ROUND 5 North Queensland Cowboys 32 v Wests Tigers 12at Dairy Farmers StadiumReferees: Steve ClarkMatch Summary:The Cowboys have comfortably won the Grand Final rematch 32-12 over the Wests Tigers in Townsville. The Cowboys led 22-2 at half time and choked the Tigers out of the match with oppressive defence, however the result may be overshadowed by a shoulder injury to Tigers and Kiwis star Benji Marshall.The Tigers got on the board early with a fifth minute penalty goal to Brett Hodgson, before the Cowboys took control. A Thurston penalty goal in the 19th minute opened the floodgates. Rod Jensen scored in the 26th minute from dummy half, then four minutes late Thurston scored a superb solo try for a 14-2 lead. Whatuira was sin binned for a professional foul and Thurston added another two points. Matt Sing then caught a spectacular bomb from Thurston for the 22-2 half time lead.The Tigers took control over the second half, with a try to Benji Marshall in the 46th minute and Isaac De Gois scored in the 60th minute to trail 22-12. The Tigers could have overrun the Cowboys in that 20 minute period, but for all their possession and territory could only score the two tries. Two late tries to Cooper and Jensen restored the Cowboys half time margin of 20 points, and a deserved winning margin. The Cowboys will continue to lead the competition all alone, and are on a club record five match winning streak ? all against 2005 Top 8 teams.Perhaps a bigger story is the injury to Benji Marshall, who injured his shoulder trying to tackle Carl Webb in the 79th minute. After the match the television cameras showed Marshall sobbing in the dressing room. This injury could be fatal to the Tigers Premiership chances, and certainly could not help the Kiwis in the ANZAC Test, or even the Tri-Nations, depending on how long he is out.Scorers:North Queensland Cowboys: 32Tries: Rod Jensen(2), Matt Sing, Johnathan Thurston, Gavin CooperGoals: Johnathan Thurston 6/7Wests Tigers: 12Tries: Benji Marshall, Isaac De GoisGoals: Brett Hodgson 2/3By the Clock:1 min: NEWS The Cowboys kick off this Grand Final rematch!5 min: PENALTY GOAL Wests TigersAfter a penalty from a high tackle, Hodgson converts the easy two points. Tigers 2-012 min: NEWS Scott Prince is penalised for a swinging arm and the Cowboys will get three repeat sets on the Tigers goal line.13 min: NEWS Video referee for a Cowboys try...13 min: NEWS NO TRY - The ball runs dead off a Cowboys kick early in the tackle count. The Tigers hold on.14 min: NEWS The Tigers go 80 metres and enforce a repeat set.19 min: NEWS ON REPORT - Benji Marshall is put on report for a high tackle.19 min: PENALTY GOAL North Queensland CowboysThurston kicks the penalty goal for the high tackle penalty on Marshall. 2 all.22 min: NEWS Video referee for a Tigers try...22 min: NEWS NO TRY - Shane Elford is ruled to have knocked on in the in goal.26 min: NEWS Video referee for a Cowboys try...26 min: TRY North Queensland CowboysJensen pushes over from dummy half. Thurston converts off the posts. Cowboys 8-230 min: NEWS Video referee (again) for a Cowboys try...30 min: TRY North Queensland CowboysThurston runs out of dummy half, kicks for himself and dives on the ball in the in goal. He converts his own try. Cowboys 14-232 min: NEWS Matt Bowen saves a try with a spectacular take from a Prince grubber kick.36 min: NEWS SIN BIN - Paul Whatuira is sent to the sin bin for a professional foul, tackling a player without the ball.37 min: PENALTY GOAL North Queensland CowboysThurston kicks the goal for the professional foul. Cowboys 16-238 min: NEWS 40/20 - Bowen kicks a 40/2039 min: TRY North Queensland CowboysThurston puts up a kick to Sing who steams onto the ball and scores. Thurston converts. Cowboys 22-240 min: NEWS HALF TIME - The Cowboys have dominated the last 30 minutes of the first half and fully deserve their 20 point lead.Stats - Cowboys have 61% possession, 16/23 completions compared to the Tigers 9/15, Tigers have made and missed nearly double the number of tackles to that of the Cowboys, penalty count is 8-5 to the Cowboys and error count is 8-5 against the Tigers.40 min: NEWS Second half underway!43 min: NEWS A couple of mistakes from the Cowboys to open the second half, and the Tigers are dominating posession, but they just can't score.45 min: NEWS The Cowboys have been penalised twice in this half alone for not playing the ball straight.46 min: TRY Wests TigersMarshall runs around Hannay from 10 metres out and scores. Hodgson misses the conversion. Cowboys 22-656 min: NEWS Tigers dominating posession and territory in this half, but they can't score.57 min: NEWS Tigers gain another line drop out, amazing Cowboys defence. Line dropouts 6-0 Tigers.60 min: TRY Wests TigersDe Gois dives over from dummy half after a tonne of Tigers posession, Hodgson converts. Cowboys 22-1268 min: NEWS Whatuira is penalised for a high tackle on Bowen.69 min: TRY North Queensland CowboysCooper is put into space 10 metres out and scores. Thurston hits the posts and the crossbar and the ball bounces out. Cowboys 26-1272 min: TRY North Queensland CowboysThurston breaks up the middle on half way, offloads to Southern who passes to Jensen who scores. Thurston converts. Cowboys 32-1276 min: NEWS Video referee for a Tigers try...76 min: NEWS NO TRY - Whatuira is ruled to have bounced the ball in the in goal.79 min: NEWS Marshall going up the tunnel with a shoulder injury.80 min: NEWS The Cowboys run out comfortable winners over the Tigers, 32-12. The Cowboys have now beaten four Top Eight teams, and the Premiers. They are now on a club record five match win streak.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys)2 - Matthew Bowen (Cowboys)1 - Shane Tronc (Cowboys)-----------------------------------------
ROUND 4 Manly Sea Eagles 30 v Sydney Roosters 22Match Summary:The Manly Sea Eagles had to come back from a double figure deficit for the second week in a row to record their second win of the 2006 season, 30-22 over the Sydney Roosters. The Roosters lead 20-12 at half time.The Roosters scored two early tries to Jamie Soward and Adrian Morley to lead 12-0 after only nine minutes. The Sea Eagles struck back quickly with a nice try to Brett Stewart after a cross field kick, and then Steve Matai scored in the 22nd minute. Two sideline conversions from Matt Orford levelled the match at 12-all. A Fitzgibbon penalty goal and a magnificent breakout try to Anthony Minichello gave the Roosters a 20-12 halftime lead.The Roosters extended their lead to 22-12 after Travis Burns was penalised in possession for dissent, and Amos Roberts added the penalty goal. Steve Bell was then awarded a controversial try after Steve Menzies caught a bomb and Bell caught the Roosters defence short, despite replays showing that Menzies may have knocked the ball on. Matt Orford scored a great solo try after breaking up the middle and then diving over in the middle of a Minichello tackle, his conversion put the Sea Eagles ahead for the first time, 24-22. The match was sealed with seven minutes to go with another controversial try to Travis Burns, after it appeared the defence was obstructed, the final score Manly 30, Roosters 22.Scorers:Manly Sea Eagles: 30Tries: Travis Burns, Brett Stewart, Matt Orford, Steve Matai, Steve BellGoals: Matt Orford 5/5Sydney Roosters: 22Tries: Anthony Minichiello, Adrian Morley, Jamie SowardGoals: Craig Fitzgibbon 3/3, Amos Roberts 2/2Brookvale OvalReferee: Tony ArcherBy the Clock:Teams about to run out at Brookvale.1 min: NEWS The Roosters get us started!3 min: NEWS Video referee for an early Roosters try.3 min: TRY Sydney RoostersAn Anasta kick deflects off the posts and is dived on by Jamie Soward. Awarded via benefit of the doubt. Fitzgibbon converts. Roosters 6-09 min: TRY Sydney RoostersAn error from the Sea Eagles has Adrian Morley crash over. Fitzgibbon adds the extras. Roosters 12-014 min: NEWS Video referee for an Eagles try.14 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesA cross kick finds Robinson who passes the ball back to Stewart who scores out wide. Orford nails the sideline conversion. 12-619 min: NEWS Video referee for a Roosters try...20 min: NEWS No try - Roosters penalised for obstruction.22 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesSteve Matai breaks through a few weak tackles and scores out wide. Orford repeats his touchline success. 12 all.30 min: PENALTY GOAL Sydney RoostersAfter a high shot from Kennedy, Fitzgibbon converts the penalty goal. Roosters 14-1235 min: TRY Sydney RoostersA great breakout and top support play has Minichello scoring for the Roosters. Roberts converts. Roosters 20-1240 min: NEWS The Eagles break out just on half time, but Matai loses the ball near the line.40 min: NEWS Back underway at Brookvale!45 min: PENALTY GOAL Sydney RoostersBurns is penalised in possession for dissent, and Roberts slots the penalty goal. Roosters 22-1252 min: TRY - Sea EaglesMenzies comes down with the high ball and the ball gets to Bell who scores. Orford converts.Roosters 22-1859 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesOrford breaks up the middle and scores in some tackles. He converts his own try and Manly take the lead. Sea Eagles 24-2273 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesSeveral penalties put the Roosters on their own line, Burns steps inside and scores in the tackle of Minichello. Try awarded by the video referee. Orford converts and it looks like this game is settled. Sea Eagles 30-2280 min: NEWS The Eagles show some starch and get up to beat the Roosters.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Matt Orford (Sea Eagles)2 - Steve Bell (Sea Eagles)1 - Steve Menzies (Sea Eagles)-----------------------------------------
ROUND 4 Parramatta Eels 18 v North Queensland Cowboys 26Match Summary:The Cowboys came back from trailing 14-0 early in their match against Parramatta at Parramatta Stadium on Friday night to complete an impressive 26-18 win. The Eels led 14-6 at half time.The Eels scored against the run of play in the eighth minute with a 90 metre try to Eric Grothe Jnr. The lead was extended after 18 minutes after Tim Smith sent a great inside ball to Wade McKinnon who scored under the posts. The lead was extended to 14-0 with a Mark Riddell penalty goal in the 34th minute. Just before half time the Cowboys scored the first six points in their 26-0 run with a try to Matthew Scott after a Nathan Hindmarsh error.The Cowboys closed the gap to 14-12 after McKinnon played the ball back to no dummy half right under his own posts, and from the next play Faiumu scored under the posts. Nine minutes later the Cowboys took the lead with the first of Matt Sings two tries after creating an overlap on the right hand side. The Eels were controversially denied a try by the video referee after it was ruled Riddell had used McKinnon as a blocker as he dived from dummy half. Following this there was a punch up that saw Chad Robinson and Justin Smith sin binned, and just before the players came back onto the field Johnathan Thurston converted a penalty goal for a 20-14 lead. Moments later Rod Jensen broke up the middle and found Sing in support who scored his second under the posts. Wade McKinnon scored a late try that could have kept the Eels in the match, only for Riddell to miss the conversion.Scorers:Parramatta Eels: 18Tries: Eric Grothe, Wade McKinnon(2)Goals: Mark Riddell 2/3, Brett Delaney 1/1North Queensland Cowboys: 26Tries: David Fauiumu, Matthew Scott, Matt Sing(2)Goals: Johnathan Thurston 5/6By the Clock:Just several minutes away from kickoff at Parramatta Stadium.1 min: NEWS The Cowboys kick the game off!3 min: NEWS Cowboys get the first attacking opportunity through an Eels error, but a poor pass finds touch.8 min: TRY Parramatta EelsAfter having to defend several repeat sets inside their 10 the Eels hold the Cowboys out and spread the ball wide to Grothe who runs 90 metres to score. Riddell lands the easy conversion. Eels 6-013 min: NEWS On their first real attacking opportunity Tim Smith throws a 'forward pass' that led to Brett Delaney crossing the line, called back.17 min: NEWS Cowboys giving away plenty of penalties in an effort to slow the game down..18 min: TRY Parramatta EelsA magnificent step and inside ball from Tim Smith puts Wade McKinnon in under the posts. Delaney converts. Eels 12-020 min: NEWS Luke O'Dwyer currently down injured. Back up now.23 min: NEWS Eels really dominating possession, getting plenty of penalties and repeat sets.24 min: NEWS An unmarked Grothe drops a pass that would have seen him score in the corner.31 min: NEWS Cowboys win a goal line drop out.34 min: PENALTY GOAL Parramatta EelsAfter a penalty for dissent, Mark Riddell kicks a penalty goal. Eels 14-036 min: NEWS Marsh makes a great run up the middle, but throws a pass to the Cowboys.37 min: TRY North Queensland CowboysOn the back of a great last tackle run, then a Hindmarsh error, Matthew Scott barges over from close range. Thurston converts. Eels 14-640 min: NEWS Half time. The Eels have really dominated the first half but would be dissapointed to only lead by 8.40 min: NEWS Second half underway.41 min: TRY North Queensland CowboysAn awful error from the Eels that had McKinnon playing the ball back to no dummy half leads to a Faiumu try one play later. Thurston converts. Eels 14-1244 min: NEWS Just as the Cowboys were getting momentum Thurston loses the ball as he's tackled.50 min: TRY North Queensland CowboysThe Cowboys draw an overlap and Sing scores out wide. Thurston converts. Cowboys 18-1455 min: ATTEMPTED PENALTY GOAL North Queensland CowboysThurston misses a penalty goal. Cowboys 18-1458 min: NEWS Cowboys get held up over the line and can't score on the last play.59 min: NEWS PJ Marsh out for tonight with an ankle ligament injury.60 min: NEWS Video referee for an Eels try.60 min: NEWS NO TRY - McKinnon is penalised for obstructing the marker.61 min: NEWS FIGHT - After a swinging arm from Chad Robinson the players come on for a dust up. 61 min: NEWS SIN BIN - Chad Robinson is sent to the sin bin for his swinging arm.61 min: NEWS SIN BIN - Justin Smith is sent to the sin bin for his reaction with the fight. Swinging arm is on report.66 min: NEWS After being stopped on the last tackle Stringer takes a huge air swing at Matt Sing.67 min: NEWS Ben Smith now coming off the field injured.72 min: PENALTY GOAL North Queensland CowboysAfter a holding down penalty on Hindmash, Thurston successfully kicks a penalty goal. The sin binned players return. Cowboys 20-1473 min: TRY North Queensland CowboysA break up the middle by Rod Jensen finds Matt Sing in support who scores under the posts. Cowboys 26-1477 min: TRY Parramatta EelsA cut out pass finds McKinnon totally unmarked out wide. Riddell misses the conversion. Cowboys 26-1880 min: NEWS The Cowboys complete an impressive comeback from 14-0 down to win 26-18.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Johnathan Thurston2 - Matt Sing1 - Tim Smith -----------------------------------------
ROUND 3 Brisbane Broncos 30 def. Parramatta Eels 10Match summary:The Brisbane Broncos won their first game at home in 2006 with a 30-10 win over the Parramatta Eels at Suncorp Stadium today. The Broncos held a slender 8-6 advantage at half time.The Eels started quickly having a try to Ashley Graham disallowed before Micheal Vella got through some poor defence to score for a 6-0 lead. The Broncos then brought their defence to the match and beat the Eels up, and in the process scored two tries, both to Tame Tupou for their 8-6 halftime lead. In an unusual move, Eels coach Brian Smith benched halfback Tim Smith for a large period of the first half and only put him back on nearly 10 minutes into the second half.The Broncos kept up their first half form as Hunt made a classy run before unloading to Lockyer who picked up a classy try for a 14-6 lead. The Eels struck back with a daring cross field kick in their own half that lead to Ben Smith scoring to draw the Eels back to 14-10. The Broncos ran away with the game in the final 20 minutes with tries to Hunt, Hodges and Stagg to run out 30-10 winners. Scorers:Brisbane Broncos: 30Tries: Justin Hodges, Karmichael Hunt, Darren Lockyer, David Stagg, Tame Tupou(2)Goals: Corey Parker 1/1, Michael Ennis 2/5Parramatta Eels: 10Tries: Ben Smith , Micheal VellaGoals: Luke Burt 1/2Live commentary:Very close to kickoff here at Suncorp Stadium.1 min: NEWS Underway at Suncorp!4 min: NEWS Video referee for a potential Parramatta try.4 min: NEWS NO TRY - Ash Graham knocks on from a Mark Riddell grubber kick.9 min: NEWS Video referee for another Parramatta try.9 min: TRY Parramatta EelsVella runs through some weak Brisbane defence and scores easily. Burt converts. Eels 6-011 min: NEWS Parramatta have almost totally dominated possession at this stage in the match.12 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosGreat ball movement by the Broncos finds an overlap and Tupou scores out wide. Ennis fails to convert. Eels 6-418 min: NEWS Broncos get a scrum close to the Eels line and then follow it up with a goal line dropout.20 min: NEWS Video referee for a possible Broncos try.20 min: NEWS NO TRY - A carbon copy of the first No Try at the other end of the field as Lockyer knocks on attempting to ground a kick. 20 min: NEWS Drinks Break20 min: NEWS Back underway at Suncorp24 min: NEWS Possession and territory favouring the Broncos at the moment, but they can't get it to show on the scoreboard.25 min: NEWS Tim Smith substituted off, evidently a tactical substitution.30 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosMore great ball movement from the Broncos sees Tupou score his second out wide. Ennis just misses the conversion. Broncos 8-633 min: NEWS A small confrontation as the two hookers, Riddell and Ennis go quite literally nose to nose.36 min: NEWS End to end match now. Hindmarsh appears to have picked up a knee injury.38 min: NEWS The match has swung back the Parramatta way as they earn repeat sets and make several busts.40 min: NEWS Half Time in a very exciting match.Parramatta got out to a quick start before the Broncos finally started to defend strongly, and the Broncos deserve their 8-6 lead which has been built care of their solid defence. Hindmarsh injury is nothing, he was running around comfortably at the end of the first half.40 min: NEWS Back underway in the second half.45 min: NEWS Both teams put up challenging bombs to start the second half, both result in 20 metre restarts.47 min: NEWS Tim Smith returns to the field. Both teams putting in some very ineffective kicks.48 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosHunt makes a great run around the defence, beats the wing and centre before passing back inside for Lockyer to score. Ennis slots the easy conversion. Broncos 14-651 min: NEWS Broncos go nearly 100 metres after the kickoff and get a penalty. The Eels defend the set brilliantly.53 min: TRY Parramatta EelsA great 100 metre set of six that came from a daring cross field kick sees Ben Smith score. Burt misses an easy kick. Broncos 14-1056 min: NEWS Eels make another break, don't complete. Glenn Morrison with a knee injury, Casey McGuire also inured. Civoniceva also going up the tunnel.58 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosLockyer runs the ball on the last and gets it to Hodges who scores. Ennis converts. Broncos 20-1060 min: NEWS Drinks Break.60 min: NEWS Eels kick off as we go into the final quarter of the match.62 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosMore great passing by the Broncos has Hunt running through a gaping hole to score. Ennis misses again. Broncos 24-1067 min: NEWS Parramatta having little success running the ball on the last tackle.70 min: NEWS Broncos making plenty of easy metres now.72 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosStagg cleans up after a kick is poorly fielded and scores under the sticks. Parker with the conversion. Broncos 30-1080 min: NEWS Broncos with a very powerful second half and a great defensive effort take the points by 20 against the Eels.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Darren Lockyer2 - Karmichael Hunt1 - Justin Hodges-----------------------------------------
ROUND 2Canterbury Bulldogs 47 def. Wests Tigers 12Match summary:Hazem El Masri scored 34 points in the form of four tries and nine goals in the Bulldogs 47-12 runaway win over the Wests Tigers at Telstra Stadium tonight.The Bulldogs dominated the lacklustre Tigers in the first half as they raced away to a 24-0 lead with tries to Willie Mason, and El Masri?s first two. This was accompanied by El Masri?s three first half penalty goals. With just under ten minutes in the first half remaining, Mark O?Meley and Bryce Gibbs were sin binned for fighting.The Tigers got a quick start to the second half, scoring care of Daniel Fitzhenry and Brett Hodgson. Mark O?Meley settled the mini-feud he had going with Bryce Gibbs when he utterly smashed Gibbs in a hit up, knocking him out cold. Sherwin kicked a long range field goal, and then the floodgates opened, with El Masri scoring in the 63rd minute, Maitua scoring in the 66th and El Masri crossing for his fourth try in the 70th minute. The rout was topped off by a Patten try with two minutes to go, however El Masri missed the conversion and was forced to settle with only 34 points in the match.Scorers:Canterbury Bulldogs: 47Tries: Hazem El Masri(4), Reni Maitua, Willie Mason, Luke PattenGoals: Hazem El Masri 9/10Field Goals: Brent SherwinWests Tigers: 12Tries: Daniel Fitzhenry, Brett HodgsonGoals: Brett Hodgson 2/2Venue: Telstra StadiumCrowd: 32,587Referee: Steve ClarkHalf time: Bulldogs 24-0Live commentary:1 min: NEWS The Bulldogs kick off!2 min: NEWS Both teams have received early penalties, the Tigers with the better of field position early.5 min: PENALTY GOAL Canterbury BulldogsThe Tigers are penalised for holding down, El Masri slots the goal from right in front. Bulldogs 2-010 min: NEWS The Tigers play some expansive football, but manage to cross the line on a forward pass.13 min: TRY Canterbury BulldogsMason barges across on the last tackle, try awarded by the video referee. El Masri converts from an easy angle. Bulldogs 8-017 min: NEWS The Tigers get a chance to have a whole set inside the Bulldogs 10, but a wild pass squanders the chance.18 min: NEWS Mason is placed on report for a high tackle on Lolesi, that making his third high tackle in the match.19 min: NEWS Bulldogs giving away a string of penalties, count already 6-2 in the Tigers favour. The Tigers are unable to take any advantage of the count with plenty of sloppy play.25 min: PENALTY GOAL Canterbury BulldogsThe Tigers give away another penalty and El Masri converts the goal from 25 metres out. Bulldogs 10-028 min: TRY Canterbury BulldogsEl Masri somehow gets through several tacklers and gets the ball down on the last tackle. He converts his own try for a commanding lead. Bulldogs 16-030 min: NEWS O'Meley and Gibbs get into a punch up, Gibbs gets a spell in the sin bin, and so does O'Meley.34 min: NEWS Bulldogs play some top notch football and get a penalty 10 out from the Tigers line, to create real pressure on the Tigers.36 min: PENALTY GOAL Canterbury BulldogsAs the penalty count goes to 8-6 in the Bulldogs favour, El Masri hits another penalty goal from right in front. Bulldogs 18-038 min: TRY Canterbury BulldogsSherwin intercepts the pass from the scrum base, he races away and El Masri finishes next to the posts. He adds the conversion and already has 20 points tonight! Bulldogs 24-040 min: NEWS Todd Payten is placed on report for a high tackle.Half time in a very scrappy match. The match is filled with numerous needless penalties. The Tigers were very average, while the Bulldogs were quite impressive in the first half.40 min: NEWS The second half kicks off!42 min: NEWS O'Meley and Gibbs return to action.46 min: TRY Wests TigersFitzhenry finds a gap and scores easily from 10 out. Hodgson converts. Bulldogs 24-650 min: NEWS A great kick and chase by the Bulldogs trap Hodgson resulting in a goal line drop out.50 min: NEWS O'Meley wins his battle with Gibbs as he runs right over him, knocking him out cold. Gibbs is in a neck brace and taken off the field on the golf cart.52 min: TRY Wests TigersThe Tigers run the ball on the last tackle, they break down the right and Hodgson scores next to the posts. Patten also placed on report for a late charge on Collis. Bulldogs 24-1259 min: FIELD GOAL Canterbury BulldogsSherwin kicks a long range field goal to make something out of a nothing situation. Bulldogs 25-1263 min: TRY Canterbury BulldogsA kick to the corner sees the ball come to El Masri who gets the third Friday night hat-trick of 2006. From the sideline, El Masri converts. 26 points so far! Bulldogs 31-1266 min: TRY Canterbury BulldogsTries in two successive sets to the Bulldogs, as slick passing has Reni Maitua scoring beside the posts. El Masris conversion equals the Bulldogs club record for points in a match. Bulldogs 37-1270 min: TRY Canterbury BulldogsA break up the middle sees El Masri score his fourth! He converts. 34 points! Bulldogs 43-1272 min: NEWS 32,578 Crowd78 min: TRY Canterbury BulldogsPatten scores in the left corner. El Masri misses the conversion! Bulldogs 47-1280 min: NEWS Full time in a very one sided match. The Tigers pulled back to 24-12 before the Bulldogs ran away laughing.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Hazem El Masri (Bulldogs)2 - Mark O'Meley (Bulldogs)1 - Brent Sherwin (Bulldogs)-----------------------------------------
FULLTIME: Round 1Wests Tigers 24 def. St George Illawarra Dragons 15Match summary:The NRL season opener lived up to all of the hype as the Wests Tigers defeated the St George Illawarra Dragons 24-15 at Telstra Stadium in an enthralling game.The Tigers took an early 4-0 lead as Paul Whatuira scored the first of his three tries after six minutes, when the Tigers created great space. Mark Gasnier and the Dragons responded very quickly, scoring the first of his three after 11 minutes, to level the game at 4-all. Following on from the opening exchanges, the Tigers squandered a few chances but went ahead again with a powerful try to Anthony Laffranchi. After 35 minutes the Dragons took an unlikely lead that they carried into half time with another Gasnier try, and a 10-8 half time lead.With some great end to end play, 18 minutes into the second half the Dragons extended their lead to 14-8 as Gasnier collected his third try, showing very skilled hands to juggle a kick and still dot down. The Tigers tied the match up on 66 minutes as Whatuira scored after a miracle Scott Prince offload. Trent Barrett broke the deadlock to give the Dragons a 15-14 lead with just seven minutes to go, when he nailed a picture perfect field goal. But the Tigers showed they had guts, as the kick-off hit the goal posts, and Barrett was hit very hard allowing the Tigers to come up with the ball 10 metres out. A Benji Marshall miracle ball put rookie Michael Crockett in the corner with mere minutes to go. Whatuira grabbed his third following frantic Dragons play to try and get the ball back, and sealed a very exciting and brave 24-15 win for the defending Premiers.Scorers:Wests Tigers: 24Tries: Anthony Laffranchi, Paul Whatuira(3), Michael CrockettGoals: Brett Hodgson 3/5St George Illawarra Dragons: 15Tries: Mark Gasnier(3)Goals: Wes Naiqama 1/3Field Goals: Trent BarrettVenue: Telstra StadiumCrowd: 25,000 (estimate)Referee: Paul SimpkinsHalf time: Dragons 10-8Live commentary:Put the stress ball away, stop shaking and turn off that inferior Friday television. The NRL is back for 2006!0 min: NEWS The Dragons kick the 2006 season off!3 min: NEWS Liam Fulton is taken off the field on the golf cart with an apparent shoulder injury. Mark Gasnier also down injured briefly.4 min: NEWS Dragons have given away two penalties already, both sides have made one mistake each.4 min: NEWS The Tigers make huge metres on attack and force a goal line drop out.6 min: TRY Wests TigersThe Tigers create space as the Dragons bounce off tackles creating an overlap, and Paul Whatuira scores out wide. Hodgson misses the kick. Tigers 4-09 min: NEWS The Dragons gain repeat sets as Benji Marshall spills a Trent Barrett cross field kick.10 min: NEWS The Tigers give away two very quick penalties as the Dragons are hot on attack.11 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsAfter some pressure on the goal line Gasnier slips through some tackles and scores out wide. Naiqama misses the conversion. Both teams very enterprising in attack.4 all.15 min: NEWS Dean Collis can't quite pull in a Scott Prince chip kick, Dragons gift possession almost straight back, and some players start waving their handbags at each other. Liam Fulton out of the rest of the game due to a dislocated shoulder.17 min: NEWS Daniel Fitzhenry bombs a certain try out wide as he drops the ball after great Tigers buildup.18 min: NEWS A decent fist fight is on the cards after the players come together for another bit of push and shove.20 min: TRY Wests TigersAnthony Laffranchi bursts across after a powerful attacking set. Hodgson just misses the conversion. Tigers 8-422 min: NEWS The Tigers are keeping the Dragons trapped down at the wrong end of the field, Prince finds touch mere feet from the corner post.20 min: TRY Wests TigersAnthong Laffranchi bursts across after a powerful attacking set. Hodgson just misses the conversion. Tigers 8-428 min: NEWS Tigers still have the running of the play. No idea why the score says 12-4.31 min: NEWS Video referee for a potential Dragons try.31 min: NEWS Try not awarded, ruled a knock on by Greenshields.33 min: NEWS Dragons hot on attack, putting immense pressure on the Tigers.35 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsGasnier scores off a kick, Naiqama converts. Dragons 10-839 min: NEWS Ryles is sent to the sin bin for dissent. Marshall carefully checking his jaw.40 min: NEWS Half time. The Tigers have had the run of the first half and are unlucky to be down 10-8.To be clear, the score is 10-8 to the Dragons at half time. Apologies for the slight updating issues in the first half. Everything should be all right now.40 min: NEWS The second half is underway!43 min: NEWS The Dragons have the early running in the second half, but can't finish.45 min: NEWS Fitzhenry returns a kick 30 metres to get the Tigers out of a tight situation, but the Tigers get run into touch.49 min: NEWS Ryles returns to the field, the Tigers unable to take advantage of the Dragons being a man down.50 min: NEWS The Tigers are making a plenty of mistakes and are gifting the Dragons good field position. Luckily for the Tigers, the Dragons are making enough mistakes too.54 min: NEWS The Tigers drop the ball as they are hot on attack.55 min: NEWS Ryles busts up the middle but throws the last pass to Galloway, who knocks on. Dragons on attack.57 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsGasnier collects a bomb, bobbles the ball and dots down for his third try out wide. Naiqama hits the posts. Dragons 14-862 min: NEWS Gasnier is going to give Marshall nightmares. He has him totally beaten. The Dragons are looking much fitter than the Tigers.66 min: NEWS Video referee for a potential Whatuira double.66 min: TRY Wests TigersWhatuira scores off a miracle Prince offload. Hodgson finally connects to lock the match up with just over 14 minutes to go. 14 all.68 min: NEWS Tigers hot on attack, Naiqama cooly lets the ball go dead in goal.71 min: NEWS The Dragons make a bad mistake and gift the Tigers the ball inside the 40.72 min: NEWS Hodgson loses the ball as he dives from dummy half at the line.73 min: FIELD GOAL St George Illawarra DragonsBarrett kicks the go-ahead point from 30 metres out. Dragons 15-1475 min: NEWS The kickoff hits the posts, Tigers recover. 77 min: TRY Wests TigersNewcomer Crockett shows his worth to the team with a handy try close to fulltime to snatch victory. Hodgson converts to extend the leadTigers 20-1579 min: TRY Wests TigersKiwi centre Paul Whatuira bags a treble for the night and puts the game beyond doubt. Hodgson fails to convert. Tigers 24-1580 min: NEWS Fulltime has sounded and the Tigers begin their 2006 campaign on the right foot, downing premiership favourites the Dragons by 24-15.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Mark Gasnier (Dragons)2 - Scott Prince (Tigers)1 - Paul Whatuira (Tigers)-----------------------------------------
FINALS Week Three - Grand Final Qualifier
Wests Tigers 20 def. St. George Illawarra Dragons 12
The Wests Tigers are in the Grand Final. Say it as much as you like, it doesn't seem believeable, but it is happening.
Finals Week Two
North Queensland Cowboys 24 def. Melbourne Storm 16
The Cowboys have advanced to the Preliminary Final against Parramatta after defeating the Melbourne Storm 24-16 at Aussie Stadium tonight. The Cowboys led 16-0 at half time.
FINALS Week One
Brisbane Broncos 18 vs Melbourne Storm 24
St George Illawarra Dragons 36 vs Newcastle Knights 28