NEW South Wales chairman of selectors Bob Mccarthy says Matthew Gidley remains in the frame for State of Origin selection but he needs to produce something special over the next three weeks.
SOME new faces in the City and Country squads named tonight. Canberra prop, Ryan O'Hara has impressed enough to be included in the country squad which has 13 different players from last year.
Dragons player, Matt Cooper, pushed Cronulla Shark Phil Graham aside while Cowboy Glenn Morrison has edged out Raider Jason Croker.
Country will be captained by Andrew Johns.
ST George Illawarra will boast six players in this Friday nights City v Country Origin blockbuster at Express Advocate Stadium in Gosford, four for Country and two for City.
THE Sydney Airport Jets claimed an impressive scalp in defeating the previously unbeaten Parramatta Premier League team 24-16, in the match played at Henson Park on Saturday.
Parramatta led 12-8 at half-time, after an absorbing struggle in which no points were posted until the twenty-eighth minute. In-form Sydney Airport Jets winger Alf Duncan scored a magnificent sixty-metres try seven minutes prior to the break, with an exhilarating surge up the eastern left-hand touchline that demonstrated speed, athleticism, strength and determination as he fended off one blue and gold defender after another.
Newtown turned in a tightly disciplined second half performance, notable for a most satisfactory completion rate, resolute defence and an effective kick and chase game. The intensity of the Jets' second stanza effort is reflected in the fact that they were reduced by injury to one man on the bench for much of the second half, but yet their defensive line only cracked with two minutes left to play.
Best for the Sydney Airport Jets were David Fa'alogo, Russell Richardson, Alf Duncan, Luke Hession and Trevor Schodel in the backline, while Lee Trasler, crowd favourite Billy Najarrin, Aaron Trinder, Troy Barnes and big Tabua Cakacaka were the standouts in an all-round gutsy forwards performance.
There was no shortage of points and tries in the Jim Beam Cup curtain raiser against the Sydney Bulls. Newtown led early in the match, but once again gifted their opponents a huge lead, before staging another late second half rally. The Jets narrowed the deficit to 40-32, but the visitors kicked away for a final winning margin of 52-32.
Despite this loss, Newtown's coach Darryl Neville has reason to be pleased with the form of some of the youngsters in his squad, especially impressive ex-Redcliffe five-eighth Craig West, who claimed three smartly taken tries.
This coming Sunday (May 18), the Sydney Airport Jets take on the North Sydney Bears at historic North Sydney Oval, at the early starting time of 2.00 pm. This NSW Premier League match is also the second leg of the 2003 Frank Hyde Cup.
ROUND 4 of New Zealand's Bartercard Cup saw one or two upsets amongst them 2002 champions Mt Albert losing their first game in 2003.
CENTRE Nigel Vagana will hold talks with the Bulldogs today to determine whether he remains at the NRL club.
AFTER going to the grand final that never was, I couldn't help but feel a sense of belonging as Easts and Canterbury belted into each at Telstra Stadium last Friday night. These are the teams that all fair minded supporters look up to. What better showcase for the NRL than a Roosters v Bulldogs clash...?
HALFBACK Dean Byrne first came to the notice of St George Illawarra supporters when he ran onto the field during a pre-season trial in early 2002. With incumbent halfback Willie Peters set to depart, Dean was tipped by many observers as the next player to fill the No.7 jersey for the Dragons.
WIGAN Warriors Coach Stuart Raper has revealed that Captain Andy Farrell, Second Rower Mick Cassidy and Forward Ricky Bibey could all be back for Friday's home game with Warrington Wolves at the JJB Stadium.
CHALLENGE Cup holders Bradford Bulls overcame the dismissal of Great Britain three quarter Leon Pryce to beat Castleford 30-10 and register their 10th successive victory and keep up the pressure on Super League leaders Leeds.
MELBOURNE prop Robbie Kearns has paid Craig Bellamy the ultimate compliment, claiming the rookie coach is already in the class of super-coaches Wayne Bennett and Phil Gould.
EXPERIENCED video referee Mick Stone has been axed by National Rugby League referees boss Robert Finch following his blunder in Friday night's Bulldogs-Sydney Rooster's match.
SOUTH Sydney second rower Ashley Harrison and Manly centre Albert Torrens have both been charged with careless high tackles by the National Rugby League judiciary.
MELBOURNE Storm workhorse Robbie Kearns has been rewarded for his outstanding start to the 2003 Telstra Premiership season by being named captain of the City Origin team that will take on the Country side this Friday night in Gosford.
NEWCASTLE proved it could win without captain Andrew Johns after downing a gallant South Sydney 42-28 on Sunday in the National Rugby League clash at EnergyAustralia Stadium.