FRIDAY wrapped up with both the Wests Tigers and North Queensland Cowboys going into lockdown mode with only two sleeps until the big game.
Pat Richards remains in serious doubt due to damaged ankle ligaments, while Travis Norton appears to be ready to go after overcoming a back ailment. At this stage Norton will definitely play but Richards would still only be a 50/50 chance at best.
Wide ranging speculation over who will replace Richards has yet to turn up a solid prediction, so expect Richards to play if you?re betting on the match.
THE second game to be played on Grand Final Day also promises to be one of the most exciting. The in-form Roosters take on the minor premiers Parramatta in a contest of gargantuan proportions with both sides fielding extremely competitive and experiences teams.
FIRST cab off the rank on Grand Final day sees the all-conquering St George-Illawarra Dragons meet the Parramatta Eels in what shapes as an interesting contest. There are a few little nostalgic twists in this one?
GRAND Final Breakfast time, and yet another chance for the rival coaches to put a different spin on their answers to the same questions they were asked the last three days.
Today the referee issue got another work out, as Graham Murray and Tim Sheens were asked to shed light on whether they have or would talk to Tim Mander prior to the game on Sunday. Sheens wants to talk to Mander, while Murray thinks Mander should be left alone to do his job with no interference. You?ve gotta love these two cagey old coaches doing their best to make a very uninteresting subject front page news for the press who are starved for a good story in the middle of Grand Final week.
LAST Wednesday (21st September) began the elite training for the Bears Harold Matthews and S. G. Ball teams. 30 players in all will attend tailor
made training programs for 4 weeks leading up to the Clubs open trails on the 8th and 9th of October. For details of registration for these open trials go to http://www.northsydneybears.com.au to register on line.
THIS Friday's engage Super League play-off between St Helens and Leeds Rhinos will provide a first for Rugby League fans unable to get a ticket for the huge clash at Knowsley Road.
SUPER League champions Leeds Rhinos will be without centre Keith Senior for their qualifying semi-final at St Helens on Friday Sept 30.
THIS Saturday (1st October) 2SER FM?s ?A View from the Hill? will be taking calls from listeners on whatever you would like to talk about in Rugby League.
IT?S Friday afternoon and things must be sinking in for the players by now. They?ve had their fan days. The Tigers enjoyed a training session where more people turned up than to most of their games last year. The Cowboys were fare-welled by thousands at Townsville airport in a jubilant frenzy of emotion.
PAT Richards has been cleared to play in tomorrow's NRL grand final against North Queensland, giving the Wests Tigers a huge boost on the eve of the decider.
A fitness test this morning will determine the grand final fate of giant Wests Tigers winger Pat Richards, with young flyer Shannon McDonnell poised to rekindle memories of another Tim Sheens selection stunt on the eve of the grand final.
JUST over three and a half years ago Tim Sheens was sacked by the North Queensland Cowboys, who believed his time as a coach in the NRL had come to an end.
BEING stripped of the captaincy is often a sign of the beginning of the end for a rugby league player.
IRELAND will take another step in their preparation for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup, when the Wolfhounds take on Wales in Dublin, for the final group game of the European Nations Cup. The game takes place on Saturday, 29 October 2005, at Terenure College RFC, kicking off at 2:30 p.m.
BOTH the New Zealand Residents and the New Zealand 16?s played against New South Wales Country today (Saturday 1 October 2005) at Wins Stadium in Wollongong in front of a great crowd.