WHEN the Sydney Roosters signed a then 20 year old Brett Finch in the winter of 2002, they were not just signing a talented halfback to play inside their star five-eighth Brad Fittler; they were investing in the future of their playmaking corps. Now into his third season as a Rooster, Finch is well and truly the present with Fittler?s retirement at the end of 2004. Last Friday night against the Bulldogs, Brett Finch showed why the Roosters brain trust made the right decision in placing their eggs in his basket.
In a game the Roosters had no right to win after 20 minutes when they were 16-0 down, the involvement of their now lone ?go-to-guy? was the decisive factor in their eventual come from behind 29-16 victory. Not only did he set up three of the Roosters five tries, but Finch was consistently touching the ball and organising his troops in and around the ruck, while his kicking game was outstanding. But words sometimes can appear biased, clich?d, overstated, unfair or they can simply underestimate a performance on the football field.
I?M standing in the rain at a horserace. I?m standing outside a church in Bath. I?m standing at Stonehenge. I?m standing in Stratford upon Avon. I?m standing beneath the Eiffel Tower. I?m standing on Omaha Beach. I?m standing in the Louvre. I?m standing in Trafalgar Square. I?m standing in the stands at Lords. At Old Trafford. At Highbury. At Stamford Bridge. I?m walking through Soho, past a woman who has done her hair like a Dr. Seuss Sneetch. Somewhere across the oceans the Sharks are winning. I?m everywhere except where I want to be. I?m living in a world without rugby _________.
AS a person progresses through life, they can expect to encounter many situations which will change their life for better or worse. How they react to those events shape a person?s destiny and reveal their character to the world. In forty days and forty nights in 2004, my life was turned upside down, challenged and changed possibly forever.
THE Wynnum hoodoo is more well-known, but Dolphin Oval isn?t exactly a safe haven for Ipswich teams either.
BURLEIGH v CENTRAL: Pizzey Park, 2pm Saturday, April 23.
TWO wins in the lower grades at Tugun and a loss at Townsville for Premier Grade were the outcomes of last weekend?s fixtures for the Dolphins.
HERES how the players stack up for tomorrow nights Test match in Brisbane.
KANGAROO prop Jason Ryles has pulled out of Friday night's Anzac rugby league test against the Kiwis with a leg injury.
SALFORD have the chance to consolidate their top-six place when they take on bottom-of-the-table Leigh at the Willows.
WIGAN today completed the loan transfer of Wayne McDonald from Leeds Rhinos. Wayne has joined the club until the end of the season and goes into the Warriors squad for Friday's engage Super League game at Bradford Bulls, 8pm kick off.
WHILE things seem to be going swimmingly for some teams, others just go from bad to worse. After looking like they turned the corner against Manly, the Dragons went down to the Broncos in a must win situation. Similarly after weeks of frustration, Andrew Johns was enjoying proceedings, then one tackle and a broken jaw later and look what happens. And I thought I was having a hard time with an abysmal 22 from 42 picks this season!
PHIL Blake on the charge to the ball, he'll score... no he won't, the debutant has beat him to the ball.
CANBERRA Raiders coach Matt Elliott says he?s excited about bringing two of the club?s best young prospects into the side for Sunday?s match against the Melbourne Storm at Canberra Stadium.
VODAFONE Warriors CEO Mick Watson today announced long-serving halfback Stacey Jones will leave the club at the end of 2005 NRL season after seeking and being granted an early release from his contract.
The 28-year-old Jones said he was set to continue his playing career in the 2006 English Super League competition after signing a letter of intent to join French club UTC.
?There?s been a lot of speculation about my future lately,? he said.
?I couldn?t say anything about it before because discussions were still going on about my plans to join UTC next year.
?Now I?ve agreed to terms I asked the club to bring this announcement forward so I can get on with putting all my efforts into playing my best football for the Warriors.
?I love the Warriors and I always will. I?m a life member and I?m really proud of that after being here since the club started in 1995.
?Being a Warrior has always been really important to me but there comes a time when you know yourself that you need a change.?
Jones said he started the process of requesting a release several months ago.
?Right at the start of our off-season I sat down with Mick to talk about my plans,? he said.
?It had been on my mind for quite a while to look at finishing up in the NRL at the end of 2005 so I told Mick I would put everything I had into the off-season, play one more year and then I?d like to move on.
?I thought it was time for someone else to come in and there are plenty of players here who will step up.
?I told Mick I thought my time was up in the NRL and that I wanted to move on to another opportunity and a change of lifestyle.
?Asking for a release is always a special case and I really appreciate the help Mick has given me with this and with putting my deal together with UTC.?
Jones said the lifestyle factor was important in his decision.
?This is my 11th season in the NRL. It?s tough when you play in it for that long but there are other things I want to do now. I want to get away from the spotlight so I can just play football and try to have some normal time with my family. That?s why I?m looking forward to going to France.?