Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Choose your Weapon

What strange act causes us to choose a team for the rest of our lives? Is it a family thing, was it because they won the first game you saw live, did you live in a one team town, was it peer group pressure or did the team choose you?

Clash of the Footy Shows

Wednesday and Thursday Nights offer a much anticipated viewing smorgasbord for the footy follower. The only drama is that you can't watch it all. Here Ole Snowy offers a solution.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Around the Grounds

On a regular basis we check out the forums on some of the other Rugby League sites to see what the fans are discussing and what are the issues as they see it. This will become a semi-regular review on what we find as we go AROUND THE GROUNDS.

Snowy is Back

Hello there to all my fans and supporters. The great man, Snowy "Bloody" Fraser is back. The Myth and Legend from Nambucca Heads is here and back writing at the at the new Can I tell you, I think Curly has done a great job setting this up for us, and now that I know what I am doing, you will here from me weekly. Firstly, lets talk about the Dragons

NRL Line-ups: Round 4

Round 4 aleady for NRL 2010 and all the teams have been named. Click on the Read More link to check out who is in and who is out of your team.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Rabbitohs Score First Win

The Souths Sydney Rabbitohs, the pride of the league, have won their first game for season 2010 with a 30-8 victory over the, still winless Cronulla Sutherland Sharks. The Sharks were the surprise first scorers with a try to Luke Covell, but the Rabbitohs struck back to take the lead just three minutes later.

Tim Smith Signs with Cronulla

The boys are glad we made the effort to watch the Queensland Cup clash between Easts Tigers and the Central Qld Comets, to witness the class of Tim Smith in his last game for the Brisbane club. It was announced today that Smith has been released from his dual registration with Brisbane Easts and the Brisbane Broncos and has signed a deal with Cronulla until the end of 2011.

Langer Sin-Binned

The Brisbane Broncos have suspended club great, Allan Langer, after he had informed the club he had failed a breath test on Sunday Night. While it is good to see the Broncos act decisively, is this another example of over-reaction?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Broncos Press Conference

It is always tough for a coach and a captain to front the media after a big loss, and the pain is evident here for the Broncos Ivan Henjak and Darren Lockyer.

Doggies Pump the Chooks.

The Canturbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have brought high flying Sydney Roosters crashing back to earth with an absolute emphatic 60-14 drubbing today in front of a stunned crowd of 19,738 at ANZ Stadium.

Broncos Flogged

The New Zealand Warriors have trounced the Brisbane Broncos 48-16 at Suncorp Stadium today.

The Broncos actually snared the lead early in the second half only to be overwhelmed by the relentless Kiwis. The win marks the start of the Kiwi march to prove their many critics wrong.

Titans Take off over Raiders

The Canberra Raiders maintained their woeful away record, going down to a Scott Prince-inspired Gold Coast Titans side 24-4.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Manly Well and Truly Over the Knights

The Manly Sea Eagles have put their first two horror weeks behind them as they trounced the Newcastle Knights 36-12 in Gosford tonight.

Storm over the Panthers

The Melbourne Storm continued their 2010 season winning form with a hard fought 16-10 victory over the Penrith Panthers. It is hard to say the Storm are in form, but the brains trust of the Storm will be happy they are winning without dominating.

Saturday Night NRL Preview

Saturday sees another Super Saturday and mine will be starting off with following the GeeGees with a couple of mates washed down with a couple of cold Bacchus Brewing Beers.

Friday Night Press Conferences

Friday night saw some sparkling football played.  Watch the press conferences here by clicking the Read More Link att

Friday, March 26, 2010

Dragons Continue Form while Tigers up and Over the Eels

Friday night saw the Wayne Bennett drilled Dragons continue their perfect start to the season with an emphatic 33-8 win over the North Queensland Cowboys. In the other Friday Night game, the Wests Tigers led all the way over the Parramatta Eels 23-12.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Laurie Daley's NRL preview

Laurie Daley's NRL preview

Fox Sports commentator Laurie Daley offers his thoughts and predictions for round three of the NRL this weekend.

Props Pentathlon: NRL on Fox

One of our favourite segments of the rugby league week is the Props Pentathlon on NRL on Fox on Wednesday Nights. Here is the latest video from the show featuring Lopini Paea from the Roosters


Oh joy to the world! The 2010 AFL season is upon us and we have all spent the last week in a frenzy of activity enrolling in a number of tipping competitions even though we promised ourselves we would restrict ourselves this year to no more than 3 – a manageable amount. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

NRL Line-ups: Round 3

NRL Line-ups: Round 3

All the teams and their named line-ups found here for Round 3 of the 2010 NRL season.

Cooper Returns for Dragons

St George Illawarra Dragons centre Matt Cooper returns to the Dragons line-up this weekend for the clash against the Cowboys at WIN Stadium in Wollongong this Friday night.

Finch the Chosen and Protected One: The True Key Performance Indicator

Sometimes it amazing how thoughts can often come to you, when you least expect it. Robert Finch, the referees coach, appears to be a National Park, a protected species.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Dessy Hasler and His Gripe against Gridiron

Dessy Hasler has another shot at the refs. Interesting that refs boss Robert Finch has come out today stating that the refs and match officials did make a mistake on the try to Joel Reddy, but also that one of Manly's tries was actually wrong awarded as well. I guess, they say that it goes both ways, and Finch has become a master at that. Here is the Hasler Press Conference.

Broncos Fight Hard Against the Canberra Curse

Canberra started favorites to knock over the Brisbane and the Half-time score of 18 nil, suggested the potential of another 50+ scoreline for the Raiders.

However the Brisbane Broncos found their football feet, through two tries to Israel Folou and suddenly they were within striking distance. Another try, this time down the left side to Ben T'eo, and the Broncos were within four points at 18-14.

Suddenly the game had feeling with both forward packs muscling up and charging into each other in both attack and defence. Scott Logan and Dan Tilse from the Raiders, while for Brisbane the backrowers of Ben T'eo, Sam Thiaday and Corey Parker were strong and effective. Nick Kenny made two errors late in the game, while they didn't turn the game, they put Brisbane on the back foot. A cramp to Darren Lockyer scuttled the final attacking set for the Broncos on the Raiders line.

A last minute try to the Raiders, gave them a 22-14 victory. It was a pleasing win for the Raiders, but coach Ivan Henjak would have been pleased with the second half fightback.

The Weekend NRL

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Roosters 44 Tigers 32

72 points in a game. 20-12 at half-time to the Chooks. A tight first half gives way to a second half in which 44 points were scored. More news to follow

Parramatta Home over the Eagles

Jarryd Hayne and some associated magic saw the Parramatta Eels score their first win for 2010. The Manly Sea Eagles 20-0 shortly after half-time, and were still leading 20-12 with just six minutes left.

However the Eels had other ideas and scored two tries in the final six minutes to score a controversial win. The try which brought the Eels to within two points looked to have included a forward pass from Kris Keating to tryscorer Joel Reddy.

Its a shame that the game will be remembered for this controversy and that Manly lost the game after a big lead, as opposed to a stunning comeback from the Eels.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday Night Footy Results

Saturday Night with threats of cyclones and the rest, but the games went on with the following results and Curly jagging three from three.

The New Zealand Warriors for the second week in a row, came out with all guns blazing. The Sharks refused to lie down, but in the end a hatrick from Manu Vatuvi provded the catalyst for the Warriors to strike their first win of the season. New Zealand Warriors 30 Sharks 16

The North Queensland Cowboys never looked like winning against the Penrith Panthers in cyclone watch Townsville. The Panthers had the game well and truly won, and again the Cowboys played about twenty minutes of football to secure an unlikley 28 -20 victory.

The Storm have started 2010 poorly, but are still finding the winning line. The Knights led 14-0, and somehow, in a miraculous escape the Storm came home to win 20-14.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday Night Footy

The Dragons really set the cat amongst the pidgeons with a 26-6 comprehensive victory over the Bulldogs.

The other game was a nail biter with the Titan giving away a good lead, and saw the Rabbitohs steal a 18-16 lead coming unto the dying minutes.

The refs struggled with discipline and sent Titans Nathan Friend for a stint in the bin and Souths saw that recipricated when Chris Sandow binned with a last minute penalty infringement against the Rabbitoh. The Titans fans had heart palpitations when the penalty to even the scores rebounded off the sticks and bounced in.

Golden point and Souths down to twelve men was always going to be controversial and this was compounded with a stripping penalty against Souths. The Titans kicked the winning field goal from the ensuing set to give the Titan the 19-18 win.

- Posted by Curly

Friday night Preview

Facing up to another feast of fantastic Friday Night Football. The stand out game is the Dragons v Bulldogs in Woolongong.

Much has been made of the clash of Josh and Brett Morris, the twins who debuted for Australia last season. Also mentioned is the Bulldogs track record in Wollongong, having not lost there since 1999. What this match will be about is the disappinting Bulldogs from last week, taking on the focussed Dragons. The forwards clash will be the key, and the loss of Mick Ennis is a huge blow for the Dogs, while the Dragons team of tradesmen is intact and ready to go.

For mine, it's the Dragons in another legendary tight one.

The othe game sees two disappinting sides from Round 1 clash in the Rabbitohs and Titans. At home the much vaunted Rabbitohs pack must produce tonight, while the Titans must show they can produce the goods away from home.

I expect huge games from Titans pair, William Zillman Greg Bird, but the Rabbitohs should be primed to live up to expectations. Souths Sydney for me.

- Posted by Curly

Thursday, March 18, 2010

News from the Red V: Wayne Bennett on Friday night’s Round 2 clash against the Bulldogs.

What were your thoughts on the 18-12 victory over the Eels?

I thought it was a very good performance by our boys and I was pleased with the fact that everybody in the 17 made a contribution.

What players impressed you in the Round 1 victory and why?
All of the squad impressed me last Friday night, I can’t single any one player out.

How does a Coach or team deal with a long-term injury to a player such as Nathan Fien?
Injuries are an inevitable part of football and all you can do is just get on with the job.

What do you think you can expect from the Bulldogs on Friday night?

The Bulldogs are always a tough proposition and I’m expecting them to bring a lot of enthusiasm into the match tomorrow night.

What does a player like Luke Priddis bring to a Rugby League team?
The main thing Luke will bring to the team is a wealth of experience, which comes with playing almost 300 games of first grade.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

NRL Round 2 Teams

St George Illawarra v Canterbury Bulldogs

St George Illawarra Dragons:
Darius Boyd, Brett Morris, Beau Scott, Nick Emmett, Jason Nightingale, Jamie Soward, Ben Hornby (c), Matt Prior, Luke Priddis, Michael Weyman, Jeremy Smith, Ben Creagh, Dean Young. Interchange: Jon Green, Trent Merrin, Dan Hunt, Jarrod Saffy.

Canterbury Bulldogs:
Luke Patten, Steve Turner, Josh Morris, Jamal Idris, Bryson Goodwin, Ben Roberts, Brett Kimmorley, Ben Hannant, Blake Green, Michael Hodgson, Yileen Gordon, Andrew Ryan, David Stagg. Interchange: Mickey Paea, Gary Warburton, Jarrad Hickey, Benjamin Barba.

South Sydney Rabbitohs v Gold Coast Titans

South Sydney Rabbitohs: Rhys Wesser, Nathan Merritt, Junior Vaivai, Beau Champion, Fetuli Talanoa, John Sutton, Chris Sandow, Luke Stuart, Issac Luke, Roy Asotasi, Sam Burgess, Dave Taylor, Ben Lowe. Interchange: Scott Geddes, Shannan McPherson, David Tyrrell, Jason Clark.

Gold Coast Titans: Preston Campbell, David Mead, Mat Rogers, Joseph Tomane, Kevin Gordon, Greg Bird, Scott Prince (c), Luke Bailey, Nathan Friend, Brad Meyers, Anthony Laffranchi, Mark Minichiello, Ashley Harrison. Interchange from: Matthew White, Sam Tagataese, Will Matthews, Riley Brown, Bodene Thompson, William Zillman.

New Zealand Warriors v Cronulla Sharks

New Zealand Warriors:
Lance Hohaia, Kevin Locke, Brent Tate, Jerome Ropati, Manu Vatuvei, James Maloney, Brett Seymour, Sam Rapira, Aaron Heremaia, Russell Packer, Lewis Brown, Simon Mannering (c), Michael Luck. Interchange from: Wade McKinnon, Jeremy Latimore, Jesse Royal, Ben Matulino, Joel Moon.

Cronulla Sharks:
Nathan Stapleton, Isaac Gordon, Ben Pomeroy, Blake Ferguson, Luke Covell, Trent Barrett (c), Scott Porter, Kade Snowden, John Morris, Luke Douglas, Grant Millington, Anthony Tupou, Paul Gallen. Interchange from: Adam Cuthbertson, Josh Cordoba, Albert Kelly, Paul Aiton, Broderick Wright.

Newcastle Knights v Melbourne Storm

Newcastle Knights:
Shannon McDonnell, Akuila Uate, Wes Naiqama, Adam MacDougall, Cooper Vuna, Jarrod Mullen, Scott Deureau, Ben Cross, Matt Hilder, Evarn Tuimavave, Steve Simpson, Cory Paterson, Mark Taufau. Interchange from: Isaac De Gois, Daniel Tolar, Richie Fa'aoso, Zeb Taia, Cameron Ciraldo.

Melbourne Storm:
Billy Slater, Luke MacDougall, Dane Nielsen, Greg Inglis, Anthony Quinn, Brett Finch, Cameron Smith (c), Aiden Tolman, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Jeff Lima, Adam Blair, Kevin Proctor, Todd Lowrie. Interchange: Rory Kostjasyn, Ryan Tandy, Hep Cahill, Jesse Bromwich.

North Queensland Cowboys v Penrith Panthers

North Queensland Cowboys:
Ty Williams, Michael Bani, Willie Tonga, Ashley Graham, John Williams, Grant Rovelli, Johnathan Thurston, Matthew Scott, Aaron Payne, Antonio Kaufusi, Scott Bolton, Steve Southern, Luke O'Donnell. Interchange from: Anthony Watts, Steve Rapira, Willie Mason, Manase Manuokafoa, Carl Webb, James Tamou.

Penrith Panthers:
Lachlan Coote, Michael Gordon, Michael Jennings, Adrian Purtell,  Shane Elford, Travis Burns, Luke Walsh, Tim Grant, Kevin Kingston, Petero Civoniceva, Frank Pritchard, Trent Waterhouse, Luke Lewis. Interchange from: Joseph Paulo, Nathan Smith, Matthew Bell, Sam McKendry, Ryan Walker, Nigel Plum, Frank Puletua.

Parramatta Eels v Manly Sea Eagles

Parramatta Eels:
Jarryd Hayne, Luke Burt, Joel Reddy, Timana Tahu, Eric Grothe, Daniel Mortimer, Jeff Robson, Nathan Cayless (C), Matt Keating, Justin Poore, Nathan Hindmarsh, Ben Smith, Feleti Mateo. Interchange: Kris Keating, Tim Mannah, Brendan Oake, Fuifui Moimoi, Krisnan Inu.

Manly Sea Eagles:
Michael Robertson, Tony Williams, Chris Bailey, Steve Matai, Ben Farrar, Jamie Lyon, Kieran Foran, Jason King, Matt Ballin, Josh Perry, Anthony Watmough, Shane Rodney, Glenn Stewart. Interchange from: Terence Seu Seu, Brent Kite, George Rose, Matt Cross, Joe Galuvao.

Sydney Roosters v Wests Tigers

Sydney Roosters:
Todd Carney, Anthony Minichiello, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Phil Graham, Sam Perett, Braith Anasta (c), Mitchell Pearce, Lopini Paea, James Aubusson, Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Aiden Guerra, Mitchell Aubusson, Nate Myles. Interchange from: Daniel Conn, Jason Ryles, Brad Takairangi, Nick Kouparitsas, Ben Jones, Sonny Tuigamala, Joseph Leilua.

Wests Tigers:
Tim Moltzen, Lote Tuqiri, Blake Ayshford, Chris Lawrence, Beau Ryan, Benji Marshall, Robert Lui, Bryce Gibbs, Robbie Farah (c), Keith Galloway, Liam Fulton, Gareth Ellis, Chris Heighington. Interchange: Jason Cayless, Junior Moors, Mark Flanagan, Daniel Fitzhenry.

Canberra Raiders v Brisbane Broncos

Canberra Raiders: Josh Dugan, Reece Robinson, Jarrod Crocker, Joel Thompson, Daniel Vidot, Terry Campese, Marc Herbert, David Shillington, Alan Tongue (c), Scott Logan, Joe Picker, Bronson Harrison, Shaun Fensom. Interchange from: Travis Waddell, Trevor Thurling, Troy Thompson, Dane Tilse, Josh McCrone, James Stuart.

Brisbane Broncos: Corey Norman, Antonio Winterstein, Gerard Beale, Israel Folau, Denan Kemp, Darren Lockyer, Peter Wallace, Nick Kenny, Andrew McCullogh, Scott Anderson, Ben Te'o, Sam Thaiday, Corey Parker. Interchange from: Alex Glenn, Matt Gillett, Mitchell Dodds, Josh McGuire, Lagi Setu.

News from the Red V: Priddis in for Fien

Dragons Head Coach Wayne Bennett has named Luke Priddis as a replacement for injured hooker Nathan Fien in the starting side for Friday night’s big clash against the Bulldogs at WIN Stadium Wollongong.
Fien suffered a broken fibula in the Dragons 18-12 win over the Eels last Friday, and will be replaced by Priddis, who showed good form in the Dragons three trial matches.
“It’s extremely disappointing for Fiensy, he is a great player and a great guy”, said Priddis.
“Im looking forward to having a run on Friday night, especially at a packed WIN Stadium and against the Bulldogs who are always a tough prospect, no matter when or where you play them”.
Unavailable Dragons are: Matt Cooper (hamstring) Rnd3, Neville Costigan (shoulder) Rnd 4, Kyle Stanley (ankle) Rnd 6, Nathan Fien (leg) indefinite, Peni Tagive (ACL) indefinite.

Monday, March 15, 2010

NRL talking points, round one - NRL - Fox Sports

NRL talking points, round one - NRL - Fox Sports

Round 1: What do we take out of It????

So now that we are finished the first week of 2010, what do we take out of it. Apart from the Bulldogs and Souths, I reckon most coaches will have some degree of happiness with their teams form.

Ivan Henjak will be astounded with the form his Baby Broncos showed in Game 1, while his Cowboys counterpart will be happy with the comeback and the twenty minutes they played Cowboys footy, would have made him happy.

Wayne Bennet would be stoked with the discipline shown by the Dragons, while Daniel Anderson would have had some level of comfort, that against an almost faultless team, his team still had enough class to almost snatch it.

Ric Stone from the Knights would be happy, as would Ricky Stuart who's no-name Sharks held the Premiers to a four point ball game. Both Tim Sheens and Dessy Hasler would have been stoked with the way both teams played on Monday Night.

Whats your thoughts? Share them at

Monday Night Thrillers Start Again

The recent history of magic night Monday Night Thrillers, seems to have continued for 2010 with Manly and the Wests Tigers playing out a rip snorter to open proceedings.

In an absolute fairytale, Lote Tuquiri scored with his first touch back in the NRL, but it was Manly who blazed away for much of the first half to lead 20-4 at half-time.

Manly were under penalty pressure in the second half, and appeared to lose intensity due to this, giving the Tigers the chance to get back into the game. However it still took until the 60th minute mark for the Tigers to pounce back a try and get the score to 20-10. With just seven minutes left on the clock, the scoreline was 22-20 and two minutes later theTiges had the lead 26-22, which they held to the end.

A  shot around the chops on a player falling in a tackle, by big George Rose, created some final seconds drama with players rushing in, which ensured that the fans from both sides left with their blood flashing around their veins.

A great game of footy to finish off Round 1 of NRL2010.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Rabbits Disapoint in Opening Clash

The new look Souths Sydney side disapointed their faithful today with a lacklustre effort, going down 36-10 to the Sydney Roosters in the Sunday match of the day.

Todd Carney wasted no time in re-asserting his authority on his return to the NRL with a dynamic effort at full-back for the Chooks.The much celebrated Rabbitohs forward pack, started with promise, but were soon found wanting by the skill and the pace of the Roosters.

Every season, the Rabbitohs promised hype struggles to eventuate, and while it is only Round 1, they need to improve their consistency and discipline if their potential is to be realised.

Warriors and Titans

The New Zealand Warriors came to Robina to play and stunned the Gold Coast Titans with an early attacking onslaught. The Titans looked scrappy, while the Warriors looked sharp, however the Titans only trailed by six at half-time. They trailed 18-6, but a final minute try gave the 18-12 scoreline.

The Titans played better in the second half, but it was still the Warriors who looked the better side. The Titans looked disorganised, but good times find a way to win even when they don't play the best. They leveled the score at 18 all, and then a clever kick from Nathan Friend, resulted in a try for Preston Campbell to give the Titans the lead.

The Warriors pushed hard to score the winning try, but ultimately ran out of time. This will be one lamented by the Warriors as one that got away.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Panthers and Storm to Victory

Exclusively tipped by the team at is the tightness of the Storm victory over the Sharks. Many tipped a whitewash,to the Storm but the Sharks rallied to go down by just 14-10.

The Penrith Panthers lifted their 2010 expectations by winning against the Canberra Raiders 34-16.

Knights v Bulldogs

Halftime score, in line with our upset prediction. Knight 16 Bulldogs 0

Upset of the round as tipped by Knights win 20-16

- Posted by Curly

How Good Was the Kick-Off to NRL2010

How good was that. Friday Night is now just a memory, but two sensational games are indelibly etched in the mind for some time to come. 48,000 In Brisbane and the roar of the crowd created a huge atmosphere, while 18,000 snuck into Parramatta Stadium. Two ringing endorsements from a rugby league starved community.

Now what did we take out of the game. The young Brisbane side was impressive. The first set of six saw debutant Mitchell Dodds just about involved in every tackle. His energy and enthusiasm was obvious, but it was young Cory Norman who stood out for mine. Very cool, calm and collected at the back and showed some good skills. The Brisbane production line just keeps rolling.

After leading 24-0, they should never have been run down and the fact that it ended in a nail-biter was credit to the Cowboys who spun together a 20minute passage of footy that was just brilliant. But it was Denan Kemp, doing what all wingers should do, pinning their ears back and streaking down the sideline to nail off the winning try for the Broncos. Disappointed with big Willie Mason, for someone with so much to prove, he certainly spends a lot of time jogging on the field. I expected more.

In the other game, the Eels and Dragons slugged out a edge of the seat style game with Jamie Sowards penalty kicks the difference. Both teams showed enough to show their fans they will again be near enough this year. Very impressed with Jeremy Smith for the Dragons and he will show to be a critical component of the Dragons 2010 charge.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Night at the Footy

It's finally here, sitting at Suncorp waiting for the game to start. Early news from Sydney see the Dragons up 6-0 with a Ben Hornby try.

Kick off in Brisbane still 30 minutes away . Pumped and ready

12-6 to the Dragons just before halftime. Only an update, can't tell you much about the game, but the Dragons are winning.

What is it about all these TV style shows as pre-game entertainment. I have seen this at the Titans and know the Dragons do, but the Broncs have followed suit, and talk about sterile and boring!

Twenty minutes gone and Broncos in with a video ref decision. Try to Israel Folou. Corey Parker to kick from the sideline. Broncos 6 Cowboys 0

In Sydney Dragons 14 Eels 6

A good try to Darren Lockyer. Brisbane playing with heaps of momentum and enthusiasm. Broncos 12 Cowboys 0. Cowboys need Big Willie

Still no Willie, but a Broncos try with great work from Winterstein. Bronco 18 Cowboys 0. Mason ON

Halftime and the Broncos look the goods, heaps of pace and energy and just demolishing the Cows. Willie has done nothing except look big, time to play big. Very impressed with Corey Norman. Twenty nil to the Broncos.

In Sydney, St George Illawarra 18 Parramatta 12

Broncos start where they left off with a try Judy seven minutes into the second half to lead 24 nil. The Broncos picked up a cheap penalty from a poor decision by the match official Maxwell. The Cowboys are playing poorly, but they aren't getting a lotof luck.

Cowboys get some luck at last with Ty Williams kicking though a Corey Norman fumble to score.JT converts, Cowboys 6 Brisbane 24

TryCowboys from Ash Graham fr some more good luck. Cowboys back in the hunt at 24 -12

Cowboys in again. We have a game people. Cowboys trail by 6 after being down 24 to nil

Jonathon Thurston has sparked the Cowboys with a smart try, easy kick to make it 24 all with tenminutes to go.

What a sight. Demand Kemp pinned back his ears and went in for the Broncos to regain the lead 30-24. Three minutes left

A good win to the Broncs, although a strong fightback from theCows. Very impressed with Cory Norman and Cory Parker. What a start to the season


Well it all kicks off tonight with two magic games, the Eels v Dragons and the Qld derby, Broncos v Cowboys. The Eels have been disapointing in trials, while the Dragons have looked sharper and smoother than last year. The much hyped clash between Jamie Soward and Jarryd Hayne is the teaser for the clash and the new downturn rule may rule this in Haynes favour. Even with this, Matt Cooper out and the return of Timana Tahu, we are tipping the Dragons to win a close one. Brett Morris first try scorer.

Broncos v Cowboys, Thurston V Lockyer. They coined the phrase, the Baby Broncos for the teams that trotted out for Brisbane in the times of Origin, now the phrase is for their top 17. Average age of 22, which is just incredible. A host of no/new names for the Broncos and the Cowboys bristling with potential. Look for a huge game from Willie Mason, and I just can't see the Broncos winning this one. They will be brave, and fight on, but Cowboys for us. Watch for a best on ground performance from JT in a changing of the guard ceremony.

Saturday Night see the Knights travel to Sydney for the Dogs. Seems an easy selection, with the Dogs seemingly easy money. BUT, the people from Newcastle are renowned for their fighting capabilities and we will see that to the fore tonight. Minus, Kurt Gidley and wracked in a drug drama, watch for the Knights to cause the boilover of the round with a backs to the wall win. Josh Morris first try scorer.

Penrith play host to Canberra. Again the Raiders are being tipped to be amongst the also-rans, while expectations are high in Penrith. They need to be, as Matty Elliot has had a number of years to assemble a squad he likes and now appears to be close to it. Panthers for mine, with Michael Jennings starring.

The Storm are on the road and face a dangerous Cronulla. We say Cronulla, because again, hopes are not high and they are expected to trail the field in 2010. The Storm need to head off the World Club Champion hangover, but even with this, you would expect the Storm to win with Billy Slater best on ground, but watch out for a stellar performance from Paul Aiton when he is unleashed.

Titans play on Sunday at home against the New Zealand Warriors. The Warriors are blowing up deluxe about the Titans playing in their white away strip, forcing the Warriors into their Black Home strip. This won't do them much good at all. I expect the Titans to be very sharp, very early in the season, and the under-delivering Warriors will continue to do so. Watch for a big game from Brett Seymour, but Greg Bird will be best on ground.

The foundation derby is the big game on Sunday and this should go to the Rabbits. They have hype, potential and face 2010 with more expectations for a long, long time. How they face up to that hype will be one of the bigger deciding factors. We also have the Brian Smith factor at the Chooks, and we anticipate this game to be closer than many pundits think. Souths for us, but in a nail-biter. Sam Burgess will stamp his mark, Dave Taylor to start slowly, Braith Anasta to play with renewed vigour.

Monday night, sees the return of Lote Tuquiri as the Tigers face off the Sea Eagles. Again, we have some hype with the Tigers, but Manly will be looking to make up for a lost 2009 and they will win handsomely.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

News From the Red V

Dragons Coach Wayne Bennett has named a big 17 man-squad for the Round 1 clash against the Eels at Parramatta Stadium on Friday night, with four forwards named on the bench all capable of playing in the front-row.
Dragons forward Dan Hunt is excited about the challenge a big Parramatta pack poses for the Dragons,
“Parramatta’s got a big pack, but we’ve got a job to do. They had a great season last year and a great finals campaign, but this is a new season, we’ve trained hard and done everything right so far this week and we can’t wait to get back into football on Friday night”.
Unavailable Dragons are: Neville Costigan (shoulder) Rnd 4, Kyle Stanley (ankle) Rnd 6, Peni Tagive (ACL) indefinite   
The St George Illawarra Dragons yesterday announced that Dally M five-eight of the year Jamie Soward has re-signed with the Club for a further three years, until the end of the 2013 season.
To watch Jamie discuss re-signing and thanking Red V Members for their support click here
The announcement is a boost for the Club and Red V Members alike in the build-up to the opening game of the 2010 season this Friday night against the Parramatta Eels.
“I wanted to stay at the Dragons and I am very happy that I will be here for at least the next three seasons,” said Soward. “I am also very happy to have this all finalised heading into the season and to know where I am at for the next few years.
“The Dragons are a fantastic Club who took a chance on me a few seasons ago and I think it is a great show of faith from the Club to offer me this contract,” added Soward. “It is the longest contract that I have ever signed and I am looking forward to continuing to work hard and repay the Club, Red V Members, Partners and fans for their support”.
The re-signing of the 2009 Provans Summons People’s Choice Award winner is sure to provide the Club, its corporate Partners and Red V Members with a massive boost heading into Friday nights round 1 clash with the Eels and it is a decision that has also delighted Coach Wayne Bennett.
“It is great that Jamie has signed to stay at the Club and we are all elated that it is done before the season has started so he can concentrate on playing football,” said Bennett.
Dragons CEO Peter Doust echoed the sentiments and is equally as pleased to have secured Soward to a long-term deal.
“Jamie is a key player, personality and contributor at our Club both on and off the field and I am delighted that we have been able to reach an agreement to keep him at the Dragons for at least the next few years,” said Dragons CEO Peter Doust.
Soward had a remarkable year in 2009, surpassing a number of long-standing Dragons records, winning numerous awards as voted by the fans and gaining his very first representative honours.
In 2009 Soward broke the St George Illawarra Dragons record for points in a season, overtaking Mark Riddell’s previous record of 166 with a mammoth 234 points. Soward also surpassed St George Dragons legend Harry Bath’s record of 225 points in a single season. Soward also broke Wayne Bartrim’s record of 71 goals in a season, kicking 90 last season.
Soward was rewarded for his stellar season by being named Five-Eight of the Year at the 2009 Dally M Awards. The popular five-eight was also rewarded by the fans, winning the Dragons Red V Members Player of the Year Award for the second consecutive year as well as the Provans Summons People’s Choice Award for most popular player with the fans at the 2009 Dally M Awards.
In another first for Soward, he was named in the NSW Country team for the annual City v Country clash, gaining his first representative honour since entering the NRL. Soward was also named in the initial Kangaroos train-on squad at the end of last season.
More recently Soward played a key role in the Indigenous side in the inaugural Indigenous All-Stars v NRL All-Stars match on the Gold Coast, where he scored the match winning try to give the Indigenous All-Stars side a  16-12 victory.

News From the Broncos Round 1

IVAN Henjak has backed debutant Corey Norman to show his 'tricks' after rolling the dice on the 19-year-old for Friday's blockbuster against the Cowboys.

Norman beat Josh Hoffman to the no.1 jersey, vacated by Karmichael Hunt last year, after excelling throughout the pre-season.

"It wouldn't have mattered who we picked at fullback, it was going to be a gamble," said Henjak.

"We lost a great player in Karmichael and had to find a replacement.

"The fellows who have trained there in pre-season have done very well.

"But Corey got the nod.

"He has trained very well, he trialled really well and he's got a few extra tricks up his sleeve."

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

NRL Round 1 Teams

NRL 2010: Round 1 - March 12, 13, 14, 15
National Rugby League teams, fixtures & referees

Parramatta Eels v St George Illawarra Dragons
Friday 12 March 2010, 7:35pm AEDT - Parramatta Stadium
Referees: Tony Archer & Gavin Badger; Sideline Officials: Paul Holland & Grant Atkins; Video Referee: Bill Harrigan
Eels: 1. Jarryd Hayne 2. Luke Burt 3. Joel Reddy 4. Timana Tahu 5. Eric Grothe 6. Daniel Mortimer 7. Jeff Robson 8. Nathan Cayless (C) 9. Matt Keating 10. Justin Poore 11. Nathan Hindmarsh 12. Ben Smith 13. Feleti Mateo
Interchange: 14. Kris Keating 15. Shane Shackleton 17. Fuifui Moimoi 19. Tim Mannah; Reserves: 20. Krisnan Inu
Dragons: 1. Darius Boyd 2. Brett Morris 3. Beau Scott 4. Matt Cooper 5. Jason Nightingale 6. Jamie Soward 7. Ben Hornby (c) 8. Matt Prior 9. Nathan Fien 10. Michael Weyman 11. Jeremy Smith 12. Ben Creagh 13. Dean Young
Interchange: 14. Jon Green 15. Trent Merrin 16. Dan Hunt 17. Jarrod Saffy

Brisbane Broncos v North Queensland Cowboys
Friday 12 March 2010, 7:35pm AEST (8:35pm AEDT) - Suncorp Stadium
Referees: Jared Maxwell & Gerard Sutton; Sideline Officials: David Abood & Phil Haines; Video Referee: Tim Mander
Broncos: 1. Corey Norman 2. Antonio Winterstein 3. Gerard Beale 4. Israel Folau 5. Denan Kemp 6. Darren Lockyer (c) 7. Peter Wallace 8. Nick Kenny 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Scott Anderson 11. Ben Te'o 12. Sam Thaiday 13. Corey Parker
Interchange: 14. Alex Glenn 15. Matt Gillett 16. Josh McGuire 17. Mitchell Dodds
Cowboys: 1. Ty Williams 2. John Williams 3. Ashley Graham 4. Willie Tonga 5. Michael Bani 6. Grant Rovelli 7. Johnathan Thurston (c) 8. Matthew Scott 9. Aaron Payne 10. Antonio Kaufusi 11. Scott Bolton 12. Steve Southern 13. Luke O’Donnell
Interchange: 14. Anthony Watts 15. Steve Rapira 16. Willie Mason 17. Manase Manuokafoa; Reserves: 18. Carl Webb 19. James Tamou

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v Newcastle Knights
Saturday 13 March 2010, 5:30pm AEDT - ANZ Stadium
Referees: Jason Robinson & Bernard Sutton; Sideline Officials: Jeff Younis & Ricky McFarlane; Video Referee: Sean Hampstead
Bulldogs: 1. Luke Patten 2. Steve Turner 3. Josh Morris 4. Jamal Idris 5. Bryson Goodwin 6. Ben Roberts 7. Brett Kimmorley 8. Ben Hannant 9. Michael Ennis 10. Michael Hodgson 11. Yileen Gordon 12. Andrew Ryan 13. David Stagg
Interchange: 14. Mickey Paea 15. Gary Warburton 16. Jarrad Hickey 17. Ben Barba
Knights: 1. Shannon McDonnell 2. Akuila Uate 3. Junior Sa’u 4. Adam MacDougall 5. Cooper Vuna 6. Jarrod Mullen 7. Scott Dureau 8. Ben Cross 9. Matt Hilder 10. Evarn Tuimavave 11. Steve Simpson (c) 12. Cory Paterson 13. Mark Taufua
Interchange: 14. George Ndaira 15. Daniel Tolar 16. Richie Fa’aoso 17. Zeb Taia; Reserves: 18. Wes Naiqama

Penrith Panthers v Canberra Raiders
Saturday 13 March 2010, 7:30pm AEDT - CUA Stadium
Referees: Steve Lyons & Alan Shortall; Sideline Officials: Daniel Eastwood & Luke Phillips; Video Referee: Russell Smith
Panthers: 1. Lachlan Coote 2. Michael Gordon 3. Michael Jennings 4. Adrian Purtell 5. Shane Elford 6. Travis Burns 7. Luke Walsh 8. Petero Civoniceva 9. Kevin Kingston 10. Tim Grant 11. Frank Pritchard 12. Trent Waterhouse 13. Luke Lewis
Interchange: 14. Sam McKendry 15. Joseph Paulo 16. Matthew Bell 17. Nathan Smith; Reserves 18. Frank Puletua 19. Brad Tighe 20. Nigel Plum
Raiders: 1. Josh Dugan 2. Reece Robinson 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Joel Thompson 5. Daniel Vidot 6. Terry Campese 7. Marc Herbert 8. David Shillington 9. Alan Tongue (C) 10. Scott Logan 11. Danny Galea 12. Bronson Harrison 13. Josh Miller
Interchange: 14. Travis Waddell 15. Trevor Thurling 16. Troy Thompson 17. Dane Tilse; Reserves: 18. Shaun Fensom 19. James Stuart

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks v Melbourne Storm
Saturday 13 March 2010, 7:30pm AEDT - Toyota Stadium
Referees: Ben Cummins & Brett Suttor; Sideline Officials: Russell Turner & Henry Peranara; Video Referee: Paul Simpkins
Sharks: 1. Nathan Stapleton 2. Isaac Gordon 3. Ben Pomeroy 4. Blake Ferguson 5. Luke Covell 6. Trent Barrett 7. Scott Porter 8. Kade Snowden 9. John Morris 10. Luke Douglas 11. Grant Millington 12. Anthony Tupou 13. Paul Gallen
Interchange: 14. Adam Cuthbertson 15. Josh Cordoba 16. Albert Kelly 17. Paul Aiton
Storm: 1. Billy Slater 2. Luke MacDougall 3. Dane Nielsen 4. Greg Inglis 5. Anthony Quinn 6. Brett Finch 7. Cam Smith [c] 8. Aiden Tolman 9. Ryan Hinchcliffe 10. Jeff Lima 11. Adam Blair 12. Ryan Hoffman 13. Todd Lowrie
Interchange: 14. Rory Kostjasyn 15. Kevin Proctor 16. Hep Cahill 17. Jesse Bromwich; Reserves: 18. Ryan Tandy 19. Bryan Norrie

Gold Coast Titans v New Zealand Warriors
Sunday 14 March 2010, 1:00pm AEST (2:00pm AEDT) - Skilled Park
Referees: Matt Cecchin & Chris James; Sideline Officials: Luke Potter & Adam Devcich; Video Referee: Phil Cooley
Titans: 1. Preston Campbell 2. Kevin Gordon 3. Mat Rogers 4. Joseph Tomane 5. David Mead 6. Greg Bird 7. Scott Prince (c) 8. Luke Bailey 9. Nathan Friend 10. Brad Meyers 11. Anthony Laffranchi 12. Mark Minichiello 13. Ashley Harrison
Interchange: 14. Matthew White 15. Sam Tagataese 16. Will Matthews 17. Riley Brown; Reserves: 18. Michael Henderson 19. William Zillman 20. Bodene Thompson
Warriors: 1. Lance Hohaia 2. Kevin Locke 3. Brent Tate 4. Jerome Ropati 5. Manu Vatuvei 6. James Maloney 7. Brett Seymour 8. Sam Rapira 9. Aaron Heremaia 10. Russell Packer 11. Lewis Brown 12. Ben Matulino 13. Micheal Luck (C)
Interchange: 14. Wade McKinnon 15. Jeremy Latimore 16. Jesse Royal 17. Sione Lousi; Reserves: 18. Joel Moon

South Sydney Rabbitohs v Sydney Roosters
Sunday 14 March 2010, 3:00pm AEDT - ANZ Stadium
Referees: Ashley Klein & Tony De Las Heras; Sideline Officials: Steve Chiddy & Gavin Morris; Video Referee: Steve Clark
Rabbitohs: 1. Rhys Wesser 2. Nathan Merritt 3. Colin Best 4. Beau Champion 5. Fetuli Talanoa 6. John Sutton 7. Chris Sandow 8. Luke Stuart 9. Issac Luke 10. Roy Asotasi (c) 11. Eddy Pettybourne 12. David Taylor 13. Sam Burgess
Interchange: 14. Scott Geddes 15. Shannan McPherson 16. Ben Lowe 17. Jason Clark
Roosters: 1. Todd Carney 2. Anthony Minichiello 3. Phil Graham 4. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 5. Sam Perrett 6. Braith Anasta (c) 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. Lopini Paea 9. James Aubusson 10. Jason Ryles 11. Tom Symonds 12. Mitchell Aubusson 13. Nate Myles
Interchange: 14. Aidan Guerra 15. Frank-Paul Nuuausala 16. Ben Jones 17. Nick Kouparitsas; Reserves: 18. Daniel Conn 19. Martin Kennedy 20. Sonny Tuigamala 21. Brad Takairangi

Wests Tigers v Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
Monday 15 March 2010, 7:00pm AEDT - Sydney Football Stadium
Referees: Jared Maxwell & Gavin Badger; Sideline Officials: Gavin Reynolds & Paul Holland; Video Referee: Chris Ward
Tigers: 1. Tim Moltzen 2. Lote Tuqiri 3. Blake Ayshford 4. Chris Lawrence 5. Beau Ryan 6. Benji Marshall 7. Robert Lui 8. Bryce Gibbs 9. Robbie Farah (c) 10. Keith Galloway 11. Liam Fulton 12. Gareth Ellis 13. Chris Heighington
Interchange: 14. Jason Cayless 15. Junior Moors 16. Mark Flanagan 17. Daniel Fitzhenry
Sea Eagles: 1. Brett Stewart 2. Michael Robertson 3. Tony Williams 4. Steve Matai 5. David Williams 6. Jamie Lyon (c) 7. Kieran Foran 8. Jason King (c) 9. Matt Ballin 10. Josh Perry 11. Anthony Watmough 12. Chris Bailey 13. Glenn Stewart
Interchange: 14. Terence Seu Seu 15. Brent Kite 16. George Rose 17. Shane Rodney

Teams Announced Today

Another day off the countdown to the start of the NRL season with the NRL teams announcing their teams today. This is the day that fringe players hang for as they get recognition on whether their pre-season training and/or form has done enough to warrant selection.

Willie Mason, will be nervous sitting up in Townsville, as will Nick Emmet at Wollongong. Ben Ross will be on the edge of his seat at Redfern while your Corey Norman will be beside himself in Brisbane.

Another day down today, NRL on FOX kicks off tomorrow, then just one more sleep till the Friday Night Blockbusters. Bring it on.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Just a Week to Go

In less than six days, the 2010 NRL season kicks off and doesn't that mean a heap for fans of footy everywhere. Friday night sees two absolute blockbusters with the Broncos playing host to the Cowboys and the rivalry between the Eels and Dragons takes on the 2010 version at Parramatta Stadium.

If Friday night doesn't do it for ya, Sunday sees the Foundation clubs in the Rabbitohs and Roosters charging in against each other. Both teams are expected to be big improvers this year and this round has their fans licking their lips in anticipation.

Personally, I am keen to see how the Knights fare against the Bulldogs, one of the high flyers from 2009, in their Saturday evening clash. The Panthers, tipped as another one of the improvers, take on the Raiders also on Saturday night.

Finally, the Tigers play host to the Eagle on Monday Night footy.

In true Norm tradition, warm up the set and cool down the tinnies. We are on countdown to an amazing season

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Annual Shot in the Foot

Pre-Season, every season, we have a drama of some magnitude envelop the game of rugby league. Whether it was Coffs Harbour and the Bulldogs, Brett Stewart and even Kings Cross and the shots fired at Jarryd Hayne, there is always some drama that take the headlines away from what can happen on the field.

 This season promised different, until the drug squad in Newcastle had other ideas. They arrested Chris Houston for drug offences. Danny Wicks also felt the brunt of the law last December, but honestly, that had faded from the news and our memories.

So here we go, the Annual Rugby League shot in the foot, just two weeks out from the season start.Will we ever learn?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Melbourne Score World Club Challenge Win

The Melbourne Storm, fielding a younger side than won the NRL comp last season, withstood a concerted Leeds effort to win the World Club Challenge 18-10. The game started well for Leeds with a bit of luck and the provision of a two point penalty kick, but Melbourne answered back and the game was level at 2 apiece. A further penalty goal by each team gave the half-time score a dramatic four all.
The second half showed intensity and passion from both sides, but it was Melbourne that proved themselves the better side, scoring two tries to one and having Cameron Smith kick five from five, in his unaccustomeed halfback role
Smith was best on the ground, while Danny Maguire kept toiling for the English team. The win by the Storm is the second in succession by the Australian NRL Premiers, following Manly's win last season, and this will no doubt cause all sorts of angst for the English game.

It will be interesting to see how Melbourne start the NRL season this year, considering Manly's struggle to compete early last year.

@TheFooty Podcast Episode #001

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