JRL News - MAY 2008 Footy News Archives jrl news 2008 - Rugby League news & stories, schoolboys footy, australian schoolboys, nsw chs, qssrl, arrive alive cup, ccc trials, ncs ccc results, university shield, buckley shield, nsw under 16's team,
May 2008 junior footy news - YOUR JUNIOR RUGBY LEAGUE NEWS
Mitchell Pearce. Photograph: Mark Evans / The Daily Telegraph
Son of a gun ... Mitchell Pearce. Photograph: Mark Evans / The Daily Telegraph

IT is the obvious question and Roosters prodigy Mitchell Pearce expects to be bombarded ahead of Monday night's clash against Wests Tigers.

"With a surname like that, why aren't you playing for the Tigers?" they will ask.

His answer, however, is not so obvious.

The son of Tigers great Wayne Pearce has revealed he intentionally avoided joining the club that made his surname famous.

He was a Tigers supporter as a child, but Pearce is no fan of comparisons with his father as a footballer.

His determination to forge a separate identity worked against the Tigers, one of six clubs that vied for Pearce's signature as he progressed with North Sydney's junior rep teams.

"That's one reason why I didn't go to the Tigers," Pearce said. "I wasn't really interested in going there anyway, but the prospect (of people making comparisons) probably put me off even more."

The 19-year-old's incredible start at the Roosters has gone a long way toward establishing his own reputation. But Monday's blockbuster will be his first NRL clash against his father's team and Pearce accepts the link will be spoken about.

"I find it a bit funny, to be honest," Pearce said.

"I'm always getting the odd supporter saying, 'Why aren't you playing for the Tigers?'

"Dad played for them and it's got nothing to do with me. I didn't have much to do with the club.

"It was dad's club and (the Roosters) are my club. Hopefully it will be for a while.

"I've got no real different feel about playing them to any other side, but I suppose it would be nice to knock them off when everyone else talks about it and says it's your dad's club.

"Hopefully they say it a bit more this week and it will drive me on a bit."

Pearce senior, still a Tigers diehard despite his son's allegiance to Bondi Junction, has ruled out any good-natured ribbing at the family home this week.

"There's probably enough pressure on him at the moment, being halfback," Pearce said.

"Maybe when he gets a bit older . . . then I'll start the ribbing."

NSW's controversial omission of Roosters halves partner Braith Anasta overshadowed how close Pearce - the City No. 7 - came to making his Origin debut.

With the Origin speculation behind him, he is relieved to focus his complete attention on the table-topping Roosters.

"The talk (about Origin) wasn't that annoying because I took it as a compliment," he said.

"I suppose you'd rather be spoken to about it than not at all.

"I knew there were other guys with more experience there."

Currently first on percentages, the Roosters expect a 20,000- plus crowd to greet Wests Tigers at the SFS. Officials will open the gates for under-16s who arrive with a paying adult, to ensure a big roll-up.
All interested U13's & 14's Junior Rugby League Teams
Dear Coach/Manager

The Kangaroos Junior Rugby League Club is once again hosting the Under 14's Tassell Trophy Challenge to be held in Cairns at the Kangaroos Football League Club on the weekend of 27th & 28th September 2008. In previous years, the teams who participated, had a great weekend of football and thoroughly enjoyed their stay.

Perhaps you can look at making it an end of season trip away for your team.

The competition is open to all Registered Juniors Rugby League Players in the Under 13's and Under 14's age groups. All players must be registered with the QRL.

Teams from out of the state may nominate, providing they are affiliated and registered with their state league, and necessary permission is granted from their governing body to travel outside the state. | LEARN MORE |

Yass High School fullback 'Buster' Connors hits a hole provided by vice-captain Judd Sherratt.
Yass High School fullback 'Buster' Connors hits a hole provided by vice-captain Judd Sherratt.

Yass High School’s open Rugby League side have moved into the University Shield regional final for the forth year in a row, following a 26 point win over Mulwaree High School on Monday.

Wayward goal kicking cost the home side, who scored nine tries to three in the physical encounter. The large weight disparity between the two teams failed to worry the more skilful and rapid Yass outfit.

An outstanding opening twenty minutes saw the High School jump out to a 24-0 lead, with centre and vice-captain Judd Sherratt crossing for three tries. Haiden Gallimore finished off an outstanding length of the field try, set up by fullback ‘Buster’ Connors, who retrieved the ball from his own in-goal.

Mulwaree looked shot. However, ill-discipline invited the visitors back into the contest.

Mulwaree’s large prop stemmed Yass’ scoring flow with a blistering 25 metre dash for the try-line. A string of penalties lead to the away side’s second barge-over try only minutes later, taking the half-time score to 24-10.

The second half began as the first ended; with a Mulwaree try. The determined visitors had reduced the home side’s lead from 24 to 8 with oodles of time remaining. A short time later, a probing run, draw and pass from halfback Boyd Roche set up Yass’ sixth try and all but sealed the contest.

Three more tries only added further woes to a disappointed Mulwaree team. Full time – Yass High School 42-16 Mulwaree.

Captain Brad Wylie was voted best on ground, closely followed by Judd Sherratt and lock Shaun Davis.

Yass High School advance to the Far South Coast Regional Final, an event they have won for the past four seasons. Victory will take YHS through to the last 16 in the quest for the 2008 University Shield.


Yass: 1) ‘Buster’ Connors 2) Chris Bush 3) Judd Sherratt 4) Haiden Gallimore 5) Dean Thornthwaite 6) Tim Barrie 7) Boyd Roche 8) Steven Greenwood 9) Guy Sherratt 10) Josh O’Brien 11) Brad Wylie c) 12) Aaron Chatfield 13) Shaun Davis; reserves 14) Phil Skillin 15) Loch Leggott 16) Ben Leggott 17) Matt Cooke 18) Josh O’Brien 19)Mark Townsend 20) Matt Oldfield
William Hopaote of Sydney North attacks Sydney CHS Rugby League Trails - Under 18 get it on ( Photo : ourfooty media)
William Hopaote of Sydney North attacks Sydney CHS Rugby League Trails - Under 18 get it on ( Photo : ourfooty media)

JOHN Hopoate has just one message for his rising rugby league star son: "Don't do what I did boy."

With his son William at the centre of an NRL bidding war, the former Manly bad-boy last night warned fans not to expect a "chip off the old block".

"He is nothing like me," Hopoate said.

"I have made sure of that. I am very hard on him and very big on discipline."

Several NRL clubs are trying to sneak under Manly's guard and snare Hopoate junior after the 15-year-old starred for Sydney at the NSW CHS selection trials this week.

Looking more like Israel Folau than his father, the off-contract centre yesterday scored a try as Sydney proved to good for Western NSW.

"It wasn't until he was 12 that he started showing anything," Hopoate said.

"He has always been a good defender, he used to chop people down, but that was it. But when he got to 12 he just shot up and got all this pace.

"I don't know where it came from. He didn't get it from me. And he is pretty strong now. I am still the boss and beat him when we wrestle."

William, the eldest of Hopoate's eight children, was only eight when his father's finger rocked the rugby league world. He still remembers the spate of madness that would forever stain his family name.

"'Around the year 2000 I knew about the finger," William said. "I was pretty young but I knew what was going on. All the media and people were laughing but I didn't cop it too bad. All my friends new Dad and really respected him."

William is adamant he will not repeat the notorious acts of his father, who was one of the most feared wingers during the '90s.

"He is always telling me what not to do," William said.

"And I guess with his past he can judge that pretty well. He is pretty strict and I have to be pretty straight. I won't be heading off track."

Williams is being pursued by a number of NRL clubs including the Roosters, where his uncle Albert Hopoate plays.

"He still has a long way to go until the NRL," Hopoate said.

"But there are a few clubs offering real good money for a kid his age. It is unbelievable money. It is a business these days and my time has finished.

"I would have loved him to play for Manly but in saying that it is business. I am going to look after his interests."
Mossman coach Christian Addison yesterday
Fears for the game: Mossman coach Christian Addison yesterday

THREE teenage footballers have been suspended, a coach has quit because of ongoing violence and a club is in turmoil following another shocking junior footy brawl.

The on-field stoush between Brothers and Mossman in a Cairns District Junior Rugby League under-15 match has led to some parents withdrawing their children from the game.

"We go to the football all the time and we’ve never seen anything like this," one mum who contacted The Cairns Post said yesterday.

"We want to take our boys to see a game but we won’t if there’s this sort of thing on the ground."

The fight, during a regular season match at Mossman on May 10, started between opposing wingers but quickly escalated into an ugly melee involving several players and even water carriers.

A Mossman player reportedly left the field bleeding from his face.

Officials called off the match and awarded the points to Mossman due to a Brothers’ bench player running on to the field to join the brawl.

Mossman coach Roy Zammataro, who coached local juniors for eight years, has since resigned citing unacceptable violence.

Mr Zammataro was reluctant to comment yesterday but criticised Cairns District Junior Rugby League for "not cracking down" on violence.

His replacement as Mossman coach, Christian Addison, said the incident had affected local footy with parents reluctant to let their children play.

"We’re playing this week and I have 10 players available from an original squad of 20," he said.

"A lot of these kids play rugby league and AFL and rugby league is their game, but if this happens, we will lose them to the sport."

Brothers’ juniors representatives could not be contacted for comment yesterday.

Callers to The Cairns Post yesterday accused a Brothers’ water carrier, whose son was playing in the match, of joining the melee.

CDJRL general manager Dave Maiden said while water carriers on both sides should have let referees settle the dispute, they had no case to answer.

For Brothers, two players were suspended for seven and five weeks but will be eligible to play again after three and four weeks respectively.

The injured Mossman player was found guilty but discharged without penalty.

"It was an ugly incident and the 15s are a bit of a problem age group," Mr Maiden said

"Unfortunately at the start of each year, there can be a bit more angst but we’ve jumped straight on it and want to make sure there are no repeats."

The ugly incident is the second fight to mar a junior rugby league match this season.

The Cairns Post on Tuesday revealed two footy mums had a punch-up during a game between Edmonton Storm and Central Scorpions at Edmonton.
Northern Daily Leader
GREATER Western found the going tough on the opening day of the NSWCHS Championships at Myuna Bay yesterday, with both the under 15s and open sides losing their first matches.

Both sides took on the President’s XIII in their respective age groups and would have been keen to impress State selectors.

But things didn’t go to plan.

First, the the 15s went down 22-10.

“We started slowly,” 15s manager Steve Porter said.

“They scored two tries at the very start of the game, within the first five minutes.

“That was the difference in the end.

“It was tit for tat after that but we couldn’t pull them back.”

It wasn’t all bad for the 15s though.

Farrer’s Jack Pawsey stood tall in a beaten side.

“Jack Pawsey was excellent,” Porter said.

“He played hooker, scored a try and was really good.

“He led them around well.”

The Greater Western opens were next up and, while they stuck with the President’s XIII for most of the match, they lost 36-14.

At 18-14 down, Greater Western had got itself back into the game but a lack of second-half possession began to tell.

The side tired under the weight of the President’s XIII attack and the points came late to blow the scoreline out.

While the majority of the locals on show were part of the losing side, Farrer’s Brett Jarrett was a winner.

He is playing for the President’s XIII, scored a try and was generally strong against Farrer mates such as Jake Hawkins, Scott Blanch, Josh Dutton and Dom Horne who were all in the Greater Western side.

Narrabri’s Sean Russ, Peel High’s Jay Chatfield, Glen Innes duo Nick Ehsman and Joel Jackson, and Duval prop Blake Keeping are also in the open side.

Warialda’s Ryan Stevens, Inverell’s Josh Skaines and Farrer’s Jack Broughton are the other North West players in the under 15s side.

The titles continue today with the CHS sides to be picked after the last games tomorrow.

“We play Northern and hopefully we can get a win,” Porter said.

“A couple of victories might help get a few kids selected.

“Winning is not a pre-requisite to selection but it’s helpful.”

With the recent schoolboy "State Championships" being contested in both the under 15 and Open age groups, it has been great news for Keebra with 4 students named in the 15's and 4 in the Open Queensland sides.

James Dunley, Michael Dunlop, Taylor Feeney and Matt Beddow were selected in the under fifteens and Vaha Pulu, Bodie Clarke, Corey Norman and Blake Leary in the Opens.

This is an awesome dianostic tool for us at the school working withinn the program as it is a real measure of the success and development we are achieving.

There were a few other boys who narrowly missed out but they will continue to work hard and are sure to attain their goals of a career in the NRL.

This week will see the boys in both age groups contest games against local rivals PBC and theses games are sure to be hard fought and a great spectacle for all follows of the junior game.

Do yourself a favour and get behind the boys as they head into the business end of the season and see some of the future talent on show.
Ratu Peni Tagive, Chris Sandow & Aiden Tolman arrive home Christmas eve '06 (Photo : ourfooty media)
Ratu Peni Tagive, Chris Sandow & Aiden Tolman (R) arrive home Christmas eve '06 (Photo : ourfooty media)
Brynjar Raagnasson at Sharks Training earlier this year (Photo : ourfooty media)
Brynjar Raagnasson at Sharks Training earlier this year (Photo : ourfooty media)
Coffs Harbour Independent
SUCCESS of the North Coast under-18 years representative team in the past three years has seen many players rewarded with National Rugby League contracts.

And it’s a great pleasure to be able to watch these future stars in the big league as they progress through the Toyota Cup under-20s competition.

Shaun Fenson (Bellingen) and Mick Spence (Coffs Harbour) are captains of the Canberra Raiders and Brisbane Broncos teams respectively, while Joey Latham (Wingham) and Todd Bridge (Taree) are at Wests, Jarrod McCarthy (Port Sharks) is with the Gold Coast Titans and Mal Webster Jnr (Macleay) has scored four tries twice for South Sydney in the SG Ball under-18s competition.

Another former Macleay star Adien Tolman has had a run in the Melbourne Storm’s first grade outfit, and Kevin Gordon from Sawtell has been impressive with the Gold Coast Titans.

Unfortunately, former Coffs Harbour Comet Brynjar Raagnasson has been forced to sit out the rest of the season after damaging nerves in his neck. He was about to make his way into the Cronulla Sharks first grade line-up in the front row.

This year’s Oxley Pioneers, winners of the recent NSW Country championship, will see at least another nine players progress to the top tier of rugby league in the coming seasons.
St. Clair Comets Under 6a's Vs Flenmore Park at Panthers Stadium
St. Clair Comets Under 6a's Vs Flenmore Park at Panthers Stadium
They are the St Clair Comets U6/1's. They play in the Penrith District Comp. in first division.

They are the red team in the photo this is picture at Panthers Game playing Glenmore Park 16-0 in 10min game.

Beat Colyton on the Saturday 24-4.

They are all 6 years old. We are also looking for an U6 knockout to playin this year if any club knows of one.

Little U6 heros still undefeated after 6 rounds in first division many players in the team are playing their first year of football.

Winning 2 games on the weekend just passed. Played a stunner pre game match to the panthers warriors game at Penrith Stadium and torn up the field.

After a big win the day before against Colyton/Mt Druitt. Unstoppable team.

One of the fastest U6 teams on the paddock this season.

Coached by Mick Cantrill. St Clair's U6/1's thunderdown on all there opponents with there powering defensive line. They attack and defend as a team with majority of the team pulling down each tackle.

First year this team has ever played together and also been coached by Mick.

Rutherford Public School is the toast of public school rugby league in the Maitland area after winning the annual Pumpkin Pickers Cup final on Tuesday.

Rutherford boasted an impenetrable defensive line, conceding not one point in any of their four matches.

Despite some strong opposition from Metford in the final, Rutherford ran in two length-of-the-field tries in the first half to take the score to 8-0 at the break.

They sealed the deal after the break, pushing the deficit out to 20-0 by full time. Rutherford Primary School’s Mike Dawson said he was struck by the well-developed skills of his side.

“We have a crop of kids who play with really developed skills,” Dawson said.

“They displayed a reasonably organised defence, coupled with a good variety in their attack.

“They looked like a pretty formidable unit.”

Metford Public School, who felt the full brunt of that formidable unit, won through to the final in spectacular fashion, beating Rutherford’s “B” side.

Metford Primary School’s sports co-ordinator Phil Tilden said his side was very competitive considering a good part of the team had switched codes for the tournament.

“Our team had about 10 soccer players in it. It’s not easy for a team of soccer players to just go and play rugby league.

“The final was a really tough affair, Rutherford had a really good side and we were really competitive,” Tilden said.

While the Maitland Pickers are still striving to re-enter the Newcastle Rugby League at the senior level, if Tuesday’s final is anything to go by its executives can take comfort in a healthy support stream.

Public schools that entered the competition included Beresfield, Thornton, Ashtonfield, Metford, Rutherford, Telarah and Maitland, making for a competitive 2008 event.
Corbin Sims palms the NSW defender
Corbin Sims palms the NSW defender (Photo : QRL)

A BRILLIANT opening burst from boom back-rower Korbin Sims couldn’t save Queensland from defeat in tonight’s Under 16 interstate clash at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium.

Sims, the younger brother of Broncos forward Ashton, made two clean breaks in the opening half.

His first break paved the way for the opening try of the match to flying Queensland winger Josh Batalibasi, who slipped past two defenders to slide over in the left corner.

Sims was at it again minutes later when he broke the line wide open with a powerful charge.

But this time the NSW team couldn’t reel him in.

NSW winger William Hopoate made a desperate lunge but Sims kept the legs pumping and dived over to score a fantastic try near the posts.

Harry Frei converted to put Queensland in front 16-12 at half-time.

The start of the second half was delayed after an injury scare to one of the players involved in a mini mod junior game.

NSW dominated the second half, which was reduced from 30 minutes to 25.

Tries from Vaipuna Tia Kilifi, Jason Wehbe and Hopoate secured a 30-16 victory for the home side.

In a great show of sportsmanship after the fulltime siren, players from both sides linked arms and congratulated each other in the middle of the field.

NEW SOUTH WALES 30 (Jacob Miller 2, William Hopoate, Vaipuna Tia Kilifi, Jason Wehbe tries; Jason Wehbe 3, Harry Seijka 2 goals) def QUEENSLAND 16 (Josh Batalibasi, Korbin Sims, Benn Malley tries; Mitchell Frei 2 goals).

Lismore Vs Maitland/Newcastle play in the Polding Catholic Primary Schools selection trials

St Stanislaus School at Bathurst was the chilly venue for the Polding Catholic Primary Schools Rugby League selection trials in early May.

Boys travelled from far and wide to St Stani's to show their stuff and vie for selection in a round robin tournament that included representative Dioscesan teams from Maitland/Newcastle, Armidale, Wilcannia/Forbes, Broken Bay, Lismore and Bathurst.

After a long day and a final Possible's v Probable's match, the following squad was announced to travel to Inverell in June for the State Primary School Trials;

Ryan Cummins - St Joseph's Oberon, Jack Green - St James Banora Point, Josh Trayburn - St Edwards Canowindra, Benjamin Marks - St Mary's Warren, Jayden Young - St Brigid's Branxton, Ryan Glanville - St James Kotara, Connor Marron - St James Banora Point, Billy Braithwaite - St Josephs Manildra, Ben Balcomb - St Therese's New Lambton, Michael Wilson - St Joseph's Tweed Heads, Jack Hetherington - St Mary's Warners Bay, Noah Johnston - O.L.R. The Entrance, Bradley Mullins - St Paul's Gateshead, Samuel Togo - St James Banora Point, Clancy Witt - St James Muswellbrook, William Fell - St Laurence's Forbes, Bryce Park - St Joseph's Eugowra.

NSW CCC Colleges (U 15's & Opens U18's) trials are on this Friday at the Crest at Bankstown.. Learn More
nsw vs qld u17's
NSW's Tommy Handcock runs past QLD's Ryan Hanson in last years NSW V QLD U 17's match (Photo : ourfooty media)
Story By : QRL Photo By :
QUEENSLAND Under 16 coach Jon Buchanan says his talented team is primed to put together a bold showing in Wednesday night’s clash with New South Wales.

“A lot of them played Queensland 15s last year so they’re all familiar with each other,” Buchanan said from the team’s Brisbane camp today.

The Queenslanders will have a final hit out in Sydney tomorrow (Tuesday) before heading to ANZ Stadium for a brief tour of the famous venue which will host the match as well as the opening State of Origin game.

Buchanan said none of his players had played at ANZ Stadium (formerly known as Telstra Stadium) before.

With that in mind, Buchanan has made arrangements for the squad to check out the ground and facilities on the eve of the interstate match.

“That’s going to be a big thing,” Buchanan said of his team’s inexperience on the big stage.

“Hopefully they don’t get overawed by it.”

Buchanan said the Queensland team had bonded nicely since arriving in camp last Friday. The players and coaching staff attended last Friday’s NRL match between the Titans and Bulldogs.

Buchanan, who coached Wynnum Manly’s Colts team last year, is excited about the chance to see the young Queensland side in action.

“I have been looking forward to it since the last five months when I was told I got the job,” he said.

“I’m thrilled to be involved.”

Benn Malley is the Queensland Under 16 captain.

Pictured above: Interstate rivalry at its best … action from last year’s Under 17 game.
William HOPOATE Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 1. Lachlan MARANTA SEQ Poinsettias
Chris ULUGIA Parramatta Eels 2. Josh BATALIBASI SEQ Poinsettias
John PEPA Penrith Panthers 3. Aaron WHITCHURCH SEQ Poinsettias
Jacob MILLER Sydney Roosters 4. Kyle FELDT Northern Marlins
Jacob GAGEN Parramatta Eels 5. Savern RAPANA SEQ Kookaburras
Tyler SULL IVAN Newcastle Knights 6. Jordan MEADS WB Bulls
Harry SEIJKA Penrith Panthers 7. Ben HAMPTON Northern Marlins
Jack ST OCKWELL Penrith Panthers 8. Tauryn LAURENSON SEQ Kookaburras
Ben PICKER Canberra Raiders 9. Jay LOBWEIN Northern Marlins
Matthew GROAT Western Suburbs Magpies 10. Jai INGRAM Northern Marlins
Lachlan BURR Bulldogs 11. Mitchell FREI SEQ Poinsettias
Alex McKINNON Illawarra Steelers 12. Korbin SIMS SEQ Poinsettias
Vaipuna TIA KILIFI Penrith Panthers 13. Benn MALLEY SEQ Poinsettias
Blake PHILLIPS Illawarra Steelers 14. Kyle BURKHARDT Central Capras
Jason WE HBE Parramatta Eels 15. Kurtis RITCHIE Northern Marlins
Jack LE HANG South Sydney Rabbitohs 16. Tennyson ELLIOTT WB Bulls
Rodney MOEFAAUO Parramatta Eels 17. Leon CURRY Northern Marlins
Junior Rep player of the year (photo : ourfooty media)
Jacob Denford - Sharks Junior Rep player of the year (photo : ourfooty media)
Steve Berkley Coaches award  (Photo : ourfooty media)
Steve Berkley Coaches award (Photo : ourfooty media)

The Sharks have announced the junior representative player of the year awards at a ceremony held on Monday night in the function room beneath the new Southern Grandstand.

In an event attended by Sharks head coach Ricky Stuart, club CEO Tony Zappia, Barry Pierce, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Steve Andrews from the major sponsor of the junior representative teams JD’s Boatshed, all players and coaches were congratulated on their efforts and achievements in 2008.

Both the under-18 SG Ball and under-16 Harold Matthews Cup award winners were announced, while the major trophy of the night was given to the Junior representative Player of the Year.

The Sharks NRL front rower Luke Douglas, a winner of the junior rep player of the year in 2005, was on hand to present the major prize to Jake Denford (pictured top) from the Sharks SG Ball side.

Denford, a hard working back rower who hails from the Engadine Dragons club, was also named as the SG Ball Player’s Player.

Other winners on the night were; Dylan Sparks (Como-Jannali), SG Ball Coaches award; Steve Berkley (De La Salle), Matthews Cup Player’s Player and Ben Stratton, Matthews Cup Coaches award.

A number of Sharks SG Ball squad members have been called up into the under-20’s Toyota Cup team, with Blake Ferguson playing on the wing against the Broncos last weekend, while Sparks has been chosen on the bench this week in the team to play the Bulldogs.
Lachlan Conn struggles to break free of a tackle.
Gotcha: Lachlan Conn struggles to break free of a tackle.

TOTAL and utter annihilation was what it was and the Macleay Valley Mustangs under 18s accomplished it in fine style on Sunday to wipe the floor with an overwhelmed Bellingen Valley Magpies outfit at Verge Street.

From the early exchanges it was obvious that the Magpies players were in for a long afternoon and the rot started early with try-machine Danny Cooper crossing for the home side after just three minutes.

The points flowed thick and freely for the Mustangs, with little impeding a rampant Macleay Valley side.

Michael Roberts and Craig Smith were virtually unstoppable up the middle of the ruck while half Shayne Moran and Liam Meecham at fullback ran riot on the flanks.

A double to Scott Croad and further tries to Roberts, Sean Skinner and Meecham carried the half time score to 32-nil.

The break seemed to have no ill-effects on the Mustangs as they emerged from the sheds fresh and raring to go.

Meecham grabbed his second shortly after the resumption of play, Croad grabbed a third and by the time Moran crossed for his first the home side had passed the half century mark.

Moran’s kicking game was on song and he finished with a personal haul of 24 points, followed closely by Croad with 16.

Stand outs for the Mustangs were Cooper up front, Croad in the centres, Moran and Meecham. Final score 72-nil.

Unbeaten at home this season, the Mustangs currently sit third on the Group 2 ladder, a point behind joint leaders Port Macquarie and Sawtell and three clear of Orara and Nambucca Heads.

Mustangs reserves also had a win, defeating the Magpies 38-8.
Israel Falou at his 1st State of origin training camp may '08
Israel Folau is being touted as the next Mal Meninga. / The Daily Telegraph

QUEENSLAND are ready to "unleash the beast" on the Blues tonight with Israel Folau, the man touted as the next Mal Meninga, primed for his Origin debut.

Having cast off a virus that has kept him bedridden for the past two days, the teenage Goliath has been cleared for interstate lift-off. At 19, Folau has already won a premiership and played two Tests for Australia.

Maroons skipper Cameron Smith said the Melbourne star, who has signed with the Broncos from 2009, would bring "part Mal Meninga, part Gene Miles'' to the Origin table. He tipped Folau to make an immediate and indelible mark on league's toughest stage.

"He is made for Origin and I know he's going to do a great job,'' Smith said. "He is still a quiet and shy kid, but I just know he is going to shine. I think he has really enjoyed the week in camp and now we just stand back and unleash the beast.''

The striking resemblance between a teenage Meninga and the man he will coach for the first time tonight is inescapable. Meninga was 20 when he made his Origin debut as a strapping 185cm, 101kg centre in 1980. Folau is a few months younger but stands at an imposing 195cm and 103kg.

After a week in camp with Folau, Meninga said the youngster's potential was boundless. "He's got all the talent and the indications are he'll be one of the greatest players the game has ever seen,'' said Meninga, himself a Team of the Century centre.

"But there's still a way to go yet. There's no doubt centre is going to be his position. I haven't been surprised by his athleticism or ability because I see him every week on the TV. He's a player of enormous potential. He hasn't reached his peak yet but it's nice to have him in the side.''

Folau was embarrassed by suggestions he was a modern-day Meninga. "I don't feel that I should be compared to him because he's achieved so much in rugby league and I'm just starting,'' said Folau, who scored 21 tries in his debut NRL season.

"I don't want to take too much notice of (those sort of) compliments about me. I've got to pinch myself a few times to know this has all come so quickly.''

Folau, a Mormon, will start on the wing tonight outside another freakish talent - Storm teammate Greg Inglis. The Maroons are expected to use their decided height advantage to target the Blues out wide.

Meninga predicts tonight's clash will prove the toughest test of Folau's fledgling career. "It's his first Origin game and even though he has already played Test matches this is a different environment for him,'' Meninga said.

"He's pretty casual and laid-back. I don't think many things worry him, which is a pretty good sign. He's pretty composed. But he'll learn a lot from this experience, there's no doubt about it.''
Parramatta Eels captain Jason Wehbe lifting the Harold Matthews Cup
Parramatta Eels captain Jason Wehbe lifting the Harold Matthews Cup (Photo : P Kelly)
Parramatta Eels Matthews Cup team celebrating victory
Parramatta Eels Matthews Cup team celebrating victory (Photo : P Kelly)
Parra prop Rodney Moefaauo taking the ball up with Chris Ulugia in support.
Parra prop Rodney Moefaauo taking the ball up with Chris Ulugia in support. (Photo : P Kelly)
Parramatta half back Jason Seage kicking for territory while Rodney Moefaauo looks on
Parramatta half back Jason Seage kicking for territory while Rodney Moefaauo looks on (Photo : P Kelly)
DO U WANT A DVD OF THE MATTY'S or SG BALL GRAND FINALS - Contact Garry @ Spot on Video 0415 405 325 or Brendon 0416 219 981

Four members of Parramatta’s Grand Final winning Harold Matthews Cup team have been selected to represent NSW Under 16’s in Wednesday night’s State of Origin curtain raiser at ANZ Stadium.

Chris Ulugia, Jacob Gagan, Rodney Moefaauo and Jason Wehbe will all wear the sky blue of NSW against Queensland in the interstate encounter, which kicks off at 5.45pm.

The selections come after all four played a starring role in the Eels 30-17 defeat of Penrith in Saturday’s Harold Matthews Cup Grand Final at Western Weekender Stadium, St Marys.

Wehbe in particular was a stand out, scoring a try and adding five goals as the Eels turned around a 17-14 half time deficit to defeat a much-fancied – and previously undefeated – Panthers outfit.

The Eels other points came through tries to Sam Ahofono, Nick Folino and Jarod Azar, with Azar bagging a double in the victory.

Parramatta’s SG Ball side was not as fortunate, going down to the Sydney Roosters 38-20 despite heading into the match a slight favourite and chasing back to back titles.

Leading by two points at half time the Roosters kicked away in the second forty, outpointing the Eels 20-4 in the second half to run out a 38-20 winner.

There was some consolation for the Eels following the match, with centre and Grand Final try scorer Tim Auremi named SG Ball player of the year.

The Eels other four pointers came through a double to Krys Freeman and one try to Nathan Gardner, while Gardner also added two goals.

The Grand Finals brought down the curtain on a highly successful year for Parramatta in the district reps, with both teams finishing second on their respective ladders at the end of the regular season.




Tries: Jarod Azar 2, Sam Ahofono, Nick Folino, Jason Wehbe Goals: Jason Wehbe 5



Tries: Krys Freeman 2, Tim Auremi, Nathan Gardner Goals: Nathan Gardner 2

At Western Weekender Stadium, St Marys
A Brighton-Le-Sands Public school player charges at the Carlton Public School defence in the Botany Bay Division final of the Lance Thompson Cup. Picture: Chris Lane
Hanging by a thread: A Brighton-Le-Sands Public school player charges at the Carlton Public School defence in the Botany Bay Division final of the Lance Thompson Cup. Picture: Chris Lane

IT was a battle which spanned two-days, involved 61 teams, and is yet to crown a major winner.

St George primary school pupils took part in the year 3 and 4 Lance Thompson Cup and year 5 and 6 Brad Mackay Shield qualifying stages last week.

Last Tuesday 41 teams competed in the Botany Bay Division of the Lance Thompson championships, with Brighton-Le-Sands Public school defeating Carlton Public School 20-4. The trend was reversed in the Brad Mackay Shield qualifying final with Carlton 18 overcoming Brighton 10.

Last Wednesday at HV Evatt Park at Lugarno, St Joseph's Public School Riverwood 12 defeated Penshurst West Public School 6 in the Lance Thompson Cup Georges River Division, and Our Lady of Fatima Public School at Kingsgrove won a place in the Brad Mackay Shield final with a 30-8 victory over St Joseph's.

It was the first time that Carlton and Our Lady of Fatima have entered the tournament, and both schools will now face off in the final of the Brad Mackay Shield on a date to be announced.

St Joseph's and Brighton-Le-Sands will play in the final of the Lance Thompson Cup.

The four teams will take part in an exhibition match at St George Illawarra's home match against Penrith at ANZ Stadium in round 15.

The overall winner of the Brad Mackay Shield will go to the ARL Development Legends Shield where they will compete against winners from other schools in NSW in August.

Haydon Hodge has recently been selected in the NSW Country under 18s rugby league team
Multi-talented sportsman Haydon Hodge has recently been selected in the NSW Country under 18s rugby league team, and hopes to go further in the sport.
Hodge not hedging his bets

Multi-talented sportsman Haydon Hodge has excelled in most sports he has taken part in, particularly rugby league.

And it is the 13-man code that seems to have won him over despite talent in cricket, swimming and golf.

Recently Hodge was selected in the NSW Country under 18s team along with Cowra team-mate Rory Brien.

Hodge and Brien played in the curtain-raiser to the City-Country clash at WIN Stadium, representing the Western Rams in the final of the country championships.

They went down to the Oxley Pioneers in the decider, but the Cowra duo did enough to impress selectors to make the state side.

“I want to go as far as I possibly can with my footy,” the speedy outside back said.

“It was great playing on a big ground like WIN Stadium, before a big match (City-Country).”

Hodge will join the 17-man squad in Queensland shortly.

“It’s good having a close mate there (in Rory), I’m also pretty good mates with the other boys from Western in the country side, so it helps,” Hodge said when asked what it’s like having team-mate Brien with him in the team.

Hodge will represent Greater Western in the NSW Combined High Schools rugby league championships at Casino next week.

Hodge has also enjoyed representing at high levels in other sports.

Last summer he helped the Cowra under 16s cricket team to their second Lachlan Council title in a row scoring 21 with the bat and taking 4-28 with the ball in the grand final against Condobolin.

“It’s good playing different sports. It breaks them up a little bit,” he said.

Hodge has also swum at a high level and can also swing a golf stick very well.

But rugby league, capturing his attention now, seems to be the dream.

The Brisbane Second Division Under 22 representative team has defeated a combined Universities team at Davies Park on Sunday 18 May.

Universities started well and went to a 10-0 lead midway through the first half, but Second Divison came back and trailed 16-12 at half time, with each team scoring three tries.

Second Division continued strongly in the second half scoring another six tries to one in the second half, to win the match 40-22.

Second Division would like to thank the Universities for playing this representative match at relatively short notice.
TRIES : H.Seijka, V.Tia Kilisi, P.Lolesio
GOALS : H. Seijka 2 goals, field goal
TRIES : J.Azar 2, M.Solino, D.Ahotono, J.Wehby
GOALS : J.Wheby 5
TRIES : D.Brunton 2, R.Hura, J.Murray, G.Vuna, A.Clayton, J.Treichel
GOALS : B.Murray 5
TRIES : M.Gardner, K.Freeman 2, T.Auremi
GOALS : N.Gardner 2

A crowd of almost 2500 people descended on Western Weekender Stadium today to see two upset wins in the NSW Rugby League Junior Representative Grand Finals.

The Parramatta Eels are the new Harold Matthews Cup Premiers today after handing the Penrith Panthers their first loss of the season.

The Eels’ 30-17 win against the defending premiers secured them their 17th Harold Matthews Cup title – a NSWRL record.

The second upset of the day saw the Sydney Roosters down Parramatta 38-20, denying the Eels back-to-back titles.

Spurred on by the presence of their first-grade coach Brad Fittler and his entire squad, it is only the second time in history the tri-colours have won the SG Ball Cup.

There was some consolation for the losing teams today with Vaipuna Tia Kilifi (Penrith, Harold Matthews) and Tim Auremi (Parramatta, SG Ball) winning the Junior Representative Player of the Year awards.
Cronulla Vs Penrith Rnd 10 Harold Matthews Cup (Photo : ourfooty media)
Pentrith Panthers Harold MAtthews Cup Team - Cronulla Vs Penrith Rnd 10 Harold Matthews Cup (Photo : ourfooty media) PHOTO'S Vs SHARKS
Global Rugby League
Grand Final fever returns to Sydney on Saturday when four teams compete for honours in the SG Ball and Harold Mathews Cup at Western Weekender Stadium.

Grand Final fever returns to Sydney on Saturday when four teams compete for honours in the SG Ball and Harold Mathews Cup at Western Weekender Stadium.


Western Weekender Stadium Saturday May 7, 11:30am 30 minutes per half

The Eels produced one of the most inspirational comebacks last weekend on their way to knocking over the Newcastle Knights for a spot in the final.

Down 28-6 with 11 minutes remaining, the Eels could have waved the white flag and easily accepted that defeat was unavoidable.

Instead they rolled their sleeves up and fought back, scoring 5 tries to snatch a 34-28 victory over a devastated Knights outfit.

Penrith easily outclassed the Bulldogs 48-12 and had the game wrapped up by half-time after they led 22-nil.

The Bulldogs did score first in the second half but were unable to put enough points on the scoreboard before the Panthers responded.

Penrith off the back of a big win against an Eels outfit that started too slowly in attack would have to be outright favourites to win this one.

Panthers: 1.Thomas Eisenhuth, 2.Andrew Tauvao, 3.Jon Pepa, 4.Tevita Feiloakitau, 5.Keti Nanai, 6.William Beale, 7.Harry Seijka ©, 8.Solo Alone, 9.Blake South, 10.Jonathan Taefu, 11.Corey Carl, 12.Vaipuna Tia Kilifi, 13.Robbie Mate Interchange: 14.Sam Hollis, 15.Junior Masaga, 16.Dean Zammitt, 17.Paul Lolesio, 18.Michael Compton, 19.Jacob Brenner, 20. Jason Antonelli Coach: Brad Liggins

Parramatta: 1. Chris Ulugia, 2.Jacob Gagan, 3.Trent Jennings, 4.Charlie Bonanno, 5.Sam Ahofono, 6.Jason Wehbe ©, 7.Jason Seage, 8.Rodney Moefaauo, 9.Nick Folino, 10.Jarod Azar, 11.Tui Lasalo, 12.Jacob Loko, 13.Jake Lewis Interchange: 14.Edan Price, 15.Luke Fishburn, 16.Atapana Afualo, 17.Sean McGuiness, 18.Ben Saunders, 19.George Khoury, 20.Robert Morgan Coach: Michael Lewis


Western Weekender Stadium Saturday May 7, 11:30am 30 minutes per half

Quick successive tries in the second-half helped the Sydney Roosters come from behind to beat the Bulldogs 38-30 last weekend.

Parramatta kept a competitive Canberra squad under control despite only being ahead 16-10 at the break.

The opening stages of play in the second-half were nothing short of an arm wrestle before Pita Maile burst through for the Eels to break open the point-scoring floodgates.

Tries to Fred Latulipe and TK Amosa combined with a field goal from Amosa in the 72nd minute handed the Eels a decisive 35-10 victory.

After Friday night’s NRL knockout, the Eels will be dirty on the Roosters and a win in the SG Cup grand final would help heal the wounds.

Parramatta: 1.Fred Latulipe, 2.Ryan Morgan, 3.Tim Auremi ©, 4.Brad Graham, 5.Kyle Fraser, 6.Albert Kelly, 7.TK Amosa, 8.Boyd Brown, 9.Alex Folino, 10.Ellis James, 11.Shaun Boss, 12.Olomanu Usini, 13.Rulon Nutira Interchange:14.Nathan Gardiner, 15.John Leiataua, 16.Junior Rika, 17.Pita Maile, 18.Brett Bennett, 19.Ramis Amanoel, 20.Mitchell Johnson Coach: Troy Pezet

Sydney Roosters: 1.Dan Cross, 2.George Vuna, 3.Ryan Williamson, 4.Dean Warren, 5.Cyprian Ale, 6.Brad Murray, 7.Mathew Hands, 8.Andrew Clayton, 9.Olireti Sameulu, 10.Chris Thomas, 11.John Treichel, 12.Steve Azzi, 13.Jerome Leolahi Interchange: 14.Joshua Murray, 15.Lachlan Hall, 16.Isaac Maliota, 17.Arda Dalcik, 18.Lance Whittnall, 19.Royce Hura, 20.Jack Dawson Coach: Scott Murray

Haydon Hodge and Ronald Lawrence recently competed in trials at Coonabarabran for the main Western Region squad.

Haydon was selected in this squad and will now compete in the state trials for the combined High Schools team at Newcastle next week.

Another piece of very good news is that James Agustin has been selected in the Presidents XIII to also play at the state trials.

The President’s XIII is selected from players across the state, who were unfortunate in missing selection in their regional teams through injury or misadventure. Congratulations to Haydon and James and we wish them all the best at the state selection trials.

To have two young men representing our small school at these trials is quite an achievement.

Our Buckley Shield 14 yrs team was soundly beaten by a very big and movile Forbes High team last Wednesday. The boys never gave up and tried hard but were outclassed.

In the next 2 – 3 weeks we have two play a Tom Kemp, 16 yrs, game against Molong and a University Shield, opens, game against Canobolas High. The dates and times for these games have yet to be finalised.. Mr Cowell - Rugby League Coach
Redcliffe SHS

Redcliffe SHS Year 8
What ANOTHER GREAT game by the Year 8 redcliffe boys. they played strong and consistantly throughout the whole game. their team work is what shows most in their games, with strong performances from all players.

tries were scored by Nick Stanley (2), Josh jones-payne (1), joel patrick (1), cameron earea (2). with a group of boys that play so well as a team it is hard to pick a player of the match, so congradulations to anthony o’brien for a game well played.


The crowd was treated to an entertaining game at Dolphin Oval, between two sides missing their star players due to representative duties. Our six spectating Sunshine Coast Reps provided an opportunity for four players to make their open boys debut in the Gee Shield.

In a dream start to the game, tough tackling led to a turnover and soon captain Aaron Hammant set up a flying Brett Coutts to score in the corner, Lee Johnston adding the extras from out wide.

Despite the solid tackling of Harley Aiono, Sam Tini and John Graham, combined with easy metres around the ruck areas gained from the scooting Justin Livett, Mitch Breed and AJ Martin, mistakes allowed Clairvaux to cross for 2 easy tries and take a 14-6 lead into half time.

With only one substitute, it would have been easy for Redcliffe to let the game slip out of reach, however, to their credit, the team lifted and dominated the proceedings. With Brett Coutts terrorising the defensive line, Aaron Hammant supplied the hardworking hooker, Matt Humphries to deliver a try under the posts (12-14).

With renewed confidence, Redcliffe produced some fantastic football. A cheeky Daniel Flaherty offload and Mitch Breed break almost paid immediate dividends as Clairvaux began to wilt under the sustained pressure. Soon enough the ball went through hands for Harley Aiono to score, Lee Johnston maintaining his 100% accuracy with the conversion.

In the dying minutes the game took an unwanted twist. A storming 50m run by Jordan Lockhart looked like giving the Redcliffe team the match winner, only for the ball to be dislodged with the try line begging. With seconds remaining a clear knock on went unpenalised as stunned defenders could only watch Clairvaux score under the posts.
The conversion successful, the margin 2 points against a valiant Redcliffe side.

Congratulations on a fine effort, especially by the newcomers to the team, Shaun Hirst, Shane Eliu, Justin Livett and Mitch Breed, without whom the school would have had to forfeit the fixture.


Brett Coutts- Ran and tackled himself to a standstill.
Aaron Hammant- set up the tries and led the team well.
Matt Humphries- always dangerous.

Redcliffe SHS YEAR 8
Aspley Broncos 38 V Sandgate 16


Well another solid victory for the year 8 Aspley Broncos Cup boys. We had some excellent team supported tries scored, Three of which were scored by our player of the match Cameron Earea. Toby Crighton and Joel Patrick both scored two and one by Harrison Fata. The lads are improving as a team every week and should be a real threat come finals time.
Josh Dutton is wrapped up by Narrabri's Daniel Jobson yesterday. Dutton was instrumental in their Arrive Alive win. Photos: Barry Smith
Farrer hooker Josh Dutton is wrapped up by Narrabri's Daniel Jobson yesterday. Dutton was instrumental in their Arrive Alive win. Photos: Barry Smith

NARRABRI paid the price for a sluggish start as Farrer scorched to a 34-point Arrive Alive Cup regional final victory at John Simpson Oval yesterday.

The defending regional champions laid on four tries in the opening 15 minutes to effectively deny the visitors any chance of repeating their semi-final heroics (beating Farrer 2), before running away with the contest 40-6.

Winger Dominic Bower led the try-fest with a double – one in each half – while fellow wing Cameron Mitchell, centres Sam Jackson and Luke Wheeldon, prop Dom Horne, fullback Scott Blanch and half-back Jake Hawkins chimed in with the other tries.

Hawkins crossed as the bell was ringing with a 50m-plus weaving run to complete what coach Gus Comi rated a “pleasing effort”.

Comi couldn’t have asked for a better start, with Horne, Bower and Blanch all scoring inside the first 10 minutes.

Wheeldon’s effort less than a minute later then pushed Farrer out to a 20-nil lead which it held until the final seconds of the half when Michael Skillicorn grabbed Narrabri’s lone four-pointer.

“Our start was good but then we went down to their level a bit,” Comi said.

“There wasn’t enough urgency in the last 10 minutes off the line, and the depth was a little lacking.”

“The second half we fixed that up.”

The second half started in similar fashion to the first, with Mitchell crossing out wide in their second set.

Jackson then ran onto a long ball from Marcus Bower to complete a movement that was started by a charging run from Brett Jarrett after Narrabri had been able to force consecutive sets.

Bower (Dominic) then took advantage of the numbers advantage on the left, as Farrer’s ability to keep the ball alive contributed to some tired tackling from the Narrabri boys.

“The organisation was good. Dutto (Josh Dutton) at hooker and Hawko (Hawkins) at half-back. They set up the play pretty well,” Comi said.

“Marcus Bower had a huge game, especially in defence – he just smacked them – and Dutto was selective with his running.”

“And everyone else did their job.”

Narrabri will now be directing its focus to the University Shield after the mountain of Farrer’s top side proved too big to climb.

They headed into the match a wounded outfit with at least two of their strongest performers absent and prop Brodie Rumsby forced to come off the bench due to injury – not an ideal preparation for facing Farrer, coach Brad Graham said.

“But the boys need to hold their heads high – it was a top effort,” Graham said.

He conceded those early tries were a factor.

“There was a pretty big wind out there and they used it and completed their sets,” Graham said. “We didn’t have any ball for four sets and they got some quick tries.”

A couple of those he felt were a bit dubious, and hurt them, particularly mentally, but he wasn’t taking anything away from Farrer’s performance which affording Narrabri limited attacking opportunities in the opposition half.

They were also unable to stop Farrer’s flow often enough.

“We probably didn’t make enough dominant tackles, which goes a long way to winning the ruck,” Graham said.

“They bumped us off our structure and we went a bit one-out.”

They will next play Coonabarabran in the Uni Shield, while Farrer will tackle Peel High tomorrow week.

Their next Arrive Alive assignment will be against the winner of the Northern Rivers area... MORE AAC STORIES
Robert Jawai (with ball) does a passing drill with Nathan Kepa yesterday.
Skills: Robert Jawai (with ball) does a passing drill with Nathan Kepa yesterday.
Player Club
Darren Cobb Bentley Park
Nathan Wales Bentley Park
Aken Sam St Augustine’s
Nathan Kepa St Augustine’s
Giorgio Phillips St Augustine’s
Darryl Grant Tully
Rikki Barba St Augustine’s
Callum Bartram Innisfail
Kingi Ford Bentley Park
Anthony Cheng Trinity Bay
Craig Budby Western Cape
Mitchell Chadwick Tully
Tyson Brookes Malanda
Simon Roberts Tully
Zane Schieber Bentley Park
Morrison Mosby Tagai
Corey Davis Innisfail
Robert Jawai Western Cape
Troy Nowlan Woree

PENINSULA coach Rod Whittle says his side's strength is also its weakness going into tomorrow's opening day of the Queensland secondary schools under-18 rugby league championships.

Tyranny of distance dictates that Peninsula only had its first run together as a unit at Cairns’ Mann St fields yesterday, giving the side an unknown factor going into the championships in Ipswich.

Whittle said the fact Peninsula would be unpredictable could benefit or hinder his side but was confident individual talent would offset the lack of preparation as a unit.

"We’ll play with the spirit and enthusiasm Peninsula is renowned for, and the creative brilliance," he said. "But it will come down to if we can execute the plays we need to."

Peninsula meets Metropolitan East, grand finalists for the past three years, in what Whittle said shapes as a "torrid test" tomorrow.

Whittle said there was no shortage of talented players in his squad with Nathan Kepa and Nathan Wales starring on the representative scene.

Kepa crossed for a try and was named player of the match in the Queensland Murris team’s 22-18 victory over NSW Kooris in their under-16 curtain-raiser to the Test match between Australia and New Zealand last Friday night.

Wales is a member of the Queensland under-16 team while Tyson Brookes has shown his class in the Cairns and District Rugby League A grade premiership with the Atherton Roosters.

Whittle said Western Cape College pair Craig Budby and Robert Jawai (Weipa), and Tagai College’s Morrison Mosby (Torres Strait Islands), had already made special efforts to travel vast distances just to qualify for the team.
State of Origin is the highlight and centerpiece of the football calendar. Come and join the Bulldogs aboard the 'Bella Vista' for a 2 hour cruise of Sydney Harbour returning in time for kick-off at ANZ Stadium.

Package Includes:

*Ticket to the game (per ticket to the cruise) *Pre-match reception on board a luxury cruiser *Buffet & cocktail food, ales, wine & champagne, juices and soft drinks * Entertainment and a souvenir gift * Bus transfer from the wharf to the game


DATE: Wednesday 21 May 2008 TIME: 4.15pm for a 4.30pm sharp departure

LOCATION: Homebush Bay Wharf, Hill Road, Homebush COST: Per person - $350 + GST Bookings of 10 people - $3,200 + GST RING THE BULLDOGS: on (02) 8762 6800 to book your tickets. VISIT www.bulldogs.com.au
Daniel Jobson on the attack for his school side earlier this season.
Narrabri's Daniel Jobson on the attack for his school side earlier this season.

NARRABRI High School faces local schoolboy football’s toughest exam this morning when it takes on Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School in the Arrive Alive Cup regional final at Farrer’s Simpson Oval.

The Narrabri side has achieved more than any from their school before them in the nationwide knockout competition just by reaching the final but beating Farrer is another small mountain to climb.

“We’ve taken the positives out of our wins but we haven’t read too much into how dominant we have been because we know this is another step up,” Narrabri coach Brad Graham said.

“Farrer 2 was a step up and this will be an even bigger step up.

We’re aware of that.”

Narrabri beat Farrer 2 in last week’s semi-final, having already notched wins over Coonabarabran High, Peel High and McCarthy Catholic College.

“Hopefully we can continue the good form and the defence and general attitude the boys have shown in every game,” Graham said.. LEARN MORE
Matt Hand - Sydney Roosters SG Ball 2008
GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY: Matt Hands (third from right kneeling next to Josh Murray) pictured with his Roosters teammates after a win in the SG Ball competition. Hands is hoping an impressive performance for the Roosters in the SG Ball grand final against Parramatta will win him another contract with an NRL club.

After missing much of the first half of the season due to an ankle injury, Hands’ return reignited the Roosters campaign with Saturday’s win in the preliminary final over minor premiers Bulldogs their eighth in a row.

“Our season started off slow but we have now won eight in a row,” Hands said. “All the boys have bonded well as the season has gone on and we are now playing with more teamwork.”

Hands hopes a strong performance in the SG Ball grand final helps him to secure a contract for next year, which would allow the ball player to follow in the footsteps of past Junee NRL players Laurie Daley and Adam Perry.

“I’m hoping for a big game in the final and hopefully I can get signed again,” Hands said.

“I’d like to stay at the Roosters but it doesn’t particularly bother me.”

Hands said playing rugby league for a career has always been an ambition of his.

“I’ve always wanted to make a career out of playing rugby league,” Hands said.

“If it is possible it would be great, it’s what I’ve always wanted to achieve.

“I played in Junee until last year and now that I’m in Sydney I’m really enjoying it so hopefully I can stay up here.”

Along with Hands, Wagga born and raised rugby league player Josh Murray has been selected to play for the Roosters in the grand final.

Murray, a specialist half back will likely link up with Hands throughout the course of the game forming a formidable combination in the halves.

Hands, who predominantly plays five eight but has spent some time in the half back role describes himself as a ball running five eight, liking his style of play to current Roosters five eight and NSW five eight Braith Anasta.

“I play a bit like Anasta,” Hands said.

“I’m a ball running five eighth and I like to take the defensive line on.”
Trent Barrett scored 3 tries
Trent Barrett scored 3 tries

Warriors score 18 tries against Cumbrian minnows
Sam Tomkins marked his senior debut with five tries as Wigan claimed a 106-8 victory over Whitehaven in the last 16 of the Carnegie Challenge Cup.

The Warriors' reward is a trip to Headingley to take on Leeds Rhinos in the quarter-finals.

Tomkins, the younger brother of Wigan second row Joel, claimed a hat-trick within the first 12 minutes, and added another two after the break.

Trent Barrett also bagged a hat-trick, while there were braces for Iafeta Paleaaesina, Harrison Hansen and Mark Calderwood as Wigan ran in a total of 18 tries against their National League One opponents.

Pat Richards booted 17 goals and notched the 16th of the Warriors' tries in a personal tally of 38 points, while Ade Adebisi and Rob Jackson responded for the plucky, but outclassed, visitors.

Paleaaesina burst through the middle and took full-back Gary Broadbent over the line with him for the opening score on two minutes, before Tomkins began an incredible scoring spree with three tries in the next 10 minutes.

First he finished off a fine break by Liam Colbon, then he took a return pass from Gareth Hock to go in under the posts for his second. The hat-trick was completed with a smart finish after Sean O'Loughlin released him from 10 yards out.

Barrett crossed for the fifth try of the night after 14 minutes, before the Australian playmaker turned provider to send skipper O'Loughlin over three minutes later.

The rout continued with hooker Mickey Higham dummying his way over in the next set to put the Warriors 42-0 up with just 20 minutes on the clock.

NSW Blues & Queensland Maroons teams as selected below :
The opening match of series is at ANZ Stadium on May 21.
Fullback Brett Stewart Manly   1. Billy Slater Storm
Wing Jarryd Hayne Parramatta   2. Brent Tate Warriors
Centre Mark Gasnier St George Illawarra   3. Greg Inglis Storm
Centre Matt Cooper St George Illawarra   4. Justin Hodges Broncos
Wing Anthony Quinn Melbourne   5. Israel Folau Storm
Five-eighth Greg Bird Cronulla   6. Karmichael Hunt Broncos
Halfback Peter Wallace Brisbane   7. Johnathan Thurston Cowboys
Prop Brett White Melbourne   8. Carl Webb Cowboys
Hooker Danny Buderus (c) Newcastle   9. Cameron Smith (c) Storm
Prop Ben Cross Newcastle   10. Petero Civoniceva Panthers
Second-row Ryan Hoffman Melbourne   11. Michael Crocker Storm
Second-row Willie Mason Roosters   12. Sam Thaiday Broncos
Lock Paul Gallen Cronulla   13. Dallas Johnson Storm
  Interchange       Interchange  
14. Anthony Laffranchi Gold Coast   14. Peter J Marsh Broncos
15. Anthony Tupou Roosters   15. Ben Hannant Broncos
16. Craig Fitzgibbon Roosters   16. Nate Myles Roosters
17. Ben Hornby St George Illawarra   17. Jacob Lillyman Cowboys
Cairns Post
FOUR Peninsula players were named in state teams yesterday after the side's outstanding efforts at the Queensland School Sport 15 years rugby league championships at Redcliffe.

Peninsula captain Jack Svendsen, a Gordonvale High School second-rower, and Trinity Bay High centre Kelvin Lowe were named in the Queensland Maroons, the state’s top side.

Vice-captain Jessie DiMaggio, a lock from Good Counsel College, was named in the Queensland White side, along with Tully interchange player William Inu.

All four will play at the national 15 years titles in Brisbane in June-July.

Peninsula lost its final two games of the tournament at the weekend to finish fourth overall.

After winning its opening two rounds, the boys made the semi-finals but faced tournament favourite and eventual champion South Coast on Saturday.

Peninsula lost 50-8 with winger John Sesar and second-rower E-J Fa’aofo crossing for tries.

Manager Mario Mlikota said the result was slightly disappointing given the level Peninsula had reached in its 20-4 win against Capricornia on Friday.

"We were pretty flat. They came out of the gates well and we were 16-0 down after eight minutes," Mlikota said.

"We had very little ball in the first half and errors crept into their game.".. LEARN MORE
De La vs Engadine U 15A's Rnd 6 (Photo : ourfooty media)
Dion Beattie puts a good hit on Michael Morris Cronulla Juniors U15A's Rnd 6 (Photo : ourfooty media)
Captain Cook oval was again the center of attention with a coupe of fantantic games of under 15's rugby league.

De La Salle u 15'b (2) have been a team on the move, saturday they faced Gymea who put a bit of a scare into the competition leaders De La side last week missing taking home the game by only 1 point, was it that little sneak Ellis that popped a filed goal, De La (2) bravely fought back from a 2 tries down with 2 great team tries to level the scores at the later stages of the game.

Gymea however were good enough to control the game and put on the winning tries, well done to both of these team.

The much vaunted De La Salle U15a's played the much improved Engadine Dragons.

The Dragons turned up to Capt Cook oval with the eye of the tiger in them, wow, what a display we saw from the Engadine boys.

Engadine play very well against De La & combined well with a simple game plan that is deadly, close down the De La halves, restrict the ball getting to the De La forwards, then their speedy backs don't come into the equation at all. This doesn't allow the De La backs into the game.. LEARN MORE
35 - 10
TRIES : TK Amosa, Albert Kelly, Tim Auremi, Mitchell Johnson, Fred Latulipe, Pita Maile, Nathan Gardiner
GOALS : Nathan Gardiner 5, TK Amosa F/G
TRIES : Daniel Vidot, Drury Low
GOALS : Cameron Breust

The Canberra Raiders SG Ball side have been bundled out of the finals, with a disappointing 35-10 loss to the Parramatta Eels at the Western Weekender Stadium on Saturday.

The six tries to two loss brings an end to an otherwise successful season for the Canberra side who finished third on the ladder after only two defeats throughout the regular season.

Coach Dave Hamilton says that although it was a disheartening result, a number of the players will be able to take the experience into next season.

“Yeah very disappointed,” a dejected Hamilton said after the match. “Not just me but the players, I think they’ll sit back and realise that today they didn’t turn up. I’m not saying they didn’t try but we definitely could have played at another level of intensity, for sure.

“In saying that, it was still a pretty successful season for us. Nine of those guys are a year young, so next year they’ll have the experience of two semi finals under their belt.”

Hamilton also lamented the early injury to hooker Matt McIlwrick. McIlwrick has been one of the Raiders best this season, and his knock to the sternum was a blow to their chances.

“Matty McIlwrick copped a bit of an injury early and we missed his running game because when he goes forward out of dummy half, then we go forward and we play the edges but that didn’t happen today for us.

“It’s disappointing we didn’t get there, but we’ll move on.”

The Raiders didn’t get off to the start they were looking for and Parramatta was over after only four minutes. Eels five eighth Albert Kelly made the most of a staggered defensive line to step through and score next to the posts. Nathan Gardiner converted and the Eels lead 6-0 after only four minutes.

The Raiders hit back though when Daniel Vidot pounced on a good grubber from Raiders five eighth Cameron Breust. Brendan Harper missed the conversion, but the Raiders had narrowed the gap to 6-4 after eight minutes.

Parramatta captain Tim Auremi was next to score when he ran on to a good short ball to score out wide. Gardiner’s conversion was unsuccessful, but the Eels were back out to a six point lead.

Things weren’t looking too good for the Raiders when second rower Mitchell Johnson strolled over under the posts and make the score 16-4 after fifteen minutes.

But five minutes later a 90 metre special from Drury Low kept the Raiders in it. With Parramatta attacking the Raiders line, Low collected the high kick, danced around Gardiner and raced almost the length of the field to score under the posts. Breust converted the try to make it 16-10 and give the Raiders a sniff.

That’s how it stayed until half time, but unfortunately for the Raiders, the second half was all Parramatta.

With the Eels attacking the Raiders line, Vidot pulled off a magnificent try saving tackle, but in the very next play Pita Maile powered his way over under the posts and make the score 22-10 eleven minutes into the second half.

Parramatta scored again off a well placed grubber kick and Gardiner converted to make it 28-10, and with five minutes to go TK Amosa made sure of the result with a field goal to push the margin out beyond three converted tries.

Another weaving run and good offload from Kelly allowed Amosa to score under the posts and wrap up a comprehensive 35-10 win.

Despite the disappointing result Hamilton was looking to the future, many of the Raiders side with plenty of footy still to play this season.

“Some of them will move up to the National 20s and the other boys we are selecting an academy squad and they’ll continue to train.

“We’ll give them a couple of weeks off, that’s the first priority is to give them some rest. A lot of them have got school football, believe it or not, some of these guys will play up to 46-52 games this season so it’s a big year at this age group.

“So there’s still a future, I know today’s disappointing, but we get over that and move on. There’s a reason why they’re here and we still believe they’re capable of going to the next level.”

Hamilton will oversee the academy and help out with the National under 20s side where possible.

Congratulations also to Daniel Vidot who was selected in the Under 18 Queensland team last week after a fantastic season in which he was the leading try scorer in the SG Ball competition.

Parramatta Eels 35 (TK Amosa, Albert Kelly, Tim Auremi, Mitchell Johnson, Fred Latulipe, Pita Maile, Nathan Gardiner tries; Nathan Gardiner 5 goals; TK Amosa field goal) defeated Canberra Raiders 10 (Daniel Vidot, Drury Low tries; Cameron Breust goal) at Western Weekender Stadium

Shannon Walker
Shannon Walker starred in his return from injury as the Tweed Seagulls lived up to their defending premiers status to trounce Wynnum 64-14 at Kougari Oval yesterday.

TWEED Heads lived up to their defending premiers status to trounce Wynnum 64-14 at BMD Kougari Oval yesterday.

Shannon Walker starred in his return from injury.

The 19-year-old was playing his first game for Tweed Heads this season after injuring a hip and wrist playing for the Gold Coast Titans in the Toyota Cup.

"It's great to be back -- especially with the Seagulls," said the Australian Schoolboys' representative.

Tweed led 16-8 at the break. Three minutes after play resumed, Wynnum Manly five-eighth Dallas McIlwain kicked a high bomb to winger Walker, who showed his class from a standing start, weaving and outsprinting the defence to race 60m to score.

McIlwain continued to target Walker with high bombs, which allowed the speedster to make repeated breaks, feeding supports for three more tries.

Tweed Heads racked up 11 tries to two, with coach Michael Woods impressed by how his charges had 'played hard' for each other.

"I was exceptionally pleased with how safe Walker was under the high ball -- they tested him all day and he never failed," said Woods.

"He had been playing fullback in the Toyota Cup, but he proved himself on the flank today."

The Seagulls had seven Titans on show yesterday, with forwards Matthew Cross, Ian Donnelly, Chris Enahoro and Michael Henderson continually making valuable metres in attack.

Woods called for more support next Sunday when Tweed hosts top team Ipswich at Cudgen.

The Burleigh Bears held on in the dying stages to beat the determined Norths Devils 22-14 at Pizzey Park on Saturday, with the Devils scoring 10 points in the final eight minutes.

The Bears had lost their previous three matches, conceding a huge 122 points and forcing coach Jim Lenihan to drop three players for attitude problems.

"We can still improve. We have the bye next weekend so really it was a four-point win," said Lenihan.

"When they scored their 10 points in the last eight minutes, we had some interchange problems, so I was pleased we hung on."

Midway through the first stanza, Bears halfback Brent McConnelly, who was replaced in the 48th minute after a head clash, sent an inside ball to evergreen five-eighth Tommy O'Reilly, who scored near the posts.

Within three minutes Burleigh second rower John Blatch charged on a pass from dummy-half Scott Smith and twisted his way over for another try, with fullback Nick Parfitt again adding the extras.

Two minutes before the break, five-eighth Jacob Samoa made a 30m break before being stopped short of the tryline. His brother Luke stepped into dummy-half and after a quick play-the-ball, the centre scooted down the blind side to send Burleigh to the sheds leading 12-4.

IN THE Gold Coast Bycroft Cup, Southport Tigers remain undefeated after beating Burleigh Heads 30-24 in the top-of-the-ladder clash at Pizzey Park yesterday.

But the Bears threatened to score after the final siren, when Southport fullback Jay McDermott cleaned up a grubber kick in his own in-goal area to seal the win.

Southport coach Steve Dowd said Burleigh dominated the ruck area early in the second half forcing his Tigers to lift a gear or two. Southport led 24-4 but Burleigh hit back with a converted try just before the break.

``We were too complacent in the second half and it was almost costly,'' said Dowd.

``Burleigh did play some good football but we managed to get across the line. It was good to come away with the two competition points that is always hard at Burleigh.''

Props Tony Kelly and Ryan Pearson, lock Jay Hurlock, five-eighth Dean Allen and fullback McDermott were Southport's best, while centre Steve Farrelly, backrower Jason Bradfield and prop Boyd Towley stood out for the Bears.

On Saturday, Runaway Bay completed their sets in the second half to beat an enthusiastic Nerang Roosters side 56-12 at Bycroft Field. It was only 16-12 at half-time.

``Once we completed our sets we took control in the second half,'' said Baysiders coach Russell Bartlett.

Halfback Jeffrey Pollard crossed for a hat-trick for Runaway Bay, while tireless prop Campbell Curio led from the front.

Bilambil coach Jamie Mathiou was pleased with the Jets' improvement when they beat Mudgeeraba 24-10 at Firth Oval, with prop Greg Zimmerman and half Steve O'Keefe voted their best.

``It was a really pleasing effort after the touch-up we received off Southport the previous weekend.''

Elsewhere, Currumbin beat Parkwood 46-16 and Tugun downed Ormeau 36-10 in the grand final rematch.

The strength of the Parramatta Eels’ junior stocks was showcased today with the Western Sydney club winning through to both Junior Representative grand finals next weekend.

The Eels downed the Canberra Raiders 35-10 in the SG Ball Cup semi-final today at Western Weekender Stadium shortly after their Harold Matthews team pulled off a stunning 34-28 victory against Newcastle.

Parramatta will meet fellow Western Sydney powerhouse Penrith in the Harold Matthews Cup grand final next week after the Panthers smashed the Bulldogs 48-12 today.

In the SG Ball Cup grand final, the Eels will face the Roosters following the tri-colours’ 38-30 defeat of the Bulldogs today.. | MATTY'S CUP RESULTS | SG BALL RESULTS |

Undefeated Minor Premiers the Penrith Panthers are the 1st team into this years Harold Matthews Cup Grand Final after flogging the Bulldogs 48 - 12
Cheeza scores a good long range try off a slick Ringy pass (Photo ani : ourfooty media)
Cheeza scores a good long range try off a slick Ringy pass (Photo ani : ourfooty media)
De La vs Engadine U 15A's Rnd 6 (Photo : ourfooty media)
Dion Beattie puts a good hit on Michael Morris
Captain Cook oval was again the center of attention with a coupe of fantantic games of under 15's rugby league.

De La Salle u 15'b (2) have been a team on the move, saturday they faced Gymea who put a bit of a scare into the competition leaders De La side last week missing taking home the game by only 1 point, was it that little sneak Ellis that popped a filed goal, De La (2) bravely fought back from a 2 tries down with 2 great team tries to level the scores at the later stages of the game, Gymea however were good enough to control the game and put on the winning tries, well done to both of these team.

The much vaunted De La Salle U15a's played the much improved Engadine Dragons.

The Dragons turned up to Capt Cook oval with the eye of the tiger in them, wow, what a display we saw from the Engadine boys.

Engadine play very well against De La & combined well with a simple game plan that is deadly, close down the De La halves, restrict the ball getting to the De La forwards, then their speedy backs don't come into the equation at all. This doesn't allow the De La backs into the game.. LEARN MORE

Wade Graham get his shot at the big time (photos & ani : ourfootyteam)
Wade Graham get his shot at the big time (photos & ani : ourfootyteam)

Eighteen year old schoolboy Wade Graham will play his first NRL match this weekend for the Penrith Panthers against the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium.

In a selection shock this Panthers Toyota Cup star will appear at the top level for the first time.

Wade who was also selected for Sydney Gold in last Tuesday's CHS Sydney Schoolboys trials at Western Weekender Stadium dominated the play at this level.

From former NSW Ballboy to last years NSW U17's Captain in their fantastic victory over the QLD U 17's at Telstra before the State of Origin.

Wade gets his chance this weekend after Jarrod Sammut was dropped to the Toyota Cup side for 'poor form'& has been training with the Panthers NRL squad for the past 2 weeks.
Neil Henry with some of the Raiderette's
Canberra coach Neil Henry with some of the Raiderette's

The ReACT roofing Raiderette’s will represent the Canberra Raiders this weekend, for the annual Women in Super Mothers Day Classic held in Canberra this Sunday.

Eight of the 2008 Raiderette squad will participate in the annual event, which raises money for breast Cancer research.

Raiders Coach Neil Henry said the Raiders were right behind the event again in 2008, and would be well represented by the Raiderette’s.

“We’re proud to support this event for the second year in a row, and unfortunately because we’re playing in Sydney we won’t be able to attend,” Henry said. “But our Raiderette’s will be participating in the event and we’re happy to support this great cause.”

Ms Katy Gallagher MLA will join thousands of locals in Canberra for the Mothers Day Classic this Sunday.

"Breast cancer touches one in eight Australian women," said Ms Gallagher. "Breast cancer research is already improving survival rates and the quality of life for these women so we can all make a real contribution by walking or running this Mothers Day."

The annual Women in Super Mothers Day Classic walk/run is expected to attract 60,000 participants nationally, making it the largest charity fun run in the country.

The event will also be held in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and many regional locations across the nation - including Bairnsdale, Bridgewater, Cohuna, Geelong, Mansfield, Warrnambool and Wodonga.

Since the event was launched in 1998 by Women in Super, it has raised more than $3.2 million for the National Breast Cancer Foundation and is the NBCF’s largest single donation each year. As the major sponsor, Members Equity Bank has committed to an eight year sponsorship.

Many participants use this event to support or remember loved ones affected by breast cancer. Thousands of women, men and children of all ages wear tribute cards to support those fighting breast cancer, and to remember those lost to the disease. A minute of silence is held on the day to remember those who have died from the breast cancer.

Three Dubbo College players have been named in Greater Western sides to play in the New South Wales Combined High Schools Carnival to be held at Toronto from May 25-28.

Charly Runciman from Dubbo College Delroy Campus and the Dubbo Senior College duo Max Ray and Brodie Chapman have each been identified as outstanding talents and their selections come as no surprise.

Max and Brodie were last week named in the NSW Country Under-16s side to tour Queensland later in the season after being part of the Western Rams side that went down to Oxley in the final of the Country Championships.

At school level in Toronto, Charly will play fullback in the 15-Years Division side to be coached by former Wellington first grade captain Tony Wilson who is now at Gilgandra High School.

In the Open Division side, Max is one of the props with Brodie as his lock.

The Open side will be coached by Tim Vaughan from Karayuna with Tony Tilburg (Blayney High) his manager.

Meanwhile, the Dubbo and District Junior Rugby League season continues tomorrow with the draw now available.

Computer problems in the league clubhouse prevented the draws getting to the Daily Liberal in time for the Thursday edition.

There will be a full line-up of games at Apex Oval as well as games at Wellington’s Kennard Park, at Warren and at Gilgandra..| LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CHS CHAMPIONSHIPS |
Dubbo’s Josh Merritt and Dylan Hill and Narromine’s Riley Cape were all selected in the NSW Indigenous under-16
Dubbo’s Josh Merritt and Dylan Hill and Narromine’s Riley Cape were all selected in the NSW Indigenous under-16 side that will play tomorrow night’s Test match curtain raiser in Sydney.
Dubbo daily Liberal
Dubbo and Narromine will be represented in tomorrow night’s rugby league curtain raiser for the Australia v New Zealand Test at Sydney Cricket Ground.

Dubbo’s Josh Merritt and Dylan Hill and Narromine’s Riley Cape were all selected in the NSW Indigenous under-16 side that will play against Queensland.

After showing form at a camp in Narrabeen last year, the boys were announced in the NSW team and have been training in Sydney since Tuesday for tomorrow night’s clash.

“I’m really proud to be running out for my State,” Merrit said.

“I just can’t wait to play,” he said.

Merrit has been selected at five-eighth for the match and said he will be focusing on taking control and talking through the plays.

Coach for the NSW side, Scott Mieni said he congratulates the work of junior league officials in Dubbo for the talent they are helping to produce.

“There has always been impressive players come out of Dubbo but to have three from the area selected in this year’s team is a credit to Dubbo’s junior league officials,” he said.

Mieni said the boys were selected on not only their talent but on their respect and dedication.

“The boys have a really good attitude and they are very disciplined,” Mieni said.

“They know what they are here for and they listen.”

Meini believes the NSW side will step-up well against Queensland and said he is confident the boys can dominate.

“You would be blown away with the talent of the boys in the side,” he said.

“They just keep getting better year after year.”

The NSW side began training on Tuesday and will have a light session tomorrow before the big game.

“The preparation leading up to tomorrow’s game has been really good,” Mieni said.

“The boys are focused and keen.”

Mieni said the team appreciates the privilege of playing at the SCG and the importance of playing for their State.

“They all understand the honour behind playing and they all got a huge buzz out of the fact that they would be playing before a huge match like Australia v New Zealand,” he said.
48 - 6
TRIES : Michael Comerford 3, Jonathan Crawley 2, Brogan Gibson 2, Jamie Richters, Dennis Conlon
GOALS : Michael Comerford 6

TRIES : Josh Witty



A PRODUCTIVE week long camp was the catalyst for the Queensland Universities rugby league team’s 48-4 trouncing of their New South Wales counterparts at Wollongong’s WIN Stadium.

After leading 16-0 at half-time, Queensland piled on another six tries in a clinical performance.

Flashy Queensland winger Michael Comerford completed a fine debut match, crossing for a hat-trick of tries and booting six goals for a personal tally of 24 points.

Vice-captain Jonathan Crawley and livewire five-eighth Brogan Gibson each crossed for a brace of four-pointers.

Maroons coach Paul Srama was wrapped with his side’s performance. He said the team’s ability to stick to the basics helped pave the way for the nine tries to one romp.

“I was really impressed with the way that the guys stuck to the game plan of building pressure, and particularly the way that we executed our plays,” Srama said.. LEARN MORE


GOLD Coast wunderkind Shannon Walker yesterday cemented his dream in the NRL.

Walker, 19, regarded as league's brightest young star, announced he had signed with the Titans at least until the end of 2010.

The Gold Coast beat off a pack of clubs hunting the signature of the uniquely talented Aboriginal from Kyogle.

But Walker admitted there had been little chance of him going elsewhere.

"I wanted to stay here and my partner (Casie Winkler) is on a scholarship at Bond Uni," he explained.

"If I went somewhere else it would have had to have been without her and that wasn't going to happen.

"We are close to family here. This is where we wanted to stay."

The commotion surrounding Walker's re-signing would have been similar to that of one of the club's top first grade players but the teenager is yet to play first grade.

But his already legendary try-scoring feats for Seagulls in the Queensland Cup last season and the Titans Under-20 side this year have etched him as a fans favourite.

Plenty of Titans supporters come early to Skilled Park just to catch a glimpse of Walker in action.

But his brilliance has courted more than season ticket holders.

Watching on at Titans training yesterday were 15 players from the Ipswich Warriors touch football team. All are indigenous. All are part of a PCYC-based program for troubled youth. All are Shannon Walker fans.

"He (Walker) was the one they were all talking about when we were driving here," said the group's co-ordinator Anthony Ralph.

"They just couldn't wait to see him, to meet him.

"These are kids from very troubled backgrounds.

"We're talking break and enters, bashings, graffiti, stolen cars, drugs, alcohol.

"What they see in Shannon Walker is a very positive role model. They see someone like them, an indigenous person playing at this level and they know they can make it.

"They start to realise that the colour of their skin does not have to stop them."

Walker is happy to accept the pressure of being the role model. In fact he enjoys it.

"Yeah, it's good," he says. "When you are out on the street, people will come up to you for an autograph or a chat.

"There is that pride, especially at being an indigenous person and especially when I go back home to the Northern Rivers and everybody comes up and says 'hello'.

"Of course with that comes the pressure to behave yourself. You don't want to muck up."

Anticipation is growing as to when coach John Cartwright will give Walker his top grade debut.

However Walker admits an injury-plagued season in the Toyota Cup has not helped his NRL cause. He has battled hip, wrist and hand ailments.

"Of course the dream to play NRL is as strong as ever," he said. "But that is up to Carty and it will come when it comes.

"Carty just says to keep fit. I just have to have a clear run and play good footy.

"This season has not gone how I wanted it to go because of injuries.

"That puts a bit of pressure on and it also eats at your confidence.

"But as plenty of people have told me: `Don't drop off and hang your head. Just keep playing good footy'."
Glen Day Ingy Park in action
Glen Day Ingy Park in action
Townsville Bulletin
KIRWAN State High School's open team dominated the first round of the Cowboys Challenge played recently.

Kirwan defeated Ignatius Park College 32-10 in what was rated a tough contest for both

Kirwan State High School open team coach George Bartlett said his side played extremely well as a team

"It's hard to get 16 to 18-year-old's to play as a team, but they played great," Bartlett said.

"It's hard to single out a player who stood out because they all played well.

"Some of the kids who may not have done much or didn't have the ball still worked well in the team."

Bartlett said Ignatius Park College were a tough team.

"Last time we played them, they beat us one to nil.

"I've been around football all my life and I've never seen a score like that.

"It's always a highly contested game and we certainly have a lot of respect for their team."

Kirwan will play Cairns in two weeks time in Tully and Ignatius Park will play Ingham.

There are two pools in the challenge including the Northern and the Southern, which includes Mackay and Rockhampton.

The top teams in each pool will play to win the Cowboys' Challenge

In the under-15's match, Bartlett said it was a very close game with Ignatius Park College beating Kirwan High 8-6.

"Ignatius won it with a penalty kick at the very end of the game."
Reece Davidson charges forward Under 15's in action Sydney Rugby League Trials ( Photo : ourfooty media)
Reece Davidson charges forward Under 15's in action Sydney Rugby League Trials ( Photo : ourfooty media)
30 - 14 SYDNEY
Tries Siura Lapuaho x2 with 1 each to Jacob Gagan, John Fukofuka,Troy Errington, David Clemmer, David Minute
Goals: : Troy Errington 1 from 2 David Clemmer 0/2, Josh Neale 0/2 Sia Tanginoa 0/1
Tries : Keiran x2 Moss, Ryan Wilson
Goals: Ben Abbott ½
Not a good game with the boot.


The 2008 Sydney Rugby League Championships were contested at The Western Weekender Stadium at St Marys before a very acceptable crown for schoolboy league.

The standard of play these days is so superior to that of even ten years ago, it no longer looks like 15 year olds such is the quality of play.

This writer only saw the under 15s games on the day and the first game was between Sydney South West and Sydney West with lots of big, and I mean big hits in defence.

The final score being 30 -14 in favour of SSW but I can assure you the score in no way indicated the closeness of the game, it could have gone either way had SW had not made errors at crucial times such as dropped ball.

It was a very entertaining as were all four games on the day.

44 - 12 SYDNEY
Tries : kiaki Politoni x2 and 1 each to Tikrahi MacPherson, Joey Leatigaga, Rea Pittman, Bardin Brown, Reace Davidson, Hayden Fepuleai.
Goals: Joey Laetigaga 5 from 6
Tries : 1 each to Benson Falkia, Geordie Makey, Brebden Hurd
Goals: Brenden Lianna 0/2, Geordie Makey 0/1
schoolboys rugby leagueSEE

In the game between Sydney East and Sydney North we saw another game with monster hits that could almost be felt on the sideline.

The attacking play was most enterprising particularly from SE but North clung on as hard as they could but were not able to prevent the Sydney East team from their scoring spree.

East had a healthy contingent of players from Endeavour Sports who have proven themselves as quality players in every game this writer has seen. LEARN MORE HERE

Endeavour SHS runners-up
Endeavour SHS 2007 Michael Buettner Shield runners-up (Photo : ourfooty media)

Illawarra SHS hosted Endeavour & Matraville in the 1st games of this years Michael Buettner Shield.

The mighty Endeavour under 12's once again proved that Endeavour rocks.

In the first game ESHS played the locals defeating Illawarra SHS 30 - 18

The 2nd games was against Australian power house Matraville Sports, and the Endeavour boys came up trumps again with a resounding 23 - 16 victory

Congratulations to the boys and Mr. Kelly who is always there to support the teams, and a special mention that the games where played in the fantastic spirit of 100 years of Rugby League & young Jamal Roberts crossed for 5 tries on the day.. LEARN MORE ABOUT ENDEAVOUR SHS

Hayden Hodge has been selected in the NSW Country Under 18 side.
Hayden Hodge has been selected in the NSW Country Under 18 side.

Outside backs Rory Brien and Hayden Hodge have both earned NSW Country under 18s jerseys despite after the completion of the under 18s country championships in Wollongong on Friday night.

Although the Northern Area based Oxley Pioneers won the Country final 32-20 at Wollongong on Friday night, the Rams had five players named in the Country side.

The other Rams in the Country squad are Dubbo pair Brodie Chapman and Max Ray as well as lock Michael Nixon from Orange CYMS.

Brien was chosen as a starting centre for the NSW?Country side while Hodge was named on the bench.

Played at WIN Stadium as a curtain raiser the Country-City Origin clash, Oxley scored seven tries to Western’s four to claim the Tom Nelson Shield.. LEARN MORE

The following players have been selected for NSWRL U/16 Indigenous team to contest the Annual NSW Kooris v QLD Murries match at the SCG on Friday 9thMay 2008

1.James Roberts Souths
2.Jarrod Wicks Sydney Roosters
3.Jirra Breckinridge Lismore
4.Dylan Ingram Wagga Wagga
5.Craig Smith St George
6.Josh Merritt Dubbo
7.Tim Green Lismore
8.Dylan Hill Dubbo
9.Kurtley Dodds Tweed Heads
10.Kristian Kelly Kempsay
11.Kyle Turner Coonabarabran
12.Chad McDonald Gunnedah
13.Chris Binge Lismore

14.William Tufui Narrabri
15.Jordon Green Lismore
16.RileyCape Narromine
17.Leroy Buchanan Bowraville
Coach :Scott Mieni

Manager: Phil Duncan Sydney NSWRL: Steve Hall Sydney
The NSW Indigenous team will assemble at the Travelodge at the NSWRL Club Phillip Street Sydney, At 11.00am on Tuesday 6th May 2008. Please contact Steve Hall 0419 492 779 or Ricky Walford 0292327566
Redcliffe SHS Yr 8 Rugby League
Redcliffe SHS Yr 8 Rugby League

Year 8 Aspley/Broncos Cup team started season off well with a 20 - 8 win against Clontarf.

The boys played well as a team with tries being scored by Alex Findlay, Nick Stanley and the chosen player of the match Jack Copeland.

They did the simple things very well which allowed them to dominate….


Redcliffe Yr 9 Broncos Challenge team was beaten 28 - 6 by Mountain Creek.

Despite the hard work by Shane Toa and Jayden Best. Alex Stack played well scoring a try, to trail 10 - 6 at half time.

The second half started well with Tom Overington and Matt Smith playing well. But Mountain Creek ran away with the game late in the half.. Learn More Here
Keebra Park State High schoolSEASON SO FAR

Well with the first few rounds of both the local schools and the Broncos challenge out of the way its time for a bit of a look at how things are going and a general update of all things "FOOTY".

In the local schools competition the 13 A's are travelling along well and are unbeaten thus far, as are the 14B's who have had some high scoring victories over some spirited opponents. The 15's are not unbeaten but still top their comp and should feature in the crossover finals.

In the Monday night Titans competition the Open A side had a good win over Coombabah and look like the side to beat. Mr Stephens has been happy with their structure and the way the have stuck to their basic yet effective game plan.

The Titans B side did not fair so well against a strong Marymount side who showed discipline and got away with a lop sided 30-6 win.
Coach Mr Hart was far from impressed with this result as although the boys did not deserve to win, they could have stemmed the tide. Hopefully next week will see a turn around in attitude.

"We cant complete one set out of eight and have zero props taking the ball up and expect to stand even half a chance " he said.

"We will need to stick to our basic game plan and play basic football if we are to build a platform for the later stages of the competition" he added.

In the Struddys competition which is the Open B comp.

Mr Richard's side have shown good composure and discipline to remain unbeaten against some much bigger and more fancied opposition.

These results really do prove that a well coached side who sticks to a basic game plan and does the little things right consistently will prevail over less structured more fancied sides.

The Opens are also unbeaten having gained wins over Mountain Creek, Marsden and Wavell with the big test coming up against Palm Beach in a few weeks.

Vaha Pulu and Ben Murdoch are showing good form early on and hooker Dean Parata seems to have slotted in to the side well.

Onto the NRL and its good to see a total of 5 graduates now in the NRL. Benji and Ben Teo at Wests,Greg Eastwood at the Broncos, Rangi Chase at St George and now Sam Moa who got a run at Cronulla at the weekend.

Sam was a great ambassador for Keebra and its good to see him make his debut.

He came off the bench and made a number of crunching tackles and a gained a good few yards in hit ups. WELL DONE SAM.

Another player to watch out for is Manly's Kenny Edwards who had a good run in the Toyota Cup at the weekend and looks all set to continue on his way to the top grade.. LEARN MORE ABOUT KEEBRA PARK STATE HIGH SCHOOL

NARRABRI High School has emerged as the challenger to Farrer’s regional Arrive Alive Cup title after beating the Farrer second XIII at Narrabri yesterday after the school and town received more good news that Will Tufui had made the NSW Indigenous Under 16s side.

It’s the first time Narrabri has reached this stage of the competition and it is ready for a showdown with Farrer.

Defence and a strong game around the ruck was the key to yesterday’s 40-12 win.

“We stuck to our game plan which was to dominate the ruck,” Narrabri coach Brad Graham said.

“We didn’t complete as many sets as we would have liked.

“We’d get to the end of the set and come up with a low percentage play instead of completing the set.

“But we were strong in defence.

“We had some trouble out on the right side because they had a couple of sharp players out there and we had to change things around to accommodate that.”

Farrer 2 stuck with Narrabri in the first half and went into the break 12-6 down but Narrabri got on a roll on the back of its ruck dominance.

“Their second phase was very good,” Farrer co-coach Jeff Guider said.

“They’ve got some fast players in the backs and forwards and they backed up all day.

“They dominated the play the ball area and they were able to roll on from there.

“Their defence out wide, their slide defence, was good too because we’ve got some handy players out there like Sam Bowden who wasn’t able to show up.

“Certainly Narrabri was the better side.”

Farrer hooker Tom Mellor had a good game though with two tries while Guider said Nick Say and Sam Crossley were also good.

For Narrabri, Josh Warren, Kenny Allison and Daniel Jobson all scored two tries each while Sean Russ and Alics Davis were the other try-scorers for the home side.

Narrabri will now prepare for next week’s trip to Tamworth knowing it will have to step up again.

“Our preparation will have to be good,” Graham said.

“Under the old format we used to play a game against Wee Waa and then we’d come up against a red-hot Farrer.

“This year we’ve been able to build that belief with every win.

“These blokes (Farrer) were good today but we know they will be better so we have to improve.”

Regular hooker Phil Webb and Tufui should be back for the final.

Tufui wasn’t available for Narrabri because he is in camp in Sydney preparing for Friday’s Indigenous Under 16s State of Origin.

The outstanding youngster has been selected to play for NSW against Queensland in the curtain-raiser to Friday night’s Centenary Test between Australia and New Zealand at the SCG.
Jason McGrady Jr helped the Oxley Pioneers to win the NSW Country Championship
Orara Valley half Jason McGrady Jr helped the Oxley Pioneers to win the NSW Country Championship

GROUP 2 players scored five of the seven Oxley Pioneer tries on Friday night to help steer the Northern NSW combine to the Country Rugby League under 18 Regional Championship.

Playing in the final against the Western Rams as a curtain-raiser to the City-Country origin clash, the Oxley team outclassed their opponents to record a memorable 32-20 win at Wollongong's WIN Stadium.

Dunghutti Broncos centre Ray Marshall opened the scoring when he crossed in the 11th minute but that was about all the joy the Pioneers would have for nearly half an hour.

Costly handling errors saw the Rams run in three tries in six minutes and suddenly the green and whites from out West were enjoying a 16-4 lead.

"We didn't play that well to start with and we were down 16-4 I thought we're in a bit of trouble here," victoriuos coach Peter Barrett said.

"I think they were a bit overawed by it all and we weren't going so well but they showed plenty of character."

Just before half time Western looked in control until a superb cut-out pass by Orara Valley half Jason McGrady Jr put Macksville winger Jesse McEwan over to have scores at 16-10 at the break.

Barrett couldn't wait to get his boys into the sheds for the break so he could steer them in the right direction for the second half.

What he said should be bottled and used by all coaches facing a football emergency as the Pioneers put on four unanswered tries in the quarter of an hour after the break.

McGrady scored a try himslef almost immediately after the half began before Kenny Allison scored then Marshall and McEwan snared their doubles.

"I told them I wasn't going to rant and rave but the number of errors were sky high," Barrett said of his half time address.

"We turned it over on the first tackle five times in the one half so you have to be Einstein to work out what was wrong.

"After half time they took control of the game a bit more."

Only an off evening with the boot for Oxley goal kicker Matt Nean kept the Rams in the hunt as Oxley led 28-16.

Western had some faint hopes of a revival with 15 minutes remaining when replacement Cain Henry crossed but it wasn't their night.

Jay Chatfield sealed the deal for Oxley with 15 minutes remaining to stretch the lead to an unassailable two converted tries and the Tom Nelson Shield was heding north.

"The emotion after the game was great," Barrett recalled.

"They'd forgotten about getting picked in country sides or anything like that, they were just so happy.

"The boys took the Shield and did the lap of honour and shook hands with nearly everyone in the Stadium I reckon over the fence."

Seven members of the Oxley team received an additional honour on top of the championship when they were selected in the NSW Country team.

One of those seven was Jason McGrady who can now look forward to playing against arch enemy Queensland up north.
Cronulla Vs Penrith Rnd 10 Harold Matthews Cup (Photo : ourfooty media)
Panthers Matty's Cup player Harry Seijka kicks the ball at Shark Park (Photo : ourfooty media)

There are only four team alive in this years NSWRL District Rep's

SG Ball minor Premiers Canterbury are through to the semi finals after flogging the Gold Coast Titans, Parramatta, Roosters & the powerful Canberra Raiders make up the four teams for this weeks semi finals.

In the under 16's Harold Matthew's Cup Minor Premiers Penrith had a 50 - 4 training run against the Illawarra Steelers to close in on the '08 flag, Parramatta, Canterbury & the Newcastle Knights make up the last four teams playing for a place in next weeks grand finals at Western Weekender Stadium.

The NSWRL District Reps have seen some great football games in '08 with new teams in each comp, the SWSAS struggled in their 1st year in the Harold Matthews Cup and according to the Academy's boss Gerry Knight are excited about the future.

The Gold Coast Titans are the new kids on the block in the SG Ball and is another great opportunity for young Queenslanders to advance the footy ranks.
Cameron Paddy, the little general - Gymea Vs Cronulla U15A's Rnd 5 (photo : ourfooty media)
Cameron Paddy, the little general - Gymea Vs Cronulla U15 A's Rnd 5 (photo : ourfooty media) PHOTO'S
TRIES : #1
TRIES : Joseph Drinkwater, Stacey Morrel 2, Jeremy Saville
GOALS : Michael Lichaa ¾

Every game has 2 halves, in this one they were completely different!

The first half continued a pattern of drop balls allowing field position, possession and an easy try to the Gymea Gorillas who played smart, simple footy to be in the lead at half time. Gymea’s Jack Somerfield consistently put the ball down into the far end of the Cronulla’s half putting pressure on them and forcing them to run it out.

No. 8 for Gymea and their fullback did some good tackling. With No. 1 making a good run past about three Cronulla defenders.

Rea Pittman made a great return from Mathews Cup with strong line breaks throughout the entire game.

Strong words from coach Joe Lichaa at second half saw an invigorated Cronulla Caringbah side take the field. Joseph Drinkwater answered the call with an awesome run through the middle of the Gymea defence to put it down under the posts. Michael Lichaa popped the conversion over.

This seemed to be the tipping point in the game and from here on in it was one way traffic as Michael put Stacey Morrel into a gap and he scored in the corner.

Michael kicked a cracker conversion from the sideline.

Cronulla’s defence muscled up with Clinton Strickland, Michael , Scott Sorenson, Luke Brown, Jeremy Saville all outstanding, at times driving Gymea backwards. Stacey got another try in the corner and Michael kicked it again. Jeremy scored a great individual “palm off” try in the corner.

Gymea showed plenty of promise though in the first half with good inside passes, strong runs and good steady football but couldn’t keep up the pace for the whole game.

The game was played in great spirit, with congratulations to both teams and spectators.
Tim Green Lismore
Jirra Breckinridge Lismore
Dylan Ingram Wagga Wagga
Craig Smith St George
Kurtley Dodds Tweed Heads
Dylan Hill Dubbo
Josh Merritt Dubbo
Chad McDonald Curlewis
Kyle Turner Coonabarabran
Kristian Kelly Kempsey
Riley Cape Narromine
Leroy Buchanan Bowraville
Chris Binge Lismore
Coach Scott Meini
Assistant Coach Gerald Bradshaw
Manager Phil Duncan
Head Trainer Mick Barlow
Will Robinson Trainer
Ronny Gibbs Trainer

The following players have been selected for the NSWRL U/16 Indigenous team Train On squad to contest the annual NSW Kooris v QLD Murries match prior to the Australia v Neew Zealand Test Match at the SCG on Friday 9th May 2008.

The full team will be announced on the NSWRL website after the completion of the NSWRL Harold Matthews Quarter Finals on Saturday 3rd May 2008.

All players can fulfill their rugby league committments this weekend.

The NSW Indigenous team will assemble at the Travelodge within the NSW Leagues Club, Phillip Street Sydney at 11:00am on Tuesday 6th May 2008.

For more information please contact Steve Hall on 0419 492 779 or Ricky Walford on 02 9232 7566.

Country Rugby League Under 18s 2008
1. Matt Nean Oxley, Club-West Lions Tamworth
2. Blake Seymour Southern Stingrays, Club-Bega
3. Rory Brien Western, Club-Cowra
4. Derek Dus Central Hunter, Club-Woy Woy
5. Jai Smith Oxley, Club-Gunnedah
6. Jason McGrady Western, Club-Orara Valley
7. Jake Hawkins Oxley, Club-West Lions Tamworth
8. Mitch Fowler Oxley, Club Port City Breakers
9. Josh Dutton Oxley, Club-North Tamworth
10. Max Ray Western, Club-Dubbo CYMS
11. Brodie Chapman Western, Club-Dubbo Macquarie
12. Jay Chatfield Oxley, Club-West Lions Tamworth
13. Michael Nixon Western, Club Orange CYMS
14. Jake Finn Newcastle, Club-Lakes United
15. Kyle Richens Bidgee, Club-Young
16. Blake Hewitt Bidgee Bulls, Club-Young
17. Hayden Hodge Western, Club-Cowra
Coach Garry Gardner Singleton

The Oxley Pioneers are the Country Rugby League under 18 Regional Champions after outclassing the Western Rams 32-20 at WIN Stadium Wollongong on Friday night.

Played as a curtain raiser the Country-City Origin clash, Oxley scored seven tries to Western’s four to claim the Tom Nelson Shield.

The champions’ performance was rewarded at the selection table with seven Oxley players announced in the 2008 Country Under 18s squad.

Scores were locked at nil all until the 10th minute the when Western Rams fullback Chris Wilson was sin binned for a professional foul and Oxley Pioneers took full advantage, with centre Ray Marshall claiming the first try of the decider in the 10th minute.

Western Rams were quick to respond with Parkes based skipper Jamie Graham (15th minute) planting the ball down. Before back rower Brodie Chapman (18th minute) and winger Allan Arnold (21st minute) crossed to give the green and whites a handy 16-4 advantage.

Western looked in control until a superb Jason McGrady cut-out pass put winger Jesse McEwan over. McEwan’s try triggered an Oxley onslaught as the northerners ran in 24 unanswered points with McGrady (40th minute), Kenny Allison (44th minute) finding the line before Marshall (48th minute) McEwan (57th minute) snared their doubles.

Only an off evening with the boot for Oxley goal kicker Matt Nean kept the Rams in the hunt. Trailing 28-16 replacement Ram Cain Henry (63rd minute) gave Western fans some hope of a late Rams revival, but it wasn’t their night. Half Scott Rosser failed to convert from the sideline. Then Jay Chatfield (65th minute) sealed the deal for Oxley, stretching the lead to an unassailable two converted tries.

Oxley Pioneers 32, (Ray Marshall 2, Jesse McEwan 2, Jason McGrady, Kenny Allison, Jay Chatfield tries, Matt Nean 2 goals) defeated Western Rams 20, (Jamie Graham, Brodie Chapman, Allan Arnold, Cain Henry tries, Scott Rosser 2 goals).

Oxley Coach: Peter Barrett 0414227068 - Western Coach: Greg Edwards 0438825105
Mitchell Pearce and Brett Finch doing their best to unseat favourite Kurt Gidley. / The Daily Telegraph
City v Country ... honours were all tied up at full time, with NSW halfback aspirants Mitchell Pearce and Brett Finch doing their best to unseat favourite Kurt Gidley. / The Daily Telegraph
22 - 22
TRIES : A Roberts A Laffranchi B Harris T Carney
GOALS : C Fitzgibbon 2 T Carney
TRIES : J Sutton B Delaney J Hayne B Pomeroy
GOALS : B Hodgson 3

THE game was tied and so were the honours between NSW halfback aspirants Mitchell Pearce and Brett Finch at fulltime in last night's City-Country clash at WIN Stadium.

Jarryd Hayne confirmed his place in the New South Wales side while Chris Heighington, Joel Monaghan and Todd Carney are poised to join Craig Bellamy's State of Origin shortlist.

The Saturday Daily Telegraph understands those were the major outcomes from a Blues point of view from the draw - a result which had players feeling "hollow',' the crowd booing and the colourful Hayne calling for a penalty shootout in future.

New NSW coach Bellamy revealed on the eve of the game "20 or 21'' players had already been pencilled in for selection to take on Queensland at ANZ Stadium on May 21.

Hayne, off his game by his own admission since being shot at in Kings Cross during the pre-season, emerged from that haze with any eye catching performance.

His crash tackle lifted City back into the game after Country dominated the early exchanges and he scored a try in the 59th minute, making 74 metres in attack.

Sources say Country benchman Heighington, who made 18 tackles, 11 hitups and 97 metres, was the bolter of the evening and selectors will suggest to Bellamy he expand the squad to "21 or 22''.

But he is mostly likely to get his chance later in the series with the squad chock-full of back rowers. Canberra's Monaghan - with 112 metres - will also win significant support from selectors to be the Blues' other winger, ahead of Anthony Quinn (132), Amos Roberts (94) and Luke Rooney (104).

And while fellow Raider Carney was considered such an outsider that he wasn't even picked in his chosen position, his try to tie the game with eight minutes left and near-miss field goal have also won him fans in high places.

Man of the Match Anthony Laffranchi was already in Bellamy's list, as was Country replacement Ben Cross and City five-eighth Braith Anasta who also impressed.

The halfback battle between Finch and Pearce was absorbing. Country's Finch had a kick charged down in the lead-up to a try City centre Ben Pomeroy scored to grab the lead in the 65th minute and he kicked out on the full before Hayne's score. But he went some way to atoning with a superb pass which put Carney over.

Country coach Laurie Daley, also a State selector, played down the overwhelming favouritism of Newcastle's Kurt Gidley to be halfback. "I've been around a long time and I've been around this situation,'' he said.

"The performances out there of the players tonight were good but Kurt Gidley is a very valuable member of any team he plays in. In the past his versatility has been a problem, it has affected his chances as a starting player. I think he'll get a chance over the coming weeks to press his claims.

"I don't think there's a standout favourite, to be honest. I think selectors were pretty keen to see Mitchell Pearce tonight and we were also keen to see Brett Finch. I thought Pearce went OK.''

But Pearce said: "I think either Finchy or Gids will get it. I just wanted to play well in this game. I enjoyed it enormously.''

The crowd of 11,365 was up on recent years but still seen as disappointing in some quarters. City retains the shield as the 2007 winner.

This Saturday (May 3) is the first game of the Mudgee Junior Rugby League Season.

All teams will be playing at home at Cahill Park with the midgets starting off the inner town comp and finishing of with the under 16’s at 1.20pm. The under 15’s have the bye. The 14’s and 16’s will play Blayney.

Parents, friends and family of the U/16’s are to run the canteen.

MJRL invites all to a fun filled day of footy with a jumping castle for the kids.

Two group representative players will be on show form before there home town, Nic O’hara in the under 14’s and Shaun Michealides in the under 16’s.Congratulations to these 2 players

After all home games parents and players are invited back to the club house to watch the NRL match on the big screen and a few quiet refreshments.

This is the MJRL’s second year of the inner town competition and Kandos and Rylstone have decided to join, bringing five teams to strengthen the competition.

All players need to contact their coaches for game starting times and games will hopefully be published in the Mudgee Guardian/The Weekly for future games.
CCRL's Scott Wyatt.
CONCERNED: CCRL's Scott Wyatt.

CENTRAL Coast Rugby League (CCRL) has introduced tough penalties including minimum fines of $550 and the possibility of criminal convictions against offenders in a crackdown aimed at curbing unruly behaviour at local games.

CCRL general manager Scott Wyatt said the local code's administration, and police, would not tolerate more offensive behaviour at local grounds during games.

He said his executive had recently met with senior local police and other rugby league officials to ensure that any future offences will be dealt with severely.

"These talks have reassured the CCRL of the support we have from police (for maintaining proper crowd conduct) at local rugby league games," Mr Wyatt said.

"The message is clear," he said.

"The CCRL, police and the Gosford City Council will take a firm stand against any offensive behaviour, should it occur, in future."

The tougher stance being taken by authorities includes the searching of bags at entry gates to local ovals.

As well, security guards will be installed at local rugby league venues and the location of dedicated family areas (non-drinking) will be sign-posted as well as being announced on public address systems.

Reduced-strength alcohol drinks will be available at the grounds and there will be no more Umina versus Woy Woy games played on a Saturday night for the rest of the 2008 season.
Jarred Robbins palms off his Group 11 opponent
DON’T ARGUE: Bloomfield’s Jarred Robbins palms off his Group 11 opponent in Group 10’s 26-4 rout in the under 13s at Sid Kallas Oval on Sunday.

In all the fanfare surrounding senior Group 10 selections and Centenary of Rugby League celebrations, the next crop of stars strutted their stuff at Cowra’s Sid Kallas Oval on Sunday.

Hosting the annual Group 10 vs Group 11 trial matches, spectators had a glimpse of some of the hottest young talent running around the region.

The matches were all keenly contested, with Group 10 winning the under 13s and under 15s fixtures, while Group 11 proved too strong in the under 14s.

The sides squared the under 16s match 16-all.

Group 10 Junior Rugby League secretary Christine Smith said these results showed the talent in junior league across the region is spread around.

“The results on the day were mixed with two wins to Group 10, one to Group 11 and a draw,” she said.

Nineteen Cowra players were in action across the age groups with Carl Planicka recording a try-scoring double in the under 15s’ 30-0 whitewash.

Aiden Craig, Jyden Murray and Joe Dunlop all helped the under 13s to a comprehensive 26-4 win after they bolted to an early lead.

“These games were a lead-up to the Cluster Championships in Albury on the 17th and 18th of May, which the 12s, 13s and 14s will compete in,” Smith said.

“The country championships for the 15s and 16s will take place on 14th and 15th of June at Albion Park.

“We wish all the teams the best of luck in these games.”
The Dubbo Public School side that took part in Russell Richardson Cup
The Dubbo Public School side that took part in Russell Richardson Cup: (back) Brandon Webb, Nelson Edmunds, Dylan Anderson, Thomas Barber, Alex Norberry, Matthew Coffee; (front) Tyson Shepherd, Lachlan Keen, Blaine Gordon, Kadeisha Langman and Bianca Stewart.

While some of greatest players the game has known relived memories of their past achievements as the Centenary of Rugby League celebrations revved up, a couple of hundred school students were showing there is a big future for the game in a display of what we can expect to see in the next decade.

Legends like Ian Walsh, Johnny Raper, Graeme Langlands and others including local western products Les Davidson and David Gillespie, were on hand to see action in the Russell Richardson and David Peachey trophies matches.

The Dubbo carnival is one of nine qualifying rounds held throughout the western area leading into the trophy finals to be played in Dubbo later in the year.

Going through from yesterday are Dubbo South Public who defeated St John’s in the Year 5-6 division and St Ignatius Narromine who won against Dubbo South in the Year 3-4 final.

After a mayoral reception, morning tea at Dubbo City Toyota and lunch at the Dubbo RSL Club, the legends of league and many hundreds of spectators joined together at Apex Oval for more fun and games.

Part of the night program was a fabulous concert headed by the McClymont Sisters and a match between Group 11 and Group 10 emerging talent.

Meanwhile, from Wollongong comes news that Dubbo product Andrew Ryan is in doubt for the NSW Country Origin game against City on Friday with a chronic knee injury.

He trained away from the main group yesterday and is considered the only doubtful starter.

St George Illawarra back-rower Ben Creagh has joined the squad as 18th man and will remain on standby for Ryan, the Canterbury Bulldogs second-rower.
Penrith Panthers 2008 Minor Premiers ( Photo : ourfooty media)
CONGRATULATION TO : Penrith Panthers 2008 Minor Premiers ( Photo : ourfooty media)

The Penrith Panthers are the 2008 Harold Matthews Cup minor premiers after defeating the Cronulla Sharks today at Toyota Park.

Penrith are an awesome football team, they are big, fast, strong & no one has been able to beat them all year.

The Sharks competed very well for the first half, and scored 1st when talented center James Hasson crashed over with in 3 or 4 minutes, then coverted his own try, Sharks were in front for a minute.. LEARN MORE
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UNDER 19s &
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*ROUND 5 Results & Ladders
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MAtraville SHS/Roosters SGG BAll
AIS/QSSRL U18's - '06
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Obe geia lines up Vs England in the 2nd Test 2006 (Photo : ourfooty media) OBE GEIA
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Bulldogs win Harold Matthews Cup Grand FinalBulldogs win Harold 2007 Matthews Cup Grand Final
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Cheerleader of the Week - Rnd 5 _ ReneeCHEERLEADER of the WEEK