|ROUND 17 FIXTURES:
(All times shown are Sydney time)
Friday 2nd July
Brisbane v Wests Tigers (7:30pm, Suncorp Stadium)
Saturday 3rd July
Cronulla v Canterbury (7:30pm, Toyota Stadium)
Sunday 4th July
Canberra v Sydney Roosters (2:00pm, Canberra Stadium)
NZ Warriors v Parramatta (2:00pm, Mt Smart Stadium)
Monday 5th July
St George-Illawarra v Penrith (7:00pm, WIN Jubilee Oval)
BYE - Gold Coast, Manly, Melbourne, Newcastle, North Queensland, South Sydney
A blockbuster crowd of 16,574 packed out Kogarah Oval on Friday night, the vast majority wearing the red V of
the home side. And they would go home happy after the Dragons dominated proceedings to record a
comfortable 34-10 victory over the Wests Tigers.
It was end to end early, as both sides tackled hard and defended resolutely through 17 scoreless minutes. The
deadlock was finally broken when a penalty was awarded, and Jamie Soward elected to take the two points. And
three minutes later, the Dragons ran in the first try of the game when Darius Boyd capitalised on a missed tackle
to score under the posts. Soward added the extras and the Dragons went 8-0 ahead.
On the half hour mark, Wade McKinnon made a break and ran 70 metres before being run down by Ben Creagh.
But his move put the Tigers on the attack, and on the last tackle Chris Lawrence scored in the corner to get the
Tigers on the board; but the angle was too tight for Benji Marshall to land the conversion. But any hope of the
try being the catalyst for a Tiger revival were dashed when Benji Marshall was picked up for a forward pass in his
own half, giving the Dragons attacking position which ended with Ben Creagh scoring to put the Dragons 14-4
ahead at half time.
The Tigers came out firing in the second half, and it didn’t take long for Lote Tuqiri to go on one his trademark
runs down the wing for a long-range try to reduce the margin to 4 points. But the Dragons had the quick reply,
with Ben Creagh scoring off a bomb to restore the half-time lead. Tries to Soward and Brett Morris would follow
as the ladder-leading Dragons continued on their merry way, their fourth win on the trot, while the Tigers will be
depending on other results to stay in the top four.
St George-Illawarra Dragons 34 def Wests Tigers 10
Dragons : Tries – D Boyd, B Creagh, B Morris, J Soward, K Stanley. Goals – J Soward 7/7.
Tigers : Tries – C Lawrence, L Tuqiri. Goals – B Marshall 1/2.
Referees – S Hayne, J Robinson. Crowd – 16,574 at WIN Jubilee Stadium.
Second-placed Penrith again showed their attacking credentials when the Panthers put on an entertaining
performance to defeat Manly 40-22 at CUA Stadium on Friday night.
Wearing pink jersies as part of a breast cancer fundraiser, the Panthers got off to a flying start in the third minute
when Brad Tighe scored in the corner, but Michael Gordon’s conversion attempt was unsuccessful. And on 13
minutes, Michael Robertson centred to Kieran Foran and the Sea Eagles were on the board. Shane Rodney,
playing against his former club, landed the conversion and Manly were 6-4 in front.
But the Panthers lifted, and the second half of the first half was close to flawless rugby league as the Panthers
put on an exhibition. Backing themselves in tight contests and throwing the ball around, the Panthers underlined
the form they hope will lead them to bigger and better things when finals time comes. Frank Pritchard made a 30
metre run before finding Trent Waterhouse with the line open in front of him. Michael Jennings wasted no time
getting into the action with a superb try. And Michael Gordon then got into the game, first landing a penalty goal
than capping off an entertaining end to end run in which the ball went through well over 10 passes before
Gordon dived over to score next to the posts and then convert.
It was 24-6 at the break, and just three minutes later Gavin Cooper pounced on a bomb to score another and
put the game out of Manly’s reach. The Sea Eagles would score three tries in the second half, but never looked
like getting back in the game. To make sure, Michael Jennings scored twice to bring up his hat-trick. And to add
injury to insult, the Sea Eagles would lose Glenn Stewart in the final minutes and had to be stretchered from the
Penrith Panthers 40 def Manly Sea Eagles 22
Panthers : Tries – M Jennings 3, G Cooper, M Gordon, B Tighe, T Waterhouse. Goals – M Gordon 6/8.
Sea Eagles : Tries – T Williams 2, K Foran, G Stewart. Goals – S Rodney 2/2, S Matai 1/1, T Williams 0/1.
Referees – T Archer, T De las Heras. Crowd – 14,978 at CUA Stadium.
A spot in the top 8 was up for grabs when Parramatta hosted Brisbane at Parra Stadium on Saturday evening.
But it was the Broncos who would rise to the occasion, defending resolutely to take out a 10-6 win over the Eels.
On a night when Darren Lockyer beat Andrew Ettingshausen’s record for the most games for one club, his 329th
appearance for the Broncos, the veteran playmaker was one of the Broncos’ best.
It wasn’t a game that reached any great eights, a combination of dour defending and some skill errors and sloppy
turnovers preventing both sides from troubling the scorers more than occasionally. But Lockyer was in the thick
of the action for the opening try, catching the Eels off-guard by kicking the ball high, towards the posts, early in
the tackle count. Peter Wallace chased the ball down, plucked it from the air and planted it to put the Broncos
ahead, with Corey Parker following up with an easy conversion.
The Eels hit back when Jarryd Hayne flew down the sideline to chase a bomb from Daniel Mortimer and score in
the corner. Luke Burt was unable to convert the try, but a penalty goal shortly before half time levelled the
game at 6-6 at the break.
Scores were level, and for 25 nervous minutes they stayed level. The Eels had plenty of the ball, but were
unable to find any spark to generate any points. The Brisbane defence was tight and tough, and the Eels had
their chances but were unable to find any way through it. And at 65 minutes, against the run of play, it was the
Broncos who scored.
A clever dummy by Corey Parker caught the Eels out, and a lightning-fast offload to Israel Folau who was
storming down the wing saw Folau score in the corner. Parker’s conversion was missed, but the Broncos held a
10-6 lead that they would maintain, despite their defence being kept busy by a hard-pressing Parramatta side in
the closing moments.
Brisbane Broncos 10 def Parramatta Eels 6
Broncos : Tries – I Folau, P Wallace. Goals – C Parker 1/2.
Eels : Tries – J Hayne. Goals – L Burt 1/2.
Referee – J Maxwell, P Haines. Crowd – 15,929 at Parramatta Stadium.
Cronulla spirits were lifted on Saturday night when the Sharks travelled to Townsville and returned home with the
points after coming from behind to pull off a remarkable 20-19 golden point win.
It was a result few saw coming in the first half. The Cowboys landed three converted tries to lead 18-0, and with
a run of penalties and a glut of possession should have been further ahead. The wet conditions for a match
between two teams struggling in the lower reaches of the ladder meant the crowd was down on normal, but
the fans who were in attendance were in fine voice as the opportunity for the struggling Cowboys to move up a
couple of spots on the ladder was scented.
But whatever Sharks’ coach Ricky Stuart said to his charges at half time had the desired effect, as the game was
turned on its head. The Sharks scored four tries in the second half, which should have been enough to take the
lead. But Tim Smith missed the first conversion before being interchanged, and in Smith’s absence Nathan
Gardner could land only one of his three conversion attempts.
Scores were level at 18-18 with five minutes to go. Johnathan Thurston popped a field goal over for the
Cowboys to put the home side back in front. But the Sharks weren’t finished yet. Trent Barrett attempted to
land a field goal but missed before a successful drop goal by John Morris in the final minute of regulation time put
the game into overtime. Both sides could reflect on missed chances and failure to make enough of their half of
domination; but the extra time period was needed to decide a winner.
The Sharks quickly moved the ball forward, looking for the score that would get them over the line. Twice Trent
Barrett attempted field goals, only for his shots to spray wide. But on the next set, Barrett had another attempt,
and on his fourth attempt the drop goal went over and the Cronulla miracle comeback was complete.
Cronulla Sharks 20 def North Queensland Cowboys 19 in golden point extra time.
Sharks : Tries – P Aiton, N Gardner, I Gordon, B Pomeroy. Goals - N Gardner 1/3, T Smith 0/1. Field Goals – T
Barrett 1/4, J Morris 1/1.
Cowboys : Tries – W Mason, M Scott, C Webb. Goals – J Thurston 3/4. Field Goals – J Thurston 1/1.
Referees – G Badger, B Suttor. Crowd – 13,063 at Dairy Farmers Stadium.
Rugby league went to Western Australia for the only time this season when Souths took their home game
against Melbourne to Perth; receiving plenty of cash for their efforts. And electing to play their home game
across the other side of the Nullabor didn’t cost the Rabbitohs anything, as the Rabbitohs completed a
courageous 16-14 win.
The first half was an arm wrestle, and nothing separated the sides at the break. Each team had one try awarded
and one disallowed by the video referee; scores being locked at 4-4. Fetuli Talanoa opened the scoring, wrong-
footing the Storm defenders to shake off the attention of two and score. Justin O’Neill replied for the Storm,
chasing down a grubber from Cameron Smith.
Five minutes after the break, O’Neill was again in the thick of the action, with a quick-fire offload to Greg Inglis for
a try. Cameron Smith converted to put the Storm 10-4 ahead. On 52 minutes, Dave Taylor was tackled in-goal,
but in effecting the tackle, the Storm players knocked the ball clear from Taylor, the ball spilling backwards. And
Chris Sandow was there to dive on the crumbs and score; and scores were again level after the conversion by
Five minutes later, Isaac Luke slotted home a penalty goal to put the Rabbitohs in front. And on the hour,
Talanoa made a break to score in the corner to put the Rabbitohs six points clear.
The Storm worked hard, threatening the Souths line; but there was no way through. The Rabbitohs were equal
to the challenge, holding the rampaging Storm out for 12 desperate minutes. But with 8 minutes to go, the
Rabbitohs’ defence eventually cracked and O’Neill from dummy half crashed over from short range to score. But
on a wide angle, Smith was unable to land the conversion and the Rabbitohs retained a 2-point lead; which they
were able to maintain despite some nervous moments towards the end.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 16 def Melbourne Storm 14
Rabbihos : Tries – F Talanoa 2, C Sandow. Goals – I Luke 2/4.
Storm : Tries – J O’Neill 2, G Inglis. Goals – C Smith 1/3.
Referees – A Klein, M Cecchin. Crowd – 13,164 at Members Equity Stadium, Perth WA.
There’s been plenty of upsets in this topsy-turvy season, and the New Zealand Warriors took out another one
when they stunned the high-flying Sydney Roosters 20-18 to get to within for-and-against of a spot in the top 8.
The Roosters took their home game to Christchurch; and although the move was a lucrative one financially, it
gave the Warriors the home country advantage, and a pro-Warriors crowd who inspired the Warriors to fall over
Kevin Locke was a driving force for the Warriors in the first half, scoring the first and last tries when creating
space out wide. But James Maloney was unable to convert either try. At the other end, Todd Carney and
Mitchell Pearce eked out tries at a better angle, and even in wet and windy conditions Todd Carney had little
difficulty converting either try, ensuring the Roosters would take a 12-8 lead into half time.
Both sides went on the attack in the second half, but each side was denied a try by the video referee. But a
creative pass by Mitchell Pearce sent Shaun Kenny-Dowall into space on the hour, and Kenny-Dowall beat the
chasers to plant the ball underneath the posts, Carney’s conversion setting up an 18-8 lead; and as the clock
ticked down, the Roosters were looking safe.
But with 7 minutes to go, a barnstorming run by Manu Vatuvei led to a try that put the Warriors back into the
contest. And with seconds to go, Kevin Locke took the ball out wide and crashed over, putting the ball down
moments before crashing into the corner post. The video referee took plenty of time to examine the replay
before eventually awarding the try. But Locke was unable to celebrate his hat-trick, a shoulder injury seeing him
helped off the field in the arms of the trainers.
The try levelled the score, and on a difficult angle the Roosters would have been confident of the game going
into golden point. But James Maloney stepped up and pulled off a sensational conversion, to complete a
remarkable come-from-behind win.
New Zealand Warriors 20 def Sydney Roosters 18
Warriors : Tries – K Locke 3, M Vatuvei. Goals – J Maloney 2/4.
Roosters : Tries – T Carney, S Kenny-Dowall, M Pearce. Goals – T Carney 3/3.
Referees – B Cummins, G Sutton. Crowd – 20,721 at Jade Stadium, Christchurch NZL.
Newcastle have put themselves back in the finals race with their second straight win, a gritty 24-16 away win
against fourth-placed Gold Coast at Skilled Park on Sunday afternoon.
The Titans made the early attacking, but against the run of play it was the Knights who were first to score, an
intercept by Akuila Uate setting up Zeb Taia for the opening try. 10 minutes later, Ashley Harrison crossed for the
Titans and scores were level at 6-6.
Brad Meyers put the Titans in front, chasing a chip kick; and being just onside by millimetres. The video referee
required several freeze-frames before eventually awarding the try, but the Titans had taken the lead. But the
lead was short-lived, James McManus running down the wing to score in the corner, and scores were level after a
sensational conversion from the sideline by Kurt Gidley. And with just minutes to go before half time, Junior Sau
found the line to put the Knights 18-12 ahead at the break.
The Titans attacked hard after the break, but it took 10 minutes for them to score; and it came when William
Zillman burrowed his way under the Knights defenders for a try. But importantly, Mat Rogers’ conversion attempt,
that would have levelled the scores, was unsuccessful and the Knights retained a 2-point advantage.
The Titans continued to attack, but the Knights gained the ascendancy when Jarrod Mullen landed a 40-20 to
give the Novocastrians field position. And on 67 minutes, Wes Naiqama shrugged the Gold Coast tackling to score
an important try, Gidley’s conversion giving the Knights an 8-point buffer.
Preston Campbell with a short kick-off, gave the Titans a chance for an instant reply, but a knock-on later in the
set eased the pressure. And from there the Knights were able to hang on to bring up two valuable competition
points. With two wins on the trot, and another two points to come with the bye next week, the Knights still
maintain some hope of sneaking into the top 8.
Newcastle Knights 24 def Gold Coast Titans 16
Knights : Tries – J McManus, W Naiqama, J Sau, Z Taia. Goals – K Gidley 4/4.
Titans : Tries – A Harrison, B Meyers, W Zillman. Goals – M Rogers 2/3.
Referees – S Lyons, A Shortall. Crowd – 13,396 at Skilled Park.
A rare moment of joy in a disappointing season for the Bulldogs came when they broke their 6-game losing streak
with an 18-10 win over Canberra at Bruce Stadium on Monday night.
Josh Morris got the Bulldogs off to a flying start with a try in the 5th minute. 10 minutes later, Ryan Tandy
sensed an opening and sent young fullback Ben Barba on a 60 metre run to the line. And when David Stagg
shook off a three-man tackle to off-load to Luke Patten for a try under the posts in just the 19th minute, the
Bulldogs were leading 18-0. With all the momentum, their confidence growing, the Bulldogs were looking in good
form while the Raiders had struggled to get any possession, let alone complete their sets.
Shortly before the half-hour mark, the Raiders were finally on the board, Joel Monaghan crossing the line under
the posts. And shortly before half time, Joel Thompson chased down a chip-kick to score out wide. But critically,
Croker was unable to land the conversion; and the Bulldogs retained an 8-point buffer at half time, leading 18-10.
And that’s how the score would remain through the second half, as neither side was able to find the line. The
Bulldogs were happy to defend, while the Raiders became increasingly desperate and frustrated as the clock
continued to run down. Tempers flared on occasions, and harsh words were spoken between the two teams.
But the Bulldogs held firm, refusing to let the Raiders cross their line; and the clock ticked down through 40
scoreless minutes to give the Bulldogs their fourth win of 2010 and find themselves just two points behind the
Raiders on the ladder.
Canterbury Bulldogs 18 def Canberra Raiders 10
Bulldogs : Tries – B Barba, J Morris, L Patten. Goals – B Goodwin 3/3.
Raiders : Tries – J Monaghan, J Thompson. Goals – J Croker 1/2.
Referees – S Hayne, C James. Crowd – 11,194 at Canberra Stadium.
|NOTE - Melbourne stripped of all points for 2010 due to salary cap breach.