* Bulldogs penalised 2 points for breach of interchange rule.
For the first time, the opening State of Origin match was played in Melbourne; and a new-look NSW team put some early pressure on
Queensland. An early penalty goal gave the Blues the lead, and a few minutes later Jarryd Hayne put on a 50m run to place the ball down;
but the video replay showed his run down the sideline had his foot going into touch, and the try was disallowed.
Let off the hook, the defending Origin champions began to show their class, going over for three converted tries in the first 15 minutes. Billy
Slater was first to go over, diving on a chip kick from Cameron Smith just millimetres from the dead ball line. Greg Inglis with a solo effort
scored the next, before a run from Israel Folou set up Johnathan Thurston.
NSW got a try back before the break, when Jarryd Hayne this time kept his feet inside the boundary line before offloading to Ben Creagh.
But just three minutes into the second half, Greg Inglis survived a desperate diving tackle from Kurt Gidley to score and bring the lead out to
Substitute Craig Wing finally had a run, and with just his second touch crossed the line; and an offload from Robbie Farah set up Jarryd
Hayne. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the score was back to 24-18 with still plenty of time for NSW to steal an unlikely result.
But it wasn’t to be. NSW continued to press but there was no way through. And at the death, Greg Inglis set up Darius Boyd and the game
was safe. Queensland have a 1-0 lead and are in the box seat to pull off their fourth straight Origin series win.
Queensland 28 def New South Wales 18
Queensland : Tries – G Inglis 2, D Boyd, B Slater, J Thurston. Goals – J Thurston 4/5.
New South Wales : Tries – B Creagh, J Hayne, C Wing. Goals – K Gidley 3/4.
Referee – T Archer, S Hayne. Crowd – 50,967 at Docklands.
Olympic Park in recent years has been a graveyard for visiting teams, and the Storm’s reputation for crushing home victories continued
when they demolished Brisbane 48-4 on Friday night.
It took 10 minutes for the first score to came, and it came when Billy Slater ran 60 metres before setting up Greg Inglis. A few minutes later,
Brett White set up Joseph Tomane for the first of what would be a hat-trick of tries for the night. Cooper Cronk and Will Chambers also
crossed the line before the break, and the Storm led 20-0 at half time.
The second half followed a similar pattern. Billy Slater capitalised on some loose defence to add another try. Tomane’s second came just
two minutes later, and it was a blowout. The Storm would end up with 9 tries for the night, while the Broncos managed only one which was
scored by former Storm player Israel Folau.
This was Melbourne’s night, a dominant performance; while the Broncos are in danger of falling out of the top 4. Not only was the 2 points
scored by Melbourne and not by Brisbane of importance as the finals race unfolds, but the size of the result will also have a significant
effect on the teams’ for and against.
Melbourne Storm 48 def Brisbane Broncos 4
Storm : Tries – J Tomane 3, C Cronk 2, W Chambers, G Inglis, B Slater, A Tolman. Goals – J Tomane 6/9.
Broncos : Tries – I Folau. Goals – C Parker 0/1.
Referees – B Cummins, G Badger. Crowd – 15,318 at Olympic Park.
Former Balmain great Keith Barnes was honoured when the remaining portion of the old wooden grandstand behind the goals at
Leichhardt Oval was renamed the Keith Barnes Stand. But a night of celebration for the Tigers would come unstuck when Penrith spoiled
the party with a comfortable 26-10 win to maintain the Panthers’ position in the top 8.
For much of the match, the contest was considerably closer. Both sides were struggling with their goalkicking, but with two tries apiece the
score was locked at 10-10 with 10 minutes to go. Taniela Tuiaki opened the scoring, the weight of possession after two line drop outs
finally reaping its reward. But some lax defence put Paul Aiton over the line and gave the Panthers a 6-4 half time lead.
After lengthy deliberation early in the second half, Geoff Daniela was awarded a try to restore the lead to the Tigers, but it was cancelled out
by an offload by Luke Walsh setting up Brad Tighe.
For a tense 15 minutes the ball travelled from end to end, but neither side was able to break the deadlock. But in the last 10 minutes, the
Tigers ran out of steam and the Panthers capitalised, their three tries in the final minutes causing the scores to blow out to a margin that
flattered them compared to the majority of the play, but was a fair reflection of their dominance in the final minutes when the game was
there to be won. Luke Walsh was magnificent, scoring twice within the final minutes of the game, while also contributing 2 goals for the
The loss, the Tigers’ fifth in succession, sees them three games out of the top 8 and hopes of making the playoffs this season are fast
fading away. But the Panthers are looking good, and confidence is growing that the club has a real shot at participating in finals this year
for the first time in many seasons.
Penrith Panthers 26 def Wests Tigers 10
Panthers : Tries – L Walsh 2, P Aiton, G Daniela, B Tighe. Goals – L Walsh 2/4, G Cooper 1/1.
Tigers : Tries – R Farah, T Tuiaki. Goals – B Marshall 1/3.
Referees – J Robinson, B Sutton. Crowd – 14,100 at Leichhardt Oval.
Defending champions Manly made a step towards getting their season back on track after a slow start when the Sea Eagles defeated the
Sydney Roosters 38-18 at Brookvale Oval on Saturday.
For much of the day the Roosters were competitive. Glenn Stewart opened the scoring, but Shaun Kenny-Dowall showed plenty of speed
to score in the corner; and when Craig Fitzgibbon made a break through the Manly defences to set up Setamata Sa the Roosters held an
8-6 lead. But a converted try to Michael Robertson with just seconds on the board before the break restored the Sea Eagles’ advantage.
After the restart, a grubber from Matt Orford set up Tony Williams, but Shaun Kenny-Dowall’s second try cut the margin to 16-14 with 20
minutes to go. And for 10 scoreless minutes the ball travelled from end to end, both sides seeking an opening to score but none were
forthcoming. But finally Anthony Watmough broke the deadlock, only for Ben Jones to reply just a minute later to keep the Roosters in the
But the final minutes, when the game was there to be won, saw the Sea Eagles step up; while the Roosters, who had fought hard, found
nothing more to give. Late tries to Matai and Robertson saw the scores blow out. The result sees the Sea Eagles stay within reach of the
top 8, while the season from hell continues for the Roosters, who are stuck at the lower reaches of the ladder.
Manly Sea Eagles 38 def Sydney Roosters 18
Sea Eagles : Tries – M Robertson 2, S Matai, G Stewart, A Watmough, D Williams, T Williams. Goals – G Orford 5/7.
Roosters : Tries – S Kenny-Dowall 2, S Sa, B Jones. Goals – C Fitzgibbon 1/4.
Referees – S Lyons, A Klein. Crowd – 10,549 at Brookvale Oval.
North Queensland maintained their position in the top 8 when the Cowboys demolished South Sydney 46-12 at Dairy Farmers Stadium.
The Cowboys got off to a flying start, with two tries in the first 8 minutes. A bouncing pass was picked up by John Williams for the opener,
and from the set of 6 after the conversion Ashley Graham was too strong for the Souths defence and powered over the line for another try.
And so the tale of destruction continued. 22-6 at half time, and it remained one-way traffic in the second half. The Cowboys dominated
field possession, had a glut of possession, while constant unforced errors made the night an absolute shocker for the Rabbitohs.
It finished 9 tries to 2, a 46-12 scoreline. Adding to the Cowboys’ already imposing for and against, and on a 4-match winning streak,
things are looking good for the Townsville side. But for the Rabbitohs, it was a missed opportunity to return to the top 8; and a season that
showed plenty of promise early is threatening to slip away.
North Queensland Cowboys 46 def South Sydney Rabbitohs 12
Cowboys : Tries – A Graham 2, J Williams 2, S Bolton, M Bowen, A Payne, M Scott, T Williams. Goals – J Thurston 5/9.
Rabbitohs : Tries – B Champion, C Wing. Goals – C Sandow 2/2.
Referees – S Hayne, G Sutton. Crowd – 16,568 at Dairy Farmers Stadium.
Cronulla climbed off the bottom of the ladder when the Sharks pulled off an 18-10 win over the New Zealand Warriors at Shark Park in the
early Sunday game.
The Sharks started well, crossing the Warriors’ line in the 7th minute. A 40-20 kick by Trent Barrett gave the Sharks field position for an
attacking raid, and Matthew Wright found an opening to go through and score. On 20 minutes, Manu Vatuvei knocked on when attempting
to diffuse a bomb, with Anthony Tupou going in during the following set of 6. And on 28 minutes it became 18-0 after Nathan Stapleton
crossed the line.
Shortly before half time the Warriors were on the board, when Vatuvei found some space and received a pinpoint pass from Stacey
Jones. But with an 18-4 deficit at the break, the Warriors would have some work to do in the second half. But a series of knock-ons,
fumbles and unforced errors in the second half saw the clock ticking by with the Warriors not making any impact on the board. In the dying
minutes, Lewis Brown crossed over and scored for the Warriors, but it was too little too late as the Warriors crashed to their 5th loss on 6
games and, rapidly sliding down the ladder, will need a turnaround in their forms to get back into finals contention. But for the Sharks, at
least they find themselves off the bottom of the ladder; and have a base to build on to salvage something from their dismal season to
Cronulla Sharks 18 def New Zealand Warriors 10
Sharks : Tries – N Stapleton, A Tupou, M Wright. Goals – L Covell 3/3.
Warriors : Tries – L Brown, M Vatuvei. Goals – K Locke 1/2.
Referees – T Archer, M Cecchin. Crowd – 14,082 at Toyota Stadium.
Wins have been few and far between for Parramatta this season, but the Eels finally found something to cheer about with a 20-18 away
win over Newcastle on Sunday afternoon.
Newcastle opened the scoring on 10 minutes, when a chip from Kurt Gidley was chased with perfect timing by Keith Lulia. But 8 minutes
later the game was back on even terms after Joel Reddy fought off the close attention of two Knights defenders to scramble over the line.
Parramatta continued to press hard, and were twice denied tries by the video ref for obstruction behind play; and the Knights regained the
upper hand shortly before the break after a 40-20 gave Newcastle field position to set up Junior Sau.
The second half was end to end, with neither side able to score for 15 minutes despite both sides creating opportunity. But finally the Eels
managed a breakthrough, when a kick by Jeff Robson bounced off the Newcastle defenders back into Robson’s arms for the easiest of
With 9 minutes to go, Parramatta edged in front with a penalty goal. And the game looked safe when Daniel Mortimer found some room to
move before a pass to Eels’ cult hero Fui Fui Moi Moi, who crashed over for a try. But less than 2 minutes later, Jarred Mullen crossed
over and it was a tense and tight last few minutes as the Knights threw everything at Parramatta’s defence. But the Eels held firm for a
Parramatta Eels 20 def Newcastle Knights 18
Eels : Tries – F Moi Moi, J Reddy, J Robson. Goals – L Burt 4/4.
Knights : Tries – K Lulia, J Mullen, J Sau. Goals – K Gidley 2/2, J Ndaira 1/1. Field Goals – J Mullen 0/1.
Referees – G Badger, B Suttor. Crowd – 18,085 at Energy Australia Stadium.
In the first two seasons of Gold Coast’s existence they have started the season promisingly but then fallen away mid-season. But the
Titans showed signs that the 2009 version may have what it takes to last the distance and give the finals a shake after holding out a fast-
finishing St George side to take a 28-24 win at Skilled Park on Monday night.
Before the match, swine flu fears forced the Titans’ Ashley Harrison and St George’s Darius Boyd to withdraw from the match. But once
the game kicked off, it was Gold Coast who stormed out of the blocks, running in four tries to none in the first half to lead 22-2 at the break.
But the Dragons weren’t finished yet, and weren’t going to lose top spot on the ladder without a fight. Two tries in the first 10 minutes after
the restart got them back into the contest, and the Dragons continued to press. For set after set, tackle after tackle, drop out after drop out,
the Dragons placed the Titans under pressure, but the Gold Coast held firm.
And finally the tide turned, the Titans put on a run, got a penalty, and from the ensuing set of 6 Brad Meyers crossed the line for his
season try of the game. With 15 minutes to go, the Titans had much needed breathing space. The Dragons continued to work hard, and
scored twice in the final 10 minutes to cut the margin back to 4 points and give the locals some nervous moments at the finish, but the
Titans had enough of a buffer to fall over the line.
Gold Coast Titans 28 def St George-Illawarra Dragons 24
Titans : Tries – B Meyers 2, L O’Dwyer, E Tonga, C Walker. Goals – S Prince 4/6.
Dragons : Tries – B Hornby, B Morris, W Sailor, B Soward. Goals – J Soward 4/5.
Referees – B Cummins, A Shortall. Crowd – 24,106 at Skilled Park.
|ROUND 14 FIXTURES:
(All times shown are Sydney time)
Friday 12th June
NZ Warriors v Newcastle (5:30pm, Mt Smart Stadium)
Brisbane v Bulldogs (7:30pm, Suncorp Stadium)
Saturday 13th June
Sydney Roosters v Gold Coast (5:30pm, Bluetongue Stadium)
Penrith v Manly (7:30pm, CUA Stadium)
South Sydney v Melbourne (9:30pm, Members Equity Stadium, WA)
Sunday 14th June
Canberra v Cronulla (2:00pm, Canberra Stadium)
St George-Illawarra v North Queensland (3:00pm, WIN Stadium)
Monday 15th June
Parramatta v Wests Tigers (7:00pm, Parramatta Stadium)