|ROUND 3 FIXTURES:
(All times shown are Sydney time)
Friday 25th March
Parramatta v South Sydney (7:30pm, ANZ Stadium)
Gold Coast v Brisbane (8:30pm, Skilled Park)
Saturday 26th March
Penrith v Cronulla (5:30pm, Centrebet Stadium)
Wests Tigers v Canberra (7:30pm, Campbelltown Stadium)
Sunday 27th March
NZ Warriors v St George (12:00pm, Mt Smart Stadium)
Canterbury v Sydney Roosters (2:00pm, ANZ Stadium)
Manly v Newcastle (3:00pm, Brookvale Oval)
Monday 28th March
North Queensland v Melbourne (7:00pm, Dairy Farmers Stadium)
Penrith had been abysmal in their opening round loss to Newcastle, while Parramatta had looked good in their
away win over the Warriors. But round 2 saw a reversal in form, as it was the Panthers who comprehensively
outplayed their opposition to record a 20-6 victory over the Eels at Parramatta Stadium on Friday night.
The Panthers drew first blood in the 8th minutes, David Simmons on the end of a chain of passes after the
Panthers kept the ball alive to score in the corner. The Panthers were playing a simple but effective game,
completing their sets; while the Eels were frustrating their fans with knock-ons and silly errors that made it hard
for the Eels to get into the contest. But it took till the 32nd minute for another score to come.
It was the Panthers who would finally break the scoring drought, when Lachlan Coote exploited the smallest of
gaps in the Parramatta defence to crash through and score. Michael Gordon’s conversion made the score 12-0, a
scoreline that would remain intact to half time, despite Casey McGuire’s sensational 40-20 kick to give the Eels
field position in the final minute before half time.
Michael Gordon had been in the thick of the action all evening, and shortly after the half time break he stuck a
dagger into Parramatta’s heart. A loose pass by Jarryd Hayne was intercepted, Gordon then running 60 metres to
score. And discipline would also cost the Eels dearly, as although Gordon was unable to score from the
conversion, two penalty goals shortly afterwards gave the Panthers a 20-0 lead.
Matt Keating got a try back for the Eels to spare them from a whitewash; but it was Penrith’s night. The
Panthers had been committed, showing far greater commitment than they showed last week and creating
enough scoring opportunities to land three tries. But Parramatta were pathetic, dropping the ball and making
poor attacking decisions with monotonous regularity. Both sides find themselves with a win and a loss from their
season to date, with every win in a game involving either team being won by the away team.
Penrith Panthers 20 def Parramatta Eels 6
Panthers : Tries – D Simmons, M Gordon, L Coote. Goals – M Gordon 4/5.
Eels : Tries – M Keating. Goals – L Burt 1/1.
Referees – S Hayne, G Sutton. Crowd – 15,974 at Parramatta Stadium.
Even during Brisbane’s long run of success under Wayne Bennett, when they appeared in 18 finals series in a
row, winning at Canberra Stadium was often a problem. At their bogey ground, the Broncos would traditionally
struggle. And now, with Bennett gone, the Broncos no longer the force they were on the field and suffering
internal turmoil, and Canberra a club on the rise, few gave the Broncos much hope of defeating Canberra on
Friday night. But the unpredictable story that is sport took another turn to the unexpected as the Broncos
dominated proceedings with a 20-4 victory.
The Raiders were in early trouble when Tom Learoyd-Lahrs conceded an early penalty, giving the Broncos field
position. Josh Hoffman capitalised, making his way through some lazy defence and after just five minutes the
Broncos were in the lead.
The Raiders hit back after 20 minutes, Josh McCrone chipping the ball forward and Blake Ferguson charged
through to score. Jarrod Croker was unable to add the extras, and the Broncos remained two points clear. And
that margin would hold for the remainder of the half, as both sides attempted to attack and create chances but
let themselves down with some poor handling and failure to complete their sets.
The scrappy nature of proceedings continued in the second half, with 17 more scoreless minutes before the
Broncos finally broke the deadlock, Peter Wallace throwing an enterprising pass to Matt Gillett. And five minutes
later, despite having four men on him, Corey Parker managed to throw out a pass to Jharal Yow Yeh for another
try, Parker’s conversion putting the Broncos 18-4 ahead.
By now the Broncos had found their confidence and momentum, and weren’t going to let this victory at the
bogey ground slip. The Raiders were lamentable, out of sorts and unable to compete with the determined and
spirited Broncos. A late penalty goal added another two points to the margin, and the Broncos were to enjoy the
spoils of victory.
Brisbane Broncos 20 def Canberra Raiders 4
Broncos : Tries – M Gillett, J Hoffman, J Yow Yeh. Goals – C Parker 4/4.
Raiders : Tries – B Ferguson. Goals – J Croker 0/1.
Referees – M Cecchin, S Lyons. Crowd – 16,146 at Canberra Stadium.
Gold Coast would have been hopeful of bouncing back from their opening round loss and putting in a big game in
honour of Preston Campbell’s 250th match when the Titans travelled to AAMI Park to take on Melbourne. But
the Titans were never in the hunt as the dominant Storm took complete control to record a 40-12 victory.
The game started badly for the Titans, penalised from the start after a man moved in front of the kick-off. And it
didn’t improve for the Titans when Cooper Cronk chipped the ball forward to set up Anthony Quinn for the
opening try. A string of line drop-outs kept the Storm on the attack, and the Titans could only hold out for so
long before Sika Manu crashed over to put the Storm 10-0 in front.
And late in the first half, the floodgates opened. Proctor made a 40 metre break, before offloading to Cooper
Cronk for the third try. Billy Slater side-stepped some appalling Titans’ defence to add another, and Cameron
Smith ran through from dummy half, catching the Titans’ defenders unawares to add another. With a 28-0 lead,
and the Storm continuing to attack, the half time break was a welcome respite for the besieged Titans.
It was more of the same after the break, when Beau Champion and Justin O’Neill combined to send O’Neill over
in the corner. And when Billy Slater went for a 70 metre run to score under the posts and complete his double,
the Storm found themselves 40-0 ahead. And even with the Titans scoring two late tries, this was a
comprehensive victory for the Storm, the first team to record two wins for 2011; but for the highly-fancied
Titans, thought of by many as premiership contenders, they find themselves winless after two games and with
some work to do to turn their fortunes around.
Melbourne Storm 40 def Gold Coast Titans 12
Storm : Tries – B Slater 2, C Cronk, C Smith, A Quinn, S Manu, J O’Neill. Goals – C Smith 6/7.
Titans : Tries – L Capewell, W Zillman. Goals – S Prince 2/2.
Referees – A Klein, A Devcich. Crowd – 12,391 at AAMI Park.
Despite a wet and stormy night, and limited under-cover space available at Leichhardt Oval, a crowd of 13,161
braved the conditions; and the vast majority would go home happy after Wests Tigers broke through for their
first win of 2010, a 20-12 result against the New Zealand Warriors.
The slippery conditions made ball handling difficult, while both sides struggled to adapt to the conditions. The first
half was dreadful, with both sides putting in a string of knock-ons, skill errors, poor kicking options and players
struggling to keep their feet when being tackled. Drop balls and silly penalties were frequent occurrences, and it
took 35 minutes for either team to build any form of coherence and create a scoring chance.
Eventually, 5 minutes before half time, the deadlock was broken. A pass by Chris Heighington to Benji Marshall
was a shocker, but somehow Marshall managed to hold it before finding a flying Chris Lawrence for a try out
wide, a try that Marshall converted to give first blood to the Tigers. But no sooner than the try had been scored
and converted, but a knock-on gave the Warriors a chance to immediately hit back. Simon Mannering made the
most of the Warriors’ good luck to crash through and score under the posts; Brett Seymour’s conversion levelling
the game up at 6-6 at half time.
Ten minutes after the break, the Warriors were in front. Krisnan Inu kicked the ball forward on the last tackle,
the ball spilling off a Tiger back into Inu’s arms. The referee signalled six to go, but Inu only needed one tackle to
score. With the Warriors six points clear after the conversion, Brett Seymour twice attempted to give the
Warriors an additional buffer, but twice his field goal attempt sailed wide of the posts.
On the hour, Lote Tuqiri earned a penalty, giving the Tigers field position. And Blake Ayshford found a gap to
score out wide, but Marshall was unable to convert and the Warriors remained in front. But it only took another
five minutes for Robbie Farah to find the line under the posts, giving the Tigers the lead.
With four minutes to go, the game was all but safe when Chris Lawrence dived over to score in the corner. The
Tigers were 20-12 ahead, the Warriors needing to score twice in the final minutes to snatch the game. The
Warriors went for the short kick-off, but it didn’t work and the Tigers played out time to record their first
premiership points for 2011; leaving the Warriors winless after round 2, and with the Warriors drawn to play
defending champions St George next week, the Warriors are looking down the barrel at a likely 0-3 start to the
Wests Tigers 20 def New Zealand Warriors 12
Tigers : Tries – C Lawrence 2, R Farah, B Ayshford. Goals – B Marshall 2/4. Field Goals – B
Warriors : Tries – S Mannering, K Inu. Goals – B Seymour 2/2. Field Goals – B Seymour 0/2.
Referees – T Archer, A Shortall. Crowd – 13,161 at Leichhardt Oval.
On a warm night in Townsville, Newcastle turned up the heat on the locals, becoming the first team to win their
opening two matches of the season with a 34-22 win.
The Knights got off to a bright start, a well-weighted kick by Jarrod Mullen sitting up for Wes Naiqama to score
and convert his own try after 7 minutes. Michael Bani was denied a quick reply by the video referee, but it was
the Knights who had the majority of possession and field position; and it seemed only a matter of time before the
visitors would add to their lead. After 25 minutes, their second try finally arrived, Corey Paterson strolling through
some flimsy defence to score under the posts. And five minutes later the Knights were in again, Akuila Uate
being on the end of a string of passes that wrong-footed the Cowboys defence. With Naiqama adding the
conversion, the Knights found themselves 18-0 ahead.
The Cowboys finally got repeat sets in the final minutes of the half, and Ben Jones managed to score in the final
minute before the break to cut the margin to 12 points; but it was a rare highlight for the home side, who had
been comprehensively outplayed by the Knights during the first half. And the Knights continued their dominance
as the second half got under way.
An errant pass on their 20 by the Cowboys gave the Knights a set deep in attacking territory, and Richard Fa’
aoso capitalised to score. A solo effort by Beau Henry added another. And when James McManus threw a dummy
and scored in the corner on the hour, the Knights were 34-6 ahead and cruising to victory.
The Cowboys scored three late tries to add some respectability to the scoreline, but the result of the game was
never in doubt and the Knights were on top of the ladder overnight, the only team so far to be undefeated.
Newcastle Knights 34 def North Queensland Cowboys 22
Knights : Tries – W Naiqama, J McManus, R Fa’aoso, C Paterson, A Uate, B Henry. Goals – W
Cowboys : Tries – A Graham 2, B Jones, L Ah Mau. Goals – J Thurston 3/4.
Referees – J Maxwell, P Haines. Crowd – 14,000 at Dairy Farmers Stadium.
Saturday night in Sydney had been wet, and the inclement weather continued on Sunday morning before the
sun finally emerged just in time for the Souths v Bulldogs game at ANZ Stadium. It was a game where, for the
second week on the trot, the Rabbitohs took the lead within the final 10 minutes but conceded two late tries to
remain winless after round 2.
The Bulldogs were made to absorb plenty of pressure early, as the Rabbitohs continually pressed the line, a string
of line drop-outs resulting in set after set in which the Rabbitohs were in the scoring zone. But it took 23 minutes
for the try to eventually come, the long period of sustained pressure finally taking its toll with Rhys Wesser
scoring in the corner. Chris Sandow landed the conversion and added a penalty goal, and with two minutes to go
till half time, the Rabbitohs were 8-0 ahead.
But against all expectations, against all odds, and completely against the run of play, the Bulldogs were in front at
half time. With two minutes to go, Jamal Idris ran the ball wide to score in the corner. The Bulldogs again had
the ball after the conversion, and as the half time siren sounded, Kris Keating put up a bomb which Bryson
Goodwin caught in the in-goals and put down to score. Converting his try, Goodwin put the Bulldogs 12-8 ahead
at the break.
The Rabbitohs had been the better side in the first half, but didn’t have the lead. But they maintained their
strength around the ground in the early stages of the second half, and after just three minutes Nathan Merritt
crossed the line and after what seemed an eternity a benefit of the doubt try was awarded. Sandow’s
conversion was unsuccessful, and scores were level.
On 50 minutes, Merritt crossed again to give the Rabbitohs the lead, but a chip and chase from Kris Keating a few
minutes later saw scores again tied up. And with 10 minutes to go, Chris Sandow slotted a field goal over and the
Rabbitohs were in front.
The Bulldogs were on the attack, and went close to scoring but Rhys Wesser put in a try-saving tackle. But he
then took too long to get off his opponent and was penalised, and after back-chatting the referee was given 10
in the bin; leaving the Rabbitohs a man short for the final minutes of the game.
The Bulldogs would have taken the lead with a penalty goal, but elected to take a tap; and the decision paid off
with Timoteo Lafai crossing over to score in the corner. Goodwin was unable to convert, meaning that a late try
to the Rabbitohs would have won them the game. But instead it was the Bulldogs who scored the late try,
Andrew Ryan scoring the points to keep the Bulldogs undefeated after Round 2 and ensure Souths would still be
searching for their first win in 2011.
Click here to see Harboursport's photo gallery from this match.
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 28 def South Sydney Rabbitohs 19
Bulldogs : Tries – A Ryan, K Keating, J Idris, B Goodwin, T Lafai. Goals – B Goodwin 4/5.
Rabbitohs : Tries – N Merritt 2, R Wesser. Goals – C Sandow 3/4. Field Goals – C Sandow 1/1.
Referees – G Badger, B Suttor. Crowd – 18,271 at ANZ Stadium.
Few observers gave Manly much hope of beating the high-flying Sydney Roosters at the SFS on Sunday
afternoon. But against all expectations, the Sea Eagles prevailed 27-16 to pull off the biggest upset so far this
In front of a small crowd on a wet Sunday afternoon, the Sea Eagles’ odds got wider before kick-off when Glenn
Stewart pulled out of the already-depleted Manly side. But once the game kicked off, the Sea Eagles showed a
desperation and commitment, hitting the Roosters hard in tackles and working hard to find a way through to
It didn’t take long for Tony Williams to shake off the attentions of the Rooster tacklers for the opening goal. Daly
Cherry-Evans made no mistake with the conversion, and added a penalty goal minutes later to go 8-0 ahead.
But the Roosters hit back, and 10 minutes later they were in front. A penalty gave the Roosters repeat sets, and
Mitch Aubusson took advantage of the Roosters’ field position to wrong-foot the Manly defenders and score. And
on 20 minutes, a solid solo effort by Shaun Kenny-Dowall resulted in the second Manly try. The conversion was
unsuccessful, but it was enough to put the Roosters 10-8 ahead.
Referees Ben Cummins and Tony De las Heras were having plenty of influence on the game, blowing their
whistles with regularity and awarding plenty of penalties, not allowing the game to flow. The Sea Eagles took
advantage of a penalty from deep within the Roosters’ half, with Anthony Watmough crashing over from dummy
half to score and give the Sea Eagles a 14-10 lead at the break.
Five minutes after the break, the Roosters were back in front, with Todd Carney finding the line for his first try
for 2011. Another five minutes later, there was another change of lead after Kieran Foran found a way through
the Roosters’ wall. Shortly after the hour, Will Hopoate crashed through the Roosters, showing his strength as he
powered his way over the Roosters’ line to score. Cherry-Evans, having a great day with the boot, converted the
try to put the Sea Eagles 26-16 ahead. A field goal to Cherry-Evans in the final minutes of the match was the
icing on the cake, and the Sea Eagles would celebrate pulling off an unlikely victory.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 27 def Sydney Roosters 16
Sea Eagles : Tries – A Watmough, T Williams,, K Foran, W Hopoate. Goals – D Cherry-Evans 5/5.
Field Goals – D Cherry-Evans 1/1.
Roosters : Tries – T Carney, M Aubusson, S Kenny-Dowall. Goals – B Anasta 2/3.
Referees – B Cummins, T De las Heras. Crowd – 11,016 at Sydney Football Stadium.
It was a wet and cold Monday night at Shark Park for the southern derby, as the Sharks hosted local rivals St
George-Illawarra. But the result would warm the hearts of the home team, as the Sharks pulled off a major
boilover to stun the Dragons 16-10.
In the slippery conditions, both sides struggled to hold the ball early, leading to a string of penalties. But it would
be the Sharks who would be first to score, after forcing a line drop-out to get repeat sets. On the last tackle,
John Morris kicked the ball to the opposite corner, where John Williams knocked the ball back for Ben Pomeroy to
pounce and score after 15 minutes.
The Dragons went on the attack, and helped along by a lopsided penalty count threw everything at the Sharks.
Time and again they looked like scoring, but several times the Dragons dropped the ball with the line open in
front of them. Twice Jamie Soward landed 40-20 kicks to put themselves in attacking position. And the video
referee denied Matt Cooper a try.
With just seconds to go before half time, the Sharks were awarded a penalty. Nathan Gardner took the gamble
to take a quick tap rather than a penalty goal, and the move paid off when Anthony Tupou crossed over to
score. John Williams was unable to convert, but the Sharks were 10-0 ahead at the break.
A penalty goal followed shortly after the break, and not long afterwards Ben Pomeroy had his second try. John
Williams was unable to control the ball in the in-goals, but the video referee ruled that the ball had been knocked
back, and Pomeroy’s dive on the ball was a try. Williams missed a conversion he should have kicked, and the
Sharks were 16 points ahead.
The Dragons were shocked at the prospect of losing to the struggling Sharks, and came storming back late in the
game. Jason Nightingale chased down a chip kick by Jamie Soward to score. Kyle Stanley grubbered the ball on
the 5th tackle, chased the ball down and scored; and the margin was back to a converted try. But the Sharks
stood firm, holding the Dragons out to complete one of the most unexpected rugby league results ever.
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 16 def St George-Illawarra Dragons 10
Sharks : Tries – B Pomeroy 2, A Tupou. Goals – J Williams 2/4.
Dragons : Tries – J Nightingale, K Stanley. Goals – J Soward 1/2.
Referees – J Robinson, C James. Crowd – 12,183 at Toyota Stadium.