THE National Rugby League has officially sided with the Gold Coast Titans, refusing to register a playing contract lodged today by the Melbourne Storm and rising star Steve Turner.
THE XXXX Queensland Maroons have begun preparations to defend their Harvey Norman State of Origin crown, following on from this year?s miraculous 2-1 series defeat of New South Wales.QRL Managing Director Ross Livermore said there had been encouraging outcomes from a special State of Origin Planning Committee meeting, held this morning in Brisbane.In attendance were Mr Livermore, incumbent coach Mal Meninga, team manager Steve Walters and selectors Des Morris and Gene Miles.Topics on the agenda included team selection, staffing, training and accommodation locations, promotional activities and public events.A willingness was again shown to again take the XXXX Maroons into regional areas. In recent years the team has held fan days in Maryborough and Rockhampton and spent significant time on the Sunshine and Gold Coasts.In regards to staffing it was noted that several key support men, such as Neil Henry, Billy Johnstone and Steve Hooper, will be facing new challenges in 2007 with their club commitments. An undertaking was made to observe these personnel and assess any likely impact.Although head coach Meninga is yet to commit to the team for next year and beyond, there are positive signs of a continued involvement.?We have no reason to believe Mal won?t be the coach, but at the same time the situation is yet to be finalised,? Mr Livermore said.?Mal has significant business interests and the truth of the matter is that these will take some serious juggling with the commitment needed for the series and prior.?The 2007 State of Origin series will see matches held on May 23 (Brisbane), June 13 (Sydney) and July 4 (Brisbane).
LONG-SERVING Awen Guttenbeil and Brent Webb make their farewell appearances at home when an unchanged Vodafone Warriors side takes on the Sydney Roosters at Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday.
ST George Illawarra Captain Trent Barrett will play his 150th first grade game for the Dragons againstthe Sharks at WIN Stadium this Saturday night.Barrett will lead a Dragons team unchanged from last week who will be looking to reverse the resultfrom Round 9 when they were defeated 30-12 at Toyota Park.Barrett along with fellow local juniors Shaun Timmins and Luke Bailey will be given a fitting farewellat the end of the game with this being the final game of the regular season at WIN Stadium.Unavailable Dragons are: Mathew Head (Knee), Corey Payne (Concussion), Colin Best (Neck), ShaunTimmins (Quad) and Justin Poore (Suspended).NRL DRAGONSv Cronulla Sharks7.30pm Saturday 26 AugustWIN StadiumCoach: Nathan 1. Clint GREENSHIELDS 2. Wes NAIQAMA 3. Mark GASNIER 4. Matt COOPER 5. Brett MORRIS 6. Trent BARRETT (c) 7. Ben HORNBY 8. Luke BAILEY 9. Dean YOUNG 10. Jason RYLES 11. Matt BICKERSTAFF 12. Ashton SIMS 13. Ben CREAGH 14. Danny WICKS 15. Michael HENDERSON 16. Sam ISEMONGER 17. Aaron GORRELLPremier League Dragonsv Cronulla Sharks5.30pm Saturday 26 AugustWIN StadiumCoach: Steven Price 1. Reece SIMMONDS 2. Josh MORRIS 3. Beau RYAN 4. Daryl MILLARD 5. Tom HEWITT 6. Richard WILLIAMS 7. Chris SHEPPARD 8. Charlie LEAENO 9. George NDAIRA 910. Chris HOUSTON (c) 11. Tom HABERECHT 12. Keith LULIA 13. Andrew PRICE 14. Dan HUNT 15. Willie TUPOU 16. Bryson GOODWIN 17. Reece BLAYNEY 18. Jamie KEITH 19. JAMIE DUNNING 20. Aaron WHEATLEYJersey Flegg Dragonsv Cronulla Sharks3.50pm Saturday 26 AugustWIN StadiumCoach: Corey Pearson1. Jason NIGHTINGALE2. Rota SETU3. Chase STANLEY4. Ryan MILLARD5. Luke IRWIN6. Nathan WYNN7. Matt SEAMARK8. Chris FARRELL9. Brad DAVIDSON (c)10. Jhi TANNER11. James KEELAN12. Matt PRIOR13. Brian WEST (c)14. Peter WAKLEY15. James GREHAN16. Scott SABLOWSKI17. Blake DUREAU18. Jason WHITE19. Junior SEUMANUTAFA
BILLY Slater has reclaimed the fullback's position for the Melbourne Storm's clash against Canberra on Saturday, pushing leading tryscorer Jake Webster to the interchange bench.
BULLDOGS back-rower Willie Mason won't play again until the semi-finals after entering an early guily plea to a grade-two careless high-tackle charge. Mason has copped the two-match ban for his high shot on Brisbane halfback Shane Perry during last Friday's 30-0 loss to the Broncos, ruling him out of the final two regular-season matches.
THE New Zealand Rugby League, New Zealand 16?s and Junior Kiwi selectors have great please in announcing the following squads for 2006.
BULLDOGS coach Steve Folkes will unveil a new look line-up today for Friday night's clash against Manly with Willie Mason set to join injured duo Roy Asotasi and Willie Tonga on the sidelines.
WITH a bye in the last round the Dolphins finished off the season proper with one win, one draw and one loss against Tweed at Dolphin Oval last Saturday.
ROUND 24 can be remembered for a number of reasons. It can be remembered for the round where the Warriors ended the Storms winning streak. It can be remembered for the Panthers coming back from 20 points to defeat the Sharks in one of the comebacks of the year. It can be remembered for the great performances from the Broncos and the Dragons, or it can be remembered for the Knights winning without Andrew Johns for the first time in 2 years. With all those reasons put into consideration, we have come up with our top 17 to create the Round 24 League Unlimited Team of the Week.Fullback: Brett Stewart (Sea Eagles) - Put his foot forward for a possible Australian jersey at the end of the year in the tri-nations with another try fest at Brookvale. Has quickly become one of Rugby Leagues most exciting players. Wing: Jarryd Hayne (Eels) - The try-scoring freak had another blinder of a performance this week at Aussie Stadium. Scored a try and always looked dangerous with the ball in his hands. Is a shoe-in for rookie of the year in 2006.Centre: Mark Gasnier (Dragons) - Another superb display this week from the best centre in the world. Caused the Tigers outside defenders headaches all afternoon and is hitting form at the right time of the season.Centre: Justin Hodges (Broncos) - Stuck Hodges in the centers again this week despite him playing fullback. Was devastating against the Bulldogs and is pushing his claim for a spot in the Australian team come Tri-nations time.Wing: Darren Albert (Sharks) - Despite the Sharks losing, Albert still played his best game in a Sharks jersey. Made a couple of try-saving tackles and bagged a two tries himself. Five-eighth: Jarrod Mullen (Knights) - With no Andrew Johns in the team this youngster took control of the Knights team and led the team to an impressive victory. Showed great leadership and skill throughout the game and is a representative player of the future.Halfback: Matt Orford (Sea Eagles) - The Ox was running wild at Brookvale oval against the Bunnies this week. Orford has a hand in four of the Sea Eagles tries and played one of his best games of the year.Lock: Glenn Morrison (Eels) - Was excellent throughout the Roosters game on Sunday afternoon. Made plenty of tackles and always puts in his 100% effort week in week out. Second Row: Steve Simpson (Knights) - Was the forward leader of the Knights pack and led the team well. Constantly hit the ball up with great speed and made 35 tackles as well. One of the best second rowers going around at the moment. Second Row: Dean Widders (Eels) - Dean normally comes of the bench for the Eels but gets a run on start here. His running game was back to his best and he carved up the Roosters out wide. His short kicking game is also becoming a feature of his game. Prop: Jason Ryles (Dragons) - Big Jason came out with a purpose on Sunday afternoon at Oki Jubilee and that was too prove his critics wrong by performing well and ripping into the Tigers forward pack. Ryles played his best game in 2 years and is rewarded with a spot in the team of the week.Hooker: Danny Buderus (Knights) - Was without his partner in crime on Saturday night, however Danny was still excellent around the ruck area for the Knights in Townsville. He really controlled things well for the Knights and made a heap of tackles as well. Invaluable to the team. Prop: Petero Civoniceva (Broncos) - Petero 'seven cents a litre' really took it to a strong Dogs pack on Friday night. Petero provides great go-forward and makes plenty of tackles as well. Is one of the games best props going around. Interchance: Luke O'Dwyer (Eels), Craig Stapleton (Panthers), Mark Riddell (Eels), Grant Rovelli (Rovelli)A strong interchange bench with Rovelli being the impact player, O'Dwyer being very versitle and the big boppers in Stapleton and Riddell. Merkin of the Week Award for Stupidity: The award this week has to go to the touch judge that ruled two passes forward in 5 minutes that cost both the Broncos and the Bulldogs a try. Both passes were fine and both should of been awarded as tries. It amazes me how those passes can be called forward, but we can't seem to pick up the most obvious forward passes like the Kurt Gidley incident against the Raiders at Energy Australia stadium earlier this year.
ISN?T it amazing how 20 minutes of football can turn a team?s season on its head?
RICHARD Horne?s last-second drop goal secured Hull FC a dramatic 11-10 win over Salford City Reds to edge the Black and Whites closer to a first-ever second-place finish in the engage Super League.
STACEY Jones jinked through the St Helens defence with 35 seconds remaining to snatch a 26-22 victory for Catalans Dragons which appeared unlikely for much of the second half.
WARRINGTON Wolves all but secured their place in the engage Super League play-offs but their 28-22 victory over Harlequins RL was marred by the dismissal of club captain Paul Rauhihi.
SUPER League champions Bradford Bulls ran riot to regain the two points docked by their salary-cap breach and pile on the agony for relegation-threatened Castleford Tigers with a 48-10 victory at Grattan Stadium.