Brisbane maintained their position in the top 8, and made it just that little bit harder for Wests Tigers to qualify for the
playoffs, when a late field goal to Karmichael Hunt got the Broncos over the line 19-18 against Wests Tigers at Suncorp
Stadium on Friday night.
The Tigers opened the scoring in the 5th minute, when Chris Heighington broke out of three attempted tackles before
setting up Brett Hodgson. But the Broncos hit back, with a field goal and then a try to Joel Moon putting the Broncos 8-6
ahead after 20 minutes.
The Tigers worked hard to gain field position, but were unable to capitalise, with their only further scoring before the
siren coming from a 35th minute penalty goal to Brett Hodgson. After the siren had sounded, the Broncos were unable
to make the tackle that would end the half. Dene Halatau found a gap in the Broncos’ line and ran in to score. The
conversion attempt was unsuccessful, but the try gave the Tigers a 12-8 lead at the break.
It took some time after the break for either side to create any serious scoring opportunities, with the ball largely
confined to the middle of the field. But in the 50th minute, Dave Taylor made a 50 metre break out wide before centreing
to Denan Kemp. Kemp’s try levelled the score, and Michael Ennis’ conversion put the Broncos ahead. And just two
minutes later, Nick Kenny found the line; and despite the conversion attempt being unsuccessful, the Broncos held an
Michael Ennis blew a golden chance to stretch the lead when he was awarded a shot at penalty goal in the 65th
minute, but pressure took its toll and the shot was unsuccessful. And when Liam Fulton crossed to score under the
posts, scores were again level with 10 minutes remaining.
John Morris missed a chance to give the Tigers the lead when his field goal attempt went wide. But at the other end,
Karmichael Hunt made no mistake; and the Broncos took a lead with 5 minutes to. It was a lead that, despite some
determined attack in the final minutes, the Tigers were unable to reverse and the Broncos hung on to take the points.
Brisbane Broncos 19 def Wests Tigers 18
Broncos : Tries – D Kemp, N Kenny, J Moon. Goals – M Ennis 3/4. Field Goals – K Hunt 1/1.
Tigers : Tries – L Fulton, D Halatau, B Hodgson. Goals – B Hodgson 3/4. Field Goals – J Morris 0/1.
Referee – S Hampstead. Crowd – 27,864 at Suncorp Stadium.
St George-Illawarra stretched their winning run to five games when the Dragons edged out a determined Penrith team
13-12 at ANZ Stadium on Friday night.
The game started at a breakneck speed, both sides creating scoring opportunities. The video referee was called into
action three times in the first 9 minutes; disallowing tries to Ben Creagh and Petero Civoniceva before finally awarding
one to Rhys Wesser to open the scoring for the Panthers.
With their tails up, the Panthers continued to attack. They suffered a setback when fullback Rhys Wesser departed
injured, but eventually the weight of possession was converted into scoreboard pressure when Luke Lewis wrong-
footed the St George defence, a massive gap opening up for Lewis to stroll through for the easiest of tries under the
It was 12-0 to the Panthers at the break, and the Dragons needed to get the first try of the second half to get back into
the contest. For 15 agonising minutes it was end to end play as both sides threw everything at each other but were
unable to make anything of it. But finally Chase Stanley made a break, leaving the Penrith defence in his wake as he
ran close to the line before off-loading with a pinpoint pass to Ben Creagh.
The Dragons got the ball back after the kick off. On the 5th tackle, Jamie Soward chipped and chased, getting to the ball
before the Panthers and going for a run to the Panthers’ 20 metre line before delivering a pass to Josh Morris, who ran
the remaining distance to the line to score. Soward’s conversion levelled the scores, a sudden turnaround after the
early control the Panthers had.
On 65 minutes, the Dragons had a chance to take the lead when Jamie Soward was awarded a penalty kick from the
sideline. The two points were missed, but a field goal shortly afterwards was enough to give the Dragons a lead they
would not relinquish for the remainder of the match.
St George-Illawarra Dragons 13 def Penrith Panthers 12
Dragons : Tries – B Creagh, J Morris. Goals – J Soward 2/3. Field Goals – J Soward 1/1.
Panthers : Tries – L Lewis, R Wesser. Goals – S Rodney 1/1, J Sammut 1/1.
Referee – J Maxwell. Crowd – 9,032 at ANZ Stadium.
Canberra wrote another chapter in the disastrous tale of the Bulldogs’ 2008 season when the Raiders belted the
Bulldogs 58-18 at ANZ Stadium on Saturday evening.
The Raiders got out to a 20-6 lead after just 23 minutes before the Bulldogs fought back with two quick-fire tries to
cut the margin to just 2 points. A late Canberra try extended the score to 26-18. It had been free-flowing play,
although the Raiders should have been further in front; held back by some inaccurate goal-kicking by Todd Carney
and by butchering some easy tries.
But the second half was one-way traffic. The Bulldogs were appalling; dropping ball, missing tackles and playing
with no commitment or spirit. The Raiders were finding the line with regularity, as the match became a blowout.
The final scoreline of 58-18 was the Bulldogs’ worst loss since 1959, and possibly their worst performance ever.
The Raiders were nothing special, but at least they showed some reasonable control of the ball. Colin Best was
unstoppable with 4 tries, the spearhead of an 11 try haul by the Raiders.
Canberra Raiders 58 def Bulldogs 18
Raiders : Tries – C Best 4, D Milne 2, J Picker 2, J Carney, B Goodwin, G Turner. Goals – T Carney 5/8, D Campese
Bulldogs : Tries – H El Masri, H Nanai, A Ryan. Goals – H El Masri 3/3.
Referee – G Badger. Crowd – 9,845 at ANZ Stadium.
Melbourne returned to the winning list, and condemned the struggling North Queensland to their 8th loss on the trot,
when the Storm recorded a 48-20 win over the Cowboys at Olympic Park on Saturday night.
The first half was evenly contested, with each side scoring three tries. The Storm led 16-14 at half time, and could
thank Cowboys’ halfback Johnathan Thurston for their lead. Uncharacteristically, Thurston missed two relatively
simple conversion attempts. Ironically, the conversion he did kick was the toughest of the half.
But once the second half got under way, it was the Storm who took control. In the opening minute of the second half,
Steve Turner crashed over the North Queensland line. Although the video referee disallowed the try, Israel Folau
would score a minute later. Turner was subsequently awarded a try, and would go on to make it a double as the
Storm took control.
But the star of the day was Greg Inglis, who would record a hat-trick and have a hand in several other tries. He was a
star performer, but virtually everyone in the Melbourne side played their role to perfection. The Storm remain in the
top 2, while the Cowboys’ season deteriorates from bad to worse; an 8-game losing streak leaving them stranded in
the lower reaches of the ladder and needing a miracle to get back into finals contention.
Melbourne Storm 48 def North Queensland Cowboys 20
Storm : Tries – G Inglis 3, S Turner 2, J Smith, B Slater, M Geyer, I Folau. Goals – C Smith 6/9.
Cowboys : Tries – M Henry, J Williams, C Webb, R Cashmere. Goals – J Thurston 2/4.
Referee – B Sutton. Crowd – 10,880 at Olympic Park.
Manly retained top spot on the ladder and ensured the Warriors would remain stuck in the bottom three on the ladder
when the Sea Eagles took out a 20-14 win in appalling wet conditions on a heavy track at Mt Smart Stadium.
It was one try apiece in the first half. Manu Vatuvei was first to cross for a score, before Brett Stewart replied for the
Sea Eagles. But Matt Orford was unable to convert Stewart’s try, and the Warriors held a 6-4 lead at the break.
Five minutes after the break, Glenn Stewart matched his brother’s achievement by crossing for a try, and the Sea
Eagles took the lead. On the hour, Simon Mannering found the line, and with Michael Witt unable to land the
conversion the scores were locked at 10-10.
On 67 minutes, Aidan Kirk put up a bomb, chased it down and scored in the corner. In the wet and the strong wind,
the conversion was too hard to Witt to land; but the try gave the Warriors a shock 14-10 lead and hopes of an upset
were in the air.
But it wasn’t to be, as the Sea Eagles scored twice in the first five minutes. Matt Ballin from dummy half crashed over
the line to score to score, and Matt Orford converted to give the Sea Eagles the lead. And with just seconds to go,
Brent Kite burst over to score in the corner and make the game safe for the visitors. It was frustrating for the Warriors
to get so close and miss out, but the Sea Eagles were able to step up when the game was there to be won; a
difference between a top side and a struggling side, even in a competition as close as this one.
Manly Sea Eagles 20 def New Zealand Warriors 14
Sea Eagles : Tries – M Ballin, B Kite, B Stewart, G Stewart. Goals – M Orford 2/4.
Warriors : Tries – A Kirk, S Mannering, M Vatuvei. Goals – M Witt 1/3.
Referee – T De las Heras. Crowd – 7,141 at Mt Smart Stadium.
In an even season where a win over a near rival is effectively worth double points, Sydney Roosters pulled off an
important victory when they edged out Newcastle 16-14 in a tight encounter at Energy Australia Stadium on Sunday.
The Roosters were denied an early try by the video referee, but Shaun Kenny-Dowall lept high to pull down a bomb
from Braith Anasta just minutes later to open the scoring for the Roosters. But the Knights fought back, a penalty
goal to Kurt Gidley giving the Knights their first score before some individual brilliance from Danny Buderus created a
try that would put the Knights 8-6 ahead at the break.
Early in the second half, Kenny-Dowall ran 50m along the sideline, somehow managing to just stay within the field of
play to run in and score to restore the Roosters’ lead. And when David Shillington added a converted try, it was 16-8
to the visitors and the Knights had some work to do to get back into the contest.
But the game wasn’t over yet. With 10 minutes to go, Corey Paterson crashed through the Roosters’ defence to find
a way to dive over the line and score. And with the margin back to 2 points, the Knights continued to press as the
exhausted Roosters held on for dear life. And the game went down to the final seconds, with Wes Naiqama battling
Anthony Minichiello to retrieve a ball that had been grubbered into the Roosters’ in-goal. It came down to a photo-
finish, but after what seemed an eternity, the video referee finally ruled that Minichiello had got first touch on the ball.
Naiqama’s try was denied, and the Roosters hung on to claim victory; a result that keeps them in the top 4, but sees
the Knights in real danger of falling out of the top 8.
Sydney Roosters 16 def Newcastle Knights 14
Roosters : Tries – S Kenny-Dowall 2, D Shillington. Goals – C Fitzgibbon 2/2, A Roberts 0/1.
Knights : Tries – D Buderus, C Paterson. Goals – K Gidley 3/3.
Referee – T Archer. Crowd – 19,253 at Energy Australia Stadium.
Cronulla maintained their chase for a top-4 position, and put Parramatta’s finals hopes in jeopardy, when the Sharks
maintained their status as the Eels’ bogey team with a 16-14 home win at Toyota Stadium on Sunday.
A packed house in cold conditions provided plenty of atmosphere as the ball travelled from end to end in the opening
10 minutes. But it was the Eels who would be first to get on the board, with winger Taulima Tautai finding a gap in
the Cronulla line to score in the corner. Luke Burt converted with a magnificent kick from the sideline, and when a
penalty goal was added a few minutes later the Eels had opened up an 8-0 lead.
Isaac de Gois took the ball at dummy half and crashed over to get the Sharks on the board, but the day threatened to
go pear-shaped for the Sharks shortly afterwards when key playmaker Greg Bird was stretchered off with what looks
like a serious knee injury. At half time, the Eels held a 8-6 advantage.
A scrappy opening to the second term saw both sides add a penalty goal to their scores; before Luke Douglas
pounced on a Parramatta knock-on and ran over the line to score. Covell’s conversion put the Sharks 14-10 ahead.
And the scores would remain that way for the next 20 minutes, both sides looking to create scoring opportunities but
coming up blank.
But with just 4 minutes to go, Tony Williams benefitted from some sustained pressure to crash over and level the
scores for Parramatta. But crucially, Luke Burt missed a conversion he would normally have kicked, and the scores
were locked at 14-14 with time running out and the spectre of golden point hovering.
The Sharks were running forward, but as Brett Kimmorley prepared to line up an attempt at field goal, he was
brought down by a high shot from Fuifoi Moimoi. Moimoi’s brain explosion saw him given 10 in the bin, but more
importantly it gave Luke Covell a shot at a penalty goal to win the game. As Covell kicked successfully, the siren
sounded; and the Sharks had taken the points.
Cronulla Sharks 16 def Parramatta Eels 14
Sharks : Tries - I de Gois, L Douglas. Goals – L Covell 4/4.
Eels : Tries – T Tautai, T Williams. Goals – L Burt 3/4.
Referee – S Hayne. Crowd – 17,547 at Toyota Stadium.
After months of frustration and disappointment, Souths have finally climbed off the bottom of the ladder after a 24-23
win over Gold Coast at ANZ Stadium on Monday night.
It was a game of see-sawing fortunes, with numerous lead changes. The Titans led 12-10 at the break, and a
double to Anthony Laffranchi in the second half saw the visitors look like cruising to victory. But a rising injury toll saw
four players unable to continue, forcing the Titans to play the last 20 minutes with no interchange bench.
The Rabbitohs came storming home, levelling the scores with five minutes to go. The stakes were high as both
sides struggled for field position, and the Titans again looked to have the upper hand when Scott Prince landed a
drop goal from 40 metres.
But as the Rabbitohs came forward, looking for one last crack at stealing the game, Jordan Atkins held down Beau
Champion for too long after a tackle. Referee Steve Lyons awarded a penalty; and despite the pressure of the
moment, Isaac Luke made no mistake to slot home the penalty goal and give the Rabbitohs a welcome and unlikely
victory. The result sees the Titans crash out of the top 4, but also gets the Rabbitohs off the bottom of the ladder.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 24 def Gold Coast Titans 23
Rabbitohs : Tries – I Luke 2, D Fa’alogo, J Sutton. Goals – I Luke 3/4, C Sandow 0/1.
Titans : Tries – A Laffranchi 2, J Atkins, S Prince. Goals – S Prince 3/4. Field Goals – S Prince 0/1.
Referee – S Lyons. Crowd – 9,827 at ANZ Stadium.
|ROUND 16 FIXTURES:
(All times shown are Sydney time)
Friday 27th June
Sydney Roosters v Bulldogs (7:30pm, Sydney Football Stadium)
Penrith v Brisbane (7:30pm, CUA Stadium)
Saturday 28th June
Gold Coast v St George-Illawarra (5:30pm, Skilled Park)
Manly v Newcastle (7:30pm, Bluetongue Stadium)
North Queensland v South Sydney (7:30pm, Dairy Farmers Stadium)
Sunday 29th June
Wests Tigers v NZ Warriors (2:00pm, Leichhardt Oval)
Parramatta v Melbourne (3:00pm, Parramatta Stadium)
Monday 30th June
Canberra v Cronulla (7:00pm, Canberra Stadium)