REDCLIFFE coach Anthony Griffin was instrumental in the Melbourne Storm signing Pat Gardner as a teenager.So it's ironic that Gardner lines up with the Dolphins this season even though Griffin had moved to Melbourne as Gardner arrived at Bishop Park to start football life as a Norths devil."When I was with Norths I received a tip-off from our scout in Cairns," Griffin said."The player he was praising was Pat, who as an 18-year-old was playing with the Cairns Cyclones in the state League. We signed him but as he arrived I went to Melbourne to coach."Pat has been with Norths first grade for the past four seasons and he has been a shandy away from playing NRL."We're lucky to have him here with us. He still harbours ambitions of playing NRL, but if that doesn't happen he would be perfect to be one of our frontline props when Adam Starr and Troy Lindsay call it a day."Pat is a great acquisition for our club because he has the size, experience of 60-70 starts in the Cup and is only 24."We're lucky that we have a number of established props in Clint Fraser. Damien Jentz and Darren Glase from Souths Logan who should figure this season. They are all in their early to mid 20s and have all the right attributes."And we have a prop coming through from Colts in Brad Massey who shows a bit."Gardner hails from Innisfail in North Queensland, the same hometown as Billy Slater, but Pat plays the game in a far different manner to the fleet-footed fullback. A tough no-nonsense prop who tops 108 kilograms, he did the pre-season with Storm's top squad last year and impressed coach Craig Bellamy with his work ethic.Gardner will spend a week this pre-season at the Broncos as topline Dolphins are rotated through their training program.Redcliffe skipper Shane Perry is an exception as he has been training with the Brisbane side since before Christmas with injury clouds over Brett Seymour and Darren Lockyer.The Broncos have handed on a handy acquisition to Redcliffe in young Kiwi outside back Kaine Manihera. He came across the Tasman at the end of last season after starring with the Canterbury Bulls in the tough Bartercard Cup.
FRANK Hyde turned 90 today, Tuesday, February 7th, 2006Congratulations to the great Frank Hyde who reaches the milestone of his ninetieth birthday on Tuesday, February 7th. Frank is Newtown?s oldest living former first grade player, having played with the Bluebags from 1934 to 1937. Frank also played with the Balmain Tigers (from where he represented NSW in 1938 and claimed a first grade premiership title in 1939). He moved on to captain-coach Waratah-Mayfield in the Newcastle district competition and represent NSW Country in 1940. He also played with North Sydney from 1942-44, and was captain of North Sydney?s 1943 Grand Final team.He is best known as the unchallenged doyen of Rugby League radio broadcasters, having dominated the ratings for more than 30 years on 2SM. Best wishes to you Frank from the entire Newtown RLFC and from Jets and Rugby League supporters everywhere!Photo caption: Frank Hyde at Henson Park in August 2005 (Photo courtesy of Gary Sutherland Photography).
WORLD Cup ready to FireThe qualifying process for the 2008 World Cup is expected to begin in April of this year with as many as 20 nations fighting for the final five spots.Australia, England, France, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea have all been given automatic entry into the 2008 World Cup. Find out just how the qualifying process will work.Dragons favourites to win in 2006The St George Illawarra Dragons have been placed as favourites to win the 2006 NRL grand final by leading betting agencies. The Dragons have been placed at juicy odds of $5.50 to win the premiership in early October even before a ball has been kicked in the NRL competition.Who rules when it comes to Coaching?Just who has the best record when it comes to the current NRL coaches and how do they compare with all the other coaches. We look at just how the coach at your club shapes up and how do they compare with the all-time coaches.Lance Thompson can't wait for the season to startLance Thompson can not wait for the 2006 NRL season to commence and is looking forward to taking the Sharks to the play-offs. It will be strange to see him out of a Dragons jersey but his focus is fully behind Cronulla who threw him a lifeline when the Saints decided to let Thompson go after more than 10 years service with the club. There is a full player profile on the former Saints player.RUGBY LEAGUE REVIEW is out Tuesday, Feb 7 at all good newsagents for $3.50.Guarantee your copy by subscribing. Check out www.rugbyleaguereview.com for more details.
THE Newtown Jets first trial match for 2006 will be played on Saturday evening (February 11th), when the Jets and the North Sydney Bears square off at Henson Park at 5.00pm. This official NSWRL VB Premier League trial match will be preceded by a trial game between the Newtown and Asquith Jim Beam Cup squads at 3.30pm, with an earlier trial between the Sydney Roosters and North Sydney Jersey Flegg teams due to start at 2.00pm. Bears CEO Greg Florimo warns that North Sydney will be stronger in 2006 as a result of their successful feeder club arrangement with the Melbourne Storm. Jets fans will be equally keen to see how their new look squads shape up in both grades at the beginning of the club?s 99th season in the rugby league game. Naturally a full catering service will be available at Henson Park for the afternoon. Club membershipMany thanks to all those Newtown members who have already renewed their memberships this year, and who have taken the opportunity to buy official club merchandise. If you have still to renew for 2006, we really do value your membership so please get your renewal form in and stay on board with the Jets. Your collective membership gives the club greater bargaining power and increases the club?s marketability to current and potential sponsors. Be sure to remind any of your family members or friends who haven?t renewed their memberships as yet to please do so as soon as possible. If you?re not an official member of the Jets, why not join up with us? It?s a great way to prove your commitment to the survival of this grand old club, and your membership makes us stronger as an organisation in so many important ways. Contact the Newtown RLFC on 1300 36 36 90 or email [email protected] with your full contact details and request for membership application forms to be sent out. You can also download a membership application form from our website at http://www.newtownjets.com See you all at Henson Park on this coming Saturday afternoon (February 11th) for the start of what is going to be an enormous year in our club?s long history! (Photo caption:Action from Newtown v North Sydney at Henson Park last year.)
ENGLISH Super League club Castleford has confirmed it is interested in Australian Test half-back Craig Gower, who has fallen out with the Penrith Panthers.The 27-year-old is reported to be furious at losing the club captaincy and being fined $100,000 - $30,000 of which was suspended - in the wake of an alleged drunken weekend on the Sunshine Coast in December and has reportedly asked for a release.Newly promoted Castleford are still searching for a quality half-back following their failure to sign Cronulla's Adam Dykes. The Melbourne Storm have also confirmed an interest in Gower.
SYDNEY Roosters halfback Brett Finch has spoken out saying he fears the Roosters wet weather play could let them down again, like it did in the Grand Final.
THE BARLA Great Britain Young Lions will face the Australian Schoolboys in a two-match Test Series this August.
LONDON Broncos will go into the game against Huddersfield on Sunday with the same team that lost to Hull at Leicester last round.
PAUL Cullen has named a 20 man side to face Challenge Cup winners St Helens this Saturday, 6.05pm Live on Sky Sports from Knowsley Road.
IN this week's Bulls Eye Brian Noble and Paul Johnson look ahead top Sunday's Round 16 game at Odsal when the Vikings cross the Pennines to play the Bulls.
THE Mitsubishi Electric Bulldogs CEO, Malcolm Noad, has announced that current coach, Steve Folkes, has re-signed with the club for a further 2 years.
This is great news for the team who are travelling to Townsville to take on the North Queensland Cowboys.
BRONCOS coach Wayne Bennett has called on the NRL to immediately address the June 30 contractual deadline, which turns the competition on its head at this time of the year every season.
TONY Kemp is on the verge of being signed by the Warriors to coach the team for the next two years.
THE Panthers have defeated a spirited Parramatta outfit 26-16 after another great second half performance that now seems to be a trademark of their games.
A convincing win tonight in Melbourne for the home side has them hold the Michael Moore trophy for the rest of the year as they trounced the Vodafone Warriors by 42-6 in front of a very vocal home crowd boosted by the lack of AFL matches this weekend in the city.