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NRL trials last weekend

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Kiwi Eagle, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. Kiwi Eagle

    Kiwi Eagle Moderator Staff Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

    +2,424 / 31
    Thought I would chuck a few reports up

    Eels, Dragons confident despite problems

    By Steve Jancetic AAP Sun, 21 Feb 2010 20:09:21
    Their playing stocks may have taken a battering but NRL premiership heavyweights St George Illawarra and Parramatta claim their confidence levels remain healthy despite indifferent trial performances over the weekend.

    Both clubs were left sweating on the results of scans with Eels backrower Ben Smith suffering a suspected fractured cheekbone in his side's 32-12 loss to Penrith on Saturday night.

    The prognosis appears more dire for new Dragons recruit Peni Tagive, whose shocking run with injuries continued as he suffered a suspected torn cruciate ligament in the 16-14 win over Canterbury at WIN Stadium.

    Injuries have limited Tagive to just eight first grade appearances since 2008, including just two games last year when his season was cut short by a shoulder reconstruction.

    The Dragons are adamant their attack won't need a similar overhaul despite Wayne Bennett's first-choice line-up failing to score a point against the Bulldogs.

    The red and whites had all the ball during the opening 40 minutes, but the likes of Jamie Soward, Ben Hornby and Test winger Brett Morris were unable to engineer any action on the scoreboard.

    Instead it was left to 2009 Toyota Cup player of the year Beau Henry and halves partner Kyle Stanley - the younger brother of Melbourne centre Chase Stanley - to get the Dragons back into the game after they were down 14-4 midway through the second period.

    Despite the scoreless first half, Soward said the Dragons attack was better placed than at the same stage last year.

    "The first three rounds last year everyone was writing about our attack saying it wasn't going anywhere and you saw (against the Bulldogs) we created opportunities," Soward said.

    "Last year we were probably a little bit off the pace and more worried about our defence and the attack took a while to get going.

    "We showed some good signs ... in the end it is a trial, we don't want to show all our plays, we want to keep some in the bag for when we play the real stuff.

    "Hopefully we get that fine-tuned for round one."

    Premiership favourites the Eels were expected to do it easy against a Panthers side missing Test quartet Petero Civoniceva, Luke Lewis, Michael Jennings and Trent Waterhouse, as well as energetic fullback Jarrod Sammut.

    While their cause wasn't helped by injuries to Smith, Daniel Mortimer (head gash) and Dally M player of the year Jarryd Hayne (sternum), the Eels failed to match the Panthers for enthusiasm, though coach Daniel Anderson said his side remained on track for the season proper.

    "You want them to trial to get a bit of fluency," Anderson said.

    "We've got some new players at the club, we need to find a dynamic that suits us.

    "As a club, we're probably mentally preparing for March 12 (the season opener), rather than tonight."

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Prince leads Titans to win over Souths

    AAP Sat, 20 Feb 2010 22:20:43
    Gold Coast coach John Cartwright rated Scott Prince's combination with new five-eighth Greg Bird as the most pleasing aspect of his side's 28-22 NRL trial win over Souths at Coffs Harbour on Saturday night.

    A week after playing for the Indigenous All Stars team, Prince showed the benefit of such a high standard hit-out early in the season by creating two tries with deftly weighted kicks to the left side before scoring on his own in the second half.

    "I thought Bird grew as the game went on and Prince pulled the strings like he usually does," Cartwright said.

    "That was probably the most pleasing aspect of the night the way those two worked with each other."

    "I think when the games open up even more they'll be even more dangerous."

    Souths coach John Lang opted for a second string forward pack, with Roy Asotasi, Michael Crocker, Dave Taylor and Sam Burgess all absent.

    But the Rabbitohs forwards still more than held their own against an experienced Titans line-up.

    Scores were level after 60 minutes before the Gold Coast scored two late tries in the space five minutes to give themselves enough breathing space over their plucky opponent.

    New Souths coach John Lang admitted that he was impressed with the way the club's lesser lights handled themselves while making the step up to the top level.

    "We had some young guys come on like John Kaifoto and he was coming off the bench for the Bears last year and quite a few of them made their debut at this level tonight and I thought it was a good step in the right direction," Lang said.

    The crowd of 5,500 was brought to life by a Luke Capewell double but it was the controlling influence that Prince had over the Titans outfit that proved the difference between the two teams.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Warriors win another:

    The Warriors continued their good pre-season form to notch a 28-6 win over the North Queensland Cowboys in Cairns on Saturday night.

    The Warriors will now take back-to-back successes into their final trial against Manly Sea Eagles at Mt Smart on Saturday after the recent win.

    The performance followed last Saturday's 26-8 victory over the Sydney Roosters in Rotorua.

    The Warriors fielded a more experienced side against the Cowboys than the previous week but were still without key players in captain Simon Mannering, Steve Price, Brent Tate, Manu Vatuvei, Wade McKinnon and Ian Henderson.

    North Queensland fielded a strong side with new recruit Willie Mason getting a run although had to make-do without play-maker Johnathon Thurston.

    The Warriors looked comfortable in the less than satisfactory playing conditions and opened their scoring in the 20th minute through hooker Aaron Heremaia.

    The Cowboys had drawn it up six-all by halftime however but didn't have an answer to the visiting side in the second half.

    The first try in the second spell came after 10 minutes when Lance Hohaia, who played the whole match at fullback, speared through on a short side play.

    Fifteen minutes later North Queensland failed to cover a James Maloney kick to the right, allowing it to bounce and watching helplessly as Patrick Ah Van swooped to seize the opportunity and race 20 metres for a try under the bar. Heremaia's conversion took his side to an 18-6 lead.

    With five minutes to go, the Warriors converted a worrying defensive situation into the try of the night when second rower Ben Matulino intercepted on his line and managed to get into the other half before Hohaia executed a clever kick and re-gathered to score.

    One more try to Warriors youngster Bill Tupou put the nail in the coffin for the Cowboy's as the New Zealand side made amends for its 10-26 trial match against the same side in 2008.

    New Zealand Warriors 28 (Hohaia 2, Heremaia, Ah Van, Tupou tries; Seymour con; Locke con; Heremaia con; Johnson con)

    North Queensland Cowboys 6 (Geia try; Williams con)

    HT: 6-6
  2. Kiwi Eagle

    Kiwi Eagle Moderator Staff Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

    +2,424 / 31
    Rookie shines as Broncos beat Raiders

    By Wayne Heming AAP Sun, 21 Feb 2010 06:20:53
    Sweet-stepping teenager Corey Norman upped the ante in the battle for Karmichael Hunt's vacant fullback spot with an eye-catching trial performance for Brisbane against Canberra at Ballymore on Saturday night.

    Brisbane coach Ivan Henjak used the trial to experiment with his fullback options which included playing representative Israel Folau at custodian in the second half of the impressive 32-24 win.

    Folau scored three tries, including one from fullback.

    But Henjak would have had to have been impressed by the confidence and flair of 18 year-old Norman.

    The rookie featured in two of Brisbane's early tries before scoring one himself in the second half when playing at five-eighth.

    Norman served up a neat pass in the lead up to Folau's opening try in the third minute before displaying some dazzling footwork as he beat three Canberra defenders before producing a flick pass for the first of utility Ben Te'o's two tries.

    Norman, Brisbane's back of the year in the Under 20 side last season, is pushing for the No.1 jumper along with Josh Hoffman, currently sidelined with an ankle injury, utility back Denan Kemp and another youngster Gerard Beale, who are all still in the mix.

    After finding themselves 4-0 down early in the trial, the Raiders big men, led by Dane Tilse and Scott Logan began to get over the top of Brisbane.

    Joel Monaghan scored in the right corner in the ninth minute before Terry Campese put the Green Machine in the lead 12-4 two minutes later by breaking San Thaiday's tackle close to the line.

    Te'o's brace of tries in the 24th and 32nd minute however gave Brisbane a 16-12 lead at half time.

    Raiders five-eighth Terry Campese revived memories of his famous uncle, Wallaby great David Campese, with two tries and four goals for 16 points to keep the visitors in the contest.

    Brisbane's best were hooker Andrew McCullough who got through a ton of defence, Corey Parker, Folau, young Norman and Sam Thaiday.

    For Canberra, Alan Tongue got through his usual heavy workload, while Campese was creative at times and Dane Tilse strong up the middle.

    Henjak was happy with the effort of his side given they took the field without their starting halves Peter Wallace and Darren Lockyer and No.1 prop Nick Kenny.

    "We've got a lot of work to do in regards to discipline and ball control but I thought the effort was really good," said Henjak.

    While Henjak said young Norman hadn't done his cause any harm, he said Josh Hoffman was likely to get another go next weekend against Redcliffe.

    "He's got some talent. He's light on his feet," offered Henjak.

    "We're not going to get too carried away with him but he's got some class."

    "He's still got to prove it under real pressure and it was only a trial game."

    Norman comes from the same Gold Coast high school, Keebra Park, as Benji Marshall.

    "Izzy (Folau) went pretty good at fullback too," said Henjak "but it's not settled yet".
  3. Kiwi Eagle

    Kiwi Eagle Moderator Staff Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

    +2,424 / 31
    Roosters win fourth Foundation Cup

    Sunday, 21 February 2010
    Sydney Roosters beat the Wests Tigers 28-10 to claim their fourth consecutive Foundation Cup trophy at the Sydney Football Stadium tonight.

    An inspired Roosters outfit including Todd Carney took the game in front of a crowd of 10,281.

    The Roosters opened the scoring in the seventh minute when full-back Todd Carney converted a penalty goal from 22 metres out in front for a 2-0 lead.

    A towering crossfield bomb on the last tackle by half-back Mitchell Pearce saw winger Sam Perrett outleap Wests Tigers winger Mitch Brown to knock the ball back into the arms of centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall to score. Carney converted the try from out wide for an 8-0 lead after 13 minutes.

    Wests Tigers opened their account in the 23rd minute when the ball was spread right through Marshall and centre Chris Lawrence who sent unmarked winger Mitch Brown over in the corner for his first try for his new club after joining from Cronulla.

    Marshall converted the try from the sideline for an 8-6 scoreline.

    The Roosters were awarded a penalty five metres out from the Wests Tigers tryline after the referee ruled Liam Fulton had taken out Pearce late in a clearing kick.

    This opportunity led to nothing after Nate Myles was penalised for pushing and throwing a punch at Alan Schirnack 20 metres out.
    The Roosters were given a scrum feed 10 metres out in the 34th minute after a pass by winger Beau Ryan from a clearing kick to full-back Tim Moltzen saw the number one drop the ball.

    The mistake was a costly one with Pearce offloading to second-rower Anthony Cherrington to push through Jason Cayless and Matt Hyland and Moltzen to score. Carney converted from next to the posts for a 14-6 lead after 37 minutes.
    The Roosters went to an 18-6 lead when Pearce put Carney through a small gap to score next to the posts. Carney converted the try for a 20-6 lead after 47 minutes.

    Sydney Roosters extended their lead when Carney made a break before flicking the ball back to his team-mates. The ball seemed to sit their for an eternity before Pearce picked it up, ran 20 metres before offloading a pass out wide for winger Sam Perrett to score. Carney converted the try for a 26-6 lead.

    Wests Tigers got back to 26-10 when a pass from Lui drew in two defenders for Lawrence to score in the corner. Marshall failed to convert the try from the sideline in the 56th minute.

    Some poor handling and an ordinary kicking game has let Wests Tigers down throughout the match against a Roosters side growing in confidence.

    Wests Tigers prop Jason Cayless was placed on report by referee Gerard Sutton in the 63rd minute for a late hit on Carney after he kicked the ball. Carney converted the penalty attempt from 18 metres out to stretch the Roosters lead to 28-10.
    Young guns Cheyse Blair, Brad Takairangi, Olireti Samuelu and Isaac Maliota all had some game time in the second half.
  4. Kiwi Eagle

    Kiwi Eagle Moderator Staff Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

    +2,424 / 31
    Storm 34 Harlequins 10 @ The Stoop, Twickenham UK
    Avoiding heavy legs will be the priority for Melbourne's rugby league stars after they warmed up for the World Club Challenge with an easy victory on a sodden Harlequins field.
    Craig Bellamy used 19 of his 23-man squad on the way to a 34-10 win on Monday (AEDT) in front of 3612 people at The Stoop, which had been hit by rain and chopped up by a rugby union match the previous day.
    "The ground was very heavy," Bellamy told reporters.
    "We got here on Tuesday and then playing again next week I was a little bit concerned about how heavy-legged we're going to be but we were pretty strict on the different times for the players so hopefully that will work out ok."
    Greg Inglis returned from the hip injury that kept him out of the recent All Stars game and made it through his 40-minute spell unscathed to secure a WCC berth against Leeds on February 28.
    But it was fellow centre Dane Nielsen with two tries who led the charge alongside youngsters Kevin Proctor and Gareth Widdop.
    Bellamy will also have the benefit of calling upon the fresh legs of All Stars Cameron Smith, Adam Blair and Billy Slater, who is recovering well from an ankle injury that kept him out of the NRL-Indigenous representative match.
    Bellamy also hopes to regain the services of prop Jeff Lima, who recovered from a hamstring strain in time to face Harlequins but had to sit out after suffering a badly bruised foot when he was trodden on during training the day before the match.
    Anthony Quinn, Hep Cahill and Rory Kostjasyn joined Nielsen and Proctor as try scorers, while Widdop had a near-flawless game with the boot, kicking 10 points.
    Playing in place of Australian fullback Slater, the English-born Widdop, who moved to Australia as a teenager, missed just one of six conversion attempts.
    The 20-year-old showed his versatility by switching to five-eighth after halftime to press his claims for a place on the bench against the Rhinos.
    "A bit of our concern when you compare us to Leeds is the lack of matches we've had compared to them, so it would have been ideal to play a really strong side today but we can't wave a magic wand over injured players and make them play," Bellamy said.
    "Harlequins put out the best team they had, or the team they wanted to play, and we can only go from that. I'm only concerned on what we did today and I thought we did it pretty well."
    All Star Brett Finch was highly effective in the 20 minutes he played, setting up the first two tries.
    "With the heavy conditions it certainly slows the game down, brings it back to old-bloke speed like myself, which is good," Finch joked.
    "With a seven-day turn around the boys might pull up a bit heavy, a bit tired, a bit fatigued, but it should be fine by next week."

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