PENRITH has signed 23-year-old Raiders winger/centre Nathan Smith on a two year deal.
1. Matt Bowen
2. Ashley Graham
3. Mark Henry
4. Josh Hannay
5. Matthew Sing
6. Travis Norton (c)
7. Johnathan Thurston
8. Matthew Scott
9. Aaron Payne
10. Carl Webb
11. Steve Southern
12. Luke O'Donnell
13. Paul Bowman
VETERAN forward Awen Guttenbeil announced on Monday night that he had decided to leave the Vodafone Warriors at the end of the 2006 NRL season to finish his playing career with English Super League club Castleford.
The 30-year-old second rower said he was pleased to have his future secured after signing a two-year contract with the Tigers this evening.
Now in his 11th season with the Vodafone Warriors ? a feat only Stacey Jones has matched ? Guttenbeil was awarded a testimonial by the club this year and marks it with a celebratory lunch this Thursday (July 20).
?The time just feels right for me to go to England with this being my testimonial season,? he said today.
?I?ve got everything to thank the Vodafone Warriors for. This club has helped to make me who I am. I?ve grown up here and I?ve been through all sorts of good times and some not so good with the club.
?It?ll be sad when it?s all over but I?ll leave happy as well because I?m so thankful for the opportunity I?ve had here.?
Guttenbeil, who made his first-grade debut against North Sydney in 1996, played his 164th match when the Vodafone Warriors met Parramatta on Saturday night. No other forward has played more games for the club.
Guttenbeil said he appreciated the club?s co-operation in allowing him to explore options before reaching his decision to leave.
?As I was out of contract and I was looking at finishing my career, I wanted to be able to make the best decision for my family?s future,? he said.
?I approached the club to ask whether I could sound out Super League clubs to see what might be available and I then asked whether I could check out NRL clubs as well. The Vodafone Warriors also made me an offer and, in the end, I was able to make an informed decision.
?While there was a chance to go to another NRL club, I really didn?t want to be in a position where I was playing against the Vodafone Warriors.
?I?ve ended up with the best deal and Tash and I are excited about heading to the English Super League for a couple of seasons.
?That?s ahead of us, though. This year has been hugely rewarding with the Warriors and I want to do all I can to see us finish it the best way possible.
?But when my playing career is over, I?d love to be able to return to help the club in some way.?
Chief executive Wayne Scurrah said the Vodafone Warriors were indebted to Guttenbeil.
?The contribution he has made to the club has been enormous. He represents everything we want players from this club to aspire to,? he said.
?He has always been very open about his plans and all we?ve wanted is whatever is best for him. He asked for permission to investigate other possibilities and has come back to say this option to go to Castleford is best for him and for his family. We?re excited for Awen.
?Now we want to give him the best farewell we can. He deserves it more than anyone.?
Scurrah said the club was keen to have Guttenbeil involved when he finishes his playing days.
?In his case it?s once a Warrior, always a Warrior and it?s our wish that he?ll be back soon and have a role in this club. He has so much to offer.?
After five injury-troubled years, Guttenbeil has been the club?s most durable player in the last six seasons, appearing in more matches during that time than any other player.
He?s set to join a club with a potent Kiwi connection. Castleford has previously been home to a number of New Zealanders including Kiwis Tawera Nikau, Tony Kemp, Richie Blackmore and Frano Botica.
THE Canberra Raiders have named an unchanged line-up for Sunday afternoon?s big clash against the St George Illawarra Dragons, with Coach Matt Elliott sticking with the same 17 who defeated the Tigers 20-18 at Canberra Stadium last weekend.
1. Milton Thaiday 2. Brian Carney 3. Matthew Gidley 4. George Carmont 5. Anthony Quinn 6. Jarrod Mullen 7. Andrew Johns (C) 8. Craig Smith 9. Danny Buderus 10. Josh Perry 11. Steve Simpson 12. Clint Newton 13. Reegan Tanner Interchange:14. Luke Davico 15. Adam Woolnough 16. Todd Lowrie 17. Kirk Reynoldson 18.Daniel Abraham(One to be omitted)
1 � Wade McKinnon
2 � Jarryd Hayne
3 � Luke O�Dwyer
4 � Ben Smith
5 � Eric Grothe
6 � John Morris
7 � Jeremy Smith
8 � Nathan Cayless (c)
9 � Mark Riddell
10 � Fuifui Moimoi
11 � Nathan Hindmarsh
12 � Chad Robinson
13 � Glenn Morrison
BULLDOGS prop Nate Myles is expected to announce his NRL future today. The Queensland Origin forward has been the most in-demand player on the open market, with eight clubs desperate to secure his services from next season.
WAKEFIELD have parted company with head coach Tony Smith with immediate effect.
CATALANS Dragons have insisted they are unconcerned by reports suggesting centre Adam Mogg could remain with his present side Canberra Raiders.
SALFORD City Reds have signed former St Helens prop Mark Edmondson on a two-year deal from Sydney Roosters.
KIWI Test centre Clinton Toopi has been granted an early release from his New Zealand Warriors contract to join Leeds for the rest of the season.
WHAT a ripping round of footy we?ve chewed our way through with some real top quality games in the mix ? all matches were decided by no more than 9 points. Competition for spots this week was hotter than a two-peckered bill goat in heat with the selectors having to mull over the decisions until the wee hours this morning. So, here are the 17 to wear the proud colours of the Round 19 League Unlimited Team of the Week.
CASTLEFORD gave their engage Super League survival chances another huge boost by winning a thrilling derby 31-30 over Leeds at The Jungle.
WINGER Martin Aspinwall scored two tries in three second-half minutes to help complete Huddersfield?s stunning fightback and end their run of four straight defeats with a 26-20 win.The Giants were 20-0 down after 43 minutes but Aspinwall?s quick double on 62 and 65 minutes tied the scores after Stuart Donlan and Michael De Vere started the revival with converted touchdowns.Substitute Steve Snitch piled on the misery for relegation-threatened Wakefield by finishing off a fine move created by Robbie Paul?s break to put the home side ahead for the first time.De Vere sealed victory by converting to complete a comeback which saw Huddersfield score 26 unanswered points in just 18 minutes to ease their own engage Super League relegation worries.Wakefield seemed to be on course to register only their third away win of the season after an impressive first-half display.Tempers on both sides came close to over-heating in the searing temperatures early on - Huddersfield?s Brad Drew had a punch-up with Wakefield?s Monty Betham, while Donlan was lucky not to be sin-binned for elbowing a Wildcats player.But once the visitors went ahead in the 10th minute through David Solomona?s try there seemed to be no way back into the game for a lethargic looking Huddersfield side.Former Giants winger Paul White scored a touchdown against his old club on 14 minutes after taking on Jamie Rooney?s final pass.Scrum-half Rooney then further increased Wakefield?s lead on 33 minutes by finishing off a move which was started by Jason Demetriou?s break from deep.Rooney converted all three tries to give the visitors an 18-0 interval lead and Rooney stretched the cushion early in the second half by kicking over a penalty awarded for a high tackle.Wakefield seemed to have the game sewn up - but the visitors have made a habit of throwing away healthy 20-point advantages this season.And once Huddersfield got on the scoresheet in the 50th minute with Donlan?s try the Wildcats just seemed to collapse.Huddersfield (0) 26.Tries: Donlan, De Vere, Aspinwall 2, Snitch. Goals: De Vere 3.Wakefield (18) 20.Tries: Solomona, White, Rooney. Goals: Rooney 4.Huddersfield: Reilly, Aspinwall, Brown, De Vere, Donlan, Thorman, Paul, Jackson, Drew, Gannon, Nero, Jones, Wild.Replacements: Crabtree, Snitch, Smith, Raleigh.Wakefield: Halpenny, Tadulala, Demetriou, Atkins, White, Rooney, Jeffries, Watene, March, Korkidas, Solomona, J. Field, Betham.Replacements: Elima, Obst, MacGillivray, Griffin.Att: 4,848Referee: S GansonSource: www.superleague.co.uk
HULL extended their winning run to 13 games with a 36-24 win over Warrington at the KC Stadium, although they were never allowed to settle by a gritty Wolves outfit.