x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Cayless gives Eels timely boost as they brace up for Storm

The Parramatta Eels prop Nathan Cayless declared himself fit for today's NRL grand final against Melbourne Storm.

The Parramatta Eels prop Nathan Cayless declared himself fit for today's NRL grand final against Melbourne Storm. Having overcome a niggling hamstring strain, Cayless, 31, was thrilled to have earned a second shot at a premiership title. "I'm very happy to be playing," said the Parramatta captain. The Eels coach Daniel Anderson, lauded Cayless's enduring commitment, saying: "We didn't expect him to train last night but he did, so that was a bonus. The boys are happy he's playing and happy that he gets an opportunity to participate."

In Europe, the defending Super League champions Leeds were through to a third successive grand final after a 27-20 win over Catalans Dragons at Headingley on Friday. The England wing Ryan Hall's 33rd try of the season and stand-off Danny McGuire's double secured Leeds' narrow win, which kept them on track for a hat-trick of Super League titles. The Leeds coach, Brian McClennan, believed there was more to come from his men in next week's final at Old Trafford - against St Helens or Wigan.

"We hold our hands up. We could have done better. But in some ways it's nice that we didn't fire all our shots," McClennan said. "Timing is everything. It's a matter of us getting our timing right," he added. Meanwhile, Sailosi Tagicakibau's sixth try in five games helped London Irish to an 11-8 win over Sale at Edgeley Park on Friday. Despite moving them to the top of the English Guinness Premiership, Irish's win was marred by the sending off of Peter Richards late in the second half. Richards elbowed Neil Briggs in an off-the-ball incident on the touchline. Toby Booth, the Irish head coach, was unhappy with the decision, believing Briggs over- reacted. "He went down quite easily," Booth said.

Leicester were indebted to a try from the England flanker Lewis Moody and 14 points from the boot of Jeremy Staunton for preserving their year-long unbeaten home record as they came back twice from behind to beat a gritty Worcester 19-14 yesterday. Saracens can return to the top of the league if they beat Newcastle today, while Leeds Carnegie welcome Gloucester and Wasps play host to Northampton in the division's other games.

* With agencies