IT WAS a case of a perfect marriage between the old and the new at the Redcliffe Dolphins 2006 season launch .
NEW boys Castleford provided some glimpses of promise on their return to the top flight but they were no match for Challenge Cup holders Hull on the opening night of engage Super League XI as the east Yorkshire side won 42-18.A comprehensive eight-try defeat confirmed Hull as serious title challengers after recruiting well during the off-season.Sid Domic scored the first try of the 2006 season on an impressive debut for Hull, while playmakers Paul Cooke and Richard Horne caused all sorts of problems for a fragile home defence.Ex-St Helens and Widnes centre Gray Viane, one of 10 new faces for the Tigers, scored two tries and their fans among the bumper 10,188 crowd were delighted with the displays of prop Danny Sculthorpe and skipper Danny Nutley.Former Warrington and Wakefield centre Domic, who formed a new second-row pairing for Hull with Lee Radford, took advantage of some smart passing by Paul King and Danny Brough to cut through for an eighth-minute touchdown to put Hull on their way.The visitors were already 2-0 ahead thanks to an early Brough penalty and they extended their lead on 24 minutes when a superb break from Horne set up the position for full-back Shaun Briscoe to cross for a second try.The Challenge Cup holders were far more organised and threatening and it was no surprise when loose forward Cooke added a third try on 32 minutes, stretching out of a last-ditch tackle to plant the ball on the line.Castleford were full of energy and enthusiasm, as befitting the promoted side, but made too many handling errors and paid for a lack of discipline, conceding the first four penalties of a scrappy first half.They scored their first points when substitute Richard Fletcher kicked a 19th-minute penalty and Sculthorpe caused Hull problems with his lively running and skilful offloads.Sculthorpe also demonstrated his kicking ability to set up the first Tigers try a minute before the break, with winger Michael Shenton taking advantage of a kind bounce to send Viane over.The score worked wonders for Castleford?s confidence as they put the Hull defence under intense pressure early in the second half.But the visitors held firm and struck back in cruel fashion, scoring twice in four minutes through their wingmen to seize control of the match.First Domic showed his class with a beautifully-timed pass to get substitute Nathan Blacklock over with his first touch and then Cooke and Horne produced some clever handling for Great Britain international Gareth Raynor to finish off at the other corner.Brough was wide with both conversion attempts to leave himself with a 50% record but, at 26-6, Hull were coasting to a predictable victory.Viane collected a neat kick by Ryan McGoldrick to claim his second try and second rower Richard Fa?aoso and McGoldrick also touched down as Castleford gained reward for their persistence.But Hull finished in complete control, with centre Kirk Yeaman (2) and Peter Lupton adding further tries and Cooke kicking two conversions.Castleford (6) 18Tries: Viane (2), Fa?aoso, McGoldrickGoals: Fletcher Hull (18) 42Tries: Domic, Briscoe, Cooke, Blacklock, Raynor, Yeaman (2), LuptonGoals: Brough (3), Cooke (2) Castleford: Viane, Viane, Bird, Shenton, Dyer, Blanch, McGoldrick, Kain, Sculthorpe, Henderson, Nutley, Whitaker, Fa?aoso, Roarty.Replacements: A. Smith, Fletcher, Ward, Mason. Hull: Briscoe, Tony, Whiting, Yeaman, Raynor, R. Horne, Brough, Dowes, Swain, King, Radford, Domic, Cooke.Replacements: Carvell, Thackray, Lupton, Blacklock. Referee: K Kirkpatrick (Warrington) Att: 10,188
THE Ergon Energy Broncos could turn to veteran Redcliffe Dolphins pivot Shane Perry during this year?s State of Origin period if the club is hit by injuries in the halves.Perry, 28, has been named on the Broncos interchange bench for Saturday?s trial against Canberra in Port Macquarie.The Broncos have secured Perry?s services as part of a dual registration arrangement with Queensland Cup team Redcliffe.He made his state league first grade debut for Brothers in 1996 before joining Logan City in 1998 and winning the competition?s player-of-the-year award.Perry played NRL for Wests in Sydney in 1999 before linking with the Canterbury Bulldogs, where he was a star member of the club?s reserve grade squad in 2000 and 2001.He returned north to play for Recliffe in 2002.Perry, who has been training with Brisbane?s NRL squad since December, said he was thrilled to be chosen for Saturday?s trial.?This whole situation has been a bit unexpected,? he said. ?I thought the dual registration arrangement with Redcliffe would be more about providing a pathway for juniors.?I don?t think I ever gave up hope of getting back to this level. I always thought I had something to offer.?Perry, a mortgage broker, said Broncos coach Wayne Bennett had discussed playing him during the club?s traditionally taxing origin period.?Wayne said he would look at using me during that time,? Perry said. ?When I came back from Sydney I was a bit disappointed at the lack of opportunities I had in the NRL.?To think I could get another chance is really encouraging.?Perry said he was a more intelligent player now than when he was in Sydney and felt he was improving with age.?I?ve had plenty of good coaches who have helped me along the way and I?ve played with some quality players, especially at Canterbury,? he said.?I?m a much smarter footballer these days in terms of being able to read a game and take the right options in attack.?I think I still have another three or four years left in me.?This article is courtesy of the Courier Mail
GOLD Coast boss Michael Searle admits he's not confident Scott Prince will join the Titans, despite the fledgling NRL club firming as favourite to sign the Test halfback.Wests Tigers have granted permission to the Titans, North Queensland and Brisbane to negotiate with Prince, who comes off contract with the premiers at the end of this season. Speaking at the launch of the Titans jersey today, Searle said it'd be a big ask for Prince to leave the Tigers following their stunning run to premiership glory last year.But he reckons the Titans have a duty to give it their best shot in trying to lure Prince to the Gold Coast.The Cowboys and Broncos appear to have gone lukewarm on aggressively pursuing Prince but say they'll make a decision over the weekend. The clubs have until February 28 to detail their offers.
S.G. Ball halfback Liam Foran has been named on the bench for Melbourne in their trial match against the Parramatta Premier League side to be played at Exies Oval in Griffith at 7:00pm on Saturday 18th February.Under the North Sydney?s feeder club arrangement with the Storm, Liam has trained with Melbourne during the 2006 pre-season and impressed officials south of the boarder enough to get a run on the field.Liam played all eight SG Ball (under18s) matches for the Bears in 2005. He also played four games in Jersey Flegg (under 20s) at the end of the year and was halfback for the North Shore Marist team that made its Grand Final. Originally an Asquith junior he has represented NSWCCC in the National U18?s Team Championships. He won the Coaches Award for SG Ball in 2005.Also this weekend it?s NSW Premier League verses QLD Cup as the NorthSydney Premier League side fly up to Tweed Heads to take on QLD Cup side the Seagulls. Known as the Leagues Club Challenge Cup this annual competition will be played out at 6:30pm, QLD time on the 18th of February at Currumbin Tugun JRLFC, Galleon Way, Currumbin Waters.A fiercely contested competition Norths General Manager Greg Florimo claims ?we?ve booked an extra seat home on the plane for the trophy?.In other trial matches this weekend the Bears Jersey Flegg will playParramatta at Cabramatta Sports Ground on the 18th at 6:00pm while the junior reps will trial against Mt Annan also on Saturday the 18th from 2:00pm at Kirkham Oval, Elderslie (near Camden).PHOTO: Liam Foran touches down in a preliminary trial match for the 2006 season. Picture by Steve Little.
TIM Sheens has been appointed coach of the City Origin side for this year's annual rugby league clash with Country Origin in Dubbo.Wests Tigers mentor Sheens replaces North Queensland's Graham Murray at the helm of the City side after the Cowboys mentor was promoted to the role of NSW State of Origin coach late last year. It will be Sheens second stint in charge of City, having guided it to a 22-12 win over Country in 1991, the same year he led NSW to a 2-1 series loss to Queensland in the State of Origin series.
R2K today 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.* 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. You need to be a full Leagues Club member to have voting rights. If you?re not a full member of the Leagues Club, please upgrade or join now to have your say.For additional information on the campaign, please e-mail [email protected]
A slight hamstring strain will delay the St George Illawarra debut for Sam Isemonger, allowing another newrecruit Andrew Price to make his Dragons debut in the Charity Shield at Telstra Stadium this Saturday nightagainst the Rabbitohs.Ashton Sims will move to the starting side with Price to come from the interchange bench. Hooker Dean Young has also been ruled out with a minor ankle problem with Aaron Gorrell to take his place in the starting side. George Ndaira who played in the Dragons Premiership winning Jersey Flegg team has been added to the interchange.?The injuries to Sam and Dean are minor and both should be fit for next weekend,? said Dragons Coach Nathan Brown. ?The Charity Shield is important to us but we don?t want to risk further injury to anybody who is not 100 per cent right at this time of the year?.Dragons Chief Executive Officer Peter Doust today met briefly with Wayne Beavis in regards to Trent Barrett. No decision has been made with the two agreeing to meet again at the end of this month. Barrett will not be making any further comment on the situation until a decision is made and it is requested that any questions relating to the matter be referred to his manager.
CANBERRA coach Matthew Elliott is almost certain to remain in the nation's capital beyond this season after turning down a deal to join NRL rivals Newcastle in 2007.Knights chief executive Ken Conway has confirmed Elliott has rejected the club's three-year offer to replace outgoing coach Michael Hagan, who will take over from Parramatta coach Brian Smith at the Eels next year.Conway says he wasn't surprised by Elliott's decision, saying the Knights were always facing an uphill battle to lure him away from the Raiders. Elliott will now sit down with Raiders chief executive Simon Hawkins on Monday to work on a new deal to extend his stay in Canberra.Parramatta assistant coach Peter Sharp and Newcastle Premier League coach David Fairleigh are now believed to be the frontrunners to take over the reins at the Knights from next season.
ST George Illawarra coach Nathan Brown has been forced to make two late changes to his starting line-up for Saturday night's Charity Shield clash with South Sydney.Sam Isemonger's Dragons debut has been put on hold due to a hamstring strain while hooker Dean Young will miss the match with a minor ankle problem. Ashton Sims moves from the bench to the starting line-up to replace Isemonger, with Andrew Price the new fresh reserve.Aaron Gorrell will start in place of Young, with George Ndaira, who played in the club's premiership-winning Jersey Flegg team last year, added to the bench.
THIS Sunday (February 19th) the Newtown Jets line up for another VB Premier League trial match in an old-fashioned, ?no quarter given? local derby.5.00pm ? Newtown v Bulldogs (VB Premier League trial match)Full canteen service available.After the match on Sunday we ask all Newtown supporters and friends to patronise the popular Henson Park Hotel, corner of Illawarra Road and Chapel Street, Marrickville.Continuing this Sunday (February 19th) at Henson Park, the monster Newtown Jets pre-season merchandise sale rolls on at all of Newtown?s home game trial matches.Sale opens from 4.30pm onwards this Sunday at Henson Park.Prices slashed by an incredible 20 ? 50%Extraordinary savings on all limited edition and end-of-line stock items, including men?s and women?s wear.There will be some amazing bargains available ? get in quickly.The Jets merchandise sale will also be in full swing at the Central Coast Stadium, Gosford on Saturday (February 18th) from 5.00pm.Note this event down in your diaries immediately.The details for the 2006 Newtown RLFC official season launch are -Date and time: Wednesday, 8th March 2006, 7.00pm for 7.30pmPlace: Petersham RSL Club AuditoriumPrice: $125.00 per head. Call Jenny on 1300 36 36 90 to reserve your places.Once again an impressive array of guest speakers has been arranged.Guest speakers include the inspirational Matt Laffan and League legend Ron Coote. Compere: Graeme Hughes from 2SM?s Talkin? Sport program.The Newtown Rugby League Football Club office has moved to the Jets Sports Club premises and here are the complete details of the new location:Newtown Rugby League Football ClubHolbeach AvenueTempe NSW 2044Office phone: 1300 36 36 90Fax: 9559 3202Email: [email protected] RLFC website: www.newtownjets.comOffice hours: Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm.Officers in attendance: Doug Keen (General Manager), Jenny Grosvenor (Operations Manager).Photo caption:Ace Newtown Jets half-back Jamie Soward was in superb form against North Sydney at Henson Park last Sunday.Photo supplied by Hugh Martel.
SELECTORS have named the team for this Saturday night's trial between the Ergon Energy Brisbane Broncos and the Redcliffe Dolphins, to be played at Dolphin Oval. Once again, a combination of players from the Broncos and junior clubs Aspley and Toowoomba will take the field against one of the heavyweights of the Queensland Cup competition.Star Broncos winger Leon Bott is a shock inclusion in the squad, which also features young prospects Denan Kemp, Ian Lacey and Ben Green.Bott played in last weekend's victory over North Queensland in Rockhampton, but will display his dazzling attacking arsenal at Redcliffe this weekend in a very talented and young backline.New signing Chris Muckert will also play in Broncos colours in the south-east for the first time, while Australian schoolboy representative Joel Moon will line up alongside Ian Lacey in the halves for the first time. Kick-off is as 7pm AEST. The full squad is:1. Denan Kemp2. Leon Bott3. Jamie Simpson4. Fraser Anderson5. Gideon Mzembe6. Joel Moon7. Ian Lacey8. Lynden Murphy9. Nathan Strudwick10. Matt Lowe11. Trent Callaghan12. Chris Muckert13. John TeReo14. Pat McPherson15. Ben Green16. Nick Nolan (one to be added)
THE Emerald Group Dolphins have their first hit out for 2006 at Dolphin Oval this Saturday. The Queensland Cup squad will play an emerging Broncos squad while the lower grades will clash with the Broncos feeder club the Aspley Devils.The Colts game will kick commence at 4.00pm followed by the A Grade at 5.30pm and then the Queensland Cup at 7.00pm.The Dolphins will be at full strength with the exception of skipper Shane Perry who will be in Port Macquarie playing an NRL trial for the Brisbane Broncos against Canberra and Mark Christensen who is still a few weeks away from returning from a knee reconstruction.Dolphins Coach Anthony Griffin has stuck mostly with the players who finished the 2005 so strongly in his starting line up.Redcliffe Dolphins1. Ryan Cullen 2. Kaine Manihera 3. Greg Bourke 4. Nick Emmett 5. Rory Bromley 6. Chris Fox 7. Marty Turner 8. Troy Lindsay 9. Mick Roberts 10. Adam Starr 11. Grant Flugge 12. Danny Burke 13. Danny Green Interchange 14. Mark Shipway 15. Richie Russell 16. Pat Gardner 17. Damian Jentz 18. Matt Anderton 19. Adam Fletcher 20. Shannon Fish 21. Duane O?GradyEmerging Broncos1. Denan Kemp 2. Leon Bott 3. Jamie Simpson 4. Fraser Anderson 5. Gideon Mzembe 6. Joel Moon 7. Ian Lacey 8. Lynden Murphy 9. Nathan Strudwick 10. Matt Lowe 12. Chris Muckert 13. John Te Reo Interchange. 14. Pat McPherson 15. Ben Green 16. Nick Nolan 17. TBARedcliffe Dolphins A Grade1. Mitchell Simpson 2. Luke Boldery 3. Matt Mannion 4. Pat McGill 5. Lucas Dearden 6. Chris Jelich 7. Josh McCormack 8. Clint Frazer 9. Scott Gillis 10. Darren Glase 11. James Douglas 12. Daniel Jones 13. Gerard Parle Interchange 14. Michael Pares 15. Dominic Fallini 16. Brad Massey 17. Adam Luchetti 18. Cal Sipthorp 19. Alwyn Simpson 20. Zac Jordan 21. Nick WalkerRedcliffe Dolphins Colts1. Phil Daisy 2. Dion Porteous 3. Matt Gillett 4. Michael Wilson 5. James Derbyshire 6. Angus Cameron 7. Asher Elamani 8. Stuart May 9. Jack Webb 10. Greg Malenstein 11. Logan Sullivan 12. Matt Handcock 13. Tim Benson Interchange 14. Sam Schull 15. Bob Jones 16. Anthony Tonkin 17. Jordan Brown 18. Tim Yee 19. Andrew Rickert 20. Jake Marketo 21. Tom Donnelly 22. Jon Broad
STARKERS: Please tell us how you got the nickname ?Igor??Igor: Yeah, ?73 Kangaroo Tour, I was out with Tim Pickup one night and he said ?You go on like an Igor?. It was some sort of big monster cartoon bloke at the time and it just stuck.Starkers: You were a North Curl Curl junior, starting out in rugby league as a centre. Tell us about those early days in your junior club?Igor: I was living at Brookvale and my next door neighbours were running the Surf Club, which used to run the League. They asked my parents, who were reluctant at first, if I could trial against St Joseph?s College. I didn?t really follow rugby league at that stage, I was only a kid, but from that day on I played.Starkers: In 1970 you debuted for Manly-Warringah in the centres, before switching to the forwards in 1972. It was then that you took part in Manly?s maiden Premiership, defeating Easts 19-14. How did it feel?Igor: Pretty good. At that stage of my career I was only young and I?m not one to really carry on about stats or things like that. It was just one of those things because I was new to the team. But for guys like Alan Thompson and Billy Hamilton it would have been a real buzz for them to win a competition late in their career.Starkers: It was a golden era for Manly, who were Minor Premiers from 1971-73, and you went back-to-back in 1973 (defeating Cronulla 10-7) in what has been described as the toughest and most spiteful Grand Finals ever. What are your memories of that one?Igor: Once again it was only a year later and I was only 21 or 22 and I just took it in my stride, but it was a bit more exciting than the previous year I?d say.Starkers: You went on the 1973 Kangaroo Tour as a young forward with a couple of premiership?s under your belt. That tour included the likes of Langlands, Raudonikis, Hamilton, Beetson, O'Neill, O'Reilly, McCarthy, Fulton, Cronin and Eadie. You didn?t actually play a Test, but took part in 5 Tour matches. What was it like being among the best players in the world at that time?Igor: That was a buzz, spending all that time in England even though I didn?t play too many games because of injury. I looked like playing the second Test before breaking my thumb. Playing with all those experienced and high profile men was terrific. Injury plagued me on that tour though.Starkers: Can you tell us a bit about the opposition over in the U.K.?Igor: In those days the old elbow and knee was used a fair bit over there. I saw John O?Neill get cleaned up over there by a guy who played for Blackwood. But the English certainly didn?t tickle, you had to watch it all the time over there.Starkers: What were the conditions like?Igor: The surfaces over there were fantastic. They were soft and lush and it was amazing how they kept the grounds in such good conditions considering the amount of rain they got.Starkers: Did you make any mates with the Poms?Igor: Not so much, more so with the Pommies that played for Manly. It was a love-hate thing, well more of a hate thing with them really. It was more or less ?Hate the Poms? because you were playing against another country. I ended up pretty good mates with Mal Reilly and I?m glad I played with him and not against. Starkers: In 1975, you were involved in the World Series matches, taking the title of World Champions. You must have a few fond memories of that.Igor: That was a good tour because it was only six weeks away from home. Whereas the first one in ?73 I was only married for a month and I was away for 3 months. It was a good way to test your marriage anyhow?Starkers: Moving on to 1976, Manly again asserted their dominance over the competition, taking the Minor Premiership and also defeating Parramatta in the Grand Final (Manly won 13-10). What can you recall from that day?Igor: It was a stepping stone for me and I was becoming more dominant as I got older. I was becoming a more senior figure and experienced player in the team and people started to look up to me then and it made me feel important. It was right in the middle of my career when I became more dominant during the matches.Starkers: In 1977 you took part in the successful World Cup campaign in Australia and New Zealand. It has been reported that you got a bit lucky in the Final, what were your thoughts on the Tour?Igor: I can?t really remember too much about that one but I remember going to New Zealand and playing at Carlaw Park in some pretty torrid games. They were tough guys.Starkers: In 1978 you were a non-playing reserve against New Zealand in a Test match. This could have been your only ?official? Test. Are you a bit filthy about not getting a run?Igor: At that stage I didn?t give it a thought because I was part of the touring party and it was just great to be there. As I finished my career I realised I hadn?t played a Test. They should have considered the ?75 World Cup series Tests though. I know Bob Fulton was trying to have them reclassified.Starkers: You recorded your 4th Grand final victory in 1978 (16-0) in a replay over Cronulla after drawing 11-all in the first hit-out. Could you please elaborate a little on the circumstances surrounding that Grand Final.Igor: Yeah, a bit hectic - 5 games in the two weeks leading up. I still had some head problems and groin problems. Even though I was performing I needed 5 needles to take the field and keep me going.Starkers: Exhausted after the 1978 G.F., you did not Tour with Kangaroos. Do you regret this now?Igor: In early ?78 I got knocked out in a trial match against Wyong and I was out cold for 20 minutes and woke up in hospital. I was having troubles all year with my noggin. That was probably one of the main reasons I pulled out of the ?78 Kangaroo tour. I looked like I was going to be a bit of a pedestrian and I used the excuse that I wanted to stay home with my family. In hindsight I probably regret it because I might have been able to get through, but then after having that break I had another 4 good seasons.Starkers: You played 11 matches for NSW from 1973-78. Can you tell us about the interstate rivalry back then prior to State of Origin?Igor: It probably isn?t highlighted like it is now through the media, but they were certainly as hard if not harder than Test matches. We used to go up there for a week and we?d get there on a Saturday night, play Wednesday, then have a lay-day on Thursday and go to Surfers and get on the turps at the Broad Beach Hotel. I don?t think they?d be allowed to do that these days. We used to run amok. Then we?d play the second game on the Saturday night. It was great playing with guys like Tommy, Dallas, Pickup, Reddy, Eadie. I could keep going on and most of them have become good friends as I?ve gone through life.Starkers: Can you elaborate a little on the ?Battle of Brookvale? that took place in the 1979 season v Western Suburbs?Igor: That started off in the preseason when we played a game in Melbourne which turned into a complete fist-fight. It carried on into the regular season. That was when Roy Masters had Wests and he had the Fibros v Silvertails thing going.I can still remember Hollywood, the referee, came into the dressing room and he?d just been into talk to Wests and told us ?You?ve got 5 minutes to sort each other out then it?s down to playing football. After that it?s all off, otherwise you?re off.?To us it was just ?ding-ding? and we all got stuck in. The first scrum didn?t even pack, everyone was just running in and throwing punches. Wingers were running from the other side of the field and getting involved.I can?t believe that though, imagine a referee saying that these days?Starkers: The Manly club continued to be a force into the early 80?s. In the 1981 Major Semi Final against Newtown, you got sent off after the opening minute of the game saw an all-in brawl erupt. Newtown won 20-15 and progressed to the Grand Final, losing to Parramatta. Can you tell us a bit about that incident?Igor: Yeah, that was sort of the end of my career. Well the beginning of the end anyway. I got suspended for six weeks into the next year and spent those on the sideline in ?82. I remember pretty vividly because they bought me back through reserve grade and I thought the club didn?t want me anymore, I was angry with them. I played a game against Cronulla and a young fella in the centres got the ball and I cleaned him up. I was very cranky. He needed 24 stitches and I approached the ref (McDonald) and said to him he couldn?t send me off because I?d only just come back. He disagreed and I was sent off and got another 10 weeks.But funnily enough, after that they put me straight back into first grade leading into the 1982 Grand Final. I felt awful for the kid though, I wasn?t proud of it.Starkers: You went on to make the 1982 Grand Final, losing to Parramatta 21-8. This was your last game of footy and I?m lead to believe that you needed several needles to take the field. What was going through your head after the game?Igor: I probably did, but I can?t remember. I retired after that game and just hung up my boots up on the Cricket Ground clothes line and said ?That?s it guys, I?ve had enough?.Starkers: Can you tell us a bit about the first time you met Wally Lewis?Igor: (Laughs) I think Wally?s probably joking, I can?t remember it. I was probably on the grog and tackled him or something. I think he?s exaggerating, but I might have done it when I was up there playing in the interstate matches.Starkers: You pursued coaching and administration following your retirement, can you tell us a little about that?Igor: I coached for two year under Graham Lowe but realised it wasn?t quite my forte. I was too tied up in my own business and to be a good coach I think you?ve got to be full time.Starkers: Manly went on to win the Minor Premiership in 1983 but again lost to Parramatta in the Grand Final (18-6). Did you want to be out there that day?Igor: In actual fact I was greasing a truck out the front of Brookvale Oval one day earlier in the season and Bob Fulton approached me and asked if I would like to make a comeback because he was short on forwards. After doing a session on the tackling bags I realised it wasn?t a good idea. I think sometimes players make comebacks after a really good career and it sort of stuffs things.Starkers: When the question of who was the hardest man in the game, your name always pops up in discussion. For example, we interviewed Terry Lamb recently and he thought you were one of the toughest players he?d encountered. How did you perceive yourself on the field?Igor: I suppose if I wasn?t one of the leaders in defence I wouldn?t be there. My ball skills were ok but not excellent and I was good at tackling. I enjoyed it and that?s what I did. I tried to put a bit of fear in the opposition.Starkers: Who did you rate as your toughest opponent?Igor: Billy Noonan and John MacDonald who both played for Canterbury. When you played against them you?d know you?d played that day. Starkers: Who do you think was the most talented player of your era?Igor: Wally Lewis. I?ve always rated him as one of my favourite players.Starkers: Who do you think had the biggest influence on your career?Igor: My wife and my mother. When I married Deb, she was in the cheer squad down at the club. We?ve been married for 32 years.Starkers: What is your proudest achievement in the game?Igor: Playing for your Australia and then playing in five grand finals and winning four. Playing in that many grand finals was a dream.Starkers: What were the referee?s like back in the 70?s and 80?s.Igor: Some of them you had to wonder about, and they?re pretty much the same now. They?re the same breed of people as parking cops.Starkers: Manly have won 2 premierships since you retired ? v Canberra in 1987 (18-8) and v St George in 1996 (20-8). Do you still get a kick out of watching them win?Igor: Yeah I do.Starkers: How do you go when they lose, particularly the heart-stopper in 1997 against Newcastle?Igor: I feel for them. That game in particular was very disappointing.Starkers: What were your thoughts on the ?Northern Eagles??Igor: I was on the board there and it was torture. We?d have one meeting at North Sydney, the next one at Manly. It would go until midnight and it wouldn?t matter what we discussed, nothing was every resolved and the result was always 4-all. It was a complete and utter waste of time.Starkers: Your son Chad was playing for Manly but has to play for London Harlequins in 2006. Are you disappointed that he couldn?t continue with Manly?Igor: I?m very disappointed about that.Starkers: What do you think is the best aspect of the game at the moment?Igor: Probably the speed of the game. When you compare the old tapes to the new game it?s certainly faster. I don?t know if it?s better but it?s more professional and it?s probably good to get the elbows and knees out of the game. As a parent I wouldn?t want to see my son get hurt, yet I used to inflict a lot of pain on other people.I also think the scrums were a bit of a farce. The way they used to do it gave the referee too much control and the way they are now it has taken a lot of pressure off them. Although they might as well just hand the ball over.-----------------------------------------------------------Terry Randall, playing career:1970-1982208 first grade games - Manly-Warringah32 reserve grade games4 third grade games21 tries ? 63 pointsPlayed in 5 grand finalsWon:v Eastern Suburbs 1972 (19-14)v Cronulla 1973 (10-7)v Parramatta 1976 (13-10)v Cronulla 1978 (16-0, replay after 11-all draw)Lost:v Parramatta 1982 (21-8)NSW 1973-197811 gamesno pointsAustralia 1973, 75, 77Tour matches 1973, World series 1975, World cup 197711 matches in total, amazingly did not play in a Test Match.
CELTIC Crusaders, who won their first match 50-10 on Sunday, announced this week that they are looking to organise coach trips to home matches from the Welsh valleys.At the Crusaders? press launch on Monday, their chief executive, Chris O?Callaghan said that there had been considerable interest to do this from fans from all areas of the valleys including Rhondda, Merthyr and Aberdare.O?Callaghan said: ?We are looking at possibility of running coaches from the valleys to the Brewery Field for our first game at home on March 5th. We?ll be having two matches at the Brewery Field that day, a Northern Rail Cup match against London Skolars and an Academy match against Super League side Widnes Vikings. We?ll be putting on a good day for the whole family with entertainment for the kids as well as the rugby. We want to make it as easy as possible for fans to come and see us as we are a team for the whole of Wales.?O?Callaghan also emphasised that rugby league is no longer there to compete with rugby union.?Those days are gone,? added O?Callaghan, ?We are a summer sport ? it fills the gap left by union in the sporting calendar. We must work along side the local rugby union clubs such as Aberavon, Neath, Maesteg and Bridgend, there is simply no point in the two codes going head to head.?We are the fastest growing sport in Wales. Over 600 people played rugby league last year in Aberavon alone. The Challenge Cup Final also proved that, as over 15,000 people spectators were Welsh. This is a sport on the up but not necessarily at the expense of any other.?The Crusaders next turn out on Sunday with an away match at London Skolars.