QUEENSLAND forward Carl Webb has been ruled out of next month's State Of Origin series decider against New South Wales in Brisbane.
ON 20th April 1908 North Sydney and South Sydney played the inaugural match of the NSWRL competition.
SATURDAY sees a top of the table clash between the Bridgend Blue Bulls and Aberavon Fighting Irish with the Bulls hoping to improve on their performance v Cardiff Demons last weekend.
FOR Toulouse Olympic coach Justin Morgan, the 2004/05 French Elite season has been a solid and mostly successful campaign, but one they've largely spent in the shadows. Despite sitting in second place on the ladder, his team of part timers has predictably been forced to play second fiddle to Super League bound UTC - both on the field and off it. The two sides have met four times this year (three times in the Elite and once in the Lord Derby Cup), and on each occasion the Catalans have come away with the points. In fact, Steve Deakin's men are undefeated this season - a draw with reigning champions, St Gaudens the only time they've failed to grab maximum points all year. UTC, or "Les Catalan Dragons" as they're to be known from next season, have been grabbing all the headlines off the field as well with their high profile Chairman Bernard Guasch embarking on a global recruitment campaign in a bid to ensure his club can mix it with the best that the English game has to offer. So, for Morgan and his troupe of art-timers, this Sunday's Challenge Cup home Quarter Final clash with Widnes represents the perfect opportunity to make some headlines of their own. A win over a full-time proffessional Super League outfit, no matter where they sit on the ladder, would be a huge coup for the club and the French game in general, but just how realistic are their chances? According to Morgan, it's anything but mission impossible.
"We're confident we can win the game. We're certainly not going in there thinking we're happy to make the quarter-finals. Obviously we're going to be underdogs, but, playing at home, playing in the heat, travelling away for Widnes, we've got a few factors that are pointing in our direction. We're just hoping to put in a good performance to make people understand that French rugby league is certainly progressing".
THE persistent rain in Auckland over the last few days took its toll on at least one Bartercard match today. The Counties Manukau Jetz clash with the Mt Albert Lions was postponed due to extremely sodden ground conditions at Massey Park.
THIS weekend?s Bartercard Cup action kicks off tomorrow with three games in Auckland and one in Greymouth.
LONDON will tackle Leeds at Headingley on Friday night in the Powergen Challenge Cup again without the services of captain Mark McLinden, with Lee Hopkins hoping to lead his men to a semi final berth.
HUDDERSFIELD Giants prop forward Mick Slicker has retired from Rugby League due to chronic and persistent knee problems. The 26 year old Irish international has played only 8 games this year for the Giants and has reluctantly had to accept specialists verdicts that for his long term health and mobility it was time to hang the boots up.
CRONULLA fullback David Peachey is poised to accept a two-year contract with Widnes Vikings.
WIGAN legend Martin Offiah has urged his former club?s players to "show their pride in the shirt" during Sunday?s Powergen Challenge Cup quarter-final at St Helens.
WESTS Tigers captain Mark O'Neill won't be offerred a playing contract for 2006 but the club want him to take a position in junior development.
RAIDERS 23 v COWBOYS 22
A late field goal from veteran campaigner Jason Smith has sealed victory with the Canberra Raiders narrowly defeating the North Queensland Cowboys 23-22 at Canberra Stadium tonight.
PENRITH PANTHERS 24 v NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS 28
The Newcastle Knights have stunned the Penrith Panthers with a gripping 28-24 win at Penrith Stadium tonight.
Sydney Roosters 12 Parramatta Eels 8
Melbourne Storm 48 South Sydney Rabbitohs 6