Auckland league finals deliver the goods

A complete turnaround is the only way to describe the Manurewa Marlins 52-18 win over the Richmond Rovers. Manurewa showed skill, composure and courage in their drubbing of the Rovers.

Bond Breaks Through into Top Grade

ONLY the best footballers seem to bypass the Colts competition and move straight into senior competitions. Teenage Dolphin Wayne Bond is a case in point. The inside back, who bears a striking resemblance to former Queensland star Adrian Lam in both looks and playing style, has played very limited time in the under 19 Colts ranks. The starlet is now firmly entrenched in Redcliffe's Premier League side, playing five-eighth outside captain Shane Perry. The fixture against the Comets marked his fifth top appearance, one at halfback and the other four at pivot. "I really love it," he said. "It's great to be playing at this level and the sheer size, strength and speed of the players is something. "The game kicks up a notch against the top teams and I want to keep playing at this level for the rest of the year right through until the semis. "The game against Wynnum was something. It was so rough and the hits so huge. Our forwards kept belting their guys in defence and it was a real eye-opener." The match against Tweed Heads marked his first match at Dolphin Oval and he was counting on a win. Still eligible to play Colts, Bond has turned out in only two Colts fixtures in his time with the Dolphins. "I've just turned 19 and played one or two Colts matches last year before playing reserve grade," he said. "Then this year I've been in reserve grade before making the Premier League side." Redcliffe fans should make the most of this season to watch the 73 kilogram Bond in action. Last month he signed up with the Penrith Panthers and will spend next season with the Mountain Men at the foot of the Blue Mountains. His switch came as a surprise to some as he had been linked with the Sydney Roosters since he was 16. "I've been on a scholarship with the Roosters and would receive gear and attend their training camp each year," he said. "It was a big decision to go to Penrith but I was always going to go to Sydney ... it was just which club." Perhaps the Panthers see Bond as a possible replacement for livewire Preston Campbell, a player of similar stature and playing ilk. One aspect of his game they will like is his pinpoint field kicking and stab kicks into the in-goal. "I usually practise my kicking game before training. I muck around with my mates kicking,'' he said. Bond naturally has kind words for coach Anthony Griffin. "He helps me heaps in defence," he said. "He tries to help me read the play in a game. "During a game, Danny Burke is the player who talks to me a lot and encourages me throughout a game. Most of the guys talk to me during a game a bit, but Burkey really gets in my ear and I like playing with him.'' A former Albany Creek junior, Bond joined the Dolphins when he was 15. A wood machinist, he is in the second year of his four-year apprenticeship. "I would like to keep going with the job, depending on what the workload is with football," he said. The teen has an older brother and two sisters and lives at home at Burpengary. Football runs in his family as cousin Michael plays with the Toowoomba Clydesdales in the Queensland Cup. "Michael's dad and my dad are brothers," Bond said. "He has been playing in the centres but can play all the over the place. He really is a half. He played with the Clydesdales last year but is now a big unit."

Redcliffe Dolphins Flashback - Tony Obst

TONY Obst - Bound for Sydney soon? To most people in Sydney is the bridge over the Harbour, an incomplete opera house and hectic nights down Kings Cross. Not so with Redcliffe and Queensland fullback Tony Obst. Obst sees Sydney as a challenge to himself and his football ability... a challenge that will have to be met and overcome before his playing days are over. And if the money and conditions are right Obst will probably be playing in Sydney before too many more seasons are over. Not that he doesn?t like Redcliffe and Brisbane. Let Obst explain the way he feels about Sydney: ?I?ve always thought about playing down there. ? I suppose most players have at some time. I know it would be pretty tough, but I would like to play down there to see how it is and how I would go. ?I would like to play down there for a year but it won?t be just yet because I still have a year to go on my contract with Redcliffe.? Even after that Obst is not certain to look seriously at Sydney straight away. For at the age of 23 he has plenty of time, because he is tough and durable and has a tireless approach to the game. Few,if any in the game today would have as much A grade experience as Obst. For Obst is in his eighth season of first grade. He started his A grade career when he was only 15 years old back in his home town of Longreach in Western Queensland. ?I didn?t seem to fit in with the junior football,? Obst recalled this week. ?So I had a talk with my father and he suggested that I try out for the senior grade,? Obst said. After a couple of games in B grade, Obst found a permanent spot at half-back with the Longreach team in the Central West League inter-town competition. It was a tough school for a young footballer to graduate in - you had to be pretty rugged to survive. The fact that Obst not only survived but flourished in the Longreach competition only goes to prove he was above average in durability for a player of his youth. When he first arrived in Brisbane in 1969 many League fans mistook Obst?s aggressive stance and equally aggressive play for a chip on his shoulder. But when you know he started at the age of 15 in a rough and tumble League like Longreach you realise that if he hadn?t learned to stand up for himself he certainly wouldn?t be playing League today. Today Obst doesn?t give off the same air of defiance as he did when he first joined Redcliffe, but don?t let that fool you. You will probably remember the par in the Brisbane Beat column last week on the toughest footballer in Brisbane? Yes it was Tony Obst and the man who named him for the award was none other than another one of Brisbane?s toughest, Peter Kleinhans. Obst packs every bit of his 13 1/2 stone and 5ft 10in. frame into everything he does on the football field. When he can?t run around someone in attack he can usually run through them and when he tackles he puts them down, no risk. Obst joined Redcliffe as a five - eighth and centre. At one stage he even found himself in the second row. But when the club?s number one fullback, Rowan Gaylard suffered a serious leg injury, Obst was put back to replace him. At the time Obst couldn?t have had a better teacher, for the club coach was former test fullback Ken McCrohan. McCrohan still passes on tips of fullback play to Obst.Obst said ?I see Ken every week and he is always willing to answer any questions I ask him about football.? Although he used to be a good goal kicker Obst would prefer to concentrate on attack rather than goal kicking these days. In 1968, his last year in Longreach, Obst won the top goal kicking award. But you get the idea that Obst wants to be selected on his football ability, not on how many goals he can kick. Right now he doesn?t have any selection problems with Redcliffe, and the way he?s playing he won?t have too many problems when it comes to selecting the Queensland team. He is playing better football today than he was when he made his debut for Queensland in the last interstate match last year in which Queensland defeated New South Wales. Obst is rather unique as fullbacks go. He is not particularly fast but has a highly deceptive change of pace.

Boost for Maltese Rugby League

MALTA?S rugby league efforts have been boosted by generosity and support as DOM International renews a sponsorship deal that will see them through to the completion of 2006 and Maltagenealogy.com accepts a front of jersey rights deal for the upcoming historic first rugby league match in Malta.

Hull close in on Faumuina

CHALLENGE Cup winners Hull are close to signing New Zealand international Sione Faumuina in a short-term deal as they set their eyes on the double.

Tigers face fine

WESTS Tigers have been hit with a breach notice by the NRL for using an unofficial kicking tee in their 34-22 weekend loss to Melbourne following a complaint by the Storm.

Melbourne Supporters - Dragons v Knights

DRAGONS Supporters,

Wesser and Stevens to be given every opportunity

FORMER Queensland fullback Rhys Wesser will have a light run this week to reassess his comeback from an ankle injury in a bid to chime into Penrith's must-win game against Wests Tigers on Sunday.

Round 26 Teams and Fixtures

FRIDAY, 2nd September 2005

Barrett says no distractions, Cooper out

ST George Illawarra skipper Trent Barrett believes the fallout from a drunken bonding session at a NSW South Coast hotel won't derail the NRL club's premiership campaign. The joint venture club has fined Barrett and his Dragons team mate Mathew Head $2,000 and $1,000 respectively for their behaviour at a Warrawong pub last Monday night.

Sharks to farewell Peachey and Stevens tomorrow

CRONULLA will hold a press conference tomorrow to farewell departing veterans Jason Stevens and David Peachey.

Wests Tigers side named to face the Panthers

WESTS Tigers Head Coach, Tim Sheens has announced his squad for the Wests Tigers v Panthers Game at Telstra Stadium, kick off at 3.00pm.

Panthers name team to take on the Tigers

PENRITH Panthers coach John Lang has named his side to take on the Tigers at Telstra Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Coach Langs team is;

Cowboys squad named to play the Storm

THE NQ Toyota Cowboys and NQ Toyota Young Guns teams to play at Dairy Farmers Stadium this Saturday were announced today.

Webb and Gordon avoid suspension

NORTH Queensland prop Carl Webb has escaped suspension after entering an early guilty plea today. Webb was charged with a grade one dangerous throw for his tackle on South Sydney's Adam MacDougall during the Cowboys' 30-16 win over the Rabbitohs last Sunday.

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