If A Man's World Suddenly Got Another X

FOR my whole life I have grown up with the misconception that rugby league was a man?s sport. It was created by men, loved by men and most importantly played by men. My father, his father, uncles, cousins and my brother played it and one of my earliest memories is sitting sideline at a local rugby league game, stuffing my face with a meat pie and hearing the whistle holler. So much so even today when I hear a whistle go I?m transported back to those rainy filled Saturday mornings where masking tape and deep heat reigned supreme.

Dear Diary

MONDAY 8:10am. Ouch. Did yesterday really happen? A hammering ? both on and off the fields. Sh*t, we suck. After 20 years of never missing a game, I promise never to watch another St George game. As for going to the club afterwards and dancing to DJ Otzi, that was just letting off steam. That?s it for me. NO MORE FOOTY. Time for the Mercury to arrive at the newsagent. Not even those hacks can put a positive spin on yesterday?s performance.

Driven to Succeed

AS the wheels fall off the Parramatta Eels? 2006 campaign, there?s one man out with his jack and wrench wholeheartedly refusing to just throw in the towel and give up on the club he loves so dearly. ?Let?s get this show back on the road,? he yells out to the team before signing yet another autograph for an adoring fan.


FROM round one this season, it was clear Parramatta were going to struggle. Not because of any off field dramas, but because they had prepared the entire pre season with an attacking style that wouldn?t be successful this year, and hadn?t learned to defend against the style the successful sides of 2006 are using.

Out Of The Kitchen And Onto The Field

RUGBY league is a tough and brutal game, it can even at times be considered a cruel game, yet there is no justifiable reason to describe it as a manly game. The sport of Rugby League has traditionally been portrayed in the media as a hard mans sport, typically a good way for average aussie blokes to bond over a few beers. Yet as my new-age male mind mellows over a steamy hot latte I cannot help but conclude there is just no reason for this situation. Throughout the last fifty years society has evolved significantly in regards to gender relations. Women are now seen to be active participants in a variety of industries and social avenues that until recently had been widely regarded as male domains. Perhaps it is time for Rugby League and all professional sport for that matter to consider becoming the next step in the recently paved road to equality. Such a move would benefit both women and the sport of rugby league, this article shall explain why.

Origin news ? Buderus

NEW South Wales will be hoping for good news on skipper Danny Buderus' back injury today after the hooker failed to finish training yesterday. Blues coach Graham Murray is hopeful his first-choice dummy-half will be fit for the Telstra Stadium showdown with Queensland, but will call on Penrith rake Luke Priddis to fill the void should Buderus be ruled out.

Monday?s Expert League Wrap - Round 11, 2006

ROUND 11 gave us a shortened weekend of rugby league football with three teams having the bye. Friday night kicked off with the Panthers proving to good in downing the Parramatta Eels 30-20 in Penrith.Saturday afternoon took us to Auckland to see the Warriors kick clear of cellar with an upset 34-12 win over Wests Tigers. Saturday night in Brookvale saw the Manly Sea Eagles overcome competition frontrunners Melbourne Storm, also by 34-12. Meanwhile, a rainy Newcastle played host as the Knights downed the Canberra Raiders by 22-12.Sunday football delivered two matches with the Canterbury Bulldogs defeating the Cronulla Sharks 32-24 at Telstra Stadium. Meanwhile, the Sydney Roosters narrowly defeated the South Sydney Rabbitiohs 28-26 at Aussie Stadim.After 11 rounds of football, last year's wooden spooners, the Newcastle Knights are top of the ladder with 16 points. But they share top spot with four other teams: the Storm, the North Queensland Cowboys, the Brisbane Broncos and the Bulldogs, also on 16 points.Then there's a break of four competition points, and the log jam continues with no less than five teams on 12 points.All match results and details are listed below.LeagueUnlimited.com Player AwardsThe LeagueUnlimited.com Player Awards? leader board is getting tight with Cowboys five-eighth Johnathan Thurston and Storm hooker Cameron Smith sharing top spot on 16 points. But Knights half back Andrew Johns has made a charge and is now just one point adrift on 15 points. Meanwhile Sea Eagles half back Matt Orford has made his impression on the leader board and joins Storm full back Greg Inglis on 14 points.Not far away are Adam Dykes (Sharks) on 13 points and Hazem El Masri (Bulldogs) on 12 points. Matthew Bowen (Cowboys), Danny Buderus (Knights) and Karmichael Hunt (Broncos) are all well in contention on 10 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 us.League Wrap: Round 11, 19 ? 21 May 2006MATCH RESULTS:Penrith Panthers: 30Tries: Luke Priddis(2), Michael Gordon, Rhys Wesser, Matthew CrossGoals: Preston Campbell 5/6Parramatta Eels: 20Tries: John Williams, Fuifui Moimoi, Glenn Morrison, Daniel WagonGoals: Brett Delaney 2/4Half time: Panthers 22-16Venue: CUA Stadium, PenrithCrowd: 16,764Referee: Steven ClarkLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Luke Lewis (Panthers)2 - Luke Priddis (Panthers)1 - Rhys Wesser (Panthers)New Zealand Warriors: 34Tries: Louis Anderson, Sione Faumuina, Grant Rovelli, Simon Mannering, Evarn Tuimavave, Brent WebbGoals: Tony Martin 5/6Wests Tigers: 12Tries: Taniela Tuiaki(2)Goals: Benji Marshall 2/2Half time: Warriors 22-6Venue: Ericsson StadiumCrowd: 8,210Referee: Jarred MaxwellLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Brent Webb (Warriors)2 - Evarn Tuimavave (Warriors)1 - Tony Martin (Warriors)Manly Sea Eagles: 34Tries: Mark Bryant, Chris Hicks(2), Paul Stephenson, Glenn Stewart, Steve MataiGoals: Matt Orford 5/6Melbourne Storm: 12Tries: Matt Geyer, Steve TurnerGoals: Matt Geyer 2/2Half time: Sea Eagles 16-0Venue: Brookvale OvalCrowd: 9,338Referee: Gavin BadgerLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Matt Orford (Sea Eagles)2 - Cooper Cronk (Storm)1 - Shayne Dunley (Sea Eagles)Newcastle Knights: 22Tries: Brad Tighe, Brian Carney(3)Goals: Andrew Johns 3/4Canberra Raiders: 12Tries: Phillip Graham, Michael HodgsonGoals: Clinton Schifcofske 2/2Half time: Knights 12-6Venue: EnergyAustralia StadiumCrowd: 18,236Referee: Jason RobinsonLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Andrew Johns (Knights)2 - Brian Carney (Knights)1 - Phillip Graham (Raiders)Canterbury Bulldogs: 32Tries: Hazem El Masri, Willie Tonga, Matthew Utai(2), Daniel HoldsworthGoals: Hazem El Masri 6/8Cronulla Sutherland Sharks: 24Tries: Phil Bailey, Greg Bird, Luke Covell, Matt Hilder, David SimmonsGoals: Luke Covell 2/5Half time: Bulldogs 14-6Venue: Telstra StadiumCrowd: TBAReferee: Tony ArcherLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Matthew Utai (Bulldogs)2 - Hazem El Masri (Bulldogs)1 - Brett Kimmorley (Sharks)Sydney Roosters: 28Tries: Amos Roberts, Iosia Soliola, John Doyle, David Shillington, Vince MellarsGoals: Craig Fitzgibbon 4/5South Sydney Rabbitohs: 26Tries: David Fa'alogo, Adam MacDougall, Joe Williams, Nathan Merritt, Ben RogersGoals: Joe Williams 3/5Half time: Roosters 12-10Venue: Aussie StadiumCrowd: 13,221Referee: Shayne HayneLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Anthony Tupou (Roosters)2 - Iosia Soliola (Roosters)1 - Adam MacDougall (Rabbitohs)Brisbane Broncos ? ByeNorth Queensland Cowboys ? ByeSt George Illawarra Dragons - ByeFULL DRAW, RESULTS & LINKS TO LIVE SCORES ? CLICK HEREUpcoming matches:NEW SOUTH WALES v QUEENSLAND - State of Origin I - 24 May 2006Wed 8:00 BLUES MAROONS - Telstra StadiumRound 12, 26-28 May 2006Fri 7:30 KNIGHTS v DRAGONS - EnergyAustralia StadiumSat 5:30 COWBOYS v RAIDERS - Dairy Farmers StadiumSat 7:30 BRONCOS v BULLDOGS - Suncorp StadiumSat 7:30 SHARKS v WARRIORS - Toyota ParkSun 2:30 STORM v PANTHERS - Olympic ParkSun 3:00 EELS v ROOSTERS - Parramatta StadiumSun 3:00 RABBITOHS v TIGERS - Telstra Stadium SEA EAGLES - BYE FOR LATEST CENTREBET ODDSCLICK HERELEAGUEUNLIMITED.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.16 pointsCameron Smith (Storm), Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys)15 pointsAndrew Johns (Knights)14 pointsGreg Inglis (Storm), Matt Orford (Sea Eagles)13 pointsAdam Dykes (Sharks)12 pointsHazem El Masri (Bulldogs)10 pointsMatthew Bowen (Cowboys), Danny Buderus (Knights), Karmichael Hunt (Broncos)9 pointsBen Kennedy (Sea Eagles), Willie Mason (Bulldogs)8 pointsMark Gasnier (Dragons), Darren Lockyer (Broncos), Clinton Schifcofske (Raiders)7 pointsSteve Bell (Sea Eagles), Preston Campbell (Panthers)6 pointsCooper Cronk (Storm), Craig Gower (Panthers), Mathew Head (Dragons), Nathan Hindmarsh (Eels), Corey Parker (Broncos), Ruben Wiki (Warriors)5 pointsRoy Asotasi (Bulldogs), Petero Civoniceva (Broncos), Robert Farah (Tigers), Nathan Fien (Warriors), Paul Gallen (Sharks), Justin Hodges (Broncos), Steve Menzies (Sea Eagles), Luke O'Donnell (Cowboys), Steve Price (Warriors), Amos Roberts (Roosters), Jason Smith (Raiders), Alan Tongue (Raiders), Rhys Wesser (Panthers)4 pointsBrian Carney (Knights), Aaron Gorrell (Dragons), Brett Hodgson (Tigers), Adam MacDougall (Rabbitohs), Mark O?Meley (Bulldogs), Luke Priddis (Panthers), Steve Simpson (Knights), Jamie Soward (Roosters), Anthony Tupou (Roosters), Paul Whatuira (Tigers)3 pointsTrent Barrett (Dragons), Luke Covell (Sharks), Michael Crocker (Storm), Brett Finch (Roosters), Craig Fitzgibbon (Roosters), Clint Greenshields (Dragons), Reni Maitua (Bulldogs), Scott Prince (Tigers), Milton Thaiday (Knights), Lance Thompson (Sharks), Tame Tupou (Broncos), Matthew Utai (Bulldogs), Brent Webb (Warriors), Lincoln Withers (Raiders)2 pointsLuke Bailey (Dragons), Brenton Bowen (Cowboys), George Carmont (Knights), Peter Cusack (Rabbitohs), Daniel Fitzhenry (Tigers), Awen Guttenbeil (Warriors), Ashley Harrison (Roosters), Brett Kearney (Sharks), Tom Learoyd-Lahrs (Raiders), Luke Lewis (Panthers), Tony Martin (Warriors), Wade McKinnon (Eels), Anthony Minichiello (Roosters), Mark O'Meley (Bulldogs), Aaron Payne (Cowboys), Josh Perry (Knights), Todd Polglase (Rabbitohs), Luke Rooney (Panthers), John Skandalis (Tigers), David Simmons (Sharks), Matt Sing (Cowboys), Craig Smith (Knights), Iosia Soliola (Roosters), Steven Southern (Cowboys), John Sutton (Rabbitohs), Brad Thorn (Broncos), Clinton Toopi (Warriors), Evarn Tuimavave (Warriors), Trent Waterhouse (Panthers), Dean Young (Dragons)1 pointDarren Albert (Sharks), Paul Bowman (Cowboys), Nathan Cayless (Eels), Matt Cooper (Dragons), Shayne Dunley (Sea Eagles), Michael Ennis (Broncos), Kurt Gidley (Knights), Matthew Gidley (Knights), Phillip Graham (Raiders), Tony Grimaldi (Bulldogs), Lee Hookey (Panthers), Brett Kimmorley (Sharks), Matt King (Storm), Wairangi Koopu (Warriors), Luke MacDougall (Rabbitohs), Benji Marshall (Tigers), Fuifui Moimoi (Eels), Luke Patten (Bulldogs), Shane Rodney (Panthers), Brent Sherwin (Bulldogs), Billy Slater (Storm), Tim Smith (Eels), Brett Stewart (Sea Eagles), Shane Tronc (Cowboys), Simon Woolford (Raiders), Craig Wing (Roosters), William Zillman (Raiders)

Top Eight Battle Heats Up

THE semi final race continues to heat up in NSW Premier League, with 11 teams still in contention.After falling into a patch of bad form, North Sydney have managed to stay in touch with the top eight after recording a 14 all draw with arch-rivals Manly on Saturday, while the Raiders toppled the Knights to stay well entrenched in the top eight.After dropping to a couple of losses, Balmain have bounced back in recent weeks, flogging Norths and then venture buddy the Magpies, 50-12 at Campbelltown on the weekend. The Tigers now sit comfortably within the eight on 14 points.So, after 11 rounds of the competition, who?s hot and who?s not? Here?s my round 11 rankings.1. Newtown Jets ? The Jets haven?t lost a game since their round 5 thumping at the hands of the Sharks. Impressive against quality opposition on the weekend in Souths, the Jets are building their season nicely.2. St Mary?s Penrith Cougars ? The Cougars bounced back well after their disappointing performance against the Bunnies in round 10, knocking over the top of the table Eels 25-18.3. Parramatta Eels ? Losses to the Eagles in round 8 and the Cougars in round 11 have proven the Eels are not unbeatable. With coach Jason Taylor moving up to coach the NRL, the distraction at the club may prove to be too much.4. Canberra Raiders ? The ever consistent Raiders are always hard to go past. Never far behind in a loss and always in control when they?re winning, the 2003 Premiers may prove to be the dark horse of this seasons competition. 5. Cronulla Sharks ? On their day they can beat anyone, but inconsistency has become a problem in recent weeks. The Sharks murdered the Dragons three weeks ago, but then followed up this strong performance by getting smashed by the Raiders the week after. A narrow win over the Bulldogs on the weekend gives the Sharks an opportunity to string some wins together.6. Balmain Ryde Eastwood Tigers ? The Tigers started the season in astonishing fashion, winning their first four matches. The purple patch finished in sensational style, when the Tigers dropped their next four matches. Bouncing back against the Bears in round 10, the Tigers seem to be back on track.7. Manly Warringah Sea Eagles ? One of only two teams to knock over Parramatta this season, the Eagles have found stringing consistent performances together to be tough going. With a couple of NRL players out with Origin duty over the next couple of months, the Premier League boys may struggle.8. St George-Illawarra Dragons ? Two losses and a bye in the last three weeks has the Dragons looking shaky. Need to bounce back against the Knights in Newcastle this weekend.9. South Sydney Rabbitohs ? Unable to kick on after three straight wins, which included a thrashing of the highly fancied Cougars. The Rabbits clash against the Tigers this weekend should be useful for the form guide.10. Newcastle Knights ? Still capable of making the top eight. The Knights need to win this weekend against the Dragons. Were competitive against the Raiders in a tight match.11. North Sydney Bears ? If anyone can work out the form of the Mighty Bears, come and see me. Thrashed in consecutive weeks by the Knights and Tigers, the Bears lifted against Manly this weekend for a draw. Started the season with real promise, with a top performance against the Sharks, the Bears have faltered ever since. Periodic inclusion of some Storm players may be proving to be too disruptive to the squad.12. Canterbury Bulldogs ? The Bulldogs are the biggest underachievers of this seasons competition. Possessing a quality squad, the Bulldogs should be challenging for top spot. Are in danger of losing touch with the eight.13. Western Suburbs Magpies ? One win from 11 rounds says enough. The battlers from the West could never be accused of not trying, but good results have been hard to come by. A tough year for Magpies fans.

Powergen Challenge Cup Rd 5 review

THE fifth round of the Powergen Challenge Cup got underway on Friday night when Leeds Rhinos easily overcame Rochdale Hornets with a 12-try romp at Headingley Carnegie Stadium. Scott Donald scored a hat-trick for his new club. The match also saw the welcome return of the home team?s skipper Kevin Sinfield.

QLD Cup results and match reports round 10

FORMER North Queensland player Rory Bromley has scored with 20 seconds remaining for Redcliffe to beat the Young Guns 16-14 in the top-of-the-table clash.

Results QRL FOG Round 10

QUEENSLAND RUGBY LEAGUEFOG CUP ROUND 10 RESULTS - A GRADESaturday 20th MayTWEED HEADS 30 (Brett Woolley 2, Ryan O?Connell, Andre Amato, Nathan Small try; Paul Rolls 5) d BURLEIGH 14 (Hayden Allsop 2, Phil Ramage tries; Phil Ramage goal) at Pizzey Park.IPSWICH 44 (Ricky Dodd 4, Allan Petersen, John Dean, Todd Riggs, Cody Fullarton tries; Steven West 6) d WESTERN DISTRICTS 24 (Ben Demmel 3, Darcy Sumner tries; Brad McKee 4 goals) at QLD Group Stadium.Sunday 21st MayASPLEY 34 (Nass Teddy, Jorgie Skeen, Pat Dall, Robert Fisher, Vaughan Eriksen, Lachlan Morgan tries; Pat Dall 5 goals) d NORTHS 16 (Nathan Daley, Phil Wuersching, Andrew Anderson tries; Phil Wuersching 2 goals) at Bishop Park.SUNSHINE COAST 28 (Jason Wardrop 2, Clint Broomham, Jay Tedge, Kris Boyce tries; Kris Boyce 4 goals) d REDCLIFFE 26 (Adam Fletcher 2, Dominic Fallini, Luke Boldery, Adam Lutchetti, Chris Giumelli tries; Adam Lutchetti goal) at Dolphin Oval.SOUTHS LOGAN 34 (John Andrews 2, Josh Henaway 2, Mehau Phillip, Christian Thompson, Grant Lewis tries; John Andrews 2, Ron Troutman goals) d WYNNUM MANLY 32(Chris Rafter 3, Chris Currie, Chris Young, Bart Masters tries; Bart Masters 4 goals)at BMD Kougari Oval.BYE: Easts TigersQUEENSLAND RUGBY LEAGUEROUND 10 RESULTS - COLTS GRADESaturday 20th MayTWEED HEADS 26 (Zane McCarthy 2, Denis Gordon, William Matthews, Matt Lindsay tries; Trent Iselin 3 goals) d BURLEIGH 10 (Casey Lyons, Dominick Devitt tries; Marty Paulson goal) at Pizzey Park.WESTERN DISTRICTS 28 (Adam Breen 2, Ryan Corrie, Kristian Freed, Curtis Purssell tries; Michael Walker 4 goals) d IPSWICH 24 (Dean Bannermann, Matt McGready, Brenden Mazzer, Kailyb Gray tries; Tim McIlwain 4 goals) at QLD Group Stadium.Sunday 21st MayASPLEY 39 (Matthew Baird 2, Chris Minehan, Chris Bella, Alex Tallon, Troyden Edwards, Stephen Johnston tries; Jacob Fauid 5 goals; Jacob Fauid field goal) d NORTHS 22 (Sam McPhail, Blayne Harling, Luke Capewell, Dean Franckom, Steve Beaumont tries; Kieran Turner goal) at Bishop Park.REDCLIFFE 25 (Phil Daisy, Michael Wilson, Andrew Rickertt, Tim Yee, Matt Gillett tries; Tim Benson 2 goals; Tim Benson field goal) d SUNSHINE COAST 24 (Ben Whiddon, Russell Roche, Ben Harney, Luke Williamson, Darren Peck tries; Ben Whiddon 2 goals) at Dolphin Oval.WYNNUM MANLY 30 (Brendon O?Neill, Michael Chaplain, Bruce Kolio, Shaun Cotter, Aaron Brown tries; Luke Menhinnitt 5 goals) d SOUTHS LOGAN 26 (Craig Brown 3, Louis Makuare, Chris Sandow tries; Chris Sandow 3 goals) at BMD Kougari Oval.BYE: Easts TigersNEXT ROUND?S GAMES ? ROUND 11QRL FOGS: CUP - CHALLENGESATURDAY 27TH MAYIpswich Jets v Easts Tigers QLD Group Stadium 12.15pm - 10.45amSouths Logan Magpies v Aspley Devils Brandon Park 1.15pm - 11.45pmSunshine Coast Falcons v Wynnum Manly Seagulls Quad Park - 5.30pmWestern Districts Panthers V Norths DevilsQuad Park Kev McKell Oval 1.15pm - 4.00pmSUNDAY 28th MAY Tweed Heads Seagulls v Redcliffe Dolphins Piggabeen Complex 1.15pm - 11.45amBurleigh Bears v Bye# Rescheduled matchSATURDAY 24th JUNE# Sunshine Coast Falcons v Wynnum Manly Seagulls Quad Park 3.00pm

Eels Slipping at the Top

BOLSTERED by the inclusion of NRL stars, Mark Riddell and Tim Smith, Parramatta were at short odds of continuing their domination of the NSW Premier League against the Cougars on Friday night. However, the Cougars had other ideas and were desperate to impress in front of their home crowd.Led by strong performances from Craig Trindall and Liam Georgetown, the Cougars were well placed at half time, leading 18-0.In the second half the top of the table Eels managed to outscore the Cougars 18-7, but the Cougars held on for a well deserved 25-18 win, bagging two valuable competition points in the process.The loss was the second of the season for Parramatta. The Eels now sit just two points ahead of the Cougars on the Premier League ladder, with the Jets and Dragons a further point behind on 15.

Preview: Widnes v Les Catalans (C. Cup R5)

WIDNES must avoid losing to French opposition for a second successive year if they are to reach the last eight of the Powergen Challenge Cup.

Preview: Huddersfiled v York (C. Cup R5)

THE Giants take a break from Super League this coming Sunday with Round 5 of the Powergen Challenge Cup, National League side York City Knights being the visitors to the Galpharm for the game which kicks off at 3.00pm.

Preview: Hull KR v Featherstone Rovers (C. Cup R5)

IT was good news and bad news week this week for Hull KR head coach Justin Morgan.

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