NEW-LOOK Warrington endured a nightmare start to their engage Super League campaign as Salford claimed a shock 24-6 victory at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.Wolves coach Paul Cullen handed debuts to a quartet of high-profile signings but they simply failed to sparkle as the City Reds ground out a thoroughly deserved win.Salford, by contrast, were missing four key players but new recruit John Wilshere made a mockery of the supposed gulf between the sides with two first-half tries.The stand-off?s clinical brace helped Salford to a 10-0 interval advantage while second-half touchdowns from David Hodgson and Junior Langi left Warrington stunned.Henry Fa?afili?s try shortly after the restart looked to have hauled the Wolves back in contention, but in truth Karl Harrison?s men never looked likely to relinquish their hard-earned advantage.The result left the majority of an expectant 10,835 crowd stunned after they had arrived hoping to see Warrington build on last season?s impressive fourth-placed finish with a strong start to the new campaign.But new signings Paul Rauhihi, Michael Sullivan, Stuart Reardon and Rob Parker struggled to make any impact as the City Reds laid down their own impressive marker for the season ahead.Harrison?s play-off hopefuls were vibrant from the outset and a concerted spell of early pressure reaped rich dividends after nine minutes.The outstanding Karl Fitzpatrick?s clever diagonal bomb found Hodgson and he neatly palmed the ball into the path of Wilshere, who touched down from close range.Hodgson failed to convert but Salford were buoyant and extended their lead five minutes later when Hodgson converted a penalty to make it 6-0.The City Reds were missing key players in Luke Robinson, Chris Charles and new recruits Andrew Dunemann and Stephen Myler.But their dogged approach compensated for the quartet?s absence and Fitzpatrick?s clever kicking into the left-hand corner left Reardon frequently exposed.And the City Reds were in dreamland on the stroke of half-time when Wilshere seized possession and displayed outstanding pace and impressive footwork to dart through a gaping hole in the home rearguard to complete his brace.Hodgson failed to convert and Warrington trudged off at the break fully prepared for the verbal volley that doubtless awaited them from Cullen.The coach?s words must have sunk in as the Wolves came out strongly, with Lee Briers? offload finding Martin Gleeson, who found Fa?afili. The Kiwi wing finished off the move in the right-hand corner and, with Briers adding the extras, the Wolves were right back in it.After 53 minutes, however, Salford hit back with the perfect riposte. Fitzpatrick produced a delightful piece of midfield artistry, chipping the ball over his opponents head before racing forward to collect the ball and provide a perfect offload to Hodgson.Hodgson added the extras to make it 16-6 and soon added a penalty to secure his side an unassailable 18-6 advantage. Hodgson added a penalty and converted Langi?s close-range touchdown to put the icing on a hugely impressive Salford victory.Warrington: 6 (0)Tries: Fa'afili.Goals: Briers.Salford: 24 (10)Tries: Wilshere 2, Hodgson, Langi.Goals: Hodgson 4.Warrington: Grose, Fa?afili, M. Gleeson, Kohe-Love, Reardon, Briers, Sullivan, Leikvoll, Clarke, Rauhihi, Swann, Westwood, Parker.Replacements: Bridge, M. Gleeson, Wood, Lima.Salford: Hodgson, Langi, Littler, Moule, Stewart, Wilshere, Fitzpatrick, Coley, Alker, Highton, Brocklehurst, Sibbit, Finnigan.Replacements: Jonkers, Haggerty, Clough, Baldwin.Referee: R Laughton (Barnsley)
JUST like Paris before them, Catalan Dragons made a fairytale start to life in Super League with a pulsating victory by 38-30.The Perpignan club scored the 12th try of an epic duel in the last minute at Stade Aime Giral to grab a sensational win over Wigan and send a bumper crowd wild with delight.The lead changed hands six times in a memorable match but the Dragons finished the stronger side to famously claim the spoils and left the field to a standing ovation.Dragons must now build on their stunning opening triumph if they are to succeed where Paris failed and, on this evidence, the signs are looking promising.Inspired by brilliant New Zealand Test scrum-half Stacey Jones, one of five overseas players making their debuts for the Frenchmen, the Dragons three times came from behind to stun their illustrious visitors.The shocks began as early as the second minute when the visitors, with five debutants of their own, conceded the first try but they fought back to lead 22-16 at half-time.Wigan, in fact, made the worst possible start when new captain Sean O?Loughlin was pulled up for a forward pass straight from the kick-off and the French side scored from the resulting scrum.Jones combined with former Castleford stand-off Sean Rudder to work the ball out wide and winger Mark Hughes rounded Mark Calderwood to squeeze over at the corner.There was also some fine finishing from Wigan five minutes later when winger Brett Dallas reached for the line after his centre, David Vaealiki, had juggled with Mick Higham?s long pass.Danny Tickle, like Laurent Frayssinous before him, hit the woodwork with the conversion attempt but the Warriors went in front five minutes later when teenage full-back Chris Ashton broke through the middle to send prop Iafeta Palea?aesina galloping 30 metres for a debut try.Tickle?s successful conversion made it 10-4 but the Dragons were level on 15 minutes when full-back Frayssinous touched down Jones? grubber kick on the last tackle and also added the goal.As the game swung from end to end Catalans prop Chris Beattie and Vaealiki both had tries disallowed before the home side, urged on by a vociferous crowd, regained the lead on 30 minutes.Explosive second rower Jamal Fakir bumped off an attempted tackle by Pat Richards and Palea?aesina to crash over the line but quickly turned from hero to villain by being sin-binned.The France international was placed on report by Ashley Klein for a high tackle on Wigan substitute Wayne Godwin but clearly did not heed the warning and was shown the yellow card after repeating the foul on the same unfortunate opponent moments later.And Wigan took full advantage of the extra man, with lively scrum-half Dennis Moran jinking his way over for a try in stoppage time, and Tickle kicked his third goal.But the Catalans look to be made of stern stuff and, with Fakir back in action, they struck with two tries early in the second half to edge back in front.Substitute winger Renaud Guige had a score disallowed for a double movement but he made amends after 46 minutes by finishing some splendid handling by half-backs Jones and Rudder.And six minutes later, the crowd was on its feet once more when centre John Wilson got a wonder pass out of the tackle for right winger Justin Murphy to cross at the corner.Frayssinous planted the touchline conversion between the posts to make it 26-22 and that?s the way it stayed until the 70th minute.Higham was held up over the line and O?Loughlin had the misfortune to lose the ball in the act of scoring but the skipper?s blushes looked to have been spared by Pat Richards, who handed off the challenge of Guige to race over for what they thought was the winning try.A penalty from Tickle, his fifth goal from six attempts, made it 30-26 but back the French came again in a heart-stopping finish.Loose forward Ian Hindmarsh, brother of Australian Test star Nathan, cut through for his side?s sixth try five minutes from the end and hooker Julien Rinaldi squeezed over in the last minute to make sure.Catalans Dragons (16) 38.Tries: Hughes, Frayssinous, Fakir, Guigue, Murphy 2, Hindmarsh. Goals: Frayssinous 5.Wigan (22) 30.Tries: Dallas, Paleaaesina, Moran, Seu Seu, Richards. Goals: Tickle 5.Catalans Dragons: Frayssinous, Murphy, Sadaoui, Wilson, Hughes, Rudder, Jones, Beattie, Rinaldi, Fellous, Guisset, Fakir, Hindmarsh.Replacements: Jampy, Mounis, Guigue, Chan.Wigan: Ashton, Calderwood, Richards, Vaealiki, Dallas, Orr, Moran, Logan, Higham, Paleaaesina, Hansen, Tickle, O?Loughlin.Replacements: Brown, Godwin, Seu Seu, Tomkins.Referee: A Klein (London)Att: 11,000
PAUL Wellens ran in a hat-trick of tries as St Helens showed their class with an emphatic 40-16 victory over Harlequins at the Twickenham Stoop.It was a new name, home and kit for the home side, formerly known at London Broncos, but Saints spoiled the party by running in seven tries to Harlequins? three.The visitors established a 24-6 half-time lead, Wellens crossing twice and Ade Gardner once after Tyrone Smith had cancelled out the opener from Jason Cayless.Rikki Sheriffe replied for Quins, but Wellens got his third and Jason Hooper and Jamie Lyon made the win safe before a consolation arrived from Paul Sykes.The visitors left out captain Paul Sculthorpe as he recovers after knee surgery but Sean Long returned and Cayless, Leon Pryce and Francis Meli were handed debuts.Meli made an inauspicious start, struggling with kicks from Matt Gafa and Thomas Leuluai, but fellow Kiwi Cayless began well, taking Keiron Cunningham?s pass to score after seven minutes.At the other end, Pat Weisner was dragged down onto the line after prop Karl Temata went striding through a gaping hole. Moments later Luke Dorn?s kick to the right corner found Smith, who touched down.After 23 minutes Harlequins conceded a second penalty for an incorrect play-the-ball and Saints? pressure culminated in Wellens crashing over.A minute later James Roby, on for Cunningham, made a break through the centre and Wellens was on his shoulder to add his second.Quins tried to force the pace but handling errors were their undoing and the visitors? next try demonstrated the gulf in class.Smith?s fumble enabled Pryce, Meli and Hooper to make ground before Long kicked to Lyon in space on the wing.The Australian centre kept the ball in play with a deft reverse flick for Gardner to canter over, then added his fourth conversion.Harlequins got their second try when Gardner failed in his attempt to cut out Leuluai?s pass to Sheriffe, who was left with a simple run-in.Wellens had chances to complete his hat-trick before the interval and did so midway through the second period when he rounded Zebastian Luisi to go under the posts.Long supplied the ball for Hooper?s try and Lyon finished from halfway after an interception, before Danny Williams set up Sykes.Harlequins RL (6) 16.Tries: Smith, Sheriffe, Sykes. Goals: Gafa, Sykes.St Helens (24) 40.Tries: Cayless, Wellens 3, Gardner, Hooper, Lyon. Goals: Lyon 6.Harlequins RL: Gafa, Sheriffe, Lucky Luisi, Smith, Bradley-Qalilawa, Dorn, Leuluai, Temata, Weisner, Heckenberg, Purdham, Hopkins, Williams.Replacements: Haumono, Mills, Sykes, Tookey.St Helens: Wellens, Gardner, Lyon, Talau, Meli, Pryce, Long, Fozzard, Cunningham, Cayless, Gilmour, Wilkin, Hooper.Replacements: Roby, Graham, P. Anderson, Fa?asavalu.Referee: R Silverwood (Dewsbury)Att: 8,213
IT WAS a case of a perfect marriage between the old and the new at the Redcliffe Dolphins 2006 season launch .
NEW boys Castleford provided some glimpses of promise on their return to the top flight but they were no match for Challenge Cup holders Hull on the opening night of engage Super League XI as the east Yorkshire side won 42-18.A comprehensive eight-try defeat confirmed Hull as serious title challengers after recruiting well during the off-season.Sid Domic scored the first try of the 2006 season on an impressive debut for Hull, while playmakers Paul Cooke and Richard Horne caused all sorts of problems for a fragile home defence.Ex-St Helens and Widnes centre Gray Viane, one of 10 new faces for the Tigers, scored two tries and their fans among the bumper 10,188 crowd were delighted with the displays of prop Danny Sculthorpe and skipper Danny Nutley.Former Warrington and Wakefield centre Domic, who formed a new second-row pairing for Hull with Lee Radford, took advantage of some smart passing by Paul King and Danny Brough to cut through for an eighth-minute touchdown to put Hull on their way.The visitors were already 2-0 ahead thanks to an early Brough penalty and they extended their lead on 24 minutes when a superb break from Horne set up the position for full-back Shaun Briscoe to cross for a second try.The Challenge Cup holders were far more organised and threatening and it was no surprise when loose forward Cooke added a third try on 32 minutes, stretching out of a last-ditch tackle to plant the ball on the line.Castleford were full of energy and enthusiasm, as befitting the promoted side, but made too many handling errors and paid for a lack of discipline, conceding the first four penalties of a scrappy first half.They scored their first points when substitute Richard Fletcher kicked a 19th-minute penalty and Sculthorpe caused Hull problems with his lively running and skilful offloads.Sculthorpe also demonstrated his kicking ability to set up the first Tigers try a minute before the break, with winger Michael Shenton taking advantage of a kind bounce to send Viane over.The score worked wonders for Castleford?s confidence as they put the Hull defence under intense pressure early in the second half.But the visitors held firm and struck back in cruel fashion, scoring twice in four minutes through their wingmen to seize control of the match.First Domic showed his class with a beautifully-timed pass to get substitute Nathan Blacklock over with his first touch and then Cooke and Horne produced some clever handling for Great Britain international Gareth Raynor to finish off at the other corner.Brough was wide with both conversion attempts to leave himself with a 50% record but, at 26-6, Hull were coasting to a predictable victory.Viane collected a neat kick by Ryan McGoldrick to claim his second try and second rower Richard Fa?aoso and McGoldrick also touched down as Castleford gained reward for their persistence.But Hull finished in complete control, with centre Kirk Yeaman (2) and Peter Lupton adding further tries and Cooke kicking two conversions.Castleford (6) 18Tries: Viane (2), Fa?aoso, McGoldrickGoals: Fletcher Hull (18) 42Tries: Domic, Briscoe, Cooke, Blacklock, Raynor, Yeaman (2), LuptonGoals: Brough (3), Cooke (2) Castleford: Viane, Viane, Bird, Shenton, Dyer, Blanch, McGoldrick, Kain, Sculthorpe, Henderson, Nutley, Whitaker, Fa?aoso, Roarty.Replacements: A. Smith, Fletcher, Ward, Mason. Hull: Briscoe, Tony, Whiting, Yeaman, Raynor, R. Horne, Brough, Dowes, Swain, King, Radford, Domic, Cooke.Replacements: Carvell, Thackray, Lupton, Blacklock. Referee: K Kirkpatrick (Warrington) Att: 10,188
THE Ergon Energy Broncos could turn to veteran Redcliffe Dolphins pivot Shane Perry during this year?s State of Origin period if the club is hit by injuries in the halves.Perry, 28, has been named on the Broncos interchange bench for Saturday?s trial against Canberra in Port Macquarie.The Broncos have secured Perry?s services as part of a dual registration arrangement with Queensland Cup team Redcliffe.He made his state league first grade debut for Brothers in 1996 before joining Logan City in 1998 and winning the competition?s player-of-the-year award.Perry played NRL for Wests in Sydney in 1999 before linking with the Canterbury Bulldogs, where he was a star member of the club?s reserve grade squad in 2000 and 2001.He returned north to play for Recliffe in 2002.Perry, who has been training with Brisbane?s NRL squad since December, said he was thrilled to be chosen for Saturday?s trial.?This whole situation has been a bit unexpected,? he said. ?I thought the dual registration arrangement with Redcliffe would be more about providing a pathway for juniors.?I don?t think I ever gave up hope of getting back to this level. I always thought I had something to offer.?Perry, a mortgage broker, said Broncos coach Wayne Bennett had discussed playing him during the club?s traditionally taxing origin period.?Wayne said he would look at using me during that time,? Perry said. ?When I came back from Sydney I was a bit disappointed at the lack of opportunities I had in the NRL.?To think I could get another chance is really encouraging.?Perry said he was a more intelligent player now than when he was in Sydney and felt he was improving with age.?I?ve had plenty of good coaches who have helped me along the way and I?ve played with some quality players, especially at Canterbury,? he said.?I?m a much smarter footballer these days in terms of being able to read a game and take the right options in attack.?I think I still have another three or four years left in me.?This article is courtesy of the Courier Mail
GOLD Coast boss Michael Searle admits he's not confident Scott Prince will join the Titans, despite the fledgling NRL club firming as favourite to sign the Test halfback.Wests Tigers have granted permission to the Titans, North Queensland and Brisbane to negotiate with Prince, who comes off contract with the premiers at the end of this season. Speaking at the launch of the Titans jersey today, Searle said it'd be a big ask for Prince to leave the Tigers following their stunning run to premiership glory last year.But he reckons the Titans have a duty to give it their best shot in trying to lure Prince to the Gold Coast.The Cowboys and Broncos appear to have gone lukewarm on aggressively pursuing Prince but say they'll make a decision over the weekend. The clubs have until February 28 to detail their offers.
S.G. Ball halfback Liam Foran has been named on the bench for Melbourne in their trial match against the Parramatta Premier League side to be played at Exies Oval in Griffith at 7:00pm on Saturday 18th February.Under the North Sydney?s feeder club arrangement with the Storm, Liam has trained with Melbourne during the 2006 pre-season and impressed officials south of the boarder enough to get a run on the field.Liam played all eight SG Ball (under18s) matches for the Bears in 2005. He also played four games in Jersey Flegg (under 20s) at the end of the year and was halfback for the North Shore Marist team that made its Grand Final. Originally an Asquith junior he has represented NSWCCC in the National U18?s Team Championships. He won the Coaches Award for SG Ball in 2005.Also this weekend it?s NSW Premier League verses QLD Cup as the NorthSydney Premier League side fly up to Tweed Heads to take on QLD Cup side the Seagulls. Known as the Leagues Club Challenge Cup this annual competition will be played out at 6:30pm, QLD time on the 18th of February at Currumbin Tugun JRLFC, Galleon Way, Currumbin Waters.A fiercely contested competition Norths General Manager Greg Florimo claims ?we?ve booked an extra seat home on the plane for the trophy?.In other trial matches this weekend the Bears Jersey Flegg will playParramatta at Cabramatta Sports Ground on the 18th at 6:00pm while the junior reps will trial against Mt Annan also on Saturday the 18th from 2:00pm at Kirkham Oval, Elderslie (near Camden).PHOTO: Liam Foran touches down in a preliminary trial match for the 2006 season. Picture by Steve Little.
TIM Sheens has been appointed coach of the City Origin side for this year's annual rugby league clash with Country Origin in Dubbo.Wests Tigers mentor Sheens replaces North Queensland's Graham Murray at the helm of the City side after the Cowboys mentor was promoted to the role of NSW State of Origin coach late last year. It will be Sheens second stint in charge of City, having guided it to a 22-12 win over Country in 1991, the same year he led NSW to a 2-1 series loss to Queensland in the State of Origin series.
R2K today endorsed three candidates to fill three vacancies on the St.George Leagues Club Board of Directors.The three R2K endorsed candidates are: Troy FeliceNick StojanovskiJames YoungThe candidates espouse the following policies:* Increase of OKI Jubilee Stadium capacity to in excess of 20,000.* Immediate focus on the reopening of the auditorium and overhaul of Club entertainment.* Full interest to be charged to the Illawarra Steelers on the $8.29 million loan, thus gaining St.George Leagues Club members an additional $398,000+ worth of interest credits per annum.* 10% Member discount extended from all meal purchases to all drinks purchases.* Maintaining and enhancing the standard of dining, gambling, service and sports screenings.* Improved facilities for social and sporting clubs.* Restructure of Member benefits.The ballot for Directors will be conducted at the Club premises and will be open from 10am to 8pm from Monday, March 20 to Thursday, March 23 2006.R2K urges supporters to vote for the above candidates to ensure that the Dragons have a bright future in the St.George District. You need to be a full Leagues Club member to have voting rights. If you?re not a full member of the Leagues Club, please upgrade or join now to have your say.For additional information on the campaign, please e-mail [email protected]
A slight hamstring strain will delay the St George Illawarra debut for Sam Isemonger, allowing another newrecruit Andrew Price to make his Dragons debut in the Charity Shield at Telstra Stadium this Saturday nightagainst the Rabbitohs.Ashton Sims will move to the starting side with Price to come from the interchange bench. Hooker Dean Young has also been ruled out with a minor ankle problem with Aaron Gorrell to take his place in the starting side. George Ndaira who played in the Dragons Premiership winning Jersey Flegg team has been added to the interchange.?The injuries to Sam and Dean are minor and both should be fit for next weekend,? said Dragons Coach Nathan Brown. ?The Charity Shield is important to us but we don?t want to risk further injury to anybody who is not 100 per cent right at this time of the year?.Dragons Chief Executive Officer Peter Doust today met briefly with Wayne Beavis in regards to Trent Barrett. No decision has been made with the two agreeing to meet again at the end of this month. Barrett will not be making any further comment on the situation until a decision is made and it is requested that any questions relating to the matter be referred to his manager.
CANBERRA coach Matthew Elliott is almost certain to remain in the nation's capital beyond this season after turning down a deal to join NRL rivals Newcastle in 2007.Knights chief executive Ken Conway has confirmed Elliott has rejected the club's three-year offer to replace outgoing coach Michael Hagan, who will take over from Parramatta coach Brian Smith at the Eels next year.Conway says he wasn't surprised by Elliott's decision, saying the Knights were always facing an uphill battle to lure him away from the Raiders. Elliott will now sit down with Raiders chief executive Simon Hawkins on Monday to work on a new deal to extend his stay in Canberra.Parramatta assistant coach Peter Sharp and Newcastle Premier League coach David Fairleigh are now believed to be the frontrunners to take over the reins at the Knights from next season.
ST George Illawarra coach Nathan Brown has been forced to make two late changes to his starting line-up for Saturday night's Charity Shield clash with South Sydney.Sam Isemonger's Dragons debut has been put on hold due to a hamstring strain while hooker Dean Young will miss the match with a minor ankle problem. Ashton Sims moves from the bench to the starting line-up to replace Isemonger, with Andrew Price the new fresh reserve.Aaron Gorrell will start in place of Young, with George Ndaira, who played in the club's premiership-winning Jersey Flegg team last year, added to the bench.
THIS Sunday (February 19th) the Newtown Jets line up for another VB Premier League trial match in an old-fashioned, ?no quarter given? local derby.5.00pm ? Newtown v Bulldogs (VB Premier League trial match)Full canteen service available.After the match on Sunday we ask all Newtown supporters and friends to patronise the popular Henson Park Hotel, corner of Illawarra Road and Chapel Street, Marrickville.Continuing this Sunday (February 19th) at Henson Park, the monster Newtown Jets pre-season merchandise sale rolls on at all of Newtown?s home game trial matches.Sale opens from 4.30pm onwards this Sunday at Henson Park.Prices slashed by an incredible 20 ? 50%Extraordinary savings on all limited edition and end-of-line stock items, including men?s and women?s wear.There will be some amazing bargains available ? get in quickly.The Jets merchandise sale will also be in full swing at the Central Coast Stadium, Gosford on Saturday (February 18th) from 5.00pm.Note this event down in your diaries immediately.The details for the 2006 Newtown RLFC official season launch are -Date and time: Wednesday, 8th March 2006, 7.00pm for 7.30pmPlace: Petersham RSL Club AuditoriumPrice: $125.00 per head. Call Jenny on 1300 36 36 90 to reserve your places.Once again an impressive array of guest speakers has been arranged.Guest speakers include the inspirational Matt Laffan and League legend Ron Coote. Compere: Graeme Hughes from 2SM?s Talkin? Sport program.The Newtown Rugby League Football Club office has moved to the Jets Sports Club premises and here are the complete details of the new location:Newtown Rugby League Football ClubHolbeach AvenueTempe NSW 2044Office phone: 1300 36 36 90Fax: 9559 3202Email: [email protected] RLFC website: www.newtownjets.comOffice hours: Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm.Officers in attendance: Doug Keen (General Manager), Jenny Grosvenor (Operations Manager).Photo caption:Ace Newtown Jets half-back Jamie Soward was in superb form against North Sydney at Henson Park last Sunday.Photo supplied by Hugh Martel.
SELECTORS have named the team for this Saturday night's trial between the Ergon Energy Brisbane Broncos and the Redcliffe Dolphins, to be played at Dolphin Oval. Once again, a combination of players from the Broncos and junior clubs Aspley and Toowoomba will take the field against one of the heavyweights of the Queensland Cup competition.Star Broncos winger Leon Bott is a shock inclusion in the squad, which also features young prospects Denan Kemp, Ian Lacey and Ben Green.Bott played in last weekend's victory over North Queensland in Rockhampton, but will display his dazzling attacking arsenal at Redcliffe this weekend in a very talented and young backline.New signing Chris Muckert will also play in Broncos colours in the south-east for the first time, while Australian schoolboy representative Joel Moon will line up alongside Ian Lacey in the halves for the first time. Kick-off is as 7pm AEST. The full squad is:1. Denan Kemp2. Leon Bott3. Jamie Simpson4. Fraser Anderson5. Gideon Mzembe6. Joel Moon7. Ian Lacey8. Lynden Murphy9. Nathan Strudwick10. Matt Lowe11. Trent Callaghan12. Chris Muckert13. John TeReo14. Pat McPherson15. Ben Green16. Nick Nolan (one to be added)