|ROUND 9 FIXTURES:
(All times shown are Sydney time)
Friday 6th May
International - Australia v New Zealand (7:30pm, Skilled Park)
Rep - City Origin v Country Origin (7:30pm, Lavington Sports Ground)
Saturday 7th May
Brisbane v Melbourne (5:30pm, Suncorp Stadium)
Sunday 8th May
Gold Coast v NZ Warriors (2:00pm, Skilled Park)
St George v North Queensland (3:00pm, WIN Jubilee Stadium)
Monday 9th May
Manly v Canberra (7:00pm, Brookvale Oval)
BYE - Cronulla, Newastle, NZ Warriors, Parramatta, Penrith, South Sydney, Sydney Roosters, Wests Tigers.
Ladder leaders Brisbane continued on their merry way, the Broncos completing a 20-12 win over the Bulldogs in
front of a blockbuster crowd of over 30,000 at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.
An early penalty goal got the Broncos on the board, and the home side continued to attack. And after 11
minutes, Ben Hannant found a hole in the defensive line of his old club and offloaded to Darren Lockyer for the
first try. Corey Parker had no trouble with the conversion, and the Broncos were 8-0 ahead.
The Bulldogs fought back, with Ben Barba drawing the Brisbane defenders before a cross-field kick found the
jump of Michael Lett for a try in the corner. That converted try would be the last score of the first half, with
both sides creating opportunities but being unable to turn them into points.
The floodgates opened in the early minutes of the second half, as the Broncos set up what would be a match-
winning lead. Dale Copley pulled off an intercept and strolled through for an easy try, and a few minutes later
Gerard Beale burrowed under the Bulldog defenders to score.
With half an hour to go, Ben Barba threw the Bulldogs a lifeline when he pounced on a pass from Corey Payne to
score under the posts. Steve Turner’s conversion reduced the margin to eight points, and there was still plenty
of time for the Bulldogs to get back into the contest. But, try as they might, they could go no further as the
Brisbane defence held firm through an error-riddled last half hour in which both sides butchered scoring chances
but neither was able to effect any further changes to the scoreboard.
Brisbane Broncos 20 def Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 12
Broncos : Tries – D Lockyer, G Beale, D Copley. Goals – C Parker 4/4.
Bulldogs : Tries – M Lett, B Barba. Goals – S Turner 2/2.
Referees – G Badger, A Devcich. Crowd – 30,538 at Suncorp Stadium.
South Sydney brought their losing streak to an end when the Rabbitohs dominated the second half to come
from behind against a disappointing Cronulla side in wet conditions at ANZ Stadium on Friday night.
The Sharks went into the match with a four-game losing streak, their season threatening to unravel. The visitors
came out hard, and were soon on the board for the first points of the game, with Paul Aiton finding a gap and
running through for the opening try. John Williams was unable to convert, but Matthew Wright took over from
the kicking tee to add a penalty goal shortly afterwards.
On 25 minutes, a gaping hole opened up in the Souths’ defensive line, big enough for Wade Graham to breeze
through untouched to score the easiest of tries under the posts. Wright’s conversion gave the Sharks a 12-0
lead, and few could have forseen how the game’s direction would quickly change course.
Some individual brilliance shortly before half time saw Greg Inglis create an opening, and after doing the hard
work of wrong-footing the Cronulla defence all that remained was a pass to set up James Roberts and cut the
half-time deficit to six points.
The rain was even heavier when the second half got under way, and it didn’t take long for John Sutton to catch
the Cronulla defence napping with a 30 metre run before passing to big Dave Taylor who crashed through for
the try that would level the scores.
The Sharks were working hard, and Ben Pomeroy was denied a try by the video referee. But shortly afterwards,
a pass by Wade Graham was intercepted by Chris Sandow, who ran 90 metres to score an electrifying try under
the posts. Ten minutes later, Sandow turned on some individual magic to make it a double, and to put the
Rabbitohs 24-12 ahead.
A field goal put the result beyond doubt, and in the final minute Nathan Merritt put the icing on the cake. The
Rabbitohs’ three-game losing streak was over, and the margin of victory making an impact in reducing their for-
and-against deficit. But it was a disappointing result for the Sharks, their fifth loss on the trot and the optimism in
the Cronulla camp just a month ago has now faded to the grim reality that this could be another tough season.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 31 def Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 12
Rabbitohs : Tries – C Sandow 2, N Merritt, D Taylor, J Roberts. Goals – C Sandow 5/5. Field Goals
– C Sandow 1/1.
Sharks : Tries – P Aiton, W Graham. Goals – M Wright 2/3, J Williams 0/1.
Referees – T Archer, B Suttor. Crowd – 9,263 at ANZ Stadium.
Gold Coast and the Sydney Roosters started the season in a burst of optimism, looking to go on to bigger and
better things in 2011. But the first two months of the season have failed to live up to expecatations for both
teams, and when they met at Robina on Saturday evening it was a spirited clash between two desperate teams
hoping for a circuit-breaker to get their season back on track.
With both teams struggling and desperate, there were plenty of errors in the first half. The Roosters scored an
early try, with Joseph Leilua scoring in the corner, but Braith Anasta was unable to convert. But it took until only
a few minutes before half time for the Titans to break through, with Steve Michaels crossing over the line to
score and give the Titans the lead before a penalty goal to the Roosters levelled the scores at half time.
William Zillman gave the Titans the lead shortly after half time, after the ball was kicked forward on the last tackle
and a freak bounce saw the ball sit up for Zillman to gather the ball and get through some poor defence to
score. But a few minutes later, Frank-Paul Nuuasala burst through a hole to score and level the game up again at
With scores locked up and the minutes ticking by, Mitchell Pearce put a field goal over to give the Roosters the
lead. But in the last five minutes, the Titans would finish stronger to take the game.
David Mead weaved around traffic to score and put the Titans back in front. And in the final minute, Zillman
crossed for his second try and at last the Titans had something positive to show for their efforts this season.
Gold Coast Titans 24 def Sydney Roosters 13
Titans : Tries – W Zillman 2, S Michaels, D Mead. Goals – S Mead 4/4.
Roosters : Tries – F-P Nuuasala, J Leilua. Goals – B Anasta 2/3. Field Goals – M Pearce 1/1.
Referees – M Cecchin, G Reynolds. Crowd – 15,177 at Skilled Park.
After last week’s shock loss to the Warriors, Melbourne bounced back in style when the Storm completed a
resounding 42-12 win over Newcastle at AAMI Park on Saturday night.
The Knights started well enough, and on the back of a couple of early penalties, Jarrod Mullen found a gap and
sent Akuila Uate over the line to score the opening try. But the Storm immediately fought back, and just three
minutes later Brian Norrie burst through the smallest of openings to level the scores.
On 19 minutes, Beau Champion made a break and scored under the posts; but the Knights rallied through Matt
Hilder, who burst through some soft defending to score the easiest of tries. Kurt Gidley’s conversion levelled the
scores at 12-12, and few could have imagined at that point that the final score would be as lopsided as it ended
The penalty count was starting to run the Storm’s way, and Billy Slater went close to scoring, only to be denied
by the video referee. But there was no doubt about Anthony Quinn’s effort, flying high to take a cross-field
bomb by Cooper Cronk and planting the ball down to give the Storm an 18-12 half time lead.
Both sides worked hard early in the second half, and both sides had possible tries rejected by the video referee.
The score was still 18-12 shortly before the hour, but Matt Duffie crossed out wide to extend the Melbourne
advantage, which was added to by a sensational conversion by Cameron Smith from the sideline.
On the back of an intercept by Garth Widdop, Dane Nielsen outran the Knights’ defence to score in the corner.
By now the floodgates had opened, and before long Billy Slater flew high to gather a bomb and faced no
resistance in putting the ball down to score another. And in the final moments of the game, Todd Lowrie strolled
past some lazy Newcastle defending to put the icing on the cake, maintaining a top four position for the Storm
but putting the Knights at risk of falling outside the top eight.
Melbourne Storm 42 def Newcastle Knights 12
Storm : Tries - T Lowrie, B Slater, B Champion, B Norrie, A Quinn, D Nielsen, M Duffie. Goals – C
Knights : Tries – M Hilder, A Uate. Goals – K Gidley 2/2.
Referees – J Robinson, C James. Crowd – 9,460 at AAMI Park.
North Queensland have maintained their position in the top four after the Cowboys defeated Manly 22-20 in a
controversial clash at Dairy Farmers Stadium on Saturday night.
The Sea Eagles started brightly, and went close to scoring a few times in the early minutes before Will Hopoate
set up Michael Robertson for a try in the corner to put the visitors 4-0 ahead. It had taken some desperate
defending for the Cowboys to hold the Sea Eagles out during the early exchanges.
But against the run of play, the Cowboys would take the lead at the 20 minute mark. Matt Bowen found an
opening and sliced his way through to score under the posts. Johnathan Thurston’s conversion gave the
Cowboys the lead. And a few minutes later, Thurston chased down a grubber to add another try in the corner,
and although he was unable to convert his try he had given the Cowboys a 10-4 lead. By now the Cowboys
were on a roll, and Aaron Payne added another try to give the Cowboys a 16-4 lead at half time.
The ball travelled from end to end after the break, with neither side really looking like scoring for the first 15
minutes. But eventually Bowen outpaced the Manly defenders and charged through for his second try, and at
that stage the Cowboys were looking safe.
But with 15 minutes to go, Daly Cherry-Evans put up a bomb and Will Hopoate placed himself perfectly to gather
the ball and score. Cherry-Evans added the extras to cut the margin to 12 points. The Cowboys were lucky not
to concede an 8-point try, after a late hit on Hopoate after the try had already been scored.
Time was ticking down, but Tony Williams made a break and threw out a pass to Michael Oldfield who dived over
to score in the corner. But importantly, Cherry-Evans missed the conversion attempt, and so the Sea Eagles were
still eight points in arrears.
The Cowboys had slowed to a walk, and the Sea Eagles were coming back strongly in the closing stages. But luck
would run against the visitors, as Jamie Lyon was twice denied tries by the video referee. Eventually Anthony
Watmough crossed the line in the final minute to reduce the deficit to two points; but the Sea Eagles, despite
their surging finish, had left their run too late.
North Queensland Cowboys 22 def Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 20
Cowboys : Tries – M Bowen 2, A Payne, J Thurston. Goals – J Thurston 3/4.
Sea Eagles : Tries – A Watmough, M Robertson, W Hopoate, M Oldfield. Goals – D Cherry-Evans
1/3, J Lyon 1/1.
Referees – S Hayne, G Morris. Crowd – 14,884 at Dairy Farmers Stadium.
On a cold and windy Sunday afternoon in Auckland, the New Zealand Warriors kept themselves within striking
distance of the top eight and wrote another chapter in Penrith’s tale of woe in 2011 when the Warriors
defeated the Panthers 26-18 at Mt Smart Stadium.
Windy conditions in the first half affected the ball handling of both sides, and there were plenty of penalties and
knock-ons, with both sides struggling to control the ball and complete their sets in the flukey wind conditions.
Kevin Locke chased a grubber for the opening try of the game, but the Panthers fought back with a scrambling
try to Tim Grant; and scores were locked at 6-6 at half time.
The Panthers lost Petro Civoniceva to injury during the first half, and soon found themselves chasing the game
after the break as the Warriors came out better for the second half. After an early knock-on by the Panthers,
Kevin Locke gathered the crumbs and ran 75 metres to score a sensational try under the posts. Five minutes
later, Krisnan Inu flew high like an AFL marker to grab the ball and place it over the line for another try, putting
the Warriors 26-18 ahead.
A penalty goal added to the Warriors’ advantage, but would also usher a period of 15 scoreless minutes. Feeling
the game slipping away, the Panthers tried harder to lift their game, but although the Warriors were held
scoreless, the Panthers had no way across the line.
Against the run of play, the Warriors crashed over the line with ten minutes to go, with a kick to the goal-line on
the last tackle having a lucky bounce to land in Lance Hohaia’s arms. The game was safe for the Warriors, and
although the Panthers managed two late tries to restore some respectability to the scoreline, it was a
comfortable win for the Warriors.
New Zealand Warriors 26 def Penrith Panthers 18
Warriors : Tries – K Locke 2, L Hohaia, K Inu. Goals – J Maloney 5/5.
Panthers : Tries – T Waterhouse, T Grant, N Seluni. Goals – M Gordon 3/3.
Referees – J Maxwell, A Shortall. Crowd – 11,412 at Mt Smart Stadium.
Wests Tigers have maintained their grip on a position in the top eight, keeping Canberra firmly anchored on the
bottom of the ladder, when the Tigers completed a 49-12 demolition of a poor Raiders side at Canberra Stadium
on Sunday afternoon.
The Tigers started impressively, but were denied a try when the video referee ruled Keith Galloway had not
grounded the ball correctly. The Raiders also started well, and on six minutes Josh Dugan chased a downfield kick
by Matt Orford and won the race to the ball to open the scoring, Jarrod Croker’s conversion giving the Raiders a
But their lead would last just three minutes before Wade McKinnon burst through some poor defending and
burst through to score. Benji Marshall’s conversion levelled the scores, and the Raiders would not hold the lead
At 19 minutes, Benji Marshall found the slightest of openings in the Canberra defence and sliced his way through
to score. Five minutes later, the Raiders’ defence was again found wanting as a gaping hole opened up, big
enough for Wade McKinnon to power through and bring up his double. And at the half hour mark, a knock-on by
the Raiders gave the Tigers a scrum feed within scoring range, and a pass from Benji Marshall found Matt Utai and
the Tigers were 24-6 to the good.
The scoreline remained the same for the remainder of the first half, and for ten minutes after the break before
Benji Marshall gave the Tigers an additional buffer with a field goal.
The Raiders did get one try back, with Matt Orford setting up Josh Dugan; but it was a rare highlight for the
Raiders before the Tigers again regained control of proceedings. Robbie Farah sent Liam Fulton for a run that
culminated with a try under the posts, and soon afterwards Chris Heighington found the line.
By now it was a one-sided rout, with Simon Dwyer and Andrew Fifita adding to the Tigers’ joy and the Raiders’
misery. The Tigers were seemingly scoring at will, throwing the ball creatively and putting on an exhibition of the
free-flowing play that is so impressive when they are on their game.
As impressive as the Tigers were, the Raiders were pathetic. Giving away silly penalties all day, showing little
discipline or enthusiasm for the task; they played without spirit and were no match for a well-drilled Tigers side
that continued to work and attack with every play.
Wests Tigers 49 def Canberra Raiders 12
Tigers : Tries – W McKinnon 2, M Utai, L Fulton, C Heighington, B Marshall, S Dwyer, A Fifita.
Goals – B Marshall 7/7, T Moltzen 1/1. Field Goals – B Marshall 1/1.
Raiders : Tries – J Dugan 2. Goals – J Croker 2/2.
Referees – A Klein, G Sutton. Crowd – 13,425 at Canberra Stadium.
St George had reason to be nervous before their Sunday afternoon clash with Parramatta at Kogarah, with
memories of the semi-final boilover of 2009 still fresh in the Dragons’ memory. But in the end, any nerves were
quickly dissipated at the Dragons dominated the Eels to record a comfortable 30-0 victory.
Jamie Soward put an early penalty goal over to give the Dragons the lead, and at 17 minutes Soward was again
in the thick of the action as he set up Ben Hornby for the opening try of the game; and the Dragons were 8-0
Just three minutes later, Matt Cooper shrugged off a tackle by two Eels defenders to score another try. And five
minutes after that, Ben Hornby brought up his double; again it was the halves that combined to make the try
happen, with Soward drawing two defenders before passing to an unmarked Soward.
Five minutes before half time, an unmarked Matt Cooper burst through for another try, and the Dragons held a
commanding 22-0 lead at half time.
A penalty goal shortly after the break put the margin out to four converted try, and Beau Scott added another
try shortly before the hour. The match slowed down after that, and no more scores happened in the final 20
minutes after the Dragons counted down to another comfortable win.
St George-Illawarra Dragons 30 def Parramatta Eels 0
Dragons : Tries – M Cooper 2, B Hornby 2, B Scott. Goals – J Soward 5/7.
Eels : Tries – Nil. Goals – Nil.
Referees – B Cummins, T De las Heras. Crowd – 19,319 at WIN Jubilee Stadium.