WELCOME now my friends, to the round that never ends. That could actually describe this Round 13 of the Bartercard Cup as it struggles into it?s third (and hopefully final) week. Having a Bartercard selection (NZ Residents) playing a QRL country side and a Jim Beam Cup selection is a fantastic concept - just not in the middle of the season over two weekends.However, be that as it may, two games left in the round. Competition leaders, Auckland Lions take on the Northern Storm at Fowlds Park today. This should be little more than a training run for the Auckland side as the Northland side languish at the bottom of the table on five points. They have won a couple of games and are capable of upsetting any team - just not todayAuckland LionsDAVID FISI?IASIMALOFOU SOLOMONAMIGUEL STARTANTHONY SWANNLUI TOIMOANASTEVE BUCKINGHAM (C)DANIEL O?REGANTONY TUIALEE WETHERILLDYLAN DAVISSALA FA?ALOGOPALETASALA ALEFABIAN SOUTERREGAN WIGGEDDIE LEAVAISIONE POUHA TBANorthern StormBRENDON HIKAKADYLAN WERELINTON PRICEMASON PUREINOKE TAUFADALEY JOHNSONJOEL FREEMANFINAU MOALAHENRY GODINETHANS MASOEADAM DONALDSONVICTOR TUTUILAKAHURANGI HENAREBLAKE EWEJOE RAU ?JOSEPH TOOTU-IOANESTEVE RAUMonday nights Maori Television game is the match up between Harbour League and the Wellington Orcas at North Harbour Stadium. Not an easy game to tip, this one. Both teams are two points apart. Neither team is showing a lot of consistency and the Orcas took the points on their first meeting this year. Harbour seem to be travelling a little better now that they have veteran hooker, Sonny Cavanagh, back in the number nine jumper. Harbour by a couple.Harbour LeagueDYLAN RAMEKAJOE VAIFALESHAUN METCALFJEREMY GOLFHOPOATE TUIHALANGINGIEJARED TROTTDWAYNE GLASGOWDAMON TROTTSONNY CAVANAGHTANE HART (C)JEREMIAH PAIARTY SHEADJASON KAMARIERADANIEL BELLROCKY EDWARDSCHRIS TUPOUIVALA VAAELUAWellington OrcasDION LAULUMELI KOLIVAUTOLOVAE AUVAAOMPALUS KUADESTA BUCHANANASHLEY PARKERLEON BOYDTAYLOR PELENISEBEN TARAEKAMOSE MASOEDANIEL MISABEN MATULINOHAYDEN DAVISALEHANA MARAPAUL RUDMANJUSTIN CARNEGIEDALLAS RENNIE
WARRINGTON Wolves and Huddersfield Giants have announced their respective 20-man squads for the engage Super League clash at The Halliwell Jones Stadium on Sunday.
ROUND 18 Melbourne Storm 10 v Brisbane Broncos 4at Olympic Park, MelbourneCrowd: 15,479Referees: Sean HampsteadMatch Summary:The Melbourne Storm have clung on to a six point lead to claim an enjoyable 10-4 win over the Brisbane Broncos in front of 15,479 fans at Olympic Park in Melbourne. The Storm led 6-0 at half time.Cameron Smith opened the scoring in the eighth minute with his only goal of the night following a penalty for a supposed high tackle. At this time the Storm had to make an early and unexpected change with Antonio Kaufusi having to leave the field with a leg injury. He would make a return shortly afterwards however. Only three minutes after Kaufusi was forced off the field the news got worse for the Storm when Scott Hill was forced to leave the field with a sternum injury. Hill was surprisingly pronounced able to return to the field after half time, but he wasn?t needed as the halves pairing of Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk were gelling particularly well. After 15 minutes Cameron Smith missed a tough penalty goal and the score remained 2-0. The game went from end to end with both teams having strong attacking opportunities, but it was a Broncos error that led to the first try after 28 minutes. Tonie Carroll knocked on and the ball ended up in Slaters hands. He set off and got around several defenders before the cover defence looked to have him wrapped up before he flicked a pass behind his back ? Benji Marshall style ? to a flying Steve Turner who raced away to score in the corner. The try was unconverted, and the Storm were up 6-0. Cooper Cronk almost made the Storm lead seven points, but he hit the crossbar with his field goal attempt on halftime.The second half was far sloppier than the first half. The Storm scored a decisive try 17 minutes into the half when Ryan Hoffman got the ball down out wide for a 10-0 lead. After this the Storm were almost constantly under pressure as they dropped the ball coming out of their own end plenty of times, as well as having fullback Billy Slater put under pressure. Brisbane winger Brent Tate was denied a try by the video referee after an hour, when he was knocked into touch before getting to the try line. The Broncos did score with seven minutes to go when Greg Eastwood benefited from some rare enterprising offloads from the Broncos. However the Broncos attack was largely nullified by the impressive Storm defence and the Storm comfortably held out late, desperate attack from the Broncos.The Storm go six points clear at the top of the ladder, at least temporarily. Next week they travel to EnergyAustralia Stadium to face the Knights, while the Broncos are assured of two points from the bye.Scorers:Melbourne Storm: 10Tries: Ryan Hoffman, Steve TurnerGoals: Cameron Smith 1/4Brisbane Broncos: 4Tries: Greg EastwoodHalf time: 6-0 StormBy the Clock:Good evening from Olympic Park Stadium in Melbourne. Tonights is a much anticipated top of the table clash between the Melbourne Storm and the Brisbane Broncos. The Storm cannot be knocked off the top tonight, but the Broncos can move to within two points of them. Very impressive looking crowd in tonight. It's raining.1 min: The Broncos kick off!7 min: The Broncos are penalised for a high shot, and Matt King is warned for running in for a little push and shove. Penalty goal attempt to come...8 min: PENALTY GOAL Melbourne StormCameron Smith lands the goal for the Broncos high tackle. Storm 2-08 min: INJURY - Antonio Kaufusi off with a knee injury.11 min: INJURY - Scott Hill in injured in backplay.11 min: The Broncos first attacking chance ends with a Tate grubber going dead. The Storm already down to 15.15 min: ATTEMPTED PENALTY GOAL Melbourne StormWebcke is penalised for interfering with the play the ball. Smith hooks the rather difficult shot. Storm 2-020 min: The Broncos lose the ball, but they are saved after a poor Slater kick on tackle two.22 min: Storm put up a bomb, it comes down to Boyd who makes a 50 metre run before he is dragged down by Slater. The Broncos pick up a penalty a few plays later.23 min: The Broncos pick up a line drop out after Geyer just manages to knock a kick dead.24 min: The Broncos go very close, and on the next play Hoffman comes up with a fingertip intercept.26 min: Kaufusi is back on for the Storm.28 min: TRY Melbourne StormA classic Storm try. The Broncos knock on at one end of the field. Slater picks it up and sets off, as the cover comes across to get him, he throws a Benji pass to Steve Turner who races away and scores in the corner. Smith misses the conversion. Storm 6-034 min: UPDATE - Scott Hill has had a painkiller, he's got a sternum injury, and may be back tonight. Highly unlikely though. He's doing pushups in the sheds though.36 min: Melbourne make a mistake 20 out from their own line. Sustained Broncos pressure.40 min: Minto takes a bomb and then runs over the sideline, the Storm get a scrum 15 out with 40 seconds to go. The Storm pick up a drop out with 20 seconds to go.40 min: ATTEMPTED FIELD GOAL Melbourne StormCronk attempts a field goal, and he hits the crossbar. Storm 6-0We go to halftime with the Storm up 6-0. The Storm have won 11 out of 11 this year when leading at halftime.StatisticsPossession: 51-49%Completions: Storm 21/24 Broncos 16/22Tackles/Missed: Storm 189/22, Broncos 182/16Offloads: Broncos 4-3Errors: Broncos 6-341 min: The second half is underway!43 min: UPDATE - Scott Hill will be right to return to the field for the second half.50 min: Both sides making a few errors at the moment.51 min: INJURY - Lacey coming from the field, looking very groggy.54 min: The Broncos hold out a stong Storm attack.55 min: Seymour puts a kick out on the full.56 min: A Slater kick on the third tackle nets a line drop out.57 min: TRY Melbourne StormThe Storm send the ball wide on the last, and find Hoffman who scores out wide. Smith misses the conversion. Storm 10-061 min: Slater knocks a bomb on 10 out from the Storm line.61 min: Video ref for an unlikely Broncos try...61 min: NO TRY - BroncosTate nearly goes in in the corner, but Slater hits him and knocks him onto the sideline just short of the try line.62 min: Brisbane run across the sideline early in the tackle count.65 min: Geyer comes down claiming a try, but the Storm are ruled to have knocked on.67 min: Slater knocks a Broncos attacking kick into touch.68 min: The Storm shut the Broncos down on the last tackle.70 min: Again the Storm hold the Broncos out on the last tackle. The Storm are making a lot of errors coming out of thier own end.71 min: Storm defending very well, although they are putting themselves under pressure.73 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosWebcke breaks through, he offloads to Berrigan who offloads to Lockyer who throws a great pass out to Eastwood who scores in the corner. Parker misses. Storm 10-475 min: CROWD - 15,47978 min: Thaiday can't hold onto the ball on the last tackle bare metres out.79 min: The Storm clean up a Seymour chip kick.80 min: The Broncos get one play to spin the ball wide, but they knock the ball on.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Cameron Smith (Storm)2 - Billy Slater (Storm)1 - Ryan Hoffman (Storm)-----------------------------------------
SOME important clashes this weekend, as Superleague gets one match closer to the play-offs. Only nine games to go, and this is the crunch time of the season where good clubs stand up and bad clubs can fall ? all the way down to a lower division. Round 20, game on!
QUEENSLAND great Kevin Walters believes Darren Lockyer's command performance in the State of Origin win on Wednesday has settled the debate about whether the five-eighth should ever return to fullback.
PARRAMATTA centre Timana Tahu has vowed to salvage something from a nightmare NRL season after the NSW star was ruled out for six to eight weeks with a knee injury.Tahu damaged medial ligaments in his right knee in the dying minutes of the Blues' loss to Queensland on Wednesday and will have scans today to confirm the lengthy layoff. TAHU remains convinced the Eels can still make a charge at the NRL finals despite his absence and their lowly 14th position.Elsewhere, the Brisbane Broncos will decide today whether centre Brent Tate has recovered well enough from a knee injury to play in tonight's NRL game in Melbourne. The Storm is hoping for a crowd of more than 12,000 at Olympic Park for the match between the top two sides on the NRL ladder.Tate, one of the heroes of Queensland's victory over NSW on Wednesday, has a grade one medial ligament tear. If he can't play, he'll be replaced by Nick Emmett who impressed in his first-grade debut against Cronulla last week.
WITH the rep season having drawn to a spectacular finish on Wednesday night, we find ourselves entering the home stretch with the final 9 rounds of NRL action remaining. A few players may still have a bit of a hangover from Origin but that should be well and truly forgotten by next week.
A Stadium led recovery
PREVIEW notes and teams for Round 16 of the Queensland Wizard Cup.
THE Redcliffe District Rugby League Football Club Head Coach Mr. Neil Wharton has announced his resignation to the Club?s President Mr. Des Webb.
OUT of the hunt in the Queensland Cup, Redcliffe has remained alive in its defence of the Mixwell Cup, beating Norths 22-18 in Sunday?s elimination final.
ONE of the Redcliffe Dolphins' most promising players has joined the North Queensland Cowboys.
Boom second-rower Gavin Cooper will play the 2005 season with the NRL emerging force.
He will be joined by talented Redcliffe teenage centre Charles Vis, who already has turned out for the Dolphins in the Queensland Cup.
Cooper said the Cowboys, who had signed him for its 25-strong NRL roster, wanted him to start training in mid-October in Townsville.
"I signed with the Cowboys in late July when I was out with illness," he said. "I got glandular fever soon after the state under 19 match and missed six weeks of football."
The lanky backrower, who lost 13 kilograms from his 102 kilogram frame, has only just put the weight back on in recent weeks.
"I've been told I will be slotted into the second-row with the Cowboys depending how fit into the system of things there," said Cooper, who turned 19 on August 19.
"It would be great to get an early look in NRL calculations. Of course I know Shane Tronc up there, who is killing them, and a couple of the Queensland under 19s."
Cooper's brother Dustin also played for the Dolphins before joining the Melbourne Storm two seasons ago.
MOST rugby league followers realise that the hooker and halfback roles are fairly interchangeable in today's football.
Pepsi Dolphins No 9 Caleb McEniery fits that bill perfectly after graduating from the halves in the club's A grade to the man in the middle of the Premier League scrum.
By the time of the last regular season fixture, McEniery had racked up 12 top team appearances for 2004 after three previous outings in first grade last season and two in his first season at the club.
Most of his previous outings had been at halfback when Michael Roberts was out injured.
"I was playing five-eighth with Bertie Campbell's side when I was called up to Premier Grade this year," he said.
"I'd rather be at pivot because I like to be a playmaker, but maybe hooker is the position for me. Perhaps I could make it my own with the Fins."
McEniery's path to the No 6 jersey is halted by one S. Perry, a fixture since he joined the club.
"I've played 12 straight matches in the top side up until the last fixture against Norths and I've really enjoyed it," he said.
"You are always in the action and I've always been big on defence and that's my strength in the game.
"So that part of the game suits me and I find that once I get my defence right in a game the rest of it comes after that.
"Premier Grade matches are all tough and every team seems to step up a notch when they play Redcliffe.''
McEniery was one of several rakes for 2004 following in the boots of Nathan Black, Justin McKay and Matt Anderton as players tried in the spot.
Another Sunshine Coast product at Dolphin Oval, McEniery is still only 21 but in his three seasons with the Dolphins has notched two grand final appearances for a victory and a loss.
In 2002, he was a member of the Colts side downed by the Broncos-aligned Wests before claiming a title last side with the A grade against Wynnum.
At 87 kilograms, McEniery has the size to acquit himself well in the forwards, his darting runs and skill helping break up opposition defensive lines.
A Caloundra Sharks junior, some of his former clubmates include National rugby League regulars Casey Maguire, Craig Hall and Adam Mogg.
As for the future? "I've not decided what to do about next season," he said. "I'll see what comes around. I do know that I want to make a future out of football."
And if you think you have seen his surname before in a program, you are right. Caleb's older brother Drew played three seasons in the red and white before leaving for Perth the season his younger sibling arrived.
WELL for the first time since 1993 the Redcliffe first grade side isn?t in the semi finals and I?d be lying if I said it didn?t hurt but we?ll bounce back make no bones about that. The first grade and colts may be out of contention but Bertie Campbell?s A graders are still in there flying the flag, so all you supporters get along and cheer the boys home.
Injuries haven?t been kind to us but we won?t use that for an excuse we just were not good enough when it mattered. Losing Daniel Green and Andrew Wynyard was a negative but on the positive side we saw the emergence of the Texas Ranger Nick Walker who more than held his own in top company. An interesting comment was heard from the doctor that Wynny was carrying a few too many kilos around the mid rift so it looks like I?ll have to get on to Wally and get him to cut down Wynny?s muffin intake at smoko.
Words cannot describe the admiration I have for Troy Lindsay. Seeing him cart it in to the Burleigh pack time after time made we wish I could put a jersey on just to help him out. Cowboy is the first to training and last to leave and leaves no stone unturned in his preparation if he has an injury he gives himself every chance to play. And his form well I think the old bloke is playing as well as he ever has. I just wish he was 21 not 31.
When we were up in Rockhampton CEO James Hinchey and myself to catch up for chardonnay with our old mate Ross O?Reilly who popped into our hotel for chat to catch up on old times.
A funny story happened at the Club the other Friday Daley White was working in the garden when a patron come to reception and said there was a strange looking fella hanging about in the garden after three police cars and a motor bike turned up it was worked out that it was actually Daley who was the sus looking bloke.
As most of us oldies would remember Bob Geldoff?s band the Boomtown Rats who had a big hit with the song I don?t like Mondays well the Dolphins (And I think cruelly) have a group of players nicknamed the Boomtown Rats because they never train the first session of week. I?m sure it?s just coincidence that these guys are hurt or sick every Tuesday night of the season.
Quite a few of the Queensland Cup side have played their last game for the club with Ben Jones, Charles Vis and Gavin Cooper heading to the NRL while Brian Jellick and Matty Anderton head off to the land of red wine and crossoints for the next part of their careers, we wish the boys all the best and if something doesn?t work they?ll always have a home with the Red and White.
I have also heard a strong rumour that a future superstar of the game has been signed to long term deal with the Dolphins. He has signed a 16year deal lucrative contract with the Fins, 5 month old Angus Hinchey and strong as an ox already has a strong passing game which he must?ve learned from his mum because we all know he wouldn?t have got it from his dad.
Next month I will have the annual Robbo Reckons awards for the year and let me tell you there is no more prestigious award in the game than the Robbo.
I?ll have to love you and leave you I?m sure as you all know it?s Mad Monday.
Until next month
THE Wests Tigers have defeated the Parramatta Eels at Parramatta Stadium tonight by 18-2 renewing hope of scoring a top eight berth.