Barrett out of Origin - Johns in

NEW South Wales half back Trent Barrett has been ruled out of State of Origin II after suffering a thigh injury during a training session in Dubbo today. He will be replaced by Knights half back Andrew Johns.

Bears Courageous In Defeat

THE Flegg boys put in a courageous performance for the bulk of the match against the top place Dragons. Reflecting the closeness of the match at one point ABC Radio noted it would be "a huge upset if Norths won given both teams positions on the table". The first half proved a tough arm wrestle finishing 6-4 to the Bears after a try to Bears Tim Woodbine and some courageous defence to protect the Bears line. The Dragons moved ahead with two tries early in the first, but the Bears hit back with a monster run from forward Arnold Mano to score after good work from Tim Woodbine made it 16 all with 12 minutes on the clock. Unfortunately the last 10 minutes was completely unrepresentative of the rest of the game for the team, the highly placed Dragons winning 34-16. "Although we lacked intensity in the last 10, all the boys performed well" claimed coach Gavin Catanach singling out second rower Mick Morris and giving a big wrap to Jono Freeman in his return match. Pictured: try scorer Arnold Mano.

KIWIS HEAD COACH APPOINTMENT

BRIAN McClennan has today been confirmed as the new Head Coach of the NZ Kiwis.

Mid Season report

THE NRL season has reached the halfway point and the competition also seems to have been split into two clear categories - contenders and also-rans.

Bears Put Up Fight Against Talented Dragons

OUR Premier League boys put on some crash-hot tries in their match against the St George /Illawarra Dragons. With the major loss of centre Namila Davui (ankle) and winger Scott Webb, the Bears still put it together in fine fashion including a try by Chris Tuatara that showed skill in juggling the ball, worthy of a performance under the big top. At one point the Bears were down 18-0 and having to work hard in defence. However the boys climbed back to within 4 points at 18-14 to the Dragons. Slotting into the back line Andrew Moodie had a whale of a game, involved with many plays while Ben Ellis topped the tackle count. Matt Thurston put in a typically furious performance while Kyle Arnold as captain was equally revved up in defence. In the last quarter the Dragons put on more tries. But the boys hit back when Chris Tuatara shot a pass to Lester Salanoa who made a spectacular run to the try line finishing the match 34-20 to the Dragons. Bears Assistant coach Michael Pobjie praised the work of Andrew Moodie and had a special word for Rookie Pat Galea who had his first run on for the Premier League.

This week's previews and fixtures including Wales v Scotland

SATURDAY 11th June Total Rl.com Rugby League Conference Premier Wales (kick-offs 2.30pm)

Centurions give Bulldogs a 6 ? 70 lesson.

ON the way up to Birmingham, the Cents did not have had much to worry about being almost top of the league compared to the Bulldogs who were struggling near the bottom. They were not complacent though and made sure that they completed their job convincingly and came home with two more points.

Baby Bronco's inside knowledge to help Raiders

CANBERRA backrower Kris Kahler says the Raiders have absolutely no reason to under-estimate the Brisbane Broncos in Saturday night?s match at Canberra Stadium.

OKI vs WIN: the stadium battle

COURTESY Brad Forrest (St.George Leader)

Rabbitohs Reassure Fans They Have Not Breached Anti-Tampering Deadline

THE Rabbitohs would like to reassure its fans, sponsors and the Rugby League community that it has not breached the NRL?s anti-tampering deadline.

Matt Bowen has blood on his hands

QUEENSLAND State of Origin hero and North Queensland Cowboy, Matt Bowen, is calling on Queenslanders to help give Australia a boost of Maroon blood. With Australia facing a severe crisis as blood supplies plummet, Matt said it was time to help the Cockroaches and Mexicans from down south ? especially as we are about to take the State of Origin crown away from them.

The Tigers turn it on in Campbelltown

FULLTIME score: Round 14 Wests Tigers 34 v Cronulla Sharks 18

Round 14 Preview ? The home stretch

AS all clubs now step into the second half of the competition, a few will do so with confidence, some with trepidation, others with fear. Clubs like Souths and Newcastle have resigned themselves to their fate, while Penrith and Canterbury are staring up at an insurmountable task. At the top looking down are Brisbane, Manly and North Queensland, whose only worries appear to extend to the dogfight over whom gets the 100 grand on offer for the minor premiership and Parramatta are strengthening their claims for a top four spot at the expense of Cronulla.

ESL Round 17 - Friday Game Previews

REDS and Saints name squads, Wildcats and Rhinos clash, and Millward rides the storm.

ESL relegation battle hots up

RESULTS from Round 16 of the English Superleague have compressed the tail end of the ladder, setting up a mighty battle to avoid relegation with 12 rounds still remaining. Seven teams are placed within four points of the relegation zone. On 5 points, Leigh are almost certain to be relegated, however due to the introduction of French club Les Catalan, two teams will be subject to relegation this year. It is this second relegation position that is placing pressure on up to 6 teams.

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