Knights Outslug Roosters
Knights 22 def Roosters 18

Newcastle put a horror week behind them with an upset 22-18 win over Sydney Roosters in tonight’s round 12 NRL fixture at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford.

After being thumped 71-6 by the Broncos last Sunday, the Knights then endured a tumultuous week with club veteran Clint Newton departing for Melbourne in acrimonious circumstances and Adam Woolnough announcing he would leave at season’s end.

Brian Smith’s side headed into the match as rank outsiders and after conceding the first try of the match after just three minutes their backs were firmly to the wall.

But they hit back with the next two tries to lead 10-6 at half-time and scored the last 12 points of the match to seal a brave win.

New South Wales full-back Anthony Minichiello posted the first points of the match after he chased down a Mitchell Pearce grubber kick close to the line for an early 6-0 lead.

But Newcastle hit back with a try to winger James McManus in the 16th minute. McManus was put in space on the right wing and beat two Roosters defenders to touch down.

The Knights then hit the lead with three minutes left in the half, with second rower Cory Paterson spectacularly outleaping Amos Roberts to bring down a bomb from debutant half-back Luke Walsh on the left wing.

Braith Anasta finished off a brilliant team try in the 48th minute to put the Roosters back in front, fielding a chip ahead from Roberts who had sprinted 50 metres down the sideline after good ball movement on the right side.

Pearce then plucked an intercept from a Walsh pass and raced 80 metres to score his first try in the NRL for a 16-10 lead in the 53rd minute.

After a penalty goal from Craig Fitzgibbon, the Knights got to within two points with a four-pointer to Brad Tighe and took the winning lead in the 70th minute when full-back Nathan Hinton crossed under the sticks thanks to a neat offload from Woolnough 20 metres out.

Cowboys pushed all the way
Cowboys 26 def Sharks 24

A miraculous try to winger Ty Williams gave North Queensland a last-gasp 26-24 win over Cronulla in a see-sawing round 12 NRL battle at Dairy Farmers Stadium in Townsville tonight.

With the Cowboys trailing 24-20 with just three minutes on the clock, Williams, who missed the early part of the season through injury, touched down in the 78th minute to hand his side an unlikely win in front of a jubilant home crowd.

In tonight’s other fixture at Olympic Park in Melbourne, the Storm scored four tries to two in a 26-10 win over the Rabbitohs.

In Townsville, the Cowboys went 90 metres to score the match-winning try, which came when a Jason Smith chip deflected off Sharks full-back Misi Taulapapa and was picked up brilliantly by a flying Williams and placed down under the posts. Johnathan Thurston then slotted the straightforward conversion to seal the win.

North Queensland scored the opening three tries of the match and led 16-6 at half-time, but the visitors gained the ascendancy early in the second stanza when tries to Isaac De Gois (50th minute) and Greg Bird (53rd minute) gave them an 18-16 lead.

When Bird posted his second for the match in the 57th minute, the Sharks were out by eight points and looked to have all the momentum going into the final quarter.

But Williams scored his first try of the match with 15 minutes left on the clock to draw the Cowboys to within four points, veteran pivot Jason Smith providing a brilliant cut-out ball close to the line to put his winger over.

Both sides had half-chances in the ensuing 10 minutes, but it was Williams’ opportunist try that eventually sealed the game for the Cowboys and lifted them to third on the competition ladder.

To add insult to injury for the Sharks, centre Fraser Anderson left the field in the second half with a suspected dislocated shoulder.

Melbourne Storm inflict more pain on South Sydney
Storm 26 def South Sydney 10

The Storm tonight jumped back to the top of the NRL table with a hard fought 26-10 win over a desperate South Sydney at Olympic Park on Saturday night.

Souths have now lost 5 games in a horror stretch for the club; who only weeks ago was promising so much.

The home side opened the scoring in the 12th minute through a bizarre try to renegade winger Steve Turner. With television replays suggesting some doubt as to whether Turner grounded the ball legally, Video referee Pat Reynolds needed nine replays to determine that the diminutive winger had cleanly grounded the ball. Storm skipper booted a majestic sideline conversion to put the premiership favourite ahead 6-0.

Turner was denied a second try just six minutes later, with Reynolds this time ruling that Storm centre Matt King had obstructed opposition centre Nigel Vagana in the lead up.

Souths replied through a dubious try to Dean Widders in the 23rd minute, with replays suggesting that Jeremy Smith’s pass to Widders was marginally forward. Rabbitohs winger Nathan Merritt duly converted to level the scores at 6 all after 25 minutes.

Melbourne started to dominate both field position and possession in the closing stages of an exciting first half, but to their merit, the Rabbitohs defence held strong.

King had a chance to extend the home sides lead right on the stroke of halftime, but the lanky Origin centre failed to hold onto a Matt Geyer cross field bomb, leaving the scores tied at 6 all at the break.

The Storm extended their lead in the 43rd minute, with a simple backline movement allowing King to cross unopposed. Another booming sideline conversion from Smith edged Melbourne out to a 12-6 lead.

A 50/50 penalty against rookie Souths centre Fetuli Talanoa for an incorrect paly the ball saw Smith kick his third goal of the night to extend their lead to 14-6 after 55 minutes.

The Storm looked home and hosed when makeshift five-eighth Geyer jinxed his way over the line in the 62nd minute, with another Smith conversion handing the home side an unassailable 20-6 advantage.

However, Souths weren’t done for the night, with a 70th minute try to Shannon Hegarty getting the visitors to within six points with ten left on the clock.

But Melbourne whiz kid Greg Inglis sealed the 16 point victory with a now customary freakish try in the final minute, with the dynamic Maroons winger flying high above the pack to ground the ball in sensational fashion. Smith completed a perfect night with the boot with his fifth goal of the night, keeping the Storm’s perfect record against Souths at Olympic Park intact.

Melbourne now faces the daunting road trip of travelling to Mt Smart Stadium next Sunday to take on the inconsistent New Zealand Warriors, whilst the South Sydney Rabbitohs host the Penrith Panthers at Telstra Stadium next Friday night.

By ricky

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