QUEENSLAND coach Mal Meninga remains optimistic centre Josh Hannay will overcome a virus and take his place in tomorrow night's State of Origin series decider at Melbourne's Telstra Dome.
A home ground advantage of North Sydney Oval and the knowledge that destiny was in their own hands with no storm players available has inspired Josh White?s Bears to give a passionate performance against heavyweights St George-Illawarra.Another possible inspiration was the pre-match tribute (a minute?s silence) to one of Norths and rugby league?s greatest point scorers Allan Arkey who gathered a total of 689 points in his career. Also wearing black arm bands in memory of the super boot/fullback the Bears began their campaign.With some positional changes: Dan Russell to lock, Luke Fatnowna to the second row and Liam Foran making his Premier League debut at halfback, Norths had renewed momentum in attack and defence, most noticeable committing hard for a full 75 minutes, the match only being lost in the last minutes with the Dragons finally breaking through on the wing to score three tries in the last 5. The final score, 30-14 to the Dragons.For their part the Bears were able to restrain the Dragons trade mark scoring out wide for the majority of the game and hit back with attacks from their back line of their own. Karl Johnson ran strong and Scott Perrin worked hard for effective off loads while John Russell gave all back in his trademark roll at halfback. The new half pairing of James Maloney and Liam Foran worked well including a 20/40 kick by James early in the match to get the Bears rolling.With only three substitutes used in the first half, the North Sydney forward pack put in big time Aaron Trinder was players player and was aggressive in attack and defence, and terrorising the Dragons up front was the big boy Eddie Sua.In an indication of the Bears efforts Dragons coach Steve Price confided to Bears coach Josh White the tough performance the Bears put up against his team. While in the sheds General Manager Greg Florimo echoed Josh Whites?s sentiments and congratulated the team on the improved performance.ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS 30 Tries: J. Nightingale 3, B. Ryan, R.Williams, G. Ndaira Goals: L. Te maari 3, defeated NORTH SYDNEY BEARS 14Tries: J. Maloney, A. Beare Goals: R. Russell 3.In Jersey Flegg it was also an improved performance against the Cronulla Sharks.Changes to the line-up included Bears junior Michael Radocay coming onto the wing with Chris Heasman going in to centre.The first half score was 6-22. The Bears try was scored by Siaosi Liumauna and was converted by Ryan Wilson. It was close until Cronulla scored a few quick tries.In the second half the Bears started well and scored tries to Michael Morris (which was converted by Ryan Wilson) and Tupou Peaua to get the Bears back in the game at 16-22. Unfortunately the Sharks were able to make some breaks and ended up winning. The final score was Cronulla 40Bears 16.
BULLDOGS winger Matt Utai has been slapped with a five-week ban after taking an early guilty plea for a reckless high tackle in Sunday's match against the Wests Tigers.
BULLDOGS centre Willie Tonga was being rushed to Melbourne today to cover for an ill Josh Hannay in the Queensland team for tomorrow night's deciding State of Origin rugby league match.
PARRAMATTA coach Jason Taylor says that if Andrew Johns breaks his rugby league first grade points scoring record this weekend it will only make him prouder to be on the same list.
THE New Zealand Warriors have signed Parramatta fullback Wade McKinnon for the next three National Rugby league seasons.
A very one-sided affair in Albany last night saw Counties Manakau Jets run riot over the Central Falcons in Week 2 of the 3 week split Round 13.The Falcons were guilty of a lot of unforced errors but never really looked like threatening the Jetz in any way as the Counties Manakau side notched up 11 tries to 1, with prop Tuifelasai scoring a hat-trick.Monday 3 July 2006 Counties Manukau Jetz vs Central Falcons North Harbour Stadium, AucklandCounties Manukau Jetz 62Tries: D. Heketoa, J. Ioapo, G. Gatis (2), M. Filipo (2), T. Taula (2), T. Tuifelasai (3)Goals: J. Matai (3), D. Heketoa (6) Central Falcons 6Tries: S. ForbesGoals: H. Robson Halftime Score: 28 ? 2 To Counties Manukau JetzBARTERCARD CUP COMPETITION ? ROUND 13 FIXTURES (Week 3 Of Split Round)Saturday 8 July 2006 Auckland Lions vs Northern Storm Fowlds Park, Auckland 2.30pm Kick OffMonday 10 July 2006 Harbour League vs Wellington Orcas North Harbour Stadium, Live And Free-To-Air On Maori Television
THE NSW and Queensland State of Origin sides will wrap up their preparations for tomorrow night's series decider with a final run at Melbourne's Telstra Dome this afternoon.
TWENTY-FOUR points in 15 minutes either side of half-time was enough to give tabletoppers St Helens a 52-36 victory over struggling Wakefield in a high-scoring engage Super League clash at Belle Vue.
LEEDS? tireless pursuit of engage Super League leaders St Helens continued at the Galpharm Stadium on Sunday afternoon as they eventually overcame a dogged Huddersfield side 36-14.
CASTLEFORD took a huge stride towards engage Super League safety with a nine-try, 52-26 destruction of ailing Warrington at The Jungle on Sunday afternoon.
THE July 2006 edition of Rugby League Review has hit the stands and here's what's in store this month:Nothing like home for the StormWhen it comes to home ground advantage, Melbourne's Olympic Park is by far the hardest ground for the visitors side to come away with the two competition points.Since the NRL was formed in 1998, the same year that Melbourne Storm entered the competition, there have been 105 matches played in Melbourne (including Melbourne Cricket Ground and Colonial Stadium), with the Storm winning 73 matches.Cronulla's Secret SuccessThe Cronulla Sharks' incredible season has been attributed to their discipline which is the best in the NRL. The Sharks have conceded only 70 penalties in the opening 16 rounds for an average of five penalties per game.After a slow start to the season, the Sharks have crept up on the other sides and have become a genuine contender for the premiership.Jim Beam Cup to be TelevisedThe Jim Beam Cup competition has been given a huge boost with the news that the competition will be shown on Fox Sports from next month.Power Productions will be putting the one hour show together with the first screening to be aired on August 9.Trans-Tasman Rugby League CupNSW Country went down 32-18 to a fired-up New Zealand Residents side in the final of the competition held at the impressive Rotorua International Stadium. Rugby League Review was over in Kiwi land to bring you all the latest from the tournament.
SOUTH Sydney has signed Bulldogs prop Roy Asotasi to a five-year deal.
TOUGH Raiders forward Trevor Thurling has been ruled out for the remainder of the 2006 season, after damaging his anterior cruciate ligament in the Raiders 26-24 win in Premier League on Saturday.
XXXX STATEWIDE SCORE WRAP