Category Archives: NRL Vault (Archives)

Sandow believes Dragons halves pose no threat to Souths

It is something that you rarely hear, but Souths halfback Chris Sandow has gone on record, and said that the Dragons halves in Jamie Soward and Ben Hornby pose no threat to Souths, and are not that dangerous in attack.

It was after training at Redfern Oval that Sandow said the following, as Souths are not fazed by the Dragons whatsoever.

“Nah mate, it’s pretty much their edges that worry us,” Sandow said.

“Soward and Hornby don’t worry us that much.”

The comments are guaranteed to spur the Dragons on even more in their clash this week, and they will know that despite Sandow’s comments, that he is a defensive weakness in the Bunnies defensive line, so he can expect a barrage of assaults from the Dragons forwards.

Sandow believes that his side can win the game if they can stop the Dragons wide-running forwards, who are destructive on the edges.

“It’s their boys out wide [that are the biggest threat],” he said. “If we can contain those guys, I think we’ve got a big chance.”

Watmough and Seu Seu found urinating in public

Manly second-rower Anthony Watmough and interchange utility Terence Seu Seu have both been suspended for a week by their club, the Manly Sea Eagles, after they were caught urinating in public last night.

Not only have the pair been suspended, but they have also been fined a weeks wages, for the incident that took place at The Corso in Manly on Sunday night.

As a result, both players will miss the Sea Eagles clash with the Cronulla Sharks, after their club conducted their own investigation, after they discovered that the club had charged them with improper conduct.

The players were also given an on-the-spot fine by police of $220 when they were caught urinating in Manly, on the corner of The Corso and Whistler Street at 9:25 pm.

Graham Lowe, Manly CEO, said that the players behaviour was very poor and unacceptable.

“They have embarrassed themselves and the club and its sponsors and supporters – they have shown great remorse for their silly action and will pay a heavy penalty,” Lowe said.

Watmough and Seu Seu also issued a joint statement:

“We are bitterly disappointed with our actions and for the fact that we have let our team mates, our families and our supporters down.

“It was a careless and stupid thing to do and we accept the suspension without complaint.”

Ennis signs 3-year extension

In a move that is sure to please Dogs fans, but have other fans question it, Michael Ennis has re-signed with the Canterbury Bulldogs until the end of the 2014 season.

The re-signing is expected to be a huge boost for the Bulldogs, just 10 days out from the start of the NRL season, with the Bulldogs looking to make amends for a poor 2010 season.

Ennis has improved immensely since he made his debut for the Bulldogs, making the NSW State Of Origin four times since he joined the club, as well as playing for NSW Country and in the NRL All-Stars clash.

For Ennis, he says that there were a number of reasons as to why he felt it was best to re-sign with the Bulldogs.

“From day one I’ve felt at home here at the Bulldogs and I’m really pleased to be staying,” Ennis said.

“I turn 27 this month and the decision just felt right, both for myself as a footballer and also for my wife and children. From the first time I met Todd Greenberg and Kevin Moore, as well as the rest of the staff and playing group, I knew that the Club would act in the best interests of myself and my family and in turn I want to do my best for the Club.

“Also, I’m really happy to have my future sorted before the start of the season and now I can focus on making this year and the years to come as successful as possible. Certainly, with the likes of Josh Morris, Greg Eastwood, Frank Pritchard, Trent Hodkinson and more here well into the future I think that Bulldogs Members and everyone who follows the Club can look forward to an exciting time in its history.”

According to coach Kevin Moore, with Ennis re-signing, it gives the club structure, go forward and stability both on and off the field.

“Mick is the kind of player that any head coach would love to have in his side,” Moore said. “He leaves nothing to chance. He’s a natural leader, is about the fittest bloke in the team, and he gives us outstanding direction on and off the field.

“Anyone who follows Rugby League knows what a fierce competitor he is, and away from the paddock he’s exactly the type of person that you love to have around the Club. I’m very pleased that he’s going to be a part of the Club long-term.”

Todd Greenberg was also full of praise, and was pleased that Ennis had decided to re-sign.

“Mick was always keen to stay here at the Bulldogs and I’m thankful to both him and his management that we’ve been able to get him squared away before the start of the season,” Bulldogs Chief Executive Todd Greenberg said.

“We are over the moon to have him locked in until at least 2014 and I’d like to think that he sees himself staying here beyond that time. We’d love to see him finish his career as one of the Club’s greats.”

Reddy sidelined for remainder of trials

Parramatta centre Joel Reddy is set to miss the Eels remaining two trials, as he still recovers from off-season shoulder surgery, and he might just be eased back through the NSW Cup instead of playing in the NRL in Rd 1.

”We’re expecting Joel to be cleared to play on the weekend of round one, but whether that’s with Parramatta or lower [with Wentworthville] remains to be seen,” Eels coach Steve Kearney said yesterday.”

”We’re going to have to weigh that up when we get closer to the season kick-off and see how he has progressed.”

With Reddy likely to be eased back in the NSW Cup, Luke Burt will be the only player from the Eels three-quarter line of last year, to be in the line-up, given the departures of Timana Tahu, Jonathon Wright and Eric Grothe.

Despite the loss in their first trial, Kearney was not too concerned, as the Eels fielded a young side, and he is expecting that his full-strength side, possibly to be named for their second trial, will perform much better.

”There are a few areas in attack that we need to tweak, but overall I was encouraged by the performance,” Kearney said. ”We fielded a pretty young group in the forwards.”

In light of Reddy’s injury, and given he may not play Rd 1 straight away, Chris Walker, Chris Hicks, Paul Whatuira, Jacob Loko and Ryan Morgan all pressed their claims to play in Reddy’s vacant centre position.

Another potential candidate for the position in Etu Uaisele, suffered an injury, but it is not expected to be anything too serious.

”Etu got a knock early and had to come off, but the others all went OK,” Kearney said.

In a great story also, Eels forward Shane Shackleton made his return in the Eels trial game, and he will undoubtedly get better over the course of the season.

”We just wanted him to get some confidence back, before we increase his game time,” Kearney said after the game.

Burgess says Souths will do all the talking on the field

The ploy has failed to work in the past when players have said it, and it remains to be seen if it can work this time for Souths, given that last year, they also promised good things, and it just was not to be as a late-season form drop saw them miss the finals.

For Sam Burgess, he knows that the Bunnies did not perform to the potential that he knows his Bunnies team can, and thus, in 2011, he says that the Bunnies will do all of their talking on the field, rather than talking themselves up off it.

After initial fears that the 22-year old Englishman would miss out on the first few rounds due to off-season shoulder surgery, he should be good to go for the Round 1 monster clash between Souths fierce rivals, the Sydney Roosters.

Burgess had his sling removed on the 4th January, and will ease back into training, with contact work being started in three weeks, leaving him just three weeks to fine-tune his game before the Round 1 clash arrives.

“It’s come on pretty good, better than expected, so I’m right on track for round one,” he said

As Burgess shapes up to start his second season in the NRL, he says that his fellow team-mates, as well as himself have learnt to ignore any early hype about finals talk, as that can often get to players heads, meaning they don’t play to their potential.

“Last year a lot got said from inside and outside,” he said.

“And I think we’ve probably learnt from that.

“We’re taking a bit more of a quiet approach this year.

“We just really want to try to let our football do the talking and hopefully that should bring a few wins early on.”

No confirmation on return date for Brett Stewart

First it was the sexual assault charge, then it was the season-ending knee injury. 2010 will be a season that Brett Stewart won’t want to remember.

In light of his injury, it’s unknown as to when exactly the star fullback will return with Sea Eagles physio Andre Rickenbach unsure as to whether Stewart will be available for the start of the 2011 season.

The club has to wait until at least the new year before it could confirm whether or not Stewart would be fit in time for Rd 1 of the 2011 NRL season.

“It’s far too early to say he’ll be ready for round one,” he told AAP.

“This (recovery) has taken a little bit longer because there was more damage to the injury, and he had to undergo two operations.

“Last time (Stewart was injured back in 2009) he had to undergo just one, which is why we’re taking things nice and slowly at the moment.

“It’s just one of many steps. We’re not forecasting anything at this stage.

“It’s progressing as planned and it’s progressing nicely.

“He’s got a few boxes to tick and it’s small steps at a time, but we’re getting there slowly.”

David Williams

Whilst they will take the win any day of the week, the talking point post-game is just how badly Manly Sea Eagles back-rower hyper-extended his knee, with coach Geoff Toovey believing that the in-form Test and NSW back-rower will not be fit for next week.

In what was Manly’s sixth successive victory, there was confidence all round, as Manly held firm and defeated a spirited New Zealand Warriors side, eventually winning 27-12.

With fellow back-rower Justin Horo also out due to a calf injury picked up in training, it was the back-line who made their presence known, as David Williams and Brett Stewart got into the swing of things with three and two tries respectively.

“Choc (Watmough) will miss at least a week, but I can’t confirm that until he has scans. Justin Horo should be back next week,” Toovey said.

“I thought we played extremely well, especially in the first 20 minutes.

“We just had some execution issues. It wasn’t quite there which kept them in the match.

“I think we were 53 per cent completion. We just got over-excited at times.”

The loss for the Warriors dampens their finals ambitions and was their second on the trot but they do have support from Toovey, who believes the New Zealand side can make the finals.

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“It’s always tough for them travelling over here to Sydney and then it’s another hour and a half up the coast,” he said.

“And that’s always difficult for them. But they are a quality side and will bounce back.”

Despite the long trip for the Warriors to the venue, coach Matt Elliott knows that his side was simply outplayed and refused to make any excuses for the loss.

“We had confidence but we played a really good footy team and we have to accept they executed better than we did in attack and defence,” he said.

“It was a little bit of a lesson for us. There’s nothing to be down in the mouth about.

“We just didn’t challenge them enough with our play, perhaps we were a touch conservative.”

With a relatively easy run home and still a chance to sneak into the finals if they jag a few wins, Elliott is not about to get too carried away.

“Our job is about next week. I’m not saying we’re going to do it (make the eight) but I’m comfortable we’re capable of doing it,” he said.

3. David Williams
2. Glenn Stewart
1. Brett Stewart.

Round 19 already. The season has gone by so fast and here we are at the business end. Some teams have long-term injuries, others have remained injury free. How will the finals shape up?

Here are the teams for Rd 19:

Cronulla Sharks v North Queensland Cowboys (#NRLcronql); Remondis Stadium; Friday July 18. Kick-off: 7:40pm.

Sharks: 1. Michael Gordon 2. Sosaia Feki 3. Jonathan Wright 4. Ricky Leutele 5. Jacob Gagan 6. Nu Brown 7. Jeff Robson 8. Andrew Fifita 9. Michael Lichaa 10. Bryce Gibbs 11. Luke Lewis 12. Wade Graham (C) 13. Anthony Tupou.

Interchange: 14. Pat Politoni 15. Siosaia Vave 17. Tinirau Arona 18. Sam Tagataese 19. Tim Robinson 20. Tupou Sopoaga.

Coach: James Shepherd.

Cowboys: 1. Michael Morgan 2. Matt Wright 3. Tautau Moga 4. Kane Linnett 5. Antonio Winterstein 6. Robert Lui 7. Johnathan Thurston (C) 8. Ashton Sims 9. Rory Kostjaysn 10. James Tamou 11. Tariq Sims 12. Jason Taumalolo 13. Glenn Hall.

Interchange: 14. Ray Thompson 15. Scott Bolton 17. Sam Hoare 18. John Asiata.

Coach: Paul Green.

Parramatta Eels v South Sydney Rabbitohs (#NRLparsou); Pirtek Stadium; Friday July 18. Kick-off: 7:40pm.

Eels: 1. Jarryd Hayne (C) 2. Semi Radradra 3. Ryan Morgan 4. Willie Tonga 5. Vai Toutai 6. Corey Norman 7. Chris Sandow 8. Junior Paulo 9. Issac De Gois 10. Fuifui Moimoi 11. Ken Edwards 12. Tepai Moeroa 13. David Gower.

Interchange: 14. Joseph Paulo 15. Peni Terepo 16. Pauli Pauli 17. Mitch Allgood 18. Ben Smith (One to be omitted).

Coach: Brad Arthur.

Souths: 1. Greg Inglis 2. Alex Johnston 3. Dylan Walker 4. Kirisome Auva’a 5. Lote Tuqiri 6. John Sutton 7. Adam Reynolds 8. George Burgess 9. Issac Luke 10. Dave Tyrrell 11. Kyle Turenr 12. Sam Burgess 13. Ben Lowe.

Interchange: 14. Luke Year 15. Joe Picker 16. Jason Clark 17. Thomas Burgess 18. Joel Reddy 19. Luke Burgess 20. Apisai Koroisau. (Three to be omitted).

Coach: Michael Maguire.

Sydney Roosters v Penrith Panthers (#NRLsydpen); Allianz Stadium; Saturday July 19. Kick-off: 3pm.

Roosters: 1. Anthony Minichiello (C) 2. Brendan Elliott 3. Nene MacDonald 4. Mitch Aubusson 5. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 6. James Maloney 7. Mitch Pearce 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 10. Sam Moa 11. Boyd Cordner 12. Sonny Bill Williams 13. Aidan Guerra.

Interchange: 14. Frank-Paul Nuuausala 15. Issac Liu 16. Dylan Napa 17. Remi Casty 18. Heath L’Estrange (One to be omitted).

Coach: Trent Robinson.

Panthers: 1. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 2. Josh Mansour 3. Dean Whare 4. Jamal Idris 5. Kevin Naiqama 6. Matt Moylan 7. Jamie Soward 8. Sam McKendry 9. James Segeyaro 10. Brent Kite 11. Sika Manu 12. Elijah Taylor 13. Adam Docker.

Interchange: 14. Lewis Brown 15. Jeremy Latimore 16. Nigel Plum 17. Bryce Cartwright 18. Issah Yeo (One to be omitted).

Coach: Ivan Cleary.

Melbourne Storm v Canberra Raiders (#NRLmelcan); AAMI Park; Saturday July 19. Kick-off: 5:30pm.

Storm: 1. Billy Slater 2. Marika Koroibete 3. Will Chambers 4. Kurt Mann 5. Mahe Fonua 6. Ben Roberts 7. Cooper Cronk 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Cam Smith (C) 10. Bryan Norrie 11. Kevin Proctor 12. Ryan Hoffman 13. Ryan Hinchcliffe.

Interchange: 14. Tim Glasby 15. Tohu Harris 16. Junior Moors 17. Jordan McLean.

Coach: Craig Bellamy.

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Raiders: 1. Anthony Milford 2. Reece Robinson 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Jarrad Kennedy 5. Sami Sauiluma 6. Terry Campese (C) 7. Josh McCrone 8. David Shillington 9. Glen Buttriss 10. Brett White 11. Josh Papalii 12. Joel Edwards 13. Shaun Fensom.

Interchange: 14. Kurt Baptiste 15. Paul Vaughan 16. Dane Tilse 17. Shannon Boyd 18. Matt Allwood (One to be omitted).

Coach: Ricky Stuart.

Brisbane Broncos v New Zealand Warriors (#NRLbriwar); Suncorp Stadium; Saturday July 19. Kick-off: 7:30pm.

Broncos: 1. Ben Barba 2. Daniel Vidot 3. Jack Reed 4. Justin Hodges (C) 5. Dale Copley 6. Josh Hoffman 7. Ben Hunt 8. Josh McGuire 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Corey Parker (C) 11. Alex Glenn 12. Corey Oates 13. Sam Thaiday.

Interchange: 14. Ben Hannant 15. Dave Hala 16. Todd Lowrie 17. Jake Granville 18. David Stagg (One to be omitted).

Coach: Anthony Griffin.

Warriors: 1. Sam Tomkins 2. David Fusitua 3. Konrad Hurrell 4. Dane Nielsen 5. Manu Vatuvei 6. Chad Townsend 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Jacob Lillyman 9. Nathan Friend 10. Suaia Matagi 11. Ben Henry 12. Simon Mannering (C) 13. Sebastien Ikahihifo.

Interchange: 14. Feleti Mateo 15. Ben Matulino 16. Agnatius Paasi 17. Thomas Leuluai 18. Jayson Bukuya (One to be omitted).

Coach: Andrew McFadden.

Newcastle Knights v Gold Coast Titans (#NRLnewgld); Hunter Stadium; Sunday July 20. Kick-off: 2pm.

Knights: 1. Darius Boyd 2. James McManus 3. Dane Gagai 4. Joey Leilua 5. Akuila Uate 6. Jarrod Mullen 7. Kurt Gidley (C) 8. Kade Snowden 9. Adam Clydsdale 10. Willie Mason 11. Beau Scott 12. Robbie Rochow 13. Jeremy Smith.

Interchange: 14. Tyrone Roberts 15. Chris Houston 17. David Fa’alogo 18. Korbin Sims 19. Adam Cuthbertson (One to be omitted).

Coach: Wayne Bennett.

Titans: 1. Kevin Gordon 2. Anthony Don 3. James Roberts 4. Brad Takairangi 5. Kalifa Fai Fai Loa 6. Maurice Blair 7. Daniel Mortimer 8. Luke Bailey 9. Beau Falloon 10. Nate Myles 11. Mark Minichiello 12. Dave Taylor 13. Paul Carter.

Interchange: 14. Matt White 15. Luke Douglas 16. Tom Kingston 17. Albert Kelly 18. Mark Ioane (One to be omitted).

Coach: John Cartwright.

Wests Tigers v Canterbury Bulldogs (#NRLwstcby); ANZ Stadium; Sunday July 20. Kick-off: 3pm.

Tigers: 1. Mitch Moses 2. Keith Lulia 3. Tim Simona 4. Chris Lawrence 5. Pat Ricahrds 6. Blake Austin 7. Luke Brooks 8. Aaron Woods 9. Robbie Farah (C) 10. Keith Galloway 11. Curtis Sironen 12. Bodene Thompson 13. Adam Blair.

Interchange: 14. Ava Seumanafagai 15. Martin Taupau 16. Dene Halatau 17. James Gavet 18. Sauaso Sue (One to be omitted).

Coach: Mick Potter.

Bulldogs: 1. Mitch Brown 2. Corey Thompson 3. Josh Morris 4. Tim Lafai 5. Krisnan Inu 6. Josh Jackson 7. Trent Hodkinson 8. Sam Kasiano 9. Michael Ennis (C) 10. James Graham 11. Dale Fincuane 12. Tony Williams 13. Greg Eastwood.

Interchange: 14. Reni Maitua 15. Pat O’Hanlon 16. Tim Browne 17. Lloyd Perrett 19. Drury Low 20. Damien Cook (Two to be omitted).

Coach: Des Hasler.

St George Illawarra Dragons v Manly Sea Eagles (#NRLsgiman); WIN Jubilee Oval; Monday July 21. Kick-off: 7pm.

Dragons: 1. Adam Quinlan 2. Charly Runciman 3. Josh Dugan 4. Gerard Beale 5. Jason Nightingale 6. Gareth Widdop 7. Benji Marshall 8. Ben Creagh (C) 9. Mitch Rein 10. Mike Cooper 11. Leeson Ah Mau 12. Joel Thompson 13. Jack De Belin.

Interchange: 14. Bronson Harrison 15. Shane Pumipi 16. Will Matthews 17. Jack Stockwell.

Coach: Paul McGregor.

Manly: 1. Brett Stewart 2. Jorge Taufua 3. Jamie Lyon (C) 4. Steve Matai 5. Peta Hiku 6. Kieran Foran 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Josh Starling 9. Matt Ballin 10. Brenton Lawrence 11. Anthony Watmough 12. Jamie Buhrer 13. Tom Symonds.

Interchange: 14. Jesse Sene-Lefao 16. James Hasson 17. Jason King 15. Dunamis Lui.

Coach: Geoff Toovey.

Ben Hannant

Although it was the game that kept the Brisbane Broncos in the finals hunt, it will be the potential season-ending injuries to Justin Hodges, Trent Merrin and Josh Dugan that will be the talking points, as the Broncos downed the St George Illawarra Dragons in a nail-biter, winning 26-24.

The win was bittersweet for the Broncos, with star centre Justin Hodges suffering a potential season-ending injury, a ruptured Achilles.

The injury at this point of the season, one of that nature, means that Hodges will not be available until mid 2014 and despite the latest setback, Hodges says he will be back.

“I’ll get some scans but I think so (torn Achilles). I did the right one a couple of years ago, it’s a long process, but I’ve been through it before,” Hodges told Channel Nine.

“I will get back at some stage next year, but it’s just a bit of a hard road ahead.

“I think it’s more a nine to 10 month injury so I hope to be back mid next year.”

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With four wins from their final four games needed to make the finals, the loss of Hodges is a blow in more ways than one for the club but they can take confidence out of the nail-biting win in front of just under 32,000 fans.

It was a back and forth game, as the Dragons looked to make life difficult for the opponents around them, fighting valiantly and determinedly to stay in the contest.

Young five-eighth Adam Quinlan did his best to spark something, finishing up with two tries in what was perhaps his best first-grade performance to date.

The news was not much better on the injury front for the Dragons and to compound their loss, Trent Merrin (knee) and Josh Dugan (thumb) will face nervous waits on whether their seasons are over.

Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin compared his side’s recent injury troubles in the back-line to that of the Bermuda Triangle, a mysterious area.

“I can’t figure out his whole body – it just keeps breaking,” Griffin said.

“The last recovery process was very long. It took him a whole year to get over the last one.

3. Ben Hannant
2. Daniel Vidot
1. Andrew McCullough

Matt Bowen

It was a new challenge and a new chapter in the career of Matty Bowen and after a successful season to date, he has opted to do it all again.

That is, he decided to stick around at Wigan and play with them in the 2015 season. Fresh off a new 1-year deal with the club, the man nicknamed ‘Mango’ has quickly become a fan favourite at Wigan.

For the man himself, he is enjoying his time at the club and his family love it, so the decision to stay made the most sense.

“I am very happy to stay for another year, my family’s enjoying it over here we love the Town,” said Bowen.

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“The Club have a great Coach in ‘Waney’ and great bunch of boys, I couldn’t be happier.”

Wigan Chairman Ian Lenegan, who played a part in getting Bowen to the Warriors in the first place, is a big fan of the zippy fullback and looks forward to seeing him play again next year.

“I just love watching Matty play,” said Lenegan.

“He has developed into a vital member of our squad and I look forward to seeing him light up Super League for another year.”

Someone that can see first-hand how Bowen plays and trains is head coach Shaun Wane and he is also excited that Bowen is staying on, as a means of assisting the young players coming through.

“I am so pleased that Matty has decided to stay with us for another season,” said Wane.

“His desire to win, great professionalism and his attitude off the field fit perfectly with the Wigan Warriors culture. Ryan Hampshire and Lewis Tierney will have another season learning with the best, which is great for us as a Club and our desire to continually win competitions.”