COACH Ivan Cleary has had his contract with the New Zealand Warriors extended until the end of 2008 with an option for 2009.
THERE will be no sign of Johnathon Thurston for the North Queensland Cowboys in their final hit out of season 2006 at home to the Parramatta Eels on Friday night. Club captain Travis Norton has been named on a five man bench as the Cowboys look to end their season on a high.
BACKROWER Sione Faumuina has been sacked by the New Zealand Warriors for an alcohol-related incident on Sunday when the NRL club defeated the Sydney Roosters in Auckland.
QUEENSLAND forward Nate Myles is disappointed with the dumping of Sydney Roosters coach Ricky Stuart but has pledged his allegiance to the club for next year.
ST Helens coach Daniel Anderson has denied any truth in reports that he is set to leave the Super League leaders to join Australian club Sydney Roosters.
SHAYNE Hayne returns to the semi finals fray on Friday in Townsville for the Cowboys and Eels clash. With five people (Sean Hampstead, Paul Simpkins, Steve Clark, Tony Archer and Hayne) vying for just four Finals position, Shayne can ill-afford to slip up as he hopes to gain his first ever semi final appointment as a referee. Shayne has received good reports over the last three weeks with solid performances in the Broncos/Storm match, Dragons/Tigers and now the Raiders/Storm matches.
FORWARD Justin Poore and veteran Sam Isemonger will return to the Dragons team for their final round clash with the Roosters at the Sydney Cricket Ground this Saturday night.Poore returns from a two-week suspension and Isemonger was rested last weekend, Coach Nathan Brown selecting both on the interchange.Aaron Gorrell has been named at hooker, replacing Dean Young who will miss the remainder of the season (Knee) in an otherwise unchanged starting line-up.The Dragons will be chasing their second victory over the Roosters this season having won the traditional ANZAC Day clash 22-12 in Round 7.Unavailable Dragons are:Dean Young (Knee), Corey Payne (Concussion) and Colin Best (Neck).NRL DRAGONSv Sydney Roosters7.30pm Saturday 2 SeptemberSydney Cricket GroundCoach: Nathan Brown 1. Clint GREENSHIELDS2. Wes NAIQAMA3. Mark GASNIER4. Matt COOPER5. Brett MORRIS6. Trent BARRETT (c)7. Ben HORNBY8. Luke BAILEY9. Aaron GORRELL10. Jason RYLES11. Matt BICKERSTAFF12. Ashton SIMS13. Ben CREAGH14. Danny WICKS15. Justin POORE16. Sam ISEMONGER17. Shaun TIMMINS18. Michael HENDERSONPremier League Dragonsv Newtown Jets3.00pm Saturday 2 SeptemberHenson ParkCoach: Steven Price 1. Reece SIMMONDS2. Josh MORRIS3. Beau RYAN4. Daryl MILLARD5. Tom HEWITT6. Chris SHEPPARD7. Mathew HEAD8. Andrew PRICE9. George NDAIRA10. Chris HOUSTON (c)11. Aaron WHEATLEY12. Lee TE MAARI13. James JIMENEZ14. Dan HUNT15. Willie TUPOU16. Bryson GOODWIN17. Reece BLAYNEY18. Jamie KEITH19. Jamie DUNNING20. Tom HABERECHTJersey Flegg Dragonsv Sydney Roosters5.30pm Saturday 2 SeptemberSydney Cricket GroundCoach: Corey Pearson1. Jason NIGHTINGALE2. Rota SETU3. Chase STANLEY4. Keith LULIA5. Luke IRWIN6. Richard WILLIAMS7. Matt SEAMARK8. Chris FARRELL9. Brad DAVIDSON (c)10. Jhi TANNER11. James KEELAN12. Matt PRIOR13. Brian WEST (c)14. Peter WAKLEY15. James GREHAN16. Scott SABLOWSKI18. Jason WHITE19. Daniel JARVIS20. Nathan WYNN
THE Sydney Roosters have released assistant coach Shane Flanagan of his role at the NRL club from the end of this season.
MANLY has named injured halfback Matt Orford for its crucial game with Melbourne on Saturday. Orford injured his knee in Friday's win over the Bulldogs but will play in the match, which the Sea Eagles need to win to ensure a top four finish and home final.
CRONULLA centre Ben Pomeroy will risk missing two matches when he contests his grade one contrary conduct charge at the NRL judiciary tomorrow night.
EVERGREEN Dolphins prop Troy Lindsay will endeavour to achieve the 300-match landmark.
Already the holder of the most number of first grade appearances with 263 matches up before the semi-final showdown with the Young Guns, Lindsay, 33, shows no signs of tiring.
He has made it known he wants to play on for at least next season and most probably the following season.
By the time he bows out at the end of the 2008 season, the durable front-rower would have reached the magic 300 number ... barring a loss of form or injuries.
But given his outstanding performances this season, climaxing in selection for the Queensland Residents, it is hard to imagine the red and whites without the farmer from Wamuran.
Affectionately known to team-mates and opponents alike as "Cow", Lindsay achieved his record-equalling 261st game at Dolphin Oval on July 30 against Souths-Logan. Centre Peter Leis created the long-standing 261 mark in his Redcliffe reign in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.
The following weekend Lindsay owned the record single-handedly after turning out against the Young Guns.
"I'm enjoying my football more than ever, probably because I'm aware each season could be my last," he said.
"To get up there with the likes of Peter, Obsty and Benno is something I'm very proud of ... they were really big names in Brisbane and Queensland football.
"There's a lot of tradition at Redcliffe."
Although he has been part of four Queensland Cup triumphs for the Dolphins, Lindsay said the persona highlight was winning the Brisbane premiership in 1994.
The Dolphins beat Wests 24-18, only their second Brisbane grand final win.
'I was a young bloke in my first year in the top grade and it was 29 years since we had won," he said.
"That was great but I've appreciated all the things that have happened during my time at Redcliffe."
1994 was the year Lindsay came closest to taking up an offer with an NRL club.
"St George coach Brian Smith spoke to me a few times but I decided to stay put," he said.
"I've had a few offers over the years, but that was the closest I came to leaving."
WAY back in April my first column appeared in the Redcliffe Leagues News.I devoted the opening item to the Young Guns and about how they were the team to beat for this year's Queensland Cup.I quote: "The Townsville side is choc-a-block with talent and the fact they're so hard to beat at Dairy Farmers Stadium makes them a virtual certainty for the top five."How true were those words as we found out to our cost last month. The Young Guns are still the side everyone has to climb over to claim the silverware.As a club we set our sights on the Dolphins making the top five, which we have done, with a preference for a top three spot and two bites in the finals.We achieved the top three berth with ease, however it was disappointing not to snare a home final.With the Clydesdales beating the Young Guns in the final premiership match, we faced the Young Guns in Townsville for the right to met Toowoomba for entry into the grand final.A loss to the Young Guns will see us take on the winner of the No 4 and No 5 showdown.Beating the Young Guns on their dunghill is a big assignment, but we have achieved that before and we are not intimidated by the trip.The coming month shapes as an exciting for our players, coaching staff and club as we attempt to bring the Cup back to the Peninsula.OUR second-rower Danny Burke has racked up a remarkable achievement in a truly short time.Danny played his 150th fixture against Tweed last month after only six seasons with the Dolphins.CEO James Hinchey produced statistics which showed Danny plays 22 games a season, a great testament to his toughness and fitness.He might be inching towards the veteran class however Danny seems to be getting better with age.He is a coach's dream as he listens to instructions, works hard on his game and is never a worry.And all this from a forward who works hard each day as a carpenter with Q-Build. He possesses strong mental instincts to ignore niggling injuries and still play 50-60 minutes a match.His fellow forwards Troy Lindsay and Grant Flugge have similar characteristics and make coaching somewhat of an easier assignment.UNFORTUNATELY our A grade bowed out last month.Despite their final mid-table position, this season produced a lot of positives with Dom Fallini, Chris Jelich and Pat McGill playing Premier League this season.Dom, Scott Gillis and Mitchell Simpson have been added to our 23-strong squad for the top side's finals campaign.It was tremendous that we were able to bring on a number of junior products through into this side and it augurs well for the future.Grant Cleal also deserves praise because whenever any of his charges were brought into the top side they played up to the mark and you can't ask for more than that.On a sad note, former premiership player Matt Anderton has retired.The club wishes him well as he has been a great servant and a great contributor to the success of Dolphin Oval.In good news for the club, our Colts finished in the top two and will figure in the finals yet again.Coach Matt Wood has done a fine job in blending juniors with recruits to compete against sides with NRL links and recruitment systems.They have had a great season and only just missed out on the minor premiership.It would be fantastic to see four or five of them force their way into A grade next season as it's important to have our under 19s feeding through our senior system.Anthony Griffin
PARRAMATTA has good news on the injury front with Test star Timana Tahu possibly back for the second week of the finals. Tahu injured his knee in the State of Origin decider on July 5 and thought he'd miss the rest of the year.
FORMER New Zealand Warriors coach Daniel Anderson is looming as the man most likely to replace the sacked Ricky Stuart at the Sydney Roosters next season.
THE final game of the first week of the finals for NZ's Bartercard Cup was played last night at Mt Smart Stadium with Tamaki Leopards up against Counties Manakau Jetz.