KIWIS Coach Brian McClennan and the NZRL selectors have confirmed the addition of the following players to the New Zealand train-on squad.
THE Dragons have named a side without Australian centre Mark Gasnier. Gasnier was ruled out on Monday morning with a hip flexor injury, after a cork to his hip in the side?s big victory over the Broncos last weekend. Former ball boy for the Dragons in 1996 Daryl Millard has been named as his replacement in what could be his last game at the club before moving to the Bulldogs next year. Despite not being named in the side for Friday night?s clash with the Sea Eagles, Manly coach Des Hasler today said that his side would train as if the champion centre was playing. Just a couple of months back, the Dragons had ruled out Gasnier with an injury in the lead up to their clash with the Raiders in Canberra, despite this, on that Sunday afternoon, Mark Gasnier was a late inclusion.
MAORI Television caps off a spectacular season of local rugby league with live and exclusive free-to-air coverage of the Bartercard Cup grand final on MONDAY NIGHT LEAGUE (Monday September 18 at 8.00 PM).The two top teams in the New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) national premiership ? Brian McClennan?s Auckland Lions and the Canterbury Bulls coached by Phil Prescott ? will battle it out for first place honours at Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland.As well as live commentary from Maori Television presenters Tawera Nikau, Ritchie Barnett, Dale Husband and Te Arahi Maipi, the sporting extravaganza will feature massive pre-match and half-time entertainment.Gates open at 5pm and admission is free. After the curtain-raiser between the Warriors Development squad and the Bartercard Cup All Stars invitational side, musician Che Fu will perform the theme tune for MONDAY NIGHT LEAGUE as well as his rendition of the national anthem before a fireworks display marks the grand final kick-off.At half-time, spectators will have the chance to win great prizes including lunch with the Kiwi rugby league team as they prepare to defend their Tri-Nations title next month (October) as well as Tri-Nations tickets and jerseys from each of the 10 regional teams in the Bartercard Cup. Plus top Australasian cheerleading squad, the All Star Cheerleaders, will entertain the fans.The home of New Zealand rugby league, Maori Television presents the grand final of the Bartercard Cup only on MONDAY NIGHT LEAGUE ? Monday September 18 at 8.00 PM.
THE Gold Coast Titans will be making a massive announcement at Jupiters Casino tomorrow and the announcement is believed to be the signing of Wallaby and former Cronulla Shark Mat Rogers to a deal for 2008 and 2009.Once we have confirmation, we will post the news immediately but the deal is rumoured to be in the vicinity of $600,000.Rogers has had an injury plagued career in Rugby and is the son of late Cronulla Sharks legend Steve Rogers.If Rogers does sign, this may impact the impasse surrounding Melbourne Storm winger Steve Turner, who signed with the Gold Coast and later pledged his allegiance to the Storm. The controversy surrounding Turner led to the NRL siding with the Gold Coast claiming the verbal agreement from Turner was binding.
FINALS week two: NRL preliminary semi-finals.Friday 15 September 2006ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS v MANLY SEA EAGLES7:45pm at Aussie StadiumLower grade semi-finals curtain raisers:5:35pm: Dragons v Raiders (Premier League)3:45pm: Dragons v Sea Eagles (Jersey Flegg)NRL TEAMSDRAGONS: Clint Greenshields; Wes Naiqama, Daryl Millard, Matt Cooper, Brett Morris; Trent Barrett (c), Ben Hornby; Ben Creagh, Ashton Sims, Matt Bickerstaff, Jason Ryles, Aaron Gorrell, Luke Bailey. Res: Danny Wicks, Michael Henderson, Sam Isemonger, Justin Poore, Shaun Timmins, Mathew Head (two to be omitted)SEA EAGLES: Brett Stewart; Michael Robertson, Steve Bell, Steve Matai, Chris Hicks; Travis Burns, Matt Orford; Ben Kennedy (c), Anthony Watmough, Steve Menzies, Brent Kite, Michael Monaghan, Jason King. Res: George Rose, Mark Bryant, Kylie Leuluai, Shayne Dunley, Luke Williamson (one to be omitted)Referee: Paul Simpkins. Saturday 16 September 2006NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS v BRISBANE BRONCOS7:45pm at Aussie StadiumLower grade semi-finals curtain raisers:5:35pm: Sea Eagles v Tigers (Premier League)3:45pm: Bulldogs v Roosters (Jersey Flegg)NRL TEAMSKNIGHTS: Kurt Gidley; Brian Carney, Matt Gidley, George Carmont, Anthony Quinn; Jarrod Mullen, Andrew Johns (c); Reegan Tanner, Clint Newton, Steve Simpson, Josh Perry, Luke Quigley, Adam Woolnough. Res: Luke Davico, Todd Lowrie, Craig Smith, Riley Brown, Kirk Reynoldson, Daniel Abraham (two to be omitted).BRONCOS: Justin Hodges; Darius Boyd, Brent Tate, David Stagg, Karmichael Hunt; Darren Lockyer (c), Shane Perry; Tonie Carroll, Brad Thorn, Sam Thaiday, Petero Civoniceva, Shaun Berrigan, Shane Webcke. Res: Corey Parker, Casey McGuire, Ben Hannant, Dane Carlaw, Tame Tupou (one to be omitted).Referee: Steve Clark.Losers eliminated. Winners advance to play in week three. Melbourne Storm and Canterbury Bulldogs have already advanced to week three of the NRL finals.
TOOWOOMBA has named 11 players with NRL experience in a 20-man squad to contest Saturday?s QLD Wizard Cup grand final against Redcliffe at Suncorp Stadium.While the youthful Toowoomba side boasts no experience in Wizard Cup finals, it has been bolstered by the inclusion of the likes of Greg Eastwood and Scott Minto.The squad also includes others such as Joel Moon and Dave Taylor, both of whom have only recently debuted in the NRL but seem destined for long and rewarding careers.Among those yet to be seen in the NRL, but full of promise are Denan Kemp, Joe Clarke, John Te Reo and Jamie Simpson.Wearing jersey 17, Lachlan Morgan is the son of Brisbane Broncos patriarch Paul ?Porky Morgan?.Forward Chris Muckert is the son of Toowoomba chairman Noel Muckert, while halfback Ben Green is a cousin of former State of Origin playmaker Paul Green.A fortnight ago the Clydesdales thrashed Redcliffe 56-22 in the major semi final at Clive Berghofer Stadium.Yet they will be mindful of eerie contrasts to the 2000 season when they also beat Redcliffe by a 34-point margin in the major semi, the Dolphins recovered to beat Easts in the preliminary final and then caused a major upset in the grand final.On that occasion Toowoomba also had a team with no Queensland Cup grand finals experience, but stacked with players such as Justin Hodges, Carl Webb, Corey Parker, Brent Tate and Chris Walker.Toowoomba Clydesdales COACH: Mark GeeDATE: September 16, 2006 OPPONENT: RedcliffeGROUND: Suncorp StadiumKICK-OFF: 2.00pm 1 Nick Parfitt2 Denan Kemp3 Jason Moon4 Jamie Simpson5 Steve Michaels6 Joel Moon7 Ben Green8 Nick Kenny (c)9 John TeReo 10 Ben Vaeau11 Chris Muckert12 Derrick Watkins13 Greg EastwoodINTERCHANGE14 Dave Taylor15 Joe Clarke16 Lynden Murphy17 Lachlan Morgan18 Gideon Mzembe19 Scott Minto20 Fraser Anderson
THE St George Illawarra Dragons have named their sides for week two of the lower grade finals this weekend. Both sudden death clashes are scheduled as curtain raisers to Friday's Dragons v Sea Eagles NRL match.Premier League Dragonsv Canberra Raiders5.35pm Friday 15 SeptemberAussie StadiumCoach: Steven Price 1. Reece SIMMONDS2. Josh MORRIS3. Beau RYAN4. Bryson GOODWIN5. Tom HEWITT6. Richard WILLIAMS7. Chris SHEPPARD8. Dan HUNT9. George NDAIRA10. Chris HOUSTON (c)11. Tom HABERECHT12. Lee TE MAARI13. James JIMENEZ14. Jamie DUNNING15. Willie TUPOU16. Jamie KEITH17. Reece BLAYNEY18. Andrew PRICEJersey Flegg Dragonsv Manly Sea Eagles3.45pm Friday 15 SeptemberAussie StadiumCoach: Corey Pearson1. Jason NIGHTINGALE2. Rota SETU3. Chase STANLEY4. Keith LULIA5. Luke IRWIN6. Nathan WYNN7. Matt SEAMARK8. Chris FARRELL9. Brad DAVIDSON (c)10. Jhi TANNER11. James KEELAN12. Matt PRIOR13. Brian WEST (c)14. Peter WAKLEY15. James GREHAN16. Scott SABLOWSKI17. Blake DUREAU18. Jason WHITE19. Ryan MILLARD
ROOKIE Centre Daryl Millard is the only change to the St George Illawarra team for Friday night?s sudden death clash with Manly at Aussie Stadium.Millard, 21, a local junior from Renown United, has been called in to replace the injured Mark Gasnier (hip) who ironically hails from the same junior club.The Dragons will be hoping to replicate the result from their Round 6 match when they defeated the Sea Eagles 26-24 at Brookvale Oval in their only other encounter this year.Unavailable Dragons are: Mark Gasnier (Hip), Dean Young (Knee), Corey Payne (Concussion) and Colin Best (Neck).NRL DRAGONSv Manly Sea Eagles7.45pm Friday 15 SeptemberAussie StadiumCoach: Nathan Brown1. Clint GREENSHIELDS2. Wes NAIQAMA3. Daryl MILLARD4. Matt COOPER5. Brett MORRIS6. Trent BARRETT (c)7. Ben HORNBY8. Luke BAILEY9. Aaron GORRELL10. Jason RYLES11. Matt BICKERSTAFF12. Ashton SIMS13. Ben CREAGH14. Danny WICKS15. Justin POORE16. Sam ISEMONGER17. Shaun TIMMINS18. Michael HENDERSON19. Mathew HEAD
REDCLIFFE has named halfback Marty Turner to play in Saturday's QLD Wizard Cup grand final at Suncorp Stadium, despite chief executive James Hinchey admitting his hamstring was "no good thing".The New Zealand-born playmaker, who survived a near-fatal car accident in season 2002, injured his hamstring in the opening minutes of last weekend's preliminary final win against Easts.If Turner passes fit it will be his first QLD Wizard Cup decider on a team that otherwise boasts 23 State League grand finals' worth of experience to Toowoomba's expected total of none.All up the Dolphins have contested eight of the 11 QLD Wizard Cup grand finals so far. Toowoomba has contested four.Redcliffe captain Troy Lindsay, the longest-serving player in the competition, will play his seventh QLD Wizard Cup grand final.He was on the bench when the Dolphins last contested the grand final in 2003, won 31-18 against Burleigh.Players from both teams will be well in contention for the QANTAS Player of the Year award, to be announced at a VIP luncheon before the match and also at halftime.No players were charged by the judiciary from last weekend.Toowoomba's team for the grand final will be advised later this afternoon.Team REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS Colours RED/WHITEDOLPHINS v TOOWOOMBAVenue SUNCORP STADIUM Date 16.9.06 Time 2.05PM 1. RYAN CULLEN 2. CHRIS GIUMELLI 3. GREG BOURKE 4. NICK EMMETT 5. RORY BROMLEY 6. CHRIS FOX 7. MARTY TURNER 8. TROY LINDSAY? 9. MICK ROBERTS 10. ADAM STARR 11. GRANT FLUGGE 12. DANNY BURKE 13. MARK SHIPWAY Interchange 14. NICK WALKER 15. SHANNON FISH 16. DANNY GREEN 17. GERARD PARLE 18. PAT GARDNER Coach ANTHONY GRIFFIN
SPRINGFIELD?S Brett Suttor has been appointed to referee the 2006 QLD Wizard Cup Grand Final at Suncorp Stadium.
TWO down, six to go. The Canberra Raiders and Parramatta Eels, as expected, have been eliminated from the 2006 NRL competition following losses to the Bulldogs and Melbourne respectively. I guess that begs the question as to what relevance the other two matches had. But that?s another story. We?ll now take a look at where each team stands after the first weekend of the play-offs.Melbourne: They have lost only four matches this season and were by far the best side in the minor premiership, but I?m sorry to say for Melbourne fans that the bubble could be well on its way to bursting at the wrong time of the year. While their defence was still intact on Sunday against the Eels, their options in attack, particularly in the second half, lacked any real desire. They limped to the finish line against the eighth placed side and the effort they displayed on the weekend won?t be good enough to beat any of the remaining sides in the premiership. Back to square one for Craig Bellamy over the next fortnight.Canterbury: A classic example of why you only need to turn up on the day in finals matches and produce the goods. They looked a shadow of themselves in the last three weeks of the premiership but all of a sudden they find themselves one game away from a grand final appearance, just two seasons after their last premiership. With injured players likely to return for the Preliminary Final, they?ll do the same thing ? turn up on the day and try to produce the goods. And who is to say they can?t at this stage?Brisbane: What is it about their abysmal record come September in recent years? I thought this season may have been different given that they had a winning run of three matches going into the finals, but it?s the same old story for the Broncos. They?ll have their work cut out against the Knights this weekend and a straight sets elimination will yet again ask questions of Wayne Bennett. Newcastle: They did well to come back against the Sea Eagles but something still doesn?t seem right about the Newcastle side. Danny Buderus is sure to be suspended for a lengthy period and Brisbane will be looking to make amends for their poor showing against the Dragons. Jarrod Mullen is certainly a find for them but Andrew Johns will need to step up if they?re to account for the Broncos minus Buderus.Manly: A spirited effort up north in Newcastle and were unlucky not to come away with the victory. Should have won the match after holding an 18-6 lead at one stage. A very strong defensive effort which is a positive they can take into this week?s match against the Dragons. But even if the Dragons are minus Mark Gasnier, it?ll take a superhuman effort from Manly given the form the Dragons are in at the moment.St George Illawarra: Certainly the most likely of the four sides playing this weekend to dismantle the Storm or Bulldogs from a title decider and ultimate supremacy. They showed the Broncos how to play finals football on Saturday night and maybe this could be the year their supporters have been waiting patiently for. They needed to win that match in case one of the top sides dropped their bundle and they made sure that they?d stick around for another week. I get the feeling it will be much longer than just one week, though. Mark Gasnier will be missed but when Mathew Head is on his game, no side can match the Dragons for creativity.A massive weekend of finals approaches as Manly play St George Illawarra on Friday night and Newcastle take on Brisbane on Saturday night. The winner of Friday night?s clash will meet Melbourne in week three, whilst Saturday night?s victor will play the Bulldogs on the following Friday for a spot in the Grand Final.I?m tipping the Dragons in the opening match. They were clinical in dismissing the Broncos last weekend and they should prevail despite the loss of Gasnier. Manly?s defence will need to be on and if it is, they?ll give themselves a chance at an upset. But the Dragons? form last weekend was irresistible and they could go all the way to the Grand Final given the shakiness of the Storm on Sunday.As for Saturday night?s clash, I?ll stick with the Broncos but only because Buderus will be missing from the Knights? line-up. The men north of the Tweed have a lot to prove in finals but I?ll give them the benefit of the doubt and say that they?ll beat Newcastle in a close game. This game will be an absolute cracker and Canterbury will be awaiting the winner.That?s all for this week?s rant. Enjoy the finals matches this weekend and I?ll catch you next weekend with a review of those games and a look ahead at the Preliminary Finals.
DRAGONS Supporters, Oh, what a night! In what was one of the most enjoyable evenings in MBDS history we ventured to the Station Hotel in Prahran where Dragons fans were greeted with a venue that is quite honestly the best we have seen in this town. Two massive projector screens; audio beamed loud and clear; great food and drink and a large crowd of red and white supporters - it was the perfect venue for finals rugby league - the business end. And what a fantastic effort! The Dragons we have wanted to see all season turned up on Saturday night to blow the Bronco's off their own turf with a great display of patient, gritty and at times breath taking Rugby League. 3 more display's like we saw last week and we could well and truly have the finals monkey off our back come the first Sunday in October. Led by some inspirational play by the Bookends Ryles and Bailey, the Dragons backs were able to take advantage of the space and field position they were given in a match the Saints never looked like losing. This week's match is against the Manly Sea Eagles on Friday night and we are hoping to smash the MBDS attendence record. Join us for what promises to be another thrilling episode of knockout rugby league. WHAT: Dragons v Sea Eagles, LIVE AND LOUD!! WHEN: 7:30pm Friday 15th September, 2006 WHERE: The Station Hotel Prahran, 96 Greville St Prahran. Let us know if you?re thinking of attending and how many you are bringing along. We want to make sure the Station Hotel is ready for a big night. GO THE DRAGONS!!
NEWCASTLE hooker Danny Buderus is to contest the severity of his grade three dangerous throw charge in an attempt to play again in this year's finals series.
THE Sharks have thrown Brett Seymour an lifeline by signing the troubled ex-Brisbane halfback to a two-year deal.
MANLY centre Steve Bell is expected to overcome a foot injury in time for Friday's semi final against St George Illawarra.