Carting it up with Stevo

GOTTA get to the game!

Overnight wrap: Eels, Roosters, Tigers

PARRAMATTA has earmarked former Newcastle utility Sean Rudder as a possible playmaking option if they are unsuccessful in luring Brett Finch to the club next season.

Nate Myles signs with Roosters

THE Roosters have secured its first major signing for the club?s 100th season in 2007.QLD State of Origin and Bulldogs forward Nate Myles has signed with the Roosters for a 3 year term covering seasons 2007 ? 2009, ending months of speculation surrounding his future.Despite a number of strong offers from a variety of NRL clubs, Nate confirmed his decision was based on living in Sydney where he is well established and was enthusiastic to play under Ricky Stuart.Myles says he was tempted to return home to North Queensland but ultimately opted for the Bondi Junction club for lifestyle reasons.The strapping forward was the last big-name player to come off the open market.

Hagan and Bellamy at odds

THE fallout from Anthony Quinn's grapple tackle claims continues. Newcastle coach Michael Hagan returning fire after Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy's criticism of the winger.

Dallas to Newcastle?

WIGAN winger Brett Dallas could extend his playing career in Australia instead of retiring as planned at the end of this season. Dallas is having to leave the JJB Stadium due to a lack of space on the overseas rota following the arrivals of Trent Barrett and Phil Bailey for next season.

Eels mourn Billy Rayner

THE Parramatta National Rugby League Club has been deeply saddened by the passing of Club great Billy Rayner.He was 73.During his playing career, Billy played 203 First Grade games for Parramatta, making his First Grade debut in 1956.Billy was a Kangaroo, touring England and France with the 1960 World Cup team.He was granted life membership of the Parramatta District Rugby League Club in 1967 and of Parramatta Leagues Club in 1988. He was inducted into the Parramatta Eels Hall of Fame in 2004. He served as patron of the Parramatta Leagues Club until his passing, and he was made a Life Member of the New South Wales Rugby League in 1996."We've lost a great man and a great mate. His contribution to the Parramatta Club can never be under-estimated. I'm just really sad and my sympathies are with Marie and the family," Parramatta Eels Chairman Alan Overton said."It is a great loss to the Club. Billy had 50 years of continuous service since he arrived from Yass in 1956. He was a Parramatta man for 50 years, and was well liked and respected by everyone in Rugby League," Parramatta Eels Chief Executive Denis Fitzgerald said."The game has lost one of its true legends with the passing of Billy Rayner. He was an extraordinary character and to have 50 years service with one Club is quite remarkable," National Rugby League Chief Executive David Gallop said.As a mark of respect, Parramatta players will wear black armbands in Sunday's match against the Wests Tigers, and a moments silence will be observed prior to kick-off.Funeral details will be advised once confirmed.

Warriors put the bite on the NRL

ALTHOUGHTHE Warriors insist they are not begging for money from the NRL, they are after a more level playing field.

Thank God Its Thaiday

IN early 2005 the Newcastle Knights announced the signing of Milton Thaiday to a two year deal. Rugby fans were aware of who Milton was, and those that follow the tabloids were also aware of his long battle against alcohol. Thaiday, a former NSW Waratah star, had quit Union after a long battle with alcohol abuse.

Saturday, The Eighth Of July

I woke up today anticipating a huge night of fun and football. There were two games I was taking a specific interest in, Canberra versus Penrith, and the Knights playing the Eels. The All Blacks were also playing, but they were only of a casual interest to me.

Defining The Royal Flush Of Rugby League

Hear The Lonesome Train Whistle Blow

SOME will ask what has a train whistle to do with football?

My Top 11 Reasons Why I Love Rugby League

IN my last post I gave my top eleven things that annoyed me about Rugby League. Not to be seen as a pessimistic sourpuss, in this post I decided to write about all the things I enjoy and love most about this game. And yes there are eleven of them again.

Broncos will test us: Scott

NORTH Queensland prop Matthew Scott says Saturday night's local derby against Brisbane at Dairy Farmers Stadium will be a massive test for the Cowboys forwards.

Fitzgibbon backs Finch

SYDNEY Roosters captain Craig Fitzgibbon has gone into bat for Brett Finch following revelations the utility is unwanted at the NRL club next season.

Overnight wrap: Murray, Finch, Timmins

UNDER-FIRE North Queensland coach Graham Murray has lashed out at the media after a two month losing streak with the Cowboys and the New South Wales State of Origin side.Murray yesterday ordered journalists and cameramen to turn off their equipment before claiming he had been the victim of what he called a "cook-up". The veteran coach says, in future, he won't be responding to any questions about off-field issues.North Queensland has been in damage control after club officials were forced to defend Paul Bowman's involvement in a pub brawl and, last week, release a statement denying rumours of an alleged in-house sex scandal.Murray has not tasted victory as a coach since NSW beat Queensland in the series-opening State of Origin game on May 24. It comes amid his decision to axe five players in response to his side's one win from its last eight matches.Ty Williams, Brent McConnell, Ray Cashmere, Mitchell Sargent and Justin Smith have all been demoted for the match against Brisbane in Townsville on Saturday while former Queensland Origin centre Paul Bowman will play lock.Elsewhere, Parramatta is firming as Brett Finch's destination for the next NRL season after his manager confirmed yesterday the Sydney Roosters are trying to offload him.Despite being contracted for 2007 and constant denials from the Roosters, Finch has fallen out of favour at the club and is unlikely to be there next season. His manager Steve Gillis says Finch has permission to talk to other clubs provided he gets back to the Roosters with any offer he receives.Parramatta are looking for a five-eighth following the loss of John Morris to Wests Tigers, while Brisbane are also believed to be interested in the former NSW Origin representative.Meanwhile, Castleford has signed former Australian international Shaun Timmins on a two-year contract from the St George Illawarra Dragons.The 29-year-old utility player, who has made more than 200 appearances in Australia's National Rugby League, will join the Tigers for the start of the 2007 season. Castleford coach Terry Matterson says Timmins is a big signing for the club and he is looking forward to working with him.

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