CELTIC Crusaders? Shawn Van Rensburg has made himself available to play for Wales in the World Cup qualifiers later this year. Signed from Newport Gwent Dragons earlier this year, the big second-rower has also played union for Bridgend, Neath, Pontypool, English Division One side Coventry and French side Toulon. Wales will play against Scotland and the winner of the qualifying group between Russia, Georgia, Holland and Serbia in the autumn. This is now more than likely to be Georgia following their 57-16 win over Holland in front of almost 11,000 fans in Tbilisi last Friday. Van Rensburg was born in South Africa but is now a Welsh national after his marriage to Bridgend-born Sharon. They also have a Welsh-born son, eight month old, Louis. He was picked for the Welsh rugby union squad during his days with the 15-man code but didn?t manage to get a game. He now hopes that his World Cup ambitions will be achieved with Wales in the 13-man code. Van Rensburg said: ?I now feel more Welsh than South African. I have firmly made Wales my home and I want to represent what is now my country. ?I was disappointed that I didn?t get a chance to represent Wales in union but I?m now a league player and my goal is to help Wales qualify for the 2008 World Cup Finals in Australia. ?Celtic Crusaders is a good club to play for ? we?ve got a fantastic team spirit and I?m really enjoying myself here. I want to help them to promotion and then finish the 2006 season by representing Wales.? CymruRL chairman, Mark Rowley is pleased that Van Rensburg has made himself available for Wales. Rowley said: ?It?s great that someone of Shawn?s quality has come over to rugby league and we?re pleased that he?s playing so well for the Crusaders. He?ll be looked at along with all the other Welsh players and will be kept in mind for selection for the World Cup qualifiers when the time comes.?
WESTS Tigers utility Dene Halatau is back on the sidelines and likely to miss two matches with an ankle injury. Halatau twisted his ankle in the Tigers' 44-4 win over South Sydney on Sunday and will get the results of scans tomorrow.
KNIGHTS: Kurt Gidley, Brian Carney, Matthew Gidley, George Carmont, Anthony Quinn, Todd Lowrie, Andrew Johns (c), Craig Smith, Danny Buderus, Adam Woolnough, Steve Simpson, Kirk Reynoldson, Reegan Tanner
Interchange: Luke Davico, Clint Newton, Josh Perry, Riley Brown
ST George Illawarra captain Trent Barrett will miss six matches after entering an early guilty plea today on a striking charge. Barrett was charged yesterday with a grade five striking offence by the NRL's match review committee after his forearm came into contact with Newcastle winger Brian Carney's head during the Dragons' 38-12 win over the Knights on Friday.
MATT Bowen, Brenton Bowen, Josh Hannay, Paul Bowman, Matt Sing, Shane Muspratt, Johnathan Thurston, Matthew Scott, Aaron Payne, Shane Tronc, Justin Smith, Gavin Cooper, Travis Norton (c)
Interchange: David Faiumu, Jacob Lillyman, Carl Webb, Mitchell Sargent
GREG Inglis, Matt Geyer, Matt King, Jake Webster, Steve Turner, Scott Hill, Cooper Cronk, Garret Crossman, Cameron Smith, Brett White, David Kidwell, Ryan Hoffman, Dallas Johnson
Interchange: Ben Cross, Jeremy Smith, Antonio Kaufusi, Nathan Friend, Billy Slater (one to be omitted)
7.30PM at Canberra StadiumRaiders: Clinton Schifcofske (c), Craig Frawley, Phil Graham, Adam Mogg, David Howell, Todd Carney, Lincoln Withers, Jason Williams, Simon Woolford, Troy Thompson, Tom Learoyd-Lars, Jason Croker, Alan TongueInterchange: Marshall Chalk, Ben Jones, Michael Hodgson, Terry Martin, Alan Rothery (one to be omitted)Rabbitohs: David Peachey, Nathan Merritt, Todd Polglase, Luke MacDougall, Shannon Hegarty, John Sutton, Joe Williams, Peter Cusack (c), Shane Walker, Manase Manuokafoa, Mark Minichiello, David Fa'alogo, Ben RogersInterchange: Jaiman Lowe, Shane Rigon, Shannan McPherson, Paul Mellor, Joe Lichaa (one to be omitted)
XXXX QUEENSLAND STATEWIDE SCORE WRAP
POWERHOUSE South Sydney centre Adam MacDougall has been fined and dumped for Saturday's NRL match against Canberra after publicly criticising his team mates on the weekend.
THE NRL has granted St George Illawarra an extension until 3pm this afternoon as to how they will plead in regards to skipper Trent Barrett's grade 5 striking charge.
PARRAMATTA back-rower Glen Morrison will quit the Eels at the end of this season after agreeing to join English Super League champions, the Bradford Bulls.
THE North Sydney under 20s team has again improved on their previous form to play a competitive match against the Raiders who won 30-22. ?We are beginning to put opposition teams under a bit more pressure? Claimed Ex-Penrith stalwart and now Bears Jersey Flegg coach Steve Carter.With an improved completion rate the boys hit the Raiders with more metres gained and more effective hits in defence. On a number of occasions the Bears defence forced errors in the Raiders attack. The Bears were unlucky in the second half when Canberra scored an intercept try against the runof play.There was a solid and vocal performance from Jason Saliba playing in the centres, good work from five-eighth Bladen Baird (who scored the Bears first try) and great work from forwards Pio Rokomaqisa, Michael Jones, Arnold Mano and Michael Morris. Arnold and Mick Morris were rewarded with promotion to the Premier League bench. Winger Ryan Wilson was terrific in attack including the scoring of two tries in the left and right corners of the Canberra in goal.But Coach Carter reserved his praise for today?s fullback. ?It?s hard to single out anyone they all played well however, Matt McDougall who has been moved from winger to centre to fullback had an outstanding game?. Matt scored a fantastic try running 90 metres down the left wing to score, possibly inspired by the sight of one of the Honey Bears Cheer Girls having her picture taken at the score board end of the field.?It?s definitely a performance to build on again for next week? said the Coach.In a penalty stricken match the Premier League suffered a defeat to the Raiders 54-10. Without regular Storm players Ben Cross and Matt Bartlett, injuries to Jamie Feeney and Ryan Shortland and the continued loss of back John Russell the Bears were unable to repeat their enthusiastic performance against Manly.PICTURED: Winger Ryan Wilson scored 2 tries against the Raiders for his steadily improving Flegg team. PHOTO: Steve Little
LEEDS Rhinos 30 (Burrow, Poching, Walker, Senior, Bailey tries; Sinfield 5 goal) def. Bradford Bulls 0. Att: 16,603.
SOUTH Sydney has revived the NRL career of David Peachey, signing the former Cronulla fullback for the remainder of the 2006 season.
SATURDAY 27 May 2006TZAMETI KARTVELI (13 GEORGIANS) 57 ? 16 NETHERLANDSGeorgia displayed striking Rugby skills in the burning atmosphere of the Locomotive Stadium, Tbilissi with a comprehensive 10 try victory over combative Dutch on Independence Day (May 26th).A crowd of 10,935 frantic fans braved the unbelievable heat of the Georgian sun, and it is believed that this figure could be higher since more fans got into the ?Gladiator? style Arena after the kick off.The Dutch set the tone of what was to be a rather ferocious contest braving the famous Georgian Haka Perkhuli. Facing tough defense from both teams in the opening minutes, only the forwards could express their talents, noticeably through Kiwi born Prop Bev Williamson for the Dutch side and David Gasviani for the locals.Georgia opened the score with a drop kick from stand off Merab Kvirikashvili (7?). The Dutch responded immediately with a penalty kick from Huddersfield Underbank Rangers Aaron de Jager (10?).It was Georgia?s George Asatani who found the way first (13?) and then the sparkling locals began to break the Dutch defense, converting every opportunity with 3 well taken tries by Revaz Gigauri, Lexo Gugava and Merab Kvirikashvili (23?, 31?, 37?). The Dutch managed to reduce the score just before Half time through NZ born Duncan Taylor. (23-10).The contest resumed as fierce as it was in the first half. But it only took 10 minutes for the Georgians to open their festival of tries. Local Prop Tornike Ashvetia powered through the Nederland defense (50?) followed by second row Nika Mkheideidze (58?). Winger Zviad Koberidze outpaced his Dutch opponent (60?) and hooker Beqa Kurashvili scored between the posts (64?), while Ducan Taylor followed a high kick from Aaron de Jager to reduce the score (68?) for the Dutch. The Georgians completed their outstanding performance with two well constructed tries by Zviad Koberidze (78?) and second row Shalva Sutiashvili (79?), in a constant frenzy from the local crowd.?I am absolutely impressed with the quality of Rugby Skills displayed today by the Georgians? said delighted RFL Coach Advisor Vincent Webb, ?I believe many of them could make some professional teams in UK very happy? he added.?The Standard of the Georgian Organisation was simply outstanding? said equally impressed RLEF Match commissioner Benjamin Araud. ?The quality of match officials provided to assist Andrew Smith was very good, and to see such an enthusiastic and numerous crowd is unbelievable. The potential for Rugby League development is immense in Georgia?After the match Tzameti Kartuli received an exceptional ovation in front of several tens of thousands people massed in the Streets of the Georgian Capital when they went on the stage set up for the National Celebrations in Freedom Square.Friday 26th MayLocomotive Stadium, Tbilissi, GeorgiaTZAMETI KARTVELI 57 ? 16 NETHERLANDSGeorgia:Tries: George Asatiani (13?), Revaz Gigauri (23?) Lexo Gugava (31?) Merab Kvirikashvili (37?),Tornike Ashvetia (50?), Shalva Sutiashvili (58?, 79?), Zviad Koberidze (60?, 78?), Beqa Kurashvili (64?)Drop Kick: Merab Kirikashvili (7?)Goals: Merab Kirikashvili 8Netherlands:Tries: Ducan Taylo (39? 58?)Goals: Aaron de Jager 4TD Sport and Travel Men of the Match:Revaz Gigauri (Georgia)Bev Williamson (Netherlands)Att: 10 935Referee: Andrew Smith (England)TZAMETI KARTULIGeorge Asatiani Lexo Gugava Revaz Gigauri Alexander Gilauri Zviad Koberidze Merab Kvirikashvili George Sordia Tornike Ashvetia Beqa Kurashvili Davis Gasviani Nika Mkheidze Shalva Sutiashvili Kakhaber Kobakhidze ? Grigol Nishnianidze George Nemsadze Irakli Natriashvili Manuchar NamchevadzeCoach: Kakhaber AlaniaNETHERLANDSKees Foxton Roelof Haar Duncan Taylor Ronald Van Der Broek Jamie Groeneweg Aaron De Jager Benjamin Blom Phil Parkinson Chris Hodgetts Bevan Williamson Raymond Den Engelsam Bernard Van Holstein Alex Hoogezand Vincent Grimbergen Johnny Qua Sjoerd Nieboer Jason BruygomsCoach Ian Thompson