MOST pre-match media was centered around Parramatta's poor 2010 form and Nathan Hindmarsh's record 266th appearance for the blue and gold
ON a slippery and windy Shire night, the Melbourne Storm have held on to defeat the Cronulla Sharks 14 points to 10 in a dour and sometimes spiteful affair in front of 11820 fans at Toyota Stadium
QUEENSLAND have taken out their third successive State Of Origin series with a heart stopping 16-10 victory over new South Wales at ANZ Stadium before 78,750 fans. It was a real backs-to-the-wall...
THE Parramatta Eels have moved into the NRL Top 8 after a flat performance against a Origin-ravaged Melbourne outfit, winning by 24-22 at Parramatta Stadium
THE Sydney Roosters have secured a spot at the top of the NRL table with a hard fought 16-14 win over the Newcastle Knights...
THE always proud Maroons of Queensland have kept a disappointing New South Wales side scoreless for the third time in their State Of Origin history...
SOME great defence and a couple of timely interceptions have seen the New Zealand Warriors secure their first away victory in 2008
THE Parramatta Eels have secured back to back wins after limping past an equally sub-standard St. George Illawarra Dragons by 19-18 at ANZ Stadium this afternoon
ROUND 16 Newcastle Knights 16 v Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 26at EnergyAustralia StadiumReferees: Ben CumminsMatch Summary:The Cronulla Sharks have cemented their place in the NRL top 4 with an outstanding albeit controversial come from behind victory over the Knights in Newcastle. The Video Referee was called upon 3 times in less than 10 minutes in the second half to judge on 3 possible Knights tries and came up with the red light on each occasion.An uneventful start by both teams was erased in the 22nd minute after Anthony Quinn crossed for the first of his 2 first half tries. A great run and an even greater pass by Carmont put Quinn on his bike for his second try which was converted by Johns, giving the Knights a commanding 10 point lead going into the break. Stuart Raper must have uttered some inspiring words to his players at half time, as by the 6th minute of the second half the Sharks found themselves in front for the first time, courtesy of back to back converted tries to Nigel Vagana and Brett Kearney. Andrew Johns replied instantly, sending prop Craig Smith over close to the posts, putting the novocastrians back in the lead.The Knights lost some attacking edge when Kurt Gidley came out of a tackle clutching at an injured right leg, and he left the field never to return. A Covell penalty goal put the Sharks within 2 points of the home team and with 20 minutes remaining, the match was there for the taking.However 3 no try decisions by the Video Referee in the 62nd, 65th, and 69th minutes had Knights fans seething, and they may have had a fair case for the first and second decisions, but the third red light came about through some great defensive work by Sharks fullback David Simmons, knocking the ball out of Todd Lowrie's hands as he was about to ground the ball. Cronulla then made their way up field for Beau Scott to score in the corner, which was beautifully converted from the sideline by Covell. From there the Sharks kept their heads and added further insult to injury via a second try to Vagana, darting from dummy half and exploiting some tired Knights defense. For the Sharks, Brett Kimmorley was impressive and certainly put his hand up for a State of Origin recall, and his combination with Adam Dykes should see the Sharks trouble all-comers in the next 10 weeks leading up to the finals. Brett Kearney's impact off the interchange bench was superb, making several breaks up the middle of the field as the second half wore on. At fullback, Simmons' play to knock the ball from Lowrie's grasp will be looked upon as the turning point of the match as far as Sharks fans are concerned, for the next set seen them score and take the match and the 2 points away from Newcastle. Andrew Johns never stopped trying for the Knights, and he was ably supported by Buderus, Carney, Quinn and Kurt Gidley prior to his injury. Next week the Knights make the tough journey to Brookvale to take on Manly, while the Sharks make the even tougher trip north to face the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium. Scorers:Newcastle Knights: 16Tries: Anthony Quinn(2), Craig SmithGoals: Andrew Johns 2/3Cronulla Sutherland Sharks: 26Tries: Beau Scott, Nigel Vagana(2), Brett KearneyGoals: Luke Covell 5/5Halftime: Knights 10-0Crowd: 18,212By the Clock:The Knights take on the Sharks in Round 16 action, live from Energy Australia Stadium, Newcastle. For the Knights, Nathan Hinton comes in to play fullback in place of David Seage. The Sharks will lineup as per program.1 min: KICK-OFF Andrew Johns kicks off and we are underway.14 min: NEWS Both teams are getting good second phase play but defence is overshadowing attack thus far.22 min: KNIGHTS TRY Quinn scores in the corner after great lead up work from Buderus and Kurt Gidley. Johns has the shot at goal from the sideline which is away to the left. Knights 4-027 min: NEWS Carney goes over in the right corner for Newcastle but the play is called back for a Johns forward pass.35 min: KNIGHTS TRY Quinn crosses for his second as Carmont attracts 2 defenders and slips a pass giving his winger a clear passage to the line untouched. Johns converts from close to the sideline. Knights 10-037 min: NEWS Johns has an unsuccessful shot at field goal just prior to halftime. 40 min: HALF TIME We go into halftime with the Knights leading 10 points to nil.Penalties: Sharks 3-2Completions: Knights - 16/20 Sharks - 17/22Errors: 5-5Tackles: Knights - 179 Sharks - 15541 min: KICK-OFF David Simmons gets play started in the second half.43 min: SHARKS TRYVagana scores a great try under the posts after an outstanding no-look pass from Greg Bird. Covell converts. Knights 10-446 min: SHARKS TRY Brett Kearney scores after backing up Gallen, who was put through a gap by a Dykes inside ball. Covell converts from in front. Sharks 12-1051 min: KNIGHTS TRY Andrew Johns runs to the line before passing on the inside for Smith to score beside the posts. Johns converts to put the Knights back in the lead. Knights 16-1255 min: KNIGHTS INJURY Kurt Gidley is assisted from the field, unable to put weight on his right leg.59 min: SHARKS PENALTY GOALDanny Buderus is penalised for stripping the ball in a 2 man tackle. Covell converts an easy shot from in front to reduce the Knights lead to 2. Knights 16-1462 min: NO TRY An Andrew Johns cross field kick is knocked on by Reegan Tanner, resulting in a touch and go no-try decision by the Video Referee. 65 min: NO TRY Simmons drops a Johns bomb, leaving Quinn and Albert challenging for the loose ball. Quinn wins the race but the Video Referee says NO TRY, knock-on by Quinn.69 min: NO TRY David Simmons makes the play of the night (so far), slapping the ball out of Lowrie's hands as he is about to score. NO TRY - 20 metre restart. 71 min: SHARKS TRY Beau Scott scores in the corner, following good passing plays from Williams, Kimmorley and Covell. Covell's conversion from the sideline is superb. Sharks 20-1676 min: NEWS Hinton is tackled over the sideline just metres out from his own line. The Sharks now have the chance to put the result beyond doubt. 77 min: SHARKS TRY Vagana darts from dummy half on the last tackle and plants the ball down to seal the game for the Sharks. Covell adds the extra 2. Sharks 26-1680 min: NEWS FULL TIME The Sharks take the cash in arguably their best away win of the season so far after being down 10-0 at halftime.Penalties: Sharks 5-3Completions: Knights - 26/37 Sharks - 31/41Errors: 12-12Tackles: Knights - 314 Sharks - 262-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Brett Kimmorley (Sharks)2 - David Simmons (Sharks)1 - Brett Kearney (Sharks)-----------------------------------------
ROUND 15 Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 15 v Manly Sea Eagles 12at Toyota ParkReferees: Sean HampsteadMatch Summary:The Cronulla Sharks have entered the NRL Top 4 for the first time in 2006 after putting Manly away 15-12 in match definitely not for the purists. At a cold and windy Toyota Park, the Sea Eagles opened the scoring via Steve Menzies, after he was denied by a Brett Stewart forward pass in the previous set of six. A penalty conversion seen them go up 8-0 after 30 minutes until Greg Bird crossed for his first try to take the teams into halftime, Manly ahead by 8 points to 6. In the second half the Sharks were aided by a stiff breeze at their backs and countless repeat sets of six which they were unable to take full advantage of, despite levelling the scores through a Covell penalty from in front. Bird then scored his second try of the match from a pinpoint Kimmorley grubber kick and Cronulla seemed comfortable, leading by 6 with less than 10 minutes to go. Kimmorley then made sure of the result by potting a field goal in the dying minutes, still Manly refused to concede as Stewart scored an unconverted try in the last seconds of the game.As far as injuries go, the Sharks lost Phil Bailey early in the match to a suspected broken cheekbone. For Manly Luke Williamson shouldn't remember too much about his 8 minutes spent on the field after he was knocked out cold whilst tackling Sharks prop James Stosic. Five-eighth Travis Burns also left the field of play late in the match with an injury not known at this time.Scorers:Cronulla Sutherland Sharks: 15Tries: Greg Bird(2)Goals: Luke Covell 3/3Field Goals: Brett KimmorleyManly Sea Eagles: 12Tries: Steve Menzies, Brett StewartGoals: Travis Burns 2/2Halftime: Sea Eagles 8-6Crowd: 11,083By the Clock:Round 15 action comes from a cold Toyota Park as the Sharks take on the Manly Sea Eagles. Steve Bell is out of action, suffering a facial injury after a headclash with Steve Menzies in Origin II. Menzies will take his position in the centres, Luke Williamson will start in the second row, George Rose comes into the side and will start from the interchange bench. Cronulla line up as per program.1 min: NEWS Covell kicks off and it's game on6 min: NEWS An awful set of six by Manly sees them fail to get a decent kick away despite having 2 attempts. Sharks are on the attack now.8 min: NEWS Luke Williamson has been flattened after an attempted tackle on James Stosic. The Medicab comes out onto the field but Williamson rises to his feet and walks off unassisted.9 min: NEWS Albert flies high to catch a Kimmorley bomb, but knocks on in attempting to ground the ball - NO TRY - 20 metre restart to Manly.15 min: NEWS 15 minutes gone and nobody has been able to cross the stripe as yet. Kimmorley and Orford are going set for set in trying to break the line and set up the opening score for the night. 16 min: NEWS Video Ref is called upon to check a possible Manly try but the resulting call is NO TRY - 20 metre restart to the Sharks.18 min: NEWS Menzies scores in the corner but the play is called back for a forward pass by Stewart. 19 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesThis time Steve Menzies won't be denied as the Sea Eagles put on pretty much the same play that got called back for a forward pass a set earlier. Burns converts. Sea Eagles 6-024 min: PENALTY GOAL Manly Sea EaglesBurns knocks over a penalty shot after a Sharks infringement in the play-the-ball. Sea Eagles 8-027 min: NEWS Luke Covell takes a Kimmorley bomb but knocks on to send the play back to the 20 metre line. Sharks have had their chances but have been unable to convert anything into points thus far.29 min: INJURY News comes through that Phil Bailey will not play again tonight after suffering a suspected broken cheekbone. Sharks are down to 16 for the remainder of the match.30 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksBird crosses out wide for the Sharks, giving them their first points 10 minutes out from halftime. Covell nails the conversion. Sea Eagles 8-635 min: NEWS Momentum has swung in favour of the Sharks in these last minutes before the break, they get a penalty and start on another attacking raid on the Sea Eagles line.38 min: NEWS Orford attempts a field goal but the ball takes a right turn off the boot and is waved away.HALFTIME. We go to oranges with Manly just shading the Sharks 8 points to 6. PENALTIES - Sharks 6-2COMPLETIONS - Sharks 16/24 Manly 14/20ERRORS - Sharks 9 Manly 641 min: NEWS Players are back out there, Burns kicks off and the second half is underway.43 min: NEWS Sharks get a repeat set early after the restart and go straight on the attack, but drop the ball cold at the play-the-ball.51 min: NEWS The Sharks waste a chance at points after earning another repeat set. 55 min: NEWS The Sharks butcher another chance after a great try saving tackle on Vagana by Dunley. 60 min: NEWS Great tryline defence sees Manly deny the Sharks again after yet another repeat set.61 min: PENALTY GOAL Cronulla Sutherland SharksCovell slots an easy penalty conversion to tie the match up at 8 all. The Sharks are enjoying great field position but they are failing to convert pressure into points, something which may come back to haunt them in the remaining 19 minutes. 8 all.64 min: NEWS Darren Albert goes down clutching at his throat after bringing down a runaway Menzies. He is ok though and play continues with the Sharks working the ball out from their own line.68 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksBird crosses for his second try after a pin-point grubber from Kimmorley. Pressure has finally paid off for Cronulla as Covell converts and the Sharks lead for the first time in the match. Sharks 14-873 min: NEWS Manly almost go over in the corner but end up in touch. 77 min: FIELD GOAL Cronulla Sutherland SharksKimmorley nails a sweetly hit field goal and the 2 points look like staying in the Shire. Sharks 15-878 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesStewart crosses out wide to set up a nail biter. Hicks misses the conversion. Sharks 15-12FULLTIME - In a dour struggle the Sharks have come out on top 15 points to 12, and as a result they will spend the night at equal second on the NRL points table. Manly will be disappointed at the outcome considering they led the match 8-0 after half an hour.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Greg Bird2 - Brett Kimmorley1 - Paul Gallen-----------------------------------------