HULL have announced that coach John Kear is to leave with immediate effect after being told he would not have his contract renewed earlier on Monday.
SALFORD Reds quartet Karl Fitzpatrick, Ian Sibbit, David Hodgson and Stuart Littler have all signed new deals to extend their stay at The Willows.
WIGAN cast aside their engage Super League blues with a dramatic fightback to clinch a place in the last 16 of the Powergen Challenge Cup courtesy of a 32-22 win over Wakefield.One-time Cup kings Wigan, bottom of the table after winning just one of their opening seven games, looked to be heading out of the famous knockout tournament when they trailed 22-6 just before half-time.But they got their act together, inspired by skipper Sean O?Loughlin and the experienced Dennis Moran, to run in 26 unanswered points and book their place in Tuesday?s fifth-round draw.The win will lift the pressure on coach Ian Millward but increase the gloom at Belle Vue, where the Wildcats let slip a 21-0 lead against Warrington a week earlier.Wigan, who gave a debut to 18-year-old prop Eamonn O?Carroll, now have seven weeks to prepare for their next Cup task and will be hoping this result can kick-start their League campaign, starting with another trip to Belle Vue next Friday. Wakefield, who like Wigan were without five regulars through injury, made good use of the stiff breeze to build a 16-point lead but the turning point came just before the break thanks to an act of petulance.The Wildcats had defended stoically to force a handover near their own line but full-back Colum Halpenny, with an eye on half-time, tossed the ball away to waste time and was rightly penalised by referee Karl Kirkpatrick.Wigan ran the ball and full-back Chris Ashton took Bryan Fletcher?s pass to go through a gap in the home defence for a try which gave his side a lifeline.Ashton had earlier gifted Wakefield a score when he failed to gather Jamie Rooney?s grubber kick and substitute Paul White pounced for his second try in five minutes.White had finished off a fine break by fellow substitute Mark Applegarth to grab his first while scrum-half Sam Obst scored one try with a jinking run and created another for second rower Jamie Field with a pinpoint kick.Wigan created several chances, particularly through the darting runs from dummy half by Mick Higham, but ruined most of them through slipshod handling in the difficult conditions.Higham scored the other first-half try, his first for the Warriors, after Sean O?Loughlin?s kick had eluded Wakefield centre Jason Demetriou.But it was a different story in the second half as O?Loughlin and Moran seized the initiative.O?Loughlin went over within 90 seconds of the restart, brushing off the attempted tackle from Field, and when Moran successfully chased his own kick to the line it brought the scores level.Rooney tried to break the deadlock with a drop goal which sailed wide and Wigan edged in front for the first time on 65 minutes with a penalty from Tickle after Field had been punished for interference at the play-the-ball.Wakefield left winger Semi Tadulala crossed on 68 minutes but was brought back for a forward pass earlier in the move and, at the other end, Wigan?s Pat Richards dropped the ball with the line open.The tie was finally settled through another comedy of errors, with Tadulala failing to clear the danger caused by Moran?s kick and centre David Vaealiki pounced on the loose ball to score.Wakefield: (22) 22Tries: Field, Obst, White 2Goals: Rooney 3Wigan: (12) 32Try: Higham, Ashton, O?Loughlin, Moran VaealikiGoals: Tickle 3, Godwin, Richards 2Wakefield: Halpenny, Buchanan, Demetriou, Whittle, Tadulala, Rooney, Obst, Griffin, March, Korkidas, Elima, J. Field, Betham. Replacements: White, Wrench, Applegarth, Catic.Wigan: Ashton, Calderwood, Vaealiki, Richards, Dallas, Brown, Moran, Seu Seu, Higham, Hargreaves, Tickle, Fletcher,O?Loughlin. Replacements: Prescott, O?Carroll, Godwin, Tomkins.Referee: K Kirkpatrick (Warrington)Att: 3,123
HARLEQUINS bounced back from the shock of conceding a converted try in the opening 35 seconds to easily book their passage into the fifth round of the Powergen Challenge Cup with a 48-6 win over Toulouse.
LEEDS opened their Challenge Cup campaign by outclassing Leigh to romp to a routine victory at the Coliseum by 36-12.Last year?s runners-up were kept at bay by their National League One opponents but took control with first-half tries from Kevin Sinfield, Lee Smith, Keith Senior and Gareth Ellis.Further tries from Smith, youngster Ashley Gibson - the Rhinos? only change to their starting line-up - and Richard Mathers wrapped up a safe passage into Tuesday?s fifth round draw.Aaron Heremaia and Misili Manu restored some pride for the hosts with each touching down in the final 18 minutes.Two hours of rain before kick-off left a lot of surface water on the Coliseum pitch and both sides struggled to get to grips with the conditions in the early stages.Leigh had an opportunity in the seventh minute when Chris Feather?s attempted offload gifted them possession outside the Leeds 20 but captain Julian O?Neill was unable to find a gap on the right.And around the quarter-hour mark Leeds began to peg the home side back.Leigh defended doggedly but eventually hooker Matt Diskin managed to prise an opening for Sinfield to stroll into and touch down under the posts before adding the extras.The boisterous home crowd were doing their best to unsettle Leeds? star-studded line-up and were given more cause to voice their opinion when referee Steve Ganson refused to give a knock-on against Leeds 30 metres from their own line.And from the same set of six, Leeds advanced on the right before Diskin fed Mathers and the full-back?s cut-out pass to the left wing allowed Smith to stroll in for a 27th-minute score.Sinfield converted and Leeds reinforced their dominance in the 35th minute when Ali Lauitiiti laid the ball off to Senior, who bundled his way over from close range.The pair then combined again in the 39th minute, with Lauitiiti?s offload giving Senior the chance to charge down the left.The Great Britain centre was stopped 20 metres out, but after play switched to the right, Ellis touched down from Rob Burrow?s grubber kick.Sinfield?s third goal made it 22-0 but not even the interval could revive the Centurions as within four minutes of the restart, Danny McGuire created the space for Smith to saunter through for his second try.McGuire was again the provider six minutes later after Ellis? break and offload, and 19-year-old Gibson, playing right centre, capped his first senior start by pouncing on McGuire?s kick wide to score.Leigh finally got themselves on the scoresheet in the 62nd minute after Paul Rowley?s break set up the field position.O?Neill kicked into the in-goal area for scrum-half Heremaia to touch down before adding the extras.Mathers was then found in acres of space in the 71st minute to stroll over on the left, while Manu touched down after a 90-metre sprint in the final minute.Leigh (0) 12 Tries: Heremaia, Manu Goals: O'Neill 2 Leeds (22) 36Tires: Smith 2, Senior, Gibson, Ellis, Mathers, SinfieldGoals: Burrow, Sinfield 3Leigh: Grix, Manu, Grundy, Hughes, Greenwood, O?Neill, Heremaia, R. Bibey, Rowley, C. Hill, Taylor, Glassie, Roberts.Replacements: Halliwell, Sykes, Wilson, Stevens.Leeds: Mathers, Donald, Gibson, Senior, Smith, McGuire, Burrow, Peacock, Diskin, Feather, Kirke, Ellis, Sinfield.Replacements: Lauitiiti, Scruton, Bailey, McAvoy.Referee: S Ganson (St Helens)Att: 3,917
SALFORD overcame some fierce resistance from National League Two part-timers Dewsbury to march into the last 16 of the Powergen Challenge Cup by 32-4.The Reds, who are flying high in the engage Super League after winning five out of their opening seven matches, led 16-0 at the interval.Salford opened the scoring when ex-Wigan star David Hodgson crossed out wide to notch his fifth try of the season following a knock-on from Reds old boy Darren Rogers.Salford extended their lead on 29 minutes after clever handling from half-backs Luke Robinson and John Wilshere ? deputising for the absent Andrew Dunemann ? to send Andy Coley charging over to open up a 10-0 lead.Moments later Hodgson scored a fine solo try after picking up a loose ball inside his own half before weaving in and out of the Dewsbury defence to complete his brace.But National League Two promotion favourites Dewsbury ? without the injured Kevin Crowthers, who dislocated his shoulder at Doncaster last week ? fought back in the second half.Ex-Salford player Bryn Powell crossed in the corner to narrow the gap but any hopes of a Rams upset though were dashed as Mitch Stringer, on his first appearance this season, stepped out of some weak tackling to score.In the final 10 minutes Salford ran riot and bagged further tries through Simon Finnigan and Kevin McGuinness, on his return after a serious knee injury, as Dewsbury?s resistance crumbled.Salford (16) 32 Tries: Finnigan, Hodgson 2, Coley, McGuinness, Stringer Goals: Wilshere 4 Dewsbury (0) 4Goals 2 PowellSalford: Fitzpatrick, Hodgson, Moule, Littler, Langi, Wilshere, Robinson, Baldwin, Alker, Highton, Coley, Brocklehurst, Finnigan.Replacements: Myler, Clayton, Stringer, McGuinness.Dewsbury: Tillotson, Rogers, Mack, Maun, Powell, F. Maloney, Finn, Watene, Greenwood, D. Maloney, Kelly, W. Jowitt, M. Walker.Replacements: Chapman, Bretherton, Harvey, Southwell.Referee: G Hewer (Wakefield)Att: 1,899
WARRINGTON Wolves comfortably progressed through to the next round of the Powergen Challenge Cup with a 10-try rout of National League side London Skolars at the Halliwell Jones Stadium by 52-10.
HUDDERSFIELD made comfortable progress into the fifth round of this season?s Powergen Challenge Cup with a routine win over National League One outfit Halifax by 40-8.
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.