Souths bounced back from their humiliation at the hands of Wests Tigers last week when the Rabbitohs jumped
Penrith and went on to record a comprehensive 36-12 win over the Panthers at ANZ Stadium on Friday night.
A small crowd was on hand in torrential rain, but they would soon have something to cheer about when John Sutton set
up Eddy Pettybourne and the Rabbitohs were on the board in just the 3rd minute. It was a good start to the Rabbitohs,
and confidence was growing as they absorbed plenty of pressure from the Panthers before a penalty goal to Chris
Sandow extended the lead to 8-0.
With 4 minutes to go till half-time, and the Panthers on the attack, the key turning point of the game came as Jamie
Simpson pulled off an intercept and ran 90 metres to score. Instead of the Panthers putting on some scoreboard
pressure to keep themselves in the contest, the Rabbitohs had stretched their lead even further. John Sutton added
another Souths try in the dying seconds of the half and the Rabbitohs went into the sheds with a shock 20-0 lead. And
the one-sided affair continued after the break, with Nathan Merritt running through the line of Panther players and
running 50 metres to score.
With the pressure off, the Panthers scored two tries to at least get something on the scoreboard, but Colin Best would
score another for the Rabbitohs to complete a wet evening in which the Rabbitohs regained some of the respect they
lost last week. But it was a shocker of a night for Penrith, one which sees the Panthers drop out of the top 8.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 36 def Penrith Panthers 12
Rabbitohs : Tries – J Sutton 2, C Best, N Merritt, E Pettybourne, J Simpson. Goals – C Sandow 6/7.
Panthers : Tries – P Aiton, G Daniela. Goals – L Walsh 2/2.
Referees – B Cummins, T De las Heras. Crowd – 9,017 at ANZ Stadium.
Newcastle bounced back from last week’s narrow loss to Melbourne when the Knights had a comfortable 23-4 win over
Canberra at Energy Australia Stadium on Saturday night.
The Knights looked in trouble early, when Jarrod Mullen was carried off with a serious knee injury. But the Knights dug
deep, and even without their playmaker had enough attacking weapons to put the Raiders away with a damaging burst
late in the first half.
Veteran centre Adam McDougall made a break before off-loading to Richard Fa’aoso for the opening try in the 23rd
minute. On the half hour, the Knights were awarded a penalty. Isaac de Gois chose to take the quick tap, and while the
Raiders were cuahgt napping de Gois set up Keith Lulia and the Knights were on the board again. And with two
minutes to go in the half, a knock-on by Jarrod Croker gave the Knights another set and another attacking opportunity;
and Akuila Uate was equal to the task, giving the Knights a 16-0 lead at the break.
Joel Monaghan threw the Raiders a lifeline early in the second half, pouncing on a bomb and diving over to score. But
Terry Campese was unable to convert the try, leaving the Raiders 12 points behind. And the 12 points became 13 when
Ben Rogers landed a field goal which put the result beyond doubt. A late try to Wes Naiqama was the icing on the cake,
and the Knights were back in the winners’ circle and comfortably maintaining their position in the top 8.
Newcastle Knights 23 def Canberra Raiders 4
Knights : Tries – R Fa’aoso, K Lulia, W Naiqama, A Uate. Goals – W Naiqama 3/4. Field Goals – B Rogers 1/1.
Raiders : Tries – J Monaghan. Goals – T Campese 0/1.
Referees – J Maxwell, B Sutton. Crowd – 15,355 at Energy Australia Stadium.
The Bulldogs enhanced their finals credentials and again underlined their vast improvement this season when, even
with several key players out, they were still able to travel across the Tasman and return with the points after a last-gasp
win over the Warriors.
The Warriors looked good early, and it took barely 5 minutes for the opening try, after a creative pass by Joel Moon sent
winger Manu Vatuvei for a 50m run along the sideline to score in the corner. But, although the Warriors continued to
attack and for quite a while a second try looked inevitable, the Bulldog defenders defending grimly with determination
and managed to hold the Warriors out. And eventually the tide turned and the Bulldogs began to create opportunities.
Finally with three minutes to go before half-time, Brad Morrin drove the Bulldogs forward, and after the ball took a lucky
bounce off Micheal Luck and landed in the in-goals for Michael Sullivan to pounce and score. Hazem El Masri’s
conversion gave the Bulldogs a 6-4 lead at the break.
St George-Illawarra put on an exhibition at WIN Stadium on Sunday afternoon, and Manly were powerless to stop the Dragon juggernaut as the
home side ran away to a 48-18 win over the Sea Eagles.
Michael Lett opened the scoring for the Dragons in the second minute, and just a few minutes later the Sea Eagles were in attack. On the last
tackle, Matt Orford grubbered towards the in-goal, only for the ball to ricochet off the posts into the arms of Brett Morris who ran the length of the
field to score for the Dragons. And so the Dragons were on the way, and even with the Sea Eagles scoring twice in the first half there was never
any doubting the Dragons were the superior outfit as they cruised to a 24-12 lead at the break.
And the St George benefit continued in the second half, as the Dragons dominated to run to an 8 tries to 3 demolition. Jamie Soward was
unstoppable, scoring one try, setting up others as well as landing 8 goals from 9 attempts. Brett Morris and Wendell Sailor scored doubles. But it
was hard to find any Dragons players who lowered their colours, as the team put in a dominant display from start to finish.
The result keeps the Dragons on top of the ladder, their imposing form setting the benchmark for the rest of the competition to attempt to follow.
But for the defending champions, it was a disappointing result, and one that sees them drop out of the top 8.
St George-Illawarra Dragons 48 def Manly Sea Eagles 18
Dragons : Tries – B Morris 2, W Sailor 2, M Lett, J Nightingale, J Soward, C Stanley. Goals – J Soward 8/9.
Sea Eagles : Tries – M Robertson, G Rose, V Mauro. Goals – M Orford 3/3.
Referees – G Badger, A Klein. Crowd – 16,792 at WIN Stadium.
Gold Coast returned to the winners’ circle when the boot of Scott Prince was the difference between the Titans and the inaccurate Parramatta.
Both sides scored three tries, but the Titans took the points 18-12 at Robina on Monday night.
On a wet night, the Titans burst out of the blocks with a devastating early burst that set up the win. Big Luke Bailey, playing his first game back
after a spell on the sidelines with a broken arm, gathered up a grubber from Scott Prince to score after less than two minutes. Prince’s conversion
and a penalty goal followed, and at the 10 minute mark Chris Walker found the line. That try was also converted, and already the Titans were 14-0
It had been a dismal start for Parramatta, but the Eels didn’t capitulate. On 24 minutes, Joe Galuvao found a gap in the Gold Coast line and ran
through to open Parramatta’s account. And with two minutes to go before the break, Krisnan Inu flew high to collect a Mat Rogers bomb before
sending Daniel Mortimer through a gap and on an 80 metre run to the line. But critically for Parramatta, Luke Burt was off the field when the tries
were scored and Inu was unable to convert either.
Eight minutes into the second half, Eric Grothe crossed the Titans’ line. Burt was back on, but his conversion attempt hit the wood-work and
bounced away. Despite having scored more tries than the Titans, the Eels found themselves behind on the scoreboard. And so it would remain
for 25 nervous minutes in which the scoreboard did not move despite both sides desperately try to create chances.
With five minutes to go, David Mead scored for the Titans to put the issue beyond doubt, and the Titans recorded an 18-12 win. The result keeps
the Titans in third place, virtually guaranteeing that the club will make their debut finals appearance in their third season. But it was more doom
and gloom for Parramatta, more frustration in a season where nothing has gone right.
Gold Coast Titans 18 def Parramatta Eels 12
Titans : Tries – L Bailey, D Mead, C Walker. Goals – S Prince 3/4.
Eels : Tries – J Galuvao, E Grothe, D Mortimer. Goals – L Burt 0/1, K Inu 0/2.
Referees – S Lyons, M Cecchin. Crowd – 14,009 at Skilled Park.
* Bulldogs penalised 2 points for breach of interchange rule.
|ROUND 19 FIXTURES:
(All times shown are Sydney time)
Wednesday 15th July
State of Origin III - Queensland v New South Wales (8:00pm, Suncorp Stadium)
Friday 17th July
Brisbane v South Sydney (6:30pm, Suncorp Stadium)
Bulldogs v Gold Coast (8:30pm, Suncorp Stadium)
Saturday 18th July
Penrith v Canberra (5:30pm, CUA Stadium)
Cronulla v Manly (7:30pm, Toyota Stadium)
Sunday 19th July
Sydney Roosters v NZ Warriors (2:00pm, Sydney Football Stadium)
Wests Tigers v North Queensland (3:00pm, Leichhardt Oval)
Monday 20th July
Parramatta v Melbourne (7:00pm, Parramatta Stadium)
BYE - St George-Illawarra, Newcastle
Four minutes after the break, Luke Patten found a gaping hole in the Warriors’ defensive line to stroll in for the easiest
of tries. But the Warriors hit back, quick-fire tries to Kevin Locke and Russell Packer putting the Warriors back in front
as the clock ticked past the hour.
Both sides looked for scoring chances but came up blank. It became an arm-wrestle, a battle of the defences and both
sides held firm against whatever their opponent could throw at them. And the clock continued to tick, and as it did the
optimism began to grow among the Warriors’ camp and their vocal supporters that they may have done enough to
grind out the win.
But their hearts were broken in the final minute, when debutant Ben Barba chipped and chased, finding an opening
and leaping on the ball in the on-goal to pull off a remarkable victory. It capped off a debut to remember for Barba, who
after coming off the bench made an immediate impact for the Bulldogs. El Masri continued his golden run with the
boot, converting the try after the siren to extend the winning score to 18-14.
Canterbury Bulldogs 18 def New Zealand Warriors 14
Bulldogs : Tries – L Patten, B Barba, M Sullivan. Goals – H El Masri 3/3.
Warriors : Tries – K Locke, R Packer, M Vatuvei. Goals – K Locke 1/3.
Referees – J Robinson, G Sutton. Crowd – 11,802 at Mt Smart Stadium.