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.”

Federazione Italiana Rugby Football League: 2013 Season: Growth, Expansion, & Internationals!

The Federazione Italiana Rugby Football League (FIRFL) presented the 2013 Rugby League season competitions on Saturday 26 January.

On the occasion, FIRFL President David Massitti showed the exponential growth of our Rugby a Tredici in recent years.

“Our Federation is walking on its own feet – says David Massitti – since November 2011 in fact we started the path to recognition by CONI (Italian National Olympic Committee – government agency funding recognised Italian Sport bodies). Moreover, thanks to attention toward activity that we have organised throughout Italy we can find athletes to our first international commitments, which will allow us more often to increase our opportunity to represent Italy at the international level.”

Our numbers confirm the growth rise: “We will manage to increase to 50 clubs, including Rugby Reggio of the Super 10’s (top flight Rugby Union), which is one of the most titled. We have more than doubled the number of our members (players), suffice to say that at the end of 2012, there were 500 members, we are now at 1500,” declared a satisfied Massitti.

Pierluigi Gentile, secretary general of the FIRFL presented the technical staff, which this year will rely on the professionalism of Ty Sterry, responsible for the development of rugby with the Scottish Federation and has coached top flight Italian Rugby clubs plus coaching development through (RFL) Super League clubs, the collaboration of Luciano Gorla, the physical trainer of the national team and medical director Guido Porcellini who will track the National Team.

“Guido Porcellini – says Gentile – will work with us behind the scenes, he is the most successful doctor in Italian sport. We will participate in the Italian Cup (Coppa Italia) with the finals to be held in Belpasso (Catania, Sicilia).”

“Then in the period between May and July there will be the championship (r-Evolution League), which this year has been expanded to create three main groups: North, Centre and South. Among the Italian Cup and the championship activities there will be the Rugby League Internationals.”

Gentile continues: “We are very keen to the draft integrated rugby, which will take place through State Professional Institute for Industry and Crafts with Antonio Magarotto from Rome (http://www.scuolasordiroma.it/superiori/) for deaf children, which will be developed with a path of help and socialization defined through the game of rugby, sport open to all important both from the training point of view, that from an athletic view.”

The official partnership with our new technical sponsor for the 2013 season will be with Stash Sports Wear.

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Mickael Simon

It has been an inconsistent season for the Wakefield Wildcats so far, but planning for 2015 is crucial and the club have signed French international Mickael Simon.

The 27-year old prop was a part of France’s recent World Cup squad and has signed a 2-year deal. He joins fellow prop and new recruit Greg Hall, with both set to strengthen the Wakefield forward pack.

Playing 65 Super League games so far, the Frenchman said he was after a new challenge and the Wildcats were a great place to test himself.

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“I need a new challenge and I want to play as many games as possible for Wakefield,” said Simon.

“I hope I can settle quickly in the team and the culture of the country. James is a very good coach and I enjoyed working with him at the World Cup. The start he has had as head coach is great for the club, the players and for James. I know that I will progress with the help of James and the other coaching staff.

“Hopefully I can bring my enthusiasm to the team and just do my job as a prop.”

With a reputation as a player with a huge work-rate and commitment, Wakefield head coach James Webster is looking forward to having the Frenchman at the club.

“Mickael is a big, strong ball carrier with a good engine and he will be able to play big minutes for us in the middle of the field,” said Webster.

“I know him well from my time with France at the World Cup and he has a very good knowledge of the game and will add something to the two props we’ve already secured for next year in Scott Anderson and Nick Scruton.”

Ben Smith

Retirement comes at some point for all players and to be able to do it on your own terms, although hard, is the way to go and that is the decision that Parramatta Eels back-rower Ben Smith has made.

The 29-year old has opted to retire at season’s end and will not play in the NRL or overseas.

It was back in 2004 when Smith made his debut as a centre for the Eels before moving to the back-row and for the one-club man, he was proud to have played 150 games and was thankful that the Eels gave him an opportunity.

“It’s taken me a while to get there but better late than never, they say,” Smith said.

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“I’m very proud to get here. The thing I’m most proud of is I played all my football at Parramatta. I’m proud to say I was at Parramatta from start to finish. I’m happy and very grateful for the opportunity the club’s given me over many years.

“I’ll be retiring at the end of this year so to start and finish at Parramatta – I’m very grateful.”

Smith, who endured some tough years both through injury and with wooden spoons, says he prefers not to reflect on those turbulent years. Rather, he wants to focus on the good years at the club.

“Just to play first grade NRL is a massive achievement but I’m proud to say so many years later that we had some quality teams and good opportunities.”

Smith is just grateful he has come back stronger and fitter from past injuries and is honoured to have another chance to play.

“We had a couple of rough years but this year there’s a good feeling,” Smith added.

“Over the years I’ve had a fair few injuries that have kept me on the sidelines, I’ve probably played 20 games over the past three years so that’s been very frustrating for me personally. So to come out and be playing football when the team’s going well, I feel fortunate just to be a part of it.”

Welsh rugby league side decide not to compete in this year's competition

Hearing of news that a team will not be performing in a national competition due to varying factors is largely disappointing, and for Welsh side, the South Wales Hornets, they have made the decision to sit out playing this year.

With changes to both the team itself and rugby league in South Wales, it was unforeseen circumstances that brought about the decision to sit out this year, with Chairman Mark Harris confirming that they would not be in the competition.

“Unfortunately, there won’t be any Hornets this season,” he explained.

“Jane [Harris, club secretary] and I had already told Martyn before he emigrated that we wouldn’t be involved this year due to family commitments.

“We’ve kept it quiet to keep stability in the club last season and also I wanted to try and work with Wales Rugby League to try and recruit new staff.

“Before Christmas, they had someone who was potentially interested but they have now pulled out. WRL don’t have the resources to run the team themselves, so regrettably, we have to call it a day.”

With a relatively large local junior base involved with the club, the hope is that those players do not lose faith in rugby league, and are thus able to find clubs elsewhere in the region.

“Due to differing reasons, we gave over 50 players an opportunity to play rugby league in our first year,” Harris added.

“Many of those had played the sport before – either stepping up from a Conference club or from the Academy system – but there quite a few who were being introduced to rugby league by the Hornets.

“Hopefully they are not lost to the game, in the same way that the club isn’t. We have left the door ajar should a situation arise in which we could return in the near future.”

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