Kiwis going for back-to-back titles

NEW Zealand coach Brian McClennan says winning back-to-back Tri-Nations rugby league titles would rank among the country's all-time greatest sporting achievements.

Turner to meet with NRL

DEFIANT Melbourne winger Steve Turner will meet with NRL boss David Gallop on Wednesday to present his side of the story in the bitter tug-of-war for his services between the Gold Coast Titans and the Storm.

Union clutching at straws, again...

UNION has once again borrowed League to get a backpage with reports they intend to have another lash at League?s best backline stars following the 2007 World Cup.

Rupert McCall's Tribute to the 2006 Dolphins

RENOWNED poet Rupert McCall grew up on the Redcliffe Peninsula with stories passed down from father Kerry, of the feats on the football field of the Dolphins of the 1960's like Kevin Yow Yeh, Des Webb, Henry Holloway and a young Arthur Beetson. With Red and White blood running through his veins Rupert would trek off down to Dolphin Oval as a youngster to cheer on his heroes growing up the likes of Bunny Pearce, Tony Obst, Peter Leis, Bobby Jones and Ian Thinee.Today Rupert is still as passionate as ever about his Redcliffe Dolphins and still makes the trek down to Dolphin Oval to watch his beloved Dolphins run around. But now it's just not Rupert and his dad that make that trip Rupert is introducing his children to the joys of a day on the hills at Dolphin Oval.At the Clubs presentation night this year Rupert recited this tribute to the 2006 Queensland Cup Premiers.They stood and delivered together ? they took to the paddock as oneThe Cow out in front like an axe man with a sense of what had to be done The species that followed behind him had that brave undeniable lookEquipped with the words of the guru ? the man that would answer to ?Hook? The months and the hours of training ? one last eighty minutes of workThere was Fluggie and Greenie and Shippie and ?The Mitchell Assassin? D BurkeWith a mighty investment of shoulder in and a personal passionate stakeThe Clydies ? they thought that they had it when they scored from the earliest breakFor to think - just a fortnight before this, the dithering Dolphin was smashedAnd they might have been planning the party?but the party was soon to be crashed!When a magical face ball found Turner and he dotted it down near the sticksHe thanked God and also the physio, for giving his hammie the fixThe game was about to ask questions?and only the brave can defineSet after set they attacked us, but we wouldn?t surrender our lineAnd then in the shadow of oranges, a taste of the pots we?d be skullin?The playmaking genius of Roberts found the blistering figure of CullenA sprinkle of side-stepping Pepper ? a pat on the nude shiny headAnd Snuffy, you?ll go down in folklore as a champion player in redThe chapters of courage continued ? a second half cyclone blew gnarlyThe boys made a wish on the tackle of Fish and the impact of Tex and of ParlieThe lovers of league at the Stadium and those who sat glued to their tellySaw the Fox and the Weasel combining to give space to the flying GuimelliBut the game it remained in the balance, though the field goal provided some spaceIt wasn?t til Emmett Cazaly put the nail of the coffin in placeLike a cattle dog catching a Frisbee then to Bromley ? you beauty! Amen! And to prove that it wasn?t an instance of arse, they freakishly did it again When Shippie completed the carve up ? the Dolphin brigade went berserk With the hair of a Trojan Adonis, then the extras were added by BourkeThe same way he?d done it all season ? the sum of all sailors on deck Through the efforts of big Paddy Gardner ? of Kane and of Simmo and ShrekWith Slugger & all the support staff ? through the good and the bad times, they hung?Cheers boys here we are from Redcliffe? ? the song, once again, will be sung!And you think that?s the end of the story? But it isn?t the end ? not by farAs the Fins left the paddock together ? there was one unforgettable StarrHis family proud in the grandstand ? they would have been win, lose or drawBut Starry you earnt what was coming ? and I know you?ll remember the roarWhen Cowboy took hold of that trophy ? the strength of the memory sticksAnd he raised it in glory and honour for THE FINS OF TWO THOUSAND AND SIX!For more information on Rupert including some of his past works like the patriotic Green and Gold Malaria and his moving tribute to Steve Irwin you can log onto his website www.rupertmccall.com.au or you can hear him on radio nightly from 6.00 to 8.00pm on the Sports Today program he co-hosts with Rod Tiley on 4BC 1116am in Brisbane.

Police yet to decide on Dragons fate

POLICE will today interview a newspaper photographer to determine whether St George Illawarra winger Wes Naiqama is to face charges of driving while disqualified.

Hull KR prepare to KO Superleague

HULL KR will embark this month on one of the greatest challenges in the world of Rugby League ? to stay in Superleague after promotion.

Aussies defeat gallant Lions in Game VI

TRI-NATIONS Game 6 Australia 33 v Great Britain 10at Suncorp StadiumReferee: Paul SimpkinsMatch Summary:Before a crowd of 44,358, Australia has defeated Great Britain by 33-10 in the final Tri-Nations round robin match, ending the game with one of the most memorable tries in Test Match history.The early signs were ominous for the Lions as Australia skipped away to a 12-nil lead after seven minutes through tries to Hodges and Gasnier.The scores remained that way until the 29th minute when the Poms scored through a bizarre turn of events which began with Thurston stripping Ellis of possession, sending the ball some 20 metres towards the Australian line.A mix-up between Hindmarsh and Hunt saw the ball toed through by the Brits with McGuire regathering and sprinting 40 metres to score out wide.Australia then took what was to be a match-winning lead close to halftime, with Hunt scoring after some ad-lob footy close to the line.The Aussies scored again just after the break with Lockyer performing a simple run-around with O?Meley to stretch the lead to 22-4. At this stage the Poms pulled up their socks and dug in for a battle in the forwards, with noted improvement in the forwards bringing them back into the game.The hard work paid off when Senior took a nifty short ball from Hock close to the line and brought the scores back to 22-10.The game then ebbed-and-flowed with each side showing strong defence to hold out the other. With some pressure mounting Lockyer snapped a field goal in the 73rd minute to put the game beyond doubt and four minutes later Tupou was over out wide courtesy of a short ball from Thurston.With the scores at 29-10 and not much doing, the Poms mounted one more challenge to the Aussie line, throwing caution to the wind with several lofty passes before the ball found its? way to Raynor on the flank.He came in-field and tried to chip to the line, but it went too short and Hindmarsh cleaned it up, setting in motion an amazing sequence of events.Hindmarsh offloaded to Smith who found Lockyer out wide. The Aussie captain took off down the left flank before passing inside to Hunt who has no support, so he kicks a wobbly one back in-field to find Tate lurking. He fields the ball about 35 metres out and sets off for the line. Ellis gave a great chase for the Lions and collared him close to the line, but Tate managed to score in the corner.It was an amazing try that sent the crowd wild and brought back memories of Coyne?s match-winning try for Queensland in 1994.The scoreline of 33-10 doesn?t accurately reflect the commitment and gusto with which Great Britain played. The Poms were very good tonight but just lacked a little more organisation in the halves. They made several breaks through the forwards, proving they had the muscle up front to penetrate the Aussie pack.Great Britain now head home after failing to make the final, which will now be played between Australia and New Zealand next week in Sydney.A footnote to tonight?s game was the excellent crowd in Brisbane, following on from their strong turnout in this year?s ANZAC Test. Tonight?s crowd was the highest recorded figure in Australia for a Rugby League International since 1974, proving the game is well and truly alive at this level.Tri-Nations web site - news, results, teams and history > click here Scorers:Australia: 33Tries: Darren Lockyer, Brent Tate, Mark Gasnier, Karmichael Hunt, Justin Hodges, Anthony TupouGoals: Johnathan Thurston 4/6Field Goals: Darren LockyerGreat Britain: 10Tries: Keith Senior, Danny McGuireGoals: Paul Wellens 1/1By the Clock:Nice evening up here in Brisbane as the Lions start warming up on the field to a chorus of boo's.Both teams are as per the program and the crowd is building nicely.The situation is - if Great Britain win or draw tonight, they are in the final against Australia next week. If they lose, they go home.Both sides lining up for the National Anthems.1 min: NEWS Lockyer gets us underway, the kick went deep, Fielden brought it back and the contest is very physical from the outset.3 min: NEWS Three penalties blown by Simpkins already. Aussies have good field position.4 min: TRY AustraliaThe Kangaroos open the scoring with a simple cross-field grubber from Lockyer under the sticks and the Lions are caught napping. Hodges swoops on the ball to score and Thurston converts. Australia 6-06 min: NEWS A big break down te eastern flank from Hodges and Inglis.7 min: TRY AustraliaThe ball moves to the right and Gasnier finds his way to the line despite stumbling a little in the lead up, with Lockyer again involved. Thurston curls it in from the sideline to add the extra. Australia 12-012 min: NEWS Thurston tries a cheeky chip kick and it goes out on the full. The Lions are just hanging on here.13 min: NEWS Gleeson comes up with a kick and regather that nearly results in a try. It's the most enterprising play we've seen from the visitors so far.16 min: NEWS Fielden's copped it again, this time from Hindmarsh.18 min: NEWS The Brits are actually promoting the ball well. Morley and Roby are now on and the Poms look a little better. Hunt has been forced in goal.20 min: NEWS Hunt has been forced in goal again with the Poms starting to mount some good pressure here. The Aussie defence is swarming.22 min: NEWS Lions grubber goes dead this time but the game has turned into a real contest.25 min: NEWS Another break from Gasnier results in the Kangaroos first handling error, as a flick pass from the Dragons centre is fumbled by Tate.29 min: TRY Great BritainThe British are in with a bizarre try. Thurston disposessed Ellis with the ball going almost 20m towards the Australian line. McGuire toed it through and scored out wide. He failed with the conversion though. Australia 12-432 min: TRY AustraliaHunt is in as the Aussies hit back straight away. A bit of confusion close to the line sees the ball juggled between Lockyer to O'Meley, who then finds his fullback lurking close to the line. Thurston converts and the Aussies are dominating again. Australia 18-435 min: NEWS The Pommies put their clearing kick out on the full.38 min: NEWS Some good attack from the Poms. A break and another half chance put them down in the Aussie territory, but Lockyer saved the day.40 min: NEWS Halftime: A late chace for the Poms goes astray but they've been showing some positive signs in the past 25 minutes or so. If it wasn't for Hunt's try they would be well and truly in this one, but the Brits need to score three times to take the lead, which looks a difficult task in this game.As for the Aussies, they need to regroup a bit and refocus on attacking footy. Their defence has been exposed a few times as well, so that needs to be tightened up as well.I think the Poms will give them a bit of a run for their money, but ultimately the Aussies should prevail.41 min: NEWS Wellens kicks out on the full from the restart. Not what they were looking for...42 min: TRY AustraliaA simple run around play by Lockyer with O'Meley produces Australia's first try of the second half. The Poms would be shattered right now. Thurston hits the post with a relatively simple kick. Australia 22-444 min: NEWS This time Wellens puts it down the middle and Hodges knocks-on. Great Britain in good field position.46 min: NEWS A massive break from Gasnier finds Tate on the outside who is run down and put into touch by an excellent tackle from Raynor.51 min: NEWS Plenty of back and forth play here. 52 min: NEWS Hunt puts his foot on the line as he's on the way to scoring a try. Hunt is now in the blood bin with a savage cut to the head.59 min: TRY Great BritainThe Lions have scored through Senior who took a great offload from Hock close to the line. He brought it around well and they're back in the contest. Wellens adds the extras. Australia 22-1064 min: NEWS Crowd: 44,358. Highest Test Match crowd in Australia since 1974.64 min: NEWS Pryce leaves the field with a leg injury as the Poms enjoy some good posession.70 min: NEWS There's still some life in the Old Dart but the clock is against them.73 min: FIELD GOAL AustraliaLockyer pots a field goal from about 30m out to secure victory for the Aussies. Australia 23-1077 min: TRY AustraliaTupou scores his first try for Australia after hitting a gap and Thurston delivering a sweet ball. He did well to finish it off. Thurston kicks a neat one from the sideline. Australia 29-1080 min: TRY AustraliaYou've got to see the vision of this one. Raynor tries to chip ahead on the last play for the Poms, but Hindmarsh gathers the ball and gives it to Smith who offloads to Lockyer. The Aussie captain takes off down the left flank before passing inside to Hunt who has no support, so he kicks a wobbly one back in field to find Tate lurking. He fields the ball about 35m out and sets off for the line. Ellis gave a great chase for the Lions and collared him close to the line, but Tate managed to score in the corner. Thurston just fails from the sideline as the crowd goes absolutely wild. Australia 33-10-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Darren Lockyer2 - Johnathan Thurston1 - Mark Gasnier-----------------------------------------

Aussies defeat gallant Lions in Game VI

TRI-NATIONS Game 6 Australia 33 v Great Britain 10at Suncorp StadiumReferee: Paul SimpkinsMatch Summary:Before a crowd of 44,358, Australia has defeated Great Britain by 33-10 in the final Tri-Nations round robin match, ending the game with one of the most memorable tries in Test Match history.The early signs were ominous for the Lions as Australia skipped away to a 12-nil lead after seven minutes through tries to Hodges and Gasnier.The scores remained that way until the 29th minute when the Poms scored through a bizarre turn of events which began with Thurston stripping Ellis of possession, sending the ball some 20 metres towards the Australian line.A mix-up between Hindmarsh and Hunt saw the ball toed through by the Brits with McGuire regathering and sprinting 40 metres to score out wide.Australia then took what was to be a match-winning lead close to halftime, with Hunt scoring after some ad-lob footy close to the line.The Aussies scored again just after the break with Lockyer performing a simple run-around with O?Meley to stretch the lead to 22-4. At this stage the Poms pulled up their socks and dug in for a battle in the forwards, with noted improvement in the forwards bringing them back into the game.The hard work paid off when Senior took a nifty short ball from Hock close to the line and brought the scores back to 22-10.The game then ebbed-and-flowed with each side showing strong defence to hold out the other. With some pressure mounting Lockyer snapped a field goal in the 73rd minute to put the game beyond doubt and four minutes later Tupou was over out wide courtesy of a short ball from Thurston.With the scores at 29-10 and not much doing, the Poms mounted one more challenge to the Aussie line, throwing caution to the wind with several lofty passes before the ball found its? way to Raynor on the flank.He came in-field and tried to chip to the line, but it went too short and Hindmarsh cleaned it up, setting in motion an amazing sequence of events.Hindmarsh offloaded to Smith who found Lockyer out wide. The Aussie captain took off down the left flank before passing inside to Hunt who has no support, so he kicks a wobbly one back in-field to find Tate lurking. He fields the ball about 35 metres out and sets off for the line. Ellis gave a great chase for the Lions and collared him close to the line, but Tate managed to score in the corner.It was an amazing try that sent the crowd wild and brought back memories of Coyne?s match-winning try for Queensland in 1994.The scoreline of 33-10 doesn?t accurately reflect the commitment and gusto with which Great Britain played. The Poms were very good tonight but just lacked a little more organisation in the halves. They made several breaks through the forwards, proving they had the muscle up front to penetrate the Aussie pack.Great Britain now head home after failing to make the final, which will now be played between Australia and New Zealand next week in Sydney.A footnote to tonight?s game was the excellent crowd in Brisbane, following on from their strong turnout in this year?s ANZAC Test. Tonight?s crowd was the highest recorded figure in Australia for a Rugby League International since 1974, proving the game is well and truly alive at this level.Tri-Nations web site - news, results, teams and history > click here Scorers:Australia: 33Tries: Darren Lockyer, Brent Tate, Mark Gasnier, Karmichael Hunt, Justin Hodges, Anthony TupouGoals: Johnathan Thurston 4/6Field Goals: Darren LockyerGreat Britain: 10Tries: Keith Senior, Danny McGuireGoals: Paul Wellens 1/1By the Clock:Nice evening up here in Brisbane as the Lions start warming up on the field to a chorus of boo's.Both teams are as per the program and the crowd is building nicely.The situation is - if Great Britain win or draw tonight, they are in the final against Australia next week. If they lose, they go home.Both sides lining up for the National Anthems.1 min: NEWS Lockyer gets us underway, the kick went deep, Fielden brought it back and the contest is very physical from the outset.3 min: NEWS Three penalties blown by Simpkins already. Aussies have good field position.4 min: TRY AustraliaThe Kangaroos open the scoring with a simple cross-field grubber from Lockyer under the sticks and the Lions are caught napping. Hodges swoops on the ball to score and Thurston converts. Australia 6-06 min: NEWS A big break down te eastern flank from Hodges and Inglis.7 min: TRY AustraliaThe ball moves to the right and Gasnier finds his way to the line despite stumbling a little in the lead up, with Lockyer again involved. Thurston curls it in from the sideline to add the extra. Australia 12-012 min: NEWS Thurston tries a cheeky chip kick and it goes out on the full. The Lions are just hanging on here.13 min: NEWS Gleeson comes up with a kick and regather that nearly results in a try. It's the most enterprising play we've seen from the visitors so far.16 min: NEWS Fielden's copped it again, this time from Hindmarsh.18 min: NEWS The Brits are actually promoting the ball well. Morley and Roby are now on and the Poms look a little better. Hunt has been forced in goal.20 min: NEWS Hunt has been forced in goal again with the Poms starting to mount some good pressure here. The Aussie defence is swarming.22 min: NEWS Lions grubber goes dead this time but the game has turned into a real contest.25 min: NEWS Another break from Gasnier results in the Kangaroos first handling error, as a flick pass from the Dragons centre is fumbled by Tate.29 min: TRY Great BritainThe British are in with a bizarre try. Thurston disposessed Ellis with the ball going almost 20m towards the Australian line. McGuire toed it through and scored out wide. He failed with the conversion though. Australia 12-432 min: TRY AustraliaHunt is in as the Aussies hit back straight away. A bit of confusion close to the line sees the ball juggled between Lockyer to O'Meley, who then finds his fullback lurking close to the line. Thurston converts and the Aussies are dominating again. Australia 18-435 min: NEWS The Pommies put their clearing kick out on the full.38 min: NEWS Some good attack from the Poms. A break and another half chance put them down in the Aussie territory, but Lockyer saved the day.40 min: NEWS Halftime: A late chace for the Poms goes astray but they've been showing some positive signs in the past 25 minutes or so. If it wasn't for Hunt's try they would be well and truly in this one, but the Brits need to score three times to take the lead, which looks a difficult task in this game.As for the Aussies, they need to regroup a bit and refocus on attacking footy. Their defence has been exposed a few times as well, so that needs to be tightened up as well.I think the Poms will give them a bit of a run for their money, but ultimately the Aussies should prevail.41 min: NEWS Wellens kicks out on the full from the restart. Not what they were looking for...42 min: TRY AustraliaA simple run around play by Lockyer with O'Meley produces Australia's first try of the second half. The Poms would be shattered right now. Thurston hits the post with a relatively simple kick. Australia 22-444 min: NEWS This time Wellens puts it down the middle and Hodges knocks-on. Great Britain in good field position.46 min: NEWS A massive break from Gasnier finds Tate on the outside who is run down and put into touch by an excellent tackle from Raynor.51 min: NEWS Plenty of back and forth play here. 52 min: NEWS Hunt puts his foot on the line as he's on the way to scoring a try. Hunt is now in the blood bin with a savage cut to the head.59 min: TRY Great BritainThe Lions have scored through Senior who took a great offload from Hock close to the line. He brought it around well and they're back in the contest. Wellens adds the extras. Australia 22-1064 min: NEWS Crowd: 44,358. Highest Test Match crowd in Australia since 1974.64 min: NEWS Pryce leaves the field with a leg injury as the Poms enjoy some good posession.70 min: NEWS There's still some life in the Old Dart but the clock is against them.73 min: FIELD GOAL AustraliaLockyer pots a field goal from about 30m out to secure victory for the Aussies. Australia 23-1077 min: TRY AustraliaTupou scores his first try for Australia after hitting a gap and Thurston delivering a sweet ball. He did well to finish it off. Thurston kicks a neat one from the sideline. Australia 29-1080 min: TRY AustraliaYou've got to see the vision of this one. Raynor tries to chip ahead on the last play for the Poms, but Hindmarsh gathers the ball and gives it to Smith who offloads to Lockyer. The Aussie captain takes off down the left flank before passing inside to Hunt who has no support, so he kicks a wobbly one back in field to find Tate lurking. He fields the ball about 35m out and sets off for the line. Ellis gave a great chase for the Lions and collared him close to the line, but Tate managed to score in the corner. Thurston just fails from the sideline as the crowd goes absolutely wild. Australia 33-10-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Darren Lockyer2 - Johnathan Thurston1 - Mark Gasnier-----------------------------------------

Game VI Preview: Australia v Great Britain

THE final clash of the 2006 Tri Nations competition is upon us, to be staged at Brisbane?s Suncorp Stadium between the Roo?s and the Old Dart.

Late mail on Game VI

GREAT Britain coach Brian Noble has finalised his bench for his side's must-win Tri Nations rugby league clash against Australia at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

Long rules out touring again

ST Helens scrum-half Sean Long has ruled out touring with Great Britain again and may turn his back on international rugby altogether.

Is Union about to raid League again?

AS the Wallabies continue to bumble and fumble their way through Europe, it is hardly surprising there is speculation the Australian Rugby Union will again try to "raid" rugby league to boost its player ranks.It is therefore somewhat surprising that yesterday?s conference of NRL coaches and senior players (with the usual exception of Wayne Bennett) seems to have discussed just about everything except how any raid would be repelled.Two weeks ago, Daily Telegraph Union writer, Peter Jenkins, said it was "time to raid the NRL again", and the Wallabies fortunes have hardly improved since then.The 2006 "raid" hardly proved to be spectacularly successful ? Clinton Schifcofske left the Canberra Raiders to join the Queensland Reds rugby team, but he did turn 31 last week.And the Roosters' Ryan Cross switched codes to join the Western Force, but during an eight-year rugby league career he made just one representative team, the City side playing in Origin trial matches.The raid on Mark Gasnier did not succeed, nor did the earlier attempt to snare Andrew Johns.But the NRL, and its 16 clubs, should not be complacent. Rugby union is apparently not short of cash, and when you look at the Wallabies' performance this year, the ARU will be under enormous pressure to open its purse.If that does not concern the NRL then it should.Despite the new television agreement with Nine, most NRL clubs are not particularly flash financially. But a handful would be able to match a serious offer from the ARU for a top player.That is unless the NRL came to the party, as it did ? through PBL Ltd ? when Andrew Johns was being tempted to switch codes.It is a subject the NRL and the clubs seem reluctant to address, because it inevitably raises questions about the issue most don?t want to talk about ? the salary cap.The ARU surely knows that. And it is why Peter Jenkins might get his wish sooner rather than later.And it is one reason why the Gold Coast Titans' prospects ? or any other club?s prospects ? of securing a return to rugby league by Lote Tuqiri (the most successful convert in the modern era) are not much better than zero!

Riding The Bandwagon

IT?S been an up and down year for us Bandwagon fans, following the greatest game of all. It?s been a year of heartbreak, embarrassment and fleeting success. We?ve toiled hard trying to find the right team to support, followed their ups, disowned them in their downs, and then rejoiced when they rose again.

The Immortal Brian Bevan

NATHAN Hindmarsh is a player who is renowned for his ungainly appearance. Having established himself as a stalwart for Parramatta, New South Wales and eventually Australia, he often leaves pundits wondering how he keeps going like he does. He looks out of shape, overweight and is a perennial sufferer of the dreaded ?plumber?s crack?. He?s even been aptly described as having a ?sway gut and funny bum?. Yet he almost always seems to be the first defender on the scene when there?s a break, the first player rushing up on a field goal attempt, and the least likely candidate for a replacement.

A Team Mate's Letter To The Prodigal Son

A Team Mate?s Letters to the Prodigal Son?

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