CLASSY fullback Nathan Merritt took the lion?s share of awards at the recent Newtown Jets RLFC annual presentation night.The NSW Minister for Education and Training and MP for Marrickville Carmel Tebbutt was the principal guest of honour at the well-attended evening last week at the Jets Sports Club. There were a great many Newtown club sponsors, officials, players and supporters on hand as the Jets celebrated their best season in Rugby League for many years.Nathan Merritt, who has joined South Sydney for the 2006 season, won the following awards:Leading VB Premier League try-scorer for 2005 Leading VB Premier League points-scorer for 2005 Club record number of points scored by a Newtown player in one season Club record number of points scored by a Newtown player in one game Newtown RLFC VB Premier League Players? Player award. Merritt?s personal tally of 40 points in one game (scored against the Cougars on the 21st May) was second only to the all-time record of 45 points, set by the legendary Eastern Suburbs champion player Dave Brown back in 1935.Other major award winners were:Newtown RLFC VB Premier League Best and Fairest ? Kevin Kingston Newtown RLFC Jim Beam Cup Best and Fairest ? Rimini Reweti Newtown RLFC VB Premier League Coach?s Award ? Russell Aitken Newtown RLFC Jim Beam Cup Coach?s Award ? David Vial The Fred Daly Memorial Award (for outstanding service to the club by a player) ? David Thompson. Several speakers praised the Cronulla-Sutherland club for the responsible manner in which the partnership between the two clubs had been conducted in 2005. Although both clubs had mutually agreed not to extend the joint venture beyond 2005, the success of the association was clearly evident in two ways. Both of the Newtown club?s senior teams had made the semi-finals, and several of the Sharks youngsters who had been on loan to Newtown had graduated into the Cronulla NRL ranks during the year.Many of the speakers on the night paid tribute to all those Cronulla-Sutherland players who had readily adapted to playing with the Newtown club, and who had really applied themselves to their football in a most professional manner. They had all worn the Newtown colours with both honour and pride and had won the admiration of Newtown?s big support base. The Cronulla-Sutherland brigade had all contributed to the Newtown club having had its best season in many years.
JAMIE Peacock signed off his Bradford career in fairytale fashion by leading the Bulls to an historic fourth engage Super League title against his new club by 15-6.
FORMER Great Britain captain Ellery Hanley will be inducted into the Rugby League Hall of Fame this week, as part of four new members.
Hanley, who also went on to coach Great Britain, will join Eric Ashton, Martin Hodgson and the late Dougie Clark in entering the Hall of Fame.
LEEDS Rhinos and Bradford Bulls have announced their respective 18-man squads for the engage Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford on Saturday.
LEEDS Rhinos half-back Danny McGuire looks certain to miss the Gillette Tri-Nations Series after being told he needs to undergo groin surgery.
STACEY Jones played his first match for the Kiwis last Saturday night after two years of international retirement and helped direct the Kiwi team to a memorable 38-28 win at Telstra Stadium.
Australia 28 v New Zealand 38
New Zealand has overcome their many critics by beating Australia 38-22 at Telstra Stadium tonight in front of 28,255 spectators at Telstra Stadium. After the Kiwis lead 18-0 early, the Kangaroos charged back to lock the scoreboard up at 18-all at halftime.
LANCE Hohaia is set to tour with the Kiwis' for the English leg of the Tri-Nations rugby league series after favourable results from a scan today.
SCOTLAND are set to hand debuts to at least five players in tomorrow?s European Nations Cup tie against Wales at Bridgend. The fifth will become the 100th player to represent Scotland since senior rugby league internationals began in 1995. Gateshead full-back Wade Liddell, wingers Jon Steel of Hull KR and Dougie Flockhart from Dumfries, Halifax hooker Ben Fisher and St Albans Centurions forward Nick Surtees are all expected to be in the 17 and with the uncapped forwards Dave Simm (Edinburgh Eagles and Wigan St Judes) and Steve Deviney (Easterhouse Panthers) also vying for a place on the bench, new faces abound.
ENGLAND Head Coach Karl Harrison has named a 21-man squad to prepare for the two upcoming international matches against France (October 23 at Headingley, Leeds) and New Zealand (November 6 at Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington).
AUSTRALIAN winger Timana Tahu has been ruled out of the rest of Tri-Nations rugby league series with a hamstring injury.
THE third and final between the NZ Maori and the Cook Islands test held yesterday in Hastings saw another tough battle for both sides, with the Cook Island coming out the victors.
INJURED Kiwi hooker Lance Hohaia has to await scans on his lower leg after being stretched off Telstra Stadium on Saturday night.
IN a closely fought encounter at the Brewery Field, Bridgend, a crowd of over a thousand saw Wales narrowly overcome a strong Scotland side.
KIWI five-eighth, Nigel Vagana, is free to play in Friday's return Tri-Nations match in Auckland after being cleared of a dangerous throw charge on Saturday night.