|ROUND 10 FIXTURES:
(All times shown are Sydney time)
Friday 14th May
Brisbane v Gold Coast (7:30pm, Suncorp Stadium)
Canterbury v St George-Illawarra (7:30pm, ANZ Stadium)
Saturday 15th May
NZ Warriors v North Queensland (5:30pm, Mt Smart Stadium)
Canberra v Melbourne (7:30pm, Canberra Stadium)
Sydney Roosters v Newcastle (7:30pm, Bluetongue Stadium)
Sunday 16th May
Wests Tigers v South Sydney (2:00pm, SCG)
Cronulla v Penrith (3:00pm, Toyota Stadium)
Monday 17th May
Manly v Parramatta (7:00pm, Brookvale Oval)
The traditional annual City v Country game was held at Port Macquarie this year, and it was a convincing performance
by Country to take out a comfortable 36-18 victory.
City started strongly, with Kris Keating crossing for the opening try before fullback Lachlan Coote went for a 40m run
to score. With Trent Hodkinson converting both tries, City held a 12-0 lead. But Country began to get their game
going and worked their way back into the contest. On 29 minutes, Brett Kimmorley put up a bomb, which Josh
Dugan flew high to grab and score in the corner. Jamal Idris then found the line, and with Luke Burt twice being
successful from the kicking tee the scores were locked at 12-12 at half time.
The second half was one-way traffic as Country took control. Dean Young scored a double, while Michael Robertson
put on a sensational solo try. Luke Burt was also in the thick of the action, scoring a try and landing 6 goals from 6
As an Origin trial, the game enhanced the prospects for Michael Ennis, who clearly outplayed Robbie Farah. Todd
Carney, Luke Burt and Brett Kimmorley all enhanced their chances for NSW Origin selection with outstanding
performances. The down side of the game was a knee injury to Michael O’Donnell, continuing the appalling run of
bad luck for North Queensland.
Country Origin 36 def City Origin 18
Country : Tries – D Young 2, J Dugan, J Idris, M Robertson, L Burt. Goals – L Burt 6/6.
City : Tries – K Keating, L Coote, A Minichiello. Goals – T Hodkinson 3/3.
Referees – J Maxwell, M Cecchin. Crowd – 7,688 at Port Macquarie Regional Sports Stadium.
AAMI Park, the new rectangular stadium in Melbourne, was opened in style when Australia took on New Zealand in
the 2010 Anzac Test. And the majority of the crowd would go home happy, with Australia taking out the game 12-8
after an evenly-fought, tightly-contested match.
Wet conditions made ball handling difficult, both sides committing numerous knock-ons and struggling to get any
coherent ball movement going. Jamie Lyon scored an opening penalty goal for the Kangaroos, but the first try would
not come until the final minute of the first half. It came when Darren Lockyer grubbered the ball into the in-goal,
with Brett Morris winning the race for the ball to put it down and give Australia a 6-0 lead at the break.
Sam Thaiday, who would go on to be awarded the Man of the Match title, set up Morris for the Australians’ second
try shortly after the break and the scoreline was 12-0. The Kiwis fought back late in the contest with two tries in the
final 15 minutes, but Isaac Luke was unable to convert either try and the New Zealanders would fall short.
Australia 12 def New Zealand 8
Australia : Tries – B Morris 2. Goals – J Lyon 2/3.
New Zealand : Tries – J Nightingale, J Sa’u. Goals – I Luke 0/2.
Referee – R Silverwood. Crowd – 29,442 at AAMI Park.
Manly continued their imposing record at Fortress Brookvale when the Sea Eagles completed a comprehensive 24-6
win over the highly-fancied St George on Saturday night.
It took just 8 minutes for Tony Williams to fly over in the corner to score the Sea Eagles’ opening try; and when he
made it a double 10 minutes later they found themselves with a 10-0 lead. But the Dragons fought back shortly
before the break, Anthony Watmough coughing up possession to enable Trent Merrin to crash over and score.
10-6 at the break, and the Sea Eagles emerged from the sheds looking the sharper team in the second half. And
before long, Ben Farrar wrong-footed the Dragon defenders with a dummy before running in to score under the
posts. Jamie Lyon had no trouble converting, and the Sea Eagles led by 10.
When Mark Minichiello capitalised on a Knights’ error to score in the first minute after the break, the Titans had taken the lead. But the Knights
weren’t finished yet. Uate took the ball from dummy half and crashed over to score. And when Cooper Vuna ran 40 metres to put down a
barnstorming try, the Knights were leading 30-22 and were entertaining hopes of an upset in front of a small but vocal home crowd.
But it wasn’t to be, as the Titans steadied. Tries to David Mead and Clinton Toopi restored the Gold Coast lead; and when Greg Bird found the
line in the 72nd minute, it looked all over. But again the Knights fought back, Uate scoring in the corner with just 3 minutes remaining to cut
the margin to 2 points. The Knights searched hard in the final minutes for the try that would win the game, but it would not be forthcoming
and the Titans would hang on to record the win.
Gold Coast Titans 38 def Newcastle Knights 36
Titans : Tries – C Toopi 2, P Campbell, J Tomane, M Minichiello, D Mead, G Bird. Goals – S Prince 5/7.
Knights : Tries – A Uate 2, K Lulia, K Gidley, S Dureau, C Vuna. Goals – K Gidley 6/7.
Referees – B Cummins, A Shortall. Crowd – 13,384 at Energy Australia Stadium.
Melbourne Storm’s first match at the new rectangular stadium turned into a nightmare, as the reality of the Storm’s salary cap debacle and
being penalised all points for 2010 hit home.
The Storm had played with defiance immediately following the club being stripped of their titles and the ability to play for points this season,
but that emotion ran out in this match and the reality that no points were on the line saw the Storm put in a seemingly spiritless and
A good crowd was on hand, and they were encouraged early when Michael Duffle crossed over in the corner. But frustration soon set in the
Storm’s game, and the referee lost patience with the Storm’s error-prone defence in the 23rd minute, awarding Jarrod Yow Yeh a penalty try.
Before long, Israel Folau was over for a double and the rot was setting in.
The Broncos played very well, especially with so many players backing up from the Anzac Test on Friday night. But the Storm struggled to get
into the contest, showing little of the creative attack for which they have often become renowned. As if the strain of the last couple of weeks
had created a chasm of letdown, the Storm never looked likely to work their way back into the match and the Broncos found the afternoon a
After a start to the season to forget, the win sees the Broncos somehow back within striking distance of the top 8, sitting only one game out.
But for the Storm, with no way of climbing off the bottom, it’s hard to see what they have to play for this season or any way to rediscover
their morale after such a blow to the club.
Brisbane Broncos 36 def Melbourne Storm 14
Broncos : Tries – I Folau 2, G Beale, C Norman, B Te’o, penalty try. Goals – C Parker 6/6.
Storm : Tries – M Duffle 2, A Quinn. Goals – G Inglis 1/3.
Referees – T Archer, S Lyons. Crowd – 20,032 at AAMI Park.
2010 had seen dramatic improvement from the Sydney Roosters, turning the club around from their implosion and wooden spoon of 2009. But
Monday night at the SFS was a return to the bad old days, as a small crowd saw an error-plagued performance as the home side were thrashed
32-14 by the struggling North Queensland Cowboys.
Michael Bani opened the scoring, crossing the Roosters line out wide. Matt Bowen was next, with an intercept and an 80-metre run and after
15 minutes it was a shock 12-0 lead to the Cowboys. Nick Kouparitsas and Todd Carney hit back for the Roosters to cut the margin to 12-10,
but John Williams was awarded a controversial benefit of the doubt try on the stroke of half time.
And the second half was all Cowboys, the visitors scoring four tries in the second period to turn the game into a blowout. After five losses in a
row, it was a welcome return for the Cowboys and gives them some hope of turning their poor season around. But for the Roosters, the loss
was a reminder of the depths of despair they were in last season, and shows they have some work to do to sustain the improvement they
have made in the early part of this year.
North Queensland Cowboys 32 def Sydney Roosters 14
Cowboys : Tries – M Bani 2, M Bowen, J Williams, W Tonga, A Watts. Goals – J Williams 3/5, A Graham 1/1.
Roosters : Tries – N Kouparitsas, T Carney, P Graham. Goals – T Carney 1/3.
Referees – A Klein, J Robinson. Crowd – 6,478 at Sydney Football Stadium.
NOTE - Melbourne stripped of all points for 2010 due to salary cap breach.
10 minutes later, a grubber by the Sea Eagles looked to be going dead, but Jamie Lyon chased it and miraculously
knocked it back a split-second before it would have landed too far. Tony Williams was next on the scene, diving on
the ball to bring up his hat-trick. A conversion and a penalty goal to Lyon completed the scoring for the night.
The result brings to an end the Dragons’ run of 4 straight wins, but they retain the ladder leadership. But the win
was an important boost for the Sea Eagles, not only keeping them comfortably in the top 4 but with the confidence
that they can beat the best the competition has to offer in 2010.
Manly Sea Eagles 24 def St George-Illawarra Dragons 6
Sea Eagles : Tries – T Williams 3, B Farrar. Goals – J Lyon 4/5.
Dragons : Tries – T Merrin. Goals – J Soward 1/1.
Referees – G Badger, S Hayne. Crowd – 16,745 at Brookvale Oval.
Gold Coast retained second spot on the ladder, but were made to fight all the way by a plucky Newcastle side in an
entertaining and high-scoring contest at Energy Australia Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
In sunny conditions in Newcastle, the Knights attacked the ball, throwing the ball around with attacking flair and
confidence that belied their poor ladder position. And they were rewarded for their endeavour, getting to a 16-6
lead after just 25 minutes. The Titans fought back late in the half, but the Knights still enjoyed a 20-16 lead at the