Sides for Eels and Cowboys clash

NQ Toyota Cowboys 1. Matt Bowen 2. Neil Sweeney 3. Josh Hannay 4. Paul Bowman 5. Matt Sing 6. Johnathan Thurston (VC) 7. Brett Firman 8. Shane Tronc 9. Clint Amos 10. Mitchell Sargent 11. Steve Southern 12. Luke O'Donnell 13. Travis Norton (c) Interchange 14. Rod Jensen 15. Justin Smith 16. Matthew Scott 17. Carl Webb 18. Gavin Cooper

Sea Eagles side for Roosters clash

COACH Des Hasler has stuck with the same line-up that defeated the Sharks with the exception of Steve Matai for Paul Stephenson who was ruled out last week with injury. Stephenson is named at 18.

Rabbitohs anounce Teams for Round 4

THE South Sydney Rabbitohs are pleased to announce their side to take on the Cronulla Sutherland Sharks in round four of the NRL Telstra Premiership this Saturday, 1 April at 5:30pm at Toyota Park.Head Coach Shaun McRae has made a number of changes to his line up after suspensions to Stuart Webb and Yileen Gordon. Adam MacDougall and Joe Williams will play their first games for the Rabbitohs NRL side this season, with Shane Walker returning to the side after recovering from a groin injury.Rabbitohs? Mark Minichiello, Ben Walker, Scott Geddes, Beau Champion, Stuart Webb, Yileen Gordon and Luke MacDougall were not considered for selection. Minichiello is recovering from a shoulder reconstruction, Walker sustained a knee injury against the Roosters in round one, Scott Geddes has a torn pectoral muscle, Beau Champion is suffering from an ankle injury, and Luke MacDougall, Webb and Gordon are suspended.The NRL fixture will commence at 5:30pm, Premier League at 3:30pm and Jersey Flegg at 1:45pm.The referee for the NRL fixture is Shayne Hayne.The Rabbitohs NRL side is:1) Todd Polglase2) Nathan Merritt3) Paul Mellor4) Adam MacDougall5) Shannon Hegarty6) John Sutton7) Joe Williams8) Peter Cusack ?9) Shane Walker10) Jaiman Lowe11) David Fa?alogo12) Luke Stuart13) Ben RogersInterchange:14) Joe Galuvao15) Manase Manuokafoa16) Shane Rigon17) Shannan McPhersonCoach ? Shaun McRae

Jets hang on against Raiders

THE Newtown Jets claimed two valuable competition points when they defeated the Canberra Raiders 34-24 in Saturday?s hard-fought VB Premier League match at Henson Park. Newtown had led by 18-10 at half-time and looked to be in command with a 34-20 lead midway through the second half. Canberra soon narrowed the margin to 34-24 and really put it to the Jets for the remainder of the match. Only a couple of narrowly-missed scoring opportunities by the Raiders prevented what could have a desperately close finish to this fiercely-contested encounter. Jets half-back Josh Lewis had an outstanding game, in the sort of display that gives truth to the old adage of having ?an old head on young shoulders?. His on-field generalship and territory-finding kicking game were major factors in Newtown?s win, not to mention yet another excellent goal kicking performance. Lock forward Setaimata Sa?s first half class-act proved beyond doubt what a fine prospect this young player is. Sa scored three tries and might have claimed a fourth barring a marginal forward pass ruling. Second rowers Steve Meredith and Mark Edmondson impressed with their work-rate and both really stood up against well-organised and determined opposition. Edmondson, formerly with UK champion club St. Helens, is starting to stake a claim for an NRL position. Forwards Ritchie Parker and David Vial were late call-ups from the Jim Beam Cup ranks and both contributed well in the tough going in the second half. Newtown?s coach Paul Young expressed guarded satisfaction at his team?s continued improvement in the past three weeks. Young observed that this was a valuable win against an opposition that had plenty of players with recent NRL experience and a team that is likely to be a contender for a competition top four position. The Jets? Jim Beam Cup squad had been weakened by several late changes and went down 26-18 in Saturday?s trial match at Henson Park against Wentworthville. Newtown coach Greg Matterson was looking for fewer errors despite the impact made by the late team changes, but is confident that the Jets will field a strong side for the competition?s opening round. Newtown plays away to the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles next Saturday evening (April 1st) at Brookvale Oval, with this fourth round VB Premier League match due to start at 5.15pm. Newtown?s Jim Beam Cup squad will play their final trial match against Belrose at the Lionel Watts Reserve next Saturday, with this game kicking off at 2.00pm. There?s still time to get your entries in for the Bumper Farrell Autumn Golf Classic at Marrickville Golf Course on Wednesday, 5th April, teeing off at 8.00am. Call the Newtown RLFC office on 1300 36 36 90 to obtain more details about reserving your team?s place. Photo caption:Newtown Jets centre Lelea Paea tries to break free of the Canberra Raiders defence.Photo courtesy of Gary Sutherland Photography.

Creagh and Cooper return for Dragons

KANGAROO tourists Ben Creagh and Matt Cooper will make their return from injury against the Broncos this Sunday at WIN Stadium in the Illawarra Heritage Match.Creagh has been recovering from a knee injury and will play his first game for 2006, while Cooper has missed the past two rounds with a hamstring injury.Players from the 1978 Illawarra Division team will be recognised on the day, with this teams achievements considered the catalyst for the Steelers entering the NSWRL competition.The Dragons will wear their alternate jersey that incorporates the traditions of the former Steelers jersey in this round 4 match.Unavailable Dragons due to injury are: Wes Naiqama (ankle), Shaun Timmins (knee), Mathew Head (knee), Luke Bailey (Knee) and Jason Ryles (Hand).DRAGONS NRL TEAM LIST v Broncos 3:00pm Sunday 2 April WIN Stadium Coach: Nathan Brown 1. Clint GREENSHIELDS2. Reece SIMMONDS3. Mark GASNIER4. Matt COOPER5. Colin BEST6. Trent BARRETT (c)7. Ben HORNBY8. Justin POORE9. Dean YOUNG10. Michael HENDERSON11. Corey PAYNE12. Ashton SIMS13. Matt BICKERSTAFF14. Andrew PRICE15. Ben CREAGH16. Sam ISEMONGER17. Aaron GORRELL DRAGONS JERSEY FLEGG TEAM LIST v Bulldogs 1:00am Sunday 2 AprilWIN Stadium Coach: Corey Pearson 1. Jason NIGHTINGALE2. Rota SETU3. Junior SEUMANUTAFA4. Keith LULIA5. Luke IRWIN6. Richard WILLIAMS7. Matt SEAMARK8. Charlie LEAENO9. Brad DAVIDSON10. Chris FARRELL11. Lagi SETU12. James GREHAN13. Brian WEST (c)14. Luke YOUNG15. Francis LANGIFISI16. Lewis McPHAIL17. Nathan WYNN18. James KEELAN(Premier League team has the bye)

Rabbitohs, Storm cop suspensions

SOUTH Sydney will be without hooker Stuart Webb until round seven of the NRL competition after he pleaded guilty to a grade one reckless high tackle charge. In a further blow to the Rabbitohs, promising centre Yileen Gordon will also miss this weekend's clash with Cronulla after pleading guilty to a grade one careless high tackle.

Clubs agree cap needs to rise

CLUB chief executives have agreed in principle to an increase in the salary cap at a meeting at NRL headquarters today.

Round 3 Team of the Week

AN electrifying week 3 of NRL has seen some new faces and some all too familiar ones etch their names into the Round 3 League Unlimited Team of the Week. In an unprecedented turn of events we have seen Johnathan Thurston and Andrew Johns team up in the halves for a third straight week, with both players delivering breathtaking, yet consistent, performances over the past three matches. Wouldn?t it be great to see these two guys in action for Australia in the Anzac Day Test match?

Gallop to meet clubs over cap

NRL boss David Gallop will meet with the chief executives of all 15 clubs in Sydney today to discuss increases to the salary cap. Gallop believes the game can sustain a small increase to the cap, but clubs are split on the issue.

Injury wrap ? Eels, Dragons, Cowboys, Panthers, Raiders

A shoulder injury is not expected to sideline young Parramatta halfback Tim Smith for Friday night's NRL clash against North Queensland.The same can't be said for teammates Eric Grothe, Dean Widders, Timana Tahu and Glenn Morrison, who are all in some doubt for the Parramatta Stadium match.St George Illawarra coach Nathan Brown is set name centre Matt Cooper and backrower Ben Creagh for Sunday's clash against Brisbane in Wollongong. Cooper missed the last two games with a hamstring strain while Creagh is yet to play this season due to a knee injury.Penrith coach John Lang will have international representatives Luke Rooney and Trent Waterhouse available for the first time this year for Saturday's trip to Canberra.St George Illawarra prop Jason Ryles has ruled out making a hasty return from a broken hand in a bid to play in next month's Anzac Test against New Zealand. Ryles is expected to be out for a month leaving him just one match, against Melbourne in round eight, to press his claims for a Test spot. The Dragons are already light on for props, with Luke Bailey sidelined with a knee injury. Meanwhile, North Queensland winger Ty Williams has undergone an operation to insert a plate and screws into his broken ankle and is likely to be out for three months. Teammate Jacob Lillyman could be out for up to three weeks with a knee injury.And Canberra centre Phil Graham has been ruled out for six weeks with a broken thumb.

Dashing Dolphins Overtake Comets

A DREAM start quickly turned to a nightmare for the Central Comets on Sunday, as Redcliffe recovered from a 24-0 deficit to win 38-30 in their first appearance of the season at Dolphin Oval.Fresh from beating Burleigh at Browne Park, Central looked set to record back-to-back wins against the competition?s two most successful clubs.Yet without top-line forwards Troy Lindsay, Danny Green, Mark Shipway, Clint Frazer and Pat Gardner, Redcliffe produced a lion-hearted effort to rise from the dead.The Dolphins 38 points came in a deluge, squished between a scoreless opening 25 minutes and a lapse before the final hooter when Central scored again.Among the players called up by Redcliffe to fill holes were former Central boys Gerard Parle and Shannon Fish. Parle responded by being among the best on ground, while Fish and another ex-Comet, Ryan Cullen, found their way onto the try-scorers? list.?We spoke about it (being short-handed) early in the week and there was confidence in everyone that came into the side,? noted Redcliffe coach Anthony Griffin.?I?d like to think we?re strong enough to cover in those situations.?At the completion of three rounds the Dolphins are now just one of three unbeaten teams, along with Easts and North Queensland. Due to the bye they rank third on the ladder.Central sits eighth, but has plenty of sides looking over their shoulder after a promising last fortnight.?The Comets are a very big and physical side,? said Griffin, himself Rockhampton-bred.?They?re a different kettle of fish to previous seasons. They worked us over at different stages of the game and they are particularly powerful.?I?d say especially at home they are going to be a hard side to beat.?Central?s next up assignment is indeed on home turf, with the Wynnum Manly Seagulls travelling to Browne Park next Saturday. Redcliffe faces off against Easts at Langlands Park earlier the same day.The Dolphins will have Gardner and Richard Russell back from suspension and will monitor Lindsay, Shipway and Green throughout the week.Greg Bourke is fast closing on Damien Richters for the all-time Queensland Wizard Cup scoring title. He now has 952 points to Richters? 1030. The anomaly in the situation is Burleigh?s Reggie Cressbrook, who is on 983 points, but is yet to play Wizard Cup this season and will play hist first game in the local Gold Coast Rugby League next week.REDCLIFFE 38 (Shane Perry 2, Shannon Fish, Ryan Cullen, Alwyn Simpson, Nick Emmett, Greg Bourke tries; Greg Bourke 5 goals) beat CENTRAL 30 (Tyron Haynes 2, Herewini Rangi, Peter Penaia, Scott Porter tries; Scott Porter 5 goals).This article is courtesy of the QRL for more Queensland Wizard Cup information visit www.qrl.com.au

Knights Cruise to Win

THE Newcastle Knights Premier League team recorded their second straight win on the weekend with a comfortable 46-12 victory over the previously undefeated Bulldogs. The first half was a tight contest with the Knights kicking clear towards the end of the half. Tries in the first half to Knights winger James McManus (9th minute) who was called up to replace Trent Salkeld opened the scoring before halfback Dane Campbell extended the lead to 12 when he pounced on a grubber kick from promising young halfback Jarrod Mullen. Chris Bailey, who joined the Knights from the Newcastle local competition this year scored his first try in Knights colours when he crashed over beside the posts in the 23rd minute to extend the Knights lead to 18 after 3 successful conversions from Brad Tighe. The Dogs hit back through hooker Billy Ngawini in the 27th minute as the Dogs closed to 18-6 at halftime.

Sea Eagles hit with breach notice

MANLY has been issued with a breach notice by the NRL following Sea Eagles trainer Geoff Toovey's altercation with referee Sean Hampstead at Brookvale Oval on Saturday night.

Round 3 charges

SOUTH Sydney could be without centre Yileen Gorden and hooker Stuart Webb for Saturday night's clash against Cronulla after both were hit with high tackle charges by the NRL match review committee today.Webb is facing a minimum three-week stint on the sidelines after copping a grade one reckless high tackle charge for his first-half hit on St George Illawarra fullback Clint Greenshields. The former Sydney Roosters rake will be outed for four weeks if he challenges the charge and is unsuccessful at the NRL judiciary on Wednesday night. Gorden will miss only the game against the Sharks after being charged with a grade one careless high tackle for his swinging arm on Dragons prop Michael Henderson.In other charges, Melbourne front rower Antonio Kafusi is looking at a three-week suspension for a grade two reckless high tackle, while his Storm teammate Greg Inglis and North Queensland playmaker Johnathan Thurston will avoid suspension with early guilty pleas.

Super League round 7 Review

BRADFORD Bulls 34 (Bai, Hape, Lynch, McKenna, B.Harris, Pryce, Vainikolo tries; I.Harris 3 goals) v Wigan Warriors 12 (O?Loughlin, Richards tries; Tickle 2 goals). Att: 11,644.Wigan Warriors sank to the foot of the Engage Super League table as Bradford Bulls overcame wet, foggy conditions to romp home at Odsal Stadium. Wigan, who have had their worst start to a season for 25 years are a pale shadow of the team which dominated British club rugby league in the late 1980s and early 1990s.Bradford raced to a 12-0 lead with tries from Andy Lynch and Ben Harris. The visiting fans did have something to shout about when Wigan?s Skipper Sean O?Loughlin scored after taking a good pass from Danny Orr. Danny Tickles conversion cut the Bulls lead to 6. However, Bradford hit back and extended their lead with two further tries through Shontayne Hape and Karl Pryce to take a 20-6 advantage at the break.It took the Bulls only 80 seconds at the start of the second half to score their fifth try from Marcus Bai. After both teams struggled in the fog Chris McKenna?s try extended the home teams? lead to 30-6. Wigan then scored a consolation try through Pat Richards, goaled by Tickle. With seven minutes left, Lesley Vainikolo pounced for his 115 try, in only 110 appearances, to round off the scoring.Hull FC 0 v St Helens 46(Pryce 2, Meli 2, Gardner, Lyon, Hooper, Anderson tries; Lyon 5, Hooper 2 goals). Att: 11,277.St Helens maintained their 100% record with a very impressive victory over Hull FC at K.C. Stadium. The visitors showed their true credentials for being this year?s champion team with a superb quality performance of attacking rugby and mean defence to shut out a very disappointing Hull side.After being put under some early pressure, the Saints scored first through Jamie Lyon after a good pass from Ade Gardner. The visitors then put the foot on the pedal and ran in 4 further first half tries through Francis Meli, Ade Gardner, Jason Hooper and Leon Pryce, which gave Saints a 30-0 lead at the break.Hull?s defensive capabilities improved and they managed to hold out the Saints until the final quarter. Then normal service was resumed with the visitors running in three further tries through Vinny Anderson, Pryce and Meli who both scored their second.Catalans Dragons 22 (Hughes 2, Wilson, Chan tries; Dobson 3 goals) v Salford City Reds 28 (Moule 2, Coley, Finnigan, Fitzpatrick tries; Hodgson 2 goals). Att: 6,547.Salford got back to their winning ways with spirited victory over Catalans Dragons at Stade Aime Giral. With the arrival of new coach Mick Potter, the much improving Dragons team took a first minute lead when John Wilson pounced an error by Salford to score.The visitors hit back and took a 20-6 lead by scoring four tries with man of the match, Karl Fitzpatrick scoring a brace and others coming from Aaron Moule and Andy Coley. On the half-time hooter, Alex Chan cut the lead to 20-12 with a try.The home team stepped up the pace in the second half and with two tries from Mark Hughes the Dragons looked to be favourites to win the game with a 22-20 lead. However, Salford had other ideas and two late tries from Simon Finnigan and Moule?s second, after a superb long pass from Luke Robinson, gave the visitors a well earned victory.Harlequins RL 0 v Leeds Rhinos 60 (McGuire 4, Burrow, Poching, Lauitiiti, Feather, Senior, Smith tries; Sinfield 9, Burrow goals). Att: 5,208.Leeds Rhinos ran riot with 10-try demolition of a poor Harlequins team, who failed to register a single point at a soggy Twickenham Stoop. The home team were missing seven key players and never got a foothold in the game, they conceded 6 first half tries to trail 36-0. Chief architect for the Rhinos was man of the match, Danny McGuire who scored four of the six tries, with the others coming from Rob Burrow and Willie Poching.After the break the Quins gave a much better performance and had a try chalked off by the video referee, when winger Nick Bradley-Qalilawa had a foot in touch. Leeds extended the lead on 52 minutes when Lee Smith intercepted Luke Dorn's long pass and galloped clear.Three further tries came in the last quarter of the game, against a very dispirited home team. In the last minute of the game, the Rhinos showed real team sprit and refused to let the Quins cross their line after the Sin-binning of Keith Senior. The impressive Rhinos maintained second place in the table and handed out a record home defeat for Harlequins.Castleford Tigers 22 (Manu 2, Dyer, Bird tries; Kain 2, Huby goals) v Huddersfield Giants 36(Wild 2, Drew, Snitch, Evans, Reilly tries; Thorman 6 goals). Att: 6,881.Huddersfield held off a spirited fight back from the Castleford Tigers to gain victory at the Jungle. The Giants looked to have the game won in the first 11 minutes as they ran in 4 unanswered tries scored by Paul Reilly, Brad Drew and two by Stephen Wild. Chris Thorman landed three conversations and the Visitors led 22-0.However, the Tigers roared back with three tries, two from Willie Manu, his first tries for his new club, and Luke Dyer to cut the deficit to just 22-14 at the break. With the second half only a minute old Deon Bird scored the home teams? fourth try to leave them only trailing by 2 points at 22-20 and on quarter time the game was all square with a Craig Huby penalty goal.The game was still in the balance when Evans pounced on Robbie Paul's perfectly-judged kick for the clinching try eight minutes from the end. Steve Snitch then scored the finally try to give the Giants a nervy victory.Wakefield Wildcats 21 (Rooney 2, Tadulala tries; Rooney 4 goals, 1 field goal) v Warrington Wolves 22 (Bridge 2, Swan, Kohe-Love tries; Bridge 3 goals). Att: 4,723.Warrington Wolves came back from the dead to deny Wakefield Wildcats victory, at the Atlantic Solutions Stadium. In a game of two halves, the Wildcats threw away a commanding 21-0 half time lead to lose 22-21. The home team scored three first half tries from Semi Tadulala and two Jamie Rooney tries. Rooney also kicked four goals and with a drop goal he contributed 17 points but that was as good as it got for Wakefield.With coach Paul Cullen?s words ringing in their ears, the Wolves produced a stirring second half comeback. Toa Kohe-Love turned the tide in the 47th minute before Chris Bridge and Logan Swann added two more. Bridge grabbed his second with six minutes to go to seal a dramatic win, leaving the Wildcats down at the bottom end of the table.

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