TREMENDOUS SERVICE: Brothers rugby league stalwart Ian Rodgers.
TREMENDOUS SERVICE: Brothers rugby league stalwart Ian Rodgers.

Football mainstay steps down: Fitting thanks for 'Rodgo'



IF you have been around rugby league over the past 20 years in Ipswich you would know Brothers stalwart Ian "Rodgo" Rodgers.

Rodgo has been a mainstay at his beloved Brothers club holding many positions in this time from manager of different grades to treasurer and BBQ cooker for the players for their Mad Monday.

Ian's efforts have not gone unnoticed at the club where he is a life member and highly regarded as a father figure by many of the players.

Ian will do anything for Brothers and sometimes that includes managing more than one team on a scheduled game day.

Ian has decided to call it a day after a few health problems recently but will not be lost to the club as he will be down on Saturday mornings cheering on his grandson who now proudly wears the Brothers jersey.

Rodgo, we salute the commitment you have put into the club and you will leave a big hole to fill come next year.

Roosters favoured

AFTER the Storm and Broncos kicked off the NRL season on March 14, it will be the Roosters and Raiders who will battle it out on Sunday for grand final glory.

The Roosters have been one of the form teams all year.

They are worthy grand finalist as they look to win back-to-back titles, a feat that hasn't be achieved since the Broncos won on the big day in 1992 and 93.

They have class all across the park and don't just rely on any one player to win matches.

Their halves pairing of Cronk and Keary are undoubtedly the best in the competition while their forward pack led by Cordner always seem to turn up and play.

Adding to these players is the Dally M Medallist in fullback James Tedesco and you have one of the most formidable teams we have seen play in many years.

The Raiders on the other hand are not the star-studded team like their opponents but grind away before choking the life out of you as the game moves along.

If Canberra are to win this one then they will look to the three Englishmen in their team in hooker Josh Hodgson and second rowers Elliott Whitehead and John Bateman who all love the tough stuff.

Prop Josh Papalii must find another performance like he did in the semi while centres Croker and Leilua must shut their opposing opposition in Mitchell and Manu.

While the Raiders will go into this one as the sentimental favourites with most fans, I cannot see anything but a Roosters victory.

Quick thoughts

SAINTS: 1. Write this name down as a genuine chance of an Olympic gold medal - Kelsey-Lee Barber. Barber has just won a world championship gold medal in the javelin in Doha. She showed nerves of steel to win with her last throw (66.56m).

2. Alyssa Healy is a superstar of women's cricket in all forms of the game and she again showed us what a tremendous batter she is with a world record knock of 148 not out in the third T20 match against Sri Lanka.

3. Richmond fullback Bachar Houli showed that he is more then just a classic act on the field. After winning the AFL grand final on the Saturday he backed up first thing Sunday morning to coach his local team. Pure class.

Sinners: 1. The Wallabies form at the World Cup has been below par so far. They must pick up their act or their will be on the plane back home a few weeks earlier then expected.

2. The AFL has offered woodenspooners the Gold Coast Suns a rescue package including more priority picks. The Suns must deliver shortly or they might not be around for much longer.

Did you know? The 1909 ARL premiership decider was set down to be played between Balmain and Souths.

The NSWRL had planned a game between Australian Rugby League and Union teams on this day also, but both clubs were unhappy that it would upstage the final.

Balmain and Souths unofficially decided that they would not play the grand final. Unbeknown to Balmain, Souths turned up ready to play and were awarded the grand final by forfeit. This was the the first and only time this has ever happened.

Bomber's best: I tipped the Roosters and Raiders to make Sunday's grand final and that's exactly how it has panned out.

This week, I see a Roosters victory with either Latrell Mitchell or Brett Morris scoring the first try.