MANLY centre Steve Bell is expected to overcome a foot injury in time for Friday's semi final against St George Illawarra.
THE Canterbury Bulls have booked a spot in the Bartercard Cup grand final next Monday night.The Bulls thumped the Tamaki Leopards 30-6 in the sudden death semi-final at Auckland?s Mt Smart Stadium last night.The Phil Prescott-coached side will now face Brian McClennan?s Auckland Lions side in a rematch of last season?s grand final. The Leopards started the game at full pace and enjoyed plenty of possession.But it was the Bulls who collected the first points of the game.After weathering the early storm they exploited a few holes in the Tamaki defence to send centre Lee Fidow in for the opening try in the 17th minute.In a sign of the standard of the defence from both sides the next points didn?t come until the 30th minute when Canterbury second rower Jonny Limmer crashed his way over. With the Bulls on a roll the Leopards needed to show some composure.Instead they gifted possession back to Canterbury with a simple handling mistake and it cost them dearly.Their defence looked weak and it wasn?t long before Donovan Aitken found his way through to add another four points to the Bulls? advantage.With Scott Hurrell on target with the boot the Bulls held a 16-0 lead at halftime.Whatever coach Dean Clark said to the Leopards at halftime obviously worked.They came back from the break and again applied plenty of pressure to the Bulls.And it paid off in the 56th minute when Paul Atkins burrowed his way through the Canterbury defence to grab their first points of the game.William Heta collected the extras to reduce the gap to 16-6.That sparked the Leopards into action.But it was only a brief fight-back and with a little over 10 minutes to run on the clock the Bulls added another nail in the coffin when winger Lucas Tamakaha shot over the try line.Hurrell again made easy work of the conversion and then added a penalty to extend the lead to 18 points and put the game out of reach of the Tamaki side.In a show of their ruthless professionalism Canterbury continued to pound the Leopards defence in the dying minutes and added another try to interchange player Ross Turi to their final score. Canterbury Bulls 30 Tries: L. Fidow, J. Limmer, D. Aitken, L. Tamakaha, R. Turi Goals: S. Hurrell (5)Tamaki Leopards 6 Tries: P AtkinsGoals: W. HetaHalftime Score: 16 - 0 To Canterbury Bulls
ALL the results from the weekend's NSWRL VB Premier League, Jersey Flegg Cup and Jim Beam Cup finals. VB Premier League: Final Series - Week OneFriday, September 8Newtown Jets 22 defeated St Mary's-Penrith Cougars 20 at Henson ParkSaturday, September 9Parramatta Eels 28 defeated Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 16 at Parramatta StadiumCanberra Raiders 30 defeated Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 4 at Telstra StadiumSunday, September 10St George-Illawarra Dragons 10 lost to Balmain-Ryde Eastwood Tigers 12 at WIN StadiumCronulla-Sutherland Sharks and St Mary's-Penrith Cougars eliminatedJersey Flegg Cup: Final Series - Week OneFriday, September 8Newcastle Knights 40 defeated Canberra Raiders 10 at EnergyAustralia StadiumSaturday, September 9Balmain Tigers 10 lost to Penrith Panthers 28 at Leichhardt OvalSydney Roosters 14 lost to Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 18 at Parramatta StadiumSunday, September 10St George-Illawarra Dragons 8 lost to Bulldogs 12 at WIN StadiumBalmain Tigers and Canberra Raider EliminatedJim Beam Cup: Final Series - Week TwoSaturday, September 9Newtown Jets 22 defeated Wentworthville Magpies 20 (Minor Semi Final) at Leichhardt OvalSydney Bulls 18 defeated Cabramatta Two Blues 0 (Major Semi Final) at Leichhardt OvalWentworthville EliminatedSource: nswrl.com.au
NEWCASTLE has until midday to decide how to handle the dangerous throw charge that threatens to end the season of hooker Danny Buderus.
JETS Edge Out Cougars in Qualifying Final ThrillerThe Newtown Jets have advanced to the 2006 VB Premier League Preliminary Final following their narrow 20-18 win over the Penrith-St Marys Cougars, in the Qualifying Final match played at Henson Park on Friday night. The Jets have also gone through to the Preliminary Final stage in the Jim Beam Cup next Saturday (September 16th), in the wake of an exciting 22-20 victory against Wentworthville at a rain-lashed Leichhardt Oval on Saturday afternoon.The Jets did it all the hard way against the Cougars, trailing by 18-4 after thirty minutes of the first half before pulling back to 18-10 in arrears through a morale-boosting converted try right on half-time. Newtown gained the lead for the first time in the match with only 18 minutes left to play, and then had to defend desperately for extended periods to preserve that margin. Outgoing Penrith Panthers coach John Lang praised the Cougars after the match, saying that they had stuck to their game plan and made full use of the strong southerly breeze in the first half. He added that the Cougars had done everything that could be asked of a team playing in what was their own elimination semi-final.The Newtown team might have lacked cohesion in the first forty minutes but they struck all the right chords when they really needed to in the nerve-racking second half. They now have two clear weeks to fine-tune their combination for whichever team they will face up to in the Preliminary Final. The Jets best forwards were hooker Heath L?Estrange, front-rowers Glenn Hall and Mickey Paea, second-rower Adam Schubert (who made a great return from the injured list) and in-form lock forward Mitch Aubusson. Fullback Aidan Kirk gave another solid performance at full-back, included a much-needed try in the first half. Winger Troy Malcolm had an excellent second half, claiming one try for himself and positioning Mitch Aubusson for the try that gave Newtown the lead. Halves Jamie Soward and Josh Lewis took some time to ?click? back in the Premier League ranks but both showed what they will be capable of in the remaining finals matches. Newtown?s 22-20 win over Wentworthville in the Jim Beam Cup Elimination Semi-Final at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday was based on a strong, disciplined performance from the entire forward pack. The Jets led 18-6 at the break and extended this to 22-6 early in the second half. As the Jets? mistake rate started to rise, Wentworthville hit back with three quick tries to trail by two points with a full twenty minutes left to play.To say that Newtown had a mixture of good and bad fortune in this match is somewhat of an understatement. With his team trailing by 22-20, the Wentworthville goal-kicker dispatched what looked like being a successful conversion attempt only for the football to be carried back from the air space between the uprights by a massive wind gust ? what one awe-struck Newtown supporter described in Biblical terms as ?the Breath of the Lord?! The misfortune came right on full-time when plucky little Jets half-back Luke Millwood suffered a broken jaw in an appalling off-the-ball incident only seconds before the final siren, one that the NSWRL Judiciary members are sure to look at very closely this week. Newtown?s best forwards were Ritchie Parker, Zoran Ilijoski, Billy Baleilomaloma and Rimini Reweti, while Anton La Vin and Charlie Herekotukutuku had strong games in the backs.The Jets Jim Beam Cup team now moves on to a Preliminary Final appointment against Cabramatta, with this match being played at Leichhardt Oval next Saturday (September 16th) at 3.00pm. Newtown?s VB Premier League side will be playing in the Preliminary Final on either the 22nd or 23rd September. Further match details will be on the Newtown Jets website as soon as they become available.
WEEK One of the Finals has thrown up just the one ?surprise? with the Dragons traveling to Suncorp to take the chocolates from the Broncos, but the rest of the games saw the favourite emerge victorious. League Player Ratings is the only non-newspaper/magazine affiliated Ratings service covering the NRL and after completing the regular season for subscribers, NSC is covering the Finals for League Unlimited.
The LPR is a ranking out of 10, as a guide 3 is the lowest score and for a very early injury, 4 is for an mid-game injury if nothing significant was done or a player has a very poor performance, 5 is a poor performance below standard, 6 is a standard performance, 7 is a very good performance, 8 is an excellent performance, 9 is an outstanding performance and 10 is an unbelievable performance.
Here is the LPR for every player in Week One of the Finals, and for those who like the 3-2-1 method (which is sketchy at best in providing the games best and most consistent player) it is included after each Team List incorporating the LPR.
1st Qualifying Final
NEWCASTLE 25 def MANLY-WARRINGAH 18
Man of the Match ? Andrew Johns, NEW
XXXX STATEWIDE SCORE WRAP
WARRINGTON ensured they will be in the Super League play-offs for the second season in a row after handing out a rare defeat to second-placed Hull.
LEE Hopkins? two tries inspired Harlequins RL to a narrow 31-30 win over Wigan Warriors in a dramatic game at The Stoop, ending any relegation worries for the London side.
HUDDERSFIELD Giants celebrated their engage Super League survival with a 20-12 victory over French outfit Catalans Dragons in Perpignan.
REFEREE'S coach Robert Finch says match day officials were right in not awarding a try to Parramatta forward Glenn Morrison in the Eels narrow finals loss to Melbourne.
ST George Illawarra centre Mark Gasnier has been ruled out of Friday night's semi-final clash against Manly at Aussie Stadium due to a hip injury.
THE Gold Coast Titans have signed Canberra second rower Kris Kahler to a two-year deal. Kahler is the Titans 27th senior player signing and the club is amazed the 23-year-old was still unsigned for 2007.He joins an imposing forward pack for the new franchise which includes the likes of Luke Bailey, Anthony Laffranchi, Brad Meyers and Frank Puletua. The Titans recruitment drive is far from over, the club saying another six players would be added in coming weeks with a back-up halfback top of their priority list.Titans Media release 11/09/2006Kahler looking to do the hard yards at the Titans!Uncompromising Canberra Raiders second rower Kris Kahler is the latest addition to the Gold Coast Titans playing roster after agreeing to a two year deal with the new NRL franchise.Gold Coast Titans Managing Director Michael Searle saying ?The Signing of Kris as our 27th player is a true indication of our commitment to ensuring we have adequate depth for our inaugural year and beyond.??Kris is highly rated by our coaching staff and his return to Queensland is a bonus for the Titans. He is a strong, tough player who will place pressure on the starting pack immediately. This is an awesome signing for our club.? Coach John Cartwright is surprised the Titans were able to secure a player of Kris?s ability at this stage of the season. ?Kris was originally recommended to us by Matt Adamson, he is coming here for all the right reasons and we are excited to be able to add a player that can play in the front row and back row and who has a work ethic that will excite his fellow players.??I am very pleased that we have a very physical and workmanlike pack that won?t be taking a backward step. As a coach, that provides you with a chance to play enterprising football out wide.?Cartwright on Kris Kahler?s form in 2006.?Given he has forced his way back into the strong Raiders team after recovery from a shoulder reconstruction at the start of the season is a credit to him and his playing ability.??He has had an outstanding back end of the season and we rated his performances highly and his work rate will be a real bonus for our pack.?Gold Coast Titans Football Manager Scott Sattler believes Kahler is a fantastic addition and a great fit for the 2007 Titans. ?I think your players have got to reflect your Coach and Kris will fit into John Cartwright?s plans very well. He is tough, durable and very mobile.??Kris is one of those guys that players like playing alongside because he gets in there and does the dirty work. It?s players like Kris who help clubs grind out tough wins. John identified Kris very early on and to be able to get him here is a huge boost to our already impressive forward pack.?For Kris it?s a great opportunity and a chance to come home.?The Titans have provided me with a fantastic opportunity to be a foundation player at a Queensland NRL Club and for that I am truly grateful. The quality of the roster is unbelievable and I am really looking forward to playing under John Cartwright and Billy Johnstone.? ?I have heard a lot of really good things about John and I also believe the fitness regime of Billy Johnstone will help me reach the next level so I am very excited about the move to the Gold Coast.?Kris Kahler Profile Name Kris Kahler DOB 13TH February 1983Place of Birth Gympie QueenslandPosition Second RowHeight 191cm Weight 100kgJunior Club Gympie Devils Previous Clubs Brisbane Broncos, Canberra RaidersFirst Grade Debut Broncos v Tigers May 31 2002 The Titans haven?t finished yet. The door isn?t closed on recruitment for the Gold Coast Titans debut season with Managing Director Michael Searle suggesting another six players will be signed in the coming weeks.?Some of those players will have NRL experience and the balance will be secured by our coaching staff through our feeder club system in the Queensland Wizard Cup.? With a roster of forwards that would be the envy of any NRL Club, Searle says backline depth is the new focus. ?The possibility of securing additional outside backs and a half, five/eight to protect us against a run of injuries in the halves has become our next objective.?
PARRAMATTA trio Nathan Hindmarsh, Eric Grothe and Jarryd Hayne have been added to the Australian rugby league train-on squad.
NEWCASTLE hooker Danny Buderus could miss the rest of the finals series after being charged with a grade-three dangerous throw by the match review committee.