Like a Tiger

FOR whatever reason, Easts always have been well-blessed with hookers. Think John Lang, John Dowling, Shane McNally, Wayne Smith (whose son Cameron is the current Origin hooker), Wayne Marshall, George Gatis and John Driscoll. The 2004 season appears no exception with 24-year-old rake Trent Young making every post a winner, to make use of winter carnival parlance. There's even talk around Langlands Park that Young could earn a City jersey for the clash against Country on Saturday, June 26. There's a bit of irony in that considering Young is country born and bred. Now in his second year at Easts, he spent half of last season in A grade and the remainder in Queensland Cup. But with retirements and the luring of Paul Dezolt to the New Zealand Warriors, Young gained first crack at the No 9 jersey and his busy displays have ensured he is one of the first selected by coach Michael Booth. All this from a boy from Roma in south-western Queensland. The town best known for producing Artie Beetson, most Roma products head to Redcliffe following in the track set by Beetson and the Cherry brothers. "I played with Cities club in Roma and after three seasons with All Whites in Toowoomba, I decided to have a crack at the state league with Souths in 2001," Young said. "There were four or five of us from Roma, including Matt Lockyer, at Souths. They were a couple of hard years at Souths, but it was a good learning experience. It showed you what was required to make it at that level. "We won a couple games in the two years, but mostly we were fighting out the bottom spot with West and Logan." Young said uncertainty surrounding Souths future and the involvement of the Canberra Raiders prompted him to look for another club. "I was looking to going to a stronger club for more exposure," he said. "I put the feelers out and also knew Matty Lockyer was heading to Easts. "John Driscoll had the hooker role but I thought I would try my hand, although it took a while to settle down." Young had played halfback as a junior and his size might have put preconceived ideas in certain minds, but he was playing first grade at 17 and a few kilograms would not hold him back. He was willing to bide his time at Langlands Park behind Dezolt but when the former North Queensland Cowboy headed across the Tasman during pre-season, Young took his chance. A civil designer with a Brisbane engineering firm, Young has not missed a Queensland Cup clash and has stormed away with "three or four" man of the match awards. "I was always ready to compete for the position even if it meant waiting my time," he said. "It's a long season and you never know your luck. "Things are travelling okay with the side and we have always set ourselves a goal of making the semi-finals." The 80 kilogram rake said the main differences between Easts and Souths were a more professional outlook, better facilities and higher quality players. "There's a different culture here and that relates to a better attitude," he said. "We might be equal third now, but we are taking each game as it comes so we are in the right position at the end of the season. "It's a lot closer competition this season with only three points separating six or seven teams. The standard hasn't dropped and there aren't any guarantees of a win. You only have to look at Souths and see how much they have improved." Young, whose team-mate Darren Smith says he has no doubt the hooker could make it in the NRL ranks, has the goal of the City jumper in the back of his mind. "You just have to keep plugging away," he said. "We have to play two of the stronger sides in Redcliffe and Norths away." Young has good words to say about Smith. "He does good things on the field which show his experience," he said. "He is always willing to help and seems to turn up at the right time and takes the right options. "He also gets around and tells players things he has picked up and certain areas where we need to improve." The hooker showed his own class late in the win over Redcliffe when, confronted with the final line of defence, he put in a deft kick for a try to a team-mate.

Sydney Airport Jets Add A Tiger Skin To Their Collection

THE Sydney Airport Jets racked up another important home ground win, when they defeated the second-placed Balmain Tigers 20-12 in the VB Premier League match played at Henson Park on Saturday. Played in front of a crowd of more than two thousand, this was a fiercely-contested, engrossing encounter in which seven tries were scored in the first half and none in the second. Newtown had led 16-12 at half-time after trailing 8-0 after only nine minutes, and increased this lead to 20-12 through two second-half penalty goals by Troy Barnes.

NZRL to impose further penalties on 3 young offenders

THE New Zealand Rugby League will impose further penalties on three junior players serving prison terms for assaulting a pregnant 16-year-old girl.

Rotterdam International Nines line up confirmed

TWENTY teams from eight nations are confirmed as entries in the 1st Rotterdam International League Nines to be played in Hollands largest city on saturday august 7th.

Calvert Out, Wildbore In

WATH Brow Hornets winger Craig Calvert has pulled out of the BARLA Great Britain Lions squad for their tour of Australia.

Warriors rope themselves a Cowboy

THE Vodafone Warriors have today announced the signing of utility player Nathan Fien from the North Queensland Cowboys. Fien had been given permission to negotiate with other clubs by the Cowboys before the June 30 anti-tampering deadline, and agreed to terms with the Warriors last night for three years commencing in 2005.

Panthers Team for Dragons Game

PENRITH Panthers coach Johnny Lang has sprung a couple of surprises in naming his injury and Origin depleted team for their round 14 clash with the St Geo/Illawara Dragons at Penrith Stadium on Friday. Youngster Ben Rogers makes his mark in the first grade team at 5/8 and the Panthers will debut Richard Fa'aoso from the bench.Amos Roberts returns to fullback while Daniel Russell goes to halfback after a very good game against the Sea Eagles last week. Coach Langs team is;

Warriors named to face Tigers

NZ Warriors coach Tony Kemp has had to ring in the changes for Sundays game against the Wests Tigers at the Tigers temporary home ground at Jade Stadium in Christchurch,NZ. Coach Kemp has lost 3 players to the NRL judicial system in Seuseu,Faumuina and Meli. Luckily for the Warriors, players are returning from injury and the team will not lose any noticeable strength or go-foward. Coach Kemps team is;

Sharks Name Squad for Raiders Game

JUBILANT Cronulla Sharks coach Stuart Raper will face the Canberra Raiders this weekend at Canberra Stadium without his star halfback Brett Kimmorely and powerhouse prop Jason Stevens as they prepare for Origin 2 next week.Last weeks victory over the Broncos will see a confident Sharks outfit travel to Canberra to take on the Raiders. Coach Rapers team is;

Manly Sea Eagles Name Team for Eels Game

MANLY coach Des Hasler has rushed injured trio Sam Harris,Shane Dunley and Chad Randall into a 19 man squad named for Sunday's vital clash with Parramatta at Parramatta Stadium.

Eels Squad Named to Play Sea Eagles

PARRAMATTA Eels coach Brian Smith high on the sucess of his teams away win last week against the Knights has named his side to play the Manly Sea Eagles this weekend at Parramatta Stadium. Coach Smiths team is;

Barrett set to return for Dragons vs Panthers clash

ST George Illawarra Dragons five-eighth Trent Barrett has been cleared to play in this Friday's clash with the Panthers at Penrith Stadium.

Rabbitohs Name Team For Storm Game

THE South Sydney Rabbitohs coach Arthur Kitinas is pleased to announce his team for Round 14 to take on the Melbourne Storm this Saturday, June 12 at 7:30pm at Aussie Stadium.

SportOdds team of the round - Round 13

THE weekly column here at Leagueunlimited is to highlight what we here on the site think are the best players in each round of the 2004 NRL competition. Based on the opinion received from the live updaters, we have put together what we think is the team of the Round 13.

Warriors lose 3 players to judiciary

THE New Zealand Warriors have taken early guilty pleas on their judicial charges, losing three key players for a number of weeks.

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