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REAL NRL: SEMI FINALS

The first week of the Newcastle Rugby League finals series has come and gone with West’s season ending in a 24 – 20 thriller at Kurri. Wyong downed Central Charlestown to set up a major semi-final showdown against Cessnock on Saturday while the Bulldogs will head to St John Oval on Sunday to try and beat the Butcher Boys. Have a look at extended highlights of their win against the Rosellas.

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KNIGHTS WARM TO SEMI REHERSAL

The Newcastle Knights are enjoying a few days off before their coach begins a semi-final like approach to their next encounter. Newcastle’s record in Canberra isn’t great and after two emotion charged wins, it shapes as a real danger game for a team yet to secure a place in the top eight.

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RELIEF FOR KANTA WITH ANKLE INJURY OK

The Under 20s World Cup dream remains on course for Newcastle Jets young gun Ben Kantarovski after an injury scare last night in Perth. Going down 2 – nil, it was the Jets first defeat of the season, but initial concerns for Kantarovski were tempered today. More good news late today with four Newcastle players were named in a preliminary squad for the Under 20s World Cup today. Australian U20s Preliminary Squad Jason Hoffman Benjamin Kantarovski Jason Naidovski James Virgili James Holland (AZ Alkmaar)

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ELRICH’S NATIONAL AMBITIONS

Newcastle Jets flyer Tarek Elrich has made an interesting admission, that his new coach’s style will help him press claims for Socceroo selection. Although plagued by a groin injury, Elrich is hoping his latest round of treatment will help him avoid surgery until the end of the A-League season. He’s been revelling under Branko Culina’s change in playing style, which allows Elrich more freedom and it’s all part of a plan for higher representative honours. “He told me to express myself and he’s actually talked to me about rep football and taking it too the next level. It’s been happening last couple of weeks and hopefully see me more in attack in the the future.” The Jets play the Glory in Perth on Sunday. (***)

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