FRIDAY wrapped up with both the Wests Tigers and North Queensland Cowboys going into lockdown mode with only two sleeps until the big game.
Pat Richards remains in serious doubt due to damaged ankle ligaments, while Travis Norton appears to be ready to go after overcoming a back ailment. At this stage Norton will definitely play but Richards would still only be a 50/50 chance at best.
Wide ranging speculation over who will replace Richards has yet to turn up a solid prediction, so expect Richards to play if you?re betting on the match.
THE second game to be played on Grand Final Day also promises to be one of the most exciting. The in-form Roosters take on the minor premiers Parramatta in a contest of gargantuan proportions with both sides fielding extremely competitive and experiences teams.
FIRST cab off the rank on Grand Final day sees the all-conquering St George-Illawarra Dragons meet the Parramatta Eels in what shapes as an interesting contest. There are a few little nostalgic twists in this one?
GRAND Final Breakfast time, and yet another chance for the rival coaches to put a different spin on their answers to the same questions they were asked the last three days.
Today the referee issue got another work out, as Graham Murray and Tim Sheens were asked to shed light on whether they have or would talk to Tim Mander prior to the game on Sunday. Sheens wants to talk to Mander, while Murray thinks Mander should be left alone to do his job with no interference. You?ve gotta love these two cagey old coaches doing their best to make a very uninteresting subject front page news for the press who are starved for a good story in the middle of Grand Final week.
LAST Wednesday (21st September) began the elite training for the Bears Harold Matthews and S. G. Ball teams. 30 players in all will attend tailor
made training programs for 4 weeks leading up to the Clubs open trails on the 8th and 9th of October. For details of registration for these open trials go to http://www.northsydneybears.com.au to register on line.
THIS article is courtesy of the Redcliffe and Bayside Herald and written by Joel GouldRedcliffe Dolphins had five players named in the Queensland Cup team of decade function at Suncorp Stadium on grand final day.Shane Perry and Troy Lindsay were named in the side, along with former Dolphins Trent Leis, James Hinchey and Adam Mogg.Perry was selected at five-eighth while Lindsay, who played in the first Queensland Cup season in 1996, was picked at prop. Hinchey was a premiership winning second-rower who retired at the end of 2000 while Mogg, picked at fullback now plays for Canberra in the NRL. Winger Leis, who has played for Redcliffe and Burleigh, lined with the Burleigh Bears in their grand final loss to North Queensland Young Guns.Hinchey, Redcliffe Dolphins chief executive officer, said he was honoured to be in the side but gave credit to the Dolphins club. ?It?s a bit of a mark of respect for what the club has done in the Queensland Cup. We have been a force really,? Hinchey said.?And someone like Shane Perry probably has five years left in him. And as for as Cowboy (Lindsay), he is just going great. He is playing better now than he ever has.?Hinchey said former Redcliffe players such as centre Brian Jellick and forward Grant Cleal were unlucky to miss out. ?If it was up to me I?d probably pick all Redcliffe blokes. But the side they chose is a great one.?Troy Lindsay said there were some unlucky Dolphins forwards not to have made the side. ?Ian Graham and Grant Cleal are a couple who were very unlucky. We?ve dominated the comp for the last ten years so we could?ve got a few more in, but you can only have so many,? he said. ?There are a lot of good players who have made the team as well. It?s a tribute to everyone.?Lindsay, 30, cannot wait for the 2006 season to start. ?I?ll go again, and I?ll probably go again the year after that too? he said. ?It took a while for the team to get going this year but by the end of it, we were full steam ahead.?Queensland Cup Team of the Decade1. Adam Mogg (Redcliffe) 2. Heath Egglestone (Central) 3. Steve Bell (Central, Norths) 4. David Maiden (Cairns) 5. Trent Leis (Redcliffe, Burleigh) 6. Shane Perry (Brothers, Logan, Redcliffe) 7. Kevin Charmichael (Norths) 8. Troy Lindsay (Redcliffe) 9. Ryan Gundry (Norths, Burleigh) 10. Danny McAllister (Logan, Ipswich, Wynnum) 11. James Hinchey (Redcliffe) 12. Alan Wieland (Wests) 13. Don Saunders (Toowoomba, Central) 14. Reggie Cressbrook (Townsville, Ipswich, Burleigh) 15. Kyle Warren (Toowoomba, Ipswich) 16. Andrew Hamilton (Sunshine Coast, Ipswich, Norths) 17. Sime Busby (Central, Easts) Coach Rick Stone (Burleigh) Referee Tony Maksoud
THE Redcliffe Pepsi Dolphins season may have ended but they haven?t been sitting around on their hands. CEO James Hinchey, Development Manager Grant Cleal and Coach Anthony Griffin have been working hard signing current players and enticing new players to the Club. ?While we are happy with what we achieved this year, coming from only getting one grade in the semi finals in 2004 to all three this year and the Queensland Wizard Cup side falling one game short of the grand final, but we must continue to build and bring new blood into the club.? CEO James Hinchey said.The Dolphins have re-signed the majority of this year?s top grade squad with the only confirmed losses for next season so far are Liam Georgetown and Wayne Bond who will be heading off to play in the NRL for the Penrith Panthers. ?I expect we will lose other players particularly from A grade squad who will go to other clubs in search of Queensland Cup opportunities, but that?s footy and we wish them all the best.? Hinchey said.The Dolphins have added to their already impressive list of forward signings with Darren Glase a front rower who joins the club from Souths Logan Magpies where he was captain and one of their better players in 2005. Richie Russell a back rower from Port Macquarie who spent four seasons with in the Roosters system. ?We have heard good things about Richie, he came up for a look during this season and he was impressed with our set up and we were impressed with him? said Hinchey.Pat Gardner also a prop from Brisbane Norths. A bulldozing front rower who was sought after by several clubs and a player Norths didn?t really want to lose. ?Gardner has the potential to play at the next level, we?d like to help him get there? Hinchey said. Gardner is a big man who will add real thrust to our pack. As well as the established players the Dolphins have also signed a group of talented players from our junior ranks with an eye on the future they include Queensland 17 Representative Matt Handcock and fellow Dolphin juniors Asher Elamani, Joel Romelo, Andrew Rickert, Tim Yee, Luke Capewell, Daniel Arnold, Anthony Tonkin, David Hala, Chris Johnson, Adam Marr and Clement Nani as well as current Colts squad members Jordan Brown, Jon Broad and Sam Schull.Development Manager Grant Cleal also hopes to pick up a few talented youngsters from the annual country trial on in October. ?We have a number of good kids coming from all over the state, so hopefully we?ll pick up a couple of them up for next season to go with the local kids who?ve earned their spots? Cleal said.Player MovementsGainsRichie Russell (Port Macquarie), Darren Glase (Souths Logan), Pat Gardner (Norths)Re-signed Shane Perry, Troy Lindsay, Adam Starr, Greg Bourke, Grant Flugge, Danny Burke, Duane O?Grady, Shannon Fish, Ryan Cullen, Luke Tonion, Chris Giumelli, Nick Emmett, Lucas Deardon, Matt Gruszka, Matt Mapes, Mick Pares, Iermia Filipo, Gerard Parle, Damien Jentz, Clint Frazer, Daniel Green, Chris Jelich, Dominic Fallini LossesLiam Georgetown, Wayne Bond (Both Penrith)
GRAND FINAL 2005 NOTEBOOK:
Wednesday 28th September 2005
THIS Friday's engage Super League play-off between St Helens and Leeds Rhinos will provide a first for Rugby League fans unable to get a ticket for the huge clash at Knowsley Road.
RUGBY League players will be subject to more rigorous testing than ever under new plans by the game?s governing body and UK Sport.
BRADFORD Bulls have received a major boost ahead of Saturday?s engage Super League Elimination Semi Final with the news that New Zealand centre Shontayne Hape has signed a new contract with the club and will remain at Odsal until the end of the 2008 season.
THIS Saturday (1st October) 2SER FM?s ?A View from the Hill? will be taking calls from listeners on whatever you would like to talk about in Rugby League.
IT?S Friday afternoon and things must be sinking in for the players by now. They?ve had their fan days. The Tigers enjoyed a training session where more people turned up than to most of their games last year. The Cowboys were fare-welled by thousands at Townsville airport in a jubilant frenzy of emotion.
IRELAND will take another step in their preparation for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup, when the Wolfhounds take on Wales in Dublin, for the final group game of the European Nations Cup. The game takes place on Saturday, 29 October 2005, at Terenure College RFC, kicking off at 2:30 p.m.
BOTH the New Zealand Residents and the New Zealand 16?s played against New South Wales Country today (Saturday 1 October 2005) at Wins Stadium in Wollongong in front of a great crowd.