyn Harris, Stanley Gene, Ian Henderson, Stuart Fielden, Andy Lynch, Joe Vagana, Brad Meyers, Matt Cook and Brett Ferres


WELCOME ABOARD MR JOHN GROOM The Fiji A Rugby League are pleased to announce a new treasurer for season 2006, Mr. John Groom. John was a member of the Fiji A Rugby League tour party to Fiji last October and is the father of rising Manly Sea Eagles star, Aaron. Fiji A Rugby League believe John will do a great job as treasurer and his passion for Fiji and Rugby League are evident. On behalf of all the board members, players, parents and supporters, Welcome aboard!NI SA BULAThe 14 man touring Fiji Bati squad will be arriving into Sydney, Monday 23rd of January. The squad consists of 12 players and 2 officials. They are: Semesa Cadrikilagi, Iowane Divavesi, Marika Korovue, Neori Kurumalawai, Aminiasi Marau, Apisai Masikerei, Epi Naioko, Asaeli Saravaki, Josaia Tadulala, Semisi Tora, Meli Vosuqa, Jone Wesele, Jo Rabele (Coach) and Rusi Ratakele (Manager). The Fiji A Rugby League will be billeting the Fiji Bati until both squads depart for Coffs Harbour, Wednesday 25th of January. BIG MONTH AHEAD February will be a very busy month for the Fiji A side. Fresh from competing at the Orara Valley 7?s, Fiji A will also be competing at the St.Mary?s and Wollongong 7?s. The St.Mary?s 7?s will be held at Western Weekender Stadium, St.Mary?s on the 11th of February with $3000 AUD up for grabs. The Wollongong 7?s will be held a week later on the 18th of February with also $3000 AUD first prize. Good luck boys!FIJI TOUR MOST LIKELY TO GO AHEAD Fiji A have discussed the possibility of committing to another 2 match tour of Fiji, following the success of the 2005 tour. The 2005 tour which departed in October saw Fiji A defeat a Fiji Chairman?s XIII 18-0 in Suva and narrowly lose to the Fiji residents 14-22 in Nausori. All officials, players and parents who toured had a ball of a time, with everyone bonding closer as the tour went on. Those who hardly knew each other at the start of the tour walked away best mates by the end. That?s what sports all about and it was great to see everyone enjoying themselves. Everyone behaved admirably and did a great job of promoting Rugby League in Fiji.ST.MARY?S 7?S Fiji A have drawn a tough pool at the 2006 Carlton Mid Strength (St.Mary?s 7?s). Fiji A have drawn Pool 4 alongside American Samoa and the NZ Maori?s. Fiji A will be playing American Samoa at 1.20pm and against NZ Maori at 4pm with finals starting at 5.10pm. The 7?s will be played at Western Weekender Stadium, St.Mary?s on February 11th.FIJI BATI VS NZ MAORI Fiji Bati will face tough opposition when they come up against the NZ Maori, Thursday 26th of January. The match will be played at 7.30pm at Coffs Harbour International Stadium as part of the Orara Valley Axemen Big Week of League. Other matches on the day include: 1.30pm Coast & Valley All Stars U/19?s Vs Cook Islands U/19?s2.45pm Japan Vs USA4.30pm Coast & Valley All Stars Vs Cook Islands6.50pm (Exhibition 7?s) North Sydney Bears Old Boys Vs St.George Dragons Old Boys7.30pm Fiji Bati Vs NZ Maori It is only $10 entry to watch all 4 Australia Day fixtures. Very good value! The makeup of the Fiji Bati side will see 9 Fiji based player?s partner up with 8 Australian based Fijians in what will be a very competitive outfit.ORARA VALLEY 7?S Fiji A have drawn a tough pool in the 2006 Orara Valley 7?s. Fiji A will join Lebanon (2005 winners), Guyra Superspuds and Leichhardt Wanderers in pool D of the competition. Fiji A management has no complaints with the draw. ?Doesn?t matter who we play against, we have the team to beat anyone? said Ken Koroi the Fiji A president. Fiji Bati has been drawn into pool B. They will join Hoey Moey, Sydney Renown United and the Sawtell Panthers. 3 Australian based players will get drafted into the Bati side as 15 players can be utilized throughout the tournament. The 2006 Orara Valley 7?s which will feature 36 teams will be held at Coramba Sportsground, 28th & 29th of January. Coramba Sportsground is located 25 minutes inland from Coffs Harbour. The winner of the 7?s will take home a handsome $10,000 AUD.PLAYER WATCH This month?s player to watch is Namila Davui. Namila has joined the Canterbury Bulldogs for season 2006 after having previously spent time at the North Sydney Bears and the Parramatta Eels. The Lautoka born and Ra native moved to Rockhampton in North Queensland as a youngster and 2006 will hopefully be the year Namila cracks into first grade with the Bulldogs. Namila represented Fiji A against Malta and also at the Oceanic Pacifica Tournament in 2004. Remember this name as he is definitely a star of the future!SPONSORS Fiji A would like to thank our major sponsor PB Sports Management and associate sponsor Pacifika Lounge. Without sponsors Fiji A would not be able to operate as effectively. We take this opportunity to thank our 2006 sponsors. If you would like to sponsor Fiji A please email us at [email protected] SPREAD THE WORD We hope you enjoyed the first Fiji A monthly newsletter. Please spread the word and let all your friends and relatives who may be interested in receiving this free monthly newsletter to email [email protected] with subscribe as the subject.Regards,Phill Browne, Fiji A.Pic: Frank Waqa gets tackled by 2 Fiji Chairman?s XIII defenders in Suva. Photo: Fiji Times

Barla Great Britain Squad Named

BARLA Great Britain Manager Mick Turner has named a 22 man squad to face the British police at Stanningley ARLFC on Wednesday 22nd February Kick off 7.30pm.There will be one training session before the game on Sunday 12th February at Shaw Cross Sharks ARLFC.The full squad is as follows:1 Dave Critchley - Eccles & Salford JNRS2 Chris Lee - West Hull3 Gavin Corfield - Wigan St Judes4 Andy Dobson - Blackbrook5 John Waldon - York Acorn6 Martin Ridyard - Leigh Miners7 Dave Patterson - Leigh Miners8 Danny Kilshaw - Leigh East9 Gary Lumb - Cutsyke10 Andy Sands - Oldham St Annes11 Jimmy Rogers - Saddleworth Rangers12 Simon Kilby - Skirlaugh13 Antony Broadhead - Thornhill Trojans14 Kevin Brown - Eastmoor15 Matthew Myers - Shaw Cross Sharks16 John Rourke - Shaw Cross Sharks17 Joe Elliot - Barrow Island18 Trevor Penrose - Cottingham Tigers19 Ian Madely - East Hull20 Mel Alker - Wigan St Patricks21 Paul Davidson - Wath Brow22 Scott Tear - Wath Brow

Will the slain become the slayer?

EVER seen that movie called ?Goodbye Lenin? about an East German family whose mother, a social activist, lapses into a coma a few weeks before the Berlin Wall is torn down? When she wakes up, her two children think it?s best to break the news to her slowly as they wouldn?t want to add any further stress or anxiety to her precarious state of health.So they continue to behave as though nothing has happened since she went into the coma until the inevitable day when she is well enough to leave her apartment only to be confronted with a unified Germany and the disintegration of her socialist ideals.I?m sure a few St George fans suffered the same fate as they watched their team implode against the Tigers in last year?s Qualifying Final. With that in mind, how would you explain to an ardent Dragons supporter just emerging from a four month slumber that Lance Thompson will be playing for the Cronulla Sharks in 2006?Would it be too much for them to handle? It?s going to be quite a shock watching Thommo run around in a Sharks jersey. His past two seasons have been pretty solid and I think amongst his best form ever. He?s going to a club that have rebuilt a little and he?s going to be expected to do plenty of work. Jason Stevens and Danny Nutley, two very experienced forwards, have left Cronulla and Ben Ross comes in to complement Hutch Maiva, but there has been talk of Thompson at prop also.So, is the best yet to come from Lance Thompson?I think Lance himself would admit he hasn?t quite lived up to expectations. Although playing over 200 first grade games is a huge achievement, he was touted for rep honours from a young age and has never really delivered on that promise. He twice captained the Junior Kangaroos and cut a swathe through rugby league as a youngster, demanding attention. As I?ve grown up our paths briefly crossed a few times. Being a standout junior in the region, Thompson was sent to Kingsgrove High, along will all those other footballing students like Anthony Mundine and Adam Peek plus a few others that almost got there like Tere Glassie and Jason Asplet.Playing for Sydney Tech (that fortress of sporting prowess) in the under 16?s St George knockout, we were 2 points ahead of Kingsgrove with barely seconds to play before Thompson barrelled our winger and raked the ball back to regain possession (you could do that back then, *sigh*). He proceeded to carry most of us over the try line and score to stage a remarkable victory.Two years later I watched from the sidelines at Kogarah Oval as we were once again pitted against Kingsgrove in the divisional final of the Commonwealth Bank Cup. After all, this was a big game, the winner got to play in a TV match!From the kick-off we worked the ball up to 40 metres out from their line and received a penalty. Our halfback took a shot at goal and missed. That was our last scoring opportunity for the afternoon. The final result of 68-nil flattered us and four of our players were taken to hospital.That day, despite the sickening sight of the scoreboard and several pools of blood around our bench, I was a little bit excited. Thommo had already made his first grade debut for Saints (ironically against the Sharks) and after watching him meticulously trample most of my mates on the field, I felt confident he would one day do the same in the Red V.But I don?t think he has. I?ll be the first to admit he was unlucky to get injured against Souths at the SCG in 2004 when it appeared as though he was a certainty for NSW after being included in the 30-man squad. Apart from that he has represented City three times (once as captain) but otherwise his name has been as scarce as hen?s teeth at the selection table.And over the years he has attracted a bit of unwanted attention for himself- Sent off two weeks in a row (Rounds 7 & 8 in 1998)- The fight with Andrew Hart at St George Leagues club- Turning up to training drunkAnd now he has left amid a very public fallout with the club, coach and CEO. So he does come with a fair amount of baggage. But perhaps he?ll leave all that behind when he starts playing at Cronulla, where a new coach and team mates await.One of the theories going around when players are coached by people they played with is that the player has an embedded lack of respect for the coach. Did Thompson suffer from this under Nathan Brown? It?s possible he did and perhaps that contributed to the falling out.So where does this leave him for 2006?I think he?s in for a big year. At Cronulla he won?t be the proud local junior that has graced the dressing sheds since he was 16. He won?t be walking around like he owns the joint and he won?t be treated as royalty by the supporters.At 28, he will have to prove himself to players, fans and the coach that he is worthy of selection in the team each week. The coach will not be afraid to drop him if he?s not playing well enough. It remains to be seen what sort of impact being placed outside his comfort zone will have on him, but I think it will remind him how much he loves playing footy.And as a player who wears his heart on his sleeve and is an emotional kind of guy, I think it will bring out the best in him. Round 9 at Toyota Park just got a whole lot more interesting?

Saint Helens Make Challenge Cup Final

BRITISH halfback Sean Long brushed aside an off-field betting scandal to guide St Helens to a Challenge Cup final showdown with arch-rivals Wigan on Monday.

Broncos defeat the 2003 Premiers

BRISBANE has turned in their strongest performance of the season, smashing reigning premiers the Penrith Panthers 32-14 in front of a massive crowd at Suncorp Stadium.

NZ Bartercard Cup - Week two review and results

WEEK two of the Bartercard Cup can be best described as a week of upsets compared to last weeks results, with three teams providing big upsets.

SportOdds player of the year awards, round 7

A great Anzac weekend of footy sees Sharks captain Brett Kimmorley join Broncos skipper Darren Lockyer at the top Leagueunlimited leaderboard on 12 points.

Lauitiiti no longer a Warrior

IT is official... Ali Lauitiiti's Warriors career is history.

Storm forward to undergo knee operation

MELBOURNE Storm will be without back-rower Peter Robinson for this week?s clash with the Warriors, due to a knee injury that could sideline the hardworking forward for up to three weeks.

Bulldogs put bite on gutsy Bunnies

THE Bulldogs have comprehensively defeated the South Sydney Rabbitohs by 34-8 on a fine Monday evening at Aussie Stadium.

Round Seven: Sharks Den POTY and SDS Wrap Up

PARRAMATTA were the better team on the day, but that didn't stop Cronulla from surging home and stealing the two points at the end of the evening. After a weekend of deliberation, here is how the Player of the Year points and Sharks Den Survivor voting panned out for round seven.

Broncos reign supreme on ANZAC Day

THE Brisbane Broncos have maintained their winning form to beat Penrith 32-14 before a massive crowd of over 37,000 at Suncorp Stadium.

NRL Ladder Looking Top Heavey

THE Sydney Roosters and Brisbane Broncos have joined the Canterbury Bulldogs and Canberra Raiders in a scramble at the top of the National Rugby League table with exciting wins yesterday.

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