Inside League with The Shadow - Column 7, 2012

Inside League with The Shadow - Column 7, 2012

Column Seven reports a win for the Goeys, a massive Bulldog victory over the premiers, Australia wins the ANZAC Test while Country lost to City.

The Goeys won the game against the newly formed Port Stephens Sharks 60-8. This sounds very convincing and it was but to the credit of the Sharks, their players kept trying and were rewarded with two tries. Sam Wooden continued his goal scoring bonanza with a 10 out of 10 score.

Tries were shared but ones that took the eye were the barging efforts by big men Afu and Pelo. Cessnock led 24-4 at half time. Fata missed the game as did Ryan Gregory, who has suffered a severe shoulder injury that will sideline him for about eight weeks.

Another season ending injury has affected top Macquarie forward, Vaughn, who will miss the season.

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The Bulldog camp is over the moon with its win over the Pickers on Saturday. The margin was four points and indicates the closeness of the match. The match was marked with stern defence from both sides. Early signs were there that tries would be hard to get and the Pickers ran in the only first half tries with two tries in the same five minutes. 12-0 faced the Bulldogs but they rallied and Mick Campton was on the end of a grubber kick to cross before half time.

The second half continued as a defensive battle but gradually the home side took over. A try, after a lengthy period in possession, five minutes from the end sealed a memorable win.

The big Kurri pack played a big part in the win but also impressive was the youthful members of the back line. This win could be the platform of a strong Bulldog push for a top spot.

It was hard for outsiders like me to identify players as there was no programs available when I arrived. I was told that Newcastle was distributing only 100 to each club and, on Saturday, these were sold out before the third grade ended.

The Pickers didn’t look like the 2011 version and they obviously missed the direction and skill of the departed Peter Ellis and Mick Moran.

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Australia gained a hard fought 20-12 win in New Zealand. They had to battle hard against a very physical Kiwi outfit. The N.Z. side scored first when Souths' Luke forced his way over. Thurston evened it up in the 21st minute and then Billy Slater sent Inglis over to enable the Aussies to lead 12-6. Slater received 10 minutes in the bin but another Thurston goal made it 14-6 at half time.

Eight minutes into the second half, a Cooper Cronk pass was intercepted and star half back, Johnson ran 90 metres to put the Kiwis back in it. Another 20 minutes passed before Cameron Smith forced his way over to seal the match.

A crowd of 35,319 witnessed the display of typical test football and although losing they would have appreciated the efforts of their side against a top Australian side, led by man of the match, Thurston.

Outstanding Australians were props, Hannant and Gallen, with lock Lewis a non stop performer.

Country went down 24-22 at Mudgee after trailing 24-0 at half time. Apparently the game and its venue were terrific.

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Local Goey juniors were part of a Hunter Academy of Sport squad that played in Nyngan over Easter. The undefeated squad (69-0 over Far West, 54-4 over South Australian Academy, and 42-20 over Penrith) had Goeys, Rhys Binns, Liam Smyth, Riley Thomas and Blake Walsh as members.

Latest Goey rumour! Talks are being held with former Knight and Penrith player, Brendan Worth, who has been playing for Toulouse in France. However, do we need another prop, what about a centre?

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Late news! On arriving at Tomaree I was told by secretary David Cleaves, that talks had ceased with Worth but that he had signed a Knights junior centre named Daniel Phillips. Great minds think alike.

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Tips. Seven out of eight on last series. This week its Broncos over Titans, Dragons to beat Roosters, Cowboys over Roosters, Storm to beat Warriors, Raiders over Sharks, Knights to win over Panthers, Bulldogs over Sea Eagles, West Tigers to beat Eels.

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This week! First home game for Goeys, a tough one against a rejuvenated Wyong side. However locals are confident. Saturday 3pm. Another test for Kurri; South at Townson on Sunday at 3pm.