|ROUND 17 FIXTURES:
(All times shown are Sydney time)
Friday 1st July
Parramatta v Brisbane (7:30pm, Parramatta Stadium)
Saturday 2nd July
Penrith v Canterbury (7:30pm, Centrebet Stadium)
Sunday 3rd July
Cronulla v South Sydney (2:00pm, Toyota Park)
St George v Newcastle (3:00pm, WIN Stadium)
Monday 4th July
Sydney Roosters v Canberra (7:00pm, Sydney Football Stadium)
BYE - Gold Coast, Manly, Melbourne, NZ Warriors, North Queensland, Wests Tigers.
|Round 16 began with a Friday night upset at Campbelltown, when a capacity crowd of 19,252 saw the Bulldogs
shock Wests Tigers 16-6.
The early exchanges saw both sides feeling each other out, but despite a run of penalties going the Bulldogs’ way
giving them the better of possession flow there were few scoring chances for either side. 28 scoreless minutes
passed, a time of keen defence but little attack; but eventually the Tigers’ defence cracked and the Bulldogs found
a way through. Aidan Tolman made a break, before offloading to Frank Pritchard who faced little opposition as he
breezed in to score and put the Bulldogs 6-0 ahead.
Pritchard’s try would be the only score of the first half. The Bulldogs had been the better side for most of the half,
but could only manage one try to show for it. And it was a similar story early in the second half, as the 6-0 scoreline
Finally on 57 minutes the scoreboard would tick over again, and it would be the Bulldogs who would find themselves
further in front, with Trent Hodkinson chipping the ball forward and Ben Barba flew in to pounce on the ball and
ground it over the line; although it took the video referee some time to discount the possibility of a double
movement and award the try. Steve Turner was unable to convert.
Ten minutes later, Josh Morris landed on the ball in the in-goals; and the video referee was again called into action.
But the try was awarded, Turner converted, and the Bulldogs were 16-0 ahead.
It had been a dismal night for the Tigers, with a string of errors and penalties keeping them out of the contest; and
it wasn’t until the final moments that they even looked like scoring. But Tim Moltzen put on an individual effort to at
least salvage something for the Tigers with a late try.
But despite the Tigers’ late try, this was the Bulldogs’ day; a welcome return to form for the blue and white side,
keeping them in sight of the top eight.
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 16 def Wests Tigers 6
Bulldogs : Tries – F Pritchard, B Barba, J Morris. Goals – S Turner 2/3.
Tigers : Tries – T Moltzen. Goals – J Miller 1/1.
Referees – M Cecchin, A Shortall. Crowd – 19,252 at Campbelltown Stadium.
Souths took their home game against Brisbane across the Nullabor, giving the WA fans a rare look at live rugby
league. Over 15,000 Perth fans took the opportunity, despite a night of dismal weather. But the trip west was
worthwhile for the Rabbitohs, who not only took home a nice cash incentive but also the two valuable premiership
points after a hard-fought 16-12 win over the Broncos.
The Rabbitohs wasted no time in getting their campaign under way, with Chris McQueen shrugging off a tackle from
Darren Lockyer in the second minute to cruise in and score under the posts, with Chris Sandow adding the extras.
And in the 10th minute the Rabbitohs were in again, with a grubber from Sandow that looked to have too much on
it stopping dead when it hit a puddle, with Rhys Wesser winning the race to the ball to dive on it and give the
Rabbitohs a 12-0 lead.
But the Broncos fought back five minutes later, with Darren Lockyer grubbering the ball into the in-goal, and Jack
Reed was declared the winner in a desperate scramble for the ball; the video taking some time before awarding the
Broncos the benefit of the doubt and reducing their deficit to six points.
But in the wet and slippery conditions, the longer the half went, the harder it was to control the ball. The
remainder of the half was scrappy and error-laden, as both sides worked desperately hard but struggled to come to
terms with the heavy conditions. With not long to go before half time, a penalty was awarded to the Rabbitohs,
with Sandow electing to take the two points on offer and give the Rabbitohs a 14-6 half-time lead.
A new ball was used for the second half, but it quickly became as slippery and uncontrollable as the first half ball;
and handling it was near to impossible for both sides. Conditions were getting worse, and with little shelter from the
elements for the shivering crowd, they watched a contest that had become a desperate scrap.
On the hour, Kurt Baptiste from dummy half crashed through the Rabbitoh defenders to score under the posts,
and when Corey Parker converted the margin was back to just two points. But despite the Broncos’ best efforts
in the final 20 minutes to manufacture a try that would win them the game, the Souths defence held firm and
scores remained unchanged until the final minute. But, with the Broncos desperately needing to create one last
scoring chance, instead they conceded a penalty; which Chris Sandow was able to milk the clock as he added
two more points, enough to make the game safe for Souths.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 16 def Brisbane Broncos 12
Rabbitohs : Tries – R Wesser, C McQueen. Goals – C Sandow 4/4.
Broncos : Tries – J Reed, K Baptiste. Goals – C Parker 2/2.
Referees – J Robinson, S Lyons. Crowd – 15,371 at NIB Stadium, Perth.
Cronulla, on the bottom of the ladder a couple of weeks ago, opened up a break ahead of the bottom when
they won their second game on the trot, a 36-12 win over a dismal Gold Coast at Skilled Park on Saturday night.
The Titans were on the board early, a sweeping 60 metre team run saw the ball go to Toopi, who only just
managed to stay inside the field of play before off-loading to David Mead. The video referee took some time to
deliberate on whether Toopi had kept his foot inside the line, but eventually awarded the try. Scott Prince’s
conversion attempt from the sideline sailed well wide.
The Titans were looking strong, and were keeping the Sharks held in their half. But a succession of silly penalties
eased the pressure and allowed the Sharks to get into attacking position, and in the 18th minute Nathan Gardner
outran the Titan defenders to score under the posts. Chad Townsend converted, and the Sharks had taken the
At the half hour mark, the Titans regained the lead when Esi Tonga found a gap to score. But their lead lasted
only a couple of minutes before Townsend put up a bomb which Stapleton grabbed to score and put the Sharks
12-8 ahead, a margin that would remain intact till half time.
Ten minutes into the second half, and the Sharks were going further ahead after Colin Best shrugged a tackle
before off-loading to send Paul Gallen to the line. Four minutes later Gallen was in again, out-muscling the Titan
defenders to crash over the line from close range. Gallen’s double opened up a 24-8 lead, and the mood
darkened further in the Gold Coast camp.
Steve Michaels did get one try back for the Titans on the hour, but Scott Prince was having a shocker of a night
with the boot and missed the conversion from straight in front. But shortly afterwards, Anthony Tupou chased
down a grubber from Chad Townsend to score for the Sharks and put them 30-12 ahead.
A penalty goal added two more points for the Sharks, and in the closing moments Stapleton brought up his
double. Townsend’s conversion was unsuccessful, but it hardly mattered. The Sharks had dominated, especially in
the second half, and with their big win are four points clear of the bottom and away from the dreaded wooden
spoon, at least for the time being.
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 36 def Gold Coast Titans 12
Sharks : Tries – P Gallen 2, N Stapleton 2, A Tupou, N Gardner. Goals – C Townsend 6/7.
Titans : Tries – S Michaels, E Tonga, D Mead. Goals – S Prince 0/3.
Referees – T De las Heras, G Sutton. Crowd – 12,997 at Skilled Park.
Canberra, after a season to forget so far, got themselves off the bottom of the ladder with a hard-fought 25-12
win over Parramatta on a cold Saturday night at Canberra Stadium.
The Eels came out firing, and continually pressed the Raiders’ line. Jarryd Hayne had an attempted try disallowed
by the video referee when he ruled that Hayne had illegally stripped the ball. Fuifui Moimoi was held up just
centimetres short of the line, but the Eels lost possession in the play-the-ball and were unable to manufacture a
Against the run of play, it was the Raiders who would be first to score after 18 minutes. Sam Williams found a
gap in the Eels’ defensive line and ran through to score. Five minutes later, the Raiders were in again, Josh
McCrone getting the ball from a scrum feed and outpacing the Parramatta defenders to score and put the
Raiders 12-0 ahead.
On the half hour mark, Jarrod Croker opted to take a shot for two points after the Raiders were awarded a
penalty, with the kick bouncing off the uprights before landing over to give the Raiders an extra two points. The
Raiders were feeling confident and continued to attack in the leadup to half time, but were unable to add to
their score and it was 14-0 in favour of the home side at half time.
But the Eels fought back after half time, with Matt Keating crashing over from dummy half to get the visitors on
the scoreboard; Luke Burt adding the extras with a sensational conversion from the sideline. But five minutes
later, a creative pass from McCrone saw Nathan Massey score out wide. Croker was unable to convert, and the
Raiders remained 18-6 ahead.
Shortly after the hour, the game was back up for grabs, Ben Smith conjuring up a try out of nothing to cut the
margin to just six points. The Eels continued to press hard, putting the Raiders under pressure, and went close
to scoring again but were just held out. The Raiders needed to add some safety margin to their score, and Josh
McCrone gave them an extra one point buffer with a long-range field goal.
With five minutes to go, Sam Williams brought up his double, and the Raiders were safe. The Raiders have got
themselves off the bottom, with the hapless Gold Coast in wooden spoon position. But it was another
opportunity missed for Parramatta, and only a 2009-style golden run can get them into the finals from here.
Canberra Raiders 25 def Parramatta Eels 12
Raiders : Tries – S Williams 2, J McCrone, N Massey. Goals – J Croker 4/5. Field Goals – J McCrone
Eels : Tries – B Smith, M Keating. Goals – L Burt 2/2.
Referees – J Maxwell, C James. Crowd – 13,457 at Canberra Stadium.
The New Zealand Warriors are at risk of crashing out of the top eight, after going down for the fourth time in a
row at Mt Smart Stadium; an 16-8 loss to Melbourne Storm on Sunday afternoon.
The game kicked off in cold but fine conditions, and after just a few minutes the Storm conceded back to back
penalties, twice being caught inside the 10m. On the second occasion, being only 20 metres from the Storm’s
line, James Maloney elected to take the two points on offer and give the Warriors the lead.
But the Storm fought back in the 10th minute, with a high kick by Cooper Cronk going to ground, a freak
bounce saw it sit up for Garth Widdop to pounce and face little opposition as he breezed in to score under the
posts. Five minutes later, Billy Slater took advantage of some soft defending as he evaded the Warrior defenders
to score in the corner and put the Storm 10-2 ahead.
The remainder of the half was end-to-end stuff, both sides working hard but holding each other out; and the
scoreboard would remain unmoved for the rest of the half and for the first 15 minutes after half time.
But eventually, after a total of 40 minutes of scoreless game time, a gap in the Storm line opened up; and Lance
Hohaia was there to capitalise, sending the crowd volume levels into overdrive, the converted try reducing the
margin to just two points.
The Storm were under pressure, and were forced to hang on against wave after wave of Warrior attacking
moves. But they withstood the pressure, and with five minutes ago wrapped up the contest, with Billy Slater
running 40 metres around the Warrior defenders to score under the posts. Cameron Smith’s conversion put the
Storm eight points clear, and with time running out, victory was assured.
Melbourne Storm 16 def New Zealand Warriors 8
Storm : Tries – B Slater 2, G Widdop. Goals – C Smith 2/3.
Warriors : Tries – L Hohaia. Goals – J Maloney 2/2.
Referees – T Archer, B Suttor. Crowd – 13,362 at Mt Smart Stadium.
Needing a win to get their season back on track after a two-game losing streak, Penrith hosted North
Queensland at Penrith Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Wearing pink jumpers for a breast cancer fundraiser, the
Pink Panthers made an important step towards rehabilitating their season with a 30-20 win.
The Cowboys went into the game in fourth place, and had the better of the start; with Gavin Cooper shrugging
off two Panther defenders to score in the 5th minute. The video referee was called on to confirm the try, but
the all-clear was given. Johnathan Thurston was unable to convert. But not long afterwards, big Petero
Civoniceva crashed over to open the scoring; and when Travis Burns landed the conversion, the Panthers had
taken the lead 6-4.
A penalty goal shortly afterwards gave the Panthers an extra two points; but also spurred the Cowboys into
action. Ashley Graham had a potential try disallowed by the video referee, but there was no need for technology
to make a ruling when James Segeyaro dived over from dummy half and stretched out his arms to score.
Thurston’s penalty gave the Cowboys the lead.
But five minutes later, Luke Lewis put on an explosive burst to shake off the attentions of two Cowboy tacklers
before offloading to an unmarked Lachlan Coote for a scintillating try under the posts; and a 14-10 lead to the
Panthers at half time.
The second half started with the Panthers on the attack, and a penalty goal added another two points to the
Panthers’ score. But a few minutes later, the Cowboys were again on the attack; and a kick forward by Matt
Bowen on the last tackle sat up for Cooper to run in and score his second try. Johnathan Thurston had a chance
to convert and level the scores, but his kick was unsuccessful.
Luke Lewis made a break to score for the Panthers, but on the hour Ben Jones pounced on a kick to score and
again the margin was back to two points.
With the game in the balance, the crowd were sent into raptures when Sam McKendry made a 40 metre run to
score under the posts. Travis Burns converted the try, and then added a penalty goal shortly afterwards to
complete a seven-goal return. And so the Panthers had taken victory, ended their losing streak, and kept
themselves within striking distance of the top eight.
Penrith Panthers 30 def North Queensland Cowboys 20
Panthers : Tries – P Civoniceva, L Lewis, S McKendry, L Coote. Goals – T Burns 7/7.
Cowboys : Tries – G Cooper 2, B Jones, J Segeyaro. Goals – J Thurston 2/4.
Referees – A Klein, P Haines. Crowd – 14,090 at Centrebet Stadium.
Newcastle consolidated their position in the top eight, recording an 18-10 win over the struggling Sydney
Roosters at Ausgrid Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
In the 9th minute, Mitchell Pearce pulled off an intercept and ran from his defensive 40, running 20 metres from
the Knights’ line before being brought down. But on the next play, the ball was spread out wide for Justin
Carney to go over in the corner. But Todd Carney was unable to convert, and the Roosters’ lead remained at 4-0.
Just three minutes later, the Knights had taken the lead, with Junior Sau breaking through some soft defence to
score under the posts; with Wes Naiqama kicking truly from the tee to give the Knights the lead.
The Roosters’ defence was again caught short at the half hour mark, with Peter Mata’utia strolling through a
yawning chasm in the Roosters’ defensive line to stroll through for another try. The conversion put the Knights
12-4 ahead, a lead that would hold until half time and for 25 minutes of end-to-end play in the second half.
It had been a tense and tough period of play, with both sides defending grimly. But eventually the deadlock
would be broken with 15 minutes to go, when Richard Fa’aoso brushed off the Rooster defenders to put Akuila
Uate over and put the result beyond doubt.
The Roosters did get one try back with three minutes to go, with Todd Carney kicking forward and Anthony
Minichiello winning the race to the ball to score a converted try. It was a try that carved a place in the record
books for Minichiello, breaking the Roosters’ club try-scoring record. But it wasn’t enough to propel them to
victory; and the Roosters remain third from the bottom.
Newcastle Knights 18 def Sydney Roosters 10
Knights : Tries – J Sau, A Uate, P Mata’utia. Goals –W Naiqama 3/3.
Roosters : Tries – A Minichiello, J Carney. Goals – T Carney 1/2.
Referees – B Cummins, A Devcich. Crowd – 22,326 at Ausgrid Stadium.
The scheduling of matches was put in place several weeks ago, and a lot changed during the intervening time;
but when round 16 came around, the match that promised the most for the round was the Monday night fixture
in Wollongong; and a blockbuster crowd was on hand to see St George return to the winning list, ending Manly’s
five-game winning streak with a comprehensive 24-6 victory.
A scrappy opening saw the referees blowing the whistle frequently as both sides gave up penalties. Neither side
was able to string any coherent attacks together until the 16th minute, but a cross-field kick by Nathan Fien was
grabbed by Kyle Stanley for the opening try of the game, after the video referee checked and gave the all-clear
for the grounding.
Twelve minutes later, Mitchell Rein from dummy half burrowed through the Manly line to score another try, and
put the Dragons 12-0 ahead and kept that margin through to half time.
If they were to get back into the game, the Sea Eagles needed to get the first try in the second half, and it
took just two minutes for them to get on the scoreboard, with Brett Stewart flying through to grab a cross-field
kick by Kieran Foran and plant it down for a team-lifting try. Jamie Lyon’s conversion reduced the margin to just
six points. The Sea Eagles had their tails up, and went on the attack, coming close to scoring again and forcing
the Dragons into back-to-back line drop-outs.
But a knock-on at a key moment let the Dragons off the hook, and a long kick forward put the home side on the
attack. And when a penalty was blown, Soward was close enough to have a go at the penalty goal, putting it
over to add an extra two points to the Dragon lead.
Kyle Stanley brought up a double after some powerful lead-up work by Morris; but on a tight angle Jamie Soward
was unable to manage the conversion. The Sea Eagles took a short kick-off, hoping to get back into the contest,
but late in the set the ball was intercepted by Soward who ran 85 metres to put the ball down under the posts
for the match-winning try.
But a late disaster struck for the Dragons. After scoring the try, Jamie Soward limped off injured, didn’t attempt
the conversion, and played no further part in the game. Soward will go in for more tests during the week, but it
would be a disastrous loss for the Dragons if they were to have their key playmaker on the sidelines for any
length of time.
St George-Illawarra Dragons 24 def Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 6
Dragons : Tries – K Stanley 2, J Soward, M Rein. Goals – J Soward 3/4, K Stanley 1/1.
Sea Eagles : Tries – B Stewart. Goals – J Lyon 1/1.
Referees – S Hayne, G Badger. Crowd – 18,974 at WIN Stadium.