Tuesday September 13, 2011 by Andrew Keyte
Regardless of the result, Saturday night’s elimination semi final against the Dragons will be Darren Lockyer’s final match at Suncorp Stadium.
Fresh off a 40-10 thumping of the Warriors last week, the Broncos now face the defending premiers for the right to play Manly in Sydney in the Grand Final Qualifier.
Saturday will be the last stop in the Queensland leg of Lockyer’s season-long farewell tour with the loser of the match eliminated from the Telstra Premiership race. Read more
Thursday September 8, 2011 by Andrew Keyte
KEYTO’S NRL HITS (and misses) – On Tuesday night Billy Slater was a worthy winner of the Dally M award for best player throughout the 2011 season. I can’t fault any of the award winners and can’t really justify why anyone else should have claimed a category.
Today I name my team of the year – these guys aren’t necessarily the best in their position, but they are the ones I have enjoyed watching. Yep, a popularity contest!
Fullback – Josh Hoffman (Broncos)
It’s a real shame injury has punctuated his season but Hoffman showed enough in his 16 games to prove he is an absolute gem. He’s been a more than worthy heir to Karmichael Hunt and will be New Zealand’s main fullback for a long time. Great in defence, attack and counter-attack. Also wonderful at a live match to sit behind the posts and watch Hoffman organise defenders. Read more
Tuesday September 6, 2011 by Andrew Keyte
The Brisbane Broncos will welcome back strike centre Justin Hodges for Saturday’s Qualifying Final against the Warriors at Suncorp Stadium.
However his return from a two week hamstring injury has been dimmed slightly with news Sam Thaiday will miss two matches for a dangerous tackle and fullback Josh Hoffman’s season is over with a knee injury.
Thaiday could have challenged the grading at the judiciary however had he failed the ban would have increased to three matches – possibly ruling him out for the Grand Final. Read more
Thursday September 1, 2011 by Andrew Keyte
KEYTO’S NRL HITS (and misses) – On Sunday I will be one of more than 50,000 Brisbane fans to officially pay tribute to retiring superstar Darren Lockyer. All the rugby league I have ever watched has been in the Lockyer era and it will be quite surreal knowing he won’t be there anymore. Put simply – Darren Lockyer is the best in this business I have had the pleasure to watch with my own eyes.
When I was about 10 years old we used to go to the old Brisbane ANZ Stadium to watch the Broncos play – the year this began was 1995. That also happened to be the year a skinny blonde kid from Roma debuted at the great club as well.
My first Lockyer memory is of him kicking an easy goal late in a match and telling my grandparents, “Hey Darren Lockyer is on, this new kid is pretty good”. Of course I was the kid and how would I know talent, but I must have heard it somewhere and that judge was fairly good! Read more
Tuesday August 30, 2011 by Andrew Keyte
A post-Origin slump and injuries to key players have left the North Queensland Cowboys in a precarious position ahead of their clash with the Warriors in New Zealand.
The Cowboys enter Saturday evening’s match knowing a win could see them secure fourth position but a loss could see them slip to the sudden-death seventh place come the end of the round.
While it was not pretty, North Queensland did secure a 28-20 win over Cronulla last week but poor form the month prior has left them in a dog fight with four teams for the highest positions on the ladder. Read more
Tuesday August 23, 2011 by Andrew Keyte
Three consecutive losses have made a top four finish difficult but not impossible for the North Queensland Cowboys.
Last week’s golden point defeat to the Rabbitohs, combined with wins for the Warriors and Tigers, meant the Cowboys slipped to fifth on the ladder.
They are now in a four way battle with the Warriors, Tigers and Dragons for fourth position and a vital Week One Finals match at Dairy Farmers Stadium. Read more
Thursday August 18, 2011 by Andrew Keyte
KEYTO’S NRL HITS (and misses) – I started seriously following rugby league in the mid-90’s and remember attending my first game in 1995, watching Darren Lockyer’s early games at Brisbane’s version of ANZ Stadium.
His retirement is a big one for me, but so is everyone else’s this season. These are guys I have grown up with in rugby league and really, from next year, there will be no one left from my own personal ‘old-school’. Today I will pay my own tribute to the other 2011 retiring stars. Read more
Tuesday August 16, 2011 by Andrew Keyte
Hookers Aaron Payne and James Segeyaro have been included in the Cowboys squad for Friday night’s match with South Sydney despite battling injuries.
Payne missed North Queensland’s home loss to the Broncos last week after fracturing an eye socket in a training collision.
His replacement, Segeyaro, sprained his ankle during the Brisbane match and remains in the most doubt for the match on the weekend. Read more
Thursday August 11, 2011 by Andrew Keyte
KEYTO’S NRL HITS (and misses) – It’s been another funny old week in the NRL and one that has sort of summed up the 2011 season. On one hand, I have loved watching the good teams play.
This current top eight will be in the Finals barring some kind of miracle – and we’ve known that for a month. The bottom eight have largely been terrible with Canberra, Parramatta, Roosters and Gold Coast at no stage challenging for a Finals berth. While I normally try and write positively, there’s too much negativity to avoid this week.
I don’t like Parramatta, I don’t support them and quite frankly I don’t care what happens at that club. But I do feel sorry for their fans, the coach and people like Nathan Hindmarsh. They were belted by 50 points the other night and probably deserved it. Read more
Tuesday August 9, 2011 by Andrew Keyte
North Queensland halfback Johnathan Thurston has been named to return from a knee injury and face Brisbane at Dairy Farmers Stadium on Friday night.
Thurston, pivotal to the fourth-placed Cowboys chance of a maiden premiership, suffered what many thought was a season-ending knee injury in Origin III on July 6.
However the diagnosis determined it was just a six week injury and Friday will be a day after the five week mark.
The Cowboys had done well to maintain their momentum in his absence by winning three of the five games. Read more