NATIONAL League Widnes stunned Super League Castleford by 14-4 to claim a place in the last 16 of the Powergen Challenge Cup at the windswept Halton Stadium.
POWERGEN Challenge Cup holders Hull fell at the first hurdle after being overpowered by Super League champions Bradford 23-12 in a scrappy fourth-round tie in an Odsal mudbath.
CATALANS Dragons cruised through to the fifth round of the Powergen Challenge Cup with a crushing 12-try, 66-0 win over amateurs Thornhill Trojans in Perpignan.The National Conference League side were no match for the French professionals and wilted early in the second half at the Stade Jean Laffon.After a spirited first-half display by the Trojans, the Dewsbury side were put to the sword as the Super League outfit ran in six tries in the first 18 minutes of the second period.Catalans had claimed the lead when Mark Hughes crossed after just two minutes, but Thornhill limited them to further scores from Jamal Fakir and Lionel Teixido to trail just 14-0 at the break.The second half was a different story as Freddie Zitter, Gregory Mounis, Sean Rudder, Remi Casty, Bruno Verges and Chris Beattie went over in quick succession.Hughes, Zitter and Casty each claimed a second try as Catalans wrapped up a comfortable win.Michael Dobson weighed in with five goals and Laurent Frayssinous kicked four.Thornhill found chances few and far between, although strong centre Andrew Bostock caused some problems and created one opportunity for Johnny Campbell, only for the winger to drop the ball.Catalans Dragons: Guigue, Zitter, Hughes, Wilson, Verges, Rudder, Dobson, Beattie, Rinaldi, Fellous, Fakir, Guisset, Mounis.Replacements: Frayssinous, Casty, Touxagas, Teixido.Thornhill: Holmes, Copley, Davies, Bostock, Campbell, Morley, L. Haigh, Folan, Pachniuk, Carruthers, Roberts, Woodcock, Broadhead.Replacements: Redgwick, Naylor, Lee, S. Haigh.Catalans Dragons: (14) 66.Tries: Hughes 2, Fakir, Teixido, Zitter 2, Mounis, Rudder, Casty 2, Verges, Beattie.Goals: Dobson 5, Frayssinous 4.Thornhill: (0) 0.Referee: Robert HicksAtt: 850
PAUL Wellens ended a difficult week on a high with two tries as St Helens booked their place in the Powergen Challenge Cup fifth round with a 56-6 win over Doncaster.
BROOKVALE Oval has been an unforgiving venue for the Newtown Jets in recent years, and that tradition was certainly maintained in the VB Premier League match played there on Saturday evening. The Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles dominated the first half, leading by 28-0 at the break, and then increased this lead to 38-0 as they added two more tries early in the second half. The Jets belatedly decided to clock on and narrowed the margin to 38-28, and in the process scored some of the best tries of the match. A runaway try to the Sea Eagles in the last thirty seconds of the game typified Newtown?s misfortunes on the night and extended Manly?s final winning margin to 44-28.This was a match that defied some of the perceived wisdoms of modern Rugby League. Newtown?s completion rate for both halves was around the 80% mark, normally a positive indicator, but which counted for very little in the first fifty minutes when Manly dominated possession and field position. Newtown was down to one man on the bench for the entire second half, ironically during the very period of play that the Jets stacked on 28 unanswered points. What the first half clearly showed was that Newtown?s defensive lapses and conceded penalties were unerringly punished by Manly?s well-drilled, physically powerful forward pack and their super quick backline.Newtown was well served in the forwards by the hard-working Glenn Hall, Steve Meredith and Mark Edmondson. Substitute hooker Luke Gordon played well in the second half after replacing the injured Heath L?Estrange. Winger Troy Malcolm collected three tries in the second half, and showed great strength and determination on one occasion as he broke through a cordon of three Manly defenders. Fullback Aidan Kirk had a very busy night and turned in his best performance for the season. Winger Michael Lett suffered a serious ankle injury twenty minutes into the first half which compounded the Jets? misadventures on a forgettable evening for the club.The Jets made short work of the Belrose Eagles in their final Jim Beam Cup trial match played at Belrose on Saturday afternoon. Newtown led by 26-4 at half-time and maintained this dominance in the second half to run up an impressive final winning margin of 58-10. Newtown coach Greg Matterson was pleased with such a comprehensive ?kill? in the team?s final trial outing prior to the commencement of the competition on the Easter weekend. Several Sydney Roosters Jersey Flegg squad members were given a hit-out in this trial and impressed with the quality and enthusiasm of their contributions.Newtown plays away again next Saturday (April 8th) when the Jets meet up with their 2005 partnership club Cronulla-Sutherland at Toyota Park. The VB Premier League match starts at 5.15pm, with the Sharks-Roosters NRL fixture kicking off at 7.30pm. There is no Jim Beam Cup match scheduled for this weekend.The popular 2SM Talkin? Sport afternoon show will be broadcast live from the Jets Sports Club in Holbeach Avenue, Tempe next Wednesday (April 5th) from 4.00pm to 7.00pm. There will be several Newtown Jets club identities interviewed as well as plenty of prizes and giveaways on the program. Photo caption:Former English international Mark Edmondson, pictured here in action for Newtown against Manly-Warringah at Brookvale Oval on Saturday evening, has impressed with his good form this season.Photo courtesy of Gary Sutherland Photography.
MELBOURNE will today decide whether to send star duo Scott Hill and Billy Slater before the NRL judiciary to defend charges relating to last weekend's loss to Wests Tigers.
QUEENSLAND selectors are hoping firebrand Roosters utility Michael Crocker (pictured) can maintain the rage against New South Wales in the upcoming State of Origin series.
IT wasn't the best weekend for the Dolphins losing both the Colts and Queensland Cup games and slipping back to third on the Club Championship table. But it's not all doom and gloom down at Dolphin Oval. Bertie Campbell's A Grade side have strung together a few good games in a row and there are quite a few players pressing for first grade selection.
DEFENDING premiers Canberra have made a slow start to the year and, after the first 20 minutes of their clash with Newcastle last week coach Wayne Collins could be forgiven for thinking they were still finding their way. Any doubts, concerns or fears the Raiders coach held, though, were allayed as his team regained their winning ways in emphatic style with a 46-24 win over Newcastle.
WARRINGTON 22 Bradford 22
Super winger Lesley Vainikolo was the hero for Super League champions Bradford as they came from 18-6 down to steal a point and leave Warrington skipper Lee Briers rueing an off day with the boot.
FRIDAY 30th April 2004
PENRITH V WESTS at Penrith Football Stadium at 7.30pm
THE Bulldogs crisis is far from over despite Police announcing yesterday that no charges would be laid against players alleged to have raped a 20-year-old woman in Coffs Harbour.
LEADING into this week?s Cronulla vs St George Illawarra game, as part of an ongoing preview, I thought it would be best to look at and debunk some of the myths surrounding the St George Illawarra Dragons, when compared to their rivals. After some research, here is what I found out.
THE Canterbury Bulldogs have been fined a maximum of $500,000 by the National Rugby League for bringing the game into disrepute during a pre-season trip to Coffs Harbour.
THE eye injury that forced Penrith forward Joe Galuvao to miss the majority of the club?s game against Brisbane last Sunday won?t keep the test second rower out of Friday?s vital game with the Wests Tigers.