THE Redcliffe Dolphins have won the Queensland Wizard Cup grand final with a stunning 27-6 victory over the Toowoomba Clydesdales at Suncorp Stadium this afternoon.The result defied form with the more experienced Redcliffe outfit being thrashed 56-22 by the star-studded Clydesdales just two weeks earlier in the major semi-final.Toowoomba opened the scoring when prop Ben Vaeau crashed over after just three minutes. The Dolphins struck back through half Marty Turner in the ninth minute before a number of disallowed tries made for a tight first half tussle. A try to Redcliffe fullback Ryan Cullen just before the break gave the Dolphins a 12-6 half time lead.The score remained unchanged until Queensland Player of the Year Mick Roberts [pictured] slotted a field goal in the 66th minute. Roberts was on hand again several minutes later when he put in a near perfect cross-field kick for centre Nick Emmett who offloaded to winger Rory Bromley to score in the corner.Trailing by 11 points, the minor premiers mounted a charge with Toowoomba forward Chris Muckert getting over the line, only to be thwarted by man-of-the match Roberts who was once again on the spot with a desperate one-on-one strip.Redcliffe drove home the advantage with Bromley getting a double before lock Mark Shipway added the icing in the final minutes for a comprehensive premiership-winning victory.Toowoomba Clydesdales 6Tries: Ben VaeauGoals: Nick Parfitt 1/1Redcliffe Dolphins 27Tries: Rory Bromley (2), Marty Turner, Ryan Cullen, Mark ShipwayGoals: Greg Bourke 3/5Venue: Suncorp StadiumReferee: Brett SuttorBy the clock:0 min: The sun has come out in Brisbane and its perfect football weather for this Queensland Cup grand final.Toowoomba kicking off...3 min: TRY ToowoombaFront rower Ben Vaeau hits the line hard and crashes through to post the first points of the afternoon. Fullback Nick Parfitt converts from right in front.Toowoomba 6-09 min: TRY RedcliffeHalfback Marty Turner at second receiver puts the step on Toowoomba back rower Greg Eastwood from 10m out and scores under the posts. Follows repeat sets at the Toowoomba line. Centre Greg Bourke converts and posts his 190th point for the season.6-all12 min: NO TRY Redcliffe denied by video ref after fullback Ryan Cullen runs through and stretches out to bouncing ball. He knocks it on but a good attempt.14 min: NO TRYRedcliffe denied again after winger Chris Giumelli touches down out wide. But the referee controversially calls back a forward pass.30 min: NO TRYToowoomba denied after centre Jamie Simpson is deemed to be held up. Toowoomba then knock on in the next play and Redcliffe survive over four repeat sets at their line.37 min: NO TRYRedcliffe denied after winger Rory Bromley brushes corner post while attempting a dusty put down.40 min: TRYRyan Cullen chimes in and dives over to score under the posts, giving the Dolphins the lead going onto the break. Bourke converts.Redcliffe 12-6Half time: Redcliffe 12-6Redcliffe perhaps the better team with more line breaks in the first half and numerous close calls for both sides. A thrilling Queensland Cup decider although both sides looking to lift a gear. This match is there for the taking!WEATHER UPDATE: Rain clouds closing in.Second half underway?50 min: WEATHER UPDATE: Rain has eased off.63 min: NO TRYRedcliffe denied after the referee rules held up. Toowoomba just hanging on and the Dolphins are right in this. Both teams getting close but neither able to finish off.66 min: FIELD GOAL RedcliffeProp forward Mick Roberts from 30m out and right in front puts the Dolphins seven points in front.Redcliffe 13-668 min: NEWSPenalty to Redcliffe after Toowoomba players are in front of the kicker at the restart. Penalties favour Redcliffe 7-270 min: TRY RedcliffeRory Bromley scores in the corner after Mick Roberts puts up a cross field bomb, which is taken beautifully by centre Nick Emmett who leaps high and then offloads to in the same movement to an unmarked Bromley. Bourke conversion attempt is online but doesn?t quite have the legs.Redcliffe 17-672 min: NO TRYToowoomba denied after forward Chris Muckert crashes over but Mick Roberts is on hand again to pull off a one-on-one strip over the line.75 min: TRY RedcliffeBromley gets a double after being set up by Emmett. Bourke unable to convert but its all over red rover. Bourke?s conversion attempt is unsuccessful.Redcliffe 21-676 min: NEWS Another error from the restart as Toowoomba kick out on the full.78 min: TRY RedcliffeLock forward Mark Shipway runs onto a pass from Roberts and scores next to the sticks as the Dolphins are carving them up. Bourke converts.Redcliffe 27-6Full time: Redcliffe 27 - Toowoomba 6A stunning finish with Redcliffe running riot in the closing stages. Coming into the grand final as underdogs, Redcliffe have turned around a 56-22 loss to Toowoomba in the major semi-final to come back two weeks later and claim the 2006 Queensland Wizard Cup premiership.------------------------------------------------LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the match:3 - Mick Roberts (Dolphins)2 - Ryan Cullen (Dolphins)1 - Greg Bourke (Dolphins)------------------------------------------------
LEEDS Rhinos and Catalans Dragons meet on Friday both hoping for an end-of-season boost.
ROOKIE scrum-half Michael Dobson will bid a fond farewell to Wigan Warriors on Friday after a fairytale first season in Super League, with a promise to return and finish his career in England.
IN ADDITION to Saturday's final of the QLD Wizard Cup and FOGS grades at Suncorp Stadium, regional grand finals will also be held this weekend in Townsville, Cairns and Ipswich.SATURDAYFOGS CUP* Grand Final: Burleigh v Tweed Heads, Suncorp Stadium, Saturday September 16, 11.50am.FOGS COLTS CHALLENGE* Grand Final: Norths v Wynnum Manly, Suncorp Stadium, Saturday September 16, 10.10am.QLD WIZARD CUP* Grand Final: Toowoomba v Redcliffe, Suncorp Stadium, Saturday September 16, 2pm.QLD WOMENS* Grand Final: Ipswich Brothers v Wests Centenary, Wildey St, Raceview, Saturday September 16, 4pm. (Schoolgirl ? City v Country, 2pm).GULF COMMUNITY LEAGUEFixture: Kowanyama Carnival, Kowanyama, Saturday September 16.KAIWALAGAL RL (Torres Strait)Preliminary Final: Dragons v Knights, Ken Brown Oval, Saturday September 16, 4pm.SUNDAYBENDIGO BANK PREMIERSHIP (Cairns)* Grand Final: Brothers v Innisfail, Barlow Park, Sunday September 17, 3pm (Reserves ? Ivanhoes v Innisfail, 1.30pm. Under 18 ? Atherton v Innisfail, 12pm. Under 16 ? Tully v Malanda, 10.30am).TOWNSVILLE DISTRICTS RL* Grand Final: Brothers v Herbert River, Townsville Sports Reserve, Sunday September 17, 3.30pm. (Reserves ? Herbert River v Brothers, 1.45pm. Under 19 ? Brothers v Charters Towers 12pm).QLD GROUP CUP (Ipswich)* Grand Final: Brothers v Norths, QLD Group Stadium, Sunday September 17, 3pm (Reserves ? Brothers v West End, 1.30pm. Under 18 ? Brothers v Fassifern, 12pm. C Grade ? Brothers v Rosewood, 10.30am.) WAGNER?S FIRST GRADE (Toowoomba)* Preliminary Final: Valleys v Goondiwindi, Clive Berghofer Stadium, Sunday September 17, 2.30pm.Source: qrl.com.au
TOOWOOMBA has been installed as firm favourite for tomorrow?s QLD Wizard Cup Grand Final at Suncorp Stadium, with Redcliffe paying $3 a win with TAB.
PAUL Stephenson is expected to beat Mitch Creary in the race to replace injured Manly centre Steve Bell for tonight's semi-final against St George Illawarra at Aussie Stadium.
DUMPED South Sydney coach Shaun McRae has accepted an offer to become the club's director of coaching and football operations for the next two seasons.
AND then there were two. Two teams left to contest the Lion Red Fox Memorial on Sunday at Mt Smart Stadium No 2. The Mt Albert lions, fresh from their weekend off, and the Papakura Sea Eagles, hot off their win over the Northcote Tigers last weekend.
NSWRL Jim Beam Cup Preliminary Final
Saturday, September 16th 2006
Newtown v Cabramatta
BRONCOS chief executive Bruno Cullen tonight confirmed Wayne Bennett would stay on as head coach until the end of the 2009 NRL season, scotching rumours that the long-time Brisbane mentor was heading for NRL rivals the Sydney Roosters.
VICHEALTH boss Rob Moodie has been appointed chairman of National Rugby League club Melbourne Storm.
NEWCASTLE'S Test second rower Steve Simpson has been ruled out of tomorrow's NRL semi-final against Brisbane at Aussie Stadium.
THIS weekend sees the final round of Superleague XI, and two pressing issues remain unsettled ? the order of fifth and sixth place for Salford and Warrington will determine first week play-off opponents, and of course the result of Wakefield v Castleford will determine which team is subject to relegation. Other teams will be hoping for either a good hit-out ahead of the important play-off games to follow, or for a positive end to a long season. Game on!Friday ? Wigan v Hull at JJB Stadium (televised)With Wigan successfully clear of the relegation tussle, home fans will be looking for a win against second placed Hull to give them some positives to take into the off-season. This will be the last game in Wigan colours for halfback Michael Dobson, Brett Dallas, Scott Logan and Wayne Godwin who are all joining other clubs next season, while the club will also acknowledge recently retired Kris Radlinski. Wigan lost against Harlequins last week by a point while Hull lost to Warrington and will be hoping to return to form before the play-offs. Hull are not resting any players from the squad, knowing that they have earned a week off and will play their next game in the Qualifying Semi-Final against St Helens. Tip: Could easily go either way? maybe Wigan?Friday ? Leeds v Catalans at HeadingleyThird placed Leeds host last placed Catalans as the French club aim to finish their debut season on a high note. The team has won eight games and mirrored the performance of many teams having previously made their first step into the elite division. However their Superleague future is secure only because of the exemption from relegation granted to them as an expansion club. Dragons winger Justin Murphy currently heads the try scoring table on 24 and will be hoping to add to his tally here. Catalans were beaten at home by Huddersfield last start, while Leeds were outclassed by competition leaders St Helens. Hoping to hit some form ahead of next week?s Elimination Play-Off against either Warrington or Salford, Leeds are without injured centre Chev Walker, with Danny McGuire again listed to make his comeback from shin injury. Tip: Leeds.Saturday ? Harlequins v Salford at Twickenham StoopSalford can make certain of fifth place and an Elimination Play-Off against Bradford next week with a win here in London. A loss opens up the chance that they might face Leeds next week instead. Either way it is the first time Salford have qualified for the Superleague Play-Offs, with their win last week over Castleford. Andy Coley, David Hodgson and Stuart Littler were the winners at the Salford awards night mid-week. Meanwhile Harlequins, fresh off their one point win over Wigan, take the field this week in the wake of the news that their CEO since 2002 Nic Cartwright is calling it a day, and prop Danny Williams is also retiring. Luke Dorn is Salford-bound next year, and with eight players yet to be re-signed a surprise win could be in the works here if the players want to impress and pitch in to send each other off in style.Tip: Could easily go either way, but you?d think Salford...Saturday ? Wakefield v Castleford at Atlantic Solutions Stadium (televised) This game is the focus of this weekend?s round and the result could influence the future of both clubs. Castleford have been there before, losing at home against Wakefield in 2004?s final round to end up relegated to National League One. Meanwhile Wakefield won National League One and promotion in 1998 and have been playing Superleague ever since. Under ex-Hull coach John Kear, Wakefield?s recent performances have improved as their quest to avoid the drop intensifies, and following last week?s surprise win over Bradford it all now comes down to this game. Castleford had a patch of strong form around July, but have recently have slid back down to danger culminating in last week?s loss to Salford. The past two years of effort by the Tigers to climb back and survive in Superleague now comes down to this one game ? will that motivation be enough? May the best team on the day win? Tip: Um, Wakefield?Sunday ? Warrington v St Helens at Halliwell Jones StadiumBy game time on Sunday Warrington will know whether their opponent in next week?s Elimination Play-Off has already been decided, or whether they can influence their post-season path. The Wolves have made the Play-Offs for the third time in four seasons, and having beaten second place Hull last week will be trying for the quinella by knocking off the leaders. They come up against a St Helens squad that has taken all before them this season, winning the Challenge Cup and topping the League ladder to earn next week off. The Saints will be looking to again display their dominance for all to see as we near the important stage of the season. Tip: St Helens.Sunday ? Huddersfield v Bradford at Galpharm StadiumSeventh placed Huddersfield are now safe from relegation following last week?s win over Catalans, but the Challenge Cup Finalists will be hoping to finish the season on a positive note with a final win at home, given that they cannot make the play-offs. Huddersfield will farewell Michael De Vere, Paul March, Jim Gannon, Wayne McDonald and Jon Grayshon, however the Giants are yet to win over fourth placed Bradford in Superleague. The Bulls will be looking to put in a performance worthy of reigning Champions following last week?s defeat at the hands of Wakefield, and Great Britain rep Paul Johnson returns to the squad for the first time since May.Tip: Maybe Bradford. Next week?s games:Friday 22 September 8pm - Elimination Play-Off 1 Leeds Rhinos v Warrington or Salford at Headingley(Third Place v Sixth Place)Saturday 23 September 6pm - Elimination Play Off 2Bradford Bulls v Salford or Warrington at Grattan Stadium(Fourth Place v Fifth Place) (St Helens and Hull FC continue through to the second week.)
THE Canterbury Bulls plan to keep it simple in the Bartercard Cup grand final on Monday night.The Bulls take on the Auckland Lions at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland in a repeat of the 2005 grand final.Last year Brian McClennan?s Lions snatched victory in the dying seconds of the game.But this time the Phil Prescott coached Bulls will be out to take the silverware back to Canterbury.?We?ve got to hold on to the ball,? Bulls second rower Jonny Limmer said.?If we can complete our sets and play the game down their end it?s going to be a good start for us.?Limmer was one of the stars in the Bulls? 30-6 win over the Tamaki Leopards in the elimination semi-final.?I just tried to do my part for the team - making sure I didn?t make any mistakes and hanging on to the ball when I got it,? he said.And he heaped praise on Canterbury?s young halves combination of Josh Reuben and Duane Wineti.?Our halves have been outstanding this year especially in their first year of Bartercard Cup,? he said.?They?ve been tremendous.?The Bulls were in impressive form against the Leopards making nine line breaks and nearly 2000 metres on the run in a clinical display of football.But they will need to bring their best to Mt Smart for Monday?s grand final.The Lions comprehensively beat Canterbury 27-14 in their quarter final clash two weeks ago.And the Auckland side will not be willing to give up the trophy without a fight.Monday night will be a great night for rugby league fans in Auckland and around the country.The game will be beamed into living rooms all over the country live and free-to-air on Maori Television while fans who make it to the ground will be entertained by Kiwi music sensation Che Fu, a fireworks display and the All Star Cheerleaders.And the grand final won?t be the only footy action on show. The Warriors? Allied Work Force elite development squad will be going up against the Bartercard Cup All-Stars in the curtain raiser.Admission to Mt Smart Stadium is free and everyone who comes to the game will be in with the chance to win Tri-Nations spot prizes and a chance to be in to win a lunch with the Kiwis.The curtain raiser kicks off at 6.15pm and the grand final gets under way at 8.20pm.AUCKLAND LIONS vs CANTERBURY BULLSMt Smart Stadium, Auckland, New ZealandMonday 18 September 2006 ? 8.20pm Kick Off* LIVE & FREE-TO-AIR ON MAORI TELEVISION *AUCKLAND LIONS:PAUL FISI?IAHIMALOFOU SOLOMONAMIGUEL STARTHARRY AONGAROWAN BAXTERSTEVE BUCKINGHAM (C)KELVIN WRIGHTJULIAN O?NEILLREGAN WIGGSHANNON STOWERSPALETASALA ALEFABIAN SOUTERWAYNE McDADELEE WETHERILLWILLIAM SORENSONSIONE POUHADYLAN DAVISCoach - BRIAN McCLENNANManagement:BRENT GEMMELLPETER LAVEANIGEL RATTRAYMARK DENNISSTEPHANIE MARRCANTERBURY BULLS:LUSI SIONESCOTT HURRELLDONAVAN AITKENLEE FIDOWLUCAS TAMAKAHAJOSH REUBENDUANE WINETIVINCE WHARESHANE BEYERS (C)ALEX TIMOJONNY LIMMERDANIEL METCALFCOREY LAWRIEGARETH COOKBLAKE MILNERROSS TURILOUIS FANENECLINTON FRASERCoach - PHILIP PRESCOTTManagement:DARRYL COADDAVE PERKINSBRUCE MILNEANDY WIHARESTEVE WOODReferee: CRAIG PASCOETouch Judges: ARTHUR CLARK & AARON KESHA
VODAFONE Warriors captain Steve Price edged fullback Brent Webb to become the second prop in successive seasons to win the club?s most coveted annual award last night.