Priddis backs young rake

PENRITH will be hoping for a happy homecoming when it hosts Cronulla tonight in the opening game of round eight of the NRL season.

McClennan hoses down Benji comeback

NEW Zealand rugby league coach Brian McClennan says he knows nothing of rumours injured Wests Tigers five-eighth Benji Marshall could be available for next week's Test against Australia.

Top 5 Genuine Rookies of 2006

SO which genuine rookies have been the most impressive thus far in 2006? NSC takes a look at the Top 5 Genuine Rookies (5 career games or less entering 2006) of the season so far and lists their LPR Total & Average for 2006.

Round 8 NRL Preview

THINGS don?t get any easier as I sharpen up the HB pencil for this round?s picks. I banged out a regulation 5 from 7 last week with the upset out at Caltex Field and my overconfidence in Canterbury proving to be my downfall.


THE opening match on the road to the southern hemisphere for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup takes place this Friday, 28th April, when Holland face Russia in Den Haag in the first tie of the ?European Preliminary Qualifying Tournament?. Both nations have announced their opening squads for the clash with the hosts, who have included five new caps in their initial 17, confident of putting up a spirited show against their more experienced opponents.Nederland Squad: 1. Rudy Stanford Smyth - Rugby Sparta - Caps 52. Jammie Groeneweg - Hoek van Holland -13. Joel Barrett - Sheffield Hallam - 34. Ronald v / d Broek ? Haagsche - 45. Kees Foxon - Nottingham Outlaws - 36. Jorik Moree ? Rotterdam - 57. Aaron de Jagger - Huddersfield Underbank Rangers (Capt) - 38. Phil Parkinson - Nottingham Outlaws - 29. Chris Hodgett - Hemel Stags - 010. Bevan Williamson ? Rotterdam - 511. James Howitt - Coventry Bears - 112. Jason Brygroms - Rotterdam - 013. Raymond den Engelsman - Hoek van Holland - 214. Johnny Qua - Rotterdam - 515. Sjorte Neiboer - WC Haaglanden - 016. Pieter v / d Hast - WC Haaglanden - 017. Benjamin Blom - Sassenheim - 0Plus three players to be selected from the game between the Nederland Tasman (Dutch development team) and Bamber Bridge to come into the senior squadRussian Squad:MANAGEMENT:Klebanov EvgenyOsipov OlegCherenkov SergeyDrynkov IgorBardeev AlexanderPLAYERS:Dumalkin AndreyNechaev ViktorOvchinnikov RomanBaskakov ValentinGvozdev YanGrigoryan ArtemDobrynin SergeyZagoskin NikolayKorolev DenisVinogradov GeorgyKoltykhov AndreyFedchuk VadimIliassov RobertSafiullin AdelSmirnov OlegVlasyuk VladimirOsoskov EduardSokolov OlegBychkov SergeyKonstantinov SergeyVeteran Robert Iliassov commented, "We?ll be preparing for each match of the World Cup as if it is the most important match in our life."

Bowman re-signs for Cowboys

PAUL Bowman has re-signed with the North Queensland Cowboys for another season ? but retired from representative rugby league. Off contract at the end of the year, the classy centre will stay on at Townsville for the 2007 NRL season but ruled out adding to his 12 Queensland Origin jerseys.

Four clubs fined over salary cap

FOUR clubs have been fined by the NRL for minor salary cap infringements with St George Illawarra the most heavily penalised.

Minichiello ruled out for Roosters

ROOSTERS fullback Anthony Minichiello has been ruled out of Saturday night's NRL match against North Queensland in Townsville with a hamstring strain.

Maitua apologises for drink-driving

BULLDOGS five-eighth Reni Maitua has apologised after being charged with a high level drink-driving offence. Maitua met with club officials and his manager today about the offence late on Anzac Day and then fronted the media to apologise to the club's fans and sponsors.

Melbourne Supporters - The Dragons are in Town!!

DRAGON Supporters, Whilst many here in Melbourne spent Anzac Day watching what they believe is the traditional footy clash set for that day, those of us in the know had the privilege of watching the mighty Dragons beat the Roosters in a tight and sometimes sloppy affair. A rather inexperienced Roosters competed fairly well on the day but in the end the Dragons experience and the skill of Matthew Heads kicking game got the Red and Whites home. With only a 4 day turnaround before our next match, the Dragons will have to be at their best to beat a highly competitive Storm side in Melbourne this Saturday. As this is our only match scheduled in Melbourne this year, it is a must to attend for all Dragons fans. There is a large contingent of Dragons fans coming down from Sydney for the match, which will help to provide a bit of the Oki/Win atmosphere at Olympic Park. For those of you who would like to sit with the Dragons fans, you will need to purchase tickets in Bay 36 in the EASTERN STAND($25) or as close to Bay 36 as possible as this is where the Sydney supporters and a vast majority of the Melbourne Supporters will be sitting. Tickets can be purchased at Ticketek outlets or at the gate on the day. Queues can often be lengthy at Olympic Park close to game time so try and pre purchase tickets where possible. The MBDS will also be meeting at the Depot Hotel 60 Swan St Richmond for a catch up before the game. We will be there from 2pm onwards so come in and say G'Day and soak up the atmosphere before we head to Olympic Park for the match at 7:30pm. MBDS Shirts - There are only a few MBDS shirts left at the subsidised price of $40 thanks to One Stop Home Loans. Many of you will have seen the shirts at events so far this year, and they look fantastic so please let us know asap if you want one. So just to recap..... WHAT: Dragons v StormWHERE: Olympic Park, Swan St Richmond with pre match drinks and catch-up at The Depot Hotel, 60 Swan St RichmondWHEN: 2pm onwards at the Depot and 7:30pm kick off, Saturday 29th April 2006 Look forward to a huge Dragons turnout for this match. See you all there......

Rammo's rant

BULLDOGS or powderpuffs? That?s the question on the Bulldogs fans? lips after a display against Manly which could be described as nothing short of deplorable.

Bourke Equals Record

GREG Bourke?s ambition to be the greatest ever scorer in the Queensland Wizard Cup will have to wait another fortnight, after the Redcliffe superboot was left even on 1030 points with previous record holder Damian Richters.

Round 7 Team of the Week

AFTER an extended and most enjoyable round of footy, we?ve combed the results and match reports to put together an explosive and well balanced line-up. With the way these guys played at the weekend there?s no side in the world that could take them. Please be upstanding for the Round 7 League Unlimited Team of the Week.

Formal offer presented to Gasnier

THE Australian Rugby Union (ARU) has offered centre Mark Gasnier a formal playing contract to switch from rugby league club St George Illawarra Dragons. The proposed deal would also enable Gasnier to play his club rugby union for Super 14 side the New South Wales Waratahs. "We didn't go out looking for Mark Gasnier, he came to us. We met with him on a number of occasions and we have now made him a formal offer," ARU chief executive Gary Flowers said in a statement on Wednesday.

Naiqama, Ryles and Cronk all sidelined

COOPER Cronk has failed a fitness test on his injured right shoulder raising concerns Melbourne may be forced to take on St George Illawarra without a genuine halfback on Saturday night. Cronk suffered an AC strain in the Storm's huge win over Newcastle last weekend, playing a leading hand in several of the team's nine tries.

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