All posts by ricky

Raiders run Rampant
Raiders 48 flog Knights 18

A young and confident Canberra Raiders side have jumped into the winners circle with a rampant 48-18 victory over the Andrew Johns-led Newcastle Knights tonight.

In front of a bumper home crowd, the Raiders showed even more improvement on their round 2 effort against the Storm, converting a 4-point halftime lead into a 30-point drubbing, all but erasing memories of their heavy loss to the Knights at home last year.

The Raiders were led around the park superbly by their young halves combination of Michael Dobson and Todd Carney, with rising star William Zillman continuing his remarkable strike rate against the Knights with a hat-trick of tries.

Up front it was Dane Tilse again leading the way for the Green Machine, while Neville Costigan, Trevor Thurling and Ben Jones were all outstanding in what was a great team effort.

The result gives Alan Tongue his first NRL victory as captain of the Raiders.

CFMEU Canberra Raiders 48 (William Zillman 3, Marshall Chalk, Lincoln Withers, Scott Logan, Colin Best, Phil Graham tries; Michael Dobson 8 goals) d. Newcastle Knights 18 (Adam Macdougall, Milton Thaiday, Cory Paterson tries; Andrew Johns 3 goals) at Canberra Stadium

Referee: Ben Cummins
Rugby League

Manly motor over sloppy Syd-City
Manly 30 defeated Sydney Roosters 8

Matt Orford must be a worried man, as he sits injured on the sidelines – the Manly Sea Eagles have gone from strength to strength; crushing the Roosters in their latest romp.

The Eagles are playing like millionaries and so they should, firing on all cylinders and full of confidence the silvertails are looking the goods.

Today they simple took the life out of the Roosters. Wave after wave of pressure and relaxed cohesive attack was the order of the day, with the Roosters simply trying to hard and throwing away their slim attack chances.

Such was the skill across the park for the Eagles, that Jamie Lyon only had a small impact in the game and regular faces Monaghan, Burns and Choc Watmough ran riot over the still winless Roosters.

Combinations and timing is getting by the week for the Eagles and Hasler must be happy with overall progress. Big things can be expected of the boys from Brooky as they slip into gear in NRL 2007.

For the Roosters, there wasn’t even a positive to take away from Aussie stadium clash. Soft on-line defence, poor handling and set completion and non-threatening attack will have Nick Politis on the phone to Chris Anderson all week.

Braith Anasta did try everything today, but lacked support and sadly for the Roosters – veteran Craig Fitzgibbon is not the attacking weapon he once was. While he continues to make his bag full of tackles a game, he simply is one dimensional in attack and is easy pickings for agressive defence lines.

Even with Amos Roberts, Mini, Myles and of course Anasta – the big name Roosters aren’t producing at all and will surely be fighting it out with Parramatta, Tigers, Raiders and Cronulla for the wooden spoon in the NRL this year.

After 3 rounds, this is how I see the teams. Making the 8: Melb, Cowboys, Manly, Knights, Souths, Warriors, Penrith, Bulldogs – Missing out: Tigers, Saints, Cronulla, Raiders, Syd City, Parra, Broncos, Titans.
Rugby League

Bulldogs finally register a win for 2007
Bulldogs 22 defeated Gold Coast Titans 6

The Dogs have finally registered a win for 2007 after eventually getting some momentum late in their Round 3 clash with the Gold Coast Titans.

The game was initially an arm wrestle with both teams lacking polished attack and showing ill-discipline in defence. But the Bulldogs began to strike some form, and the comfortable win in the end will do wonders for their low confidence.

Forwards Mason and O’Meley showed some physical prowess to rattle the smaller Titans pack and strike fear into the opposition at times. It was the hard stuff by the Dogs forwards that allowed Cutler and Tonga to finally weave some magic on the fringes. Cutler showed some great signs in defence and attack and will be a future weapon for the Dogs.

Tonga showed glimpses of his best, but is still under an injury cloud and certainly not the rep player he was a few years ago.

For the Titans, this setback will dent their confidence and next week is crucial for them. They need to ensure they improve attacking decision making and learn to build pressure rather than trying to score on every play.

I thought Gavin Badger the referee had an impressive game and looks to be one of the in form ref’s so far this year.
Rugby League

Sunday NRL Rugby League

Storm kill off NZ Pretenders
Storm 30 def NZ Warriors 12

The Melbourne Storm have shown they are the real deal again in 2007 by crushing a previously undefeated NZ Warriors outfit today at Olympic Park. The Warriors have again failed to travel away and take a win and go back to the drawing boards for future away games. Melbourne Storm meanwhile are into the full swing on NRL in 2007 and again look like a well oiled machine. Click here for full review.
Rugby League

Super Saturday NRL Rugby League

The Bunnies bounce on in 2007, with another win in their historic NRL season. The Rabbits are now 3 wins from 3 games and looked dynamic at Shark Park in disposing of the flimsy Sharks. Ricky Stuart will be busy this week patching up the leaks in the line as the Sharks slip to 1 from 3 this year. Click here for full review.

Super Saturday NRL Rugby League

The Cowboys have continued their cruise to equal top of th NRL 2007 ladder – with an impressive performance against the St George Illawarra Dragons at WIN Stadium last night. The North Queensland Cowboys raced away to a 22 point lead but had to survive a late Dragons charge after losing Johnathan Thurston to the sin-bin late in the 2nd half. The Dragons took away some positives, with young pivot Richie ‘Rich’ Williams scoring a late double and new rake Rangi Chase looking explosive. Click here for full reivew.

Friday Night NRL Rugby League

Panthers Keep the Faith, and steal Win
Penrith Panthers 29 defeated Brisbane Broncos 28
(Golden Point Extra Time NRL at Suncorp Stadium)

David Gallop and his merry men at NRL Rugby League HQ must be over the moon with two nail biting finishes to NRL clashes last night. Two golden point games at the same time, in different states!

In Brisbane, a new found confidence from Penrith. Keeping absolute faith, when down 28-20 with only 4 minutes to go – they somehow conjured up 2 tries to send the game into overtime and then Peter Wallace pops a 4th tackle, 45 metre field goal to win them the match – sending the Brisbane Broncos to a 0 from 3 record in 2007 NRL. Click here for full report.

Jub-EEL-lation – as Eels finally break duck
Eels 22 defeated Tigers 20 (Golden Point Extra Time)

Parramatta recorded it’s first win last night and kept the Tigers winnless for 2007.

In a poor quality game, where generally the Tigers looked the better side – the desperate Eels somehow hung on and fought hard in the scrappy battle to secure the win.

Once again the Eels looked lost in attack, when the blue and gold side were deep in the Tigers half – seemingly every attacking play ended poorly. Final tackle kick options or movements where the ball was swung wide were easily read and shut down by the Tigers.

The Eels really need to find some cohesion in attack or the road ahead is long and hard. The Tigers showed some impressive line breaks and tackle busts in parts but their final pass and decision making in try scoring situations let them down badly. Seemingly on 3 or 4 occasions the Tigers were certain to score and somehow missed out.

The Eels will take some confidence from the victory and it may be just the stepping stone they need to awake their inner giant for 2007.

In the back-end of the game, with only a 2 point lead and PJ Marsh in the sin-bin – the Eels looked tired and sure to conceed a try, but somehow they the held fast. Finally giving away a penalty to allow the Tigers to lock the game up.

When the match went to golden point, the Tigers changed – and began to play ‘safety first’ football and moved away from how they’d played in the previous 80 minutes. This brought them down to Parramatta s level and saw them ultimately lose the golden point battle.

For the Eels, Reddy performed well in his late call up for Eric Grothe, his early try looked slick and he had a lot to do – putting a nice in and away on the Tigers defender to score in the corner. However he did have a few bad reads in defence, one leading to a Marshall try.

Luke Burt was solid, and played the sweeper role in defence nicely.

Cayless continued his impressive 2007 form and was a standout again in the forwards.

Feleti Mateo the Eels rookie forward once again looked the goods. While the youngster dropped some ball, he has a distinct SBW look about him and is the attacking threat the Eels so desperately need.

For the Tigers, Marshall and Morris looked dangerous with the ball for most of the match. Their trademark across field dummy and go kept the Eels guessing.

Hodgson was always effective for the Tigers and forward Keith Galloway was always eating up the metres for Wests and scored a nice try from 8 metres early on. Both teams will need massive improvement moving forward or they will be cannon fodder in 2007.