|ROUND 4 FIXTURES:
(All times shown are Sydney time)
Friday 1st April
South Sydney v Manly-Warringah (7:30pm, Bluetongue Stadium)
Brisbane v Penrith (8:30pm, Suncorp Stadium)
Saturday 2nd April
Canberra v Gold Coast (5:30pm, Canberra Stadium)
Parramatta v North Queensland (7:30pm, Parramatta Stadium)
Sunday 3rd April
Cronulla-Sutherland v NZ Warriors (12:00pm, Owen Delany Park, Taupo NZ)
Newcastle v St George-Illawarra (2:00pm, Ausgrid Stadium)
Sydney Roosters v Wests Tigers (3:00pm, Sydney Football Stadium)
Monday 4th April
Melbourne v Canterbury-Bankstown (7:00pm, AAMI Park)
The Titans searched for the try that would send the game into golden point, but came up blank. The Broncos held the Titans out
over the final 10 minutes; and despite having had only about 40% of possession through the match, had taken out an important
Brisbane Broncos 14 def Gold Coast Titans 8
Broncos : Tries – J Hodges, A Glenn. Goals – C Parker 3/3.
Titans : Tries – S Michaels. Goals – S Prince 2/2.
Referees – G Badger, B Suttor. Crowd – 20,226 at Skilled Park.
Cronulla received a confidence boost from their remarkable win over St George last week, and the Sharks took out back-to-back
wins when they thrashed an insipid Penrith side 44-12 at Penrith Stadium on Saturday evening.
Timana Tahu, in his first appearance for Penrith, got his Panthers career off to a shocking start, being penalised with his first touch
of the ball. And from the ensuing set, Paul Gallen found the line and the Sharks were in front after just four minutes.
The Panthers bounced back to level the scores after David Simmons flew high to take a bomb from Luke Walsh and score. But it
was to be only a brief respite for the Panthers, as the Sharks wasted little time in assuming complete control. Petro Civoneceva
departed up the tunnel looking groggy after a heavy tackle, and in the next set Albert Kelly scored after wrong-footing the Panther
defence with a dummy.
After being defeated in the first two rounds, South Sydney broke through for their first win of 2011 when they overcame
Parramatta 32-18 at ANZ Stadium on Friday night.
The Eels burst out of the blocks, and could have easily scored twice in the first five minutes. Jarryd Hayne delivered a lightning pass
to Uaisele who planted the ball under the posts, only to be called back after the referee controversially ruled a forward pass.
Moments later, Andrew Lasalo looked to have scored, only for the video referee to disallow the try as a double movement. And
against the run of play, it was the Rabbitohs who opened the scoring, Greg Inglis showing great vision to throw a pass behind his
back to Rhys Wesser, the little Rabbitoh fullback running 35 metres to score.
The game was back on level terms five minutes later, after Jeff Robson caught the Rabbitohs defence napping to stroll through for
the easiest of tries. But on 22 minutes the Rabbitohs were back in front, with an electrifying run to Greg Inglis finishing with the
former Storm player throwing an enterprising pass to Fetuli Talanoa to score in the corner.
The Eels were again denied by the video at the half hour mark, a drop-out called. But it made little difference, as Chris Walker scored
from the ensuing set, and with Luke Burt again landing a conversion from a tricky angle, the scores were locked together at half
Just a minute after the break, and despite the attentions of four Eels who were hanging off him, Fetuli Talanoa managed to plant
the ball over the line to restore the Souths lead. And things got worse for the Eels five minutes later, when prop Fuifui Moimoi was
banished to the sin bin for 10 minutes. Chris Sandow landed a penalty goal, and while the Eels were a man short Greg Inglis made
them pay by crossing the line to score his first try in Souths colours.
Michael Crocker was next to score, chasing down a chip kick from Nathan Merritt to score under the posts. At 32-12 with 14
minutes to go, the Rabbitohs were safe; and even with Moimoi making some effort towards redeeming himself for his earlier
indiscretions by scoring a late try, it was little consolation for the Eels as the Rabbitohs had already done enough to put the result
Click here to see Harboursport's photo gallery from this match.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 32 def Parramatta Eels 18
Rabbitohs : Tries – F Talanoa 2, R Wesser, M Crocker, G Inglis. Goals – C Sandow 6/6.
Eels : Tries – F Moimoi, C Walker, J Robson. Goals – L Burt 3/3.
Referees – S Lyons, M Cecchin. Crowd – 22,153 at Parramatta Stadium.
The South-East Queensland derby saw the Broncos pick up their second win for the season, and the Titans left winless after Round
3. It was a tough and dour, low-scoring contest at Skilled Park, the Broncos prevailing 14-8.
The Titans had the bulk of possession in the first half, but were unable to achieve reward for effort. A succession of close calls,
unforced errors and some tight Brisbane defence held the Titans out through the half. On the half hour a Titans try was disallowed
when the video referee ruled the ball was held up in goal.
But finally, in the final minute of the half, the Titans got on the board, Esi Tonga making a break on half-way and leading the Bronco
chasers on a run downfield before offloading to Steve Michaels. The try was converted, and the Titans held a 6-0 lead at the break.
The Titans went close to doubling their lead immediately after the break, but the call was referred upstairs and was ruled to be a
And 10 minutes after the break, against the run of play, it would be the Broncos who were next to score. Matt Gillett charged
down a kick from Greg Bird, gathered the ball and after sending the ball through several sets of hands in a run down the ground, it
ended with Alex Glenn going over in the corner. Corey Parker converted the try, and scores were tied up at 6-6.
The teams traded penalty goals, and with 10 minutes to go the Broncos scored the third try of the game; Justin Hodges receiving
the ball after a scrum win and darting past the Titans defence to score under the posts. But it was a bitter-sweet moment for
Hodges, who pulled his hamstring in the act of scoring the try and was taken off, to play no further part in the game. Parker added
the extras and the Broncos were 14-8 ahead.
Five minutes later Kelly made it a double after an offload from Ben Pomeroy; and Nathan Gardner was untroubled to stroll through some lazy Penrith defence
to score another. At half time, the Sharks were 24-6 ahead, and the Panthers’ home crowd made no secret of their displeasure with the half they had just
seen, loudly booing their team off the paddock at the break.
The procession continued as the second half got under way, the Sharks scoring twice in the first 10 minutes after the break. Colin Best was next to score,
crashing through the Penrith line and stretching forward to just get the ball to clear the line. Johnny Mannah made it look easy when getting past some feeble
Penrith defence to score; and the Sharks found themselves 36-6 ahead.
Lachlan Coote scored a try against the run of play, but Jeremy Smith quickly replied for the Sharks, the icing on the cake on what had been a comprehensive
victory; and after two exceptionally poor seasons, the Sharks finally have some hope of turning their fortunes around and putting up a vastly improved showing
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 44 def Penrith Panthers 12
Sharks : Tries – A Kelly 2, P Gallen, C Best, J Smith, J Mannah, N Gardner. Goals – J Williams 8/8.
Panthers : Tries – D Simmons, L Coote. Goals – M Gordon 2/2.
Referees – J Maxwell, P Haines. Crowd – 9,275 at Centrebet Stadium.
Wests Tigers won their second game on the trot when they overcame Canberra 34-24 at Campbelltown Stadium on Saturday night.
It was a milestone game to remember for Todd Payten, his 250th NRL game. His debut was playing for Canberra against Wests, at Campbelltown, under the
coaching of Tim Sheens. His 250th was at the same ground, under the same coach, but this time playing for Wests against Canberra. And Payten was to be
one of the Tigers’ best.
Chris Lawrence opened the scoring for the Tigers, only for Josh Dugan to quickly reply for the Raiders. But Jason Croker’s conversion was unsuccessful, and the
Tigers remained 6-4 ahead.
But as the half progressed, the Tigers became increasingly dominant; making more distance with every set than the Raiders, constantly threatening the line. A
quick-fire pass by Benji Marshall set up Matt Utai to score in the corner. Chris Lawrence was denied a double by the video referee, the ruling being a double
movement. But the video ref was more accommodating of Robert Lui’s effort, awarding a try that gave the Tigers a 16-4 lead at the break.
After the break, Joe Picker and Brett White found themselves placed on report within quick succession, and a penalty goal gave the Tigers a further two point
buffer. But the Raiders soon got back in the contest, after Blake Ferguson received the ball after a scrum and ran 95 metres to score under the posts.
Just three minutes later, Chris Heighington scored in the corner; and Blake Ayshford got on the board with 20 minutes to go. But Benji Marshall’s conversion
attempts for both tries were shocking kicks, that failed to go anywhere near the uprights, keeping the lead to 26-10.
A penalty goal extended the margin to three converted tries; and with 10 minutes remaining, Andrew Fifita gathered the ball after a Raiders’ error and ran 50
metres to score. That made the game safe; and even with the Tigers clocking off early and allowing the Raiders to score three times in the last seven
minutes, the fate of the game was sealed. Blake Ferguson finished with a hat-trick, but it wasn’t enough to steak a victory for the Raiders.
Wests Tigers 34 def Canberra Raiders 24
Tigers : Tries – M Utai, C Heighington, C Lawrence, B Ayshford, R Lui, A Fifita. Goals – B Marshall 5/8.
Raiders : Tries – B Ferguson 3, J Dugan, D Vidot. Goals – J Croker 2/5.
Referees – J Robinson, C James. Goals – 14,901 at Campbelltown Stadium.
Sunday NRL action started early with an afternoon game in Auckland, and it saw defending champions St George being too good for the Warriors to record a
25-12 win on an overcast day at Mt Smart Stadium.
After five minutes, the Dragons found themselves with the lead. On the last tackle, Ben Hornby put up a well-executed bomb, which Jason Nightingale
plucked from the sky and planted on the ground to score. And at the 15 minute mark, Nathan Fien made a break before offloading to Soward, who found
Nightingale; and the New Zealand international brought up his second try.
The Dragons went close to scoring again, but Jamie Soward’s efforts were in vain after the video referee ruled the ball had been obtained by an illegal strip.
But there was no doubt about Matt Cooper’s efforts five minutes later, bursting through some flimsy defence to score.
Jamie Soward converted the try, giving the Dragons an 18-0 lead; and attempted to add another point to the scoreboard on the half time siren but the field
goal attempt sailed wide.
The Warriors had struggled to get into the contest in the first half, but lifted after the break and after dominating possession in the early stages, Ben Matulino
found the line and the home side had their first points on the board.
Ten minutes later, after the ball had gone through several sets of hands in a run half the length of the field, Kyle Stanley scored in the corner. A sensationally
weighted conversion kick by Jamie Soward from the sideline sailed between the uprights, restoring the 18-point lead to the Dragons.
On the hour, Soward had another attempt at a field goal, and again was unsuccessful.
The ball was travelling from end to end, the clock was running down, and time was running out for the Warriors. But with 8 minutes to go, Matt Cooper was
banished to the sin bin; and a minute later Shaun Berrigan threw the home side a lifeline, crossing under the posts. James Maloney converted, and the margin
was back to 12 points.
But the Warriors could get no closer. And Jamie Soward, on his third field goal attempt, finally added the additional point that would put the result beyond
doubt; ensuring the Dragons would bounce back from last week’s loss. But it was a dismal result for the Warriors, their second home loss for the season, and
one that sees the New Zealand side still waiting for their first win of 2011.
St George-Illawarra Dragons 25 def New Zealand Warriors 12
Dragons : Tries – J Nightingale 2, M Cooper, K Stanley. Goals – J Soward 4/4. Field Goals – J Soward 1/3.
Warriors : Tries – S Berrigan, B Matulino. Goals – J Maloney 2/2.
Referees – B Cummins, T De las Heras. Crowd – 11,651 at Mt Smart Stadium.
After a dismal 2010, the Bulldogs have gone a long way towards turning their fortunes around, remaining undefeated this season after a 24-20 win over the
Roosters at ANZ Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Bulldogs started brightly, and within 15 minutes were already 12-0 ahead. Ben Barba made a break and was run down, but managed to offload to Michael
Ennis who had space in front of him to run in and score under the posts. Then Trent Hodkinson put up a bomb, and Jamal Idris flew high to take the ball and
put it down to score. Bryson Goodwin converted both tries, and it was a flying start to the Bulldogs.
But Idris quickly went from hero to villain, making a woeful attempt at a tackle on Braith Anasta which the former Bulldog had no trouble in shrugging off to
set Todd Carney up for a try in the corner. Anasta converted the try from the sideline, and on the half hour mark the Roosters were in again. Sean Kenny-
Dowall grubbered the ball forward, where the ball bounced off Bryson Goodwin for Kenny-Dowall to score. Five minutes later, Jake Friend picked up the
crumbs after the Bulldogs knocked on a bomb. Even with Anasta unable to convert Kenny-Dowall’s or Friend’s tries, the Roosters had taken the lead.
The Bulldogs were on the ropes, as the Roosters had repeat sets inside the Bulldogs’ half; and the Bulldogs took all the resolve they could muster to hold the
Roosters out. But against the run of play, Barba ran through to score, and with Bryson Goodwin successful with the conversion, the Bulldogs were 18-14
ahead at half time.
The Roosters were denied a try after the break when Joseph Leilua was held up in goal. The Bulldogs added a penalty goal, and 12 minutes into the second
half Barba was at the end of an offload from Hodgkinson to score. Goodwin was unsuccessful with the conversion, and just after the hour Kenny-Dowall was in
for his second try under the posts. When Anasta converted, the Bulldogs’ lead was back to 24-20.
And that’s how it stayed for 18 desperate and cliff-hanging minutes. Sam Perrett departed with a leg injury with 10 minutes to go; and with the Roosters
having already used up all their interchanges were forced to play a man short for the final minutes. But try as they might, the Roosters were unable to get
through the Bulldogs’ line; and the Bulldogs were able to hang on to win their third game for the season.
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 24 def Sydney Roosters 20
Bulldogs : Tries – B Barba 2, J Idris, M Ennis. Goals – B Goodwin 4/5.
Roosters : Tries – S Kenny-Dowall 2, T Carney, J Friend. Goals – B Anasta 2/4.
Referees – A Klein, A Devcich. Crowd – 23,723 at ANZ Stadium.
Manly took out their second win of 2011, and dealt Newcastle their first loss, when the Sea Eagles recorded a 26-12 result at Brookvale Oval on Sunday
Zeb Taia scored early for the Knights, ducking a high tackle and crashing over. The video referee took his time to check the grounding, but eventually
awarded the try. Wes Naiqama added the extras to put the Knights 6-0 ahead.
The Sea Eagles blew a certain try when David Williams dropped the ball with the line open in front of him. But at the 20 minute mark, Williams redeemed
himself by chasing a kick from Glenn Stewart to score; but with the conversion attempt being unsuccessful, the Knights retained a 6-4 advantage. And a few
minutes later, the Sea Eagles had the lead after an offload from Brett Stewart found Michael Robertson.
The game threatened to get nasty when Brett Stewart and Junior Sau had a heated exchange. But shortly afterwards, Will Hopoate found a gap in the
Newcastle defence and charged through to score. Daly Cherry-Evans added the extras, and at half time it was Manly who held a 16-6 lead.
The Knights were in trouble, and it got worse after just a couple of minutes in the second half, with Will Hopoate completing his double. Injuries were biting,
and the Knights were down to 14 fit players and had already used most of their interchanges. Manly had the Knights on the ropes, and although the video
referee denied Hopoate his hat-trick, the Sea Eagles continued to do all of the attacking.
But, against the run of play, the Knights would score with eight minutes to go, Zeb Taia escaping from the clutches of the Manly defensive tacklers to run in
and score. The conversion reduced the margin to eight points with a few minutes to go, and the Knights suddenly had reason to hope for an upset.
But, as unlikely as a Newcastle comeback would have been, the Sea Eagles scored one more try to put the issue beyond dispute, David Williams chasing a kick
on the last tackle to score the try that would once and for all seal the fate of the game. The Sea Eagles’ record at fortress Brookvale continued as again they
had the better of proceedings at home.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 26 def Newcastle Knights 12
Sea Eagles : Tries – D Williams 2, W Hopoate 2, M Robertson. Goals – D Cherry-Evans 3/5.
Knights : Tries – Z Taia 2. Goals – W Naiqama 2/2.
Referees – S Hayne, G Sutton. Crowd – 13,089 at Brookvale Oval.
North Queensland broke through for their first win of the season when the Cowboys completed a comprehensive 34-6 demolition of Melbourne Storm on a
wet and humid Monday night at Dairy Farmers Stadium.
Johnathan Thurston went close to scoring early for the Cowboys, but the video referee determined the ball had been knocked on. But there was no
doubting Will Tupou’s 10th minute solo effort to produce the opening try of the game. And the second would come just a few minutes later, debutant Faifai
Loa getting through the Storm defence, making it look ridiculously east, before setting up Matt Bowen; putting the Cowboys 10-0 ahead.
The Storm were on the ropes, and the Cowboys went close to scoring again, but Justin O’Neil was denied by the video referee. But a 40-20 by Cameron
Smith eased the pressure, and finally the storm had some attacking chances. And finally Garth Widdop crashed through to give the Storm their first try, and
after Cameron Smith’s sensational conversion from the sideline, the Cowboys’ lead was reduced to 10-6.
It was still 10-6 at half time, but the Cowboys came out strongly after half time, and after repeat sets Ashley Graham scored the easiest of tries. That was the
signal for the flood-gates to open, and the Cowboys would score three more tries in the final 20 minutes. Bowen and Graham ended with doubles, while
Johnathan Thurston had a hand in many of the Cowboys’ tries as well as being in superb form from the kicking tee with 5 goals from 6 attempts.
The Monday night timeslot isn’t a winner in Townsville, with many of their fans travelling long distances to attend games. And the weather was a shocker. The
crowd of 9,554 was one of the lowest ever crowds for a Cowboys’ home game, but the fans who were there had a night to remember. It was a result that
gives the Cowboys hope that, after some recently disappointing seasons, there is finally light at the end of the tunnel.
North Queensland Cowboys 34 def Melbourne Storm 6
Cowboys : Tries – M Bowen 2, A Graham 2, T Sims, W Tupou. Goals – J Thurston 5/6.
Storm : Tries – G Widdop. Goals – C Smith 1/1.
Referees – T Archer, A Shortall. Crowd – 9,554 at Dairy Farmers Stadium.