Betting on NRL suspended in the wake of Gower saga

BETTING has been suspended on the NRL in light of the Penrith Panthers fiasco involving Craig Gower allegedly seeking a release from his contract.Bets have been placed on the Panthers to win the wooden spoon and Melbourne to win the premiership as Gower would be odds on to move to Melbourne in Penrith granted Gower a release from his contract.Melbourne lost star halfback Matt Orford to Manly at the end of last season and are light on in the halves with Cooper Cronk the man most likely to replace Orford in the all important halfback role.Gower has been unhappy since being stripped of the captaincy and fined $30,000 in the wake of his much-publicised antics at Noosa in December at a charity golf event that also coincided with his buck?s night.Penrith stalwart Tony Puletua will be the Panthers captain in 2006 but has publicly stated he is happy to step aside and let Gower assume the role in the best interests of the club.Gower would attract massive money in the U.K with two clubs apparently very keen to secure his services, believed to be Castleford and Salford.Gower's manager Greg Willett has doused claims his client is seeking a release from his four-year contract, worth a staggering two million dollars.

Tuqiri ponders return to League

IT has been reported in the press that former Brisbane Broncos winger Lote Tuqiri is looking to re-ignite his Rugby League career after the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France.With his contract expiring at the conclusion of next years world cup, Tuqiri would still have three to four good years in front him should he return to the Broncos.Tuqiri has stated his first passion is Rugby League and the lure of helping the Broncos rebuild into a premiership force as well as State of Origin may be too much for the Waratahs center to handle.The Broncos have publicly stated they would be happy to have Tuqiri back but his asking price may be something they need to start preparing for now with Tuqiri on $500,000 a season if media reports are to be believed. That sort of money is only available to a select few in League and one of those select few resides as the Broncos in Darren Lockyer.It would be great to see Tuqiri return to League but I don?t think the move would receive they hype his departure did because the game has the ability to spawn superstars at the drop of a hat and Tuqiri?s departure left a sour taste in the mouth of many fans after he failed to commit to League after being selected for the Kangaroos one-off test against Great Britain only to days later pledge his allegiance to Rugby.

Bears Legends help raise money for Men Of League

THE North Sydney Old Boys sevens team returned to Coffs Harbour once again this February to help raise money for the Men of League organisation.The ?Fund raising? began on Australia Day in front of 5000 spectators at the Coffs Coast International Stadium as the likes of Danny Brady, Mick Buettner, Greg Florimo, Andrew King, Peter Phillips, Wayne Portlock, Nigel Roy, Josh Stuart and Craig Wilson took the field against a St George Old Boys team.There was more fund raising on Friday night as the boys attended the Men of League Official Tournament Dinner Featuring 40 League Legends as well as visiting international teams and hosted by Graham Hughes. On the night local Daniel Walsh won the chance to play with the North Sydney Old Boys on the following day.Saturday saw their return to the paddock in a demonstration match against the ?Barbarians? team. New boys Brady, Walsh and Steve Little joined members of the St George Old Boys team as well as the Bears, to put on a show for 8000 spectators at the Coramba Sportsground. Opposition players included Brad Fittler, Rod Wishart, Robbie O'Davis and Paul McGregor.The Bears Legends are keen to return to Coffs Harbour again next year when even more ?Old Boys? teams are set to join them.PHOTO: The Old Boys sevens teams who competed in demotion matches at the 2006 Orara Valley Sevens. Photo by: Steve Little.The primary objective of the Men of League is to support former players, officials and referees who have fallen on hard times. The Men of League are there to help with medical operations, rehabilitation equipment, nursing home equipment, grants, counselling, social contact through visits, cards, and telephone calls and promoting and supporting fund raising events for Rugby League people in need of help.To visit the official Men of League website go to http://www.menofleague.com.For more information on the Orara Valley Sevens go to the Coffs Harbour local government website athttp://www.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/www/html/1216-orara-valley-axemen-big-week-of-league.asp.For the official Orara Valley Axemen website go tohttp://www.oraravalleyaxemen.com.See more photos from the 2006 Orara Valley Sevens go to the Photos section of the Bears website http://www.northsydneybears.com.au/Photos/Special%20Events/2006oraravalleysevens/20050126%20-%202006%20Orara%20Valley%20Sevens.htmAnd for the PJR Sports site go to http://www.pjrobinson.com.au/sevens.The North Sydney Rugby League Football Club can be contacted on 9466 8860, by e-mail [email protected], or check out the website athttp://www.northsydneybears.com.au.

Bradford dominate Wests Tigers in WCC

FULLTIME: Bradford Bulls 30 - Wests Tigers 10English Super League champions Bradford Bulls have taken out the 2006 World club Challenge following a comprehensive 30-10 victory over National Rugby League premiers Wests Tigers in Huddersfield.It is the third WCC victory for the Bulls who had previously won the annual clash in 2002 and 2004.With front rower Stuart Fielden leading the way, the Bulls dominated a lacklustre Wests Tigers outfit throughout the match, the home side continually getting over the advantage line and hammering their opponents in defence.Rugby League journeyman Marcus Bai opened the scoring after seven minutes to give the Bulls a 4-nil lead. Wests Tigers struck back in the 14th minute through Daniel Fitzhenry to make it 4-all, but that would be as close as the visitors would get to heading the scoreboard. Fielden got the first of his two tries in the 25th minute to make it 10-4 in favour of Bradford. A penalty goal from captain Iestyn Harris saw the Bulls go further and at half time it was 12-4.The Bulls came out firing in the second half and again dominated field position, Bradford hooker Ian Henderson taking full advantage of the tiring Wests Tigers defence. After being held up just minutes earlier, Fielden raced through to score in the 52nd minute to make it 18-4 in favour of the Bulls.10 minutes later, Papua New Guinea international Stanley Gene crashed through to put the match beyond doubt. Not to be outdone, fellow PNG countryman Marcus Bai got his second try in the 72nd minute to give the Bulls a commanding 30-4 lead.With four minutes remaining, Wests Tigers managed a consolation try through Brett Hodgson, the fullback running onto a kick from Scott Prince.Although lacking in match practice, Wests Tigers were well outclassed by a more committed Bradford Bulls outfit now looking to defend their ESL crown. Wests Tigers however, still have work to do and, upon their return to Australia and the upcoming NRL trials, are no doubt looking forward to regaining their form of 2005.- www.leagueunlimited.comDetails:BRADFORD BULLS 30Tries: Fielden 2, Bai 2, GeneGoals: I Harris 5/6defeatedWESTS TIGERS 10Tries: Fitzhenry, HodgsonGoals: Hodgson 1/2Fri 3 Feb 2006. Kickoff: 8:00pm (GMT)Galpharm Stadium, HuddersfieldCrowd: 19,207Referee: Steve GansonHalf time: Bulls 12-4By The Clock:7 min: TRY - Bulls.Marcus Bai on debut for the Bulls scores in the right corner thanks to an overlap. Follows repeat sets.Conversion from Iestyn Harris unsuccessful.Bulls 4-014 min: TRY - Tigers.Daniel Fitzhenry scores out wide after slipping under a high tackle from close range.Conversion from Brett Hodgson unsuccessful.4-all19 min: NO TRY - Bulls denied.Bradford's Shontayne Hape ruled to have knocked on over the line in a decision that went to the video ref with Wests Tigers' Jamaal Lolesi appearing to have knocked the ball out. A close call for Wests.25 min: TRY - Bulls.Stuart Fielden crashes over running from 12m out and beating four would-be defenders.Conversion Iestyn Harris from almost in front is OK.Bulls 10-438 min: PENALTY GOAL - Bulls.Iestyn Harris converts. Follows penalty for offside/marker not square.Bulls 12-4HALF TIME: Bulls 12-4Bradford controlling much of the ruck play with yards neing made up the middle, hooker Ian Henderson and prop Stuart Fielden taking full advantage. The Bulls enjoying a greater share of possession and have had more opportunities.Wests Tigers still in it but were looking tired in defence, particularly towards the end of the first half. Wests Tigers are being beaten up the middle so they have some work to do.48 min: HELD UP - Bulls.Fielden is held up over the line after running onto a pass from Harrison at dummy half. Bulls looking dangerous early on after Hape makes a break down the left flank, follows some classy offloads closer to the ruck.52 min: TRY - Bulls.Fielden not denied this time as he combines again with Harrison. The Wests Tigers defence opens up and Fielden crosses next to the uprights. Follows handling error fom Tigers who are struggling against the Bulls' solid defence.Conversion Iestyn Harris from in front is OK.Bulls 18-462 min: TRY - Bulls.Stanley Gene crashes over 10m in from touch after throwing the dummy. Bulls hammering the Tigers with an 80m gain in the last set.Conversion from Iestyn Harris is spot on.Bulls 24-472 min: TRY - Bulls.Marcus Bai scores out wide, getting it down before taking out the corner flag.Conversion from Iestyn Harris is a ripper.Bulls 30-476 min: TRY - Tigers.Brett Hodgson scores a consolation try for the visitors. Follows a kick on the last tackle.Hodgson converts his own try.Bulls 30-10FULL TIME: The Bradford Bulls have defeated Wests Tigers 30-10 in the 2006 World Club Challenge.- www.leagueunlimited.comLeagueUnlimited.com Players of the match:3 - S Fielden (Bulls)2 - I Harrison (Bulls)1 - S Gene (Bulls)Pic: Iestyn Harris and the 2006 WCC trophy.

Draft Planning

THE 2004 NFL draft has come and gone, with number one overall pick Eli Manning making national headlines as the New York Giants saviour, the man to lift the franchise out of their slump. Management, the fans and the coaches will trust much of the franchises success to this man, who, at 23, has walked out of college and into national fame. The frenzy the NFL draft has caused, as well as recent suggestions by many commentators, including former Australian coach Chris Anderson, sees me take a look at the idea of a possible NRL player draft.

The Gravy Train

WHAT is in a name? Nothing. Or everything, depending on whom you ask.

NSW win Origin I in golden point time

THE New South Wales Blues have defeated the Queensland Maroons 9-8 following a golden point field goal from Shaun Timmins at Telstra Stadium tonight.

Get a life Rugby

IT comes as no surprise the NSWRU today announced on the eve of the first Origin match that they (NSWRU) are announcing their intentions to sign Andrew Johns to the Waratahs.

Bulldogs skipper linked with Warriors

BULLDOGS captain Steve Price could make a dramatic switch to the New Zealand Warriors next year after rumours that the struggling club are set to offer him a major financial deal for the 2005 season.

Bulldogs defeat gallant Cowboys in FNQ

THE Canterbury Bulldogs have put in a professional performance to outclass the North Queensland Cowboys 32-18 in Townsville tonight.

Rabbitohs let Willie Peters go

THE South Sydney Rabbitohs has announced today that halfback Willie Peters has been released from his contract for the remainder of the season and will join English Club Widnes.

Historic Day - RLI's opening RLC fixtures!

MAY 29 will see the commencement of the new look Rugby League Ireland Conference.

1895 International invites supporters to 'sample history'

1895 International has unveiled a series of pre-match packages for supporters at its base at The George Hotel prior to each of Huddersfield Giants? home Super League games.

Ali's Day of Reckoning - Editorial

TODAY'S the day a lot of NZ Warrior fans have been dreading. Ali Lauiti'iti will let the club know of his plans for his immediate future and judging by the news we are being bombarded with by the over zealous kiwi press, it looks as though there will be no turning back for Ali.

DRAGONS IMPOSE $50,000 FINE ON GASNIER

ST George Illawarra centre Mark Gasnier has been fined $50,000 by the Dragons Board at a meeting yesterday as a disciplinary measure for bringing the Club and the game of rugby league into disrepute last week.

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