Young Tigers half re-signs with the club

He is a talented fullback, and will no doubt put pressure on Tom Humble and  John Grant for the vacant halfback spot – but in forthcoming news for the Wests Tigers, young fullback James Tedesco has re-signed with the club for a further 3 years.

Things have moved quickly for the young prospect, who was playing SG Ball for the Western Suburb Magpies, before being named in the Australian Schoolboys side.

Now, following his representative duties, Tedesco has been elevated to the Tigers top 25, and is eager to get his first-grade career under way.

“I still can’t believe how fast things have happened but I’m not complaining at all,’’ Tedesco said.

“My focus this time last year was to play well for the Magpies to earn possibly a call up to train with the Wests Tigers U20s side or even to get a few games on the wing.”

Tedesco is likely to get some game time during the Tigers trial games, starting with their trial next weekend, against the Parramatta Eels.

The trial games will give the talented half the chance to show his commitment, and what he can bring to the table as a potential fullback option for the Tigers throughout the season.

“It has been a great experience training with the senior squad. The workload is a lot more than what I am used to but I’ve learnt so much already. I’m loving it,’’ Tedesco said.

“My goal this season is to play consistent football. There will be weeks when I will have my ups and downs but if I can find some consistency in the U20s, you never know what it may lead to.

“I’m just honoured to have my name mentioned as a candidate for the full-back role as there are some good players here fighting for the position.”

Week 1 Trial Teams

Posting Week 1 trial teams – will update the post as the respective teams are announced.

New Zealand Warriors v Gold Coast Titans at North Harbour, Albany, NZ. Kick-off at 4pm (6pm NZ). Referees: Gavin Badger and Dave Munro.

Warriors Squad: Lewis Brown, Glen Fishiiahi, Nathan Friend, Pita Godinet, Ben Henry, Konrad Hurrell, Sebastine Ikahihifo, Krisnan Inu, Shaun Johnson, Jacob Lillyman, Sam Lousi, Sione Lousi, James Maloney, Simon Mannering, Alehana Mara, Feleti Mateo, Ben Matulino, Ivan Penehe, Sam Rapira, Steve Rapira, Ukuma Ta’ai, Sio Siua Taukeiaho, Elijah Taylor, Carlos Tuimavave, Bill Tupou.

Titans Squad: Jarvarn White Kevin Gordon Steve Michaels Dominique Peyroux Joe Vickery Jordan Rankin Beau Henry Michael Henderson Kayne Lawton Matthew White Ben Ridge Bodene Thompson Luke O’Dwyer. Interchange: Brenton Lawrence, Luke Douglas Luke Page Louis Fanene Cody Nelson Beau Falloon Beau Champion David Mead Jamie Dowling.

Brisbane Broncos v North Queensland Cowboys at Dolphin Oval, Redcliffe. 8:15pm kick-off (7:15pm QLD). Referees: Tony Archer and Grant Atkins.

Broncos team: Dane Gagai, Aaron Whitchurch, Dale Copley, Jordan Kahu, Lachlan Maranta, Ben Hunt, Corey Norman, Scott Anderson, Luke Capewell, Dunamis Lui, Nick Slyney, Mitchell Frei, Brendan Gibb. Interchange: Matt Barnes, Jared Wallace, Chris Binge, Paul Ivan, Sam Martin, Matt Smith, Dan Wallace, Steven Coombe.

Cowboys team: David Milne, Mosese Pangai, Kane Linnett, Antonio Winterstein, Kalifi Fai Fai Loa, Ray Thompson, Sam Foster, Ricky Thorby, James Segeyaro, Ashton Sims (C), Scott Bolton, Jason Taumalolo, Tyson Martin. Interchange: Wayne Ulugia, Chad Grintell, Luke Harlen, Sam Hoare, Ethan Lowe, Dane Hogan, Ryan Ghietti, Kyle Feldt, Chris Grevsmuhl.

Ipswich Jets v Penrith Panthers at North Ipswich Reserve, North Ipswich. 8:30pm kick-off (7:30pm QLD). Referees: Peter Gough and Michael Wise.

Ipswich squad: TBA

Panthers squad: Malakai Watene-Zelezniak, Andrew Pelasio, Jack Twist, Everett Vaurasi, Shannon Wakeman, Jake Shearer, Junior Tia-Kilfi, Duane Poanecki, Mitchell Johnson, Leivaha Pulu, Krys Freeman, Liam Ayoub, Sandor Earl, Jesses Sene-Lafao, Jake Grace, Matthew Robinson, Ryan Simpkins, Blake Austin, Geoff Daniela, Travis Robinson, Sarafu Fatiaki, Joshua Mansour, Matthew Moylan, Kurt Foggo

Melbourne Storm v Easts Tigers at Langlands Park, Brisbane.

Storm Squad: Denny Solomona, Shea Moylan, Mahe Fonua, Will Chambers, Sisa Waqa, Maurice Blair, Luke Kelly, Michael Greenfield, Slade Griffin, Siosaia Vave, Tohu Harris, Anthony Quinn, Kenny Bromwich, Mitch Garbutt, Matt Zgrajewksi, Damian Sironen, Kirisome Avua’a, Leon Panapa, Rory Kostjaysn, Matt McGahan, Young Tonumaipea, Ryan Pooley.

Easts Tigers squad:

St George Illawarra/Dragons v Canterbury Bulldogs at WIN Stadium, Wollongong. 6pm kick-off.

Dragons squad: Ty McCarthy, Josh Goulton, Lulia Lulia, Simon Maslanka, Daniel Vidot, Henry Rawailui, Jarred Boyle, David Gower, Mark Asquith, Ray Cashmere, Nathan Jones, Will Matthews, Atelea Vea, Jack Stockwell, Andrew Smith, Derek Short, David Catterall, Wade Stanford, Tim Moore, Damien Cook, Reginald Saunders, Jason Raper, Jarred Farlow, Jarrad Thompson, Joel Ruskin, Cameron Bruest, Chris Astill.

Bulldogs squad: Gerrard McCullum, Sam Ahofono, Ed Murphy, Josh Mortlock, Daniel Abou-Sleiman, Chad Isles, Trent Cutler, Marty Taupau, Shane Pumipi, Tim Browne, Josh Jackson, Jake Foster, Dale Finucane, Kose Lelei, Dean McGlinchey, Karl McNicholl, Ratu Tagive, Jay Bonnell, Lionel O’Mally, Ray Moujalli, Tupou Sopoaga, Sterling Seijka, Lachlan Burr, Jake Finn, Junior Roquica, Harlan Alalaatoa, Steve Azzi

Cronulla Sharks v Manly Sea Eagles at Toyota Stadium at 7pm.

Sharks squad: Nathan Gardner, Stewart Mills, Ben Pomeroy, Colin Best, Matthew Wright, Wade Graham, Todd Carney, Bryce Gibbs, Issac De Gois, Ben Ross, Tyson Frizell, Sam Tagataese, Jason Bukuya, Jeff Robson, Mark Taufua, Jon Green, John Morris, Chad Townsend, Albert Kelly, Tyrone Peachey, Luke Pickerd, John Williams, Ricky Leutele, Sosaia Feki, Tyrone Viiga, Haydn Peacock, James Hasson, Rodney Coates, Michael Lichaa, Sione Masima.

Manly Squad: Brett Stewart, Ben Farrar, Jamie Lyon (C), Steve Matai, Michael Oldfield, Kieran Foran, Daly Cherry-Evans, Jason King (C), Matt Ballin, Brent Kite, Jamie Buhrer, Vic Mauro, Glenn Stewart, Daniel Harrison, Darcy Lussick, Tim Robinson, Tim Wynn, Gary Ricciardi, Jorge Taufua, Liam Foran, Junior Palau, James Cunningham, Dean Whare, Scott Blanch, Liam Higgins, Ben Falcone, Faleula Finau, Domenic Nasso, Mitch Jowett, Nick Skinner, Jason Annear.

Yow Yeh given a temporary boot

It is a stance that some coaches opt for, whilst others do not – but it is clear that it gets the message across efficiently, quickly, as well as kicking the player into gear.

For Broncos coach Anthony Griffin, he only knows one way – the hard way.

Broncos winger Jharal Yow Yeh was on the receiving end of the hard way, after he was sent to the Norths Devils by Griffin, for showing up to the side’s Australia Day training late, after he slept in.

With the sentence being to spend two weeks at the Broncos feeder club, coached by Craig Hodges – Yow Yeh gets a break of some sort, given that he is in the Indigenous side for the All-Stars clash.

Despite being allowed to return to Broncos training next Monday, there may still be a chance to further disciplinary action, as a result of Yow Yeh’s lack of punctuality.

“I’ve never had a problem (before) with Jharal but he was careless in this instance, and he has to serve his penance,” Griffin said yesterday.

“I’m a very big fans of his, as a player and a person.

“Because of that, I have high expectations. But that is the case with every player at the club, and there are no exceptions to the rule.

“Unless they have a valid reason, being late for training is just not unacceptable. ”

There were no excuses from Yow Yeh either, with the representative winger knowing exactly what he had done wrong.

“I put my hand up for that,” the winger said.

“We set high standards at the Broncos, and no one is above the rules.

“I’ve copped it on the chin and it’s up to me to prove myself at training, and that’s what I plan to do.”

A positive sign however, is the strong and determined approach that Yow Yeh took when going to Norths, with Hodges praising him for his commitment.

“He was sensational,” Hodges said.

“I can understand the Broncos stance, given that at that level discipline is so important and you just can’t afford to be five minutes late.”

Wolves edge out Souths in first official trial

It was a game that went down to the wire, and one that could have gone either way – with ESL side, the Warrington Wolves coming out on top over NRL side, the South Sydney Rabbitohs, is a closely fought contest.

The occasion of the trial, Return to Redfern, signalled just that – the return of football to the iconic NRL stadium, Redfern Oval.

Fans were treated to a nail-biter, and with the scores locked at 28-all, it was a try to Wolves player Gareth O’Brien that sealed the win, 34-28.

Heading into the game, all the pressure was on the young halves pairing of Adam Reynolds and Ryan Carr – who were both fighting for that vacant halfback spot, following the departure of Chris Sandow.

On the whole, according to Souths coach Michael Maguire and team-mate Matt King, for his first appearance in a Souths jersey, Reynolds carried himself well, with the likely halfback kicking two 40/20’s over the course of the game.

“He played well, two 40/20s and I thought he defended well. Obviously that’s going to be the test for Reyno, he’s only a little fella,” King said.

“Trent Waterhouse is twice the size of him and he had him running at him all day. That’s going to happen week-in week-out for 24 weeks, so he’s going to have to get used to that.

“But I thought he handled today really well. I tip my cap to him, but that’s not discounting Ryan Carr either. Everyone’s been questioning our options in the halves but I think we’re in good shape.”

Whilst the Souths side had some experienced players present, Maguire wanted the rookies to be the centre of attention – with Brendan McKinnon, Neccrom Areaiiti, Shaune Corrigan, and both Reynolds and Carr, who almost gave the Bunnies a fighting chance to win.

“I’m pleased. There was some good character shown and, all in all, I’m happy with that as a first hit-out,” Maguire said.

“At the end of the day, Warrington’s a fair team and they’ve got a lot of quality names, so it was great to see our young boys perform the way they did at the back end.

“To look down and see the number of quality players I had sitting down on the sideline, I’m obviously looking forward to our next trial.”

With all the pressure on Reynolds to perform at the NRL level, he does have a former talented half in his corner, with former Knights and Sharks half Matthew Johns, acting as a mentor of sorts for the young and budding halfback.

“For a start, I’m not coaching the kid. I’ve been along and watched a few training sessions but I haven’t gone out in the field and worked with him,” Johns said.

“Having said that, I’ve had some good conversations with him.

“For a kid, he’s very composed and very humble.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that he can play. But because of his injury history and the fact he’s only young, people shouldn’t put too much pressure on him.”

Warrington Wolves 34 (Rhys Evans, Simon Grix, Rhys Williams, Ryan Atkins, Chris Bridge, Gareth O’Brien tries; Lee Briers 4, Richie Myler goals)


South Sydney Rabbitohs 28 (Shaune Corrigan 2, Brendan McKinnon, Ryan Carr, Nathan Peats tries; Adam Reynolds 4 goals)

The Warrington Wolves’ Return to Redfern 2012 team is:

2) Chris Riley
5) Joel Monaghan
18) Matty Blythe
4) Ryan Atkins
22) Rhys Williams
6) Lee Briers
19) Stefan Ratchford
15) Simon Grix
12) Ben Westwood
11) Trent Waterhouse
10) Garreth Carvell
9) Michael Monaghan
8) Adrian Morley (c)


3) Chris Bridge
13) Ben Harrison

14) Mickey Higham
16) Paul Wood
17) Mike Cooper
20) Chris Hill
21) Tyrone McCarthy
23) Rhys Evans
24) Gareth O’Brien

Coach – Tony Smith

1) Justin Hunt
2) Chris McQueen
3) Shaune Corrigan
4) Matt King
5) Fetuli Talanoa
6) Ryan Carr
7) Adam Reynolds
8) Scott Geddes
9) Nathan Peats
10) Josh Starling
11) Eddy Pettybourne
12) Dave Tyrrell
13) Jason Clark


14) Brendan McKinnon

15) Curtis Johnston
16) George Burgess
17) Neccrom Areaiiti
18) Blake Judd
19) Andrew Everingham

Coach – Michael Maguire

Legends set to make a return for Men of League Charity game.

The Inverell Hawks will host a charity game against a Men of League side, with former NRL players set to make a return for the game.
Former NRL players Matt Gidley, Cliff Lyons, David Peachey, Paul Stringer, Scott Hill, Chris Walker, Josh Stuart and Jason Death have come forward to play for the Men of League side.

On the opposing side, whilst made up of a good number of current Hawks players – their side will also feature former NRL players: Preston Campbell, Owen Craigie, Nathan Blacklock and Robbie McCormack.

The game will be played at Varley Park on February 11.

We’re having a meet-the-players function at the Inverell RSM club on the Friday night and some coaching clinics on Saturday before the game that night,” Hawks official Jamie Petrie said.

“It’s for a great cause and it promises to be a really big weekend.”

Former Knights, NSW and Australian centre Matt Gidley, now the CEO of the Newcastle Knights, says that he is looking forward to catching up with a lot of the players that he played against during his NRL career.

“The Knights have a trial game in Port Macquarie that night so the timing is not great but I’m happy to be doing my bit in Inverell for what is a great cause,”he said.

“I’m not sure how the legs will be but it will be good to catch up with a lot of familiar faces.”

Eels mourn loss of Strength & Conditioning Coach

Just when things look fine and dandy, tragedy strikes – and unfortunately, the Eels pre-season has been dealt with a tragic blow, with the club losing their Strength and Conditioning coach Sean Burns, who passed away.

Burns was only three months into his job at the Eels, having previously been with the Tigers – after long-time Eels Strength and Conditioning coach Hayden Knowles, left the club, to pursue other options.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family because family always comes first at our club,” Spagnolo said.

It was only yesterday that the team found out, with Eels head coach Stephen Kearney informing the players of the news yesterday, at 5pm.

“It’s a real shock for our footy club. He’d only been here for three months but he’d made such an impact in that time and we all just can’t believe it really,” Kearney said.

“I know he’d had a fairly significant impact at the Tigers as well with a lot of the younger guys who had come through the grades there who are now obviously first graders.

“Our immediate thoughts are with the family. There’s a lot of very upset people at our club.”

Orange to host international RL game

For quite some time, people have talked about getting high-profile games played in country regions – and with Mudgee getting the City-Country clash, it is now Orange’s turn to host an international game.

Local side, the Orange Barbarians, who play in the Centennial Coal Cup, will play host to Mount Hagen, a team from Papua New Guinea, from Friday February 17 to Sunday February 19.

The PNG side will first play an Aboriginal All-Stars team on the Friday at Endeavour Oval, before backing up in time to play the Barbarians on Sunday.

It is an opportunity that does not come around very often for a town like Orange, and Troy Sweeting, the president of the Barbarians club, knew that they could not pass up the chance to bring the PNG side down for a rugby league game.

“Council approached myself and we talked about us playing this game,” he said.

“They’re footy-mad over there (in PNG) and I put it to the fellas, and we thought it’d be a good idea to get an Aboriginal All Stars team together, and that’s where the concept started.

“It’s a good opportunity to show off local talent.

“It’s good for the Aboriginal community.”

With the PNG side visiting, Sweeting says that it will allow the two cultures to intersect with each other.

“We have no idea what to expect,” he said.

“It’s just all about showing off two cultures – our’s and theirs.”

Hickey unable to play for his ESL side

Former Bulldog Jarrad Hickey will be unable to play for the London Broncos during the 2012 ESL season, as the club already has five non-Federation trained players.

Under the current ESL rules, all clubs are to have no more than 5 of these players – and if Hickey had joined the club, he would have been the 6th non-Federation trained player – hence being a breach of the rules.

The club have attempted to resolve the situation, but they have been unable to do so.

Despite not being able to play, the club will now work with Hickey, as both club and player search for alternative playing options for the forward.

Hala injured in training mishap

We seem to be seeing more and more of them, and in some bad news for promising prop David Hala, he has suffered an ankle injury, and is facing some time on the sidelines.

Hala, who only recently re-signed with the Broncos for 2 seasons, will undergo scans to confirm the injury’s severity, with Broncos coach Anthony Griffin expecting some unfortunate bad news.

“It does not look good,” Griffin said.

“He went to accelerate and his leg buckled underneath him. I thought he had done his knee and that his season was over.

“He will still be some time out of the game, probably six to eight weeks. It’s a shame – he’s in the best condition he has ever been.”

Super League Magic Weekend 2012

Local rivalries will once again take centre stage on Magic Weekend when Etihad Stadium, Manchester, hosts a full round of Stobart Super League fixtures for the first time on May 26 and 27.

Some of the biggest battles in British sport will be played out at the home of Manchester City FC, where three matches take place on Saturday May 26 and four on Sunday May 27.

The 2012 Magic Weekend schedule in full is:

Saturday May 26
1.00pm – Castleford Tigers v Wakefield Wildcats
4.00pm – Warrington Wolves v Widnes Vikings
7.00pm – Hull FC v Hull KR

Sunday May 27
12.00pm – Catalan Dragons v London Broncos
2.00pm – Huddersfield Giants v Salford City Reds
4.00pm – Bradford Bulls v Leeds Rhinos
6.00pm – St Helens v Wigan Warriors