PARRAMATTA officials have scheduled an emergency meeting for today in an attempt to put a stop to the alcohol-related incidents that have rocked the embattled NRL club.
NEW Zealand Warriors prop Ruben Wiki became the first player this season to mount a successful challenge at the NRL judiciary, seeing his eight-week ban for kneeing thrown out.
A huge round of action has seen some close calls for the selectors this week with many positions being referred to the third umpire. There?s so much attacking footy being played out there at the moment, but we haven?t forgotten the workers either. The Round 13 League Unlimited Team of the Week is a balanced side with plenty of scoring potential and the ability to give a few hard noses a touch up.Fullback: Greg Inglis (Storm) ? Wonder kid again fulfils the custodian?s role, just ahead of another great fullback in Clinton Schifcofske. Inglis destroyed the hopes of Roosters fans everywhere with two dashing tries to secure victory in our southern capital.Wing: Hazem El Masri (Bulldogs) ? El Masri had a blinder this week for the Doggies, playing above his usual heroics. He scored three tries to pass Lamb?s club record along the way to booting 5 from 7 against the Knights. Someone hand him a sky blue jersey!Centre: Sonny Bill Williams (Bulldogs) ? Sonny Bill had his best game since coming back, conspiring down the right hand flank with El Masri, as well as being heavily involved in the middle of the park. He?ll figure prominently towards the end of the year.Centre: Dean Collis (Tigers) ? An unheralded centre, which is probably why he fits in well over at the Tigers, who are suspiciously making their way up the ladder. Collis scored an important try and played hard for the premiers in their Grand Final rematch.Wing: Greg Eastwood (Broncos) ? We?ve gone for size here with burly winger Eastwood just edging out speedster Amos Roberts, who gets an honourable mention. The Kiwi cherished playing on home soil against the Warriors and is sure to raise the eyebrow of national coach Brian McClennan.Five-eighth: Todd Carney (Raiders) ? Bagged a try and was instrumental in the Raiders? second victory on the trot. Carney, a future star, has played well in the absence of veteran playmaker Jason Smith and he stands two off the ruck for us this week.Halfback: Ben Hornby (Dragons) ? Hornby controlled play well on Friday night in some very difficult conditions. Usually a fullback, he slotted in well at number 7 and never lets anyone down. Put two vital field goals over in testing circumstances.Lock: Alan Tongue (Raiders) ? Does this bloke ever stop giving? Tongue would have to be the most under-rated player in the comp. So much so, that very few people who don?t support the Raiders have even heard of him. We love him though. Scored another hard-earned try.Second-row: Nathan Hindmarsh (Eels) ? Another workhorse who never lets you down. Hindmarsh is the bright shining light out at Parramatta and you can always be sure he?s giving 100%. It wasn?t easy to thrive at Kogarah on Friday night, but he went well.Second-row: Anthony Watmough (Sea Eagles) ? Watmough is starting to return to the form that won him a State of Origin jersey last year. He put on some big hits and tackled his heart out, helping Manly to a rare win in Penrith.Prop: Anthony Laffranchi (Tigers) ? Big Franky had a superb game, taking the ball up all day long and crossing the stripe for his trouble. Boy the Tigers are going to miss this fella as he continues to impress. Surely rep honours can?t elude him for too much longer.Hooker: Corey Hughes (Bulldogs) ? Some might say this is a surprising selection and I haven?t been a fan of Corey?s for most of his career. But credit where credit is due. He had a great game on Saturday night against the world?s best hooker, even if he was backing up. Hughes left the game with a brace of tries in a gutsy win.Prop: Ruben Wiki (Warriors) ? Scored two tries in a close game to give the Warriors some hope of securing victory. Wiki never gives up during a scrap and he was in the thick of things against the Broncos, almost bringing home the bacon.What a bench we?ve got here. Mobility, skill, brute force and a touch of flamboyance with Menzies, Bailey, O?Meley and Young gracing the interchange this week. It?s no shock to see three of them playing for NSW.Interchange: Steve Menzies (Sea Eagles), Luke Bailey (Dragons), Mark O?Meley (Bulldogs), Dean Young (Dragons).Merkin of the Week Award for Stupidity: There really was no choice other than Jeremy Smith this week. Ala Scott Hill, he broke the first commandment and laid his filthy paws on the man in the middle. We understand his frustration at Sean Hampstead, but it?s time to cool your jets Jeremy.
RUSSIA have won their second match in the Rugby League World Cup Qualifiers after defeating a gallant Serbia 44-6 in Belgrade last Sunday.The larger Bears oufit were ultimately too good for the home side with half back Artem Grigoryn scoring two tries and kicking four goals in his man-of-the-match performance.Serbia were kept in the match in the first half thanks to the boot of Dalibor Vukanovic who kicked three goals, and at half time, Russia led 16-6.But the visitors proved too good after the break, racing away to score 28 unanswered points.Other try scorers for Russia were Sergey Dobrynin (2), Oleg Zukov (2), Nikoray Zagoskin, Georgy Vinogradov and Oleg Smirnov.Russia and Georgia have now qualified for the European Nations Group. The two sides will meet later this month while Holland will take on Serbia to decide the final group positions.European Preliminary Qualifying Group, match 4: SERBIA 6 defeated by RUSSIA 44.Match played 04/06/2006.Venue: FK Radnicki Stadium, BelgradeReferee: Matthew Thomason (England)Match preview - click hereDiscussion and match photos - CLICK HEREOther World Cup Qualifier results - click here
QUEENSLAND'S call up of Jacob Lillyman to replace injured Tonie Carroll for the second State of Origin rugby league match took many by surprise... but not NSW coach Graham Murray.
PARRAMATTA winger Jarryd Hayne has been fined $1000 by the NRL club over an incident at a hotel on Saturday night.Hayne, who made his first grade debut three weeks ago, has apologised after a member of the public complained about his behaviour at The Roxy in Parramatta. The latest incident is the third to engulf the embattled club in recent weeks.Last month Eels' players Mark Riddell and Tim Smith were fined $5,000 and dropped to Premier league for turning up drunk at a recovery session. And captain Nathan Cayless was recently reprimanded for damaging a security camera in a Star City casino lift.Eels chief executive Denis Fitzgerald says the club would not tolerate misconduct.Meanwhile, Bulldogs utility Reni Maitua has re-signed with the NRL club for a further three seasons. Maitua, who has played 47 first grade games since joining the Bulldogs in 2002, will remain with at the Belmore club until the end of the 2009 season.The 23-year-old says he is pleased to re-sign with the club and end speculation about his future.Elsewhere, South Sydney has ushered in a new era at the NRL club, with new owners Peter Holmes A Court and Russell Crowe officially taking charge today.Holmes A Court, who handed over a $3 million cheque for a 75 per cent purchase of South Sydney at a ceremony at the Sydney Town Hall this afternoon, says his main task is instilling a winning culture again at the Rabbitohs.
FULFILLING a life-long dream, Bulldogs forward Nick Kouparitsas will make his debut in the NRL this weekend against the Canberra Raiders at Telstra Stadium.Kouparitsas, who played his junior football in Canberra for the West Belconnen Warriors, has spent the last 4 seasons completing his ?apprenticeship? to NRL football, playing Premier League with the Bulldogs, Magpies and Raiders.When asked to describe the feeling and emotion of being selected to make his NRL debut, the 22 year old was animated and clearly excited saying he was pumped to be given the opportunity by coach Steve Folkes.?I didn?t hear off the coaches about it (NRL selection) until yesterday. When I was told I was pumped!? Kouparitsas said.When quizzed about anything that contributed to his rise up into the NRL, Kouparitsas was quick to acknowledge the club and coaches for assisting in the continuing development of his game.?The club and coaching has been great,? Kouparitsas told League Unlimited?Playing and training with internationals has been good too, to learn bits and pieces of their games, it?s helped a lot?Kouparitsas was realistic about his appointment to the top grade at a club which boasts such a great forward pack, but was hopeful for a strong performance and make further claims for future call ups to first grade. ?If I can put in a good performance, than hopefully next time there?s an injury, the coaches will think of my name first.? Kouparitsas said.Kouparitsas will join Billy Ngawini, Ben Czislowski and Dallas McIlwain in a completely new bench, with the Bulldogs losing Mason, Ryan, O'Meley and Myles to State of Origin.
A string of losses in recent weeks has done little to stop Knights? Coach David Fairleigh from remaining positive about the club?s Premier League campaign, despite the club?s decision not to renew Fairleigh?s contract beyond this season.
NORTH Queensland's Jacob Lillyman has been called up to replace injured lock Tonie Carroll in the Queensland team for next Wednesday's second State Of Origin rugby league match in Brisbane.
NSW captain Danny Buderus is shocked Queensland overlooked "an abundance of great fullbacks" to select Canberra bolter Adam Mogg for next week's State of Origin II at Suncorp Stadium.
IT will be a busy night for the NRL judiciary, with Melbourne fullback Billy Slater and New Zealand Warriors prop Ruben Wiki contesting charges.
FRIDAY, 9th June 2006
SQUAD: Billy Slater, Chris Walker, Jake Webster, Matt Geyer, Steve Turner, Scott Hill, Cooper Cronk, Garret Crossman, Nathan Friend, Brett White, David Kidwell, Ryan Hoffman, Jeremy Smith
Interchange: Ian Donnelly, Ben Cross, Antonio Kaufusi, Jamie Feeney.
SQUAD: Matthew Bowen, Brenton Bowen, Josh Hannay, Paul Bowman, Matthew Sing, Shane Muspratt, Brett Firman, Mitchell Sargent, Aaron Payne, Shane Tronc, Justin Smith, Jacob Lillyman, Travis Norton (c)
Interchange: Rod Jensen, David Faiumu, Gavin Cooper, Matthew Scott
THE St George Illawarra Dragons have announced their lower grades sides for Saturday's round 14 fixtures in Penrith.Premier LeagueDragons v Cougars3:30pm Saturday 10 JuneCUA StadiumCoach: Steven Price 1. Josh MORRIS2. Bryson GOODWIN3. Jess CAINE4. Keith LULIA5. Dane KERSHAW6. Reece BLAYNEY7. Jamie KEITH8. Andrew PRICE9. George NDAIRA10. Chris HOUSTON (c)11. Tom HABERECHT12. Lee TE MAARI13. Aaron WHEATLEY14. Jamie DUNNING15. Willie TUPOU16. Beau MUNDINE17. Lagi SETU18. James JIMENEZJersey FleggDragons v Panthers2:00pm Saturday 10 JuneCUA StadiumCoach: Corey Pearson1. Jason NIGHTINGALE2. Ian CATANIA3. Ryan MILLARD4. James GREHAN5. Junior SEUMANUTAFA6. Richard WILLIAMS7. Blake DUREAU8. Dan HUNT9. Brad DAVIDSON (c)10. Chris FARRELL11. Matt PRIOR12. Jason WHITE13. James KEELAN14. Francis LANGIFISI15. Daniel JARVIS16. Matt SEAMARK17. Scott SABLOWSKI18. Luke MUTTDON19. Dean WHARE20. Daniel NICASTRI