Tag Archive: Willie Mason


IN-N-OUT – Rd 2

A pair of hookers who have seen little action in recent times will be thrown to the wolves on Friday night with Canterbury and St George Illawarra putting their depth to the test in the NRL grudge match. Journeymen Blake Green and Luke Priddis will wear the No.9 jumpers for the Bulldogs and Dragons respectively, Green earning his chance after Michael Ennis accepted a one-week ban for a high tackle while Priddis comes in for Nathan Fien, who is out with a broken leg. “It’s extremely disappointing for Fiensy, he’s a great player and a great guy,” Priddis said. “I’m looking forward to having a run on Friday night … the Bulldogs are always a tough prospect, no matter when or where you play them.”

The Bulldogs also welcome back winger Bryson Goodwin, who will assume goalkicking duties with Ennis out, the hooker left with little choice but to cop the one match suspension for a high tackle on Newcastle’s Matt Hilder.

South Sydney coach John Lang has also been forced to test his reserves with David Tyrell coming in for Eddy Pettybourne, who will be out for up to three months with a broken jaw, while Junior Vaivai replaces Colin Best (ribs). “He’s a very good prospect Junior, he had a very good season in the Toyota Cup last year,” Lang said ahead of Friday’s match against Gold Coast at ANZ Stadium.

The Titans received a boost on Tuesday with fullback Preston Campbell cleared after receiving a head knock in Sunday’s win over the Warriors.

Penrith welcome back Trent Waterhouse from a quad strain for the trip north to play North Queensland, former Sydney Rooster Willie Mason again named to start from the bench.

Manly coach Des Hasler has been forced to reshuffle his backline for Sunday’s clash with fellow round one losers Parramatta with Michael Robertson deputising for Brett Stewart at fullback.

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Round 1 Teams – Cowboys Update

Cowboys forwards Carl Webb ($156,000 FRF/2RF) and Willie Mason ($178,100 FRF/2RF) are both in battle, but this time its for a place in the starting side and not in the ring. Mason’s arrival from Bondi to join Webb, Luke O’Donnell ($221,900 2RF) and Aaron Payne ($237,500 HOK) in the Cowboys pack would have at first appeared a certain starter, but due to his late arrival in the north, the former Test and State of Origin enforcer still lacks match fitness. Webb is in a similar boat after missing last the┬átrial against the Gold Coast in Darwin with a calf problem and Coach Henry cannot afford to take two underdone big men into such an important match. “If Willie plays then we might not be in a position to carry both,” the coach lamented. “There’s no doubt he will be underdone,” Henry said of Webb, who could find himself in the Queensland Cup playing for Northern Pride against the Sunshine Coast in Cairns. “We’re pretty happy with how the other players are going. Payne, O’Donnell, Matt Scott ($179,400 FRF) and Scott Bolton ($224,00 2RF) are certainties. Steve Southern ($155,300 2RF), Manase Manuokafoa (137,100 FRF), Antonio Kaufusi ($142,700 FRF), James Tamou ($141,600 FRF) and Steve Rapira ($161,400 2RF) all are worthy of an opportunity against the Broncos. Clint Amos ($93,500 HOK/2RF) is in consideration for a bench spot and Will Tupou (Not Listed) could land in the back row, wing or on the interchange.

Where’s Willie ?

Willie Mason ($178,100 FRF/2RF) trial debut for the North Queensland has almost gone unnoticed except for his hulking frame and applause from the run on. Competing in the first half of the victory over the Queensland Cup team the Northern Pride, Mason failed to have an impact early dropping a couple of balls and generally being avoided by the Prides offence. A couple of hit ups in the second half against the Warriors gave Coach Neil Henry and DT Coaches an indication of what Mason might be capable of this season for the Cowboys. Playing under testing conditions, strong defence coupled with handling errors kept the scores tight for most of the match until late in the second half when the Warriors ran away with three tries to seal the win. “Credit to the Warriors. They seemed to have a bit more cohesion in their attack,” Henry said.”We were a bit disappointing with our attack.” The Cowboys were missing Jonathan Thurston ($268,600 HLV) a late withdrawal with hamstring tightness although Ray Thompson (Not Listed), Grant Rovelli ($159,500 HLV) and Aaron Payne ($237,500 HOK) all showed spark when in the role. Warriors mentor Ivan Cleary was also pleased with his sides pre season form, “A lot of players are playing well at this stage which is a pretty good sign. “I thought we got better as the game went on in terms of our direction and the way we wanted to play. Defensively, we were pretty strong.” Cleary also mentioned that Queensland Origin Star Brent Tate ($148,900 CTW) will more than likely make his return from injury next Saturday in Auckland.

NZ WARRIORS 28 (L Hohaia 2 A Heremaia P Ah Van B Tupou tries B Seymour K Locke R Packer S Johnson goals) bt NORTH QUEENSLAND 6 (O Geia try J Williams goal) at Barlow Park, Cairns.

Willie’s Words …

  • Players like Johnathan Thurston, Willie Tonga, Carl Webb, Luke O’Donnell, Matt Bowen – they’re world-class players (Carl Webb ?)
  • If I can add a different dimension to the team and put my skills together with everybody else’s, then I think we can have a fair chance at having a really successful year.
  • I didn’t really want to go to a club that wasn’t going to be a top-eight contender and I think North Queensland are on the verge of something special (Hmm… what does that say about the Knights?)
  • I don’t really look back on the past, I look forward to the future,” he said. “I looked at the team up here and thought I could play my best football at the Cowboys
  • Last year I was coming back from a knee reconstruction, you can use that as an excuse or whatever, but this year I’ve got no excuses. (Does he know about our comp?)
  • I’ll be 100 per cent fit and ready to roll
  • The professionalism of the set-up that they’ve got up here, the way that they’ve handled the whole situation … I’m glad it’s all settled now and I can just get along with playing football, what I do best.
  • It’s not a maroon jersey [but] I think it’s the closest thing I’ll get to playing for Queensland,” (Keep Dreamin Willie)
  • They’re definitely passionate about football, Queenslanders, and I love that about them. If you play some good football, you get the rewards (Look out if you don’t though! What were we (Qlders) again – Nutbag Rednecks, thats it)