Mind Games

HOW do you explain a team losing a match by 50 points and then 7 days later winning a match by 40 points? How does a team of average players defeat a team of established champions? How come some athletes can raise and/or sustain their performance when the contest in which they compete asks them to go beyond their comfort zone in order to succeed?

?ANYHOW* HAVE A DALLY M

I hate cigarettes. I don?t just dislike them ? I loathe them. You know how much you used to hate Manly? You now how much you personally hate Phil Gould and how much you despise his Roosters at this very minute? Well? that?s how much I loathe cigarettes. Yet amidst these cancerous, cantankerous life sucking cretins called ciggies, I do, somewhere down in the recesses of my heart, have a soft spot for the humble fag. And the reason can be summed up in two words - Rothmans and Winfield.

The Prodigal Son Returns?

THERE was once a young kid who could just about destroy a team by himself. This kid never really needed the help of his other young team-mates to beat the opposition, it was just a great run, or a classy pass that belied his tender age that set up the win. This kid was destined to captain the team he worshipped as a youngster, and if not for forces outside of his control he may well have got his wish.

3 Kiwis make ESL Dream Team

THREE Kiwis have been named in the English Super League's dream team.

ESL Playoff news

WAKEFIELD - in the play-offs for the first time in club history - are the 150-1 outsiders to reach the Grand Final at Old Trafford.

Vagana commits to Bulls until 2006

THE UK?s most successful Rugby club, Bradford Bulls, have received a major boost ahead of the Play Off?s with the news that Kiwi Prop Forward Joe Vagana has signed a new two year contract and will remain at Odsal until the end of the 2006 Super League season.

Stuarts expects intense struggle against Cowboys

SYDNEY Roosters coach Ricky Stuart is bracing for his side's NRL preliminary final against North Queensland to be played at State of Origin intensity.

Anasta considers chest brace

A chance meeting with Andrew Johns has Bulldogs five-eighth Braith Anasta ready to wear a special brace if and when he returns from a sternum injury.

Michael Crocker - " I'm sweet "

SYDNEY Roosters forward Michael Crocker says there's no way he'd miss the NRL club's preliminary final date with North Queensland on Sunday.

Andrew Walker announces retirement after positive drug test

MANLY star Andrew Walker has announced his immediate retirement from rugby league after the NRL confirmed that he has returned a positive drug test.

Sonny-Bill on the NZRFU buynow list

THE Bulldogs will head into their preliminary final amid speculation teenage superstar Sonny Bill Williams is in the sights of the cashed-up New Zealand Rugby Union.

Slater pulls out of Australian train-on squad

AN ongoing groin injury has forced Melbourne Storm fullback Billy Slater to withdraw from the Australian Test train-on squad today.

Bulldogs v Panthers Match Preview

THE first NRL Grand Final qualifier for 2004 kicks-off at Aussie Stadium on Saturday night in what should be a real test of credibility for both teams.

Player Profile - Ryan Girdler

RYAN Girdler was telling his Penrith teammates this week how good it would be to sit out most of the NRL season and come back fresh for the finals.

Cowboys ready to face the Roosters

NORTH Queensland Cowboys coach Graham Murray has named his side to travel down to Sydney to take on the Roosters on Sunday afternoon at Telstra Stadium in the second of the competition's preliminary finals.

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