Category Archives: NRL Results

Every NRL game result reviewed and analyzed

Canberra survive a late Penrith fightback for shock win

Canberra’s finals dream continues after a 24-22 upset win over the Penrith Panthers at CUA Stadium last night.

In a game that produced 8 tries, four to each team, it was a missed kick from winger Michael Gordon, the games leading goalkicker that was the difference in the game.

There’s no denying however that the Canberra Raiders were the better side, and they were denied twice by forward passes, as well as a controversial call when Terry Campese’s run to the line was disallowed for obstruction.

The win from the seventh placed Raiders keeps them alive, with the fifth placed Warriors knocked out of the finals race.

The win was also the Raiders first finals win since 2000 which ironically, was also a win over the Panthers.

Leading 24-12, the Raiders had a chance to put the nail in the coffin in the 57th minute, but video referee Russell Smith had other ideas and disallowed the try.

Smith ruled that Penrith defender Nathan Smith had been impeded by a decoy runner in the lead-up to Campese’s try.

Despite their loss, the Panthers Sandor Earl produced perhaps one of the best tries of the year with an acrobatic display after planting the ball in mid-air to get the Panthers within 2 points.

Whilst Luke Lewis was cleared to play before the game, both Frank Pritchard and Trent Waterhouse went off with leg and pectoral muscle injuries respectively. Waterhouse is suspected to be out for the season after tearing the muscle.

Raiders coach David Furner wasn’t a happy camper after Campese’s disallowed try.

“I’m just glad that it didn’t come down to that,” he said.

“I’m sorry, there needs to be a very big review on those. That could have cost us the game.

“If that’s an obstruction, that’s rubbish.”

Melbourne steamroll Knights in last game of pointless season

In what has been a dour season for the Melbourne Storm following their salary cap scandal, they have finished the season on a high with a resounding 34-4 win over the Knights.

With both sides unable to make the top 8 with the Knights not having enough points, and the Storm stuck to the bottom of the ladder following their cap scandal, there was little on the line for both sides.

The match did however have some significance with several Storm players such as Greg Inglis, Ryan Hoffman, Brett White, Jeff Lima, Aiden Tolman and Brett Finch who watched the game from the sidelines, all leaving the club.

With the club offering their fans a strong gesture of $1 tickets for their ongoing support throughout the year, the crowd which reached 20,000, were never disappointed after the Storm were too strong for the Knights.

Storm hooker became the first Melbourne Storm player to accumulate 1000 points after he converted Ryan Hinchcliffe’s try.

The Knights fought bravely to get back into the game with Zeb Taia giving them some hope in the 53rd minute, before the Storm ran away with the game to end the Knights hopes of winning.

Outgoing Storm prop Brett White avoided the dreaded nudie run after he scored a try in the 70th minute, and outgoing centre Greg Inglis showed off his skills with a great run through some flimsy Knights defence to get on the scoreboard.

Bulldogs shock Manly to dent their confidence

Manly coach Des Hasler has criticised and reprimanded Steve Matai after his high shot on Bulldogs hooker Michael Ennis, in Manly’s shock 30-24 defeat to the Dogs at Brookvale Oval.

Following the hit, Ennis had to be escorted off the field in the 50th minute after he was hit in a monster hit by Matai without the ball. Ennis would later return with 10 minutes left in the game to guide the Dogs to the win in front of 15,933 supporters.

Matai’s incredibly poor record with the judiciary will not work in his favour, as he was already banned earlier this year for a similar shot on Parramatta’s Jarryd Hayne, and he is almost certain to miss out on games next year, with a possible 4-5 game ban looming as the possible outcome.

“It didn’t look good from the first angle I saw it, I don’t think his carryovers are all that good so it doesn’t look good,” said Hasler.

“I think Steve will be disappointed, it puts us in a position where we need a player of his calibre … especially when we are already down on troops so we could do without it.

“Young centre Dean Whare injured himself in the 20s … it makes it even tougher for us now.”

Manly appear to be decimated by both suspensions and injury heading into the finals game.

Skipper Jason King and Chris Bailey have also been placed on report along with Matai, all of which were on report for high tackles.

Injury wise, Anthony Watmough (ankle), Kirean Foran (shoulder), Brent Kite (collarbone), Joe Galuvao (groin) and Jamie Lyon are all carrying niggling injuries.

“We are busted, left, right and centre in there, we are really struggling,” Hasler said.

Canterbury coach Kevin Moore was delighted with the amount of character that his team showed in the wake of adversity, and praised his players for a wonderful performance in what was Brett Kimmorley’s and Luke Patten’s last game for the Bulldogs.

Kimmorley, who played his 307th and final game is retiring, and outgoing fullback Luke Patten is headed to ESL club Salford after 10 years with the club.

“It has been a pretty tough season for us, we got off to a dusty start, we have had a lot of injuries up front which have hurt us, at the start of the year, but we have played our best footy at the back of the year.

“You get to the back end of the year when you can’t make it and you are probably looking for something to motivate you and I think it showed the esteem those two are held in that we played so well in their last game,” Moore said.

Panthers in cruise control as they ease into second spot

A dynamic display from Bulldogs bound Frank Pritchard has led the Panthers to a comfortable 50-12 win over the Cronulla Sharks to guarantee themselves a home final.

A hat-trick from Frank ‘The Tank’ Pritchard was the highlight of the game as the Panthers walloped a deplorable Cronulla outfit who will look to build for 2011.

Many thought that Pritchard would zone out for the Panthers in light of his news that he is headed to the Dogs for 2011, but he proved the critics wrong with a man-of-the-match performance.

The win was a welcome sign for the Panthers, after they hadn’t made the finals for the last 6 years.

The win was even better considering that the Panthers had several big names in Petero Civoniceva, Lachlan Coote, Luke Walsh and Luke Lewis all out due to injury.

The Sharks poor performance was a sad end to a wonderful career for Cronulla skipper Trent Barrett.

At one stage, the two teams were reduced to 10 men when Masada Iosefa and Grant Millington were sent to the bin following an exchange of punches.

Elliott denied that Frank Pritchard owed the club anything after his announcement that he would be headed to the Bulldogs.

“As far as the playing staff and the coaching staff’s concerned, Franky doesn’t owe us anything,” said Elliott, whose Panthers side will host either Manly or Canberra at CUA Stadium next Saturday night.

“He’s a member of our team and he’s in our team, he’s right in the middle of our team , and I think he’s coming into form at just the right time.

“I feel like he can be a big difference for us.”

Pritchard was adamant that his focus right now was solely on the Panthers and that he wasn’t thinking about anything else.

“I’m here with the club, next year’s next year, it’s sweet,” Pritchard offered reluctantly

Retiring Sharks skipper Trent Barrett was disappointed with the outcome, and wished for a better result.

“That wasn’t part of the plan definitely,” he said.

“Last week was terrific but we certainly wanted to win tonight and they were pretty good and we were pretty bad.

“It was a little hard (to get up after last week) but not to the extent that the scoreline showed.”

Titans win in a thrilling encounter

Despite a suspected broken collarbone to halfback Scott Prince, the Titans have prevailed at Skilled Park to solidify their top 4 spot with a 21-18 win over the Wests Tigers.

The signs initially didn’t look good for Prince who was forced off the field following a heavy tackle from Tigers prop Keith Galloway.

It didn’t look good initially with Scott Prince telling Titans trainer Trevor Gillmeister, “I think I’ve broken my collarbone”.

As Prince was cleared to return in the second half, many wondered whether or not he would still remain effective, and he showed that the pain didn’t do anything to stop him from setting up tries, after he put Kevin Gordon over the line in the 58th minute.

In what is expected to be the last home game for retiring stalwart Mat Rogers, the Titans saw their 13-0 lead evaporate, thus ruling out any possible chance of a home final.

With the Tigers already guaranteed a home final, they looked very flat in the first half, as the Titans came out all guns blazing, before the Tigers stormed back in the second half to reduce the deficit to a point at 13-12 in front of a 26,103.

The Tigers had a chance to win the game, but a Benji Marshall pass on the siren went out of touch, thus resulting in a loss for the Tigers.

The game wasn’t finished there however, with a push and shove between Benji Marshall, and Titans prop Matt White, almost resulting in an all-in brawl.

Despite having inspirational halfback return to the field, the Titans players were dropping like flies after both Brad Meyers, Ashley Harrison and Steve Michaels going off with rib, nose and AC joint injuries respectively.

“They were game ending injuries but we had to keep them out there,” Titans coach John Cartwright said.

Prince later confirmed that he did indeed suffer a injury, but that he played through the pain for the team.

“It was pretty sore. I thought the worst (when he came off the field) but the positive thing is that I can’t do any more damage,” Prince said.

“That puts me in a good frame of mind.”

Wests Tigers coach took heart from their second-half performance and praised his side for maintaining their superior points difference over the Titans.

“What could have gone wrong did in the first half,” he said.

“But credit to them, they came out and competed – they showed plenty of courage.”

Marshall magic guides Tigers to win over Storm

Benji Marshall was back to his electrifying best scoring a hat-trick in the Tigers 26-14 win over the Melbourne Storm at a sold-out Leichhardt Oval.

It all started with a trademark flick pass as Tigers five-eighth Marshall guided the Tigers to a win over a Melbourne Storm side feeling the effects of not playing for points.

Despite Marshall’s strong performance however, Tim Sheens has lingering concerns about the Tigers casualty ward that is increasing every week.

The player in the most strife from injury is boom centre Chris Lawrence, who left the field with a broken jaw late on in the game.

Nursing an already weakened jaw from an incident earlier in the season, the fresh hit only made matters worse for Lawrence, and the culprit, Jeff Lima wasn’t placed on report for what appeared to be a somewhat innocuous hit.

“They’re operating on him tonight (Sunday) at six o’clock and if we’re still there in a month he’ll be back,” Sheens said.

“I’d like to hope the boys play well enough to give him another opportunity.

Veteran John Skandalis was also injured in the game, suffering a nasty buttocks injury, that has all but ended his season. To make matters worse, fullback Wade McKinnon will miss out next week with a re-occurrence of his hamstring injury.

The news doesn’t get better for the Tigers on the injury front with Bryce Gibbs suffering a knee injury, Liam Fulton a calf problem, and in-form second rower Gareth Ellis, suffering a nasty cork. Ellis is the only man in with a chance of playing next week.

“Luckily it’s not the first semi,” Sheens said.

“But look, we’ve been a strong club this year, we’ve made the semis at Wests and with Balmain in the (NSW Cup) and I think we’re one game off in the 20’s.

It wasn’t all roses for the Tigers though with coach Tim Sheens giving them a major spray after an inconsistent first-half.

Despite the loss, Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy praised the efforts of his players, and they now turn their attentions to a big send-off for the fans at home next week.

“We had the gastric (bug) go through our place during the week and Adam Blair, I don’t think he trained, Dane Nielsen missed a fair bit and Greg (Inglis) didn’t end up playing today he was that crook .. so it wasn’t an ideal week,” said Bellamy.

Dragons secure second successive minor premiership

JSt George have won their second straight minor premiership under coach Wayne Bennett after a hard-fought 26-18 win over the Newcastle Knights at Energy Australia Stadium.

The Dragons burst out of the blocks taking a 22-0 lead just after the restart, only to see the Knights slowly claw their way back to make the score 22-18 at one stage with over 20 minutes to go.

As the Knights looked for the try that would put them in the lead, it was an unlikely source that scored the winning try in five-eighth Jamie Soward who has been relatively quiet over the course of the year.

The game was a sell-out as Newcastle fans wanted to pay tribute to retiring skipper and Knights legend Steve Simpson in his final game at Energy Australia Stadium.

With the Knights needing to win to keep their very slim finals hopes alive, they played some brilliant footy and some fantastic conversions from the sideline by skipper Kurt Gidley was the key in bringing them closer to the Dragons score, only to have it snatched away at the death.

Despite the poor second half, Dragons coach Wayne Bennett wasn’t worried as in the end, his team secured the minor premiership.

“It is great honour and recognition for the players for their efforts to win minor premierships in back to back years,” Bennett said.

“They lost their way a bit in the second half and (we) took our eye off it, before getting the momentum back in the last 10 minutes.

“I am not too worried about the second half, the Knights played pretty well and didn’t deserve to be behind 22-0, but we gave them some possession and made some silly errors but I was pleased with the way we closed the game out.”

Newcastle coach Rick Stone was adamant his side would come out victorious under their near comeback as the crowd willed the Knights on.

“I thought we were going to go on and score another but after getting back into it we just lacked a little bit of patience,” Stone said.

Titans top 4 hopes in jeopardy after shock loss

Despite being out of finals contention, the Cronulla Sharks continue to be the giant-killers of the 2010 season upsetting the Gold Coast Titans 30-16 at Toyota Stadium.

Despite the loss however, the Titans still believe they can make the top 4,  with a win over the Wests Tigers next week all but cementing a top for spot for the club.

It was the player deemed as the NRL’s slowest winger, Luke Covell who opened the scoring in his last game for the Sharks at Toyota Stadium, with a 45 metre dash just put-running Titans half Scott Prince.

Sharks coach Shane Flanagan was delighted with his side’s victory, but he wasn’t sure if Covell would score the try that he did.

“I was up in the box and there were some people cheering and my first thought was he won’t get there but it was great for him to score,” Flanagan said of Covell taking the loose pass from Titans captain Scott Prince, and then fending the halfback off to get over the line.

In what was an emotional game for the Sharks with two of their favourite sons leaving in Trent Barrett and Luke Covell, the win was the perfect send-off for the two men, both of which were accompanied by their kids onto the field before the start of the game.

The major talking point out of this game though was Greg Bird’s return to the shire.

The downfall for the Titans though was a poor game from half Scott Prince who seemed to be out of sync and not playing as well as we have seen him play in the past.

“It wasn’t really the desired result but that was only a small blimp on the matches that are going to be coming up in the next few weeks for us,” said Bird, who only got a few boos from fans and spent plenty of time in the Sharks sheds after the match.

There were injury concerns for both teams however with Mat Rogers suffering a hip flexor injury, and Anthony Tupou suffering a thigh injury.

The shining light for the Titans was a two-try performance from young forward Bodene Thompson who scored two tries , both from bombs.

Warriors secure finals spot as Broncos struggle

The New Zealand Warriors have all but guaranteed themselves a finals berth in 2010 after a comfortable 36-4 win over a poor Brisbane Broncos side at Mt Smart Stadium.

The Broncos just never seemed to be in the game, and it was effectively over at the end of the first half, when the Warriors were leading 24-0 after scoring five unanswered tries.

The Broncos missed an incredible 19 tackles in a sloppy first-half performance, and this would be their downfall as the Warriors made them pay with some brilliant attacking football.

In the absence of injured workhorse Micheal Luck, back-rower Lewis Brown and utility Lance Hohaia who was playing fullback stepped up and scored two tries each.

“I didn’t really anticipate the score to be that big,” a delighted Warriors coach Ivan Cleary said.

“I certainly sensed during the week that the boys were up for a big one.

“Once we got into the game and could build a bit of pressure then the points came.

The loss means that the Broncos not only have to beat the Raiders next week, but they must rely on several other results to go their way. Leaving your fate in the hands of other teams never quite goes according to plans though.

Broncos coach admits that he side was overwhelmed by a strong Warriors side.

“Some of the finishes to our sets weren’t great either, the Warriors completed their sets really well and put together some good passages of play”, says coach Ivan Henjak.

“They played very good, they were full of energy and really went about their work with a real professionalism. We were totally outplayed.”

“We’ve just got to regroup, keep ourselves positive and give it a real good crack next week.”

Raiders keep finals hopes alive

The Canberra Raiders have kept their slim final hopes alive with a shock 32-16 win over leaders St George at Canberra Stadium.

The Raiders clearly have the edge over the Dragons, having won 10 of the last 11 matches played between the two teams at all venues.

It was the Dragons gutsy efforts on their own goal-line that denied the Raiders any tries in the first-half but that defence seemed to capitulate as the Dragons let in 6 tries in the second half, resulting in their loss.

The Raiders chances of making the 8 have drastically improved with the Rabbitohs, Warriors and Eels, all of which are fringe top 8 teams, all losing their respective games this week.

St George coach Wayne Bennett did admit that his side clearly have a problem in winning in the nation’s capital and praised the Raiders for their brilliant display of football.

Bennett was also critical about the fact that he remains unconcerned about a possible repeat of 2010 that saw the Dragons knocked out in the 2nd week of the finals, thus resulting in their ‘chokers’ tag.

“It’s more about ourselves and there’s something why we can’t play too well here. Last year we kind of threw it away and I felt today we did the same thing,” Bennett said.

“I expected a flat spot … we’ve been on our game and we’ve tried extremely hard … so we were just a little bit off the pace but that’s not taking away from Canberra, they just played extremely well and they’re an extremely good football team.”

Despite the Dragons taking the lead early on through Josh Morris, it was the Raiders perseverance and superior field position that ultimately, enabled them to score points. At one stage, the Raiders completed an astonishing 14 sets of six in a row.

Man of the match David Shillington was pleased with his team’s performance and stressed the importance of remaining level-headed with two crucial matches to come for the Raiders.

“There was a huge amount of hype building up to this game so everyone would have spent a lot of energy during the week preparing right for it and in the game itself too,” said man-of-the-match David Shillington.

“So I think it’s important we have a couple of days rest and down time and then come Wednesday or Thursday, start firing back up again otherwise we might start a bit flat next week against the Cowboys.”