Preview: Wakefield v Wigan (R22)

NEW Zealand international David Solomona insists Wakefield can string together enough wins to avoid the drop, starting with the visit of engage Super League champions Bradford to Belle Vue.

Storm bury yet another victim

ROUND 20Melbourne Storm 28 vs Cronulla Sharks 12at Olympic Park, MelbourneReferee: Steve ClarkMatch summary:The Melbourne Storm have continued their relentless march towards the Minor Premiership win a 28-12 win over the Cronulla Sharks in front of 11,486 fans at the ?Graveyard? in Melbourne tonight.The Storm opened the scoring in the eighth minute with a try to Cooper Cronk following a Ryan Hoffman break ? Cronk putting Hoffman into the gap to start the scoring movement. A Hoffman try after 20 minutes that went unconverted put the Storm up 10-0. Five minutes after that Cronk was denied a second try when David Kidwell was penalised for an obstruction.The Sharks then spent a long period on attack but the Storm defence held them out, before Dallas Johnson delivered a crushing blow to the Sharks with a try right on halftime to give the Storm a 16-0 lead at the break.It only took the Storm eight minutes to increase their lead in the second half with a classic Storm try. Cameron Smith took a kick on the full and set off in the other direction. He had enough time to position Billy Slater on his left shoulder before passing to him and letting him race away to score.On the hour mark the Sharks scored a well deserved try through Richard Villasanti who barged over out wide to give the Sharks a sniff at 22-6. Slater picked up his second somewhat fortuitously when Jake Webster broke up the middle and his pass back inside was knocked down. Slater picked up the bouncing ball and raced away to score under the black dot, Matt Geyer added the conversion to celebrate his 200th Storm appearance.Darren Albert dotted down out wide in the final minutes to give the score some respectability at 28-12. In reality the Sharks did not deserve to lose quite so heavily, as they had long periods of the match on attack but were unable to crack the incredibly resolute Storm defence at the crucial times.The win allows the Storm to open up an eight point gap at the top of the table, pending the results this weekend. Next week the Storm travel to Oki Jubilee Stadium for a much anticipated clash with the Dragons, while the Sharks look to arrest their four game slide hosting the Knights at Toyota Park.ScorersMelbourne Storm: 28Tries: Cooper Cronk, Ryan Hoffman, Dallas Johnson, Billy Slater(2)Goals: Matt Geyer 1/1, Cameron Smith 3/4Cronulla Sutherland Sharks: 12Tries: Darren Albert, Richard VillasantiGoals: Luke Covell 2/2Halftime: 16-0 StormCrowd: 11,486By the clockGood evening from Olympic Park Stadium in Melbourne for tonights clash between the Storm and the Sharks.Tonight Toshio Laiseni is out for the Sharks. Kearney moves to fullback for them.The Sharks in grey and white, the Storm in purple and dark blue. Geyer plays his 200th Storm game - the first to do it.1 min: Underway in front of a decent crowd!3 min: The weather is fine, if not a little cold.8 min: TRY Melbourne StormHoffman breaks up the middle, offloads to Cronk who races away to score beside the posts. Smith converts.Storm 6-013 min: The Sharks lose the ball 30 out and the Storm go on attack.14 min: Hoffman is penalised for obstruction only metres out from the Sharks line.16 min: The Storm hold out a Sharks attacking set. Turner makes a bust to help Storm field position, and they keep looking like breaking the line.17 min: The Storm go almost 100 metres in a set, King is ruled to have knocked on going for a bomb that was touched down by Hoffman.18 min: Sharks come up with a good set making plenty of metres, but they get penalised for offside on a poor last play option.20 min: TRY Melbourne StormOff the back of two penalties, Hill throws a great pass to Hoffman who runs through a gap and scores 18 metres to the left of the uprights. Smith misses.Storm 10-025 min: VIDEO REF - For a Storm try...25 min: NO TRY - StormKidwell is penalised for obstruction as Cronk zips past defenders.27 min: Sharks squander a good attacking opportunity with a forward pass.31 min: Kearney makes a huge break and puts the Sharks right on attack. The Storm scramble well and hold out for the set.35 min: The Sharks attack off a string of penalties, the Storm push them back and Geyer takes a kick on the full in the in goal. Great Storm defence.38 min: TRY Melbourne StormDallas Johnson barges over on the last tackle next to the uprights. Smith converts.Storm 16-0HALFTIME: We go to halftime with the Storm in control 16-0. The Storm fully deserve their 16-0 lead. The Sharks have had some good attacking moments, but they have been snuffed out. The Storm are running all over the Sharks on attack.StatsPossession: Sharks 51%/49%Completions: Sharks 13/18, Storm 15/19Tackles/Missed: Sharks 143/24, Storm 160/15Offloads: Sharks 8-6Errors: Sharks 5-3.40 min: Back underway!48 min: TRY Melbourne StormCam Smith takes a great catch on a kick and he sets off up field. He waits for Billy Slater to move from Smiths right to his left, Smith finally passes to Slater who races away to score 10 in from touch. Typically Melbourne. Smith converts.Storm 22-052 min: Storm coming up off their line and are smashing the Sharks in defence.52 min: INJURY - Cameron Smith (Storm) leaving the field with a jaw injury - not serious, they just aren't risking him.58 min: And for what seems like the millionth time the Storm hold out a Sharks attacking raid, this time conceding a drop out.59 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksVillasanti barges over from close range to give the Sharks a deserved try. Covell converts.Storm 22-666 min: Sharks hold out a Storm attacking raid.67 min: INJURY - Richard Villasanti (Sharks) struggling with an injury and is leaving the field.71 min: Bird is penalised in possession for reacting to a supposed grapple tackle. The Storm knock on early in the set.73 min: TRY Melbourne StormWebster breaks up the middle, his pass inside to Slater is knocked backwards by the Sharks and Slater picks up the ball and races away to score under the posts. Geyer celebrates 200 games for the Storm with a conversion.Storm 28-676 min: VIDEO REF - For a Sharks try...76 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksThe Sharks kick wide to Albert who scores out wide in the tackle of King. Covell converts.Storm 28-1277 min: CROWD - 11,486FULLTIME: The Storm run out 28-12 winners over the Sharks.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Cameron Smith (Storm)2 - Ryan Hoffman (Storm)1 - Cooper Cronk (Storm)-----------------------------------------

Qld Cup Round Preview

THE STARS are out in force in the Queensland Wizard Cup this weekend as State of Origin heroes Sam Thaiday and Ty Williams are joined by the likes of Neville Costigan, Brenton Bowen, Mitchell Sargent and possibly Chris Walker.

Changes: Cowboys & Broncos

NORTH Queensland prop Mitchell Sargent has been handed a lifeline after hard-working forward Steve Southern was ruled out of tomorrow night's clash against the Broncos with a thigh strain.

Finch signs with Eels

FORMER NSW Origin halfback Brett Finch will leave to Sydney Roosters to link up with Parramatta next season after agreeing to a two-year deal with the Eels today.

Billy?s back for Quins

HARLEQUINS Rugby League is delighted to announce that former Bronco, Billy Peden is set to return to the capital to join the club's coaching team.The former London Bronco and Scottish International will return to the capital at the end of this season to join the Quins RL coaching team on a three year deal.Peden played in and won two NRL Grand Finals with Newcastle Knights scoring two tries in the 2001 victory against Parramatta. The former Newcastle Club Captain helped London Broncos to its first ever play-off appearance in 2003 before returning to the Knights as a key member of Michael Hagan's coaching staff. Quins RL Head Coach, Brian McDermott is delighted with the appointment: 'I'm really looking forward to working with Billy. I've played against him and I know what he's made of.'I know he's been making waves out there with Newcastle on a performance front and I know he has a lot of respect from his players. If his players respect him, that's good enough for me.'Quins RL Director, Tony Rea added: "He's a quality person and a loyal servant to London. He is highly skilled, a great coach and passionate about this club.'Bill Peden commented: "I'm delighted to be returning to a club which holds so many fond memories. We will have some exciting challenges ahead of us.?On BBC London 94.9fm?s Quins RL Show (9pm, Thursday 20th July) hear from Brian McDermott on last Friday?s loss to St Helens and Luke Dorn previews Saturday?s game.Tickets to Saturday?s engage Super League game between Harlequins RL and Hull FC start at just ?12 when booked before 5pm on Friday ? 020 8410 6000

QLD Women tackle important Issues

QLD WOMEN SPORT COLOURS OF THE RAINBOWNELLIE DOHERTY CUP, SUNCORP STADIUM, JULY 30THERE will be splashes of pink and patches of purple on top of the usual maroon, when Queensland?s Women?s Rugby League team contests the annual Nellie Doherty Cup next Sunday, July 30.Launching the female equivalent of State of Origin for 2006, Queensland skipper Karyn Murphy was this morning joined by Maroons legend Wally Lewis outside Suncorp Stadium.In the past Lewis has spoken glowingly of the skills of Murphy and the standard of Women?s Rugby League in general.At the meet and greet between footballing royalty, full-time police officer Murphy revealed that, for the first time, Queensland would wear purple armbands on the field to support the Football Fans Against Sexual Assault (FFASA) campaign.The colourful Maroons team, unbeaten by New South Wales since 1999, will also wear pink ribbons on their tracksuits.The ribbons signify the QWRL?s long-standing association with the Kim Walters Choices Program, run by the Wesley Hospital in support of people affected by breast cancer.Murphy?s club team ? league-leading Ipswich Brothers ? last night held a Think Pink Charity night at their Raceview headquarters.?Obviously, being female, these issues (sexual assault and breast cancer) are fairly close to a lot of our players? hearts,? Murphy said.?But beyond that, we are a team of workers who mingle in the community each day and we know how widespread the effects can be.?We are proud to wear the colours of these two organisations, just as much as we are in wearing the maroon of our State and putting women?s rugby league in the public eye.?Murphy paid tribute to Lewis for his encouragement ahead of the big clash, to be held prior to the Brisbane Broncos Round 21 NRL match against the Wests Tigers.Source: qrl.com.au

Player movements: Gidley & MacDougall

NEWCASTLE has lost one favourite son but regained another after signing disgruntled South Sydney winger Adam MacDougall and granting veteran centre Matthew Gidley a release to join Super League club St Helens.

Lion Red Fox Memorial Preview

THE Auckland Rugby League Lion Red Fox Memorial competition is rapidly approaching the sharp end of the season, with five rounds left before the Top Five play-offs commence. A hazy Top Five is beginning to take shape, but with ten points still up for grabs, anything can (and probably will) happen.

Round 22 Superleague Preview

THIS week is shaping as very important as the Superleague play offs draw ever closer, and most clubs will have a week off next weekend while the Challenge Cup Semi Finals take place. So there?s nothing to lose, and a win you can gloat about for two weeks can be double the fun. Game on! Wakefield v Bradford ? Friday (televised)This game is interesting because it could go a long way to deciding Wakefield?s potential relegation fate. The Wildcats need to get off the bottom of the table and fast, and the only way to do that is to start to win some games. Things are so desperate that Wakefield have parted ways mid-week with coach Tony Smith (not to be confused with his Aussie namesake), and their assistant coach has defected to Bradford. So the trainer has been left to run the show, and the chief executive will be picking the side. It?s a time for senior Wakefield players to stand up and be counted, but it?s also a time where a strong team like Bradford is more likely to exploit the current vulnerabilities. Harlequins v Hull ? SaturdayThe Hull winning streak rolls on, and having now reached equal second place it?s destination London, where the Harlequins are not quite in the top six, and not quite safe from potential relegation either. Hull seems to have achieved a sense of purpose and consistency under coach Peter Sharp, who took over mid-season. Harlequins have their own coaching changes to get used to, with Brian McDermott recently taking change of the side as Tony Rea moving to a Board of Directors role. If this goes to form Hull could be breathing down the neck of the leaders, and Harlequins still looking over their shoulder. Leeds v St Helens ? Saturday (televised)A clash between equal Second and First place, with both teams still alive in next week?s Challenge Cup semi-finals. After going down to Cas last weekend this is a great chance for Leeds to try and peg back the front-runners, but will either team have an eye on next week knock-out game and will it affect their performance in this game? They?d be silly to not give this clash the respect it deserves first, not only to get the psychological advantage should both sides win their Semi Finals and be destined to meet in the Challenge Cup Final at Twickenham on 26th August. But in the meantime this clash is where all eyes should be.Catalans v Salford ? SaturdayCatalans don?t have to worry about relegation just yet, but will want to get off the bottom of the ladder anyway when they host Salford in Narbonne. Salford?s coach Karl Harrison is probably out of action this week, recovering from an injury sustained while playing soccer for captain Malcolm Alker?s testimonial that will leave him on crutches for eight weeks. His absence this week will have made some difference to Salford?s chances and this could be an ideal opportunity for the Catalans to recoup some points at the expense of the equal fifth placed team ? or for Salford to show their strength in the face of adversity.Warrington v Wigan ? SundayWigan?s great escape is well and truly in progress now, with the Warriors having climbed out of last place for the first time this season. Winning five games on the run has given this bits and pieces side a new confidence and if they continue their current form they won?t finish anywhere near the relegation spot. Warrington on the other hand are coming off a lost at the hands of Hull and need to make sure they compete for the points here, so that they will not be the team the drops out of the play-offs for Castleford, Huddersfield ? or perhaps Wigan themselves ? to take their top six place. There?s no Joey on the horizon for the Wolves this season. Would be surpised to see Wigan falter here.Huddersfield v Castleford ? SundayA classic mid-table clash here, with the winner getting the jump on their rivals to be the team closest to the top six on the road to the playoffs. There?s six more rounds left after this one, so getting the jump here might form the foundation for one final tilt at breaking into the big time. It would also be handy to be two points further away from last spot, as only five points separate these two very different fates. Huddersfield have been successful in winning their way through to next week?s Challenge Cup Semi Finals, and it remains to be seen if that has any bearing on this match. Castleford come into this match with a win over Leeds ? the last team to beat Huddersfield and the team that due to play in next week?s knockout. Could go either way.

Melbourne Supporters Info - Dragons v Raiders

DRAGONS Supporters Last weeks MBDS event at the Steakout Sports Bar was a great night even though we narrowly lost to the Bulldogs. We were spoilt once again with reserved seating in front of the big screen, and we will be there again this week. This week?s match against Canberra is Sunday?s main game on channel 9. Because of the British Open, channel 9 Melbourne won?t be televising the match until 3am. The Steakout will be televising the match on the main screen at 4pm via a channel 9 Sydney feed. As usual, we have our reserved seating at the front. This is a big game for the dragons and a must win if we are to finish in the top 2 at the end of the season. For those of you who haven?t received your MBDS shirts, you will be able to pick them up at the Steakout on Sunday. See you there WHAT: Dragons v RaidersWHEN: Sunday 23rd July, 4pmWHERE: Steakout Sports Bar, Level 1 Crown Casino

Players encouraged to take up whistle

THE NRL will introduce a referees' cadetship in a bid to turn the players of today into the referees of tomorrow.

See Jets this weekend

WHERE to see the Newtown Jets playing this weekend:NSWRL VB Premier LeagueSaturday, July 22ndTelstra StadiumNewtown v BulldogsKick-Off: 3.30pmNSWRL Jim Beam CupSunday, July 23rdRingrose ParkNewtown v WentworthvilleKick-Off: 3.00pmPicture: Big Newtown Jets front-rower Charles Tonga caught in a Shark pack at Henson Park last Saturday. Charles had the honour of being the inaugural Newtown RLFC winner of the Graham Wilson Memorial Medal, while second rower Darren Mapp was the Cronulla-Sutherland club?s recipient of the medal. The Graham Wilson Memorial Medal was inaugurated this year in memory of the very capable second row forward who played with distinction for both the Newtown and Cronulla-Sutherland clubs in the 1960?s, and who toured with the 1963/64 Kangaroos.

Invitation to Kingsgrove Colts JRLFC Sportsman?s Lunch

THE Kingsgrove Colts will be holding their annual Sportsman?s lunch on Friday 28th July at Kingsgrove RSL, with Canterbury legend Steve Mortimer among the guest speakers.The day, to be hosted by Maroon from radio Station Triple M, is an annual event to help support the Rugby League Club with members from the general public welcome to attend.Tickets to the event cost $75.00 and includes full buffet lunch including fresh seafood unlimited beer, wine & soft drink.Other guest speakers include Melbourne Cup winning jockey Jim Cassidy and former Kingsgrove Colts player and current South Sydney coach Shaun McRae.Renowned funny man Tahir from Fat Pizza will be providing the entertainment for the event.During the day there will be numerous auction items, games and raffles. For tickets please contact club secretary Leba Abhihana on 0418 449 526 or contact Michael Carayannis [email protected] Kingsgrove Colts Junior Rugby League Football Club Sportsman?s LunchFriday 28th July, 200612:30pm - 4.30pmKINGSGROVE RSL4 Brocklehurst Lane, Kingsgrove$75.00Includes Full Buffet Lunch including Fresh SeafoodUnlimited Beer, wine & soft drinkMC: DJ Maroon from MMM radio StationSpecial Guests:Steve Mortimer - "Canterbury LegendJim Cassidy - Melbourne Cup winning jockey, Shaun McRae South Sydney Coach and others.Entertainment: Comedian - Tahir (Fat Pizza)Also: Auction Items, Games & Raffles

Of World Cups and National Pride

OF World Cups and National Pride

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