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The Rock-itt : June 2010
Broncos After round 12 of the competition the Broncos sit just outside the 8 and are looking to be a team on the rise after an impressive victory over the Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park in round 10. But it has come to that time of the season that Broncos fans have come to dread, Origin time. The Broncos were facing an uphill battle to sneak into the 8 as it is but now will be forced to play some matches without key stars: Darren Lockyer, Sam Thaiday, and Israel Folau. Bulldogs At the beginning of the season the Bulldogs were being touted as definite Grand Finalists, but after 11 rounds the Bulldogs are coming 12th and are struggling to find form. Making things tougher for the Bulldogs is that Brett Kimmorley and Michael Ennis, the two organisers of the side will be MIA due to New South Wales commitments. Joining the Blues duo will be Jamal Idris who will make his origin debut in State of Origin 1. Raiders The Raiders are another team hovering just outside the 8 but have the added luxury of boasting just one origin player in Queenslander, David Shillington. They used this advantage in round 11 as they toppled the ladder leading Dragons in Wollongong. But the news out of the nation's capital in the last month hasn't been about what's happening on field, but on the future of fullback Josh Dugan with heavy speculation that he may be on his way out of the club due to his sour relationship with the coaching staff. The Roosters and Bulldogs have been touted as possible future homes for the NSW Country representative. Sharks The whirlwind 18 months at the Cronulla Sharks continued this month with head coach, Ricky Stuart announcing he will depart the club at the end of the 2010 season (Stuart has been linked to the West Tigers, Brisbane Broncos, and Super 15 franchise Melbourne Rebels). The Sharks also announced that current assistant, Shane Flanagan would take the reigns next season. This could be a blessing in disguise for the Sharks, as now all players will look to cement their spot in next year's team assuring fans of the battling club you'll see them give 100% each and every week. Titans After 11 rounds the Gold Coast Titans are sitting pretty in equal first place, but much like other clubs this month, most of their news has been about off field dramas, particularly the seemingly shaky financial status of the club. There have been reports that the Titans owe $226 000 to the Queensland government, and their proposed Gold Coast Centre of Excellence incurring debts up to a massive 24 million dollars. CEO Michael Searle, however, has recently stated that his team is not in danger of collapse and will be in the competition for another 20 years. Sea Eagles Nearing the halfway point of the season and the Sea Eagles are proving to be one of the form teams of the competition sitting comfortably in the top 4. But one of the few downfalls of being a successful footy side is the amount of players that will get called up to represent their state. Anthony Watmough, Josh Perry, Jamie Lyon, and Matt Ballin will all be playing in Origin 1, with Brent Kite and Jason King sure to be in selectors minds if things don't go the Blues way. Manly will be bolstered by the nearing return of George Rose. Storm Melbourne have a lot of salary cap they have to get rid of and the departure of players has began with promising front rower Aiden Tolman signing with the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs. This is sure to be the first of many players the Storm are set to leave as Australia's most southern side are over $800 000 over the salary cap. Expect Brett Finch to announce soon that he will be linking up with Kevin Walters coached French Rugby League side Les Catalans Dragons. Warriors The Warriors found themselves goonarunthis month that rocketed them up the ladder to sit in 7th at the completion of round 11. The Warriors were also bolstered by the news that Parramatta Eels duo Feleti Mateo and Krisnan Inu will make their way across the ditch to link up with the Auckland based club in 2011. The Warriors will have to do something they're not accustomed to in order to remain in the top 8 and that is play consistently. Knights After all of the controversy at the beginning of the season, the Knights came together and played really well at the beginning of the season, but now as origin begins, and injuries set in, the Newcastle Knights are beginning to struggle. Sitting 13th on the ladder with their best player, Kurt Gidley occupied with captaining his state, the Knights are facing a tough challenge to stay intact with teams further up the ladder before making a late charge at the end of the season. Cowboys What Johns was to the Knights, is what Thurston