|ROUND 16 FIXTURES:
(All times shown are Sydney time)
Friday 25th June
St George-Illawarra v Wests Tigers (7:30pm, WIN Jubilee Oval)
Penrith v Manly (7:30pm, CUA Stadium)
Saturday 26th June
Parramatta v Brisbane (5:30pm, Parramatta Stadium)
North Queensland v Cronula (7:30pm, Dairy Farmers Stadium)
South Sydney v Melbourne (9:30pm, ME Bank Stadium, Perth WA)
Sunday 27th June
Sydney Roosters v NZ Warriors (2:00pm, Jade Stadium, Christchurch NZL)
Gold Coast v Newcastle (3:00pm, Skilled Park)
Monday 28th June
Canberra v Bulldogs (7:00pm, Canberra Stadium)
Suncorp Stadium sold out within two hours of tickets going on sale, and a full house of Queenslanders were on
hand to see the Maroons wrap up the series with a comprehensive 34-6 demolition of NSW.
In a tumultuous buildup to the game, the NSW camp was rocked when Timana Tahu walked out of camp and
away from Origin in protest against a racist comment from Andrew Johns. Queensland had their own dramas,
with Israel Folau originally left out of the squad after signing to play AFL, only to be re-instated after Brent Tate
broke his jaw in a club game in round 13.
It took just three minutes for Greg Inglis to realise NSW’s worst fears, making scoring look ridiculously easy by
strolling through the Blues’ line to score in the corner. And on 12 minutes, Israel Folau celebrated his re-
instatement into the Maroons’ squad with a try in the opposite corner, which Johnathan Thurston converted to
put Queensland 10-0 ahead.
The Maroons were on fire, and went close to scoring again, only for Billy Slater’s effort to be ruled a forward pass.
But the Maroons would score again before half time, Darius Boyd finding a gaping hole and running 20 metres
untouched to score and give the Queenslanders a 16-0 lead at the break.
The Queensland points kept coming in the second half. A bomb from Lockyer made it safely to Willie Tonga for
another try, and on the hour Israel Folau completed a double by out-pacing the Blues defenders to score in the
corner. And when Cooper Cronk wrong-footed the NSW defenders with a clever dummy to score under the
posts, the Maroons held a convincing 34-0 lead.
The Blues scored a late try, Brett White saving them from complete humiliation with a score in the final minute.
But it was still a big win for the Maroons, one that completes their fifth straight Origin title; as speculation grows
that NSW mentor Craig Bellamy may be given his marching orders before Origin III in 3 weeks time, which would
make him the first coach to be sacked mid-way through an Origin series.
Queensland 34 def New South Wales 6
Queensland : Tries – I Folau 2, G Inglis, D Boyd, W Tonga, C Cronk. Goals – J Thurston 5/6.
New South Wales : Tries – B White. Goals – M Ennis 1/1.
Referees – T Archer, S Hayne. Crowd – 52,452 at Suncorp Stadium.
The first game of Friday’s double header at Lang Park saw Brisbane’s 5-game winning streak come to an end,
when the second-placed Penrith recorded a 22-12 victory.
The Panthers started strongly, when Adrian Purtell intercepted a pass from Darren Lockyer and ran 80 metres to
score. The try spurred the Broncos into action, and the Brisbane side was unlucky not to score. Israel Folau
attempted to crash through but was held up in goal; and five minutes later Jharal Yow Yeh flew high to grab a
bomb and score. Referee Gavin Badger immediately disallowed the try without referring to the video referee;
replays showing that to be a poor decision as they showed it looking like a clean try.
Shortly before the half-hour mark, Antonio Winterstein crossed the line, and it was third time lucky for the
Broncos as the try was awarded. Corey Parker’s conversion put the Broncos ahead 6-4, but their lead was short-
lived as Lachlan Coote quickly replied with a try that saw the Panthers lead 10-6 at half time.
Penrith’s advantage was extended on the hour when Luke Lewis crashed over to score in the corner. The angle
was too tight for Michael Gordon to convert, but a penalty goal a few minutes later gave the Panthers another
two points and a 10-point lead.
Peter Wallace threw the Broncos a lifeline with a 72nd minute effort that saw the margin back to within a
converted try and still enough time for the Broncos to score again and snatch the game. But the match-winning
try was not to be found against the Penrith defence. And as the clock ticked down, the Broncos had to take
risks to throw the ball around; and the gamble backfired when Kevin Kingston encountered minimal opposition to
score and put the result beyond doubt.
Penrith Panthers 22 def Brisbane Broncos 12
Panthers : Tries – L Coote, K Kingston, L Lewis, A Purtell. Goals – M Gordon 3/5.
Broncos : Tries – P Wallace, A Winterstein. Goals – C Parker 2/2.
Referees – G Badger, B Suttor. At Suncorp Stadium.
The second game of the double-header was a thriller, with Gold Coast keeping a spot in the top 4 but only a field
goal separated them from the struggling Bulldogs.
Early tries to Kevin Gordon and Mark Minichiello got the Titans off to a flying start, and a 10-0 lead after just 11
minutes. The Titans had enjoyed the bulk of possession early, and took full advantage of repeat sets for Gordon
to score. And from the kick-off, the Titans wasted little time moving the ball forward again to score in the first
set after the previous try.
Josh Morris got one back for the Bulldogs, but in the 20th minute William Zillman found an opening and weaved
his way through traffic to score for the Titans. The conversion made the score 16-6 in favour of the Titans, but
shortly afterwards Scott Prince was sidelined with a hamstring injury and would play no further part in the game.
A penalty goal to Mat Rogers with five minutes on the clock before half time extended the Gold Coast advantage
to 18-6 at the break.
Just two minutes after the break, the Titans looked to be cruising to a comfortable win when Anthony Laffranchi
strolled over to score the easiest of tries.
Eventually, on the hour, Ben Barba turned on a run that turned into a try. Just four minutes later, Jamal Idris
found the line; and after Bryson Goodwin coverted the try to extended the scoreline was back to 24-18, with
still plenty of time for the Bulldogs to steal the game.
10 minutes later, and the Titans added some much-needed safety margin thanks to a field goal from Greg Bird to
put themselves 25-18 clear. It was much-needed safety margin and ensure the win; which was just as well for
the Titans kept coming. Some individual brilliance by Ben Barba brought up second try with three minutes to go.
The margin was back to a point, but there would be no way through in the final few minutes for the Bulldogs, as
the Titans desperately took out a hard-fought victory.
Gold Coast Titans 25 def Canterbury Bulldogs 24
Titans : Tries – K Gordon, A Laffranchi, M Minichiello, W Zillman. Goals – S Prince 2/3, M Rogers 2/2. Field Goals
– G Bird 1/1.
Bulldogs : Tries – B Barba 2, J Idris, J Morris. Goals – B Goodwin 4/4.
Referees – T De las Heras, S Lyons. Goals – 42,233 at Suncorp Stadium.
There were no points for it, but Melbourne returned to the winning list, celebrating half-back Brett Finch’s 250th
game in style when the Storm demolished North Queensland 58-12 at AAMI Park on Saturday evening.
From the start, the Storm were dominant and the Cowboys looked flat and disorganised. It was one-way traffic
all the way, 10 tries to 2, and could easily have been an even bigger margin on a night where the gap between
the two sides was totally lopsided.
The Storm ran in the first four tries of the game to lead 24-6 at half time; and the second side was even more
Justin O’Neill ran in a hat-trick, while Matt Duffie and Billy Slater were also in the thick of the action with two tries
apiece. Milestone man Brett Finch had a hand in several tries, and went close to scoring one himself but was
denied by the video referee. But Finch did get on the scoreboard when he was invited to take the last
conversion for the evening, which he duly slotted home. It completed a good night for the goalkickers, a night of
minimal wind; with Cameron Smith, Greg Inglis, Finch and the Cowboys’ Johnathan Thurston between them only
missing one shot at goal for the evening.
Had the Storm not been penalised all their points for 2010, the Storm would have been comfortably in the top 4
while the Cowboys would have been bottom of the ladder. And this game was a closer fit to a battle of top 4 v
last than a clash between the two bottom teams.
Melbourne Storm 58 def North Queensland Cowboys 12
Storm : Tries – J O’Neill 3, M Duffie 2, B Slater 2, C Cronk, G Inglis, J Lima. Goals – C Smith 5/6, G Inglis 3/3, B
Cowboys : Tries – S Gallant, J Tamou. Goals – J Thurston 2/2.
Referees – B Cummins, B Sutton. Crowd – 10,661 at AAMI Park.
A cliff-hanger at Brookvale Oval on Saturday night saw Manly fall over the line 26-25 against Souths to move
ahead of the Rabbitohs on the ladder to within reach of the top 4.
Steve Matai opened the scoring for the Sea Eagles, but the home side was soon on the back foot after the
Rabbitohs took advantage of a strong of penalties and repeat sets to put on the pressure. And the Sea Eagles
cracked, as Isaac Luke scored a double within two minutes; and converting both tries, Luke put the Rabbitohs 12-
Steve Matai was again in the thick of the action with a 30 metre run to score, and Shane Rodney converted to
again see the scores tied. The game looked set to go to half time with the teams locked together, but Chris
Sandow took advantage of an opportunity for a score and popped a field goal over two minutes before the break
to see the Rabbitohs turn for half time with a 13-12 lead.
The Sea Eagles went on the attack after half time. In the opening minute after the break, Matt Ballin went over
from dummy half to give Manly the lead. And on 56 minutes, Tony Williams found an opening to score and with a
24-13 lead the Sea Eagles were looking well set.
But the Rabbitohs weren’t finished yet. A solo effort from Rhys Wesser got a try back, and when Chris Sandow
wrong-footed the Manly defence with a dummy and ran 40 metres to score, Luke’s conversion put Souths back
in front with 10 minutes to go.
On 77 minutes, Trent Hodgkinson took the opportunity to land a field goal, which put the match back on level
terms and seemingly destined for golden point. But on the last play in regulation time, Hodgkinson was again the
star with a long-range field goal from 35 metres out; a spectacular field goal that gave the Sea Eagles the points
and handed back-to-back losses to the Rabbitohs.
Manly Sea Eagles 26 def South Sydney Rabbitohs 25
Sea Eagles : Tries – S Matai 2, M Ballin, T Williams. Goals – S Rodney 4/4. Field Goals – T Hodgkinson 2/2.
Rabbitohs : Tries – I Luke 2, C Sandow, R Wesser. Goals – I Luke 4/4. Field Goals – C Sandow 1/1.
Referees – S Hayne, J Robinson. Crowd – 11,661 at Brookvale Oval.
St George-Illawarra tightened their grip on top spot, and retained the southern Sydney bragging rights, when
the Dragons completed a 22-4 victory over local rivals Cronulla at Shark Park on Sunday afternoon.
It took just 8 minutes for the Dragons to get on the scoreboard, after an attacking move that went through
several sets of hands ended up with Kyle Stanley who dived over to score in the corner. Jamie Soward was
unable to convert the try, but shortly afterwards landed a penalty goal after being hit high to put the Dragons 6-
The Sharks hit back in the 25th minute, Isaac Gordon finding a gap in the Dragon defence to run through and
score in the corner. But the angle was too tight for Nathan Gardner, and the chance to level the scores went
begging as the Dragons maintained their 6-4 lead.
It was still 6-4 at half time, but the Dragons wasted little time in pulling away in the second half. A cross-field
bomb by Jamie Soward was taken by Brett Morris who ran across the line and then ran to the centre to score
under the posts to create an easy conversion. Five minutes later, Morris was again in the thick of the action with
a 50 metre run, before passing to Darius Boyd who delivered a grubber that Kyle Stanley was first on hand,
placing the ball on the ground for his second try that stretched the lead to 18-4.
The Dragons assumed a confident swagger, while the Cronulla heads dropped. Another loss for the Sharks, just
one of many in what has been a dismal session. For the Dragons, it was another day to celebrate a win over their
local rivals, one that keeps them top of the ladder.
St George-Illawarra Dragons 22 def Cronulla Sharks 4
Dragons : Tries – K Stanley 2, B Morris, J Nightingale. Goals – J Soward 3/5.
Sharks : Tries – I Gordon. Goals – N Gardner 0/1.
Referees – T Archer, A Shortall. Crowd – 16,773 at Toyota Stadium.
It took until the final minutes to wrap up the result, but Wests Tigers remain in third position after getting home
18-8 against Canberra in front of a full house of 19,428 at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday afternoon.
The crowd were in fine voice early, after a shocking opening from the Raiders; with Joel Monaghan sending the
kick-off out of bounds on the full to give the Tigers possession. And in the third minute, Blake Ayshford kept the
ball from spilling into touch before off-loading to Beau Ryan. Benji Marshall gave the Tigers a 6-0 lead.
The Tigers continued to attack, but poor finishing let them down. Both Lote Tuqiri and Benji Marshall bombed
tries by knocking on when a clear opening to the line was ahead of them. And against the run of play, Joel
Monaghan found the Tigers’ line to score and level the match at 6-6.
A grinding second half saw both sides attempt to score, but neither could penetrate the opposition’s line. It was
old-fashioned play at an old-fashioned suburban ground, some heavy hits and ferocious tackling with no quarter
asked or given. There were no scores for the first 25 minutes of the half, but a penalty goal to Jason Croker gave
the Raiders the lead.
With just five minutes to go, the tide turned when Beau Ryan took a kick on the last tackle before chasing it
down to regain possession and score. The crowd were in raptures as the Tigers had taken the lead. And with
two minutes to go it was Daniel Fitzhenry’s turn to be the hero, shaking off the Raider tacklers’ attentions and
running 40 metres to score under the posts and put the result beyond doubt. Benji Marshall converted both
tries, and the Tigers completed an 18-8 win.
Wests Tigers 18 def Canberra Raiders 8
Tigers : Tries – B Ryan 2, D Fitzhenry. Goals – B Marshall 3/3.
Raiders : Tries – J Monaghan. Goals – J Croker 2/2.
Referees – A Klein, J Maxwell. Crowd – 19,428 at Leichhardt Oval.
On a wet and miserable Monday night in Newcastle, the Knights brightened the spirits of the locals and dealt a
blow to Parramatta with a 6-4 win at Energy Australia Stadium.
The game started farcically, with Jarryd Hayne’s kick off being picked up by the wind to fly out of bounds on the
full. The Knights had possession, only for Ben Rogers to knock-on in the first set. It was the start of a half of skill
errors and blunders from both sides, struggling to adapt to the terrible conditions.
Parramatta were twice denied tries by the video referee, and the scores remained deadlocked. The Knights were
unable to score, even when Timana Tahu spent 10 minutes in the sin bin. And the Eels suffered a blow when
Eric Grothe was stretchered off with a knee injury, and would play no further part in the match. But at half time,
the scores were still locked at 0-0.
10 minutes after the break, Parramatta put up a bomb on the last tackle; a bomb which in the windy conditions
Akuila Uate was unable to hold on to. The Eels got possession 10 metres out fro the Knights’ line, and from the
ensuing set Justin Horo scored in the corner. Luke Burt was unable to land the conversion, but the Eels had
taken the lead 4-0; a scoreline that would remain unchanged when Burt missed a penalty goal on the hour.
Time was running out, and the Eels looked to have done enough to grind out a win. But with just two minutes
to go, their defence cracked and they were unable to control a grubber. The ball spilled free for Richard Fa’aoso,
who offloaded to Junior Sau to level the scores. Despite the difficult windy conditions and the pressure of the
situation, Kurt Gidley’s conversion never looked like missing; and the Knights had stolen the game.
It had been an ugly, error-riddled slog; but the taste of victory was sweet for the Knights as their 5-game losing
streak came to an end. But it was a heartbreaking result for Parramatta, who after working so hard in the sodden
conditions and looking like they had done enough to win had the victory taken away from them at the final
moments; a result that also saw the Eels crash out of the top 8.
Newcastle Knights 6 def Parramatta Eels 4
Knights : Tries – J Sau. Goals – K Gidley 1/1.
Eels : Tries – J Horo. Goals – L Burt 0/2.
Referees – G Badger, M Cecchin. Crowd – 8,474 at Energy Australia Stadium.
|NOTE - Melbourne stripped of all points for 2010 due to salary cap breach.