NRL club Wests Tigers has dismissed claims by English side Castleford that it has signed Ryan McGoldrick.The English club announced the signing of the former Shark last week but West Tigers say McGoldrick has an NRL conract for 2006 and won't be going anywhere. He's a strong chance to chime into Wests Tigers' side for the World Club Challenge against Bradford on February 3.
FORMER Cronulla Sharks half-back Michael Sullivan scored his first try for Warrington as the Wolves easily overcame depleted engage Super League champions Bradford 30-6 at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.The Wolves, beaten 24-18 by Widnes on Boxing Day, scored six tries to one against a Bradford side enjoying their first outing since their Grand Final triumph over Leeds in October.The Bulls have two more warm-up games before their World Club Challenge meeting with Australian champions Wests Tigers in a month?s time - and after fielding only three members of their Grand Final team, coach Brian Noble will not be losing sleep over Monday?s result.New signing Stanley Gene showed some nice touches on his first appearance for the champions, who will have a virtually new-look team when they open the new season.Sullivan, who filled in at hooker with Jon Clarke and Mark Gleeson both recovering from injury. caught the eye for Warrington who were superbly led by stand-off Lee Briers.Briers was the architect of Warrington?s 14-6 interval lead - his pin-point kicks setting up first-half tries for centre Ben Westwood, 16-year-old centre Matt Blythe and former Bradford half-back Chris Bridge.The Bulls led briefly, courtesy of hooker Ian Henderson?s opportunist try on 18 minutes, but they conceded six points while down to 12 men - with winger Andy Smith dispatched to the sin bin for obstruction.The youthful visitors were still in touch after an hour when newcomer Adam Watene was held up on his back over the line - but the Wolves cut loose to run in three more tries in the final quarter.Sullivan jinked his way over for the all-important score on 62 minutes, before Briers set up two further tries for Westwood and winger Richie Barnett with his clever kicking - and Bridge added three conversions.- - - - -Thanks to www.superleague.co.uk for this news.
CASTLEFORD are seeking to clear up confusion over their signing of Australian centre Ryan McGoldrick, with champions Wests Tigers insisting he is their man.The newly-promoted engage Super League club announced the capture of the 24-year-old McGoldrick on a 12-month contract from Cronulla Sharks last Friday.But Wests Tigers say they have tied the goalkicking threequarter to a 12-month deal and there would be no release.Their recruitment manager, Warren McDonnell, confirmed McGoldrick had received a Castleford offer and would discuss his playing future with the NRL club on January 9.Castleford chief executive Richard Wright said: ?As far as we are concerned, Ryan was able to obtain a release from his contract to join a Super League club.?He signed a contract with us and we thought everything was alright but obviously we need to clear the matter up.?Wests Tigers chief executive Steve Noyce said: ?He?s definitely got a contract that is registered with the NRL and is part of the Wests Tigers.?He?s signed a contract and has even been training with us. I think Castleford have spoken to him. But he?s got a contract with us and we will be making sure he honours it with us.?- - - - -Thanks to www.superleague.co.uk for this news.
LEEDS Rhinos? new high-profile signing Mark O?Neill will miss the start of the engage Super League season because of injury.The 30-year-old Australian prop forward, who joined the Rhinos after helping Wests Tigers lift the NRL crown in October, suffered a shoulder injury just five minutes into his first appearance for the club during their Boxing Day friendly with Wakefield.?It?s not good news and he will certainly miss the start of the season,? said Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington.?But he has come to make his mark and there is no chance of him going back.?Leeds open their League campaign at home to Huddersfield on Sunday, February 12.- - - - -Thanks to www.superleague.co.uk for this news.
RUGBY league was on Saturday mourning the loss of former Castleford and Great Britain winger St John Ellis, the Doncaster coach who collapsed and died following a training session.Ellis, 41, who was the longest-serving coach in the professional game, had just finished taking the National League One club for a pre-season training session in Castleford when he suffered a suspected heart attack.Attempts were made to resuscitate him and he was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.He leaves a wife, Melanie, and two young daughters, India and Mia."It's a great shock to us all," said Doncaster chairman John Wright."He was training with the lads this morning when he had some sort of seizure."His heart stopped and he never recovered. We had the physio there and other trained people who tried to give him mouth to mouth straight away."He was taken to Pontefract hospital very quickly and given electric-shock treatment but it was no good."You wouldn't believe it. There wasn't a fitter coach in the game. He was a fitness fanatic who never asked any of his players to do something he couldn't do himself."Ellis played for Castleford, Bradford, Halifax, Keighley, Hunslet and Doncaster before taking over as coach of the South Yorkshire club towards the end of the 1999 season.He was a member of the Castleford side which lost to Wigan in the 1992 Challenge Cup final at Wembley and won three Great Britain caps from 1991-94.Doncaster Lakers (formerly Dragons) play in National League One, competing for potential promotion to Super League. Assistant coach Tony Miller has been placed in temporary charge.- - - - -Thanks to www.superleague.co.uk for this news.
FORMER London Broncos, Warrington and Salford hooker David Highton has been forced to retire from professional rugby league at the age of 25 due to a shoulder injury.Highton signed for Halifax in November as a direct replacement for Hull KR-bound Australian Ben Fisher but has succumbed to a chronic shoulder injury, which was unsuccessully operated on in the autumn."It's very disappointing, both for David and us," said Halifax football manager Paul Dixon."He'd had the operation when we signed him, but the initial feedback from the specialist was that things had gone well."But he went back for a second check a couple of weeks before Christmas and he was basically told that the only thing he could do was to retire." - - - - -Thanks to www.superleague.co.uk for this news.
ENGLISH Super League club Castleford has completed its overseas quota with the signing of Australian centre Ryan McGoldrick from Cronulla.The 24-year-old Queenslander has spent the last six years in the NRL with the Sharks, apart from a one-year stint in rugby union with New South Wales in 2003 when he also played sevens for Australia.McGoldrick is the 10th new signing for the newly-promoted Tigers and joins former Huddersfield captain Ben Roarty and former Cronulla team-mate Danny Nutley on the club's quota.
PENRITH Panthers National Rugby League team captain Craig Gower faces suspension or a substantial fine over allegations of misbehaviour at a Sunshine Coast charity event.Penrith football manager Mick Leary has investigated claims Gower groped Balmain great Wayne Pearce's 17-year-old daughter Tatum at last week's Jack Newton Celebrity Golf Classic after-party. Gower is also accused of chasing Pearce's 16-year-old son Mitchell with a bottle at the Classic held at the Twin Waters Resort.Penrith club chairman Barry Walsh says the board decided Gower has a case to answer and will be called before the board on January 4. Panthers chief executive Glenn Matthews says Gower faces a fine of up to a quarter of his annual salary - about $100,000 ? or suspension if the allegations are proved correct.Gower has apologised to the Pearce family for the incidents.
LEEDS Rhinos' preparations for Super League XI got off to a solid start with a 42-18 victory against Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.Youngsters Ashley Gibson and Jordan Tansey both crossed twice as a new-look Rhinos outfit made fewer errors than their Yorkshire rivals in this festive friendly.Leeds' assistant coach Brian McDermott handed debuts to overseas signings Scott Donald and Mark O'Neill while Nathan McAvoy and Shane Millard also made their first appearances for Leeds.But it was lively Wakefield hooker David March who shone during the early exchanges, scooting over from close range to give the visitors a brief lead and then threatening the line on two more occasions.The Rhinos, who will be determined to make up for both Challenge Cup and Grand Final disappointments in 2005, soon kicked into life.Danny McGuire, making his return from injury after missing Great Britain's Gillette Tri Nations campaign, combined with Willie Poching to send Ryan Bailey diving over to level the scores before the hosts cut loose with some inventive attacking rugby.The afternoon's biggest cheer came for O'Neill - captain of Australia's NRL champions Wests Tigers in 2005 - when he made his introduction from the bench midway through the first half.He lasted only four minutes but produced two huge tackles and created enough space to allow Donald to scorch down the right flank and send centre Gibson clear.Gibson got his second within five minutes when McGuire's bomb was fumbled before Donald registered his first touchdown on English soil when he squeezed over in the corner.McGuire's superb interplay with Lee Smith saw Tansey left with a clear route to the line and the Rhinos continued after the break when Danny Williams crossed after collecting Carl Ablett's smart ball.Former Leeds forward Jamie Field touched down for Wakefield before McAvoy and Tansey's second completed the Leeds rout and although Paul White grabbed a late consolation, this game was never about the result.Both clubs are less than a month into their pre-season training schedules and both will take heart from what they saw ahead of the new campaign. - - - - -Thanks to www.superleague.co.uk for this news.
STEVE McCormack got his Widnes career off to a winning start as the relegated Vikings overcame their engage Super League neighbours Warrington Wolves 24-18 at Halton Stadium.Two tries from Vikings second row Paul Alcock put the seal on victory as a side featuring 11 debutants - including Australian full-back David Peachey - secured bragging rights over their arch-rivals.New signings Bob Beswick, Gavin Dodd and Mick Nanyn also got on the scoresheet for the Vikings in a competitive clash.Widnes' first try came after Wolves captain Lee Briers sent a loose pass to the ground on the left flank. Beswick was the quickest to react and outpaced the Warrington defenders to touch down.Wolves hit back 10 minutes later through former Vikings winger Richie Barnett, who finished off a smart Warrington counter-attack.Widnes replied straight away through pacey wing man Dodd, who latched onto another dropped ball from the Warrington backs to score and burly centre Nanyn added the extras.Barnett sneaked in in the corner for his second to bring the Wolves back within two points just before the break and they went ahead seven minutes into the second period with a well-worked try from Chris Riley.In a real see-saw affair, Nanyn got on the end of Mark Smith's neat cut-out pass to power over and swing the advantage once again. Nanyn converted to make the scoreline 16-12 but the Wolves put themselves back in the frame through Mike Wainwright's 61st-minute effort, with Chris Bridge converting.But resilient Widnes kept persevering and they got the try they were searching for through youngster Alcock, who then added another soon after to settle the match. - - - - -Thanks to www.superleague.co.uk for this news.
NEWLY-PROMOTED Castleford overcame spirited resistance from local rivals Featherstone to comfortably secure a 28-4 win in Australian coach Terry Matterson's first match in charge.The Tigers, who fielded only seven first-team players, took a 12-0 lead with two tries shortly before half-time.Featherstone defended superbly to soak up pressure before Tigers stand-off Andy Kain darted over in the 30th minute.Featherstone's best first-half attacking moves were spoiled by handling errors and they fell further behind eight minutes later when scrum half Paul Handforth chased his own kick to score and Richard Fletcher added the second of his three goals.Featherstone, who were relegated to National League Two last season, continued to battle gamely but Castleford sealed victory with further touchdowns from Jack Goodacre, Michael Shenton and Kain, who kicked one goal.Featherstone's only reply was a late try from Wayne Sutcliffe.Castleford's Matt Whitaker and Featherstone's Jim Carlton were sin-binned after a 52nd-minute altercation. Featherstone's Gavin Swinson and Sutcliffe were sin-binned in other incidents.- - - - -Thanks to www.superleague.co.uk for this news.
STORM 48 v KNIGHTS 10
WARRIORS 20 v SEA EAGLES 26
BRONCOS 29 v COWBOYS 16
ANTHONY Griffin has welcomed the responsibility commensurate with his new role as head coach of Redcliffe, enjoying a 36-16 first-up win against Burleigh.