|ROUND 2 FIXTURES:
(All times shown are Sydney time)
Friday 26th March
Wests Tigers v Parramatta (7:30pm, Sydney Football Stadium)
St George-Illawarra v North Queensland (7:30pm, WIN Stadium)
Saturday 27th March
Penrith v Melbourne (5:30pm, Penrith Stadium)
Manly v Newcastle (7:30pm, Bluetongue Stadium)
Gold Coast v Canberra (9:30pm, Skilled Park)
Sunday 28th March
Brisbane v NZ Warriors (2:00pm, Suncorp Stadium)
Canterbury v Sydney Roosters (3:00pm, ANZ Stadium)
Monday 29th March
Cronulla v South Sydney (7:00pm, Toyota Stadium)
St George-Illawarra’s promising start to the 2010 season continued when the Dragons completed a 26-6 victory over
the Bulldogs at WIN Stadium on Friday night.
The Dragons wasted no time in asserting themselves, getting out to a 16-0 lead after barely 15 minutes had been
played. Brett Morris was first to get on the board, receiving an offload out wide from Darius Boyd and running
through to score in the corner. Dean Young found a gaping hole in the Bulldogs’ line to add another, and when
Morris’ second try came out wide the Dragons had already imposed a lead that the Bulldogs never looked like
The Bulldogs were in damage control mode, and made a reasonable fist of it, holding the score to 16-0 at the break
and preventing it from blowing out any further. And early in the second half, Ben Barba found the line to get the
Bulldogs on the board; and after Bryson Goodwin’s successful conversion the margin was back to 10 points with still
half an hour to play, and the Bulldogs had an outside chance of stealing the game against the odds.
But any such hopes were snuffed out in the 64th minute when Nick Emmett went for a run and found the line. And
in the dying minutes, Brett Morris brought up his hat-trick, a brilliant solo performance in a comprehensive win for the
Dragons. St George find themselves undefeated after two rounds, with solid back-to-back wins against teams that
finished in the top 4 last year, and confidence is sky-high for the Dragons. But for the Bulldogs, winless after two
rounds, it wasn’t the start to the season they were hoping for after being the big improvers in the competition last
St George-Illawarra Dragons 26 def Canterbury Bulldogs 6
Dragons : Tries – B Morris 3, D Young, N Emmett. Goals – J Soward 3/6.
Bulldogs : Tries – B Barba. Goals – B Goodwin 1/1.
Referees – T Archer, M Cecchin. Crowd – 16,177 at WIN Stadium.
The first overtime game for 2010 resulted in heartbreak for Souths as the Rabbitohs were pipped at the post by a
Scott Prince field goal in golden point to give Gold Coast a 19-18 win.
A solo effort in the 8th minute by Beau Champion gave first blood to the Rabbitohs, but the Titans hit back through
William Zillman. Anthony Laffranchi scored late in the first half to give the Titans a 12-6 lead at the break; but the first
half was agonising to watch as both sides fumbled their way through numerous skill errors while the whistle-happy
referees prevented either side from building any form of momentum.
Joseph Tomane extended the Titans’ advantage with a try in the corner, but Scott Prince was unable to land the
conversion. And on the hour, the momentum of the game switched when Nathan Friend was given 10 in the bin.
While the Rabbitohs had the numerical advantage, quick-fire tries to Beau Champion and David Tyrrell, both converted
by Isaac Luke, gave Souths the lead.
In the final minutes, with a 2-point advantage, the Rabbitohs were defending grimly, hanging on for dear life, and it
appeared they would get away with the win. But with just 45 seconds remaining, a brain explosion by Ben Sandow
saw a penalty awarded to the Titans just 10 metres out on a sharp angle. Sandow was sent to the sin bin as Scott
Prince took out the kicking tee for the penalty goal attempt. His shot hit the upright, but rebounded over the
crossbar to force the game into golden point.
With the Titans having an extra player for golden point, defending would always be tough for the Rabbitohs, but a
silly penalty snuffed out any hope they may have had. The Titans set up field position, and Prince’s drop goal gave
the Titans the points while Souths would leave empty-handed again after another likely win had gone begging.
Click here to see Harboursport's photo gallery from this match.
Gold Coast Titans 19 def South Sydney Rabbitohs 18 in golden point extra time
Titans : Tries – W Zillman, A Laffranchi, J Tomane. Goals – S Prince 3/4. Field Goals – S Prince 1/1.
Rabbitohs : Tries – B Champion 2, D Tyrrell. Goals – I Luke 3/3.
Referees – A Klein, T De las Heras. Crowd – 10,943 at ANZ Stadium.
New Zealand Warriors kick-started their season with a 30-16 win over Cronulla in their first home game for the season.
As they did in the opening round against the Titans, the Warriors got off to a flying start. This time they were over
to score 3 times in the first 17 minutes. Aaron Heremaia was first to get on the board, catching the Sharks napping
from dummy half. Manu Vatuvei was next to cross the line, and when first-time captain Simon Mannering got himself
on the board the game looked headed towards a one-sided blowout.
But the Sharks rallied in the latter stages of the first half. Luke Covell and Blake Ferguson exposed holes in the
Warriors’ defensive line to score, and a late penalty goal to Scott Porter saw the margin cut to 16-14 at the break.
And when Porter landed another penalty goal shortly after the resumption, scores were level.
But although the Sharks had done well to get back to level terms, they could go no further. On the hour, Manu
Vatuvei scored his second try, and 5 minutes later he brought up his hat-trick to put the game out of Cronulla’s
reach. Sam Rapira’s late effort was the icing on the cake, as the Warriors got their home record off to a good start.
But for the Sharks, reeling after a poor finish to 2009 and winless after the first two rounds, it was another dismal
result as their horror run continues.
New Zealand Warriors 30 def Cronulla Sharks 16
Warriors : Tries – M Vatuvei 3, A Heremaia, S Mannering, S Rapira. Goals – K Locke 2/5, J Maloney 1/1.
Sharks : Tries – L Covell, B Ferguson. Goals – S Porter 4/4.
Referees – J Robinson, B Sutton. Crowd – 15,314 at Mt Smart Stadium.
Newcastle caused the shock of the opening round with their upset win over the Bulldogs, and when they quickly got out to a 14-0 win over
Melbourne at Energy Australia Stadium on Saturday night another upset was on the cards.
The Knights started brightly in the 7th minute, when Aku Uate made a break and ran 60m downfield to put the Knights into an attacking
position. And on the 5th tackle, an offload from Scott Dureau set up Uate to score and give the Knights a flying start. Wes Naiqama converted
the try and added a penalty goal 2 minutes later. And at the 15 minute mark the Knights were in again, veteran Adam MacDougall catching the
Storm defence off-guard to score in the corner. The try was converted, and the Knights had a shock 14-0 lead.
But the defending champions wasted no time in fighting back. On 25 minutes, Greg Inglis made a break before being put down 10 metres
short of the line. After playing the ball, a long pass found Luke MacDougall unmarked, and the Storm were on the board. Cameron Smith
missed the conversion, but soon after Anthony Quinn crossed the line and the deficit was reduced to just 4 points. A penalty goal on the
stroke of half-time cut that margin in half, and the Knights went into the sheds with a 14-12 lead but the momentum and possession flow had
begun to swing the Storm’s way.
But the Knights defended strongly in the early stages of the second half. For more than 30 minutes it was tense, tough and scoreless; as both
sides created scoring opportunities but neither were able to capitalise. But eventually, with just 9 minutes to go, Brett Finch spotted an
opening and sent Dane Nielsen through for the try that would put the Storm ahead. The conversion and a late penalty goal extended the final
margin to 6 points. It hadn’t been a convincing performance by the Storm, but as they did in the opening round, they did just enough to get
over the line. For the Knights, it was disappointing to lose after leading for most of the night, but it was a strong performance and shows that
the Newcastle side of 2010 is one not to be taken lightly.
Melbourne Storm 20 def Newcastle Knights 14
Storm : Tries – L MacDougall, A Quinn, D Nielsen. Goals – C Smith 4/5.
Knights : Tries – A Uate, A MacDougall. Goals – W Naiqama 3/3.
Referees – S Lyons, A Shortall. Crowd – 16,242 at Energy Australia Stadium.
The North Queensland v Penrith game was brought forward two hours in anticipation of a cyclone that would strike the Townsville coastline
later in the evening. But despite the impending cyclone, a crowd of over 13,000 still made their way to the game; and the majority left happy
after the Cowboys recorded a 28-20 win.
The Panthers were keen to put in a good performance to mark Petro Civoneciva’s 250th game, and Luke Lewis gave them a good start with a
soft, unmarked try in the 9th minute. The try was converted and a penalty goal added, before the Cowboys got their first points with a
penalty goal. And on 27 minutes, Michael Jennings with a lightning pass set up Luke Walsh and the Panthers had a 14-2 advantage. The score
remained that way for the remainder of the half. The Cowboys had a chance to close the gap when Steve Southern crossed the line, but the
video referee disallowed the try.
But shortly after the restart the margin was cut in half when Scott Bolton went for a run out wide to score in the corner. A scramble on the
try-line led to Lewis’s second try to restore the 12 point advantage to the Panthers; and with 20 minutes to go it appeared the away side was
heading for victory.
But when the game was in the balance, Johnathan Thurston put his hand up. In the last 20 minutes, the Cowboys scored three tries; all three
set up by the brilliance of Thurston. The Origin half-back also was in form with the boot, kicking all 6 attempts at goal for the night. The result
gave the Cowboys their first win for the season.
North Queensland Cowboys 28 def Penrith Panthers 20
Cowboys : Tries – S Bolton 2, W Tonga, M Bani. Goals – J Thurston 6/6.
Panthers : Tries – L Lewis 2, L Walsh. Goals – M Gordon 4/4.
Referees – B Cummins, C James. Crowd – 13,335 at Dairy Farmers Stadium.
Parramatta recorded their first win for 2010 after coming from 20 points behind to defeat Manly 24-20 in a controversial match at Parramatta
Stadium on Sunday.
Trent Hodkinson, in his first NRL game, opened the scoring for the Sea Eagles, showing no sign of nerves with a solid solo effort. Former Eels
Tony Williams and Jamie Lyon also got on the scoreboard during the first half as the Sea Eagles got away to a 14-0 half-time lead. And just 2
minutes after the break, prop Matthew Cross crashed over the line to add to the Sea Eagles’ advantage. The Eagles had enjoyed the bulk of
possession while the Eels had struggled to complete their sets and never looked like threatening the Manly line.
But 10 minutes later, Fuifui Moimoi caught the Eagles’ defence napping, running up from a penalty tap for a soft try. With 20 minutes to go,
Jarryd Hayne, who had struggled to have any influence on the game until then ran the ball out of the in-goals and ran 70 metres before a
forward-looking offload found Timana Tahu for a Parramatta try. It was a piece of brilliance, although the pass looked forward and was lucky to
Five minutes later, a pass by Kris Keating that looked even more blatantly forward was let go, putting Joel Reddy in for another try. And with
three minutes to go, Eric Grothe scored in the corner to set up a remarkable come from behind win.
The victory for the Eels was somewhat controversial, with two of their tries coming off what looked like forward passes, and helped along by a
lopsided penalty count during the second half. But it was a welcome two points for the Eels, the spark that gets their season under way after
a first round loss. But for the Sea Eagles, it was an afternoon of bitter disappointment. In both their matches so far in 2010 they have been in
winning positions but have failed to last the distance.
Parramatta Eels 24 def Manly Sea Eagles 20
Eels : Tries – F Moimoi, T Tahu, J Reddy, E Grothe. Goals – L Burt 4/4.
Sea Eagles : Tries – T Hodkinson, T Williams, J Lyon, M Cross. Goals – J Lyon 2/4.
Referees – S Hayne, B Suttor. Crowd – 15,602 at Parramatta Stadium.
Sydney Roosters, last year’s bottom side, continued their unbeaten run in 2010 with a high-scoring 44-32 win over Wests Tigers in stifling heat
at the Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday.
The Tigers started strongly and looked set for a big game when Benji Marshall crashed over in the 9th minute and then Lote Tuqiri burst
through the Roosters defence to run 90 metres and score. The Tigers were threatening the Roosters’ line with regularity in the first 20
minutes, and the Roosters did well to contain the deficit to just 12 points.
But in the hot conditions, a drinks break was called and after the drinks the momentum of the game suddenly changed. Mitchell Aubusson and
Aiden Guerra both found gaps in the left hand corner to run in and score easy tries. Phil Graham then got into the contest, scoring a quick-fire
double to put the Roosters 20-12 ahead at half time.
The Roosters’ run continued after the break, with Aiden Guerra scoring his second. Mitchell Pearce capitalised on some loose defence to score
under the posts, and Anthony Minichiello then put in a solo effort to land another. On the hour, Blake Ayshford got a try back for the Tigers
against the run of play, but Pearce’s second try just 3 minutes later put the result of the game beyond doubt.
The Tigers ran the game out and were the better side in the final minutes, but unlike last week’s stirring comeback win, the deficit was too big
a gap to overcome. Three tries in the final 12 minutes reduced the gap to 12 points, but the Roosters had enough of a lead that the late run
by the Tigers was never going to threaten their win.
Click here to see Harboursport's photo gallery from this match.
Sydney Roosters 44 def Wests Tigers 32
Roosters : Tries – A Guerra 2, P Graham 2, M Pearce 2, M Aubusson, A Minichiello. Goals – T Carney 6/8.
Tigers : Tries – B Marshall 2, L Tuqiri, B Ayshford, J Schirnack, A Fifita. Goals – B Marshall 4/6.
Referees – J Maxwell, G Sutton. Crowd – 19,021 at Sydney Football Stadium.
The curse of the bogey ground again inflicted Brisbane when the Broncos travelled to Canberra Stadium to take on the Raiders. But at least
this time the result was more respectable than the 56-0 drubbing the Broncos copped on their last visit to the ground.
The Raiders wasted no time continuing their psychological torment of the Broncos, with Joel Thompson finding the line in just the 4th minute
to open the scoring, and Josh Dugan taking advantage of some soft defending to score just seven minutes later. Josh McClone added another
one before the break, and with all three tries being successfully converted the Raiders led 18-0 at the break.
But against all expectations, the Broncos came out firing in the second half and looked a chance to steal the contest. Four minutes after the
break, Israel Folau crashed through several defenders to put the Broncos on the board. 12 minutes later, Folau was in again; and on 68 minutes
Ben Te’o was left unmarked to score out wide. Corey Parker only converted 1 of the 3 tries, leaving the Raiders with an 18-14 lead, but the
Broncos continued to press and the Raiders had to dig deep to hold them out. But the match-winning try would not come for the Broncos,
and instead it was McCrone who scored with only a few seconds to go to wrap up the win for the Raiders.
Canberra Raiders 22 def Brisbane Broncos 14
Raiders : Tries – J McCrone 2, J Thompson, J Dugan. Goals – T Campese 3/4.
Broncos : Tries – I Folau 2, B Te’o. Goals – C Parker 1/3.
Referees – G Badger, P Haines. Crowd – 14,200 at Canberra Stadium.