Raiders skipper Terry Campese says the only way they'll beat the Storm at AAMI Park this Saturday will be by chancing their arm.
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ESSENDON coach James Hird twice discussed peptides with biochemist Shane Charter by the pool of a Gold Coast hotel at the beginning of the club's supplements program, Charter has claimed.
Hird, Charter and sacked sports scientist Stephen Dank discussed a range of substances, including peptides, hormones and vitamins, at the Sheraton Mirage in Surfers Paradise in December 2011, he says.
The Bombers were staying at the hotel during their pre-season training camp.
Charter - a key witness in the anti-doping probe - and his family were also staying at the Sheraton.
Investigators from the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority have been asking Essendon players about Charter's presence on the training camp.
It was during this pre-Christmas period that Essendon began injecting its players with substances.
A briefing document commissioned by player management company Elite Sports Properties tells Essendon players to expect questions from ASADA about the period prior to Christmas 2011.
Essendon has dismissed as a chance encounter Hird's recent dealings with "Dr Ageless" Charter, Hird's personal trainer in his playing days.
"James has had no contact or communication with Mr Charter since, except when he ran into him in 2011.
"The relationship was never more than that."
Essendon spokesman Justin Rodski last night said the club stood by this. Watson accuses ASADA of 'scare tactics'
Charter, who is assisting ASADA, claimed he had two poolside "discussions" with Hird on the Gold Coast over the course of a day after being invited to Queensland by Dank.
But he backed Essendon's version that it was a chance encounter, saying he believed Hird had not been expecting to meet him and had appeared unconvinced by Dank's pitch.
"Dank was telling him it was all WADA-approved and Hirdy was asking 'Where's Reidy?"' Charter claimed, referring to club doctor Bruce Reid.
"Dank's (point) was to push the fact that other clubs were going above and beyond standard supplement programs and Essendon needed to think more cutting edge."
Charter told the Herald Sun Hird had stressed that any supplement regime must meet anti-doping rules.
ASADA has been told Hird was tricked into attending the Gold Coast talks, sources said.
Charter has a text message from Dank saying "hexarelin 3mg" which Dank sent him during the week of the camp.
Dank has previously claimed he injected Hird with the peptide Hexarelin, banned for players but not coaches.
Hird has claimed he thought he was receiving amino acids.
- with Jon Ralph and Michael Warner
Rugby League World Group's insight:
** RLWG Comment.... oh yeah.. by chance a convicted drug trafficker known to Hird and a now disgraced sports 'scientist' happened to be at the same hotel as Essendon.
IT was the moment that sealed a series - and Queensland halfback Cooper Cronk hasn't spoken about it until now.
Cronk recalled for News Limited his match-winning field goal, 74 minutes into game three of the 2012 Origin series at Suncorp Stadium.
The series was locked 1-1, and scores were tied 20-20.
"To be brutally honest I was in a state of grace at that particular moment. Within those few split seconds of time between actually receiving the ball and landing it at its intended destination, there was no noise in my head whatsoever," Cronk said.
"Every sinew in my body came together in one perfect whole. But those who have ever experienced that feeling, and it doesn't happen very often, will tell you it's in a whole other place of experience from the usual ego or vanity that drives my game. So I'm not afraid to own it for what it was.
"I didn't feel good or bad about myself afterwards. I began to realise when we are being completely free of our own expectation, the body extends into its natural form, without impediment. And things happen."
With the 2013 series to kick off on Wednesday night at ANZ Stadium,
Cronk's recollections are worth the wait.
Cooper Cronk looking relaxed in Maroons camp.
"It does make me feel a little bit exposed to talk about it, even now," Cronk said.
"But, yes, I was aware of time being against us, near the 70-minute mark. And, yes, I did mention to Cameron (Smith) when they scored to tie, that I was going to attempt a field goal. You'd have to ask him whether he thought it was madness or invention on my part.
"But the night before the game on that very same blade of grass I did the same kick multiple times, and the majority were successful.
"But I intentionally didn't count the ones that weren't, which is something of a breakthrough for me because there was a time when all I could focus on was getting each one perfect.
"And it felt strangely like I was doing something I had imagined in my head already, months if not years before. Which was a strange comfort of sorts."
Cronk also spoke of the ultimately career-defining experience of the Storm's 2010 salary cap scandal.
"Sometimes it takes a small fire in your village to realise that your personal character at that moment in time is made of hay," Cronk said."And I will be forever grateful for that career setback in 2010, and the damage to my pride, for the rest of my life because it led me, painfully at times, into the larger conversation of what really matters. And how could I structure a life worth having.
"To that end I sought professional help and guidance late in 2010 and much of the change you see today is the result of that time in my life."
So balanced is the 29-year-old that the unrelenting fervour of excitement which surrounded his achievement that night in Brisbane has failed to penetrate his consciousness on any level - then or now.
Cronk believes that being out of tune with what everyone is saying around him can help limit expectations to only those who remain important: his coach, teammates and himself.
"I've made a conscious effort not to follow my own shadow. So I don't read the sports pages, or engage in social media in any capacity," he said.
"So if there's noise out there, and others tell me there is, I largely avoid it.
"It's no secret that when I'm settled in my daily routine and there's little noise in my head, a good game performance follows. Well perhaps not always but mostly."
Amateur Rugby League
New Zealand's Kiwi Ferns will travel to England with confidence, having a stranglehold on the Women's Rugby League World Cup since its birth in 2000. They are the only team to lift the trophy, with three wins to their name.
The FOWC are seeking 15 volunteers to act as team liaison officers
The Festival of Rugby League World Cups are currently looking for 15 volunteers to take on the role of Team Liaison Officer. The role will involve working with an allocated team or teams and ensuring that they meet all their competition requirements as well as ensuring a high quality experience throughout the competition.
Team Liaison Officer Role Description
http://media.rladmin.co.uk/docs/Team Liaison Officer.pdf
Team Liaison Officer Required Dates
http://media.rladmin.co.uk/docs/Team Liaison Officer - dates.pdf
USA RUGBY LEAGUE TO KICK-OFF INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT AT VALLEY FORGE CASINO RESORT KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. (May 14, 2013) – Valley Forge Casino Resort and the USA Rugby League will host a press conference at 7 p.m., May 16 at the
casino resort to detail the upcoming USA Rugby League International 9′s Tournament. YOUR COVERAGE IS INVITED.
In attendance will be a host of international rugby stars, including members and coaches of the two-time defending champions, New Zealand’s Police Fencibles.
Slated for Saturday, May 18 in Conshohocken, the tournament will feature nine teams from across the globe, including two teams from Australia, one from Jamaica and local favorites the Valley Forge Casino Philadelphia Fight and the Bucks County Sharks. The tournament will be played at A.A. Garthwaite Stadium, East 11th Avenue and Harry Street, Conshohocken. Gates open at 9:30 a.m. and the first game is at 10 a.m.
WHAT: USA Rugby League International Tournament Press Conference
WHERE: Valley Forge Casino Resort, 1160 First Ave., King of Prussia, PA
WHEN: 7 p.m., May 16
# # #
About Valley Forge Casino Resort
Valley Forge Casino Resort is the region’s only full-amenity gaming resort, featuring 600 slots, 50 table games, and 485 guest rooms and suites. In what will surely become some of the region’s finest restaurants, guests will find countless culinary delights, including the freshest steaks at Pacific Prime, a true Italian experience at Viviano, and tremendous Asian cuisine at Asianoodle. The Center Bar is the center attraction on the casino floor, and is located near Valley Forge’s micro-restaurants. The resort’s chic nightclub, 7, has set new standards for service and features the area’s hottest DJs. Business travelers and conference-goers will find everything they need, including 100,000 square feet of state-of-the-art exhibit, meeting, conference and banquet facilities. Overnight guests also can enjoy Valley Forge’s signature fitness center and spa.
La Torre Communications for Valley Forge Casino Resort
• Kara Luzik, 717-810-6239 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you can’t make it to the press conference Thursday, we hope you will join us for what is shaping up to be a great day for Rugby League on Saturday.
GO THE USARL!!
England forward Gareth Hock could miss next months clash with the Exiles after being charged by the RFL.
Hock, who was given a five-match ban in 2008 for manhandling referee Ian Smith while playing for Wigan, is accused for making deliberate physical contact with referee George Stokes during Widnes Vikings' 36-0 win over Workington in Sunday's Tetley's Challenge Cup fifth round tie at Derwent Park.
The 29-year-old Hock, who also served a two-year ban for using cocaine in 2009, has been charged with a grade D offence, which carries a suspension of between three and five matches, and will face the Rugby Football League's disciplinary committee in Leeds on Tuesday.
Hock, who is on a season-long loan from Wigan and is due to join Parramatta for 2014, is currently in camp with the England elite training squad preparing for their match against the Exiles at Warrington on Friday, June 14.
Widnes have four Super League fixtures before the international, including a game against Wigan for which Hock cannot play due to a clause in his loan agreement.
Hock is one of seven Super League players to face charges for offences arising out of the weekend's Challenge Cup ties.
Hull KR's Australian forward Cory Paterson has been charged with committing a grade D reckless strike on Wigan stand-off Blake Green in the 10th minute of Rovers' 46-14 home defeat by the Warriors.
Three players have been charged with punching offences during Huddersfield's televised 24-8 win over Leeds at the John Smith's Stadium on Saturday.
Huddersfield centre Joe Wardle, who was sent off after 61 minutes for throwing a series of punches at Carl Ablett, is facing a grade C offence while team-mate Leroy Cudjoe and Leeds stand-off Danny McGuire have both been charged with grade A offences after coming to blows early in the second half.
The Giants pair are eligible for early-guilty pleas while McGuire must face a disciplinary hearing.
London Broncos prop forward Antonio Kaufusi has been charged with a grade C reckless strike on Bradford back rower James Donaldson and Salford prop Jordan James is facing a grade B charge of making dangerous contact with Warrington full-back Brett Hodgson.
Kaufusi and James have until 11am on Tuesday to submit early-guilty pleas.
BENJI Marshall has lost his confidence, his Test captaincy and even the strength in his big toe, but the Wests Tigers playmaker still commands the utmost respect of his teammates.
Marshall, who will play his second game following a turf toe injury against Cronulla at Allianz Stadium on Friday, put his hand up this week and accepted much of the Tigers' woes this season.
It was a stunning admission from the club's highest-profile player, who is deep in negotiations with a view to signing a deal that would make the 28-year-old a Tiger for life.
Marshall is reportedly close to inking an upgrade of his current contract, which ends at the end of next season, which would keep him at the Tigers on a five-year deal worth $4 million.
The hefty price tag, and Marshall's indifferent form, led to some sections of the rugby league world questioning whether the former New Zealand skipper is still deserving of such a contract.
"He's worth every cent to us,'' Tigers centre Chris Lawrence said.
Marshall has been critical of his own form in 2013, but Lawrence said once he returns to the peak of his powers there won't be a person in the game who thinks he isn't worth the money.
"By his own admission he probably hasn't had the greatest 12 months,'' Lawrence said.
"But a lot of that is probably not just put on his shoulders but on the rest of the team as well."As a team we haven't performed well in the last 12 months.
"At times he might have been trying to try too hard and forgetting what his role in the team is.
"I'm sure he'll get back to his best form and when he does a lot of people will change their minds and be saying he's worth every cent.''
Marshall's likely re-signing follows on from skipper Robbie Farah committing long-term to the club, an indication Lawrence believes the Tigers are well set for the rest of their careers.
"Having Robbie sign basically for the rest of his career was a massive boost for us, knowing he's going to retire a Tiger,'' he said.
"But having that stability within the halves is just as important.
"In any club you need to know and have long-term plans for your halves, so to have Benji potentially re-sign would be great for the club.''
The Great Britain Pioneers are set to continue their development
The Squad is assembled from players within Student Rugby League and travels to new up and coming countries to help in them develop, to help pioneer the way forward for them. The Pioneers made their inaugural tour in 2005 to Estonia and have had successful development tours to the Czech Republic, Latvia, Ukraine, Norway, Kazakhstan, Greece and Poland. Each country has gone on to develop and play rugby league domestically and internationally at varying degrees all thanks to the work and help of the Pioneers.
This year is the ninth GB Pioneers tour with 20 Student Rugby League representatives selected from 14 different universities from across all four home nations.
Squad members are ambassadors for their University, country and their sport. Selection criteria considers not only their ability to play the game to a very high standard but players must have a proven track record in undertaking Rugby League development activity.
The GB Pioneers aim to provide the Moroccan players with the basic knowledge and skills to introduce, develop and sustain Rugby League in Morocco.
GB Pioneers Team Manager Keith Sandhu said “It is an exciting prospect for the GB Pioneers to go over to North Africa and work the Moroccans already playing Rugby League as well as introducing it to the local community, the games will be a great way to showcase top level rugby league.
Steve Curtis, GB Pioneers Tour Manager added “All the players and staff are excited about the tour this year, heading outside of Europe in a World Cup year is a fantastic opportunity for all involved to help spread the Rugby League word. It is a sport we all love and are very enthusiastic about, I hope we can give the Moroccans the tools to grow the sport and build their own foundations”
The GB Pioneers are part of the representative programme within the Rugby Football League’s (RFL) Student Rugby League offer, Kate Hebden Education Services Manager at the RFL Said
''Student Rugby League is proud to have the Great Britain Pioneers within their programme of representative teams, throughout their history the Pioneers have toured across Europe providing the opportunity for students to develop themselves as well as the game of Rugby League. The 2013 tour to Morocco offers another exciting opportunity for players within the student game to experience a new culture and pass on their knowledge of the game.''
The Rugby League European Federation (RLEF) has also been important in getting this tour up and running. Correspondence, meetings and help from the RLEF have been important in getting everything into motion. Danny Kazandjian General manager at the RLEF commented
“The RLEF has long considered Morocco an important country, with its ties to France and standing in the MENA region, and it’s our belief that given the right structure it can grow to be a formidable rugby league nation. The Federation Marocaine de Rugby League (FMRL) is a relatively new organisation, having achieved recognition in 2012, but they have been very proactive in organising this tour, with matches set for the capital, Rabat, as well as in Casablanca and Berrechid. I thank the GB Pioneers for their ground-breaking visit and hope it can pave the way for the Moroccans to establish a club championship.”
The upcoming tour has created some excitement and seen as an opportunity to grow the game in Morocco, Mustapha Jedoual, FMRL president said: “2013 is a decisive stage in the life of the FMRL, which has witnessed sustained growth and a constant rise in the number of participants. When we welcome the GB Pioneers it will mark a major international event for our young federation.
We say to them: “Welcome to Morocco, and I congratulate all on the good relations that prevail between our Moroccan federation and the Great Britain Student Pioneers team”.
Keep up to date with the tour please visit www.GBpioneers.co.uk of follow the GB Pioneers on Twitter @GBPioneers
GB Pioneer Squad:
1. Billy Griffiths 2.Owen Henderson 3.Jonathan Morris 4. Alex Mills-Baker 5. George Bryant 6. Josh Dixon 7. Rich squires 8. Ed Karawieckwicz 9. Daniel Bedford 10. Dave Lewis 11. Sam king 12. Harry Kaufman 13. Richard Kirk 14. Finn Turley 15. Joe Warrick 16. Maddhav Kolthari 17. Mike butcher 18. Charlie Stockhill 19. George Smith 20. Stef Archer
GB Pioneers Tour Dates:
Thursday 20th June to Sunday 30th June 2013