ENERGYAUSTRALIA Stadium was the venue for the Round 25 clash between the Newcastle Knights and the Cronulla Sharks. It was the final home game of the regular season for the Knights in what has been a rather successful year in the Jersey Flegg competition. The Knights were also out to exact revenge and turn around a 56-6 humiliation by the Sharks at Toyota Park just six weeks ago.
The first try of the game was scored by the home side through centre Alex McCosker who continued his recent good form. Luke Walsh failed with his conversion attempt from out wide. The next ten minute passage was one where both sides began to throw the ball around and successfully complete their sets. The next try of the match was through some superb vision by halfback Walsh. He took the ball on the fifth tackle after making himself available down the blindside, noticing that the Sharks were struggling. As the defence converged on him, he hooked a kick back towards the posts, where his halves partner in crime and captain Scotty Dureau was chasing through the kick, got a fantastic bounce before diving over beside the posts. Walsh added the extras and the Knights led 10-0. This was instantly an improvement from the last time the sides met. The Knights were starting to look sharp and enthusiastic. The Sharks appeared to be sluggish and were half a step behind the Knights at this particular point in the match. The Sharks finally appeared to be getting into their groove in the match and halfback Ben Green got his side on the board when he finished off a 50 metre movement by the Sharks after some terrific lead up work. Bryson Goodwin, who six weeks ago finished with a handy personal amount of points, added his first conversion of the match to close the gap to four. Knights 10 Sharks 6 remained the score until just a minute before halftime, when Knights interchange hooker Nathan Berry ran out of dummy half and planted the ball on the line, constituting a try to the home side on the stroke of halftime. Walsh added the conversion from a wide angle just a few seconds before halftime. Knights 16 - 6 Sharks was the halftime score.
AN ELIMINATION semi final win by Wynnum in the Mixwell Cup has ensured that eight clubs will remain represented across all grades during the second week of finals.
HILLS District landed the first upset blow of the 2005 finals when the Mixwell Colts Challenge newcomers dismantled Redcliffe 42-22 at Dolphin Oval.
HIBISCUS Coast Raiders have become the first team to be knocked out of the semi finals in New Zealand's Bartercard Cup competition.
FOR the second year in succession Toowoomba has exited the Queensland Cup with an extra-time defeat in the first week of finals, sunk 23-22 by the boot of Redcliffe?s Shane Perry.
THE Sydney Airport Jets were pushed back into fifth place on the VB Premier League competition table, following their 32-20 loss to the Newcastle Knights at Energy Australia Stadium on Saturday evening. In the Jim Beam Cup, Newtown qualified for the semi-final series after defeating Erina 28-12 on Saturday afternoon, and then surviving an attempt by their nearest rivals Cabramatta to surpass the Jets? for and against record.
DAIRY Farmers Stadium, Bishop Park and Pizzey Park will host decisive QRL finals this coming weekend.
HERE are the reports from Bridgend and Kevin Ellis' remarkable Cup double
this weekend. Ellis coached both Brynteg School and Bridgend Blue Bulls to National Final victories in the Powergen Champions Schools Year 7 and Total RL.com RLC Conference Premier Finals respectively.
THE St George Illawarra Dragons will be looking to make it seven consecutive victories in front of a fourth consecutive record home crowd* in their last round game of the regular season against the Knights at Oki Jubilee Stadium this Sunday.
ONLY two players were charged following all the action of round 25, both stemming from the same game.
MITSUBISHI Electric Bulldogs coach Steve Folkes has named the Dogs first grade team for their round 26 clash with the Roosters at Aussie Stadium on Sunday.
ROOSTERS coach Ricky Stuart has stuck solid with the troops that emphatically downed Brisbane last week for Sunday?s do-or-die clash with the Bulldogs at Aussie Stadium.
THE Canberra Raiders will have all hands on deck for this Saturday night?s final round match against the Manly Sea Eagles at Canberra Stadium.
SHARKS coach Stuart Raper has resisted making changes or resting any of his star players for the final round clash with South Sydney on Saturday night.
MELBOURNE Storm coach Craig Bellamy has named a 19-man squad for this weekend's round 26 NRL Telstra Premiership clash against North Queensland Cowboys. The Storm (13-10) takes on the Cowboys (13-10) at Dairy Farmers Stadium in Townsville on Saturday, September 3rd at 7:30pm.
After last weekend?s terrific win against the Wests Tigers, Billy Slater returns to the starting line-up at fullback in place of Greg Inglis who takes his place on the interchange bench. Scott Hill also takes his place in the starting line-up after starting last weekend?s game on the bench. Cooper Cronk makes way for Hill and will join Inglis on the interchange bench. Peter Robinson has been omitted from the squad and will play for Storm feeder club Brisbane Norths Devils in week 2 of the Queensland Cup Semi-Finals.