WITH two round left in NZ's Bartercard Cup competition, the top sides look to cement their places.
THE Sydney Airport Jets won their VB Premier League match against North Sydney on Saturday in similar style to the previous week?s thriller against the Balmain Tigers ? a lethargic first half, followed by a complete turnaround in the second forty minutes. The Jets trailed the Bears by 18-0 at half-time and looked to have used up all of their ?get out of jail? cards. Six tries later, Newtown had retrieved another two competition points with this improbable 32-28 win over their old 1908 foundation club rivals.
NORTHS coach Wayne Treleaven had just one regret amid the Devils? 38-16 pummeling of Burleigh on Saturday, the biggest defeat handed to the Bears in over three years.
A guaranteed roller coaster ride each week mightn?t sound like much to anyone else on the Gold Coast. Yet for Tweed Seagulls coach Steve Murphy the thrill is still to fade.
QUEENSLAND WIZARD CUP
Results: Norths 38 d Burleigh 16, Easts 35 d Wynnum 16, Toowoomba 52 d Souths Logan 14, North Queensland 52 d Central 10, Tweed Heads 22 d Ipswich 20. Redcliffe bye.
PONTYPRIDD?S Valley Cougars have qualified for their first ever major final after beating Cardiff Demons on Sunday. The Cougars will face Newport Titans in next Sunday?s Welsh Shield Final at the Brewery Field.
NORTH Queensland Cowboys coach Graham Murray has named his team to play the Tigers at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on Sunday.
Coach Murrays team is;
VICE-CAPTAIN Monty Betham makes his 100th NRL appearance but hooker Lance Hohaia will be missing from the Vodafone Warriors? line-up for Saturday night?s NRL match against the Storm at Melbourne?s Olympic Park.
While the 27-year-old Betham will become the 10th player to reach a century of first-grade matches for the Vodafone Warriors, it was confirmed today Hohaia (22) will be sidelined for four weeks with knee trouble.
Head coach Tony Kemp is thrilled Betham will at last achieve a key personal milestone after so many injury setbacks but he is also disappointed for Hohaia.
?Since making his NRL debut in 1999, Monty?s had two knee reconstructions, a broken ankle and a broken arm but it?s a credit to him that he?s come back each time,? said Kemp. ?Playing 100 matches in this competition is a significant achievement but few have deserved it more than Monty. He has worked really hard for this and it?s great for him that he?ll finally reach the mark on Saturday night.
?At the same time, it?s disappointing that Lance has been hit by injury. He has come on really well at hooker for us, especially since we?ve been using him off the bench.
?He had a knock on his knee against Parramatta which we were hoping wasn?t too serious but there?s cartilage trouble and he?ll be out for a month.?
Centre Jerome Ropati will also be missing against the Storm after playing all 21 matches this year.
?He needs to rest a leg injury but he should be right for selection for our last home match of the season against Newcastle,? said Kemp.
While losing Hohaia and Ropati, the Vodafone Warriors welcome back wingers Francis Meli and 19-year-old Manu Vatuvei. Meli returns on the right wing from a one-week break; Vatuvei, one of five players named on the bench, is in line to make his first appearance in more than a month after being troubled by injury and a viral infection.
With Ropati out, Kemp has moved the versatile Sione Faumuina to right centre while 18-year-old Simon Mannering, a starter on the right wing last weekend, has been shifted to left centre in place of Clinton Toopi who goes to the bench.
?We?ve been desperate to win for weeks but it now comes down to what is an absolute must-win match in Melbourne,? said Kemp.
?We?ve looked at the side closely after our last two matches against Penrith and Parramatta and believe Simon?s enthusiasm will benefit us on the left side while Clinton will give us impact from the bench.?
NEWCASTLE Knights coach Michael Hagan has named his team to play the Sea Eagles at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Coach Hagans team is;
LEAGUE Wrap: Round 22, 5-7 August 2005
Parramatta back rower Nathan Hindmarsh and Newcastle half back Andrew Johns are the big movers in this week?s Leagueunlimited.com Player Awards. Dark horses in the competition, both players scored maximum points on the weekend and move up 18 points overall, just four points shy of Cowboys? full back Matt Bowen who still holds top spot on 22 points.
THE Bulldogs club have been thrown further into disarray following the news that halfback Brent Sherwin was operated on last night for a broken hand.
THE Real Rabbitohs are pleased to announce its team to play the Canberra Raiders in Round 23 of the 2005 Telstra Premiership this Saturday, August 13, kicking off at 7:30pm at Canberra Stadium.
PARRAMATTA Eels coach Brian Smith has named his team to take on the Bulldogs at Parramatta Stadium on Friday night.
Coach Smiths team is;
MITSUBISHI Electric Bulldogs coach Steve Folkes has named Corey Hughes at half-back in place of the injured Brent Sherwin for this Friday's do-or-die game against the Eels at Parramatta Stadium. Sherwin has been ruled out after suffering a broken thumb in the Dogs loss to Newcastle last weekend.
MANLY coach Des Hasler has rushed young State of Origin forward Anthony Watmough straight into the starting lineup for Sunday's big clash against the Newcastle Knights at Energy Stadium in Newcastle.