THE NSW selectors have announced a 30-man squad for the 2005 State of Origin rugby league series. The players will assemble at the S.C.G. tomorrow and will be reduced to a 17-man team for the opener against arch rivals Queensland at Suncorp Stadium on May 25.
MAD Butcher Fox Memorial Premiership Grading Round
THE Mt Albert Lions, today consolidated their position at the top of the Bartercard Cup table with a convincing second half romp over the Waicoa Bay Stallions, running out victors, 44/18.
The first half however was a different story, with the Stallions taking the game to the Lions and really testing them. It looked at the start that it was going to be an easy one for the home side.
Five minutes in and they were up 12/0, thanks to tries to Fabian Souter and Loose Forward, Paul Fisi'iahi, both converted by Steve Buckingham.
The Stallions regrouped fairly hurriedly though, and seven minutes later, posted their first points through a try to Centre, Michael Moore, following a penalty and a scrum feed up near the Lions line. Te Teira Davis converted and they were well and truly back in the ball game.
For a very long period of play, Waicoa were camped well inside the Lions half. Time and time again they attacked the Mt Albert line but the Lions defence was good. Eight minutes to go and the Lions were getting close to going in. Te Teira Davis swooped on a long pass, scampered 80 metres and scored under the sticks. He converted his own effort and it was 12 all. Virtually on the hooter and Fisi'iasi went in for his second try. Buckingham converted and we went to the break at 18/12 to Mt Albert.
This game wasn't exactly going to plan. Someone had obviously forgotten to give Waicoa Bay the script. Forty minutes to go though, and this Lions side is a classy outfit.
Sure enough, first Lions set and speedster, Robinson Godfrey, scores for Mt Albert. Minutes later, young Stallions star, Te Teira Davis scores and converts, 24/18 to the Lions and the parochial crowd is getting really nervous.
No cause for alarm though as, in an amazing passage of play, Mt Albert Loose Forward, Paul Fisi'iasi scored another three tries, to bring his total for the match to five. I haven't checked the records at time of writing but this must be close. That effort just blew the Stallions right off Fowlds Park.
A final try to the Lions through number 15, Seni Pate, following a great run and gift pass from Pat Ah Van, sealed it up at 44/18.
The class of the Lions and Fisi'iasi got them home in the end but the Stallions proved just how competitive they can be. Had they played any team but the Lions today, they would have gone home with the points.
HIBISCUS Coast Raiders regained the Ted Dalton Memorial Cup today at North Harbour Stadium when they defeated the North Harbour Tigers in round 4 of the NZRL Bartercard Cup.
FORMER Central Comets Ryan Cullen and Shannon Fish have helped sting their old club, both among the scorers as Redcliffe triumphed 34-24 at Dolphin Oval on Sunday.
THE Sydney Airport Jets are now in second position on the NSWRL VB Premier League competition table, following their 28-18 win over the Bulldogs at Henson Park on Saturday. There was plenty of ?niggle? in this match, and with three players on report Newtown officials and coaching staff will be monitoring events at the judiciary closely.
ST Helens Chairman Eamonn McManus has spoken publically for the first time since the suspension of coach Ian Millward pending disciplinary proceedings.
ARCH-RIVALS St Helens and Wigan will meet in a mouth-watering quarter-final of the Powergen Challenge Cup next month.
LEAGUE Wrap: Round 9, 7-8 May 2005
THIS week three players have raised the ire of the NRL judiciary, with Manly's Kane Cleal (son of Crusher) in line for the longest stretch on the sideline.
FRIDAY, May 13th 2005
Brisbane Broncos 35 v Canterbury Bulldogs 28
Sydney Roosters 32 v Newcastle Knights 2
The Roosters have run out 32-2 winners over the Knights at Aussie Stadium this afternoon in front of a small crowd of 8,921.
Eels 50 v Cowboys 12
MANLY SEA EAGLES 34 v WESTS TIGERS 26