Dragons still a danger without Barrett: Lang

PENRITH NRL coach John Lang believes St George Illawarra still pose a huge threat even without ill skipper Trent Barrett.Barrett will miss Sunday's WIN Stadium clash as he continues his recovery from a stomach virus which caused him to spend a night in hospital earlier in the week. Lang says that while Barrett's absence is a bonus for the Panthers, he says the Dragons have too many class players to be taken lightly.Dragons coach Nathan Brown has named regular hooker Dean Young at pivot, though Lang isn't expecting Young to play like a traditional five-eighth. Lang has added Kiwi international Frank Pritchard to his bench, replacing Mark O'Halloran.

Bennett felt embarrassed by Cowboy mauling

BRISBANE coach Wayne Bennett has revealed his embarrassment for his players and the fans following Sunday's 36-4 flogging at the hands of North Queensland.Bennett says he appreciated the fact fans didn't walk out early after the Cowboys led 30-0 midway through the second half. The longtime Broncos mentor says he knows his side is better than the performance suggested, claiming it was just a bad day at the office.The Broncos have lost their last eight games going back before last season's finals series.

Searle says don't bother coming for a party

NRL players hoping to join the new Gold Coast franchise for hard-core partying or an extended holiday are in for a rude shock after tough conditioner Billy Johnstone signed a three-year deal with the Titans.The Kangaroos, Queensland Origin and North Queensland conditioner will head to the tourist strip at the end of this season to help the Titans prepare to enter the 2007 competition. Titans boss Michael Searle expects Johnstone's signing will frighten off some players but says he doesn't want them on the Gold Coast if they're not prepared to train under a strict regime.Johnstone was the Gold Coast Giants' inaugural signing and captained the first national rugby league team in the region.

Raiders re-sign Howell

CANBERRA has re-signed centre David Howell for two more NRL seasons.Widely tipped as a future star for the Raiders, Howell has been a priority signing since the end of last season. The 22-year-old arrived at the club last season after debuting with St George Illawarra in 2003.

Redcliffe Dolphins News

ROUND 1 of the competitions saw the Dolphins sit the weekend out with the first up bye however this weekend sees the Club traveling west to tackle Ipswich in 3 grades who are sure to provide stiff competition after bolstering their ranks in the off-season with guys looking for an opportunity with the Titans in 2007.Last weekend wasn?t wasted with the Club holding its season launch in the Des Webb Lounge of the Redcliffe Leagues Club on Friday. The event was well attended and the Dolphins would like to thank EMERALD Executive Chairman Eddy Faress, Mark Schulman from PAYNTER DIXON and Howard White from IGT for coming along. Thanks also to the players, staff, coaches and their partners for making the night an enjoyable occasion.This seasons Colts side is a young, talented outfit and should play their best footy towards the back end of the season. This is not to say they won?t do well early as we are sure they will it will just take a few rounds for the younger guys in the squad to adjust to the standard of competition they are now in. Some of the guys to keep an eye on this year will be Matt Gillett, Foisa Peni, Asher Elemani, Phil Daisy and Logan Sullivan. Enjoy the year boys, we are sure you will do the Dolphins proud.Grant Cleal?s A Grade squad go into the Ipswich match with some patchy trial form behind them. With an injury free senior squad at the moment the players will be keen to impress for selection in the Premier Grade when the opportunity arises and our supporters should see an improvement in the team?s performance this weekend. It?s great to see a number of last seasons Colts progress into the side with Scott Gillis, Brad Massey and Dominic Fallini all featuring.The Premier Grade confronts a bit of an unknown with the Jets not giving much away throughout the off-season. The word is the Jets will field a young side with a number of players making the move into the QLD Wizard Cup from the Premier League in Sydney. Dolphins Coach Anthony Griffin has been happy with the player?s application and anticipates an improved level of competition this season with the Jets providing the first insight into how the Dolphins stack up in 2006. Off season signings Marty Turner, Pat Gardner, Adam Fletcher and Alwyn Simpson are the new faces in the squad for the first fixture and have been rewarded for some good form in the trials.Congratulations to Shane Perry on making his debut for the Broncos last weekend against the Cowboys, unfortunately the result didn?t quite go as he would have liked however he can be proud of his effort. Shane?s elevation into the Broncos has provided a timely reminder to the rest of the players of the value the new Dolphins/Broncos affiliation provides and of opportunities that are available.Don?t forget to come down to Dolphin Oval for the round 3 games when the Western District Panthers take on our lower grades in the Fogs Cups and the Premier Grade come up against the Central Comets in the QLD Wizard Cup.This weeks teamsQueensland Wizard Cup1. Ryan Cullen 2. Alwyn Simpson 3. Nick Emmett 4 Greg Bourke 5. Adam Fletcher 6. Chris Fox 7. Marty Turner 8. Adam Starr (c) 9. Michael Roberts 10. Pat Gardner 11. Grant Flugge 12. Danny Burke 13. Danny Green Interchange 14. Shannon Fish 15. Duane O'Grady 16. Danian Jentz 17. Clint FrazerCoach Anthony GriffinFogs A Grade1. Mark Christensen 2. Kaine Manihera 3. Pat McGill 4. Rory Bromley 5. Lucas Dearden 6. Matt Anderton 7. Chris Jelich 8. Daniel Jones 9. Scott Gillis 10. Darren Glase 11. Richard Russell 12. Mark Shipway 13. Gerard Parle (c) Interchange 14. James Douglas 15. Brad Massey 16. Dominic Fallini 17. Chris GiumelliCoach Grant ClealFogs Colts Challenge1. Phil Daisy 2. Dion Porteous 3. Matt Gillett 4. Michael Wilson 5. James Derbyshire 6. Bob Jones 7. Asher Elemani 8. Greg Malenstein 9. Tom Donnelly 10. Matt Handcock 11. Foisa Peni 12. Logan Sullivan 13. Tim Benson (c) Interchange 14. Jon Broad 15. Jordon Brown 16. Sam Schull 17. Angus CameronCoach Craig Ingebrigtsen

Morley punished again while others go free

ANYONE who has access to a replay of last Friday Night's clash between the Wests Tigers and Dragons get it out and have a look at the incident just before halftime involving Benji Marshall and Reece Simmonds. Put it on super slow motion and take a close look where Simmonds? shoulder hits Marshall... While Simmonds is putting his arms around Marshall in his effort at tackling the Tigers five-eighth look at the top of Simmonds? left shoulder and witness how it collects Marshall on the chin. While the side of Simmonds? head appears to impact on Marshall's cheekbone and thus broke it, it is clear that contact has been made by Simmonds? shoulder with the head of Marshall. Now with the Adrian Morley hit every comment/report says that the issue is not with intent but the fact Morley?s shoulder made contact with the head of an opponent. Now I'll go on the record now - Morley did not intend to knock Walker out. It was one of those plays where the playmaker drifts wide into the defence trying to pick out a gap runner and Morley, as Walker's designated defender, slides with him. Walker held the ball longer than he could afford to and not expect not to be tackled. Both player?s momentum resulted in Walker?s head colliding with Morley?s sliding shoulder. There was never any intent on Morley's part to wallop Walker in the melon, but yes (I cannot nor can the Roosters or Morley deny) there was clear and indisputable contact with the head from Morley's shoulder. Go out next weekend in your game (if you play league/union) and carry the ball on the angle towards the outside of your defender, hold onto it too long, see if you run into the bloke and see if the momentum you and the defender are carrying doesn't result in a significant body clash. The difference here is Walker almost bends into line and thus Morley's shoulder and as Morley realises Walker still has the ball he shifts some of his weight back towards the way he was coming from. Try running at a good speed and changing your body weight back the other way and see if your shoulder does not dip like Morley?s. Now if we go back to Marshall and Simmonds quickly and break down that play you?ll find Brett Hodgson takes the ball on the left edge running into half gap. He draws the inside defender leaving Marshall and Simmonds marking up only metres apart close to the sideline. Simmonds rushes in and tries to smash Marshall to shut down the play and to negate the room outside him. The hospital pass Hodgson delivers does not help Marshall at all but Simmonds intends to rush in and close down the play. Simmonds launches himself (sadly not quite in the Martin Masella/Tongan Torpedo style) towards Marshall to wrap the ball up, hits Marshall hard and does the job to stop the play. But since his shoulder connects with Marshall's chin (so his head) and his own head connects with Marshall's cheekbone (which results in the fracture) ? does that not entail attacking the head of an opponent. Now if the issue here regarding suspension is purely intent then I believe Morley should have been exonerated. But the issue being used as reasoning for the two week suspension Morley will serve is simply that significant contact with the head of the attacker was made by the shoulder of the defender - then why was Reece Simmonds praised for his intentional ball and all tackle on Marshall and Morley is chastised yet again as the villain when there was no intent in his clash with Walker outside of containing (not laying out the ball carrier) Walker?s run with the football. If I was any kind of judiciary I would have let Adrian Morley off on the basis of a clear lack of intent regardless of the contact made. The circumstances certainly showed he had no desire to flatten Walker in a tackle otherwise he would have rushed out and made short work of Walker. But had he done that and not completed the tackle he would have been criticised for not sliding across and for rushing out with a low percentage play. So in essence Morley does the right thing defensively and is now on the sidelines for two weeks because of it. Reece Simmonds (Beau Champion etc) also made the right play in his game but showed far more intent to come in and level Benji Marshall. So what is the argument? Is it simply Intent vs. Contact or a combination of both? Either way if Morley is on the sidelines then Simmonds and probably a good number of players from the weekend matches should be as well. But this is the NRL judiciary we're talking about so...Look out for the NSC Rugby League Almanac, comprising every player at each club, to be launched soon on League Unlimited.

Round 2 Teams and Fixtures

FRIDAY, 17th March 2006Wests v Canterbury at Telstra Stadium, 7:30pmTigers: Brett Hodgson (c), Michael Crockett, Dean Collis, Paul Whatuira, Jamaal Lolesi, Daniel Fitzhenry, Scott Prince, Bryce Gibbs, Robbie Farah, John Skandalis, Anthony Laffranchi, Todd Payten, Ben GaleaInterchange: Ben Reynolds, Keith Galloway, Ryan O'Hara, Sam HarrisBulldogs: Luke Patten, Hazem El Masri, Andrew Emelio, Willie Tonga, Matt Utai, Daniel Holdsworth, Brent Sherwin, Chris Armit, Corey Hughes, Roy Asotasi, Willie Mason, Andrew Ryan (c), Tony GrimaldiInterchange: Reni Maitua, Mark O'Meley, Adam Perry, Jon Green, Billy NgawiniReferee: Steve ClarkSaturday, 18th March 2006Parramatta v New Zealand at Waikato Stadium (Hamilton), 5:30pmEels: Wade McKinnon, Luke Burt, Ben Smith, Timana Tahu, Eric Grothe, John Morris, Tim Smith, Nathan Cayless (c), Mark Riddell, Paul Stringer, Nathan Hindmarsh, Chad Robinson, Glenn MorrisonInterchange: PJ Marsh, Dean Widders, Josh Cordoba, Michael Vella, Daniel Wagon (one to be omitted)Warriors: Brent Webb, Todd Byrne, Tony Martin, Clinton Toopi, Manu Vatuvei, Jerome Ropati, Nathan Fien, Ruben Wiki, Lance Hohaia, Steve Price (c), Awen Guttenbeil, Michael Luck, Louis AndersonInterchange: Grant Rovelli, Evarn Tuimavave, Epalahame Lauaki, Wairangi KoopuReferee: Sean HampsteadCronulla v Brisbane at Toyota Park, 7.30pmSharks: David Simmons, Darren Albert, Beau Scott, Phil Bailey, Luke Covell, Adam Dykes, Brett Kimmorley, Ben Ross, Kevin Kingston, Hutch Maiava, Reece Williams, Lance Thompson, Greg BirdInterchange: Phil Leuluai, Luke Douglas, Cameron Ciraldo, Tevita Latu, Luke Harlen, Darren Mapp (two to be omitted)Broncos: Karmichael Hunt, Steve Michaels, Justin Hodges, Shaun Berrigan, Darius Boyd, Darren Lockyer (c), Brett Seymour, Shane Webcke, Michael Ennis, Petero Civoniceva, Dane Carlaw, David Stagg, Casey McGuireInterchange: Brad Thorn, Ben Hannant, Neville Costigan, Greg Eastwood, Tame Tupou (one to be omitted)Referee: Russell SmithNorth Queensland v Manly at Dairy Farmers Stadium, 9.30pm (AEDT)Cowboys: Matt Bowen, Neil Sweeney, Ty Williams, Paul Bowman, Matt Sing, Johnathan Thurston, Brett Firman, Mitchell Sargent, Aaron Payne, Shane Tronc, Jacob Lillyman, Luke O'Donnell, Travis Norton (c)Interchange: David Faiumu, Steve Southern, Justin Smith, Matthew ScottSea Eagles: Brett Stewart, Paul Stephenson, Steve Bell, Steve Matai, Chris Hicks, Michael Monaghan, Matt Orford, Jason King, Shane Dunley, Brent Kite, Steve Menzies, Anthony Watmough, Ben Kennedy (c)Interchange: Travis Burns, Luke Williamson, Kylie Leuluai, Mark Bryant, Adam Cuthbertson (one to be omitted)Referee: Paul SimpkinsSunday, 19th March 2006Sydney v Melbourne at Aussie Stadium at 2.30pmRoosters: Anthony Minichiello, Amos Roberts, Ryan Cross, Iosia Soliola, Sam Perrett, Braith Anasta, Jamie Soward, David Shillington, Brett Finch, Craig Fitzgibbon (c), Anthony Tupou, Chris Flannery, Ashley HarrisonInterchange: Craig Wing, Nigel Plum, Shane Shackleton, Lopini PaeaStorm: Billy Slater, Matt Geyer, Matt King, Greg Inglis, Jake Webster, Scott Hill, Cooper Cronk, Garret Crossman, Cameron Smith, Antonio Kaufusi, David Kidwell (c), Michael Crocker, Dallas JohnsonInterchange: Brett White, Ryan Hoffman, Ian Donnelly, Steve Turner, Jamie Feeney (one to be omitted)Referee: Tony ArcherSt George Illawarra v Penrith at WIN Stadium at 3.00pmDragons: Clint Greenshields, Reece Simmonds, Mark Gasnier, Matt Cooper, Colin Best, Dean Young, Ben Hornby (c), Luke Bailey, Aaron Gorrell, Jason Ryles, Corey Payne, Ashton Sims, Andrew PriceInterchange: Justin Poore, Michael Henderson, Matt Bickerstaff, George Ndaira.Panthers: Rhys Wesser, Lee Hookey, Danny Galea, Luke Lewis, Nick Youngquest, Preston Campbell, Craig Gower, Joel Clinton, Luke Priddis, Craig Stapleton, Matthew Cross, Tony Puletua (c), Shane RodneyInterchange: Frank Puletua, Bryan Norrie, Frank Pritchard, Luke SwainReferee: Shayne HayneCanberra v Newcastle at Canberra Stadium, 3.00pmRaiders: Clinton Schifcofske (c), Adrian Purtell, Phil Graham, David Howell, Adam Mogg, Jason Smith, Lincoln Withers, Willie Raston, Simon Woolford, Troy Thompson, Ben Jones, Jason Croker, Alan TongueInterchange: Todd Carney, Terry Martin, Tom Learoyd-Lars, Michael HodgsonKnights: Milton Thaiday, Brian Carney, Matthew Gidley, George Carmont, Anthony Quinn, Kurt Gidley, Andrew Johns (c), Craig Smith, Danny Buderus, Josh Perry, Steve Simpson, Kirk Reynoldson, Reegan TannerInterchange: Adam Woolnough, Daniel Tolar, Riley Brown, Todd Lowrie.Referee: Jason Robinson

Broncos team for Sharks match

Karmichael Hunt, Steven Michaels, Justin Hodges, Shaun Berrigan, Darius Boyd, Darren Lockyer, Brett Seymour, Shane Webcke, Michael Ennis, Petero Civoniceva, Dane Carlaw, David Stagg, Casey McGuire. Subs: Brad Thorn, Ben Hannant, Neville Costigan, Greg Eastwood, Tame Tupou (one to be omitted)

Junior Dolphins News

SIGN-ON day with the junior Dolphins saw one of the Peninsula's favourite sons return to Dolphin Oval. Current Bronco and international front-rower Petero Civoniceva spent the morning welcoming more than 200 new kids to the club which helped get his own career on the road to success. The most new registrations in quite some time is a testament to the popularity of the game at the moment, particularly in the primary schools in our district.Thank you to all who volunteered to help out on the day. Without your efforts the day would not have run so smoothly. The Dolphins Old Boys and Keystar Auto World kept the crowd busy with free food and drinks and other giveaways on the day.Our season kicks off with trials on March 5 and 12. All teams will trial on these days against clubs including Norths and Aspley as well as the Kawana club, which will travel to Dolphin Oval this year. The Allan's Tiles pre-season challenge will start on the weekend of March 17-19 for the competition age groups. Fixtures for the under sevens to under 10s will also start on that weekend. Enjoyment is the priority for all those involved with our junior players at the Dolphins, so let's get behind the kids this year and support them in their efforts to learn more about this great game and to have fun during the football season.Grant ClealCoaching and development manager

Sea Eagles name team for round 2 clash

BRETT Stewart, Paul Stephenson, Steve Bell, Steve Matai, Chris Hicks, Michael Monaghan, Matt Orford, Jason King, Shayne Dunley, Brent Kite, Steve Menzies, Anthony Watmough, Ben Kennedy (c). Interchange: Travis Burns, Luke Williamson, Kylie Leuluai, Mark Bryant, Adam Cuthbertson (1 player to be omitted)

Robbo Reckons

WHOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Gees it was finally good to see some footy action on the weekend even though it was a trial it was just good to see a live footy game.I am a fan of the new strip the boys are now wearing it is very much like the old Dolphins strips from the late 70?s and 80?s. It was a fair crowd for a trial, about 2000 I?d say and although it wasn?t the Broncos big names I think there will be a few future stars come out of that lot. It was a decent hit out for the boys although the end of the game got a bit scrappy. The combinations will come and in a few weeks that?ll just be a distant memory.Greg Bourke has bulked up a lot and not an ounce of fat (a lot like myself) I heard one guy quip he looks like he swallowed a body builder. It was good to see Mark Shipway back in Redcliffe colours after 10 years and didn?t he excite the pig pen with a few bone rattlers on the young Broncs.I think the guys were really happy to be on the field without trainer Tony Guilfoyle putting them through some cruel and unusual punishment. I was impressed with a few of the new players Pat Gardner now he likes a collision I think in his next life he will come back as a dodgem car or a wrecking ball, Kaine Manihera was good at times and I think our new half Marty Turner will get better and better each game for us. Alwyn Simpson in the reggies played well as did Phil Daisy, Michael Wilson and Tim Benson in the colts. Not that you could really class Tim as a new comer I remember when he was our mascot and led us out onto the field gees I am getting old.Well it had to happen sooner or later and most of us expected sooner Shannon Fish has come out with another clanger that he is famous for when he was talking to a few of the boys after the game he was telling them how happy he was with his new girlfriend and how he wouldn?t be going out with them on that night, he said ?I am a one man women? somehow I think he meant one woman man but keep it up Fishy you give me plenty of material. I attended the junior sign on day and once again I was blown away 200 new signings to the club the line up went for more than 50 metres and I think we signed up more than 700 kids on the day it was just amazing. Also how a bloke this guy I?m talking about Petero Civoniceva who gave up his own time to come along to the sign on and mix with both the kids and parents for over an hour. Petero of course is a local junior but these guys have so much dumped on them and don?t always get a lot of free time for him to do it I think was just great, and to see the smiles on the kids faces it was worth a million dollars.Now one last thing I won?t mention names for fear of my safety who are the two former Dolphins hardmen who never gave an inch when they played who have sons playing in the juniors who are dying their hair, like I said I won?t mention names I might get my ears BOXed in and I can?t fight like WBO lightweight champion Artur GrIGorian.Until next month Cheers Robbo

Storm team for Roosters clash

MELBOURNE Storm coach Craig Bellamy has named an unchanged 18-man squad for this Sunday?s Round 2 clash against the Sydney Roosters. The game will be played at Sydney's Aussie Stadium at 2:30pm.After their win against the New Zealand Warriors last weekend at Auckland?s Ericsson Stadium, Bellamy has decided no changes to the side are necessary.After their dazzling display last weekend against the Warriors, Matt Geyer and Greg Inglis will once again be paired on the left while on the right, Matt King will partner Jake Webster.Keeping his front-row starting spot is Garrett Crossman who was voted last weekend's players player-of-the-match by his teammates for his performance in nullifying dangerous internationals Steve Price and Ruben Wiki.Jamie Feeney has again been named as 18th man.Squad for Sunday's game:Starting team:1. Billy Slater2. Matt Geyer3. Matt King4. Greg Inglis5. Jake Webster6. Scott Hill7. Cooper Cronk8. Garret Crossman9. Cameron Smith10. Antonio Kaufusi11. David Kidwell12. Michael Crocker13. Dallas JohnsonSubs: 14. Brett White15. Ryan Hoffman16. Ian Donnelly17. Steve Turner18. Jamie Feeney(one to be omitted)Coach:Craig Bellamy

Sharks side named for first game of 2006

1. David Simmons2. Darren Albert 3. Beau Scott4. Phil Bailey5. Luke Covell6. Adam Dykes7. Brett Kimmorley (c)8. Ben Ross 9. Kevin Kingston 10. Hutch Maiava11. Reece Williams12. Lance Thompson13. Greg BirdSubs:14. Phil Leuluai15. Luke Douglas 16. Cameron Ciraldo17. Tevita Latu18. Luke Harlen19. Darren Mapp(two to be omitted)

Dragons side for Penrith encounter

LOCAL Dragon and international prop Jason Ryles will play his 100th first grade game for St George Illawarra against the Panthers this Sunday at WIN Stadium in the Dragons first home game for 2006.Dragons 2005 leading try scorer Colin Best returns to NRL on the wing and Dean Young will start at five-eighth.George Ndaira, 21, will make his NRL debut from the interchange. Ndaira, a St George Junior, was a member of the Dragons Jersey Flegg 2005 Premiership winning team.Unavailable Dragons due to illness/injury are: Trent Barrett (stomach virus), Wes Naiqama (ankle), Ben Creagh (knee), Shaun Timmins (knee) and Mathew Head (knee).NRL - Dragons v Panthers3.00pm, Sunday 19 March 2006WIN StadiumCoach: Nathan Brown1. Clint Greenshields2. Reece Simmonds3. Mark Gasnier4. Matt Cooper5. Colin Best6. Dean Young7. Ben Hornby (c)8. Luke Bailey9. Aaron Gorrell10. Jason Ryles11. Corey Payne12. Ashton Sims13. Andrew PriceSubs:14. Justin Poore15. Michael Henderson16. Matt Bickerstaff17. George NdairaPremier League - Dragons v Cougars1.00pm Sunday 19 March 2006WIN StadiumCoach: Steven Price 1. Brett MORRIS2. Josh MORRIS3. Beau MUNDINE4. Daryl MILLARD5. Tom HEWITT6. Reece BLAYNEY7. Chris SHEPPARD (c)8. Charlie LEAENO9. Brad DAVIDSON10. Chris HOUSTON (c)11. Sam ISEMONGER12. Lee TE MAARI13. Aaron WHEATLEY14. Danny WICKS15. Jamie DUNNING16. Willie TUPOU17. Beau RYAN18. Tom HABERECHT19. Bryson GOODWINJersey Flegg - Dragons v Panthers11.20am Sunday 19 March 2006WIN StadiumCoach: Corey Pearson1. Jason NIGHTINGALE2. Peter REEVES3. Junior SEUMANUTAFA4. Keith LULIA5. Rota SETU6. Blake DUREAU7. Matt SEAMARK8. Jhi TANNER9. Lewis McPHAIL10. Chris FARRELL11. Lagi SETU12. James GREHAN13. Brian WEST (c)14. Matt PRIOR15. Luke YOUNG16. Scott SABLOWSKI17. Luke IRWIN18. Nathan WYNN19. James KEELAN

Flashback: 1976 Woolies semi final

IN a sensational Woolies Pre-Season semi-final, five players were sent off by referee Bernie Pramberg in a ?needle? match between competition glamour sides Wests and Redcliffe. It was inconsequential that Wests went on to win the match 37-0, given Redcliffe finished the match with only nine players, while the Panthers ended up with twelve. The match was a joke as a contest, and a disgraceful exhibition of over-vigorous and unnecessary violent play by otherwise high-quality star players.There had been a long-standing feud between both clubs following Ron Raper?s decision to leave Redcliffe a year earlier, to coach Wests to a memorable but perhaps controversial premiership, winning the grand final against Barry Muir?s Redcliffe side in debatable circumstances. And given Muir had played and coached all his Brisbane football with the Panthers, emotions were always going to run high when the Dolphins and Panthers played big games against one another. Both coaches, but particularly Muir, fired up their teams for this match before they ran out. One could have actually been forgiven for thinking this was a grand final rather than a pre-season match ! Referee Pramberg though, stunned the big Lang Park crowd when he dismissed Dolphins? hefty prop John Barber after the first tackle of the match, for dropping his knees into Wests ball-carrier Rod Bradshaw, electing not to use the five minute ?sin-bin?. Barber?s send-off seemed to set the pattern for the match, with rugged gang-tackling and plenty of illegal play becoming the norm. Between regular forward clashes, Wests dominated the first half of play. Steve Crear scored a sensational try off a Geoff Richardson break, and three penalty goals by Wayne Stewart leaving the Panthers ahead 9-0 at the break.Another eruption in backplay early in the 2nd half, saw Redcliffe prop Steve Bullow sent to the sin-bin. With a two-man advantage, Richardson and centre Harry Cameron combined to send fullback Gary Thomas over for what surely would be a match-winning lead at 12-0. Another brawl erupted following the try, and appeared to involve up to eight players. This incident saw referee Pramberg dispatch Dolphins hooker Bob Jones to the sheds.Wests now began running away with the match, Thomas scoring again and half Greg Oliphant crossing for a clever try, both in quick succession. But in the 55th minute, a scrum erupted into an almighty brawl in front of the Frank Burke grandstand. Every player was involved as the wildly swinging mass continued brawling for what appeared an eternity. Harry Cameron and Redcliffe forward Bev Bleakley crashed over the advertising signage and fought each other up against the sideline fence. The main fight then scattered around the vicinity into several pairs who continued to throw punches, wrestle and head-butt. Pramberg and his touch-judges Pease and O?Brien, were powerless to stop the fighting, and must have been close to calling the match off. When calm eventually restored itself, Rod Bradshaw from Wests and Steve Bullow were immediately sent from the field, exchanging ?pleasantries? all the way to the sideline. An en-masse caution eventuated into a penalty given to Wests, much to the dissatisfaction of the now raucous Redcliffe fans. But only three tackles later, yet another eruption in play over what appeared to be a high-tackle, and Dolphins? fullback Tony Obst was now sent off. This left Redcliffe with only nine men including no front row, and the Panthers ran away with the match easily.When the match ended, the crowd gave plenty of boos all around ? aimed at both teams and the officials. Senior officials from both clubs were nearly at each other in the grandstand also. Redcliffe coach Barry Muir was fuming over what he believed how someone had eavesdropped on his pre-match players talk and then informed the referee that ?something was on?. Wests coach Ron Raper was unavailable for comment after the match, but was clearly unhappy with the ill-discipline of his players. It was a busy night at the judiciary that week, John Barber, Steve Bullow and Rod Bradshaw were all handed three week suspensions, while Bob Jones and Tony Obst copped two weeks each. Referee Pramberg copped an almighty serve in the press over his handling of the match. But the last laugh was on him, as he went on to easily be top referee in Brisbane, eventually controlling the grand final. As a sidenote, Easts beat Norths 23-9 in the other semi-final that was apparently played on that same night !!!

Advertising Opportunities

  Latest Tweets

Advertising Opportunities