|ROUND 12 FIXTURES:
(All times shown are Sydney time)
Wednesday 25th May
State of Origin I - Queensland v New South Wales (8:00pm, Suncorp Stadium)
Friday 27th May
Brisbane v Manly (7:00pm, Suncorp Stadium)
Canterbury v Gold Coast (8:45pm, Suncorp Stadium)
Saturday 28th May
Newcastle v Parramatta (5:30pm, Ausgrid Stadium)
North Queensland v Sydney Roosters (7:30pm, Dairy Farmers Stadium)
Sunday 29th May
Melbourne v Cronulla (2:00pm, AAMI Park)
St George v Wests Tigers (3:00pm, WIN Jubilee Stadium)
Monday 30th May
Penrith v South Sydney (7:00pm, Centrebet Stadium)
BYE - Canberra, NZ Warriors
It’s been a season to forget so far for Canberra, but the Raiders finally had something positive last week with their
shock win over Melbourne. And the Raiders extended their winning run to two games when they overcame the
Bulldogs 20-12 in freezing conditions at Canberra Stadium on Friday night.
The Raiders took the lead early, with the ball being spread out wide for Joel Thompson to score in the corner, but
on too tight an angle for Jarrod Croker to land the conversion. The early Canberra try spurred the Bulldogs into
action, and for the next 20 minutes they would spend much of the time in Canberra’s half, pressing the line but
being unable to penetrate. Josh Reynolds managed to cross the line for the Bulldogs, but the video referee
disallowed the try after some obstruction in back play.
And against the run of play, it would be the Raiders who would be next to score. On 25 minutes, Andrew Ryan
threw a rather optimistic pass, which was intercepted by Reece Robinson, who then ran 70 metres to score under
the posts. Croker’s conversion gave Canberra a 10-0 lead; a scoreline that would remain intact until half time.
The Raiders went on the attack early in the second half, with Sam Williams attempting a 40-20 kick. But Ben Barba
was there to stop the ball going out, only to knock it on where a grateful Joe Picker was there to capitalise and
score, and put the Raiders 16-0 ahead. A penalty goal on the hour extended the lead to 18.
Four minutes later, the Bulldogs finally got on the scoreboard, with Frank Pritchard drawing two Raider defenders
before a quick offload to a flying Josh Morris saw a try under the posts.
Looking for some safety margin, Josh McCrone attempted a field goal for the Raiders, but the kick was unsuccessful.
And with 11 minutes to go, the game was alive when Ben Barba turned on his pace and outran the Canberra
defenders to score. Steve Turner kicked the conversion, and suddenly the scoreline was back to 18-12, and the
Bulldogs were back in the contest.
But a penalty to the Raiders saw Jarrod Croker line up a shot for the two points, the penalty goal giving the Raiders
enough of a safety buffer to ensure victory.
Canberra Raiders 20 def Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 12
Raiders : Tries – J Picker, R Robinson, J Thompson. Goals – J Croker 4/5. Field Goals – J McCrone
Bulldogs : Tries – B Barba, J Morris. Goals – S Turner 2/2.
Referees – S Hayne, C James. Crowd – 12,865 at Canberra Stadium.
Wests Tigers returned to the winning list, but won ugly when they fell over the line 20-18 after an unconvincing
win over an appalling Penrith side at Campbelltown on Saturday night.
A clever sidestep by Blake Ayshford saw him score the first try of the night, but the Tigers were soon letting
themselves down with a series of knock-ons. And on 14 minutes the game was back on level terms, with Masada
Iosefa taking the ball after a scrum win and catching the Tigers’ defence off-guard as he dived over to level the
match at 6-6.
Five minutes later, Simon Dwyer dragged two Panther defenders over the line with him, outmuscling them to put
the ball down to score a try which Benji Marshall was unable to convert. But for much of the first half, both sides
were struggling to complete their sets in an error-riddled performance.
On the stroke of half time, the game was turned on its head when David Simmons weaved his way around the
Tigers’ defenders to score under the posts. Luke Walsh’s conversion gave the Panthers an unlikely lead at half time.
And shortly after the break, Lachlan Coote flew high to grab a bomb and score, putting the Panthers 18-10 ahead
and giving the visitors hope of pulling off an upset.
The clock continued to tick down, with the Tigers struggling to find a way back into the contest. The Panthers
were making mistakes, but were also defending grimly and keeping the game tight and tough, and the Tigers
were finding themselves under pressure and finding avenues to the Panthers’ line elusive.
But with 12 minutes to go, the Tigers were back in touch. And it was Benji Marshall who was the spark, taking
the ball after a poor attempted Penrith bomb and eluding the Penrith defence as he ran 85 metres to put the
ball down under the posts, putting the crowd in voice and reducing the margin to just two points.
And with five minutes to go, Mitch Brown was left unattended; and a lightning pass by Benji Marshall send Brown
on his way to calmly stroll over the line and put the ball down for the try that would restore the lead for the
Tigers. Benji Marshall was unable to convert, but the Tigers were back in front and faced little opposition in the
final stages to wrap up another victory.
Wests Tigers 20 def Penrith Panthers 18
Tigers : Tries – B Marshall, M Brown, B Ayshford, S Dwyer. Goals – B Marshall 2/4.
Panthers : Tries – D Simmons, M Iosefa, L Coote. Goals – L Walsh 3/3.
Referees – B Cummins, B Suttor. Crowd – 16,172 at Campbelltown Stadium.
The early Sunday game at Mt Smart Stadium saw the New Zealand Warriors continue on their winning ways,
taking out their fifth game on the trot with a hard-fought 12-6 win over a gritty South Sydney side.
The Warriors attemped to create scoring chances, but tries to Shaun Berrigan and Kevin Locke were disallowed
by the video referee; Locke’s attempt coming off the back of a 90 metre run by Krisnan Inu. The Warriors had
the bulk of field position, but the Rabbitohs defended grimly and worked hard to prevent the Warriors from
applying any scoreboard pressure.
But eventually weight of possession would take its toll, and on 33 minutes the Warriors scored. Lance Hohaia was
brought down just centimetres short of the line, and a quick play-the-ball went to Brett Seymour who crashed
over the Rabbitoh defenders to score and give the Warriors a 6-0 lead that would remain intact till half time. The
Warriors could have doubled their lead in the final minute of the half, but were denied a try by the video referee
for the third time when Simon Mannering was ruled not to have grounded the ball correctly.
15 minutes after the break, scores were level. Nathan Merritt struggled to control the ball, and could have been
penalised for a knock-on; but the referee ruled the ball went backwards. Fullback Rhys Wesser was on hand to
kick the ball forward and then chase his kick into the in-goal to score. Chris Sandow’s conversion levelled the
But it took only four minutes for the Warriors to go back in front. Aaron Heremaia drew the Rabbitoh defenders
before quickly off-loading to a flying Krisnan Inu who crossed the line and ran around to put the ball down under
the posts. James Maloney had no trouble with the conversion, putting the Warriors 12-6 ahead.
It would be the last score of the game, as the Warriors looked for a score that would extend their lead while the
Rabbitohs searched for an equaliser. But both sides came up blank, as the clock ran down and the Warriors held
on for a tough but valuable win.
New Zealand Warriors 12 def South Sydney Rabbitohs 6
Warriors : Tries – B Seymour, K Inu. Goals – J Maloney 2/2. Field Goals – J Maloney 0/1.
Rabbitohs : Tries – R Wesser. Goals – C Sandow 1/1.
Referees – S Lyons, P Haines. Crowd – 16,872 at Mt Smart Stadium.
The Sydney Roosters, winless since round 4, finally broke through and brought their losing streak to an end when
they hung on to defeat Newcastle 12-10 at the Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
A game between two teams outside the top eight, in front of a stadium with less than a quarter of the seats
occupied, didn’t promise much; and delivered little in the early stages. A succession of dropped ball and turnovers
from both sides characterised the early exchanges, and there were few coherent attacking moves from either
On 25 minutes, the Roosters opened the scoring. Moving the ball out wide, a play saw the ball go through
several pairs of hands before finally Shaun Kenny-Dowall broke the back of the Newcastle defence to go in under
the posts. Braith Anasta’s conversion gave the Roosters a 6-0 lead.
The lead would hold until half time. Todd Carney went close to doubling the lead after some solid work by Jason
Ryles, but the pass was just too hot for Carney to handle. And the Roosters continued to attack in the second
half, putting the Knights under sustained pressure.
And ten minutes into the second half, the Knights’ defence cracked. Todd Carney weaved his way around some
lazy Newcastle defenders before quickly offloading to send Anthony Minichiello to the line, putting the Roosters
But on the hour, against the run of play, the Knights found themselves back in the contest. Keith Lulia found his
way through the Roosters line of defenders and then off-loaded to find Shannon McDonnell for a converted try
under the posts.
Suddenly, the Knights were doing the attacking, and the Roosters were under pressure. Jarrod Mullen failed by
just centimetres to land a 40-20, and the Roosters were letting the Knights back in the contest with some
Sensing the momentum swing, Braith Anasta attempted to put a buffer in place with a penalty goal, but the kick
sailed wide. And with seven minutes to go, a bomb by Jarrod Millen was grabbed by debutant Peter Matu’utia for
a try out wide. But Wes Naiqama’s conversion attempt was unsuccessful, and the Roosters were able to hang on
for dear life in the final minutes to break their five-game losing streak.
Sydney Roosters 12 def Newcastle Knights 10
Roosters : Tries – A Minichiello, S Kenny-Dowall. Goals – B Anasta 2/2. Field Goals – B Anasta 0/1.
Knights : Tries – S McDonnell, P Matu’utia. Goals – W Naiqama 1/2.
Referees – M Cecchin, A Devcich. Crowd – 10,146 at Sydney Football Stadium.
Parramatta have often struggled against Cronulla at Parramatta Stadium, and hadn’t beaten the Sharks there
since 2003. But Monday night was a different story, as the Eels took control from the start and dominated
around the ground to complete a 40-6 win over the hapless Sharks.
It was end to end early, but the Eels broke through in the 13th minute for the opening try. Jeff Robson from
dummy half drew the Cronulla defence before a quick pass found Ben Smith who had room to cross the line and
run to the centre to put the ball down under the posts. 14 minutes later, Jordan Atkins went over in the corner
to score and give the Eels a 10-0 advantage.
The Eels continued to attack, and just after the half hour mark a chip kick by Jarryd Hayne forced a dropout and
another set for the Eels. And the set finished with Luke Burt finding the line. And the Parramatta attacks kept
coming, with Chris Walker scoring another try shortly before the half time siren to give the Eels a 22-0 lead at the
The try-scoring avalanche continued in the second half, with Jordan Atkins chasing down a grubber to bring up
his double. And shortly before the hour mark, Justin Horo flew high AFL-style to pull down a Jarryd Hayne bomb
The game was safely won for the Eels, and the game wound down in the final minutes. Luke Burt continued his
golden night, bringing up his second try and following it up with his sixth conversion. In the final minute, Taulima
Tautai got a consolation try for the Sharks, but it was little comfort to them after what had been a dismal night.
But it was an important result for Parramatta, not just the win, but the margin. The Eels, with the worst for-and-
against in the league, will welcome the big win as a sign they can turn their fortunes around.
Parramatta Eels 40 def Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 6
Eels : Tries – L Burt 2, J Atkins 2, B Smith, C Walker, J Horo. Goals – L Burt 6/7.
Sharks : Tries – T Tautai. Goals – M Wright 1/1.
Referees – J Robinson, A Shortall. Crowd – 10,628 at Parramatta Stadium.