Finals Series Ticketing Details

THE NRL have today advised of changes to ticketing for all 2006 Finals Series matches. Week 1 of the Finals Series will remain the same as 2005, with each of the top four teams earning a home final. Season Ticket Holders from each participating Club will be able to purchase tickets on Monday 4th September, 2006 during an exclusive priority period, with tickets available to the general public from Tuesday 5th September, 2006Week 2 is provisionally scheduled for Aussie Stadium on Friday and Saturday night. However, the venues for these games are subject to change at the option of the NRL if two non-NSW teams are participating. Season ticket holders of each participating club will be allocated specific bays to purchase into on Monday 11th September 2006. Any unsold tickets in these bays will be made available for general sale on Tuesday 12th September, 2006. Week 3 games are provisionally scheduled for Aussie Stadium on Friday night and Telstra Stadium on Saturday night. The venues for these games are also subject to change at the option of the NRL if two non-NSW teams are participating. The NRL will decide which game is played in which Stadium at the completion of the Week 2 matches. Week 3 will operate as for Week 2 with specific bays available for season ticket holders of the participating teams to purchase into on Monday 18th September 2006. Any unsold tickets in these bays will be made available for general sale on Tuesday 12th September 2006. Season ticket holders will be limited to 4 tickets per season pass with a transaction limit of 8 (must have 2 season passes). The general public will be limited to 8 tickets per transaction. Ticket limits are subject to venue capacity in Week 1 and at alternate venues in weeks 2 and 3.It is a condition of sale that tickets may not, without the prior consent of the NRL, be resold at a premium or used for advertising, promotion or other commercial purposes. If any ticket is sold or used in breach of this condition, the bearer of the ticket will be denied admission.

'Toots' in charge on Saturday night

VETERAN forward Jason Croker will lead the Raiders into battle on Saturday night, after he was named as Captain for the Raiders important match against the Eels at Canberra Stadium.The 308 match veteran will lead the Raiders in regular skipper Clinton Schifcofske's absence, after Schifcofske joined teammate Adam Mogg in Melbourne this week for Queensland?s State of Origin team.Croker has proven his durability again this season with an unbroken run of matches for the Raiders, playing in all 16 of the clubs NRL fixtures so far this season.Leading the side is something Croker is not unfamiliar with, after taking the Raiders out several times in the past, including a significant stretch last season when Simon Woolford was out with suspension.Croker said although it is always an honour to lead the Raiders out onto Canberra Stadium, a win against the Eels is still the most important part of the day.?I was captain a few times last year and I?m looking forward to it,? Croker said. ?Hopefully we can get the two points in what is an important game for us.?With Schifcofske and Mogg missing from the line-up the Raiders have turned to Marshall Chalk and Craig Frawley to fill in for the missing pair, but Croker said experience will not be an issue for the Raiders on Saturday.?We?ve got a fair bit of experience there still so we won?t change things much,? he said. ?Jason Smith, Alan Tongue and I have all played a lot of footy so it won?t be an issue.?Raiders Coach Matt Elliott said the decision to make Croker captain in Schifcofske?s absence was not a hard one, and said he knows the amount of respect Croker demands within the team.?Jason was the logical choice to lead the side and has done a great job in the past,? Elliott said. ?The boys love playing for Toots and I?m sure Saturday will be no exception.?

Brent McConnell debuts for Cowboys

TOYOTA Young Guns half Brent McConnell will make his debut in the NRL for the Cowboys this Saturday night when they take on South Sydney at Dairy farmers Stadium.

Hunt re-signs with Broncos

THE Ergon Energy Broncos today announced that 19-year-old fullback, Karmichael Hunt, had agreed to a new three-year deal with the club.

Hornby still under fitness cloud

A fitness test tomorrow morning will determine the availability of NSW interchange utility Ben Hornby for Wednesday night's State of Origin decider.

TV Commentator Awards 2006

WE are just past the halfway mark of the NRL season and it is time to announce the inaugural TV Commentator Awards for 2006.

Covell pens two year contract

THE Sharks are celebrating the news that in-form winger, Luke Covell, has signed a new two year contract to remain at the club. While goalkicking is what he is best known for, Covell has developed into a top class winger while at the Sharks.

Round 16 Team of the Week

SOME big scorelines from the week gone by has seen us put out a team with a penchant for attacking footy. The Warriors, Raiders and Dragons all racked up a few points against their opponents leaving us with some hard-fought contests where the Storm, Sharks and Broncos all played outstanding Rugby League. Penrith also got the money at home against the Tigers, with their season looking a bit gloomy these days. But not so for the Round 16 League Unlimited Team of the Week who just keep going from strength to strength.

Big Cats Show Their Claws

EASTS has thrown a cat among the pigeons with a defiant 28-24 win over Redcliffe, unsettling the Dolphins from top spot and consolidating the Tigers? grip on fifth place.The big surprise of Round 14 was secured by two tries shortly after halftime, following an 18-14 advantage to Redcliffe at the break.Easts could have won by even more, were it not for an uncharacteristic off-day with the boots for goal-kicker Luke Branighan.Seemingly out of the finals equation just a fortnight ago when they lost comprehensively to Norths, the Tigers are now exerting pressure on fourth-placed Tweed Heads.?We?ve got the consistency back in our game and we?re finally playing for 80 minutes,? noted coach Michael Booth.?The boys have been putting in plenty of hard work, we?ve had a lot of setbacks with injuries and been pumped a few times, so it?s a very satisfying result.?Aside from their pre-existing woes, Easts also lost two players in the final 24 hours before the weekend?s clash. Centre Mark McKenzie pulled his hamstring during a light run, while Damian Durnford left the squad at 10am on game day to witness the birth of his child.Shane Neumann and Alec Fata were called in as the replacements and both played well. Neumann scored one of the key second-half tries to give the Tigers their fourth win against the Dolphins from their last six games.?It?s put a spring in the players? steps and the coach is not so cranky,? said Booth.In stark contrast, Redcliffe has been left to look over its shoulder, almost dropping back to third following a big win for Toowoomba against Ipswich.Seven members of the Dolphins squad still gained selection for the XXXX City team, coming in a season where the red-and-whites have lost just three games.Matt Lockyer and Branighan are the only players from Easts picked for City. Both were praised highly for their performance against the Dolphins, along with Steele Retchless and Mark Cantoni.The most surprising person to earn plaudits however was referee Michael Wise; earning a rare compliment from Booth, a coach not averse to taking match officials to task.?I think everyone got a good game of football because of him,? Booth said."I?ve been very critical of referees this season, but to their credit they are starting to interpret the ruck the same way.?Easts will next play against Wynnum Manly at Langlands Park on Saturday, July1. The same day Redcliffe meets Burleigh at Pizzey Park. EASTS 28 (Donald Malone 2, Matt Lockyer 2, Shane Neumann, John Tamanika tries; Luke Branighan 2 goals) d REDCLIFFE 24 (Ryan Cullen, Michael Roberts, Nick Emmett, Alwyn Simpson tries; Gerard Parle 4 goals) at Dolphin Oval.

Rhinos chase an early Toopi

LEEDS Rhinos hope to secure an early arrival of Kiwi and New Zealand Warriors centre Clinton Toopi so he can join them in time to boost their squad for the Super League title run-in. Toopi was due to arrive at Headingley on a three-year deal from next season.

Sims re-signs with Dragons for two years

ST George Illawarra Backrower Ashton Sims has today agreed to terms with the Club for a further two seasons, until the end of the 2008 season.Sims, 21, began his rugby league career in Gerringong and has played 57 NRL games since making his debut in Round 9 of the 2003 season.This season started well for the local junior when he was named in the Australian Train-On Squad in January, but a wrist injury has sidelined him since Round 10, with his return to the field expected in Round 20.?I am very happy to have my future sorted, especially given that I have missed so many games of late,? said Sims.?I grew-up in this area and am very happy here at the Dragons.?I wanted to remain at the Dragons and am grateful to have this opportunity?.St George Illawarra Coach Nathan Brown said he was happy to know that Sims would be a part of his squad for the next two years.?Ashton is a talented and skillful player who fits well with our team and structure,? said Brown.?We are sure he will continue to improve and I am pleased that he has chosen to remain with us for the next two seasons?.Dragons Chief Executive Officer Peter Doust said he was happy to have finalised Sims?s immediate future with the Club.?Ashton is another outstanding local junior that we are delighted to have him remain with our Club,? said Doust. ?We believe he has accepted less money than what he could attract on the open market to remain a Dragon?.

Sydney Roosters Statement

THE Sydney Roosters Chairman, Mr Nick Politis and two legends of the Bondi Junction club Luke Ricketson and Brad Fittler have issued a joint statement to Roosters fans and critics alike.

Rabbitohs terminate services of Arthur Kitinas

THE South Sydney DRLFC has today terminated the services of assistant coach Arthur Kitinas for the 2006 season.Arthur has done a good job in difficult circumstances over the past 18 months as assistant coach, as well as Premier League Coach in 2002 and 2004 and caretaker Head Coach in 2004, but as he was not part of the Club?s plans for 2007 and beyond the Club felt it was time to implement changes now.Mark Ellison will step into a more senior role as Shaun McRae?s assistant and current Parramatta Head Coach Jason Taylor will be joining Souths in 2007. Scott Murray, who has been Mark Ellison?s assistant in Premier League, will assume the role of Premier League Coach.

NSW & QLD injury concerns

NEW South Wales utility Ben Hornby will have scans this afternoon and is in some doubt for next week's series deciding State of Origin clash after injuring his groin at training.Hornby tweaked his groin while taking part in a ballwork session before being assessed by the Blues medical staff. Blues officials will wait until after they have the results of the scans before deciding whether or not a shadow player will be called into camp.Hornby says he is confident of overcoming the complaint in time for next Wednesday's match. The rest of the Blues side completed their first session in Melbourne without hiccup, new halves Craig Gower and Mark Gasnier having their first run together as they look to develop a combination ahead the Telstra Dome match.The Queensland State of Origin rugby league camp has been hit by a stomach virus with three players laid up in bed as a result.Prop Petero Civoniceva has yet to join the camp in Melbourne after being the first to contract the illness. He is due to fly in to Melbourne later this evening. Fellow forwards Nate Myles and Sam Thaiday are the latest victims of the stomach bug with both confined to their rooms.Neither will train with the rest of the Maroons squad this afternoon. With the series deciding match at Telstra Dome still a week away, Maroons coach Mal Meninga says none of the three players are in any doubt for the game.

Poore re-signs with Dragons for three years

ST George Illawarra Front Rower Justin Poore has today agreed to terms with the Club for a further three seasons, until the end of the 2009 season.

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