POTENTIAL Vodafone Warriors of the future will be on show tomorrow when the Auckland Rugby League stages a festival of school football at Ericsson Stadium No 2. The action starts with grand finals for intermediate school boys and girls, the first of them at 11.00am. From 4.00pm, the focus switches to grand finals action for secondary schools. The glamour fixture is the Premier First XIII Cup final between St Paul's College B and Otahuhu College. Everyone is welcome and entry is free. The full programme is:11.00 - Under 55kg intermediate girls: Henderson v Papatoetoe 11.45 - Under 55kg intermediate boys: Viscount v Henderson 12.30 - Open weight intermediate girls: Viscount v Henderson 1.15 - Open weight intermediate boys: Tamaki v Kedgley 4.00 - Stephen Kearney Cup: St Paul's (A) v Sir Edmund Hillary 5.15 - Under-15 nine-a-side: St Paul's v Penrose 6.15 - College A: Southern Cross v Aorere 7.30 - St Paul's (B) v Otahuhu
PENRITH fullback Rhys Wesser is delighted by his late call-up to the Queensland team and says he has no concerns about playing out of position in next week's State Of Origin decider in Melbourne.
SYDNEY Roosters captain Craig Fitzgibbon has re-signed with the NRL club for the 2007 season. The signing has ended speculation about Fitzgibbon's future, following reports the Gold Coast franchise was interested in acquiring the workaholic backrower's services.
MANLY five-eighth Travis Burns has copped a one-week suspension after entering an early guilty plea to a grade two careless high tackle in his side's 16-10 NRL loss to Brisbane on Sunday. Burns, who caught Broncos forward Sam Thaiday high in the 47th minute of the match, will miss Friday night's clash with Newcastle at Brookvale Oval.
A totally dominant display by the Waitakere Rangers last night at Albany left their opponents, the Waicoa Bay Stallions hanging their heads in dismay when the final score blew out to 62-10 to the Rangers.Leading by an unbelieveable 36-0 at the break, the Waitakere side just went from strength to strength. Stand out performances by Boycie Nelson, Scott Jones and in particular fullback Cliff Beverley, who slotted, in at first and second receiver on a regular basis, and played a part in nearly all of the Rangers 12 tries, including 2 of his own.Although a game up in Round 13, Waitakere now move into third spot while Waicoa Bay sit just outside the Top 5.BARTERCARD CUP COMPETITION ? ROUND 13 RESULTS (Week 1 Of Split Round)b>Monday 26 June 2006 Waitakere Rangers vs Waicoa Bay Stallions North Harbour Stadium, AucklandWaitakere Rangers 62Tries: S. Jones, B. Nelson, M. Tuipulotu (2), C. Beverley (2), W. Clarken (3), J. Tavaga (3)Goals: S. Jones (7)Waicoa Bay Stallions 10Tries: S. Rapira, D. LeteleGoals: J. WalkerHalftime Score: 36 ? 0 To Waitakere RangersGames coming up:BARTERCARD CUP COMPETITION ? ROUND 13 FIXTURES (Week 2 Of Split Round)Saturday 1 July 2006 Tamaki Leopards vs Canterbury Bulls Ericsson Stadium, Auckland 5.20pm Kick Off(C/R To Warriors vs Panthers)Monday 3 July 2006 Live And Free-To-Air On Maori TelevisionCounties Manukau Jetz vs Central Falcons North Harbour Stadium, Auckland 8.00pm Kick Off TRANS-TASMAN RUGBY LEAGUE CUP ? GRAND FINAL FIXTURESSaturday 1 July 2006 Rotorua International Stadium, RotoruaKiwi Ferns vs NZ Maori Women 3.00pm Kick Off (Field No.2)Waicoa Bay U18?s vs NSW Country U18?s 4.30pm Kick OffJim Beam Cup vs Queensland Rangers 6.00pm Kick OffResidents vs NSW Country 7.40pm Kick Off (Grand Finals)
WESTS Tigers have named Robbie Farah at halfback for Sunday's NRL clash with the Bulldogs at Telstra Stadium, with Scott Prince shifting to five-eighth in place of the injured Benji Marshall.
STEVE Clark has been retained as referee for the State of Origin decider in Melbourne tomorrow week. Clark was the whistle-blower in Origin II in Brisbane earlier this month when Queensland thumped New South Wales 30-6 to keep the series alive.
TEST prop Petero Civoniceva won't travel with his Queensland State of Origin rugby league teammates to Melbourne today due to illness. Civoniceva will remain in Brisbane but is expected to join the rest of the Maroons squad tomorrow.
WILLIE Poching has won another New Zealand call-up for Wednesday morning's one-off international against Great Britain in St Helens.The 32-year-old former Vodafone Warrior was brought into the touring team last year to appear against England A. Now coach Brian McClennan has turned to him again, bringing him into his 18-man team for the Knowsley Road test. Poching's late inclusion follows more selection problems for McClennan after losing St Helens prop Jason Cayless and his clubmate Francis Meli to injury after the weekend's English Super League matches. Other test team contenders prop Joe Vagana (Bradford Bulls) and second rower Logan Swann (Warrington Wolves) are also unavailable through injury as is Swann's team-mate Paul Rauhihi. Vodafone Warriors great Stacey Jones has been chosen as captain. The 30-year-old half back has regained the captaincy in the absence of Ruben Wiki and Nigel Vagana, who led the Kiwis in the Anzac Test last month. The Kiwi 18-man team:Vinnie ANDERSON St Helens Monty BETHAM Wakefield Trinity Alex CHAN Le Catalans Henry FA'AFILI Warrington Harrison HANSEN Wigan Shontayne HAPE Bradford Stacey JONES (C) Les Catalans David KIDWELL Melbourne Ali LAUITI'ITI Leeds Iafeta PALEAAESINA Wigan Robbie PAUL Huddersfield Willy POCHING Leeds Ben ROBERTS Canterbury David SOLOMONA Wakefield Willie TALAU St Helens Motu TONY Hull Clinton TOOPI Warriors Lesley VAINIKOLO Bradford Meanwhile Great Britain coach, Brian Noble has shown faith in recently injured St Helens player Paul Sculthorpe who finally gets to captain the Lions as they take on New Zealand in the XXXX Test on his home ground at Knowsley Road.The St Helens forward was named Britain skipper in succession to Andy Farrell last year but was forced to miss the autumn Tri-Nations Series through injury.Noble acknowledges Sculthorpe's performances for Saints have been below par of late but he feels that could all change once the Test gets underway."This is the kind of game that can spark anyone up. It would certainly spark me up if I was selected for a Test jumper and being captain of my country as well." says Noble."You can turn your form around in one game and this might be the catalyst." Sculthorpe's Saints team-mate Leon Pryce will revert to the left wing after Gareth Raynor's withdrawal with a shoulder injury, with Danny McGuire likely to start at stand-off. Centre Martin Gleeson is set to be included despite missing the last two Warrington games with a broken finger, while prop Adrian Morley could start barely 24 hours after arriving in the country from Australia. The 18-man Great Britain squad:P Sculthorpe (St Helens, capt)S O'Loughlin (Wigan)T Newton (Bradford)J Peacock (Leeds)L Gilmour (St Helens)D McGuire (Leeds)J Graham (St Helens)R Burrow (Leeds)P Wellens (St Helens)A Gardner (St Helens)M Gleeson (Warrington)K Senior (Leeds)L Pryce (St Helens)S Long (St Helens)S Fielden (Wigan)K Cunningham (St Helens)A Morley (Sydney Roosters)G Ellis (Leeds). Both coaches were planning to name their match-day 17s just an hour before kick-off.Live coverage in New Zealand will commence at 6.55am on Sky Sport 1, Wednesday 28 June 2006, 8.00pm UK time Tues 27 June.
I would just like to start this week?s rant by thanking everyone for their well wishes following my appearance on the Footy Show last Thursday night. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Whilst nervous early as was quite obvious with the footage, it turned out to be a very great night and one which I won?t forget in a hurry. There are a number of people to thank so I won?t name them in case I leave anyone out, but they certainly know who they are.
IT hasn't captured as much attention as it should have but there is a big issue facing rugby league right now, and that's the very strong push from Sydney for the establishment of a national under-20 competition.
MARK Gasnier has thrown a scare into the NSW camp after the Blues five-eighth was rushed to hospital this afternoon for x-rays on a hand injury.
THE North Sydney Bears have continued their strong showing in the second half but have lost out to the St Marys-Penrith Cougars at Beautiful North Sydney Oval.The game was virtually lost in the first quarter after the Cougars opened the scoring with 3 tries, before Standout half back James Maloney chip kicked and re-gathered to get the Bears in good field position and from there the ball was spread wide to Filinga ?Fingers? Filiga to score on the left. The Cougars scored twice more before Fingers offloaded to Andrew Moodie to score. Halftime score was 28-10.The second half was again a strong performance by the Bears with the Cougars only able to register 6 points (a penalty kick plus one try). The Bears scored a try through Matthew Bartlett after spectacular lead up work and Daniel Russell converted as the match closed 36-16 to the Cougars.Players? Player Karl Johnson was one of the best, KJ ran strong down the middle and linked well with Fingers for the first two tries. James Maloney?s skill with the ball shone and Luke Fatnowna and Bede Tuohy made a sizable impact from the bench.Making their debuts for the Bears were Brad Barrett and Sosaia Makisi. Brad, a big forward with big impact played for South Sydney in Premier League last year. ?I went alright and I got a bit of time. I don?t have match fitness yet. I guess we?ll see how I go? said Brad. Sosaia, a tall running centre previously played with Canterbury, Cronulla and up until round 12 this year with the Western Suburbs Magpies. Good luck boys!The score line in the Jersey Flegg match 46-16 to the Panthers was a poor reflection of how Norths play. The boys were competitive for long periods throughout. In the first half the Panthers scored 2 tries to be leading 12-nil. But the Bears were able to get some possession and Tupou Peaua and Chris Heasman were able to score. With 1 conversion to Gavin Duncan Norths were only trailing by 2 points at halftime and possibly deserved to be in front.In the second half the Panthers were able to score 6 tries with some wonderful attacking football and the Bears were able to score only 1 try to Jake Foster as the match finished 46-16 to Penrith.The Flegg played dominating aggressive football and showed great pride in the first half to fight back. ?They worked together as a team today? said Coach Steve Carter ?but the second half was very disappointing. I feel sorry for the players that put in?. ?I felt Bladen Baird was a standout, Tupo Peaua went well and Mick Morris faired better this week?.PICTURED: 'A try ref a try!' Norths Karl Johnson pleads his case for a try against the Cougars on Sunday. Photo: Steve Little.
QUEENSLAND State of Origin star Johnathan Thurston has agreed to extend his NRL contract with the North Queensland Cowboys until the end of the 2010 season.
MANLY five-eighth Travis Burns is facing a one-match ban after being charged over a high tackle by the NRL match review committee. Burns has been slapped with a grade two careless high tackle charge for his second half hit on Brisbane prop Sam Thaiday in yesterday's 16-10 win to the Broncos at Brookvale Oval.