JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.



Roosters a done deal, says SBW

Date

Danny Weidler

THE LAST WORD

Bondi-bound ... Sonny Bill Williams.

Bondi-bound ... Sonny Bill Williams.

SONNY BILL WILLIAMS has all but confirmed he will be a Rooster next year, but before that he has another huge challenge on his hands - fighting South African heavyweight Francois Botha at the end of next month. Speaking from Japan, Williams told me there were no more details to be finalised with the Bondi-based club and he had always intended to honour his handshake deal with Roosters supremo Nick Politis. ''It's a done deal. I made it a long time ago,'' he said. ''I know where I'm playing next year and I'm ready to meet the challenge head-on. There's no more negotiations that need to be done.'' After becoming one of the best centres in the world in rugby union, and bringing a new dimension to the rival code with his freakish offloading ability, Williams is unfazed by having to readjust to the 13-man game. ''Next year I've been out of the game for five years and next year I have to go and meet the challenge head-on, there is no other way around it,'' he said. ''That's what I'll be doing. It might take me a bit of time to adjust but I hope it doesn't. We will see how we go.'' Williams, of course, is no stranger to multi-skilling across different sports. His contract with Japanese side Panasonic Wild Knights expires in January, but even before then he has lined up a bout with Botha - the ''White Buffalo'' - in Brisbane on November 24. The 44-year-old South African has won 48 fights, lost eight and drawn three in a pro career that includes a fifth-round knockout at the hands of Mike Tyson. ''It's a bit of a daunting prospect but I believe it's a step in the right direction for my boxing,'' Williams said. ''I think the rivalry between New Zealand and South Africa in the rugby sense, it makes it a bit more special.'' Williams last fought in February, scoring a first-round TKO over American Clarence Tillman III in Hamilton. However, Botha appears a big step-up in class. ''I think when you're fighting someone with 60 fights and you've only had five, you have to prepare as well as you can,'' Williams said. ''I feel in my last fight a lot of people wrote me off and you know I performed pretty well. I performed above expectations. Hopefully this Francis Botha is someone I can do the same [against]. I guess I'm putting myself out there again in a boxing sense. A lot of people will be saying I've bit off more than I can chew this time but I'll be looking to do what I've done last fight.'' So how is he handling preparations to compete in three different sports in the space of only several months? ''I've always put myself in testing waters and to my delight so far I've come up trumps,'' Williams said. ''Right now it's a bit tricky 'cause I've got rugby commitments as well, but they've [the Wild Knights] been pretty good in that they've let me do my boxing training in the morning, and also in the afternoon do my rugby training. I feel it only improves me as a rugby player and the proof is in the pudding - the last two years I've played my best rugby, some of my best footy of my career, and I put that down to a bit of boxing on the side.''

Gal's big no to Mad Monday dress-ups

NSW captain Paul Gallen says players should quit dressing up on Mad Monday to avoid becoming media targets - but says the idea of banning the annual celebrations is crazy. Gallen also feels cameras have no reason to be at the players' private celebrations - especially if there are no funny costumes. "I'm not a fan of the dress-up at all - I don't really get it and don't encourage our blokes [at Cronulla] to go that way at all. I know that the media likes those kind of shots and it's a reason to go and follow blokes around. I'll be encouraging our blokes like I did this year not to do that dress-up stuff. If blokes are in a private area and not doing anything to bring attention to themselves why shouldn't they be allowed to have a drink? At the Sharks we went to a private room and had our fun.'' Gallen says the thought of banning Mad Monday or calling it something else altogether is just dumb. "Do you ban Christmas parties for office workers? What about a drink at the end of a week on a Friday night?''

 

Bulldogs' ignorance

BULLDOGS chief executive Todd Greenberg held private talks with Channel Nine boss David Gyngell in the wake of the Mad Monday dramas and Gyngell's advice may have saved the NRL club some further pain and drama. They have a long relationship, and it is understood Gyngell gave Greenberg some advice when it comes to dealing with and challenging the media and he took it on board. Greenberg is said to have impressed Gyngell with his commitment to his club and his willingness to fight for his players. Having had the chance to witness how clubs and the NRL investigate matters at close range over the past week, it really makes you wonder if they ever want to find out what really happened. And the fact that Sam Kasiano has been identified as the one player who was singing ''punch you in the face'' at the media but has not been fined and suspended by the Dogs or the NRL makes you think that it was time that the ARL Commission stepped in and established its own investigation unit rather than leaving it to overworked, underpaid employees. On Monday morning Greenberg, Bulldogs chairman Ray Dib and Des Hasler had a meeting with Nine heavyweights Jeff Browne and Darren Wick. The ARLC's interim chief executive, Shane Mattiske, attended too, and he entered it clearly supporting the Dogs in their view they had been hard done by. This is despite Nine being completely open with the Bulldogs and the ARLC. Nine informed the Bulldogs immediately after the abuse had occurred, and provided the Bulldogs with the full camera recording of the incident. The Bulldogs have produced no CCTV footage, which supports Nine's version of events. They have produced no witnesses or witness statements. They have produced no statutory declarations. They have not interviewed Jayne Azzopardi, nor cameraman Travis Nemtsas. The ARLC did not view the CCTV footage, nor did it speak with any participants or witnesses. The ARLC interviewed Azzopardi only on Tuesday afternoon, by telephone, after Nine insisted. In short, the ARLC has made no effort to conduct an independent or competent inquiry into the events. The Bulldogs have chosen to ignore the sequence of events on the day. Instead, the club management is pinning its entire defence on bizarre YouTube footage featuring James Graham, the player banned for 12 games on a biting charge in the grand final. According to the Bulldogs, he didn't do that either. The fact the ARLC was willing to back the Dogs with so little evidence is a real worry. There is no doubt that Browne's strong stance in the meeting, and the way he and Wick told the ARLC they were backing their reporter to the hilt, may have had some influence over the way the situation panned out. Browne also was strong when Dib tried to fire him up - to say Browne stopped him in his tracks is an understatement.

Graham on outer

JAMES GRAHAM must be wondering if the Bulldogs are with him or against him - he was thrown under the bus by the club when they produced the YouTube footage of him being handled by an older woman as their Mad Monday defence. He is sure to be given grief by players at rival teams. The club has also been happy to spread the line that his nickname is ''Dog'' or even ''Dumb Dog'' which replaces Bupa and Cow's Head.

Bellyache puff

THIS column alerted you to the fact the Dragons were in the hunt in a big way for Craig Bellamy and they are in the best position to have a crack at the Storm coach simply because St George Illawarra's Steve Price is off contract and yet to make his mark as an NRL coach. The main competition the Dragons face could well come from the Cowboys. There are plenty within that organisation who believe Bellamy has the coaching pedigree to turn North Queensland into a multiple premiership-winning club.

Knives out at ARU

ARU chairman Michael Hawker did a great job of talking for outgoing chief John O'Neill in his ''retirement'' media conference on Friday - which is ironic if you believe the stories the pair do not get along. O'Neill used to rule the roost before Hawker came on to the scene. I've been told the pair do not get along. O'Neill is normally a polished media performer but he was made to look like a first-day rookie when questions about Quade Cooper and Robbie Deans were cut off by Hawker. From what I've been told, Hawker has dominated O'Neill and the pair rarely talk unless it's for professional reasons. Word is David Nucifora is off with the states in rugby and could also be on his way out.

Cooper's courage

QUADE COOPER has been sitting back with a knowing look on his face after his arch enemy Richie McCaw launched into Robbie Deans. McCaw barked out a line: ''Robbie's approach is to say, 'This is what we are doing' then convince people that's the way it has to be. He is very good at that.'' He also said: ''Robbie doesn't want to be challenged by his assistants''. Those have been among the criticisms that Cooper has made of Deans publicly and privately - and the truth is there are plenty of players who have agreed with Cooper's views - but not the way he said it. It makes the ARU look silly for going with Deans who has not delivered on what his track record promised. And one day soon Cooper will get some credit for having the courage to stand up. Cooper was the subject of an attack from McCaw in response to his knee to the head. McCaw wrote with passion about the event. ''It proves he has a heartbeat at least,'' Cooper said.

Gallop takes the reins

SPOTTED at last night's Sydney FC match was David Gallop getting his Alessandro Del Piero fix and starting to endear himself to the football faithful. He is a changed man - but confused about his exit from the NRL.

Pearce dumped

IT WAS a throwaway line from a Playboy bunny but when Ciara Price said she preferred Hawthorn superstar Buddy Franklin to Mitchell Pearce because she couldn't handle being ''around all that alcohol all the time'' the alarm bells started ringing in Roosterland. This column heard stories about the wild days of Pearce, especially after State of Origin. Players have mentioned their concerns to those with power at the Roosters.

3 comments so far

  • It's a shame that James Graham is not here for Mike Tyson's visit.Something for the both them to get there teeth into,and a few pointers for Graham from Mike.

    Commenter
    Rory Clarke
    Location
    Central Coast
    Date and time
    October 14, 2012, 11:55AM
    • What is it with the amount of former Canterbury players that go to the Roosters?

      Commenter
      Meanie
      Date and time
      October 14, 2012, 2:41PM
      • So SBW has a handshake agreement. Good luck Chooks, you're gonna need it!!!!!

        Commenter
        Ivor Biggen
        Date and time
        October 14, 2012, 9:14PM

        Make a comment

        You are logged in as [Logout]

        All information entered below may be published.

        Error: Please enter your screen name.

        Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

        Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

        Error: Please enter your comment.

        Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

        Post to

        You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

        Thank you

        Your comment has been submitted for approval.

        Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

        NRL Season 2015

        Round 1
        Thu, 05 MarTimes shown AEDT
        BRI 6 vs SOU 36 Report Stats
        Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
        PAR 42 vs MAN 12 Report Report Stats
        Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
        NEW 24 vs WAR 14 Report Stats
        GCT 18 vs WST 19 Report Stats
        NQL 4 vs SYD 28 Report Stats
        Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
        PEN 24 vs CBY 18 Report Stats
        CRO 20 vs CBR 24 Report Stats
        Mon, 09 MarTimes shown AEDT
        STG 4 vs MEL 12 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 2
        Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
        CBY 32 vs PAR 12 Report Stats
        CRO 2 vs BRI 10 Report Stats
        Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
        PEN 40 vs GCT Report Stats
        MAN 24 vs MEL 22 Stats
        NQL 14 vs NEW 16 Report Stats
        Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
        SOU 34 vs SYD 26 Stats
        CBR 6 vs WAR 18 Report Stats
        Mon, 16 MarTimes shown AEDT
        WST 22 vs STG 4 Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 3
        Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
        MAN 12 vs CBY 16 Report Stats
        BRI 44 vs NQL 22 Report Stats
        Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
        WAR 29 vs PAR 16 Report Stats
        CBR 20 vs STG 22 Report Stats
        MEL 36 vs CRO 18 Report Stats
        Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
        SOU 20 vs WST 6 Report Stats
        GCT 18 vs NEW 20 Report Stats
        Mon, 23 MarTimes shown AEDT
        SYD 20 vs PEN 12 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 4
        Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
        PAR 29 vs SOU 16 Report Stats
        WST 24 vs CBY 25 Report Stats
        Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
        NEW 26 vs PEN 14 Report Stats
        CRO 22 vs GCT 24 Stats
        STG 12 vs MAN 4 Report Stats
        Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
        WAR 16 vs BRI 24 Report Stats
        SYD 34 vs CBR 6 Stats
        Mon, 30 MarTimes shown AEDT
        NQL vs MEL 19:001300 Smiles Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        Round 5
        Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
        CBY vs SOU 16:00ANZ
        GCT vs BRI 20:35Cbus Super Stadium
        Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
        MAN vs CBR 17:30Lavington Sports Ground
        NEW vs STG 19:30HS
        Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
        SYD vs CRO 16:00AS
        Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
        PAR vs WST 15:00ANZ
        MEL vs WAR 17:00AAMI
        PEN vs NQL 19:00Pepper Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        Round 6
        Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
        BRI vs SYD 19:35SUN
        CRO vs NEW 19:35Remondis Stadium
        Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
        PAR vs GCT 15:00Pirtek Stadium
        WAR vs WST 17:30MSS
        PEN vs MAN 19:30Pepper Stadium
        Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
        CBR vs MEL 14:00GIO Stadium
        STG vs CBY 16:00ANZ
        Mon, 13 AprTimes shown AEST
        SOU vs NQL 19:00ANZ
        View All Fixtures
        Round 7
        Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
        CBY vs MAN 19:35ANZ
        STG vs BRI 19:35Jubilee Oval
        Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
        GCT vs PEN 15:00Cbus Super Stadium
        NQL vs WAR 17:301300 Smiles Stadium
        MEL vs SYD 19:30AAMI
        Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
        WST vs CBR 14:00VAS
        NEW vs PAR 16:00HS
        Mon, 20 AprTimes shown AEST
        CRO vs SOU 19:00Remondis Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        Round 8
        Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
        CBY vs WST 19:45ANZ
        Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
        WAR vs GCT 12:00MSS
        NEW vs NQL 14:00HS
        SYD vs STG 16:00AS
        MEL vs MAN 18:15AAMI
        BRI vs PAR 20:00SUN
        Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
        PEN vs CRO 14:00Pepper Stadium
        SOU vs CBR 16:00Barlow Park
        View All Fixtures
        Round 9
        Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
        BRI vs PEN 19:35SUN
        SYD vs WST 19:35AS
        Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
        CBR vs GCT 15:00GIO Stadium
        CRO vs WAR 17:30Remondis Stadium
        NQL vs CBY 19:301300 Smiles Stadium
        Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
        MAN vs NEW 14:00BO
        PAR vs MEL 16:00Pirtek Stadium
        Mon, 11 MayTimes shown AEST
        SOU vs STG 19:00ANZ
        View All Fixtures
        Round 10
        Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
        CBY vs SYD 19:35ANZ
        NQL vs BRI 19:351300 Smiles Stadium
        Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
        PAR vs WAR 15:00Pirtek Stadium
        GCT vs CRO 17:30Cbus Super Stadium
        MEL vs SOU 19:30AAMI
        Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
        STG vs CBR 14:00WIN
        NEW vs WST 16:00HS
        Mon, 18 MayTimes shown AEST
        MAN vs PEN 19:00BO
        View All Fixtures
        Round 11
        Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
        SOU vs PAR 19:45ANZ
        Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
        WST vs NQL 19:30CSS
        Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
        CBR vs CBY 16:00GIO Stadium
        Mon, 25 MayTimes shown AEST
        NEW vs BRI 19:00HS
        View All Fixtures
        Round 12
        Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
        PEN vs PAR 19:45Pepper Stadium
        Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
        GCT vs SOU 15:00Cbus Super Stadium
        CBR vs BRI 17:30GIO Stadium
        NQL vs MAN 19:301300 Smiles Stadium
        Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
        WAR vs NEW 14:00MSS
        STG vs CRO 16:00Jubilee Oval
        Mon, 01 JunTimes shown AEST
        SYD vs MEL 19:00AS
        View All Fixtures
        Round 13
        Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
        BRI vs MAN 19:35SUN
        WST vs GCT 19:35VAS
        Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
        NEW vs CBR 15:00HS
        SOU vs WAR 17:30nib Stadium
        PEN vs MEL 19:30Pepper Stadium
        Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
        CRO vs SYD 16:00Remondis Stadium
        Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
        CBY vs STG 16:00ANZ
        PAR vs NQL 19:00Pirtek Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        Round 14
        Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
        WST vs SOU 19:45ANZ
        Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
        WAR vs SYD 18:00MSS
        Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
        GCT vs CBY 16:00Cbus Super Stadium
        Mon, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
        MEL vs PAR 19:00AAMI
        View All Fixtures
        Round 15
        Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
        MAN vs WST 19:45BO
        Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
        CBR vs NQL 15:00GIO Stadium
        GCT vs WAR 17:30Cbus Super Stadium
        CBY vs PEN 19:30ANZ
        Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
        NEW vs CRO 14:00HS
        MEL vs BRI 16:00AAMI
        Mon, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
        STG vs SYD 19:00AS
        View All Fixtures
        Round 16
        Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
        BRI vs NEW 19:35SUN
        SOU vs MAN 19:35ANZ
        Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
        WAR vs CBR 15:00MSS
        NQL vs CRO 17:301300 Smiles Stadium
        PAR vs STG 19:30Pirtek Stadium
        Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
        SYD vs GCT 14:00AS
        WST vs PEN 16:00VAS
        Mon, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
        CBY vs MEL 19:00Belmore Sports Ground
        View All Fixtures
        Round 17
        Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
        PEN vs SOU 19:45Pepper Stadium
        Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
        STG vs NQL 19:30WIN
        Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
        MAN vs CRO 16:00BO
        Mon, 06 JulTimes shown AEST
        WST vs PAR 19:00ANZ
        View All Fixtures
        Round 18
        Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
        CBR vs NEW 19:45GIO Stadium
        Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
        PEN vs SYD 17:30Pepper Stadium
        CBY vs BRI 19:30ANZ
        Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
        WAR vs MEL 14:00MSS
        CRO vs STG 16:00Remondis Stadium
        Mon, 13 JulTimes shown AEST
        GCT vs MAN 19:00Cbus Super Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        Round 19
        Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
        PAR vs CBY 19:35ANZ
        MEL vs PEN 19:35AAMI
        Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
        CBR vs CRO 15:00GIO Stadium
        NEW vs GCT 17:30HS
        STG vs SOU 19:30SCG
        Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
        SYD vs WAR 14:00AS
        BRI vs WST 16:00SUN
        Mon, 20 JulTimes shown AEST
        MAN vs NQL 19:00BO
        View All Fixtures
        Round 20
        Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
        BRI vs GCT 19:35SUN
        WST vs SYD 19:35ANZ
        Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
        WAR vs MAN 15:00MSS
        SOU vs NEW 17:30ANZ
        MEL vs STG 19:30AAMI
        Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
        PEN vs CBR 14:00Pepper Stadium
        CBY vs CRO 16:00Belmore Sports Ground
        Mon, 27 JulTimes shown AEST
        NQL vs PAR 19:001300 Smiles Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        Round 21
        Thu, 30 JulTimes shown AEST
        WAR vs CRO 22:00MSS
        Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
        NQL vs CBR 00:001300 Smiles Stadium
        STG vs NEW 00:00Jubilee Oval
        SOU vs PEN 00:00ANZ
        SYD vs CBY 00:00AS
        MAN vs BRI 00:00To Be Confirmed
        WST vs MEL 00:00VAS
        GCT vs PAR 00:00Cbus Super Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        Round 22
        Thu, 06 AugTimes shown AEST
        WAR vs STG 22:00MSS
        Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
        BRI vs CBY 00:00SUN
        NEW vs SYD 00:00HS
        CBR vs WST 00:00GIO Stadium
        MAN vs SOU 00:00BO
        CRO vs NQL 00:00Remondis Stadium
        MEL vs GCT 00:00AAMI
        PAR vs PEN 00:30TIO
        View All Fixtures
        Round 23
        Thu, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
        BRI vs STG 00:00SUN
        CBY vs GCT 00:00To Be Confirmed
        NQL vs SOU 00:001300 Smiles Stadium
        PEN vs WAR 00:00Pepper Stadium
        CBR vs MAN 00:00GIO Stadium
        SYD vs PAR 00:00AS
        CRO vs MEL 00:00Remondis Stadium
        WST vs NEW 00:00CSS
        View All Fixtures
        Round 24
        Wed, 19 AugTimes shown AEST
        WAR vs NQL 22:00MSS
        Thu, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
        STG vs PEN 00:00WIN
        SOU vs CBY 00:00ANZ
        SYD vs BRI 00:00AS
        MAN vs PAR 00:00BO
        CRO vs WST 00:00Remondis Stadium
        MEL vs NEW 00:00AAMI
        GCT vs CBR 00:00Cbus Super Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        Round 25
        Thu, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
        PAR vs CRO 00:00Pirtek Stadium
        NEW vs CBY 00:00HS
        SOU vs BRI 00:00AS
        CBR vs PEN 00:00GIO Stadium
        MAN vs SYD 00:00BO
        MEL vs NQL 00:00AAMI
        WST vs WAR 00:00CSS
        GCT vs STG 00:00Cbus Super Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        Round 26
        Thu, 03 SepTimes shown AEST
        BRI vs MEL 00:00SUN
        CBY vs WAR 00:00ANZ
        NQL vs GCT 00:001300 Smiles Stadium
        STG vs WST 00:00ANZ
        PAR vs CBR 00:00Pirtek Stadium
        PEN vs NEW 00:00Pepper Stadium
        SYD vs SOU 00:00AS
        CRO vs MAN 00:00Remondis Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        NRL Ladder 2015
        Overall standings
        Team P W L D Pts
        Newcastle Knights 4 4 0 0 8
        Sydney Roosters 4 3 1 0 6
        South Sydney Rabbitohs 4 3 1 0 6
        Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 4 3 1 0 6
        Brisbane Broncos 4 3 1 0 6
        Melbourne Storm 3 2 1 0 4
        Penrith Panthers 4 2 2 0 4
        Parramatta Eels 4 2 2 0 4
        View all
         
        Featured advertisers