Wayne Bennett's debut as St George-Illawarra coach would not result in victory, but the Dragons came far closer than
many expected when they forced the Storm to golden point.
The match started well for the Storm, when Greg Inglis went over for the first try of the season, but the Dragons got it
back when Ben Hornby went over just 6 minutes later; and Jamie Soward's accuracy with the boot gave the Dragons
the advantage at the break.
Early in the second half, a run of possession gave the Storm the momentum, tries on the run to Billy Slater and Cooper
Cronk putting the Storm in front. But with just 3 minutes to go, Wendell Sailor went for a 50m run to set up Matt Cooper.
Soward's conversion went straight over the black dot to force the match into overtime, but 3 minutes in added time,
superior field position allowed Greg Inglis to slot the drop goal over.
Melbourne Storm 17 def St George-Illawarra Dragons 16 (in golden point extra time).
Storm : Tries - G Inglis, B Slater, C Cronk. Goals - S Smith 2/3. Field Goals - G Inglis 1/1, C Cronk 0/1..
Dragons : Tries - B Hornby, M Cooper. Goals - J Soward 4/4. Field Goals - D Boyd 0/1, J Soward 0/1, B Hornby 0/1.
Referees - G Badger, S Hayne. Crowd - 14,870 at Olympic Park.
A blockbuster crowd at Suncorp Stadium were in fine voice early when new Broncos signing Israel Folou went over in
the corner. But the Cowboys were to be far more determined and spirited than many were expecting, and this game
would go down to the wire. Willie Tonga hit back for the Cowboys, before a run from Corey Parker gave the Broncos a
10-6 lead at the break.
Debutants Antonio Winterstein and Jacob Yow Yeh scored second half tries for the Broncos, but inaccuracy with the
conversion boot would cost them dearly. And when Carl Webb and Matt Bowen went over for the Cowboys within 6
minutes of each other, and with Johnathon Thurston being deadly accurate with the boot, the game was suddenly back
on level terms. But with just 3 minutes to go, Peter Wallace put the field goal over to give the game to the Broncos.
Brisbane Broncos 19 def North Queensland Cowboys 18.
Broncos : Tries - I Folou, C Parker, A Winterstein, J Yow Yeh. Goals - C Parker 1/4. Field Goals - P Wallace 1/1..
Cowboys : Tries - W Tonga, C Webb, M Bowen. Goals - J Thurston 3/3. Field Goals - T Burns 0/1.
Referees - J Maxwell, T De las Heras. Crowd - 45,022 at Suncorp Stadium.
The pre-match at Mt Smart Stadium featured tributes Sonny Fai, the Warriors player who drowned during the
off-season and Steve Price, who was playing his 300th NRL game. And the Warriors made it a tribute performance to
remember, having the upper hand over Parramatta all evening on their way to a 26-18 win.
It wasn't a match that reached any great heights, but a double to Lance Hohaia was the difference between the teams,
a lopsided flow of possession in the early minutes setting up a lead that the Eels never looked a chance of pulling
New Zealand Warriors 26 def Parramatta 18
Warriors : Tries - L Hohaia 2, J Moon, R Packer. Goals - D Kemp 5/5.
Eels : Tries - K Inu, E Grothe, J Hayne. Goals - L Burt 3/3.
Referees - A Kelin, A Shortall. Crowd - 17,447 at Mt Smart Stadium.
A monumental upset took place on Saturday night at ANZ Stadium. Reigning premiers Manly took on last year's
wooden spooners the Bulldogs, but the 2008 order was reversed as the Bulldogs dominated all night to race to a
A wild thunderstorm made handling the ball difficult, but the Bulldogs had little trouble coping with the conditions.
Particularly for Hazem El Masri, who found it easy kicking for goal even in the swirling wind. El Masri needed 7 points to
break the all-time point scoring record held by Andrew Johns, and before half time the record had changed hands. By
then the Bulldogs were 16-0 ahead, and there was to be no road back for the Sea Eagles.
Bulldogs 34 def Manly 12
Bulldogs : Tries - J Idris 2, B Goodwin 2, J Morris. Goals - H El Masri 7/7.
Sea Eagles : Tries - J Lyon, M Ballin. Goals - M Orford 2/2.
Referees - B Cummins, B Suttor. Crowd - 19,791 at ANZ Stadium.
A thunderstorm kept the crowd down at Toyota Park, but the crowd that did attend saw the Sharks open their 2009
campaign with a hard-fought and gritty win against a Penrith side that showed plenty of fight and determination.
Although the favourites got up, it was far from convincing.
Trent Barrett, back in the NRL after a 2-year stint in England, started in style, his first kick being a 40-20 before going
over in the 10th minute for the first try of the game. Penrith hit back through a run from Michael Jennings, but the
Panthers lacked the attacking firepower to threaten the Sharks; and Anthony Tupou's second half try put the game
beyond Penrith's reach. In slippery conditions, both sides struggled to complete sets in a match that featured more
unforced errors than highlights; but the 2 points was a handy start to the season for the Sharks.
Cronulla 18 def Penrith 10
Sharks : Tries - T Barrett, A Tupou. Goals - L Covell 5/5.
Panthers : Tries - M Jennings. Goals - M Gordon 3/3.
Referees - J Robinson, P Haines. Crowd - 10,117 at Toyota Stadium.
A 1pm start in the Gold Coast heat made the Titans v Knights game a hot affair for the players, with drinks breaks
and an extended half-time break in place. And after 30 minutes, the Knights looked poised for an upset when they
But amazingly the Titans were in front at half time. Three tries in 7 minutes turned the game around, the third, a
spectacular run from Nathan Friend, had the crowd on their feet as they felt the momentum of the match shifting.
The Titans continued on with the job in the second half to go to a 14-point win.
Gold Coast 34 def Newcastle 20
Titans : Tries - M Rogers, S Prince, N Friend, B Meyers, L O'Dwyer, W Zillman. Goals - S Prince 5/6.
Knights : Tries - A Uate, J Mullen, M Hilder. Goals - K Gidley 4/4.
Referees - M Cecchin, C James. Crowd - 16,203 at Skilled Park.
Last year an opening losing run of 7 in a row meant Souths' season was over before it started. But the Rabbitohs
sent a clear message that they meant business in 2009 with a comprehensive 40-point demolition of the Roosters
at the SFS.
Nathan Merritt scored a hat-trick, Fetuli Taianoa crossed the Roosters' line twice, while Chris Sandow scored 5
goals and entertained with a dazzling length of the field try shortly before half time. But the entire team were solid
contributors, on a day when the Rabbitohs would record their biggest win over the Roosters since 1952.
South Sydney 52 def Sydney Roosters 12
Rabbitohs : Tries - N Merritt 3, F Talanoa 2, R Wesser, C Best, C Sandow, E Pettybourne. Goals - C Sandow 5/7, I
Roosters : Tries - B Anasta, J Friend. Goals - C Fitzgibbon 2/2.
Referees - S Lyons, T De las Heras. Crowd - 24,486 at Sydney Football Stadium.
Down 26-18 at half time, Wests Tigers shut the Raiders down after the break while putting on 16 unanswered
points to record a first-up win in an entertaining Monday night contest at Campbelltown.
A double from Justin Carney got the Raiders off to a flying start, setting up a lead that the Tigers would not recover
from until the second half. But by then the locals were on top, with Taniela Tuiaki making repeated breaks on his
way to a double. But the highlight of the match was the final try, when Tim Moltzen smothered a Raiders' kick before
gathering the ball and running 80 metres, sidestepping a desperate tackling attempt from Alan Tongue, to score
under the posts.
Wests Tigers 34 def Canberra 26
Tigers : Tries - T Tuiaki 2, R Farah, T Payten, C Lawrence, T Moltzen. Goals - B Marshall 5/6.
Raiders : Tries - J Carney 2, A Purtell, D Milne. Goals - T Campese 5/5.
Referees - J Maxwell, G Sutton. Crowd - 17,392 at Campbelltown Stadium.
|ROUND 2 FIXTURES:
(All times shown are Sydney time)
Friday 20th March
South Sydney v Parramatta (7:30pm, ANZ Stadium)
Brisbane v Melbourne (8:30pm, Suncorp Stadium)
Saturday 21st March
St George-Illawarra v Gold Coast (5:30pm, WIN Stadium)
Penrith v Bulldogs (7:30pm, CUA Stadium)
North Queensland v Wests Tigers (9:30pm, Dairy Farmers Stadium)
Sunday 22nd March
Canberra v Sydney Roosters (2:00pm, Canberra Stadium)
Manly v NZ Warriors (3:00pm, Brookvale Oval)
Monday 23rd March
Cronulla v Newcastle (7:00pm, Toyota Stadium).