Andrew Cook

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GB triumph over flat Kiwis

GB v NZ 2006 Great Britain 46 v New Zealand 14at Knowsley Road, St HelensReferee: Steve ClarkMatch Summary:Great Britain have run out convincing 46-14 winners over New Zealand at Knowsley Road in today's Test Match, in front of a healthy (and vocal) home crowd that certainly had plenty to cheer about.The Kiwis started the match looking like the stronger team, and were able to claim the first try through giant winger Lesley Vainikolo. But from that promising early start, things went rapidly downhill as the Kiwis struggled to contain a fired-up Great Britain pack that was able to find plenty of space all over the paddock.The Lions had reclaimed the lead by the 7th minute through Danny McGuire, and two further tries to Sean Long and debutant James Graham gave them an 18-4 lead at the break. Unfortunately for the home side, captain Paul Sculthorpe was forced from the field with knee ligament damage early in the match, and couldn't take any further part in the game.The Kiwis weren't too worried about the half-time deficit, and returned to the field with the hope that they would finish the match strongly. However, three tries to Great Britain within the first 12 minutes quickly proved this theory to be slightly inaccurate.The Lions continued to ram home their advantage, and pushed the score out to 36-4 before the Kiwis were able to hit back. Iafeta Paleaaesina managed to score thanks to an error from the home team, but normal service quickly resumed with further tries to Ade Gardner and Sean Long rubbing salt into some gaping Kiwi wounds.Every player for Great Britain put in a tremendous performance in this match. Stand-outs included fullback Paul Wellens, halves McGuire & Long, and a pack of forwards that were determined not to take a backwards step. Roosters prop Adrian Morley contributed strongly, and received strong support from Fielden, Newton and debutant James Graham.The Kiwis have promoted this match as a chance for some "lesser-lights" to press for inclusion in their Tri-Nations squad, and unfortunately several players may have written themselves out of the script. David Kidwell and David Solomona tried hard to produce some spark, but the team was obviously affected by the lack of an established halves combination. Ben Roberts tried hard in his International debut and has a promising future, but certainly isn't ready for this level of competition just yet.Scorers:Great Britain: 46Tries: Danny McGuire(2), James Graham(2), Sean Long(2), Keith Senior, Ade GardnerGoals: Sean Long 6/7, Paul Sculthorpe 1/1New Zealand: 14Tries: Henry Fa'afili, Iafeta Paleaaesina, Lesley VainikoloGoals: Stacey Jones 1/1, Ben Roberts 0/1, Motu Tony 0/1Halftime: GB 18-4By the Clock:TEAM LINE-UPS:Great Britain: Wellens, Gardner, Gleeson, Senior, Pryce; McGuire, Long; Fielden, Cunningham, Morley, Peacock, Ellis, Sculthorpe; Newton, Gilmour, Graham, O'Loughlin.New Zealand: Toopi, Vainikolo, Hape, Talau, Fa'afili; Roberts, Jones; Chan, Tony, Paleaaesina, Lauitiiti, Solomona, Kidwell; Paul, Hansen, Anderson, Betham.Welcome to Knowsley Road! The teams are taking the field to a rousing reception from a healthy looking crowd. No rain at the moment, but apparently the ground is still pretty wet.KICKOFF: We're underway!3 min: TRY New ZealandThe Kiwi forwards have steamrolled Great Britain with their first use of the ball, and moved straight into a good attacking position. Stacey Jones puts up a huge cross-field bomb, and Lesley Vainikolo gets on top of his opposite number to claim the try.Ben Roberts misses the conversion attempt. New Zealand 4-07 min: TRY Great BritainTwo penalties conceded by the Kiwis give Great Britain plenty of attacking possession, and Danny McGuire is able to dummy his way through the defensive line to cross in the corner.Paul Sculthorpe nails a great conversion from out wide. Great Britain 6-412 min: Great Britain are looking sharp out here, and the Kiwis are conceding plenty of penalties which isn't making their job any easier!13 min: VIDEO REF - Keiron Cunningham tries a trademark barge-over from dummy half, but is ruled to have lost the ball within plenty of Kiwi defense.13 min: The Kiwis are awarded their first penalty of the match, but they don't find touch with their kick!15 min: Stacey Jones misses out on a 40/20 kick by a matter of inches.16 min: Paul Sculthorpe has left the field and headed straight up the tunnel.18 min: The Kiwis survive an attacking set from Great Britain with some desperate defence on their own line.23 min: With the Kiwis just metres out from the Great Britain tryline, Clinton Toopi throws a "Toopi Special" that goes 20 metres backwards.25 min: A half-chance for the Kiwis - Stacey Jones spots a gap and tears up the middle, but his offload is snaffled by Terry Newton.26 min: TRY Great BritainFollowing a dropped ball from Willie Talau on his own 20-metre line, Terry Newton spots some space up the blindside that is well exploited by Keith Senior and Leon Pryce. James Graham is on hand to complete the movement and score a great try.Sean Long adds the extras. Great Britain 12-431 min: A huge Sean Long bomb is well claimed by Henry Fa'afili, who managed to hang on by his fingertips despite falling over at the same time.32 min: TRY Great BritainTerry Newton creates some space by attracting four defenders yet still managing to off-load the ball. Paul Wellens picks it up and passes to Sean Long, who is able to skip through for a try under the posts.Long converts his own try. Great Britain 18-435 min: NO TRY - Great Britain dot down in the corner through Ade Gardner, but the pass he received from Martin Gleeson is called forward.39 min: The Kiwis pull out every concievable off-load in an attempt to add to their score before halftime - it looks fantastic, but ultimately unsuccessful.40 min: A scrum win to the Kiwis on the stroke of half-time sees Stacey Jones put up a monster bomb to the corner, but Great Britain are able to get the ball over the sideline.HALFTIME: Great Britain 18 New Zealand 4Injury update: Paul Sculthorpe has suffered possible knee ligament damage, and won't be back for this match (at least).41 min: The second half is underway! Great Britain recover their own kickoff with a great chase.42 min: Gareth Ellis drops the ball with the tryline beckoning - a definite letoff for the Kiwis here.46 min: ON REPORT - Lesley Vainikolo, for a dangerous throw on Martin Gleeson.47 min: TRY Great BritainThe ensuing penalty gives Great Britain another attacking chance - this time, Paul Wellens makes a great bust up the middle and off-loads to Keith Senior for an easy run to the line.Sean Long kicks the extra two. Great Britain 24-449 min: TRY Great BritainIt's a carve-up!! Sean Long puts through a nice kick to the blindside that the Kiwis aren't able to contain. Paul Wellens picks up the loose ball and passes to James Graham, who is able to run 30 metres untouched to score his second try.Sean Long steps up again and adds another two points. Great Britain 30-452 min: The Kiwis are looking a bit shell-shocked now. Possession is running 70/30 in Great Britain's favour this half.53 min: TRY Great BritainFrom a scrum win 40 metres out, Danny McGuire receives the ball and jinks through some shaky Kiwi defence to claim his second try.Sean Long adds yet another conversion. Great Britain 36-458 min: The Kiwis are showing very little sign of being able to score again in this match, and are being completely out-enthused here.60 min: As usual, I've spoken too soon. The Kiwis have forced a goal-line drop out - can they score again??62 min: TRY New ZealandThe Great Britain defence held firm, but on attack Adrian Morley fumbles the ball straight to Iafeta Paleaaesina. "Feka" is able to crash over the line and claim a much-needed Kiwi try.Stacey Jones kicks the conversion. Great Britain 36-1065 min: Ali "Afroman" Lauitiiti knocks-on as the Kiwis continue to try and spark their attacking machine into gear.66 min: Another Great Britain fumble is claimed by Paleaaesina - who is penalised straight away for an incorrect play-the-ball.68 min: TRY Great BritainGreat Britain continue to swing the ball from sideline to sideline - and this time, Ade Gardner takes advantage of some space created by Martin Gleeson to cross untouched in the corner.Sean Long's conversion from out wide is waved away. Great Britain 40-1071 min: VIDEO REF - Great Britain are claiming a bizarre try here ...71 min: TRY Great BritainSean Long kicks deep, and the chasers are put onside by a Kiwi touch. Leon Pryce is then able to chip infield, and Stuart Fielden shows some remarkable soccer skills to get the ball around Robbie Paul. From there, Sean Long picks up the scraps and slides in for his second try.Long converts. Great Britain 46-1077 min: Leon Pryce throws Henry Fa'afili into touch with a great tackle while the Kiwis were looking dangerous out wide.80 min: TRY New ZealandIt took another 77 minutes, but another Kiwi attacking raid has finally paid off! Following a scrum win, the ball finds its way to Ali Lauitiiti who creates space for his outside men with a nice offload. Henry Fa'afili is backing up and scores in the corner.Motu Tony takes the conversion attempt, but it's waved away. Great Britain 46-14FULLTIME: Great Britain 46 New Zealand 14As the score suggests, there was pretty much only one side in the match tonight. Great Britain were strong across the park and have claimed a well-deserved victory over a rusty-looking Kiwis team.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Paul Wellens (Great Britain)2 - Sean Long (Great Britain)1 - Terry Newton (Great Britain)-----------------------------------------

Great Britain triumph over flat Kiwis

GB v NZ 2006 Great Britain 46 v New Zealand 14at Knowsley Road, St HelensReferees: Steve ClarkMatch Summary:Great Britain have run out convincing 46-14 winners over New Zealand at Knowsley Road in today's Test Match, in front of a healthy (and vocal) home crowd that certainly had plenty to cheer about.The Kiwis started the match looking like the stronger team, and were able to claim the first try through giant winger Lesley Vainikolo. But from that promising early start, things went rapidly downhill as the Kiwis struggled to contain a fired-up Great Britain pack that was able to find plenty of space all over the paddock.The Lions had reclaimed the lead by the 7th minute through Danny McGuire, and two further tries to Sean Long and debutant James Graham gave them an 18-4 lead at the break. Unfortunately for the home side, captain Paul Sculthorpe was forced from the field with knee ligament damage early in the match, and couldn't take any further part in the game.The Kiwis weren't too worried about the half-time deficit, and returned to the field with the hope that they would finish the match strongly. However, three tries to Great Britain within the first 12 minutes quickly proved this theory to be slightly inaccurate.The Lions continued to ram home their advantage, and pushed the score out to 36-4 before the Kiwis were able to hit back. Iafeta Paleaaesina managed to score thanks to an error from the home team, but normal service quickly resumed with further tries to Ade Gardner and Sean Long rubbing salt into some gaping Kiwi wounds.Every player for Great Britain put in a tremendous performance in this match. Stand-outs included fullback Paul Wellens, halves McGuire & Long, and a pack of forwards that were determined not to take a backwards step. Roosters prop Adrian Morley contributed strongly, and received strong support from Fielden, Newton and debutant James Graham.The Kiwis have promoted this match as a chance for some "lesser-lights" to press for inclusion in their Tri-Nations squad, and unfortunately several players may have written themselves out of the script. David Kidwell and David Solomona tried hard to produce some spark, but the team was obviously affected by the lack of an established halves combination. Ben Roberts tried hard in his International debut and has a promising future, but certainly isn't ready for this level of competition just yet.Scorers:Great Britain: 46Tries: Danny McGuire(2), James Graham(2), Sean Long(2), Keith Senior, Ade GardnerGoals: Sean Long 6/7, Paul Sculthorpe 1/1New Zealand: 14Tries: Henry Fa'afili, Iafeta Paleaaesina, Lesley VainikoloGoals: Stacey Jones 1/1, Ben Roberts 0/1, Motu Tony 0/1Halftime: GB 18-4By the Clock:TEAM LINE-UPS:Great Britain: Wellens, Gardner, Gleeson, Senior, Pryce; McGuire, Long; Fielden, Cunningham, Morley, Peacock, Ellis, Sculthorpe; Newton, Gilmour, Graham, O'Loughlin.New Zealand: Toopi, Vainikolo, Hape, Talau, Fa'afili; Roberts, Jones; Chan, Tony, Paleaaesina, Lauitiiti, Solomona, Kidwell; Paul, Hansen, Anderson, Betham.Welcome to Knowsley Road! The teams are taking the field to a rousing reception from a healthy looking crowd. No rain at the moment, but apparently the ground is still pretty wet.KICKOFF: We're underway!3 min: TRY New ZealandThe Kiwi forwards have steamrolled Great Britain with their first use of the ball, and moved straight into a good attacking position. Stacey Jones puts up a huge cross-field bomb, and Lesley Vainikolo gets on top of his opposite number to claim the try.Ben Roberts misses the conversion attempt. New Zealand 4-07 min: TRY Great BritainTwo penalties conceded by the Kiwis give Great Britain plenty of attacking possession, and Danny McGuire is able to dummy his way through the defensive line to cross in the corner.Paul Sculthorpe nails a great conversion from out wide. Great Britain 6-412 min: Great Britain are looking sharp out here, and the Kiwis are conceding plenty of penalties which isn't making their job any easier!13 min: VIDEO REF - Keiron Cunningham tries a trademark barge-over from dummy half, but is ruled to have lost the ball within plenty of Kiwi defense.13 min: The Kiwis are awarded their first penalty of the match, but they don't find touch with their kick!15 min: Stacey Jones misses out on a 40/20 kick by a matter of inches.16 min: Paul Sculthorpe has left the field and headed straight up the tunnel.18 min: The Kiwis survive an attacking set from Great Britain with some desperate defence on their own line.23 min: With the Kiwis just metres out from the Great Britain tryline, Clinton Toopi throws a "Toopi Special" that goes 20 metres backwards.25 min: A half-chance for the Kiwis - Stacey Jones spots a gap and tears up the middle, but his offload is snaffled by Terry Newton.26 min: TRY Great BritainFollowing a dropped ball from Willie Talau on his own 20-metre line, Terry Newton spots some space up the blindside that is well exploited by Keith Senior and Leon Pryce. James Graham is on hand to complete the movement and score a great try.Sean Long adds the extras. Great Britain 12-431 min: A huge Sean Long bomb is well claimed by Henry Fa'afili, who managed to hang on by his fingertips despite falling over at the same time.32 min: TRY Great BritainTerry Newton creates some space by attracting four defenders yet still managing to off-load the ball. Paul Wellens picks it up and passes to Sean Long, who is able to skip through for a try under the posts.Long converts his own try. Great Britain 18-435 min: NO TRY - Great Britain dot down in the corner through Ade Gardner, but the pass he received from Martin Gleeson is called forward.39 min: The Kiwis pull out every concievable off-load in an attempt to add to their score before halftime - it looks fantastic, but ultimately unsuccessful.40 min: A scrum win to the Kiwis on the stroke of half-time sees Stacey Jones put up a monster bomb to the corner, but Great Britain are able to get the ball over the sideline.HALFTIME: Great Britain 18 New Zealand 4Injury update: Paul Sculthorpe has suffered possible knee ligament damage, and won't be back for this match (at least).41 min: The second half is underway! Great Britain recover their own kickoff with a great chase.42 min: Gareth Ellis drops the ball with the tryline beckoning - a definite letoff for the Kiwis here.46 min: ON REPORT - Lesley Vainikolo, for a dangerous throw on Martin Gleeson.47 min: TRY Great BritainThe ensuing penalty gives Great Britain another attacking chance - this time, Paul Wellens makes a great bust up the middle and off-loads to Keith Senior for an easy run to the line.Sean Long kicks the extra two. Great Britain 24-449 min: TRY Great BritainIt's a carve-up!! Sean Long puts through a nice kick to the blindside that the Kiwis aren't able to contain. Paul Wellens picks up the loose ball and passes to James Graham, who is able to run 30 metres untouched to score his second try.Sean Long steps up again and adds another two points. Great Britain 30-452 min: The Kiwis are looking a bit shell-shocked now. Possession is running 70/30 in Great Britain's favour this half.53 min: TRY Great BritainFrom a scrum win 40 metres out, Danny McGuire receives the ball and jinks through some shaky Kiwi defence to claim his second try.Sean Long adds yet another conversion. Great Britain 36-458 min: The Kiwis are showing very little sign of being able to score again in this match, and are being completely out-enthused here.60 min: As usual, I've spoken too soon. The Kiwis have forced a goal-line drop out - can they score again??62 min: TRY New ZealandThe Great Britain defence held firm, but on attack Adrian Morley fumbles the ball straight to Iafeta Paleaaesina. "Feka" is able to crash over the line and claim a much-needed Kiwi try.Stacey Jones kicks the conversion. Great Britain 36-1065 min: Ali "Afroman" Lauitiiti knocks-on as the Kiwis continue to try and spark their attacking machine into gear.66 min: Another Great Britain fumble is claimed by Paleaaesina - who is penalised straight away for an incorrect play-the-ball.68 min: TRY Great BritainGreat Britain continue to swing the ball from sideline to sideline - and this time, Ade Gardner takes advantage of some space created by Martin Gleeson to cross untouched in the corner.Sean Long's conversion from out wide is waved away. Great Britain 40-1071 min: VIDEO REF - Great Britain are claiming a bizarre try here ...71 min: TRY Great BritainSean Long kicks deep, and the chasers are put onside by a Kiwi touch. Leon Pryce is then able to chip infield, and Stuart Fielden shows some remarkable soccer skills to get the ball around Robbie Paul. From there, Sean Long picks up the scraps and slides in for his second try.Long converts. Great Britain 46-1077 min: Leon Pryce throws Henry Fa'afili into touch with a great tackle while the Kiwis were looking dangerous out wide.80 min: TRY New ZealandIt took another 77 minutes, but another Kiwi attacking raid has finally paid off! Following a scrum win, the ball finds its way to Ali Lauitiiti who creates space for his outside men with a nice offload. Henry Fa'afili is backing up and scores in the corner.Motu Tony takes the conversion attempt, but it's waved away. Great Britain 46-14FULLTIME: Great Britain 46 New Zealand 14As the score suggests, there was pretty much only one side in the match tonight. Great Britain were strong across the park and have claimed a well-deserved victory over a rusty-looking Kiwis team.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Paul Wellens (Great Britain)2 - Sean Long (Great Britain)1 - Terry Newton (Great Britain)-----------------------------------------

Storm snatch a Friday Night Thriller

ROUND 16 Melbourne Storm 16 v Canterbury Bulldogs 12at Olympic Park, MelbourneReferees: Sean HampsteadMatch Summary:The Melbourne Storm have come up with a one-in-a-million finish to secure victory over the Canterbury Bulldogs tonight, and have opened up a six-point gap at the top of the table in the process.The Storm didn't secure the result until a spectacular try to Jake Webster in the 80th minute, following a speculative kick out wide from halfback Cooper Cronk. Second-rower Ryan Hoffman, playing in the centres after an injury to fullback Steve Turner, won the race to the ball and threw a great pass infield that gave Webster a clear run to the tryline.For the preceeding 79 minutes of the match, the Bulldogs looked to be well on the way to ending the Storm's winning streak at Olympic Park. After opening up a 4-0 lead with an early try to Sonny Bill Williams, they had plenty of further chances to add to their score only to be denied by some stubborn Melbourne defence.The Storm didn't trouble the scorers until the 46th minute thanks to some clever play from Queensland Origin hooker Cameron Smith, but even then the Bulldogs were able to hit straight back with a Trent Cutler try. A penalty kick from Hazem El Masri opened up a 6 point gap with 15 minutes to go, and it looked as though the absence of some potent attacking weapons could come back to haunt the home team.Then along came an unlikely hero for the Storm - within the last six minutes, Ryan Hoffman was able to provide the final pass for two tries to Kiwi winger Jake Webster, and the Storm had secured an amazing victory.The Bulldogs certainly put in enough effort to win the match tonight - their forward effort was strong, especially thanks to Reni Maitua and newcomer Jarrad Hickey. Sonny Bill Williams was a constant handful out wide, and produced one of his strongest efforts of the season.The Storm will consider themselves lucky to escape with this one, especially after losing Steve Turner (ribs) and Ian Donnelly (leg) to injury during the match. Ryan Hoffman did a fantastic job slotting in to the backline, and Cameron Smith provided the spark for his forwards. They can now look forward to a timely bye next round, and are very well positioned for a strong run to the finals.Scorers:Melbourne Storm: 16Tries: Antonio Kaufusi, Jake Webster(2)Goals: Cameron Smith 2/3Canterbury Bulldogs: 12Tries: Trent Cutler, Sonny Bill WilliamsGoals: Hazem El Masri 2/3Halftime: Bulldogs 4-0Crowd: 10,373By the Clock:Welcome to Melbourne! We've got a top of the table clash here tonight between the 1st-placed Storm and the 4th-placed Bulldogs.Late changes: Willie Mason is out for the Dogs, so Nate Myles will start and Jarrad Hickey comes onto the bench. The only change for the Storm sees Garrett Crossman and Ian Donnelly swapping places, meaning Donnelly will start.KICKOFF - We're underway!3 min: Scott Hill hoists a bomb right on the Doggies try-line that is well claimed by Trent Cutler.5 min: The first chance for the Bulldogs sees them try to run the ball on the last tackle, but the Storm defence is up to the task.6 min: TRY Canterbury BulldogsA dropped ball from David Kidwell gives the Bulldogs an excellent chance. Cameron Phelps is then tackled just inches away from the tryline, and on the next play the ball is swung wide for Sonny Bill Williams to open the scoring tonight.Hazem El Masri misses the conversion from out wide. Bulldogs 4-011 min: The Bulldogs squander a half-chance as Brent Sherwin drops the ball cold 20 metres out from the Melbourne tryline.12 min: The Storm receive their first penalty of the night, but the kick doesn't find touch thanks to some acrobatic work from Luke Patten.15 min: A 1-on-1 strip on Matt Geyer by Sonny Bill Williams sets up another great chance for the Bulldogs. Unfortunately on their last tackle, a Brent Sherwin pass floats untouched over the sideline.19 min: The Storm have suddenly fired up and forced a line drop-out from the Bulldogs.21 min: After a second consecutive drop-out, the Storm let the Dogs off the hook with a Cooper Cronk knock-on.23 min: A bomb from the Bulldogs lands on the crossbar and bounces back into the field of play - the Dogs regain possession, but hand it back to the Storm with a loose pass out wide.25 min: Matt Geyer makes up for an earlier blunder by managing to get in the way of a Sonny Bill offload when the Dogs were looking likely to score.27 min: Matt Geyer and Matt King both try to claim a Cooper Cronk bomb, and manage to come up with a fumble instead. Melbourne are looking dangerous when given the opportunity, but the Dogs are certainly looking like the stronger team at the moment.31 min: Current error count - Storm 8 Bulldogs 5.32 min: The Bulldogs make a great bust up the left flank that ends with Cameron Phelps trying a miracle off-load that tumbles into touch.35 min: The Storm forwards make a clean break up the middle, and force another Bulldogs line drop-out from the ensuing play - but the kick is then knocked-on by Cooper Cronk.40 min: Cooper Cronk puts in a nice banana kick that is almost claimed by Chris Walker - a try was beckoning, but another knock-on is the result.HALFTIME: Storm 0 Bulldogs 4The halftime score flatters the Storm a bit here, and they're doing well to hold on against a Bulldogs team producing plenty of options on attack. It's a cold dewey night down in Melbourne which is producing plenty of dropped ball from both teams.Possession: Storm 46% Bulldogs 54%Completion: Storm 13/20 Bulldogs 17/25Offloads: Storm 7 Bulldogs 10Errors: Storm 9 Bulldogs 8The second half is underway!Injury update: The curse of the Melbourne fullbacks continues - Steve Turner, who left the field during the first half, has suffered suspected fractured ribs and won't be back tonight.46 min: TRY Melbourne StormCameron Smith makes a clean break up the middle through some relatively soft Bulldogs defence, and Antonio Kaufusi backs up to claim an easy try under the posts.Cameron Smith converts to put the Storm into the lead. Storm 6-451 min: TRY Canterbury BulldogsThe Dogs hit back with a swift backline move that puts Trent Cutler across the line in the corner.Hazem El Masri nails the conversion from the touchline. Bulldogs 10-656 min: The Storm defence fires up as the Bulldogs can only make 30 metres in a set of six off their own line. The errors have dried up from both teams, and we've got a pretty decent game of footy on our hands.59 min: Ian Donnelly is in all sorts of trouble with a knee injury after attempting to charge a Brent Sherwin clearing kick. He's assisted from the field, and the Storm are down to a two-man bench.62 min: The Storm continue to pressure the Bulldogs kickers, and come up with a charge-down to set up good field position.64 min: Jamie Feeney has conceded two consecutive penalties (one while in possession), and Hazem El Masri steps up to increase the lead.64 min: PENALTY GOAL Canterbury BulldogsHazem slots the penalty kick from 40 metres out. Bulldogs 12-671 min: Hazem El Masri does a remarkable job to get the ball out of his own in-goal in the face of some rushing Storm defence.73 min: Luke Patten has knocked-on five metres out from his own line - a great chance for the Storm coming up here.74 min: TRY Melbourne StormA great run and offload from Ryan Hoffman presents a chance for the Storm, and Jake Webster is on hand to dot down right next to the corner post.A pressure kick for Cameron Smith here to level the scores .... and it's bounced away off the upright! Bulldogs 12-1078 min: Just a couple of minutes to go, and the Storm are working the ball away from their own line.80 min: TRY Melbourne StormWOW!!!!!! With ten seconds left on the clock, Cooper Cronk puts a kick ahead for his backs to chase. Ryan Hoffman wins the race, and gets a great pass away to Jake Webster to cross for his second try. What a finish!Cameron Smith puts the icing on the cake with a great conversion from out wide. Storm 16-12FULLTIME: Storm 16 Bulldogs 12The Storm have snatched victory from the jaws of defeat tonight - they've produced a determined effort to topple the Bulldogs and open up a six-point lead at the top of the table.Possession: Storm 49% Bulldogs 51%Completion: Storm 33/44 Bulldogs 29/39Offloads: Storm 11 Bulldogs 13Errors: Storm 11 Bulldogs 13-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Ryan Hoffman (Storm)2 - Sonny Bill Williams (Bulldogs)1 - Cameron Smith (Storm)-----------------------------------------

Dragons deny Broncos at the death

ROUND 15 Brisbane Broncos 16 v St George Illawarra Dragons 18at Suncorp StadiumReferees: Tony ArcherMatch Summary:The St George Illawarra Dragons have recorded a last-minute victory over a valiant Brisbane Broncos team at Suncorp Stadium to kick off Round 15 action in sensational style.Every stat indicates that the Broncos should have won this match by plenty. The Dragons made 21 errors and only completed 51% of their sets, but still managed to hang in against a visibly fatigued Broncos side. The home team were also hit by a spate of injuries during the match, with Ben Hannant and Ian Lacey both unable to return after leaving the field.Despite their high error rate, the Dragons produced some sparkling touches in the first half to take a 12-8 lead into the sheds. This lead was quickly reigned in by the Broncos with a try to boom rookie Greg Eastwood in the 42nd minute, and Darren Lockyer added two further penalties to push the Broncos out to a 16-12 lead with only minutes remaining in the match.And then came the sensational finish - firstly, Maroons hero Sam Thaiday came up with a costly knock-on that gave the Dragons the field position they so depserately needed. From the ensuing set, Mathew Head chipped to the corner, Brett Morris flew high to claim the ball, and somehow managed to bend around several Bronco defenders to claim the try. Aaron Gorrell was handed the kicking duties despite Head having kicked the previous two goals, and landed a beaut of a conversion to claim the victory for the Dragons.The Broncos were extremely unlucky to lose this match tonight - it was an enormous effort just two days after an Origin encounter. Their forwards led the way with a dominant performance, especially their two book-ends Civoniceva & Webcke. Darren Lockyer continued his rich vein of recent form, and Shaun Berrigan produced some classy touches out wide. For the Dragons, Ben Creagh shone brightly and was well backed up with strong games from Mark Gasnier and Colin Best. Mathew Head produced a mixed performance in his return match, with patches of genius combined equally with patches of rustiness.Scorers:Brisbane Broncos: 16Tries: Shaun Berrigan, Greg EastwoodGoals: Darren Lockyer 4/5St George Illawarra Dragons: 18Tries: Colin Best, Matt Cooper, Brett MorrisGoals: Aaron Gorrell 1/1, Mathew Head 2/2Halftime: Dragons 12-8Crowd: 32,914By the Clock:Good evening! We're back at Suncorp Stadium tonight for an enticing match-up between the Broncos and the Dragons.Late changes: The Dragons lose Michael Henderson, replaced by Charlie Leaeno. The Broncos have brought Casey McGuire, Fraser Anderson and Brad Thorn into their starting line-up.KICKOFF - We're underway!2 min: Uncontested, Clint Greenshields drops a long kick on his own 30 metre line. First chance for the Broncos here tonight.3 min: Dane Carlaw knocks-on, and the chance goes begging.5 min: The first penalty of the night is awarded to the Dragons to help them out of their own territory. Plenty of dropped balls from both teams to start this match.8 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosA classic Broncos move here - Lockyer runs to the line before passing to Hunt, then the ball is passed to Shaun Berrigan for a short run to the line. A hint of obstruction on the play is over-ruled by the Video Ref.Darren Lockyer is successful with the conversion. Broncos 6-011 min: Whoops - a second knock-on for Greenshields here, and this one is only 12 metres out from his own line.12 min: PENALTY GOAL Brisbane BroncosDean Young is penalised for a lazy high tackle on David Stagg. Lockyer slots an easy kick from right in front. Broncos 8-015 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsThe Dragons run it on the last after some rushing Broncos defence, and Ben Creagh makes a tremendous 40 metre bust up the middle before throwing a wild pass out to Matt Cooper, who crosses untouched. The Suncorp crowd is claiming Creagh's pass went forward (and they're probably right!), but none of the officials have called it.Mathew Head adds the extras. Broncos 8-617 min: Broncos kick-off goes out on the full. Momentum has quickly swung around in this match!20 min: Nearly another try to the Dragons - Colin Best links with Dean Young to create a good break up the middle, but the next pass to Sam Isemonger is called forward.21 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsSome brilliant passing through the backline gives Colin Best plenty of space out wide. From the halfway line he beats Darius Boyd and outpaces Karmichael Hunt to cross for a great try.Head's conversion goes straight down the middle. Dragons 12-825 min: NO TRY Brisbane BroncosFollowing some good lead-up work from Karmichael Hunt, Darius Boyd squeezes over the line right in the corner - but the Video Ref rules he has dropped the ball in trying to force it.26 min: Mathew Head puts in a little chip kick that finds plenty of open space. Mark Gasnier regathers, but passes straight to Darren Lockyer.28 min: Ben Hannant is assisted from the field and goes straight up the tunnel - looks like a knee injury.30 min: The Broncos go close to scoring again through a barge-over attempt from Ian Lacey, but the ball is dropped.33 min: Sam Thaiday makes a great 30 metre bust upfield, throwing dummies in all directions.34 min: Now it's Matt Cooper's turn as he streaks up the touchline, but the Broncos defence races across and they manage to push him into touch.36 min: Fraser Anderson intercepts a dangerous Mathew Head pass that was intended for Matt Cooper, and possibly saves a try in the process. Both teams are really throwing the ball around here, and the backs are getting plenty of work.39 min: Darius Boyd receives the ball out wide with a bit of space to work in. He tries to chip ahead to beat the cover defence, but the ball rolls into touch.40 min: With their last attacking chance for the half, Shane Perry throws a long pass that is nearly intercepted by Colin Best. A long-range try would have been on the cards, but Best couldn't hang on to the ball.HALFTIME: Broncos 8 Dragons 12We've got a ripper of a game unfolding here with plenty of attacking spark on display from both sides. Some enterprising ball movement is being let down with a fair share of errors, so both coaches will be stressing ball control with their respective teams.Posession: Broncos 52% Dragons 48%Completion: Broncos 12/19 Dragons 9/19Missed tackles: Broncos 30 (!) Dragons 11Errors: Broncos 8 Dragons 12Line Breaks: Broncos 2 Dragons 4The second half is underway!41 min: Ian Lacey makes a quick 20 metres from dummy-half, and also gets a penalty for his team. Unfortunately he appears to have suffered a leg injury in the process, and quickly leaves the field.42 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosGreg Eastwood takes a short Darren Lockyer pass 18 metres out, and steps through plenty of Dragons to crash across the line.Lockyer's conversion attempt is wide. 12 all.46 min: Shane Perry has been flattened by a Ben Creagh hit-up. He'll have to stay on though, as the Broncos are short of troops on the bench.49 min: Mark Gasnier makes a half-break out wide and tries to link up with Ben Hornby, but the ball is lost forward.51 min: A nice grubber from Mathew Head is cleaned up by Karmichael Hunt, but the Dragons defence is on hand to pin him inside his own in-goal.52 min: Clint Greenshields breaks the line and is heading off for a try, but Tony Archer calls the play back for a blatant obstruction.54 min: PENALTY GOAL Brisbane BroncosOn a kick-return, Clint Greenshields is penalised for playing on after being called held. Lockyer slots an easy kick from in front to put the Broncos back into the lead. Broncos 14-1260 min: A sparkling kick-return from Brett Morris is followed by some great passing between Mark Gasnier and Mathew Head to put the Dragons well within striking distance. A Broncos goal-line drop out is the result.62 min: The Broncos hold on thanks to a Dragons error. The Broncos have already used 10 interchanges and are running out of fit troops. IF the Dragons can start holding on to the ball (their current completion rate is 12/31), they should be able to win this one.69 min: The Broncos force a line drop-out from the Dragons. The Broncos are starting to get their second wind here.72 min: PENALTY GOAL Brisbane BroncosBrad Thorn loses the ball in front of the Dragons posts. Tony Archer initially rules a lost ball, but the Video Ref overturns the decision and Archer awards the Broncos a penalty for a strip instead. Darren Lockyer takes his time and adds another two points. Broncos 16-1274 min: Matt Bickerstaff charges down a Broncos clearing kick, but Darius Boyd wins the race to the loose ball.77 min: A gripping last few minutes are unfolding here - the Broncos are looking desperately tired on defence but are still managing to hold on. The Dragons are throwing everything at them at the moment, but constant errors are crucifying them.78 min: Sam Thaiday knocks-on just inside his own half - the Dragons race in to form the scrum.79 min: VIDEO REF - possible Dragons try!79 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsA cross-field kick from Mathew Head is well claimed by Brett Morris out wide, and he spins around to score despite plenty of Broncos defence in his way.Aaron Gorrell is faced with a huge pressure conversion from the sideline ... and he NAILS IT!!!! Dragons 18-16FULLTIME: Broncos 16 Dragons 18What a phenomenal finish to a thrilling game of League! Just when it looked like the Broncos would be able to hang on despite some overwhelming obstacles, the Dragons have snuck through in the last minute to claim a very valuable two Premiership points.Possession: Broncos 55% Dragons 45%Completion: Broncos 29/39 Dragons 18/35Missed tackles: Broncos 47 Dragons 23Errors: Broncos 11 Dragons 21Line Breaks: Broncos 3 Dragons 6-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Petero Civoniceva2 - Darren Lockyer1 - Ben Creagh-----------------------------------------

Dragons win in the wet

ROUND 13 St George Illawarra Dragons 8 v Parramatta Eels 1at Oki Jubilee StadiumReferees: Sean HampsteadMatch Summary:The St George Illawarra Dragons have made a successful return to Oki Jubilee Stadium to kick off Round 13, recording a bizarre 8-1 victory over the Parramatta Eels in front of 9,000 soggy fans.The match was played in heavy rain almost throughout, and a solid forward battle ensued. Neither team could gain the upper hand with their field position, meaning a scoreless first half was an inevitable result.The match finally sparked into life with a John Morris field goal in the 70th minute to give the Eels a 1-0 lead, but the Dragons responded well to the challenge. Two field goals to Ben Hornby gave the Dragons a 2-1 lead, and a last minute try to Matt Cooper pushed the final margin out to 8-1 in favour of the home side.Referee Sean Hampstead will feature heavily in post-mortems of this match - he made several "unusual" calls during the game, culminating in a communication error with the Eels as a scrum was being fed in the final 20 seconds. The resulting play led to the match-winning try for Matt Cooper, and players from both teams promptly left the field only to be called back for a conversion to be taken.Thanks to the weather, this game was played predominantely in the forwards. Dean Young stood out with a strong all-round effort, while Nathan Hindmarsh produced his consistently high-standard game for the Eels. Jeremy Smith was placed on report late in the match, but shouldn't be in any trouble from the match reviewers.Scorers:St George Illawarra Dragons: 8Tries: Matt CooperGoals: Aaron Gorrell 1/1Field Goals: Ben Hornby 2/3Parramatta Eels: 1Tries: Field Goals: John Morris 1/1By the Clock:Welcome to Oki Jubilee Stadium!Late changes: Eels are as per program, while the Dragons bring in Sam Isemonger and Charlie Leaneo to replace the injured duo of Shaun Timmins and Matt Bickerstaff.KICK OFF - We're underway!2 min: A good error-free start by both teams in pretty wet & miserable conditions.5 min: PJ Marsh makes a clean break from dummy-half and scoots 30 metres upfield, but spills the ball forward while trying to pass it.9 min: John Morris puts through a neat grubber kick that bounces off the uprights, but Dean Young is on hand to clean up. So far the Eels have looked more dangerous, although the weather is going to play a big part in the match tonight.15 min: Still no score. As you'd expect, the forwards are doing the bulk of the work here. Fuifui Moimoi is producing some eye-catching hitups and tackles.16 min: A strong 25-metre run from Luke Bailey is brought undone by Aaron Gorrell, who promptly kicks out on the full.18 min: The game is slowly starting to open up - both teams are making good half-breaks, but letting themselves down with a knock-on or forward pass at the end.21 min: Eric Grothe is seemingly tackled in-goal, but the ref somehow rules that he'd made it back to the field of play.27 min: The arm wrestle continues - still no score, and the rain is looking heavier.33 min: An Eric Grothe mistake gives a scrum feed to the Dragons 30 metres out from the Eels tryline - could the deadlock be broken?34 min: Nope!37 min: BIFF - Timana Tahu plays the ball then starts swinging at Corey Payne, apparently resenting a high-ish tackle. The ref disagrees, and awards a penalty to the Dragons.HALFTIME: Dragons 0 Eels 0Well there's very little to write home about here so far. Obviously the rain is slowing things down, and neither team has been able to dominate field position or gain a repeat set. Dean Young and Nathan Hindmarsh are leading the way for their respective teams at this stage.Possession: Dragons 50% Eels 50%Completion: Dragons 18/24 Eels 20/25Total metres: Dragons 789 Eels 814Line breaks: Dragons 1 Eels 1The second half is underway!48 min: Some signs of life here - a beautiful Jeremy Smith pass gives Timana Tahu some space, but the Dragons manage to close him down and force an error.50 min: Ben Creagh steams onto a flat pass close to the Eels tryline but spills the ball.51 min: VIDEO REF - checking a possible Eels try ...51 min: NO TRY - A nicely worked movement from the Eels here; Jeremy Smith chips to the corner from 20 metres out and Jarryd Hayne wins the race, but doesn't force the ball properly.53 min: Eric Grothe picks the ball up from his own line and charges 30 metres upfield, through several attempted tackles. Plenty of running now from both teams.58 min: A dropped ball from the Dragons SHOULD have resulted in an offside penalty for the Eels (in easy range for a goal), but Hampstead rules a scrum instead.63 min: Still no score. Has anyone out there taken the odds for a field goal as first scoring play?70 min: FIELD GOAL Parramatta EelsAnd there it is! A Dragons error gives the Eels a scrum win 35 metres out, and some textbook lead-up work from the forwards gives John Morris a clear shot to post the first points of the night. Eels 1-076 min: FIELD GOAL St George Illawarra DragonsWe're even once more! Ben Hornby puts in a kick that looked certain to miss, but just manages to squeeze over the posts. 1 all.77 min: ATTEMPTED FIELD GOAL St George Illawarra DragonsBen Hornby tries a second shot from 45 metres out, and this one never even got close. 1 all.79 min: FIELD GOAL St George Illawarra DragonsSome great effort from the Dragons forwards presents Ben Hornby with yet another chance - and this one doesn't miss. Dragons take the lead! Dragons 2-180 min: 20 seconds to go, Parra have a scrum 20 metres from their own line ... what can they do from here?80 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsThe Eels have made a complete hash of the scrum, but the ball eventually found John Morris who puts in an awful kick. Matt Cooper picks up the scraps and crosses untouched to complete a bizarre finish to this match.Hampstead has to call the players back on to the field for the conversion to be taken - and Aaron Gorrell slots the extra two. Dragons 8-1FULLTIME: Dragons 8 Eels 1That has to be one of the strangest final 10 minutes I've ever seen. Both teams fired up once first points had been posted, and the Dragons were able to control their field position better and finish strongly.There was plenty of controversy over the final scrum - it seems Hampstead blew his whistle for "time back on" just as the ball left the scrum, and Jeremy Smith thought he was stopping play for some reason. The delay meant the Eels couldn't chance their arms to get back into the game, and ended up handing it to the Dragons on a platter.Possession: Dragons 50% Eels 50%Completion: Dragons 34/45 Eels 39/46Missed tackles: Dragons 27 Eels 19Errors: Dragons 12 Eels 7-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Dean Young (Dragons)2 - Nathan Hindmarsh (Eels)1 - Luke Bailey (Dragons)-----------------------------------------

Panthers overcome Eels in Western Derby

ROUND 11 Penrith Panthers 30 v Parramatta Eels 20at CUA StadiumReferee: Steven ClarkMatch Summary:The Penrith Panthers have rubbed further salt into the Eels wounds with a 30-20 victory in front of 16,764 fans at CUA Stadium in Penrith to open Round 11 of the Telstra Premiership.The Eels started with a hiss and a roar to open up a 10-0 lead within 7 minutes, but they couldn't sustain the effort against a Panthers team that worked their way into the match slowly before their attacking stars came to the fore. The Panthers scored the next four tries to open up a 22-10 lead, before Glenn Morrison pegged one back just before halftime to give the Eels a glimmer of hope.At 22-16, the match was there for the taking - and the Panthers took it. Although the second half featured only one further try to each team, the Panthers had the majority of chances and with a bit of extra luck they could have easily clocked another two or three tries.Luke Lewis looked very comfortable filling the #6 jersey for the Panthers - he was constantly involved on both attack and defence, and created some great opportunities for his team. He was well supported by the usual bunch, with Luke Priddis, Rhys Wesser, Preston Campbell and Frank Pritchard up to their normal standards. Matthew Bell produced an eye-catching performance on his debut from the bench, and looks to be a player with a promising future.Aside from the opening 10 minutes, the Eels were pretty much out-gunned in the forwards. Jarryd Hayne and Luke O'Dwyer produced some classy touches, but were let down by a new-look halves combination that failed to click. In a further blow to their side, Wade McKinnon was rushed to hospital midway through the second half after copping a nasty looking elbow to the jaw. Scorers:Penrith Panthers: 30Tries: Luke Priddis(2), Michael Gordon, Rhys Wesser, Matthew CrossGoals: Preston Campbell 5/6Parramatta Eels: 20Tries: John Williams, Fuifui Moimoi, Glenn Morrison, Daniel WagonGoals: Brett Delaney 2/4Crowd: 16,764By the Clock:Welcome to CUA Stadium for tonights western derby between the Penrith Panthers and the Parramatta Eels! It's been a week full of drama for the Eels ... can they stop the rot with a win over one of their keenest rivals?0 min: KICKOFF - We're underway!3 min: The Panthers have the first scoring opportunity of the night, but Preston Campbell's grubber kick is too deep.4 min: Fui Fui Moi Moi makes a great clean break up the middle, and then gets a penalty for his team. Eels hard on attack.4 min: TRY Parramatta EelsJohn Williams crosses out wide for the Eels after a quick tap is taken. A good solid start for the Eels here tonight.Brett Delaney's kick is waved away. Eels 4-07 min: TRY Parramatta EelsThe Panthers fall asleep on defence, and big Fui Fui Moi Moi dots down under the posts despite plenty of Panthers trying to stop him.Delaney converts the try. Eels 10-014 min: Both teams have settled down a bit now - the Panthers are starting to work their way into the match, but they look to have their work cut out for them against a fired-up Eels outfit.19 min: The game is being played in the middle third of the field at the moment - good error-free footy from both sides.21 min: TRY Penrith PanthersThe Panthers get their first penalty of the night to give them great field position - and Luke Priddis takes full advantage with a dart over the line from dummy half.Preston Campbell adds the extras. Eels 10-625 min: VIDEO REF - checking a possible Eels try ...25 min: NO TRY - Michael Vella can't quite ground a Jeremy Smith grubber, and is correctly ruled to have knocked-on in goal.26 min: VIDEO REF - now checking a possible Panthers try ...26 min: TRY Penrith PanthersLuke Priddis puts Luke Lewis into a huge gap with a short pass, and Rhys Wesser is on hand to back him up and dot down JUST before the dead-ball line.Preston Campbell converts, and the Panthers take the lead. Panthers 12-1029 min: Preston Campbell chases a kick through and puts enough pressure on Wade McKinnon to force an error - scrum feed Panthers, ten metres out.30 min: Plenty of aggro in this match all of a sudden - Steve Clark awards a scrum penalty to Penrith following a bit of argy-bargy, but in the following play Luke Lewis is penalised for running behind his own player.33 min: TRY Penrith PanthersMichael Gordon scores out wide following great lead-up work from a couple of Lukes, Lewis & Priddis. Discipline is becoming a problem for the Eels here - they are conceding plenty of penalties to allow easy metres to the opposition.Preston Campbell, from right on the touchline, misses the kick. Panthers 16-1038 min: VIDEO REF - a possible Panthers try ...38 min: TRY Penrith PanthersLuke Priddis scores his second for the night after chasing through a clever Luke Lewis grubber kick that everyone else managed to miss.Preston Campbell adds another two points. Panthers 22-1040 min: TRY Parramatta EelsThe Eels hit back just before the break as Glenn Morrison crosses the line, following a penalty against Frank Pritchard for an incorrect play-the-ball.Brett Delaney kicks a good goal from out wide. Panthers 22-16HALFTIME: Panthers 22 Eels 16It took them a little while to warm up, but the Panthers are looking like the stronger team here tonight. The Eels certainly aren't out of the match, but will need to put a solid second forty together to put their losing streak to an end.Possession: Panthers 51% Eels 49%Completion: Panthers 14/19 Eels 14/18Total metres: Panthers 781 Eels 602Errors: Panthers 5 Eels 4The second half is underway!42 min: Luke Priddis puts a pin-point kick into the Eels' in goal, and the Panthers will receive the ball back from a goal-line drop out.44 min: The Eels defence holds, but then Brett Delaney fumbles while trying to play the ball.45 min: PENALTY GOAL Penrith PanthersThe Panthers receive a lucky penalty, with a touch judge ruling a lost ball was stripped. Preston Campbell slots a goal to open the second half scoring. Panthers 24-1650 min: Parramatta get a scrum feed 30 metres out from the Panthers line, but Dean Widders knocks-on on the first tackle.51 min: The Panthers make a good break up the touchline, but Michael Gordon is bundled into touch. The Panthers are looking like they could lift into top gear shortly.54 min: Another blown chance for the Panthers - Luke Rooney isn't tall enough (!) to reach a wide pass with the tryline begging.CROWD: 16,76460 min: The Panthers have just defended two consecutive sets on their own line - the Eels are lacking in attacking spark tonight, and are being easily picked off by eager Penrith defenders.65 min: TRY Penrith PanthersMatthew Cross barges over from close range after a sustained period of Panthers attack. In the meantime, Steve Clark is lecturing Glenn Morrison about his captaincy skills, and Wade McKinnon has left the field with a suspected jaw injury.After all that, Preston Campbell converts the try. Panthers 30-1667 min: TV replays now show Matthew Cross could be in a bit of trouble for raising his elbows in tackles, leading to the Wade McKinnon injury. We're sure to hear more about this one.70 min: Luke O'Dwyer puts his body on the line to cover a dangerous Preston Campbell grubber kick. INJURY UPDATE: Wade McKinnon is on his way to hospital for x-rays.74 min: VIDEO REF - checking a possible Panthers try ...74 min: NO TRY - Some great lead-up work from Frank Pritchard and Preston Campbell puts Rhys Wesser into space, but he's dragged down just short of the line by Jarryd Hayne.79 min: TRY Parramatta EelsA consolation try for the Eels here - Dean Widders and Daniel Wagon combine to create some space, and Wagon finishes off the movement with a try in the corner.Brett Delaney misses the conversion attempt. Panthers 30-20FULLTIME: Panthers 30 Eels 20-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Luke Lewis (Panthers)2 - Luke Priddis (Panthers)1 - Rhys Wesser (Panthers)-----------------------------------------

Panthers get spanked at home

ROUND 8 Penrith Panthers 12 v Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 40at CUA Stadium PenrithReferee: Sean HampsteadCrowd: 16,268Match Summary:The Cronulla Sharks have kicked off Round 8 in style with a convincing 40-12 win over the injury-riddled Penrith Panthers, who were playing their first home game of the year at CUA Stadium.The Sharks were able to streak away to an early 16-0 lead, despite the loss of Ben Ross in the opening minute with suspected cruciate ligament damage. The combination of a strong Sharks kicking game and Lance Thompson's offloads were a lethal combination that the Panthers were not able to counter.Cronulla were a little guilty of easing back after establishing this healthy lead, and allowed the Panthers to claw their way back to 16-12 before a second try to Luke Covell pushed the lead out to 22-12 by halftime.The second half belonged entirely to the Sharks, who for the second week running were able to keep their opposition scoreless after halftime. A 43rd minute try to Adam Dykes opened the lead up to 28-12, and the Panthers were visibly deflated by this early setback. After a mixed first half, Darren Albert was on hand to score two second half tries that put the result well and truly beyond doubt.Lance Thompson was a tower of strength up front for the Sharks, creating many chances with some great off-loads in traffic. Adam Dykes featured strongly with a clever kicking game, and Beau Scott, Luke Covell and Tevita Latu all featured prominently as the Sharks re-discovered their attacking spark without Brett Kimmorley.The Panthers, obviously decimated by injury, really looked to be struggling in the backs. Frank Pritchard showed glimpses of his best form, and new hooker Paul Aiton produced some sparkling touches, but otherwise there was very little to get excited about. To add to their woes, interchange forward Bryan Norrie was taken off during the match with suspected ankle ligament damage.Scorers:Penrith Panthers: 12Tries: Rhys Wesser, Matthew CrossGoals: Preston Campbell 2/2Cronulla Sutherland Sharks: 40Tries: Luke Covell(2), Adam Dykes, Paul Gallen, Darren Albert(2), Luke DouglasGoals: Luke Covell 6/7By the Clock:Welcome to Friday Night Footy! We're in Penrith for the first time this season as the Panthers christen their refurbished stadium with a match against the Cronulla Sharks.Late changes: Penrith lose Mark O'Halloran and Luke Rooney, replaced by Michael Gordon and Nick Youngquest. James Stosic replaces Hutch Maiava on the Sharks bench.KICKOFF - We're underway!1 min: Joel Clinton and Ben Ross waste no time in renewing acquaintces - and Ben Ross is limping towards the sideline after making the tackle.6 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksThe Panthers were looking good to score, but Darren Albert took an intercept and raced away 60 metres before being caught by Rhys Wesser. Two tackles later the ball is spun wide, and Luke Covell dots down to open the scoring.Covell converts his own try from right on the sideline. Sharks 6-011 min: Injury update - Ben Ross looks to have suffered cruciate ligament damage, he could be out for quite some time.14 min: Both teams are playing basic mistake free football at the moment, featuring plenty of dummy-half running from both sides.16 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksA nice off-load from Lance Thompson creates a half break for the Sharks, and following a quick play-the-ball Paul Gallen is able to stroll through some worrying Penrith defence to score the try.Covell's kick is waved away. Sharks 10-019 min: A pinpoint kick from Kevin Kingston sits perfectly in the Panthers in-goal - the Sharks will recieve another set from the drop-out.19 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksThat didn't take long! From the drop-out, Paul Gallen (again) strolls through some paper-thin defence and then offloads to Luke Douglas for a try under the sticks.Covell adds the extra two. Sharks 16-022 min: VIDEO REF - checking a Penrith try ...22 min: TRY Penrith PanthersMatthew Cross scores after it appeared he had knocked on - but with some great relfexes he was able to kick the ball ahead before it had touched the ground.Preston Campbell adds the extras. Sharks 16-626 min: VIDEO REF - now checking a possible Sharks try ...26 min: NO TRY - Preston Campbell charged-down an Adam Dykes kick, but Dykes was able to recover the ball and pass it wide to Darren Albert - but he drops the ball while crossing the line.30 min: The first penalty of the night (!) is awarded to the Panthers, following a high shot from Nigel Vagana.32 min: VIDEO REF - checking a possible Panthers try ...32 min: TRY Penrith PanthersThe ball is spun wide on the last tackle, and Danny Galea manages to get a freakish offload to Rhys Wesser who squeezes in by the narrowest of margins to score in the corner.Campbell's kick from the sideline is a ripper. Sharks 16-1234 min: The kickoff from the Sharks bounces into touch, giving them a great chance to extend their lead - but Beau Scott drops the ball on the second tackle.39 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksAnother great Lance Thompson off-load sets up good field position for the Sharks. This time, Beau Scott hangs on to the ball and gets a brilliant pass away to Luke Covell for his second try of the night.Covell nails the conversion from the touchline. Sharks 22-12HALFTIME: Penrith Panthers 12 Cronulla Sharks 22The Sharks seem to have only two gears tonight - first and fifth - while the Panthers are chugging along in third, just managing to stay in touch. Lance Thompson and Frank Pritchard are both looking dangerous, and may hold the key to victory for their respective sides.Possession: Panthers 49% Sharks 51%Completion: Panthers 15/20 Sharks 14/19Metres gained: Panthers 732 Sharks 927Errors: Panthers 5 Sharks 5The second half is underway!43 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksTevita Latu bursts out of dummy half from the halfway line, finds a huge gap, and puts Adam Dykes away for a try under the posts.Covell adds another two points. Sharks 28-1246 min: A Preston Campbell cross-field bomb is well claimed under pressure by Luke Covell. The Sharks are then awarded their first penalty of the night as the Panthers try to slow them down.51 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksBrett Kearney hoists a bomb out wide, and Darren Albert does very well to leap above the Penrith defence to claim the four-pointer.Covell's conversion never looks like missing. Sharks 34-1255 min: Penrith have suddenly fallen asleep - some very basic errors are creeping in, and the Sharks will look to take full advantage.58 min: David Simmons has taken a quick trip to Disneyland courtesy of an accidental knee. Meanwhile Adam Dykes nearly sneaks through for another try with a crafty chip, but the Penrith defence holds firm this time.65 min: The Sharks seem to have taken the foot of the pedal slightly with the result reasonably safe. Penrith are continuing to try hard, but are badly missing Craig Gower for their last tackle plays.70 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksBeau Scott beats three tackles from deep within his own half, and offloads to Darren Albert who has too much speed for the Penrith chasers.Covell adds the extras once more. Sharks 40-1275 min: Nigel Vagana nearly comes up with an intercept and a clear run to the line, but he can't quite hang on to the ball.FULLTIME: Penrith Panthers 12 Cronulla Sharks 40A convincing victory for the Sharks tonight, their first away from home in their last 11 attempts. The Panthers were very disappointing in front of their home fans, and will be praying for their stars to return from injury in the weeks ahead.Possession: Panthers 46% Sharks 54%Completion: Panthers 26/36 Sharks 31/41Metres gained: Panthers 1414 Sharks 1931Errors: Panthers 11 Sharks 11-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Lance Thompson2 - Adam Dykes1 - Luke Covell-----------------------------------------

Eels too strong for weakened Tigers

ROUND 7 Parramatta Eels 28 v Wests Tigers 16at Parramatta StadiumReferees: Tony ArcherMatch Summary:The Parramatta Eels have answered their critics tonight with a victory over the Wests Tigers in front of a healthy Parramatta Stadium crowd to kick off Round 7.Despite a disallowed Tigers try within the first 5 minutes, the Eels started with a bang and raced out to a 12-0 lead with only 15 minutes gone. There was a drop in intensity after this strong start by the Eels, and the Tigers clawed back a try in the 20th minute to give us a 14-6 halftime scoreline in favour of the home side.The Tigers were once again slow off the mark in the second half, but when they clicked they were near on impossible to stop. Two tries in three minutes suddenly put the Tigers in front, and the Eels were starting to look pretty shaky.Unfortunately the Tigers, missing too many key players, couldn't keep the spark alive. The Eels were able to regain their composure (and the lead) with two further tries, and closed out the match well against the Tigers free-flowing style.Nathan Hindmarsh was once again a tower of strength for the Eels, and he was well supported by a strong forward effort that featured the return of Fui Fui Moi Moi. On the down side, Justin Tsoulos suffered a dislocated shoulder early in the second half that could see him out for an extended period. Robbie Farah was the pick of the Tigers, and managed to keep Isaac De Gois on the bench for the full 80 minutes. There were glimpses of their famous attacking style, but it couldn't be maintained with any serious pressure. Shannon McDonnell put in a sterling effort filling in for Brett Hodgson, however Daniel Fitzhenry sometimes looked a bit lost in the #6 jersey.Scorers:Parramatta Eels: 28Tries: Glenn Morrison, Chad Robinson, Tim Smith , Timana TahuGoals: Brett Delaney 6/6Wests Tigers: 16Tries: Dean Collis, Paul Whatuira, Shannon McDonnellGoals: Scott Prince 2/3By the Clock:Welcome to Parramatta Stadium as we prepare to kick off Round 7 with a match between the 2005 Premiers and the 2005 Minor Premiers!Late change: Isaac De Gois slots on to the Tigers bench in place of Bryce Gibbs. The Eels are as named from 1-17.The Tigers kick off, and we're underway!4 min: VIDEO REF - checking a possible Tigers try ...4 min: NO TRY - TigersA Daniel Fitzhenry kick takes a wicked bounce in the Eels in-goal. Jamaal Lolesi performs some acrobatics in attempting to force the ball, but his foot was only just on the dead ball line.6 min: TRY Parramatta EelsFrom a scrum win 30 metres out, Timana Tahu runs around Shane Elford and crosses for the opening try of the night.Brett Delaney kicks the extras. Eels 6-011 min: Justin Tsoulos (Eels) tries a miracle offload 10 metres away from the Tigers try-line, but the ball is lost.14 min: TRY Parramatta EelsA simple try to Chad Robinson here, crashing over after a couple of long passes from dummy-half. The Tigers are looking a wee bit shellshocked so far tonight.Delaney converts. Eels 12-019 min: Eric Grothe takes a great catch in his own in-goal to defuse a Scott Prince bomb.20 min: VIDEO REF - a possible Tigers try ...20 min: TRY Wests TigersA short-side play from the Tigers finds some space, and Dean Collis crosses the line despite an attempted tackle from Wade McKinnon.Scott Prince nails the conversion from out wide. Eels 12-626 min: PENALTY GOAL Parramatta EelsAnthony Laffranchi is penalised for a late (?) shot on John Morris. Brett Delaney pots another two points from right in front. Eels 14-633 min: John Morris puts in a cross-field kick that is well claimed by Shane Elford on his own goal-line. A penalty follows straight away to help the Tigers out of their own territory.34 min: Timana Tahu picks up a loose ball and races 40 metres before being caught by Shannon McDonnell.38 min: A dropped ball from the Eels gives the Tigers good field position just before halftime ... but they can't convert the advantage into points.HALFTIME: Parramatta Eels 14 Wests Tigers 6The Tigers will be pleased to be only 8 points behind after the first forty. The Eels are showing a little more desperation tonight, and that could well be the difference in the final result.Possession: Eels 48% Tigers 52%Completion: Eels 16/22 Tigers 16/22Total metres: Eels 656 Tigers 561Offloads: Eels 7 Tigers 2The second half is underway!41 min: Justin Tsoulos looks to have suffered a shoulder injury after completing a tackle, and doesn't look too happy as he leaves the field.43 min: The Eels lose their way slightly on attack - Paul Stringer puts a grubber kick through on the last tackle that is easily claimed by the Tigers.45 min: The Eels are making plenty of yards up the middle at the moment. Wade McKinnon moons the crowd as he loses his shorts after a 30-metre dash.48 min: TRY Wests TigersThe Tigers have suddenly burst into life! Chris Heighington passes to himself (!) in a movement that puts Paul Whatuira across for his 7th try of the season.Scott Prince's kick is waved away. Eels 14-1051 min: TRY Wests TigersRobbie Farah makes a clean break well inside his own half, and Shannon McDonnell backs him up to finish the job. A great Tigers try!Scott Prince lands the kick, and the Tigers take the lead. Tigers 16-1453 min: ON REPORT - Zeb Taia (Eels), for a swinging arm on Ben Galea. Penalties currently 7-4 in the Tigers favour.56 min: TRY Parramatta EelsJeremy Smith puts Nathan Cayless into a huge gap with an inside pass, and Tim Smith is on hand to finish the movement and reclaim the lead.Delaney converts. Eels 20-1660 min: Both teams are really throwing the ball around now. We're in for an exciting finish to this one!63 min: VIDEO REF - possible Tigers try ...63 min: NO TRY - Shannon McDonnell chases a Scott Prince grubber through, but is ruled to have knocked-on while diving on the ball.Injury update - Justin Tsoulos has a dislocated shoulder.66 min: TRY Parramatta EelsThe Eels run it on the last - Tim Smith picks up Glenn Morrison with a short pass, and Morrison breaks a couple of tackles and runs 20 metres to score.Delaney adds the extras. Eels 26-1674 min: PENALTY GOAL Parramatta EelsThe Eels have been camped inside Tigers territory for the last six minutes, and come away with 2 points to Brett Delaney after Scott Prince is penalised for a high tackle. Eels 28-1675 min: The Tigers get the ball back from a short kick-off ... it's do or die time!76 min: Shane Elford knocks-on out wide, handing possession to the Eels.FULLTIME: Parramatta Eels 28 Wests Tigers 16The Eels have eased the pressure somewhat with a solid victory tonight over a spirited Tigers team.Possession: Eels 51% Tigers 49%Completion: Eels 31/41 Tigers 26/39Missed tackles: Eels 19 Tigers 47Offloads: Eels 11 Tigers 4-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Nathan Hindmarsh (Eels)2 - Robert Farah (Tigers)1 - Nathan Cayless (Eels)-----------------------------------------

Bulldogs trampled by rampant Knights

FULLTIME score:Round 3Newcastle Knights 46 v Canterbury Bulldogs 22Match summary:The Newcastle Knights have produced a dominant performance to reinforce their Premiership claims tonight, running out convincing 46-22 winners over the Canterbury Bulldogs in Newcastle to kick off Round 3.Aided by a dodgy no-try call against the Bulldogs in the opening minutes, the score was only 10-6 in favour of the home team midway through the first half before Andrew Johns inspired a late charge that produced four tries to take a 34-6 lead into the sheds at the break.The Knights continued on with the job in the second forty, adding two further tries before Andrew Johns was subbed off and Danny Buderus was sin-binned, leading to a late Bulldogs revival. The final score flattered the Bulldogs somewhat, as they were totally outplayed in almost every aspect of the match.The Knights were lead around as usual by the magical Johns, who had more than enough support from a dominant forward pack and the lethal Milton Thaiday, who finished with three tries.The Bulldogs looked a mere shadow of the team that squashed the Tigers only a week ago. For once, Willie Mason didn't enjoy the Knight-life - and the rest of the team were made to look pretty ordinary as a result.Scorers:Newcastle Knights: 46Tries: Milton Thaiday (3), Danny Buderus, Matthew Gidley, Todd Lowrie, Brian CarneyGoals: Andrew Johns 9/10Canterbury Bulldogs: 22Tries: Hazem El Masri, Andrew Emelio, Corey Hughes, Willie MasonGoals: Hazem El Masri 3/4Venue: EnergyAustralia StadiumCrowd: 25,504Referee: Steve ClarkHalf time: Knights 34 Bulldogs 6Live commentary:Welcome to EnergyAustralia Stadium for what promises to be a ripper of a match between the Knights and the Bulldogs!For the Doggies, Mark O'Meley will start the match in place of Chris Armit. The Knights have slotted David Seage into a wing spot.KICKOFF - We're underway!3 min: NO TRY Canterbury BulldogsTony Grimaldi claims a try after picking up a dropped ball from a David Seage kick-return, but Steve Clark rules a penalty for a strip instead.4 min: PENALTY GOAL Newcastle KnightsThree straight penalties give the Knights an easy ride downfield, and Joey Johns capitalises with a gift two points. Knights 2-06 min: NEWS Josh Perry makes an outstanding 50 metre run from the Bulldogs kickoff.7 min: NEWS Matt Utai has left the field with a suspected broken rib after a legal Steve Simpson tackle. *Now confirmed*10 min: NEWS Mark O'Meley is penalised for a blatant late shot on Andrew Johns - he had to sidestep to make the hit!10 min: PENALTY GOAL Newcastle KnightsJohns adds another two points following the O'Meley penalty. Knights 4-011 min: TRY Canterbury BulldogsHazem El Masri is on the spot to clean up a Knights fumble from the kick-off and gets the green light from the Video Ref. El Masri converts his own try. Bulldogs 6-414 min: TRY Newcastle KnightsThis time the Doggies drop the ball at the wrong end of the field, and Brian Carney finds himself on the end of a swift Knights backline movement to score the try.Johns misses the conversion from out wide. Knights 8-616 min: PENALTY GOAL Newcastle KnightsBrent Sherwin kicks a 20-metre restart out on the full, handing another easy penalty goal to Johns. Knights 10-619 min: NO TRY Newcastle KnightsDanny Buderus crosses the line after backing up a great run from David Seage, but Steve Clark instantly rules a dropped ball without using the Video Ref.26 min: NEWS The Knights have just survived three consecutive sets from the Dogs - still 10-6 to the Knights.27 min: TRY Newcastle KnightsA beautiful try to Milton Thaiday here - he received the ball 35 metres out and steps, jinks and weaves through half the Bulldogs team to dot down under the posts.Johns adds the extras. Knights 16-630 min: TRY Newcastle KnightsThe Dogs put their kick-off out on the full, and the Knights have taken full advantage. Danny Buderus skips across from dummy-half for the try, and Andrew Johns slots another goal. Knights 22-634 min: NEWS Willie Mason concedes a penalty while in possession for a bit of niggle - and he was only 5 metres away from the Knights tryline!36 min: TRY Newcastle KnightsThe Knights continue to punish the Bulldogs mistakes. Plenty of wide ball movement presents half a chance to Matt Gidley, and he stretches out to score the try.Johns converts. Knights 28-640 min: TRY Newcastle KnightsIt's a carve-up! Thaiday crosses for his second with another display of dazzling footwork. Johns kicks a great conversion from the touchline. Knights 34-6HALFTIME: Newcastle Knights 34 Canterbury Bulldogs 6A classic first half of two halves - the Knights turned on the afterburners after 25 minutes to completely dominate the Bulldogs. It'll take a lot of hard work to turn this result around.Possession: Knights 58% Bulldogs 42%Completion: Knights 18/23 Bulldogs 12/16Missed Tackles: Knights 7 Bulldogs 19Total Metres Gained: Knights 756 Bulldogs 342 (!)The second half is underway!46 min: Still 34-6 to the Knights as the second half starts at a slightly slower pace than the first half finished!47 min: NO TRY Canterbury BulldogsAdam Perry tries to dart across from dummy half but loses the ball over the line. Still 34-6 Knights.51 min: TRY Newcastle KnightsThe Knights forwards are continuing to demolish the Bulldogs pack, giving Andrew Johns plenty of space to work his magic. This time Todd Lowrie takes an inside ball from Joey and slides under a couple of tackles to score.Johns converts. Knights 40-6CROWD: 25,50458 min: TRY Newcastle KnightsThaiday claims a treble after some more beautiful lead-up work from Johns. This score could blow out to anything now.Johns successfully converts. Knights 46-666 min: TRY Canterbury BulldogsThe Dogs finally get some ball down the Knights end of the field, and Andrew Emeilo crosses the line out wide after some good ball movement from the Doggies.El Masri misses the conversion.Knights 46-1067 min: Andrew Johns has left the field for an early rest.70 min: SIN BIN - Danny Buderus joins Joey for an early rest after a deliberate strip at the play-the-ball.71 min: TRY Canterbury BulldogsWillie Mason strolls across the line after taking a short pass from Corey Hughes.El Masri kicks the conversion from in front. Knights 46-1672 min: TRY Canterbury BulldogsThe Bulldogs are finding plenty of holes in the 12-man Knights team at the moment. This time Corey Hughes is on hand to finish a good break started by Roy Asotasi.El Masri kicks the extras. Knights 46-2278 min: NEWS The Bulldogs have had two more chances to score, but dropped ball is proving their biggest enemy.FULLTIME: Newcastle Knights 46 Canterbury Bulldogs 22The Newcastle Knights have reinforced their Premiership claims this evening with a dominant victory over a surprisingly flat Bulldogs team by 46-22.Possession: Knights 52% Bulldogs 48%Completion: Knights 35/42 Bulldogs 26/34Missed Tackles: Knights 20 Bulldogs 34Errors: Knights 8 Bulldogs 13 -----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Andrew Johns (Knights)2 - Josh Perry (Knights)1 - Milton Thaiday (Knights)-----------------------------------------

Flying Kiwis claim victory over rusty Lions

FULLTIME score: Round III, Tri Nations Great Britain Lions 26 v New Zealand Kiwis 42

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