MATCH TWO WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS ? SERBIA 10 GEORGIA 45 ? Belgrade Saturday 13 May 2006 Georgian Rugby League has a new hero as Merab Kuirikashvili grabbed three tries and six goals for a 24 point haul in a hugely entertaining encounter in gloriously sunny Belgrade. The classy stand off was at the heart of his side?s best work in a match in which the visitor?s superior strength and pace was a decisive factor over a gusty Serbian outfit. The final score line did not reflect the amount of possession the Serbs enjoyed but highlighted the better strike power of the Georgian attack.The Georgians only failed to score in the opening set of the match when a poor final pass went to ground but that was only temporary respite as Kuirikashvili began his solo demolition with a try on the blind side from close in. He added the conversion and five minutes later extended the lead by a point with a field goal on a last tackle play.For the next 20 minutes the Georgians found themselves under pressure from the well marshalled hosts, with Jovan Vujosevic and Halifax?s Luka Simeunovic calling the shots, the latter popping up a superb pass for Tomic Nenad to crash on to and flatfoot the Georgian defence; Dalibor Vukanovic adding the conversion.That sparked a Georgian revival and almost immediately Kurikashvili again demonstrated his class by sidestepping over from 15 metres. Just before half-time, Georgia extended their lead when substitute George Nemsadze powered over from a superb pass by Kakhaber Kobakhidze.Serbia started the second half brightly but an excellent angled run from linking full back George Asatiani extended the visitors lead. More concerted home pressure failed to break the Georgian defensive cordon and on the hour they countered superbly when Pridon Udesiani was on the end of an overlap on the right. Two minutes later winger Lexo Gugava, picked up a loose Serbian pass and raced 70 metres to extend the lead; Kurikashvili potting the easy conversion. By now Georgia were in full flow and an overlap on the right allowed Gugava to pick up a simple second converted try.The Serbs finally gained due reward for their toiling efforts with the score of the game, ten pairs of hands keeping the ball alive in thrilling fashion for Zoran Pesic to claim the spoils. The final word was left to the star of the show as Kuirikashvili opened up the defence and swerved majestically around Vukanovic to claim his hat trick and his side?s eighth try. Watching RFL Performance Director, Graeme Thompson, commented, "I watched the corresponding fixture last year in Georgia and I am very impressed by the progress made by both nations.??They demonstrated that they are appreciating further technical and tactical aspects of the game and in time could challenge more mature nations.?The next match in the group sees Georgia host Holland in Tbilisi on Friday 26th May.GAME STAR ? Georgian play maker Merab Kuirikashvili showed that he could be a real force in the sport with a stunning hat trick.GAME BREAKER - George Asatiani?s touchdown in the 48th minute took the steam out of the Serb?s commendable fightSERBIA1. Dalibor Vukanovic2. Dimitris Daly3. Nenad Tomic4. Milan Dordevic5. Zoran Pesic6. Luka Simeunovic7. Mate Granvic8. Radoslav Novakovic9. Jovan Vujosevic10 Mario Milosavljevic11. Marko Jankovic12. David Milovanovic13. Marko ZebeljanSubs (all used)14. Valcic Radovan15. Milos Milinkovic16. Soni Radvanovic17. Darko NerandzicTries: Tomic (27), Pesic (71)Goal: VukanovicGEORGIA1. George Asatiani2. Lexo Gugava3. Manughar Namchevadze4. Alexandre Gilauri5. Zviadi Koberidze6. Merab Kuirikashvili7. George Sordia8. Tornike Ashvetia9. Beqa Kurashvili10. George Khositashvili11. Nikoloz Mkheidze12. Shalva Sutiashivili13. Kakhaber KobakhidzeSubs (all used)14. Pridon Udesiani15. Vakhtang Akhvlediani16. Roin Chikvaidze17. George NemsadzeTries: Kuirikashvili (2, 30, 78), Nemsadze (37), Asatiani (48), Udesiani (60), Gugava (62, 67)Goals: Kuirikashvili 6F/goal: KuirikashviliMen of the match: SERBIA - Luka Simeunovic GEORGIA - Merab KuirikashviliHalf time: 6-19Referee: Matthew Kidd (England)Source: www.rlef.eu.comMore International News: www.rlcup.com
NSW selectors named their team today for the first match of the 2006 Rugby League State of Origin series against Queensland at Telstra Stadium on May 24:Tigers fullback Brett Hodgson has played himself into the fullback?s role, with most of the rest of the backline as expected. The contentious five-eighth jumper has gone to Rooster?s pivot Braith Anasta, who will be joined in the halves with Craig Gower.Brent Kite has earned a recall, packing in with Willie Mason in the front row. The rest of the pack is made up with regulars, whilst Luke Lewis and Eric Grothe have been placed on standby for centres Matt Cooper and Mark Gasnier.The full squad is:Brett Hodgson, Matt King, Mark Gasnier, Matt Cooper, Timana Tahu, Braith Anasta, Craig Gower, Brent Kite, Danny Buderus (capt), Willie Mason, Nathan Hindmarsh, Steve Simpson, Luke O'Donnell.Interchange: Craig Wing, Steve Menzies, Mark O'Meley, Andrew RyanOn standby: Luke Lewis, Eric Grothe---The Queensland selectors have also named their finest 17 for the opening rugby league State of Origin match against NSW at Telstra Stadium on May 24.The side includes seven debutants.Cowboys fullback Matt Bowen has held the custodian?s role amid pressure from Karmichael Hunt. This sees Storm young gun Greg Inglis get his first cap on the wing with the rest of the back line picking itself.A young backrow of first-timers in David Stagg, Matthew Scott and Dallas Johnson each win spots with Sam Thaiday and Nate Myles also debuting.The full squad is:Matt Bowen, Greg Inglis, Justin Hodges, Brent Tate, Steven Bell, Darren Lockyer (capt), Johnathan Thurston, Steven Price, Cameron Smith, Petero Civoniceva, David Stagg, Matthew Scott, Dallas JohnsonInterchange: Shaun Berrigan, Carl Webb, Sam Thaiday, Nate Myles.
THE weekend kicked off with Country downing their City cousins by 12-10 in Dubbo. The representative fixture giving the NSW selectors some headaches in the lead up to next week?s State of Origin encounter.Saturday rugby league saw the St George Illawarra Dragons return to the winner?s circle with a 22-16 win over the New Zealand Warriors. The result see Saints on 10 competition points but just outside of the top eight while the Warriors are languishing in 14th position.Saturday night?s top of the table clash between the Melbourne Storm and the North Queensland Cowboys went the way of the Storm with the home side posting an 18-6 victory. Melbourne are now leading the comp on 16 points while the Cowboys maintain second spot on 14 points.Meanwhile, the Brisbane Broncos were doing their cause no harm in disposing of the Manly Sea Eagles by 32-10 at old Lang Park. The Broncos are in fourth position on 14 points while the Manly side are clinging onto the top eight with 10 points.Sunday football saw four matches with the Canterbury Bulldogs overcoming the Parramatta Eels by 22-18 at Telstra Stadium. The Bulldogs are looking good on 14 points and fifth spot, while the season of woe continues for the 13th-placed Eels who are battling on six competition points.Also on Sunday, the Newcastle Knights narrowly defeated reigning premiers Wests Tigers by 18-16 at Campbelltown. The Knights are enjoying third position on the ladder with 14 points while Wests Tigers are on 10 points and in 10th position.Meanwhile, the Canberra Raiders hosted the Cronulla Sharks as both sides put on a dozen tries, the Sharks ultimately winning 38-28. An early onslaught had the Sharks 24-6 in front at half time, too large a lead for the Raiders to reel in. The result puts the Sharks in the top eight on 12 points while the Raiders have 10 points and are on the outside, looking in.The weekend rounded up in Penrith with the Panthers holding out the last-placed South Sydney Rabbitohs to win 32-20. The result breaks a four-match losing streak for the Panthers, while the Bunnies slumped to their ninth loss of the season.All match results and details are listed below.LeagueUnlimited.com Player AwardsCowboys five-eighth Johnathan Thurston has been joined at the top of the LeagueUnlimited.com Player Awards by Storm hooker Cameron Smith. Both players lead the field on 16 points. Storm fullback Greg Inglis has moved into outright second place on 14 points. Meanwhile Sharks half Adam Dykes is not far away on 13 points. Last year?s award winner, half back Andrew Johns has slipped down the leader board but is still well in contention on 12 points.Not far away are Matt Orford (Sea Eagles) on 11 points with Matthew Bowen (Cowboys), Danny Buderus (Knights), Hazem El Masri (Bulldogs) and Karmichael Hunt (Broncos) all 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 10, 12 ? 14 May 2006MATCH RESULTS:City: 10Tries: David Simmons, Luke RooneyGoals: Brett Hodgson 1/2Country: 12Tries: Anthony Quinn, Anthony LaffranchiGoals: Craig Fitzgibbon 2/2Half time: Country 8-0Venue: Apex Oval, DubboCrowd: 11,423Referee: Tony ArcherSt George Illawarra Dragons: 22Tries: Trent Barrett, Clint Greenshields (2), Danny WicksGoals: Aaron Gorrell 3/5New Zealand Warriors: 16Tries: Simon Mannering, Steve Price, Brent WebbGoals: Tony Martin 2/4Half time: 12-allVenue: WIN StadiumCrowd: 10,117Referee: Gavin BadgerLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Clint Greenshields (Dragons)2 - Trent Barrett (Dragons)1 - Steve Price (Warriors)Brisbane Broncos: 32Tries: Justin Hodges, Karmichael Hunt (2), Darren Lockyer, Corey Parker, Brett SeymourGoals: Darren Lockyer 1/1, Corey Parker 3/5Manly Sea Eagles: 10Tries: Chris Hicks, Anthony WatmoughGoals: Matt Orford 1/2Half time: Broncos 14-6Venue: Suncorp StadiumCrowd: 24,991Referee: Jason RobinsonLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Karmichael Hunt (Broncos)2 - Justin Hodges (Broncos)1 - Darren Lockyer (Broncos)Melbourne Storm: 18Tries: David Kidwell, Matt King, Cameron SmithGoals: Cameron Smith 3/4North Queensland Cowboys: 6Tries: Brenton BowenGoals: Johnathan Thurston 1/1Half time: Storm 12-0Venue: Olympic Park, MelbourneCrowd: 10,830Referee: Steven ClarkLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Greg Inglis (Storm)2 - Cameron Smith (Storm)1 - Matt King (Storm)Canterbury Bulldogs: 22Tries: Hazem El Masri, Reni Maitua (2)Goals: Hazem El Masri 5/5Parramatta Eels: 18Tries: Nathan Cayless, Fuifui Moimoi, John MorrisGoals: Brett Delaney 3/3Half time: Bulldogs 18-6Venue: Telstra StadiumCrowd: 13,159Referee: Shayne HayneLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Reni Maitua (Bulldogs)2 - Hazem El Masri (Bulldogs)1 - Fuifui Moimoi (Eels)Wests Tigers: 16Tries: Shane Elford, Daniel Fitzhenry, Chris HeighingtonGoals: Brett Hodgson 2/3Newcastle Knights: 18Tries: David Seage, Steve Simpson, Brian CarneyGoals: Andrew Johns 3/4Half time: Knights 12-10Venue: Campbelltown Sports StadiumCrowd: 14,499Referee: Sean HampsteadLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Steve Simpson (Knights)2 - Craig Smith (Knights)1 - Benji Marshall (Tigers)Canberra Raiders: 28Tries: Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, David Howell, Adam Mogg, Clinton Schifcofske, Jason SmithGoals: Clinton Schifcofske 4/5Cronulla Sutherland Sharks: 38Tries: Phil Bailey, Paul Gallen, David Simmons(2), Nigel Vagana, Kevin Kingston, Cameron CiraldoGoals: Luke Covell 5/8Half time: Sharks 24-6Venue: Canberra StadiumCrowd: 9,695Referee: Ben CumminsLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Paul Gallen (Sharks)2 - Brett Kearney (Sharks)1 - David Simmons (Sharks)Penrith Panthers: 32Tries: Luke Lewis, Shane Rodney, Luke Rooney (2), Trent Waterhouse, Rhys WesserGoals: Preston Campbell 4/6South Sydney Rabbitohs: 20Tries: David Fa'alogo, John Sutton, Ben Walker, Nathan MerrittGoals: Nathan Merritt 2/4Half time: Panthers 18-4Venue: CUA Stadium, PenrithCrowd: 10,911Referee: Jarred MaxwellLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Preston Campbell (Panthers)2 - Luke Rooney (Panthers)1 - Trent Waterhouse (Panthers)Sydney Roosters - ByeFULL DRAW, RESULTS & LINKS TO LIVE SCORES ? CLICK HERENext weekend?s matches:Round 11, 19-21 May 2006Fri 7:30 PANTHERS v EELS - CUA Stadium Sat 5:30 (AEST) 7:30 (NZST) WARRIORS v TIGERS - Ericsson StadiumSat 7:30 SEA EAGLES v STORM - Brookvale Oval Sat 7:30 KNIGHTS v RAIDERS - EnergyAustralia StadiumSun 2:30 BULLDOGS v SHARKS - Telstra StadiumSun 3:00 ROOSTERS v RABBITOHS - Aussie StadiumBRONCOS v BYE DRAGONS v BYE COWBOYS v BYENEW SOUTH WALES v QUEENSLAND - State of Origin I - 24 May 2006 Wed 8:00 BLUES v MAROONS - Telstra StadiumFOR 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)14 pointsGreg Inglis (Storm)13 pointsAdam Dykes (Sharks)12 pointsAndrew Johns (Knights)11 pointsMatt Orford (Sea Eagles)10 pointsMatthew Bowen (Cowboys), Danny Buderus (Knights), Hazem El Masri (Bulldogs), 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 pointsCraig 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)4 pointsCooper Cronk (Storm), Aaron Gorrell (Dragons), Brett Hodgson (Tigers), Mark O?Meley (Bulldogs), Steve Simpson (Knights), Jamie Soward (Roosters), Rhys Wesser (Panthers), Paul Whatuira (Tigers)3 pointsTrent Barrett (Dragons), Luke Covell (Sharks), Michael Crocker (Storm), Brett Finch (Roosters), Craig Fitzgibbon (Roosters), Clint Greenshields (Dragons), Adam MacDougall (Rabbitohs), Reni Maitua (Bulldogs), Scott Prince (Tigers), Milton Thaiday (Knights), Lance Thompson (Sharks), Tame Tupou (Broncos), Lincoln Withers (Raiders),2 pointsLuke Bailey (Dragons), Brenton Bowen (Cowboys), George Carmont (Knights), Brian Carney (Knights), Peter Cusack (Rabbitohs), Daniel Fitzhenry (Tigers), Awen Guttenbeil (Warriors), Ashley Harrison (Roosters), Brett Kearney (Sharks), Tom Learoyd-Lahrs (Raiders), Josh Perry (Knights), Wade McKinnon (Eels), Anthony Minichiello (Roosters), Mark O'Meley (Bulldogs), Aaron Payne (Cowboys), Todd Polglase (Rabbitohs), Luke Priddis (Panthers), Luke Rooney (Panthers), John Skandalis (Tigers), David Simmons (Sharks), Matt Sing (Cowboys), Craig Smith (Knights), Steven Southern (Cowboys), John Sutton (Rabbitohs), Brad Thorn (Broncos), Clinton Toopi (Warriors), Trent Waterhouse (Panthers), Dean Young (Dragons)1 pointDarren Albert (Sharks), Paul Bowman (Cowboys), Nathan Cayless (Eels), Matt Cooper (Dragons), Michael Ennis (Broncos), Kurt Gidley (Knights), Matthew Gidley (Knights), Tony Grimaldi (Bulldogs), Lee Hookey (Panthers), Matt King (Storm), Wairangi Koopu (Warriors), Luke MacDougall (Rabbitohs), Benji Marshall (Tigers), Tony Martin (Warriors), 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), Anthony Tupou (Roosters), Simon Woolford (Raiders), Craig Wing (Roosters), William Zillman (Raiders)