WELL, I had a shocker last week. After clinching my first perfect score in Round 13, I dropped the ball big time and came crashing back down to earth. It started fine with my choice in Friday night?s game getting up at the death, but it all went downhill from there. I had my head handed to me in a bucket on Super Saturday and then continued to watch my picks fall from the sky all the way to Monday. It seems I?m not alone though.
AFTER the experience of the Lokomotiv Tbilisi stadium and a crowd of over 11,000 in Georgia the Dutch come back to reality in the basic surroundings of RC Rotterdamse on Saturday 17th June (6.00pm) as the Netherlands complete their Euro "B" / World cup qualifying campaign against Serbia. After defeats at the hands of Russia and Georgia the game will determine who finishes the group with the wooden spoon.Given the rivalry that has developed between the sides in recent years the players and management are looking forward to a very competitive match. Serbia has lost their last two games to the Dutch, in 2004 in Rotterdam and then last year in Belgrade, but both sides have improved during this World Cup campaign. The problematic full back position has again raised its head as Kees Foxon, a stand in for Joel Barrett in Georgia, is a definite non-starter. Joel dislocated his shoulder whilst filling in for the injured Rudy Stanford-Smyth, against the Russians and Kees suffered a bad dislocation of his ankle in Tbilisi.Powerful second rower James Howitt is out for the season after picking up knee ligament trouble in the Russian game and Jorik Moree and Rudy Stanford-Smyth will need fitness tests. This will be the first game in charge for new Head Coach Troy Perkins and his selection will be boosted by the inclusion in the squad for the first time of ex-Canterbury Bulldogs and Halifax three quarter Dayne Nierinckx. Dayne has made himself available after being released by Halifax and his experience will be a major boost to the Netherlands side. The game also marks the retirement of two of Netherlands most capped players as Bevan Williamson returns to New Zealand with eight international caps for Netherlands, an appearance record matched by Johnny Qua who is also hanging up his boots after the game to spend more time with his new born daughter. Netherlands ?train on? squadRugby League World Cup Qualifier GroupingsRC Rotterdamse, Hollandv Serbia 17 June 20061. Duncan Taylor (Worthing) 2. Jamie Groeneweg (Hookers, Hoek van Holland) 3. Dayne Nierinckx (Unattached) 4. Ronald van den Broek (Haagsche) 5. Cyril Brienberg (Roosendaal)6. Aaron de Jager (Huddersfield Underbank Rangers) (captain)7. Nathan Meirshcke (London Skolars)8. Phil Parkinson (Nottingham Outlaws)9. Chris Hodgetts (Hemel Stags)10. Alan Barker (London Skolars)11. Raymond den Engelsman (Hookers, Hoek van Holland)12. Vincent Grimbergen (Sassenheim)13. Bevan Williamson (Rotterdamse)14. Benjamin Blom (Sassenheim)15. Johnny Qua (Rotterdamse)16. Jason Bruygoms (Sparta)17. Jorik Moree (Rotterdamse)18. Rudy Stanford-Smyth (Sparta)19. Alex Hoogenzand (Sassenheim)20. Bernie van Holstein (Hookers, Hoek van Holland)21. Caine Rooseboom (Sassenheim)22. Duncan van Dam (Rotterdamse)23. Micheal O' Mahoney (Rotterdamse)24. Sjoerd Nieboer WRC (Haaglanden)25. Roelof Haar (Leeuwarden)Source: www.rlef.eu.com
MICHAEL Hodgson became the latest Titans signing, agreeing to a 2 year contract with the NRL?s newest club today.The front row / second row player has been with Canberra since 2000 after coming through the ranks as a Parramatta Junior and playing his first two seasons in first grade with that club. Hodgson said, ?I have been impressed with the way the club has been portrayed in the media in that it is very professional and organised. My wife Sally and I are genuinely excited about the move for us and our daughter Neve and it is even more attractive being a new club. It will be a great place to train and play ? waking this morning to minus 3 certainly reinforced that.?Coach John Cartwright believes the signing is another crucial move in the formulation of the fledgling club?s forward pack.Cartwright said, ?As with all of our signings, Michael fits the mould 100% on and off the field. He?s a big reason why the Raiders are having more success this season. He has got great go-forward, he?s a solid defender and he?s closing in on 100 first grade games which is when front rowers start to play their best football.?Gold Coast Titans signings to date:Forwards: Michael Hodgson (Raiders) Frank Puletua (Panthers) Luke Bailey (Dragons) Anthony Laffranchi (Tigers) Luke Swain (Panthers) Brad Meyers (Bradford) Nathan Friend (Storm) Luke O?Dwyer (Eels)Backs Preston Campbell (Panthers) Brian Carney (Newcastle) Matt Petersen (Eels) Scott Prince (Tigers) Richie Mathers (Rhinos) Josh Graham (Western Force)
A HEARTY effort from the PNG Kundus has given great hope for the country?s international future, despite a deceiving 32-16 loss against the Queensland Under 19 Maroons.
IT WAS spectacular and controversial and in the long run the good guys won. Queensland raised its first victory over New South Wales this year with a 42-16 win in the Under 17s prelude to Origin II.
XXXX COUNTRY TEAM 2006
V XXXX CITY, CLONCURRY, JUNE 24
SYDNEY Roosters captain Craig Fitzgibbon says he is hopeful he will receive an offer that will allow him to stay at the club beyond 2006.
NEW South Wales prop Willie Mason has implored Blues selectors to keep faith with the side humbled in game two of the State Of Origin series last night.
NSW clinched the 2006 State of Origin series last night with a commanding 26-12 victory in Game 2 at Suncorp Stadium and in doing so validated the media?s forecast that the concept is dead as a spectacle.
THE North Queensland Cowboys will wait until the weekend before deciding whether Johnathan Thurston takes to the field in Sunday's NRL clash against the Bulldogs on the Gold Coast.
THIS week the North Sydney Club will welcome the Penrith Club to North Sydney Oval in a replay of round six. Both teams will be champing at the bit to meet up, but for differing reasons.The Bears Jersey Flegg side while losing to the Panthers 34-22, played one of their most competitive and entertaining matches which featured the golden boot of James Maloney and a great individual performance from centre Matt ?Mad Dog? McDougall. No doubt the boys see a win in their sights and will pull-out all the stops to achieve it this Sunday.However James Maloney has since been promoted to Premier League and will join his team mates in a revenge attack on the team that beat them [the Cougars] 66-24. Statistically this season, the next match played after the bye was the Bears best game of the season winning against the Bulldogs athome 42-32.The Jersey Flegg will battle the Penrith Panthers at 1:00 p.m. while the Premier League will seek revenge against the St Marys/Perith Cougars at 2:30 p.m. at North Sydney Oval on Sunday 18th June. BE THERE!PICTURED: Norths Flegg prop Mitchell Erickson takes a run against the Roosters. Photo: Steve LittleThe North Sydney Rugby League Football Club can be contacted on 9466 8860,by e-mail [email protected], or check out the website athttp://www.northsydneybears.com.au.THIS WEEKENDS TEAMSNorth Sydney Premier League v St Marys-Penrith1. Richard Retimana2. Anthony Beare3. Ryan Shortland4. Filinga Filiga5. Karl Johnson6. Daniel Russell (c)7. James Maloney8. Aaron Trinder9. Ben Ellis10. Michael Harper11. Chris Saab12. Matt Bartlett13. Brad Domek14. Ryan Russell15. Bede Tuohy16. Scott Perrin17. Andrew Moodie22. Eddie SuaCoach - Josh WhiteNorth Sydney Jersey Flegg v St Marys-Penrith1. Matt McDougall2. Chris Heasman3. Bladen Baird4. Daniel Phillips5. Ryan Wilson6. Jason Saliba7. Liam Foran8. Mitchell Erickson9. Gavin Duncan10. Pio Rokomaqisa11. Mick Morris12. Arnold Mano13. Chris Dears14. Tim McDonald15. Michael Jones16. Tupo PeauaCoach - Steve Carter
MOGG?S debut just a tease
QUEENSLAND'S crushing victory has quickly turned the State of Origin series decider at Melbourne's Telstra Dome into a sellout. Ticket offices were rushed in the wake of the Maroons' 30-6 upset win at Suncorp Stadium last night and remaining tickets for the July 5 match were snapped up for the 53,355-capacity venue.
STATE of Origin hero Justin Hodges is in serious doubt for Brisbane's NRL showdown with St George Illawarra at Suncorp Stadium tomorrow night.
HUDDERSFIELD Giants have signed Wests Tigers prop forward John Skandalis on a two year contract. The 29 year old, who is 190cm and 107kgs, will join the Giants for the start of Super League XII. Skandalis, who has made over 200 NRL appearances, played for Wests in the 2005 NRL Grand Final and this season made his third appearance for the City Origin side in the recent City v Country Origin game.