STATE of Origin hero Justin Hodges is in serious doubt for Brisbane's NRL showdown with St George Illawarra at Suncorp Stadium tomorrow night.
HUDDERSFIELD Giants have signed Wests Tigers prop forward John Skandalis on a two year contract. The 29 year old, who is 190cm and 107kgs, will join the Giants for the start of Super League XII. Skandalis, who has made over 200 NRL appearances, played for Wests in the 2005 NRL Grand Final and this season made his third appearance for the City Origin side in the recent City v Country Origin game.
THE NRL has announced that the St.George Bank Dragons will play the South Sydney Rabbitohs at OKI Jubilee Stadium on Sunday, 9 July. Kick-off has been scheduled for 3:00pm.
WARRINGTON have confirmed the signing of Great Britain forward Adrian Morley on a four-year contract.
TIGERS mount stirring fightback
REDS run riot
WILD snatches win
QUINS squeeze past Warrington
STATE of Origin II
Queensland 30 v New South Wales 6
at Suncorp Stadium
Referees: Steve Clark
STATE of Origin II Queensland 30 v New South Wales 6at Suncorp StadiumReferees: Steve ClarkCrowd: 52,468Match Summary:Superb Maroon defence has seen Queensland completely outplay New South Wales in Game II of the 2006 State of Origin, taking the match 30-6.A Willie Mason knock-on in the first set of six set the pattern for the game as the Blues never recovered, being hammered from pillar to post in every Queensland tackle. The first try came from a crafty set play at the scrum base, Flannery peeling off at lock, passing back inside to Webb who strolled over untouched after breaking from the scrum himself. A great length of the field intercept try from Justin Hodges 12 minutes later saw the Maroons take a 14-0 lead into halftime.Unlike Queensland in Game I, there would be no comeback for the Blues as further tries to Berrigan and a double from debutant Adam Mogg saw them race away to a match-winning 30 point lead. New South Wales crossed late in the match through Tahu, but by then the game was well and truly lost, and minds were no doubt already focusing on Game III in three weeks time.Five eighth Darren Lockyer and halfback Johnathan Thurston had a field day, their running, kicking and passing games forcing the Blues backwards all night. New South Wales may be looking at some new faces in their squad for Game III, however they only played as well as Queensland would allow, so changes may only be forced through injury. Speaking of injuries, Queensland's Steve Bell went off the field after a headclash with Steve Menzies, whilst for the Blues Eric Grothe has apparently come away with a corked thigh. Both players are in doubt for their respective clubs this weekend. Scorers:Queensland: 30Tries: Shaun Berrigan, Carl Webb, Justin Hodges, Adam Mogg(2)Goals: Jonathon Thurston 5/6New South Wales: 6Tries: Timana TahuGoals: Brett Hodgson 1/1By the Clock:Game II - State of Origin 2006 is ready and waiting for Queensland to square the series, or for New South Wales to take their fourth consecutive interstate title. The weather is cool and clear, it's time to get this show on the road.The teams are out on the field, the anthem has been delivered, it's showtime!1 min: NEWS Darren Lockyer kicks off and we're underway in Game II 20062 min: NEWS Mason makes the first mistake of the match and Queensland go straight on the attack3 min: NEWS Hodges offloads with 6 defenders hanging off him, fortunately for the Blues the ball trickles into touch6 min: PENALTY GOAL QueenslandThurston converts a penalty after Kite is penalised for holding down in the play the ball QLD 2-012 min: NEWS Queensland are dominating field position in the early exchanges17 min: NEWS Luke Bailey makes his way onto the field for the first time tonight, as does Flannery for the Maroons18 min: NEWS The Blues handling is leaving alot to be desired as Buderus drops the ball cold after being tackled by Lockyer.20 min: TRY QueenslandCarl Webb strolls over one pass from the scrum, giving the Maroons the reward that their defence demanded. Thurston converts from in front of the posts QLD 8-023 min: NEWS O'Meley knocks on after a Civoniceva shoulder barge. QLD are back on the attack28 min: NEWS The Blues get a relieving penalty on their own line as Queensland's defence continues to force them backwards32 min: TRY QueenslandHodges races the length of the field to score after a Blues pass hits him on the chest. Thurston converts QLD 14-037 min: NEWS Tate is held up over the try line as the Maroons look to put this game out of reach before halftimeHALFTIME - Queensland leave the field to a standing ovation, almost erasing memories of their first half display in Game I. The Blues on the other hand have looked out of sorts since Mason knocked on from the opening set of six. Their game needs to lift in all facets if they are to have any chance of taking the series tonight.41 min: NEWS Hodgson kicks off and here we go for the second half42 min: NEWS After a great hit by Sam Thaiday, a Finch pass hits Mason in the face giving the Maroons a dream start to the second half44 min: NEWS Justin Hodges goes down injured after a hard Mark O'Meley tackle, he rises to his feet and looks able to play on.46 min: TRY QueenslandA horror pass from Anasta to Gasnier brings about a dropped ball. Thurston toes ahead, regathers, then passes spectacularly to Mogg who easily scores his first Origin try on debut. Thurston converts. QLD 20-047 min: NEWS An easily dropped ball by Smith gives the Blues a chance to get back into the match, but they squander yet another chance with good field position52 min: NEWS More of the same from the Blues, as Finch drops a more than catchable pass53 min: NEWS Jacob Lillyman is on the field for his debut Origin experience, not a bad time to do it with his team leading by 20 points55 min: NEWS Gasnier is given a chat by Steve Clark after blowing up following another NSW dropped ball. Queensland are on the attack now, but lose the ball after a bad pass from Lockyer58 min: NEWS NSW squander their best chance of the match after a great burst by King down the right flank. The ball goes through the hands to Menzies who looks to draw and pass only to lose it forward, relieving all pressure off the Maroons61 min: NEWS 20 minutes to go and it looks certain we are heading to Telstra Dome for a Game 3 decider. NSW need an act of God, actually make that 5 or 6 acts of God to snare the series from here64 min: TRY QueenslandMogg scores his second try, diving into the corner after King rushes up out of the line to stop the Maroon attack. Video ref says TRY and Game II belongs to Queensland. Thurston misses the conversion from the sideline QLD 24-067 min: TRY QueenslandLockyer makes a great break down the middle of the park, draws Hodgson to put Berrigan away under the sticks. Thurston converts easily from in front QLD 30-075 min: NEWS 5 minutes remaining and the match is going through the motions at the moment. NSW seem to want to get off the field as quickly as possible while Queensland look like they could play on all night77 min: TRY New South WalesGreat hands by the Blues sees Timana Tahu score nothing more than a consolation try, whilst leaving NSW fans wondering where those skills were in the previous 70-odd minutes. Hodgson converts QLD 30-6FULLTIME - Queensland have completely dominated from go to woah, squaring the series and taking all momentum into Game III. New South Wales could possibly be looking at changes to their squad after they appeared to be outplayed from jersey 1 to jersey 17.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Jonathon Thurston (Maroons)2 - Darren Lockyer (Maroons)1 - Adam Mogg (Maroons)-----------------------------------------
SO the Roosters told Ryan Cross to get stuffed?good on ?em I say!
SOUTH Sydney has boosted its forward pack for next year by announcing the signing of New Zealand international David Kidwell to a three-year deal.
THE Newtown Jets gained two valuable VB Premier League competition points when they defeated the strong Cronulla-Sutherland team 28-10 at Henson Park on Saturday. Given the extent of selection disruption in the preceding days to the Roosters NRL squad and consequently to the Jets Premier League line-up, it was expected that the youthful Newtown side would struggle to contain the more experienced Sharks.With Henson Park?s floodlights blazing from virtually the opening minutes of play, the young Jets dug deep to turn in one of their most disciplined and controlled team displays of the season, underpinned by an outstanding defensive effort right across the Newtown team-sheet. The Jets grabbed an early 6-0 lead and withstood a period of extended pressure from the Sharks, during which Newtown winger Aaron Lai cleverly defused two dangerous cross-field kicks. Newtown led 12-6 at the break following what had been a good exhibition of wet weather football from both sides.The Jets took control of the match with two converted tries in the first fifteen minutes of the second half, although Cronulla stayed in the contest with their second converted try twelve minutes out from full-time. Newtown?s halfback Jeremy Gordon, promoted from the Roosters Jersey Flegg team late in the week, capped a superb VB Premier League debut when he ?ghosted? through the Sharks defenders for the match-sealing try three minutes from the final siren.Gordon was deservedly voted Newtown?s man of the match and he played with all the poise and execution of a much more experienced player. His kicking in general play put great pressure on the Sharks, his defence was flawless and his goal kicking maintained the high standards seen in this department at Henson Park this season.On a day when every player contributed to the team?s defensive effort, lock Grant Millington was the best forward and he received strong support from front-rower Danny Williams and second-rowers Adam Schubert and Mark Edmondson. Hooker Luke Gordon once again made a lot of valuable ground from dummy-half. Jeremy Gordon was the standout backline performer, while full-back Aidan Kirk and centres Andrew Le Breton and Sam Perrett were also prominent. Stand-in five-eighth Daniel Dumas had some dicey moments with his handling but compensated for this with some truly punishing hits on Cronulla ball carriers.There were several eminent Rugby League and sporting personalities in attendance at Henson Park on Saturday. Australian Rugby League Hall of Famers John Raper and Graeme Langlands had presented the Jets players with their jerseys prior to the match, and the two Immortals were then joined in the Jet Set Lounge by former NSW Rugby League President Kevin Humphreys and leading boxing trainer Johnny Lewis.The Newtown Jets return to Henson Park next Saturday (June 17th) for another meeting with fellow 1908 foundation club Western Suburbs. This VB Premier League match is set down to commence at 3.00pm. In the Jim Beam Cup competition, Newtown travels to Cabramatta where this Saturday evening fixture will kick off at 5.00pm. The Jim Beam Cup match against the Sydney Bulls set down for last Saturday was postponed to a date to be announced.Up in the central west the Parkes Spacemen were brought undone in their Group 11 local derby with Forbes on Friday night, with the Magpies winning by 30-16.
SYDNEY Rooster's centre Ryan Cross has signed a two-year deal with the Western Force rugby union side. Cross has chosen the Force over the Brumbies and Waratahs because of the opportunity to be involved with an emerging new team.He says he is disappointed at not being offered a new deal by the Roosters, but has moved on after getting a positive reaction from his rugby league colleagues when informing them of his decision yesterday.He will join the Force after completing his commitments with the Roosters. A former Australian rugby union schoolboy's fullback in 1997, Cross says he is looking forward to playing in the centres alongside Wallaby Matt Giteau at the Force.
MELBOURNE backrower Ryan Hoffman has re-signed with the Storm for a further three years, extending his contract with the NRL club until 2009.