Hull KR prepare to KO Superleague

HULL KR will embark this month on one of the greatest challenges in the world of Rugby League ? to stay in Superleague after promotion.

Aussies defeat gallant Lions in Game VI

TRI-NATIONS Game 6 Australia 33 v Great Britain 10at Suncorp StadiumReferee: Paul SimpkinsMatch Summary:Before a crowd of 44,358, Australia has defeated Great Britain by 33-10 in the final Tri-Nations round robin match, ending the game with one of the most memorable tries in Test Match history.The early signs were ominous for the Lions as Australia skipped away to a 12-nil lead after seven minutes through tries to Hodges and Gasnier.The scores remained that way until the 29th minute when the Poms scored through a bizarre turn of events which began with Thurston stripping Ellis of possession, sending the ball some 20 metres towards the Australian line.A mix-up between Hindmarsh and Hunt saw the ball toed through by the Brits with McGuire regathering and sprinting 40 metres to score out wide.Australia then took what was to be a match-winning lead close to halftime, with Hunt scoring after some ad-lob footy close to the line.The Aussies scored again just after the break with Lockyer performing a simple run-around with O?Meley to stretch the lead to 22-4. At this stage the Poms pulled up their socks and dug in for a battle in the forwards, with noted improvement in the forwards bringing them back into the game.The hard work paid off when Senior took a nifty short ball from Hock close to the line and brought the scores back to 22-10.The game then ebbed-and-flowed with each side showing strong defence to hold out the other. With some pressure mounting Lockyer snapped a field goal in the 73rd minute to put the game beyond doubt and four minutes later Tupou was over out wide courtesy of a short ball from Thurston.With the scores at 29-10 and not much doing, the Poms mounted one more challenge to the Aussie line, throwing caution to the wind with several lofty passes before the ball found its? way to Raynor on the flank.He came in-field and tried to chip to the line, but it went too short and Hindmarsh cleaned it up, setting in motion an amazing sequence of events.Hindmarsh offloaded to Smith who found Lockyer out wide. The Aussie captain took off down the left flank before passing inside to Hunt who has no support, so he kicks a wobbly one back in-field to find Tate lurking. He fields the ball about 35 metres out and sets off for the line. Ellis gave a great chase for the Lions and collared him close to the line, but Tate managed to score in the corner.It was an amazing try that sent the crowd wild and brought back memories of Coyne?s match-winning try for Queensland in 1994.The scoreline of 33-10 doesn?t accurately reflect the commitment and gusto with which Great Britain played. The Poms were very good tonight but just lacked a little more organisation in the halves. They made several breaks through the forwards, proving they had the muscle up front to penetrate the Aussie pack.Great Britain now head home after failing to make the final, which will now be played between Australia and New Zealand next week in Sydney.A footnote to tonight?s game was the excellent crowd in Brisbane, following on from their strong turnout in this year?s ANZAC Test. Tonight?s crowd was the highest recorded figure in Australia for a Rugby League International since 1974, proving the game is well and truly alive at this level.Tri-Nations web site - news, results, teams and history > click here Scorers:Australia: 33Tries: Darren Lockyer, Brent Tate, Mark Gasnier, Karmichael Hunt, Justin Hodges, Anthony TupouGoals: Johnathan Thurston 4/6Field Goals: Darren LockyerGreat Britain: 10Tries: Keith Senior, Danny McGuireGoals: Paul Wellens 1/1By the Clock:Nice evening up here in Brisbane as the Lions start warming up on the field to a chorus of boo's.Both teams are as per the program and the crowd is building nicely.The situation is - if Great Britain win or draw tonight, they are in the final against Australia next week. If they lose, they go home.Both sides lining up for the National Anthems.1 min: NEWS Lockyer gets us underway, the kick went deep, Fielden brought it back and the contest is very physical from the outset.3 min: NEWS Three penalties blown by Simpkins already. Aussies have good field position.4 min: TRY AustraliaThe Kangaroos open the scoring with a simple cross-field grubber from Lockyer under the sticks and the Lions are caught napping. Hodges swoops on the ball to score and Thurston converts. Australia 6-06 min: NEWS A big break down te eastern flank from Hodges and Inglis.7 min: TRY AustraliaThe ball moves to the right and Gasnier finds his way to the line despite stumbling a little in the lead up, with Lockyer again involved. Thurston curls it in from the sideline to add the extra. Australia 12-012 min: NEWS Thurston tries a cheeky chip kick and it goes out on the full. The Lions are just hanging on here.13 min: NEWS Gleeson comes up with a kick and regather that nearly results in a try. It's the most enterprising play we've seen from the visitors so far.16 min: NEWS Fielden's copped it again, this time from Hindmarsh.18 min: NEWS The Brits are actually promoting the ball well. Morley and Roby are now on and the Poms look a little better. Hunt has been forced in goal.20 min: NEWS Hunt has been forced in goal again with the Poms starting to mount some good pressure here. The Aussie defence is swarming.22 min: NEWS Lions grubber goes dead this time but the game has turned into a real contest.25 min: NEWS Another break from Gasnier results in the Kangaroos first handling error, as a flick pass from the Dragons centre is fumbled by Tate.29 min: TRY Great BritainThe British are in with a bizarre try. Thurston disposessed Ellis with the ball going almost 20m towards the Australian line. McGuire toed it through and scored out wide. He failed with the conversion though. Australia 12-432 min: TRY AustraliaHunt is in as the Aussies hit back straight away. A bit of confusion close to the line sees the ball juggled between Lockyer to O'Meley, who then finds his fullback lurking close to the line. Thurston converts and the Aussies are dominating again. Australia 18-435 min: NEWS The Pommies put their clearing kick out on the full.38 min: NEWS Some good attack from the Poms. A break and another half chance put them down in the Aussie territory, but Lockyer saved the day.40 min: NEWS Halftime: A late chace for the Poms goes astray but they've been showing some positive signs in the past 25 minutes or so. If it wasn't for Hunt's try they would be well and truly in this one, but the Brits need to score three times to take the lead, which looks a difficult task in this game.As for the Aussies, they need to regroup a bit and refocus on attacking footy. Their defence has been exposed a few times as well, so that needs to be tightened up as well.I think the Poms will give them a bit of a run for their money, but ultimately the Aussies should prevail.41 min: NEWS Wellens kicks out on the full from the restart. Not what they were looking for...42 min: TRY AustraliaA simple run around play by Lockyer with O'Meley produces Australia's first try of the second half. The Poms would be shattered right now. Thurston hits the post with a relatively simple kick. Australia 22-444 min: NEWS This time Wellens puts it down the middle and Hodges knocks-on. Great Britain in good field position.46 min: NEWS A massive break from Gasnier finds Tate on the outside who is run down and put into touch by an excellent tackle from Raynor.51 min: NEWS Plenty of back and forth play here. 52 min: NEWS Hunt puts his foot on the line as he's on the way to scoring a try. Hunt is now in the blood bin with a savage cut to the head.59 min: TRY Great BritainThe Lions have scored through Senior who took a great offload from Hock close to the line. He brought it around well and they're back in the contest. Wellens adds the extras. Australia 22-1064 min: NEWS Crowd: 44,358. Highest Test Match crowd in Australia since 1974.64 min: NEWS Pryce leaves the field with a leg injury as the Poms enjoy some good posession.70 min: NEWS There's still some life in the Old Dart but the clock is against them.73 min: FIELD GOAL AustraliaLockyer pots a field goal from about 30m out to secure victory for the Aussies. Australia 23-1077 min: TRY AustraliaTupou scores his first try for Australia after hitting a gap and Thurston delivering a sweet ball. He did well to finish it off. Thurston kicks a neat one from the sideline. Australia 29-1080 min: TRY AustraliaYou've got to see the vision of this one. Raynor tries to chip ahead on the last play for the Poms, but Hindmarsh gathers the ball and gives it to Smith who offloads to Lockyer. The Aussie captain takes off down the left flank before passing inside to Hunt who has no support, so he kicks a wobbly one back in field to find Tate lurking. He fields the ball about 35m out and sets off for the line. Ellis gave a great chase for the Lions and collared him close to the line, but Tate managed to score in the corner. Thurston just fails from the sideline as the crowd goes absolutely wild. Australia 33-10-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Darren Lockyer2 - Johnathan Thurston1 - Mark Gasnier-----------------------------------------

Aussies defeat gallant Lions in Game VI

TRI-NATIONS Game 6 Australia 33 v Great Britain 10at Suncorp StadiumReferee: Paul SimpkinsMatch Summary:Before a crowd of 44,358, Australia has defeated Great Britain by 33-10 in the final Tri-Nations round robin match, ending the game with one of the most memorable tries in Test Match history.The early signs were ominous for the Lions as Australia skipped away to a 12-nil lead after seven minutes through tries to Hodges and Gasnier.The scores remained that way until the 29th minute when the Poms scored through a bizarre turn of events which began with Thurston stripping Ellis of possession, sending the ball some 20 metres towards the Australian line.A mix-up between Hindmarsh and Hunt saw the ball toed through by the Brits with McGuire regathering and sprinting 40 metres to score out wide.Australia then took what was to be a match-winning lead close to halftime, with Hunt scoring after some ad-lob footy close to the line.The Aussies scored again just after the break with Lockyer performing a simple run-around with O?Meley to stretch the lead to 22-4. At this stage the Poms pulled up their socks and dug in for a battle in the forwards, with noted improvement in the forwards bringing them back into the game.The hard work paid off when Senior took a nifty short ball from Hock close to the line and brought the scores back to 22-10.The game then ebbed-and-flowed with each side showing strong defence to hold out the other. With some pressure mounting Lockyer snapped a field goal in the 73rd minute to put the game beyond doubt and four minutes later Tupou was over out wide courtesy of a short ball from Thurston.With the scores at 29-10 and not much doing, the Poms mounted one more challenge to the Aussie line, throwing caution to the wind with several lofty passes before the ball found its? way to Raynor on the flank.He came in-field and tried to chip to the line, but it went too short and Hindmarsh cleaned it up, setting in motion an amazing sequence of events.Hindmarsh offloaded to Smith who found Lockyer out wide. The Aussie captain took off down the left flank before passing inside to Hunt who has no support, so he kicks a wobbly one back in-field to find Tate lurking. He fields the ball about 35 metres out and sets off for the line. Ellis gave a great chase for the Lions and collared him close to the line, but Tate managed to score in the corner.It was an amazing try that sent the crowd wild and brought back memories of Coyne?s match-winning try for Queensland in 1994.The scoreline of 33-10 doesn?t accurately reflect the commitment and gusto with which Great Britain played. The Poms were very good tonight but just lacked a little more organisation in the halves. They made several breaks through the forwards, proving they had the muscle up front to penetrate the Aussie pack.Great Britain now head home after failing to make the final, which will now be played between Australia and New Zealand next week in Sydney.A footnote to tonight?s game was the excellent crowd in Brisbane, following on from their strong turnout in this year?s ANZAC Test. Tonight?s crowd was the highest recorded figure in Australia for a Rugby League International since 1974, proving the game is well and truly alive at this level.Tri-Nations web site - news, results, teams and history > click here Scorers:Australia: 33Tries: Darren Lockyer, Brent Tate, Mark Gasnier, Karmichael Hunt, Justin Hodges, Anthony TupouGoals: Johnathan Thurston 4/6Field Goals: Darren LockyerGreat Britain: 10Tries: Keith Senior, Danny McGuireGoals: Paul Wellens 1/1By the Clock:Nice evening up here in Brisbane as the Lions start warming up on the field to a chorus of boo's.Both teams are as per the program and the crowd is building nicely.The situation is - if Great Britain win or draw tonight, they are in the final against Australia next week. If they lose, they go home.Both sides lining up for the National Anthems.1 min: NEWS Lockyer gets us underway, the kick went deep, Fielden brought it back and the contest is very physical from the outset.3 min: NEWS Three penalties blown by Simpkins already. Aussies have good field position.4 min: TRY AustraliaThe Kangaroos open the scoring with a simple cross-field grubber from Lockyer under the sticks and the Lions are caught napping. Hodges swoops on the ball to score and Thurston converts. Australia 6-06 min: NEWS A big break down te eastern flank from Hodges and Inglis.7 min: TRY AustraliaThe ball moves to the right and Gasnier finds his way to the line despite stumbling a little in the lead up, with Lockyer again involved. Thurston curls it in from the sideline to add the extra. Australia 12-012 min: NEWS Thurston tries a cheeky chip kick and it goes out on the full. The Lions are just hanging on here.13 min: NEWS Gleeson comes up with a kick and regather that nearly results in a try. It's the most enterprising play we've seen from the visitors so far.16 min: NEWS Fielden's copped it again, this time from Hindmarsh.18 min: NEWS The Brits are actually promoting the ball well. Morley and Roby are now on and the Poms look a little better. Hunt has been forced in goal.20 min: NEWS Hunt has been forced in goal again with the Poms starting to mount some good pressure here. The Aussie defence is swarming.22 min: NEWS Lions grubber goes dead this time but the game has turned into a real contest.25 min: NEWS Another break from Gasnier results in the Kangaroos first handling error, as a flick pass from the Dragons centre is fumbled by Tate.29 min: TRY Great BritainThe British are in with a bizarre try. Thurston disposessed Ellis with the ball going almost 20m towards the Australian line. McGuire toed it through and scored out wide. He failed with the conversion though. Australia 12-432 min: TRY AustraliaHunt is in as the Aussies hit back straight away. A bit of confusion close to the line sees the ball juggled between Lockyer to O'Meley, who then finds his fullback lurking close to the line. Thurston converts and the Aussies are dominating again. Australia 18-435 min: NEWS The Pommies put their clearing kick out on the full.38 min: NEWS Some good attack from the Poms. A break and another half chance put them down in the Aussie territory, but Lockyer saved the day.40 min: NEWS Halftime: A late chace for the Poms goes astray but they've been showing some positive signs in the past 25 minutes or so. If it wasn't for Hunt's try they would be well and truly in this one, but the Brits need to score three times to take the lead, which looks a difficult task in this game.As for the Aussies, they need to regroup a bit and refocus on attacking footy. Their defence has been exposed a few times as well, so that needs to be tightened up as well.I think the Poms will give them a bit of a run for their money, but ultimately the Aussies should prevail.41 min: NEWS Wellens kicks out on the full from the restart. Not what they were looking for...42 min: TRY AustraliaA simple run around play by Lockyer with O'Meley produces Australia's first try of the second half. The Poms would be shattered right now. Thurston hits the post with a relatively simple kick. Australia 22-444 min: NEWS This time Wellens puts it down the middle and Hodges knocks-on. Great Britain in good field position.46 min: NEWS A massive break from Gasnier finds Tate on the outside who is run down and put into touch by an excellent tackle from Raynor.51 min: NEWS Plenty of back and forth play here. 52 min: NEWS Hunt puts his foot on the line as he's on the way to scoring a try. Hunt is now in the blood bin with a savage cut to the head.59 min: TRY Great BritainThe Lions have scored through Senior who took a great offload from Hock close to the line. He brought it around well and they're back in the contest. Wellens adds the extras. Australia 22-1064 min: NEWS Crowd: 44,358. Highest Test Match crowd in Australia since 1974.64 min: NEWS Pryce leaves the field with a leg injury as the Poms enjoy some good posession.70 min: NEWS There's still some life in the Old Dart but the clock is against them.73 min: FIELD GOAL AustraliaLockyer pots a field goal from about 30m out to secure victory for the Aussies. Australia 23-1077 min: TRY AustraliaTupou scores his first try for Australia after hitting a gap and Thurston delivering a sweet ball. He did well to finish it off. Thurston kicks a neat one from the sideline. Australia 29-1080 min: TRY AustraliaYou've got to see the vision of this one. Raynor tries to chip ahead on the last play for the Poms, but Hindmarsh gathers the ball and gives it to Smith who offloads to Lockyer. The Aussie captain takes off down the left flank before passing inside to Hunt who has no support, so he kicks a wobbly one back in field to find Tate lurking. He fields the ball about 35m out and sets off for the line. Ellis gave a great chase for the Lions and collared him close to the line, but Tate managed to score in the corner. Thurston just fails from the sideline as the crowd goes absolutely wild. Australia 33-10-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Darren Lockyer2 - Johnathan Thurston1 - Mark Gasnier-----------------------------------------

Game VI Preview: Australia v Great Britain

THE final clash of the 2006 Tri Nations competition is upon us, to be staged at Brisbane?s Suncorp Stadium between the Roo?s and the Old Dart.

Late mail on Game VI

GREAT Britain coach Brian Noble has finalised his bench for his side's must-win Tri Nations rugby league clash against Australia at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

Long rules out touring again

ST Helens scrum-half Sean Long has ruled out touring with Great Britain again and may turn his back on international rugby altogether.

Is Union about to raid League again?

AS the Wallabies continue to bumble and fumble their way through Europe, it is hardly surprising there is speculation the Australian Rugby Union will again try to "raid" rugby league to boost its player ranks.It is therefore somewhat surprising that yesterday?s conference of NRL coaches and senior players (with the usual exception of Wayne Bennett) seems to have discussed just about everything except how any raid would be repelled.Two weeks ago, Daily Telegraph Union writer, Peter Jenkins, said it was "time to raid the NRL again", and the Wallabies fortunes have hardly improved since then.The 2006 "raid" hardly proved to be spectacularly successful ? Clinton Schifcofske left the Canberra Raiders to join the Queensland Reds rugby team, but he did turn 31 last week.And the Roosters' Ryan Cross switched codes to join the Western Force, but during an eight-year rugby league career he made just one representative team, the City side playing in Origin trial matches.The raid on Mark Gasnier did not succeed, nor did the earlier attempt to snare Andrew Johns.But the NRL, and its 16 clubs, should not be complacent. Rugby union is apparently not short of cash, and when you look at the Wallabies' performance this year, the ARU will be under enormous pressure to open its purse.If that does not concern the NRL then it should.Despite the new television agreement with Nine, most NRL clubs are not particularly flash financially. But a handful would be able to match a serious offer from the ARU for a top player.That is unless the NRL came to the party, as it did ? through PBL Ltd ? when Andrew Johns was being tempted to switch codes.It is a subject the NRL and the clubs seem reluctant to address, because it inevitably raises questions about the issue most don?t want to talk about ? the salary cap.The ARU surely knows that. And it is why Peter Jenkins might get his wish sooner rather than later.And it is one reason why the Gold Coast Titans' prospects ? or any other club?s prospects ? of securing a return to rugby league by Lote Tuqiri (the most successful convert in the modern era) are not much better than zero!

Riding The Bandwagon

IT?S been an up and down year for us Bandwagon fans, following the greatest game of all. It?s been a year of heartbreak, embarrassment and fleeting success. We?ve toiled hard trying to find the right team to support, followed their ups, disowned them in their downs, and then rejoiced when they rose again.

The Immortal Brian Bevan

NATHAN Hindmarsh is a player who is renowned for his ungainly appearance. Having established himself as a stalwart for Parramatta, New South Wales and eventually Australia, he often leaves pundits wondering how he keeps going like he does. He looks out of shape, overweight and is a perennial sufferer of the dreaded ?plumber?s crack?. He?s even been aptly described as having a ?sway gut and funny bum?. Yet he almost always seems to be the first defender on the scene when there?s a break, the first player rushing up on a field goal attempt, and the least likely candidate for a replacement.

A Team Mate's Letter To The Prodigal Son

A Team Mate?s Letters to the Prodigal Son?

Kill The Bastards

THE late and great 'Killer' Ken Kearney was part of a rugged pack of forwards who knew how to hang onto the ball and pummel the defensive line. It was during a time of unlimited tackles when all games had a traditional 'softening up' period - no quarter asked, and none given - and far less compromising than what we have in the modern game.A World War Two veteran, Ken Kearney served in the RAAF before representing his country in rugby union. In 1948 he joined rugby league whilst in England, playing with Leeds before linking up with St George where he stayed until 1962. A ruthless professional and champion hooker, 'Killer' instigated revolutionary coaching methods and was captain to six grand final victories. He played for New South Wales and Australia and has a representative record which speaks for itself.Kearney played when scrums were properly contested. A cagey hooker, he was supported by a strong pair of props who in turn were backed by a well-drilled second row to drive them forward, and a lock forward to keep it straight. They only needed timing and brute strength to make every scrum a winner. Sounds easy, but the opposition would have their say and the front row was no place for the faint-hearted.With much of the skill and off-ball shenanigans being hidden from the public view, the writing was on the wall for the real scrum. The advent of 'good TV' and a rise in scrum penalties, particularly in the 1980s, saw the end of half backs feeding the ball squarely into the tunnel. The rule interpretations altered to allow the ball to be tossed into the second row, effectively making the scrum hooker's role redundant.The introduction of limited tackles and subsequent interpretations has also done much to take the game away from the players.Old stagers referred to a time when forwards would grind out territory by forcing their opponents back - regardless of who controlled possession. It was up to the players to enforce their authority on the territory and the ball. This method of battle was still a coaching tactic up until just a few years ago. Nowadays, when a ball-carrier is swamped and driven back by defenders, the referee has an annoying habit of calling 'held'. This begs the question, would the referee call 'held' if the ball-carrier, with the support of his team mates, was being driven forward?While many will point to these as improvements, I'm not so sure. For over 50 years, the game prospered quite well without the need for 'clayton' scrums, limited tackles and the made-to-order mind-set that gave rise to the modern TV game.Recollections are but golden memories.'Killer' was arguably the best hooker in his day and he knew how to win scrums, but he also knew when to lose them. If his forwards were unable to crack the opponent's line, Kearney would pack down and deliberately kick the ball into the opposition's side of the scrum. In the next ruck, the lumbering rake would take up position in the defensive line and say, in full earshot of the opposition, "right, let's kill the bastards!"This signalled his team mates to go hell-for-leather with spears and coat hangers, delivering their opponents to the turf with ruthless tenacity. It was an onslaught which would leave in its wake an assembly of broken teeth, fractured ribs and dazed heads. Inevitably the ball would be jolted loose and the opposition wouldn't want to touch it again.Perhaps this is what our forefathers called limited tackle... the real version as enforced by the players on the football battlefield, not by some pansy rules. To the old guard, the four-tackle and subsequent six-tackle rule must have looked like an absurd notion where a team willingly handed the ball back to their opposition!I hasten to add that I understand the whys and wherefores of modern rugby league. Nevertheless, I wonder if we have gone too far in appeasing the beast, just to enable us supporters to enjoy the comforts which come with being a higher class of cattle. With progress there always seems to be a price to be paid. The rules, their interpretations, and TV-friendly policies have lorded over an erosion of what was the very essence of the game.

Second Year Syndrome - Myth or Fact?

SECOND-YEAR syndrome is a common term in both Rugby League and sport in general. It relates to a rookie whose second year doesn?t reflect the ability they had shown in their rookie season. While the stigma associated with second-year syndrome affects some players, it manages to bypass others, so is there such a thing as second-year syndrome? Or is it a myth created to strike fear into the hearts of young players as they embark on their careers?

Donkeys And Stallions

I feel for the Melbourne Storm, I really do. Aside from the obvious connection Parramatta fans have to Melbourne's 2006 plight (being the dominating side for an entire season before falling at the final hurdle), I have watched with great joy the 2006 Melbourne Storm side, who have played a brand of football above and beyond all other teams in the competition.

Great Britain team for Game VI

GREAT Britain has given Richard Horne the hot seat at halfback vacated by Sean Long for the Tri Nations rugby league Test against Australia in Brisbane on Saturday night.

Titans set deadline for Turner

THE Gold Coast Titans have given defiant Melbourne winger Steve Turner less than two weeks to start training for the new NRL club.

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