NEWCASTLE will welcome back last year?s Australian schoolboys five-eighth Jarrod Mullen, after he was injured two weeks ago against Cronulla. The Knights will head in to the match with Manly stern favourites and won the last meeting between the two clubs, 26-12, at Brookvale Oval in round 17.Manly will be at full strength for the clash as they welcome back New South Wales prop, Brent Kite, after he was concussed heavily two weeks ago at Parramatta Stadium in the side?s loss to the Eels. The match will be a case of teacher vs. student when Matt Orford confronts his childhood hero in Andrew Johns.The Warriors have named the same side for the Cowboys, which continued the Sharks? woes last Saturday night at Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland. When these two sides met in 2004, former captain Monty Betham gave away a head high tackle right in front of the posts in golden point, that handed the Cowboys victory.The Cowboys have named hooker come halfback Aaron Payne as captain for the match as former captain Travis Norton succumbed to a shoulder injury after the Bulldogs match on Saturday. Payne is the third choice captain as vice-captain Johnathan Thurston is also sidelined with a knee injury.Sharks coach Stuart Raper has wielded an axe to his out of form team for this weekend?s clash with the Eels. Former Knight Darren Albert has been dropped to Premier League while Kiwi International Nigel Vagana has been dropped to the bench as well as Luke Douglas and New South Wales representative Paul Gallen.The Eels have named the same starting line-up that disposed of the Dragons last Friday night. However, outgoing coach Jason Taylor has replaced Brett Delaney with former fullback Wade McKinnon on the bench with Luke Burt staying in the fullback spot.Penrith have selected Papua New Guinean Paul Aiton back in First Grade for the first time since the side defeated the Cowboys at CUA Stadium back in Round 19, for the club?s clash with the Roosters on Saturday. Although it is round 23, it will be the first meeting of the club?s this year.Although suffering a heavy defeat to the Knights last weekend, Roosters? coach Ricky Stuart has named an unchanged line-up for the clash with the Panthers. Just two more wins for the tricolours will see them surpass 1000 wins as a club since 1908.The Tigers have dropped youngster Keith Eshman back to reserve grade but have brought back up another superstar Ben Jeffery for his second NRL appearance. The last time the Tigers met the Raiders was in round 19 in Canberra when the Tigers were controversially defeated in golden point.Canberra has named former Bronco Craig Frawley on a five-man bench for the match at Campbelltown Stadium on Sunday. The two sides met at the same ground last year in round 11 where the Tigers ran out convincing winners. However, out of the five tries scored, three came from players who are currently unavailable, which includes the likes of Marshall, Whatuira and Hodgson. The Bulldogs have kept the same side that demolished the Cowboys last Saturday for their clash with the Dragons on Sunday. Five-eighth Daniel Holdsworth will play his first game against childhood hero Trent Barrett since moving to Belmore.St George Illawarra have recalled star Mark Gasnier for the match. Gasnier was rested last weekend against Parramatta and took a weekend off up in Townsville. These two clubs met just a month ago at OKI Jubilee where the Bulldogs came away with the match by just a try in what could be described as the match of the season to date.Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett has dropped look-a-like Scott Minto for their do or die clash with the Storm on Sunday. He has also named a six-man bench that includes Queensland Origin stars Casey McGuire, David Stagg and Sam Thaiday.Melbourne has recalled representatives Matt King and Dallas Johnson after the two were rested last weekend. After another suspension to Billy Slater, super kid Greg Inglis drops back to fullback. Melbourne has been a sort of hoodoo team for the Broncos especially in September, as the two clubs have faced off in the second Qualifying Final in Brisbane for the past two years. Both times the Storm has been victorious.South Sydney have the bye this weekend which will be six points in three weeks for the club which is on the back of two successive victories against the Raiders and Panthers.
FROM what I observed in Round 21, it was collectively a good performance all round from the referees, with only the one effort from Simpkins, bringing the marks down. I was really impressed by the overall outcome from the referees.
MITSUBISHI Electric Bulldogs coach Steve Folkes has made no changes to his side who disposed of the Cowboys 54-14 in Townsville last weekend.
ANOTHER month has come and gone, how quick is the year going only a few more weeks and its semi final time. The Dolphins are looking pretty good in all three grades and are a chance of regaining the Club Championship. Over the last month there have been plenty of good signs for the Dolphins despite being on the wrong end of some results. The emergence of Tim Yee as a first grader is one that immediately springs to mind and overall the group of talented young players we have in our club aged 16 to 19. Matt Gillett isn?t far away from Queensland Cup selection, Logan Sullivan, Foisa Peni, Michael Wilson, Tim Benson have all performed well in A Grade. With Colts stepping up it also gives opportunities to the guys in under 18?s and they too have grabbed them with both hands Liufau Hala, Takai Tikinau, Tommy Butterfield, Adam Marr, Jake Marketo, Jack Reed and Rhys Cooke have all done very well when called upon. I think everybody should get down to Dolphin Oval early and watch these young guys go around you won?t be disappointed.
It seems Shannon Fish is rubbing off on everybody at the Club whether this is a good thing or not I?m not sure yet.
City were playing Country in Cloncury Gary Belcher from the FOGS was the invited guest to do the ceremonial kick off and as you know on these occasions the players just stand there watch the kick off then the ball comes back and they do it for it real. But our brains at the back Ryan Cullen chased Badge?s kick off down field and attempted to make a tackle.
Prue Byrne the better half of Mick Roberts was in Melbourne to watch Mick play for the Queensland side. They were talking about Mick?s Maroons jersey when Prue asked what colour is the jersey.
While talking about the Melbourne game Adam Starr got a cork during the game and was on an exercise bike on the sideline to keep the leg going when one wag from the crowd yelled out to Starry ?Hey number 16 get the pikelet off your head. Obviously referring to Adams bald spot.
I am also trying to confirm if it was our very Troy Lindsay who was spotted in Molly Meldrum?s hot tub at an after Origin party.
Rumours flying around thick and fast that there are wedding bells in the air for a popular Dolphins back rower. I think I might walk to BURKE and back if it?s true.
The Dolphins had their annual ladies day against the Seagulls, The ladies enjoyed a few cold treats on the hill as they watched their partners run around, I?m not sure who was more vocal the pig pen or the ladies.The two lower grades done the job unfortunately the top grade didn?t aim up and got smashed. As a result I now owe Coach Wharton a carton of Crown Lager.
As I said with semi finals quickly approaching the boys all the support they can muster so grab a mate and head on down to Dolphin Oval for a great day?s entertainment. Pop over to the Old Boys Can Bar for a coldy and tell them Robbo sent you.
MONTHS ago fans dreamed about the possibility. It now appears a near certainty that North Queensland and Toowoomba?s final round clash will decide the 2006 Wizard Cup minor premier.
ROOSTERS centre Lelea Paea (pronounced - Lel-layer Payer) today became the twenty fourth player to sign with the Gold Coast Titans.
THE representative season is almost at an end for the junior Dolphins.
The highlight was the selection of promising under 17 and Colts front-rower David Hala into what is the pinnacle of schoolboy football, the Australian Open Schoolboys team.
The 24-man squad is set to tour England, France and Wales at the end of the season. Having known David since his inclusion in the 2005 Classic Sportswear Development Squad, I can safely say that his selection is a very fitting reward for a lot of hard work over the past two seasons.
Not only has he worked hard at organised training sessions, he has also been keen to improve his game by working hard in his own time by himself.
It is a good lesson for boys playing our game that if you want to make a career in rugby league you have to work hard, extra hard and the rewards will come. Well done David and all the very best of luck on what should be a great tour.
Queensland merit teams were picked this month in the under 13 age group at the state championships at Maroochydore. Congratulations to Heymel Hunt and Luke Eustace, who were selected in the state team with Tia Pule, Redcliffe's other player at the carnival, playing some good football over the week but missing out narrowly on state selection.
The coaching clinic conducted over the school holidays was a lot of fun for the 40 boys who attended from the under 12 to under 14 age group.
They received coaching from QRL development officers, AFL kicking coaches, Brian Winney, Steve Peoples and myself on everything from ball handling and tackle technique to footwork, evasion and respecting the game's rules and referees. The clinic finished with a barbecue and cold drinks for all.
Our last Development Squad dinner was a great night with former Dolphin first grader and Wembley Cup final winner Jamie Sandy the guest speaker.
Jamie spoke to the squad about his life in rugby league, what it was like to play in front of 100,000 people in the cup final along with the more important topic of alcohol and drugs in sport.
Jamie certainly had the boys thinking about making the right choices when it comes to drinking and drugs and the effects it can have on a young person's life if the wrong choices are made.
The squad's main charter is to ready the boys for senior football at the highest level but the responsibility we also have is to ensure they also reach the highest level they can as a person in their society. Speakers of the calibre of Jamie Sandy make this possible.
Coaching and development manager
UNASSUMING Dolphins centre Nick Emmett has gone from the depths of despair to the heights of ecstasy.
In the space of a week last month, Emmett tasted the sour bite of a suspension for tripping in a Queensland Cup fixture as well as the delight of a National Rugby League debut for the Broncos.
As coach Anthony Griffin revealed in his Redcliffe Leagues News column last month, Emmett was outed for two matches for tripping Easts skipper Matt Lockyer at Dolphin Oval.
The two-match sentence eventually proved beneficial as the Broncos and the Queensland Rugby League unravelled some paperwork for the 24-year-old Dolphin to run on for the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium against Cronulla.
It was decided the Hervey Bay product had served his time by missing the City-Country fixture (for which he had been selected) and then the Dolphins' loss to Burleigh Bears.
So Emmett found himself on the park against the Sharks for an upset 26-12 victory by an under-manned Brisbane side dubbed the Baby Broncos.
"I was surprised at the speed of the game," Emmett said after his NRL introduction. "It was really quick and a lot more structured than I'm used to.
"I was told that I just had to worry about myself. I wanted to get a feel for the stadium so I went out and warmed up and that got the nerves out of the way."
Emmett said it had been a big surprise to be called up by the Broncos even though he had spent a week plus training with them and realised their stocks were bare due to their State of Origin commitments.
"There was a different build-up for me because I didn't know if I would get a start for Broncos with the suspension," he said.
"I was waiting around all week to hear what had happened. I was supposed to know Tuesday morning so from then on every time the phone rang I thought it was the Broncos ringing to say what had happened."
As it was, he still had time to organise for his girlfriend to come from Sydney for the match and his family from the Gold Coast.
"My brother Tyson is a soldier serving in East Timor and he's a passionate supporter so I sent him a message saying I would be getting a run," he said.
The match went without a hiccup for Emmett, who played for the entire 80 minutes and did not record a single mistake.
"I didn't do anything too spectacular. I just did my job and everyone seemed happy with that," Emmett said.
"Wayne Bennett told me to just play my usual game and the whole team emphasis was on a 85% completion rate and don't make unforced errors. We played a very direct game and worked on their edges. The Sharks only scored two tries and they were from kicks so our defence did its job.
"We just worked to our strengths and that was enough for us to win a match not many people expected us to. A couple of times I thought I might even get a try as I was calling for it close to the line but we went over anyway."
Emmett said winger Scott Minto had proved extremely helpful during the match.
"Scott talked to me all the time and really looked after me," he said. "He was the first one to come over at training and introduce himself and he really looked after me.
"As it was, I had the full week with the side but I didn't train with the starting team until the Saturday morning before the match.
"Shane Perry has been with the Broncos all year and he also looked after me. He trains really hard and is a great organiser on the field for them."
Emmett's contribution was noted in the after-match press conference by Bennett, who also included him as 18th man for the away match against Melbourne Storm two days after Origin III.
``Nick defended great and carried the ball well,'' Bennett said. "The players welcomed him in there as well and he felt a part of it."
Redcliffe team-mates Pat Gardner and Ryan Cullen also were called up for Broncos training.
"If the opportunity comes up there are a few Redcliffe players who could take the step up," Emmett said. "Pat might have been close to playing for the Broncos but he did his knee in the City-Country match. Ryan also went close.
"Wayne Bennett wished me good luck with Redcliffe and said to come along to training anytime I had a free day. He said I was part of the time and who knows what opportunities might come up down the track.
"I want to win the Queensland Cup with Redcliffe and then just go on from there with whatever comes up."
FORMER Redcliffe Dolphin Ben Jones has re-signed with the Canberra Raiders after agreeing to a two-year deal with the NRL surprise packets.
The tough second-rower has been a solid performer for the Raiders so far in 2006 and the club says he is looking to continue his first grade career with the Raiders until at least the end of 2008.
Sidelined for the past month with a thumb injury, Jones was set to make his comeback in the Raiders' home match against Wests Tigers at Canberra Stadium.
Although a Queensland Cup premiership player with the Dolphins, Jones is somewhat of a late bloomer, making his NRL debut this year for the Raiders at the age of 25.
MELBOURNE fullback Billy Slater will serve his third suspension of the season after copping a two game ban for striking.
TEEN Tim Yee has experienced a meteoric rise to fame.
The 18-year-old, a member of Redcliffe's Development Squad, was in the Dolphins Colts side until called up by Anthony Griffin for the Queensland Cup.
Injuries to outside backs Greg Bourke and Ryan Cullen and Nick Emmett's elevation to the Broncos meant a spot for Yee.
"My first match was from the bench and I played stints at hooker and five-eighth," Yee said. "The next match was the TV one against Burleigh Bears when our rep players were away for the match against Country.
"I played wing then and won the players' player award and have been there since. It's an awesome experience playing in the top team and everyone gives you confidence."
A Redcliffe junior since under sevens, Yee dabbled in martial arts as a youngster but league has always had his attention.
"The most noticeable difference from playing Colts to first grade is the speed of the game," he said. "It moves along so quickly and everyone knows what to do."
The 88-kilogram Yee played centre and five-eighth in Colts this season after breaking into that squad late last season.
He has settled into the winger's role, however five-eighth and centre still remain his favourite positions.
CENTRE Mark Gasnier will make a return this week from injury when the Dragons meet the Bulldogs at Telstra Stadium on Sunday afternoon. In other changes to the side Luke Bailey joins Jason Ryles in the front row. Ben Creagh and Justin Poore form the second row with Sam Isemonger starting at lock. Clint Greenshields retains his spot on the interchange bench with Aaron Gorrell being ruled out due to a rib injury. The two sides last met at Oki Jubilee Stadium in Round 19 where the Dragons went down in a tightly contested match 22-16 Unavailable Dragons are: Aaron Gorrell (rib), Shaun Timmins (quad), Corey Payne (concussion), Wes Naiqama (ankle) NRL Dragonsv Bulldogs 3.00pm Sunday 13 August Telstra Stadium Coach: Nathan Brown 1. Ben HORNBY 2. Colin BEST 3. Mark GASNIER 4. Matt COOPER 5. Brett MORRIS 6. Trent BARRETT (c) 7. Mathew HEAD 8. Luke BAILEY 9. Dean YOUNG 10. Jason RYLES 11. Justin POORE 12. Ben CREAGH 13. Sam ISEMONGER 14. Danny WICKS 15. Ashton SIMS 16. Matt BICKERSTAFF 17. Clint GREENSHIELDS Premier League Dragonsv Bulldogs 1.00pm Sunday 13 August Telstra Stadium Coach: Steven Price 1. Jason NIGHTINGALE 2. Reece SIMMONDS 3. Beau RYAN 4. Josh MORRIS 5. Tom HEWITT 6. Richard WILLIAMS 7. Reece BLAYNEY 8. Michael HENDERSON 9. George NDAIRA 10. Chris HOUSTON (c) 11. Tom HABERECHT 12. Lee TE MAARI 13. Willie TUPOU 14. Dan HUNT 15. Andrew PRICE 16. James JIMENEZ 17. Bryson GOODWIN 20. Jamie KEITH Jersey Flegg Dragonsv Bulldogs 12 noon Saturday 12 August Belmore Oval Coach: Corey Pearson 1. Rota SETU 2. Junior SEUMANUTAFA 3. Ryan MILLARD 4. Chase STANLEY 5. Luke IRWIN 6. Brad DAVIDSON (c) 7. Matt SEAMARK 8. Chris FARRELL 9. Daniel JARVIS 10. Jhi TANNER 11. Matt PRIOR 12. James KEELAN 13. James GREHAN 14. Peter WAKLEY 15. Francis LANGIFISI 16. Scott SABLOWSKI 17. Blake DUREAU 18. Jason WHITE 19. Brian WEST
TEENAGE winger Tim Yee has given the Redcliffe Dolphins Development Squad another burst of credibility.
It's not that the 16-year-old format needs much introduction to rugby league fans after producing a string of State of Origin and Australian players over the years.
In one year alone, squad graduates Petero Civoniceva, Brent Tate, Michael Crocker and Dane Carlaw turned out for the Maroons as well as donning national jerseys.
A dig through match reports revealed that development squad members who played first grade at the same time include Brent Tate (1999), Trent Clayton (1998), Petero Civoniceva (1994), Charles Vis (2003) and Val Fa'amoe (2003) so Yee is in illustrious company.
Squad co-ordinator Brian O'Brien has been there since day one and rates this year's squad as talented as any the club has boasted.
"This is a pretty talented squad and I would not be surprised if quite a few don't go on to attain the very highest honours," he said. "This squad is equal to the best we've had."
Electrifying winger Yee, a second year squad member, is only 17 and already has notched a handful of Queensland Cup appearances for the Dolphins as well as a players' player of the match award.
Red-haired centre Ben Jones, another squad member, has caught the eye of the Sydney Roosters with the club flying the 16-year-old to Sydney for the statewide Jersey Flegg competition.
"Ben has impressed the Roosters as he was man of the match twice in four weeks," O'Brien said. "I would not be surprised if the Roosters signed Ben as they have a high opinion of him.
"Ben not only made the Queensland Schoolboys side but also the state under 17s side with David Hala and Joel Romelo with the trio playing the curtain-raiser to Origin II.
"We ask our squad members to sign a BRL contract, but under no circumstances would we prevent a players from moving on to a higher level in the code."
This season's 20-strong development squad, made up of teens aged from 16 to 18 and sponsored for the second year by Classic Sportswear, undergoes skills training once a month as well as dinner every two months to which selected speakers are invited.
Topics can include financial advice, diet and public speaking. The squad is divided into three teams which compete against each other for an end-of-season trophy.
Junior development officer Grant Cleal takes the on-field training sessions with help from Dolphins premiership players Barry Denduck and Ian Graham and junior coach Steve Peoples.
The squad plays two matches against the equivalent Burleigh Bears squad as well as fielding a side in the annual country invitation trial at Dolphin Oval.
In another boost for the squad, Southern Cross student Hala has been named in the Australian Schoolboys side to tour Great Britain at the end of this season. A 2005 squad member, Redcliffe High's Luke Capewell, also made the touring party.
THE jockeying is on this month by quite a few sides for a top three place in the Queensland Cup.
The Emerald Group Dolphins are right in the mix and thankfully we have our destiny in our own hands.
Naturally our preference would be to nail down a one, two or three spot to give us more opportunities to advance in the finals series.
Our victory over the Toowoomba Clydesdales late last month certainly advanced our cause, but we do have the bye in the final round, which we do not gain any points for.
Our upcoming matches are against Souths Logan (Dolphin Oval), North Queensland (Townsville) and Tweed Seagulls (Redcliffe).
Obviously the NQ Young Guns fixture shapes as a crunch showdown with the home side in great form and constantly near the top of the ladder.
Our run in is no worse or better than the other contenders and I'm confident that if we play to our potential and injuries stay away we will give a good account of ourselves.
AARON Payne will take over the captaincy of the North Queensland Cowoys this week with regular captain Travis Norton and regular vice captain Jonathon Thurston injured. Justin Smith moves into the number 6 jersey with Norton missing while Neil Sweeney replaces Brenton Bowen on the wing.1 Matt Bowen2 Neil Sweeney3 Mark Henry 4 Ashley Graham5 Matt Sing6 Justin Smith7 Aaron Payne (c)8 Carl Webb9 David Faiumu10 Shane Tronc11 Steve Southern12 Luke O'Donnell13 Jacob Lillyman14 Rod Jensen15 Gavin Cooper16 Matthew Scott17 Mitchell Sargent18 Clint Amos(one to be omitted)Coach: Graham Murray