Arrive Alive Cup National Final

QUEENSLAND'S own Keebra Park State High will contest this Friday's final of the Arrive Alive Cup national schoolboys competition.The Gold Coast school faces Endeavour Sports High in the early curtain-raiser to the Brisbane Broncos v Bulldogs NRL semi final blockbuster.Kick-off at Sydney's Aussie Stadium is 4.10pm.The final is a rematch from last year when Endeavour managed to down Keebra Park 20-10 for the title.

XXXX QLD Statewide Score Wrap

FOLLOWING the completion of a remarkable weekend in Queensland Rugby League, below are the latest scores from around the State, including several grand finals.Aside from the already well-documented finals in the QLD Wizard Cup, FOGS Cup and FOGS Colts Challenge, the following also occurred:* The Innisfail Leprechauns winning all three grades of the Cairns District Rugby League in arguably the most inspirational result this season. The Leprechauns were hit hard by Cyclone Larry earlier this year and were forced to play out of town and train without lighting and other facilities. Not to be overlooked, neighbouring Tully won the Under 16s Cowboys Cup, having endured Larry's effects as well.* Herbert River winning its first title since joining the Townsville and District Rugby League, overcoming heavy favourite Brothers. The Herbert River side was 95% local juniors, with Paul Dezolt and Luke Spina (son of Cowboys inaugural captain Laurie) among the members. Former Brisbane Bronco Willie Morganson helped the Crushers win the reserve grade title as well, going into retirement a winner.* Ipswich Brothers winning all five senior premierships on the weekend - A Grade, Womens, Reserve Grade, C-Grade and Under 18. Ipswich Rugby League official Greg Jadsby said the grand final crowd was the largest in his memory with "not a spare spot in the ground".* All up the Brothers confraternity provided 12 teams in major grand finals across Queensland last weekend, with the Brethren also to contest this coming Sunday's Toowoomba Rugby League grand final at Clive Berghofer Stadium against local rival Valleys.* Kaiwalagal Rugby League in the Torres Strait will also hold its grand final this coming weekend (Saturday), set to coincide with the region's annual cultural festival.XXXX STATEWIDE SCORE WRAP>>MAJOR COMPETITIONSQLD WIZARD CUPGrand Final: Redcliffe 27 (Rory Bromley 2, Marty Turner, Mark Shipway, Ryan Cullen tries; Greg Bourke 3 goals; Michael Roberts field goal) d Toowoomba 6 (Ben Vaeau try; Nick Parfitt goal).Final Standings: Toowoomba 32, North Queensland 30, Redcliffe 28, Tweed Heads 22, Easts 22, Burleigh 21, Norths 17, Central 15, Wynnum Manly 13, Souths Logan 12, Ipswich 8.QLD WOMENSGrand Final: Ipswich Brothers 34 (Karyn Murphy 2, Tracey Thompson 2, Leteysnki Randall, Amy Turner, Tahnee Norris tries; Tracey Thompson 2, Janette Luker goals) d Wests Centenary 4 (Doreen Hohepa try).Final Standings: Ipswich Brothers 31, Wests Centenary 24, Wests Mitchelton 16, Caboolture 5ARRIVE ALIVE CUPNational Final: Keebra Park SHS v TBC, Sydney, Friday September 22.>>> SOUTH EAST DIVISIONFOGS CUPGrand Final: Burleigh 28 (Mark Commens 3, Ryan Wilson, Nash Core tries; Phil Ramage 4 goals) d Tweed Heads 6 (Paul Rolls try; Paul Rolls goal).Final Standings: Tweed Heads 35, Easts 26, Burleigh 25, Wynnum Manly 25, Souths Logan 24, Sunshine Coast 22, Redcliffe 17, Norths 16, Ipswich 12, Aspley 10, Western Districts 8. FOGS COLTS CHALLENGEGrand Final: Norths 28 (Luke Capewell 3, Jason Poppi, Israel Folau tries; Luke Samoa 4 goals) d Wynnum Manly 22 (Chris McQueen 2, Luke Menhinnitt, Ben Cronin tries; Luke Menhinnitt 3 goals).Final Standings: Norths 32, Redcliffe 30, Easts 28, Aspley 24, Wynnum Manly 22, Tweed Heads 22, Souths Logan 19, Burleigh 17, Western Districts 11, Ipswich 10, Sunshine Coast 5. >>SOUTHERN DIVISIONQLD GROUP CUP (Ipswich)Grand Final: Brothers 32 (Fili Notoa 2, Ross Sauer, Tim Sauer, Brett Alofipo, Michael Andrews tries; Michael O?Connor 4 goals) d Norths 18 (Paul Smith, Greg Brooks, John Williams tries; Chris Johnson 3 goals)Reserves: Brothers 18 d West End 16.C Grade: Brothers 10 d Rosewood 8.Under 18: Brothers 32 d Fassifern 0.Final Standings: Brothers 34, South Burnett 30, Goodna 22, Norths 22, Springfield 19, Fassifern 17, Redbank Plains 14, West End 10, Swifts 9, Laidley 3. >>NORTHERN DIVISIONBENDIGO BANK PREMIERSHIP (Cairns)Grand Final: Innisfail 30 (Palmer Wapau 2, Jordan Jujnovich, Hayden McElroy, Robbie Swain tries; Palmer Wapau 5 goals) d Brothers 12 (Steve Ware, Eric Smith tries; Brad Arthur 2 goals).Reserves: Innisfail 24 d Ivanhoes 20.Under 18: Innisfail 24 d Atherton 22.Under 16: Tully 30 d Malanda 14 (Cowboys Cup)Final Standings: Brothers 39, Innisfail 37, Kangaroos 35, Ivanhoes 27, Mareeba 26, Atherton 26, Tully 24, Mossman Port Douglas 18, Yarrabah 14, Suburbs 14, Edmonton 4.TOWNSVILLE DISTRICTS RLGrand Final: Herbert River 26 (Daniel Walker 2, Scott Smith, Jeff Skinner, Michael Young tries; Jeff Skinner 4 goals) d Brothers 24 (Gene Murray, Dennis Conlon, Roy Baira, Aaron Sturgess tries; Matt Groves 3, Chey Bird goals).Reserves: Herbert River 28 d Brothers 24.Under 19: Brothers 36 d Charters Towers 10.Final Standings: Brothers 76, Herbert River 60, Sharks United 60, Burdekin 54, Centrals 38, Charters Towers 36, University 12. * Wins worth 4pts in TDRLGULF COMMUNITY LEAGUECarnival 4 (Kowanyama): Kowanyama 26 d Pormpuraaw 20 in final.Standings: Kowanyama 43, Burketown 37, Pormpuraaw 37, Doomadgee 12, Mornington Island 9.Carnival 5 (Including Grand Final): Burketown, September 30-October 1.KAIWALAGAL RL (Torres Strait)Preliminary Final: Dragons 36 d Knights 12.Final Standings: Dragons 1st, Roosters 2nd, Knights 3rd, Suburbs 4th, Horn Island Brothers 5th.Grand Final: Roosters v Dragons, Ken Brown Oval, Saturday September 23, 3pm. (Torres Strait cultural festival all weekend).>>SOUTH WEST DIVISIONWAGNER?S FIRST GRADE (Toowoomba)Preliminary Final: Valleys 56 d Goondiwindi 8.Final Standings: Valleys 40, Brothers 36, Goondiwindi 32, Dalby 28, Wattles 27, Oakey 26, Gatton 24, Pittsworth 19, Souths 14, Warwick 14, Newtown 4. Grand Final: Brothers v Valleys, Clive Berghofer Stadium, Sunday September 24, 2.30pm. (Reserves ? Valleys v Oakey, 12.30pm. Under 18 ? Souths v Brothers, 10.45am).

No charges laid at Judiciary

THE NRL match review committee has laid no charges against any players from last weekend's semi-finals action.

Jets blast through

A brave and committed Newtown Jets Jim Beam Cup team has tackled their way into the 2006 Grand Final, following their 22-6 win over Cabramatta in the Preliminary Final played at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday. This was a fiercely-contested match in the best traditions of elimination finals featuring bone-rattling body clashes, resolute defence and determined running. The Jets through this win made it three sudden-death finals victories in a row, having previously disposed of Windsor and Wentworthville.

NSWRL Results and Fixtures

VB Premier League Results (September 15 - 16)The St George-Illawarra Dragons and Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles will join the Parramatta Eels and Newtown Jets in the final four of the 2006 VB Premier League Final Series as the competition enters the final rounds.The Dragons Premier League side completed a treble of victories for the Red and White side with a convincing 50 ? 12 victory over the Canberra Raiders at Aussie Stadium on Friday night, whilst on Saturday night, the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles were too strong for the Balmain-Ryde Eastwood Tigers, winning 32 ? 26.The Sea Eagles will now face minor premiers, Parramatta, at Telstra Stadium next Saturday, whilst the Dragons will take on the Newtown Jets at Aussie Stadium on the Friday night.Results:Friday, September 15:St George-Illawarra Dragons 50 defeated Canberra Raiders 12 at Aussie StadiumSaturday, September 16:Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 32 defeated Balmain-Ryde Eastwood Tigers 26 at Aussie StadiumFixtures:Friday, September 22:5:35pm - Parramatta Eels v Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles at Aussie StadiumSaturday, September 23:3:30pm - Newtown Jets v St George-Illawarra Dragons at Telstra StadiumJersey Flegg Cup Results (September 15 - 16)The Bulldogs and Dragons have emerged winners after two thrillers in the second week of the Jersey Flegg Cup final series.The Dragons overcame a strong and spirited Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles side to win 24 ? 20 on Friday night to give the Red and Whites of St George-Illawarra a treble of victories on the evening, with the Premier League and NRL sides also recording victories.On Saturday night, the Bulldogs overcame the Roosters, 22 ? 20 to send the Bondi based side out of the final series without a win, after coming second in the regular season. The Bulldogs will now face the Panthers, whilst the Dragons will take on Minor Premiers, the Newcastle Knights in a Jersey Flegg double header at Leichhardt Oval next Sunday. Results:Friday, September 15:St George-Illawarra Dragons 24 defeated Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 20 at Aussie StadiumSaturday, September 16:Bulldogs 22 defeated Sydney Roosters 20 at Aussie StadiumFixtures:Sunday, September 24:12:40pm ? Penrith Panthers v Bulldogs at Leichhardt Oval2:30pm ? Newcastle Knights v St George-Illawarra Dragons at Leichhardt OvalJim Beam Cup Results (September 16)Newtown will join the Sydney Bulls in the Grand Final of the 2006 Jim Beam Cup competition after the Jets defeated the Cabramatta Two Blues at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday.The Jets, who ran out 20 ? 6 victors over the Two Blues will now play the Sydney Bulls next Saturday night at Telstra Stadium in the competition?s Grand Final. All the action from the match will be on at 1pm this Wednesday on Fox Sports Two.Results:Saturday, September 16:Newtown Jets 20 defeated Cabramatta Two Blues 6 at Leichhardt OvalFixtures:Saturday, September 23:5:30pm - Sydney Bulls v Newtown Jets at TelstraSUMMARY:Finals Fixtures (September 22 - 24)All the fixtures for this weekend's upcoming VB Premier League, Jersey Flegg Cup, Jim Beam Cup and Arrive Alive Cup finals.Friday, September 22: Aussie Stadium7:45pm - Bulldogs v Brisbane Broncos (National Rugby League)5:35pm - Parramatta Eels v Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles (VB Premier League)4:10pm - Endeavour High School v Keebra Park High School (Arrive Alive Cup Grand Final)Saturday, September 23: Telstra Stadium7:45pm - Melbourne Storm v St George-Ilawarra Dragons (National Rugby League)5:30pm - Sydney Bulls v Newtown Jets (Jim Beam Cup Grand Final)3:30pm - Newtown Jets v St George-Illawarra Dragons (VB Premier League)Sunday, September 24: Leichhardt Oval2:30pm - Newcastle Knights v St George-Illawarra Dragons (Jersey Flegg Cup)12:40pm - Penrith Panthers v Bulldogs (Jersey Flegg Cup)Source: nswrl.com.au

Monday?s Expert League Wrap - Finals Week 2

WEEK Two of the NRL Finals kicked off on Friday night with the St George Illawarra Dragons eliminating the Manly Sea Eagles by 28-0 at Aussie Stadium. The Sea Eagles bow out of the 2006 race while the Dragons continue to impress with some late season form. Their opponents next week will be minor premiers the Melbourne Storm in what should be a cracker of a match, the winner of that encounter earning a grand final berth.Saturday rugby league saw the Brisbane Broncos bounce back to annihilate the Newcastle Knights 50-6 at Aussie Stadium. A late try saved the Knights from a total whitewash as they join Manly in Mad Monday celebrations. Nevertheless, it was a big season turnaround for the Knights after they were lumbered with the wooden spoon in 2005. The Broncos were devastating after losing the week before. They loom up as genuine premiership threats and will take on the Canterbury Bulldogs next week with the winner of that match advancing to the grand final.All match results and details are listed below.UPCOMING MATCHES:NRL Finals Week Three, 22-23 September 2006 - Preliminary FinalsFriday 7:45pm BULLDOGS v BRONCOS - Aussie StadiumSaturday 7:45pm STORM v DRAGONS - Telstra Stadium(Winners through to grand final, losers eliminated)NRL MATCH RESULTS:League Wrap: NRL Finals - Week 2, 15-16 September 2006St George Illawarra Dragons: 28Tries: Matt Cooper, Ben Hornby, Daryl Millard, Brett Morris(2)Goals: Aaron Gorrell 3/3, Wes Naiqama 1/1, Mathew Head 0/2Manly Sea Eagles: 0Half time: Dragons 8-0Venue: Aussie StadiumCrowd: 30,907Referee: Paul SimpkinsLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Brett Morris (Dragons)2 - Luke Bailey (Dragons)1 - Steve Menzies (Sea Eagles)(Sea Eagles eliminated)Brisbane Broncos: 50Tries: Dane Carlaw, Petero Civoniceva, Justin Hodges, Karmichael Hunt, Darren Lockyer, David Stagg, Brent Tate, Darius BoydGoals: Darren Lockyer 1/1, Corey Parker 8/8Newcastle Knights: 6Tries: Kurt GidleyGoals: Andrew Johns 1/2Half time: Broncos 24-0Venue: Aussie StadiumCrowd: 22,081Referee: Steven ClarkLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Shaun Berrigan (Broncos)2 - Darren Lockyer (Broncos)1 - Petero Civoniceva (Broncos)(Knights eliminated)Melbourne Storm and Canterbury Bulldogs had the week off.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 usFULL DRAW, RESULTS & LINKS TO LIVE SCORES ? CLICK HERELOWER GRADESPREMIER LEAGUE FINALS RESULTSFriday, September 15 (Aussie Stadium):St George Illawarra Dragons 50 defeated Canberra Raiders 12Saturday, September 16 (Aussie Stadium):Manly Sea Eagles 32 defeated Balmain Ryde Eastwood Tigers 26UPCOMING MATCHES (Premier League):Premier League, 22-23 September 2006 - Preliminary FinalsFriday 5:35pm EELS v SEA EAGLES - Aussie StadiumSaturday 3:30pm NEWTOWN JETS v DRAGONS - Telstra StadiumJERSEY FLEGG FINALS RESULTSFriday, September 15 (Aussie Stadium):St George Illawarra Dragons 24 defeated Manly Sea Eagles 20 (in extra time)Saturday, September 16 (Aussie Stadium):Canterbury Bulldogs 22 defeated Sydney Roosters 20UPCOMING MATCHES (Jersey Flegg):Jersey Flegg, 24 September 2006 - Preliminary FinalsSunday 12:40pm PANTHERS v BULLDOGS - Leichhardt OvalSunday 2:30pm KNIGHTS v DRAGONS - Leichhardt Oval

Fitness: Inglis and Gasnier

MELBOURNE superstar Greg Inglis rates himself an "80 per cent chance" of being fit for Saturday's preliminary final clash with St George Illawarra at Telstra Stadium.

Cullen slams poaching attempt on Bennett

FUMING Brisbane Broncos chief executive Bruno Cullen has slammed the Sydney Roosters' efforts to poach coach Wayne Bennett as "disgraceful".

engage Super League Rd 28 Review

LEEDS Rhinos 60 (Tansey 3, Williams 2, Ellis, Senior, McGuire, Donald, Jones-Buchanan tries; Sinfield 7, Burrow 3 goals) def. Catalans Dragons 12 (Murphy, Bosc tries; Frayssinous 2 goals). Att: 13,391.

Auckland Rugby League Finals Wrap

2006 Lion Red Fox Memorial Grand Final

National League Play-Offs

PREVIEWS for this weekend's National League One and Two Play-Offs.... the winner of each play-off series will be considered for promotion for next season. National League OneHull KR and Widnes finished the season first and second respectively, have earnt the week off and will meet in a major semi-final next weekend.Leigh Centurions v Batley Bulldogs (Sunday - 3rd place v 6th place, loser eliminated)Leigh Head Coach Tony Benson has his sights firmly focused on a Grand Final flourish.The Leigh boss has guided his troops to a third place finish in LHF Healthplan League One and is now gearing up for a tense Elimination Play-Off with Batley.Benson said: ?We set a goal for ourselves on Tuesday, and that was to win our last game in this play-off series. This is a huge game at the start of that path.?You use the last few weeks of the season to get some confidence and momentum going and I think we?ve done that pretty well. We?re in good shape and we?re looking forward to some good vocal backing from our fans.?Benson is unlikely to make any changes to the team that thrashed York last weekend while Bulldogs? coach Gary Thornton is also able to avoid wholesale changes.Thornton said: ?We are delighted at reaching the top six, but we?re disappointed with last week?s performance against Rochdale ? we didn?t really perform.?I don?t think there?s any pressure on us. No one expected us to be here, so we?re fairly relaxed about things.?Also nobody expects us to go any further in the play offs so we want to prove people wrong. I?ve got a lot of faith in this group of players and I think there?s still more to come from them. Now we can kick on and show people what we?re all about. The boys are relishing the challenge.?Whitehaven v Rochdale Hornets(Sunday - 4th place v 5th place, loser eliminated)Whitehaven boss Dave Rotheram believes this year?s past encounters between Whitehaven and Rochdale count for nothing ahead of Sunday?s battle in the LHF Healthplan League One Elimination play-off.Rotheram said: ?All that is irrelevant at this stage. We?ve finished nine points in front of them in the league, so over the year we?re a better team on paper ? but these games are not played on paper.?We want to get off to a good start. We?ve had a good week?s preparation and we?re ready for the game now.?We?ll get the crowd behind us and that?s very important. Hopefully, a lot of people will turn up and really get behind the boys.?Hornets? coach Darren Abram has got his eyes on a bumper prize fund if he can steer his troops to Grand Final glory.Abram said: ?That ?100,000 (available to the winners of the Grand Final who do not qualify for promotion to Super League) is like winning the national lottery.?But Whitehaven were my dark horses to win the title at the start of the season. They?ve got four good players that I?ve coached in the past so I know what they?re capable of.?They?ve got quick wingers, experienced centres, toughness and go-forward up front. They?re a good team and going up to Cumbria is always difficult so we?ve got to get that into our heads early in the week.?It?s men against men and its do or die. There?s a lot of do in our side and, if we focus, we should be all right.?We?ve achieved a lot to finish fifth, the best of the rest behind Whitehaven and the three full-time teams. It?s been an excellent season for us. We?re not here to make up the numbers.?National League TwoDewsbury Rams finished the season in first place and are automatically promoted. Sheffield and Celtic Crusaders finished in second and third place respectively, have earnt this week off and will meet in a major semi-final next weekend. Featherstone Rovers v Gateshead Thunder(Sunday - 3rd place v 6th place, loser eliminated)Rovers? coach David Hobbs believes the side that reacts best under pressure will emerge victors in Sunday?s clash at Lionheart StadiumHobbs said: ?It?s definitely a case of who makes the least mistakes, and who handles the pressure the best.?We feel ready for this knock-out part of the year and it should be a big advantage of us being at home.?We?ve held every side out at Lionheart Stadium and we intend to keep that going for another week.?Thunder boss Dean Thomas is expecting an intimidating atmosphere but has set his players the challenge of defusing the home supporters? enthusiasm.Thomas said: ?Going to Featherstone is a bit of a challenge for us. They?ve got a very vocal support and that gives their team an extra lift. We want to silence them with a professional, solid performance.?All the players and fans know that?s it the end of the season for those who lose. Players will have heightened anxiety and it comes down to how the players control that to get the best out of themselves.?Swinton Lions v Barrow Raiders(Sunday - 4th place v 5th place, loser eliminated)Lions? coach Paul Kidd wants his side to kick on from their 32-24 win at Gateshead last week as they look to keep their season alive in the LHF Healthplan League Two Elimination play off.Kidd said: ?Its two sides that have been getting a bit of form over the last few weeks so it should be a good contest.?In effect, both of us have got four cup finals left. Both sides will be confident going into this game and equally confident of going a long way.?Barrow boss Paul Crarey insists his side are major underdogs on Sunday ? a tag he is happy with.He said: ?There?s no pressure on us at all. It?s an achievement for us to even reach the play offs.?Our form is really good at the moment, so if we?re relaxed rather than tense we?ll do OK. If we win, we win; if we lose we?ve had a great season.?When we play to our strengths I don?t think there?s a better team for exciting football.?But they?ve got quality players and a quality coach who I?ve got a lot of time for ? it?s just a shame one of the two teams has to go out on Sunday.?We had 350 fans travel to Blackpool last week, which was absolutely magnificent. We want to put in a performance for them. It will be a cracking game.?Source: www.therfl.co.uk

Preview: Huddersfield v Bradford (R28)

HUDDERSFIELD look set to field the same team for the third week in a row, with the released Michael De Vere, Jim Gannon and Wayne McDonald all making their farewell appearances at the Galpharm Stadium.The Giants have never beaten Bradford in the Super League and will be bidding to inflict a third straight defeat on the Bulls.Bradford's Great Britain second rower Paul Johnson is set to make his first appearance for four months, while New Zealand international winger Lesley Vainikolo is rested ahead of the start of the play-offs next week. The Bulls are still without Stanley Gene and Jamie Langley.Huddersfield Giants v Bradford Bulls, Sunday 17th September, kick-off 15:00Huddersfield Giants 18-man squad: Reilly, Aspinwall, De Vere, Donlan, Thorman, Paul, Crabtree, Drew, Gannon, Nero, Wild, Jones, Jackson, Smith, McDonald, Raleigh, Hemingway, Brown.Bradford Bulls 18-man squad: Hape, Deacon, Vagana, Newton, I Harris, McKenna, Cook, Lynch, Meyers, B Harris, Withers, Ferres, Johnson, Henderson, St Hilaire, Pryce, Burgess, Bai.Referee: P Bentham Sources: www.skysports.com, www.bbc.co.uk, www.superleague.co.uk

Preview: Warrington v St Helens (R28)

WARRINGTON coach Paul Cullen has named youngster Michael Cooper in his 18-man squad for the visit of the Minor Premiers on Sunday.

The AFL throws down the gauntlet

THE AFL has thrown down the gauntlet to other codes ? notably rugby league ? with its decision to pour $100 million into development programs in NSW and Queensland over the next five years.Thanks to its new television deal that begins next year, the AFL is going to be much more cashed up than the National Rugby League. The simple truth is that the Seven and Ten deal with the AFL is significantly superior than the Nine deal with the NRL that also cuts in next year.Rugby league is still paying a heavy price for the Super League division a decade ago. When the current television deal was struck, rugby league was in a poor bargaining position and, while the 2007 agreement is an improvement, the rugby league television rights battle was a one-horse race.But the AFL deal saw Nine set the cross bar very high, before Seven and Ten matched it. As a result, the AFL is now in a position to put serious dollars into development in New South Wales (mainly Sydney?s west) and Queensland (mainly South East Queensland).It will spend over $100 million over the next five years on development in the rugby league states. And it is increasing the number of AFL premiership matches played in both states.Rugby league will have a battle on its hands, especially in junior football. And there may even be a greater challenge ? from soccer.If they are serious about meeting the challenges, rugby league?s administrators will need to put an end to the nonsense of a divided administration. The AFL runs the game lock, stock and barrel. The NRL only runs the premiership, while the ARL runs Origin, international matches, and junior football.The duplication of administration is archaic. It is a hangover from the Super League war, that serves only the interests of the officials who hang on to jobs when their use-by date has long passed.The AFL challenge to rugby league is a serious one. Even before yesterday?s announcement of a massive funding boost, the game has been making inroads in schools and juniors by a superior marketing campaign.I am sure rugby league will fight back ? but it needs to get its act together in a hurry if it is going to do so effectively.

QRL GF Day Match Reports

FULL match reports for grand finals played today in the QLD Wizard Cup, FOGS Cup and FOGS Colts Challenge.REDCLIFFE 27 d TOOWOOMBA 6 (QLD WIZARD CUP) REDCLIFFE has secured its fifth QLD Wizard Cup premiership in 11 seasons, defying the odds to beat a star-studded Toowoomba side 27-6 at Suncorp Stadium.In a masterful display, the ageing Dolphins showed the young Clydesdales the benefits of experience, recovering from a 56-22 hammering in the major semi to wreak revenge in the game that mattered most.?Everyone wrote us off a few weeks ago,? Redcliffe coach Anthony Griffin said.?Have a look at that (Toowoomba) side and it?s chock full of stars. But that gets you nothing in grand finals sometimes.?Toowoomba?s line-up featured 11 NRL players, including the likes of Greg Eastwood, Joel Moon and David Taylor, expected to become the future face of the Brisbane Broncos.Yet Redcliffe had an amazing statistic in its favour, boasting 23 games worth of grand final experience to Toowoomba?s none. Dolphins captain Troy Lindsay, a warhorse almost twice the age of rival Taylor, went into the match with six State League finals under his belt aloneThat appeared to count for little just three minutes into the match when Toowoomba prop Ben Vaeau monstered his way across from short range.The commentators? summation was it was all ?too easy? and there was an unspoken expectation that Redcliffe could be in for a pasting, just as they were a fortnight earlier.Listed by bookies at long odds for victory, the Dolphins only had self belief to rely on and six minutes later they defied expectation to turn the tables.Exposing frailties in the Clydesdales? own defence, Michael Roberts shot out of dummy-half and fired a great second-man pass to Marty Turner. Turner slipped through an innocuous tackle and touched down straight under the posts.With Greg Bourke converting it was 6-all and the stage was set for another thriller between two hostile combatants.The next 30 minutes was a pure rip-and-tear affair, with swarming defence, body-slams and the odd smattering of argy bargy.It featured three decisions that went to the video referee, the anticipation of the crowd amplifying an already fever-pitch atmosphere.First Ryan Cullen was ruled to have knocked-on when he flew through the air to ground a grubber just short of the dead-ball line.Then Jamie Simpson crossed at the other end of the paddock, twisting through three defenders, but ruled to have been held up by video adjudicator Tony Maksoud.Maksoud was forced into a double-take moments later when Rory Bromley slid over from a great Nick Emmett pass, he too having his try disallowed due to insufficient control.It took right up until the halftime siren for either team to crack.With precision timing, elusive fullback Ryan Cullen dived over right on the hooter, following brilliant lead-up work by Roberts and halfback Marty Turner.After battling a hamstring injury throughout the week, valiant Turner was a standout as the Dolphins took a 12-6 advantage.The second stanza was played in much the same gritty style as the preceding 40 minutes, with neither team able to penetrate the rugged fence.Two instances that best explained Redcliffe?s victory had nothing to do with tries scored.Like the irrepressible Duracell Bunny, Dolphins custodian Cullen was amongst everything and his energy flowed through to his teammates. When he pulled off a last ditch cover tackle on Simpson in the 54th minute, it was certain try-saver, even though Simpson still had 80m to run.Had Cullen hung off for a second longer or banked on teammates to cover for him, the quicksilver Simpson would have scorched them untouched over the distance.The second instance of desperation and hunger came in the 65th minute when a loose ball fell close to the feet of two Toowoomba defenders. They hesitated for a fraction and Redcliffe backrower Danny Burke pounced, sliding in to win possession.It was no coincidence that two minutes later Redcliffe found itself in good enough field position for Roberts to add a field goal and move the margin to 13-6.Toowoomba needed to score twice in just over 10 minutes, but it never happened.Announced as the prestigious QANTAS Player of the Year at halftime, Roberts took full control of the game as it headed into the final stretch.First he hoisted a bomb for former Australian Rules player Emmett, who caught and passed for outside man Bromley to score, making it 17-6.Then, when Toowoomba had the faintest hint of a comeback through a storming effort by Chris Muckert, Roberts latched on to the bulky backrower and punched the ball free over the line.His try-saver demoralised the Clydesdales and they allowed two more tries before the game was brought to a halt.Emmett hauled in another cross-field kick and set up Bromley again in the 75th minute, while Mark Shipway crossed from an angled run in the 78th minute.Shipway, 30, finally found some recompense for the 1996 grand final, where he also scored a try, but was on a Redcliffe side which lost 8-6 to Toowoomba in perhaps the competition?s best-ever decider.After touring the globe with NRL and Super League teams, he had only this season returned to the Dolphins from English club Salford.There was also a nice symmetry for teammate Adam Starr, taking the final hit-up of the game as he reached retirement with a perfect four-from-four in grand finals for the Dolphins.REDCLIFFE 27 (Rory Bromley 2, Marty Turner, Ryan Cullen, Mark Shipway tries; Greg Bourke 3 goals; Michael Roberts field goal) d TOOWOOMBA 6 (Ben Vaeau try; Nick Parfitt goal) at Suncorp Stadium. Halftime: Redcliffe 12-6. Referee: Brett Suttor.BURLEIGH 28 d TWEED HEAD 6 (FOGS A GRADE)A HEATED affair between traditional rivals Burleigh and Tweed Heads has seen the 2006 FOGS Cup awarded to the Bears, 28-6 victors at Suncorp Stadium.With plenty of feeling existing between the two neighbouring clubs ? right through from older generations to the present day ? the match was always going to be keenly fought.So was the case on grand final day, where runaway minor premier Tweed faced off against a Burleigh side which had beaten them by two points a fortnight before.In a rugged opening half there were only three tries scored.Rain bucketed down for extended periods of time, hampering handling, yet also ensuring the physical nature of the contest came to the fore.Burleigh grabbed a handy advantage just 12 minutes into the game with two tries to winger Mark Commens.Commens collected the first from a Nash Core bomb, then scored his second with a direct passage down the sideline.As could be expected Tweed Heads fought back, with talented half Paul Rolls sliding across out wide.Having finished the regular season playing Wizard Cup, Rolls then slotted a pressure conversion from out wide to make it 12-6.That remained the score until halftime, with frustration levels rising on both sides, particularly for Tweed, who butchered several scoring chancesThe second half was a shock to all, as Burleigh ran away to score three tries to nil and avenge grand final defeats from both 2004 and 2005.In a satisfying finale for coach Grant Adamson, a member of the Burleigh 1999 Wizard Cup premiership side, the Bears touched down in the 45th, 58th and 65th minutes.Commens completed a treble with another four-pointer added to his swag, while Ryan Wilson and halfback Core posted the other tries.Tweed?s best opportunity to fight back again came via Rolls, who dropped a well-timed pass from Brett Woolley as he charged across the line.Amongst it all were several set-tos, with a late chargedown of a kick bringing all players together in a heated huddle. Nobody went over the top though and all players remained on the field as the game reached its finality.BURLIEGH 28 (Mark Commens 3, Nash Core, Ryan Wilson tries; Phil Ramage 4 goals) d TWEED HEADS 6 (Paul Rolls try; Paul Rolls goal) at Suncorp Stadium.Halftime: Burleigh 12-6Referee: Justin DavisNORTHS 28 d WYNNUM MANLY 22 (FOGS COLTS)EXPECTATIONS of a lopsided FOGS Colts Challenge grand final were blown out of the water as Wynnum Manly pushed heavy favourite Norths all the way in a gripping 28-22 result at Suncorp Stadium.Indeed, the rank outsider Seagulls led the match until 12 minutes from fulltime when Devils replacement Jason Poppi scored one of the all-time great individual grand final tries.With his side trailing 16-12 at that stage, Poppi swooped onto a pass from a falling teammate 45m out, ran a short blindside and chipped over the top in a 1m corridor.Evading the converging defenders and getting to the ball first, he kicked again off the ground, before regathering and sliding across in one swift movement.The crowd-pleasing effort saw the ledger at 16-all, with Norths then scoring two more quick tries to wrestle back the ascendancy in the final minutes.The most pivotal of those tries, eight minutes from the hooter, had Wynnum?s coaching staff up in arms, after there appeared to be a forward pass in the led-up.In good position, referee Brenden Wood ignored the calls from the crowd and advice from his touch judge, allowing play to flow until Israel Folau crossed in the opposite corner.Having never won a premiership in the elite Under 19s competition, Wynnum had one last chance at the game when Ben Cronin scored a try two minutes from time, converted from the sideline by Luke Menhinnitt.In a frantic closing, standout Seagulls centre Ryan Brown made a great break which potentially could have tied the game, only for halfback Matt Smith to lose the ball in support.It was a disappointing end to a golden run for the Baysiders, who rose from fifth place to challenge a team full of Melbourne Storm recruits.Playing their fourth do-or-die game in succession, the Seagulls led 12-6 at halftime courtesy of tries to wingers Chris McQueen and Luke Menhinnitt.Their tries came just three minutes apart after Norths had opened the scoring via half Luke Capewell.Capewell ended the game with three tries, playing a major hand in his team?s rise from the brink.NORTHS 28 (Luke Capewell 3, Jason Poppi, Israel Folau tries; Luke Samoa 4 goals) d WYNNUM MANLY 22 (Chris McQueen 2, Luke Menhinnitt, Ben Cronin tries; Luke Menhinnitt 3 goals) at Suncorp Stadium.Halftime: Wynnum Manly 12-6.Referee: Brenden Wood.

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