PARRAMATTA'S front-row crisis has worsened with skipper Nathan Cayless likely to be ruled out for the remainder of the season.
SUPERLEAGUE media (UK) reports that have Hull FC have agreed to release Nathan 'Tingha' Blacklock from his contract with immediate effect.The former St George and Australian winger has been plagued by a knee injury this season and will now retire from the game and return home to Australia.In the Superleague press release, Blacklock said: "I?m disappointed I?ve had to call it a day, but I simply can?t give the 100 per cent I want to anymore because of injuries. I can?t put my heart and soul into playing.""Everyone at the club, from the coaching staff to the players and the office staff, have been great to me and I wish the team all the best for the play-offs and the future."There are some good young players who deserve a chance. They will have more enthusiasm for the game than I can offer now."The 30-year-old product from Tingha arrived at the KC Stadium from the St George Illawarra Dragons last season. He quickly became a fans? favourite, scoring 16 tries in 24 Super League appearances to finish as the club?s leading try-scorer.In 2006, he has crossed for 13 tries in 21 games, frequently playing injured.Hull FC's Peter Sharp added: "Tingha has enjoyed a marvellous career. He has achieved some things in rugby league that most people can only dream about."He has contributed an awful lot to this club over the last two years and we wish him all the best in the future."Hailing from Tingha, New South Wales, Nathan Blacklock came to the Dragons in 1997 after making just five appearances (and scoring one try) with the Roosters in 1995. He then linked up with St George and went onto become the competition's top try scorer for three consecutive years in 1999, 2000, and 2001. He is the only player to score 20 tries or more for four seasons in a row.A crowd favourite and match winner, Blacklock often left his wing to attack the centre of the ruck. During the 1999 grand final, 'Tingha' gave fans one of many memorable moments when he accelerated onto a chip kick, scooped up the ball, and raced through a gap to score under posts 60 metres downfield.During an outstanding season in 2001, Blacklock was controversially overlooked for NSW selection. In the same year he was selected for Australia, playing in two Tests and scoring two tries.Following a short stint with the NSW Waratahs in rugby union, Blacklock made his return to the Dragons in 2003, where he was again the club's top try scorer in first grade.At 28, Blacklock left Australia after signing a two year contract with UK club Hull, beginning in 2005.A hugely popular player, Blacklock departed Australian club rugby league with first grade career total of 121 tries from 142 games.TINGHA FACT FILEBorn 4 April 1976. First club, Tingha Tigers. 1995: First Grade debut: Sydney City v Norths at SFS, July 8, 1995 (Rd 15). Roosters1995-1996: 5 games1 tryDragons1997-2004: 137 games120 tries, 14 goals. 508 points.The Competition's top try scorer: 1999, 2000, 2001.Club's top try scorer (first grade): 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003.Club's top point scorer (first grade): 2000.Hull2005-2006: 45 games 29 triesAustralian Kangaroos2001: 2 Tests2 triesCAREER FIRST CLASS TRY SCORING TOTAL189 games: 1995-2006152 tries
A one-on-one meeting with Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens this week will determine whether wayward star Chris Walker has a future at the NRL club.
AN NRL player will face charges of using performance enhancing drugs it was reported today.
NO action will be taken against four Parramatta players after the NRL club officially cleared them of misconduct during an alleged incident last week.
FRIDAY, 25th August 2006
HULL FC have agreed to release Nathan Blacklock from his contract with immediate effect.
TONY de Las Heras makes his official refereeing debut on Sunday when the Rabbitohs are at home to the Cowboys. Tony came on late in the first half in Round five as a replacement for the then injured Paul Simpkins. He replaces Jason Robinson who was in charge of the Sharks and Panthers match last Saturday night.Sean Hampstead will control the Sea Eagles? important clash with the Dogs on Friday night at Brookvale Oval. A win for Manly will secure them a home semi final, so this match will have the quality of a Finals fixture. Just what Sean needs as the build up to September football continues.Shayne Hayne was again impressive in the Dragons home win against the Tigers on Sunday and has been rewarded with the Raiders important clash against the Storm on Saturday night. Shayne could be a dark horse for a final this year, while the Raiders need to win to confirm their place in September.Referee Paul Simpkins will have the local derby between the Dragons and Sharks in Wollongong on Saturday night. Paul was criticised for blowing too many inefficient penalties in the Eels? big victory over the Roosters on Sunday.Steve Clark has been given the important match of the round between Newcastle and Penrith. It has been rated the number one match as the equation is simple for the Panthers, they must win to keep their finals hopes alive. The equation is simple for Clark, keep refereeing at the good standard he has to ensure his first Grand Final appearance of his career.Russell Smith will have his second game back in first grade since spending along time in Premier League. Russell, who came over from England in 2005, was to just spend nine weeks in Australia refereeing, but has joined the Canterbury Refereeing District since then and looks to be a full timer when it comes to refereeing. Russell will be over in New Zealand this weekend when the Warriors are at home to the Roosters.Tony Archer, who made his first appearance in a finals fixture last year in the Sharks and Dragons clash, looks to be on the road to another one this year if he keeps up the good standard that he has over the past couple of months. Tony has the important match at Parramatta Stadium on Sunday where the Eels are at home to the Broncos. The game could be one of the matches in the first week of the finals which kicks off in the second weekend of September.
THE National Rugby League has officially sided with the Gold Coast Titans, refusing to register a playing contract lodged today by the Melbourne Storm and rising star Steve Turner.
THE XXXX Queensland Maroons have begun preparations to defend their Harvey Norman State of Origin crown, following on from this year?s miraculous 2-1 series defeat of New South Wales.QRL Managing Director Ross Livermore said there had been encouraging outcomes from a special State of Origin Planning Committee meeting, held this morning in Brisbane.In attendance were Mr Livermore, incumbent coach Mal Meninga, team manager Steve Walters and selectors Des Morris and Gene Miles.Topics on the agenda included team selection, staffing, training and accommodation locations, promotional activities and public events.A willingness was again shown to again take the XXXX Maroons into regional areas. In recent years the team has held fan days in Maryborough and Rockhampton and spent significant time on the Sunshine and Gold Coasts.In regards to staffing it was noted that several key support men, such as Neil Henry, Billy Johnstone and Steve Hooper, will be facing new challenges in 2007 with their club commitments. An undertaking was made to observe these personnel and assess any likely impact.Although head coach Meninga is yet to commit to the team for next year and beyond, there are positive signs of a continued involvement.?We have no reason to believe Mal won?t be the coach, but at the same time the situation is yet to be finalised,? Mr Livermore said.?Mal has significant business interests and the truth of the matter is that these will take some serious juggling with the commitment needed for the series and prior.?The 2007 State of Origin series will see matches held on May 23 (Brisbane), June 13 (Sydney) and July 4 (Brisbane).
LONG-SERVING Awen Guttenbeil and Brent Webb make their farewell appearances at home when an unchanged Vodafone Warriors side takes on the Sydney Roosters at Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday.
ST George Illawarra Captain Trent Barrett will play his 150th first grade game for the Dragons againstthe Sharks at WIN Stadium this Saturday night.Barrett will lead a Dragons team unchanged from last week who will be looking to reverse the resultfrom Round 9 when they were defeated 30-12 at Toyota Park.Barrett along with fellow local juniors Shaun Timmins and Luke Bailey will be given a fitting farewellat the end of the game with this being the final game of the regular season at WIN Stadium.Unavailable Dragons are: Mathew Head (Knee), Corey Payne (Concussion), Colin Best (Neck), ShaunTimmins (Quad) and Justin Poore (Suspended).NRL DRAGONSv Cronulla Sharks7.30pm Saturday 26 AugustWIN StadiumCoach: Nathan 1. Clint GREENSHIELDS 2. Wes NAIQAMA 3. Mark GASNIER 4. Matt COOPER 5. Brett MORRIS 6. Trent BARRETT (c) 7. Ben HORNBY 8. Luke BAILEY 9. Dean YOUNG 10. Jason RYLES 11. Matt BICKERSTAFF 12. Ashton SIMS 13. Ben CREAGH 14. Danny WICKS 15. Michael HENDERSON 16. Sam ISEMONGER 17. Aaron GORRELLPremier League Dragonsv Cronulla Sharks5.30pm Saturday 26 AugustWIN StadiumCoach: Steven Price 1. Reece SIMMONDS 2. Josh MORRIS 3. Beau RYAN 4. Daryl MILLARD 5. Tom HEWITT 6. Richard WILLIAMS 7. Chris SHEPPARD 8. Charlie LEAENO 9. George NDAIRA 910. Chris HOUSTON (c) 11. Tom HABERECHT 12. Keith LULIA 13. Andrew PRICE 14. Dan HUNT 15. Willie TUPOU 16. Bryson GOODWIN 17. Reece BLAYNEY 18. Jamie KEITH 19. JAMIE DUNNING 20. Aaron WHEATLEYJersey Flegg Dragonsv Cronulla Sharks3.50pm Saturday 26 AugustWIN StadiumCoach: Corey Pearson1. Jason NIGHTINGALE2. Rota SETU3. Chase STANLEY4. Ryan MILLARD5. Luke IRWIN6. Nathan WYNN7. Matt SEAMARK8. Chris FARRELL9. Brad DAVIDSON (c)10. Jhi TANNER11. James KEELAN12. Matt PRIOR13. Brian WEST (c)14. Peter WAKLEY15. James GREHAN16. Scott SABLOWSKI17. Blake DUREAU18. Jason WHITE19. Junior SEUMANUTAFA
BILLY Slater has reclaimed the fullback's position for the Melbourne Storm's clash against Canberra on Saturday, pushing leading tryscorer Jake Webster to the interchange bench.
BULLDOGS back-rower Willie Mason won't play again until the semi-finals after entering an early guily plea to a grade-two careless high-tackle charge. Mason has copped the two-match ban for his high shot on Brisbane halfback Shane Perry during last Friday's 30-0 loss to the Broncos, ruling him out of the final two regular-season matches.
THE New Zealand Rugby League, New Zealand 16?s and Junior Kiwi selectors have great please in announcing the following squads for 2006.