|ROUND 8 FIXTURES:
(All times shown are Sydney time)
Friday 29th April
Brisbane v Canterbury (7:30pm, Suncorp Stadium)
South Sydney v Cronulla (7:30pm, ANZ Stadium)
Saturday 30th April
Gold Coast v Sydney Roosters (5:30pm, Skilled Park)
Melbourne v Newcastle (7:30pm, AAMI Park)
North Queensland v Manly (7:30pm, Dairy Farmers Stadium)
Sunday 1st May
NZ Warriors v Penrith (12:00pm, Mt Smart Stadium)
Canberra v Wests Tigers (2:00pm, Canberra Stadium)
St George v Parramatta (3:00pm, WIN Jubilee Stadium)
Brisbane’s dream run in 2011 continued when the Broncos extended their winning streak to six on the trot with
a 31-18 win over the Wests Tigers in a Good Friday blockbuster at the Sydney Football Stadium.
The Tigers started the game brightly, benefitting from a few early penalties to press the Brisbane line; but the
Bronco defence was equal to the task. And on 20 minutes, against the run of play, it was the Broncos who
would be first to score. Darren Lockyer on the last tackle put up a bomb, and Jharal Yow Yeh successfully chased
the kick to the in-goal to catch the ball and score. Corey Parker added the extras and the Broncos were 6-0
The lead doubled three minutes later, Alex Glenn capitalising on some sloppy defending to cross the line. And
with the Broncos on a roll, it wasn’t long before they were in again. Sam Thaiday was at his bullocking best,
dragging three Tiger defenders over the line with him when he crashed over to score and put the Broncos 18-0
to the good.
Tim Moltzen got one back for the Tigers, running rings around Corey Parker, but Peter Wallace had a quick reply,
a chip and chase resulting in a try under the posts. And on the stroke of half time, Darren Lockyer landed a field
goal to give the Broncos a 25-6 lead at the break.
The Tigers came out strongly after the break, threatening to score for eight minutes before Robert Lui found
the opening for a try. Four minutes later, Benji Marshall found an opening and threw a long pass to Tim Moltzen.
Benji Marshall made no mistake with the conversion, and the margin was cut to just seven points.
The momentum was running the Tigers’ way, and before long Beau Ryan crossed the line, only for the video
referee to disallow the try after replays showed Ryan knocked on as he gathered the ball. Shortly afterwards,
Blake Ayshford knocked on, with the line in front of him.
And it would be the Broncos who would score next, veteran Darren Lockyer completing a man of the match
performance, taking the ball from a scrum win and running 20 metres to score. Parker’s conversion put the
Broncos 13 points clear, and victory was assured.
Brisbane Broncos 31 def Wests Tigers 18
Broncos : Tries – D Lockyer, S Thaiday, P Wallace, J Yow Yeh, A Glenn. Goals – C Parker 5/5. Field
Goals – D Lockyer 1/1.
Tigers : Tries – T Moltzen 2, R Lui. Goals – B Marshall 3/3.
Referee – T Archer, B Suttor. Crowd – 19,494 at Sydney Football Stadium.
Good Friday at Fortress Brookvale saw the Sea Eagles again prove their dominance at their home ground,
completing a 22-16 win over Penrith in front of 14,623 fans.
The Panthers had an early try attempt disallowed, Michael Gordon’s bomb going just too long to be chased down
and being grounded just beyond the dead ball line. And instead it was the Sea Eagles who would be first to get
on the board, with Jamie Lyon finding Michael Oldfield in the corner. Daly Cherry-Evans’ conversion was
unsuccessful, but the Sea Eagles were 4-0 ahead.
The video referee had already denied the Panthers a try, and they would be denied again when David Simmons
knocked on in goal. But the replays went Manly’s was on the half hour, with Steve Matai’s effort being awarded
four points on replay. But finally the Panthers’ luck would change in the final minute of the half, with David
Simmons going over in the corner. But the angle was too tight for Michael Gordon to convert, and the Sea
Eagles went into the rooms at half time 10-4 to the good.
The Sea Eagles wasted little time in getting on the board in the second half, with Steve Matai running the length
of the field to score. Cherry-Evans converted the try, but the video referee was again called into action shortly
afterwards and Cherry-Evans’ attempted try was denied.
A penalty goal on the hour put the Sea Eagles’ lead out to 14, and Michael Robertson found the line shortly
afterwards to put the result beyond doubt. The Panthers lifted late in the game, with Timana Tahu and Nigel
Plum scoring in the last five minutes, but they had left their run too late to avoid being another victim of the Sea
Eagles’ imposing home record.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 22 def Penrith Panthers 16
Sea Eagles : Tries – S Matai 2, M Robertson, M Oldfield. Goals – D Cherry-Evans 3/5.
Panthers : Tries – T Tahu, N Plum, D Simmons. Goals – M Gordon 2/3.
Referees – J Robinson, P Haines. Crowd – 14,623 at Brookvale Oval.
North Queensland continued on their winning ways, taking the points for the third game on the trot when the
Cowboys travelled to the Sutherland Shire and returned victorious after a 30-12 win over Cronulla.
But it wasn’t looking likely early, as the Sharks dominated the first half. With the bulk of possession, the Sharks
did everything but score; pressing the line time and time again only to be held out by the desperation of the
resolute Cowboy defence. For most of the scoreless first 33 minutes of the game the Sharks had the ball parked
in the Cowboys’ half, but were unable to penetrate the line.
Against the run of play, in the 33rd minute, it was the Cowboys who opened the scoring, with Gavin Cooper, in
his 100th game, finding the line. Johnathan Thurston’s conversion, and a subsequent penalty goal, gave the
Cowboys an 8-0 half time lead.
Shortly after the break the Cowboys were in again, Johnathan Thurston weighting a kick magnificently and timing
it perfectly for Kalifa Fai-Fai Loa to run through and score. And on the hour, Ashley Graham found the line to give
the Cowboys a 20-0 advantage and the result of the game was beyond doubt.
By now the Cowboys were in control and Gavin Cooper soon crossed over for his second try, as the game was
turning into a blowout. Luke Douglas and Paul Gallen scored consolation tries for the Sharks in the final minutes of
the game, but an intercept and length of the field try to Willie Tonga in the final seconds was the icing on the
cake for the Cowboys; the result keeping the North Queensland side in the top four.
North Queensland Cowboys 30 def Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 12
Cowboys : Tries – G Cooper 2, A Graham, W Tonga, K Fai-Fai Loa. Goals – J Thurston 5/6.
Sharks : Tries – P Gallen, L Douglas. Goals – M Wright 2/2.
Referees – G Badger, S Lyons. Crowd – 7,340 at Toyota Stadium.
We’re only seven rounds into the season, but already the Bulldogs have beaten Souths twice in 2011. The
second meeting between the two sides for the season saw the Bulldogs go out to an early lead and then have
to hold out against a fast-finishing Rabbitohs lineup before taking the match 36-24 at ANZ Stadium on Easter
A healthy crowd of over 22,000 was on hand, several taking advantage of the Easter Show next door before
coming into the stadium at the last moment before the 7:30 kick-off. And the late arrivers were still making their
way to their seats when Dave Taylor crashed over to give the Rabbitohs an early 6-0 advantage. But their lead
would be short-lived.
On the 12th minute, Trent Hodkinson from dummy half ran through some soft defence to score out wide for the
Bulldogs. And the defence was again caught napping as the dangerous Ben Barba strolled through on 20 minutes
to give the Bulldogs the lead. But neither try was converted, and the Bulldogs’ lead was 8-6.
The Rabbitohs were again on the defensive after John Sutton knocked on 10 metres from his own line, and from
the ensuing set Grant Millington found the line to extend the Bulldogs’ advantage. Bryson Goodwin this time
made no mistake with the conversion, and his boot was again accurate in the final minute before half time to add
the extras after Michael Ennis cruised over the line untouched, putting the Bulldogs 20-6 ahead at half time.
Ben Barba set up a great opportunity for the Bulldogs shortly after the break, intercepting for the Bulldogs and
running 80 metres before being brought down ten metres short of the Souths line. But the Bulldogs were
unable to do anything in the remainder of the set, and the kick on the final tackle was easily diffused by the
Rabbitohs to kill that scoring chance.
And soon afterwards, it was the Rabbitohs who got the first points of the second half, with Chris Sandow chasing
a grubber to the in-goals and putting the ball down to score. Sandow was again in the thick of the action on the
hour, delivering a 40-20 kick to put the Rabbitohs in the scoring zone; and from the resulting set, Chris McQueen
dived over to score. Sandow converted the try, and with the Bulldogs’ lead now just 20-18, the game was in the
balance and the crowd roar was at a fever pitch.
The Bulldogs needed a steadier, and it came when Ben Barba made a break to set up Adrien Tolman for his first
try in Bulldog colours. Another ex-Storm player now at the Bulldogs, Steve Turner, wasted no time in adding
another to put the Bulldogs 32-18 ahead.
Ben Barba had been the spark for the Bulldogs all day, and with five minutes to go he capped off his best on
ground performance with a spectacular individual try, his second of the game, and the game was safely won for
the Bulldogs. Nathan Merritt scored a late consolation try for the Rabbitohs, but it wasn’t enough to stop the
Rabbitohs slumping to their third loss on the trot.
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 36 def South Sydney Rabbitohs 24
Bulldogs : Tries – B Barba 2, S Turner, A Tolman, G Millington, M Ennis, T Hodkinson. Goals – B
Rabbitohs : Tries – N Merritt, D Taylor, C Sandow, C McQueen. Goals – C Sandow 4/4.
Referees – B Cummins, T De las Heras. Crowd – 22,352 at ANZ Stadium.
Canberra remain stuck on the bottom of the ladder after the Raiders slumped to their sixth straight defeat, a 22-
12 loss to Newcastle at Canberra Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Raiders were desperate to turn their form around, and came out firing. And after nine minutes they were
over for the opening try, with Bronson Harrison collecting a bomb from Sam Williams and placing the ball down for
the opening try. Jarrod Croker added the extras. At the 20 minute mark, Joel Thompson chased down a grubber
from Josh Dugan and the Raiders found themselves 12-0 ahead.
It was still 12-0 at half time, the Raiders holding hopes of a return to form. But the Knights came out the
stronger side after half time, and wasted little time in hauling in the deficit. After just three minutes, a kick from
Josh McCrone went out on the full, giving the Knights field position. And in the set that followed, James
McManus burst through a hole to score a converted try.
The Knights would continue to press, but it would be 20 minutes before either side would score again. But
eventually the deadlock was broken, Akuila Uate dragging two Raider defenders over the line with him as he
crashed over to score. Kurt Gidley’s conversion levelled the scores at 12-12.
With seven minutes to go, Wes Naiqama kicked forward on the last tackle, with the ball bouncing off the Raider
defenders into the waiting arms of Uate for his second try, and the Knights took the lead for the first time. And
with momentum running Newcastle’s way, Shaun McDonnell made a break and ran 65 metres to score and put
the result beyond doubt. Newcastle consolidate their position in the top eight, while the Raiders remain stuck on
the bottom, winless since the opening round.
Newcastle Knights 22 def Canberra Raiders 12
Knights : Tries – A Uate 2, J McManus, S McDonnell. Goals – K Gidley 3/4.
Raiders : Tries – J Thompson, B Harrison. Goals – J Croker 2/2.
Referees – M Cecchin, G Reynolds. Crowd – 11,879 at Canberra Stadium.
Parramatta made their first steps towards turning around a disappointing season to date when the Eels came
from behind to complete a 22-18 win over Gold Coast at Parramatta Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
It took just a few minutes for Steve Michaels to stroll over against minimal opposition to give the Titans an early 6-
0 advantage. But the Eels were getting plenty of the ball, and looking dangerous during the early exchanges. Fui
Fui Moi Moi had a try disallowed, the video referee ruling the ball was not correctly grounded, but shortly
afterwards Jacob Loko found a gap to charge through for Parramatta’s first try. Luke Burt was unable to land a
tricky conversion from near the boundary, and the Titans remained 6-4 ahead.
On the half hour mark, Greg Bird took on Daniel Mortimer and ran past him to put the Titans in again, a diving
effort in the corner which was followed with a sensational conversion from the sideline by Scott Prince. But the
Eels replied in the final minute before half time, having some luck when a kick bounced off the uprights into the
waiting arms of Jeff Robson.
The Titans were 12-10 ahead at half time, and William Zillman shook off the efforts of the Eel defenders shortly
after the break to add another try. With an eight point lead, Parramatta playing without Jarryd Hayne, and the
minutes ticking by, the Titans looked headed to victory.
But with just ten minutes to go, Luke Burt broke through the Gold Coast defence and offloaded to Joel Reddy
for a try out wide to inject new life into the contest. And with a minute to go, Shane Shackleton completed a
come-from behind win, scoring in the corner to pull off a result for Parramatta that never looked likely.
Parramatta Eels 22 def Gold Coast Titans 18
Eels : Tries – J Reddy, S Shackleton, J Robson, J Loko. Goals – L Burt 3/4.
Titans : Tries – S Michaels, G Bird, W Zillman. Goals – S Prince 3/3.
Referees – A Klein, G Sutton. Crowd – 10,052 at Parramatta Stadium.
Monday was both Anzac Day and Easter Monday, and the traditional Anzac Day clash at the Sydney Football
Stadium had the added feature of being a Grand Final replay. And in front of a blockbuster crowd, St George-
Illawarra repeated their Grand Final success when they defeated the Sydney Roosters 24-10.
The Roosters were making the early attacking, on the back of a run of penalties. But although they kept the ball
inside the Dragons’ half, they were unable to penetrate the line. And against the run of play, St George were
first on the board after 24 minutes. Jamie Soward put up a bomb which Justin Carney was unable to control, and
Mark Gasnier gathered the crumbs to score. Jamie Soward added the extras, and St George maintained the 6-0
lead to half time.
Just three minutes after the break, the Dragons doubled their lead, when Mark Gasnier made a break and sent
Darius Boyd over the line. The Roosters fought back ten minutes later, when a well-timed kick by Braith Anasta
was pounced on by Justin Carney for a try in the corner. But Anasta was unable to add the extras, the Dragons
remaining 12-4 ahead.
Shortly after the hour, Brett Morris burst through the Roosters’ attacking line and ran 40 metres to score. But
the Roosters again kept themselves within striking distance when Mitchell Pearce intercepted and ran 70 metres
to plant the ball under the posts. Anasta’s conversion cut the margin to eight points with still 12 minutes to go,
and the Roosters continued to press for the next try which would have kept them in the contest.
But that try would not be forthcoming, and a late intercept try to Ben Creagh put the result beyond doubt. The
Dragons would maintain their dominance over the Roosters, but the Roosters’ third loss on the trot makes last
year’s Grand Final appearance seem like a long time ago.
St George-Illawarra Dragons 24 def Sydney Roosters 10
Dragons : Tries – B Creagh, M Gasnier, D Boyd, B Morris. Goals – J Soward 4/4.
Roosters : Tries – M Pearce, J Carney. Goals – B Anasta 1/2.
Referees – J Maxwell, A Shortall. Crowd – 34,976 at Sydney Football Stadium.
The Monday night Anzac Day game saw a boilover at AAMI Park, as ladder leaders Melbourne were stunned 18-14
by a determined New Zealand Warriors side.
The Storm got off to the best possible start, scoring in just the third minute. Billy Slater carved his way through
the Warriors’ defence before off-loading to Beau Champion for a try in the corner. And although the conversion
kick from the sideline was a tight angle, Cameron Smith’s shot never looked like missing.
But the Warriors fought back, with James Maloney putting up a bomb which was fumbled by the Storm
defenders in goal before Krisnan Inu pounded on the loose ball to score. James Maloney was unable to convert
the try, but a penalty goal a few minutes later saw the scores locked at 6-6.
The Storm were letting the Warriors control the contest, with a series of handling errors and penalties giving the
Warriors the run of play. And on the half hour mark, Jacob Lillyman crossed over to give the Warriors the lead.
And after a bungled attempt by the Storm defenders to achieve a one-on-one strip, Micheal Luck only had to
hold onto the ball to achieve the easiest of tries. Even with a penalty goal to the Storm after the half time siren,
the Warriors held a shock 18-8 lead.
Five minutes after the break, Cooper Cronk capitalised on a Warriors’ defensive error to score and cut the margin
to four points. With a healthy home crowd on hand, the Storm continued to attack for the remainder of the
contest. But for 35 tension-packed minutes, the Warriors held out everything the Storm could throw at them to
complete a remarkable victory.
New Zealand Warriors 18 def Melbourne Storm 14
Warriors : Tries – M Luck, K Inu, J Lillyman. Goals – J Maloney 3/4.
Storm : Tries – C Cronk, B Champion. Goals – C Smith 3/3.
Referees – S Hayne, G Morris. Crowd – 22,694 at AAMI Park.