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> Results from trial games

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Berkeley_Eagle, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    > Results from trial games


    Rabbitohs' 24-20 Charity Shield win
    By Todd Balym

    Craig Wing delivered the perfect homecoming present for South Sydney, scoring the match-winning try in the Rabbitohs' 24-20 Charity Shield win over St George Illawarra at ANZ Stadium.

    Playing his first game at home since returning to Souths in the off season, Wing came up with the winning play when it mattered most as the Rabbitohs stole victory from the gallant Dragons in front of 25,127 fans.

    Trailing 20-18 with five minutes to go, Wing attacked the line, stepped through and then twisted out of a Brett Morris tackle to ground the ball in the 75th minute for a 22-20 lead.

    "I think I was a little bit lucky ... it just opened up for me," said Wing of his effort which sparked a bigger than usual celebration.

    "It was a lot of relief (to score). There is a real good team spirit here, a lot of unity."

    Wing was loudly cheered all night, but the former Souths junior has urged supporters not to consider him the "saviour", adding his biggest impact will be the experience and maturity he can bring in those clutch games.

    "Some other guys put on brilliant plays that had absolutely nothing to do with me," he reasoned.

    "My best contribution out there was just try to settle everyone down a little bit.

    "To stop them from talking (behind the tryline), have a breather and just think about the game plan and get back on track."

    In a see-sawing battle, Mark Gasnier scored a second half double to help lift the Dragons back into the contest.

    He scored in the 45th and 57th minutes to turn a 12-6 halftime deficit into a 14-12 lead.

    Souths fullback Fetuli Talanoa regained an 18-14 lead when he sprinted 25m to complete a superb break by halfback Eddie Paea with just under 20 minutes remaining.

    But a blindside dart by Michael Lett led to the Dragons regaining a buffer, Jamie Soward sprinting 40m to complete the play to score his second of the night as Ben Hornby converted from the sideline for a 20-18 lead with 15 minutes to play.

    Souths led 12-6 at the main break after five-eighth Ben Rogers set up his side's two opening tries to Germaine Paulson and Yileen Gordon, while Soward won a foot-race with Nigel Vagana to score the Dragons first-half four-pointer.

    While disappointed with the loss, Dragons coach Nathan Brown rated his side's 2008 performance better than their 16-14 win last year in which they lost Gasnier for most of the season with a pectoral injury.

    "We did not win the game but I thought we played a lot better this year than last year when we won the game and we got through will all our players in tact," said Brown.

    "We showed enough signs to say we can start the year well."

    Dragons prop Ricky Thorby looks set to miss the opening round, put on report for a dangerous lifting tackle on Souths centre Yileen Gordon in the 28th minute.
    Sat, 01 Mar 2008 23:18:48


    Broncos sneak 24-22 against Redcliffe
    By Wayne Heming

    Coach Wayne Bennett played down Brisbane's 24-22 escape act against a spirited Redcliffe in their NRL trial at Dolphin Oval.

    Bennett said Brisbane's backline would look a lot better with the return of internationals Darren Lockyer and Justin Hodges and the inclusion of new halfback Peter Wallace, who all sat out.

    Two Joel Moon tries saved Brisbane from what would have been an embarrassing loss on the back of last week's loss to Canberra.

    Lockyer's leadership and brilliance will make a big difference as will Hodges's try scoring ability, but on the Broncos' showing, they're still struggling with combinations that could take some time to click.

    "We were better this week than last week," said Bennett who was not too disappointed after Redcliffe ambushed Brisbane with three quick first half tries to jump to a shock 16-0 lead.

    "Defensively we were a lot better. We didn't look too good defensively in the first 15 minutes, but after that we settled down and we're a lot closer to where we want to be defensively.

    "Our attack ... we had Wallace and Lockyer missing and Michael Ennis (quad strain) didn't play and either did Hodgo, they're your key players."

    Bennett said Redcliffe turned up looking to make a name for themselves because of the fantastic opportunity to show what they could do at the top level.

    "They were always going to play well. It's why they got off to such a great start, they came out and blitzed us.

    "We were playing a trial match and they were playing one of their biggest games of the season."

    The second of Moon's tries put Brisbane ahead 20-16 for the first time in the game after 57 minutes.

    A female fan celebrated the try with a naked streak across the ground that had security guards racing onto the field to the delight of the 8,000 fans who packed into the ground hoping to see an upset.

    Redcliffe looked sharper with the football early with their first try coming in the eighth minute to late inclusion Craig Frawley, who scored without a hand being laid on him.

    Four minutes later Derrick Watkins scrambled over after a clever grubber kick by hooker Mick Roberts to extend their lead to 10-0.

    Their third try came after a 60 metre burst led to impressive forward Troy Lindsay pulling down a shoulder-high pass from Roberts for a 16-0 lead.

    Second-rower Sam Thaiday finally put Brisbane on the scoreboard with a bustling try in the 20th minute after Redcliffe produced some desperate right side defence to stop centre Steve Michaels from crossing.

    Brisbane posted the best try of the half in the 31st minute after Moon finished off some good lead up work by fleet-footed winger Reece Robinson and fullback Darius Boyd.

    Broncos centre Gerard Beale was awarded a try just before half time to cut Redcliffe's lead to 16-14.

    Youngster Reece Robinson turned in another eye catching trial and could be a chance to grab a wing spot for the NRL season opener against the Panthers.
    Sat, 01 Mar 2008 20:06:48


    Titans hammer Wests 32-4

    By Laine Clark

    The christening ceremony went smoothly for the NRL's two-year-old the Gold Coast Titans - but it was more like a baptism of fire for the Wests Tigers.

    The Titans began life at their new home - the $160 million Skilled Park at Robina - with an impressive 32-4 win over a hapless Wests Tigers in their NRL pre-season trial.

    The Gold Coast welcomed almost 15,000 fans into their brand spanking new abode after abandoning the ill-equipped Carrara Stadium.

    But they proved far from gracious hosts, running in six tries to one to claim the inaugural Larry Corowa Shield, named after the former Test winger.

    Coach John Cartwright now faces a welcome selection headache before their season opening clash against the Cowboys at the same venue later this month after using a near full-strength squad.

    But it will be back to the drawing board for Tigers coach Tim Sheens after his team's lacklustre effort despite using a big name squad missing just Ryan O'Hara (jaw).

    After the Gold Coast took a 12-0 halftime lead, the 14,386-strong crowd found their full voice after Titans stand-in fullback Brenton Bowen crashed down the left sideline in the 46th minute to blow the scoreline out to 16-0.

    But the Tigers finally bared their claws in the 51st when a Benji Marshall run set up centre Chris Lawrence down the left flank.

    However, that only seemed to motivate the Titans who ran in another three tries to blow out the scoreline.

    Several positions were up for grabs at the Titans with just backrower Anthony Laffranchi (knee) and Preston Campbell (quad) left out the squad.

    But Cartwright seems to have already solved his five-eighth dilemma.

    Fresh from his success in last weekend's trial win over the Cowboys, dual international Mat Rogers again combined well with halfback Scott Prince to set up the Gold Coast's 12-0 halftime lead.

    Cartwright would have been forgiven for having some early nervous moments after Tigers centre Dene Halatau opened up the Titans defence in the opening minute and the visitors trapping Bowen in-goal in the second.

    But Tigers prop Keith Galloway knocking on from the ensuing goal-line drop out and throwing the ball away in disgust seemed to sum up their match.

    The Titans made the Tigers pay with a Rogers bust setting up backrower Mark Minichiello's try in the 12th minute.

    The Gold Coast piled on the pressure but had little to show for it after three disallowed tries in seven minutes.

    Winger Jordan Atkins (20th minute) and co-captain Luke Bailey (24th) were held up before winger Ben Jeffery (27th) was denied due to a forward pass.

    But there was no stopping Prince in the 36th minute when the former international put on a wonderful step and offloaded for forward Aaron Cannings to crash over near the posts.

    Cartwright said the Titans had already proved in their trial form that they had improved from last year's debut season when they finished one win outside the top eight.

    "The last couple of weeks have probably been a little bit too good for trial form. You don't want to waste playing like that at a trial - but it's a great sign for us," he said.

    "The best thing is the amount of players that we have used at various stages during the trials and no one has let themselves down - they have all given themselves the best shot to play in that opening game.

    "It creates a headache but it's a good headache."

    Meanwhile, Sheens was more disheartened by "injury concerns" that came out of the game - but refused to name them.

    "We have a couple of issues with injury tonight. I don't know if they will be ready in two weeks - but I would rather not say (who is injured)," he said.

    "I've got two weeks (before season's kickoff). I will not be name dropping or telling anyone any more than I need to tell them."

    Thankfully for Tigers fans, Marshall was not one of them.

    "There were some things I wasn't happy with (Marshall's game) but at the end of the day he got through," Sheens said.

    In the NRL opening round, the Titans host North Queensland on March 14 while Wests Tigers take on traditional rivals St George Illawarra at the SCG two days later.
    Sat, 01 Mar 2008 23:14:01


    Cowboys too strong for Raiders 32-20

    Luke O'Donnell completed his recovery from a horrific hamstring injury, claiming a hat-trick in North Queensland's 32-20 NRL trial match victory over Canberra.

    Carl Webb also starred for the northerners with a powerhouse display while Travis Burns had a strong showing in the No.7 jersey.

    Canberra struggled to deal with the humid conditions but looked dangerous when spreading the ball wide to Adrian Purtell while Todd Carney had a strong return from a quad injury.

    The Cowboys burst out of the blocks when O'Donnell crashed over and the lock forward was over again in the 13th minute after finding Canberra's left-side defence wanting.

    Canberra hit back when Colin Best pounced on a loose ball after an Aaron Payne pass went to ground but O'Donnell claimed his third for a six-point lead.

    Canberra crossed again before the break with William Zillman sprinting 70 metres but Webb capped off a commanding first half with a try to ensure an eight-point lead at the break.

    The early stages of the second half turned into a dour affair with both sides struggling to control the ball in the muggy conditions before Matt Bowen collected his own bomb to score.

    After some continued pressure on the Canberra line, Steve Southern crashed over to make it a 20-point lead.
    Sat, 01 Mar 2008 22:54:20


    Knights steal 26-24 win against Cronulla


    Newcastle have scored a dramatic 26-24 NRL trial win over the Cronulla Sharks at Cessnock Sports Ground.

    The Knights overcame a 20-point second-half deficit to grab the win - albeit against the Sharks' second string line-up - in a penalty-laden and sometimes scrappy affair.

    Trailling 24-4 four minutes into the second half, Newcastle rattled four unanswered tries, including a double to rookie Junior Sau, who scored the match winner in the 73rd minute.

    But Cronulla nearly snatched victory after the siren when lower grader Grant Millington forced a grubber kick, only for the backrower to be ruled offside by referee Shayne Hayne.

    Sharks coach Ricky Stuart replaced most of his first-team regulars at the break with an inexperienced line-up after his side had put together an impressive performance to lead 18-4 at halftime.

    Returning Cronulla captain Paul Gallen, who missed the Sharks' first trial through injury, played the majority of the first stanza and was replaced uninjured.

    Cronulla recovered from their 44-point drubbing at the hands of Souths last weekend with a more resolute defensive performance, holding the Knights to a solitary try to Kurt Gidley in the first half.

    It was an error-prone Newcastle who looked defensively suspect on occasions, giving up a number of soft tries in a flat first-half performance before knuckling down late.

    Playing without regular first graders Greg Bird (hamstring), Luke Covell (elbow) and fullback Brett Kearney (hip), it took the Sharks just three minutes to cross the Knights line through Misi Talaupapa.

    Newcastle hit back through Gidley in the 22nd minute but the Sharks scored three tries in 10 minutes through Brett Seymour, David Simmons and Brett Kimmorley.

    After Stuart's halftime substitutions and an early second-half try to the Sharks' Reece Williams, a Jarrod Mullen-inspired Newcastle charged home.

    Mullen crossed in the 56th minute and then laid on four-pointers for Sau and Gidley to make it 24-22 before Sau's match-winner with seven minutes remaining.
    Sat, 01 Mar 2008 22:30:41

  2. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Re: > Results from trial games

    Eels crush Roosters 34 - 18

    Burt fires to help Eels crush Roosters

    Parramatta fullback Luke Burt has shone in his first game back from a knee reconstruction in the Eels' 34-18 NRL trial victory over the Sydney Roosters at Bluetongue Stadium.

    Both sides were missing about a third of their best line-ups and the Eels were the much slicker unit, their outside backs outclassing the Roosters in the six-tries-to-three win.

    Burt started the match with a 40-20 kick in the opening minute of the clash and barely put a foot wrong, scoring a try and landing five from six with the boot.

    Jarryd Hayne set up the first try for Parramatta in the fifth minute.

    He showed a liking for the centres by punching a hole through the Roosters' defence and scooting for 40m before offloading 5m out to winger Eric Grothe who touched down.

    Hayne proved elusive again in the 22nd minute with a slick combination with Grothe securing Parramatta's second touchdown of the game, but Burt missed the conversion this time.

    Hayne's strong performance showed enough to suggest he will be able to fill the void left by the explosive Timana Tahu's crossing of codes to the NSW Waratahs in the off-season.

    Just before halftime, the Eels were at it again with a slick 50m movement that started with Mark Riddell finding Feleti Mateo and ended with Josh Cordoba crossing near the posts.

    The Roosters finally put a neat attacking raid together just before halftime with Amos Roberts finishing off and skipper Craig Fitzgibbon converting to cut the Eels' lead to 16-6 at halftime.

    The Eels continued to be the much cleaner side with the ball, backrower Weller Hauraki juggling the ball before slipping through the Roosters' defence close to the line eight minutes after the break.

    Parramatta tried to put their foot down in the 62nd minute with back-up hooker Matt Keating setting up Burt to cross under the sticks.

    But the Roosters scored two tries in four minutes with Anthony Minichiello and Roberts crossing.

    Mark Riddell ended the Roosters' resurgence by barging his way over the line with six minutes to go to wrap up the match.

    The Roosters open their NRL season Friday week against Souths at ANZ Stadium while the Eels play the Bulldogs the following evening at the same venue.
    Sat, 01 Mar 2008 21:30:52


    Leeds down Storm 11 - 4 in World Club Challenge

    Strong kicking in trying conditions by captain Kevin Sinfield ensured Leeds Rhinos were crowned World Club Challenge champions after a hard-fought 11-4 win over NRL premiers Melbourne Storm at Elland Road on Friday night.

    In bitter cold, heavy rain and strong, blustery winds - typified by the Melbourne kick-off which sailed into the stands - Leeds edged out the Storm in a match which failed to reach any great heights.

    Leeds coach Brian McClennan said the whole club was "ecstatic".

    "It was such a tough challenge and sometimes it's those tough challenges, when you've got to dig real deep, the rewards feel even better," he said.

    The Leeds victory was the fifth in a row by an English club and the seventh from nine since the challenge matches began.

    The straight-talking New Zealander was also full of praise for Sinfield, not least for a crucial break out of dummy half towards the end of the game.

    "That was a critical time when we really needed to get some yards and our skipper put his hand up and showed the way," McClennan said.

    "I just want to acknowledge what a fantastic skipper Kevin Sinfield is for the Leeds Rhinos."

    Sinfield got Leeds on the board first with a penalty goal after 11 minutes but Melbourne soon struck back.

    A slick pass from Storm skipper Cooper Cronk found second rower Ryan Hoffman, who dummied towards Anthony Quinn before powering over for a try to put his side up 4-2.

    The Storm, who had 11 of their grand final squad in their starting line-up but were crucially missing captain and goalkicker Cameron Smith - voted the world's best player last year - then enjoyed a 20-minute period of supremacy.

    But there was no result on the scoreboard and when Rhinos winger Scott Donald received an inch-perfect pass from diminutive Kiwi fullback Brent Webb to score just before the break, the home side stepped up a gear.

    Sinfield converted in the dying moments of the half to send the home team to the break with an 8-4 advantage.

    The second half started in a heated fashion with a minor melee but neither side could make any in-roads until Jeff Lima was penalised for a late tackle on Leeds scrum-half Rob Burrow and Sinfield kicked another penalty goal to increase the margin to 10-4.

    Sinfield struck again via a drop goal with less than 12 minutes left on the clock, affording the home team a vital seven-point buffer.

    The Storm's last chance came with about three minutes remaining when Will Chambers passed to Quinn in the left corner, but the winger put his foot into touch as he ran over.

    Storm coach Craig Bellamy could not fault his defence, but acknowledged that the Melbourne attack struggled.

    That said, he was pleased with his team's showing.

    "I was really proud of their effort," Bellamy said.

    "We prepared really well last week and I thought we performed well tonight.

    "Certainly our attitude and our defence was tremendous."
    Sat, 01 Mar 2008 11:11:02


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