BULLDOGS centre Willie Tonga has undergone season-ending surgery while Roy Asotasi will play again only if the club makes the NRL grand final.
BULLDOGS forward Willie Mason is set be sidelined until the finals series after being charged by the NRL match review committee today.
MATCH reports from Round 22 - the final regular season round in the QLD Wizard Cup.Included are full details of the minor premiership fight between Toowoomba and North QLD and the tense final 24 hours, when clubs Tweed Heads, Easts and Burleigh put their seasons on the line. TWEED HEADS 26 d WYNNUM MANLY 20BURLEIGH 42 d IPSWICH 22IT WAS drama on the high seas on the final day of the 2006 Wizard Cup regular season, as Coastal teams Tweed Heads and Burleigh were forced to ride out the ebb and flow of a captivating afternoon?s football.With Tweed needing to win to make the finals, the Seagulls trailed Wynnum Manly all the way until the 74th minute of their match at the Piggabeen Complex.Eager to pounce and steal their local rival?s position, sixth-placed Burleigh stood feverishly by the phones after accounting for Ipswich 42-22.The Bears were never headed by the Jets and as progress scores filtered between Piggabeen and QLD Group Stadium, fans of the perennial heavyweights grew in hope and stature.After 25 minutes Burleigh led Ipswich 12-0. At the same stage Tweed was in the doldrums at 0-10 against Wynnum.Halftime was little different. Burleigh led 18-6 and Tweed fell further behind at 20-6. Updates from south of the border began to arrive in gruff and grim tones.Two particular tries appeared to set the fate of the two clubs in stone.Moments before halftime at the Piggabeen Complex, Wynnum winger Rodney Barba snuck his way across for his side?s fourth try of the opening stanza. It suggested Tweed was as mentally drained as coach Steve Murphy feared after a fortnight where they were handed a 40-10 hiding by Redcliffe and a last-minute 24-20 defeat by Burleigh.Not long after, Burleigh centre Jordan Atkins crossed for a beauty of a try at Ipswich, repelling a brief fightback by the Jets and giving the Bears a 24-12 lead.Against all odds it appeared Burleigh had somehow secured its ninth finals appearance of the last decade, rising from the dead after a disastrous start to the year.What was also apparent however, was that with more stoppages in the Tweed Heads match, the Bears would finish their game earlier.And finish they did in style, piling on three more converted tries against this year?s wooden spooners to blow the final margin out.Bears players and officials had just enough time to get to the sheds, when news of a sudden momentum shift at the Piggabeen filtered through.Tweed had just scored two quick tries, one to Matt Pow and one to James Wood. Both had been set up by Dean Allen, the former Burleigh skipper.The score was now 20-16 in Wynnum?s favour and Burleigh supporters had one foot in the finals door and another foot wearing flip-flops for Mad Monday.Then came the decisive moment six minutes from fulltime, that split second upon which two tribes? fortunes hinged. Tweed put in a testing chip-kick over the top and Wynnum Manly fullback Tangi Ropati fumbled. Fittingly, the Seagull to swoop was captain Andrew Moroney, this very week reinstated to the starting line-up after a year beset by injury.Back at Ipswich phones were ringing hot and the word spread like wildfire.?20-all, 20-all.?A draw was all Tweed needed to cling onto fifth, but before there was even time to compute, goal-kicker Brad Davis added the extras and it was now 22-20 in favour of the Butcher Stripes.Tension was at an all-time high and Burleigh?s men found themselves where they have spent much of the season - sitting back and relying on others to fall over.That never happened however. Barely two minutes later will-o-the-wisp Wood was in for another try and Tweed had an unassailable 26-20 lead with the last sands draining from the hourglass.It was as if Murphy?s Men had hit the jackpot at Seagulls Leagues Club. The win not only guaranteed a finals spot, it brought the Spotless Club Championship to Tweed Heads for the first time and also gave the Seagulls the right to host next Saturday?s elimination final against Easts.While the cherries had come into alignment for Tweed, it was all lemons for Burleigh, the sudden twists in fortune leaving a sour taste after a spirited and defiant past month.The evening beforehand Bears mentor Jimmy Lenihan had sat through another nail-biting game when Easts and Central faced off. Lenihan badly needed the Tigers to lose, but they did not, recovering from a nil-all halftime score to win 12-6.Had Easts crumbled in the face of Centrals? strongarm tactics, Burleigh could have swept past them with the win on Sunday, regardless of Tweed?s result.As it eventuated, the edge-of-seat nature of the final round befitted a Wizard Cup season which was arguably the most unpredictable on record.While the top three clubs were clear leaders throughout the year, there was hardly a struck match between the rest.As a result the 22 points to make the finals was the lowest on record (for a season of 18 or more games) and the number of draws, 7, is the second-highest in competition history.Ipswich had more wins and scored more points than any other wooden spoon side, while the difference between fifth and last spot was a record low 14 competitions points.TWEED HEADS 26 (James Wood 2, Matt Pow, Andrew Moroney, Josh Peacock tries; Brad Davis 3 goals) d WYNNUM MANLY 20 (Rodney Barba, Luke Dalziel-Don, Bill Wyatt, Chris Currie tries; Rodney Barba, Daniel Evans goals) at the Piggabeen Complex.BURLEIGH 42 (Jordan Atkins 2, Trent Purdon, Trent Leis, Clay Harris, Robert Apanui, Luke Mercer tries; Reggie Cressbrook 7 goals) d IPSWICH 22 (Tyson Lofipo, Ricky Dodd, Chris Scanlan, Josh Costello tries; Aaron Werth 3 goals) at QLD Group Stadium.QLD WIZARD CUPElimination Final: Tweed Heads v Easts, Piggabeen Complex, Saturday August 26, 2pm * Live on ABC TVQualifying Final: North QLD v Redcliffe, Townsville Sports Reserve, Sunday August 27, 3:30pm.FOGS CUP Elimination Final: Wynnum Manly v Souths Logan, BMD Kougari Oval, Sunday August 27, 3pm.Qualifying Final: Easts v Burleigh, Piggabeen Complex, Saturday August 26, 12pm.FOGS COLTS CHALLENGEElimination Final: Aspley v Wynnum Manly, BMD Kougari Oval, Sunday August 27, 1.15pm.Qualifying Final: Redcliffe v Easts, Piggabeen Complex, Saturday August 26, 10.30am. TOOWOOMBA 22 d NORTH QUEENSLAND 6TOOWOOMBA has claimed the minor premiership for the third time in 11 years of the QLD Wizard Cup, beating North Queensland 22-6 in the final round showdown for top spot.By consigning the Young Guns to second place with a convincing display at Dairy Farmers Stadium, the Clydesdales can now enjoy a week?s rest before contesting the major semi final.In contrast North Queensland will now have to face dangerous Redcliffe in next Saturday?s qualifying final in Townsville. The winner of that game will then take on Toowoomba for direct passage to the grand final.History shows that on the two previous occasions that Toowoomba won the minor premiership ? 1996 and 2001 ? the Clydesdales went on to win the grand final.Coach Mark Gee would fail to be excited by such trivia, however he was understandably chuffed by the weekend?s performance on enemy territory.?The boys deserve all the credit,? said Gee, enjoying just his first year of coaching in the competition.?They?re a good group of young blokes. They?ve come together from all different situations.?We?ve had a fair few that are younger guys, some that have dropped back from the NRL, some local Toowoomba boys and others who started the year with Aspley (in FOGS Cup).?Assisting Gee?s cause on Saturday night was a powerhouse leadership performance by prop Nick Kenny, captain of the Clydesdales for much of the season. The Rockhampton junior was all over the park both in attack and defence.Toowoomba also had a lucky break after losing David Taylor (Arrive Alive Cup) and Dane Carlaw (NRL) during the lead-up. Teenage prodigy Greg Eastwood was declared fit and played, having been originally ruled out with an ankle problem.At the same time, Gee acknowledged the Young Guns were ?understaffed?, playing without the likes of linchpins Brent McConnell, Clint Amos and Brett Firman. Early season stars like Mark Henry and Gavin Cooper also seem to have found a regular place with the Cowboys.?I thought we were most probably a bit unlucky to be level 6-all at halftime,? Gee said.?We dominated a bit more than that. We let a few opportunities slip.?Gee said he favoured neither North Queensland nor Redcliffe as an opponent in the major semi final, saying there was ?no point having preferences? come finals time.His biggest headache may come in allocating positions when his full complement of players is available. Both Derricke Watkins and Joe Clarke successfully returned from injury against the Young Guns.Unlikely to now make the NRL finals, North Queensland will be checking Wizard Cup finals eligibility for all its players. The basic guidelines are 10 or more games in the Wizard Cup this year or a greater number of games in the Wizard Cup than in the NRL this year. TOOWOOMBA 22 (Ben Vaeau 2, Jamie Simpson, Chris Muckert tries; Ben Green 3 goals) d NORTH QUEENSLAND 6 (Ben Lowe try; Josh Hannay goal).EASTS 12 d CENTRAL 6EASTS has emerged sore and sorry, but most importantly alive for the finals after holding off spirited Central 12-6 at Browne Park.In an often heated affair, both teams were locked nil-all at halftime and the game rested in the balance right up until fulltime.For Easts the victory was crucial, meaning the Tigers were assured of a finals berth, regardless of Sunday?s results for fellow contenders Tweed Heads and Burleigh. . It was no easy passage however, up against a Central team looking to finish the year with three straight wins and buoyed by a monster home crowd.Certainly fiery Central prop Aaron Sweeney took no pity on the Tigers in his last hit-out of the year. The former lifesaver had an early dust up with Scott Sipple then moved through the Easts line-up, seemingly targeting Steele Retchless and Damien Durnford.An inconclusive video angle was all that had stopped him being charged for striking from the previous week?s match against Norths. He had no such luck avoiding referee Clayton Sharpe and midway through the second half he was pointed to the sin-bin for lashing out at Durnford.Moments before Sweeney?s 10-minute rest, Easts five-eighth Matt Lockyer had scored the first try of the game. While the Comets were at 12 men the Tigers crossed again after a beautiful angled hit-up from Mark Cantoni, making it 12-0It was fitting that Lockyer and Cantoni got the points, as both had worked hard through a fruitless first half. Another Tiger enjoying a great game was former Comet John Tamanika, absolutely smashing McConkie Tauasa and debutant Che Anderson with two bell-ringing tackles.Central had its own stars though and there was no faulting dynamic duo Misi Taulapapa and Wayne Barnett for their classy displays. Disallowed tries to Tauasa (forward pass) and Jimmy McConachy (knock-on) and narrow misses with in-goal grubbers by Christian Davies and Scott Porter had the potential to make the game even closer than the scoreboard indicated. It was not before time that the Comets crossed in the 73rd minute via Cheyenne Motu?s individual brilliance, sending the Tigers? hearts aflutter. Then as the clock wound down the Comets constantly sent the ball wide looking for the slightest gap. But as was the case all night, Easts stuck firm in defence, clinging to their man and their finals role.To advance through the finals, the Tigers must beat Tweed Heads in the elimination final at the Piggabeen Complex next Saturday, kicking off at 2pm. The match will be live throughout Queensland on ABC TV, later replayed on ABC 2 Digital and Fox Sports.EASTS 12 (Matt Lockyer, Mark Cantoni tries; Luke Branighan 2 goals) d CENTRAL 6 (Cheyenne Motu try; Scott Porter goal) at Borwne Park.NORTHS 64 d SOUTHS LOGAN 10NORTHS and Souths Logan will turn their attention to winning premierships in lower grades, after an inconsequential 64-10 win by the Devils over the Magpies in the final round of the QLD Wizard Cup.In a misleading end to Souths? best campaign of the past six years, the Magpies were out on their feet as the Devils ran them ragged at Bishop Park, consigning them to tenth place on the ladder.Held to a slender eight-point win over the Magpies in Round One, Norths experienced contrasting fortunes, finishing a largely disappointing season with a massive win on home soil.Regardless of the big victory the Devils finish the year in seventh spot, two places outside the finals and missing the post-season for just the second time since linking with the Melbourne Storm.Playing his last match for the club which gave him a representative springboard, teenage utility Jackson Nicolau collected a personal swag of 24 points from 10 goals and a try.The 19-year-old Innisfail product tallied 146 points this season, making him the third most prolific player in the competition behind NRL-experienced Greg Bourke and Luke Branighan.Another face of the future, Souths Logan?s Chris Sandow, again showed he has a touch of wizardry about him with some spectacular evasive maneuvers for the Magpies.However the pint-sized youngster couldn?t hide in defence and was found several times by the clever Norths attack.After being eliminated in the statewide league, both the Devils and Magpies will turn shift their focus to the FOGS Cup and FOGS Colts Challenge (Under 19) titles.Norths is seeking a third straight premiership in Colts after finishing the season as minor premier. The Devils beat Souths Logan 66-6 in the younger grade to comfortably finish first ahead of Redcliffe.Over the course of the season Norths? for-and-against was a whopping +449, scoring over 100 points more than any other team in attack and conceding over 100 fewer points than any opposition.Souths Logan will search for its first premiership in any senior grade since 1985 when it contests the semi finals of the FOGS Cup A Grade next weekend. The Magpie reserves rounded off their regular season campaign with a 46-36 win over much-improved Norths.Consequently the black-and-whites will now face Wynnum Manly in the elimination final next Saturday at .It has been a good 21 seasons since Souths has held aloft any silverware, having claimed both the Brisbane Rugby League first grade and third grade titles in 1985.In FOGS Cup, or its predecessor BRL Reserve Grade, the Magpies last won in 1984 when they beat Valleys 10-6 in the final. NORTHS 64 (Sam Tagataese 2, Jackson Nicolau, Chad Leach, Ryan Shortland, James Aubusson, Isaac Kaufmann, Matthew Bartlett, Troy Hansen, Brendan Afitu, Josh Tatupu tries; Jackson Nicolau 10 goals) d SOUTHS LOGAN 10 (Jason Mitchell, Chris McGurk tries; Chris Sandow goal) at Bishop Park.
ROUND 22 results for the QLD Wizard Cup, FOGS Cup and FOGS Colts Challenge. This brings to a close the QRL regular season.ROUND 22 RESULTS - Queensland Wizard Cup 2006Saturday 19 AugustNORTHS 64 (Sam Tagataese 2,Jackson Nicolau, Chad Leach, Ryan Shortland, James Aubusson, Isaac Kaufmann, Matthew Bartlett, Troy Hansen, Brendan Afitu, Josh Tatupu tries; Jackson Nicolau 10 goals) d SOUTHS LOGAN 10 (Jason Mitchell, Chris McGurk tries; Chris Sandow goal) at Bishop Park.TOOWOOMBA 22 (Ben Vaeau 2, Jamie Simpson, Chris Muckert tries; Ben Green 3 goals) d NORTH QUEENSLAND 6 (Ben Lowe try; Josh Hannay goal) at Dairy Farmers Stadium.EASTS 12 (Matt Lockyer, Mark Cantoni tries; Luke Branighan 2 goals) d CENTRAL 6 (Cheyenne Motu try; Scott Porter goal) at Borwne Park.Sunday 20 August TWEED HEADS 26 (James Wood 2, Matt Pow, Andrew Moroney, Josh Peacock tries; Brad Davis 3 goals) d WYNNUM MANLY 20 (Rodney Barba, Luke Dalziel-Don, Bill Wyatt, Chris Currie tries; Rodney Barba, Daniel Evans goals) at the Piggabeen Complex.BURLEIGH 42 (Jordan Atkins 2, Trent Purdon, Trent Leis, Clay Harris, Robert Apanui, Luke Mercer tries; Reggie Cressbrook 7 goals) d IPSWICH 22 (Tyson Lofipo, Ricky Dodd, Chris Scanlan, Josh Costello tries; Aaron Werth 3 goals) at QLD Group Stadium. BYE: RedcliffeQld Cup standings - round 22TOOWOOMBA 32NORTH QLD 30REDCLIFFE 28TWEED HEADS 22EASTS 22--------------BURLEIGH 21NORTHS 17CENTRAL 15WYNNUM MANLY 13SOUTHS LOGAN 12IPSWICH 8NEXT WEEK?S GAME ? FINALS WEEK 1 ELIMINATION FINALSATURDAY 26 AUGUSTTWEED HEADS V EASTS PIGGABEEN COMPLEX 2.00PM**Denotes ABC TV Live telecast. QUALIFYING FINALSUNDAY 27 AUGUSTNORTH QLD V REDCLIFFE TOWNSVILLE SPORTS RES. 3.30PMFOGS CUP 2006ROUND 22 RESULTS - A GRADESaturday 19th August SOUTHS LOGAN 46 (Matt Templeman 3, John Andrews, Justin Hoggart, Josh Essex, Dinny Kyle, Jerry Ahern, Paul Stanley tries; Justin Hoggart 5 goals) d NORTHS 36 (David Neuendorf, Steve Beaumont, Andrew Brown, Nathan Daley, Marc Webb, Jarrad Stack tries; David Neuendorf 5, Marc Webb goals) at Bishop Park.SUNSHINE COAST 46 (Paul Ivan 2, Kris Boyce 2, Ben Whiddon, Jason Wardrop, Andrew Johnston, Dane Blewitt tries; Kris Boyce 6, Andrew Johnston goals) d ASPLEY 22 (Pat Brennan, Tautiaga Ane, Adam Simon, Michael West tries; Pat Dall 3 goals) at Kirby Park.EASTS 48 (John Reece 2, Luke Archer, Jason Connors, Shane Beldham, Alec Fata, Steve Kruger, Damian Petrie tries; Luke Archer 7, Hamilton Vaalepu goals) d WESTERN DISTRICTS 0 at Kev McKell Oval.Sunday 20th August TWEED HEADS 22 (Justin Walker, Brett Woolley, Joe Cudmore, James Brown tries; Curtis Finn 2, Jay Hampson goals) drew WYNNUM MANLY 22 (Shaun Daylight, Bill Wyatt, Daniel Sorbello, Sam Maniat tries; Jimmy O?Brien 3 goals) at the Piggabeen Complex.BURLEIGH 34 (Ryan Perry 2, Tom MacGougan, Nash Core, Phil Ramage, Damien Frize tries; Phil Ramage 5) d IPSWICH 20 (Geoff Chalk, Brendon Marshall, Nigel Naawi tries; Steve West 2 goals) at QLD Group Stadium.A GRADE POINTS TABLE AFTER ROUND 22Tweed Heads Seagulls 35Easts Tigers 25Burleigh Bears 25Wynnum Manly 25Souths Logan Magpies 24------------------------Sunshine Coast Falcons 22Redcliffe Dolphins 17Norths Devils 16Ipswich Jets 12Aspley Devils 10Western Districts Panthers 8NEXT WEEK'S GAMESFOGS CUP FINALSElimination Final: Wynnum Manly v Souths Logan, BMD Kougari Oval, Sunday August 27, 3pm.Qualifying Final: Easts v Burleigh, Piggabeen Complex, Saturday August 26, 12pm.FOGS CHALLENGE 2006ROUND 22 RESULTS - COLTS GRADESaturday 19th AugustNORTHS 66 (Ben Matterson 3, Jarrad Stack 2, Blayne Harling 2, Kieran Turner, Michael Bond, Rohan Ahern, Isaac Schwenke, Sam McPhail tries; Luke Capewell 8, Michael Bond goals) d SOUTHS LOGAN 6 (Brogan Gibson try; Mase Laulu-Togagae goal) at Bishop Park.ASPLEY 46 (Troyden Edwards 2, Zac Webber 2, Matthew Baird, Charlie Fetoai, Vaughan Eriksen, Jacob Fauid, Simona Vavega tries; Jacob Fauid 5 goals) d SUNSHINE COAST 6 (Todd Wilson try; Anthony Delaivuna goal) at Kirby Park.EASTS 34 (David Wood 2, Lachlan Tanzer 2, Matthew Klein, Dwayne Rigby tries; Brent Kuskey 5 goals) d WESTERN DISTRICTS 28 (Adam Breen, Tino Vaasa, Brendan Altadonna, Liam McDonald, Shaun Maloney tries; Tino Vaasa 4 goals) at Kev McKell OvalSunday 20th AugustTWEED HEADS 38 (Michael Keating 2, Dane Evans 2, Matthew Nuttall, Trent Iselin, Harry Witt tries; Michael Keating 5 goals) d WYNNUM MANLY 30 (Brendon O?Neill 2, Luke Menhinnitt, Ben Cronin, Warren Jensen tries; Luke Menhinnitt 5 goals) at the Piggabeen Complex.BURLEIGH 38 (Paul Smith 2, Jack MacGougan, Casey Lyons, Matt Francis, Brendan Hoare, Ryan Wilson tries; Mitchell Herlihy 5 goals) d IPSWICH 24 (Alex Tafili 2, David Pamatatau, Tim McIlwain tries; Tim McIlwain 4 goals) at QLD Group Stadium.COLTS POINTS TABLE AFTER ROUND 22Norths Devils 32Redcliffe Dolphins 30Easts Tigers 28Aspley Devils 24Wynnum Manly Seagulls 22----------------------Tweed Heads Seagulls 22Souths Logan Magpies 19Burleigh Bears 17Western Districts Panthers 11Ipswich Jets 10Sunshine Coast Falcons 5NEXT WEEK'S GAMESFOGS COLTS CHALLENGE FINALSElimination Final: Aspley v Wynnum Manly, BMD Kougari Oval, Sunday August 27, 1.15pm.Qualifying Final: Redcliffe v Easts, Piggabeen Complex, Saturday August 26, 10.30am.
KEEBRA Park will represent Queensland in the final four of the Arrive Alive Cup national schoolboys competition, after defeating St Brendan?s Yeppoon 18-4 at Browne Park, Rockhampton.
THE great Tony Bennett?s song ?The best is yet to come? has a certain relevance to Newtown?s 20-6 loss to Parramatta in the top of the table VB Premier League match played at Henson Park on Saturday. The Jets went into this long-awaited showdown seriously undermanned through injuries and late positional changes, and will be a very different proposition for the Eels should the two teams meet again in the upcoming semi-finals series.There were plenty of top-level Rugby League personalities in attendance at Henson Park on Saturday, along with the season?s biggest VB Premier League crowd. The NRL?s CEO David Gallop, salary cap auditor Ian Schubert and NSW Rugby League CEO Geoff Carr were all keen observers of the on-field action along with Newtown?s club patron John Singleton and a large contingent of the Jets 1981 first grade grand final team.Parramatta led 10-0 after 15 minutes but a bulldozing try by Jets backrower Michael Burns which was converted by hooker Luke Gordon had Newtown back in the contest at 10-6. The Eels third try (all three of which had been achieved on Newtown?s left-side defence) took them to a 14-6 lead. The Jets were clearly hampered by their lack of a specialist five-eighth and half-back, and this situation wasn?t improved when classy fullback Aidan Kirk left the field with an ankle injury just prior to the half-time break. The Jets strove desperately to bridge the points deficit but were unable to crack the determined Parramatta defensive structure. Newtown had attacked the Eels line for an extended period midway through the second half with no result and the Jets? cause wasn?t helped by a couple of questionable penalty decisions against them. Parramatta sealed the win with a converted try 12 minutes from full-time, these being the only points scored in a tough, bruising second half. The Eels win ended Newtown?s unbeaten run in home games at Fortress Henson Park this season.Newtown?s best forwards on the day were Mickey Paea, Charles Tonga, Glenn Hall, Luke Gordon, Daniel Dumas and the ever-improving Mitch Aubusson. The Jets pack lost nothing in comparison to their opponents which augurs well for the tough games ahead. Aidan Kirk, Lelea Paea and Troy Malcolm were the best of Newtown?s backline.The Jets Jim Beam Cup team scored a courageous 20-16 win over Cabramatta, keeping alive this team?s slim hopes of a top-three finish. Newtown had led 14-0 at half-time and could well have led by twice that margin. Cabramatta stormed back in the second half to lead 16-14 with twenty minutes remaining, but the feisty Jets regained the lead with barely ten minutes left to play. Newtown toughed out the last ten minutes, including a bizarre incident involving a malfunctioning time clock that jammed for a seemingly interminable period with a bare five seconds remaining! Once again Jets prop Ritchie Parker was Newtown?s man of the match, and he received strong support from hard grafting front-rower Zoran Ilijoski. Halves Luke Millwood and Charlie Herekotukutuku were Newtown?s best backs in this hard-won and important victory.The 1981 first grade grand final team?s 25th anniversary reunion lunch at the Petersham RSL Club on Saturday was a resounding success, with a big crowd in attendance and tremendous camaraderie in abundance. The highlight of the event was the show-stopping videotaped message from the inimitable Tom Raudonikis, who is recuperating in Brisbane following major surgery. Jets patron John Singleton, coaching supremo Warren Ryan and several former Jets first graders all spoke impressively and movingly at this memorable function.In the thrilling Sydney Women?s Rugby League grand final played at Henson Park on Friday night, the Canley Vale Kookas held on for an 18-8 win over the Newtown Jetettes. The quality of the match and the big crowd on hand capped what has been a tremendous season for this competition. Newtown?s Jim Beam Cup team is back at Henson Park this Friday evening (August 25th) for an important final competition round clash with the Windsor Wolves, with this match kicking off at 7.00pm. The Newtown VB Premier League team faces a danger game against the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Telstra Stadium on Sunday (August 27th) at 12.30pm. This match is the curtain-raiser to the Rabbitohs-Cowboys NRL fixture.Photo:Newtown Jets lock forward Mitch Aubusson is one of the emerging Rugby League talents for the future.Photo courtesy of Mike Biboudis.
WITH just two rounds remaining before the finals, the Melbourne Storm have wrapped up the NRL minor premiership following ?Sixties Week? in this round of rugby league action.Friday night kicked off with the Brisbane Broncos thrashing the Canterbury Bulldogs 30-0. Played in front 26,111 people at Telstra Stadium, the match saw the second-placed Bulldogs crash back to reality after riding high in recent weeks. Nevertheless, the Bulldogs are well clear on 34 competition points while the fifth-placed Broncos join a truckload of teams on 28 points.Saturday footy took us to Toyota Park to see the Penrith Panthers sink the hopes of the Cronulla Sharks. After being down 28-8 in the second half, the ?chocolate soldiers? scored 24 points in 15 minutes to record a thrilling 32-28 victory. The results bring Mad Monday to the Shire two rounds early with the Sharks now no hope of making the finals. With 22 competition points, the 11th-placed Sharks are six points outside of the top eight. The Panthers however will still be clinging to some faint hope. In ninth place and on 24 points, the Panthers are four points shy of the cut. They will need to keep winning against tough opposition while hoping that other results go their way.Saturday night took us to Townsville to see the North Queensland Cowboys? go down 19-12 to the visiting Newcastle Knights. With 22 competition points and in 12th place, last year?s grand finalists are done with for season 2006. The fortunes are looking up for the sixth-placed Knights, the Novocastrians are on 28 points and vying for a top four spot after taking out the wooden spoon in 2005. Meanwhile in Melbourne, the first-placed Storm were experiencing a rare defeat in going down to the New Zealand Warriors by 24-20 at Olympic Park. In one of the upsets of the season, the Warriors held their own before coming away with spoils. But with other results not going their way, the Warriors find themselves six points out of the top eight and no chance of making the finals.Sunday football saw ?Sixties Week? finally get some momentum with three Sydney fixtures being played in glorious Autumn weather.At Aussie Stadium, the Parramatta Eels continued their winning form in downing the Sydney Roosters by 40-26. The Eels are now enjoying fouth spot on the NRL ladder with 28 points. The 13th-placed Roosters are just making up the numbers. Meanwhile at Brookvale, the Manly Sea Eagles moved up to 30 points and consolidated outright third position on the ladder following their 38-16 victory over wooden spooners, the South Sydney Rabbitohs.Round 24 wrapped up at Kogarah Jubilee with the St George Illawarra Dragons thrashing the Wests Tigers 46-16. Playing in a Magpies strip, Wests Tigers were blown off the park early before scoring two late tries. Last year?s premiers, Wests Tigers find themselves on 20 points, in second last spot, and well out of contention in 2006. The Dragons celebrated amidst much fanfare as former St George greats were presented to the crowd as part of the retro promotion. In returning to form, the seventh-placed Dragons ran in nine tries to three to join a log jam of teams on 28 points. With a two point bye for the round, the Canberra Raiders moved up to 28 points to complete the top eight.All match results and details are listed below.LeagueUnlimited.com Player AwardsThis year?s LeagueUnlimited.com Player Awards still has Melbourne hooker Cameron Smith coming first on 27 points and Canberra full back Clinton Schifcofske is in second spot with 26 points. Nathan Hindmarsh (Eels) and Willie Mason (Bulldogs) are on 23 points while previous winner Matt Orford (Sea Eagles) has moved into contention on 22 points.The full leader board is below.The LeagueUnlimited.com players of the match are decided by our live score updaters and tallied here each week on Monday?s Expert League wrap.Want to be a live score updater? For further enquiries, email usMATCH RESULTS:League Wrap: Round 24, 18 August ? 20 August 2006Canterbury Bulldogs: 0 Brisbane Broncos: 30Tries: Shaun Berrigan (2), Tonie Carroll, Darren Lockyer, Brent TateGoals: Darren Lockyer 2/2, Corey Parker 3/3Half time: Broncos 18-0Venue: Telstra StadiumCrowd: 26,111Referee: Steve ClarkLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Justin Hodges (Broncos)2 - Petero Civoniceva (Broncos)1 - Darren Lockyer (Broncos)Cronulla Sutherland Sharks: 28Tries: Paul Gallen (2), Reece Williams, Darren Albert (2)Goals: Luke Covell 4/5Penrith Panthers: 32Tries: Luke Rooney, Rhys Wesser (2), Craig Stapleton, Lee Hookey, Michael GordonGoals: Preston Campbell 4/6Half time: Sharks 10-8Venue: Toyota ParkCrowd: 7,827Referee: Jason RobinsonLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Rhys Wesser (Panthers)2 - Craig Stapleton (Panthers)1 - Adam Dykes (Sharks)North Queensland Cowboys: 12Tries: Justin Smith, Neil SweeneyGoals: Neil Sweeney 1/1, Brent McConnell 1/1Newcastle Knights: 19Tries: Anthony Quinn (2), Jarrod MullenGoals: Daniel Abraham 3/4Field Goals: Jarrod MullenHalf time: Knights 10-6Venue: Dairy Farmers StadiumCrowd: 17,898Referee: Sean HampsteadLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Jarrod Mullen (Knights)2 - Danny Buderus (Knights)1 - Carl Webb (Cowboys)Melbourne Storm: 20Tries: Matt Geyer, Greg Inglis, Matt King, Steve TurnerGoals: Cameron Smith 2/4New Zealand Warriors: 24Tries: Simon Mannering, Manu Vatuvei, Brent Webb (2)Goals: Lance Hohaia 4/5Half time: Storm 14-12Venue: Olympic Park, MelbourneCrowd: 13,477Referee: Tony ArcherLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Grant Rovelli (Warriors)2 - Brent Webb (Warriors)1 - Greg Inglis (Storm)Sydney Roosters: 26Tries: Ryan Cross (2), Craig Fitzgibbon, Chris Flannery, Amos RobertsGoals: Craig Fitzgibbon 3/4Parramatta Eels: 40Tries: Eric Grothe, Peter-John Marsh, Luke O'Dwyer (2), Ben Smith , Dean Widders, Jarryd HayneGoals: Luke Burt 6/8Half time: Eels 26-14Venue: Aussie StadiumCrowd: 15,142Referee: Paul SimpkinsLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Jarryd Hayne (Eels)2 - Luke O?Dwyer (Eels)1 - John Morris (Eels)Manly Sea Eagles: 38Tries: Shayne Dunley, Steve Menzies, Brett Stewart (3), Steve Matai (2)Goals: Matt Orford 5/7South Sydney Rabbitohs: 16Tries: Nathan Merritt, Paul Mellor, Joe GaluvaoGoals: Beau Champion 2/3Half time: Rabbitohs 12-10Venue: Brookvale OvalCrowd: 19,253Referee: Russell SmithLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Brett Stewart (Sea Eagles)2 - Matt Orford (Sea Eagles)1 - Steve Matai (Sea Eagles)St George Illawarra Dragons: 46Tries: Mark Gasnier (3), Aaron Gorrell, Clint Greenshields, Wes Naiqama, Matthew Bickerstaff, Brett Morris (2)Goals: Aaron Gorrell 3/5, Wes Naiqama 2/4Wests Tigers: 16Tries: Robert Farah, Chris Heighington, Chris LawrenceGoals: Scott Prince 2/3Half time: Dragons 20-4Venue: OKI Jubilee Stadium, KogarahCrowd: 14,211Referee: Shayne HayneLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Jason Ryles (Dragons)2 - Mark Gasnier (Dragons)1 - Trent Barrett (Dragons)Canberra Raiders v ByeFULL DRAW, RESULTS & LINKS TO LIVE SCORES ? CLICK HEREUPCOMING MATCHES:Round 25, 25-27 August 2006Fri 7:30 SEA EAGLES v BULLDOGS - Brookvale OvalSat 5:30 RAIDERS v STORM - Canberra StadiumSat 7:30 KNIGHTS v PANTHERS - EnergyAustralia StadiumSat 7:30 DRAGONS v SHARKS - WIN StadiumSun 2:00 (12:00) WARRIORS v ROOSTERS - Mt Smart (Ericsson) StadiumSun 3:00 RABBITOHS v COWBOYS - Telstra StadiumSun 3:00 EELS v BRONCOS - Parramatta Stadium TIGERS v BYE LEAGUEUNLIMITED.COM PLAYER AWARDS 2006LEADER BOARDThe Leagueunlimited.com players awards are decided by our live score updaters.Want to be a live score updater? For further enquiries, email us.27 pointsCameron Smith (Storm)26 pointsClinton Schifcofske (Raiders)23 pointsNathan Hindmarsh (Eels), Willie Mason (Bulldogs)22 pointsMatt Orford (Sea Eagles)21 pointsPreston Campbell (Panthers), Greg Inglis (Storm)19 pointsBen Kennedy (Sea Eagles), Andrew Johns (Knights)18 pointsDanny Buderus (Knights)17 pointsCooper Cronk (Storm), Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys)16 pointsMark Gasnier (Dragons),14 pointsMatthew Bowen (Cowboys), Adam Dykes (Sharks), Darren Lockyer (Broncos), Steve Price (Warriors), Scott Prince (Tigers)13 pointsHazem El Masri (Bulldogs)12 pointsPetero Civoniceva (Broncos), Jason Smith (Raiders), Sonny Bill Williams (Bulldogs)11 pointsRoy Asotasi (Bulldogs), Craig Fitzgibbon (Roosters), Paul Gallen (Sharks), Karmichael Hunt (Broncos), Grant Rovelli (Warriors), Rhys Wesser (Panthers)10 pointsRobert Farah (Tigers), Justin Hodges (Broncos), Alan Tongue (Raiders)9 pointsMathew Head (Dragons), Brett Hodgson (Tigers), Brett Stewart (Sea Eagles)8 pointsBrett Kimmorley (Sharks), Jarryd Hayne (Eels), Corey Parker (Broncos), Ruben Wiki (Warriors), Dean Young (Dragons)7 pointsSteve Bell (Sea Eagles), Nathan Merritt (Rabbitohs), Mark O?Meley (Bulldogs), Aaron Payne (Cowboys), David Peachey (Rabbitohs), Amos Roberts (Roosters), Andrew Ryan (Bulldogs), Steve Simpson (Knights), Brent Webb (Warriors)6 pointsTrent Barrett (Dragons), Nathan Cayless (Eels), Craig Gower (Panthers), Nathan Fien (Warriors), Ryan Hoffman (Storm), Luke Lewis (Panthers), Steve Menzies (Sea Eagles), Lance Thompson (Sharks)5 pointsDean Collis (Tigers), Peter Cusack (Rabbitohs), Brett Finch (Roosters), Aaron Gorrell (Dragons), Wade McKinnon (Eels), Luke O'Donnell (Cowboys), Luke O?Dwyer (Eels), Simon Mannering (Warriors), Luke Priddis (Panthers), Brad Thorn (Broncos)4 pointsDarren Albert (Sharks), Greg Bird (Sharks), Brian Carney (Knights), Todd Carney (Raiders), Matt Cooper (Dragons), Sione Faumuina (Warriors), Phillip Graham (Raiders), David Kidwell (Storm), Scott Hill (Storm), Ben Hornby (Dragons), Anthony Laffranchi (Tigers), Adam MacDougall (Rabbitohs), Fuifui Moimoi (Eels), John Morris (Eels), Clint Newton (Knights), Josh Perry (Knights), Brent Sherwin (Bulldogs), David Simmons (Sharks), Billy Slater (Storm), Jamie Soward (Roosters), John Sutton (Rabbitohs), Milton Thaiday (Knights), Anthony Tupou (Roosters), Paul Whatuira (Tigers), Lincoln Withers (Raiders)3 pointsLuke Bailey (Dragons), Travis Burns (Sea Eagles), Luke Burt (Eels), Joel Clinton (Panthers), Darius Boyd (Broncos), Luke Covell (Sharks), Michael Crocker (Storm), Greg Eastwood (Broncos), Matthew Gidley (Knights), Michael Gordon (Panthers), Clint Greenshields (Dragons), Nathan Hinton (Knights), Lance Hohaia (Warriors), Brett Kearney (Sharks), Luke MacDougall (Rabbitohs), Reni Maitua (Bulldogs), Manase Manuokafoa (Rabbitohs), Adam Mogg (Raiders), Jarrod Mullen (Knights), Sam Perrett (Roosters), Michael Robertson (Sea Eagles), Jerome Ropati (Warriors), Jason Ryles (Dragons), Matt Sing (Cowboys), Tame Tupou (Broncos), Steve Turner (Storm), Matthew Utai (Bulldogs), Anthony Watmough (Sea Eagles), Jake Webster (Storm), Joe Williams (Rabbitohs)2 pointsBrenton Bowen (Cowboys), George Carmont (Knights), Daniel Fitzhenry (Tigers), Keith Galloway (Tigers), Awen Guttenbeil (Warriors), Ashley Harrison (Roosters), Wairangi Koopu (Warriors), Tom Learoyd-Lahrs (Raiders), Tony Martin (Warriors), Anthony Minichiello (Roosters), Mark O'Meley (Bulldogs), Peter-John Marsh (Eels), Benji Marshall (Tigers), Steve Matai (Sea Eagles), Luke Patten (Bulldogs), Todd Polglase (Rabbitohs), Luke Rooney (Panthers), John Skandalis (Tigers), Craig Smith (Knights), Tim Smith (Eels), Iosia Soliola (Roosters), Steven Southern (Cowboys), Craig Stapleton (Panthers), Timana Tahu (Eels), Clinton Toopi (Warriors), Evarn Tuimavave (Warriors), Nigel Vagana (Sharks), Trent Waterhouse (Panthers), Shane Webcke (Broncos), Michael Weyman (Raiders), Craig Wing (Roosters)1 pointPaul Bowman (Cowboys), Ben Creagh (Dragons), Shayne Dunley (Sea Eagles), Michael Ennis (Broncos), Shaun Foley (Roosters), Nathan Friend (Storm), Matt Geyer (Storm), Kurt Gidley (Knights), Tony Grimaldi (Bulldogs), Chris Hicks (Sea Eagles), Daniel Holdsworth (Bulldogs), Lee Hookey (Panthers), Matt King (Storm), Josh Lewis (Roosters), Todd Lowrie (Knights), Daryl Millard (Dragons), Ryan O'Hara (Tigers), Shannon McDonnell (Tigers), Sam Rapira (Warriors), Mark Riddell (Eels), Shane Rodney (Panthers), David Shillington (Roosters), Brent Tate (Broncos), Sam Thaiday (Broncos), Willie Tonga (Bulldogs), Shane Tronc (Cowboys), Taniela Tuiaki (Tigers), Ben Walker (Rabbitohs), Carl Webb (Cowboys), Simon Woolford (Raiders), William Zillman (Raiders)
BRADFORD Bulls 48 (B. Harris 2, Pryce 2, Vainikolo, McKenna, Ferres, Langley, Meyers tries; Deacon 6 goals) def. Castleford Tigers 10 (Bird, A. Fletcher tries; Brough goal). Att: 10,576.
TICKETS go on sale this Monday (21st August) for Wales Rugby League?s World Cup qualifying campaign which kicks-off against Scotland at the Brewery Field on Sunday 29th October.It is destined to be an exciting campaign for Wales as in addition to Scotland, they have been drawn in the European Qualifying Group A with Russia and will travel to Moscow for their second game a week later, before the fixtures are reversed at the end of the 2007 domestic season. The winner of the group qualifies automatically for the World Cup Finals in Australia in 2008 while the runners-up will enter a ?Repechage Round? with the runners-up of European Group B (Ireland, Lebanon or Georgia), the third-placed side in the Pacific Group (Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa or Tonga) and the winners of the Atlantic Group (West Indies, South Africa, USA and Japan). The winners only of the Repechage Round will also qualify for the Finals.Wales Rugby League?s Executive Chairman Mark Rowley said: ?This is an exciting time for Wales Rugby League as we approach our centenary year in 2007 and we would love to celebrate by qualifying for the World Cup Finals in Australia in 2008. However we have to get past Scotland and Russia first, neither of whom are strangers to Wales and know a lot about our style of rugby. ?The match against Scotland at the Brewery Field on Sunday 29th October is destined to be one of the biggest rugby league internationals to have ever hit south Wales. With the news that Iestyn Harris and Keiron Cunningham may at last pull on a Wales shirt once again, we?ve had enquiries about tickets already so we?re pleased to announce that tickets for this match and for our match against Russia next year, go on sale this Monday.?Once again, Wales Rugby League has showed that they are leading the way. We are the first country in Europe to make our tickets available for the autumn internationals and the first in the world to sell 2007 rugby league tickets on-line.?The tickets are on sale on Monday exclusively to the Wales Rugby League and Celtic Crusaders websites. Fans will also be able to order them in person at the Celtic Crusaders v Featherstone Rovers match on September 10th at the Brewery Field and at any home play-off games that the Crusaders may feature in. Ticket prices are ?10 for adults, ?5 for children and ?20 for a family ticket of four (one adult and three children or two adults and two children). Go to www.cymrurl.com and click on tickets link to buy.The full World Cup qualifying fixtures in Wales? group are...* October 21/22 2006 Scotland v. Russia* October 29 2006 Wales v. Scotland * November 4/5 2006 Russia v. Wales * October 21 2007 Wales v. Russia* October 27/28 2007 Russia v. Scotland * November 3/4 2007 Scotland v. Wales
WALES have released a list of 49 players that they will be considering for selection for their World Cup qualifiers, due to be held in October-November in 2006 and 2007.
GREAT Britain will need to find an alternative hooker this autumn following the announcement of Keiron Cunningham?s international retirement.
ROUND 24 Manly Sea Eagles 38 v South Sydney Rabbitohs 16at Brookvale OvalReferee: Russell SmithMatch Summary:The Manly club has defeated South Sydney today at Brookvale Oval by 38-16 with a five-try second half blitz.Manly opened up the scoring through fullback Brett Stewart, who claimed his first of three tries for the day in the fourth minute.Following a period of consolidation, the Bunnies hit back hard with wingers Paul Mellor (15th minute) and Nathan Merritt (19th minute) pushing to a 12-4 lead, entertaining thoughts of a boilover.With six minutes remaining in the first period, Manly scored again through replacement forward Shayne Dunley and with Orford adding the extras the home side trailed 12-10 at the break.Des Hasler obviously had a few things to say to his chargers whilst peeling the oranges and it had the desired effect as Manly stormed to a 22-12 lead following tries to Steve Menzies (47th minute) and Stewart?s second in the 51st minute.Souths bounced back momentarily with forward Joe Galuvao barging across the stripe only three minutes later before the Sea Eagles came home with a wet sail. Steve Matai showed plenty of class to score a double and Stewart completed his hat-trick in the 71st minute as Manly wrapped up the affair by 38-16.This was a solid victory by the Sea Eagles coming off last week?s controversial win over Newcastle and missing inspirational skipper Ben Kennedy. They seemed to take the Bunnies a bit lightly in the first half but snapped out of that to post plenty of points and enjoy third position on the competition ladder with a healthy differential of +50. They host the Bulldogs next Friday night in a blockbuster game that has now taken on a bit more significance given Canterbury?s loss to Brisbane on Friday.For Souths, coming off the bye is never easy and neither is winning at Brookvale. They showed plenty of ticker to lead Manly at the break but when all is said and done the Sea Eagles had more to play for and that?s what won them the game in the end. They host the Cowboys next week at Homebush in a very winnable game which should be an open and free-flowing contest.Scorers:Manly Sea Eagles: 38Tries: Shayne Dunley, Steve Menzies, Brett Stewart(3), Steve Matai(2)Goals: Matt Orford 5/7South Sydney Rabbitohs: 16Tries: Nathan Merritt, Paul Mellor, Joe GaluvaoGoals: Beau Champion 2/3By the Clock:Fantastic day out here on the Peninsula where the Sea Eagles play host to the Rabbitohs. Manly will be looking to consolidate their position in the top 4 with a win at home whilst Souths will no doubt enjoy disrupting their plans even though their season is over.Both teams are as per the program.1 min: NEWS And we're underway in the first half.4 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesManly fullback Brett Stewart opens the scoring here at Brooky and continues his impressive try-scoring capability. Matt Orford fails with the conversion. Sea Eagles 4-010 min: NEWS Manly on top here early but yet to really ram the advantage home. Whilst not dominating possession they're making more metres with the ball than their opponents. Souths are committing a few errors and missing a couple of tackles as they dust out the cobwebs after coming off the bye.15 min: TRY South Sydney RabbitohsThe Rabbitohs hit back through burly winger Paul Mellor scoring out wide. Young gun Beau Champion puts the conversion through the posts and the visitors take the lead. Rabbitohs 6-419 min: TRY South Sydney RabbitohsThe Bunnies push further ahead through freakish try-scoring winger Nathan Merritt who bags his 21st try of the year out here at Brooky. Geez he can find his way to the line. Champion knocks this one over as well and Souths are chugging along nicely. Rabbitohs 12-424 min: NEWS The game certainly has evened out here at Brooky once the Bunnies began to settle into a rhythm. Manly have fallen off a few tackles and the Rabbitohs are starting to gain a few more metres up the middle of the ruck.34 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesThe Sea Eagles get back in the game through crafty replacement Shayne Dunley who schemes his way to the line. Orford adds the extras and draws the home team to within two points. Rabbitohs 12-1040 min: NEWS And the Rabbitohs head into the sheds with a narrow lead after a solid first half performance. They obviously know they have to back this up in the second half as the Sea Eagles often mount strong comebacks in the second period.41 min: NEWS And we resume play here at Brooky.47 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesEvergreen Manly forward Steve Menzies powers across the line to snatch the lead back for the home side. Orford converts and the Sea Eagles nudge ahead. Sea Eagles 16-1251 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesStewart gets a double as Manly make a fast start to this second half. Orford converts and the home team open up a ten-point lead. Sea Eagles 22-1254 min: TRY South Sydney RabbitohsBig Joe Galuvao bashes his way over the line to get the Bunnies back in the contest. The visitors haven't seen much of the possession during the second half but things are turning in their favour. Champion fails to convert. Sea Eagles 22-1659 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesAn open game here at Brooky as the Sea Eagles sail over again. Big centre Steve Matai gets his first try for the day and it's converted by Matt Orford. Sea Eagles 28-1662 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesMatai pinches another try as the Sea Eagles set out to improve their differential. Orford can't convert but the home side have streaked ahead. Sea Eagles 32-1671 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesFlying fullback Brett Stewart completes a hat-trick today, securing the victory against the Bunnies here at Fortress Brooky. Orford converts and they've opened up a handsome lead. Sea Eagles 38-1680 min: NEWS Manly run out handsome winners here at home after a plucky Souths side pushed them for the first half.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Brett Stewart2 - Matt Orford1 - Steve Matai-----------------------------------------
ROUND 24 St George Illawarra Dragons 46 v Wests Tigers 16at Oki Jubilee Stadium KogarahReferee: Shayne HayneMatch Summary:The St George Illawarra Dragons have run in nine tries to three to defeat the Wests Tigers 46-16 at OKI Jubilee Stadium today.The Dragons came out on fire and they opened the scoring in the second minute when Dean Young slipped a nice ball to a flying Matt Bickerstaff to give the Dragons a 6-0 lead. They soon extended that lead in the sixth minute to 10-0 when Wes Naiqama scored from a bomb.The Dragons then put on two more quick tries through Mark Gasnier in the 15th and 18th minute. The Tigers managed to get on the board with a Chris Heighington try and they trailed by 20-4 at the break.The Dragons would quickly put the match out of reach for the Tigers. Seemingly scoring at will, the Dragons led 46-4 after 66 minutes, putting on the first of five tries of the second half. To the Tigers credit they were able to get two late consolation tries to make the final score 46-16.The Dragons forwards really stood up today and laid the platform for the backs to dominate with Gasnier picking up three tries and Morris two. Jason Ryles, Mark Gasnier, Trent Barrett, Ben Hornby, Dean Young and Matt Bickerstaff all had strong games and they will be hoping to hold onto this form heading into the oncoming weeks.Scorers:St George Illawarra Dragons: 46Tries: Mark Gasnier (3), Aaron Gorrell, Clint Greenshields, Wes Naiqama, Matthew Bickerstaff, Brett Morris (2)Goals: Aaron Gorrell 3/5, Wes Naiqama 2/4Wests Tigers: 16Tries: Robert Farah, Chris Heighington, Chris LawrenceGoals: Scott Prince 2/3By the Clock:A beautiful day here at OKI Jubilee Stadium for this clash between the Dragons and the Tigers.The Dragons will be looking to get their season back on track today after 5 consecutive losses and they will need to, to stay in touch with the other teams fighting for spots in the 8. The Tigers will be smarting after their contraversial loss in extra time to the Raiders last week and even though they are out of finals contention they will be out to show why they are the reigning premiers.1 min: Dragons kickoff.. 2 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsOn the back of a Tigers error the Dragons make them pay when Dean Young slips a nice ball to a flying Matthew Bickerstaff to score. Conversion successful Dragons 6-06 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsThe Dragons score again this time from the bomb for Naiqama to score out wide. Just the start the Dragons needed. Conversion unsuccessful Dragons 10-014 min: The Tigers are under lots of pressure, they will have to defend again from the goal line drop out.15 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsThe Dragons are carving the Tigers up here as Mark Gasnier goes through the defence to score. Conversion unsuccessful Dragons 14-018 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsGasnier bags a double going through some poor defence. The Dragons are on fire and have had all the ball. Conversion successful Dragons 20-024 min: NEWS Off to the video ref for a possible Tigers try.24 min: TRY Wests TigersThe Tigers finally get the ball in their opponents territory and they put up a bomb and Heighington is able to get the ball down right in the corner. Conversion unsuccessful Dragons 20-433 min: NEWS Scott Prince comes up with a 40/20.40 min: ATTEMPTED FIELD GOAL St George Illawarra DragonsBarrett has a shot at field goal right on halftime but it just misses. Dragons 20-4Halftime...41 min: Tigers kickoff to get the second half underway46 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsJason Ryles breaks through the defence and he gives it to Greenshields who scores next to the post. Dragons 26-451 min: NEWS Barrett slips a great pass to Morris and he drops the ball with the line open.53 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsThis time Morris hangs onto the pass and he scores in the corner. Conversion unsuccessful. Dragons 30-456 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsThe Dragons go the length of the field from a break from Hornby and Gasnier finishes it off to bag a hatrick. Conversion unsuccessful. Dragons 34-460 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsIt's raining tries for the Dragons now as Barrett goes through the gap and he finds Gorrell who shows good pace to score. Conversion successful. Dragons 40-466 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsThe Dragons score a great try through Brett Morris to get their season back on track. Conversion successful. Dragons 46-471 min: TRY Wests TigersThe Tigers get a consolation try, when Lawrence picks up a Prince grubber to score in the corner. Conversion successful. Dragons 46-1079 min: TRY Wests TigersFarah scoots out of dummy half from close range to put a little bit of respectability back into the scoreline. Conversion successful Dragons 46-16Fulltime...-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Jason Ryles (Dragons)2 - Mark Gasnier (Dragons)1 - Trent Barrett (Dragons)-----------------------------------------
ROUND 24 Sydney Roosters 26 v Parramatta Eels 40at Aussie StadiumReferee: Paul SimpkinsMatch Summary:The Parramatta Eels have secured a Top 8 spot in this year?s finals series and have continued their winning streak by defeating the Sydney Roosters 40 ? 26 today at Aussie Stadium. In a high scoring match, the Eels sent a strong message out to the other premiership contenders by putting 40 points on the depleted Bondi Junction unit and showing how devastating their attack can be as well as how strong their defence is.The Roosters were the first to score when Amos Roberts crossed the line in the 3rd minute showing brilliant footwork. The Eels struck back 5 minutes later when Eels center Luke O?Dywer ran a nice angle to give a flick pass to the solid number 5 Eric Grothe Jr, who juggled the ball over the line to register four points.From there, Parramatta?s confidence rose, and with a bit of luck here and there, they started to steam roll the tri-colours.The Eels continued the onslaught in the second half scoring two tries and adding a penalty goal to the scoreboard within the first 11mins. But the Roosters didn?t give up, and in the 56th minute, Chris Flannery strolled on through to score 4 points. This was quickly backed up by a great 40/20 kick from the young halfback Josh Lewis, who kicked from inside his own 30.The Roosters then scored through their skipper in the 71st minute. Fitzgibbon converted his own try.Roosters centre Ryan Cross caused some trouble in the last few seconds by shoving his elbow in to a Parramatta player, which fired up a few, but a fight was avoided.The Eels have now won nine on the trot and may have booked themselves a home semi-final as well. They will hope to continue their winning streak next week when they face the Broncos at Parramatta Stadium where as the Roosters will travel to New Zealand in hope that they can get their 1000th win over the Warriors. Scorers:Sydney Roosters: 26Tries: Ryan Cross(2), Craig Fitzgibbon, Chris Flannery, Amos RobertsGoals: Craig Fitzgibbon 3/4Parramatta Eels: 40Tries: Eric Grothe, Peter-John Marsh, Luke O'Dwyer(2), Ben Smith , Dean Widders, Jarryd HayneGoals: Luke Burt 6/8By the Clock:The Sydney Roosters will host the in-form Parramatta Eels today at Aussie Stadium. The Eels will look to continue their eight match winning streak and good run home to the finals while the Roosters will play for a record of 1000 victories, a milestone that has not been achieved in the long history of rugby league in Australia.Roosters coach Ricky Stuart has made one change to his team, promoting Nigel Plum to the starting side as prop and dropping Shane Shackleton to the bench. The Eels are as per program.Kickoff - The Eels get us underway care of Luke Burt's boot. The Roosters recieve the ball and will run right to left.2 min: NEWS Mark Riddell kicks the ball out on the full. Roosters now have posession inside the Eels half. 3 min: TRY Sydney RoostersAmos Roberts shows briliant footwork after recieving a ball from Ryan Cross close to the sideline. Roberts manages to stay in the field of play and ground the ball before touching the corner post. Fitzgibbon fails to convert. Roosters 4-07 min: TRY Parramatta EelsLuke O'Dywer runs the angle before off-loading a nice flickpass to Eric Grothe who juggles the ball over the line to score. Luke Burt fails to add the two. 4 all.11 min: NEWS David Shillington's swinging arm connects with Glenn Morrison's head. Morrison looks a bit groggy but his on his feet. Eels recieve a penalty.11 min: TRY Parramatta EelsJarryd Hayne, the try scoring machine, recieves a pass over the top from Eels five-eighth John Morris and strolls over the white line. It looked all to easy for the Parramatta winger. Luke Burt converts. Eels 10-414 min: TRY Sydney RoostersYoung Roosters halfback Josh Lewis takes the ball to the line mid-field before putting in a nice grubber kick for his outside backs. Amos Roberts gets the bounce and draws Eels players before passing to Ryan Cross. Fitzgibbon adds the extras. 10 all.22 min: NEWS Eels have the ball inside the Roosters 20 but fail to capatilise after Morrison throws a wobbly pass to nobody. Morrison looked to be in two minds. Tupou cleans up for the Roosters.24 min: NEWS Eels have another chance now inside the Roosters 20 after young Roosters fullback gets a bad bounce off the kick from Eels Dean Widders and knocks on. 24 min: TRY Parramatta EelsEels utility Dean Widders runs straight through an ordinary Roosters defence on their goal-line to score. Luke Burt converts. Eels 16-1026 min: TRY Parramatta EelsThe Eels once again take it to the Roosters line and throw the ball through the hands. Morris puts a grubber kick in and finds a flying Ben Smith who scores with ease. Luke Burt adds another 2 from the side-line. Eels 22-1030 min: NEWS The Roosters will recieve a repeat set of six now courtesy of a Josh Lewis grubber kick.31 min: TRY Sydney RoostersJamie Soward puts the ball on to his left boot with Roosters centre Cross in toe. Jarryd Hayne fails to clean up and Cross pounces on the ball and scores, just before the dead-ball line. Video Referee Steve Nash gives Cross the benefit of the doubt. Fitzgibbon misses the kick. Eels 22-1434 min: NEWS The Roosters get pulled up for restarting to quickly, before referee Simpkins allowed it. Soward and Finch are not happy.38 min: NEWS The Eels will have one last chance before half-time to put more points on the board. This comes after a poor kick from Amos Roberts down the side-line which goes out on the full.40 min: TRY Parramatta EelsLuke O'Dywer does well to take a bomb from Wade McKinnon and keep himself in teh field of play to register 4 points. Burt fails to convert. Eels 26-14HALF-TIME Penalties: SYD 3 PAR 5Tackles: SYD 139 PAR 116Miss Tackles: SYD 16 PAR 10Offloads: SYD 6 PAR 3Errors: SYD 5 PAR 3Kicks: SYD 10 PAR 10Kickoff- Josh Lewis for the Roosters gets the second half underway. The Eels recieve and will run right to left.44 min: NEWS A poor play the ball from Ashley Harrison results in a scrum to the Eels. They now have the ball mid-field.45 min: TRY Parramatta EelsLuke O'Dywer comes out of nowhere to pick up a poorly executed kick from Dean Widders and score. Burt is successful. Eels 32-1450 min: NEWS Aggresive defence being shown by Parramatta, with strong tackles being made in packs inside the Roosters 20. 53 min: NEWS Jeremy Smith goes down. Play is breifly halted while a trainer attends the halfback. He is now back on his feet.56 min: PENALTY GOAL Parramatta EelsThe Roosters are penalised by referee Simpkins for being inside the ten. Hindmarsh looks to the bench and then points to the posts. Burt doesn't let his team down and adds the 2. Eels 34-1461 min: TRY Parramatta EelsPJ Marsh scoots out of dummy half and breaks the line. He throws the dummy before diving over for 4 points. Burt's kick is struck well, and another 2 points are added. Eels 40-1464 min: TRY Sydney RoostersChris Flannery recieves a flat ball from Lewis on the Eels line and is carried over by the Eels players and scores. Fitzgibbon converts. Eels 40-2070 min: NEWS Josh Lewis amazingly kicks a 40/20 inside his own 30m line, giving the Roosters a great attacking chance.71 min: TRY Sydney RoostersCraig Fitzgibbon strolls through off a John Doyle pass and scores under the posts. He converts his own try. Eels 40-2672 min: NEWS Roosters lock Ashley Harrison is down and looks to be in tremendous pain. Play has been halted. Ronnie Plamer, Roosters trainer, and Dr John Orchard have called for a medicab. He is taken off the field.77 min: NEWS Jamie Soward does well to kick the ball out and win a scrum for his team off the 20m restart. The Roosters fowards were down there quickly to set up the scrum. 80 min: NEWS Cross is penalised for shoving his elbow in to a Parramatta player's face. A fight nearly breaks out.FULL-TIME - and the Eels have won their ninth straight match. The Roosters put a good fight but the Eels were just to good.Penalties: SYD 5 PAR 8Tackles: SYD 286 PAR 232Miss Tackles: SYD 34 PAR 27Offloads: SYD 11 PAR 4Errors: SYD 12 PAR 7Kicks: SYD 18 PAR 22-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Jarryd Hayne2 - Luke O1 - John Morris-----------------------------------------
AND then there were five.
Mount Albert, Papakura, Northcote, Marist and Otahuhu round out the top five finalists in the Fox Memorial Championship.
Points for and against becomes critical at the back end of the season and never more so than in the final round of the Fox Memorial.
Upsets to Otahuhu and Te Atatu and wins to Northcote and Marist meant there were five teams in contention for three places.
Both Marist and Northcote guaranteed spots in the finals with strong performances.
Northcote blew past Mangere East 26-16 with fullback Kevin Locke starring for the Tigers.
Locke scored an astonishing hatrick of tries and kicked five goals for a tally of 22 points for the home side.
A gutsy effort from the Marist Saints ensured they qualified in fourth position after a strong finish to the season.
The Saints have enjoyed success in the last few rounds and continued with their momentum with a 34-24 win over East Coast Bays.
A gutsy defensive effort from Saints half Eddie Leavai showed the commitment needed by a team fighting for survival.
Leavai topped the tackle count with inspirational defence and was well aided by centre Danny Siave and winger Ben Collins who scored a double.
A blistering performance from young hooker Arron Pawley has given the Otahuhu Leopards another chance to prove their worth this season.
Pawley scored two tries for the Leopards in Otahuhu