THIS Sunday afternoon the two best teams of 2006 will face off at Energy Australia Stadium bringing the two form halves in the competition face to face for the first time this year. Andrew Johns and Johnathan Thurston go up against each other in a game that should be an absolute cracker.
BRISBANE has suffered a further injury blow with in-form centre Justin Hodges a late withdrawal from tomorrow night's NRL clash with Sydney at Aussie Stadium.
WEST Tigers five-eighth Benji Marshall has decided to postpone shoulder surgery until the end of the season with a view to making his NRL return in four to six weeks.
TEST back Brent Tate has been forced to call off his NRL return for the Brisbane Broncos against the Sydney Roosters tomorrow night after breaking down with another injury.
DRAGONS Supporters, After a Round 5 flogging most of us would rather forget, this week the Dragons head to "Fortress" Brookvale to take on the Sea Eagles. The 2006 NRL premiership is as close as we have seen in many years, and this match will be another tough game against a Manly side who are starting to play their way into some good form. Manly have proven fairly hard to beat at Brookvale over the past few years and the Dragons will need to have a much higher level of commitment and a tougher mental attitude to take the points in this one. With Shaun Timmins and Wes "The Fijian Flyer" Naiqama both returning from injury the Dragons are nearing a full strength side and will give a good account of themselves. The MBDS screening this week will once again be at the Grosvenor Hotel at East St Kilda. The screening will be held in the Sports Bar at 5:30pm Saturday on Fox Sports. Hope to see a big crowd there to catch all the action live! What: Dragons v Sea EaglesWhen: Saturday 15th April, 5:30pmWhere: Grosvenor Hotel 10 Brighton Road East St Kilda ANZAC DAY Just to let you all know, we have also booked the Grosvenor for the annual Anzac Day clash between the Dragons and the Roosters. Further details will be coming in the following weeks but put it in your diary now as this will be a cracker of a game and we expect a good crowd at the Grosvenor for the match. Due to the importance of this match, our new sponsor OneStop Home Loans will be putting money on the bar which is a first for MBDS so come along and enjoy the day. Thanks to OneStop for their support!
I tend to be a pretty stubborn kind of guy and usually, there?s less chance of me admitting to a blunder than of John Howard walking into question time donning Peter Garrett?s ?sorry? T-shirt. But last weekend has forced me to change tack, particularly when selecting Premiers pre-season.
A sub-standard second half performance by the Newtown Jets put paid to any winning chance in Saturday evening?s VB Premier League fifth round match against Cronulla-Sutherland at Toyota Park. The Jets had trailed by 16-12 at half-time and were still hanging in at 28-18 down with fifteen minutes remaining. Three tries to the Sharks in the last eight minutes of the match blew Cronulla?s final winning margin out to 44-18.The lethal combination of a poor completion rate, dropped ball, missed tackles and penalty infringements proved to be Newtown?s undoing in the second half. The Jets had led by 12-10 with only two minutes left in the first half, but failure to find the line from a penalty kick gifted the Sharks vital possession which they turned into a converted try virtually on the half-time siren.Newtown?s front-rowers Glenn Hall and Steve Meredith showed the way by jointly topping the team tackle count as well as by their repeated fearless charges with the ball into the Sharks defence. Centre Vince Mellars, playing against his former Cronulla team-mates, turned in his strongest performance this season. A spate of injuries in the Roosters NRL team is sure to result in several call-ups from the Jets VB Premier League ranks for next weekend.Newtown?s affiliate club in Group 11, the Parkes Spacemen, had a runaway 58-20 win at home against neighbouring Manildra. The Spacemen began their season by defeating Forbes last weekend and now sit proudly on top of the Group 11 first grade premiership table.The Jets are back at Henson Park on Easter Saturday (April 15th) when they take on the Balmain Tigers in a traditional inner-western local derby. Given that the Jets and the Tigers are only drawn to meet once this year, the Trevor Ryan-Neil Pringle Shield contested by the two foundation clubs goes on the line this Saturday at Henson Park, with this VB Premier League match kicking off at 3.00pm. In the opening round of the 2006 Jim Beam Cup competition, Newtown travels to Erina on Good Friday (April 14th) with this match due to start at 2.30pm.Photo caption:Newtown Jets hooker Luke Gordon attempts to break through against the Sharks defence at Toyota Park on Saturday evening.Photo courtesy of Gary Sutherland Photography.
WESTS Tigers five-eighth Benji Marshall will visit a specialist today to determine whether he will play again this season.
CRONULLA halfback Brett Kimmorley remains confident of playing State of Origin football this year despite an ankle injury which will sideline him for six weeks.
WIGAN has sacked Australian coach Ian Millward after a wretched start to the English Super League season.
OUT of form halfback Brett Seymour was today dropped from the Ergon Energy Broncos? side in one of the three team changes for Friday night?s clash against the Sydney Roosters at Aussie Stadium.
REIGNING champions Bradford lost ground on the engage Super League leaders after crashing to their first home defeat for 10 months by 22-18 to Warrington in an error-strewn match at Odsal.
BRUNO Verges claimed a hat-trick as Catalans Dragons ran in nine tries to overpower Castleford by 51-14 for their third win in engage Super League.
LEEDS shrugged off the loss of skipper Kevin Sinfield to stage a thrilling comeback in a classic re-run of the 2005 Challenge Cup final to get past Hull 34-26.
SALFORD full-back Karl Fitzpatrick grabbed a superb hat-trick as the Reds made light of some horrendous conditions at the Willows to continue their excellent start to the season with a 36-18 win over Huddersfield.