Parramatta and South Sydney played a controversial 16-16 draw on a wet and windy Friday night at Homebush. The
Rabbitohs got off to a flying start, when veteran Michael Crocker scored his first try since crossing to Souths, being the
first to react to a bomb knocked backwards by Fetuli Talanoa to carry the ball over the line. The try wasn't converted, but
Nathan Merritt after 15 minutes found a yawning gap in the Parramatta defensive line and breezed through it to put the
Rabbitohs 10-0 ahead.
10 minutes later, Jarryd Hayne burrowed under the Souths line to score, and it was 10-4 at the break. Just 3 minutes
after the restart, Eric Grothe crashed over the line, but Luke Burt missed the conversion attempt that would have
levelled the scores.
On 53 minutes, Luke Capewell outran the Eels' defence to score, the conversion taking the margin to 8 points. But the
Eels weren't done yet, a 67th minute converted try to Jarryd Hayne and a penalty goal with 6 minutes to go levelling the
scores. Field goal attempts during the remainder of regulation time and during the 10 minutes of extra time were
unsuccessful. But the game finished in controversy, with the referee failing to blow time off while a scrum was taking
time in being packed down, the clock running down before the ball was fed, denying the Rabbitohs a last-ditch
opportunity to score a winner.
Parramatta Eels 16 drew South Sydney Rabbitohs 16 after golden-point extra time
Eels : Tries - J Hayne 2, E Grothe. Goals - L Burt 2/4.
Rabbitohs : Tries - M Crocker, N Merritt, L Capewell. Goals - I Luke 1/2, C Wing 1/1.
Referees - B Suttor, G Badger. Crowd - 10,670 at ANZ Stadium.
Friday night's controversies continued with Brisbane defeating Wests Tigers 20-18 at Campbelltown, with the
performance of the referees under the spotlight before a disgraceful spectator incident after the match.
The Broncos raced out of the blocks, with tries to Winterstein and Hunt in the first 10 minutes giving them a quick 8-0
lead. But the Tigers slowly but surely worked their way back into the contest, and received their reward in the 10
minutes before the break when the Tigers ran in 3 tries to take a 14-8 lead.
The lead was to change 3 times in the second half. Ben Te'o's converted try on 45 minutes levelled the scores. Blake
Ayshford scored at 57 minutes, but importantly the conversion was missed. But a string of penalties against the
Tigers would take its toll, with referee Ben Cummins losing his patience and giving Benji Marshall a 10-minute stint in
the sin bin. And while the Tigers were a man short, Darren Lockyer crashed over, Parker's conversion giving the
Broncos a 20-18 lead.
The crowd were incensed and booed the referee constantly for the remainder of the match. But after the game it tuned
ugly, when an idiot in the crowd jumped the fence and ran onto the field to crash-tackle the referee. The spectator will
be given a life ban from attending NRL matches. But the result gives Brisbane 2 important competition points, and a
confidence boost before the majority of their side goes into Origin camp.
Brisbane Broncos 20 def Wests Tigers 18
Broncos : Tries - A Winterstein, A Hunt, B Te'o, D Lockyer. Goals - C Parker 2/4.
Tigers : Tries - P Tagive, T Tuiaki, B Marshall, B Ayshford. Goals - B Marshall 1/4.
Referees - B Cummins, J Maxwell. Crowd - 9,675 at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.
It's been a dismal season for Cronulla. A long losing streak, poor crowds, bad finances, a sex scandal from 2002
returning to haunt the club, and to make matters worse, player Reni Maitua failing a drugs test during the week. The
club's future looks bleak, although the biggest crowd yet this season was on hand for the local derby against St
George on Saturday night.
It was looking another dismal night for the Sharks when Brett Morris went over in the 4th minute, but for much of the
first half they had a real dip. Frequently attacking the Dragons' line, they were unlucky on several occasions not to
score; but it remained 4-0 at the break.
But after the restart the floodgates opened and the Sharks had no answers. The Dragons ran through 4 tries in the
opening 20 minutes of the second half to put the result beyond doubt, the Sharks being unable to trouble the scorers
until late in the game.
St George-Illawarra Dragons 26 def Cronulla Sharks 4
Dragons : Tries - B Morris 3, B Hornby 2. Goals - J Soward 3/5.
Sharks : Tries - B Ferguson. Goals - L Covell 0/1.
Referees - J Robinson, T De las Heras. Crowd - 15,201 at Toyota Park.
The Bulldogs continued their table-topping form with a 26-10 win over Melbourne at Gosford on Saturday night.
Despite losing halfback Brett Kimmorley with a leg injury in the 12th minute, the Bulldogs never looked threatened
by Melbourne and had little difficulty costing to a comfortable win.
Tries to Andrew Ryan and Bryson Goodwin, along with the ever-reliable kicking boot of Hazem El Masri, gave the
Bulldogs a 14-0 lead at the break. Despite a double to Will Chambers in the second half, there was no way back
into the contest for the Storm. It was a disappointing loss for Melbourne, which sees them still a considerable
distance away from the top 4, but there was nothing to stop the irrepressible form of the Bulldogs as they continued
their stellar 2009.
Bulldogs 26 def Melbourne Storm 10
Bulldogs : Tries - A Ryan, B Goodwin, D Millard, G Warburton. Goals - H El Masri 5/5.
Storm : Tries - W Chambers 2. Goals - C Smith 1/2.
Referees - S Hayne, G Sutton. Crowd - 12,251 at Bluetongue Stadium.
Penrith enhanced their status as the surprise packet of 2009, the Panthers extending their winning streak to 4
games by running through 9 tries to 1 in a comprehensive demolition of the hapless Sydney Roosters at CUA
Stadium on Saturday night.
The Roosters had a dip early on, and a converted try to Ben Jones cancelled out the Panthers' opening score by
Frank Pritchard to leave the teams locked at 6-6 on the half hour. But the final 10 minutes before the break saw the
Roosters' intensity die completely, and the Panthers took full toll. A double to Wade Graham and a superb
individual effort to Luke Lewis put the Panthers 26-6 ahead at the break.
The second half was more of the same. Michael Jennings took over as the Panthers' chief destroyer, a second half
hat-trick putting him in contention for a NSW Origin jumper. But as good as the Panthers were, the Roosters were
dismal, coach Brad Fittler putting himself under pressure by persisting with the positional moves he tried for the
game that clearly weren't working. The final score was 48-6, leaving the Panthers flying high comfortably in the top
8, while only Cronulla separates the Roosters from the wooden spoon.
Penrith Panthers 48 def Sydney Roosters 6
Panthers : Tries - M Jennings 3, W Graham 2, F Pritchard, L Lewis, L Coote, S Elford. Panthers - J Sammut 3/4, L
Roosters : Tries - B Jones. Goals - B Anasta 1/1.
Referees - S Lyons, A Klein. Crowd - 9,724 at CUA Stadium.
The New Zealand Warriors' season is in danger of slipping away after they were blown off the park by lowly
Canberra; the Raiders showing greater pace, but more importantly greater commitment, to take a comprehensive
38-12 victory in blustery conditions at Canberra Stadium.
After 10 minutes the Raiders were leading 10-0, early tries to David Milne and Jason Croker handing them the
advantage. But 15 minutes later they were behind, converted tries to Steve Price and Simon Mannering handing the
Warriors a 12-10 lead.
But that was it for the Warriors, as Canberra lifted their intensity and left the Warriors in their wake. The Raiders
were to score the last 5 tries of the game, Milne and Croker racking up doubles. It was the Warriors' third loss in a
row, seeing them in danger of falling well behind the top 8. But for the Raiders, it leaves them at least some hope of
salvaging something from what has been a disappointing season to date.
Canberra Raiders 38 def New Zealand Warriors 12
Raiders : Tries - D Milne 2, J Croker 2, D Campese, T Waddell, T Thurling. Goals - T Campese 5/7.
Warriors : Tries - S Price, S Mannering. Goals - D Kemp 2/2.
Referees - J Maxwell, B Sutton. Crowd - 8,383 at Canberra Stadium.
Refereeing controversy was again the talking point after Gold Coast took a thrilling 1-point victory over Manly at
Skilled Park on Sunday afternoon.
An even first half saw scores locked at 10-10 at half time, and that's how it stayed until there was less than 20
minutes to go. Eventually Matt Orford broke the deadlock, but just 6 minutes later Ashley Harrison made his way
over for the Titans. Both tries were converted, and scores were again tied up at 16-16.
The Sea Eagles, with a run of possession, set up field position, and with 5 minutes to go Matt Orford put the field
goal over to put the Sea Eagles in front. But the Titans weren't done yet, and moved the ball forward. With a minute
to go, on the 5th tackle, Preston Campbell went for a kick and chase. Matt Orford dived on the ball, but the referee
controversially penalised Orford for interference. Video replays damned the decision as incorrect, but the video
referee cannot be used for such rulings. Scott Prince accepted the surprise gift was relish, putting the penalty goal
over the black dot to give the Titans the narrowest of wins. The result consolidates Gold Coast's position in the top
8, but is a setback to the defending champions' hopes of recovering from their slow start to qualify for this year's
Gold Coast Titans 18 def Manly Sea Eagles 17
Titans : Tries - M Rogers, K Gordon, A Harrison. Goals - S Prince 3/4.
Sea Eagles : Tries - T Williams, C Bailey, M Orford. Goals - J Lyon 2/3. Field Goals - M Orford 1/1.
Referees - T Archer, M Cecchin. Crowd - 16,126 at Skilled Park.
North Queensland continued their climb into finals calculations with a comfortable 36-10 win over a disappointing
Newcastle in Townsville on Monday night.
Scores were locked at 6-6 after 20 minutes, but the Cowboys ran in 5 unanswered tries to put the result beyond
dispute. It was all one-way traffic, with the Cowboys dominating possession, gaining significant ground with every
set; and it was only some desperate defence from the Knights that kept the scores from blowing out even further.
The Cowboys find themselves just 2 points out of the top 8, with an imposing for-and-against and with confidence
high. For the Knights, the result costs them their spot in the top 4.
North Queensland Cowboys 36 defeated Newcastle Knights 10
Cowboys : Tries -T Burns, J Williams, S Southern, A Kaufusi, L O'Donnell, J Thurston. Goals - J Thurston 6/7.
Knights : Tries - C Houston, A Uate. Goals - K Gidley 1/1, M Hilder 0/1.
Referees - B Cummins, A Shortall. Crowd - 11,892 at Dairy Farmers Stadium.
|ROUND 12 FIXTURES:
(All times shown are Sydney time)
Friday 29th May
St George-Illawarra v Penrith (WIN Stadium, 7:30pm)
Saturday 30th May
Parramatta v Cronulla (Parramatta Stadium, 7:30pm)
Sunday 31st May
NZ Warriors v Wests Tigers (Mt Smart Stadium, 2:00pm)
Newcastle v Bulldogs (Energy Australia Stadium, 3:00pm)
Monday 1st June
South Sydney v Canberra (ANZ Stadium, 7:00pm)
BYE - Brisbane, North Queensland, Manly, Sydney Roosters, Melbourne, Gold Coast.
* Bulldogs penalised 2 points for breach of interchange rule.