TICKETS go on sale this Monday (21st August) for Wales Rugby League?s World Cup qualifying campaign which kicks-off against Scotland at the Brewery Field on Sunday 29th October.It is destined to be an exciting campaign for Wales as in addition to Scotland, they have been drawn in the European Qualifying Group A with Russia and will travel to Moscow for their second game a week later, before the fixtures are reversed at the end of the 2007 domestic season. The winner of the group qualifies automatically for the World Cup Finals in Australia in 2008 while the runners-up will enter a ?Repechage Round? with the runners-up of European Group B (Ireland, Lebanon or Georgia), the third-placed side in the Pacific Group (Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa or Tonga) and the winners of the Atlantic Group (West Indies, South Africa, USA and Japan). The winners only of the Repechage Round will also qualify for the Finals.Wales Rugby League?s Executive Chairman Mark Rowley said: ?This is an exciting time for Wales Rugby League as we approach our centenary year in 2007 and we would love to celebrate by qualifying for the World Cup Finals in Australia in 2008. However we have to get past Scotland and Russia first, neither of whom are strangers to Wales and know a lot about our style of rugby. ?The match against Scotland at the Brewery Field on Sunday 29th October is destined to be one of the biggest rugby league internationals to have ever hit south Wales. With the news that Iestyn Harris and Keiron Cunningham may at last pull on a Wales shirt once again, we?ve had enquiries about tickets already so we?re pleased to announce that tickets for this match and for our match against Russia next year, go on sale this Monday.?Once again, Wales Rugby League has showed that they are leading the way. We are the first country in Europe to make our tickets available for the autumn internationals and the first in the world to sell 2007 rugby league tickets on-line.?The tickets are on sale on Monday exclusively to the Wales Rugby League and Celtic Crusaders websites. Fans will also be able to order them in person at the Celtic Crusaders v Featherstone Rovers match on September 10th at the Brewery Field and at any home play-off games that the Crusaders may feature in. Ticket prices are ?10 for adults, ?5 for children and ?20 for a family ticket of four (one adult and three children or two adults and two children). Go to www.cymrurl.com and click on tickets link to buy.The full World Cup qualifying fixtures in Wales? group are...* October 21/22 2006 Scotland v. Russia* October 29 2006 Wales v. Scotland * November 4/5 2006 Russia v. Wales * October 21 2007 Wales v. Russia* October 27/28 2007 Russia v. Scotland * November 3/4 2007 Scotland v. Wales
WALES have released a list of 49 players that they will be considering for selection for their World Cup qualifiers, due to be held in October-November in 2006 and 2007.
GREAT Britain will need to find an alternative hooker this autumn following the announcement of Keiron Cunningham?s international retirement.
ROUND 24 Manly Sea Eagles 38 v South Sydney Rabbitohs 16at Brookvale OvalReferee: Russell SmithMatch Summary:The Manly club has defeated South Sydney today at Brookvale Oval by 38-16 with a five-try second half blitz.Manly opened up the scoring through fullback Brett Stewart, who claimed his first of three tries for the day in the fourth minute.Following a period of consolidation, the Bunnies hit back hard with wingers Paul Mellor (15th minute) and Nathan Merritt (19th minute) pushing to a 12-4 lead, entertaining thoughts of a boilover.With six minutes remaining in the first period, Manly scored again through replacement forward Shayne Dunley and with Orford adding the extras the home side trailed 12-10 at the break.Des Hasler obviously had a few things to say to his chargers whilst peeling the oranges and it had the desired effect as Manly stormed to a 22-12 lead following tries to Steve Menzies (47th minute) and Stewart?s second in the 51st minute.Souths bounced back momentarily with forward Joe Galuvao barging across the stripe only three minutes later before the Sea Eagles came home with a wet sail. Steve Matai showed plenty of class to score a double and Stewart completed his hat-trick in the 71st minute as Manly wrapped up the affair by 38-16.This was a solid victory by the Sea Eagles coming off last week?s controversial win over Newcastle and missing inspirational skipper Ben Kennedy. They seemed to take the Bunnies a bit lightly in the first half but snapped out of that to post plenty of points and enjoy third position on the competition ladder with a healthy differential of +50. They host the Bulldogs next Friday night in a blockbuster game that has now taken on a bit more significance given Canterbury?s loss to Brisbane on Friday.For Souths, coming off the bye is never easy and neither is winning at Brookvale. They showed plenty of ticker to lead Manly at the break but when all is said and done the Sea Eagles had more to play for and that?s what won them the game in the end. They host the Cowboys next week at Homebush in a very winnable game which should be an open and free-flowing contest.Scorers:Manly Sea Eagles: 38Tries: Shayne Dunley, Steve Menzies, Brett Stewart(3), Steve Matai(2)Goals: Matt Orford 5/7South Sydney Rabbitohs: 16Tries: Nathan Merritt, Paul Mellor, Joe GaluvaoGoals: Beau Champion 2/3By the Clock:Fantastic day out here on the Peninsula where the Sea Eagles play host to the Rabbitohs. Manly will be looking to consolidate their position in the top 4 with a win at home whilst Souths will no doubt enjoy disrupting their plans even though their season is over.Both teams are as per the program.1 min: NEWS And we're underway in the first half.4 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesManly fullback Brett Stewart opens the scoring here at Brooky and continues his impressive try-scoring capability. Matt Orford fails with the conversion. Sea Eagles 4-010 min: NEWS Manly on top here early but yet to really ram the advantage home. Whilst not dominating possession they're making more metres with the ball than their opponents. Souths are committing a few errors and missing a couple of tackles as they dust out the cobwebs after coming off the bye.15 min: TRY South Sydney RabbitohsThe Rabbitohs hit back through burly winger Paul Mellor scoring out wide. Young gun Beau Champion puts the conversion through the posts and the visitors take the lead. Rabbitohs 6-419 min: TRY South Sydney RabbitohsThe Bunnies push further ahead through freakish try-scoring winger Nathan Merritt who bags his 21st try of the year out here at Brooky. Geez he can find his way to the line. Champion knocks this one over as well and Souths are chugging along nicely. Rabbitohs 12-424 min: NEWS The game certainly has evened out here at Brooky once the Bunnies began to settle into a rhythm. Manly have fallen off a few tackles and the Rabbitohs are starting to gain a few more metres up the middle of the ruck.34 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesThe Sea Eagles get back in the game through crafty replacement Shayne Dunley who schemes his way to the line. Orford adds the extras and draws the home team to within two points. Rabbitohs 12-1040 min: NEWS And the Rabbitohs head into the sheds with a narrow lead after a solid first half performance. They obviously know they have to back this up in the second half as the Sea Eagles often mount strong comebacks in the second period.41 min: NEWS And we resume play here at Brooky.47 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesEvergreen Manly forward Steve Menzies powers across the line to snatch the lead back for the home side. Orford converts and the Sea Eagles nudge ahead. Sea Eagles 16-1251 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesStewart gets a double as Manly make a fast start to this second half. Orford converts and the home team open up a ten-point lead. Sea Eagles 22-1254 min: TRY South Sydney RabbitohsBig Joe Galuvao bashes his way over the line to get the Bunnies back in the contest. The visitors haven't seen much of the possession during the second half but things are turning in their favour. Champion fails to convert. Sea Eagles 22-1659 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesAn open game here at Brooky as the Sea Eagles sail over again. Big centre Steve Matai gets his first try for the day and it's converted by Matt Orford. Sea Eagles 28-1662 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesMatai pinches another try as the Sea Eagles set out to improve their differential. Orford can't convert but the home side have streaked ahead. Sea Eagles 32-1671 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesFlying fullback Brett Stewart completes a hat-trick today, securing the victory against the Bunnies here at Fortress Brooky. Orford converts and they've opened up a handsome lead. Sea Eagles 38-1680 min: NEWS Manly run out handsome winners here at home after a plucky Souths side pushed them for the first half.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Brett Stewart2 - Matt Orford1 - Steve Matai-----------------------------------------
ROUND 24 St George Illawarra Dragons 46 v Wests Tigers 16at Oki Jubilee Stadium KogarahReferee: Shayne HayneMatch Summary:The St George Illawarra Dragons have run in nine tries to three to defeat the Wests Tigers 46-16 at OKI Jubilee Stadium today.The Dragons came out on fire and they opened the scoring in the second minute when Dean Young slipped a nice ball to a flying Matt Bickerstaff to give the Dragons a 6-0 lead. They soon extended that lead in the sixth minute to 10-0 when Wes Naiqama scored from a bomb.The Dragons then put on two more quick tries through Mark Gasnier in the 15th and 18th minute. The Tigers managed to get on the board with a Chris Heighington try and they trailed by 20-4 at the break.The Dragons would quickly put the match out of reach for the Tigers. Seemingly scoring at will, the Dragons led 46-4 after 66 minutes, putting on the first of five tries of the second half. To the Tigers credit they were able to get two late consolation tries to make the final score 46-16.The Dragons forwards really stood up today and laid the platform for the backs to dominate with Gasnier picking up three tries and Morris two. Jason Ryles, Mark Gasnier, Trent Barrett, Ben Hornby, Dean Young and Matt Bickerstaff all had strong games and they will be hoping to hold onto this form heading into the oncoming weeks.Scorers:St George Illawarra Dragons: 46Tries: Mark Gasnier (3), Aaron Gorrell, Clint Greenshields, Wes Naiqama, Matthew Bickerstaff, Brett Morris (2)Goals: Aaron Gorrell 3/5, Wes Naiqama 2/4Wests Tigers: 16Tries: Robert Farah, Chris Heighington, Chris LawrenceGoals: Scott Prince 2/3By the Clock:A beautiful day here at OKI Jubilee Stadium for this clash between the Dragons and the Tigers.The Dragons will be looking to get their season back on track today after 5 consecutive losses and they will need to, to stay in touch with the other teams fighting for spots in the 8. The Tigers will be smarting after their contraversial loss in extra time to the Raiders last week and even though they are out of finals contention they will be out to show why they are the reigning premiers.1 min: Dragons kickoff.. 2 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsOn the back of a Tigers error the Dragons make them pay when Dean Young slips a nice ball to a flying Matthew Bickerstaff to score. Conversion successful Dragons 6-06 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsThe Dragons score again this time from the bomb for Naiqama to score out wide. Just the start the Dragons needed. Conversion unsuccessful Dragons 10-014 min: The Tigers are under lots of pressure, they will have to defend again from the goal line drop out.15 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsThe Dragons are carving the Tigers up here as Mark Gasnier goes through the defence to score. Conversion unsuccessful Dragons 14-018 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsGasnier bags a double going through some poor defence. The Dragons are on fire and have had all the ball. Conversion successful Dragons 20-024 min: NEWS Off to the video ref for a possible Tigers try.24 min: TRY Wests TigersThe Tigers finally get the ball in their opponents territory and they put up a bomb and Heighington is able to get the ball down right in the corner. Conversion unsuccessful Dragons 20-433 min: NEWS Scott Prince comes up with a 40/20.40 min: ATTEMPTED FIELD GOAL St George Illawarra DragonsBarrett has a shot at field goal right on halftime but it just misses. Dragons 20-4Halftime...41 min: Tigers kickoff to get the second half underway46 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsJason Ryles breaks through the defence and he gives it to Greenshields who scores next to the post. Dragons 26-451 min: NEWS Barrett slips a great pass to Morris and he drops the ball with the line open.53 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsThis time Morris hangs onto the pass and he scores in the corner. Conversion unsuccessful. Dragons 30-456 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsThe Dragons go the length of the field from a break from Hornby and Gasnier finishes it off to bag a hatrick. Conversion unsuccessful. Dragons 34-460 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsIt's raining tries for the Dragons now as Barrett goes through the gap and he finds Gorrell who shows good pace to score. Conversion successful. Dragons 40-466 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsThe Dragons score a great try through Brett Morris to get their season back on track. Conversion successful. Dragons 46-471 min: TRY Wests TigersThe Tigers get a consolation try, when Lawrence picks up a Prince grubber to score in the corner. Conversion successful. Dragons 46-1079 min: TRY Wests TigersFarah scoots out of dummy half from close range to put a little bit of respectability back into the scoreline. Conversion successful Dragons 46-16Fulltime...-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Jason Ryles (Dragons)2 - Mark Gasnier (Dragons)1 - Trent Barrett (Dragons)-----------------------------------------
ROUND 24 Sydney Roosters 26 v Parramatta Eels 40at Aussie StadiumReferee: Paul SimpkinsMatch Summary:The Parramatta Eels have secured a Top 8 spot in this year?s finals series and have continued their winning streak by defeating the Sydney Roosters 40 ? 26 today at Aussie Stadium. In a high scoring match, the Eels sent a strong message out to the other premiership contenders by putting 40 points on the depleted Bondi Junction unit and showing how devastating their attack can be as well as how strong their defence is.The Roosters were the first to score when Amos Roberts crossed the line in the 3rd minute showing brilliant footwork. The Eels struck back 5 minutes later when Eels center Luke O?Dywer ran a nice angle to give a flick pass to the solid number 5 Eric Grothe Jr, who juggled the ball over the line to register four points.From there, Parramatta?s confidence rose, and with a bit of luck here and there, they started to steam roll the tri-colours.The Eels continued the onslaught in the second half scoring two tries and adding a penalty goal to the scoreboard within the first 11mins. But the Roosters didn?t give up, and in the 56th minute, Chris Flannery strolled on through to score 4 points. This was quickly backed up by a great 40/20 kick from the young halfback Josh Lewis, who kicked from inside his own 30.The Roosters then scored through their skipper in the 71st minute. Fitzgibbon converted his own try.Roosters centre Ryan Cross caused some trouble in the last few seconds by shoving his elbow in to a Parramatta player, which fired up a few, but a fight was avoided.The Eels have now won nine on the trot and may have booked themselves a home semi-final as well. They will hope to continue their winning streak next week when they face the Broncos at Parramatta Stadium where as the Roosters will travel to New Zealand in hope that they can get their 1000th win over the Warriors. Scorers:Sydney Roosters: 26Tries: Ryan Cross(2), Craig Fitzgibbon, Chris Flannery, Amos RobertsGoals: Craig Fitzgibbon 3/4Parramatta Eels: 40Tries: Eric Grothe, Peter-John Marsh, Luke O'Dwyer(2), Ben Smith , Dean Widders, Jarryd HayneGoals: Luke Burt 6/8By the Clock:The Sydney Roosters will host the in-form Parramatta Eels today at Aussie Stadium. The Eels will look to continue their eight match winning streak and good run home to the finals while the Roosters will play for a record of 1000 victories, a milestone that has not been achieved in the long history of rugby league in Australia.Roosters coach Ricky Stuart has made one change to his team, promoting Nigel Plum to the starting side as prop and dropping Shane Shackleton to the bench. The Eels are as per program.Kickoff - The Eels get us underway care of Luke Burt's boot. The Roosters recieve the ball and will run right to left.2 min: NEWS Mark Riddell kicks the ball out on the full. Roosters now have posession inside the Eels half. 3 min: TRY Sydney RoostersAmos Roberts shows briliant footwork after recieving a ball from Ryan Cross close to the sideline. Roberts manages to stay in the field of play and ground the ball before touching the corner post. Fitzgibbon fails to convert. Roosters 4-07 min: TRY Parramatta EelsLuke O'Dywer runs the angle before off-loading a nice flickpass to Eric Grothe who juggles the ball over the line to score. Luke Burt fails to add the two. 4 all.11 min: NEWS David Shillington's swinging arm connects with Glenn Morrison's head. Morrison looks a bit groggy but his on his feet. Eels recieve a penalty.11 min: TRY Parramatta EelsJarryd Hayne, the try scoring machine, recieves a pass over the top from Eels five-eighth John Morris and strolls over the white line. It looked all to easy for the Parramatta winger. Luke Burt converts. Eels 10-414 min: TRY Sydney RoostersYoung Roosters halfback Josh Lewis takes the ball to the line mid-field before putting in a nice grubber kick for his outside backs. Amos Roberts gets the bounce and draws Eels players before passing to Ryan Cross. Fitzgibbon adds the extras. 10 all.22 min: NEWS Eels have the ball inside the Roosters 20 but fail to capatilise after Morrison throws a wobbly pass to nobody. Morrison looked to be in two minds. Tupou cleans up for the Roosters.24 min: NEWS Eels have another chance now inside the Roosters 20 after young Roosters fullback gets a bad bounce off the kick from Eels Dean Widders and knocks on. 24 min: TRY Parramatta EelsEels utility Dean Widders runs straight through an ordinary Roosters defence on their goal-line to score. Luke Burt converts. Eels 16-1026 min: TRY Parramatta EelsThe Eels once again take it to the Roosters line and throw the ball through the hands. Morris puts a grubber kick in and finds a flying Ben Smith who scores with ease. Luke Burt adds another 2 from the side-line. Eels 22-1030 min: NEWS The Roosters will recieve a repeat set of six now courtesy of a Josh Lewis grubber kick.31 min: TRY Sydney RoostersJamie Soward puts the ball on to his left boot with Roosters centre Cross in toe. Jarryd Hayne fails to clean up and Cross pounces on the ball and scores, just before the dead-ball line. Video Referee Steve Nash gives Cross the benefit of the doubt. Fitzgibbon misses the kick. Eels 22-1434 min: NEWS The Roosters get pulled up for restarting to quickly, before referee Simpkins allowed it. Soward and Finch are not happy.38 min: NEWS The Eels will have one last chance before half-time to put more points on the board. This comes after a poor kick from Amos Roberts down the side-line which goes out on the full.40 min: TRY Parramatta EelsLuke O'Dywer does well to take a bomb from Wade McKinnon and keep himself in teh field of play to register 4 points. Burt fails to convert. Eels 26-14HALF-TIME Penalties: SYD 3 PAR 5Tackles: SYD 139 PAR 116Miss Tackles: SYD 16 PAR 10Offloads: SYD 6 PAR 3Errors: SYD 5 PAR 3Kicks: SYD 10 PAR 10Kickoff- Josh Lewis for the Roosters gets the second half underway. The Eels recieve and will run right to left.44 min: NEWS A poor play the ball from Ashley Harrison results in a scrum to the Eels. They now have the ball mid-field.45 min: TRY Parramatta EelsLuke O'Dywer comes out of nowhere to pick up a poorly executed kick from Dean Widders and score. Burt is successful. Eels 32-1450 min: NEWS Aggresive defence being shown by Parramatta, with strong tackles being made in packs inside the Roosters 20. 53 min: NEWS Jeremy Smith goes down. Play is breifly halted while a trainer attends the halfback. He is now back on his feet.56 min: PENALTY GOAL Parramatta EelsThe Roosters are penalised by referee Simpkins for being inside the ten. Hindmarsh looks to the bench and then points to the posts. Burt doesn't let his team down and adds the 2. Eels 34-1461 min: TRY Parramatta EelsPJ Marsh scoots out of dummy half and breaks the line. He throws the dummy before diving over for 4 points. Burt's kick is struck well, and another 2 points are added. Eels 40-1464 min: TRY Sydney RoostersChris Flannery recieves a flat ball from Lewis on the Eels line and is carried over by the Eels players and scores. Fitzgibbon converts. Eels 40-2070 min: NEWS Josh Lewis amazingly kicks a 40/20 inside his own 30m line, giving the Roosters a great attacking chance.71 min: TRY Sydney RoostersCraig Fitzgibbon strolls through off a John Doyle pass and scores under the posts. He converts his own try. Eels 40-2672 min: NEWS Roosters lock Ashley Harrison is down and looks to be in tremendous pain. Play has been halted. Ronnie Plamer, Roosters trainer, and Dr John Orchard have called for a medicab. He is taken off the field.77 min: NEWS Jamie Soward does well to kick the ball out and win a scrum for his team off the 20m restart. The Roosters fowards were down there quickly to set up the scrum. 80 min: NEWS Cross is penalised for shoving his elbow in to a Parramatta player's face. A fight nearly breaks out.FULL-TIME - and the Eels have won their ninth straight match. The Roosters put a good fight but the Eels were just to good.Penalties: SYD 5 PAR 8Tackles: SYD 286 PAR 232Miss Tackles: SYD 34 PAR 27Offloads: SYD 11 PAR 4Errors: SYD 12 PAR 7Kicks: SYD 18 PAR 22-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Jarryd Hayne2 - Luke O1 - John Morris-----------------------------------------
AND then there were five.
Mount Albert, Papakura, Northcote, Marist and Otahuhu round out the top five finalists in the Fox Memorial Championship.
Points for and against becomes critical at the back end of the season and never more so than in the final round of the Fox Memorial.
Upsets to Otahuhu and Te Atatu and wins to Northcote and Marist meant there were five teams in contention for three places.
Both Marist and Northcote guaranteed spots in the finals with strong performances.
Northcote blew past Mangere East 26-16 with fullback Kevin Locke starring for the Tigers.
Locke scored an astonishing hatrick of tries and kicked five goals for a tally of 22 points for the home side.
A gutsy effort from the Marist Saints ensured they qualified in fourth position after a strong finish to the season.
The Saints have enjoyed success in the last few rounds and continued with their momentum with a 34-24 win over East Coast Bays.
A gutsy defensive effort from Saints half Eddie Leavai showed the commitment needed by a team fighting for survival.
Leavai topped the tackle count with inspirational defence and was well aided by centre Danny Siave and winger Ben Collins who scored a double.
A blistering performance from young hooker Arron Pawley has given the Otahuhu Leopards another chance to prove their worth this season.
Pawley scored two tries for the Leopards in Otahuhu
FOLLOWING the completion of a full assessment process, the RFL can confirm that Hull Kingston Rovers, Leigh Centurions and Widnes Vikings are eligible for promotion to the engage Super League if they win the 2006 LHF Healthplan National League One Grand Final.In the course of the assessment, six clubs from LHF National League One applied to the RFL to be considered for promotion. Two of these subsequently withdrew their applications and the RFL were forced to decline the submission from Whitehaven.This was done on the grounds that neither Whitehaven?s stadium facilities nor the club?s business documentation met the required standard for engage Super League membership. These minimum standards criteria were presented to the whole game at the RFL Council in February 2005.Commenting on the process, the RFL Chief Operating Officer Nigel Wood said: "This assessment of LHF National League One clubs is an important element of the sport?s collective desire to ensure that the appropriate high standards are maintained within the engage Super League competition by any new member clubs."We believe the process has been both fair and helpful to all clubs involved in highlighting areas within their organisations for further development. The RFL Club Support Unit will continue to work with all of them to share best practice and aid them as much as possible."Source: superleague.co.uk
COACH Peter Sharp is urging Hull FC fans to lower their expectations of centre Kirk Yeaman when he makes his eagerly-awaited comeback against Salford City Reds at the KC Stadium.
CATALANS Dragons are set to give a debut to back rower Cyril Gossard and recall Thomas Bosc for full-back Renaud Guige, who misses his first match for three months with a hamstring injury.
HARLEQUINS RL need to improve their away form if they are to keep alive their play-off hopes as they prepare to take on Warrington Wolves.
ROUND 24 Melbourne Storm 20 v New Zealand Warriors 24at Olympic Park MelbourneReferee: Tony ArcherMatch Summary:The Warriors have claimed the upset of 2006 with a stunning 24-20 victory over the Melbourne Storm at Olympic Park Stadium in Melbourne. The Storm had a narrow 14-12 half time lead.The Storm were all over the Warriors early in the match, dominating both territory and possession. Matt Geyer opened the scoring in the 10th minute when he beat Manu Vatuvei to a cross field bomb. Five minutes later, totally against the run of play Simon Mannering gave the Warriors the lead after Brent Webb recovered his own kick and offloaded to Mannering. The conversion put the Warriors ahead 6-4. The Storm responded almost instantly after Vatuvei let a kickoff go into touch ? the first of three times he did it. Steve Turner dotted down in the corner and the Storm went up 8-6.The Warriors took the lead again after 26 minutes with Manu Vatuvei scoring out wide off a Steve Price cut out pass. A few minutes later Brent Webb was controversially denied a try by the video referee. The Storm picked up a penalty and went down the other end of the field to score through Matt King. Lance Hohaia picked up a penalty goal for the Warriors right on half time for a 14-12 Storm lead.The Warriors dominated the early stages of the second half, and scored through Brent Webb off a deflected kick seven minutes into the half. Unfortunately for the Warriors, Vatuvei let the kickoff go touch in goal. Off the resulting drop out Greg Inglis burned the Warriors defence to score and regain the Melbourne lead at 20-18.The match then went through a period where the Storm looked quite dominant but were unable to finish as cleanly as they normally did. In the 73rd minute Manu Vatuvei broke out and put Brent Webb away for a try out wide. Hohaias sideline conversion put the Warriors up 24-20 with five minutes to go. Astonishingly Vatuvei let the ball go into touch again, but the Storm were unable to capitalise. A series of errors had the Storm defending their line as time ran out.The Warriors look forward to their last home game of the season against the Roosters, and the Storm travel to Canberra to take on the Raiders.Scorers:Melbourne Storm: 20Tries: Matt Geyer, Greg Inglis, Matt King, Steve TurnerGoals: Cameron Smith 2/4New Zealand Warriors: 24Tries: Simon Mannering, Manu Vatuvei, Brent Webb(2)Goals: Lance Hohaia 4/5By the Clock:Good evening from Olympic Park Stadium in Melbourne.The Storm are looking to celebrate being officially crowned Minor Premiers. The Warriors are now officially out of the race for the eight.Ready to go in front of a huge crowd at Olympic Park.1 min: We are underway!3 min: Storm make an early error trying to crack the Warriors out wide.5 min: The Storm crack the Warriors out wide, a great intercept by Webb saves a certain try.7 min: The Storm are looking very good tonight. Ah Van makes an impressive ingoal escape however.8 min: Ah Van handling the pressure from the Storm kicking game so far.10 min: TRY Melbourne StormCronk puts in a cross field kick for Geyer who has the step on Vatuvei, Geyer dots down out wide. Smith misses. Storm 4-013 min: Storm hold all the territory and possession. Again Ah Van handles a Storm bomb and makes a 25 metre run.15 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsWebb kicks ahead, he recovers and offloads to Mannering who shrugs off Greg Inglis to score. Hohaia converts. Warriors 6-416 min: Vatuvei lets the kickoff go into touch. Storm scrum 10 out.17 min: TRY Melbourne StormThe Storm spread the ball wide to Turner who dots down in the corner. Smith misses again. Storm 8-619 min: The Storm have complete territorial domination at the moment. Possession is slowly evening out.21 min: Poor play from the Storm, Wiki pressures Smith and the Storm end up throwing the ball into touch. Louis Anderson comes up with a bad error one play later.23 min: Warriors get a let off with the Storm trying to keep the ball alive it ends up getting picked up by Rovelli.25 min: The Warriors have had one decent attacking opportunity so far. The Storm kick return and kick chase is superb.26 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsThe Warriors second reasonable attacking opportunity. Steve Price throws an amazing cut out pass to Vatuvei who scores in the corner. Hohaia misses from touch. Warriors 10-830 min: VIDEO REF - For a Warriors try..30 min: NO TRY - WarriorsWebb ruled to have knocked on trying to ground a kick. Could have been a benefit of the doubt try.31 min: TRY Melbourne StormOff the back of a penalty the Storm spin the ball to King who crashes over out wide. Smith converts. Storm 14-1035 min: Vatuvei goes in off a forward pass. Looked to be flat at worst.37 min: Warriors get a line drop out.39 min: Warriors get another line dropout. Great Storm defence.40 min: PENALTY GOAL New Zealand WarriorsCrossman penalised for a high tackle. Hohaia lands the goal. Storm 14-12Halftime in a very entertaining match.40 min: Back underway at Olympic Park!40 min: 40/20 - The Warriors pick up a 40/20 on the first set of the second half.42 min: The Storm handle a fairly tame Warriors attacking set.43 min: Lauaki penalised for a late hit on Cronk.43 min: Hoffman crosses off a forward pass and the play gets called back.47 min: VIDEO REF - For a Warriors try...47 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsRovelli kicks, the ball deflects off a Storm player and Webb comes up with the ball and scores next to the uprights. Hohaia converts. Warriors 18-1449 min: Vatuvei again totally stuffs receiving the kickoff and the Storm get a line dropout.50 min: VIDEO REF - For a Storm try...50 min: TRY Melbourne StormOff the dropout, Inglis gets put into space and scores out wide. Smith converts. Storm 20-1854 min: Webb drops the ball with a try on.56 min: Shots of a furious Craig Bellamy as the Storm drop the ball.58 min: Warriors survive another Storm attacking set.60 min: 20 minutes to go, the Storm are looking a little rusty, but the Warriors are rattling them.62 min: The Storm starting to turn the screws. They aren't finishing too well yet, but the signs are there.64 min: Hohaia drops the ball with a huge overlap for the Warriors.67 min: Storm still defending very well.68 min: King drops the ball on the last tackle with a possible try on.70 min: Warriors kicking game just a little too long.71 min: Gatis and Luck penalised for a 50/50 lifting tackle. Storm hot on attack.73 min: Warriors hold out a Storm attacking set.73 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsVatuvei breaks out, he draws the fullback and offloads to Webb who scores out wide. Hohaia puts the kick down the middle. Warriors 24-2077 min: Warriors hold out after another kickoff error.78 min: Hill loses the ball and the Warriors go on attack.79 min: Inglis knocks on only several metres out.The Warriors cause the upset of the season, defeating the Storm 24-20 at Olympic Park.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Grant Rovelli (Warriors)2 - Brent Webb (Warriors)1 - Greg Inglis (Storm)-----------------------------------------
ROUND 24 North Queensland Cowboys 12 v Newcastle Knights 20at Dairy Farmers StadiumReferee: Sean HampsteadMatch Summary:The Newcastle Knights have defeated the North Queensland Cowboys 19-12 tonight at Dairy Farmers Stadium in Townsville.The Cowboys started the match strongly and they opened the scoring in the 16th minute when Brent McConnell threw a beautiful cut out pass to put Neil Sweeney into score and lead 6-0. The Knights then hit back in the 34th minute when Anthony Quinn scored untouched to reduce the lead to 6-4.The momentum had now switched to the Knights and they scored again right on the stroke of halftime to go in at the break leading 10-6. The Knights extended to 12-6 when Daniel Abraham converted a penalty goal, and they were soon in again when Jarrod Mullen scored an easy try from the scrum to give the visitors an 18-6 lead.The Cowboys then clicked into gear after a try to Justin Smith in the 67th minute to reduce the deficit to 6. Despite the Cowboys coming close in the last 10 minutes Jarrod Mullen put the game out of reach with a field goal to give the Knights a 7 point lead with 2 minutes to go.The Knights are now in a strong position as they come up with a gutsy win minus Andrew Johns to give them momentum heading into the finals. The Cowboys finals aspirations are now over for 2006 after a very disappointing last half of the year.Scorers:North Queensland Cowboys: 12Tries: Justin Smith, Neil SweeneyGoals: Neil Sweeney 1/1, Brent McConnell 1/1Newcastle Knights: 19Tries: Anthony Quinn(2), Jarrod MullenGoals: Daniel Abraham 3/4Field Goals: Jarrod MullenBy the Clock:Welcome to Dairy Farmers Stadium in townsville for the round 24 clash between the Cowboys and the Knights.The Cowboys will be looking to get back into the winners circle tonight to keep their faint hopes alive of making it into the top 8 by the end of the season, their form of late has been terrible. The Knights on the other hand will have to make do without Andrew Johns tonight and their record without him in the last 10 matches is 0-10. Stay tuned for an interesting contest.1 min: Cowboys kick off and get us underway5 min: The Knights come up with the first error of the match and the Cowboys will go on the attack.11 min: Stilll no score both teams are completing their sets and showing strong defence.15 min: Goal line drop out to the Knights16 min: TRY North Queensland CowboysThe Cowboys open the scoring after a beautiful cut out pass from Brent McConnell puts Neil Sweeney in for the try in the corner. Sweeney converts from the sideline. Cowboys 6-020 min: Steve Simpson loses the ball with the Knights hot on attack on the Cowboys tryline.25 min: NEWS Possesssion: Cowboys 61% - Knights 39%27 min: An impressive start from the Cowboys tonight.34 min: TRY Newcastle KnightsOn the back of a penalty the Knights spread the ball to an unmarked Quinn who scores in the corner. Conversion unsuccessful. Cowboys 6-437 min: The Knights charge down the ball on the last tackle and almost come up with a try but the Cowboys just manage to get to the ball first.39 min: TRY Newcastle KnightsQuinn bags a bouble as the Knights keep the ball alive inside their own half and Mullen scoots down the wing to link up with Quinn and he runs 40 metres to score a nice try. Conversion successful Knights 10-6Halftime... The Cowboys were the better side for the majority of the first half but the Knights sprang into action with two tries late in the half to take a 4 point lead into the sheds. Stay tuned for the second half.41 min: Knights kickoff to start the second half.44 min: NEWS Danny Buderus on report for a high shot on Matt Bowen.52 min: PENALTY GOAL Newcastle KnightsDaniel Abraham picks up another 2 points for the Knights after the Cowboys are penalised for a dangerous tackle. Knights 12-654 min: The Cowboys kick out on the full from the restart.56 min: TRY Newcastle KnightsJarrod Mullen scores an easy try from the scrum going through some poor Cowboys defence. Conversion successful. Knights 18-662 min: The Cowboys finals aspirations are slowly slipping away.67 min: Off to the video refo for a possible Cowboys try.67 min: TRY North Queensland CowboysJustin Smith gets the benefit of the doubt after crashing through defence and it was doubtful as to wether he got the ball down. Conversion successful Knights 18-1271 min: NEWS The Cowboys are starting to throw everything at the Knights now.73 min: NEWS Goal line drop out to the Knights, but the Cowboys come up with an error.76 min: Time is the enemy now for the Cowboys as the Knights restart from the 20 metre line.78 min: FIELD GOAL Newcastle KnightsMullen puts the game out of reach for the Cowboys after he pots the field goal from 20 metres out. Knights 19-1278 min: FIELD GOAL Newcastle KnightsMullen puts the game out of reach for the Cowboys after he pots the field goal from 20 metres out. Knights 20-1280 min: NEWS Carl Webb drops the ball when trying to reach out and score.Fulltime...-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Jarrod Mullen (Knights)2 - Danny Buderus (Knights)1 - Carl Webb (Warriors)-----------------------------------------
ST George rugby league legend Ken Kearney has passed away following a heart attack at his Gold Coast home yesterday. He was aged 82.A ruthless professional and champion hooker, 'Killer' Ken Kearney instigated revolutionary coaching methods and was captain and coach during the St George Dragons' premiership reign that stretched for a world-record 11 years from 1956 to 1966.His passing comes only weeks short of the 50th anniversary of his first grand final win, and the first of the 11 grand final victories, on September 8.Kearney captained Saints to six grand final victories from 1956-61 and played in the 1953 grand final as captain-coach. He remained in the dual role until 1956 before Norm Tipping became coach with Kearney as captain in that premiership winning year. Kearney took back the captain-coach role in 1957.A rugby union convert, Kearney served with the RAAF in World War Two before representing the Wallabies in seven Tests. He then switched to rugby league in 1948 whilst in England, playing with Leeds before returning home to Australia and linking up with St George in 1952.A giant in the history of Australian rugby league, 'Killer' led by example captaining Australia in 1956-57 before a knee injury forced him into retirement in 1962.During a remarkable career, Kearney also coached Parramatta from 1962-65 and the fledgling Cronulla club from 1967-68.NRL CEO David Gallop today joined others in paying tribute to Kearney."Ken Kearney had a huge impact on the way the game was played and his contribution can never be forgotten," said Gallop.Australian Rugby League chairman Colin Love said Kearney was a hugely influential figure in the proud history of St George."Ken Kearney was a giant of Australian rugby league through the 1950s and into the 60s," said Love."Perhaps no other player in the game's history has ever had such a profound influence on a single club as him."He possessed a brilliant tactical understanding of the game and it was Kearney who devised, as captain-coach, the blueprint that made Saints virtually unbeatable."'Killer' Ken Kearney - St George Dragons1952-61, 153 games. 18 tries, 2 goals (58 points).Hooker. Captain-coach 1953-1955, captain in 1956 and captain-coach again in 1957-1961. Remained as coach in 1962.NSW rep (1953 & 1955-58 ).Aust rep (1952-58 ).
ROUND 24 Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 28 v Penrith Panthers 32at Toyota ParkReferee: Jason RobinsonMatch Summary:The Penrith Panthers have put together 24 points in 17 minutes to defeat the Cronulla Sharks 32-28 at Toyota Park this evening.The Sharks were leading 28-8 midway through the second half and looked set for a big win. But in an amazing turnaround, the Penrith forwards suddenly went up a gear, rolling over the top of their opponents.Penrith opened the scoring after 11 minutes and were in again 10 minutes later to take an 8-0 lead. The Sharks stepped up to the challenge late in the half, scoring two quick tries and at half time, held a narrow 10-8 lead.The Sharks went further ahead after the break with winger Darren Albert getting the first of his double. Albert was in again in the 48th minute and at 22-8, the home side appeared to be cruising. With five eighth Adam Dykes calling the shots, Sharks back rower Paul Gallen scored his second try and at 28-8, a thrashing looked to be on the cards.But the Panthers were far from done with fullback Rhys Wesser sparking a revival with a try in the 63rd minute. Forward Craig Stapleton capped of sensational second half to score six minutes later and put the visitors just eight points behind.With the momentum going all their way, the Panthers closed the gap to two when Wesser bagged his double in the 71st minute. Centre Lee Hookey scored the match winner with two minutes remaining.With two rounds to go, the result effectively ends Cronulla's season. Sitting on 22 competition points, the Sharks are at best four points adrift of the top eight. It is the eighth consecutive loss for the Sharks while the Panthers move up to 24 competition points and still an outside chance of earning a finals berth. Scorers:Cronulla Sutherland Sharks: 28Tries: Paul Gallen(2), Reece Williams, Darren Albert(2)Goals: Luke Covell 4/5Penrith Panthers: 32Tries: Luke Rooney, Rhys Wesser(2), Craig Stapleton, Lee Hookey, Michael GordonGoals: Preston Campbell 4/6By the Clock:The NRL's 'Sixties week' and a beaut afternoon for footy in Sydney - the season on the line for both sides.Kick off...!10 min: NEWS Still 0-0. Both sides sorting each other out and pretty evens for possession. Panthers having a better share of field position and getting a repeat set now.11 min: TRY Penrith PanthersWinger Michael Gordon scores out wide after Preston Campbell and Rhys Wesser combine to create the overlap. Campbell unsuccessful with conversion. Panthers 4-020 min: NEWS Still 4-0 to the Panthers. A couple of opportunities for the Sharks who come close, but are repelled by the visitors.21 min: TRY Penrith PanthersWinger Luke Rooney scores in the corner on the back of some sharp passing from Trent Waterhouse and Lee Hookey. Campbell unable to convert. Panthers 8-027 min: NEWS Panthers half back Craig Gower injured following a head knock on the ground. Seems OK. Brief stoppage while he is attended to.29 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksBack rower Reece Williams runs through a gap and scores next to the posts. Follows repeat sets at the line as the Sharks are bombing Campbell. Luke Covell converts. Panthers 8-632 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksPaul Gallen dives on a loose ball 5m in from touch following a grubber from Adam Dykes. Campbell fumbles and the Sharks hit the front. Wide conversion attempt from Covell is waved away. Sharks 10-835 min: NEWS Panthers bomb a try after Danny Galea is unable to take pass on the chest, with the line wide open.Half time: Sharks 10-8The home side just in front. Possession evens with the Panthers getting sonme quick play-the-ball in the first half hour before the Sharks responded in the same manner. The Panthers on the back foot for the last 10 minutes of the half. This match is up for grabs.Second half underway...45 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksDarren Albert scores near the posts after surviving video ref scrutiny, firstly over the decoy runners and then over the put down. Covell coverts. Follows another fumble from Presto in the in-goal. Sharks 16-848 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksAlbert gets his second as the Panthers open up from close range. A soft try coming off the back of some easy yards as the Panthers invite their opponents downfield. Sharks taking full advantage and look to be killing them. Covell converts from easy range. Sharks 22-854 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksGallen gets a double, scoring near the posts. Follows a grubber from Dykes and Wesser is unable to clean it up. Plenty of chasers sees in the video ref get involved but Gallen gets the nod. Covell converts Sharks 28-863 min: TRY Penrith PanthersWesser scores 10m wide of the posts after the Panthers forwards get a roll on downfield. Wesser heavily involved and trying to spark a comeback. Campbell converts. Sharks 28-1469 min: TRY Penrith PanthersFront rower Craig Stapleton storms over the defence to score 10m wide of the posts. Campbell converts and only 8 points in it now. Sharks 28-2071 min: TRY Penrith PanthersWesser scores his 101st carerr try 15m wide of the posts. The Panthers forwards are now carving their way through the Sharks pack. Campbell converts and Penrith have all the momentum. Sharks 28-2675 min: Possible TRY to the Panthers... video ref looking...VERDICT: NO TRY. Danny Galea stopped by a try saving tackle from Albert who pushes him into touch.76 min: NEWS Panthers win the scrum against the feed!77 min: NEWS Sharks survive as the season for both clubs all comes down to the last few minutes. 77 min: NEWS Lance Thompson (Sharks) knocks on!78 min: Possible TRY to Panthers... video ref checking...VERDICT...78 min: TRY Penrith PanthersLee Hookey gets the green light and scores what should be the match winner. Follows grubber from Campbell. Campbell converts. Sensational comeback. Panthers 32-2879 min: NEWS Sharks get the ball from the kick off!80 min: Panthers survive and its all over.Full time: Panthers win 32-28.An incredible match with no clear winner until the final seconds. Amazing comeback from the Panthers who looked shot to bits mid way through the second half. 20 points behind at one point, the Pnathers have scored 24 points in 17 minutes to take the match and effectively end the Sharks' season.Fullback Rhys Wesser and prop Craig Stapleton were great for Penrith while five eighth Adam Dykes and lock forward Paul Gallen were standouts for the Sharks.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Rhys Wesser (Panthers)2 - Craig Stapleton (Panthers)1 - Adam Dykes (Sharks)-----------------------------------------