* Bulldogs penalised 2 points for breach of interchange rule.
Origin camp saw both sides under-strength for the Friday night game at WIN Stadium, but the Dragons barely noticed the absence of their
missing top-liners as they raced away to a 38-10 win over Penrith.
Early tries to Beau Scott and Ben Hornby got the Dragons off to a 10-0 lead, but Wade Graham's converted try cut the margin to just 4 points
after 20 minutes. The Panthers were putting in a strong passage of play, pressing the St George line but the Dragons' defence held them
out. Against the run of play, Jamie Soward was awarded a penalty and slotted home the 2 points shortly before the break to give St George
a 12-6 lead at the break.
But after half-time, it was all one-way traffic. Wendell Sailor was the destroyer early in the second half, scoring a double and then setting up
Michael Lett. Although Pritchard got a try back for the Panthers, the Dragons always looked in control in the second half, tries to Soward and
Emmett on the stroke of full-time wrapping up a victory that, at least for the next 24 hours, puts the Dragons on top of the ladder.
St George-Illawarra Dragons 38 def Penrith Panthers 10
Dragons : Tries - W Sailor 2, B Scott, B Hornby, M Lett, J Soward, N Emmett. Goals - J Soward 5/8.
Panthers : Tries - W Graham, F Pritchard. Goals - J Sammut 1/1, G Cooper 0/1.
Referees - J Robinson, S Lyons. Crowd - 10,623 at WIN Stadium.
It's been a winter of discontent for Cronulla, but at last the Sharks found something to feel positive about after their 9-match losing streak
came to an end with a stirring 13-10 win over Parramatta.
Parramatta was first to get on the board, when debutant Daniel Mortimer offloaded to Joel Reddy who crashed over the line. But on 25
minutes the Sharks were over when Luke Covell positioned himself perfectly to take a bomb and dive over. Converting his own try, Covell
gave the Sharks a 6-4 lead.
Five minutes before half-time, Parramatta were back in front after a converted try to Luke Burt, and carried a 10-6 lead into the half-time
The Eels did all the attacking after half-time, but were unable to find a way over the Sharks' line. But then a knock-on, followed by a silly
penalty, gave the Sharks field position which they were able to use to send Mitch Brown over. Covell's conversion attempt was
unsuccessful and the scores were locked at 10-10.
As the clock ran down, the Sharks began to get better field position, and Trent Barrett had two shots for a drop goal. The first attempt was
wide, but the second hit the spot and the Sharks found themselves with the lead. And a penalty goal with just 1 minute left on the clock gave
them a 3-point win; and finally the long suffering Sharks' fans had something to smile about.
Cronulla Sharks 13 def Parramatta Eels 10
Sharks : Tries - L Covell, M Brown. Goals - L Covell 2/3. Field Goals - T Barrett 1/2.
Eels : Tries - J Reddy, L Burt. Goals - L Burt 1/2.
Referees - B Cummins, R Turner. Crowd - 7,014 at Parramatta Stadium.
A bitterly cold and wet Sunday twilight in Auckland saw the NZ Warriors break their 3-match losing streak and condemn the Wests Tigers to
their fourth loss on the trot with a hard-fought 14-0 victory.
The first half hour was end to end, with both sides creating chances but neither being able to find a score from their efforts. Eventually after
30 minutes the deadlock was broken, when Kevin Locke found a gap in the Tigers' defence and crashed over to score. Locke's attempt to
convert his own try failed, and the Warriors led 4-0 at the break.
Five minutes after half-time, Wade McKinnon crossed over in the corner, the converted try taking the score to 10-0. Without their Origin
players, the Tigers were unable to manufacture any scoring opportunities, and the Warriors always looked to have them covered; and
although the Warriors only managed a low score themselves it never looked like the Warriors' score would not be enough. And in the final
minute, Locke put the icing on the cake with his second try, to give the Warriors a 14-0 win.
New Zealand Warriors 14 def Wests Tigers 0
Warriors : Tries - K Locke 2, W McKinnon. Goals - K Locke 1/3.
Tigers - Nil.
Referees - G Badger, B Suttor. Crowd - 15,835 at Mt Smart Stadium.
Newcastle returned to the top 4 and forced the Bulldogs to lose top spot on the table when the Knights burst out of the blocks and held on
in the second half to record a 22-14 victory. It was 3 tries apiece, but Hazem El Masri had a rare off day with the boot.
The Knights made the early attacking, looking from the start like they would be the first to trouble the scorers; and so it was to prove after 8
minutes when Richard Fa'aoso went over. A conversion then a penalty goal extended the lead to 8-0; and on 20 minutes Scott Dureau
wrong-footed the Bulldogs' defence to add the second try. And it got better for the Knights, the home crowd being sent into a frenzy when
Constantine Mika penetrated the Bulldogs' line shortly before half time.
It was 20-0 at the break, but the Bulldogs came out breathing fire in the second half and threatened to turn the game on its head. Idris,
Morris and Goodwin all went over within 15 minutes of the start of the second half, and despite only one try being converted the scores
were back to 20-14. But a penalty goal to Naiqama gave the Knights an 8-point buffer, meaning the Bulldogs would need to score twice
more to steal the game. And despite pressing hard in the latter stages of the game, there was to be no way through the Newcastle
Newcastle Knights 22 def Bulldogs 14
Knights : Tries - R Fa'aoso, S Dureau, C Mika. Goals - W Naiqama 5/5.
Bulldogs : Tries - J Idris, J Morris, B Goodwin. Goals - H El Masri 1/3.
Referees - J Robinson, T De las Heras. Crowd - 18,322 at Energy Australia Stadium.
South Sydney's status as the big improvers of 2009 received a setback when the Rabbitohs were upset at home 34-18 by lowly Canberra
on Monday night, a result that saw the Rabbitohs crash out of the top 8.
The Rabbitohs looked strangely flat and without any spring in their step early, and the Raiders took full advantage. Joel Monaghan and
David Milne were over within 8 minutes. Against the run of play, Luke Capewell ran the length of the field to score for Souths, and when
Nathan Merritt scored a converted try on the half hour, the scores were back to 10-10. The game opened up in the final 10 minutes before
the break, with Herbert and Talanoa trading tries; but the boot of Herbert swung the balance Canberra's way 16-14 at half-time.
But after the break, it was all one-way traffic as the Raiders were gaining far superior field position in every set. And eventually it told in
scoreboard pressure, as the Raiders ran through three unanswered tries to put the game out of Souths' reach. And although the home
side got one try back in the dying minutes of the game, this was to be Canberra's night.
Canberra Raiders 34 def South Sydney Rabbitohs 18
Raiders : Tries - J Monaghan, D Milne, M Herbert, D Tilse, T Learoyd-Lahrs, N Plum. Goals - M Herbert 5/6.
Rabbitohs : Tries - F Talanoa 2, L Capewell, N Merritt. Goals - C Sandow 0/1, I Luke 1/3.
Referees - S Lyons, A Klein. Crowd - 9,805 at ANZ Stadium.
|ROUND 13 FIXTURES:
(All times shown are Sydney time)
Wednesday 3rd June
Origin I - Queensland v New South Wales (8:00pm, Docklands)
Friday 5th June
Melbourne v Brisbane (7:30pm, Olympic Park)
Wests Tigers v Penrith (7:30pm, Leichhardt Oval)
Saturday 6th June
Manly v Sydney Roosters (5:30pm, Brookvale Oval)
North Queensland v South Sydney (7:30pm, Dairy Farmers Stadium)
Sunday 7th June
Cronulla v NZ Warriors (2:00pm, Toyota Park)
Newcastle v Parramatta (3:00pm, Energy Australia Stadium)
Sunday 8th June
Gold Coast v St George-Illwarra (7:00pm, Skilled Park)
BYE - Bulldogs, Canberra.