Melbourne got off to a flying start in their match against Brisbane, when the Storm's first set saw Billy Slater make a
break and cross over for an early try. But the Broncos fought back to level the score 10 minutes later, the try-scorer
being Israel Folou in his first clash against his former club.
Tries to Steve Michaels and Peter Wallace on either side of the half-time break saw the Broncos head out to a 16-6
lead. But the Storm weren't done yet, and when Kevin Proctor crossed over on 65 minutes, the game was very much
still in the balance. The Storm continued to press the Broncos line, but the Brisbane defence held firm and the Storm
were only able to manage another penalty goal for their efforts.
Brisbane Broncos 16 def Melbourne Storm 12
Broncos : Tries - I Folou, S Michaels, P Wallace. Goals - C Parker 2/3.
Storm : Tries - B Slater, K Proctor. Goals - C Smith 3/3.
Referees - B Cummins, T De las Heras. Crowd - 36,647 at Suncorp Stadium.
After their comprehensive opening round win, Souths were hot favourites going into their match against Parramatta; the
favouritism expanding further when Nathan Hindmarsh fumbled the kick-off into touch, launching the Rabbitohs into an
immediate forward raid. After just 5 minutes, Chris Sandow was on the board after the Eels' defence opened up.
But just 4 minutes later, Feleti Mateo found a gap and charged through to level the match. Both sides traded penalty
goals for an 8-8 scoreline at the break, and that's how the score was to remain through a desperate 25 minute period
when neither side would concede an inch. But gradually the Eels began to assert themselves, picking up the bulk of
possession. And eventually the Rabbitohs cracked, with Joel Reddy going over in the corner. A perfect conversion from
Luke Burt gave the Eels a 6-point buffer, and try as they might, there was to be no way back for Souths as the Eels
handed them a reality check.
Parramatta Eels 14 def South Sydney Rabbitohs 8
Eels : Tries - F Mateo, J Reddy. Goals - L Burt 3/3.
Rabbitohs : Tries - C Sandow. Goals - I Luke 2/2.
Referees - S Hayne, G Badger. Crowd - 20,871 at ANZ Stadium.
On a hot and sticky Wollongong evening St George-Illawarra gave Wayne Bennett his first win in his new coaching gig
when the Dragons defeated Gold Coast 16-10. After Prince went over for the Titans in the early minutes, the Dragons
then tightened their defences to hold out the Gold Coast attacking moves, and the visitors would not trouble the scorers
again until the final minute of the game.
By then the Dragons had done enough to win the game. It wasn't a night of brilliant attacking flair, but the Dragons
found three tries, through Nightingale, Smith and Costigan; which was enough to hand the home side the match.
St George-Illawarra Dragons 16 def Gold Coast Titans 10
Dragons : Tries - J Nightingale, J Smith, N Costigan. Goals - J Soward 2/3.
Titans : Tries - S Prince, W Zillman. Goals - S Prince 1/2.
Referees - A Klein, A Shortall. Crowd - 13,329 at WIN Stadium.
The Bulldogs maintained their unbeaten run in 2009 with a thrilling 28-26 win over Penrith. It wasn't anywhere near as
comprehensive as their opening round win over Manly, and several times through the match it appeared that the
Panthers were set to take out the game. But, with just minutes to go, Ben Roberts crossed the Panthers' line to level
the scores; and Hazem El-Mazri from the sideline kicked a pinpoint conversion.
But the final moments were clouded with controversy, when it was suggested the Bulldogs may have had an extra man
on the field during the final minutes, including when the match-winning converted try was scored. On Monday night, the
NRL match reviewers announced that the Bulldogs were in breach of the interchange rule, and would be stripped of
their 2 competition points for this match.
Bulldogs 28 def Penrith Panthers 26
Bulldogs : Tries - J Idris, B Kimmorley, B Roberts, D Stagg, G Earlwood. Goals - H El Mazri 4/5.
Panthers : Tries - T Waterhouse 2, B Tighe, P Aiton. Goals - M Gordon 5/5.
Referees - M Cecchin, C James. Crowd - 16,846 at CUA Stadum.
After 15 minutes, the North Queensland v Wests Tigers game was evenly poised at 6-4, with Kaufusi's try cancelled
out by a fine effort from Taniela Tuiaki. But from there it was one-way traffic as the Cowboys went into overdrive,
racing away with the match to take it out 42-14.
The 7 tries were spread around, with 7 different players getting on the scoresheet. Matt Bowen, in his comeback
game from injury, was in sensational touch, while Ty and John Williams ran riot in the second half, their tries in
quick succession putting paid to any hopes of a Tigers' comeback. And Johnathan Thurston was again in
irrepressible form with the boot, with 7 from 7.
North Queensland Cowboys 42 def Wests Tigers 14
Cowboys : Tries - M Bowen, J Williams, T Williams, T Burns, A Payne, A Kaufasi, C Webb. Goals - J Thurston 7/7.
Tigers : Tries - T Moltzen, T Tuiaki, J Morris. Goals - B Marshall 1/3.
Referees - J Robinson, P Haines. Crowd - 19,879 at Dairy Farmers Stadium.
It had been a bad week for the Roosters after a humiliating 40-point loss to Souths in the opening round, but the
Roosters bounced back when they ground Canberra into submission with a 28-4 victory at Canberra Stadium.
The opening scores took a long time in coming, and it wasn't till the 26th minute that Anthony Minichiello got the
Roosters on the board. Already affected by an ankle injury that would end his game a few minutes later, Minichiello
received a wide pass and staggered to the try-line to open the scoring.
It was 4-0 at the break, but the floodgates opened in the second half. The Roosters rediscovered their form and
confidence, running through 4 second half tries to put the result beyond dispute. The Raiders were not to get on the
scoresheet until the final seconds of the match; the 28-4 win to the Roosters getting their season back on track.
Sydney Roosters 28 def Canberra Raiders 4
Roosters : Tries - B Anasta 2, A Minichiello, S Kenny-Dowall, M Pearce. Goals - C Fitzgibbon 3/4, S Kenny-
Raiders : Tries - B Harrison.
Referees - J Maxwell, G Sutton. Crowd - 11,100 at Canberra Stadum.
Manly's first home game after taking out the premiership saw the Sea Eagles twice get themselves into winning
positions, only to see the game slip away. And it was Warriors' halfback Stacey Jones, returning to the NRL after a
3-year absence, who was instrumental in making the result happen with a best-on-ground performance.
After only 10 minutes, the Sea Eagles were already out to a 10-0 lead after Michael Bani and Jamie Lyon had gone
over. But their intensity dropped and the Warriors took advantage, with tries to Tate, Vatuvei and Royal giving the
visitors a half-time lead.
The second half saw the Sea Eagles coming out firing, a run of 3 tries in 10 minutes giving the home side an 8-point
lead; a lead that should have been higher but for some appalling conversion attempts by Matt Orford, who was
having a shocker with the boot. And the Warriors would make Orford rue those missed attempts with late tries to
Brent Tate and Jerome Ropati giving the Warriors a valuable away win and ensuring the Sea Eagles are still waiting
for their first win for 2009.
New Zealand Warriors 26 def Manly Sea Eagles 24
Warriors : Tries - B Tate 2, J Ropati, M Vatuvei, J Royal. Goals - D Kemp 3/5.
Sea Eagles : Tries - J Lyon 2, M Bani, A Suniula, A Cuthbertson. Goals - M Orford 2/5.
Referees - S Hayne, S Lyons. Crowd - 16,307 at Brookvale Oval.
Newcastle travelled to Cronulla for Monday night's match, and stood tall and proud after gutsing their way to a
remarkable victory, defeating the Sharks 24-12.
Trent Barrett opened the scoring, and went close to adding another a couple of minutes later only to be denied by
the video ref. From the next set, the Knights went the length of the field to score against the run of play, and from
there looked the better side.
The Knights lost Origin players Jarred Mullin and Steve Simpson to injury in the first half, and by the end of the match
had no fit players left on the bench. The fatigue showed in the last 10 minutes of play, when the visibly tired Knights
threw some wild passes, but their defence hung on for dear life to take a thorougly deserved victory.
Newcastle Knights 24 def Cronulla Sharks 12
Knights : Tries - S Dureau, C Paterson, C Houston, R Fa'aoso. Goals - K Gidley 4/4. Field Goals - S Dureau 0/2.
Sharks : Tries - T Barrett, B Green. Goals - L Covell 2/2.
Referees - B Cummins, B Suttor. Crowd - 11,148 at Toyota Stadium.
|ROUND 3 FIXTURES:
(All times shown are Sydney time)
Friday 27th March
Gold Coast v Bulldogs (7:30pm, Skilled Park)
Wests Tigers v Sydney Roosters (7:30pm, Sydney Football Stadium)
Saturday 28th March
NZ Warriors v Brisbane (5:30pm, Mt Smart Stadium)
Parramatta v Canberra (7:30pm, Parramatta Stadium)
North Queensland v Melbourne (9:30pm, Dairy Farmers Stadium)
Sunday 29th March
South Sydney v Newcastle (2:00pm, Bluetongue Stadium)
St George-Illawarra v Cronulla (3:00pm, WIN Stadum)
Monday 30th March
Manly v Penrith (7:00pm, Brookvale Oval)
* Bulldogs penalised 2 points for breach of interchange rule.