ROUND 22 Melbourne Storm 46 v Wests Tigers 4at Olympic Park MelbourneReferee: Sean HampsteadMatch Summary:The Melbourne Storm have won their 15th straight at home and have gone very close to ending the Tigers season.The Storm led 16-4 with the game in the balance at halftime before showing their class to runaway with the match by 46 points to 4.Kiwi international Jake Webster created some more selection headaches for coach Craig Bellamy as he crossed for a career record of four tries.Also on the try scoring list was former Panther and Titans bound Steve Turner who grabbed a double.The Storm got off to the best start possible with two early tries, also helped by a call from referee Sean Hampstead and his touch judges with Steve Turner scoring the first try from a clear cut forward pass.The Tigers throughout the first half did look like the Tigers of old with the ball in hand with Scott Prince having a strong game and they got a reward for it right on half time as former Bulldog Jamaal Lolesi finished off a strong second man play from the visitors.You would think that the Tigers would come out in the second half with all to play for with their season on the line, but it was anything but that.A penalty goal just after halftime put the Storm up by 14 but then just moments later Inglis grabbed a try for the home side to just about seal it with still half an hour to play.The night was capped off by veteran Matt Geyer scoring beside the posts with young gun Inglis showing his kicking abilities by converting.Cameron Smith showed his ability to kick goals throughout the match, kicking six from eight all from the sideline.The Storm have just about wrapped up the minor premiership for season 2006 while the Tigers sit in twelve position and after this weekend could be two wins outside the all important top eight.Scorers:Melbourne Storm: 46Tries: Matt Geyer, Greg Inglis, Steve Turner(2), Jake Webster(4)Goals: Greg Inglis 1/1, Cameron Smith 6/8Wests Tigers: 4Tries: Jamaal LolesiBy the Clock:The Storm have rested State of Origin representatives Matt King and Dallas Johnson for this clash with Greg Inglis coming in to the centres and Jeremy Smith in to lock.The Tigers are as per the program and need a victory to stay in touch with the top 8 and keep their dream of wining back to back premierships alive.The Tigers are down the tunnel led out by Scott Prince in their orange jerseys.The Storm are led out by David Kidwell tonight in their purple and navy jerseys.Sean Hampstead is the referee.Kickoff!3 min: NEWS Some good Storm defence holds out the Tigers in the opening minutes after an early penalty sent the Tigers on the attack.The Tigers do look promising with the ball in hand already.7 min: TRY Melbourne StormTurner gets the scoreboard ticking early in the match.On reply it shows that the final pass was at least 2 metres forward.However there is some doubt that Hoffman did throw an around the corner offload which makes the pass look forward.Smith can't convert from the sideline. Storm 4-010 min: A crossfield chip in midfield by Cooper Cronk finds Jake Webster who goes for the line, and finds Kidwell who can't hang on to the ball.14 min: TRY Melbourne StormThe Storm get six more tackles from a knock on by Lawrence from a kick,then on the next tackle they go wide from a run around and Jake Webster scores in the corner.Smith from the sideline this time converts. Storm 10-021 min: Greg Inglis breaks through and probably would have run 60 metres to score if it wasnt for an ankle tap from Scott Prince.24 min: TRY Melbourne StormJake Webster gets a double as the Storm go wide once again where they are finding some gaps in the Tigers defence.Smith from the sideline converts it. Storm 16-028 min: Scott Hill dives for the line but is pulled up just short.On the replay it shows it could well have been a try.30 min: A penalty to the Tigers for a lifting penalty against the Storm.Looks like Scott Hill could be in some trouble for that.32 min: A poor end to the set for the Tigers as Tuiaki knocks on for the second time in the match close to the line.35 min: Scotty Prince kicks for himself and looks to be there to score before Greg Inglis like a thief in the night gets there and kicks the ball dead.36 min: TRY Wests TigersIt's one of the Tigers' favourite play.A second man play and former Bulldog Jamaal Lolesi dives over in the corner to get the Tigers back in it.Prince hooks the conversion from the sideline. Storm 16-4Halftme - The Storm have shown premiership form once again throughout this clash but the Tigers are not going away scoring a deserved try on half time.They have shown glimpses of 2005 with the ball in hand.Second half underway45 min: PENALTY GOAL Melbourne StormA penalty to the Storm from right infront as Shane Elford picks up the ball in an offside position,and Cameron Smith slots the points to get them out to a 14 point lead. Storm 18-451 min: TRY Melbourne StormInglis just maybe puts the game beyond doubt as a long cut out pass from Scott Hill hits him on the chest as Inglis goes over to score in the corner.Smith from the sideline converts it again. Storm 24-456 min: TRY Melbourne StormSteve Turner grabs a double as Billy the kid puts in a short grubber kick in and Turner is there to score in the corner.Smith from the sideline once again converts! Storm 30-461 min: TRY Melbourne StormA hattrick for Webster as he dives over in the corner to put the icing on the cake with 20 to go.Smith again from the sideline! Storm 36-466 min: TRY Melbourne StormIt's 4 for Jake Webster as the Tigers self destruct.Some quick hands on the eastern touchline finishes it off from the last pass by Geyer.Smith from the sideline hooks this one. Storm 40-472 min: Brett White has cleaned up Lolesi late and high and could well be a send off offence.72 min: ON REPORT - Brett White is on report for the tackle and could be in trouble when the match is reviewed.80 min: TRY Melbourne StormGeyer caps off a great night for the Storm scoring next to the posts to just about seal the Minor Premiership.Inglis converts with Smith off the field. Storm 46-4Fulltime-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Jake Webster2 - Scott Hill1 - Cameron Smith-----------------------------------------
PARRAMATTA will move back rower Chad Robinson in to the front row to replace the suspended Fuifui Moimoi for their clash with the Dragons on Friday night. Centre Brett Delaney makes a return from injury on the bench while the match marks the first match between the two clubs since the outrageous 8-1 victory by the Dragons at OKI Jubilee Stadium in round 13.
REFEREE Shayne Hayne has been dropped for the Round 22 fixtures following a costly mistake in the Sharks and Knights encounter on Friday night. Hayne ruled a scrum to the Knights after a pass by Andrew Johns hit him in the chest. The correct ruling would have been to award a scrum to the Sharks. This rules Shayne out of any chance to referee in the upcoming Finals Series.
ROUND 21 Parramatta Eels 31 v Manly Sea Eagles 18at Parramatta StadiumReferee: Steven ClarkMatch Summary:The Parramatta Eels continued their winning run tonight, disposing of the Manly Sea Eagles by 31-18 in a fiery game at Parramatta Stadium.The game contained several big hits but the talking point of the match came in the 49th minute when Fuifui Moimoi hit Brent Kite around the head as the Sea Eagles were on the attack close to Parramatta?s line.Kite was knocked senseless and eventually hobbled from the field but took no further part in the action. Referee Steven Clark sent the barnstorming Eels frontrower from the field when the game resumed, opening the way for Manly to come back into the match.The Eels began on fire, scoring in the 4th minute through outgoing centre Luke O?Dwyer who snapped up the ball in the in-goal area after Manly fullback Michael Robertson failed to clean up a kick. Try-scoring freak Jarryd Hayne crossed about ten minutes later after a good cut-out pass from John Morris found the unmarked winger.From there it was punch and counter-punch as Manly scored through Matai and Stephenson either side of another Eels try to Luke Burt. The home side hit the sheds up 18-8 and looking pretty comfortable.They continued to lead from the front with O?Dwyer crossing again just after the break to lead 24-8 and the game was seemingly in the bag for Parramatta.Shortly after Moimoi was sent from the field and Manly smelt blood in the water, piling on tries to Chris Hicks and Luke Williamson to set the stage for a dramatic final quarter of the game with the scores poised at 24-18.Parramatta held their resolve though, even with a man down, and pushed further ahead late in the game with a second try to Luke Burt in the 72nd minute followed shortly by a field goal from Morris.The victory consolidates Parramatta?s chances of gaining a top 8 spot and the Eels now face the Dragons at home on Friday night in what should be a bell-ringer.For Manly, they enjoy a bye week but probably feel a bit disappointed with the result. They?ve been going well up until now and a win here would have had them pushing for a top 4 spot.Scorers:Parramatta Eels: 31Tries: Luke Burt(2), Luke O'Dwyer(2), Jarryd HayneGoals: Luke Burt 5/5Field Goals: John MorrisManly Sea Eagles: 18Tries: Chris Hicks, Paul Stephenson, Luke Williamson, Steve MataiGoals: Matt Orford 1/4By the Clock:Brett Stewart is out for the Sea Eagles with Michael Robertson dropping back to fullback.Steve Bell returns to the centres with George Rose coming on to the bench.Luke Burt replaces Wade McKinnon in the fullback role.1 min: Kickoff!2 min: An early penalty against Steve Matai in the play the ball.4 min: TRY Parramatta EelsA grubber through by Jeremy Smith that deflects off Robertson and O'Dwyer is there to score the try for the Eels.Burt converts on his return to First Grade. Eels 6-08 min: The crowd getting behind both sides in what looks close to be to at its full capacity.11 min: A penalty on the last tackle against the Eels for a grapple tackle puts the Eagles on the attack.13 min: Going to the video for an Eels try...13 min: TRY Parramatta EelsOh no it's him again!A long cutout by John Morris is picked up on the half volley by the whizkid Jarryd Hayne who strolls away to score in the corner.Burt from the sideline puts it over the black dot. Eels 12-018 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesA short ball from Orford puts Matai in to a gap who scores the Sea Eagles first try of the night.Orford from the sideline just misses to the left. Eels 12-420 min: From the kickoff,MoiMoi and Cayless hit King in a bell-ringer.30 min: Eel Jeremy Smith gives away his second penalty of the night and the Sea Eagles go on the attack.31 min: The toughjudge is in on a report - Shayne Dunley is on report for putting his knees in to Jarryd Hayne who did well to take a cross field bomb.34 min: Checking for an Eels try...34 min: TRY Parramatta EelsJeremy Smith threads a grubber through and Luke Burt wins the race to the ball and scores the Eels' third.Burt converts his own try. Eels 18-436 min: Play is stopped for quite some time as Steve Matai gets a knock to the head.40 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesA grubber through by Matt Orford and Paul Stephenson comes from out of the clouds to score in the corner.Orford hits the uprights from the sideline. Eels 18-8Halftime - The Eels have entertained their crowd with an excellent first half of football.The Sea Eagles have stuck with the Eels for the whole half and a try right on half time to Paul Stephenson has given the visitors a sniff.Second half underway...43 min: Somehow Dean Widders gets the ball off a deflected kick,he struggles to pick the wobbling ball up,had he,he would have had a 2 on 1 overlap.46 min: TRY Parramatta EelsThe ball is shifted to the right and centre Luke O'Dwyer goes over in the corner untouched.Burt puts it over from the sideline. Eels 24-849 min: Brent Kite down after a horrible high tackle from MoiMoi.He is knocked out cold and it could be the end of MoiMoi's night.49 min: Sent Off - Fui Fui MoiMoi becomes the third player to be sent off in 2006.52 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesSome scrappy ball movement from the Sea Eagles and Chris Hicks scores in the corner to make a game of it.Orford misses again from the sideline. Eels 24-1253 min: Checking for a Manly try...54 min: NEWS NO TRY - Michael Robertson drops a bomb in the Eels ingoal area but then scores,he is ruled to have knocked the ball in to an Eels player before that.57 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesSome good ball movement and from an offload,Luke Williamson dives over next to the uprights.Only moments earlier,Luke O'Dwyer dropped a pass cold and would have had a free run to the tryline.Orford converts. Eels 24-1862 min: NEWS Williamson hit by a beauty from Ben Smith66 min: Kylie Leuleuai goes from dummy half on the last tackle but is held up by Hindmarsh.70 min: Steve Matai goes on a thirty metre run down the sideline before being taken into touch by O'Dwyer.72 min: A crowd of just over 15500 is announced as we go the video for an Eels try...72 min: TRY Parramatta EelsA grubber through from Mark Riddell is pounced on by Luke Burt who gets his second of the night.Burt converts his own try. Eels 30-1873 min: Crowd - 1540475 min: FIELD GOAL Parramatta EelsJohn Morris seals the clash tonight with a field goal between the posts. Eels 31-1876 min: From the short kickoff,Jarryd Hayne sprints down the touchline,passes the ball back on the inside to Luke Burt who runs away to score,but it was ruled to be a forward pass,good call by Clark.Fulltime in an epic contest which had September like proportions.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Luke O2 - Ben Kennedy1 - Nathan Hindmarsh-----------------------------------------
THE Cronulla Sharks will play Brisbane recruit Darren Mapp in First Grade this Friday against Newcastle for the first time in 2006. With Kevin Kingston suspended for one match, Matt Hilder will move from the bench to the hooking role.
SEAN Hampstead returns to the NRL this weekend from a week off to control the top of the table fixture between the Dragons and the Storm at OKI Jubilee Stadium. The last time Hampstead officiated at a Dragons encounter was his controversial outing to Kogarah where Eels halfback Jeremy Smith was hit with a contrary conduct charge for pushing him.Shayne Hayne returns to Friday night football for the first time since Round 14 when the Sea Eagles just edged out the Tigers at Brookvale Oval. Hayne will be at the centre of an important match between two sides vying for the top eight, Cronulla at home to Newcastle.Tony Archer, who had a sound performance last weekend up in Townsville during the Queensland derby, will head west to the foot of the Blue Mountains to referee the match at CUA Stadium between the Warriors and the Panthers. The Warriors? season is all but over but the Panthers can maintain a position in or around the eight with a victory.Number one referee, Steven Clark, has been appointed to the clash at Parramatta Stadium on Saturday night between the Eels and the Sea Eagles, a rematch of last year?s 4th Qualifying Final. In the corresponding game earlier this year at the SCG, it was a Matt Orford field goal that got Manly home. Clark was also the referee for that match.After three consecutive weeks refereeing the Foxtel Sunday afternoon delayed match, Jason Robinson will move to the Saturday night match between the Rabbitohs and the Raiders. The two sides met earlier this year in Round 13 when Souths were pipped at the post by two points down in Canberra, with David Peachey playing his first game for the club.Paul Simpkins, who is still recovering from injuring his calf in Newcastle in Round 5, will travel to Brisbane for the rematch of the 2005 2nd Semi Final between Brisbane and the Wests Tigers. The two sides sit in much different positions than they did at that time as the Broncos are pushing for a top two finish while a loss for the Tigers on Sunday could be the end of their season.Gavin Badger will referee for the second week in a row back in First Grade after having a short stint back in Premier League. The man who refereed the New South Wales vs. Queensland Residents match in State of Origin I will be the centre of attention when the Roosters are at home to a Cowboys side without Johnathan Thurston at Aussie Stadium on Sunday.
North Queensland Cowboys 26 def. Brisbane Broncos 10
At Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville
Referee: Tony Archer
MICHAEL Crocker returns for the Melbourne Storm on Friday Night when they take on the Cronulla Sharks at Olympic Park. It will be his first appearance since being suspended against South Sydney in Round Nine at Telstra Stadium.
GAVIN Badger, a product of the South Sydney District, makes his long awaited return to NRL Refereeing this weekend when he will control the Newcastle and South Sydney clash at Energy Australia Stadium in Newcastle. This will be Gavin?s first NRL fixture since Round 16 where he was in the middle when New Zealand obliviated Souths 66-0 in record fashion. Badger replaces young Ben Cummins, who has been dropped to running as a touch judge on Friday Night, because of not using the video referee when needed over the past couple of weeks.Shayne Hayne also returns to the middle this weekend after a week off when he will control the all important clash between the Tigers and Eels. Hayne, who was in charge of the Bulldogs? golden point victory of the Warriors, will be looking to continue his good form with the whistle as we lead in to the time when referees push for Semi Final positions.Jarred Maxwell has been rewarded for a good performance when in charge of the Rabbitohs and Sea Eagles fixture on Saturday night, and will be returning to Telstra Stadium to be in charge of the always fiery Bulldogs-Roosters encounter.Steve Clark will once again take the number one referee position in to round 20 when he will referee Friday night footy down in Melbourne between the Storm and the Sharks. Clark, who had a sound game when in charge of the Bulldogs-Dragons match, is the front runner to replace retired Tim Mander as the Grand Final referee.One of the men closely behind Clark in the race for the Grand Final position, Paul Simpkins, will be the man with the whistle when the Dragons travel down to the Nation?s Capital, to take on the Canberra Raiders. Simpkins, who is a member of the South Sydney District, was the frontrunner for the Grand Final last year before wasting it on a bad call in the Storm v Cowboys Semi Final.Tony Archer will be in charge of the all Queensland fixture when the Cowboys are at home to the Broncos this Saturday night in Townsville. Archer, who refereed his first finals match last year in Wollongong between the Dragons and Sharks, will be looking to have a sound game to improve his chances of an appearance once again in the finals.Jason Robinson, who was a junior referee in the Penrith District, will travel to Brookvale Oval on Sunday afternoon, where he will be the man in the middle for Manly?s first home match in three weeks when they take on the Penrith Panthers. Robinson has held his position for the last three weeks in First Grade although talented referees Tony De Las Heras and Gavin Badger have been pushing for his spot. Former State of Origin referee Sean Hampstead will have a week off this weekend after crossing the Tasman for the Warriors-Eels match. Hampstead who did not appear in the Finals last year, will be looking to repeat his good form of the first half of the season, which earned himself an Origin appearance.
ROUND 19 Penrith Panthers 17 v North Queensland Cowboys 8at CUA Stadium, PenrithReferees: Ben CumminsMatch Summary:The Penrith Panthers have kept their dream of a finals appearance alive with a low scoring 17- 8 victory over an ordinary Cowboys outfit. The Cowboys led 2-0 at halftime in a tryless opening stanza half thanks to a 12th minute penalty goal from Queensland halfback Johnathon Thurston.In what was pretty much the only exciting passage of the first half, the scoreboard attendants fell asleep on the job and forgot to press the half time siren. The players were left playing for an extra half a minute before referee Ben Cummins got a message from his video referee to blow half time.I'm not sure what the coaches said at halftime but the players came out wanting some action and straight after the break. Panthers hooker Luke Priddis dived over after a good break by Luke Swain.The conversion was successful and the the Panthers were in front for the first time tonight 6-2.Only moments later veteran five-eight Preston Campbell kicked a 40/20 to give the Panthers a sniff at two tries in a minute.However, as the story was on the night for both sides, handling let the Panthers down as they searched for a second try. Moments later, Queensland halfback Johnathon Thurston chipped over the top before being taken out by young Panthers prop Matthew Cross. This gave the visitors another set of six on the Panthers' goal line.Former Dragons junior Steve Southern who was recalled in to First Grade this week, got the Cowboys back into the game as he went over to score off a Mark Henry break to put the Cowboys back in front 8-6.Just when the Cowboys thought they were back in the contest, young Panthers winger Michael Gordon set off down the western touchline. On the next tackle, Rhys Wesser bumped off three poor attempts at tackle and scored to put the Panthers back in front by 12-8.Then came the turning point of the match with Ty Williams screaming down the touchline and about to dive for the corner, Joel Clinton ankle tapped him as he dived for the line a la Scotty Sattler.With just two minutes left on the clock and time ticking away for the victors, Craig Trindall on debut for the Panthers slotted a field goal to put the margin out to five points and would make the task just a bit harder for the Cowboys.A minute later, things got worse for the visitors, when New South Wales forward Luke O'Donnell was placed on report by referee Ben Cummins for a dangerous tackle.The writing was on the wall in the dying stages as young winger Michael Gordon crossed in the corner to make the full time score 17-8 to the home side.In what could be described as a sloppy match, the Panthers came away with the two points to continue the Cowboys' horror run. The Panthers now lie on the same points as the Cowboys and are in striking distance of even the fifth placed Sharks.Scorers:Penrith Panthers: 17Tries: Luke Priddis, Rhys Wesser, Michael GordonGoals: Preston Campbell 2/3Field Goals: Craig TrindallNorth Queensland Cowboys: 8Tries: Steven SouthernGoals: Johnathan Thurston 2/2By the Clock:Welcome to CUA Stadium where steady rain has been falling all day but luckily enough, it has stopped in the late afternoon. Dark clouds are still pondering over the area though. Shane Rodney and Lee Hookey drop off the Panthers bench while for the Cowboys, Mark Henry has replaced Josh Hannay in the centres.The Cowboys are out on to the park as Tony Puletua leads out the home side.Kickoff!8 min: Both sides off to a tentative start in a must win game.10 min: Referee Ben Cummins calls held and Rhys Wesser passes the ball so it is a scrum and the Cowboys go on the attack.12 min: PENALTY GOAL North Queensland CowboysLuke Priddis gives away a penalty in the play the ball and from the eastern touchline Johnathon Thurston takes the 2 points. Cowboys 2-013 min: The kickoff is ruled to be out on the full but on the replay it shows that the ball bounces millimetres inside the line.19 min: Drop ball marring what should be an open game here.22 min: The Socceroos would be proud of that! Thurston grubbers through the defence for Sing,who grubbers past Wesser for Southern but Campbell is there to clean up.25 min: A good cross field kick on the last tackle by Trindall is knocked on by Rooney.34 min: As the Cowboys go on the attack, rain begins to fall.36 min: A kick from the scrumbase by the Cowboys goes dead ingoal as a foot race was beginning.40 min: A bizarre end to the first half as no siren sounds but referee Ben Cummins blows halftime because the clock was down to 0.Halftime - A tryless first half that has been entertaining in the fact that it has been very open because of the error rate. Hopefully the scoreboard attendant will have something to do in the second half! He didn't in the first half as he fell asleep and forgot to press the siren for halftime!Second half underway...45 min: The Cowboys on the attack and maybe we will see our first try.Mitchell Sargent down injured in back play.46 min: TRY Penrith PanthersLuke Swain goes through the defence,comes to Bowen and gets an arm free and offloads to Priddis for the first try of the match.Campbell converts the try. Panthers 6-248 min: A 40/20 from Campbell sends the Panthers on the attack.52 min: A penalty gives the Cowboys another set of six as he chips over the top and Matthew Cross took him out.56 min: TRY North Queensland CowboysWelcome back in to first grade Bluey Southern! A great pass by Thurston finds Mark Henry who goes straight through and finds Southern who scores to level up.Thurston puts the Cowboys back in front. Cowboys 8-660 min: Matt Sing goes straight through from a kick return and streaks down field before finding Thurston who is eventually tackled by Wesser inside the Panthers half.The Cowboys then get a penalty for the markers not being square.65 min: NEWS The Panthers turn defence into attack as Gordon picks up a lost Cowboys ball and races down field.66 min: TRY Penrith PanthersOn the counterattack,Queenslander Rhys Wesser bumps off 3 poor attempts at tackle and scores to put the Panthers back in front. Campbell adds the extras. Panthers 12-869 min: Checking a possible Cowboys try.69 min: NO TRY - Matt Bowen turns defence in to attack off a kick but somehow Gordon comes from behind and takes him.On the next play they spread it wide and as Ty Williams dives for the corner,but Clinton comes from nowhere and ankle taps him in to touch.71 min: O'Donnell goes over to score for the Cowboys but it is ruled no try correctly as the pass was forward.78 min: Not long remains here and it looks like Penrith will get away with a victory here tonight.79 min: ON REPORT - Luke O'Donnell is on report for a lifting tackle.78 min: FIELD GOAL Penrith PanthersOn debut,Craig Trindall puts the margin out to 5 and makes it even harder for the Cowboys to come back. Panthers 13-880 min: TRY Penrith PanthersMichael seals the victory for the Panthers tonight as he scores in the corner to confirm the victory tonight.Campbell can't convert tonight Panthers 17-8Fulltime-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Preston Campbell2 - Joel Clinton1 - Matthew Bowen-----------------------------------------