round up archive
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League - Top Dogs
Bulldogs have shown they are a true force this season.
Before the game against Brisbane, the Bulldogs were
on top of the NRL ladder. Their one point win, however,
has shown they deserve to be there. Round nine sees
the Bulldogs take on the Knights in Newcastle with
the home side coming off a win against the Rabbitohs.
All of Canterbury's key players should be on deck
for the match with no notable injury concerns following
the Brisbane game. Newcastle could be without prop
Josh Perry who has hurt his forearm while Andrew Price
has been placed on report for a high shot.
one of rugby league's favourite sons has announced
his retirement. Brad Fittler has confirmed he won't
play beyond the 2004 season following the Roosters
win over the Raiders. The Roosters could very well
send Freddie off with a final premiership, looking
like champions in the Canberra match. The 2002 premiers
take on the Wests Tigers next week.
All club games will be played on Saturday and Sunday
following the City-Country match on Friday night.
Union - Terrible Tahs
foes clash in a must-win game for the Waratahs. New
South Wales takes on Queensland at Ballymore in the
final match of the regular season - a game the Waratahs
must win if they have any hope of making the semi-finals
of the Super 12. The perennial chokers of the competition
have done it again with their loss to the Highlanders
and now have to beat the Reds (who are coming off
two wins in South Africa), probably with a bonus point
and also rely on a number of other results if they
are to scrape into the final four. New South Wales
could be without hooker Brendan Cannon who has undergone
plastic surgery after an alleged attack at a Sydney
nightclub. Meanwhile, Justin Harrison will have to
face the judiciary this week over an altercation with
Filipo Levi after the Otago game.
the Waratahs, the Brumbies are not only guaranteed
a semi-final but one at home. The ACT walloped the
Hurricanes in Canberra on the weekend and will now
travel to New Zealand for the Chiefs who are hanging
onto third place.
- Challenge for Chelsea
will have to produce something special if it is to
advance to the final of the Champions League. After
being hammered by Monaco 3-1 in the first leg of the
semi-finals, Chelsea will not only have to win the
return match on Wednesday at Stamford Bridge but by
the right margin should away goals come into the equation.
Chelsea could be without key winger Damien Duff who
has dislocated his shoulder again. Marcel Desailly
and Claude Makelele will also miss the game through
suspension but in some good news for Claudio Ranieri,
Glen Johnson and Carlo Cudicini have returned to training
and could be available for selection. Monaco also
has injury worries with Jerome Rothen and Dado Prso
suffering groin and foot problems respectively making
them highly unlikely to play.
Deportivo is at home to Porto in the other semi. The
two sides had a 0-0 draw in the first match and Deportivo
will be favoured to win on Tuesday. The Spanish side
won't, however, include Jorge Andrade who was red-carded
in the first match. In what would be a bonus for Porto,
striker Derlei could return after a five month layoff
with a knee injury.
- Collingwood Crashes
After making it to the grand final two years in a
row Collingwood is now at the bottom of the AFL ladder.
The weekend loss to Port Adelaide was the Pies fourth
in a row and has left them in last position after
six rounds. Collingwood has, admittedly, had some
serious team problems with the likes of Nathan Buckley
and Chris Tarrant missing the game and a number of
other players suffering injuries throughout. The side,
however, squandered a big lead in the second quarter
then lost the game by nearly 20 points after drawing
level in the fourth quarter. Collingwood takes on
Carlton at the MCG next Saturday in a must-win game
if the side is to have any hopes of semi-final footy
St Kilda remains on top of the ladder after a scintillating
yet controversial one point win over the Brisbane
Lions. The game was one of three decided by a point
last weekend. The Saints now meet fourth placed Fremantle
but could have to deal with two suspensions with Justin
Koschitzke and Lenny Hayes reported to the Tribunal
for tripping and striking respectively.
League - City-Country Goes to Gosford
South Wales Origin spots go on the line on Friday
when City takes on Country in Gosford. The Queensland
Origin squad has already been named but the Blues
side will be finalised following the City-Country
match. The players who took part in the Anzac Test
with New Zealand have been exempted from the game
with the assumption they will be in the team.
match is expected to be a close one although City
has traditionally dominated Country. There have been
slight changes to both sides since they were named
last weekend with a number of players withdrawing
through injury. Country prop Luke Davico will miss
the game with a rib problem and will be replaced by
Josh Perry while Nathan Blacklock comes in for the
injured Joel Monaghan. City has lost Mark Gasnier
after an MRI scan revealed a hamstring tear, giving
Ryan Cross a chance. The first Origin game between
New South Wales and Queensland will be on May 26.
League - Knights a Chance at Home
The Bulldogs are on a roll the Knights will be hoping
to stop on Sunday at Newcastle. The home side is a
chance of having captain Ben Kennedy in the team to
play Canterbury with the big second-rower almost over
a hamstring injury that has kept him out of action
for the past few weeks. Kurt Gidley and Daniel Abraham
are also likely to play, provided they get through
the City-Country match. The Bulldogs have six players
in that position (Braith Anasta, Willie Mason, Hazem
El Masri, Mark O'Meley, Luke Patten and Andrew Ryan)
but will go into the match as favourites given their
standing on top of the NRL ladder.
the Raiders are considered a real chance of victory
over a Brisbane side with the likes of Darren Lockyer,
Barry Berrigan, Shane Webcke and Petero Civoniceva
all on the sidelines. Both teams are coming off losses
- Canberra to the Roosters and Brisbane going down
to the Bulldogs.
other games, the Roosters take on Wests Tigers, the
Cowboys meet the Warriors, the Storm is at home to
the Sharks, Penrith hosts the Rabbitohs and the Sea
Eagles tackle the Dragons.
Union - When More Than a Win Is Needed
The Waratahs season goes on the line when they take
on the Reds in the last match before the semi-finals.
There's nothing more Queensland would love than to
end the Waratahs Super 12 season and a home win at
Ballymore on Saturday night will do just that. For
New South Wales, Brendan Cannon and Simon Kasprowicz
remain in doubt for the match but Justin Harrison
will play his part after being cleared by the judiciary
following an incident in last weekend's game. Anthony
Mathison returns to the Reds side.
The Waratahs need a bonus point win to go through
to the semis and have other results go their way.
If the Stormers beat the Sharks with a bonus point,
New South Wales is out. The Waratahs also have to
hope the Chiefs don't take a point from the game at
Waikato Stadium against the Brumbies who have already
secured a berth in the playoffs. The Chiefs are aiming
for their first semi final but will likely miss Byron
Kelleher, Keith Lowan and Keith Robinson for the game.
fixtures see Hurricanes take on the Crusaders, the
Blues meet the Highlanders and the Bulls play the
- Hawthorn Desperate For Victory
currently at $2.15, are in need of a win over favourites
Geelong at $1.70 if they are any chance of moving
from the doldrums of the AFL ladder. It's been a tough
week for the Hawks with five year old rape allegations
re-surfacing and players Danny Jacobs and Lance Picioane
fined over an incident which led to Jacobs losing
his licence for drink-driving. Hawthorn is also dealing
with being second-last on the ladder with 1 win from
six games as they take on Geelong in round seven.
a bad start themselves, the Cats have improved and
are now just outside the eight in tenth spot. Geelong
coach Mark Thompson says his side needs to start well
if it's to win. Geelong is likely to have Brent Maloney,
Peter Riccardi, Gary Ablett and Cameron Ling in the
side despite all harbouring injuries this week.
the Adelaide derby is on this weekend with Port taking
on the Crows. The two teams are at opposite ends of
the ladder with Port flying high in third place and
favourites at $1.30 and the Crows languishing in 14th
currently at $3.50.
other games the Western Bulldogs play Essendon, Carlton
meets Collingwood, Fremantle takes on St Kilda, the
Kangaroos tackle Brisbane, Sydney hosts Richmond and
Melbourne plays West Coast.
League - Sharks Taking It One Step at a Time
a weekend of upsets, the Roosters are back on top
of the NRL ladder. Newcastle beat the Bulldogs, the
Dragons went down to the Sea Eagles and the Sharks
are back on track with a win over the Storm in Melbourne.
nine rounds, Cronulla is now sitting in 12th spot
with four wins and five losses. The brilliance of
Brett Kimmorley proved the key in the latest victory
and the Sharks will be hoping he can reproduce that
brilliance next week against the Roosters. The 2002
premiers have leapfrogged the Bulldogs to take top
spot on the ladder after a comprehensive win over
the Wests Tigers and are searching for their fifth
victory in a row. The Roosters should have Chris Walker
back in the side after his one-match club ban for
after disposing of the Dogs at home the Knights travel
to Suncorp Stadium for the Broncos in Friday night
football. Newcastle had to beat Canterbury with a
number of players sidelined with injury and will be
in a similar situation against Brisbane. The Broncos
have also been depleted by injury with Brett Seymour
the latest to succumb, suffering a knee problem.
- Tough Week Ahead for Pies, Hawks
and Hawthorn appear to have lost the ability to win,
both slumping to six losses from seven games. The
Magpies have the dubious honour of owning last spot
on the AFL's ladder but the Hawks aren't too far above,
also having posted just the one win this season. Both
sides will have to put in a near-perfect performance
this weekend if they have any hope of beating St Kilda
and Fremantle respectively.
Hawthorn's problem appears to be bad form, Collingwood
is also suffering from injury. Magpie skipper Nathan
Buckley again broke down during the loss to Carlton,
joining the likes of Scott Burns, Josh Fraser and
Simon Prestigiacomo on the sidelines for the game.
Meantime, a club which seems to have recovered from
a poor start is Richmond. The win over Sydney has
handed the Tigers their second victory from as many
games with Matthew Richardson returning from a hamstring
injury in spectacular fashion. His seven goal effort
was the key for Richmond and Richardson could repeat
the effort next week against the Western Bulldogs
after pulling up well from Sunday's game.
Union - Brumbies Flying the Flag for Australia
It's semi-final time in the Super 12 with the Brumbies
again the only Australian team to make it past the
regular season. The Brumbies are well on track for
their second Super 12 title, finishing the regular
season as the minor premiers after a gutsy win over
the Chiefs in New Zealand. The side has recovered
from the mid-season news coach David Nucifora won't
be returning next year and a late loss to the Waratahs
to earn the right to host a semi-final, also against
the Chiefs. The Brumbies have no serious injury concerns
ahead of the game while the Chiefs will have Byron
Kelleher back in the side after he missed last weekend's
game through injury. The game will mark the Chiefs
first semi-final appearance.
Crusaders meet the Stormers in Christchurch in the
second semi. The Stormers will go into the match full
of confidence, despite being away from home, after
the bonus point victory over the Sharks which earned
them third spot on the ladder. The Crusaders are coming
off a shock loss to the Hurricanes but are used to
semi-finals football having won the Super 12 crown
four times already.
- Arsenal One Game Away From the Record Books
Arsenal is playing for history when it meets Leicester
in the last game of Premiership season. The Gunners
have won the title and are now just one game away
from going through the Premiership season undefeated.
If Arsenal either beats or draws with lowly Leicester
at home, it will be the first side since Preston North
End in 1888-1889 not to lose in a season.
Meantime, a spot in the Champions League is on the
line for Newcastle this week. Sir Bobby Robson's charges
have to beat Southampton on Wednesday and then Liverpool,
both away, if they're to have any chance of a berth
in Europe's top tier competition. Newcastle missed
five players including Jonathan Woodgate and Craig
Bellamy in the disappointing draw with Wolves and
all are expected to again be on the sidelines for
at least the Southampton game. In other matches this
week, Aston Villa hosts Manchester United, Blackburn
meets Birmingham, Bolton tackles Fulham, Charlton
plays Southampton, Chelsea takes on Leeds, Manchester
City is at home to Everton, Middlesbrough travels
to Portsmouth and Wolves plays Tottenham.
League - Bulldogs, Dragons Out for Revenge
The Bulldogs and the Dragons are both coming off shock
losses and will this weekend face off at WIN Stadium.
The home side will be boosted by the return of Trent
Barrett, Jason Ryles, Ben Hornby and Lance Thompson
but Luke Bailey has been lost for the season after
tearing his pectoral muscle. Canterbury's Matt Utai
won't be playing after being demoted to Premier League,
replaced by Ben Harris. The Dragons sit four points
and three places behind the Bulldogs on the NRL ladder
in fifth spot.
Meantime, Manly will be looking for two wins in a
row when it travels to New Zealand to take on the
Warriors. Both sides are holding down the last few
positions on the ladder. Chad Randall will miss the
game for Manly through injury so the new hooker will
be Nathan Hollingsworth. If the Rabbitohs beat the
Cowboys, the losing team at Ericsson Stadium will
take over last spot and possibly the favourites tag
for the wooden spoon.
other games, Brisbane is at home to Newcastle, the
Sharks play the Roosters, the Wests Tigers meet Canberra
and Parramatta tackles Melbourne.
- Carlton Looking For Two on the Trot
will need more than heart to beat the Lions at the
Gabba on Saturday. The Blues showed what they're made
of with the amazing come-from-behind win over Collingwood.
This weekend they're going to have to muster all the
skill they have to earn a second victory in a row
when they play the defending premiers. Yet again,
Carlton stalwart Anthony Koutoufides could miss the
game through injury but Michael Voss and Clark Keating
will be back for Brisbane. Strength in the mid-field
will be the key for Carlton if it wants to beat the
West Coast takes on Sydney without Kasey Green who
has been suspended for four weeks for kicking. There
are going to be positional changes to the Swans side
with Adam Goodes to mainly play in the ruck instead
of as a forward while Michael O'Loughlin has finally
recovering from a hamstring injury.
playing - Adelaide and Essendon, Richmond and the
Bulldogs, St Kilda and Collingwood, Hawthorn and Fremantle,
Geelong and Melbourne, Kangaroos and Port Adelaide.
Union - Brumbies Promising a Beating
The Brumbies are promising to put the Chiefs away
when the two sides play each other in Super 12 semi-final
action in Canberra. The match will be the second between
the two teams in as many weeks after the ACT side
narrowly beat the Chiefs in the last round of the
regular season to ensure the minor premiership. The
Brumbies, however, say things will be different this
week when they look to show the rugby world they're
worthy contenders for the Super 12 title. Mark Chisholm
is the only injury worry for the Brumbies coaching
staff with a final decision on his fitness to be made
later on in the week. The Chiefs will travel to Canberra
without Sione Lauaki but Byron Kelleher and Keith
Lowan are back in the side.
The other semi-final between the Crusaders and the
Stormers will be played in Christchurch. The former
will go into the match as favourites given their finals
pedigree while the South African Stormers are reportedly
suffering from jet lag. Injury is more the problem
for the Crusaders with Justin Marshall already ruled
out of the match and Chris Jack likely to join him.
- Australian in Zimbabwe
arrives in Zimbabwe this week for what's sure to be
a controversial cricket tour. The Australian side
will play two tests and three one-day internationals
in Zimbabwe but the make-up of their opposition is
anyone's guess. 15 of the country's white players
have been sacked after claiming selection is racially
based. There is only the slimmest of chances they'll
play after agreeing to mediation.
It's the latest controversy in a line of controversies
surrounding the tour. It started with Australian spinner
Stuart McGill withdrawing so he can maintain a clear
conscience. Darren Lehmann and Adam Gilchrist have
since both hinted they've had similar worries. Despite
the troubles Australian coach John Buchanan maintains
his team has no concerns, particularly about security.
Australian skipper Ricky Ponting seems to have also
dismissed the turmoil promising no matter who Australia
plays, the team will show no mercy. The tour marks
the return from injury to international cricket of
Glenn McGrath with the first test starting on May
22 in Harare.
League - Losing Streak to Continue for Dragons or
St George-Illawarra is taking on Parramatta in Friday
night football with both teams desperate to overcome
a losing streak. After some huge wins early in the
season the Dragons have now lost the last two games
while the Eels are facing a four game losing streak
should they go down to St George-Illawarra on Friday
night at home. Many are tipping Parramatta to be victorious,
however, with the Dragons missing a number of players
through injury and representative duties given the
first Origin match is less than a week away. 20 year
old Dean Young will skipper the side which will include
three first grade debutantes.
Manly will be looking to extend its winning streak
when it takes on Cronulla on Sunday at Brookvale Oval.
The Sea Eagles have won the last two matches while
the Sharks are coming off a loss to the Roosters.
Other games this weekend see the Bulldogs take on
the Wests Tigers, the Cowboys host the Panthers, Melbourne
meets Canberra and the Rabbitohs play the Warriors.
- Goodes, a Possible Boost for Sydney
Sydney's Adam Goodes is now a chance of playing in
this weekend's match against Hawthorn. Last year's
joint Brownlow medalist could be included in the Swans
side to take on the Hawks despite recently tearing
his posterior cruciate ligament in his knee. Goodes
will undergo a fitness test on Friday to determine
whether he'll suit up for Sydney on Sunday at the
SCG. Despite their lack of form in recent weeks and
Hawthorn's victory last weekend, the Swans will be
tipped to win and will need to if they want to get
back into the eight.
Brisbane will miss Jonathan Brown and Jamie Charman
for the match against Fremantle after both have received
two week suspensions from the Tribunal. The Lions
are also contending with a lengthy injury list which
includes players such as Alastair Lynch, Darryl White,
Justin Leppitsch and Craig McRae with the latter two
to undergo fitness tests before being cleared to play
matches see Collingwood play Adelaide, Melbourne tackles
the Kangaroos, Geelong takes on Essendon, Port Adelaide
meets Richmond, Carlton plays the Western Bulldogs
and St Kilda faces West Coast.
Union - Mortlock-less Brumbies Still Favourites
ground record at Canberra Stadium on Saturday night
will be under threat with a capacity crowd expected
to watch the Super 12 final between the Brumbies and
the Crusaders. Tickets to Saturday's match in Australia's
national capital have been snapped up within hours
of going on sale with extra seating to be brought
in for the game. The home ground advantage will help
the Brumbies but on the field they'll have to win
without injured skipper Stirling Mortlock. Mortlock
will likely be replaced by Joel Wilson but that is
expected to be the only change to the side which beat
the Chiefs in the semi-finals. George Gregan has been
suffering from a cold but will be expected to play.
Crusaders have no injury concerns with Chris Jack,
Justin Marshall and Richie McCaw now all fit. If the
Brumbies are to win, strength in the forward pack
will be crucial given their formidable opponents.
The ACT side will, however, still go into the match
as favourites. The game will mark the final Super
12 outing for veteran Joe Roff who is retiring at
the end of the season and for sacked Brumbies coach
Soccer - Keane back for Man U Manchester
has one last shot at winning some silverware this
season, taking on Millwall in the FA Cup Final. Man
U are the raging favourites to win the FA Cup against
first division side Millwall and the side will be
further strengthened with the likely inclusion of
skipper Roy Keane. Keane hasn't played since late
April after suffering a hamstring injury but Man U
manager Sir Alex Ferguson says the 32 year old has
trained this week without a problem. If Keane does
indeed take to the field he will be the only player
since the Second World War to play in six finals.
Despite being the underdogs, Millwall's assistant
manager Ray Wilkins is confident his team can produce
an upset and beat the Red Devils in what would be
one of the biggest ever shocks in English soccer.
Wilkins says Millwall has to make the most of any
opportunities presented to the side and if it does
that, Millwall will be in with a chance. The FA Cup
final will feature an Australian with Tim Cahill playing
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