BULLDOGS LOOK TO LURE PARRAMATTA NRL STAR DANIEL MORTIMER
|Wanted man...young Eels star Daniel Mortimer. Daniel Mortimer (R) with Jason Baiteri (L) hams it up for the ourfootyteam camera - Toyota Cup Induction Camp day 2 Picture: ourfootymedia
PARRAMATTA might have won their epic preliminary final battle in September but the Bulldogs are now scheming to win the war for the signatures of Daniel Mortimer and Feleti Mateo.
The Bulldogs see young Mortimer as the natural heir to veteran Brett Kimmorley's No. 7 jersey - and not just because his surname is synonymous with the Belmore club.
While the 19-year-old's rookie season was brilliant, Bulldogs CEO Todd Greenberg is perhaps more enamoured with Mortimer's maturity and class - qualities Canterbury now demand from new recruits.
Greenberg has held several rounds of talks with the Mortimer camp since the Grand Final, and father Peter is again warming to his old club after becoming disillusioned a few years back when the Bulldogs were a disciplinary rabble.
As for Mateo - also off contract at the end of this year - Greenberg has enlisted a secret weapon in the form of assistant coach Jim Dymock. Mateo has great respect for Dymock from their 2008 World Cup campaign for Tonga, when the former Eels and Bulldogs star coached the team.
Mateo couldn't crack Parramatta's starting side during the finals, but there would be no such problem at Canterbury, where the ball-playing utility would call more of the shots.
Parramatta CEO Paul Osborne is aware of the raid and guaranteed Eels fans a rearguard action had begun. "We know what the Bulldogs are up to - and we want to keep both of them," Osborne said. "Ideally, we'd like to do it before the season starts so it's not a distraction."
Greenberg went to extraordinary lengths to meet the families of 2009 recruits Michael Ennis and Ben Hannant before they signed.
BRUCE WALLACE AWARDED LIFE MEMBERSHIP
LIFE MEMBERSHIP CITATION - BRUCE WALLACE
Bruce Wallace’s contribution to the Australian Schools Rugby League and Schools Rugby League in general is approaching unparalleled.
Bruce’s passion and involvement in Schools Rugby League commenced in the mid 1970’s as a teacher in the inner metropolitan area of Sydney where his abilities as a coach and an administrator were quickly noted by those involved.
He assumed the roles of Zone and Regional coach as well as the Regional convener’s role.
In the early 80’s Bruce gained the respect and confidence of the Sub Committee, quickly earning the position of manager of the NSWCHS 15 Years team.
His desire to coach was realised soon after and Bruce then went on to coach NSWCHS 15 Years and Opens to remarkable success at ASSRL Championships.
Having achieved noted successes as a coach, Bruce turned his hand to administration, assuming the role of NSWCHS Convener, a position he held for four years, contributing significantly to the workings of the ASSRL Council.
In this period Bruce was appointed ASSRL coach and successfully coached the Australian side from 1993 until 1995, culminating in the highly successful tour of England and France where many point scoring records were set.
In 1996 Bruce Wallace was elected as President of the ASSRL, a role he has continued in for the past thirteen years. In this role Bruce has demonstrated remarkable leadership and continued passion.
In his time as President, Bruce represented the ASSRL at both international and national forums and has seen the ASSRL develop into a most dynamic and respected organisation.
He has negotiated and organised many International exchanges and overseen National Championships every year of his Presidency, and done so in a calm and assiduous manner.
His long term vision has led to many significant changes in ASSRL and its Championships.
He has also generously assisted ASSRL team officials learn their role, and helped them develop their skills and capacities in the sport of rugby league. He has represented ASSRL on the Player Agent Accreditation Committee since its inception.
This has been vital in ensuring the implementation of proper protocols for Player Agents, an important element with regards to child protection.
His longevity in the role is testimony to the interest, passion and ability of the man and fulfill all the requisites for an ASSRL Life Membership.
Bruce Wallace is undoubtedly one of the most deserved recipients of the ASSRL Life Membership as his contribution, coupled with his remarkable length of service to the association would be difficult to equal.
|PARRAMATTA SNAP UP NT TEENAGE RAIDER
NEWCASTLE Knights winger James McManus blazed a trail to the National Rugby League like no other Territorian before him.
But hot on the NSW Origin representative's heels is another Palmerston Raider making good, Bradley Hanson.
Just as McManus did in 2002, Hansen was named Darwin Rugby League's rookie of the year.
And like the 17-year-old McManus did in 2003, Hansen yesterday signed his first NRL deal.
The versatile teenager will join Parramatta's Toyota Cup side in 2011, seeing out another year in Darwin with the Raiders and leading the NT Titans in the under-18 Mal Meninga Cup in Queensland.
He will also trial for the Affiliated States team that will play in the top tier of the Australian under-18 schoolboys championships.
If unsuccessful he will again play for the Territory under-18 side in Pool B.
Hansen's first order of business in the New Year will be a week-long training camp with the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) which will include trial games against Canberra and St George in mid-January.
Fellow NT Institute of Sport players Jake Watts, Dylan Cartwright and Matt Bennett will also push their cases for selection in the 2010 AIS squad.
Watts, Bennett and Cartwright will then try woo Manly Sea Eagle and West Tigers selectors in a bid to win NRL contracts themselves.
LEAGUE JUNIORS WAITING ON A DREAM
|Rugby league five-eighth Swade Dunn looking forward to playing for NSW Indigenous Under-16s against Queensland on February 13 next year.
Two local players are counting down the days till they play for the New South Wales Indigenous Under-16s against Queensland.
Swade Dunn from Eastridge and Peak Hill’s Ricky Read, who played last season with the premiership-winning Dubbo PCYC Under-15s, have been named in the 20-player squad.
Not only will the two boys represent their State and their heritage, but also play in the curtain-raiser before the history making NRL All Stars clash at the Gold Coast.
The Dubbo boys will join their team-mates in camp from Monday, February 8 before the game on the Saturday to be played at Skilled Park, Robina.
“There were 40 kids down at the trials and there were some very good players there,” Swade said.
“I didn’t think I had a great chance of making the squad, but was really pleased when my name was on the list sent to us.
“At the trials we had training and skills work and then a game, so it must have been hard for the selectors.”
Swade and Ricky have both been named on the bench but hope to get some quality time from the coaching staff that includes coach Chris Binge from Goonellabah and managers Phil Duncan (Sydney) and Tim Humphries (Wagga).
Swade said his best position is five-eighth but he’s also played half-back for Eastridge Under-15s who made the grand final this season.
Blake on the other hand is a prop or second-rower and like Swade will be playing Under-16s in 2010.
“Making this team is a big thrill,’ Ricky said.
“I’ve played for Western Schoolboys Under-15s, the Western Academy and Group 11, and our PCYC team Under-15s won the grand final last year, but this is easily the highest selection I’ve made.”
Despite the game being two months away, the boys are already thinking about the trip to the Gold Coast.
“Playing the game is going to be great but I think being in camp and hopefully around the NRL All Stars players will be out of this world. It should be great,” Swade said.
Rugby league has long been a tradition in the Dunn family.
Swade’s father Robbie played with the Canberra Raiders and uncle Mick Dunn has been a huge supporter and offered plenty of encouragement to Swade throughout his young career.
|EMERGING TALENTS ON SHOW AT CHAMPIONSHIPS
The final of the Country Under-18s Regional Championships will be played at Port Macquarie on the same program as Country Origin versus City.
On May 7 next year, Regional Stadium will come alive with a feast of matches.
While the Origin players will be playing for pride of the State and a shot at a NSW State of Origin Guernsey, the support program will be full of interest.
Two curtain-raisers will be played - game one being a round one match of the Country Senior Regional Championships between the Northern Thunderbolts and the Central Hunter Power.
The Under-18s game will represent the best of Country Rugby League in this age group and will provide talent scouts with the chance to see a host of up-and-coming players who will be the future of the NRL.
Tickets are anticipated to go on sale in April and details will be provided by the Country Rugby League once they are known.
The CRL chief executive officer Terry Quinn is confident that a vocal Country crowd in Port Macquarie will play a big part in the Origin team’s performance and add to the atmosphere of the night as the town is treated to a host of talent on display.
“We are looking forward to working with the local teams in Port Macquarie and surrounds to ensure this game benefits rugby league in the area, both financially and through registration numbers, for years to come,” he said.
“The Country Rugby League would also like to recognise the efforts of Port Macquarie Council, and thank them for their hard work and sponsorship of what will be a wonderful week.”
The VB Gold Country Origin team is sure to boast a mix of the young, exciting, and seasoned stalwarts of the game, and for the third time - will be coached by past Country Origin player, and rugby league legend Laurie Daley.
The team will go into camp in Port Macquarie on Monday, May 3 and will take part in promotions and events throughout the week.
FIRST-GRADE SPOT A GOAL FOR KYLE STANLEY
|Spreading Christmas cheer: St George Illawarra players Jamie Soward (left), Kyle Stanley and Jack Bosden visited children at St George Hospital. They helped brighten up the Christmas of people such as Liz Arvealo of Monterey and her daughter Gabriella, 16 months. Picture: Lisa McMahon
Story & Photo BY : MICHAEL CARAYANNIS
A SHIFT in attitude and a move to the top squad has Kyle Stanley eyeing a first grade spot next year.
Stanley, 18, spoke about his desire to secure a NRL spot and how he has dealt with the departure of older brother Chase after he and teammates spent several hours visiting children at St George Hospital to help spread some Christmas cheer.
"It's really important to give back to the community,'' Kyle said.
"Coming to the hospital and seeing what a difference footballers can have on little children and seeing their smiles really brings you back to earth.''
Stanley has already been singled out for praise by teammate Jamie Soward after saying the young half could develop into "something special''.
"The first couple of weeks was really tough but the senior boys helped me through it,'' Stanley said.
"Everything is quicker and more intense.''
Bouncing back from two knee reconstructions, Stanley said his five-week stint with the top squad had seen him put back-to-back repeated sessions for the first time in three years.
"I need to be more professional in my life and football,'' Stanley said.
"Probably my attitude should be focused on everything seeing as I'm training with the big boys now.''
Hoping to push for a first grade spot sometime next year, the Hurstville United junior said he needed to be more consistent to get a crack in the top grade.
He will start the season behind Soward and Ben Hornby but will link with fellow full-timer Beau Henry in the under-20s competition.
"We've got a young [under-20s] side this year,'' Stanley said.
"We have to steer the team around a lot more.
"We had a lot more senior blokes last season, so we will need to have a lot more influence on the team.''
With older brother Chase linking with Melbourne, Kyle has missed a familiar face at training.
"I'm use to having him there,'' Kyle said.
"He used to pick on me but no-one picks on me now.
"I speak to him now and then and he is enjoying it.''
And what will happen if the Stanley's reignite their backyard tussles in the NRL?
"To tell you the truth I don't have a brother on the field if he plays on the other side,'' Stanley said.
Do you think Kyle can play NRL next year?
|SYDNEY ROOSTERS SEEK U15 PLAYERS
The Sydney Roosters in 2010 are looking to expand its U15's Development Squad Program.
We are looking for eligible players to contact us who are interested in not only being developed but are willing to take on the challenge of playing for a team in our local competition.
Those players interested can contact at Mark Baldwin or by phone on 0414876215
TIGERS ON TRACK
|Balmain Tigers Harold Matthew's Cup team after round 1 against the Cronulla Sharks in 2009 (Photo : ourfootymedia)
Balmain Harold Matthews have completed 2 trials to date as they now break up for a well earned rest for Christmas.
In the first trail the Tigers played the Rabbitoh's, Game 1 saw a victory to the Tigers over South Sydney 6 tries to 4.
The Tigers most recent trial on the weekend saw the Tiger Cubs roar and put the bears into hibernation for the summer, Game 2 resulted in a 14 try to 1 domination of North Sydney.
2 more trials are planned for January, the first against the Bulldogs at Norford Park 5pm on the 22nd this trial should give the boys a chance to show how competitive they will be in this competition and then we take on the Roosters at Leichhardt at 5pm on the 29th.
Word is that the squad will be finalised after this game so good luck to all the boys currently in the Balmain Squad.
| BAN TEENAGE STARS FROM PLAYING NRL
THE time has come for our young stars to become people before footballers. And it is my belief we should ban players from the NRL until they are ineligible for Toyota Cup.
I know, it sounds radical, but it might be the most honest assessment of why external problems keep afflicting our game. The ban would mean keeping the 18, 19 and 20-year-olds out of the spotlight until they are emotionally mature enough to handle it.
It would mean a bloke like Jarryd Hayne would only now be emerging from his rookie season. Yes, it would have robbed us of a couple of seasons of watching his wonderful skills. But it might also mean that Hayne would not have been shot at in Kings Cross.
It would also mean we would not have heard of Jake Friend yet. But after being sacked by the Sydney Roosters on Friday, it might also mean the 19-year-old still had a strong career ahead of him without the baggage he now carries.
At every club you will find superstars who have made the step up. But there are even more who have been unable to handle it. And we as coaches and clubs have an even greater responsibility to those who are unable to handle the step up.
Every club would be affected if we held back players until they had done their time in the youth league. Blokes like Mitchell Pearce, Jamal Idris, my own player Blake Ferguson - even Israel Folau - would not have played first grade yet and would not be in the spotlight.
There is another benefit, too.
Because these players would be exposed to the punishment of NRL a little later in life, with more mature bodies, it would most likely prolong their careers. Those players leaving for England at 29 might instead be leaving at 32.
As the game has raced towards professionalism, with players getting better and younger, we have overlooked one of the most fundamental parts that maintained order. The ratio of young players has grown substantially within every 25-man NRL roster. As a coach, our priority right now is to win games and you need to keep pace with this to maintain your place in the game.
It is unfortunate, but it's true. Some might say if I believe what I am saying then I should take a moral stance - but I'm also smart enough to know that if I do that and other clubs don't, then pretty soon somebody else will be coaching the Sharks.
One of the offshoots of so many young players together is that many have egos out of control. But who's around to tell them?
In the days of an under-23s competition, which ran into reserve grade and first grade, young kids were exposed to a lot of mature heads around them. Those people, their team-mates, have greatest control over them and provide the boundaries on their behaviour.
There is another thing those team-mates often had which is missing from today's game. They worked. They understood the value of a dollar, and the sacrifice of having to work to survive.
By stopping players from graduating to full-time NRL too early, and putting a ceiling on their payments, our young players would be forced to find jobs. It would help them beyond what we can imagine. They must work. No job equals no play. Fullstop. And if clubs break the rules, premiership points would be deducted.
Then NRL coaches would see the club welfare officer as just about the most important man in the organisation. Young players would have life skills by the time they graduate to NRL, and would cherish the opportunity they have now been given.
I don't want to sound holier than thou, but we need to consider change because the problems we face today are so much different - and will only get more different - from any other era of the game. I understand the magnitude of this change. It changes the core of the game - "if you're good enough you're old enough".
But the world outside the game has changed. We need to accept that, and today's rules don't accommodate those changes. The combination of media scrutiny and higher public expectation have our players under more pressure than ever before.
Many are not mature enough to handle it, have egos spinning out of control, which is why we have these problems seemingly week after week.
It is time we helped those players cope with that pressure. It will mean some pain. As a coach, I love having my elite junior players train alongside my NRL squad.
It fast-tracks them to the NRL. It allows me, and them, to focus totally on their game. But I can see it is also coming at a cost - and I believe in respect to the game, the cost is now outweighing the benefit.
We don't have the citizens rugby union has, many of whom have private school educations, or university educations, and so are less susceptible to finding trouble. Our kids have generally done it a little tougher, come from a lower social demographic, making them more prone to mistakes.
Where we benefit is on the field, where that toughness and hunger excels.
I know it sounds extreme. If we prolong their exposure to the elite level, though, while teaching these kids some blue-collar values, we might save them.
Now, and in the future.
2010 ENGLAND ACADEMY SQUAD NAMED
|The England Academy squad in full is:
||St. Helens Wigan
||Hull KR Oldham
||Castleford Lock Lane
||Bradford Dudley Hill
||Castleford Lock Lane
||Oldham St. Annes
||Ince Rose Bridge
||Ince Rose Bridge
THE initial 2010 England Academy squad has been named and includes 29 players from 10 different engage Super League clubs.
The Squad which includes six young players from Wigan Warriors and five from Leeds Rhinos features a number of names from recognisable Rugby League families including Bobby Goulding, Jack Briscoe, George Burgess and Ben Crooks, all of whom have famous fathers or brothers.
Bobby Goulding is the son of France coach Bobbie Goulding and Ben Crooks is the son of former Hull, Leeds, Castleford and Great Britain forward Lee Crooks. Jack Briscoe is the younger brother of Hull and England wing Tom Briscoe while George Burgess’s older brother is England forward Sam Burgess.
The squad will meet up throughout 2010 for coaching session and meetings run by the new full-time national development coach, a vacancy which is currently being advertised by the RFL.
BJ Mather, the RFL’s Head of Player Development said: “I would like to congratulate the initial 29 players that have been named in the England Academy Squad.
“This squad is by no means a closed shop and over the next few months the RFL will be monitoring young players across the country to identify further talent.”
Following the appointment of the national development coach by the RFL players across the country will continue to be monitored and further additions will be identified to complete the squad which could potentially increase to a maximum of 40 players.
England Academy will play three fixtures in 2010, a match against France in June and two Tests against the Australian High Schools in December.
| HOMETOWN BOY, SAM HOPKINS SIGNS WITH LEIGH
Leigh Centurions have confirmed that 18 year-old second row Sam Hopkins has signed for his hometown club from Leigh East. The U-18 GB Community Lions forward was set to put pen to paper on a contract a few weeks ago only for Leigh to cancel the deal but, thanks to a call from Sam himself, the youngsters dream move to the professional ranks has come true.
Hopkins has signed a two year contract and the Centurions wish to publicly thank Dave Rowlands and president Tommy Sale for their assistance in bringing Sam to the club.
His signing now means that the Centurions have secured three of the best young talents in the town over the last few months with Sam joining Jonathan Pownall and Anthony Nicholson on contract.
Speaking after watching Hopkins ink the deal, Head Coach Ian Millward said,"Sam gave me a ring and said, look I really want to play for Leigh and I want to be a Leigh Centurion. I think that takes a lot of integrity for a young man to do that and I was very impressed with his attitude."
"We are delighted to get him on a two year contract", Millward continued, "What this does show is a feel-good factor from probably the oldest Leigh legend to a Leigh business person who is always supporting local talent."
"Sam has been going well with Leigh East, but the thing is, it gives us a chance to develop a Leigh youngster, and develop to hopefully turn him into an established first grade player for the club. He has the potential to do that."
"Leigh Centurions are always keen to sign a young promising player and we are delighted to have him onboard after talks stalled."
ACADEMY PAIR BACK DOWN TO BUSINESS AFTER EUROPEAN TOUR
|Singleton’s Dale Watson (left) and Tamworth’s Ryan Pooley returned from their AIS European tour last week.
|LEARN MORE ABOUT THE
AIS 2009 EUROPEAN TOUR
|AIS TOUR INTERVIEW'S
|Dale (2nd left) and the boyz checking out Paris (Photo : Dave Norman NSWRL)
WESTS Greater Northern Academy players Ryan Pooley and Dale Watson have returned to training after their European adventure with the Australian Institute of Sport team and the holiday is well and truly over.
They were part of a memorable four-game tour of France and Britain but must now return to a long summer program in Tamworth.
Pooley, from Tamworth, played in all four games on tour.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he said.
“It was a great tour.
“We saw things that we wouldn’t have otherwise, like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre and Stonehenge.
“I scored three tries. I played all through the backline – wing, centre and fullback.”
Watson wasn’t able to get straight back into training though.
“I broke my arm,” he said.
“It was in the third game, against Great Britain.
“I’ve got another week or two so I’ll be right for the next one (training session).”
Watson plays for Singleton in Group 21 and is hoping to play more representative football in 2010.
He helped the Central Hunter Power Under 18s win the Country championship this year.
That earned the backrower a call-up to the Country U18s.
Pooley will lead Farrer’s charge at school level again and is also keen to go further.
“I’m going to be playing for Farrer in the Uni Shield and Arrive Alive Cup,” he said.
“Hopefully I can play some rep too, maybe CHS.”
The AIS won three games on tour – against the France Under 18s, Great Britain Community Lions Under 18s and Wales Under 18s – but lost to the France Under 19s.
“They’re preparing to play in an Under 20s comp next year,” Pooley said.
“They were pretty big and elusive.”
There were some outstanding players in the AIS side too.
Former Farrer skipper Brett Jarrett was also on tour and Gunnedah’s Reece Jaeger also played all four games while Muswellbrook’s Cade Boney played a starring role.
“There were some good players there,” Watson said. “A lot are going to (NRL) clubs.”
The program selects talented players from country NSW and Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, the Northern Territory and Western Australia and they train for two years before making the trip.
“We had camps at Canberra,” Pooley said.
“They taught us some things that we hadn’t seen before.
The GNA training session at Scully Park on Sunday was the last of the year.
It breaks for the holidays and returns in mid-January to prepare for games against the Bulldogs and Wests Tigers in February.
BURGESS TO CONTINUE A PROUD POMMY TRADITION
|Calling Australia home ... England's Sam Burgess in action at the Four Nations tournament.
HE WILL join an elite group of Pommy forwards to have conquered the Australian game. They were creative ball-players who mixed toughness and aggression.
Among them were Adrian Morley, Steve Norton, Lee Crooks, Doug Laughton, Phil Lowe, Brian Lockwood and John Gray. Gareth Ellis continued the tradition at Wests Tigers this year. Today at Redfern Oval, Souths will unveil England's latest star to arrive on our shores - big Sam Burgess.
Just 20 years old, Burgess comes to Australia with the tag of "world's best forward". He will help form a formidable pack alongside Roy Asotasi, Dave Taylor, Eddy Pettybourne, Michael Crocker and Ben Ross. Hard-working veterans Luke Stuart and Scott Geddes complete the line-up.
Burgess was a star performer as England made the final in the recent Four Nations tournament through Britain and France. "Sam will probably need some time to adapt but he certainly looks the goods," former Australian captain Laurie Daley said.
ENDEAVOUR CELEBRATE 2009
|Cameron King - 2009 DAU MEDALIST thanks his team mates (Photo : ourfootymedia)
Congratulations to all players and staff involved with the Endeavour Sports High School TSP rugby league program, 2009 has been one of the school's most successful season to date.
Late night at the Caringbah Baptist Church hall, the Endeavour family gathered in the hall to celebrate the 2009 season.
Awards are also a big part of the se presentations nights, but so are some of the other things on hand to entertain the many friends and family who also enjoyed the dancing lead by former student and Sharks flier, Benny Orcher.
Some of the boys put on a fantastic display at their version of the Huka, the boys go in to it and it finished with the big tongue at the end.
One of the main features of the night was the humility shown by opens skipper, Cameron King was he was awarded the DAU MEDAL, the highest honour in rugby league at Endeavour Sports High School.
LEARN MORE ABOUT ENDEAVOUR SHS
AIS FINISH ON A HIGH
|TOO BIG TO HANDLE: Former Mudgee Dragon Brendon Simpson, playing against Great Britain Community Lions, was a stand out for AIS on their four-game UK and French tour. PHOTO: KT8 PHOTOGRAPHY.
|LEARN MORE ABOUT THE AIS TOUR
The Australian Institute of Sport team, which former Mudgee Dragons under 18s forward Brendon Simpson is playing for, left their best performance till last with a 20-point demolition of Wales U/18s.
In a tough encounter, which was played in atrocious conditions, the Australians shrugged off the tenacious Welsh 38-18.
Simpson came off the bench in the match and once again proved to be handful for the opposition.
The conditions suited the Welsh youngsters early on as they almost got a first minute try. Ben Evans broke through but play was brought back to the centre line for a forward pass.
But the European Champions shrugged off their disappointment and took the lead from their next play. Lewis Reece kicked a long grubber and pounced on the ball before running over in the corner, successfully converting his own try.
The lead didn’t last long as Josh Merritt hit back for the visitors, going in just wide of the posts.
The Australians pressed for a second. Maipele Morseu was close as he attempted to run after his own chip kick, but the ball was picked up by Rhys Fenton.
They took the lead for the first time in the game on 19 minutes after Morseu went over from close range. Feldt’s conversion made the score 12-6.
Wales were finding it tough to break through the strong Aussie defence for a second time. They gained an advantage when the visitors made a mistake following kick-off, letting the ball go over the dead ball line, but the resulting set led to nothing.
However, Wales managed to break through just before the interval, another short range try, with Loren Quick forcing his way through and Reece converting.
Josh Merritt attempted to get AIS back on the team sheet just before the half-time whistle, using soccer skills to move the ball upfield, but was eventually outrun and the teams went in level at half-time.
AIS maintained their composure and after the break implemented the instructions of head coach Brian Johnson to play direct and spread the ball around.
The Australians took the lead early in the second half and never looked back.
They scored five tries in the half to run away with the match.
After the match, Johnson praised the Welsh for the quality of their play and the way they continued to test the Australian team right to the final whistle.
He did however heap his highest praises on his own charges who’s performance he described was truly exceptional.
AIS 38 (Josh Merritt, Kyle Feldt, Reece Jaeger, Ryan Pooley, Cale Hobday, Kurtis Ritchie, Dean Blackman tries; Reece Jaeger 5 goals) defeated Wales U/18s 18 (Lewis Reece, Loren Quick, Rhys Fenton tries; Lewis Reece 2, Loren Quick goals).
WESTERN BOYS SHOW SKILLS ON EUROPE TOUR
|Josh Merritt, Jordan Hay, Dylan Hill and Zac Douglas after touching down at Sydney Airport from the AIS rugby league tour.
The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) Rugby League team has arrived home from the experience of a lifetime after spending six weeks abroad in a tour of France and Great Britain.
Included in the 25-man squad were Dubbo’s Dylan Hill and Josh Merritt along with Gilgandra’s Jordan Hay and Cobar’s Zac Douglas.
The tour was a culmination of a two-year elite training program which is designed to prepare its squad members to eventually play at NRL level.
The AIS team won its first match against France under-18s in a testing encounter 16-13 before going down 27-20 to France under-19s in front of a packed Jean Bernege Stadium in Tonneins.
The boys then headed across the English Channel to record a 48-20 win over the England Community Lions under-18s before winning 36-18 against Wales under-18s in their final match of the tour last Thursday.
Hill, whose next step in his career is a likely move to Cronulla Sharks in January to play in the under-18 SG Ball Cup, said he loved being part of the tour.
“It was a great experience to see all the sights as well as playing in the Australian jersey,” Hill, who only took up rugby league four years ago, said.
“It was also good to see what sort of talent exists on the other side of the world.
“The game was a lot quicker to bush football but I didn’t find it as hard.”
With a squad of 25 players to choose from for each of the games, teams were selected on a rotational basis with Hill playing prop forward in the first and third games of the tour.
Douglas was his front row partner in the first game and also played in the final game against Wales along with five-eighth Merritt, who scored the first try, and lock forward Hay, while Merritt also played in the game against England.
“The highlight for me was the game against the Lions,” Hill said.
“I busted the line and ran a lot harder than in the first game and was happy with how I ran the ball.
“I had a lot of people congratulating me on how I played after the game which was a good feeling.
“I didn’t play in the last game when we flogged Wales, but Jordan and Josh both had blinders - Jordan making a couple of line breaks and Josh playing a good passing and kicking game.”
The long flights, including a 14-hour journey from Hong Kong to Paris, were also a new experience for the boys, including Hill who said his previous longest flight was three hours.
Cale Hobday from Wavell Sports High School was voted Player of the AIS 2009 Tour.
|WADDELL A RAIDER UNTIL 2012
Canberra Raiders hooker Travis Waddell has become the latest young Raider to commit to a future in green, after he re-signed with the Green Machine today until the end of the 2012 season.
Waddell was originally contracted with the Raiders until the end of 2011, but a rapid rise through the ranks has seen Canberra secure his services for an extra season.
A part of the Raiders premiership winning Toyota Cup team in 2008, Waddell got his chance to make his NRL debut in 2009 playing ten matches and has since gone on to gain selection in the indigenous All-Stars team.
Originally from Proserpine in Queensland, Waddell said he was happy to remain in Canberra for the future and said he enjoyed the environment as a player and as a member of the community.
“I just wanted to re-sign here because they’re a good bunch of blokes and I think they have a really good future as well,” Waddell said. “Canberra is my first club and they’ve done plenty for me so I’m grateful that they have signed me up until the end of 2012.”
Waddell said he would focus all his energy in the pre-season on making sure he was ready to play at NRL level in 2010, but knows there will be plenty of hard work ahead of him.
“I still have to try and cement my place in the number nine jersey and hopefully this year I can be a more consistent,” he said. “Its going to be hard work, Glen Buttriss and Alan Tongue are both great players so I just have to make sure I’m fit and put my head down and work.”
As an added incentive for the pre-season campaign Waddell has the NRL v Indigenous All Stars match to look forward to and said it’s been a good motivator for him.
“I’m just glad that I made the Indigenous side and it’s been a great couple of weeks for me with the new contract as well,” he said. “It still hasn’t sunk in that I get to play with the players I look up to in the Indigenous side and it’s pushed me even more to train hard this pre-season and be ready for that game as well.”
Raiders Coach David Furner said Waddell’s re-signing was a reward for some hard work and solid performances in his debut season and said the challenge for the young hooker going forward was to try and force his way into the top side on a permanent basis.
“I think Travis had a great season last year in his first in the NRL and we’ve rewarded that by extending his contract for a further year,” Furner said. “He’s still in a position where he’s competing against Glen Buttriss and Alan Tongue, but it’s a good opportunity for Travis to take his career to the next level.”
|JUNIORS DOMINATE SHARKS U16, U18 SQUADS
LOCAL juniors have dominated the Cronulla Sharks under-16 and under-18s squads with more than 80 per cent of the players in the 65-man squads from Cronulla Sutherland's junior rugby league teams.
The train-on squads for the Harold Matthews (under-16) and SG Ball (under-18) competition assembled for preseason training last month and will train during the summer months. They will get a chance for selection in pre-season trials next year.
Sharks Academy coordinator Alan Wilson said the players would focus on improving their core-skills and conditioning.
"In the under-16s, primarily it's their first involvement with each other so there is a familisation period where you've got to get them to become mates,'' Wilson said. "They are going through that now.
"With the SG Ball, a number of them have played together before so they tend to gel a bit quicker.''
David Howlett (Harold Matthews) and Tony Herman (SG ball) again will take charge of the teams, with former St George Illawarra player Colin Ward and Kevin Farquhar the assistant under-18 coaches. Former Balmain prop Shane Walker and Steve Holz will assist Howlett.
Wilson said it was of great importance that the bulk of the squad had come through the junior ranks.
AIS ARRIVE HOME SAFE 'n' SOUND
|AIS squad arrive home safely (Photo's : ourfootymedia)
After 3 weeks of a grueling Rugby League tour of France and the UK the AIS team arrived home all feeling a bit tired, especially Johno, and Greenie with his case of Doonahead
TO ALL PARENT & FRIENDS - thank you all for your support of the AIS 2009 tour, it has been a PRIVILAGE and pleasure to cover the AIS on this tour.,
We sent a bunch of kids to play footy a few weeks ago, then today at the airport, there were no boys in the team.
Well done to all players and staff on a very successful tour.
Now we all can get back to normal sleeping patterens - lol
More airport photo sometime this afternoon
|AIS TEAM SAVE THE BEST FOR LAST!
Tonight on a cold and rainy Blackwood rugby park the Brian Johnson lead Australian Institute of Sport Rugby League Touring Team played their best game on the tour to defeat a very spirited Welsh team 38 - 18.
In a tough encounter which was played in, at times, pouring rain the Australians shrugged off the tenacious Welsh who took the tourists to the break with the score locked at 12 all with many in the large crowd beginning to think that a major upset was close at hand.
The Aussies however maintained their composure and after the break implemented the instructions of head Coach Brian Johnson to play direct and spread the ball around and ran away with the match with the final score stretching out to 38 points to 18.
After the match the AIS coach praised the Welsh for the quality of their play and the way they continued to test the Australian team right to the final whistle. He did however heap his highest praises on his own charges who's performance he described as truly exceptional!
The best for the AIS team where captain Dean Blackman (who was named Players Player); Cale Hobday who has been one of the best on tour and fullback Maipele Morseu.
LEARN MORE - VISIT THE AIS LOCKER ROOM
DANIEL MORTIMER STARES DOWN SECOND-YEAR SYNDROME
|Second year syndrome ... Parramatta Eels star Daniel Mortimer is preparing for a 2010 repeat of the form which brought him to the fore in 2009. Picture: Jeff Herbert Source: The Daily Telegraph
IT'S a pattern of failure that has cut down promising young footballers for a century.
The star kids who struggle to match their first-season deeds as opposition players and coaches do their homework. The youngsters suddenly hit the wall in year two of their careers. It's known as second-year syndrome - a spectre now facing Parramatta's rising glamour boy Daniel Mortimer.
Mortimer, 20, is back in training for next season after an extraordinary 2009 when he made his NRL debut and helped Parramatta surge into the Grand Final. Now though, the real test awaits young Mortimer. Can he repeat his feats in 2010?
"I'm sure coaches will put Daniel under the spotlight. They'll look for his weaknesses and strengths," Daniel's famous uncle Steve Mortimer said. "They'll know when he chip kicks and grubber kicks. He will be under the microscope.
"But I know Daniel will step up. He's got plenty of talent and has great anticipation. Daniel reminds me of Terry Lamb. It will be a challenge but I know he will take up that challenge. He just has to play his own game. The best of Daniel is yet to come."
Parramatta were back slogging it out at training yesterday as they prepare for the new season. And Mortimer was right in the centre of proceedings - a youngster ready to take on more responsibility.
"It all happened so quickly. Last season was great - I wouldn't swap it for anything," Mortimer told The Daily Telegraph. "There is always talk about the second-year syndrome. There are always more expectations on young players in their second season.
"I guess more people will know of me next year and there will be a closer eye on me. It will be tougher next season. All I can do is train hard and work hard on developing my skills."
Parramatta are equal second favourites alongside Canterbury (at $7, behind Melbourne at $6) for 2010, according to TAB Sportsbet. Like Mortimer, the expectations are now back on Parramatta. But the club, like the kid, is relishing the pressure.
"I didn't expect to play that many first-grade games, let alone a Grand Final," Mortimer said. "It has been nice having a rest but we are back in training now. I just want to stay injury-free and try to help the Eels make another Grand Final. I also want to play as many games as I can."
The Eels have recruited strongly for 2010, luring Timana Tahu, Shane Shackleton and Justin Poore to the club. Tahu - back from rugby union - is readying himself for a fierce challenge to oust either Luke Burt, Joel Reddy, Krisnan Inu or Eric Grothe in the backline.
With Poore arriving from the Dragons, joining Fuifui Moimoi and Nathan Cayless, the Eels now have three world-class props.
|O'DWYER SHIELD BATTLES LEUKAEMIA
Jetstar Gold Coast Titans Clubman of the Year Luke O’Dwyer will return to his former school tomorrow when he and members of the Titans’ NRL squad turn out in support of the annual O’Dwyer Shield rugby league match.
The O’Dwyer Shield, played between St James and St Joseph’s Primary Schools, is named in honour of Luke’s younger brother Ryan, who died after a brave battle against leukaemia.
O’Dwyer and Titans teammates will sign autographs from 3.30pm (QLD TIME) before the O’Dwyer Shield commences at 4pm
Interviews and vision will both be available from 3.30pm (QLD TIME).
WHAT : Titans attend O’Dwyer Shield
WHERE : St James Primary School, Doyle Drive, Banora Point
WHEN : Thursday, December 3
TIME : 3.30pm – 5pm (QLD TIME)
WALES RL UNDER 18 VERSUS AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF SPORT
THE 18 MAN WELSH SQUAD IS
|Ben Evans (Captain)
| Owain Griffiths
Wales R.L under 18 coach Stuart Williams believes he has put together one of the best quality Wales Under 18 sides in recent years for the game versus the Australian Institute of Sport on Thursday 3 December (at Blackwood RFC, kick off 7:15 pm)
Williams said 'We have assembled an exciting squad 13 of whom have come through the Crusaders Under 18 side'
The 18 (including 18th man Dale Evans) features Bridgend born brothers Ben and Rhys Evans of Warrington, Owain Griffiths (younger son of Wales RL assistant coach Clive) and Ross Wardle who was recently in the train on squad with the full Wales squad during the successful European Cup campaign.
Also hoping to feature are Rhys Fenton and Alex Webber who took part in the GB Community Lions Under 18 tour of Australia ealier this year and Josh Ramsey younger brother of Arsenal FC's Aaron.
'We know the Australian Institute of Sport will present an extremely strong challenge but everyone in the squad is looking forward to the challenge' added Williams
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