All posts by ricky

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.

Titans bag maiden win
Titans 18 – Sharks 16

By Joel Zander

The NRL’s newest franchise has taken just two rounds to open their account, with the Gold Coast Titans coming from behind to beat the Sharks 18-16 in a thriller at Carrara Stadium on Monday evening.

Down 16-6 with 30 minutes remaining, Wests Tigers recruit Scott Prince and former Shark Preston Campbell combined to steer the Titans home in their first NRL match on the Gold Coast.

Prince and five-eighth Matt Hilder put Mark Minichiello over in the 57th minute and then Prince’s short pass to Campbell saw the little full-back force his way over with six minutes remaining.

Campell made it three conversions from three to put the Titans in front and ultimately give them the win.

The Sharks had led 10-6 at half-time in “the battle of the beaches” after scoring just seconds before the break.

“I’m very happy, it was looking a bit dodgy with 20 minutes to go, they had the ascendancy and were playing well,” Titans coach John Cartwright told a press conference.

“But we really dug in well from there, we got a couple of tries when we needed them and held on well in the end.

“The tries that we scored were good understanding between guys.”

The Titans came from behind against St George Illawarra in their debut match last week only to fall short, but had no such problems this time.

“I suppose the most impressive thing from the coach’s points of view and the fans that were here was the fightback again. They fought hard and were very courageous,” Cartwright said.

Prince, who was a doubt in the lead-up because of injury, was happy to be part of the maiden win.

“The people on the Gold Coast have been waiting a long time for this, just to have the Titans back on the coast,” he said.

“I suppose now we’ve got the monkey off the back and the two points in the bag.”

Sharks coach Ricky Stuart was understandably disappointed, saying his players had dropped too much ball early in the tackle count.

“We had it there to beat them and when you let is slip, it’s disappointing,” he said.

But he said he was happy for Cartwright, who was his assistant at the Roosters.

“I’m really happy for Johnny, it’s good for rugby league that the Gold Coast are up and running,” he said.

He said he might leave a beer with Cartwright for a later date and the Titans coach said he understood.

“I’ll let him cool down, I know what he’s like after a loss,” Cartwright quipped.

Entertaining Warriors bust up Broncos
Warriors 24 – Broncos 14
An exciting NZ Warriors outfit has gone back to back in their victory over the Broncos in Auckland today. Stylish, flowing Rugby League was turned on by the Warriors with their Aussie contingent of Witt, Crocket, Price and Martin all playing brilliantly. The Broncos slump to their second loss for the year and last years premiers have nothing to show for 2007. Click here for full review.