THE Sydney Roosters have released assistant coach Shane Flanagan of his role at the NRL club from the end of this season.
MANLY has named injured halfback Matt Orford for its crucial game with Melbourne on Saturday. Orford injured his knee in Friday's win over the Bulldogs but will play in the match, which the Sea Eagles need to win to ensure a top four finish and home final.
CRONULLA centre Ben Pomeroy will risk missing two matches when he contests his grade one contrary conduct charge at the NRL judiciary tomorrow night.
EVERGREEN Dolphins prop Troy Lindsay will endeavour to achieve the 300-match landmark.
Already the holder of the most number of first grade appearances with 263 matches up before the semi-final showdown with the Young Guns, Lindsay, 33, shows no signs of tiring.
He has made it known he wants to play on for at least next season and most probably the following season.
By the time he bows out at the end of the 2008 season, the durable front-rower would have reached the magic 300 number ... barring a loss of form or injuries.
But given his outstanding performances this season, climaxing in selection for the Queensland Residents, it is hard to imagine the red and whites without the farmer from Wamuran.
Affectionately known to team-mates and opponents alike as "Cow", Lindsay achieved his record-equalling 261st game at Dolphin Oval on July 30 against Souths-Logan. Centre Peter Leis created the long-standing 261 mark in his Redcliffe reign in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.
The following weekend Lindsay owned the record single-handedly after turning out against the Young Guns.
"I'm enjoying my football more than ever, probably because I'm aware each season could be my last," he said.
"To get up there with the likes of Peter, Obsty and Benno is something I'm very proud of ... they were really big names in Brisbane and Queensland football.
"There's a lot of tradition at Redcliffe."
Although he has been part of four Queensland Cup triumphs for the Dolphins, Lindsay said the persona highlight was winning the Brisbane premiership in 1994.
The Dolphins beat Wests 24-18, only their second Brisbane grand final win.
'I was a young bloke in my first year in the top grade and it was 29 years since we had won," he said.
"That was great but I've appreciated all the things that have happened during my time at Redcliffe."
1994 was the year Lindsay came closest to taking up an offer with an NRL club.
"St George coach Brian Smith spoke to me a few times but I decided to stay put," he said.
"I've had a few offers over the years, but that was the closest I came to leaving."
WAY back in April my first column appeared in the Redcliffe Leagues News.I devoted the opening item to the Young Guns and about how they were the team to beat for this year's Queensland Cup.I quote: "The Townsville side is choc-a-block with talent and the fact they're so hard to beat at Dairy Farmers Stadium makes them a virtual certainty for the top five."How true were those words as we found out to our cost last month. The Young Guns are still the side everyone has to climb over to claim the silverware.As a club we set our sights on the Dolphins making the top five, which we have done, with a preference for a top three spot and two bites in the finals.We achieved the top three berth with ease, however it was disappointing not to snare a home final.With the Clydesdales beating the Young Guns in the final premiership match, we faced the Young Guns in Townsville for the right to met Toowoomba for entry into the grand final.A loss to the Young Guns will see us take on the winner of the No 4 and No 5 showdown.Beating the Young Guns on their dunghill is a big assignment, but we have achieved that before and we are not intimidated by the trip.The coming month shapes as an exciting for our players, coaching staff and club as we attempt to bring the Cup back to the Peninsula.OUR second-rower Danny Burke has racked up a remarkable achievement in a truly short time.Danny played his 150th fixture against Tweed last month after only six seasons with the Dolphins.CEO James Hinchey produced statistics which showed Danny plays 22 games a season, a great testament to his toughness and fitness.He might be inching towards the veteran class however Danny seems to be getting better with age.He is a coach's dream as he listens to instructions, works hard on his game and is never a worry.And all this from a forward who works hard each day as a carpenter with Q-Build. He possesses strong mental instincts to ignore niggling injuries and still play 50-60 minutes a match.His fellow forwards Troy Lindsay and Grant Flugge have similar characteristics and make coaching somewhat of an easier assignment.UNFORTUNATELY our A grade bowed out last month.Despite their final mid-table position, this season produced a lot of positives with Dom Fallini, Chris Jelich and Pat McGill playing Premier League this season.Dom, Scott Gillis and Mitchell Simpson have been added to our 23-strong squad for the top side's finals campaign.It was tremendous that we were able to bring on a number of junior products through into this side and it augurs well for the future.Grant Cleal also deserves praise because whenever any of his charges were brought into the top side they played up to the mark and you can't ask for more than that.On a sad note, former premiership player Matt Anderton has retired.The club wishes him well as he has been a great servant and a great contributor to the success of Dolphin Oval.In good news for the club, our Colts finished in the top two and will figure in the finals yet again.Coach Matt Wood has done a fine job in blending juniors with recruits to compete against sides with NRL links and recruitment systems.They have had a great season and only just missed out on the minor premiership.It would be fantastic to see four or five of them force their way into A grade next season as it's important to have our under 19s feeding through our senior system.Anthony Griffin
PARRAMATTA has good news on the injury front with Test star Timana Tahu possibly back for the second week of the finals. Tahu injured his knee in the State of Origin decider on July 5 and thought he'd miss the rest of the year.
FORMER New Zealand Warriors coach Daniel Anderson is looming as the man most likely to replace the sacked Ricky Stuart at the Sydney Roosters next season.
THE final game of the first week of the finals for NZ's Bartercard Cup was played last night at Mt Smart Stadium with Tamaki Leopards up against Counties Manakau Jetz.
THIS week we have three real bone-crunching issues to stick our teeth into. First and foremost, the Roosters? decision to sack coach Ricky Stuart. Also, the drugs debate with North Queensland?s Mitchell Sargent receiving the grim news that his contract was to be torn up after testing positive to cocaine use, and the demise of the Cronulla Sharks who seem to have gone missing in action for the last eight weeks. But we?ll start with the dramas at Bondi.
AUSTRALIAN rugby league coach Ricky Stuart has lost his job as head coach of the Sydney Roosters, the club announced this afternoon.
LATEST scores and scheduling for major Queensland Rugby League competitions. >>MAJOR COMPETITIONSQLD WIZARD CUPElimination Final: Easts 12 d Tweed Heads 4.Qualifying Final: Redcliffe 22 d North Queensland 8.Final Standings: Toowoomba 32, North Queensland 30, Redcliffe 28, Tweed Heads 22, Easts 22, Burleigh 21, Norths 17, Central 15, Wynnum Manly 13, Souths Logan 12, Ipswich 8.Finals: Minor Semi ? North Queensland v Easts, Dairy Farmers Stadium, Friday September 1, 5.30pm. Major Semi ? Toowoomba v Redcliffe, Clive Berghofer Stadium, Saturday September 2, 2pm.QLD WOMENSRound 19: Wests Mitchelton 24 d Wests Centenary 18.Standings: Ipswich Brothers 31, Wests Centenary 24, Wests Mitchelton 16, Caboolture 5Finals: Minor Semi ? Wests Mitchelton v Caboolture, Davies Park, West End, Saturday September 2, 4pm. Major Semi ? Ipswich Brothers v Wests Centenary, QLD Group Stadium, Sunday September 3, 4.30pm.ARRIVE ALIVE CUPNational Semi: Keebra Park SHS v St Dominic?s Penrith, Dairy Farmers Stadium, Friday September 1, 4.15pm.>>> SOUTH EAST DIVISIONFOGS CUPElimination Final: Souths Logan 28 d Wynnum Manly 24.Qualifying Final: Burleigh 36 d Easts 12.Final Standings: Tweed Heads 35, Easts 26, Burleigh 25, Wynnum Manly 25, Souths Logan 24, Sunshine Coast 22, Redcliffe 17, Norths 16, Ipswich 12, Aspley 10, Western Districts 8. Finals: Minor Semi ? Easts v Souths Logan, Langlands Park, Saturday September 2, 3pm. Major Semi ? Tweed Heads v Burleigh, Piggabeen Complex, Sunday September 3, 3pm.FOGS COLTS CHALLENGEElimination Final: Wynnum Manly 62 d Aspley 8.Qualifying Final: Redcliffe 46 d Easts 16.Final Standings: Norths 32, Redcliffe 30, Easts 28, Aspley 24, Wynnum Manly 22, Tweed Heads 22, Souths Logan 19, Burleigh 17, Western Districts 11, Ipswich 10, Sunshine Coast 5. Finals: Minor Semi ? Easts v Wynnum Manly, Langlands Park, Saturday September 2, 1.15pm. Major Semi ? Norths v Redcliffe, Piggabeen Complex, Sunday September 3, 1.15pm.XXXX BRISBANE SECOND DIVISIONNORTHSIDE ONEMinor Semi: Fortitude Valley Juniors 14 d Samford 10.Major Semi: Dayboro 22 d Banyo 16.Final Standings: Dayboro 31, Banyo 25, Fortitude Valley Juniors 23, Samford 21, Pine Rivers 20, Sandgate Brighton Gaters 19, Aspley Demons 15, Northside Natives 10, Brook Sharks 9, Northern Suburbs Juniors 7.Preliminary Final: Banyo v Fortitude Valleys Juniors, Davies Park, West End, Saturday September 2, 2.30pm.SOUTHSIDE ONEMinor Semi: Greenbank 20 d Wests Inala 18.Major Semi: Carina 30 d St Brendans 24.Final Standings: St Brendans 32, Carina 32, Wests Inala 25, Greenbank 25, Mt Gravatt 20, Wynnum Manly Juniors 10, Capalaba Juniors 6, Logan Brothers 0.Preliminary Final: St Brendans v Greenbank, Davies Park, West End, Saturday September 2, 12.45pm.NORTHSIDE TWOMinor Semi: Northern Raiders 30 d Normanby 28.Major Semi: Mitchelton 34 d Ferny Grove 18.Final Standings: Mitchelton 40, Ferny Grove 38, Normanby 36, Northern Raiders 28, Arana Hills 27, Deception Bay Bombers 26, Deception Bay Juniors 24, Aspley Demons 17, Fortitude Valley Juniors 12, Pine Central Holy Spirit 10, Burpengary 6.Preliminary Final: Ferny Grove v Northern Raiders, Davies Park, West End, Saturday September 2, 11am.SOUTHSIDE TWOGrand Final: Rochedale 19 d Beenleigh Juniors 18.Final Standings: Rochedale 36, Beenleigh Juniors 32, Sunnybank 30, Logan Brothers 29, Redlands 18, Bears 12, Carina 11. SOUTHSIDE THREEGrand Final: Slacks Creek 22 d St Brendans 20.Final Standings: St Brendans 34, Slacks Creek 31, Logan Wanderers 30, Beenleigh Juniors 21, Rochedale 18, Wynnum Manly Juniors 16, Browns Plains 10, Bulimba Valleys 8.ARTHUR SPARKS SHIELDGrand Final: Logan Brothers 34 d Sandgate Brighton Gaters 22.Final Standings: Sandgate Brighton Gaters 30, Arana Hills 29, Mustangs 29, Logan Brothers 28, Wynnum Manly Juniors 26, Eastern Suburbs Juniors 24, Mitchelton 24, St Brendans 18, Capalaba Juniors 10, Browns Plains 6, Pine Central Holy Spirit 4. >>NORTHERN DIVISIONBENDIGO BANK PREMIERSHIP (Cairns)Elimination Final: Ivanhoes 48 d Mareeba 0.Qualifying Final: Innisfail 38 d Kangaroos 36.Final Standings: Brothers 39, Innisfail 37, Kangaroos 35, Ivanhoes 27, Mareeba 26, Atherton 26, Tully 24, Mossman Port Douglas 18, Yarrabah 14, Suburbs 14, Edmonton 4.Finals: Minor Semi ? Kangaroos v Ivanhoes, Barlow Park, Sunday September 3, 4.30pm. Major Semi ? Brothers v Innisfail, Barlow Park, Sunday September 3, 6pm.TOWNSVILLE DISTRICTS RLRound 21: Burdekin 30 d University 18, Brothers 64 d Charters Towers 10, Sharks United 48 d Herbert River 18. Centrals bye.Final Standings: Brothers 76, Herbert River 60, Sharks United 60, Burdekin 54, Centrals 38, Charters Towers 36, University 12. * Wins worth 4pts in TDRLFinals: Minor Semi ? Sharks United v Burdekin, Townsville Sports Reserve, Sunday September 3, 2pm. Major Semi ? Brothers v Herbert River, Townsville Sports Reserve, Sunday September 3, 3.30pm.MERCURY CUP (Mackay)Preliminary Final: Souths 48 d Brothers 26.Final Standings: Moranbah 28, Souths 26, Brothers 24, Sarina 16, Norths 14, Magpies 14, Whitsunday 10, Wests 4.Grand Final: Moranbah v Souths, Mackay JRL, Sunday September 3, 3.30pm.MACKAY WOMENSGrand Final: Magpies 20 d Wests 12.MID WEST RLPreliminary Final: Normanton 30 d Hughenden 8.Final Standings: Doomadgee 24, Hughenden 24, Normanton 24, Cloncurry 12, Julia Creek 3, Richmond -6.Grand Final: Katter Cup ? Doomadgee v Normanton, Julia Creek RLFC, Saturday September 2, 6.30pm.>>CENTRAL DIVISIONEXTENDED LEAGUEMinor Semi: Rockhampton Brothers 40 d Gladstone Brothers 12.Major Semi: Wallabys 28 d CQU Norths 18.Preliminary Final: CQU Norths v Rockhampton Brothers, Browne Park, Sunday September 3, 3pm.CENTRAL HIGHLANDS RLPreliminary Final: Blackwater 26 d Emerald Tigers 24.Final Standings: Clermont 28, Blackwater 23, Emerald Tigers 22, Middlemount 17, Emerald Cowboys 9, Springsure 3.Grand Final: Clermont v Blackwater, Clermont Sporting Complex, Saturday September 2, 7pm. (Reserve Grade ? Bluff v Peak Downs, 5pm).>>WIDE BAY DIVISION4BU-HITZ FM PREMIERSHIP (Bundaberg)Preliminary Final: Wests 34 d Hervey Bay 26 (extra-time).Final Standings: Wests 21, Hervey Bay 20, Across The Waves 16, Easts 13, Wallaroos 10, Brothers 8*. * Deducted two points for fielding unregistered player. Grand Final: Across The Waves v Wests, Salter Oval, Sunday September 3, 3.30pm.MAROOCHY RSL CUP (Sunshine Coast)Minor Semi: Kawana 26 d Caboolture 4.Major Semi: Noosa 16 d Caloundra 12.Final Standings: Caloundra 34, Noosa 30, Kawana 24, Caboolture 24, Nambour 21, Maroochydore Coolum 17, Beerwah 12, Gympie Cooloola 11, Bribie Island 7.Preliminary Final: Caloundra v Kawana, Pirate Park, Noosa, Sunday September 3, 3pm.SUNSHINE COAST GYMPIE AMATEURSGrand Final: Kilcoy 32 d Beachmere 10.Final Standings: Kilcoy 30, Beachmere 23, Pomona 19, Yandina 12, Palmwoods 6.>>SOUTH WEST DIVISIONWAGNER?S FIRST GRADE (Toowoomba)Round 22: Pittsworth 36 d Souths 24, Valleys 32 d Oakey 14, Brothers 68 d Gatton 16, Goondiwindi 60 d Dalby 10, Warwick 46 d Newtown 26. Wattles bye.Standings: Valleys 40, Brothers 36, Goondiwindi 32, Dalby 28, Wattles 27, Oakey 26, Gatton 24, Pittsworth 19, Souths 14, Warwick 14, Newtown 4. Finals: Elimination Semi ? Dalby v Wattles, Clive Berghofer Stadium, Saturday September 2, 5.30pm. Qualifying Final ? Brothers v Goondiwindi, Clive Berghofer Stadium, Sunday September 3, 2.30pm.ROMA DISTRICTS RLPreliminary Final: Red Bulls 52 d St George 16.Final Standings: St George 19, Mitchell 17, Cities 16, Red Bulls 16, Miles 13, Chinchilla 9.Grand Final: Mitchell v Red Bulls, Bassett Park, Sunday September 3, 3pm.BORDER LEAGUEGrand Final: Tenterfield 34 d Killarney 20 (Scorers details pending).Final Standings: Tenterfield 24, Killarney 20, Stanthorpe 11, Inglewood 5.WESTERN RLGrand Final: Cunnamulla 30 (Ken Cavanough 3, Rohan Wharton 2, Henry Goulton, Douglas Gibbs tries; Mark Malezer goal) d Charleville 28 (Brian Burgess 2, Paul Hancock, Darrell Adcock, Nigel Steedman tries; Darrell Adcock 4 goals).Final Standings: Charleville 22, Tambo 19, Cunnamulla 11, Quilpie 8. >>SOUTHERN DIVISIONQLD GROUP CUP (Ipswich)Elimination Semi: Norths 28 d Springfield 24.QualifyingSemi: South Burnett 38 d Goodna 28.Final Standings: Brothers 34, South Burnett 30, Goodna 22, Norths 22, Springfield 19, Fassifern 17, Redbank Plains 14, West End 10, Swifts 9, Laidley 3. Finals: Minor Semi ? Goodna v Norths, QLD Group Stadium, Saturday September 2, 7.30pm. Major Semi ? Brothers v South Burnett, QLD Group Stadium, Sunday September 3, 3pm.SMARTLEND CUP (Gold Coast)Minor Semi: Runaway Bay 32 d Southport 12.Major Semi: Tugun 40 d Burleigh 16.Final Standings: Tugun 36, Burleigh 28, Runaway Bay 27, Southport 20, Beaudesert 18, Uni Parkwood 17, Tweed Heads 16, Nerang 8, Mudgeeraba 6, Helensvale 2. Preliminary Final: Burleigh v Runaway Bay, Pizzey Park, Miami, Sunday September 3, 3pm.
CRONULLA centre Ben Pomeroy will need to beat a grade one contrary conduct charge to play in Saturday's final-round match against Canberra at Toyota Park. Pomeroy was charged for his part in a brawl in Saturday's 18-4 loss to St George Illawarra and faces a one-week ban unless he successfully fights the charge.Canberra forward Michael Weyman was also charged with grade one contrary conduct for starting an altercation with Melbourne's Matt King, but his good judiciary record means he'll escape suspension with an early guilty plea.Meanwhile, Manly and Brisbane will have destiny in their own hands as four teams jostle for two top-four spots in a dramatic climax to the NRL regular season next weekend.Brisbane, who recorded a second consecutive shut-out by thumping Parramatta 23-0, could finish as high as third or as low as seventh as the race to secure a home semi final intensifies. Manly is another side which could finish as high as third - or as low as sixth, with for-and-against set to separate the finals contenders.The Broncos can book Suncorp Stadium for the first week of the finals with a win against the New Zealand Warriors next Sunday, while the Sea Eagles can claim a top-four spot by toppling minor premiers Melbourne at Olympic Park on Saturday.Newcastle, who has the bye next week, will be cheering for a Warriors victory in order to leapfrog the Broncos into the top four.
BOTH Newtown Jets senior teams won their respective competition games on the weekend with identical scorelines but in remarkably differing circumstances. In the VB Premier League match played in balmy conditions at Telstra Stadium on Sunday, the Jets defeated South Sydney by 40-26 after trailing 16-6 at half-time. Newtown outscored the Rabbitohs by an amazing 30-6 in the last 18 minutes of the game. Following the surprise loss by the Dragons to Cronulla-Sutherland on Saturday evening, the Newtown Jets have now secured second place on the VB Premier League competition table, regardless of the result in the Jets-Dragons clash at Henson Park next Saturday.In the Jim Beam Cup game played in the freezing wind and rain at Henson Park on Friday night, the Jets defeated Windsor by exactly the same score as their Premier League compadres ? 40 to 26. Both of these sides will now meet in the Jim Beam Cup elimination semi-final next Saturday. Newtown ran up a 24-0 lead in the first half against Windsor but the Wolves hit back in the second half, with the Jets looking decidedly shaky holding on to a 30-26 lead with twelve minutes still on the clock. Two late tries to the Jets wrapped up the result and kept alive their faint hopes of a third place finish, although subsequent results on the weekend put paid to those aspirations.Hard running Newtown second-rower Khalid Deeb collected three tries and assisted in two others, confirming just what a valuable player he is for Newtown?s Jim Beam Cup team. Coach Greg Matterson will spend a couple of anxious days awaiting a decision from the NSWRL judiciary following Deeb being placed on report in the second half of this match. Jets front-rower Ritchie Parker gave another solid performance along with tough hooker Matt Habojan. Centre Nathan McMahon gave a fine defensive display.The South Sydney Rabbitohs certainly turned up ready to play in Sunday?s VB Premier League match and were obviously determined to spring an upset on their Foundation Club neighbours. Souths led 10-0 after twenty minutes and were clearly unsettling the Jets with their spoiling, in your face style of play. The Jets incurred a major setback when classy centre Lelea Paea suffered a broken jaw midway through the first half. The Gold Coast-bound Paea?s strength and creative flair will be sorely missed in the upcoming finals series.The Rabbitohs continued to harass Newtown after half-time and the Jets task seemed even more daunting, following five-eighth Jeremy Gordon?s dismissal with a full twenty-five minutes left to play and the Jets 20-10 in arrears. The match then underwent an extraordinary transformation as the Jets plied on four converted tries in the space of seven minutes, racing from a 20-10 deficit to a 34-20 lead. Both teams scored tries before full-time but the Jets claimed the competition points and guaranteed themselves a top two finish on the premiership table.Lopini Paea was Newtown?s best forward, a very impressive performance given that it was his first game back in action after a lengthy suspension. His brother Mickey gave a lion-hearted display despite suffering badly from the effects of influenza. Lock Mitch Aubusson scored two fine tries and confirmed that he has a real taste for getting amongst the four-pointers at Telstra Stadium. Michael Burns had one of his best games of the season, including one triumphant fifty-metre effort to virtually seal the match. Fullback Aidan Kirk and half-back Mitch Pearce were Newtown?s best backs.All roads lead to Henson Park next Saturday (September 2nd) for the ever-popular Newtown Jets players, officials, staff and supporters annual reunion. The Jets take on the St. George-Illawarra Dragons in the VB Premier League match at 3.00pm and will be out to establish ascendancy over a strong opponent that they may encounter again in the finals series. The reunion kicks on back at the Jets Sports Club in Holbeach Avenue, Tempe after the football at Henson Park.Newtown and Windsor face off again in the Jim Beam Cup elimination semi-final also on Saturday (September 2nd), with this sudden death match at OKI Jubilee Stadium (Kogarah Oval) kicking off at 1.00pm. Those Newtown supporters who go to support the Jets Jim Beam Cup team will still have plenty of time to get to Henson Park for the long-awaited Jets-Dragons showdown at Henson Park on Reunion Day 2006.Photo:Newtown Jets classy lock-forward Mitch Aubusson scores against South Sydney at Telstra Stadium on Sunday.Photo courtesy of Gary Sutherland Photography.
WITH just one round remaining before the NRL finals, the top eight has been officially decided. But a battle royale is looming with a number of teams on 30 competition points and fighting for a top four spot, and the right to stage a home semi-final.Friday night football saw the Manly Sea Eagles pip the Canterbury Bulldogs by 21-20 at Brookvale. Manly are in outright third spot on 32 competition points on the NRL ladder while the Bulldogs are second on 34 points and well clear on points differential.Saturday rugby league took us to Canberra where a gallant Raiders outfit went down by 22-18 to minor premiers the Melbourne Storm. The Raiders are on 28 points and inside the eight while the Storm are riding high on 40 points.On Saturday night the Newcastle Knights sured up their chances with a 40-4 trouncing of the Penrith Panthers in Newcastle. The result spells the end of the Panthers? season. Sitting in 11th position on 24 points, Penrith were still a slim hope of making the cut prior to the round 25 clash. The Knights are amongst a log jam of teams on 30 points, their points differential placing them in fifth position. Meanwhile, the St George Illawarra Dragons were making their own push for a top four spot in downing the Cronulla Sharks by 18-4 in Wollongong. The Dragons move up to 30 competition points and sixth spot on the NRL ladder. The 12th-placed Sharks are in the midst of one of their worst seasons on record, crashing to their ninth successive loss and equalling the Club?s worst ever losing streak.Sunday football took us across the Tasman with the New Zealand Warriors hammering the Sydney Roosters 42-16 in Auckland. The Warriors move up to ninth position and are out of contention for this season. But they gave supporters plenty to cheer about and a promise of what lies ahead. The Roosters were flattered by the score line. Sitting in second last place on the ladder, the Sydneysiders continue to just make up the numbers in 2006.In other Sunday results, the North Queensland Cowboys defeated the South Sydney Rabbitohs 34-12 at Telstra Stadium. The Cowboys moved up to 24 competition points and 10th place. Meanwhile Souths have recorded their 20th loss of the year and languish in last place with just 10 points.Round 25 wrapped up in Parramatta with home side the Eels crashing back to Earth following their 23-0 loss to the Brisbane Broncos. The resurgent Broncos are now on 30 competition points and in fourth place on the ladder. The Eels remain on 28 points and slip back to seventh place.Last year?s premiers Wests Tigers had the bye this round, moving up to 22 points and 13th position on the ladder.All match results and details are listed below.LeagueUnlimited.com Player AwardsThe stage is set for a tight finish in this year?s LeagueUnlimited.com Player Awards. Melbourne hooker Cameron Smith is still coming first on 27 points and Canberra full back Clinton Schifcofske is in second spot with 26 points. But still in contention on 25 points are Eels back rower Nathan Hindmarsh and previous winner, Sea Eagles half back Matt Orford. Both Hindmarsh and Orford scored well last weekend to close the gap on the front runners.With just one round to go, all four players are a chance of taking out this year?s award.The full leader board is below.The LeagueUnlimited.com players of the match are decided by our live score updaters and tallied here each week on Monday?s Expert League wrap.Want to be a live score updater? For further enquiries, email usMATCH RESULTS:League Wrap: Round 25, 25 August ? 27 August 2006Manly Sea Eagles: 21Tries: Shayne Dunley, Matt Orford, Michael RobertsonGoals: Matt Orford 4/5Field Goals: Matt OrfordCanterbury Bulldogs: 20Tries: Nate Myles, Andrew Ryan, Andrew EmelioGoals: Hazem El Masri 4/4Half time: Sea Eagles 18-12Venue: Brookvale OvalCrowd: 20,163Referee: Sean HampsteadLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Matt Orford (Sea Eagles)2 - Steve Menzies (Sea Eagles)1 - Andrew Ryan (Bulldogs)Canberra Raiders: 18Tries: Alan Tongue(2), Lincoln WithersGoals: Clinton Schifcofske 3/3Melbourne Storm: 22Tries: Ryan Hoffman, Greg Inglis, Dallas Johnson, Matt KingGoals: Cameron Smith 3/4Half time: Storm 16-6Venue: Canberra StadiumCrowd: 21,255Referee: Shayne HayneLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Alan Tongue (Raiders)2 - Greg Inglis (Storm)1 - Cooper Cronk (Storm)Newcastle Knights: 40Tries: George Carmont, Matthew Gidley(2), Josh Perry, Anthony Quinn, David Seage, Jarrod Mullen, Luke DavicoGoals: Daniel Abraham 2/4, Kurt Gidley 1/3, Reegan Tanner 1/1Penrith Panthers: 4Tries: Michael GordonGoals: Preston Campbell 0/1Half time: Knights 22-4Venue: EnergyAustralia StadiumCrowd: 23,655Referee: Steven ClarkLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Jarrod Mullen (Knights)2 - Matthew Gidley (Knights)1 - Luke Davico (Knights)St George Illawarra Dragons: 18Tries: Matt Cooper, Dean Young, Brett MorrisGoals: Aaron Gorrell 1/1, Wes Naiqama 2/3Cronulla Sutherland Sharks: 4Tries: Paul GallenGoals: Luke Covell 0/1Half time: Dragons 6-4Venue: WIN StadiumCrowd: 16,897Referee: Paul SimpkinsLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Luke Bailey (Dragons)2 - Jason Ryles (Dragons)1 - Mark Gasnier (Dragons)New Zealand Warriors: 42Tries: Epalahame Luauki, Jerome Ropati(4), Ruben Wiki, Patrick Ah Van(2)Goals: Lance Hohaia 5/8Sydney Roosters: 16Tries: Sam Perrett, Amos Roberts, Iosia SoliolaGoals: Craig Fitzgibbon 2/3Half time: Warriors 20-10Venue: Mt Smart (Ericsson) StadiumCrowd: 12,711Referee: Russell SmithLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Jerome Ropati (Warriors)2 - Brent Webb (Warriors)1 - Lance Hohaia (Warriors)South Sydney Rabbitohs: 12Tries: Nathan Merritt, Paul MellorGoals: Joe Williams 2/2North Queensland Cowboys: 34Tries: Matthew Bowen, David Fauiumu, Luke O'Donnell, Aaron Payne, Justin Smith(2)Goals: Ashley Graham 5/7Half time: Cowboys 16-6Venue: Telstra StadiumCrowd: 8,914Referee: Tony De Las HerasLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Aaron Payne (Cowboys)2 - Carl Webb (Cowboys)1 - Justin Smith (Cowboys)Parramatta Eels: 0 Brisbane Broncos: 23Tries: Justin Hodges, Stephen Michaels, Corey Parker, Brad ThornGoals: Darren Lockyer 2/4, Corey Parker 1/1Field Goals: Darren LockyerHalf time: Broncos 13-0Venue: Parramatta StadiumCrowd: 20,353Referee: Tony ArcherLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Darren Lockyer (Broncos)2 - Nathan Hindmarsh (Eels)1 - Justin Hodges (Broncos)Wests Tigers v ByeFULL DRAW, RESULTS & LINKS TO LIVE SCORES ? CLICK HEREUPCOMING MATCHES:Round 26, 1-3 September 2006Fri 7:30 COWBOYS v EELS - Dairy Farmers StadiumSat 5:30 SHARKS v RAIDERS - Toyota ParkSat 7:30 ROOSTERS v DRAGONS - Sydney Cricket GroundSat 7:30 STORM v SEA EAGLES - Olympic ParkSun 2:30 BRONCOS v WARRIORS - Suncorp StadiumSun 3:00 TIGERS v RABBITOHS - Leichhardt OvalSun 3:00 PANTHERS v BULLDOGS - CUA Stadium PenrithKNIGHTS v BYELEAGUEUNLIMITED.COM PLAYER AWARDS 2006LEADER BOARDThe Leagueunlimited.com players awards are decided by our live score updaters.Want to be a live score updater? For further enquiries, email us.27 pointsCameron Smith (Storm)26 pointsClinton Schifcofske (Raiders)25 pointsNathan Hindmarsh (Eels), Matt Orford (Sea Eagles)23 pointsGreg Inglis (Storm), Willie Mason (Bulldogs)21 pointsPreston Campbell (Panthers)19 pointsBen Kennedy (Sea Eagles), Andrew Johns (Knights)18 pointsDanny Buderus (Knights), Cooper Cronk (Storm)17 pointsMark Gasnier (Dragons), Darren Lockyer (Broncos), Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys)14 pointsMatthew Bowen (Cowboys), Adam Dykes (Sharks), Steve Price (Warriors), Scott Prince (Tigers)13 pointsHazem El Masri (Bulldogs), Alan Tongue (Raiders)12 pointsPetero Civoniceva (Broncos), Jason Smith (Raiders), Sonny Bill Williams (Bulldogs)11 pointsRoy Asotasi (Bulldogs), Craig Fitzgibbon (Roosters), Paul Gallen (Sharks), Justin Hodges (Broncos), Karmichael Hunt (Broncos), Grant Rovelli (Warriors), Rhys Wesser (Panthers)10 pointsRobert Farah (Tigers), Aaron Payne (Cowboys)9 pointsMathew Head (Dragons), Brett Hodgson (Tigers), Brett Stewart (Sea Eagles), Brent Webb (Warriors)8 pointsBrett Kimmorley (Sharks), Jarryd Hayne (Eels), Steve Menzies (Sea Eagles), Corey Parker (Broncos), Andrew Ryan (Bulldogs), Ruben Wiki (Warriors), Dean Young (Dragons)7 pointsSteve Bell (Sea Eagles), Nathan Merritt (Rabbitohs), Mark O?Meley (Bulldogs), David Peachey (Rabbitohs), Amos Roberts (Roosters), Steve Simpson (Knights)6 pointsLuke Bailey (Dragons), Trent Barrett (Dragons), Nathan Cayless (Eels), Craig Gower (Panthers), Nathan Fien (Warriors), Ryan Hoffman (Storm), Luke Lewis (Panthers), Jarrod Mullen (Knights), Jerome Ropati (Warriors), Lance Thompson (Sharks)5 pointsDean Collis (Tigers), Peter Cusack (Rabbitohs), Brett Finch (Roosters), Matthew Gidley (Knights), Aaron Gorrell (Dragons), Wade McKinnon (Eels), Luke O'Donnell (Cowboys), Luke O?Dwyer (Eels), Simon Mannering (Warriors), Luke Priddis (Panthers), Jason Ryles (Dragons), Brad Thorn (Broncos)4 pointsDarren Albert (Sharks), Greg Bird (Sharks), Brian Carney (Knights), Todd Carney (Raiders), Matt Cooper (Dragons), Sione Faumuina (Warriors), Phillip Graham (Raiders), David Kidwell (Storm), Scott Hill (Storm), Lance Hohaia (Warriors), Ben Hornby (Dragons), Anthony Laffranchi (Tigers), Adam MacDougall (Rabbitohs), Fuifui Moimoi (Eels), John Morris (Eels), Clint Newton (Knights), Josh Perry (Knights), Brent Sherwin (Bulldogs), David Simmons (Sharks), Billy Slater (Storm), Jamie Soward (Roosters), John Sutton (Rabbitohs), Milton Thaiday (Knights), Anthony Tupou (Roosters), Paul Whatuira (Tigers), Lincoln Withers (Raiders)3 pointsTravis Burns (Sea Eagles), Luke Burt (Eels), Joel Clinton (Panthers), Darius Boyd (Broncos), Luke Covell (Sharks), Michael Crocker (Storm), Greg Eastwood (Broncos), Michael Gordon (Panthers), Clint Greenshields (Dragons), Nathan Hinton (Knights), Brett Kearney (Sharks), Luke MacDougall (Rabbitohs), Reni Maitua (Bulldogs), Manase Manuokafoa (Rabbitohs), Adam Mogg (Raiders), Sam Perrett (Roosters), Michael Robertson (Sea Eagles), Matt Sing (Cowboys), Tame Tupou (Broncos), Steve Turner (Storm), Matthew Utai (Bulldogs), Anthony Watmough (Sea Eagles), Carl Webb (Cowboys), Jake Webster (Storm), Joe Williams (Rabbitohs)2 pointsBrenton Bowen (Cowboys), George Carmont (Knights), Daniel Fitzhenry (Tigers), Keith Galloway (Tigers), Awen Guttenbeil (Warriors), Ashley Harrison (Roosters), Wairangi Koopu (Warriors), Tom Learoyd-Lahrs (Raiders), Tony Martin (Warriors), Anthony Minichiello (Roosters), Mark O'Meley (Bulldogs), Peter-John Marsh (Eels), Benji Marshall (Tigers), Steve Matai (Sea Eagles), Luke Patten (Bulldogs), Todd Polglase (Rabbitohs), Luke Rooney (Panthers), John Skandalis (Tigers), Craig Smith (Knights), Tim Smith (Eels), Iosia Soliola (Roosters), Steven Southern (Cowboys), Craig Stapleton (Panthers), Timana Tahu (Eels), Clinton Toopi (Warriors), Evarn Tuimavave (Warriors), Nigel Vagana (Sharks), Trent Waterhouse (Panthers), Shane Webcke (Broncos), Michael Weyman (Raiders), Craig Wing (Roosters)1 pointPaul Bowman (Cowboys), Ben Creagh (Dragons), Luke Davico (Knights), Shayne Dunley (Sea Eagles), Michael Ennis (Broncos), Shaun Foley (Roosters), Nathan Friend (Storm), Matt Geyer (Storm), Kurt Gidley (Knights), Tony Grimaldi (Bulldogs), Chris Hicks (Sea Eagles), Daniel Holdsworth (Bulldogs), Lee Hookey (Panthers), Matt King (Storm), Josh Lewis (Roosters), Todd Lowrie (Knights), Daryl Millard (Dragons), Ryan O'Hara (Tigers), Shannon McDonnell (Tigers), Sam Rapira (Warriors), Mark Riddell (Eels), Shane Rodney (Panthers), David Shillington (Roosters), Justin Smith (Cowboys), Brent Tate (Broncos), Sam Thaiday (Broncos), Willie Tonga (Bulldogs), Shane Tronc (Cowboys), Taniela Tuiaki (Tigers), Ben Walker (Rabbitohs), Simon Woolford (Raiders), William Zillman (Raiders)
A feast of rugby league in New Zealand over the weekend saw two catch up games from Round 18 of the Bartercard Cup with Wellington and Auckland the victors.BARTERCARD CUP COMPETITION ? ROUND 18 RESULTS (Deferred Games)Sunday 27 August 2006: Auckland Lions vs Waicoa Bay Stallions Resthills Park, HamiltonAuckland Lions 46Tries: F. Souter, P. Ale (2), S. Stowers (3), M. Solomona (3)Goals: S. Buckingham (5)Waicoa Bay Stallions 30Tries: J. Auru, M. Moore, S. Fifita, S. Beale, N. Standen (2)Goals: H. Karena (3)Halftime Score: 20 ? 16 To Auckland LionsWellington Orcas vs Northern Storm Whakatikai Park, WellingtonWellington Orcas 48Tries: M. Koliavu, B. Taraeka, D. Misa, J. Moala (2), O. Kua (2), P, Patelesio (2), Goals: L. Boyd (6)Northern Storm 14Tries: B. Hikaka, D. Were, A. DonaldsonGoals: D. WereHalftime Score: 26 ? 0 To Wellington OrcasWeek 1 of the competition play-offs kicked into gear withn the Bulls hosting the Rangers in Christchiurch. A tough ask to beat the Canterbury side in Christchurch, as the Rangers discovered.In the other game of the first week of the finals the Tamaki Leopards will battle it out with the Jetz at Mount Smart Stadium tonight at 8pm.BARTERCARD CUP COMPETITION ? WEEK 1 OF PLAY-OFFS RESULTSSaturday 26 August 2006:Canterbury Bulls vs Waitakere Rangers (2nd vs 3rd) Rugby League Park, ChristchurchCanterbury Bulls 26Tries: L. Sione, L. Fidow, D. Wineti, D. Metcalf (2)Goals: S. Hurrell (2)Waitakere Rangers 20Tries: R. Godfrey, G. Bailey, H. Barclay, S. JonesGoals: D. Shepherd (2)Halftime Score: 10 ? 6 To Waitakere Rangers PROVISIONAL MATCH ? RESULT:Auckland Ladies vs Canterbury Ladies Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland (C/R To Warriors vs Roosters)Auckland 50Tries: C. Marsters, S. Rowe-Wolland, M. Miki, L. Tawhai, L. Mariu (2), T. Morris (4)Goals: L. Mariu (5)Canterbury 4Tries: A. ThompsonHalftime Score: 26 ? 0 To Auckland