ENERGYAUSTRALIA Stadium on beautiful Sunday afternoon provided the setting for FTC?s first road trip of the year as Newcastle hosted Canberra in their Round 8 clash. As a football specific stadium it has few rivals with the surface rising slightly out of the bowels of the two stands and the grassed hills at either end. The Western Stand throws a gradually increasing shadow over the field and creates a setting perfect for Sunday afternoon football.
"THERE are some defeats more triumphant than victories."
---Michel de Montaigne
IMAGINE- you?re out pounding the pavement, jogging with Prefontaine-esque zeal, when suddenly a muscular 110kg powerhouse launches himself at you and crashes venomously into your chest. The force leaves you winded and bruised. As you hit the ground, the behemoth leaps on you, crushing your ribs under his weight, and then proceeds to lever himself off you by planting his palm on your face and informing you that you are the world?s biggest loser, before calmly jogging back 10 metres, to do the same to the next unfortunate jogger.
THE Bulldogs are the real ?dark-horse? when focusing on who is going to take out the 2005 Telstra Premiership. Despite being the defending premiers, the Dogs name has seldom been mentioned in reference to their possible back-to-back premiership aspirations. It has been over ten years since a team won back-to-back Grand Finals in a unified competition* Brisbane defeated St.George in 1992 and 1993 but since those two years, no team has been able to defend their crown.
IT'S not just me who needs to re-asses their season, a few teams out there were shown up in spectacular fashion last week as the competition took another twist in it's seemingly unending random nature. But whilst I face little more than the scorn of my peers for the meagre 31 from 56 picks I've carved out thus far, the failures of the Sea Eagles, Roosters, Storm and Warriors have far greater implications.
PENRITH Panthers captain Craig Gower has beaten out strong competition from Brett Kimmorley and Matt Orford to be named New South Wales halfback for the first State of Origin match at Stadium Australia next Wednesday.
ROOKIE Scott Prince has been selected at halfback for Queensland after a couple of rousing performances for the Tigers in recent weeks. Following injuries to key personnel, the Cane Toads were looking a little thin in the halves department, but fortunately Prince has stepped up in recent weeks to be given his first chance at the elite level, despite being earmarked several years ago.
PENRITH fullback Rhys Wesser will make his long awaited representative debut next Wednesday night after being selected at fullback for the Queensland State of Origin side.
THE second half of New Zealand's Bartercard Cup turned out of couple of interesting results, especially down in Tauranga when top of the table Wai-Coa-Bay Stallions were fortunate not to lose to the Glenora Bears.
HALFBACK Mathew Head (ribs) and forward Nathan Long (knee) have been cleared to play for the St.George Bank Illawarra Dragons against the Eels at Parramatta Stadium this Friday night.
However captain Trent Barrett (hamstring), winger Nathan Blacklock (hamstring), centre Matt Cooper (knee), prop Jason Ryles (knee) and second rower Lance Thompson (shoulder) will not be available for anywhere from 1-4 weeks.
DESPITE playing in a losing team, Shark's half back Brett Kimmorley has extended his lead to 15 points in this year's Leagueunlimited.com Player Awards. The Cronulla skipper picked up another two points from our live updater as the Roosters ran out convincing winners.
IF you are a Red V Member who lives in the Brisbane area or are travelling to Brisbane to watch the Dragons V Bronco's match and would like the opportunity to catch up with your team, all Red V Members are invited to join the NRL team on Thursday evening May 27 at the Holiday Inn, Brisbane.
SOUTH Adelaide Rugby League Mods Cup.
Results Round 2, 14-5-04, Under 13's.
Willunga Warriors 68 def Hackham East Hornets 18, best player, A. Reid.
Southern Bulldogs 26 def Hallett Cove Raiders 16, Best player, S. Sargent.
Rusults Round 2, 14-5-04, Under 9's.
Blue Puppys 6 def Young Devils 4, best player, L. Hazel.
Round 3, 21-5-04, Doctors Road, Hackham, 5pm.
Under 9's, Blue Puppy vs Young Devils.
Under 13's, 5:30pm, Hallett Cove Raiders vs Willunga Warriors, 5:30pm, Hackham East Hornets vs Southern Bulldogs.
MELBOURNE Storm young guns Cameron Smith and Billy Slater have a lot in common.
IN what seems to be a recurring pattern, firebrand Rooster Adrian Morley and Parramatta forward Adam Peek are facing potentially lengthy suspensions after being charged by the National Rugby League following incidents at the weekend.