REFEREE Paul Simpkins has been given the whislte for the third and final State of Origin encounter at Brisbane?s Suncorp Stadium on July 6. He increases his personal tally of Origin matches to three.
WHEN rugby league first split from rugby union, the first thing the organizers did was lower the numbers of players who played on the field. I presume it was felt the game would improve and become more expansive with only thirteen players on the field. Whilst there were many changes this particular change was the most profound.
They were right.
100 years on and with players getting bigger, faster and stronger every generation, the question has to be asked, is thirteen to many?
The average forward in the NRL today will weigh over 100kgs and be able to run 100m in under 12-13 seconds. Backs these days are getting quite large as well, it is not unusual to have a centre three quarter who weighs over 100kgs and can still run like a centre should - extremely quick with nimble footwork.
THE Jarrod McCracken case has set a dangerous precedent for spear tackles in Rugby League now, with the possibility of any illegitimate tackle being brought to court if a serious injury evolves from it. There?s no question that spear tackles have always been grimaced and frowned upon by the NRL, and hefty suspensions will occur for those who think it is a nice idea to give a friend a spinal operation for Christmas, but is it time that ?the grapple? be considered just as bad as the spear tackle?
It has been an overwhelming inclination this season for defending players to ?grapple? the head of the attacking player, gaining control and slowing the play of the ball. The weight and force of a player can be controlled by ?grappling? the head or neck. The problem here is while one player holds another players head to control him and slow the play down, he is vulnerable to be hit by a Sonny Bill express train at one-hundred kilometres per hour and have serious damage done to him. Why is he vulnerable? Because the player being ?grappled? cannot escape and defend himself, and is open to being hit very hard by the opposing players or even have his wallet stolen.
DURING the year we may be enemies, wearing different colours and cheering for rival teams but one moment unites the game, when the Kangaroos run out to represent our game and our nation.
SOME days, some moments, transcend being a ?normal? supporter. Sometimes it?s as if the result doesn?t even matter at all, being there is memorable enough. Some are moments of elation, some are earth-shattering. Some make you so proud.
NORTH Sydney produced a timely and superb win against South Sydney at North Sydney Oval on Friday night, with magnificent try line defence keeping the Bunnies scoreless for the full 80 minutes. Off the back of last week's second half performance against Penrith, where the Bears also held their opposition to nil, Coach Gary Freeman thought his team was "courageous and outstanding in the conditions".
Result: City 58 (Ryan Cullen 3, Jeremy Smith 2, Jim Ahmat 2, Bob Blair, Shane Perry, Brandon Costin, Matt Lockyer tries; Damien Quinn 7 goals) d Country 16 (Balin Cupples, Martin Griese, Mark Henry tries; Trent Leis 2 goals).
RESULTS from Day One of the Australian Secondary School Schoolboys Exchange at Rockhampton.
MAGPIES Unable to Hang On.
Written by West Football Club
Monday, 27 June 2005
The Magpies were hit hard by injuries leading into this game and had to call on Shannon Gallant and Peter Mannion from Jersey Flegg and four players from the Balmain Tigers in order to field a team. The Magpies were fortunate in that the Jersey Flegg team had a bye. Despite a spirited performance Wests were unable to hold out the Dragons and went down 20-10.
THE Cougars hosted Newcastle in Premier League?s round 16 of the competition. The Cougars opened the scoring in the 4th minute of play when winger Luke Dyer crossed in the corner after a cross-field bomb from halfback Keith Peters. Michael Gordon added the extras from the sideline to put the Cougars ahead 6-0. The next twenty minutes was a dour struggle with both teams looking to gain the upper hand. In the 24th minute, Knights hooker Nathan Berry opened his sides account. The successful conversion from Dane Campbell tied the scores at 6-6. 6 minutes later, Knights fullback Nathan Hinton finished a sparkling backline move, which started just inside the Newcastle half. He crossed under the posts and with Campbell?s conversion the Knights led 12-6. On the stroke of halftime, Knights utility Daniel Spiteri increased the Knights lead to ten. Campbell?s conversion after the siren had the Knights running to the sheds at 18-6.
A North Harbour rugby league player has been suspended for six weeks for stomping in Sunday's ill-tempered Bartercard Cup clash in Wellington.
FORMER Kangaroo full-back David Peachey is to join Widnes on a two-year deal from 2006, with the deal partly funded by fans.
Vikings supporters have pledged ?20,000 towards the deal to bring him to the club after 11 years with Cronulla.
MELBOURNE Storm has made its first new signing for the 2006 season with the acquisition of tough Sydney Roosters back-rower Michael Crocker.
FRIDAY, 1st July 2005
PARRAMATTA captain Nathan Cayless has called for a judiciary overhaul, saying teammate Nathan Hindmarsh should not miss next Wednesday's Origin series decider due to an NRL misdemeanour.