2008 Junior Rugby League News - Footy News 2008 - Rugby League news & stories, schoolboys footy, australian schoolboys, nsw chs, qssrl, arrive alive cup, toyota cup, cronulla juniors, Rugby League World Cup, junior league finals



Kriss Wilkes (North Wales Coasters) Ross Wardle (Celtic Crusaders)
Dom Proctor (West Hull) Antony Morrison (Saddleworth Rangers)
Dalton Grant (Celtic Crusaders) Antony Symmonds (Celtic Crusaders)
Jamie Tibbs (Celtic Crusaders) Glenn Riley (West Cumbria)
Rhys Fenton (Celtic Crusaders) Antony Nicholson (Leigh Miners Rangers)
Karl Olstrum (West Cumbria) Tom Connick (Pilkington Recs)
Nick Johnson (West Hull) Callum Windley (West Hull)
Elliott Miller (Millom) Loren Quick (Celtic Crusaders)
Christian Duncan (Oulton Raiders) Ben Bailey (Widnes St Maries)
Danny Naughton (Shaw Cross) Michael Allen (Widnes St Maries)
Scott George (West Cumbria) Jacob Fairbank (Elland)
Callum Phillips (West Cumbria) Mark Wool (Celtic Crusaders)
Gil Dudson (Celtic Crusaders) Josh Halstead (Leyland Warriors)
Look out the Poms, the Aussies are coming on one of the flights into England today.

The Australian Institute of Sports Rugby League team only have a couple days to settle in to their new home before they take on Great Britian Community Lions U 18's at Tetleys Stadium for the first test.

Shaw Cross youngster Danny Naughton is dreaming of making his Great Britain debut this week.

Danny, 18, is part of the Great Britain Community Lions Under 18s squad that takes on the Australian Institute of Sport in a two match test series.

The first encounter between the sides takes place at The Tetley’s Stadium, on Thursday 27th November, kick off 7.30pm.

“It’d be great to make my debut for Great Britain, and it’d be extra special as the games in Dewsbury,” said the Shaw Cross stand off.

“We’ve been training as a squad for the last month and there’s some very good players involved so I’m hoping I get the call.”.. LEARN MORE HERE
Ulise Fahina. Photo: Dallas Kilponen
Contrite ... Ulise Fahina. Photo: Dallas Kilponen
ULISE FAHINA didn't realise what he had done until he got into the sheds.

Moments earlier, the promising Sydney Roosters teenager was involved in one of the most violent acts witnessed on a football field.

As a brawl broke out between the Roosters and St George Illawarra in their final-round Toyota Cup clash, Fahina inexplicably ran in and kicked opposing winger Daniel Nicastri flush in the face while he lay defenceless on the turf. It was an uncharacteristic moment of madness for the devout Mormon, who was suspended for all of 2009 for that and another indiscretion stemming from the fiery match.

Speaking for the first time about the incident, a remorseful Fahina hoped other aspiring sports stars would learn from his mistake.

"I just remember after I kicked him, I got sent off straight away," Fahina told The Sun-Herald.

"I just went off. I didn't realise [what I did] till I was in the sheds. I just want to say that is just not me.

"For young kids, I don't want them to make the same mistake I did."

The 18-year-old fronted the NRL judiciary in his Patrician Brothers high school blazer. NRL counsel Peter Kite said Fahina had run more than 10 metres to sink the slipper.

That he may have been banned for life had he been an experienced first-grader. Fahina's medicine - 25 weeks for the kicking incident and a further week for a contrary conduct charge from the same match. A year on the sidelines.

It's a bitter blow for a talent described by Roosters recruitment whiz Peter O'Sullivan as a "potential 10-year first grader".

Fahina said he wanted to be remembered for more in the game than one brain - and boot - explosion. He is adamant he is not a thug.

"A lot of people already know [about me]," he said.

"They ask me if I'm the guy in the paper. I say 'yeah' and they ask me questions but I walk away."

The Roosters and Fahina have taken steps to ensure the incident will be the last of his career. Refereeing and coaching courses. Mentoring sessions with senior Rooster Lopini Paea. Charity work for the St Vincent de Paul Society. Monthly visits to a police liaison officer. Fahina even penned six letters - including to the judiciary, sponsors and the NRL - pleading for forgiveness.

"After he was genuine and contrite in terms of how he felt afterwards, we were prepared to push on with him and give him a shot in life," O'Sullivan said. "He's done it tough, he's made a horrible error that nobody is happy with, especially himself, but he's faced up to it."

Fahina will still make his mark on the sporting field next year. He also excels at cricket, rugby, AFL, tennis, golf and basketball.

"I think I can play AFL at the highest level if I put my mind to it," he said. "I can always take on one of those sports [professionally] if things don't work out [in league]."

He may be forced to take another sabbatical from the sport he loves. But this time, for noble reasons. As a Mormon, he is expected to embark on missionary work in coming years.
Darren Lockyer scores a try during the Rugby League World Cup Final game between Australia and New Zealand in Brisbane. Lockyer was named the man of the match. / The Sunday Telegraph
Try time ... Darren Lockyer scores a try during the Rugby League World Cup Final game between Australia and New Zealand in Brisbane. Lockyer was named the man of the match. / The Sunday Telegraph
Nathan Cayless holds up the RLWC
Kiwi Skipper Nathan Cayless holds up the RLWC
Saturday 22 nd November 2008 18:55 Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
New Zealand 34 - 20 AUSTRALIA
TRIES : Hohaia 2, Smith, Ropati, , Marshall, PENALTY TRY, Blair
GOALS : Luke 3, Marshall 2
TRIES : Lockyer 2, Williams, Inglis
GOALS : Thurston 2
at Suncorp Stadium. Referee: A Klein. Crowd: 50,599.
Sunday Telegraph
IN a dramatic World Cup final, featuring a penalty try and a howling blunder from the world's best player, Billy Slater, New Zealand were last night on top of the world.

The numbing defeat forced the Kangaroos to hand over the trophy for the first time since 1972.

In an absorbing battle, the Kiwis sealed victory with a controversial penalty try ruling against Australian winger Joel Monaghan by video referee Steve Ganson.

"It was the right decision,'' declared Kiwis coach Steve Kearney of the incident in which Monaghan fumbled a kick and then held back Lance Hohaia.

It was also a sweet night for former Australian coach Wayne Bennett, who worked as an assistant to Kearney throughout the year and ensured the Kiwis maintained their self-belief despite losing to Australia 30-6 in the tournament opener.

The victory was a triumph for Kiwi five-eighth Benji Marshall, who has endured so many problems during his career.

"I've come a long way to get here,'' an ecstatic Marshall said.

"After all the injuries and all the setbacks, to pull this off, is fantastic. I would rate it right up there with winning the premiership with the Tigers in 2005.''

Australia bagged two tries to lead 10-0 after 16 minutes, but the Kiwis never lost faith.

Slater used his speed to break through and he found captain Darren Lockyer for the opening try.

Four minutes later, David Williams continued his remarkable season with a runaway try and it looked good for Australia.

But New Zealand kept fighting. Capitalising on a run of penalties, Jeremy Smith used his strength to power over on 28 minutes.

Another contentious call against Anthony Laffranchi gave the Kiwis a try. Laffranchi was ruled to have knocked the ball free from Benji Marshall's grasp, with David Fa'alogo scooping up the ball and sending Jerome Ropati to the line.

Isaac Luke slotted the conversion to give his team a 12-10 lead.

Interchange forward Anthony Watmough responded to set up Lockyer's second try and his 10th in seven Tests at Suncorp Stadium.

"There was that first part of the game where we had that lead and probably should've had the ability to go through with it,'' Australia coach Ricky Stuart said.

"To their credit, they grinded their way back and they had a good start to the second half where they jumped into us a bit and they got a fair jump on us.''

The Kiwis jumped out of the blocks in the second half.

Their up-tempo style was rewarded when Hohaia overpowered Lockyer to give New Zealand an 18-16 advantage in the 49th minute.

Slater then had his brain explosion in the 61st minute when it looked like he had thrown away the World Cup. Fielding a kick near his own tryline, he tried to beat the Kiwis defence down the touchline only to run into trouble.

It was a suicidal move, with Vatuvei shouldering him towards the touchline - but not before he tossed a pass back in-field for Marshall to scoop up the spoils and race away.

Marshall's conversion extended the Kiwis' lead to 22-16 with 19 minutes remaining. Slater sat by himself in the rooms ashen-faced, unwilling to discuss the incident.

Staring down the barrel, the world champions responded four minutes later with centre Greg Inglis diving over out wide, but Johnathan Thurston's chance to level the match sailed to the right of the uprights.

The Kiwis, though, found the extra energy to put the match to bed with late tries to Hohaia and Cameron Blair. Skipper Nathan Cayless declared the win the high point of his career.

"I've had a few chances in big games and haven't got there - this is my greatest moment for sure,'' Cayless said.

"It is unbelievable, no one can ever take this away from us.''

Stuart was gracious in defeat and refused to point to any of the controversial calls against his team.

"I just feel sorry for the players,'' Stuart said.

"Please don't make this too much about Australia ... they were better than us tonight. They've got their trophy in their shed. It's not in ours.''
Geoff Davidson and Paul Batfay surrounded by a battery of Bears fans on the hill at North Sydney Oval. PHOTO: by Steve Little.
PICTURED: Geoff Davidson and Paul Batfay surrounded by a battery of Bears fans on the hill at North Sydney Oval. PHOTO: by Steve Little.

Life long Bears fans Geoff Davidson and Paul Batfay have completed an heroic 300 plus kilometre walk from Canberra to the NRL Grand Final at Homebush Bay, however the fight against cancer goes on with donations towards the Cancer Council still being accepted up to the 1st December 2008.

“It’s the hardest thing I’ve done”, claimed Geoff whose grandmother died of cancer in 1992. “I’m still nursing the blisters”!

On Sunday 28th in over 30 degree heat Geoff and Paul found there toughest challenge.

“The 38 kilometres from Sutton to Collector was the hardest. The scenery was not much to speak of and the heat was coming off the road. The day was dry and the road was hard and I became a bit dehydrated”.

While the boys showed the toughness of a Norm Strong, there were those memorable moments that made the whole thing worthwhile.

“Just out of Goulburn this car pulled over and an elderly lady got out and chatted with us for a while”, said Geoff.

“She told us how she had heard about us and what a great thing we were doing. Then she pulled out her purse and handed us $11, that was awesome!”

“Also it was good to spend time with family next to us in some of the towns as we travelled. It was a good chance to get family together”.

Over $27,000 has been raised to date.

The North Sydney Bears whole heartily support Geoff and Paul and urge all rugby league fans to support their cause by donating whatever amount, either small or large, to the following NAB account:

Bank: NAB
BSB: 082-140
Account Number: 822744957
Account Name: Davidson Batfay Walk Against Cancer

For further details go to the official website at www.walkagainstcancer.com or VISIT THE NORTH SYDNEY BEARS WEBSITE
Baby Billy with his dad Ron. - To this: Billy, 12, tries on a Queensland Origin jersey. - To this: Billy Slater in full cry for the Kangaroos.
From this: Baby Billy with his dad Ron. - To this: Billy, 12, tries on a Queensland Origin jersey. - To this: Billy Slater in full cry for the Kangaroos.
The Cairns Post
RIGHT now he is king of the rugby league world.

But Billy Slater was once a little kid who worried he would never grow big enough or fast enough for the game that this week crowned him Rugby League International Federation’s inaugural player of the year.

View Billy Slater picture gallery.

Treasured photos from the Slater family album show a pint-sized Billy running the ball for Innisfail Brothers’ under-8s against kids head and shoulders above him.

"He knew what to do, how to pass and tackle, but he was only a little fella," proud dad Ron Slater told The Weekend Post yesterday.

"He was always the smallest kid out there, and he wasn’t very fast."

But footy was Billy’s passion. The son of a coach-player, he would hang around training sessions, live in the locker rooms on game day and sit glued to the screen for State of Origin matches.

Mum Judy Slater laughingly recalls her mother’s "birth present" to Billy.

"She gave us a small footy when he was born and said Billy would play for Australia," the mother-of-two said.

Only family members know how many times it all so very nearly didn’t happen.

A determined young Billy quit under-14s football for pony club after getting his first paid job as a trackwork rider and being given a broken-down racehorse.

Football then took a back seat to track work, leading him to Gai Waterhouse’s stables where he worked for six months as a 16-year-old.

Back home a season later, the "small fella" had gained size, strength and speed – but the Innisfail Leprechauns’ under-18s couldn’t field a team .

It took Ron’s brother Tommy to call in a favour at Brisbane Norths to get Billy another run on the park, with the offer of a trial two days later.

He and cousin James Slater drove a beat-up Mitsubishi Magna 1700km south, arriving the night before and doing enough to get a spot in Norths’ under-19 squad.

The rest, as they say, is history.

A premiership with the Melbourne Storm, Queensland and national selection have been countered-balanced by a dumping from the Origin side and highly-publicised suspensions.

"Football, like life, has its ups and downs," a diplomatic Billy said this week.

"He’s done it all now … I can die happy," a grinning Ron said yesterday.

Slater is fullback tonight when Australia plays New Zealand in the World Cup final at Suncorp Stadium.
Greg Inglis scores his brilliant try against the Fijians in last Sunday's World Cup semi-final. Photo: Getty Images
The contortionist … Greg Inglis scores his brilliant try against the Fijians in last Sunday's World Cup semi-final. Photo: Getty Images.

Greg Inglis could be weaving his Storm magic in his Kangaroos position next year, writes Glenn Jackson.

He is invariably called GI, as in GI Joe, but there is nothing action figure about him. No stiff plastic parts. Just long, languid strides, and athleticism never seen before on a rugby league field. Never, ever seen before.

The try Greg Inglis set up in the Centenary Test, giving new meaning to bending his back as he put the foot on the gas and sent the ball to "Gaz", was no one-off. Some of the tries he has picked off himself throughout the World Cup have again defied the movements and manoeuvrings of the human body; more Go Go Gadget than GI Joe.

What his success in representative football has shown, yet again, is what Inglis can do when he has the room for such movement and manoeuvrings. As a centre.

Inglis has bristled in the past about any talk that he is not suited to his club position, five-eighth, as has his Melbourne coach, Craig Bellamy. But now, it seems, there may have been something of a rethink. For the first time, Inglis has spoken about a possible return to being the centre of attention.

"Obviously, the Storm's bought a five-eighth [Arana Taumata], so I'm not sure what'll happen there, whether I go back to centre or stay in the middle," Inglis said.

"We haven't spoken about it. I've still got a month off before I head back to training. I've just got to see what old dog-face 'Bellyache' [Bellamy] says about it. It'll be interesting to see how the team lines up."

Approaching the World Cup final, Inglis appears to be near the top of his game, not bad considering this is the 2007 Clive Churchill medallist. Confident and confronting for any team that is forced to face him.

He looks and sounds relaxed, but he is driven by something far more steely than his contorting limbs. After a loss in this year's grand final to Manly, the reality that opportunity doesn't come knocking too often has set in.

"The confidence is there, but in the back of the mind, there is that fear of failure," Inglis said. "You might only get one shot at this. It doesn't come around often. It could be the only one. But we are together in this. Everyone wants to play for each other. We want to be the best in the world. We want to be No.1 again. You're not champions unless you defend a title."

That would cap a landmark year for Inglis, who signed a new four-year deal with the Storm. Throughout those protracted negotiations, he proved he could be a player of people as well. He raised the prospect of a move to rugby union, as Melbourne officials raised his offer.. LEARN MORE
The AIS have defeated a brave French Juniors team overnight with young Dale Copley crossing the line a couple time and Jordan Rankin had a blinder at five eight. SUPPORT THE AUSSIE AIS TEAM
Central Western Daily
ORANGE will host the final of the under 18s Country Rugby League Regional Championships next year as part of the big City versus Country festivities at Wade Park.

The underage decider will determine the best under 18s region in country NSW and will act as a curtain-raiser to the City versus Country representative match on May 8.

Western Rams made this year’s final but lost to Oxley Pioneers when the decider was played before the 2008 City versus Country fixture at Wollongong’s WIN Stadium.

The seven CRL regions will play in a two-day carnival on April 18 and 19 to determine the semi finalists in the under 18s before they meet on Anzac Day for a place in the final at Wade Park.

Next year’s open regional championship will take on a slightly different format as the seven regions are split into Northern NSW and Southern NSW.

Northern regions, Northern Thunderbolts, Oxley Pioneers, Central Hunter Power and Newcastle Rebels will meet on May 2 and 3 in a carnival at a venue in their half of the state.

The southern regions of Western, Bidgee Bulls and Great Southern will also contest a carnival on May 9 and 10 at a venue in the south of the state.

Each team will play on both days with the top two sides progressing through to the semi-finals on May 16. Teams with the best for-and-against will go through if sides have won the same number of games.

“What that does is it gives sides a reason to play on the Sunday,” CRL vice president Paul Rossiter said.

The final will then be staged on May 30 and venues for all carnivals are likely to be decided by February 13.

Applications will need to be submitted to the CRL management committee to host the representative weekends and Rossiter said Parkes would be a good chance of being successful after they missed out on hosting the City versus Country match.
Tom Humble is looking forward to combining with Pride skipper and halfback Chris Sheppard.
Ready to tackle challenge: Tom Humble is looking forward to combining with Pride skipper and halfback Chris Sheppard.
Cairns Post
THE Northern Pride is hoping an electrical apprentice can provide the spark the club's halves missed last season.

Newcomer Tom Humble will embark on a second traineeship next season when he gets the first crack at the Pride’s five-eighth spot, lining up alongside master halfback Chris Sheppard.

The Pride lacked depth in the halves last season, a fact brutally exposed when Sheppard was forced out with a broken foot during the Queensland Cup finals.

And while Luke Millwood and Quincy To’oto’o-ulugia remain to provide strong back-up in the halves, former Cowboys under-20 player Humble is likely to be given the first chance at five-eighth.

"I’m hoping he can step up to the mark," Pride coach Andrew Dunemann said of Humble’s potential at five-eighth.

"He’s got plenty of pace and can score a try and I think we lacked that at times last year."

Steve Sheppard and Jackson Nicolau shared the bulk of duty at No.6 last season but neither is in the Pride’s squad for next season.

Sheppard, brother of halfback Chris, has linked with Cairns District Rugby League club Mareeba as player-coach for 2009 while Nicolau’s Cowboys contract was terminated a year early and he has since been picked up by the Gold Coast Titans.

Humble said he was looking forward to heading to the Pride and linking with Chris Sheppard, also the club’s operations manager who made the approach to the 20-year-old to head to Cairns after his time in the under-20s finished.

"I think I’ve got a lot to learn off Shep – I’ve got a lot to learn about the game," said Humble.

"It’ll be for the better that I’m playing alongside him."

Humble said the Pride was his priority for next season, although he would love to rejoin the Cowboys in the future.

"I’ve got to cut my teeth in the Queensland Cup and show I’ve got it," he said.

Although he did not secure a contract with the Cowboys’ top squad at the end of last season, Humble will complete early pre-season with the club in Townsville as he continues his electrical apprenticeship, a situation he described as the "best of both worlds".

"I’ve got an opportunity with the top squad and the Pride and if either works out it’s a win-win situation," he said.

Humble played mostly at fullback in the National Youth Competition last season where he finished as the Cowboys’ leading scorer with 95 points, including a 19-point haul in round 23 against the Gold Coast.

But he spent the two years before that at halfback and said adjusting to five-eighth should not be too difficult.
Kenny meets the Mackay boys
Pat O'Hanlon (right of Kenny) was in the UK last year with the Mackay SHS Rugby League Academy when they met "Kenny' Photo : MSHSRLA '07

As the AIS Rugby League team get ready for their second game against the tough French Juniors tonight, the Aussies will be taking things a bit more serious after the the fisrt game on Tuesday night.

The French Rugby League are doing something right with their school & development of junor rugby league with all French Junior sides amounst the most improved team over the last couple years.

This is almost the Same side that belted a NSW CHS side a couple months ago at Western Weekender Stadium and a few of them played against the Australian Schoolboys in the special Centenary Test Match so won't mind another run at some Aussies

The Australians will be sending in a much more seasoned & expericnced side into battle in tonights second Test match than the one that played on Tuesday afternoon France time.

Jordan Rankin from Palm Beach Currumbin SHS the, 2008 Arrive alive Cup Champions, and ohh yeah, the Gold Coast Titans, will play most likely at five eight. Laim Law is a zippy little player and the experience of Kurt Baptiste, Max Ray, Pat O'Hanlon, Justin O'Niell who should all shine.


Mitchell Pearce
Mitchell Pearce
Sydney Roosters
Brad Fittler has courted premiership winning half Matthew Johns to the coaching ranks of the Sydney Roosters in 2009.

Johns, the resident funny man of Channel Nine’s Footy Show, has been brought in to mentor19-year-old halfback Mitchell Pearce.

Johns said he is excited to take on the roll and share his knowledge with the Roosters playmaker.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” Johns said.

“I’ll do a little bit with the halves and try and coordinate some plays with them.

“When you look at Mitch you look at a kid who I think could be a centre piece player for the future at all levels.

“He’s been around the game his whole life and he has a tremendous passion for the game and appetite for learning,” he said.

Johns said that Pearce’s passion for football is something that will enhance the learning experience.

“He’s got an old school attitude for the game,” Johns said.

“To have the attitude where you live and breathe it is an advantage.

“It has become more than a part of his life it’s become who he is. In his spare time he doesn’t switch off from it,” he said.

After a successful 11 year career in which Johns represented Australia and New South Wales he came across many of the games greatest thinkers.

His extensive knowledge of the game will be his focus point of education for Pearce..

“I was lucky when I came through Newcastle we were given a huge grounding in football education,” Johns said.

“I was coached by the likes of Warren Ryan and Malcom Reilly and coached at rep level by Bob Fulton and Phil Gould.

“I was fortunate in the fact I’ve been coached by some of the greatest thinkers the game has ever seen.

“They pass on a lot of stuff to you so when they do that you have a responsibility to pass the baton on and not let the information die.. LEARN MORE HERE
AUSSIE AIS Vs French Juniors
AUSSIE AIS play the ball in their tough and very close win against French Juniors in the 1st test
THe AIS Australian touring side had a tight victory in Toulouse this morning scraping home by mear 2 point margin

The Aussies had a comanding lead of 28 - 6 at half time only to allow our French mates to blast 20 second half points to almost steal the Test Match

The UK leg of the 2008 AIS Tour starts with a big bang in the 1st Test Thursday 27th November 2008 Tetleys Stadium, Dewsbury (home of Dewsbury Rams RL)

Then a week later the boys play their fianl game of the tour, 2nd Test Thursday 4th December 2008 GPW Stadium, St Helens (home of St.Helens RL)

The AIS Are playing the French Junior now (7:00 am Syd time) & we will have a full game wrap
Chris Faust is preparing for his second season in the National Youth Competition
SECOND TIME ROUND ... North Queensland under-20s player Chris Faust is preparing for his second season in the National Youth Competition
Townsville Bulletin
THE next crop of young Cowboys have officially started their pre-season training with a handy blend of youth and experience being put through their paces under new coach Kristian Woolf.

A sizeable chunk of last year's Toyota Cup team have returned to Dairy Farmers Stadium this year including Sam Bowie, Obe Geia, Dane Hogan, Chippie Korostchuk, Shaun Maloney, Tyson Martin and Ray Thompson.

Joining them are some bright young talents including Australian Schoolboys representative and former Palm Beach Currumbin student Ron Alovili.

And they will also be joined by a host of new faces from throughout North Queensland, many of whom have cut their teeth in the Townsville competition.

Woolf said he was excited to be working with the young players, many of whom he had coached at junior North Queensland and Queensland levels and in the Confraternity Shield in his time as a teacher at Ignatius Park College.

"I'm very excited, obviously I've had the opportunity to work with a few of these boys in the past so I'm very excited to be able to link up with them again and I'm very excited to have the opportunity to coach this year," he said.

"We've got a few local boys that have come out of local schools whether that be Kirwan High or Ignatius Park.

"And we've got some guys who have come in from Cairns, Mackay and Rockhampton as well so the majority of our squad is going to be locals which is really exciting and that's obviously what we're about here."

Marquee signing Alovili is expected to start training this week after linking with the team from the Rugby League World Cup where he trained as a development player for Tonga.

And Woolf said he was a key signing for North Queensland with the hard-running prop also in a number of other clubs' sights.

"Ronnie's had a good year this year playing front row for the Australian Schoolboys and also being picked more as a development player of the Tongan World Cup side," Woolf said.

"We certainly have looked outside our area a little bit for a couple of key positions and he was one of those."

While the Cowboys under-20s finished their first year in the competition at the bottom of the ladder in 2008, there were a lot of positives to come out of it with many of the players never having played together at an elite level before.

Those players will be a bonus for the new recruits in terms of mentoring roles and easing them into the pressures of playing in a national competition at such a young age.

"We do have a lot of guys who are just finishing school so this is going to be their first crack at a national youth competition so it's going to be a big learning curve for them," Woolf said.

"There are guys who did that this year so I'm certainly hoping they can help the younger guys out a little bit and talk to them and mentor them."

And the introduction of the new junior Queensland Rugby League competition will be an added bonus with fringe players to gain valuable experience in leagues that are hoped to rival the New South Wales SG Ball and Harold Matthews competitions in the future.

"I think it's a good initiative, it certainly allows for a stronger level of competition for the better players and certainly we've got some 17, turning 18-year-old guys coming into our under-20s squad," Woolf said.

"Some of those might not be ready to play straight away so it gives us a very good competition to put our players back to.

"Hopefully by the end of that competition which finishes in April they'll be a bit closer to playing in the 20s."

Preliminary Toyota Cup squad (subject to change) : Ron Alovili, Noel Barnes, Sam Bowie, Jared Cockburn, Jack Cooper, Ben Cronin, Aidan Day, Steve Eliott, Chris Faust, Obe Geia, Ben Henaway, Sam Hoare, Dane Hogan, Jared Huston, Chippie Korostchuk, Ryan Mahoney, Shaun Maloney, Tyson Martin, Joel McCrea, Chris McLean, Ben Morgan, Moses Pangai, James Segeyaro, Dylan Smith, Songhie Tatipata, Ray Thompson, Darren Tonihi, Troyden Watene, Mitchell Zornig.
Dave Taylor at Broncos training at Red Hill. / The Courier-Mail
REPRESENTATIVE prop lacking ... misfiring teen prodigy Dave Taylor at Broncos training at Red Hill. / The Courier-Mail
Courier Mail
BRONCOS coach Ivan Henjak admits Brisbane's 2009 front-row stocks are a ''worry'' with the loss of Test star Petero Civoniceva continuing to bite. Last September's departure of boom Queensland Origin prop Ben Hannant to Canterbury caps a mass exodus of experience from Brisbane's engine room.

Hannant follows the dual loss of club pillars Civoniceva and Brad Thorn at the end of 2007 and Shane Webcke's retirement a season earlier.

While the Broncos boast a star-studded backline roster for 2009, the club has on its books only one specialist front-rower, ex-Panther Joel Clinton, with more than 50 NRL games under his belt.

Clinton, 2008 mainstay Nick Kenny and misfiring teen prodigy David Taylor head a Broncos pack lacking a current representative prop.

They are joined by a host of promising talents including Isaak Ah Mau, Palmer Wapau and Josh McGuire.

Brisbane's front-row cupboard highlights the colossal void left by Panthers skipper and Australian bookend Civoniceva.

In addition to Clinton, who played one Test in 2004, the trio of Sam Thaiday, Ashton Sims and Corey Parker could switch to the front-row but have played their careers predominantly as backrowers.

"When you lose players of the calibre of the Webckes, Peteros and Thornys - there's always a bit of a concern," Henjak conceded.

"Then we've lost Benny Hannant again. It is a little bit of a worry."

It is likely either Thaiday, Sims or Parker will be moulded into a prop this off-season with Brisbane having a wealth of backrow talent.

In addition to the trio, the Broncos have at their disposal the likes of former Origin utility David Stagg, new recruits Ben T'eo and Lagi Setu and hard-hitting young prospect Will Tupou.

Henjak has challenged a host of prospects to fill the void up front.

"We're quite confident there are some guys there who can do the job," the Broncos coach said.
A great club on Sydney's North Shore Playing in the joint North Sydney/Manly Competition. Call Annette Hema on: 0404 610 048 or visit our website: www.nsbrothers.com.au
The French Juniors after their 2 point win over the pommiie Barla side
The French Juniors after their 2 point win over the pommiie Barla side last week
Guillaume BONNET
Julien CALVO
Vincent COMTAT
Guillaume MAGNOUAT
Mathias PALA
Charles Edouard PILATTE
Anthony PINEAU

The Australian Institute of Sport Rugby League team are in France on the 1st leg of their 2008 tour of France & the UK.

The players here after were selected to participate in the game against the Australian Institute of Sports with the team of Junior France 3 that will take place at Limoux to the stadium of the Aiguille on Thursdays November 20 2008 at 3:00 PM

The AIS team is a good one this year with Australian Schoolboys head coach Mr. Brenden Barlow from Marsden SHS is there to help coach... more soon

Thanks to Mr. Simon Huntley, former ASSRL coach who came up with the headline on the 2006 Schoolboys tour.


Mackay SHS rugby league champ Patrick O'Hanlon will take to the footy field again this time in Toulouse, France.

When the Australian Instutite of Sport take on the French Juniors in two test matches.

Pat, who was selected in the Australian schoolboys team this year had to pull out due to breaking his arm.

A couple months in a sling was all Pat needed to fire up and play 1st grade for Mackay.

After this tour with the AIS team, Pat will be moving to Sydney to take up his position with the Parramatta Eels Toyota Cup team.

The first game in on tonight (i think, can't read French very well) and Pat will feature in this star studded team

More info as soon as it becomes available GO THE AUSSIES, GOOD LUCK BOYZ!! FOLLOW THE TOUR HERE
2009 AIS Rugby League Touring Team
Aaron Fairweather
Aaron Fairweather
Charlie Jones
Charlie Jones
Dale Copley
Dale Copley
Gary Riccardi
Gary Riccardi
Jake Seaton
Jake Seaton
Jarad Brodrick
Jarad Brodrick
Josh Rose
Josh Rose
Justin O'Neil
Justin O'Neil
Kurt Baptise
Kurt Baptise
Max Ray
Max Ray
Mitchell Barnes
Mitchell Barnes
Patrick O'Hanlon
Patrick O'Hanlon
Sam Saville
Sam Saville
Scott Rosser
Scott Rosser
Tom Merritt
Tom Merritt
Jordan Rankin
Jordan Rankin
Ryan James
Ryan James
Brendan Barlow
Brendan Barlow
Brian Johnson - AIS Head Coach
Brian Johnson
AIS Head Coach
Billy Slater show off his World Player of the Year medal. Picture: Adam Smith / The Daily Telegraph
Number one...Billy Slater show off his World Player of the Year medal. Picture: Adam Smith / The Daily Telegraph
Fullback Billy Slater Melbourne Storm
Winger Manu Vatuvei Warriors, NZ
Centre Israel Folau Melbourne Storm
Five-eighth Greg Inglis Melbourne Storm
Halfback Scott Prince Gold Coast Titans
Lock Paul Gallen Cronulla Sharks
Second Row Gareth Ellis Leeds, England
Second Row Anthony Laffranchi Gold Coast Titans
Front Row James Graham St Helens, England
Hooker Cameron Smith Melbourne Storm
Coach of the Year Des Hasler Manly
Rookie of the Year Israel Folau Melbourne Storm

KANGAROOS fullback Billy Slater last night lifted what could be the first of three medals in two weeks when he was named the international rugby league player of the year.

After losing out to Matt Orford by the narrowest of margins for the NRL's Dally M Medal in September, Slater was presented with the first-ever Rugby League International Federation gong during a function at Suncorp Stadium.

Manly's Des Hasler was named coach of the year, Australia's Israel Folau rookie of the year and Paul Barriere - the founder of the World Cup - was posthumously given the "Spirit of Rugby League" award for his services to the game.

Slater is now in line for a unique treble. The Golden Boot, which has been awarded to the best player in the world since 1986, will be presented on Saturday week in Sydney - at the same function as the Rugby League Professionals Association player of the year, which he is also in line for.

Last night, Australian second-stringer Scott Prince beat Johnathan Thurston to the halfback spot in the RLIF team of the year, while Greg Inglis kept Darren Lockyer out of the six jersey.

Slater has set the pace at every level of the game since Melbourne's first trial match this season, scoring two tries that evening against Manly at Bluetongue Stadium and three for Australia against Fiji in the World Cup semi-final at Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday night.

He was also fullback in the team of the year, which featured two second-rowers - Anthony Laffranchi and Gareth Ellis - because of a tie.

From the 10 players named, Australia provided seven, New Zealand one and England two.

Wakefield forward Adam Watene, who died of a heart attack a month ago at 31, was honoured as part of a series of awards for the best player from each of the game's emerging nations. Watene was given the first-ever Cook Islands medal in that category. South Sydney's George Ndaira (Lebanon), Penrith's Michael Jennings (Tonga), Penrith's Paul Aiton (PNG) and Brisbane's Ashton Sims (Fiji) also received medals.

Australia's Tony Archer was referee of the year.

The fact there are two international player-of-the-year awards is a result of a dispute between the RLIF and League Publications Limited, which inherited the Golden Boot when it purchased Open Rugby magazine. The federation wanted to take over the running of the award but - in a similar stand-off to one over the "Immortals" tag between the ARL and Australian Consolidated Press - the magazine publisher opted to hang on to its trademark trophy.

Further complicating things is the fact that the RLPA will hand out awards in several categories on the same night as the Golden Boot is presented in Sydney on November 29. In addition to the Golden Boot, Rugby League World magazine's World XIII - including two wingers, centres, second-rowers and props - will be named.

Organisers are currently dealing with a clash involving the Queensland Origin team meeting the Prime Minister at Kirribilli House that night.

The judging panel for last night's RLIF awards was made up of journalists and former players from Australia and Britain.

THE New Zealand Ferns kept their best for last in a dominant display of women's rugby league at Suncorp Stadium, defeating the Australian Jillaroos 34-0 in the third Women's Rugby League World Cup final.

The Jillaroos had no answers for the Ferns’ speed and intensive defensive line which had the Aussies on the back foot from kick off, with experienced half Trish Hina dominating in the middle of the field.

Lousia Avaki, who delayed her retirement to captain the Ferns, led by example scoring her own four-pointer in the second half.

While Australian half Karyn Murphy tried to create gaps and prop Melissa Edwards attempted to take the team forward, the Kiwi defence simply outclassed any Aussie counter attack.

The match will be a first time experience for the relatively new Australian team, who will re-gather back at camp in an effort to rebuild before future Tests against the New Zealand side.

The Australian camp wishes to thank all supporters for attending the match.

Current Schoolboys Tim Auremi & Albert Kelly ( Photo's : ourfooty media )
Tim Auremii & Albert Kelly at the Australian Schollboys of the Century presentations this year (Photo : ourfooty media)

The Pirtek Parramatta Eels have kicked off preparations for Toyota Cup season 2009 with a 34-man squad coming together Monday to begin pre-season training.

The depth of the squad is a highlight with a total of 15 players having featured for the Eels at some point during season one of the national under 20’s competition in 2008.

New recruit Lachlan Gowland also has Toyota Cup experience having played five games for St. George-Illawarra last season.

Head Coach Matt Cameron says while he’s enthusiastic about the quality of the 2009 squad there is a lot of hard work to be done before it’s ready to take the field.

“You can’t replicate experience so it’s a definite plus to have so many players having already played Toyota Cup,” Cameron said.

“However last season counts for very little with so many new guys coming in.

“We’re fortunate to have three 2008 Australian Schoolboys in Tim Auremi, Albert Kelly and Daniel Galati in the squad and we’ve recruited strongly if selectively from outside.

“But ultimately Parramatta’s focus is on developing our juniors and this squad is reflective of that, with the vast majority of the squad coming from junior clubs within our district and through the club’s district representative program.”

The Eels finished fifth on the 2008 Toyota Cup ladder and were eventually bundled out in week two of the Finals.
Toyota Cup Squad 2009
Mitchell ALLGOOD Front Row/2nd Row Born: 27/4/1989 Junior Club: Brothers Penrith
Ramis AMANOEL* Front Row Born: 20/2/1990 Junior Club: Guildford
TK AMOSA Halfback Born: 3/5/1990 Junior Club: Wentworthville
Tim AUREMI 2nd Row/Lock/Centre Born: 8/4/1990 Junior Club: Greystanes
Jason BAITIERI 2nd Row/Lock Born: 2/7/1989 Junior Club: Hills Bulls
Boyd BROWN Front Row/2nd Row/Centre Born: 29/1/1990 Junior Club: Cabramatta
Shaun COX Wing Born: 2/7/1989 Junior Club: Guyra
Daniel CROSS Fullback/Utility Back Born: 10/2/1990 Junior Club: Caloundra [Qld]
Daniel GALATI Hooker Born: 27/7/1990 Junior Club: Greystanes
Nathan GARDNER Fullback/Wing Born: 7/3/1990 Junior Club: Cabramatta
Lachlan GOWLAND Lock/Centre Born: 17/4/1989 Junior Club: West Arana Hills [Qld]
Brad GRAHAM 2nd Row/Centre Born: 8/10/1990 Junior Club: Red Bend Forbes
Jamie GRAHAM Hooker Born: 8/10/1990 Junior Club: Red Bend Forbes
Scott HARTIGAN* Lock/Hooker Born: 15/7/1989 Junior Club: Guildford
Royce HURA 2nd Row/Lock Born: 15/7/1990 Junior Club: Wentworthville
Ellis JAMES 2nd Row/Front Row Born: 22/6/1990 Junior Club: Hills Bulls
Mitchell JOHNSON Front Row Born: 5/8/1990 Junior Club: Wentworthville
Albert KELLY Five Eighth/Halfback Born: 21/3/1991 Junior Club: Smithtown Juniors
Sam KELSO Wing/Centre Born: 6/11/1990 Junior Club: Halswell Hornets [NZ]
Solomone LASALO* 2nd Row Born: 28/7/1990 Junior Club: Wentworthville
Taniela LASALO 2nd Row/Lock/Centre Born: 23/9/1989 Junior Club: Wentworthville
Joel LATHAM Front Row/2nd Row Born: 16/5/1989 Junior Club: Cabramatta
Fred LATULIPE Utility Back Born: 19/11/1990 Junior Club: Cabramatta
Owen LAUOFO Centre/Wing Born: 22/5/1989 Junior Club: Wentworthville
Patrick MATAELE* 2nd Row/Lock Born: 9/12/1989 Junior Club: Guildford
Anthony MITCHELL Hooker Born: 27/5/1989 Junior Club: Brothers Townsville [Qld]
Ryan MORGAN Centre Born: 4/5/1990 Junior Club: Greystanes
Daniel MORTIMER Halfback/Five Eighth Born: 13/6/1989 Junior Club: Orange CYMS
Domenic NASSO Fullback/Wing/Centre Born: 17/7/1989 Junior Club: Hills Bulls
Rulon NUTIRA 2nd Row/Lock Born: 11/2/1990 Junior Club: Hornby Panthers [NZ]
Pat O'HANLON 2nd Row/Lock Born: 14/3/1991 Junior Club: Northern Marlins [Qld]
Cameron SPEECHLEY Halfback Born: 7/3/1989 Junior Club: Guildford
Kene TE WHATA Front Row Born: 3/4/1989 Junior Club: Northland [NZ]
David THOMAS Centre/2nd Row Born: 22/2/1990 Junior Club: St Pats Blacktown
*Denotes Train/Trial
1 Kriss Wilkes (North Wales Coasters)
2 Dalton Grant (Celtic Crusaders)
3 Nick Johnson (West Hull)
4 Jamie Tibbs (Celtic Crusaders)
5 Rhys Fenton (Celtic Crusaders)
6 Callum Phillips (West Cumbria)
7 Scott George (West Cumbria)
8 Gil Dudson (Celtic Crusaders)
9 Thomas Connick (Pilkington Recs)
10 Glenn Riley (West Cumbria)
11 Jacob Fairbank (Elland)
12 Ross Wardle (Celtic Crusaders)
13 Mark Wool (Celtic Crusaders) CAPT
14 Anthony Nicholson (Leigh Miners Rangers)
15 Michael Allen (Widnes St Maries)
16 Loren Quick (Celtic Crusaders)
17 Ben Bailey (Widnes St Maries)
1 Clement Bienes
2 Guilleme Martinez
3 Eloi Pelissier
4 Jeremy Gran
5 Clement Soubeyras
6 Tony Gigot
7 William Barthan
8 Teo Gonzalez
9 John Boudebza
10 Romain Pourret
11 Jorsh Lienieve
12 Geoffrey Zava
13 Douitoi Guasch CAPT
14 Maxime Cicirleo
15 Thomas Anbert
16 Doauieu Ganthier
17 Jonathan Soun
Men of the Match :
France :
Jeremy Gran
GB : Kriss Wilkes
Welsh Rugby League
T Gran (14), Soubeyras (55), G Barthan (2), Gigot

T Allen (47), Fairbank (66), G Tibbs (2)

The Great Britain Community Lions U18s suffered a heart breaking last minute defeat to France Juniors in Montpellier.

With the scores tied 12-12 and just seconds remaining a hotly disputed penalty gave the hosts a simple shot at goal and stand off Tony Gigot made no mistake from 20 metres out.

After trailing 6-0 at the break the spirited Lions hit back with scores from Michael Allen and Jacob Fairbank and looked odds on to take a share of the spoils before the last minute drama.

On a cold night in southern France both sides defences stood firm and coupled with handling errors and a high penalty count the game never really got going in the first period, despite France crossing out wide through centre Jeremy Gran.

Hard working forwards Gil Dudson, Glenn Riley and Jacob Fairbank were at the heart of most of the Lions best work and with outstanding full back Kriss Wilkes always a threat, the visitors knew that the game was very much there for the taking in the second half.

Obviously lifted by a half time talk from head coach Carl Briscoe the Lions started the second period on the front foot and soon gained their reward as the tireless Riley crashed over from close range. Jamie Tibbs added the extras and levelled the game at 6-6.

However, their joy was short lived as France hit back just eight minutes later with the best try of the night.

With the set coming to a conclusion, great vision from Gigot spotted an overlap on the blind side and after combining with impressive centre Gran, winger Clement Soubeyras raced over to finish off a sweeping 60 metre raid.

To their credit the Lions again dug deep and the game started to open up as both sides looked to find the next score.

Luckily for the Lions that honour went to them, as a period of pressure deep in French territory resulted in Fairbank rampaging over from a sublime short pass from scrum half Scott George. As Tibbs added the extras the clock was ticking down and a draw looked on the cards before the game ended in dramatic fashion.

“We’re obviously disappointed to come away with nothing from the game but we can certainly take some positives from the performance, said head coach Carl Briscoe.

“There was nothing to choose between the two sides but we now have to move on and look ahead to the two games against the Australian Institute of Sport which start later this month.”
Robbie Rochow's football career is set to blast off.
LAUNCHED: Robbie Rochow's football career is set to blast off.
Maitland Mercury
After just half a season in Newcastle’s top grade competition, 18-year-old Kurri Kurri fullback Robbie Rochow’s rugby league career is about to blast off.

The unassuming East Maitland man, who spent the past two seasons in the Newcastle Knights development system, has just signed a two-year deal to play for the Melbourne Storm’s under-20s team.

For a player full of promise, there could be no better place to nurture developing skills than a club renowned as a breeding ground for world class outside backs.

With the likes of Billy Slater, Steve Turner, Greg Inglis and Israel Folau and their awesome skills to look up to, not to mention a training program infused with the coaching brilliance of Craig Bellamy, it’s no wonder the teenager is excited about heading south of the border.

And he doesn’t have long to wait, with Rochow packing his bags and making the move this weekend.

“I’ve had a talk to the coach of the 20s and they’re under the same structure as Bellamy,” he said.

“It seems a pretty serious, intense style of training. It is a bit intimidating, but I am taking it pretty seriously.

“(The offer to play with Melbourne) was a bit out of the blue, but I’m going to take my opportunity and run with it.

“I’ll have a crack and see what comes from there.”

Rochow has been honing his skills on the footy field since he was about nine, first with the East Maitland Griffins junior club and then with the Kurri Kurri Bulldogs.

He was picked in the Knights’ summer training squad two years ago and last season finally saw some game time in the SG Ball competition.

Once that season was over he broke through into Kurri’s first grade Newcastle Rugby League team, proving a natural utility back as he took on the older, rougher opponents with ease.

After a word from Maitland league stalwart Mick Quinn, the Storm sent its development officer up to watch Rochow in action at Kurri’s home ground.

The southern scout left “The Graveyard” more than impressed with the teenager, promptly offering him the two-year deal. For Kurri Kurri Bulldogs president David Ross, the player the club picked as this season’s Rookie of the Year was always destined for bigger things.

“We have a huge opinion of Robbie. We love the kid,” he said.

“The first time he went onto the field in first grade … we all knew this was a future star. We all commented on it.

“It was like he’d been there forever.

“When you’ve got that much talent you can only go further.

“And if he’s lucky enough, if he applies himself and doesn’t get injured and gets the breaks, well who knows how far he could go.”

While Melbourne’s gain will be Kurri’s loss next season, Ross doesn’t begrudge Rochow his shot at the next level.

“Look at the club he’s going to – they have the best outside backs in the world,” he said.

“While he’s a loss in terms of a utility back, we don’t see it as a loss for the club – we’re keen as for our kids to make it.

“We’re all going to be watching him anxiously in the hope he makes it.”

But Rochow isn’t putting all his eggs into the one basket.

Having completed his higher school certificate at All Saints College, St Mary’s campus, Maitland this year, Rochow will also pursue his off-field dreams once he reaches Melbourne.

Enrolled in Swinburne University of Technology’s civil engineering degree, Rochow will juggle his burgeoning rugby league career with his tertiary studies.

But after two years training with the Knights’ SG Ball squad, finding a balance between his on- and off-field commitments is nothing new to Rochow.

“I’ll do uni during the day and train in the morning and at night,” he said.

“I’ve been doing the same with the Knights and school, and (in Melbourne) there will be less travel involved because I’ll be living at the uni and it’s pretty close to where I’ll be training.

“The thing is I enjoy training, as much as it is a hardship sometimes.

“I’ve been training four or five days a week and getting home sometimes at 9pm.

“And this year it has really started to kick in with my size, it’s really helped me improve me game.

“So I think I’ll be able to handle it.”
Logan Harris collecting his trophy
Logan Harris collecting his Sid Ellis Trophy for the player of the Buckley Shield series, Logan has been training with the Manly SeaEagles & loving it.

Logan Harris captained the Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School’s under 14’s Buckley Shield team to victory on the 23rd September against Cromer High School at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.

Farrer beat the Manly school 26 - 4 in a convincing win.

The Buckley Shield is a state wide knockout competition involving more than 300 schools.

Logan is from the Willow Tree/ Blackville area plays hooker and had a strong game in defence and attack, was awarded the Sid Ellis Trophy for the player of the final.

Logan was also named the player of the series winning the Sam Davey Trophy which is awarded to the player who polls the highest number of referee awarded points in the Buckley Shield Competition running from March through to September.

Earlier in the year Logan captained the Group 4, under 14’s to victory at Tuncurry taking out the Country Championships Cluster Shield.

Logan has been invited to attend a week long training camp in January with the Manly Sea Eagles capping off a great year of rugby league.

After Farrer's sensational victories in both this years NSW CHS University & Buckley Shields the school went off when the trophies were presented.

"Logan said the atmosphere at the school was fantastic when they got back, especially their bus trips home with Shields taking pride of place. The whole school gets behind their teams and players."

Both Captains Logan Harris (Buckley) Scott Blanch (Uni) gave speeches at the assembly the following day thanking their teams, Coaches, and the school. Logan and Scott both also took out player of the final and player of the series so Farrer really cleaned up in 2008.

Dunnington Primary School, representing England, gave Tony Smith and the National squad a psychological boost by winning the York City Knights Schools World Cup tournament, which was kindly sponsored by The Gold Cup, Low Catton. Ironically England defeated arch rivals Australia in the final who were been represented by Alne Primary School.

Prior to the tournament schools picked out a country at random and were asked to research that country on areas such as population, capital city, culture and their rugby league history and current team. Children from the schools then presented an assembly to the Knights on their findings. Knights Development Manager Adam Prentis said,

“The standard of all the assemblies has been excellent.

The children and teachers involved have all put a tremendous amount of time and effort into them. The idea of the event was not only to get the children playing rugby league but also to give them the opportunity to learn about their countries and about rugby league in general”.

The event, which was held under the floodlights at the Huntington Stadium, involved all ten World Cup countries; In Group 1 Australia (Alne), Fiji (Archbishop of York Junior School), Samoa (Stamford Bridge), Scotland (Scarcroft) & Papua New Guinea (Naburn) and in Group 2 England (Dunnington), Tonga (Osbaldwick), New Zealand (Sand Hutton), Ireland (Ralph Butterfield) & France (Heworth).

In Group 1 Australia edged out Papua New Guinea to reach the final by only one point closely followed by Samoa, Fiji and Scotland. In Group 2 England finished two points in front of Tonga to top the group followed by New Zealand, who drew all of their games, Ireland and France.

In the final England managed to keep the Australian’s scoreless with a 12 – 0 victory.

Let’s hope that Jamie Peacock and the England players can repeat this in Brisbane next weekend if they can get past the Kiwi’s in the semi final! All of the children involved were given certificates of attendance and Knights player coach Paul March was on hand to present Knights caps to the two finalists.

Tournament winners England were also given an extra special prize of a Knights junior season ticket for the 2009 season and all of the children were given information about the special replica shirt and ticket offer where fans can buy a 2009 replica shirt and tickets for the Knights three pre season friendlies for just £60 adults, £55 concessions (OAP’s & Students) and £40 under 16’s. For more information contact Leanne at the Knights office.

We would like to thank all of the schools involved in making the event such a success, Courtney’s for the use of the stadium and The Gold Cup, Low Catton for their kind sponsorship.
Daniel Ahsin (Wests)
Faleula Finau (Balmain)
Sean Finnerty (Wests)
Jason Green (Wests)
Matthew Groat (Wests)
Limoni Kamuta (Wests)
Joel Luani (Balmain)
Brodie Monroe (Balmain)
Jake Mullaney (Wests)
John Nicholas (Balmain)
Patrick Politoni (Balmain)
Junior Rogica (Balmain)
Tim Simona (Balmain)
Tim Sloman (Wests)
Sevao Stowers (Wests)
Jesse Sue (Wests)
Taniela Vaivaka (Balmain)
Sebastian Vourlos (Balmain)
Joel Wiseby (Wests)
Moses Pangai (Balmain), Lance Siataga (Wests), Shaun Spence (Wests), Luke Turner (Wests) and Aaron Woods (Balmain) could not make the trip due to injury.
Tony Wignell (Head Trainer, Balmain)
Tim White (Tour Manager, Balmain)
The Weekly Times
WESTS Tigers paraded their emerging young rugby league talent on a successful two match CUBS tour of Fiji last month.

Under the guidance of head coach Andrew Willis and assistants David Brooks and Adam Booth, the CUBS recorded wins over Western Fiji Schools (28 - 0) and the Fiji U/19s (30 - 8) in Suva.

Joel Wiseby, Jason Green, Daniel Ahsin and Limoni Kamuta turned in strong performances in the opening game that was played in balmy conditions against an enthusiastic Fiji Schools side.

Kamuta scored two tries for the Tigers, who led 14 - 0 at the break, with Tim Simona, Matthew Groat and Brodie Monroe also posting four pointers.

Jay Bonnell booted two goals with John Nicholas and Simona potting a goal each.

Following the match, the CUBS players handed out Wests Tigers’ merchandise to the crowd.

The Tigers backed up two days later to defeat the Fijian U/19 side in a bruising encounter.

Trailing 4 - 0 after five minutes, Wests Tigers rallied to lead 20-8 at half-time before asserting their authority after the break.

Jason Green, Faleula Finau, Junior Rogica, Nicholas, Simona and Kamuta scored tries for the Tigers with Bonnell, Simona and Nicholas booting goals.

“Fiji were very tough and some of their players really do have a bright future in the game,’’ said CUBS tour manager Tim White.

“The Fijians were very big, strong and fast. They were very well coached. It was a big step up in class from our first game.”

Props Jason Green and Sebastian Vourlos, winger Faleula Finau, back-rower Tim Sloman and centre Junior Rogica were the best players in the win.

The 2008 Wests Tigers CUBS were all U/17 players, apart from the late inclusion of Jake Mullaney (U/18) who replaced the injured Luke Turner.

Touring staff also included Tony Wignell (Head Trainer, Balmain) and Tim White (Tour Manager, Balmain).

Former CUBS to play NRL for Wests Tigers include Bryce Gibbs, Liam Fulton, Robbie Farah, Bronson Harrison, Isaac De Gois, Dean Collis, Shannon McDonnell, Rocky Trimarchi, Shannon Gallant, Stuart Flanagan, Chris Lawrence and Peni Tagive.
Justin O'Neill, 17, who has been selected in the AIS rugby league team to tour France and England
ON THE WAY ... Cathedral School student Justin O'Neill, 17, who has been selected in the AIS rugby league team to tour France and England
Townsville Bulletin
CATHEDRAL student Justin O'Neill's rugby league career has gone into orbit after the talented back was selected in an Australian Institute of Sport Rugby League team to tour France and the UK.

The 17-year-old has ticked almost every box a junior league player can achieve in his time in Townsville and was rewarded for his efforts with his first overseas trip in the code.

He has previously been to England in a touring rugby league team.

O'Neill will depart Townsville tomorrow for the tour at the cost of his Year 12 formal and will head to Melbourne when he returns to take his place in the Storm under-20s squad.

While he misses out on the end of year parties with his schoolmates, he said it was a small price to pay to gain international experience at such an early age.

"At first I thought I would be a bit disappointed, I still am in missing my formal and ending the year with mates in school, but I think it will be a good experience seeing France and England," he said.

"And then it's pretty much get back from tour, spend a couple of days at home and then start in Melbourne for the pre-season."

The Hughenden native earned his place in the team after gaining selection in the AIS camps held throughout 2008, where 80 participants were whittled down to the final 25-strong touring squad over four camps.

"Queensland, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Western Australia – nearly all the states were there but we didn't actually play games, we trained and did skills tests, fitness tests and stuff like that," he said.

"If you were good enough selection was based on the skills and fitness tests.

"At camp we pretty much did nearly every test you could do, skin folds, jump tests, sprint tests, a lot of informative talks on nutrition and diet, drugs and public speaking.

"And the balls skills were honing in on skills that we use in games."

O'Neill has also represented Queensland at this year's rugby league championships and was named player of the carnival.
Poi Clark comes in over the top to tackle older sister Teina (Australia). Photo: Michaela O’Neill
Poi Clark comes in over the top to tackle older sister Teina (Australia). Photo: Michaela O’Neill

Plenty of girls spend their formative years playing with dolls, playing hopscotch or hosting tea parties with their stuffed animals.

But that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Certainly not the Clark sisters.

Teina (Australia) and Poi (Pacific Islands) became the first sisters to face off against each other on opposing sides when their two teams met in a Women’s Rugby League World Cup semifinal at Stockland Park last night.

Hooker Teina had the last laugh when the Australians won through to its first-ever World Cup final with a convincing 32-6 victory.

The Jillaroos will now take on traditional rivals New Zealand, who beat England 16-4 in yesterday’s other semi, in the decider at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

Australia took a 6-0 lead after just five minutes when veteran halfback Karyn Murphy grubbered and regathered from close range.

That advantage was doubled to 12-0 when second rower Deanna Turner barged over. However, the Pacific Islanders hit back six minutes later through Tina Watson to bridge the gap to 12-6.

But in the end, class eventually prevailed with the Australians running away with it in the second half.

Aussies in action in the Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup
Aussies getting it on in the World Cup Match
England on the Attack
England on the Attack
England players celebrate
England players celebrate

If England’s stuttering World Cup team needs inspiration for a better showing this weekend they should look no further than 14-year-old double-leg amputee Harrison Brown.

Brown has been the standout performer of the Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup this week, leading England to three dominant wins against Australia, New Zealand Barbarians and France.

The tournament is being run alongside the Police, Defence, Women’s and Universities World Cups as part of the Festival of Rugby League World Cups 2008.

Tomorrow night all fans are invited to see Brown and his team in action at Liverpool’s Whitlam Centre as all four teams contest the semi-finals. Entry is free of charge.

England and France – who have been led by standout performer Zelthine Forest – have proven tough to beat for Australia and New Zealand, two countries still in the development stage of the sport.

Tournament Coordinator and NSWRL Western Sydney Development Manager Steve Hewson said the competing nations have players of varying levels of disabilities.

“But all the games are played with all the passion and enthusiasm of the ‘running game’,” Hewson said today.

“Australia doesn’t play this version of the game at this stage but it is hoped that after their involvement in this tournament it will be played on a regular basis and develop into a sustainable competition for both disabled and able bodies athletes.

“Several of the Australian players have adapted very quickly to the game and have played significant roles within the matches played so far.

“The game is open to players with various levels of disability and even able bodied people can participate.”

Hewson said the Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup would be used to fine tune the rules of the wheelchair game, with the aim of submitting a final set of rules to the Rugby League International Federation for official endorsement.

WHAT : Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup – SEMI FINALS
WHEN : Friday 14 November, 2008
WHERE : Whitlam Centre, Liverpool
Round 1 7.11.08 Round 2 10.11.08 Round 3 12.11.08
Barbarian 0 v France 100 6.30pm Australia 18 v France 44 1.30pm Australia 82 v Barbarian 0
England 34 v Australia 26 7.45pm England 78 v Barbarian 4 2.45pm France 18 v England 26

Semi Finals 14.11.08 Finals 17.11.08
v Barbarans
6.30pm Winner 1 v 4

Winner 2 v 3
v Australia
7.45pm Team 3 v NRL

Team 4 v NRL
Team P W L D F A Dif Points
England 3 3 0 0 138 48 90 9  
France 3 2 1 0 162 44 118 7
Australia 3 1 2 0 126 78 48 5
Barbarian 3 0 3 0 4 178 -174 3
Greg Inglis and Israel Folau pose after their haircuts. Photograph: Brett Costello / The Daily Telegraph
Hairy tale ... Greg Inglis and Israel Folau pose after their haircuts. Photograph: Brett Costello / The Daily Telegraph
Sydney's Daily Telegraph
IT cost $90 for the haircut, wash and blow-wave that Australian players Greg Inglis and Israel Folau enjoyed yesterday in Sydney.

That is more than a week's pay for some of the Fijian players the Kangaroos pair will confront in Sunday night's World Cup semi-final at the SFS.

Most Fijian players pick up electrician and construction work when they can back home.

On a good week they will earn $100 to $120 a week - but only $60 to $70 for a slow week.

Inglis and Folau visited Christopher Hanna Salon on Castlereagh St yesterday to ensure they looked their best for the big match.

Inglis is known to be a compulsive shopper.

"You've always got to look good when you go out in the public eye," Inglis said yesterday.

"You don't want to go out looking like Jimi Hendrix with an afro. I like to shop and see what brands are out there."

Asked did Folau enjoy his cut, Inglis said: "Yeah he did. He's the Tongan Ninja."

Folau meanwhile claimed his future with the Broncos may be in different position. Although one of the world's most feared centres, Folau believes he will one day be a forward, depending how much weight he puts on.

"I'd like to stay in the centres or wing my whole career but you might see me move into the forwards later on," Folau said.

"My body hasn't fully developed so we'll see in the next couple of years what my weight is and see how it goes.

"There's still a couple of years to fill out my body for it to reach its full size. On the physical side, I've still got a lot to fill out.

"I'm still only 19. I think some people have forgotten how old I am. I'm just enjoying my footy at this time. I'm going to learn a lot more about my footy over the next couple of years. That will be a bonus."

Inglis, regarded as the world's best player, said the Kangaroos have rarely received the accolades they deserve in the World Cup - with most discussion focusing on the weakness of their opposition.
Mackay Daily Mercury
Australia's Jillaroos survived a "bashathon" by England to win their pool and advance to tonight's semi-finals of the Women's World Cup at Kawana Waters on the Sunshine Coast.

"It was a brilliant game, but the Poms just tried to bash our girls," said Colleen Kunst, whose daughter Renae is one of three Mackay players in the Jillaroos side.

In a physical game, England played in a style described as a throwback to the style of Pom teams of the 70s, but went down 22-4.

"The tackles were high all the time, but our girls stuck to their game plan," Kunst said.

Mackay winger/fullback Tegan Rolfe suffered a bruised collarbone and was forced to head from the field after half time, but is expected to be right for today's 6.30pm semi-final against the second-placed team in the other pool, Pacific Islands.

Top-ranked New Zealand, who won their pool, take on England in the other semi-final at 3.30pm.

Mackay second-rower Deanna Turner, who was knocked out and suffered concussion in an earlier match, recovered to play a big game against England, as did Renae Kunst.

"The three girls from Mackay are acquitting themselves very well," Kunst said.

"The coach has been really impressed with them."

The winners of today's semi-finals play the final at Suncorp Stadium this Saturday.

The game will act as the curtain-raiser to the men's World Cup semi-final between New Zealand and England... LEARN MORE ABOUT 'WOMEN IN LEAGUE'
Northern Daily Leader
IT SEEMS no one wants to coach the Group 4 representative side in 2009.

The Group failed to receive any nominations for the senior job by Sunday’s annual general meeting so the position remains vacant.

“We didn’t get a nomination,” newly re-elected Group president Frank Fish said. “In the seniors or the 16s.

“We’ll have to leave it for the next meeting and see if anyone applies.”

Matt Parsons coached the G4 seniors in the Centenary Trophy this year but after he led North Tamworth to another grand final win he indicated that he wouldn’t be applying for the job again.

The under 18s job was filled though.

Clayton Cup-winning coach Ron Dellar will take on that role again after having success with the Group’s under 18s in recent years.

Group 4’s rep calendar in 2009 will be quite different from previous years.

There is no Centenary Trophy-style competition planned for next year and, with the demise of Northern Division, the likelihood of Group 4 meeting its old rivals from Group 19 and 21 appears small with Group 4 secretary Ross Hamilton saying there is not enough time in the season schedule to fit the Jim Sharpe Cup (seniors) and Brazier Shield (under 18s) in.

The new regional structure does throw up some new opponents though.

Group 4 will face Groups 2 and 3, probably at Bellingen or Coffs Harbour, to select Oxley Pioneers teams for the Country Championships.

Just when these games will take place will decided at this weekend’s Oxley AGM at Walcha.

At that meeting Fish is standing for the position of chairman of the regional organisation and is hopeful of being elected.

He stands against Group 3 official and fellow Country selector Kevin Hardy for that role after Group 2’s Greg Mayhew announced he would step down.
Rodney Griffin has backed PNG's entry into the NRL but wants it to tackle the Queensland Cup first.
Cup first: Northern Pride forward Rodney Griffin has backed PNG's entry into the NRL but wants it to tackle the Queensland Cup first.
Cairns Post
KUMULS and Northern Pride second-rower Rodney Griffin has backed coach Adrian Lam u20 19s call for Papua New Guinea to field a side in the Queensland Cup before attempting to join the NRL.

The Kumuls ended their Rugby League World Cup campaign with a commendable 46-6 defeat at the hands of Australia in Townsville on Sunday night.

While they did not win a game during the tournament, the Kumuls’ performances won them many admirers and helped legitimise calls led by Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Michael Somare for the country to field an NRL team in the future.

While Griffin is supportive of PNG one day having a presence in the NRL, he agreed with Lam’s post-match comments on Sunday night the country had to first join the state league.

"I think that’s the path we should go down. We’re still a developing nation," Griffin said.

"We’ve come a long way in just this past year with how we play. There’s no doubt we would be able to do it.

"It was a great experience to play against countries like Australia on such a big stage and it showed how far we have come.

"Rugby league is the main sport up there, so why not?"

With his Kumuls playing commitments over for the time being, Griffin will return to the Far North where he will take a few weeks’ break before starting pre-season training with the Pride.

While hopeful his whole-hearted showings at the World Cup might have piqued the interest of NRL talent scouts, Griffin said he was more than happy to run on for the Pride in 2009.

"If it (an NRL approach) is going to happen I’ll probably get a call within the next week or so," he said.

"If it happens great, if it doesn’t I’m not worried. At the moment my main focus is with the Northern Pride."
Ben Ross with pupils of Cronulla Public School. Picture: Lisa McMahon
Setting an example: Ben Ross with pupils of Cronulla Public School. Picture: Lisa McMahon
Sutherland & St. George Leader
CRONULLA Sharks' Ben Ross and former StGeorge Illawarra forward Kirk Reynoldson both showed their softer side through the amount of community work they undertook last season and they've both been nominated to win rugby league's annual One Community's Telstra Ken Stephen Medal this Thursday.

Ross made more than 50 separate appearances, including multiple appearances to the Sylvanvale foundation at Kirrawee which supports people with intellectual disabilities.

He is also an active supporter of the McGrath Foundation, and helped coach De La Salle Caringbah's under-14 side.

``It is really good working with kids,'' Ross said. ``Kids are really grateful and they look up to you and get really excited.

``Rugby league players are really educated now. We know our role in the community and realise how lucky we are.''

In a bid to increase community work, Ross and manager George Mimis are in discussion with the Sharks as he looks at supporting one main charity next year. Ross wants to raise more than $200,000 next year.

Reynoldson played an important part in helping St George Illawarra launch its Dragons community program.

The now-retired Reynoldson took part in the PCYC-Footy Fever mentoring program at Rockdale PCYC.

Throughout the 10-week course, each Wednesday on his day-off, Reynoldson helped troubled youths develop goals, and taught them to become leaders among their friends.

The medal winner will get $5000, and a $5000 donation will go to the player's charity when the award is announced on Thursday.. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CRONULLA JUNIORS
Josh Merritt, Dylan Hill & Riley Cape before the big game in Townsville
Josh Merritt, Dylan Hill & Riley Cape before the big game in Townsville

New South Wales claimed a good victory on Sunday night at Dairy Farmers Stadium in the annual Indigenious Under 16's challenge.

NSW won the game 22 - 18 to claim one of only a few titles NSW can hold up this year, Queensland even won the Arrive alive Cup which had found a nice safe home in NSW.

Well done to both the NSW & QLD players, coaches and staff.
Story & Photo By : QRL
APPLICATIONS are invited for Coaches, Managers, Trainers and Selectors for the 2009 XXXX City and Country Teams, XXXX Queensland Rangers, Under 18 Maroons and Under 16 Maroons.

These highly sought-after roles carry stringent minimal requirements, with applications closing on Monday, November 24 2008 at 5.00pm.

Coaches must have obtained an ARL Senior Club Coach (Level II) Certificate to be eligible, while Managers must have three years’ experience in managing teams.

Trainers should have an ARL First Aid Officers Level I Certificate and Selectors are expected to have previous representative experience.

Each application should carry a full resume, including class of driver’s licence.

Further information is available from your Division Manager or from Rex Zeeman on (07) 3393 2222.

Applications are to be addressed to :
Managing Director Queensland Rugby League PO Box 434 STONES CORNER QLD 4120
Northern Daily Leader
THE Wests Greater Northern Academy got the big thumbs up from special guest Simon Scanlan at the weekend’s annual academy camp in Tamworth.

Scanlan is a recruitment and development officer with the Brisbane Broncos and was asked to speak to the GNA players by head coach Jamie McCormack, who coached Scanlan when he was a junior himself.

The first thing he told the young players was that the skills and techniques they are learning at the GNA are exactly the same as those practised at NRL level.

“It’s a great program,” Scanlan said on Saturday.

“The one thing the city has had over the country for a lot of years has been development at the grass roots because it’s so close to NRL clubs.

“But I was saying to Jamie that these are the same things that we do at Brisbane.

“We do the same fundamentals and just do them over and over and over again so it’s exactly the same stuff, which lends some credibility to the program.

“I’m from Queensland country and when you grow up there you think what they do in the city is so much better, but now country kids have the same opportunities.”

Scanlan said it was often the country kids who were keener to listen and the more remote the area the better the kids were.

He is used to working in country Queensland but said the same applied in the greater northern region.

“When you go out to the north or west (of Queensland) where the kids don’t get much development work they appreciate it more,” he said.

“They’re the best kids to work with.

“And they are often the kids who develop later because they go off to places like Townsville and develop there.

“And when you’re in a big area like this you know these kids are keen.

“There’s one kid here from Moree who comes down from Ipswich Grammar to be here.”

Scanlan also took the opportunity to have a look at what talent the region has to offer.

A number of players from the region have made their way to the Broncos, with academy player Blake Keeping only recently linking with Broncos feeder club Redcliffe.

Scanlan said NRL clubs had been only too happy to pick the best kids from country areas without putting any work back into the game’s development, but his club is committed to assisting the game in the bush.

“I think all clubs – even the Broncos have been guilty of it before – have come out and recruited the best players from the country without putting anything back in,” he said.

“But the time has come to get out there and do some more work at the grass roots.

“We don’t get down here because it’s so remote to us but at the Broncos we’ve got seven development officers in Queensland doing work in the community and at the grass roots.”

He also said the academy program was beneficial to those players who don’t go on to play with NRL clubs because they can pass the skills they learn on to other players in their local club sides.

Before heading back to Brisbane, Scanlan also ran a few drills with the players.
RIP Cootmundra Footy Club
RIP Cootmundra Footy Club
Waga Daily Advertiser
ONE OF the proudest rugby league towns in the Riverina is in desperate danger of having its football club fold.

In a dramatic aftermath to the recently completed Group Nine season, Cootamundra rugby league club is teetering on the brink of collapse.

Three years after winning the Group Nine grand final, the Bulldogs cannot scrape together enough manpower to even form a working committee to keep the club going.

The situation has become so precarious, outgoing Cootamundra secretary Mick White fears the club will not survive past next week.

White yesterday revealed the Bulldogs were on borrowed time following three failed attempts to elect a new executive.

“So far we’ve had three annual general meetings without anyone putting up their hands,” White said yesterday.

“This year’s executive, including Paul Field, Steve Sellars and myself, is definitely not going around again.

“We have to get new people involved. We’ll be meeting again on Monday night and it really will be a crisis meeting.

“It’s the last chance. If there’s no takers, there may be no football.”

Persuaded to end eight years out of the office and take on the secretary role this year, White claims apathy is threatening to kill the Bulldogs.

“We had our third AGM last night (Wednesday) and only 12 people turned up, only one more than the previous time,” White said.

“There was no player’s representative which was a bit disappointing.

“(Group Nine secretary) Leo McCarthy was there last night (Wednesday) so he knows exactly what the situation is.”

White said Cootamundra’s grim predicament was not the first occasion the club had been close to going under.

“We’ve been down this road before,” he said.

“I believe things are worse this time.”

White yesterday urged the Cootamundra community to rally behind the club.

“We’ll be meeting again at 7pm on Monday night in the Stephen Ward Room (at Cootamundra Ex-Services Club),” he said.

“I just hope we get people to turn up.”

Like all Group Nine clubs, Cootamundra has relied for years on a small band of hard workers to keep operating.

White, Field (president) and Sellars (treasurer), however, now want to step back from their duties.

“We’ll be there to give advice, but someone has to take over,” White said.
David Williams scored a hat-trick of tries against PNG in his first outing for Australia.
DREAM debut ... David Williams scored a hat-trick of tries against PNG in his first outing for Australia.
Courier Mail
THE Cinderella season of Test debutant David Williams presses on, with the Manly flyer bagging a hat-trick of tries against Papua New Guinea.

Galloping towards a near-certain World Cup crowning, Australia had already slain key rivals New Zealand and England, and it was PNG's turn to feel the wrath of the rampant Roos.

Australia rounded out their preliminary World Cup fixtures with a thumping 46-6 win at Dairy Farmers Stadium on a night when veteran Kumul Stanley Gene bowed out of Test football.

Resting a host of top names headed by skipper Darren Lockyer, veteran prop Petero Civoniceva and star duo Greg Inglis and Billy Slater, Australia showcased the depth of their riches by blooding four Test debutants.

The final pool game of RLWC08, in front of 16,239 fans in Townsville, was always going to prove a tall order for PNG, given the scorching form of the Cup fancies.

So it proved as Williams, centre Joel Monaghan and interchange half Scott Prince each bagged doubles.

While Williams, Darius Boyd and Anthony Watmough enjoyed memorable debuts, Terry Campese's first outing in green and gold proved an unhappy one. His night lasted just 20 minutes before he was concussed by a bruising hit from former Raiders teammate Nev Costigan.

The Roos' clinical effort rounded out their meticulous finals preparations.

Australia opened their account after nine minutes, when Williams outleaped David Moore to collect a Johnathan Thurston bomb for a 6-0 jump.

Williams was denied an early double just minutes later, with Karmichael Hunt's pass called back and then moments later, tearaway Watmough fell just metres short of his own dream try following a strong Boyd break.

The off-balance Manly back-rower crashed into the turf with an open line at his mercy, having been shoved by a last-ditch Kumuls tackle attempt.

Campese's first Test outing was progressing less smoothly and he was replaced by Prince midway through the first half. On 22 minutes the Roos bagged their second as Monaghan wriggled through three defenders from close-range for a 12-0 lead.

Monaghan had his second four minutes on after both Watmough and Boyd unselfishly put it through the hands to complete a slick backline raid with Thurston's conversion again deadly for an 18-point break.

Williams bagged his second in the shadows of halftime as the host nation carried a 22-0 lead into the break.

Australia wasted little time after the break, Prince intercepting a rash goal-line pass from Gene on 43 minutes then notching his double in a raid sparked by another Williams surge.

Williams snaffled his third 10 minutes from fulltime.

It was another highly impressive outing from the world champions, who face the winner of the semi-final qualifier between Ireland and Fiji for a spot in the World Cup final.

Papua New Guinea bowed out of the Rugby League World Cup tonight but ushered in a new era of Kumuls players passionate about taking the league-mad nation to new heights.

Coach Adrian Lam said the emergence of young stars such as David Moore, Jessie Joe Parker and Rod Griffin, together with renewed support from the PNG and Australian Governments had PNG primed for success at both domestic and international levels.

PNG Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare presented the Kumuls their jerseys prior to tonight’s match and used the opportunity to announce a multimillion dollar injection into strengthening PNG Rugby League, whilst also saying he had received support from Australian Prime Minister Mr Kevin Rudd.

Lam reiterated tonight how proud he was of his side’s efforts despite coming up against considerably stronger opposition throughout the tournament.

“Our guys have played their hearts out and that gave it their best and that’s all I can ask for,” Lam said tonight.

“All tournament, I could not have asked more of them in regards to how professional they have been – they’ve been a credit to themselves and Papua New Guinea.

“I don’t think our last two matches of the tournament reflected how far we have come.

“If a few calls had gone our way in the England game things may have been a lot different and that performance showed the potential these guys have.

“We need to play more Test matches to help them realise that potential and that’s where we need the help of the [Rugby League] international federation.

“The Prime Minister’s announcement today is a great thing for Rugby League in PNG and if we continue to work hard at developing our infrastructures and juniors the results will come.”

The Kumuls tonight went down 46-6 to Australia at Dairy Farmers Stadium in front of 16,239 fans.

It was a typically courageous performance characterised by stinging defence and daring attacking plays but the Kangaroos’ class showed as they leapt to a 22-nil.

Lam said his favourite moment of the entire tournament was seeing his team’s elation at scoring their first try of the campaign against England.

“That just showed how close the guys have become in a short space of time – they’re all great mates and there is a lot of passion there for the Kumuls jersey,” Lam said.

“When you have guys like Neville Costigan tearing up almost an hour after a loss you can see how much it means to them to play for PNG, and as their coach it was great to see.

Lam tonight said he was in for the long haul to help build up Papua New Guinean Rugby League.

“The goal is there to become strong enough to field a side in the Queensland Cup for example and then go from there,” Lam said.

“This tournament was a lot about earning us back some respect in the international arena and I think we’ve done that.

“I am excited about where we can go from here and so are the players.”

Tonight’s match signaled the end of a glittering international career for Kumuls cult hero Stanley Gene, a veteran of three world cups.

The affable five-eighth, one of many characters that have ignited the 2008 Rugby League World Cup, was overcome with emotion after the match.

“Wearing the Kumuls jumper changed my life,” Gene said.

“I’m still in a dream world even today.

“And what a nice way to finish my last World Cup, playing the best team in the world.

“I want to thank everyone back home and everyone who has played a part in my career… especially all our supporters back in PNG.”
Dunghutti Broncos president Charlie Quinlan, flanked by junior Broncos players – from left: Ralph Quinlan, Robert Feruando, Keenan Vale, Darren Wright, Raymond Marshall, Edward Quinlan and Charlie Quinlan
Lineup: Dunghutti Broncos president Charlie Quinlan, flanked by junior Broncos players – from left: Ralph Quinlan, Robert Feruando, Keenan Vale, Darren Wright, Raymond Marshall, Edward Quinlan and Charlie Quinlan
Macleay Argus
The Dunghutti Bronc-os club is to host a major rugby league tournament over the Easter weekend.

Teams from across New South Wales will converge on Kempsey for a junior round-robin knockout that promises four days of action-packed matches.

Organisers have decid-ed to stage three age divisions that link up to the NRL junior competitions and include the under-15s, 17s and 19s.

Each team will consist of 20 players, with a maximum of five non-indigenous players per team.

The three age divisions will be playing for the Greg Inglis Cup, Paul Davis Shield and the Beau Champion Trophy.

Dunghutti Broncos president Charlie Quin-lan said Greg Inglis has endorsed the tournament and will be coming to mix with the young players.

“This knockout will become a yearly event and will stay here in Kempsey, bringing thousands of dollars to the local economy,” Mr Quinlan said.

The local up-and-coming NRL stars will be on show, with Albert Kelly, Mal Webster, Adrian Davis and Kieran Vale all hoping to play in the 19s’ competition.

“NRL club scouts will have a field day picking new members for there junior representative teams.We have already had strong interest from Melbourne, South Syd-ney, Parramatta and many others,” Mr Quinlan said.

All teams will play under their tribe names.

“It will identify where the players come from and who they’re playing for,” Mr Quinlan said.

The Dunghutti Bronc-os will play with the names of local communities on their shirts, including Bellbrook, Greenhill, Burnt Bridge, South West Rocks, Crescent Head, Stuarts Point and Telegraph Point.
Anthony Tupou, Anthony Watmough, Brent Kite and Craig Fitzgibbon. / The Sunday Telegraph
All full ... A mini moke barely holds forwards Anthony Tupou, Anthony Watmough, Brent Kite and Craig Fitzgibbon. / The Sunday Telegraph
Courier Mail
THIS is the reward for dominating the World Cup - a rare day off in paradise.

Packed in with the footballs, bottles of Gatorade and training programs, Australia coach Ricky Stuart flew to Townsville last week holding a promise made to his players 23 days ago.

"It was all on the proviso of performance,'' Stuart said.

"Hard work deserves recognition.''

The Sunday Telegraph was granted unrestricted access to the Australian team camp last week as Stuart delivered on his word.

In a bid to instill team spirit and pride and passion for the Australian jumper, Stuart would allow his players a day in tropical seclusion. But there was a proviso: that they destroy pool rivals New Zealand and England in their opening two games.

With a combined winning scoreline of 82-10, the Australian World Cup squad took in Melbourne Cup day at Townsville Races on Tuesday before heading to Magnetic Island, in far North Queensland, just after 10am last Wednesday.

There they left the pressures of tournament favouritism - and today's match against Papua New Guinea - back in Townsville, if only for a day.

Neither Stuart nor the playing group arrived expecting to witness such an uplifting view; a smiling Johnathan Thurston.

Just 48 hours after the funeral of his uncle Richard Saunders, the day with team-mates was the perfect tonic for Thurston as he left the stress and grief of the past fortnight behind him.

Hiring Mini Mokes as their mode of transport around the island, Thurston's cackle could be heard over his team-mates as Kangaroos debutant Anthony Watmough revealed his greatest fear wasn't tonight's clash with the Kumuls, but squeezing his 97kg frame behind the steering wheel.

Dozing under the Island's coconut palms, Australian prop Petero Civoniceva relaxed on his beach towel as Steve Price, Brent Tate and Scott Prince slipped into the crystal waters for a leisurely swim.

As he tossed a coconut in his hands, Stuart dropped his usual intensity.

He joked with Storm skipper Cameron Smith and it was clear any supposed history between the pair was buried like Stuart's toes in the sand.

"Obviously we're here to win a World Cup, but we've got to make sure we enjoy it as well. That's one part we're doing really well at the moment,'' Smith said.

"I doubt I've been part of a tighter group, full credit to 'Sticky'.''

As the pair laughed, rookie Joel Monaghan sat in the shade, the threat of sunburn on his Canberran skin a greater concern than any of his Cup rivals.

Australian captain Darren Lockyer, rested from tonight's match, strolled the island enjoying an ice cream.

The leisurely scene offered easy ammunition to critics of the rugby league World Cup. But anticipating cries of complacency and disrespect to their rivals, Lockyer suggested the break had only strengthened the team's resolve.

"We've had a long season in the NRL at club level, Origin ... there's got to be downtime, otherwise it wears you down mentally and physically,'' Lockyer said.

"The key is to be up for training but to relax in our downtime. We put in the performance on the weekend, so we can enjoy the week.

"There's never any doubt that the Australian team has plenty of talent, the biggest challenge is bringing the guys together as one. Ricky's doing things like this to bring us together and it works. He's done an amazing job.''

Shuffling from his midday slumber, Civoniceva, who made his Australian debut in 2001, declared a welcomed bond had been formed under Stuart's reign.

"It's weird. We do battle against each other every week and play our hearts out in Origin against each other, but there's something special about this group,'' he said.

"The bond is there as a group, it's special. You'd think we'd be getting on each other's nerves.

"But we all know the downtime is about enjoying each other's company and then when we get out on the training field, we switch on.

"The races was a great day, we were all there together and having a laugh. Even the boys who don't gamble and don't drink were still enjoying the time.

"That bond is something that's been pretty noticeable.

"If anything it's days like this that bring us even closer and more hungry to win the World Cup for each other.'' | LEARN MORE ABOUT THE RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP |
Scotish fans looks goo
Tonga Vs Scotland action & Scotish fans looking good
Sydney Morning Herald
PARRAMATTA linchpin Feleti Mateo knows what to expect when he faces Manly next year after watching Tony Williams destroy Scotland in Tonga's final Rugby League World Cup match yesterday.

Former Eels teammates Mateo and Williams played together yesterday but Williams will join the NRL premiers next year.

Mateo was named the official man of the match as Tonga made easy work of Scotland to claim a 48-0 win and seventh place in the World Cup.

But it was the damaging display at lock from 116kg Williams - who debuted with Parramatta as a winger - that caught the eye.

Mateo knows what is coming his way next season when the Eels face Manly.

"I saw him on his debut, so I know what he can do," said Mateo after the Tongans' eight-tries-to-nil victory at Rockhampton's Browne Park.

"I think it will be exciting playing against him - I have talked it up to him.

"He will probably run over the top of me."

Tongan coach Jim Dymock and captain Lopini Paea both think Williams's days of running outside centres are over.

"He played great today, so he can handle [the back row]," Dymock said. "He has good feet and a good offload and he is pretty damaging when he gets the ball."

Paea added: "I think he is going to be a back-rower of the future. He is a giant, so he is wasted on the wing."

While the Tongans left Central Queensland with a huge win, Dymock said there was disappointment after his side failed to qualify for the World Cup semi-finals.

He pointed out they beat a battered Scotland side.

"I felt sorry for Scotland; they were playing after a three-day turnaround and I don't think anyone has won after the three-day turnaround," he said.

While Scotland were not at their best, they leave Australia proud after claiming their first ever World Cup win with their 18 - 16 shock result over Fiji on Wednesday... | LEARN MORE ABOUT THE RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP |
Sydney Morning Herald
IN the beer-soaked world of the NRL, Israel Folau is sober.

"I just want to be the best footy player I can be," says a mega star of the World Cup, entering tonight's clash against Papua Guinea fresh from helping Australia to big wins over New Zealand and England.

"I started to take my football seriously at the age of 15. That was the time I knew I wanted to do this with my life," said Folau, who has been named on the bench for tonight's tussle in Townsville.

"I made the Australian under-15s merit team and that's when I really put my foot down and worked myself up there. I never wanted to do anything that would harm my footy. From 15, that's all I wanted to do, play footy at a good level.

"That sounds weird now because it wasn't long ago that I was 15. It's all happened so quick. I wasn't playing other sports back then. Just footy. That was it, footy or nothing. League is my entire focus."

In a sport boasting its fair share of whingers, the 19-year-old feels nothing but blessed.

"I do have times when I have to pinch myself a bit," he says. "When I think about it, it's pretty full-on. At times I think about what I've done over the last two years. I just finished school three years ago. I've been a part of Origin, I've played for Australia and I won a premiership in my first year.

"It happened so quick, and I suppose that doesn't happen to too many players. I've enjoyed the whole time. I've played for two years and made two grand finals. I've been really blessed. It's been a pretty good journey for me so far."

In a sport where traditional values can go up the wall, Folau wants his family.

"It's a strange time for me," he says. "It's difficult, or different. I move to Queensland after the World Cup. I enjoyed my time in Melbourne. It's been good for me. But it's time to move on to the next chapter.

"It's exciting. I'm looking forward to meeting the new coaching staff there and just to experience the culture at the Broncos."

Really? You want to experience the culture at the Broncos? Sex dramas, alcohol-related arrests, discipline so bad everyone is called home from holidays. What, exactly, is the Broncos' culture? Folau, a Mormon who steers clear of the demon drink, is about to find out.

"I've made the decision to go, so that's what I'm going to do," he says. "I've got no regrets at all. My family are up there. They've had the biggest influence on my football since I started. They've been behind me right from the beginning. Their support has been great the last two years, and especially the last few weeks after the grand final... LEARN MORE
THe Penrith Panther's Junior Rugby League are excited to announce thier 2009 District rep's to play in the Harold Matthew's & SG Ball Cups. Here are the Harold Matthews Cup & SG Ball Cup Squads
Jason Antonelli Glenmore Park   Solo Alone Emu Plains
Jason Doran St Marys   Harlie Archer Brothers
Suniula Fatialofa St Marys   Blake Austin Doonside
Brendon Heather Brothers   Alistar Beale Brothers
Ben Heterick Brothers   David Biddle St Marys
Tyson Iddles Glenmore Park   Alan Eisenhuth Brothers
Teoke Kahuroa Minchinbury   Justin Genovese St Clair
Steven Misevic Glenmore Park   Cameron Grieve Brothers
Kieran Moss Windsor   Kurt Horton St Clair
Reece Regan Brothers   Duran Ieriko Doonside
Clay Robinson Brothers   Joshua Meehan St Clair
Cy Samuels Glenmore Park   Matthew Moylan St Clair
Tony Satini Glenmore Park   Andrew Pelasio St Marys
Aaron Taavale Glenmore Park   Matthew Penitani Brothers
Louis Taavale St Clair   Jonathon Pepa St Marys
Johnny Tapuaiga St Marys   Blake Rigelsford St Clair
Nelson Tuia Glenmore Park   Jake Romero St Marys
Tai Tuivasa St Marys   Jake Schubert Windsor
Tekina Vailea St Clair   Jake Seaton QLD
David Vave St Marys   Samson Sene St Marys
Joel Waddell St Marys   Harry Siejka Emu Plains
Ryan Wilson St Clair   Ivan Taavale Windsor
Penrith Panthers   Vaipuna Tia-Kilifi Minchinbury
  Kilifi Tia-Kilifi Brothers
  Malakai Watene-Zelezniak St Clair
  Tori Willie St Clair
Dylan Ariu Windsor   Corey Carl Windsor
Braeden Batiste St Clair   Dilan Curtis Windsor
Ben Bridekirk St Marys   Thomas Eisenhuth Lower Mountains
Joe-Lee Foai St Marys   Aaron Farkas Brothers
Chase Hobbs Windsor   Tevita Feiloakitau St Clair
Lomano Lufe Brothers   Sam Hollis Windsor
Stewart McKeown Minchinbury   Tyler Lombardo St Clair
Damian Mylchreest Windsor   Nicholas Mataia St Marys
Anaru Naera Windsor   Robert Mate St Marys
Jake Riggs Windsor   Keti Nanai St Marys
Ryan Schubert Windsor   Blake South St Marys
Penrith Panthers   Jonathan Taefu St Marys
  Dean Zammit St Marys
The Penrith Junior Rugby L:eague have announced their 2009 development squads.

With one of the largest junior league nurseries in the world, the Panthers have a lots of talented kids to select from.

Contratulations to all players and good luck next year
Kyle Banfield - Minchinbury
Jarome Broadbridge - Minchinbury
Shane Coppins - Minchinbury
Vincennes Fialelei - Windsor
Brayden Green - Blacktown City
Reed Izzard - Windsor
Jacob Lolesio - Doonside
David Mapapalangi - Quakers Hill
Cameron Mazzelli - Minchinbury
Jayden Murphy-Hinton - St Marys
Jack Myers - Blacktown City
Tyrone Roche - St Marys
Simeona Silapa - Doonside
Tye Smith - Glenmore Park
Ethan Tasoulis - Blacktown City
Jake Toby - Mincinbury
Denzal Tonise - Minchinbury
TJ Uele - Minchinbury
Mark Utupo - St Marys
Bryce Williams - Windsor
Zubayr Baaruud - Colyton/Mt Druitt
Tarjshay Dufty - Minchinbury
Cowan Epere - St Patricks
Shiem Fuimaono - St Marys
Tyrell Fuimaono - St Marys
Isaac Harrison - Emu Plains
Kieran Hayden - Doonside
Robert Jennings - Minchinbury
Sam Kheirallah - St Clair
Soni Luke - St Marys
Blake Milgate - Minchinbury
William Riley - Emu Plains
Michael Saloum - Windsor
Jonty Tohara - St Patricks
Thomson Tuigamala - St Marys
Beau Ungounga - Windsor
Amos Viiga - St Clair
Brendon Wall - St Clair
Mitchell Wilson - Emu Plains
Ethan Wright - Emu Plains
Albert Boney - Blacktown City
Tom Cettolin - Brothers
Zach Clay - St Clair
Mitchell Coleman - St Clair
Jaye Fuimaono - St Marys
Logan Geyer - Brothers
Aiden Glanville - St Marys
Nathan Graham - Minchinbury
Robert Gray - Katoomba
Lachlan Jackson - St Marys
Michael Kinnane - Doonside
Dwayne Lemafa - St Clair
Matthew Lupi - St Clair
Jye Mamo - Brothers
Tepai Moeroa - St Clair
Julian Pecora - Quakers Hill
Dalton Real - St Marys
Jarrod Redmond - St Clair
Jacob Ross - Minchinbury
Iona Taiki - Minchinbury
Jaden Tavae - St Clair
Akeripa Tia-Kilifi - Minchinbury
Mandela Vito - St Marys
Dallin Watene-Zelezniak - St Clair
Jack Wells - Brothers
Kyle Williams - St Marys
Mark Alaelua - St Clair
Peau Aleni - St Clair
Brodie Anderson - Emu Plains
Brendan Attwood - Glenmore Park
Beau Banks - Brothers
Jarrod Brackenhofer - Emu Plains
Bryce Cartwright - St Marys
Ryan Casey - St Patricks
Mitchell Crowley - St Marys
Brandon Curmi - Emu Plains
Leonati Feiloakitau - St Clair
Jakiel Fuimaono - St Marys
Tyrone Glassie - St Marys
Etuale Livi-Papalii - St Marys
Sio Livi-Papalii - St Marys
Carlos Lopa - St Clair
Jacob Maklouf - St Marys
Harrison McLean - Emu Plains
Leslie Ngaluafe - Quakers Hill
Alan Niulesa - Brothers
Ben Pillen - Emu Plains
John Sita - Minchinbury
Michael Stig - St Clair
Iszak Taalili - St Marys
Joshua Taalili - St Marys
Michael Tauga - St Patricks
Wiki Tuavao - St Marys
John Tuliatu - St Clair
Bradley Tyson - St Patricks
Joshua Walker - Emu Plains
Riki Willie - St Clair
Ken Aunese - St Marys
William Beale - Blacktown City
Jacob Brenner - St Marys
Corey Brierley - Henry Lawson C/P
Joshua Butfield - St Marys
Jake Butler-Fleming - Lower Mountains
Jordan Campbell - St Marys
Michael Compton - Minchinbury
Chad Davis - Windsor
Sam Douglass - Emu Plains
Steven Fogorty - Minchinbury
Blake Henderson - St Clair
Jerome Henry - St Clair
Luke Hollis - St Clair
Thomas Hope - Henry Lawson C/P
Guy Kelly - Brothers
Michael Lekkas - Lower Mountains
Damion Luhr - Minchinbury
Daniel Marchant - Windsor
Junior Masaga - St Marys
Bradley Moriarty - Windsor
Michael Oats - Brothers
Bradley Payne - Windsor
Michael Pio - Coltyon/Mt Druitt
Bradley Shaw - Windsor
Elkan Tanuvasa - St Marys
Andrew Tauvao - St Marys
Matthew Thompson - St Clair
Nicholas Thomson - Brothers
Sani Vea - Blacktown City
Inoke Vunipola - Blacktown City
Terry Hill says the inequalities between the leagues club-backed teams and the chook raffle-backed teams must be addressed by all clubs and the local league administration.- Picture by Phillip Hearne
FAIR GO: Former international Terry Hill says the inequalities between the leagues club-backed teams and the chook raffle-backed teams must be addressed by all clubs and the local league administration.- Picture by Phillip Hearne
Central Coast Sun
KINCUMBER coach and former Australian centre Terry Hill has backed calls to hold a forum of local rugby league clubs to discuss ways of making the local first grade competition more even.

Hill who was a 1994 Kangaroo, a World Cup representative in 1995, and who represented Australia 13 times and played in 16 State of Origin matches wants the "chook raffle" backed clubs to get what he terms "a fairer go".

Former NRL first-grader Ken Hey, of Toowoon Bay, recently called for a rugby league summit to be held during the off season to address the competition's imbalance.

He pointed to the 50-4 local first grade grand final result and said that with Erina opting not to continue in the Jim Beam Cup and again play locally next season the problem of "walkover" results would escalate.

Hill, who lives at Daleys Point, has backed Hey's move.

He said a ludicrous situation now occurred where first-graders at some licensed-club-backed football clubs would be paid $500 a win, while weaker clubs relying on chook raffles would pay their players a relative pittance.

"I know such a scenario has existed in the past but it's high time the division's bosses sat down with representatives from all of the clubs and look where the competition is headed," Hill said.

"At present, if I can use the racing analogy, it's like having Phar Lap, Our Waverley Star and Bonecrusher racing against a field of maiden horses.

"Using a points system to differentiate between the local first grade teams, The Entrance and Erina would have players regularly worth collectively at least 100 points and no other team, apart from possibly Ourimbah, would have players worth more than 50 points.

"It's hard to keep up the morale of players in the less fortunate clubs when they have to confront teams such as The Entrance which has won the Jim Beam Cup.

"I agree with Ken Hey. What he said was spot on but it appears that the response we get from the division's officials is 'It's our way or the highway'."

Hill said the make-up of next season's age competition would further hit weaker clubs.

He said next season, instead of sticking with under-17 and under-19 competitions, the division had switched to under-20 and under-18 grades.

This would mean that many former under-19 players who in the past could not get graded in first grade with their current club and instead looked to playing with some of the weaker clubs would no longer do so.

Instead, Hill said, they would stay and play in the under-20 competition with their existing clubs rather than moving to play at some of the weaker clubs.

"These competition changes will only make it harder for the weaker clubs," Hill said.

The division management would reply to Hill's comments and suggestions next week, the divisional general manager Scott Wyatt said.

However, in referring to the age division changes, he said the new competitions including youth league games on Friday nights would give 200 young footballers regular games which they might not otherwise have.
Phil Graham and Adrian Purtell with Canberra United players Ellie Brush, Kara Mowbray and Sasha McDonnell at Raiders HQ
PICTURE: Raiders players Phil Graham and Adrian Purtell with Canberra United players Ellie Brush, Kara Mowbray and Sasha McDonnell at Raiders HQ
Canberra RaidersCanberra RaidersVISIT THE
Canberra Raiders


The CFMEU Canberra Raiders welcomed the cities newest and brightest sporting team to Raiders HQ on Friday morning, with members of the new W-League Canberra United team on hand to show some of the Raiders their round ball skills.

Raider’s players Adrian Purtell and Phil Graham were joined by United stars Ellie Brush, Sasha McDonnell and Kara Mowbray, as both Raiders and United players showcased their differing sporting talents.

The coming together of the two teams is all thanks to the major sponsor of both teams the CFMEU, and the Secretary of the ACT branch of the CFMEU, Sarah Schoonwater, said they were delighted to be behind both local teams.

“The CFMEU is proudly Canberran and proud to get behind our local community,” Ms Schoonwater said. “We think we are an integral part of the community and we want to see Canberra families coming out to support their local teams.

“We think it provides great enjoyment and it’s a great thing to do on a Saturday or a Sunday, and we encourage all Canberran’s to come out on Sunday and watch Canberra United play at McKellar.”

Ms Schoonwater said the region should be proud to have two great sporting teams like the Raiders and United, and encouraged the local community to get behind their teams.

“It’s great to see the Green Machine back in training, and it’s great to see the Women’s Green Machine, both with the CFMEU logo on the jersey.”

Raider’s player Adrian Purtell said it was great to see another team in Canberra doing well, and said he would look at getting to United’s first home game on Sunday.

“The United team has started their debut season well with a win last week and hopefully they’ll get one Sunday,” Purtell said. “A few of us boys are looking to get out to the game and encourage other people to do so.”

Canberra United play their first home game of the season against the Central Coast at the Belconnen Soccer Club in McKellar on Sunday, tickets are available at both the Dickson and Woden Tradies Clubs.

Canberra RaidersCanberra RaidersRaiders memberships are also now on sale with a wide variety of options for any footy fan. For more information contact Raiders HQ on (02) 6253 3515 or visit www.raiders.com.au
Classic Shield Grand Final '08 - South Dubbo PS Vs Ross Hill PS ( Photo : ourfooty media)
Ref Doug Keen helping the boys, Classic Shield Grand Final '08 - South Dubbo PS Vs Ross Hill PS ( Photo : ourfooty media)
Daily Telegraph
DOUG Keen's job is to nurture referees - but he went way beyond the call of duty on this occasion.

World Cup officials feted Keen as a hero yesterday after the 46-year-old single-handedly saved the tournament a damaging black-eye.

A humble referee's development officer with the NSWRL, Keen's instinct for the well-being of whistleblowers kicked into overdrive when a pitch invader charged on to Parramatta Stadium during the closing stages of the Ireland-Samoa clash on Wednesday night.

With more than 100kg of pure Polynesian brawn bearing down on impish French referee Thierry Alibert, the father-of-two threw himself in the firing line to stop a potentially costly assault.

Doug Keen tackles a ground invader"I looked up after Ireland scored a try and I could see this guy bolting over from the other side of the field," Keen recalled. "I could see he was headed straight for the ref, because he was pointing at Thierry and screaming 'No! No! No!'

"Luckily, I was at the right place at the right time.

"I thought, 'He's going to have a crack here' and just decided to get on there and stop him.

Keen managed to do just that - but at a price to his own health.

Unbeknown to him, Ali Lauitiiti was also steaming upfield on a similar rescue mission. The end result saw Keen reduced to the hapless ingredients in a forbidding Samoan sandwich.

"Ali actually got me in the back as he came in to try and save the day," he reported.

"I also had the other bloke throw a few punches at me, but none really connected. It's mainly the back that's sore today."

Alibert was shaken for the remaining nine minutes and needed assistance from video referee Steve Ganson to finish the game.

Keen was working as ballboy manager at the time the incident occurred, with 14-year-old son Jake ferrying tees on the night.

But his previous work as a police officer saw the man headlocked and contained until security arrived.

"I was a copper for 18 years and had to apprehend streakers at the footy from time to time," Keen said. "But I've never seen one going for the ref like that.

"To tell the truth, I still don't know how security and the police missed the bloke and let him run all the way across the field.

Police yesterday issued the man with a court notice to appear on December 3. The 41-year-old has been charged with assault for allegedly striking Keen.

He was also charged with trespass, as were three other spectators who invaded the field.

Assistant commissioner Denis Clifford - who is overseeing World Cup police - was disappointed a fan got so close to poleaxing a referee and said a review of match-day procedure was underway.

"What happened was unfortunate because it was otherwise a fantastic and friendly event," Clifford said. "We conduct a review of the game, but we believe there was adequate police and security there on the night."
Gallop heard the fans' voice loud and clear. Mark Evans
Hot seat ... Gallop heard the fans' voice loud and clear. Mark Evans

NRL officials on Thursday told club members of plans to help teams keep long-term players, rein in video referees and reduce the influence of coaches in rule-making.

A room full of fan representatives challenged CEO David Gallop on broadcasting, wrestling, refereeing, player misbehaviour and ownership at a 2 1/2 hour Sydney Football Stadium talk-fest.

Graham Annesley, the league's chief operating officer, said dithering video referees made him want to "throw things at the television".

"I agree that it's an issue," Annesley said.

"It's something we will discuss at our conference next week. We need to drag that in a bit because it is imposing on the game."

Gallop revealed an embryonic proposal to give concessions to players who reach 100 or 150 matches for the same club.

He said the NRL might "make contributions to a player's income", but later said only salary cap concessions would be considered.

"We all want to see the Steve Menzies type of player," he said.

Annesley said future rule and interpretation changes would involve more than just club coaches.

"I think we recognised they shouldn't be the only people involved in these decisions," he said.

"Next week at our annual conference, we have a much wider cross-section of opinion."

Pressed by fans on television contracts, Gallop said the NRL received "between $40 million and $45 million" from Fox Sports and another $15 million from Sky New Zealand, which he said compared well with AFL's pay television deal.

He said the AFL's free-to-air deal was larger because of their national reach and "as we all know, Kerry (Packer) was two days away from his deathbed".

After abandoning support for a shorter season three years ago, he seemed to return to his original position in saying: "I would advocate a shorter club season somehow."

At one point a supporter said to Gallop "the media are running the game" - to which he replied "yeah, well, they're paying a lot of money".

Several fans complained about not knowing the entire year's match allocation in advance.

"The game has evolved to the point where the next television deal we do, we'll be able to do that," Gallop said, adding that would not be until 2013.

Under heavy questioning from 28-year-old Shane Spruce of Valentine, who said Channel 9's treatment of the game in some parts of Australia was a "disgrace", the NRL boss said he would not force channels to show live games in hostile markets.

"I don't think we should force our game on to television and then have it smashed in the ratings. That would not serve the game well," he said.

The CEO added: "Rugby league has lost the North Shore because the Bears don't have the presence there."

Gallop tabled statistics that showed this year membership had increased by 24 per cent, State of Origin enjoyed its best ratings ever, playing numbers had increased 3 per cent to 445,000 and sponsorship totalled $23 million.

Marketing manager Paul Kind said the NRL would spend $250,000 next year on promoting membership.

One fan said: "When will we see a reduction in the wrestling?"

Annesley replied that it would be closely monitored.

Some fans called for greater uniformity of punishment for off-field atrocities but Cronulla chief executive Tony Zappia said: "No two situations are the same."

Gallop added: "The days of sweeping things under the carpet are gone."

Colin McMillan, 72, of Picnic Point, said: "I have been going to see the Tigers for 71 years and it looks like we have bred a generation of knockers and whingers.

"When the match of the day was at the Sydney Cricket Ground, hardly anyone would whinge about the standard of refereeing."

But Gallop said that complaining about match officials was "uniquely Australian".

"In America they are different. They have a salute-the-flag mentality," he said.

Fans had been flown in from country areas of New South Wales and Queensland as well as Canberra, Auckland and Melbourne
Israel Folau shows his joy after scoring for Australia against New Zealand in the Rugby League World Cup (reuters)
Israel Folau shows his joy after scoring for Australia against New Zealand in the Rugby League World Cup (reuters)
Story & Photo By Dave Hadfield : The INDEPENDENT
The imposing centre is a devout Mormon as well as one of Australia's most potent weapons.

The day will come, for it is written in the book, when Israel Folau will take time out from knocking over defenders and start knocking on doors.

The bad news for Australia's opponents in this World Cup and beyond is that he is not planning to take his sabbatical from rugby league any time soon.

The mighty Kangaroo centre is a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints – more often known as the Mormons – and as such is supposed to spend two years as a missionary.

"It's sort of expected, but there's nothing definite decided yet," says the 19-year-old giant who threatens to terrorise rivals for a decade or more unless his faith takes him elsewhere.

"I was brought up in the religion, so I want to do the right thing. But at the moment it seems as though I might be doing more good for my faith by playing football."

Folau is indeed a compelling advert for his particular brand of muscular Christianity. Born to Tongan parents, who brought their form of adherence with them to Australia from the islands, he was brought up first in Minto on the outskirts of Sydney and then in Brisbane.

It was there that he took up seriously the dominant local football code of rugby league, which everywhere in Australia now has a stronger Polynesian profile than ever before.

Folau typifies the natural advantages with which many island athletes start. He is 6ft 5ins and a lean 16st 3lbs, fast and flexible as well as huge.

Small wonder that he soon began to stand out in Brisbane schoolboy league. When he was only 15, the Melbourne Storm's talent scout, who treats Queensland as his prime recruiting ground, described Folau, already playing against boys several years older than him, as the next Mal Meninga.

Given that Meninga – an equally imposing Torres Straight Islander – is Queensland royalty and arguably the most formidable centre Australia has ever produced, that comparison might seem a heavy cross to bear, but Folau shows no sign of buckling beneath its weight.

At 17, the Storm introduced him into the hard school of the National Rugby League and he immediately thrived. In his first full season, he was the clear choice as the competition's Rookie of the Year and last October, at the age of 18 years and 194 days, he became the youngest player ever to appear in a Test for Australia.

Not only did Folau play, he shone as brightly as any of his more experienced team-mates, scoring two tries in a 58-0 avalanche.

"Things have gone pretty well for me over the last two years," he says with some understatement. "Sometimes I can't believe how much has happened. That's where my religion has helped so much. It keeps my feet on the ground and helps me to stay humble."

A less grounded individual could easily have got carried away by the rapidity of his success. His second season as a first-teamer in 2008 saw him reach a second Grand Final with Melbourne, although they could not repeat the previous year's victory, and he was firmly established as half of Australia's youngest ever centre partnership with his 21-year-old club colleague, Greg Inglis, by the time this World Cup kicked off.

"It's the sort of thing you dream of as a boy – playing for your country in the World Cup on the biggest stage," he says.

That World Cup career began auspiciously with two tries in another demolition of New Zealand. If he was a little quieter in the thrashing of England last weekend, that was only because his side did so much damage down Inglis' side of the field.

In fact, you could argue that it was England's concentration on cutting down Folau's options – "You've just got to get there in numbers," said his opposite centre, Keith Senior, before the match – that opened up so many opportunities for others.

He now faces the central issue of deciding which aspects of his life should take priority over the next few years. Another high-profile Mormon player, Krisnan Inu, an almost equally talented utility back who is in New Zealand's squad for this World Cup, has decided that he will not be taking two years out to proselytise for the cause before the usual cut-off point of his 25th birthday.

His reasoning is that he is a better recruitment vehicle for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on the rugby league field than off it.

Israel Folau – known as Izzy or simply Big Man to his team-mates – might come to the same conclusion, but is not making any binding statement on the matter yet.

It seems likely, however, that he will have told the Broncos that he plans to stick around for a while. At 19, he has, in theory, plenty of time to pursue both callings.

The sobering thought for potential opponents is that, on the doorstep with his persuasive powers or on the footy field with his equally persuasive skills, he remains a man on a mission.
Shane Flanagan explaining what he wants these Under 15's from the 2007 Development squad what he wants them to do.
Story & Photo By : ourfooty media

Media reports that footy genius Shane Flanagan won't be joining the Parramatta Eels next year is not all that earth shattering news.

In fact it is terrific, that means Shane will most likely also be involved with the Cronulla Junior League through the Development Program planned with the Sharks.

Shane reckons the Eels didn't even talk to him, well that's their bad luck because the kids that had the opportunity to be part of his coaching sessions have the hugest respect of the dynamic Flanagan.

Shane has been a big part of the Sharks success this year and as assistant coach of the mighty NSW Blues will be able to share all that great experience with the local junior league and the Sharks.

Obviously with all his keenness and great footy brain, Shane will get his chance to coach at the top level soon enough.

PHOTO : Shane Flanagan explaining what he wants these Under 15's from the 2008 Development squad what he wants them to do. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CRONULLA JUNIOR LEAGUE
Marcus Bower in action in this years CHS University Shield Grand Final (Photo : ourfooty media)
Marcus Bower in action in this years CHS University Shield Grand Final (Photo : ourfooty media)
Northern Daily Leader

MARCUS Bower is the latest Farrer High School star to sign up with an NRL club and will join the Wests Tigers set-up just as soon as he finishes his HSC studies.

The Glen Innes product and Farrer First XIII five-eighth said the chance to go to Sydney was something he would grab with both hands.

“It’s a great opportunity,” he said.

“They look after you with accommodation and with job opportunities and it’s just an opportunity you can’t pass up.

“It’s a dream to play in the NRL so you’ve got to give it a go.”

Bower will join the Balmain SG Ball (under 18s) squad for the 2009 season which begins early next year before moving up to the Wests Tigers Toyota Cup (under 20s) side.

The 17-year-old hopes that will lead to even greater things down the track.

“I’ll still be in the halves,” he said.

“I’ll play SG Ball until May and then finish the year in the 20s.

“It’s a two-year contract with an option for a third so I might be there till I’m 20.

“Put my head down at training and you never know what might happen.”

There is another local connection in the Balmain under 18s side too with former Balmain first grader and Tamworth product David Brooks coaching the side.

“He’s coach and Gary Freeman is assistant coach,” Bower said.

“They’re good blokes.

“He (Brooks) is just a down to earth, country bloke.”

Bower played a pivotal role in Farrer’s University Shield triumph in September.

He had to step up when halfback Jake Hawkins was sent off in the Shield final against Sarah Redfern High at Campbelltown Stadium and he did just that as Farrer ran away with the game and its second Uni Shield title.

“That was a highlight,” said Bower, even though he suffered a broken nose in the game.

“We lost Hawko early but we all just lifted, it wasn’t just one or two players, it was the whole team.

“We were all in Year Seven when we won the first one (in 2003).”

From this year’s team, three other players are heading to NRL clubs in the next few weeks.

Hawkins is off to join the Melbourne Storm set-up, Josh Dutton will be part of the Gold Coast Titans under 20s squad and Farrer captain Scott Blanch is off to NRL premiers Manly.

Bower said backrower Shae Collins must also be close to getting a deal after his performances this year.

“He’s just a tough bloke, one of the toughest blokes I’ve ever met,” Bower said of the Tamworth backrower.

“He goes all day and I hope he gets an opportunity because he deserves it.”

Bower was also a member of the Wests Greater Northern Academy squad last summer but has played most of his football at Farrer.

“I never played footy before I came to Farrer,” he said.

“I played a bit in primary school at Glen Innes but I didn’t really start playing till under 12s at Farrer.

“It’s easy when you’ve got good players around you and the coaches at Farrer are the best in this region.”

Bower was also a member of the Australian Institute of Sport squad.

He has a couple more exams to sit but then he’s off to Sydney for pre-season training.
CDJRL general manager David Maiden will video games
Gotcha! CDJRL general manager David Maiden will video games
Story & Photo By : Margo Zlotkowski Cairns Post
FOOTY thugs and abusive parents be warned.

As part of its commitment to stamping out bad behaviour, Cairns District Junior Rugby League is considering filming all matches involving 15 and 16-year-olds next season.

The move comes as the four footy codes – rugby league, Aussie rules, soccer and rugby union – introduce a cross-code ban on misbehaving players and spectators.

What do you think? Post your comment at the bottom of this page.

CDJRL general manager David Maiden said while there had been only isolated problems, the league was determined to crack down on any on-field and off-field violence.

He revealed officials had started recording "hard evidence" on video at selected games after an on-field brawl at an under-15s match between Mossman and Brothers at Mossman in May.

The stoush – which led to three teenage footballers being suspended and a coach to quit in disgust – came a week after two footy mums got into a punch-up during a game between Edmonton Storm and Central Scorpions at Edmonton.

"That was an isolated incident (at Mossman) where people lost their cool but we’ve really cracked down on violence in the last couple of years and the message seems to be getting across," Mr Maiden said.

Mr Maiden said a cross-code ban would be a good way to ensure rule-breakers did not simply "jump codes".
Joel Koina has completed a traineeship with toowoomba junior rugby league. Photo : The Chronicle/Bev Lacey
Joel Koina has completed a traineeship with toowoomba junior rugby league. Photo : The Chronicle/Bev Lacey
The Chronicle
RUGBY league and community go hand in hand and 17-year-old Joel Koina loves being involved with both of them.

For the past two years the St Mary's student has devoted one day a week to promoting rugby league at a grassroots level through a school-based traineeship with Australian Rugby League national development officer Col Henschell.

In 2006 Koina picked up one of two two-year traineeships on offer.

He will complete the program at the end of this month and is now urging anyone with a love of rugby league to apply for this year's intake.

“It has been awesome. Every Friday I'm out doing things in the community - sometimes it's a bit of office work or I'll go to a school and run a program with the kids,” Koina said.

“Sometimes I have to go to big events and help out there,” he said.

“I have to catch up on the work I miss at school but it's worth it.

“It has made me into a better communicator and I'm a lot more confident. It's also great to see behind the scenes in local junior rugby league.”

Applications are now open for anyone interested in part-time positions or school-based traineeships.

Henschell said the program was a first in Australia and had already done much for the development of rugby league in the Garden City.

“It's a great opportunity. Anyone who completes the program comes out with a certificate three in community coaching, will complete a first aid course and be accredited to run Active After School programs,” Henschell said.

“The part time positions will require people to commit for two days a week.

“Toowoomba Junior Rugby League has done a lot to help with funding which has enabled us to get more people on the ground locally.”

Applicants need to send a full resume to: Karen Simpson, Business Development Manager Australian Training Company, PO Box 555, Stones Corner QLD 4120 or email ksimpson@austrg.com.au
Luke Abdul-Rahman, Jonathon Castorina, Drew Chinotti, Greg Christopher, Joshua Clark, Malcolm Congoo, Glen Day, Richard Foran, Sam Foster, Ric Carcia, Chris Grevsmuhl, Fabian Hobbs, Ethan Leedie, Rhyse Martin, Veti Mataa, Lloyd McIvor, Jonny-Lee Patti, Karmon Power, Andrew Pryor, Andrew Quabba, Mate Rajan, Kerrin Raynor, Zac Santo, Matthew Skeleki, Dennis Tomarchio, Jason Toumalolo, Francis Veukiso, Reece White.
Luke Abdul-Rahman, Jonathon Castorina, Drew Chinotti, Greg Christopher, Joshua Clark, Malcolm Congoo, Glen Day, Richard Foran, Sam Foster, Ric Carcia, Chris Grevsmuhl, Fabian Hobbs, Ethan Leedie, Rhyse Martin, Veti Mataa, Lloyd McIvor, Jonny-Lee Patti, Karmon Power, Andrew Pryor, Andrew Quabba, Mate Rajan, Kerrin Raynor, Zac Santo, Matthew Skeleki, Dennis Tomarchio, Jason Toumalolo, Francis Veukiso, Reece White.
Townsville Bulletin
TOWNSVILLE coaches Grant Bell and Todd Wilson are pleased with the talent at their disposal heading into next year's new Queensland Rugby League junior competitions.

Townsville under-18 and under-16 squads have been named following selection trials at the weekend. Townsville will compete with Cairns, Mackay, Wide Bay, Rockhampton and Northern Territory in an eight-week competition, with the leading team in each age group qualifying for national finals.

The national finals will also feature the winners from a southern Queensland competition and four New South Wales teams.

This year's Cowboys under-20s coach Bell will take charge of the under-18 squad, with Townsville Foley Shield coach Wilson to guide the under-16s.

"Both Grant and Todd have said they are pretty happy with the quality of players they had turn out," Townsville and Districts Rugby League president Leigh Anderson said.

"I think we had 43 under-18s and 46 under-16s. We were pretty happy with that."

Anderson said the new competitions promised to be an excellent opportunity for Townsville players.

"Other centres are using Queensland Cup teams as their base, so when we go to Rockhampton we'll be playing the Comets," Anderson said.

"They will be playing in front of Queensland Cup club selectors, so the kids will get looked at.

"The Cowboys have some scholarship players in our squads, they want them to be playing at a higher level than the local competitions."

Anderson said the squads were due to begin training in late January ahead of competition starts in early March.

UNDER-18 : Ben Bebendorf, Nathan Crowley, Lewis Currin, Pat Day, Kyle Feldt, TJ Fualema, Autalavou Fuimono, Josiah Geia, Sam Hoare, Jai Ingram, Joel Kugatoff, Jay Lobwein, Craig McElligott, Chris McLean, Robert McLeod, Michael Morgan, Dale Murphy, Callan Peach, Kurt Ritchie, Joshua Rose, Kurt Sivyer, Wayne Ulugia, Joseph Veukiso, Ishmael Waia, Joe Zaro.

UNDER-16 : Luke Abdul-Rahman, Jonathon Castorina, Drew Chinotti, Greg Christopher, Joshua Clark, Malcolm Congoo, Glen Day, Richard Foran, Sam Foster, Ric Carcia, Chris Grevsmuhl, Fabian Hobbs, Ethan Leedie, Rhyse Martin, Veti Mataa, Lloyd McIvor, Jonny-Lee Patti, Karmon Power, Andrew Pryor, Andrew Quabba, Mate Rajan, Kerrin Raynor, Zac Santo, Matthew Skeleki, Dennis Tomarchio, Jason Toumalolo, Francis Veukiso, Reece White.

Daily Telegraph
FOUR more players will make their Test debuts for Australia in their final rugby league World Cup pool match against Papua New Guinea in Townsville on Sunday night.

Coach Ricky Stuart today named Brisbane winger Darius Boyd, Manly winger David Williams, Canberra five-eighth Terry Campese and Manly backrower Anthony Watmough in his starting team as new caps among among a host of changes to meet the winless Kumuls.

It means that every member of Stuart's squad will have had game time going into the semi-finals, with the unbeaten Kangaroos already assured of a berth after big wins over New Zealand and England.

Campese takes over at pivot from rested captain Darren Lockyer with hooker Cameron Smith to take the leadership role.

Karmichael Hunt takes over from Billy Slater at fullback while Joel Monaghan and Brent Tate form a new centre partnership after playing on the wings in Sunday's 52-4 trouncing of England.

Johnathan Thurston returns at halfback before his hometown crowd after being a late withdrawal from that match with a shoulder injury.

Smith is the only member of the run-on forwards to have started against England.

Brent Kite and Josh Perry come in as props with Steve Price dropping to the bench and Petero Civoniceva rested.

Watmough joins Anthony Tupou in the second row in place of Glenn Stewart and Anthony Laffranchi while Craig Fitzgibbon takes over at lock from Paul Gallen who goes to the bench.

AUSTRALIAN TEAM : Karmichael Hunt, Darius Boyd, Brent Tate, Joel Monaghan, David Williams, Terry Campese, Johnathan Thurston, Brent Kite, Cameron Smith, Josh Perry, Anthony Watmough, Anthony Tupou, Craig Fitzgibbon. Interchange: Scott Prince, Steve Price, Paul Gallen, Israel Folau.
Greg Inglis
Greg Inglis
Townsville Bulletin
A BURNING desire to live up to the great Australian teams of the past has been the fuel for Kangaroo centre Greg Inglis' stunning form in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup.

The Melbourne Storm centre soared to new heights against England in Melbourne on Sunday night with a three-try haul and three line breaks as he barged, fended and dodged his way through the Lions defence.

And while critics of the World Cup's credibility are gaining volume courtesy of the two floggings Australia has meted out to England and New Zealand, Inglis believes it is because of the sheer quality of the current Australian team.

"It definitely is something special, and I think what makes it work is that the boys really want to play for each other and want to defend that title," he said.

"It's just something the Kangaroos uphold at this level and that's the tradition that past players have left.

"We don't want to let ourselves down, and especially the past."

Coach Ricky Stuart may be tempted to rest Inglis for this Sunday's clash with Papua New Guinea along with fellow hat-trick hero Billy Slater.

David Williams, Terry Campese and Darius Boyd are expected to be called into the backline while Karmichael Hunt may also press his claims for extended minutes, with the Kangaroos already assured of top spot in pool one.

But while Inglis wants to remain in the team more than anything, he said he was prepared to give up his jersey – for one game at least – to hand a squad member their debut.

"I definitely do (want to play) but if I don't, it gives the other boys an opportunity to make their debut and get the boys out there amongst it," he said.

"If I'm not named in the side I will be disappointed, but at the end of the day it's a Test jumper and no one takes it lightly. I thought I've been pretty much in form, I've done the little things right and I've been good in training as well.

"I came into this camp fresh and relaxed and I still feel that way."

Inglis has been impressed with the Kumuls' performance in this World Cup, particularly in their narrow 32 - 22 loss to England in the opening round. He said Australia could expect PNG to throw everything they have against them on Sunday, regardless of the scoreline or stage of the match.

"They never say die, which is great to see," he said.

"I was sitting watching their first game against England and I thought they had them. But England are a well-skilled side and they came back and pretty much overran PNG.

"They'll be there 'til the end no doubt, whether it's the 80th minute or extra time, they'll be still there fighting in the contest."
Jimmy Barnes shows support for his former countrymen along with daughter Elly May. Photograph: Adam Ward / The Daily Telegraph
Working class lads ... Scottish-born Aussie rock legend Jimmy Barnes shows support for his former countrymen along with daughter Elly May. Photograph: Adam Ward / The Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph
THEY are the World Cup's working class team who this week met the Working Class Man.

Glasgow-born Aussie rocker Jimmy Barnes this week visited the Scottish World Cup side ahead of tonight's match against Fiji at Gosford's Bluetongue Stadium.

Former Cold Chisel frontman Barnes, 52, told the players about his upbringing in Glasgow and some of his light-hearted touring stories.

"A few of the Pommy players in our squad hadn't heard of 'Barnesy','' said Scotland and Manly player Michael Roberston. "But all the Aussie blokes knew about him of course. We were all pretty excited he came to see us.

"We've all got some Cold Chisel albums. It was really good he gave up his time to visit. He said that he would be cheering us on this Wednesday.''

Roberston was named at fullback with Bulldogs player Chris Armit in the forwards. Scottish captain Danny Brough this week revealed his intention to leave Super League club Wakefield if he can attract an NRL club.

SCOTLAND : Michael Robertson, Wade Liddell, Mick Nanyn, Kevin Henderson, Jon Steel, John Duffy, Danny Brough (c), Oliver Wilkes, Ben Fisher, Scott Logan, Chris Armit, Iain Morrison, Ian Henderson. Interchange: Gareth Morton, Andrew Henderson, Neil Lowe, Paul Jackson, Dave McConnell (one to be omitted)
Wests Greater Northern Academy players were off and running in their summer-long slog on Saturday. Photo: Grant Robertson
Wests Greater Northern Academy players were off and running in their summer-long slog on Saturday. Photo: Grant Robertson
Northern Daily Leader
AND so it begins.

Another long summer for the region’s best junior rugby league players got under way when Wests Greater Northern Academy met for the induction of its 2008-09 squad at Tamworth’s Scully Park on Saturday.

And just as the boys got together, one of their own has been given the opportunity so many of this year’s squad are after – a start with a big city club.

Guyra prop and GNA veteran Blake Keeping won’t be part of this year’s squad but that’s because he’s preparing to make the big move to

Brisbane. He is following in the foot-steps of a number of last year’s squad who are off to NRL clubs.

“He’s off to Redcliffe,” GNA head coach Jamie McCormack said.

“It’s great that the (Jake) Hawkins and (Josh) Duttons can get NRL contracts and Blake has been here for a lot of years.

“This would have been his fourth year at the academy and he’s signed a two-year contract with the Redcliffe Dolphins, a Brisbane Broncos feeder club, to play under 20s.

“So he’s out of the academy, but for a good reason.”

Meanwhile the rest of the squad got a taste of things to come.

The first major task for any academy squad is to tackle a rigorous testing regime that records their speed, strength and fitness.

That includes plenty of sit-ups, push-ups, 40m sprints and the dreaded yo-yo test.

But it’s all about showing where the players stand at the start of the program so that their progress can be marked throughout the summer.

The 40m sprint results were particularly good.

“The test results were really good,” McCormack said. “We’ve got good speed, right across the whole squad.

“The backrowers were really good and we were impressed with all of their efforts.” Next week the squad is back again for their annual two-day camp.

That’s when the training really starts, but the boys will also receive a visit from a special guest.

The Brisbane Broncos are sending a recruitment manager to talk to the players about what to expect if they get an opportunity at a big club, but to also let them know what is expected of them.
On the defensive ... Colin Love. / The Daily Telegraph
On the defensive ... Colin Love. / The Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph
RUGBY League World Cup chairman Colin Love put on a brave face last night as he defended the event's credibility in light of Australia's dominance and scheduling that threatens to further undermine the tournament.

Australia's romp to a probable eighth straight crown rolled over England in Melbourne Sunday night, the 52-4 win doing little to appease fans hoping for a challenger to the home side's stranglehold.

Now the tournament delves into a weekend of matches carrying little significance, New Zealand's clash with England in Newcastle almost certainly an appetiser for a repeat a week later in the semi-finals.

Australia's David and Goliath game with Papua New Guinea is also unlikely to affect the semi-finals, for even if the Kumuls pull off the biggest upset in the history of Test football, they still need the Kiwis or Lions to lose by a big margin to qualify for the final four.

But Love sees plenty to play for over the remaining three weeks of the tournament, the ARL chairman adamant the Cup wasn't in Australia's hands just yet despite the home side winning its opening two games against their toughest competition by an average margin of 36 points.

"Certainly we all would have preferred to see a nailbiter (against England), but having said that it was a privilege to see a team play like Australia did," Love said.

"I don't think we should be embarrassed about how good an Australian team we produce .. they're setting the benchmark for the rest of the world.

"The rest of the world has got to lift to get up to that standard."

Despite a brief period of good football midway through the first half in Melbourne, England never really looked like challenging Australia.

The Kangaroos had been anticipating their toughest battle in recent years, but dominated on the scoreboard and on the stat sheets with England's outside backs contributing to many of their 45 missed tackles and Australia running for 818 metres compared to just 462 for the Lions.

Despite the obvious gulf in class, England coach Tony Smith said his side was still capable of doing some damage.

"It's a tournament that you get another chance at," Smith said after the heavy loss.

"We're disappointed with our performance tonight, but you don't have to be at your best just yet and as long as we get closer and closer to our best, we're still in with a shot."

Smith was in no mood to discuss his plans for the Kiwis, the option of resting players, as Australia intends against the Kumuls, a risky proposition given the Lions' form.

Love rejected claims the Lions-Kiwis clash would be a dead rubber, instead saying the winner would move into favouritism to claim one berth in the November 22 final in Brisbane.

"Whoever wins this game is going to have some sort of psychological advantage for the following week," Love said.

"They want to have a good hitout before the semifinals and hopefully before they get to the final."
SHELLSHOCKED ... England players ponder their fate after their World Cup rout in MelbourneSHELLSHOCKED ... England players ponder their fate after their World Cup rout in Melbourne
SHELLSHOCKED ... England players ponder their fate after their World Cup rout in Melbourne. Former British Test hardman Cliff Watson condemned the record 52 - 4 loss. Picture: Colleen Petch / The Courier-Mail
Courier Mail
DISGUSTED English rugby league great Cliff Watson says his team should give up and go home after Sunday night's record 52 - 4 loss to Australia in Melbourne.

Watson, a member of the 1970 Ashes-winning Great Britain side in Australia, tipped New Zealand to beat England by 40 points in Newcastle on Saturday and to repeat the dose in the Centenary World Cup side semi-final at Suncorp Stadium a week later.

The Wollongong-based former Cronulla grand final prop said he thought England would take it to Australia on Sunday night and he could not believe what he saw.

"It was disgusting," Watson said.

"They were absolutely woeful and the only answer appears to be to get another team. They didn't run on to the ball and just passed for passing's sake. The little halfback Rob Burrow was buzzing around trying things but there was a lack of effort from most of the players. They may as well pack their bags and go home now."

In 1970 Britain lost the first Test 37-15 in Brisbane but won the remaining two Tests in Sydney.

"In Brisbane we made the mistake of getting into a scrap with the Australians," Watson said. "After that we decided to play football and we had the players to do it. I don't know whether this side has."

Former British Test halfback Tommy Bishop said there were too many overseas players in English Super League and there was not enough depth in the home-grown ranks.

"They've selected a Samoan (Maurie Fa'asavalu) to play for England," Bishop said. "That's ridiculous. He's not from Widnes or St Helens so what's he doing here? When I came through the ranks there were knockout competitions in the schools and inter-town competitions that produced local champions.

"This is a pretty good Australian side and I don't think our boys can turn things around. Maybe we can beat the Kiwis. Otherwise all you can do is hope.

"I don't want to bag them too much but a few players didn't aim up. I was particularly disappointed in Leon Pryce at five-eighth. He missed some vital tackles and didn't do much with the ball."

Gold Coast-based Bishop said he would attend the World Cup semi-final at Suncorp Stadium on November 15 when England and New Zealand are expected to meet again after playing in their final pools match in Newcastle.

Former Great Britain and current Wigan coach Brian Noble was also scathing in his assessment of Sunday's match.

"We were embarrassed in this game, there's no getting away from that. Words fail me in terms of the scoreline, especially the way it spiralled out of control in the second half," he said.

England has been savaged in Fleet St press, with the Daily Telegraph describing the match as "like Lewis Hamilton's McLaren lining up against Chitty Chitty Bang Bang."

The Sun noted: "England should think about packing their bags after this World Cup embarrassment. This humiliation must go down as England's lowest point of the last few decades."

The Times described the performance as "shambolic." RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP
Greg Inglis scored 3 tries against the poms
Greg Inglis scored 3 tries against the poms

BILLY Slater last night elevated himself into the pantheon of great Australian fullbacks with a blistering attacking performance that left his coach and Kangaroos legend Ricky Stuart grasping for adjectives.

Along with Storm teammate and fellow three-try hero Greg Inglis, Slater turned on a once-in-a-season performance to shred England to pieces and leave any challenge to Australia's superiority in tatters.

It also came just six days after the birth of his first child, a baby girl named Tyla Rose.

"I got to be there for the birth of my child and I got to play for Australia," he beamed afterwards. "The two highlights of my career came in one week."

Headlining Slater's show was his breathtaking length-of-the-field try in the 66th minute of the match, which blew the margin out to 30 points.

From there, England were on a one-way ticket to their worst-ever World Cup defeat, as Inglis notched his treble from the kick-off. But Slater wasn't content to play second fiddle, charging over with nine minutes left to complete an extraordinary individual rout.

* Picture gallery: Best action snaps from the game

"I don't know if my words are strong enough in regards to the compliments I gave the boys," Stuart said.

"Some of the talent out there tonight was the best individual pieces of play I have seen at this level."

Although he struggled to apply adequate descriptions to the attacking genius of Slater and Inglis, Stuart was pointed in his response to what the remainder of the tournament will bring.

In short, more of the same.

"We've got to have a relentless attitude and take each game as it comes," he said. ''We've got to go for the throat."

Such a warning is sure to worry minnows Papua New Guinea, who face the rampant Kangaroos in Townsville on Sunday night.

Aside from a brief flurry of possession and territory midway through the first half, England were obliterated in every facet.

Australia held a commanding 22-4 halftime lead and the more their hapless opponents tried, the more the class divide between the two nations widened.

Attackers collided with each other, short kick-offs didn't work and passes hit the deck like coits on a cruise liner.

Slater provided a chilling indication of what punishment lay ahead after just five minutes when he touched down off a Cameron Smith grubber to open the scoring.

From there he and Inglis traded tries like friendly rivals whose attacking brilliance appeared symbiotic at times.

Slater, however, was equally as dangerous at setting up tries as he was at scoring them. His face-ball for Joel Monaghan in the 55th minute closed the contest and started the party.

It began with the biggest bang imaginable, champagne corks popping all over the place with Slater front and centre of the festivities.

Receiving a pass from Inglis two metres from his own line, the Innisfail flyer bolted upfield before turning hapless winger Lee Smith inside out to score the World Cup's most memorable try thus far.

"I didn't think I'd get there - it took me about 10 minutes to recover," he quipped.

Skipper Darren Lockyer was replaced with an arm injury midway through the second half, but is in no doubt for the rest of the tournament.

AUSTRALIA 52 (G Inglis 3, B Slater 3, A Laffranchi 2, J Monaghan tries, S Prince 8 goals) ENGLAND 4 (J Roby try). Referee: T Archer. Crowd: 36,297.
Forbes Advocate
Six Forbes players have been selected in the Western Region Academy Rugby League squad, another step on the path to a career in rugby league.

The boys Mitch Davis, Lou Goodwin, Jake Grace, Matthew Park, Zac Redfern and Tas Spackman were selected in the squad following selection trials in Dubbo earlier this month.

The side is aimed at improving the skills of these young rugby league players and is designed to act as a pathway to higher levels of the game.

Players eligible for the side must be turning 17 or 18 years of age and must be from Group 11, Group 14 or Group 10.

This means players are sourced from top rugby league sides across the region including Orange CYMS, Macquarie Raiders, Bathurst Panthers, Mudgee and Cowra Magpies.

Forbes’ result of having six selected in the 41 man squad is an outstanding one and reflects the town’s standing as a breeding ground of up and coming rugby league players.

The six were already regarded as promising young talents, however they appear to have cemented this tag after being selected from the 124 players who tried out.

“There were no duds there and it was a pretty good effort from anyone who did make the side,” said Wade Judd, a development officer with the Country Rugby League.

The students have their first hit out with the squad when they travel to a team camp in Dubbo this weekend.

The squad will travel to another camp later this year where a side will be selected and take to the park against the Far West Academy.

If successful here, the boys will take to the park against Northern Region Academy next year, before playing a possible curtain raiser to the City Vs Country clash to be played at Orange’s Wade Park on May 8.

The side will also take on at least one NRL development squad, possibly the Newcastle Knights.

This will give the boys access and experience against some of the best 17 and 18 year old footballers in the country.

“They get to expose themselves to an NRL club and if they perform this may be an avenue for them to get down there,” Judd said.

Mitch Davis was one of the boys selected by the club.

Davis said it was a good feeling to be selected from the large numbers that tried out and expressed his hope that the selection could be another step on the road to bigger and better things.

“Hopefully it will get me seen or noticed by the club,” he said.
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52 - 10 DUBBO
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DATE: Saturday 13 September 2008 (Under 16)
TIME: Register by 9.00am
Trials commence 9.30am
VENUE: Matraville Sports High School – Anzac Parade, Chifley

All 2007 local South Sydney Junior League players are invited to attend the trials saturday 15th September at Mascot Oval.
Players from outside the South Sydney Junior League district - INVITATION ONLY.
Please forward your playing resume for consideration to trial to tlarkin@southsjuniors.org.au fax: 02 9349 5749 ph: 02 9214 4293


Please indicate the trial you will be attending by ticking the corresponding box below
Local Trials – Northbourne Oval
Under 16s - Friday 19 September assemble at 5:00pm to trial at 5:30pm
Under 18s - Tuesday 23 September assemble at 6:00pm to trial at 6:30pm
Open Trials – Raiders HQ
Under 16s - Saturday 27 September assemble at 8:30am to trial at 9:00am
Under 18s - Saturday 27 September assemble at 9:30am to trial at 10:30am
Under 20s/Opens - Saturday 27 September assemble at 11:00am to trial at 12:00pm
Players selected from the local trial, may be required to trial again on Saturday 27 September.
Players participating in the CRJRL Senior Grand Finals will not be required to trial.
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