Category Archives: Representative Footy

City v Country venue for 2014 announced

There are some fans against the clash and there are others that approve of it, but regardless of one’s opinion on it, it serves as a chance to test the next group of players at representative level and give them a chance to stake claims for future NSW Origin appearances.

Although still some time away, the venue has been announced for the 2014 AAMI City v Country Origin clash, with the game to be held at Apex Oval in Dubbo in May 2014.

In what becomes a weekly event for the NRL, rugby league in general and the community that hosts the game, with Terry Quinn, the Country Rugby League’s CEO recognising the achievements of rugby league in Dubbo, as they all look forward to the week to come.

“Country Rugby League would like to recognise the efforts of Dubbo City Council and Group 11 Rugby League in their application to host the event and thank them for their hard work towards what will be a wonderful week Payday Loans,” Quinn said.

“We are looking forward to working with the local teams in Dubbo and the surrounding region to ensure this game benefits Rugby League in the area, both financially and through registration numbers, for years to come.

“Dubbo have been very supportive of trial and exhibition games in the past and we would like to expect nothing less than a sell-out.”

As is the case with all clashes of this nature, there is a weeks’ worth of festivities in the lead-up to the clash with both sides to take part in promotional events, allowing country-based fans a chance to see some of their favourite players in action.

“The CRL would also like to recognise the efforts made by the city of Wagga Wagga in terms of their bid and look forward to continuing talks with the city to bring the City vs. Country game to the region in the coming years,” Quinn said.

Tickets are set to go on sale for the clash in early 2014.

Origin goes to a decider as QLD manhandle NSW in Game 2

Corey Parker

It was a game with a lot riding on it for both sides. NSW with the chance to win their first series since 2005 and QLD needing a win to keep the Origin series alive.

Heading into the clash, both camps were confident of a victory but it was the Queensland side that burst out of the blocks and had all the early running, scoring in just the 2nd minute through Sam Thaiday.

Whilst the focus should have been on the 26-6 win by QLD, it was instead a second-half brawl that has taken the shine off the win for the Maroons, with four players sin-binned as a result of the altercation.

With the NRL’s new hardline stance on fighting after the Paul Gallen and Nate Myles incident, when the biff occurred, the referees acted swiftly and decisively, sin-binning Justin Hodges, Greg Bird, Brent Tate and Trent Merrin.

Replays suggest that Trent Merrin and Justin Hodges were the only two to have thrown punches, though referees obviously thought otherwise as they sin-binned Tate and Bird also.

With both coaches insisting that the one punch and you go the bin rule be looked out and re-assessed, there was one very unhappy NSW captain after the game as a result of the incident.

“It’s embarrassing really, isn’t it?” Gallen said.

“The game has been so great for 108 years, for them (NRL) to change it …

“Origin is a tough game. No one goes out there to fight but sometimes that is the x-factor in the game.”

There was also another incident in-game, with Maroons fullback Billy Slater put on report for an elbow to the face of Mitchell Pearce in a tackle.

Post-game, it appears Slater supplements testosterone human growth hormone hgh was cleared with accidental contact and Origin duo Justin Hodges and Greg Bird are likely to escape bans.

Merrin may not be so lucky, with the St George Illawarra Dragons lock forward looking at a week on the sidelines.

With calls for the no-fighting decision to be reconsidered, Mal Meninga wants to see the rule changed but believes that fans should be the ones to make the decision on it.

“It’s a bit ridiculous to be honest with you,” he said of the sin bins.

“I know we are trying to clean the game up and we have certain responsibilities.

“Certainly Tatey didn’t deserve to be sent off for pushing someone.

“But at the end of the day it is a game of rugby league, and as an ex-player I find it silly the way the rule has gone.”

QLD captain Cam Smith was also critical, saying that a game of 11 players on 11 players is not what the fans want.

“It’s like touch footy really,” he said.

Although Laurie Daley thought sterner action should have been taken after Billy Slater’s elbow, he too urged NRL officials to reconsider the rule.

“I think what happened was our boys got riled because Mitchell copped an elbow off Billy and nothing happened (no binning),” he said.

“It’s a tough sport, things go astray. But no one goes out there to start a fight.”

The NSW coach was under no illusions about the game itself, though, admitting that the Maroons were by far the better side.

“Queensland were too good, no excuses, we move on. We’ve earned the right to go into game three,” Daley said.

3. Corey Parker
2. Johnathan Thurston
1. Matt Scott

State of Origin Game 2 Teams

Here are the teams for State of Origin Game 2 between QLD & NSW.

Suncorp Stadium; Wednesday June 26.

NSW side

1. Josh Dugan
2. Brett Morris
3. Michael Jennings
4. Josh Morris
5. Nathan Merritt
6. James Maloney
7. Mitchell Pearce
8. Paul Gallen
9. Robbie Farah
10. Aaron Woods
11. Luke Lewis
12. Ryan Hoffman
13. Greg Bird.

Interchange:

14. Andrew Fifta
15. Trent Cialis Merrin
16. Josh Reynolds
17. Anthony Watmough.

QLD Team

1. Billy Slater
2. Darius Boyd
3. Greg Inglis
4. Justin Hodges
5. Brent Tate
6. Johnathan Thurston
7. Cooper Cronk
8. Matt Scott
9. Cameron Smith (C)
10. Nate Myles
11. Chris McQueen
12. Sam Thaiday
13. Corey Parker

14. Daly Cherry-Evans
15. Ben Te’o
16. Matt Gillett
17. Josh Papalii

18. Martin Kennedy.

NSW take Game 1 of Origin series as captain Gal in strife for throwing punches

Luke Lewis

It was the perfect start for NSW and one that they had to have, as they produced a brilliant first-half display that proved to be enough, defeating QLD 14-6 at ANZ Stadium last night.

Billed as favourites heading into the clash, the tag was justified as they burst out of the blocks with a quick try to Jarryd Hayne, as the quick outside backs caught the QLD forwards napping on numerous occasions.

Despite the win, however, the NSW players know that the job is not complete, as they now face a tough trip up to Suncorp in what is sure to be a hostile crowd and atmosphere.

NSW captain Paul Gallen, who might find himself in strife for both a late, swinging arm on QLD forward Nate Myles as well as throwing punches after the fact, said NSW will celebrate the victory but start preparing for the June 26

“Tonight we are going to enjoy this moment in front of 80,000 people but we have to keep it in check,” said Gallen.

“We’re going to go up there and everyone is going to hate us and they’re going to want to rip our heads off.

“We’ve won but we’ve got a long way to go.”

NSW coach Laurie Daley who was coaching in first Origin game as coach, was full of praise for his players, saluting them for their efforts.

“Never question the passion these players show in these jerseys,” Daley said.

“My overwhelming feeling is that I want the players to enjoy it but if I am being really negative we did some things not so well.

“Gal hasn’t played for four or five weeks and his effort tonight was enormous, leading the state in the way he did.

“These guys have been pushed around and done it tough for a long period Payday Loan and they were good.”

With all the confidence now in NSW’s favour, QLD fullback Billy Slater believes QLD can bounce back in Game 2 even if NSW have all the momentum and admits they were outplayed in Game 1.

“It will be a big challenge but certainly not an impossible one,” said the Melbourne Storm custodian.

“It’s always tough to lose an Origin,” said Slater.

“They got the jump on us in the first half, came up with a few tries and put us on the back foot.

With an inside play resulting in NSW’s first try to fullback Jarryd Hayne, it is a move that Slater is familiar with, though he says no-one has copyright on the move.

“Nobody’s got any copyright on that move,” said Slater.

“He (Hayne) was a big part of why they went well. He brought the ball back strong, got their sets off to a good start and added a bit of spark when they got into the attacking zone.”

With the brawl between Gallen and Myles happening just before half-time, Slater said it is something that the QLD side will not forget easily.

“We won’t forget anything” – especially the feeling we’re experiencing after the loss …,” said Slater.

With doubt over Johnathan Thurston heading into the game also, Slater defended the decision to let the star five-eighth play.

“(We backed him) One hundred per cent. He’s the best half in the world and you always want him on your side,” he said.

“I don’t think he was on his own out there.”

Slater said Queensland didn’t do anything well.

“We didn’t get forward, we didn’t play straight and the guys off the ball didn’t do enough to support the ball carrier,” he said.

“All that snowballs into poor attack.”

3. Luke Lewis
2. Jarryd Hayne
1. Greg Bird

NSW and QLD Origin Sides: Game 1.

Here are both sides named for NSW and QLD for the opening State of Origin clash.

New South Wales side

1. Jarryd Hayne (Eels)
2. Brett Morris (Dragons)
3. Michael Jennings (Roosters)
4. Josh Morris (Bulldogs)
5. Blake Ferguson (Raiders)
6. James Maloney (Roosters)
7. Mitchell Pearce (Roosters)
8. Paul Gallen (Sharks, capt)
9. Robbie Farah (Tigers)
10. James Tamou (Cowboys)
11. Ryan Hoffman (Storm)
12.Luke Lewis (Sharks)
13. Greg Bird (Titans)
Interchange
14. Kurt Gidley (Knights)
15. Anthony Watmough (Manly)
16. Andrew Fifita (Sharks)
17. Trent \u00a31000 payday loan Merrin (Dragons)

Queensland

1. Billy Slater (Storm)
2. Darius Boyd (Knights)
3. Greg Inglis (Rabbitohs)
4. Justin Hodges (Broncos)
5. Brent Tate (Cowboys)
6. Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys)
7. Cooper Cronk (Storm)
8. Matt Scott (Cowboys)
9. Cam Smith (C) (Storm)
10. David Shillington (Raiders)
11. Nate Myles (Titans)
12. Sam Thaiday (Broncos)
13. Ash Harrison (Titans)

14. Corey Parker (Broncos)
15. Matt Gillett (Broncos)
16. Ben Te’o (Souths)
17. Chris McQueen (Souths)

18. Daly Cherry-Evans (Manly)
19. Josh Papalii (Raiders).

There’s both sides. Both very good sides.

Gold Coast keen for audacious Origin bid ahead of 2018 Commonwealth Games

With Origin folklore traditionally set in Brisbane and Sydney at Suncorp Stadium and ANZ Stadium respectively – the Gold Coast Government are keen to make an audacious bid to host an Origin game of their own, ahead of their hosting of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Ahead of their monumental event in the Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate says he has plans to hopefully ensure that the city can host a marquee rugby league game, in the lead-up to the world event.

With some reports suggesting that the Australian Rugby League Commission will open up the stage for the highest bidder to stake their claims for an Origin game in the future, Tate says he is keen to make a push for the Gold Coast to be that area.

The Queensland Government, however, have approached the bid from Tate with some animosity and contempt, but Major Events and Commonwealth Games Minister Jann Stuckey, says that she plans to talk with Tate in the coming week.

“In Tom Tate, you have a very bold and progressive mayor who has his heart very firmly attached to the Gold Coast and I’m very pleased to hear he has some big ideas and big dreams,” Stuckey said.

“We’re a government committed to major events and the most important thing is we work towards that.

“I’ll be discussing that (Origin) with Tom early next week.”

If successful, Tate believes that hosting the game at Carrara Stadium, a 25,000-capacity venue (extended to 40,000 with temporary grandstands for the Commonwealth games, however) – would be the way to go. “We just had a Wallabies Test and I am going to go after State of Origin,” Tate said.

“We have had the Aboriginal All Stars game, we host the International Rugby Sevens. Bringing State of Origin here to the Gold Coast makes a lot of sense.

“If we snag it here, I think it would be bigger than Suncorp (Brisbane).”

I won’t let you down: Civoniceva

Petero Civoniceva

All players can tell when the pressure is on them, and even after playing in 299 NRL games (his 300th is coming up tonight), 45 tests and 32 State of Origin matches, if there is one thing that Broncos and QLD legend Petero Civoniceva is worried about, it is disappointing his team-mates.

With the back-end of the season set to start, Petero Civoniceva will become only the 17th player in the history of the NRL, to notch up 300 career first-grade games.

He may have played in 15 seasons of NRL to-date, but for Petero, his mantra is all about playing well and doing his job, all whilst not disappointing anyone.

“I just don’t want to let anyone down,” he said.

“I know it probably hasn’t been my most consistent season, but I’m just trying to make sure I play my part within the team and not let anyone down.”

Whilst Petero is humbled by the talk of “Let’s do it for Petero”, as heads into his final State of Origin game in a couple of weeks, the man nicknamed ‘Bulla’, does not want that to the sole focus for the Queensland side.

“I learnt a lot off the way we handled [Darren Lockyer’s] farewell last year,” Civoniceva said. “He was adamant that the focus had to be about the team.

“That’s the way we’ve handled it so far. It’s going to be a challenge coming up against one of the toughest NSW teams we’ve come up against in quite some time – they were tremendous in game two. But there is more on the line than just my last game. It’s nice to hear that sort of stuff, but I’ve just got to make sure I’ve got my mind on the job and be one of the leaders out there.”

NSW town of Cooma in contention to host City v Country

It is a match that holds significance to the players playing in it, as they look to stake their claims for an Origin berth – and now, there is talk that the game could be played in Cooma, the home-town of Raiders prop Brett White, though nothing is yet confirmed.

For White, the opportunity to play City/Country in his home-town, is one that has him motivated to recover as quickly as possible from his season-ending knee injury, as he looks to force his way back into the representative fold in season 2013.

Terry Quinn, the Country Rugby League Chief Executive, said that whilst the speculation itself is rife that the game will be played in Cooma, no decision will be made on the matter, until July.

With up to 10 sites in contention to host next year’s clash, Quinn ruled out taking it to a major city, but rather, a smaller town that has limited access to rugby league.

“Our preference is to take it to areas that don’t have access to NRL rugby league,” Quinn said.

Having played 5 games for the Country Origin side in his career, would be honoured and thrilled to wear the Country jersey once more, especially if it is played in Cooma.

“I’ve always thought about it and always hoped one day it might happen – being a Cooma junior – that a game like this would be there,” White said.

“You’ve just inspired me for the next few months, it’d be fantastic. I’m just aiming to get back on the paddock but to get back and hit form early on in the season for something like that, that’d be special.

“There was a lot of talk that we might have lost City-Country, but for a player from the country who’s played a few games in the jumper, I know how special it is and what it means to people in the bush.

“For a place like Cooma and Group 16 to have an opportunity to host the game it’s what Country Rugby League needs.”

QLD take out Game 1 of Origin series

Brent Tate

Like any Origin game, you always have one major moment of controversy, one major moment of stupidity, and one major moment that has everyone thinking, ‘How did you come up with that call?’

Well, in last night’s game, the first game of the 2012 Origin series, there was all that and more – as the Queensland Maroons defeated the NSW Blues 18-10, in a grinding contest, with a bit controversy thrown into the middle.

It all started with Michael Jennings being sin-binned for his involvement in the first major biff of this year’s Origin series, after the Panthers centre ran 40m to throw several punches, one of which connected – something that even the commentators touched on, and agreed with the decision to put him in the bin.

The moment of controversy arrived towards the end of the game, when Greg Inglis went in for a try, after NSW hooker Robbie Farah kicked it out of his hands, and the ball bobbled free, before Inglis grounded it.

Whilst the rule itself on that very matter deems it as play on, due to the fact that the NSW player played at the football (video referee Sean Hampstead used this very interpretation to award it) – NSW captain Paul Gallen was livid at the decision.

“How the hell is that a try?” he asked.

“This is ridiculous where this is getting.”

For Blues coach Ricky Stuart however, despite the unusual element of the try, he admitted that the right call was made.

Stuart was not so easy on Jennings however, with the centre sin-binned for his involvement in the major biff – a move that changed the dynamics of the first-half, given that early on, NSW were on top.

“It was a silly action (by Jennings),” Stuart said, the incident costing Jennings a grade one contrary conduct charge that will see him miss one match, even with an early guilty plea.

“Am I disappointed about the fight, no, I just wish there was more people involved in it.

“It was six or seven (Queenslanders) onto one at one stage and Jenno ran in about ninth.

“They didn’t just pop up out of the ground.”

On the other side of the coin, QLD coach Mal Meninga had an issue with the questioning of the calls – stating that they should not have taken away from what was a gutsy QLD performance, after the Blues had them on the ropes early.

“I thought it was a deliberate act coming in over the top so I thought it was a fair call,” Meninga said of the Jennings binning.

“It was a strong decision by the referee.

“It’s a special team they keep on believing in what they’re doing … instead of asking questions about who swung a punch or if that try’s fair dinkum, you should be reporting about the greatness of that game.

“It was a great game of football.”

Despite their loss however, NSW had some players that played very well for the club – with the Eels Jarryd Hayne, the Titans Greg Bird, and the Cowboys James Tamou, all having stellar games.

Barrett keen for Origin coaching duties

Trent Barrett

With the constant mounting speculation surrounding the future of Ricky Stuart as NSW coach, a replacement will be needed, should he decide to leave.

Should Stuart leave as the NSW coach, former NSW representative Trent Barrett, has put his hand up to take over the role of the representative side – with the former half playing in 11 Origin games, throughout his career.

“It’s a dream job but that’s not up to me,” Barrett said of coaching NSW.

“Every bloke in NSW would put their hand up. There are other guys there like Laurie (Daley) and Freddie (Brad Fittler). They would certainly do a great job, too.”

With Stuart yet to actually make a decision on his future, he has intimated in the past that he would like to return to full-time coaching at club level.

Barrett is not the only one in the list of possible replacements should Stuart leave, with both Laurie Daley and Brad Fittler also on the shortlist as potential candidates for the role, down the track.

“It is something I want to do — coach down the track,” Barrett said. “I have had the two years out of club footy. I think I would love to coach at some stage. I needed those two years away and this is the second year out. That was the advice from everyone — just to give yourself a break from it.

“I love being around footy players — that is what I have done all my life. I have been real lucky to fall into this role when I finished.”