With so much of the NRL chat surrounding players’ payments transfers – who is coming who is going – who might be staying and what everyone thinks they are worth there does not seem to be much attention being paid to fans and what effect all of this is having on the game in general.
At a time when clubs are seeking to expand their fan base and we are bombarded by all the benefits of being a member of this or that club, there is no loyalty shown by players. In fact the days of loyalty to a club or jersey seem to be far outweighed by the loyalty to bank accounts.
While no one can deny that players should be able to do the very best deal they (or their ever present managers) can do for themselves, their families and their future, I have to wonder why it has to be done in such a very public manner. Player transfers have taken on an almost soap opera like status.
I don’t need to know how much the Broncos are paying Jack Bird to come to the club or what JT is earning at the Cowboys. It will not alter the fact that I am fan of both clubs but more importantly enjoy seeing great football games.
What I would be far more interested in hearing is that the QRL NSW Rugby League and NRL had devised a plan to re-introduce rugby league into our primary and high schools. That might ultimately give grassroots football the injection of oxygen it needs to survive.
Enjoy the million dollar pay days because unless someone at the top of the tree starts to pay attention to the dying roots, the house of cards may just come tumbling down.
But then perhaps I am just a dinosaur.
BRL DRAW DECIDED
With four teams committed to the 2017 BRL season, the executive have published a revised draw.
Play will commence on 6 May with four double headers to be played in the final round before the finals which begin on 19 August with the grand final played on 26 August.
May 6 Killarney v Tenterfield (Killarney): Stanthorpe v Inglewood (Stanthorpe)
May 13 Tenterfield v Stanthorpe (Tenterfield): Inglewood v Killarney (Inglewood)
May 20 Stanthorpe v Killarney (Stanthorpe): Tenterfield v Inglewood (Tenterfield)
May 27 Stanthorpe v Tenterfield (Stanthorpe): Killarney v Inglewood (Killanrey)
June 3 Tenterfield v Killarney (Tenterfield): Inglewood v Stanthorpe (Inglewood)
June 10 Killanrey v Stanthorpe (Killarney): Inglewood v Tenterfield (Inglewood)
June 17 Bye – all teams
June 24 Killarney v Tenterfield (Killarney): Stanthorpe v Inglewood (Stanthorpe)
July 1 Tenterfield v Stanthorpe (Tenterfield): Inglewood v Killarney (Inglewood)
July 8 Stanthorpe v Killarney (Stanthorpe): Tenterfield v Inglewood (Tenterfield)
July 15 Bye all teams
July 22 Double header Inglewood v Killarney; Tenterfield v Stanthorpe (Tenterfield)
July 29 Double header Tenterfield v Inglewood; Stanthorpe v Killarney (Stanthorpe)
August 5 Double header Stanthorpe v Inglewood; Killarney v Tenterfield (Killarney)
August 12 Double header Stanthorpe v Inglewood: Killarney v Tenterfield (Inglewood)
August 19 Semi final
August 26 Grand final
NO DISAPPOINTMENT FOR DRAGONS FANS
There were a few disappointments in round seven of the NRL, but if you are a Dragons supporter then you are entitled to be sporting a grin from ear to ear as their great start to the season continues.
The Dragons held on for a 28-22 win in Townsville after it looked like they would run away with the game after leading 28-4 at half time. Missing JT it certainly took the Cowboys a while to find their feet, and it was a game of two halves as the Cowboys stormed home to almost pull off the comeback of the season.
Josh Reynolds-inspired The Doggies to a second half comeback denying the Bunnies their Easter chocolates. It is the Doggies third win on the trot and they are looking better each outing.
As expected, the Roosters posted a comfortable win over the Knights in Newcastle.
The Broncos win over the Titans was anything but comfortable. After having their pants pulled down early in the first half, the Broncos were forced to play catch up football all night.
James Roberts haunted his former club in one of his best performances for the Broncos; he scored a hat-trick and helped the Broncos to a dramatic two-point win.
In another thriller, Melbourne had to pull out all stops to prevent the Sea Eagles from snatching a win after they almost blew 30-12 lead late in the second half. Late in the game, the Eagles threw it all at Melbourne who just hung tough to secure their sixth win.
The Raiders trailed at half time but scored 14 unanswered points in a better second half for a 20-8 win in their game against the Warriors.
The most disappointing game of the round was without doubt the Panthers performance against the Sharks. The Panthers were expected to bounce back with the return of their captain and others in this game, but they were poor against the defending premiers. Brisbane-bound Jack Bird had an outstanding game for the Sharks, and with four wins in a row people are talking back to back premierships for the Sharks – bit premature, but they are travelling well.
The Tigers woes continue. After looking likely winners against the Eels in Monday’s game, they were upset in the final 10 minutes of the game by an Eels try scoring blitz. The Eels came from 22-10 down to win 26-22 in the final minutes.
Round eight looks no easier this week.
The Raiders with the home ground advantage should get the Sea Eagles on Thursday night.
On Friday night the Broncos and Bunnies go head to head at ANZ. Sam Burgess has been cleared to play after a visit to the judiciary, but the Broncos are my pick.
I liked the Eels win last week and there was nothing to like about the Panthers last outing.
The Cowboys host the Knights and will be more at home without JT this week. The Gold Coast has not been a happy hunting ground for the Sharks, but I think they will have too much bite for the Titans this time but this could be a danger game for tipsters.
The Roosters Dragons game looks the game of the round, and certainly a toss of the coin for tipsters. In a close game, I am leaning slightly the way of the Roosters.
The round wraps up with a game at AAMI Park where Melbourne will start favourites against the Warriors and should post win number seven.
TANNY CLASSIC II CLOSE
With one round of the Tanny Classic II left to play, scores are so close that the winner could come from almost anywhere in the field. Round five of the six-round competition was played on Thursday night due to the Easter break. The competition drew another great roll up of enthusiastic bowlers and newbies and there were plenty of laughs and even some very good bowls.
The winners were Di Walsh, Brian Walsh and Grumpy who had an impressive 21-5 win over Geane Lambert, Crocodile, Don Clouton. Slipping into the runners-up spot were Joel Farmer and Vic and Geoff Creighton. They also had a good win over Jas Fritz, Myrtle, and Mick O’Leary. The final score – 14-7
In other games Jim Lamb, Sue Butz, Thommo had a narrow 13 -11 win over Jan Walsham, Venus and T.B. .
The team of Eli, Wayne Petersen, Matty Sheppard and Pete Gynther defeated Glen Muller, Geoffro Farmer, Bill Lee and Aaron 15-13 in another tight game.
There is just one more round left in the Tanny 11 Classic, and the result is once again going down to the wire with a number of players well in the winning mix.
After five completed rounds, T.B and Grumpy are the club house leaders on 19 points. They are followed by Wayne Petersen 16, Venus 15 and a crew on 12 points including Di Walsh, Fritzy, Micko, Pete Gynther and Sue Butz. The final will be decided on Friday night and good luck to everyone.
It is another busy week for Tannymorel bowlers with triples on Thursday, Friday night the final of the Classic Take II and Sunday the Open Fours Carnival.
SHANNON TOPS THE SCORE, WEB WINS TROPHY
Stanthorpe Golfers turned out in numbers on Saturday for the Easter Saturday single stableford. Simon Shannon played very well and returned an excellent score of 44 points to record the top round of the day. Simon sponsored the day, and in a sporting gesture, withdrew himself from the trophy presentation leaving junior golfer, Billy Webb, who returned a very creditable 42 points to take first prize. Webb also won a mid-week competition with the same score and will continue to lower his handicap playing such consistent golf.
A more seasoned performer, Max Hunter was on the straight and narrow to top the countback on 37 points to take second place.
Keith Barnett held the pin at three, Max Hunter at 12 and Michael Thompson at 17. Brendon Barker collected the pro-pin at 1/10, Kev Rowling at 5/14 and Michael Thompson at 9/18. Richard Reardon grabbed the birdies nest at 10. All scores of 37 collected a ball in the run down.
In the ladies’ event, Fiona Kelly set up a win with a solid front nine of 21 points, but had done more than enough to win. Although playing conditions were pleasant on Saturday, the conditions on the course are still heavy and got the better of many of the ladies, with all scores being rather low. Margie Locke came in second after a countback with Kay Webb, both finished their rounds with 29 points. Kay settled for the run down, but had the best Approach at 17 taking the only ladies pin.
The end of the month is fast approaching, two weeks to the medley 4BBB stableford which will include a number of visitors from Kilcoy.
That will be followed on the Sunday by the annual Central Motors Three ball Ambrose.
Club officials are expecting a capacity field and at the time sheet, looks like there aren’t many spaces available.
Members are advised to arrange their teams ASAP and enter them on the time sheet to avoid disappointment.
This week the club has scheduled a single stableford which will be sponsored by Darryl Boekholt. There is a time sheet is on the board at the clubhouse and tee off from 11.30am.
There were two standout performances in the golf croquet games played recently. Val Fancsourt and Justin Liddy have been in great from. Val Fancourt was in outstanding touch in her most recent games. She was in the winning team in all three games, top scoring in two of the games and along with Dianne Wren had the top-score in the third game. Liddy was also in winning form. He figured in winning teams in two of the games he played. He top-scored in the first and shared the scoring honours with John Castles in the second win. There were some outstanding shots from several players this week. Shirley Page, Teresa Pyne and Justin Liddy all scoring hole in one.
It certainly seems that all players are at the top of their game at the moment and with such good form games are being decided by very close margins. In one of the closest games, Val Fancourt, playing two balls scored seven, while the pairing of Pauline Inglis and Elaine Brown scored six and Teresa Pyne and Dianne Wren also scored six.
PURCELL AND GREEN WINNING COMBINATION
The partnership of Jamie Purcell and John Green proved to be a winning combination in the Irish 4BBB competition on Easter Saturday at the Wallangarra Golf Club. John Green sponsored the event and it was he and his playing partner who played best on the day to claim the win. They were closely followed by Peter Williams and Tony Murphy.
Jamie Purcell topped off a good day by taking the pin on the third, and Peter Williams claimed the pin on the ninth. Steve Hampstead and Tony Murphy also snared the approaches on the second and 14th respectively.
This Saturday 22 April, Peter Williams is sponsor of the single stroke competition.
The club members encourage any golfers or non-golfers to join them for a game – they assure players they won’t bite – so don’t be shy – join them for a round on a great course.
JACKSON IN THE BUNNY HUNT
The Inglewood Sporting Shooters took to the range over the Easter weekend holding an Easter Bunny Rimfire Hunt. The club has been assured no bunnies were harmed in this exercise although several of the chocolate variety may have been consumed.
Ross Jackson had the best of the scoring in the “hunt” and defeated Ray Dudgeon and Tom Donald.
This weekend with Anzac Day falling on the following Tuesday, there will be a Practical Shooting Competition, in honour of our Anzacs.
The regular Pistol competition which would be held on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning will also be incorporated. For further details, visit the club’s Facebook page.
WATTLES AND COWBOYS AT HOME
There were no TRL fixtures over the Easter break, but the clubs kick back into action this week. Both Southern Downs teams have home games.
On Saturday night, Wattles host Highfields at Platz Oval with the A Grade game kicking off at 6.30pm after the Reserve Grade and under-18 games.
Wattles have had an up and down start to the season and currently sit in seventh spot on the TRL ladder with four points.
On Sunday at Fr Ranger Oval, the Cowboys face third-placed Valleys in all four grades with the main game set to kick off at 2.30pm.
The Cowboys are another TRL side who have been inconsistent in 2017 and will be looking forward to a good showing against Valleys who have looked good in their early games.
After the opening rounds, the comeptition ladder looks like this:
2017 Hutchies A Grade
1. Pittsworth 8 points
2. Dalby 6 points
3. Valleys 6 points
4. 4Warwick 4 points
5. Highfield 4 points
6. Gatton 4 points
7. Wattles 4 points
8. Souths 2 points
9. Brothers 2 points
10. Oakey 0 points
11. Goondiwindi 0 points
Car enthusiasts enjoyed a rare treat over the Easter weekend in Warwick with over 200 Pontiac cars rolling in to town. Some 200 cars were on display on Saturday at Victoria Park, and drew a big crowd of interested spectators.
On Sunday, there was a Parade of Pontiacs at Morgan Park Raceway before competition got underway. It was a chance for owners to get these big rigs on the raceway. Wollongong visitor Mark Goff won the large car division. Another visitor from even further afield, James Hotley, won the Sports car section.
The event was organised by the Pontiac Club of Queensland on Sunday with many enthusiasts travelling from interstate to be part of the action.
WARWICK HOST EASTER TAB MEETING
Warwick Turf Club hosted a big seven-event race program on Easter Monday meeting.
Owners and trainers were very supportive of the TAB meeting with good fields in all events. Toowoomba trainer Tony Sears took the training honours leading in winners in the opening event, the Olsen’s Produce Freestone Feedlot QTIS Two-Years-Old Maiden and the RSL Open Handicap.
Sears’ first winner Parode, a two-year-old colt by Red Dazzler got punters off on a winning note starting favourite at $2.80. In just four starts, the colt has an impressive record with two previous placings before his Warwick win. It was also the first leg of a winning double for leading Toowoomba rider Skye Bogenhuber.
The popular hoop partnered with Sears to win the Open Handicap with Payback. The $1.85 favourite franked his good recent form at the Gold Coast on a heavy track and relished in the better going to win comfortably by over three lengths.
Race stewards scratched Poetic Dragon at the barriers on veterinary advice after he kicked the rear barrier gates.
Stephen Hardy former Warwick trainer now based in Ballina made a welcome return to Allman Park with locally owned galloper Collins Creek. The four-year-old started at the good odds of $13 and was guided to a nice win by Kenji Yoshida in the 1100 metre Warwick Credit Union Maiden.
After the win, stewards questioned Hardy regarding the galloper’s improved performance. Hardy explained that at his previous start the gelding had bucked but had trialled well since that episode and his win was not entirely unexpected by the stable.
There hasn’t been a great deal of good news for owners and trainers in the Beaudesert area in recent weeks, but the win of Canny Excel in the Cassels Automotive BenchMark 65 Handicap certainly put a smile on the faces of trainer Laurie Richardson, claiming apprentice Brooke Ainsworth and connections. Starting at $13, the gelding had to recover from being tightened for room early. He was able to turn around a patch of poor form defeating Jai’s Luck and Massive Attack to return a handy trifecta for TAB punters and an even better first four dividend. Massive Attack may have been the unlucky runner in the race. He was held up for a run from about the 400metre mark and did not get a clear run until the field straightened and may be one to watch.
Paul Nolan (Jnr) saddled up the winner of the next event the Frasers Livestock Transport Maiden, Hungry Like A Wolf. The lightly raced six-year-old with local connections was well supported and proved too strong for the opposition winning by a little over a length.
Anthony Allen made sure the trip to Warwick was not in vain for connections and Eagle Farm trainer Barry Lockwood when he piloted Brooktown Ice a $9 chance to a narrow win in the Railway Hotel Allora Class 2 Handicap over 1350 metres. After the win, Lockwood told stewards that the gelding appreciated the extra distance.
Punters finished the meeting on a winning note when the $3.50 favourite Priceless De Hero greeted the judge in the final event.
Trainer Pat Webster brought the galloper from St George for the race and was not disappointed. The 3kg claim of apprentice jockey Matthew McGillivray put the four-year-old into the race with 53kgs and he relished the drop in weight winning by almost a length from Legs Unbarred and Salute the Prince.
Apprentice N. Keal was charged with careless riding following an incident in the fifth race and was suspended for eight days.