THE St George Illawarra Dragons Premier League side has missed the chance to hit the top of the table after going down to the Penrith St Mary?s Cougars 26-12 at WIN Stadium today.Despite arguably looking a more dangerous outfit with the ball in hand, the Dragons bombed multiple opportunities at key stages and were made to pay the price.Best for the home side was Chris Sheppard, who consistently took the Cougars line on. Sam Isemonger (pictured) had a blinder in his first match for the Dragons. The former Shark crossed for two tries and tackled his heart out in a strong performance.In a stark contrast to last week, the Dragons found themselves behind after four minutes. Cougars winger Michael Gordon managed to outjump Tom Hewitt on the eastern flank to claim a pin point bomb and score.Gordon made no mistakes in converting his own try from the sideline.The next ten minutes were dominated by referee Steve Lyons whistle. The former first grade mediator blew no less than six penalties.With the crowd size building, so was the Dragons attacking pressure. Lock Aaron Wheatley was unlucky to not provide his sides first points after his final pass to an unmarked Brett Morris went astray.The blunder was soon forgotten however when Sam Isemonger crossed for his first try in a red and white strip after 20 minutes. Attacking 30 metres out Sheppard put a precision pass on the chest of a rampaging Beau Ryan. The centre-three quarter busted the first line of Cougars defence then offloaded smartly to Isemonger who was backing up on the inside. Reece Blayney made no mistakes in converting from adjacent to the posts to bring the scores level.The Dragons attack began to resemble the same fluency and class of last week. The likes of Sheppard and Wheatley were causing the visitors all sorts of headaches. With 12 minutes till the break, Danny Wicks was denied a four pointer after he was adjudged to have committed a double movement. The set back didn?t prove costly as Isemonger crossed for his second try in the home sides very next set. Once again it was Sheppard taking the ball to the line and finding a team mate running an angled line. The backrower hit the line with precision and speed, scoring untouched.With Blayney?s conversion, the Dragons kicked six points clear.With only five left till the break, the Cougars clawed back to within two points after centre Chris Newton crashed over from close range. Gordon was unsuccessful with his conversion attempt, keeping the Dragons noses infront heading into the break.Nine minutes into the second stanza, the Cougars levelled the scores through a penalty goal from Gordon.The red and whites received a setback just ten minutes later when rookie flyer Josh Morris was helped from the field with what looked to be a leg injury. His speed was sorely missed during the next set of six when the Dragons bombed yet another try.Sheppard chipped and regathered on his own 40, but with no nearby support, the halfback was forced to throw a long speculator pass to Hewitt. The pass was ruled to be forward.With 20 minutes to go, the Cougars hit the lead with thanks to some luck.A pin point grubber from half Wayne Boyd, ricochetd off the uprights and straight into the hands of Wallace who dived over.Down by six, the Dragons continued to make errors in trying tp press the issue.There was a glimmer of hope for the home side when Cougars prop Dave Thompson was sin binned, but a penalty goal from Gordon with just five to go, sealed the win for the visitors.The Cougars made the result certain with two minutes left with thanks to a try from hooker Paul Aiton.PENRITH - ST MARYS COUGARS 26 ( M GORDON, C NEWTON, P WALLACE, P AITON TRIES; M GORDON 5 GOALS) d. ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS 12 (S ISEMONGER 2 TRIES; R BLAYNEY 2 GOALS)In Jersey Flegg, the Dragons found themselves in the winners circle with a tough 30-20 win over the Panthers.ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS 30 (J NIGHTINGALE, B DUREAU, L MC PHAIL, L SETU, S SABLOWSKI TRIES; B DUREAU 3, N WYNN 2 GOALS)
THE Sydney Roosters? Jersey Flegg outfit overcame a dogged Central Coast to tough out a 30-16 round-two win at Aussie Stadium this afternoon.Heavy favourites heading into the match ? against a club that racked up a litany of unwanted defensive records in 2005 ? the Roosters were made to earn the two points against a vastly improved Rip outfit in stifling heat.The Rip made the Roosters ? who blew an early try in the left corner ? pay after eight minutes when some swift ball movement fed speedy winger Nick Briggs a four pointer. Abed Attalah converted to give the visitors a surprise 6-0 lead. But a decisive bust up field from Roosters hooker Lewis Brown paved the way for Anthony Watts (pictured) to send Jeremy Gordon over out wide. Gordon converted his own try from the sideline to level the match at 6-all.With both sides struggling to complete their sets, lightning-fast Rip fullback Nick Brown busted the match wide open 10 minutes before half-time after splitting the Roosters? defence from a scrum feed to race 50 metres and score under the posts. With Attalah?s second conversion the Rip ? who infamously had 100 points put on them by the Dragons last year ? looked primed for a major upset.The home side fumbled their way through the remainder of the half ? but a deft offload from first grade hopeful Grant Millington helped powerful winger Pierce Sapsford get the match back on an even keel 90 seconds from the interval.With some words of wisdom from coach Jim Dymock ringing in their ears, the Roosters came out fired up after the break ? forcing a Central Coast turnover that allowed uncompromising winger Shaun Kenny-Dowall to score in the left corner. Another sideline goal from Sapsford speared the Roosters to an 18-12 lead after 40 minutes.However, Central Coast refused to back off ? after a misread in defence allowed Briggs to score an embarrassingly easy try out wide to reduce the deficit to two.But young half Mitchell Pearce gave the Roosters some breathing space after breaking through to race 70 metres from a scrum and score under the posts.A pinpoint cross-field chip from Watts that gifted Gordon his second four pointer sealed the match with eight minutes remaining ? ensuring the Roosters will stay inside the top four after two roundsSYDNEY ROOSTERS 30 (Jeremy Gordon 2, Mitchell Pearce, Pierce Sapsford, Shaun Kenny-Dowall tries; Jeremy Gordon 5/5 goals) defeated CENTRAL COAST RIP 16 (Nick Briggs 2, Nick Brown tries; Abed Attalah 2/3 goals) at Aussie Stadium; Sunday, March 19th, 2006; Referee: Luke Potter.
FANS have rushed tickets for rugby league's second State of Origin game at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium.Only 3,500 of the 52,500 tickets remain after 14,000 were snapped up in the first 90 minutes this morning. QRL officials held back 500 tickets for north Queensland fans whose lives were disrupted by Cyclone Larry today. The first game of the series will be played at Sydney's Telstra Stadium on May 24 with the return game in Brisbane on June 14. The third game is booked for Melbourne's Telstra Dome on July 5.
NRL favourite Newcastle $26 to break club recordLast year's National Rugby League Wooden Spoon recipient is this year's Premiership favourite. Newcastle is 6.50 with Centrebet to become the second side to go from last to first in 12 months. The Knights are 26.00 with Centrebet to win a club record-breaking 12 or more matches in a row."Last year, Centrebet punters wanted to bet on Newcastle not winning a game," says Centrebet''s Gerard Daffy. "This year, they want to bet on the Knights setting a club record for straight wins!"NRL Premiership winner6.50 Newcastle7.00 North Queensland8.00 Parramatta8.00 St George Illawarra9.00 Bulldogs9.00 Sydney13.00 Brisbane13.00 Melbourne13.00 Penrith13.00 Wests Tigers16.00 Manly31.00 Cronulla67.00 Canberra101.00 New Zealand101.00 South SydneyNewcastle's winning streak2.70 Two matches9.00 Three matches2.70 Four matches8.00 Five matches8.00 Six matches41.00 Seven matches34.00 Eight matches21.00 Nine matches151.00 Ten matches67.00 Eleven matches26.00 Twelve or more matches*Newcastle''s record winning streak is 11 matches (August 25, 2001 to April 19, 2002)NRL Wooden Spoon winner2.00 New Zealand3.00 South Sydney5.00 Canberra17.00 Cronulla21.00 Manly21.00 Wests Tigers41.00 Brisbane41.00 Bulldogs41.00 Penrith67.00 Melbourne67.00 Newcastle67.00 St George Illawarra67.00 Sydney101.00 Parramatta151.00 North QueenslandLog on to http://www.centrebet.com to view its latest odds.About CentrebetThe southern hemisphere's oldest online bookmaker, Centrebet operates in one of the world's strictest jurisdictions. Australia's Northern Territory Government licenses Centrebet. Its Racing and Gaming Commission monitors transactions for the protection of Centrebet and its clients.
BRISBANE copped a double dose of bad news today with hooker Barry Berrigan's career in the balance and young winger Steve Michaels facing surgery for a broken leg. Berrigan injured his neck at the weekend while playing for the Clydesdales and his playing future will be clearer later in the week. Michaels will have a plate inserted in his lower leg and be sidelined for three months.Cowboys hooker Aaron Payne is rated extremely doubtful for the weekend's clash with the Storm after suffering a heavy head knock against Manly at the weekend, but has been cleared of a serious neck injury.St George Illawarra front rower Luke Bailey has been ruled out for up to six weeks after suffering a knee injury in yesterday's 13-12 golden point loss to Penrith. Scans have confirmed the former Test prop has a torn posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. In brighter news for the Dragons, skipper Trent Barrett is likely to return from a stomach virus for Sunday's match against South Sydney, while centre Matt Cooper is also believed to be some chance of taking on the Rabbitohs after recovering from a hamstring strain.Wests Tigers hooker Robbie Farah is expected to be out for between four and six weeks after breaking his right hand in Friday night's bruising 47-12 loss to the Bulldogs. Farah underwent surgery today and will be joined on the sidelines by prop Bryce Gibbs after he was heavily concussed against the Bulldogs.And lastly, Parramatta backrower Glenn Morrison will learn the full extent of his knee injury tomorrow.
BULLDOGS forward Willie Mason is free to play in Friday night's blockbuster NRL clash against Newcastle despite being charged by the match review committee. Mason was charged with a grade one careless high tackle for his hit on Wests Tigers winger Jamaal Lolesi last Friday night. The Test second-rower doesn't accrue enough points to be rubbed out for a match whether he pleads guilty of fights the charge. Tigers prop Bryce Gibbs has a grade one striking charge for dropping a forearm on Bulldogs forward Mark O'Meley and faces a one-match ban. The Tigers have already indicated Gibbs won't play against the New Zealand Warriors this weekend because of concussion.Manly prop Kylie Leuluai has a grade one contrary conduct charge for a kneeing incident and faces a two-week ban.Newcastle utility Anthony Quinn was charged with a grade one dangerous throw and faces two weeks out.Penrith back-rower Luke Swain will escape suspension with an early guilty plea to a grade one dangerous throw charge, while teammate Frank Puletua will miss one match unless he successfully defends a grade two careless high tackle charge.
WESTS Tigers hooker Robbie Farah is expected to be out for between four and six weeks after breaking his right hand in his side's bruising 47-12 loss to the Bulldogs.Farah, who underwent surgery today, played with the injury through 65 minutes of Friday night's clash. The Tigers will also be without prop Bryce Gibbs for their match against the New Zealand Warriors in Christchurch on Sunday after he was heavily concussed after coming off second best in a collision with Bulldogs powerhouse Mark O'Meley.Meanwhile, North Queensland hooker Aaron Payne has been cleared of a serious neck injury from his side's 20-16 win over Manly.
LEEDS Rhinos 20 (McGuire 2, Walker, Donald tries; Sinfield 2 goals) v Salford City Reds 12 (Hodgson, Langi, Finnigan tries). Att: 15,242Leeds Rhinos moved up to second place in the Engage Super League table with a hard fought victory over a gutsy Salford City Reds at Headingley Carnegie Stadium.In a close scoring first half when defences were on top, the Reds took the lead against the run of play when David Hodgson pounced on to a loose ball and raced 80 meters to score in the corner. On the stroke of half time, Leeds finally breached the Salford defence with a try by Scott Donald, after a good run and pass from Danny McGuire.The second half continued with the Rhinos camped out in the Salford 20 but after an initial Luke Robinson break, Junior Langi crashed over in the corner to put the Reds back in front. Leeds hit back immediately when Chev Walker scored a fine individual try. Then the Rhinos extended their lead with a McGuire try.Salford would not lie down and after slick passing, Simon Finnigan scored a try to put the Reds within two points of Leeds, but Hodgson once again missed the easy conversation that would have put the Reds level.Leeds continued to press, but Salford managed to hold out until a piece of individual brilliance from Great Britain stand-off Danny McGuire sealed the game for the hosts. The visitors showed why they are this season?s most improved team, if only David Hodgson would have had his kicking boots on, the Reds might have come away with a most unlikely victory.St Helens 38 (Meli 2, Gardner 2, Long, Cunningham, Pryce tries; Lyon 5 goals) v Bradford Bulls 16 (Hape 2, B. Harris tries; Deacon 2 goals). Att: 12,352St Helens maintained their 100% record with a convincing victory over the Bradford Bulls at Knowsley Road.Bradford came in to this game on an 18 match unbeaten run but after dominating the first quarter, they failed to make most of the pressure and had only a Ben Harris try to show for their efforts. After losing influential skipper Iestyn Harris with an arm injury, the Saints got on top and scored tries through Francis Meli, Shaun Long and Lyon Pryce, who scored against his old club. Just before half time Bradford made the most of the extra man, when Jason Hooper was in the sin-bin for a late tackle on Paul Deacon, with a Shontayne Hape try to reduce the hosts? lead to 16-12 at the break.The second half the Saints turned on the gas as they ran in four more tries to show that they are surely the odds on favourites to reach the Grand Final in October. Bradford were a well-beaten side but they did mange to score the last try through Shontayne Hape. Saints victory came at a cost with a serious injury to Great Britain full-back Paul Wellins, who is expected to miss the next six weeks with a fractured cheekbone.Warrington Wolves 26 (Clarke, Westwood, Kohe-Love, Fa?afili, Bridge tries; Briers 3 goals) v Catalans Dragons 28 (Murphy 2, Texido, Bosc, Fellous tries; Dobson 4 goals). Att: 9,631Catalans Dragons turned the formbook upside down and gave new coach Mike Potter a great start with a shock victory over the Warrington Wolves at the Halliwell-Jones Stadium. The visitors came into this match after conceding 108 points in their last two home games and started well pinning Warrington back in their own half, but against the run of play John Clarke scored the opening try for the Wolves. The lead was short lived as the Dragons roared back with three tries two from Justin Murphy, Thomas Bosc and Lionel Teixido plus two conversions by Mick Dobson to lead 16-6. However, on the stroke of half time, Chris Bridge scored for the Wolves to cut the deficit to 6 points at 16-10.Warrington charged back with three tries in the second half through Henry Fa?afili, his eighth of the season, Ben Westwood, after a great pass from ex Shark Michael Sullivan, Toa Kohe-Love who danced through and with two conversions from Lee Briers the Wolves led 26-16.Under the guidance of man of the match, Julien Rinaldi, the Dragons stormed back and scored two tries through a second for Murphy and Adel Fellous. Mick Dobson converted both tries and Catalans led 28-26 with minutes left. Warrington tried to get back in front but the visitors held them out to register their first every away victory in the Engage Super League.Castleford Tigers 38 (Pryce 2, Platt, Handforth, Kain, Fa?aoso tries; Handforth, Kain 5 goals). Wigan Warriors 18 (O?Loughlin 2, Richards tries; Orr, Tickle 2 goals). Att: 9,021Wigan?s losing run continued after their were soundly beaten by the Castleford Tigers at the Jungle. The Warriors got off to a dream start and raced into a 12-0 lead thanks to a brace through skipper Sean O?Loughlin, both set up by ex Tiger Danny Orr.With the introduction of Danny Ward, the home team got themselves back into the game with a Wayne Pryce try, but it could have been even better for the hosts as they had two tries disallowed for off-side and a knock-on. Wigan held on for 12-6 lead at the break. Castleford changed gear in the second half and with the help of some mistakes by the visitors they scored four tries in the first 20 minutes to lead 30-12. Wigan did manage to cut the lead to 12 points with a Pat Richards try, after collecting Denis Moran?s cross-field kick.But, Pryce crossed again in the closing stages, with Kain's conversion and a last-minute penalty from Handforth rubbing salt in the Warriors' gaping woundsHuddersfield Giants 64 (Evans 2, Gardner 2, Thorman 2, Donlan, Paul, Wild, Torrens, Crabtree tries; Thorman 10 goals) v Harlequins RL 14 (Hartley, Luisi tries; Gafa 3 goals). Att: 4,173Huddersfield ran in 11 tries as they thrashed a poor Harlequins side at the Galpharm Stadium. Quins, whose points came following early tries by Tim Hartley and Zebastian Luisi as well as three kicks by Matt Gafa, were abysmal in the second half.Their performance made a mockery of their opening two away games this season, which had seen them beat Hull and draw at Bradford. The hosts lead 22-14 at the break and then ran in 7-second half tries to thoroughly outclass their opponents.Huddersfield were lead around the park by their two half-backs, effervescent Robbie Paul and Chris Thorman - who contributed 28 points.Wakefield Wildcats 20 (Tadulala 2, Elima, Demetriou tries; Rooney 2 goals) v Hull FC 28 (Raynor, Carvell, King, Yeaman, Whiting tries; Brough, Cook 3 goals). Att: 5,613Hull ended their loosing run of three matches with an unconvincing win over bottom team Wakefield Wildcats at Belle Vue.Wakefield led 10-0 with tries from Semi Tadulala and Oliver Elima before losing their talisman David Solomona, who limped off after 20 minutes. Richard Whiting and Kirk Yeaman crossed to give Hull a half time lead. Garreth Carvell added another try after the break to extend the advantage.Tries from Tadulala and Jason Demetriou put Wakefield back in contention. However, Hull hung on to their lead with some good scrambling defence and gave themselves some breathing space on 60 minutes when Paul King went over. Gareth Raynor confirmed the win on the 75th minute, marking his return from injury with a try after collecting Cooke's looping pass.
BUSINESSMAN Peter Holmes A Court will today begin the onerous task of reviving South Sydney after the NRL club's members yesterday gave the go ahead to his $3 million buyout with Russell Crowe.Holmes A Court will officially take over as Souths chairman from Nick Pappas on May 1 but, after being given a mandate by the members, has vowed to waste no time getting down to work. Needing a 75 per cent majority for the proposal to go through, Holmes A Court and Crowe achieved 75.8 per cent of the vote yesterday, with a mere 32 votes deciding the outcome.Holmes A Court and Crowe acquired 75 per cent of the club as part of the deal, which will also see them select four of the eight South Sydney board members.Meanwhile, South Sydney patriarch George Piggins has vowed never to attend another Rabbitohs NRL match after yesterday's historic members' vote in favour of the Peter Holmes A Court-Russell Crowe privatisation proposal. Piggins says he is at the stage of his life where he would rather look after his other interests.The former Rabbitohs chairman and coach says he will never be seen at a football game again. Piggins had been an outspoken opponent of the buyout bid. Crowe says he is saddened by Piggins' remarks, and will talk to him in an attempt to change his mind.
ANOTHER tremendous weekend of rugby league football. Kicking off proceedings were the Bulldogs with a big 47-12 win over premiers Wests Tigers on Friday night. The round concluded with last year?s wooden spooners the Knights putting 70 points on the Raiders, but conceding 32 points for a record match blow-out of 102 points.
ADAM Starr may have lost the captaincy role late in the piece, but that didn?t stop him leading by example as Redcliffe accounted for Ipswich 34-12 at QLD Group Stadium on Saturday.
MEMBERS of the St.George Leagues Club can vote from 10 am tomorrow (Monday, March 20th) in the St.George Board elections. Voting is between Monday and Thursday - 10 am to 8 pm. R2K has endorsed three candidates to fill three vacancies on the St.George Leagues Club Board of Directors.The three R2K endorsed candidates are: Troy FeliceNick StojanovskiJames YoungThe candidates espouse the following policies:* Increase of OKI Jubilee Stadium capacity to in excess of 20,000. * Immediate focus on the reopening of the auditorium and overhaul of Club entertainment.* Full interest to be charged to the Illawarra Steelers on the $8.29 million loan, thus gaining St.George Leagues Club members an additional $398,000+ worth of interest credits per annum. When the $6.5 million WIN payment is made, the candidates support full interest being charged on the remaining loan balance.* 10% Member discount extended from all meal purchases to all drinks purchases.* Maintaining and enhancing the standard of dining, gambling, service and sports screenings.* Improved facilities for social and sporting clubs.* Restructure of Member benefits.The ballot for Directors will be conducted at the Club premises and will be open from 10am to 8pm from Monday, March 20 to Thursday, March 23 2006. R2K urges supporters to vote for the above candidates to ensure that the Dragons have a bright future in the St.George District. For additional information on the campaign, please [email protected]
IAN Millward remains upbeat as he prepares to take his Wigan side to Castleford on Sunday seeking their first away win of the season.
WAKEFIELD have goalkicking stand-off Jamie Rooney back from injury as they look to prevent Hull completing the first double of the season at Belle Vue on Sunday.
HARLEQUINS will be hoping to take their impressive away form into their clash with Huddersfield at the Galpharm Stadium on Sunday.