|ROUND 12 FIXTURES:
(All times shown are Sydney time)
Wednesday 26th May
State of Origin I - New South Wales v Queensland (8:00pm, ANZ Stadium)
Friday 28th May
St George-Illawarra v Parramatta (7:30pm, WIN Jubilee Stadium)
Wests Tigers v New Zealand Warriors (7:30pm, Campbelltown Stadium)
Saturday 29th May
Cronulla v Brisbane (5:30pm, Toyota Stadium)
North Queensland v Manly (7:30pm, Dairy Farmers Stadium)
Sunday 30th May
Melbourne v Canterbury (2:00pm, AAMI Park)
South Sydney v Penrith (3:00pm, ANZ Stadium)
Monday 31st May
Gold Coast v Sydney Roosters (7:00pm, Skilled Park)
BYE - Canberra, Newcastle.
Wests Tigers ended their 4-game losing streak when they completed a 23-6 win over Newcastle at Energy Australia
Stadium on Friday night.
Torrential rain and a stiff wind kept the crowd down, while the Knights stuggled in the absence of key playmaker
Kurt Gidley who was on Origin duty. But stand-in five-eight Ben Rogers got the Knights off to a promising start with
an individual effort to wrong-foot the Tigers’ defence for the opening try of the game. But after Wes Naiqama kicked
the conversion, the Knights would not score again for the night.
On 23 minutes, Wests Tigers halfback Robert Lui threw an imaginative pass that let second-rower Gareth Ellis in for
the try that would equalise the scores. And when Geoff Daniela found the line just minutes before the break, the
Tigers would go in to the sheds with the lead.
Chris Lawrence scored for the Tigers shortly after the break, and the score would remain locked at 16-6 for over 20
minutes. Finally Benji Marshall, who had been disappointing until the final 10 minutes, gave the Tigers another point
buffer with a long-range field goal. And in the final minutes, Marshall finally found his spark and ran in another try to
put the game well and truly beyond the Knights’ reach.
Wests Tigers 23 def Newcastle Knights 6
Tigers : Tries – G Daniela, G Ellis, C Lawrence, B Marshall. Goals – B Marshall 3/5. Field Goals – B Marshall 1/1.
Knights : Tries – B Rogers. Goals – W Naiqama 1/1.
Referees – J Robinson, A Shortall. Crowd – 14,458 at Energy Australia Stadium.
It seems that every team has their bogey side; the team that, no matter how well they are going and how badly the
opposition is going, that they tend to lose to. Parramatta’s bogey side is Cronulla, and the Sharks completed their
second victory over the Eels in 2010 when they took the points 22-18 at Parramatta Stadium on Saturday night.
The Eels haven’t beaten the Sharks at home since 2003, and went into this game without Jarryd Hayne and Timana
Tahu who were on Origin duty. But the Eels still created plenty of chances, and it took some dogged defence by
the Sharks to hold the home side out during the nerve-wracking final minutes to take the points.
The Eels led 18-10 at the break, but were unable to score in the second half against a committed Cronulla side.
Although the Eels had plenty of the play, the only two tries of the second half were scored by the Sharks; and once
they had taken the lead they defended doggedly against everything the Eels would throw at them.
The Sharks had five former Parramatta players in their side, including half-back Tim Smith, who was easily the best
player on the park. Returning to rugby league after a lengthy absence, Smith scored one try and had a hand in the
other three the Sharks would score.
Struggling at the bottom reaches of the ladder, only saved from being on the dreaded bottom spot by the Storm
salary cap scandal, the result was a much-needed morale boost for the embattled Sharks. For Parramatta, the result
was the end of their 4-game winning streak; and only their favourable for and against record will keep the Eels in the
Cronulla Sharks 22 def Parramatta Eels 18
Sharks : Tries – D Aiton, D Collis, T Smith, A Tupou. Goals – N Gardner 3/3, T Smith 0/1.
Eels : Tries – T Humble, D Mortimer, J Robson. Goals – L Burt 3/3.
Referees – J Maxwell, B Suttor. Crowd – 13,058 at Parramatta Stadium.
The New Zealand Warriors retained their position in the top 8 when they pulled off an important home win to defeat
Souths 26-24 at Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday.
Lance Hohaia, celebrating his 150th game for the Warriors, excited the crowd with a run in the opening minute, and
shortly after made another break to score the opening try of the game. The Rabbitohs replied through Colin Best,
but Brent Tate got the Warriors back in front when he flew high to take a bomb in the Rabbitohs’ in-goal and plant
the ball for another try.
St George-Illawarra were a depleted side due to Origin commitments when they hosted Canberra at WIN Stadium on Sunday afternoon. But
even with the quality absences from the Dragons’ lineup, few could have thought they would go down at home to the struggling Raiders.
A 40-20 from Jamie Soward gave the Dragons an early scoring opportunity, but the Raiders held them out; and it would take 22 minutes
before either side scored. And it was the Raiders who would break the deadlock, an inside pass from Terry Campese setting up Glen Buttriss. It
would be the only score until two minutes before the break, when Jason Nightingale scored in the corner but the conversion attempt was
unsuccessful. At the break, it was a 6-4 lead to the Raiders.
Three minute after the restart, Kyle Stanley capitalised on a missed tackle to run in and score; and the Dragons were in front for the first time,
although Soward’s kick sailed wide.
But the Raiders lifted. Daniel Vidot was denied by the video referee, but a devastating 8-minute burst in which the Raiders would score three
times was decisive for the outcome of the game. Joel Thompson capitalised on an offload by Josh Dugan to crash over. And them running tries
to Dugan and Jason Croker took the scoreline out to 22-8. Even with a late try to Trent Merin, the Dragons were unable to get back into the
contest, and it would be a sensational upset win to the Raiders.
Canberra Raiders 22 def St George-Illawarra Dragons 14
Raiders : Tries – G Buttriss, J Croker, J Dugan, J Thompson. Goals – T Campese 3/4.
Dragons : Tries – T Merrin, J Nightingale, K Stanley. Goals – J Soward 1/3.
Referees – S Lyons, T De las Heras. Crowd – 14,728 at WIN Stadium.
Monday night NRL action was another good night for Penrith, the Panthers joining St George as equal ladder leaders when they completed a
31-16 win over the Bulldogs at Penrith Stadium.
The Panthers were without Petro Civoniceva, Luke Lewis and Trent Waterhouse on Origin duty; but even with the three forwards out the
Panthers were unstoppable. Michael Gordon in particular was in amazing form, scoring a hat-trick as well as landing 5 goals in a best-on-ground
performance. The Bulldogs were flat, but the Panthers were sensational.
The opening try came when Michael Gordon flew uncontested for a bomb, and it was typical of the way the game was played. The Panthers
dominated proceedings, creating numerous opportunities; and even with some wasteful finishing and a few Bulldog tries against the run of play,
there was no disputing that this was going to be Penrith’s night.
The result sees the Panthers draw level with St George on 16 points, only for and against denying them top spot on the ladder. But it was a
poor result for the Bulldogs, one that sees them fall down a congested ladder – and other than the disgraced Storm, the Bulldogs are equal
bottom of the ladder but kept from the extreme lower reaches by their favourable for and against.
Penrith Panthers 31 def Canterbury Bulldogs 16
Panthers : Tries – M Gordon 3, S Elford, T Grant. Goals – M Gordon 5/5. Field Goals – L Walsh 1/1.
Bulldogs : Tries – A Ryan, S Turner, S Neumann. Goals – B Goodwin 2/3.
Referees – B Cummins, M Cecchin. Crowd – 11,278 at CUA Stadium.
NOTE - Melbourne stripped of all points for 2010 due to salary cap breach.
It was try for try. Fetuli Talanoa strolled over for the easiest of tries to put the Rabbitohs back in front, and Isaac
Luke set up Rhys Wesser to stretch the lead. But the Warriors fought back and Jerome Ropati crossed in the final
minute of the half to narrow the gap to 18-14 at the break.
Ropati’s second try two minutes after the restart levelled the scores, with the conversion giving the Warriors the
lead. Prop Russell Packer added another, but the Warriors were fatiguing in the later stages of the game. With James
Maloney and Sam Rapira injured, the Warriors only had two interchange players to rotate, while the Rabbitohs had
fresh legs to bring on in the heavy conditions. And when Chris Sandow scored to cut the margin to 2 points with still
11 minutes left on the clock, the game was far from over.
But the Warriors defended grimly, ran down then clock and then celebrated when the siren finally sounded. It had
been a courageous win by the Warriors, overcoming injury fears to take out a victory that will do wonders for the
morale of the club.
New Zealand Warriors 26 def South Sydney Rabbitohs 24
Warriors : Tries – J Ropati 2, L Hohaia, R Packer, B Tate. Goals – B Seymour 3/5.
Rabbitohs : Tries – F Talanoa 2, C Best, R Wesser. Goals – I Luke 4/4.
Referees – G Badger, G Sutton. Crowd – 10,485 at Mt Smart Stadium.