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The Rock-itt : January 2011
Brisbane Broncos The Broncos pre-season training and plans for 2011 were thrown in to disarray after Greg Inglis reneged on his handshake deal with the club, a decision that rocked Red Hill. GI's announcement has put even more pressure on coach Ivan Henjak who insiders say is under enormous pressure next season and needs a winning start to next year's competition to ensure his position at the 6-time premiership- winning club. Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs The Bulldogs were active participants in this season's open market and their new additions may prove what's needed after a disappointing 2010 season. The retirement of Brett Kimmorley opens the door for new recruits and childhood mates, Trent Hodkinson and Kris Keating, to get first crack in the halves while the recruitment of Greg Eastwood and Frank Pritchard will add some much needed grunt to the forward pack. Canberra Raiders Canberra has been in the news a lot this off-season with the green machine trying to sign a player and letting another go. Joel Monaghan left the club to sign with English club, Warrington, after he was granted a release after an off-season incident tarnished the representative's career, while the Raiders attempt to sign ex-Sea Eagle, Matt Orford to solve their halfback woes. In other news, Canberra's junior rep programs have been scrapped after the club refused to sever ties with their Queensland Cup affiliates. They will not be represented in the NSW U16's and U18's competitions. Cronulla Sharks The Sharks have had a tough run for the past 2 seasons and are looking to ex-stars to help guide them from the abyss as they attempt to become competitive week in and week out. Andrew Ettinghausen and Trent Barrett have come in to assist pre-season camp while Kiwi representative Luke Covell has been coming in as a goal- kicking consultant to help out the Sharks new faces including coach Stuart Flanagan, Jeremy Smith, Colin Best, and Wade Graham. Gold Coast Titans The Gold Coast Titans have had a rocky pre-season with news one of their Toyota Cup players tested positive to a drug ban. This came at possibly the worst time for Titans who are batting the new AFL franchise, the Gold Coast Suns for Surfer's Paradise support. With Mat Rogers retirement the search for Scott Prince halves partner is on with 18 year old Jordan Rankin seemingly tipped to get the first shot. Rankin made his NRL debut for the Titans at age 16 against the Knights in 2008. Manly Sea Eagles Manly's number priority this off-season is to get their roster 100%. The Sea Eagles were crippled with injuries to players such as Brett Stewart, David Williams last season virtually leaving the Sea Eagles an impossible task to contend with the high-flying teams. Manly are also priming Daly Cherry-Evans for his debut at halfback, the Queensland Cup is expected to play his first game in round 1. In other news Manly chairman Scott Penn has announced a 1 million dollar sponsorship with Centrebet, which will revolutionise Rugby League/betting agency partnerships. Melbourne Storm After last year's salary cap scandal the Melbourne Storm are getting ready to reveal a new-look line-up in 2011 with many of new faces on the field and coaching staff. Along with the departure of representative players Greg Inglis, Ryan Hoffman, Brett Finch, and Jeff Lima, while assistant coach and Kiwi's mentor Stephen Kearney has taken up the top job at Parramatta. Craig Bellamy has a big task on his hands as he attempts to combine his big 3 (Slater, Smith, Cronk) with a combination of youth and experience. NZ Warriors It's been quiet across this ditch with the Warriors releasing very little information about their off-season. What we do know is that Feleti Mateo, Sam Rapira and Krisnan Inu will play their first game for the Auckland based club in front of what is sure to be the Warriors biggest crowd ever after it was announced their round 1 clash with the Parramatta Eels will be moved to Eden Park, a ground that Rugby Union, and Wallabies fans would be aware is a nightmare to visit for opposing teams. KINIAN MOTORS If you need a reliable fair priced mechanic for your car, you can't go past Kinian Motors. For rego, brakes, services, tyres and mufflers, drop in and see Big John for the best deals in town.