R1 WC Oceania Qualifiers

WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS Oceania Group Friday, September 29, 2006 Campbelltown Stadium. Crowd: 3013

Arrive Alive Cup 2006 Grand Final result

IN a replay of last year?s intense battle, Endeavour Sports and Keebra Park High Schools went toe-to-toe in the 2006 Arrive Alive Cup Grand Final with this year?s result again a victory for the southern Sydney team by 16-7.Endeavour now become only the second team to win three titles back-to-back, joining St Gregory?s Campbelltown who won the premier schoolboys competition from 1989 to 1991.The game began at a rapid pace with both sides making strong in-roads to their opposition territory. Stinging defence on the goal-line prevented several opportunities with scrambling efforts from either school making for a desperate contest.Midway through the first half rangy Endeavour backrower Lane busted through Keebra out wide before drawing the fullback and off-loading to a well-positioned Carr who dived over under the posts. Stanley converted to open up a six-point lead.Classy Keebra five-eighth Lui was involved heavily in the early stages before he took the ball from a scrum following an Endeavour mistake, found some room, stepped then fended and raced 20 metres to score next to the stick. Fullback Parata added the extras to tie-up the score line with only a few minutes remaining in the first half.A mistake from Ellis close to his line offered Keebra another chance to score with a three-man decoy play under the posts finding rampaging forward Vaiga, only for him to drop the ball over the line. Despite a late first half attacking raid by Endeavour, the schools headed into the sheds at 6-all.Endeavour came out fired up in the second half making some ruthless tackles and showing a desire to keep the ball alive when in possession. Some tensions began to boil over as well with the referee Chris James using the whistle to diffuse any heated situations.With both teams working very hard for points and neither side being able to crack the other?s line, Keebra?s Lui snapped a field goal with 14 minutes to play, pushing the Gold Coast high school ahead for the first time in the match.Ayshford for Endeavour went close but was held-up on the fifth before Keebra spilled the ball from the restart. Three plays later they pushed it to the left flank for towering replacement Cherrington to finally break the line. Captain Fepuleai hit the post with the conversion, leaving the game open with a few minutes to play.But a restart that went dead on the full handed the ball back to Endeavour with good field position and they made good use of it. Fepuleai made a damaging break again down the left flank before fining Cherrington lurking with intent. The replacement backrower scored his second for the day, wrapping up the Arrive Alive Cup for the third year in a row.Stanley put the icing on the cake with a conversion from the sideline and strangely the final score of 16-7 was the same as Endeavours first victory over Blacktown High School in 2004.Matthew Mundine was awarded the Peter Sterling Award as the best performed player throughout the competition.Endeavour Sports High 16 (Carr, Cherington 2 , tries; Stanley 2/2, Fepuleai 0/1 goals) def. Keebra Park High Scool (Lui, , tries; Parata 1/1 goals; Lui field goal). Referee: Chris James.Endeavour Sports High: 1. Karauria-Henry 2. Hume 3. Tala 4. Stanley 5. Ellis 6. Carr 7. Ezekiel 8. Leha 9. Fepuleai (c) 10. Pakutoa 11. Lane 12. Mundine 13. AyshfordInterchange: 14. Letele 15. Randall 16. Whare 17. CherringtonCoach: Jeff HardyKeebra Park High School: 1. Parata 2. Clarke 3. Bos 4. Akaoula 5. Sullivan 6. Lui 7. Makaui 8. Vaiga 9. Poland (c) 10. McGill 11. Wihongi-Seia 12. Thompson 13. HarthInterchange: 14. Thomas 15. Vea 16. De Paul 20. EdwardsCoach: Greg Lenton

NRL Grand Final Preview

WE?VE finally arrived at the big day after 190 first grade games, a Test match, three State of Origin?s and a City v Country fixture.

PM XIII update

HALVES Johnathan Thurston and Matt Orford will be looking to impress Test selectors when they line up for the Australian Prime Minister's thirteen against Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby today.

Countdown to the G.F.

BRISBANE coach Wayne Bennett has looked to ease the pressure on skipper Darren Lockyer by denying his champion playmaker needs to produce a blinder to get the Broncos over the line in tomorrow's Grand Final.

Saints book grand final spot

ST Helens is the first side through to the English Super League grand final after it downed Hull 12-8 overnight.

RLPA Awards winners

INSPIRATIONAL Manly captain Ben Kennedy has taken out the NRL players' player of the year award.

Pacific Qualifier team lists

THE team lists for the first round of the Pacific Nations qualifiers for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup, held Friday 29 September 2006.Cook Islands v Tonga ? Campbelltown StadiumKick Off: 5:45pmCook Islands:Turori Matutu, Graham Jefferies, Rueben Enoka, Ioane Victor, Junior Rubena, Mehau Phillips, Marty Mitchel, George Tuakura, Damien Takurua, Stacy Katu, Fabien Soutar, Henry Turua, Brian Thomas; Reserves: Darna Wilson, Fred Charlie, Ali Davies, Walter Dean, Nathan Robinson, Tere Glassie, Adam Cook WateneCoach: Ina (Bush) KonitoManager: Charles CarlsonTrainer: Kevin IroMate Ma?a Tonga:David Pangai, Sosaia Makisini, Andrew Emilio, Fetuli Talanoa, Tyrone Smith, Sione Foliaki , Joel Taufaao, Manase Manuokafafoa, Eliakim Uasi, Joe Falemaka, Solomone Haumono (C), William Manu, William Topou; Reserves: Makisini Rickter, Taufa Fukofuka, John Sinisa, Sam Moa, John KiteCoach: Jim DymockFiji v Samoa ? Campbelltown StadiumKick Off: 7:40pmVodafone Fiji Bati:Iowane Divavesi, Ilisoni Vonomataivatum, Darryl Millard, Neori Kurumalawai, Waisale Suka, Tabua Cakacaka, Viliame Tukana, Netani Suka, Pio Rokomaqisa, Alipate Noilea, Semesa Cadrakilagi, Sevanaia Koroi, Tomujani Koroi; Reserves: Aseri Liang, James Lagiloa, Hamilton Hughes, Nacanieli Kinikini, Semisi Tora, Asaeli Saravaki, Jone Wesele, Max Bainivalu, Bill BaleilomalomaCoach: Joe RabeleManager: Tomi FinauSamoa:Tangi Ropati, Malofou Solomona, Miguel Start, Peewee Moke, McConkie Tausa, George Carmont ( C ), Chan Lye, Kylie Leuluai, Albert Talapeau, Hutch Maiavia, Conrad Ta?amoekiafa, Frank Winterstein, Chris Vaefaga; Reserves: Rota Setu, Isaak Ahmau, Chris Afamasaga, Lino Salafai, Simon GercsCoach: John AcklandSource: www.rlif.org

Titans and Timmins

THE National Rugby League will officially welcome the Gold Coast to the competition during the pre-game entertainment for Sunday's Grand Final.

Tune into the Titans on SEA-FM

TUNE into the Jetstar, Gold Coast Titans on 90.9 SEA FM

Nikau plots Broncos' downfall

MELBOURNE premiership hero Tawera Nikau believes the Storm must devise a special game plan to nullify Brisbane's size advantage in Sunday's Grand Final at Telstra Stadium.

Beattie joins Roosters

THE Sydney Roosters have signed former Queensland forward Chris Beattie to a one-year deal with the club.

Favouritism no burden for Storm

MELBOURNE winger Steve Turner says his side's favouritism won't add any extra pressure ahead of Sunday's Grand Final against Brisbane at Telstra Stadium.

And the winner is ? Rupert Murdoch

THE Grand Final is still two and a half days away, but the winner can already be declared ? Rupert Murdoch and News Limited! Sunday night?s match is a News Limited clash, between the News Limited-owned Melbourne Storm and the News Limited-controlled Brisbane Broncos. (Oh, and the NRL itself is 50 per cent owned by News for good measure). But the ownership issue is where the similarities end. The Broncos have a huge membership and fan base, and are profitable. The Storm has a limited (though growing) base in the AFL heartland, and survives financially thanks to News. The Broncos were a product of the old NSWRL expansion in 1988; the Storm resulted from the settlement of the Super League War a decade later. So News Limited will win either way on Sunday night ? though it has already scored something of a victory with the improved television deal with Nine to start next year. Rupert scoops half the higher NRL profit that should result. Now to the game itself. It is a contest between the stand-out team of the 2006 season (Storm) and the most improved team in the finals series (Broncos). The Storm easily won the minor premiership, while the Broncos, after a poor start in the opening finals week, have been the form team since with a crushing win over the Knights and a very comfortable defeat of the one time premiership favourites, the Bulldogs, a week ago. Since the formation of the NRL in 1998, the Storm have won one premiership (1999) and the Broncos two (1998 and 2000). While the Broncos players have significantly more grand final, and ?big game?, experience, the Storm have the Dally M Player of the Year (Cameron Smith) and the rising star in the game (but not the best ever) Greg Inglis. If the punters have it right, then the Storm will bolt in. The weight of money is very heavily with the Storm this week, but the punters often get it wrong! I slipped down the tipping competition scale this season, so my prediction should be ignored. However, being a punter I always regard ?form? as the number one guide, so I am going for the ?form? team, the Storm. Whatever the result, stay tuned to the post match presentation. John Howard will, as is custom, present the TELSTRA premiership trophy (at TELSTRA Stadium) and he will be joined on the podium by Sol J Trujillo, the CEO who cost more than Steve Austin, the six-million dollar man. The ?atmosphere? at kick off may be very tame when compared to that at the presentation! Enjoy what should be a bottler of a Grand Final!

Game-breakers the key: Bennett

BRISBANE coach Wayne Bennett says game-breakers like the Broncos' Justin Hodges and Melbourne's Greg Inglis will be the key players in Sunday's Grand Final.

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