Gasnier Named for Storm Clash

DRAGONS Coach Nathan Brown has named Test Centre Mark Gasnier for Saturday?s Grand Final qualifier against the Storm at Telstra Stadium.

Melbourne Supporters Info - Dragons v Storm

THERE IS NOTHING LIKE RUGBY LEAGUE IN SEPTEMBER...... ...and aren't the Dragons standing up and being counted when it really matters. After 26 rounds of wins and losses, injuries and suspensions, unearthing exciting new talent and seeing other's lose their first grade positions, getting flogged and unlikely victories on the siren, here we are now 2 wins off a maiden premiership for the joint venture. The patience, composure and determination the 1-17 and the coaching staff are all showing at the moment augurs well for the next 2 assignments in our premiership dream. Last weekend's shut-out of Manly was a great achievement for the team and sets them up well for the big clash with the Storm this Saturday night at Telstra Stadium. The MBDS screening was another outstanding success at the Station Hotel with a crowd of just over 50 members in attendance. (See attachment) This represents our second biggest attendance ever, and we are looking to top that this Saturday night in what is a local derby for those of us in the Southern Capital. The Station Hotel will once again host the screening with 2 big screens and audio dedicated to the Greatest Game of All. As The Station is likely to attract a big number of Storm supporters we would love to get everyone out this Saturday night to watch the match and outnumber them in their own city. There is nothing like the passion of a Dragons supporter and the Storm fans will realise this on Saturday night. WHAT: Dragons v StormWHEN: Saturday 23rd September, 7:30pm, LIVE AND LOUD WHERE: The Station Hotel, 96 Greville St Prahran Let us know of you are thinking of attending and if you?re bringing anyone alongGO THE DRAGONS!!

Specialist clears Asotasi, Maitua

A knee specialist has given Bulldogs prop Roy Asotasi the all-clear to play in Friday night's preliminary final against Brisbane at Aussie Stadium. And in a further boost for the Belmore club, utility Reni Maitua has been cleared to play in the game after also overcoming a knee injury.

Big future for debutants - Mal

FORMER Test great Mal Meninga says the quartet of young debutants named in the Prime Minister's 13 side to play Papua New Guinea later this month will all become Test stars.Parramatta rookie of the year Jarryd Hayne, South Sydney's leading NRL tryscorer Nathan Merritt, Manly fullback Brett Stewart and Newcastle halfback revelation Jarrod Mullen were all handed their first senior representative honours with selection in Meninga's side to play the Kumuls on September 30.Hayne, aged 18, Merritt 23, Stewart 21, and Mullen 19, all enjoyed outstanding NRL seasons. North Queensland halfback Johnathan Thurston and forward Luke O'Donnell, Penrith's Craig Gower, New Zealand Warrior Steve Price and Wests Tiger Robbie Farah will push for Test selection for this year's Tri Nations series in the one-off match at Port Moresby.

Asotasi, Gasnier, Inglis & White

BULLDOGS prop Roy Asotasi will today learn if he'll be passed fit to play in Friday night's preliminary final against Brisbane at Aussie Stadium.

Lebanon confirm WC place

IN a massive boost for international rugby league, Lebanon have confirmed that they will be taking their place in the forthcoming 2008 World Cup qualifiers.After the recent military conflict in the country there were fears that the LRL would have to relinquish their spot in the competition but they have emerged bruised and unshaken in their bid to reach the final stages in the southern hemisphere. LRL president Mohammed Habbous said: "We are looking forward to showing our determination and resolve through sports and that our spirits remain high even though the past two months have been extremely difficult for all Lebanese. We would like to show the world that the Lebanese rugby league is steadfast and will endure in times of hardship, a true characteristic of the sport which we love." In preparation for the qualifiers, the Cedars 'A' team will take on Malta for the ?Phoenician Cup? in Western Sydney on 8th October. Lebanese rugby league official George Elias, who will lead the side, commented: "Sport unites a nation and Lebanon will be united as we progress with our mission to reach the Rugby League World Cup in 2008." Rugby League European Federation Development Officer Kevin Rudd added, ?We are absolutely delighted that Lebanon will be able to fulfil their fixtures, it is a massive tribute to their organisation and they deserve our total admiration for their courage. Their attitude to not be beaten by outside forces represents everything that is best about the code.? The original 2006 World Cup qualifier schedule, which saw Lebanon hosting Ireland on 28th October, is being altered to accommodate the Cedars? build up with the revised fixtures to be released by the RLEF imminently.Source:

Solomona urges end to relegation

DAVID Solomona has urged the Rugby Football League to ditch promotion and relegation from Super League.

Tigers keen for Matterson to stay

CASTLEFORD are hoping to persuade Terry Matterson to remain as coach despite their relegation from Super League.

Cas bid for Superleague reprieve

CASTLEFORD are pushing for Super League to be expanded to 13 clubs for the 2007 season so they can avoid the drop.

Superleague 2006 Dream Team announced

SEVEN different engage Super League clubs are represented in the 2006 engage Super League Dream Team.

Superleague sets attendance record

THE 2006 engage Super League has generated the highest weekly average attendance in the 11-year history of the competition.The average weekly attendance at the conclusion of the 28 rounds of the regular season stands at 9,026, generated by an aggregate attendance of 1,516,342 supporters. Those figures are an increase on the previous season, which generated an average of 8,887.This is also the first time the competition has attracted an aggregate of over one-and-a-half million supporters in the space of one campaign.This season?s engage Super League competition has also generated the highest weekly average attendance for an elite League since the introduction of multiple divisions to the sport in 1973.Also during 2006 the following milestones have been achieved:There have been a record number of five figure attendances at matches ? 71 in engage Super League XI (previous best was 68 in 2005).Leeds Rhinos are the best supported club in engage Super League with an average attendance of 15,683. Wigan Warriors are the next best with an average of 14,464.Seven clubs have shown an increase in average attendances during 2006.The Catalans Dragons club generated an average attendance of 6,542 during their debut season in the competition.The average weekly attendance for the engage Super League competition has risen every season since 2001. Commenting on the figures, the Executive Chairman of the Rugby Football League Richard Lewis said: "The excitement and competitiveness we have seen in engage Super League during 2006 has been unprecedented."The season has contained so many memorable matches and these record attendances show that supporters are responding to the unique sporting spectacle on offer."The consistent increase in crowds experienced by the competition since 2001 demonstrates that engage Super League is continuing to grow and develop positively. We believe this trend will continue in future seasons."Now that the regular season is complete, the attention rightly turns to the engage Super League Play-Offs and battle to reach the Grand Final at Old Trafford."We can look forward to more excitement in the coming weeks as the remaining six clubs battle it out for the engage Super League Championship". Source:

Play off details confirmed

SUPERLEAGUE Play OffsFri 22 SepLeeds Rhinos v Warrington Wolvesko: 8.00, Venue: HeadingleyThird place v sixth place. Loser eliminated, winner continues next week.Sat 23 SepBradford Bulls v Salford City Redsko: 6.00, Venue: Grattan StadiumFourth place v fifth place. Loser eliminated, winner continues next week.St Helens and Hull have earnt the week off.National League 1 Play OffsSun 24 SepHull Kingston Rovers V Widnes Vikingsko: 3.00, Venue: Craven ParkFirst place v second place. Winner gets week off and spot in the grand final, loser continues next week.Sun 24 SepWhitehaven V Batley Bulldogsko: 3.00, Venue: Recreation GroundFourth place v sixth place. Loser eliminated, winner continues next week. National League 2 Play OffsFri 22 SepSheffield Eagles V Celtic Crusadersko: 8.00, Venue: Don Valley StadiumSecond place v third place. Winner gets week off and spot in grand final, loser continues next week.Sun 24 SepFeatherstone Rovers V Swinton Lionsko: 3.00, Venue: Lionheart StadiumFourth place v fifth place. Loser eliminated, winner continues next week.Dewsbury Rams finished competition leaders and qualified for automatic promotion.National League 3 Play OffsSun 24 SepBramley Buffaloes V Hemel Hempstead Stagsko: 2.30, Venue: tbcFirst place v second place. Winner gets week off and spot in grand final, loser continues next week.Sun 24 SepWarrington Wizards V St Albans Centurionsko: 2.30, Venue: tbcThird place v fourth place. Loser eliminated, winner continues next week.

National League play-off results

LHF National League 1 - Sun 17 SepLeigh 22 lost to Batley 23at The Coliseum (Att: 1,815)LeighT: D Gaskell, L Greenwood, D Wilson, R RobertsG: C Forber 3BatleyT: C Lingard, J Stokes, C Langley, A LindsayG: J Duffy 3DG: ? Half-time: Leigh 16 Batley 10Third placed Leigh are eliminated from the National League One play-offs.Whitehaven 38 defeated Rochdale 10at the Recreation Ground (Att: 1,461)Whitehaven (26)T: C Calvert, D Seeds, R Jackson 3, J Duffy, A Smith, S MillerG: C Rudd 3Rochdale (4)T: K King, L PattersonG: K KingHalf-time: Whitehaven 26 Rochdale 4Fifth placed Rochdale are eliminated from the National League One play-offs.LHF National League 2 - Sun 17 SepSwinton 26 defeated Barrow 20at Sedgely Park (Att: 511)SwintonT: D Woods 2, M Billy, S McCurrieG: C Hough 5BarrowT: K Ganley, J Marshall, B McDermottG: D Holt 4Half-time: Swinton 12 Barrow 8Seventh placed Barrow are eliminated from the National League Two play-offsFeatherstone 46 defeated Gateshead 18at Post Office Road (Att: 914)FeatherstoneT: D Kirmond 3, W McHugh, C Hughes 2, P Hughes, J I'AnsonG: J Benn 3, S Dickens 4GatesheadT: W Liddell, N Thorman, J McKayG: W Liddell 3Half-time: Featherstone 22 Gateshead 12Sixth placed Gateshead are eliminated from the National League Two play-offsSource:

R28: Late rally earns Bulls victory

IN a tense action-packed end-of-the-season clash Bradford Bulls made it three successive wins with a late rally against courageous Huddersfield Giants in a 42-30 engage Super League victory.The Giants staged a remarkable second-half comeback with a try-scoring flurry and actually took the lead with eight minutes to go, but in the end the Bulls' power, pace and determination proved conclusive.Huddersfield mounted a furious onslaught on the Bulls' line early on and second-rower Andy Raleigh rode a high tackle before twisting over the line for a try which Michael De Vere goaled.The Giants enjoyed a brief spell of supremacy before the visitors? attacking machine clicked into top gear.They drew level in the 12th minute when loose forward Brett Ferres broke through and sent full-back Michael Withers over with Paul Deacon landing the goal.The Giants, looking for a win to lift them into seventh place hit back, but met solid Bulls defence.And some appalling cover let the Bulls in for two simple tries.Both came from former Giants winger Marcus St Hilaire, who was left with a simple run to the line with no opposition within reach - Deacon added the extras on each occasion.The Bulls' 12-point lead was increased when Withers went over for another try with Deacon again on target with the goal-kick.Winger Martin Aspinwall started the home revival with a breakaway run to the line, Wayne McDonald barging over for the Giants in his last game before loose forward Stephen Wild showed sizzling pace in outpacing the opposition in a race to the line. De Vere landed both goals to level the scores.And the Giants had not finished. They continued to put the Bulls defence under pressure and went into the lead when winger Stuart Donlan went over in the corner. De Vere added the goal.Bradford fought back well and levelled when winger Marcus Bai blasted over in the corner with Deacon slotting the goal over from the touchline.And as the home defence became more weary Bradford snatched victory when Shontayne Hape charged over in the corner with Deacon landing the goal.Sam Burgess sealed the win for the Bulls with a try on the hooter, with the reliable Deacon once again adding the goal points.Huddersfield: 30 (6).Tries: Raleigh, Aspinwall, McDonald, Wild, Donlan.Goals: De Vere 5.Bradford: 42 (18).Tries: Withers 2, St Hilaire 2, Bai, Hape, Burgess.Goals: Deacon 7.Huddersfield: Reilly, Aspinwall, Nero, De Vere, Donlan, Brown, Paul, Jackson, Drew, Gannon, Smith, Raleigh, Wild.Replacements: Thorman, Crabtree, Jones, McDonald.Bradford: Withers, Bai, B. Harris, Hape, St Hilaire, I. Harris, Deacon, Vagana, Newton, Lynch, Meyers, McKenna, Ferres.Replacements: Pryce, Johnson, Henderson, Burgess.Referee: Phil Benson (Bolton)Att: 7,002 Source:

R28: St Helens secure win over Wolves

ST Helens produced a breathtaking 21-minute first-half masterclass to secure a thrilling 38-30 victory and condemn Warrington Wolves to a sixth-placed finish in the engage Super League.

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