Tag Archive: Blake Ferguson


Dugan and Orford out

Canberra will face an early test of their depth when they head into Sunday’s round one NRL clash with Cronulla minus big names Josh Dugan and Matt Orford. Rising star Dugan has a calf injury and failed to train on Saturday, while veteran halfback Orford is a definite non-starter with a groin problem. Dugan is extremely doubtful and his place at fullback will be taken by David Milne. Nineteen-year-old half Sam Williams comes into the squad for Orford. Whether the 2010 Toyota Cup halfback of the year starts remains to be seen with hooker Alan Tongue a strong chance of taking over the playmaking duties. Star signing Orford, 32, has been hampered during pre-season with a groin strain and has not been able to recover in time to face the Sharks. The Raiders are already without former Test five-eighth Terry Campese until midseason after a knee reconstruction, his place taken by Josh McCrone. Continue reading

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Injuries to upset Raiders v Sharks opener

There’s as much uncertainty over the Cronulla Sharks and Canberra Raiders sides as there is about Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s popularity right now. At least in the national capital on Sunday, supporters and rivals won’t have to wait long for a decision. Up to seven players named in the two extended squads by respective coaches Shane Flanagan and David Furner, are in some doubt for the 2pm game at Canberra Stadium. The Sharks have centre Dean Collis and forward Anthony Tupou (leg injuries) undergoing constant treatment this week, but they’ve been named in the starting 13, along with a six-man bench. The Raiders new half recruit, Matt Orford, and former Sharks winger Blake Ferguson are among five doubtfuls. Continue reading

Round 1 team list tips

Sydney Roosters star Todd Carney is out of Friday’s NRL season opener against South Sydney at the Sydney Football Stadium. Carney, who has endured a torrid lead-up to the start of the new campaign, following his arrest for drink-driving 10 days ago, has not been named in the Roosters side after failing to recover from January groin surgery. The Dally M Medallist sustained the injury playing for Australia in the Four Nations clash with New Zealand in Auckland in October. Coach Brian Smith named Braith Anasta at five-eighth alongside Mitchell Pearce with Carney expected to be back for the round two clash with Manly. However, the Roosters are boosted by the surprise return of secondrower Mitch Aubusson who had been expected to be sidelined until round four with a shoulder injury. Souths coach John Lang said he had been preparing for Carney to play and believed the troubled playmaker’s off-field problems would have no effect on his game. “He had a great season last year and I see no reason why he won’t pick up where he left off last year,” Lang said. “Often for players, the game and training, if there’s been a few problems that can be a bit of a relief for them rather than another pressure.” Continue reading

Ferguson to miss trials

The Canberra Raiders have been dealt a blow ahead of their trial match period, with news today that Blake Ferguson will be unavailable for both trials, due to a break in his finger which he sustained at training on Wednesday. The good news for Ferguson and the team is that he will be available for round one against his former side for Cronulla, as he will undergo surgery on Tuesday to repair the fracture to his left ring finger. Ferguson said he was bitterly disappointed to be missing the two Raiders trial matches, but said he was still the fittest he’d been for a number of seasons. “It’s very frustrating to come so close to kick-off and have to miss both trials but it’s something I have to get past and make sure I’m ready to go for round one,” Ferguson said. “It’s a shame because it’s the fittest I’ve been for a few years and I was really keen to get on the field, but I’ll just have to wait a couple more weeks now.”

Sharks face injury crisis

Cronulla’s preparations have been thrown into disarray ahead of their NRL clash with Manly on Saturday night, with captain Trent Barrett and winger Blake Ferguson ruled out with injury. Barrett has a shoulder problem, while Ferguson hasn’t been able to recover from a rib complaint. In further bad news for Ricky Stuart’s men, halfback John Morris and NSW prop Kade Snowden are also considered only 50/50 chances of playing. Morris has a knee problem, while Snowden is suffering from an illness. Tim Smith, who was dropped last week, will compete with Scott Porter and Albert Kelly for Barrett’s five-eighth spot and Morris’ halfback position should he also be ruled out. Issac Gordon will make an earlier than expected return from a hamstring injury to replace Ferguson.

In-N-Out Round 3

Cronulla coach Ricky Stuart has rung the changes in a bid to boost a toothless Sharks outfit looking to prevent a 13th successive NRL defeat against South Sydney on Monday. In what has turned into a must-win match for both sides, Stuart has wielded the axe on halfback Scott Porter, misfiring centre Ben Pomeroy and winger Isaac Gordon. Promising young playmaker Albert Kelly will make his first NRL start at fullback with Blake Ferguson restored to the wing. John Morris will move to halfback with Paul Aiton named as hooker with new signing Dean Collis to make his long-awaited debut in the centres.

Wests Tigers’ Lote Tuqiri will remain on the wing for his side’s clash with Parramatta on Friday after coach Tim Sheens opted to promote Mitch Brown to fullback with Tim Moltzen moving to halfback. Sheens was forced into the switch after Robert Lui was ruled out for up to six weeks with an ankle injury, and despite speculation Tuqiri would don the No.1 shirt, 22-year-old Brown has been given the nod.

Parramatta coach Daniel Anderson has rewarded Fuifui Moimoi for his excellent display off the bench against Manly last week, with a starting spot against Wests Tigers on Friday in his 100th NRL game. Moimoi replaces NSW prop Justin Poore who is dropped to the bench, with Krisnan Inu coming in for the injured Luke Burt, who is sidelined with a knee injury.

Newcastle second-rower Cameron Ciraldo will make his long-awaited return to action after a year out following the horrific injury he sustained in the 2009 round two clash against Cronulla. Ciraldo, who fractured his fibula and dislocated his ankle after his foot became wedged in a tackle, is named on the bench for the Knights’ clash with Manly at Bluetongue Stadium on Saturday.

Melbourne have named premiership-winning halfback Cooper Cronk as 18th man following off-season groin surgery for the Storm’s trip to Penrith on Saturday at CUA Stadium.

Panthers utility Luke Lewis will start at five-eighth for the home side after Travis Burns was ruled out with a knee injury.