FRIDAY, 28th April 2006Penrith v Cronulla at Penrith Football Stadium, 7.30pmPanthers: Rhys Wesser, Lee Hookey, Danny Galea, Mark O'Halloran, Luke Rooney, Preston Campbell, Luke Priddis, Joel Clinton, Paul Aiton, Craig Stapleton, Shane Rodney, Matthew Cross, Trent WaterhouseInterchange: Frank Puletua, Bryan Norrie, Frank Pritchard, Luke SwainSharks: David Simmons, Darren Albert, Nigel Vagana, Phil Bailey, Luke Covell, Brett Kearney, Adam Dykes, Ben Ross, Kevin Kingston, Luke Douglas, Reece Williams, Lance Thompson, Paul GallenInterchange: Hutch Maiava, Beau Scott, Greg Bird, Tevita Latu, Brett Kelly, James StosicReferee: S HampsteadSaturday, 29th April 2006North Queensland v Sydney at Dairy Farmers Stadium, 5.30pmCowboys: Matt Bowen, Neil Sweeney, Ashley Graham, Paul Bowman, Matt Sing, Johnathan Thurston (c), Brett Firman, Matthew Scott, Aaron Payne, Mitchell Sargent, Justin Smith, Luke O'Donnell, Travis NortonInterchange: Rod Jensen, David Faiumu, Carl Webb, Shane Tronc, Gavin CooperRoosters: Anthony Minichiello, Vince Mellars, Lelea Paea, Chris Flannery, Amos Roberts, Braith Anasta, Brett Finch, Adrian Morley, Craig Wing, David Shillington, Anthony Tupou, Craig Fitzagibbon (c), Ashley HarrisonInterchange: Heath L'Estrange, Mark Edmondson, Lopini Paea, Charles TongaReferee: S HayneMelbourne v St George Illawarra at Olympic Park, 7.30pmStorm: Greg Inglis, Jake Webster, Matt King, Ryan Hoffman, Steve Turner, Matt Geyer, Cooper Cronk, Garrett Crossman, Cameron Smith, Brett White, David Kidwell, Michael Crocker, Dallas JohnsonInterchange: Ian Donnelly, Jeremy Smith, Antonio Kaufusi, Nathan Friend, Adam Blair, Chris WalkerDragons: Ben Hornby, Wes Naiqama, Mark Gasnier, Matt Cooper, Colin Best, Trent Barrett (c), Mathew Head, Justin Poore, Dean Young, Jason Ryles, Ben Creagh, Ashton Sims, Shaun TimminsInterchange: Michael Henderson, Matt Bickerstaff, Lee Te Maari, Aaron Gorrell, Luke BaileyReferee: T ArcherBrisbane v Canberra at Suncorp Stadium, 7.30pmBroncos: Karmichael Hunt, Tame Tupou, Justin Hodges, Shaun Berrigan, Darius Boyd, Darren Lockyer (c), Shane Perry, Shane Webcke, Casey McGuire, Petero Civoniceva, David Stagg, Corey Parker, Tonie CarrollInterchange: Brad Thorn, Ben Hannant, Sam Thaiday, Greg Eastwood, Ian Lacey (one to be omitted)Raiders: Clinton Schifcofske (c), Adrian Purtell, Craig Frawley, David Howell, Adam Mogg, Jason Smith, Lincoln Withers, Andrew Lomu, Simon Woolford, Troy Thompson, Thom Learoyd-Lahrs, Jason Croker, Alan TongueInterchange: Todd Carney, Marshall Chalk, Michael Hodgson, Trevor Thurling, Ben JonesReferee: R SmithSunday, 30th April 2006Warriors v Canterbury at Ericsson Stadium, 12.00pmWarriors: Brent Webb, Todd Byrne, Tony Martin, Clinton Toopi, Misi Taulapapa, Jerome Ropati, Nathan Fien, Ruben Wiki, George Gatis, Steve Price(c), Awen Guttenbeil, Wairangi Koopu, Louis AndersonInterchange: Grant Rovelli, Evarn Tuimavave, Sione Faumuina, Michael LuckBulldogs: Luke Patten, Hazem El Masri, Andrew Emelio, Willie Tonga, Matt Utai, Reni Maitua, Daniel Holdsworth, Mark O'Meley, Corey Hughes,Roy Asotasi, Willie Mason, Andrew Ryan (c), Tony GrimaldiInterchange: Adam Perry, Chris Armit, Sonny Bill Williams, Brad MorrinReferee: G BadgerSouth Sydney v Newcastle at Telstra Stadium, 2.30pmRabbitohs: Nathan Merritt, Luke MacDougall, Yileen Gordon, Adam MacDougall, Shannon Hegarty, John Sutton, Ben Walker, Peter Cusack (c), Shane Walker, Jaiman Lowe, David Faalogo, Joe Galuvao, Shane RigonInterchange: Michael Greenfield, Shannan McPherson, Ben Rogers, Mark Minichiello, Paul MellorKnights: Milton Thaiday, Brian Carney, Mat Gidley, George Carmont, Anthony Quinn, Kurt Gidley, Jarrod Mullen, Craig Smith, Danny Buderus, Anthony Woolnough, Steve Simpson, Clint Newton, Regan TannerInterchange: Luke Davico, Dustin Cooper, Riley Brown, Todd LowrieReferee: J RobinsonManly v Parramatta at Sydney Cricket Ground, 3.00pmSea Eagles: Brett Stewart, Michael Robertson, Steve Bell, Steve Matai, Chris Hicks, Travis Burns, Matt Orford, Jason King, Michael Monaghan, Brent Kite, Steve Menzies, Anthony Watmough, Ben Kennedy (c)Interchange: Shane Dunley, Luke Williamson, George Rose, Mark Bryant, Adam Cuthbertson, Paul StephensonEels: Wade McKinnon, Matt Petersen, Brett Delaney, Timana Tahu, Eric Grothe, Jeremy Smith, Tim Smith, Nathan Cayless (c), John Morris, Michael Vella, Nathan Hindmarsh, Chad Robinson, Glenn MorrisonInterchange: Mark Riddell, Dean Widders, Fuifui Moimoi, Paul Stringer, Adam Peek, Zeb TaiaReferee: S ClarkThe Wests Tigers have the bye in Round 8.
FULLTIME score:Round 7St George Illawarra Dragons 22 v Sydney Roosters 12Match summary:St George Illawarra has proven they are more than just a pretty football side with a solid 22-12 victory over the Sydney Roosters at Aussie Stadium today.In the now traditional ANZAC Day clash between the two popular Sydney heavyweights, the Dragons came out firing with successive tries to winger Wes Naiqama in the space of just five minutes.The Roosters gradually clawed their way back into the contest, and managed to go into halftime just two points down at 14-12 in the Dragons? favour.But the defining moment of the match came with a controversial call, one of many today, against the Roosters for obstruction. The try would have leveled the scores with the possibility of the Roosters taking an 18-16 lead. Instead, the Dragons raced down the other end of the field with a try to Matt Bickerstaff, and confirmed the 22-12 result with the successful conversion to Mathew Head.Both sides grinded out the performance in the second half, limiting their mistakes and playing a more conservative style ? the Dragons, though, were the more patient of the sides and this showed in the result.The Roosters can take heart from this performance, especially with the loss of Anthony Minichiello before the match. While they were still lacking cohesion in attack, their forwards were much better and the Roosters showed they can still compete with the bigger packs in the competition. Braith Anasta was benched late in the match, sparking concerns of further damage to his groin.The Dragons move well and truly into the top eight, but this win has come at a cost. Jason Ryles has broken his hand again, and Wes Naiqama has suspected ligament damage to his ankle. Shaun Timmins also sustained a head injury but that shouldn?t provide too many problems for him. Naiqama was also placed on report for a high tackle at the 50th minute.No apparent concerns for the Roosters but prop David Shillington could be in some trouble with the match review committee after a high tackle late in the match. The Roosters will remain outside the eight and it doesn?t get any easier next week, they travel to Townsville to play the Cowboys on Saturday night ? leaving just three days preparation for such a crucial contest.Meanwhile, the Dragons travel to Melbourne to play the Storm on Saturday night, leaving limited preparation for such a critical match.Scorers:St George Illawarra Dragons: 22Tries: Mark Gasnier, Wes Naiqama(2), Matthew BickerstaffGoals: Mathew Head 3/5Sydney Roosters: 12Tries: Amos Roberts, David ShillingtonGoals: Craig Fitzgibbon 2/2 Venue: Aussie Stadium Crowd: 31,105Referee: Steven ClarkHalf time: Dragons 14-12Live commentary:Pre Match: A cool and overcast ANZAC Day greets Sydney as the traditional Dragons vs Roosters battle continues. These matches are evenly split, with two wins apiece since the inception of the tradition back in 2002. The Roosters have scored 79 points in these matches compared with the Dragons' 78. A notable omission for the Roosters; Anthony Minichiello ruled out with a hamstring problem - Sam Perrett comes in for Minichiello.For the Dragons, Dean Young has been ruled out with Aaron Gorrell taking his place at hooker.0 min: NEWS KICKOFF! The ANZAC Day showdown begins.3 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsMatthew Head produces a magnificent chip-kick in behind the Roosters' line for Wes Naiqama to grasp and plant over the line. Head began the Dragons' attacking raid with a chip over the top inside his own half, which was fielded by Mark Gasnier. Dragons 6-09 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsNaiqama fields yet another kick to score, this time a grubber from captain Trent Barrett. The Dragons look right on the money for this match and with the Roosters' poor form leading into this one, it could be a long afternoon for the red, white and blue. The potency and stability in attack from the likes of Barrett and Head has been pleasing for the Dragons. Dragons 10-013 min: TRY Sydney RoostersDavid Shillington scores a controversial try under the posts as the Roosters hit back. He appeared to drop the ball over the line but the try was still awarded by video referee Bill Harrigan. Dragons 10-620 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsMark Gasnier juggles a Head bomb to cross out wide. The decision was referred to Bill Harrigan again who awarded benefit of the doubt for the second time today. Dragons 14-624 min: NEWS Shaun Timmins placed a hit on Braith Anasta which could come under scrutiny with the match review committee although there didn't look to be too much in it. Brett Finch is disallowed a try due to an earlier knock-on to Ashley Harrison. Still 14-6 the Dragons lead.29 min: TRY Sydney RoostersBrilliant switch of play from Roosters five eighth Braith Anasta, slotting a ball onto the chest of Amos Roberts who scores the try under the sticks. A 12 point turnaround as Barrett almost scored down the other end, only for a brilliant try-saving tackle from Roosters hooker Craig Wing. Dragons 14-1234 min: NEWS The penalty count is now mounting against St George Illawarra and their ill-discipline is allowing the Roosters back into this game. Still 14-12 in favour of the Dragons.39 min: NEWS Disallowed try to the Dragons as Wes Naiqama is unable to control another Barrett grubber kick in behind the line. A massive let-off for the Roosters just on halftime.Halftime: min: NEWS Halftime on ANZAC Day and the Dragons hold a 14-12 lead over the Roosters. The Dragons looked as though they were primed to dominate this match but the Roosters have managed to hang-in well. Rain is belting down at Aussie Stadium and this one looks like it's going down to the wire.40 min: NEWS Second half underway at Aussie Stadium41 min: NEWS Jason Ryles has broken his hand again and won't be back for this afternoon's match.50 min: NEWS Wes Naiqama on report for a high taclke on Sam Perrett. Still 14-12 and this game is firing up.55 min: NEWS Shaun Timmins down injured close to the Roosters' line. The Dragons are losing players thick and fast here. Still 14-12 the Dragons leading.57 min: NEWS NO TRY - Mark Gasnier has been ruled to have knocked the ball forward off a Trent Barrett bomb, disallowing the eventual try to winger Colin Best. Penalty given to the Dragons as Barrett has been taken out by Ashley Harrison. Attempt at goal to come.58 min: PENALTY GOAL St George Illawarra DragonsHead nails the two points and the Dragons lead by four. Dragons 16-1262 min: NEWS Ben Hornby makes an elementary error in trying to field a Roosters kick. Scrum to the Roosters 10 metres out.65 min: NEWS Roosters disallowed a try because of an obstruction play. That could be a turning point. Still 16-12.68 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsMatt Bickerstaff goes over for what might be the match-sealing try. The earlier obstruction call on the Roosters from Steven Clark will definitely come under scrutiny post-match. Dragons 22-1270 min: NEWS Wes Naiqama has an ankle injury, adding to the Dragons' injury woes today with earlier injuries to Ryles ans Timmins.72 min: NEWS Another decision referred upstairs and another disallowed try. This time Matt Cooper was deemed to have propelled the ball forward off another bomb from Trent Barrett, who grounded the ball in the in-goal - but to no avail.74 min: NEWS The Dragons will escape with the points now, leading 22-12 and in control.Fulltime: The Dragons have won this afternoon's traditional ANZAC Day battle by 22 points to 12 over the Roosters.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Mathew Head (Dragons)2 - Luke Bailey (Dragons)1 - Craig Wing (Roosters)-----------------------------------------
DANNY McGuire scored his 100th Leeds try as the Rhinos inflicted Castleford?s third defeat in a week by 42-6.McGuire has scored in every game he has played against the Tigers and he maintained that remarkable record with a superb solo effort midway through the second half.The dazzling 23-year-old, back to his best after last season was blighted by injury problems, raced over after collecting his own chip kick to leave the visitors floundering.It was his 15th try of the season and he looks a strong bet to finish the year as engage Super League?s top try-scorer.Former Leeds prop Danny Ward, making his first return to Headingley since being sacked in January, had to endure a miserable night.The 25-year-old was a Grand Final winner in 2004 but is now battling to beat the drop with lowly Castleford.And his ex-team-mates showed no mercy, racking up nine tries in a comprehensive win.Matt Diskin and Keith Senior both crossed twice while Australian star Mark O?Neill finally made his Leeds debut after recovering from a shoulder injury picked up in pre-season.The Tigers raced into a shock lead early on when full-back Michael Platt crossed from Ryan McGoldrick?s well-timed pass.But Leeds responded quickly when Gareth Ellis crashed over for his fourth try in five games and then Senior stormed through to put Leeds in front midway through the first half.Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Richard Fa?aoso were dispatched to the sin-bin by referee Ronnie Laughton following an ugly flare-up during a first half in which Laughton awarded 14 penalties.But Leeds kept their composure and extended their lead when Jamie Peacock barged over despite the attentions of three attempted tacklers.Diskin?s second-half double, alongside further efforts from Senior, Scott Donald and Ashley Gibson wrapped up the win.Leeds: Mathers, Donald, Gibson, Senior, Williams, McGuire, Burrow, Bailey, Diskin, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Lauitiiti, Ellis.Replacements: Kirke, O'Neill, Scruton, Tansey.Castleford: Platt, Pryce, Bird, Franze, Dyer, McGoldrick, Davis, Ward, Henderson, Nutley, Manu, Whitaker, Roarty.Replacements: Kain, Huby, Fa'aoso, Haughey.Leeds (16) 42.Tries: Ellis, Senior 2, Peacock, Diskin 2, Donald, McGuire, Gibson. Goals: Gibson 3.Castleford (6) 6.Tries: Platt. Goals: McGoldrick.Referee: R Laughton (Barnsley)Att: 14,054
SINCE Mick Cronin and Ray Price last donned the blue and gold in 1986, Eels fans have had little to crow about. Perpetual failure to achieve the major prize has left a burning hole in our bellies. It?s reaching the point where the younger Parramatta supporters are almost able to sympathise with Sharks fans. Thankfully it hasn?t been all doom and gloom though. A procession of club championships, world sevens trophies, lower grade victories and a couple of minor premierships has helped to alleviate the hunger pains a little. Whilst nothing to get vocal about, we can now share a collective inward smile and somewhat lame ?yea team?. We currently hold a trifecta of league?s ?best and fairest?, ?most improved? and ?encouragement? awards. The trophy cabinet is sitting pretty with the minor premiership, club championship and premier league cup, but there?s one big empty spot waiting to be filled. It?s a bit like spending several years planning an extravagant wedding, getting all dressed up on the big day and turning up to find three beautiful bridesmaids in position, only to be told that the bride is spending the day driving between churches in Balmain, Campbelltown and Ashfield.NRL Minor Premiership - The JJ Giltinan ShieldWith another year to sit and stare at this lopsided trophy cabinet, the mind starts to wander. The prize for the minor premiership is a big arse shield (and as The Colonel can attest, heavy). Despite being emblazoned with the words ?The J.J. Giltinan Shield?, the number of people that remember the shield?s name may be even less than the number of people who care about the minor premiership which it represents, ie. almost negligible. Whilst some of the older crowd may recall that it was introduced in 1951 and represented the major prize for a long time, only a handful of diehard extremists could tell you that it is covered by the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986, requiring a temporary permit in 2002 for it to leave Australia and cross the ditch to Warriors HQ. Despite the suggestion that nobody cares about the NRL Minor Premiership and by extension, the shield that it represents, it is a heritage item and was introduced to honour the memory of one J.J.Giltinan who died the previous year. This left me with one question: Who the hell is Jay Jay?JJ GiltinanAn initial Google search brings up pages and pages on the man in question. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the articles are about his second love, sailing. Fortunately for league fans however, I can begin to answer the question by stating that James Joseph Giltinan was a guy with a bit of cash, a ship-load of guts and a rebellious streak stretching from Sydney Harbour, half way across the globe. Often referred to as the father of Australian Rugby League, he was the inaugural secretary of the NSWRL. Giltinan was an entrepreneur that ponied up the cash: for the first Kangaroo tour in 1908; and to establish the first professional football code in Australia with the Sydney based competition, breaking away from rugby union. There was a fine line in terms of JJ?s progressive nature and where exactly it would leave the game of league. His vision was for a single professional code, amalgamated with Aussie rules. Fortunately for league traditionalists who have fallen in love with the game in the decades since, he dropped the ball so to speak. The Kangaroo tour was a financial disaster, rendering his suggestion of a combined code in ruins. His legacy however is the game that is now the pinnacle of domestic sport in Australia and has had a huge influence on the game internationally as well. For most of his lifetime, Great Britain had a stranglehold on the international game, enjoying the kind of success that Australia has had in the last few decades. In fact, it was only several weeks before JJ?s death in 1950 that Australia finally broke through for its first Ashes series victory in 30 years. Aged 84, James died a happy man, this much is definitely known. He said so himself. Giltinan seems to have had a happy life which has left its mark on the generations which followed and those to come, but unfortunately, I?m not sure that I?m all that much closer to really knowing who the hell was Jay Jay.