IN an early season boost to their State of Origin campaign, Queensland have received the welcome news that Broncos stalwart Shane Webcke will make himself available to the Maroons this year.
WHEN Michael Roberts scored a classic halfback?s try from the base of the scrum in the 77th minute one could be forgiven for briefly forgetting the score and imagining you had witnessed the winning try. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Robert?s solo effort was nothing more than a consolation in the most egregious defensive effort by Redcliffe in the history of the Queensland Cup.
THE First National Northland U16's struck the Auckland Crowns on a very good day at Cornwall Park this afternoon.
Under cloudy skies, in near perfect playing conditions, the Auckland Crowns Foundation Cup team set about taking their Northland visitors apart. In a much improved performance over last Saturday, they were almost ruthless in their very structured game. Half-Back, Sioeli Makaui, showing maturity way beyond his years, lead them around the park like a seasoned veteran, on the way to their 46/6 victory. Makaui was ably assisted in the halves by five eight, and captain, Jody Henry. Henry finished the day scoring 22 points for his side.
Northland started well with a great opening set, featuring their two big props, only to be brought undone by a spilled ball. The Crowns took their opportunity, scoring two quick tries and taking control of the game. With about 15 to go, in the first half, the intensity of the game began to take it's toll and mistakes from both sides began to creep in.
I think I wrote a headline on Saturday that said the Auckland Crowns were "rampant" over the First National Northland team in the Foundation Cup. I think I used that word a little early, Ericcson Stadium on Sunday saw the Auckland Crowns absolutely annihilate Northland in the Kiwi Cup game by 70 points to 4
I expected more, I expected a lot more, from the Northland side. They started well, scored shortly after kick off, through dummy half, Sam Moli. That was about the point where they ceased to take any further part in the game. The Auckland side replied to the visitors try, fairly quickly through Five Eight, Darin Kingi. Paki Ormsby converted and the Crowns took over. Five further tries to the Crowns, including a second to Kingi, saw the scoreboard at the break reading 36/4 to the Auckland side.
The Northland side had their heads down when it got to 20 odd to 4 and things were not going to get any better at all.
The Auckland Crowns came out after the spell and went up a gear. At a point, about half way through the second half, they were scoring off every set. Northland simply had no answers. A couple of individual breaks showed some promise, but nothing eventuated. The Crowns just kept going. It was with some relief, for the First National Northland team (and for most of us in the crowd) when the the final hooter blew.
For the Crowns, Paki Ormsby, a Warrior Development player, had a huge game. A hat trick and a heap of goals saw him pick up 24 points for the game. Darin Kingi, a player involved in the Manly Kiwi connection, scored a brace in front of the Manly bosses at Ericcson for the NRL game. Winger, Nui Talau, had another big game. Pona Jack, off the bench, scored a couple. Props, Alistair Taua'a and Alex Tafili played extremely well in setting the platform and Second Rower, Tyler Cassidy worked all day.
Round 1, 11-13 March 2005
SHARKS skipper Brett Kimmorley could miss next week's match against Manly after being charged with a grade 1 careless high tackle. Normally the misdemeanour would not incur a suspension if an early guilty plea is entered into, however in this case Kimmorley has 37 carry-over points from a previous offence.
NODDY kicked up a frenzy, Dykesy warmed to his old home ground and Luke Covell gave the fans plenty to cheer about with his goal kicking boot. It was a Saturday night of old at Toyota Park, as the Sharks somehow gritted out a win against their more favoured opponents, Penrith.
THERE was some action over at Ericsson Stadium yesterday.
FULLBACK - Billy Slater (Storm) Bagged a hat trick of tries and led the way for the Storm as they trounced the hapless Knights. Boy he's got some pace about him!
CAN we please try that again? Last Friday was not the start to the season that Dragons fans wanted. The team played below our expectations & there wasn?t enough Red & White in the stands for a game against one of our traditional rivals.
MELBOURNE Storm, which demolished the Newcastle Knights in Sunday's NRL season-opener, has named an unchanged line-up for this weekend's road game against the Dragons in Wollongong.
SHARKS coach Stuart Raper has selected his team for this Sunday's game against the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. With Brett Kimmorley sidelined with suspension, Adam Dykes slots into halfback with Greg Bird moving into a familiar five eighth position.
IN form prop Jason King has a chest injury and will miss Sunday's blockbuster against the Cronulla Sharks at Brookvale Oval.
PARRAMATTA Eels coach Brian Smith has named his team to play the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Aussie Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Coach Smiths team is;