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Katsidis, Power headline week

TEAMS made early season bids to establish themselves as premiership contenders, while further abroad, things didn't exactly go to plan.

Toowoomba boxer Michael Katsidis was well-beaten in his lightweight world title showdown with American Robert Guerrero in Las Vegas and today his camp speaks to Finda about what lays ahead.

Another Toowoomba product plying his trade overseas was able to ensure the weekend finished on a high when Will Power won the second round of the IndyCar series in Alabama.

Michael Katsidis

THE Michael Katsidis camp was left ruing a missed opportunity as they came to terms with Sunday's world title loss to American Robert Guerrero.

Katsidis lost a unanimous points decision in what was a dominant Guerrero performance, as the pair battled for the WBA and WBO interim lightweight world title belts.

While not disputing the judges scorecards, Katsidis' trainer Brendon Smith yesterday questioned the decision of referee Russell Mora in twice deducting a point for a Katsidis low blow in the eighth round.

Points aside, Smith believes Mora's decision allowed Guerrero to recover form legitimate body shots snatching away one of Katsidis' rare opportunities in the bout.

"I honestly think that was the turning point in the fight," Smith said.

"We were up against a very classy boxer and in these big fights, opportunities can come along rarely. Michael took his opportunity and went to the body and then the referee decided to deduct points and allow the other fighter to recover.

"That was probably Michael's opportunity and it got taken away from him. What it makes it a bit more disappointing is the fact I pointed out the height of Guerrero's shorts before the fight in the dressing room, in the ring before the fight and during the fight.

"Take nothing away from Guerrero. He fought brilliantly and he deserved the win."

Smith said the decision for Katsidis to press on for the fight after receiving five stitches for a cut sustained in sparring had affected his preparation.

"His timing was definitely a bit out," Smith said.

"Michael had the cut four weeks ago and we had to change his program. He wasn't able to spar and was probably a bit dusty because of it.

"But in saying that, we made the decision to go ahead with the fight, so we have to wear the decision we made."

The loss to Guerrero means Katsidis has now had back-to-back losses, having been stopped in the ninth round by Juan Manuel Marquez in November.

Where he heads next still remains a mystery, with Smith saying it was still "too early" to make any decisions, but he was confident Katsidis remained a boxer many wanted to see in action.

"The thing is Michael is fighting the best in the division. Guerrero is a two-time world champion and was the number one contender and we fought a future Hall of Fame boxer in Marquez before that.

"I think it's important his next fight is a win, but we'll let everything die down and then have a look at our options.

"One thing is for certain, we'd like a bit more luck. The last two camps, with Stathi passing away and then the cut, certainly haven't been ideal."

Will Power

BACK on top and full of beans, Australian IndyCar star Will Power was barely sweating after claiming victory in the grand prix of Alabama today.

Power led from start to finish at the 3.83km road circuit at Barber Motorsports Park, finishing 3.38 seconds ahead of New Zealander Scott Dixon, while series defending champion Dario Franchitti of Scotland was third.

Power now sits top of the standings after two races with 94 points, while Franchitti has 87 and Tony Kanaan 63.

“I have got so much energy,” the 30-year-old said after the win.

“That is one of the easiest races I have done physically. I have been training really hard for the season and Scott Dixon was pushing me to the limit at the end.
 

”Leading the race from flag to flag just came down to getting the jump start and staying consistent the whole time with where I started. It came down to holding Scott Dixon off until the end.“

The next round of the IndyCar championship is the grand prix of Long Beach in Florida next Sunday (Monday AM AEST).

Toowoomba Rugby League

OAKEY and Brothers continue to set the pace at the top of the Toowoomba Rugby League competition.

Six rounds into the 2011 season and neither team has tasted defeat.

Valleys, who have won the last five TRL titles, are ominously places just one win behind the leaders.

Results

A GRADE

Brothers 34 d Newtown 20.

Goondiwindi 42 d Wattles 34

Oakey 48 d Gatton 36

Pittsworth 44 d Highfields 30

Valleys 30 d Souths 26.

Warwick 26 d Dalby 22.

RESERVE GRADE

Newtown 28 d Brothers 14.

Goondiwindi 46 d Wattles 30.

Valleys 42 d Souths 12.

Pittsworth 40 d Highfields 32.

Gatton 24 d Oakey 22.

Warwick 28 drew Dalby 28.

UNDER 18

Brothers 48 d Newtown 12.

Goondiwindi 46 d Wattles 12.

Souths 30 drew Valleys 30.

Highfields 25 d Pittsworth 8.

Gatton 44 d Oakey 12.

Warwick 34 d Dalby 22

C GRADE

Brothers 28 d Newtown 20

Valleys 22 d Souths 12

Junior Clydesdales

IT WAS mixed results for the Toowoomba Clydesdales in their respective Mal Meninga and Cyril Connell Cup clashes at the weekend.

The young Clydesdales played host to the Sunshine Coast Falcons at Herb Steinohrt Oval on Saturday.

Sunshine Coast handed the Mal Meninga Cup side a 28-10 defeat, however, Jeriah Goodrich was able to add a positive when he crossed for two tries.

The Cyril Connell Cup Clydesdales were able to reverse the result, beating the Sunshine Coast 34-12.

Williams Sullivan crossed for two tries for the Clydesdales in their seven-try win.

Results:

Mal Meninga Cup

SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS 28 (Ajuma Adams 2, Drew Mitchell, David Oakes, Travis Long tries; Davis Oakes 4 goals) d TOOWOOMBA CLYDESDALES 10 (Jeriah Goodrich 2 tries; Ryan Stevens  goal) at Valleys, Toowoomba.

Cyril Connell Cup

TOOWOOMBA CLYDESDALES  34 (William Sullivan 2, Jarrod Dodd, Ashley Taylor, Greg Milne, Sam Handley, Ryley Bishop tries; Corey Langton 2, Ashley Taylor goals) d SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS  12 (Bryson Mahon, Rhys Fletcher, Deacon Fletcher tries) at Valleys, Toowoomba.

Hockey

RED Lion's A Grade women's premiership credentials will go on the line on Sunday when they face reigning premier Rangeville at Clyde Park.

The Lions continued their undefeated start to the 2011 season with a 1-0 win against Newtown at the weekend, while competition benchmark Rangeville scored a convincing 4-0 win against Norths.

While Red Lion have been creeping up the ladder in recent seasons, they will have a better understanding of whether or not they are a genuine contender for the 2011 title after Sunday.

In men's fixtures, reigning premier Newtown scored four second half goals to beat a depleted Red Lion 4-1, while Norths beat Rangeville 4-0.

AFL Darling Downs

HIGHFIELDS' impressive start to the 2011 AFL Darling Downs season came to abrupt halt when they suffered a 101-point loss to South Toowoomba.

The two teams went into the game as the only unbeaten sides, with Highfields having also captured the pre-season competitio title.

But Saturday's game was all one-sided as Souths romped to victory.

Results

South Toowoomba 22.15 - 157 d Highfields 6.10 - 46.

Toowoomba Tigers 12.10 - 82 d Warwick 9.9 - 63.

Coolaroo 20.12 - 132 d Dalby 7.11 - 53.

University 22.26 - 158 d Lockyer Valley 1.2 - 8.

Darling Downs Rugby Union

UNIVERSITY continued its impressive start to the Darling Downs Rugby Union season with an emphatic 61-0 hammering of Roma at the weekend.

It was the second strong win by USQ to start the season having scored an impressive 33-10 win against reigning premier Toowoomba Bears last weekend.

Results

University 61 d Roma 0.

Condamine 29 d UQ Gatton/Highfields 24.

Toowoomba Bears 19 d Dalby 10.

Goondiwindi 44 d Warwick 5.

Toowoomba Rangers 46 d St George 11.



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