KIWI'S winger Francis Meli will play no part in this weeks Test against Great Britain after picking up a leg injury playing for ESL club, St Helens. The 27-year-old was injured in the later stages of Saints' victory over Salford and was stretchered the field. "We'll know more when he has a scan and we're hoping we're looking at a few weeks and not the season," said St Helens coach Daniel Anderson. Jason Cayless and Vinnie Anderson are also doubtful starters for New Zealand. The Saint Helens duo also picked up knocks playing this morning, leaving New Zealand coach Brian McClennan with a headache. The Test takes place at St Helens' Knowsley Road home and Saints expected to have as many as 12 players in action. Bradford winger Lesley Vainikolo, who was largely dormant in the early part of the season when Noble was in charge of the Bulls, is running into form just in time to cause trouble for Britain at St Helens in two days time.The powerhouse runner, who topped the Super League scoring chart in 2004 with a record-breaking 36 tries, has been plagued by niggling injuries but he was back to his best against Huddersfield on Friday, scoring two tries in the Bulls' 42-16 win.Vainikolo was a frustrated spectator 12,000 miles away when the Kiwis ended Australia's world domination with a 24-0 humiliation of the Kangaroos at Elland Road last November in the Tri-Nations final, but he hopes to help them defend their crown later this year.
THE New Zealand Residents made it two from two with a 38-10 win over the Jim Beam Cup Selection at the Rotorua International Stadium on Saturday. Among the try-scorers for the Residents were Vodafone Warriors first-grade squad members Cooper Vuna and Sonny Fai. In the other match, New South Wales Country just held out the Queensland Rangers. Match details:NEW SOUTH WALES COUNTRY 34 (Dean Amos 2, Michael Fortier, David Pickvance, Darren Jackson, Daniel Frame, Damien Seers tries; Craig Field 3 goals). QUEENSLAND RANGERS 32 (Nathaniel Bowman 2, Patrick Dall 2, Joshua Schwerin, Jim Baira tries; Patrick Dall 4 goals). Halftime: 20?10 NSW Country.NZ RESIDENTS 38 (Lusi Sione, David Fisi?iahi, Cooper Vuna, Steve Buckingham, Sala Fa?alogo, Sonny Fai tries; Steve Buckingham 7 goals). JIM BEAM CUP SELECTION 10 (David Val, Keiron Herring tries; Aaron Mercer goal). Halftime: 6?4 NZ Residents.
ROUND 16 Manly Sea Eagles 10 v Brisbane Broncos 16at Brookvale OvalReferees: Shayne HayneMatch Summary:The Brisbane Broncos have secured a 16-10 victory over the Manly Sea Eagles today in a match resembling an old-fashioned arm wrestle of yesteryear.It is the Bronco?s first win at Brookvale Oval since 1992 and it didn?t come easily with jarring forward clashes a feature throughout. The two points keeps them touch with competition leaders Melbourne Storm and they are now sitting in third position overall, looking ominous during the Origin period which is often difficult for them.The Broncos notched up a handy 10-nil first half lead after dominating possession and stifling the Manly attack, rarely allowing them any useful field position.After a few half chances, Darius Boyd posted the first try in the 23rd minute, filling the boots left by regular custodian Karmichael Hunt. Darren Lockyer created a gap and found centre Shaun Berrigan who set up Boyd well with a flick pass. Then with 10 minutes to go in the first half, reliable Manly forward Steve Menzies threw an uncharacteristically bad pass forward of his mark to Broncos centre Justin Hodges, providing a clear passage to the line.The Broncos picked up where they left off in the second half, scoring a brilliant individual try though hard-running winger Brent Tate. He went himself from 60 metres out and beat his opposite before standing-up speedy Manly fullback Brent Stewart to push the lead out to 14-0 and making things very difficult for the Sea Eagles to recover.But they almost mounted what would have been Brisbane?s second last-gasp defeat in as many weeks, beginning in the 52nd minute through Stewart who was found lurking infield by halfback Matt Orford and put under the sticks for the home side?s first try of the day.Manly then began to set the pace with heavy hits and powerful runs the order of the day. With 12 minutes to go Steve Matai crossed after Michael Robertson flew high for a cross-field kick and batted it back to the pony-tailed three-quarter who scored in the corner.With Burns missing the extras Manly trailed by 14-10 and searched far and wide for a try. With three minutes to go the Broncos booted a penalty goal when Lockyer was hit high and late from a clearing kick and the game looked over.A short kick-off resulting in a fumble by Brisbane handed possession back to Manly in good field position and the crowd got behind their team. And they made good use of the ball going wide and early and exposing some tired defence. Matai committed a cruel mistake in the final stages however, giving a pass he didn?t need to close to the line and grassing any hopes the Sea Eagles had of pulling this one out of the fire.Regardless of the loss, Manly still look to be a solid outfit and will press for a top-four position. They face off against the Knights at home next week in another blockbusting Friday night encounter.For Brisbane, they again proved themselves to be a high quality unit and they are coping well with the stress of the Origin period. Today was a crucial victory as they host the in-form Sharks next Sunday afternoon at Suncorp Stadium.Scorers:Manly Sea Eagles: 10Tries: Brett Stewart, Steve MataiGoals: Travis Burns 1/2Brisbane Broncos: 16Tries: Justin Hodges, Brent Tate, Darius BoydGoals: Corey Parker 2/4Halftime: Broncos 10-0Crowd: 16,084By the Clock:Cool day here on the peninsula where the Sea Eagles are looking to continue their solid form at home.Manly as per the program.Brisbane have lost Fraser Anderson, with Tate moving to the wing and Berrigan moving to the centres. Seymour moves into the hooking role and Carroll goes back to the bench with Thorn promoted to the starting side.1 min: NEWS Brisbane get us underway in the first half.3 min: NEWS Berrigan knocks-on close to his own line, opening up a great attacking opportunity for Manly.4 min: NEWS Robertson goes close to scoring but some great defence by Hodges prevents a try.7 min: NEWS Broncos go on the attack after a handling error by the Sea Eagles.10 min: NEWS Manly hold-out the Broncos showing some stout defence. Both sides are making a few handling errors whilst the forward battle is beginning to heat up.15 min: NEWS Brent Stewart narrowly misses scoring after being cut down short of the line and loosing possession.20 min: NEWS The forwards are firing at the moment. Some big hits involving Kennedy, Civoniceva and Matai is getting involved as well. Neither side is particularly fond of the other.23 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosThe Broncos open up the scoring through makeshift fullback Darius Boyd. Berrigan found some room on the short eastern side of the field after a good ball from Lockyer. Boyd loomed up and took a classy flick pass from Berrigan. Parker missed the goal from out wide. Broncos 4-025 min: NEWS Now it's Brisbane's turn to step up as Manly start asking some serious questions of their defence.30 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosA wayward pass from Steve Menzies is pounced upon by Justin Hodges and he races 30m to score under the posts. Brisbane are getting on top of them at the moment as Parker converts and extends the lead. Broncos 10-035 min: NEWS Brisbane dominating possession at the moment and pressing the line hard. They haven't found another way through the Manly defence as yet, but you get the feeling if the Sea Eagles could get some reasonable field position they might post points.40 min: NEWS The boys head to the sheds with the Broncos leading 10-0 and both teams have really gone hard here in the first half.Brisbane are playing very well but should probably be up by another try. Their forwards are dominating the exchanges and their defence is frustrating Manly.Meanwhile, I think the Sea Eagles will be content that they can win the game if they get some good possession, field position and cut down their errors.41 min: NEWS Manly restart proceedings here at Brooky.45 min: NEWS Both teams just feeling out each other in the opening exchanges in the second half.46 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosAnd the scorers are troubled for the first time this half with Brent Tate scoring a brilliant individual try. He got on the outside of his man and went 60m to score, giving a great in-an-away to Brent Stewart. Parker fails with his third attempt of the day. Broncos 14-047 min: NEWS Travis Burns placed on report for a high tackle on Thaiday.50 min: NEWS Dunley denied a try after the pass was ruled forward. They needed a try here to get back into the mix, but it wasn't to be.52 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesManly are in with a sparkling try to Brent Stewart under the posts after backing up his playmaker Orford. Burns slots the goal and the home team are back with a shot. Broncos 14-660 min: NEWS Some mistakes creeping into the game but the contest it heavily defence oriented. It's a good old fashioned arm-wrestle this one.68 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesManly are well back into the game here with Steve Matai scoring a great try, with Kennedy heavily involved in taking the ball forward before Robertson grabbed a kick and off-loaded to Matai who went over in the corner. Burns misses from the sideline, but they still needed another try to win anyhow. Broncos 14-1072 min: NEWS Broncos hold-off an attacking raid by the Sea Eagles as the home team start throwing caution to the wind.77 min: NEWS Three minutes to go and the Broncos are repelling everything the Sea Eagles have got.78 min: PENALTY GOAL Brisbane BroncosParker lands a penalty goal after a cheap shot on Lockyer. Silly stuff from Bryant. Broncos 16-1079 min: NEWS Manly have a scrum feed 35m out after the Broncos knocked-on a short kick-off.79 min: NEWS The Sea Eagles butcher a great chance after Matai throws a poor pass when it appeared all he need to do was go another metre and score.80 min: NEWS Fulltime: The Broncos secure their first victory at Brookvale in 1992.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Ben Kennedy2 - Petero Civoniceva1 - Brent Tate-----------------------------------------
ROUND 16 South Sydney Rabbitohs 0 v New Zealand Warriors 66at Telstra StadiumReferees: Gavin BadgerMatch Summary:The Warriors have put the so-called ?Pride of the league? to shame with a record breaking 66-0 demolition job of a gutless South Sydney Rabbitohs team. The Warriors were up 32-0 at half time and never looked like losing.It took the Warriors 10 minutes to score first, Jerome Ropati running through non-existent defence to dot down. Three minutes later the Warriors were in again with Patrick Ah Van scoring in the corner for a 10-0 lead. The Warriors scored their third try ? to Simon Mannering ? when he simply palmed off a defender and put the ball down. The conversion made it 16-0 after 17 minutes. After 24 minutes Tony Martin went in in the corner for 20-0. Steve Price fell over the line after a Webb break for another six points. Three minutes later Lance Hohaia scored the first of his three tries with another Webb break up the middle, and Souths were booed from the field down 32-0 at half time.Five minutes into the second half Lance Hohaia grabbed his second with a run from dummy half. At 50 minutes David Peachey was sin binned and the Warriors scored almost instantly afterwards as Webb scored almost untouched under the posts. Two minutes later Webb was in again after the Warriors spread the ball wide. The Warriors scored their third try with Peachey in the sin bin when Evarn Tuimavave dived on a Nathan Fien grubber, and it was 56-0 after 58 minutes. Paul Mellor had two chances to score for the Rabbitohs in quick succession, but he blew both of them. The Warriors dropped their intensity in the last 10 minutes, but still managed two more tries, Grant Rovelli grubbering across for Lance Hohaias hattrick, and Webb providing an inside ball to Ropati for the final 66-0 scoreline.The official crowd was 6597, which is a bit of a stretch. It looked closer to 3500.The result is a record win for the Warriors, eclipsing their 68-10 win over the Northern Eagles, and it is also a record loss for the Rabbitohs, overtaking their 62-0 loss to the Roosters. There is no excuse for the Rabbitohs, as the Warriors didn?t play extremely expansive, attacking football. They played simple, effective football that the Rabbitohs couldn?t match. The signings of three players are clearly not enough to turn this rabble around. The Warriors are in very impressive form, finally putting three in a row together, 63 games after their last three game winning streak. They can also lay claim to the second best points differential in the league, but thanks to their four point salary cap penalty they remain outside the eight, although they have jumped the Roosters into 12th.Scorers:South Sydney Rabbitohs: 0Tries: New Zealand Warriors: 66Tries: Lance Hohaia(3), Simon Mannering, Tony Martin, Steve Price, Jerome Ropati(2), Evarn Tuimavave, Brent Webb(2), Patrick Ah VanGoals: Tony Martin 9/12Halftime: Warriors 32-0Crowd: 6,597By the Clock:Today from Telstra Stadium it is the Rabbitohs vs Warriors. Both sides are looking to break a hoodoo of some sort this weekend. The Warriors haven't won three in a row since late 2003, while the Rabbitohs haven't beaten the Warriors since 1999. The Warriors defeated the Rabbitohs 46-14 in Round 7.The Warriors in silver today, the Rabbitohs in the usual red and green.The Warriors have Luck off the bench for Guttenbiel, as is the norm. The Rabbitohs are 1-17.Teams are on the field in front of a dismal crowd. A grey day at Telstra Stadium.1 min: Underway at Telstra, and Souths kick the ball dead on the full.3 min: The Warriors force a line dropout, from which the Rabbitohs looked to be all offside from the kick.4 min: Luck can't maintain control of the ball off a kick in the in goal and the Rabbitohs get out of jail.8 min: Souths finally venture into the Warriors half and a Warriors error gets the tackle count reset. Not much later Souths lose the ball.10 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsPrice makes a bust, he passes to Fein who is taken down in a fantastic head on tackle by Peachey. Numbers show on the next play as the Warriors spread the ball and Ropati steps through the defence and runs 30 metres to score. Martin converts. Warriors 6-013 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsSouths lose the ball on tackle one 15 metres out from their own line. The Warriors spread the ball wide to an unmarked Patrick Ah Van who scores in the corner. Martin hooks the conversion. Warriors 10-015 min: Warriors currently holding 73% of possession and making metres at will. Walker knocks on a Warriors pass on the last tackle, giving the Warriors yet more possession.17 min: Sutton makes a brave defensive play knocking the ball down. The Warriors get possession 10 out, but it avoided an instant try.17 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsThis is going to be a parade at this rate. From the scrum the Warriors spin the ball to Mannering, he palms off a defender and scores easily. Martin converts. Warriors 16-020 min: The Rabbitohs get a break as Price breaks the line again, and his offload to Webb, who was away, is ruled forward. The Rabbitohs go into touch from the scrum.22 min: A crossfield bomb goes into touch off Souths, Warriors ball hot on attack again.24 min: VIDEO REF - For a Warriors try....24 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsWarriors get the ball wide, Martin steps and scores in the corner. The conversion drops just short. Warriors 20-026 min: Warriors make an error and Souths get the ball 40 out.27 min: Souths get a line drop out. Things are looking up. Then they get a penalty for stripping, only to throw a clueless pass that is intercepted by Ah Van.30 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsSouths knock the ball down on the last tackle and they get six again. The Warriors move downfield again and Webb flicks the ball to Price who just had to fall over to score. Martin converts. Warriors 26-033 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsBreak out a marching band. Webb slips through a non existant tackle, he breaks up the middle, offloads to Hohaia who races away to score under the uprights. Martin converts. Warriors 32-036 min: Tony Martin dives on a loose ball 40 metres out. The Warriors make a rare error.38 min: Souths kick ahead, pass back on the inside only 10 out, but spill the ball.40 min: Halftime, and the Rabbitohs are being booed off the field.The Warriors are up 32-0 without breaking a sweat. They aren't playing footy that looks like scoring regularly, but even this basic footy is too much for Souths to handle.Possession: 70%/30% WarriorsTerritory: 62%/38% WarriorsMetres gained: 880/330 WarriorsLine Breaks: 7/0 WarriorsTackles-Mistackles: 152-20 Souths/96-3 WarriorsOffloads: 9/2 WarriorsErrors: 10/6 Souths Some very telling statistics. Incredibly, this is the Rabbitohs worst first half of the season. This is the biggest half time lead of any game this season.The teams return to the field.40 min: The match restarts, Souths get first possession.43 min: INJURY - Shane Walker down injured.45 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsSouths make an error on the last tackle. Hohaia takes the ball from dummy half and saunters 30 metres to score. Martin converts. Warriors 38-049 min: The Warriors let the ball bounce on the last tackle, Souths regather, tap the ball across and then a no look pass ends up next to the touch judge.50 min: SIN BIN - David Peachey goes for a professional foul.51 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsAfter the penalty the Warriors move the ball, Rovelli offloads to Webb who walks through the Rabbitohs defence to score under the posts. Martin converts. Warriors 44-053 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsThe Warriors spin the ball wide to Ah Van who breaks down the sideline. He sends the ball back inside to Webb who picks up a double. Martin converts and the Warriors get to 50. Warriors 50-055 min: Souths fans already talking the walk of shame out of the stadium.58 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsFien rolls a nice, easy kick into the in goal and Tuimavave dives on the ball to score. Martin converts. Warriors headed for a record victory. Warriors 56-061 min: Peachey returns from the sin bin.63 min: Warriors enforce a drop out.65 min: The Warriors have their first non-completion of the second half when they throw a forward pass.67 min: Mellor knocks on reaching out to score. They can't take a trick.68 min: Warriors get driven into touch and the Rabbitohs may be a half chance to get on the board. Paul Mellor knocks on again.70 min: The Warriors have dropped their intensity, but they're still threatening.72 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsRovelli grubbers across field, it bounces up for Hohaia who dots the ball down out wide and he picks up at hat trick. Martin misses the conversion. Warriors 60-074 min: CROWD - 6597. A pig just zoomed over the stadium.78 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsThe Warriors go up the middle easily, Webb offloads to Ropati who scores under the posts. Worst Rabbitohs losing margin ever, best Warriors winning margin ever. Hang your heads Rabbitohs. Martin converts. Warriors 66-0FULLTIME: The Warriors put the Rabbitohs to shame, 66-0.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Steve Price (Warriors)2 - Grant Rovelli (Warriors)1 - Nathan Fien (Warriors)-----------------------------------------
LANCE Thompson is set to sign a three year deal with the Cronulla Sharks after agreeing to terms this week. Thompson, who is playing some of the best football of his life, was expected to attract considerable attention from other clubs but will now remain a Shark for several more years.In further good news for the Sharks, winger Luke Covell, centre Beau Scott and prop James Stosic are all close to signing contracts with the club.
XXXX CITY 22 - XXXX COUNTRY 18
ATTACK was a priority and defence was an afterthought as Souths Logan and Ipswich handed ABC TV yet another entertaining exhibition on Saturday.
WESTS Tigers' premiership defence took a broadside hit last night when five-eighth Benji Marshall was ruled out for the rest of the NRL season with another shoulder injury.Marshall left the field late in the second half of Penrith's 24-20 win over the Tigers at CUA Stadium and went immediately to the dressing sheds.He had attempted a tackle on Panthers forward Frank Puletua in the 74th minute and clutched at the shoulder immediately afterwards.Tigers club doctor Donald Kuah said the shoulder had dislocated but had popped back in without needing to be re-set."It went out and back in," Kuah said."He'll go in for surgery and usually (there is) a six-month rehab period."Kuah said Marshall had been understandably upset, but he was becoming used to his now regular shoulder problems."We almost expected that at some stage (this season) it might happen," he said.Asked if there was a chance the injury would end Marshall's NRL career, Kuah said: "No, actually none at all. He's like any other player with a shoulder reconstruction, there's about five in most NRL sides."
VODAFONE Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah tonight responded to confirmation that long-serving fullback Brent Webb has taken up an offer to join English Super League club Leeds next season.
Webb?s manager Jim Banaghan advised the club that the 25-year-old Kiwi international, who?s off contract at the end of the 2006 season, has signed a two-year contract with the Rhinos.
?We always held hope Brent would stay with us but we have been aware for some time that we would be unable to meet his financial expectations,? said Scurrah.
?While we?re pleased for him that he has secured his financial future we?re disappointed to see him go.
?Brent came to the club as an unheralded young player in 2002 and, in his time with the Vodafone Warriors, he has developed into a fine international fullback who is now able to command a lot of interest from other clubs.?
Scurrah confirmed the Vodafone Warriors would go to the market seeking to sign a first-grade fullback and the club would also develop other young players to fill the role in the long term.
?Just yesterday we once again underlined our commitment to becoming a development club by announcing the signings of exciting young prospects Russell and Paora Packer out of Manawatu,? he said.
Webb is due to make his 96th first-grade appearance for the Vodafone Warriors when they play South Sydney at Telstra Stadium tomorrow. He?s on course to become the 11th player to appear in 100 first-grade games for the club when the Vodafone Warriors face Penrith at CUA Stadium in round 21.
ROUND 16 St George Illawarra Dragons 34 v North Queensland Cowboys 14at WIN StadiumReferees: Paul SimpkinsMatch Summary:The St George Illawarra Dragons have won their sixth consecutive victory tonight at WIN stadium by defeating the North Queensland Cowboys 34-14. The Dragons were dominant in most aspects of the game tonight, with great performances from fullback Ben Hornby, centre Matt Cooper and halves pairing Matthew Head and Mark Gasnier. The Dragons started the game off in great fashion with a length of the field try rewarded to New South Wales centre Mark Gasnier. A second try was not too far away with Colin Best scoring out wide to make the score line a 10-0 lead to the home team. The Cowboys hit back in superb fashion with quick back-to-back tries to winger Matt Sing and centre Josh Hannay. Both sides had more chances to post points in the first half; however, the hands of both teams let them down on numerous occasions. The Cowboys started in a positive fashion in the second half with them leveling the score line at 10-10 after Thurston converted a penalty opportunity. Soon after that, the Dragons put more points on the board through international Matt Cooper to put the home team up by a converted try. Thurston put up a lovely kick for the Cowboys next try to Neil Sweeney who scored out wide but unfortunately, for the Cowboys Jonathon Thurston was unable to convert the extras. The Dragons then put the finishing touches on the struggling Cowboys with a try to hooker Aaron Gorrell, and a second try to Matt Cooper. Cooper wasn?t finished there however, with the strong centre scoring his third try in the 80th minute of the contest. The Dragons have now won six on the trot and have a bye next weekend. They are one of the form teams of the competition and with still some big stars to come back into the team are looking like true premiership contenders for 2006. For the Cowboys, they look like they are getting closer to a win but it has to be a huge concern for all fans that they have now lost 8 out of their last 9 games. They take on the Rabbitohs next week without their Origin stars next week and that is a must win game for the North Queensland team. Scorers:St George Illawarra Dragons: 34Tries: Colin Best, Matt Cooper(3), Mark Gasnier, Aaron GorrellGoals: Aaron Gorrell 5/7North Queensland Cowboys: 14Tries: Josh Hannay, Matt Sing, Neil SweeneyGoals: Johnathan Thurston 1/4Halftime: Dragons 10-8Crowd: 13,289By the Clock:Welcome to Win Stadium for this contest between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the North Queensland Cowboys. The Dragons have been on fire latley, winning 5 games on the trot. Whilst the Cowboys have struggled in recent times, losing 7 of their last 8 games. Can the Cowboys turn their luck around? Or will the Dragons continue their great form of recent times? Changes:Dragons have lost Clint Greenshields for tonights contest. Hornby goes to fullback, Gasnier to five eight and Millard into the centres. Corey Payne comes onto the bench and Michael Henderson comes off the bench.Cowboys are as per program. Kick off about to get under way here at Win Stadium. 0 min: NEWS Kick off here at Win Stadium. Cowboys kick us off for Round 16 action!4 min: NEWS Carl Webb drops the ball close to the line. Cowboys looking strong in the early going of the contest. 6 min: NEWS Justin Smith makes a break down the short side. From the following play a bomb goes up but is well taken from winger Colin Best. 7 min: NEWS Norton penalised for playing the ball incorrectly. Lets the pressure off the Dragons. Some encouraging signs for the Cowboys in the early going here at Win Stadium. 10 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsGreat try from Mark Gasnier! Matty Bowen puts in a nice kick in the in goal and Best some how gets it back in the field off play. From the next play Hornby finds open room down the blind side then finds a speeding Mark Gasnier who out paces Thurston to score out wide. The Kick from Gorrell is waved away. Dragons 4-014 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsA nightmare bounce from a Matty Head kick for winger Neil Sweeney sees Colin Best take advantage and score in the same corner as Gasnier did. Gorrell nails the kick from the sideline. Dragons 10-0 15 min: NEWS Thurston seems to be struggling with a knee injury. He is playing on but it has to be some sort of concern to the Cowboys and to the Queensland side.21 min: NEWS Good kick from Thurston sees the Cowboys get a repeat set. The Dragons defence seems to be holding the Cowboys out with ease at the moment. 22 min: NEWS VIDEO REF - Matt Sing claiming a try. Video Ref looking at the grounding and the onside. All looks good for the Cowboys, but you never know with Video Refs. 22 min: TRY North Queensland CowboysThurston puts in a grubber kick that rebounds of a Dragons player that Matt Sing pounces on and scores out wide.Thurston misses the conversion from the touch line. Dragons 10-424 min: NEWS Ben Creagh is put on report for a high shot on Rod Jensen. 25 min: TRY North Queensland CowboysJosh Hannay scores through some poor defence from the Dragons. Some good passing from Thurston and Bowen gives Hannay some room who beats 3 defenders to score.Thurston misses the conversion. Dragons 10-827 min: NEWS Just when the Cowboys hit some momentum the cough the ball up through Paul Bowman in their own 20m zone. Dragons on the attack. 32 min: NEWS Fumbles galore here at the moment. Ben Creagh just loses the ball and the Cowboys receive a penalty which gives them good field position. 33 min: NEWS O'Donnell threatens to score out wide but numbers come into the tackle and they drive the Australian back rower into the sideline. 38 min: NEWS A great attacking raid by the Dragons! Bickerstaff makes a break up the middle then from the following play Gasnier finds Best but Best puts his foot on the touch line and the Cowboys survive for the time being. Halftime nearly upon us. 40 min: NEWS The Cowboys have one last chance to post points on but the Dragons defence holds on for the time being.HALFTIME here at WIN stadium!Some good football shown by both teams in the first 40 minutes. Young Cowboys prop Ray Cashmere was great early on, getting some good offloads away. For the Dragons, Gasnier always is looking dangerous with the ball in his hand and Colin Best has made some cruical plays in the match. The game looks evenly poised at the moment with both teams looking like they could take this game out which will make for an entertaining second half here at WIN stadium.40 min: NEWS Second half Underway! 43 min: NEWS The Dragons get tackled on last tackle and hand the ball over. Poor play from the Dragons. 44 min: PENALTY GOAL North Queensland CowboysNorton catches Dean Young offside from Marker and gets a penalty right in front. Thurston converts the penalty attempt from right in front. 10 all.48 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsBest makes a break down the middle of the field that gets the Dragons in good field position. From the next play Hornby and Head combine to put Cooper down the flank who scores a great try. Gorrell converts the try, very similar to his match winning kick last week at Suncorp Stadium. Dragons 16-1053 min: NEWS VIDEO REF - A possible freak of a try to Thurston. Hornby lets a bomb bounce and the ball looks like it is going touch in goal however the ball takes a awkward boune and Thurston grounds the ball. Unfortunately, his foot was in touch while he put the ball down. No Try - 20m restart to the home team. 59 min: NEWS The Cowboys try a chip kick but it is well gathered from Colin Best. The Cowboys need to be the next team to score. 61 min: TRY North Queensland CowboysA pin point kick from Jonathon Thurston finds an un-marked Neil Sweeney on the Wing who takes the kick and scores the try. Not enough pressure from the Dragons on that occasion.Thurston misses the conversion. Dragons 16-1467 min: NEWS A good movement from the Cowboys ends in disaster with Josh Hannay's pass not finding the mark and the ball going into touch. 70 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsGorrell claims possible the match winner after Norton fumbles the kick in goal and Gorrell pounces on the ball to score the try.Gorrell converts his own try. Dragons 22-1471 min: NEWS The restart from the Cowboys sails out on the full. Things falling apart for the Cowboys. 73 min: NEWS VIDEO REF - Possible second try for Matt Cooper. Head puts in a kick that is well chased from Cooper who may of scored. Video Ref looking at the grounding.73 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsBenefit of the doubt goes to the Dragons centre Matt Cooper who pounces on a Matthew Head kick to score his second try. Gorrell hooks the conversion Dragons 26-1475 min: NEWS Hornby misses an attempted field goal shot. 79 min: PENALTY GOAL St George Illawarra DragonsMatt Head receives a slap across the face from Luke O'Donnell which is penalised by the Referee. Hornby elects to take the 2 points and Gorrell slots the kick over. Dragons 28-1480 min: NEWS VIDEO REF - Matt Cooper is now claiming a hat-trick. The Video Referee is looking to see if the Australian centre has grounded the ball fairly.80 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsCooper collects his hat-trick after some great passing from the halves pairing in Hornby and Gasnier. Gorrell converts the try. Dragons 34-14FULLTIME here at WIN Stadium.Fulltime score: St George Illawarra 34 - North Queensland Cowboys 14The Dragons just too strong here tonight at WIN Stadium. They dominated the ruck area and an impressive performance from the halves pairing was just too much for the Cowboys to handle. For the Cowboys, Cashmere and O'Donnell were strong. The Cowboys continue thier run of bad performances and were just lacking that spark here tonight to be a real threat.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Matt Cooper (Dragons)2 - Ben Hornby (Dragons)1 - Mark Gasnier (Dragons)-----------------------------------------
ROUND 16 Penrith Panthers 24 v Wests Tigers 20at CUA Stadium, PenrithReferees: Russell SmithMatch Summary:The Penrith Panthers have defeated the Wests Tigers 24-20 at CUA Stadium this evening.Penrith raced out to an 18-4 lead late in the first half but the Tigers scored just before the break to reduce the deficit to ten points at the half.The Tigers then went on a scoring spree, eventually taking the lead 20-18 in only the 52nd minute. With just under half an hour on the clock the Panthers had plenty of time to get back in the game but the match winner didn't come until the 74th minute, with Luke Lewis scoring to give the Panthers a narrow two point lead.A Preston Campbell penalty goal in the last minute of play sealed the result for the Panthers and the win gets them back into the finals race as they are now equal with the Tigers, Raiders and Cowboys on 16 points.The loss was a costly one for the Tigers, who lost Benji Marshall to a shoulder injury in the second half after he tried to pull off a shoulder charge on Tony Puletua, a move fraught with danger. At this stage there is no word on the severity of the injury to Marshall, but he does have problems with his shoulders so Tigers fans will no doubt be waiting with anticpation as to the severity of his injury.In the end, it was the kicking of Preston Campbell that proved to be the difference in a tight contest that may yet shape the remainder of the season for both clubs.Scorers:Penrith Panthers: 24Tries: Preston Campbell, Danny Galea, Luke Lewis, Michael GordonGoals: Preston Campbell 4/5Wests Tigers: 20Tries: Ben Galea, Chris Heighington, Shannon McDonnell(2)Goals: Brett Hodgson 2/4Halftime: Panthers 18-8Crowd: 16,120By the Clock: 1 min: NEWS We are underway at CUA Stadium!5 min: TRY Wests TigersShannon McDonnell opens the scoring for the Tigers but Hodgson misses the conversion. Tigers 4-013 min: TRY Penrith PanthersThe Panthers hit back through a try to Danny Galea and take the lead through the successful conversion to Preston Campbell. Panthers 6-420 min: NEWS Halfway through the first half and it's a pretty even contest so far with the Panthers holding a slight edge.30 min: NEWS After 30 minutes, still no change to the score but the Tigers are starting to find a lot of open space so they may hit the lead before the break.33 min: TRY Penrith PanthersPenrith extend their lead through a try to rookie Michael Gordon and with the successful conversion, the Panthers take an eight point lead with just over five minutes until half time. Panthers 12-435 min: TRY Penrith PanthersThe Tigers are in real trouble now as the Panther score again in quick time. Preston Campbell was the man to inflict pain on the Tigers this time and the mountain men now hold a comfortable lead just moments before the break. Panthers 18-438 min: TRY Wests TigersThe Tigers score a crucial try before half time that leaves them ten points in arrears but with their attacking powers, they are a long way from gone in this match. Panthers 18-841 min: NEWS We are underway in the second half!50 min: TRY Wests TigersThe Tigers are right back in the match thanks to a try to Ben Galea. Brett Hodgson converts his first try of the night to get the Tigers within four points and there is plenty of time left on the clock. Panthers 18-1452 min: TRY Wests TigersUnbelievably, the Tigers are in front thanks to a try to Shannon McDonnell and the successful conversion from Brett Hodgson. Can the Panthers hit back? Tigers 20-1865 min: NEWS With fifteen minutes remaining, the Tigers still hold a narrow two point lead so this one may well go down to the wire as has been the case recently.71 min: NEWS With under ten minutes remaining, the Panthers need to at least get a penalty goal and send the game into extra time but if the Tigers score, it's all over.74 min: TRY Penrith PanthersThe Panthers have hit back through Luke Lewis and it might just be enough to get them home and ignite their premiership aspirations and put a dent in the title hopes of the Tigers. Still, with five to go you'd be a brave person to say the result is in the bag. Panthers 22-2080 min: PENALTY GOAL Penrith PanthersPreston Campbell caps off a fine game with a penalty goal in the last minute to add a little salt into the wound for the Tigers. Panthers 24-20-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Preston Campbell (Panthers)2 - Luke Lewis (Panthers)1 - Shannon McDonnell (Tigers)-----------------------------------------
ROUND 16 Newcastle Knights 16 v Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 26at EnergyAustralia StadiumReferees: Ben CumminsMatch Summary:The Cronulla Sharks have cemented their place in the NRL top 4 with an outstanding albeit controversial come from behind victory over the Knights in Newcastle. The Video Referee was called upon 3 times in less than 10 minutes in the second half to judge on 3 possible Knights tries and came up with the red light on each occasion.An uneventful start by both teams was erased in the 22nd minute after Anthony Quinn crossed for the first of his 2 first half tries. A great run and an even greater pass by Carmont put Quinn on his bike for his second try which was converted by Johns, giving the Knights a commanding 10 point lead going into the break. Stuart Raper must have uttered some inspiring words to his players at half time, as by the 6th minute of the second half the Sharks found themselves in front for the first time, courtesy of back to back converted tries to Nigel Vagana and Brett Kearney. Andrew Johns replied instantly, sending prop Craig Smith over close to the posts, putting the novocastrians back in the lead.The Knights lost some attacking edge when Kurt Gidley came out of a tackle clutching at an injured right leg, and he left the field never to return. A Covell penalty goal put the Sharks within 2 points of the home team and with 20 minutes remaining, the match was there for the taking.However 3 no try decisions by the Video Referee in the 62nd, 65th, and 69th minutes had Knights fans seething, and they may have had a fair case for the first and second decisions, but the third red light came about through some great defensive work by Sharks fullback David Simmons, knocking the ball out of Todd Lowrie's hands as he was about to ground the ball. Cronulla then made their way up field for Beau Scott to score in the corner, which was beautifully converted from the sideline by Covell. From there the Sharks kept their heads and added further insult to injury via a second try to Vagana, darting from dummy half and exploiting some tired Knights defense. For the Sharks, Brett Kimmorley was impressive and certainly put his hand up for a State of Origin recall, and his combination with Adam Dykes should see the Sharks trouble all-comers in the next 10 weeks leading up to the finals. Brett Kearney's impact off the interchange bench was superb, making several breaks up the middle of the field as the second half wore on. At fullback, Simmons' play to knock the ball from Lowrie's grasp will be looked upon as the turning point of the match as far as Sharks fans are concerned, for the next set seen them score and take the match and the 2 points away from Newcastle. Andrew Johns never stopped trying for the Knights, and he was ably supported by Buderus, Carney, Quinn and Kurt Gidley prior to his injury. Next week the Knights make the tough journey to Brookvale to take on Manly, while the Sharks make the even tougher trip north to face the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium. Scorers:Newcastle Knights: 16Tries: Anthony Quinn(2), Craig SmithGoals: Andrew Johns 2/3Cronulla Sutherland Sharks: 26Tries: Beau Scott, Nigel Vagana(2), Brett KearneyGoals: Luke Covell 5/5Halftime: Knights 10-0Crowd: 18,212By the Clock:The Knights take on the Sharks in Round 16 action, live from Energy Australia Stadium, Newcastle. For the Knights, Nathan Hinton comes in to play fullback in place of David Seage. The Sharks will lineup as per program.1 min: KICK-OFF Andrew Johns kicks off and we are underway.14 min: NEWS Both teams are getting good second phase play but defence is overshadowing attack thus far.22 min: KNIGHTS TRY Quinn scores in the corner after great lead up work from Buderus and Kurt Gidley. Johns has the shot at goal from the sideline which is away to the left. Knights 4-027 min: NEWS Carney goes over in the right corner for Newcastle but the play is called back for a Johns forward pass.35 min: KNIGHTS TRY Quinn crosses for his second as Carmont attracts 2 defenders and slips a pass giving his winger a clear passage to the line untouched. Johns converts from close to the sideline. Knights 10-037 min: NEWS Johns has an unsuccessful shot at field goal just prior to halftime. 40 min: HALF TIME We go into halftime with the Knights leading 10 points to nil.Penalties: Sharks 3-2Completions: Knights - 16/20 Sharks - 17/22Errors: 5-5Tackles: Knights - 179 Sharks - 15541 min: KICK-OFF David Simmons gets play started in the second half.43 min: SHARKS TRYVagana scores a great try under the posts after an outstanding no-look pass from Greg Bird. Covell converts. Knights 10-446 min: SHARKS TRY Brett Kearney scores after backing up Gallen, who was put through a gap by a Dykes inside ball. Covell converts from in front. Sharks 12-1051 min: KNIGHTS TRY Andrew Johns runs to the line before passing on the inside for Smith to score beside the posts. Johns converts to put the Knights back in the lead. Knights 16-1255 min: KNIGHTS INJURY Kurt Gidley is assisted from the field, unable to put weight on his right leg.59 min: SHARKS PENALTY GOALDanny Buderus is penalised for stripping the ball in a 2 man tackle. Covell converts an easy shot from in front to reduce the Knights lead to 2. Knights 16-1462 min: NO TRY An Andrew Johns cross field kick is knocked on by Reegan Tanner, resulting in a touch and go no-try decision by the Video Referee. 65 min: NO TRY Simmons drops a Johns bomb, leaving Quinn and Albert challenging for the loose ball. Quinn wins the race but the Video Referee says NO TRY, knock-on by Quinn.69 min: NO TRY David Simmons makes the play of the night (so far), slapping the ball out of Lowrie's hands as he is about to score. NO TRY - 20 metre restart. 71 min: SHARKS TRY Beau Scott scores in the corner, following good passing plays from Williams, Kimmorley and Covell. Covell's conversion from the sideline is superb. Sharks 20-1676 min: NEWS Hinton is tackled over the sideline just metres out from his own line. The Sharks now have the chance to put the result beyond doubt. 77 min: SHARKS TRY Vagana darts from dummy half on the last tackle and plants the ball down to seal the game for the Sharks. Covell adds the extra 2. Sharks 26-1680 min: NEWS FULL TIME The Sharks take the cash in arguably their best away win of the season so far after being down 10-0 at halftime.Penalties: Sharks 5-3Completions: Knights - 26/37 Sharks - 31/41Errors: 12-12Tackles: Knights - 314 Sharks - 262-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Brett Kimmorley (Sharks)2 - David Simmons (Sharks)1 - Brett Kearney (Sharks)-----------------------------------------
ST George Illawarra Dragons fullback Clint Greenshields has succumbed to a calf injury and pulled out of tonight's NRL clash against the North Queensland Cowboys.
AT the Illawarra?s largest ever sporting celebration dinner, the Illawarra Steelers named the Team of Steel as part of its 25th Anniversary. With a combined 48 State of Origin caps, 25 Australian caps, 1 New Zealand cap, 1 Rest of the World cap and 21 City/Country caps between them, the Steelers have named a squad that would arguably beat any team in any era. Led by ?Joe Cool? John Dorahy, the team boasts attacking flair right across the park.Among the guests honouring the Steelers Anniversary and the Team of Steel were NRL CEO David Gallop, ARL CEO Geoff Carr, ARL Chairman Colin Love, Dragons Chairman Warren Lockwood and Dragons CEO Peter Doust.Former ARL CEO John Quayle delivered a special tribute to the Steelers saying ?The Illawarra region has been producing great rugby league talent for many years. The fact that the Steelers are able to name such an illustrious team comes as no surprise.?The heavyweights of rugby league rubbed shoulders with the Illawarra?s business community and fans of the game providing a memorable occasion for all. Signed jerseys by the Team of Steel were auctioned for Men of League Illawarra while Irish comedian Paul Martell provided the laughs during the evening.Adding to the celebrations, the Illawarra Steelers also announced four playing life memberships. Illawarra Steelers Chairman Peter Newell announced Rod Wishart, Paul McGregor, Trent Barrett and Shaun Timmins as recipients. Illawarra Steelers Director and 25th Anniversary Organiser, Mr Bob Millward, paid tribute to the Team of Steel. ?I?m sure Steelers fans from across the region will join me in congratulating each of the players on being a member of the Team of Steel,? Mr Millward said.Chairman, Illawarra Steelers Mr Peter Newell recognized the significant interest in the event and the naming of the Team. ?Tonight?s announcement of the Team of Steel will end weeks of speculation, arguments and discussion on who will make the final team. I?d like to thank the region for supporting this event. Tonight is an historic occasion and a symbol of this region?s ongoing commitment, passion and prominence in the great game of rugby league,? Mr Newell said.In front of a sell out crowd of nearly 850 people at the WIN Entertainment Centre in Wollongong, host Andrew Voss from The Footy Show, announced the Team of Steel as:Fullback: John Dorahy (C)Wing: Rod Wishart, Alan McIndoeCentre: Paul McGregor, Shaun TimminsFive-eighth: Trent BarrettHalf: John SimonLock: Ian RussellSecond Row: Neil Piccinelli, Bob LindnerFront Row: Chris Walsh (VC), Craig SmithHooker: Dean SchifillitiReserves:Brad Mackay Brett Rodwell Wayne Springall Michael CarberryCoach:Graham Murray
THE Wigan club have today responded angrily to comments made by two other clubs with regard to the signing of Stuart Fielden and the salary cap.Brian Noble said,"We are delighted to have signed Stuart and he is a great addition to our squad. The acquisition of Stuart is within the rules of the RFL and we refute any accusations made by anyone within the Rugby League fraternity. It is my job to carry on to turn this club around and improve performances of the players and try to avoid relegation."Wigan Chairman Maurice Lindsay backed his Head Coach and today said,"We are well in control of our salary cap and we have advised the Rugby Football League of our exact situation. Comments from two of our relegation rivals are I assume in respond to leading questions. We are well aware of our salary cap requirements and we are working within those requirements. It is no-ones business but I can volunteer the information that we have no further signings planned at this stage on the contrary we have lost some players today to retirement and movement to other clubs."Lindsay also re-acted angrily to press speculation that the Fielden deal would cost ?1.5 million in total, Lindsay said,"These days people seem to be able to simply think of a number and double it. It is a sad way to go about things but clubs just have to keep putting wild speculation right. Stuart Fielden will not be the highest paid player in the game although it is a very good contract and obviously better than the amount he earned at Bradford. He has also earned it. Wild speculation always comes up when Wigan sign a player. We were unable to sign Adrian Morley recently because the sums involved were too high for us and much more that we are paying Stuart Fielden. Stuart cannot be tagged as the highest paid player in the game because that will simply not be true."