Flanagan puts players on notice

After a poor performance last week against the Eels, Sharks coach Shane Flanagan has set the record straight – you either play well, or I will drop you.

Despite being without their Origin stars for last weeks clash, Flanagan was still disappointed with his teams effort, and said that that is no excuse to allow the score to blow-out like it did.

”That was unacceptable,” Flanagan said.

”You can accept that you might not have the firepower to win a game but you still go out there with a certain attitude. The way we performed against the Eels wasn’t up to standard, and we have to get our act together against the Storm or I’m going to have to do something about it. If it happens again, I’m going to have to make big changes.

”We have to start performing or I’ll have to start getting the young kids in. We can’t just leave things the same if we don’t perform well against Melbourne. We would have to change things, and I’ve put the players on notice to perform or that’s what’s going to happen.”

What irritates Flanagan even more, is that his side has shown that they can match it with the top teams having toppled the Dragons, but they are not consistent enough in doing so.

‘It happens, and then it doesn’t happen,” he said.

”We beat the Dragons in round two, and we’re still the only team that have beaten them this year. We should have beaten Manly, and we defended extremely well to beat the Roosters two rounds back, but then we get a performance like the one against Parramatta, and it’s not good enough.”

Whilst he knows that beating the Storm at AAMI Park is no easy feat, the fact that both the Warriors and the Raiders have done so, means that they are not impenetrable at that ground anymore.

”You’ve obviously got to play really well to do it but the Warriors and Raiders proved it can be done,” he said.

”We’ve got to aim at producing the same sort of committed performance over 80 minutes.”

Mortimer will not give in says Uncle Steve

If anyone knows Daniel Mortimer, it his Uncle Steve, a Bulldogs legend – and in his eyes, he cannot see his nephew giving in to anything, and he will not get angered about not playing.

He’s not a dummy-spitter,” Bulldogs great Steve said.

”He’s got the same traits that were bred into his father and uncles, which means he will do everything in his power to make it work at Parramatta. He’s a positive person, like my brothers and myself, and he’s committed to doing that.”

Despite all the speculation surrounding Mortimer’s future, both club and player are committed to each other, and neither is going to part ways.

”I’m sure that’s the case,” he said. ‘

‘I’ve been in contact with Daniel. I’ll be trying to get to his game at Wenty tomorrow, and I’ll be catching up with him for a coffee in the next couple of weeks.

”It’s only natural he would be disappointed about being dropped but it’s how you react to the disappointment that matters. What Daniel is going through now, I went through myself, the same as hundreds of other players have over the years. It happened to me in my first year at Canterbury. I got dropped because I didn’t think tackling was important but I realised I was wrong, and I worked at it and got back into first grade a few weeks later.

”The Eels gave Daniel a contract because he’s got a set of skills that can help the team win. Now, if he needs to change his game around a bit in the lower grades to fit in with what the coach wants then he will aim to do that because that’s the sort of determined person he is. We all go through challenging times in life, and this is just another example. Dealing with this will make Daniel a better player and a better person.”

It would seem that Mortimer is more likely to remain with the club then Robson, after Kearney said:

‘That’s right, yep.”

The coach then added: ”He’s a young half, so it’s going to take some time for him but we’re committed to him and he’s committed to us, and we’ll keep working through it. He’s a great young lad, and I’m sure he’ll be better for the experience.”

Tigers legend keen to see his team take it to the Dragons

He will go down as one of the greatest forwards to have played for Balmain, and in the NRL, and now, he wants his beloved Tigers team to take the game to the Dragons this week, as their season hangs in the balance.

That man, is Paul Sironen.

Sironen bleeds black and gold, and now, he wants the Tigers players to do the same, and adopt a ruthless approach to their clash with the Dragons, as their season well and truly, hangs on a knife-edge.

The time has come for a few of our blokes to put their hand up – to be ruthless,” Sironen said.

“We’re not putting teams away at the moment. Opposing sides know that, whenever they play us, they’ll always be in the game until the very end because we just can’t seem to finish them off.

“Every team has a defining game in their season and this one’s ours, no doubt. We need to adopt that same tough, no-nonsense attitude the Dragons already have.”

It will not be an easy task for the Tigers, with the Dragons being premiership favourites, and with all of their Origin stars bar Dean Young set to back up, the game will not get any easier for the Tigers.

“And I think they’ll come straight back without skipping a beat,” Sironen said. “For guys like Gasnier, Ben Creagh, Jamie Soward, having been beat by Queensland earlier in the week won’t be a problem at all.

“If anything, I think they’ll be bouncing. Just look at they way they continued playing during the City-Country period. I guarantee they won’t be suffering an Origin hangover on Sunday afternoon.”

The Tigers team of 2011, whilst similar to that of 2010, have not produced the same form this season, and it is costing the club dearly.

“You’d really have to ask Ricky Stuart or Bob Fulton that one.”

“Obviously, Robbie and Chris Heighington, they’re two terrific players but the form over the team over the past couple of weeks has cost them. I’d love to see both of those guys pushing on the door of Origin selection but for that to happen the team needs to start winning games and winning them in a convincing fashion.”

Ryles keen to play on for one more year

Having initially been tipped to retire at the end of this season, Jason Ryles has said that ideally, given that he feels good in both mind and body, that he would like to play on for another season.

Off-contract at the end of the 2011 season, but feeling good at the moment, Ryles will have around 6-8 weeks to show Roosters coach Brian Smith that he can handle another year at the club.

“I’m keen to at the moment,” Ryles said at a Roosters recovery session yesterday when asked if he wanted to play on.

” I’ve always had a bit of a deal with Smithy that if I’m feeling OK and he thinks I’m looking OK, then we can sit down and take a look at playing next year.”

Ryles will now sit down with Smith and Stephen Noyce, Roosters boss, as they discuss his future beyond this season.

“We said before I even signed here that the third year was a time when we’d look at our options,” Ryles said.

“We’ll wait and see what happens. The next 6-8 weeks I imagine something will happen and we’ll know either way.”

Players likely to leave Eels as halves depth stacks up

At some stage, many players will be faced with the decision to leave, and for a few players at the Parramatta Eels, this may very well be the case, as Chris Sandow and Ben Roberts have been signed in the halves, for the 2012 season.

With Casey McGuire, Jeff Robson, Anthony Mitchell and Tom Humble all off contract, so it will be inconceivable that some will leave the club, with McGuire and Mitchell likely to be the two that part ways.

“We won’t be keeping everyone, the salary cap doesn’t allow that,” Kearney said yesterday.

“I don’t want to talk a great deal about next year. We’re getting two specialist halves that are coming to the club next year, in that sense we’ll be very well served in that area.

“The main part of our recruitment drive has been sorted. We’ve kept guys we wanted to keep.”

The comments suggest that the four players could make way, but Robson and Humble are the two likely to be re-signed, out of the four off-contract.

David Riolo, McGuire’s manager is confident that he and the club can work out a deal in 2012 for his client, to remain with the Eels for next season.

With rumours that Mortimer could be the number 9 next year, those rumours have been put to bed by Kearney, who also says that he has every intention of standing by the young half, as a Parramatta player in the future.

“He’s committed to us and we’ve committed to him,” Kearney said yesterday.

“He’s just going through a form issue and the guys that stepped in last week gave him an opportunity to have a break. He’d had a pretty tough month.

“So we put Casey into six and the two halves worked really well on Monday night.

“It’s a difficult position and he’s a young half. It’s going to take some time for him.

“We’ll keep working through it and he’s a great young lad and I’m sure he’ll be better for the experience.”

When pressed as to whether or not there is room in the cap to retain those currently at the club, Kearney said:

“There could be a little bit of room there,” he said.

“Everyone’s pretty clear where we are heading and where we’re going with that. They’ve already signed the players we’re looking to keep.

” We’re just waiting for a few things to fall in place and whether we can fit everyone in. It just doesn’t work like that. That’s what the salary cap is there for.”

Titans have no luck as a resurgent Dogs side cruise home

If you can believe it, the Titans had an astonishing 8 tries disallowed, which is almost unheard of in the NRL these days, amongst criticism that rules are changed when it is the Origin period.

”You could do that here two nights ago,” Canterbury halfback Trent Hodkinson said after being reported for dropping the forearm into the face of Titan Steve Michaels in the second match of the Suncorp Stadium double-header.

Hodkinson is likely to face a stint on the sideline, after a poor and unnecessary second effort after a massive hit on Steve Michaels, with Michael Ennis and Corey Payne also being put on report for the Bulldogs.

The game was all about the Kris Keating and Frank Pritchard show, as the two combined to set-up and score two tries  respectively.

The Titans also fell victim to a technicality in the rule, after Michael Henderson was denied a try, following a minor bump in the play, by a team-mate.

Titans coach John Cartwright was disappointed, but was not in the mood to point out the disallowed tries, given that the game was not too close.

”If it was a closer game I would have had something to say about [the disallowed tries],” Cartwright said.

More to follow when more reports come in.

Manly storm to win against Locky-less Broncos

A second half blitz from the Manly Sea Eagles, as seen them cruise to victory against the Brisbane Broncos, winning 34-10 at Suncorp Stadium.

Whilst the Sea Eagles had their full strength side, the decision was made by Broncos coach Anthony Griffin to rest Origin stars Sam Thaiday, and Darren Lockyer.

The win was Manly’s 6th from its last 7 games, as they outlined their premiership credentials, and it was also their 4th consecutive win over the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.

Despite showing promising signs, the Broncos young brigade eventually could not keep up with the live-wire Sea Eagles in the second half, and it cost them.

With the score only being 10-4 at the break, it should have been a lot more, given that Manly had all of the early pressure, but failed to capitalise on it.

After his teams second-half performance in particular, Griffin was livid with his teams showing, but refused to make any excuses about the game, and why they lost.

“We were in the game and leading the game at 10-4 … but our effort in the middle of the ruck and some of the decisions we made, we just buried ourselves,” Griffin said

“We did a good job to get ourselves in that position but we rolled over when the heat came on.

“The opposition went to another level and we just didn’t go with them.

“I take nothing away from Manly, they were white-hot but we didn’t throw much at them to put them off their game.”

To make matters worse for the Broncos, second-rower Ben Te’o, is believed to have re-fractured his already injured arm.

Despite their big win, Manly coach Des Hasler knows that the Broncos side is a lot different when their missing stars play, and he acknowledged that.

“You need that, you need those players who come up with those special plays,” he said.

“In the second half we stepped it up a little bit and played some patches of pretty good football.”

He also thought that criticism of Jason King’s Origin performance was totally unjustified.

“I think some of that was unwarranted,” Hasler said.

“I thought he came back well tonight and was one of the best out there.”

Dally M Points

3 Daly-Cherry Evans

2 William Hopoate

1 Jamie Lyon

Souths received added boost with youngsters re-signing

Three of their young and promising players have re-signed with the club, and the South Sydney Rabbitohs could not be happier.

The three youngsters to have signed new deals, are Chris McQueen, David Tyrell, and Nathan Peats, all of whom re-signed with the club until the end of the 2013 season.

“This is a great reward for hard work for these three players,” said chief executive Shane Richardson.

“These three guys have been some of the hardest working players in our squad over the past couple of years and thoroughly deserve their contract extensions.”

Tonga out for 2 months

In an injury sustained during Origin, scans revealed that Cowboys centre Willie Tonga will be forced to miss 2 months of action, after a severe dislocation of the shoulder.

Despite the lengthy injury lay-off, Tonga’s return should coincide with the Cowboys surge to the finals in the later rounds of the NRL season, which will be a timely boost for the club.

With fears that he could miss the entire season, John Maguire, an orthopaedic surgeon, told Tonga that he would not require surgery on his injured shoulder.

“I’m relieved … I was obviously thinking the worst, which is an operation at the end of the year,” Tonga said on Friday.

“I’ve had my fair share of operations and it’s not something I was ready for.

“I think this is the best news that could come out of it.”

Tonga will see Maguire again next week, to determine the exact length of time he will spend on the sidelines.

Tandy charged with match-fixing

Former Storm and Bulldogs prop Ryan Tandy has been officially charged over his involvement in the NRL betting scandal, with the charge of match-fixing.

After the initial charges came through more than 4 months ago of lying to the NSW Crime Commission about his involvement, Tandy has been stood down by the NRL for a month now.

The hearing, which goes all the way the back to the 2010 Rd 25 clash between the Cowboys and the Bulldogs, had Tandy concede a penalty in front of the posts, all a part of the betting plunge on the game.

Whilst Tandy himself was not in court, the matter has been stood over until the 19th July, with the NRL still discussing the options of de-registration, or a life-time ban for Tandy.

In the NRL’s Code of Conduct, Section 22 clearly states the following:

It states that ”a club or person shall be taken to have been involved in the fixing of a match if the natural course of that match has been interfered with in any respect”.