Monday?s Expert League Wrap - Rd 21, 2006

The Newcastle Knights continue to keep their finals campaign on track following their 22-18 win over the Cronulla Sharks on Friday night. Playing in front of a healthy home crowd, the Sharks led 12-10 at half time before being cut down by the Knights.

Saturday rugby league took us to Penrith with the Panthers giving the New Zealand Warriors a thrashing to the tune of 36-6. Not far away in Parramatta, the Eels were handing out similar punishment in defeating arch rivals Manly Sea Eagles by 31-18. Saturday night wrapped up in Homebush with South Sydney Rabbitohs posting their second win of the year and upsetting the Canberra Raiders by 21-8.

Sunday football kicked off in Brisbane with last year?s premiers Wests Tigers cruising to a 20-6 victory over the Broncos. Meanwhile at Kogarah, the Melbourne Storm travelled to defeat the St George Illawarra Dragons 34-24 in what was an epic encounter. The weekend of football wrapped up in Sydney with another upset as the Roosters thrashed the North Queensland Cowboys 40-20.

With five rounds remaining before the finals, the NRL ladder sees the Melbourne Storm six points clear on 36 competition points, and looking like specials for this year?s minor premiership. The Canterbury Bulldogs had the bye this round and move up 30 points, and outright second position. The Bulldogs are close enough to join Storm as definite finals contenders for 2006.

The Broncos and the Dragons are on 26 points each to make up the top four, both sides are in need of couple of wins in the coming rounds. Not far away on 24 points are the Sea Eagles and the Knights with both also feeling the pressure from teams below them. The battle for the top eight is hotting up with no less than five teams on 22 points. The Cowboys, Sharks, Eels, Panthers and Raiders are all fighting it out to make the cut.

Wests Tigers are on 20 points and in 12th position. While some will argue that the reigning premiers are still a mathematical chance in 2006, it does look as if they have presented themselves with a mountain too high to climb. Below them are the Roosters on 18 points, and the Warriors are written off on 16 points. Definite wooden spooners, the Rabbitohs are on 6 points.

All match results and details are listed below. Player Awards
The leader board in this year?s Player Awards is hotting up with Canberra?s Clinton Schifcofske and Melbourne?s Cameron Smith equal at the top on 26 points each. They are five points clear of Eels forward Nathan Hindmarsh who moves up to 21 points and outright second place. Not far away are Preston Campbell (Panthers), Greg Inglis (Storm), Willie Mason (Bulldogs), and previous awards winner Matt Orford (Sea Eagles) on 20 points.

With just five rounds remaining, the leader board sees a number of players still well in contention. The full leader board is below.

The players of the match are decided by our live score updaters and tallied here each week on Monday?s Expert League wrap.

Want to be a live score updater? For further enquiries, email us

League Wrap: Round 21, 28 July ? 30 July 2006

Cronulla Sutherland Sharks: 18
Tries: Paul Gallen, Reece Williams, Lance Thompson
Goals: Luke Covell 3/4
Newcastle Knights: 22
Tries: George Carmont, Andrew Johns, Adam Woolnough, Brian Carney
Goals: Andrew Johns 3/4
Half time: Sharks 12-10
Venue: Toyota Park
Crowd: 17,574
Referee: Shayne Hayne players of the match:
3 - Danny Buderus (Knights)
2 - Matthew Gidley (Knights)
1 - Greg Bird (Sharks)

Penrith Panthers: 36
Tries: Tony Puletua, Luke Rooney, Rhys Wesser(3), Matthew Cross
Goals: Preston Campbell 6/7
New Zealand Warriors: 6
Tries: Manu Vatuvei
Goals: Tony Martin 1/1
Half time: Panthers 12-6
Venue: CUA Stadium Penrith
Crowd: 9,725
Referee: Tony Archer players of the match:
3 - Rhys Wesser (Panthers)
2 - Preston Campbell (Panthers)
1 - Luke Priddis (Panthers)

Parramatta Eels: 31
Tries: Luke Burt(2), Luke O'Dwyer(2), Jarryd Hayne
Goals: Luke Burt 5/5
Field Goals: John Morris
Manly Sea Eagles: 18
Tries: Chris Hicks, Paul Stephenson, Luke Williamson, Steve Matai
Goals: Matt Orford 1/4
Half time: Eels 18-8
Venue: Parramatta Stadium
Crowd: 15,404
Referee: Steven Clark players of the match:
3 - Luke O?Dwyer (Eels)
2 - Ben Kennedy (Sea Eagles)
1 - Nathan Hindmarsh (Eels)

South Sydney Rabbitohs: 21
Tries: Nathan Merritt(2), Paul Mellor, David Peachey
Goals: Joe Williams 2/4
Field Goals: Ben Rogers
Canberra Raiders: 8
Tries: Adam Mogg(2)
Half time: Rabbitohs 20-4
Venue: Telstra Stadium
Crowd: 6,152
Referee: Jason Robinson players of the match:
3 - David Peachey (Rabbitohs)
2 - Nathan Merritt (Rabbitohs)
1 - Joe Williams (Rabbitohs)

Brisbane Broncos: 6
Tries: Shane Webcke
Goals: Darren Lockyer 1/1
Wests Tigers: 20
Tries: Dean Collis(2), Chris Lawrence, Ben Jeffery
Goals: Scott Prince 2/4
Half time: Tigers 10-0
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Crowd: 31,500
Referee: Paul Simpkins players of the match:
3 - Scott Prince (Tigers)
2 - Dean Collis (Tigers)
1 - Taniela Tuiaki (Tigers)

St George Illawarra Dragons: 24
Tries: Trent Barrett, Matt Cooper(2), Mark Gasnier, Brett Morris
Goals: Aaron Gorrell 1/5, Mathew Head 1/1
Melbourne Storm: 34
Tries: Cooper Cronk, Ryan Hoffman, Greg Inglis, Matt King(2), Steve Turner
Goals: Cameron Smith 5/7
Half time: Storm 16-12
Venue: Oki Jubilee Stadium Kogarah
Crowd: 13,866
Referee: Sean Hampstead players of the match:
3 - Cameron Smith (Storm)
2 - Cooper Cronk (Storm)
1 - Matt Cooper (Dragons)

Sydney Roosters: 40
Tries: Brett Finch, Iosia Soliola, David Shillington, Shaun Foley(2), Josh Lewis
Goals: Craig Fitzgibbon 7/7, Amos Roberts 1/1
North Queensland Cowboys: 20
Tries: Matt Sing, Ashley Graham, Mark Henry(2)
Goals: Josh Hannay 2/4
Half time: Cowboys 16-6
Venue: Aussie Stadium
Crowd: 7,617
Referee: Gavin Badger players of the match:
3 - Craig Fitzgibbon (Roosters)
2 - Brett Finch (Roosters)
1 - Shaun Foley (Roosters)

Canterbury Bulldogs v Bye


Round 22, 4-6 August 2006
Fri 7:30 EELS v DRAGONS - Parramatta Stadium
Sat 7:30 (NZ) 5:30 (AEST) WARRIORS v SHARKS - Mt Smart (Ericsson) Stadium
Sat 7:30 STORM v TIGERS - Olympic Park
Sat 7:30 COWBOYS v BULLDOGS - Dairy Farmers Stadium
Sun 2:30 RAIDERS v BRONCOS - Canberra Stadium
Sun 3:00 ROOSTERS v KNIGHTS - Central Coast Stadium
Sun 3:00 RABBITOHS v PANTHERS - Telstra Stadium



The players awards are decided by our live score updaters.
Want to be a live score updater? For further enquiries, email us.

26 points
Clinton Schifcofske (Raiders), Cameron Smith (Storm)

21 points
Nathan Hindmarsh (Eels)

20 points
Preston Campbell (Panthers), Greg Inglis (Storm), Willie Mason (Bulldogs), Matt Orford (Sea Eagles)

19 points
Ben Kennedy (Sea Eagles)

17 points
Cooper Cronk (Storm), Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys)

16 points
Andrew Johns (Knights)

14 points
Matthew Bowen (Cowboys), Danny Buderus (Knights), Mark Gasnier (Dragons)

13 points
Adam Dykes (Sharks), Hazem El Masri (Bulldogs), Darren Lockyer (Broncos)

12 points
Jason Smith (Raiders)

11 points
Roy Asotasi (Bulldogs), Karmichael Hunt (Broncos), Scott Prince (Tigers)

10 points
Petero Civoniceva (Broncos), Robert Farah (Tigers)

9 points
Craig Fitzgibbon (Roosters), Paul Gallen (Sharks), Mathew Head (Dragons), Brett Hodgson (Tigers), Steve Price (Warriors)

8 points
Brett Kimmorley (Sharks), Corey Parker (Broncos), Rhys Wesser (Panthers), Ruben Wiki (Warriors), Dean Young (Dragons)

7 points
Steve Bell (Sea Eagles), Mark O?Meley (Bulldogs), Aaron Payne (Cowboys), David Peachey (Rabbitohs), Amos Roberts (Roosters), Steve Simpson (Knights), Sonny Bill Williams (Bulldogs)

6 points
Craig Gower (Panthers), Nathan Fien (Warriors), Ryan Hoffman (Storm), Luke Lewis (Panthers), Steve Menzies (Sea Eagles), Grant Rovelli (Warriors), Lance Thompson (Sharks), Alan Tongue (Raiders)

5 points
Trent Barrett (Dragons), Dean Collis (Tigers), Peter Cusack (Rabbitohs), Brett Finch (Roosters), Aaron Gorrell (Dragons), Jarryd Hayne (Eels), Justin Hodges (Broncos), Wade McKinnon (Eels), Luke O'Donnell (Cowboys), Simon Mannering (Warriors), Luke Priddis (Panthers), Brad Thorn (Broncos), Brent Webb (Warriors)

4 points
Darren Albert (Sharks), Greg Bird (Sharks), Brian Carney (Knights), Matt Cooper (Dragons), Sione Faumuina (Warriors), David Kidwell (Storm), Ben Hornby (Dragons), Anthony Laffranchi (Tigers), Adam MacDougall (Rabbitohs), Nathan Merritt (Rabbitohs), Fuifui Moimoi (Eels), Clint Newton (Knights), Andrew Ryan (Bulldogs), Brent Sherwin (Bulldogs), David Simmons (Sharks), Billy Slater (Storm), Jamie Soward (Roosters), John Sutton (Rabbitohs), Anthony Tupou (Roosters), Paul Whatuira (Tigers), Lincoln Withers (Raiders)

3 points
Luke Bailey (Dragons), Nathan Cayless (Eels), Joel Clinton (Panthers), Darius Boyd (Broncos), Luke Covell (Sharks), Michael Crocker (Storm), Greg Eastwood (Broncos), Matthew Gidley (Knights), Michael Gordon (Panthers), Phillip Graham (Raiders), Clint Greenshields (Dragons), Nathan Hinton (Knights), Brett Kearney (Sharks), Luke MacDougall (Rabbitohs), Reni Maitua (Bulldogs), Manase Manuokafoa (Rabbitohs), Luke O?Dwyer (Eels), Michael Robertson (Sea Eagles), Jerome Ropati (Warriors), Matt Sing (Cowboys), Brett Stewart (Sea Eagles), Milton Thaiday (Knights), Tame Tupou (Broncos), Matthew Utai (Bulldogs), Anthony Watmough (Sea Eagles)

2 points
Brenton Bowen (Cowboys), Travis Burns (Sea Eagles), George Carmont (Knights), Todd Carney (Raiders), Daniel Fitzhenry (Tigers), Keith Galloway (Tigers), Awen Guttenbeil (Warriors), Ashley Harrison (Roosters), Scott Hill (Storm), Wairangi Koopu (Warriors), Tom Learoyd-Lahrs (Raiders), Tony Martin (Warriors), Anthony Minichiello (Roosters), Mark O'Meley (Bulldogs), Benji Marshall (Tigers), John Morris (Eels), Luke Patten (Bulldogs), Josh Perry (Knights), Todd Polglase (Rabbitohs), Luke Rooney (Panthers), John Skandalis (Tigers), Craig Smith (Knights), Tim Smith (Eels), Iosia Soliola (Roosters), Steven Southern (Cowboys), Timana Tahu (Eels), Clinton Toopi (Warriors), Evarn Tuimavave (Warriors), Nigel Vagana (Sharks), Trent Waterhouse (Panthers), Shane Webcke (Broncos), Michael Weyman (Raiders), Craig Wing (Roosters)

1 point
Paul Bowman (Cowboys), Ben Creagh (Dragons), Shayne Dunley (Sea Eagles), Michael Ennis (Broncos), Shaun Foley (Roosters), Nathan Friend (Storm), Matt Geyer (Storm), Kurt Gidley (Knights), Tony Grimaldi (Bulldogs), Chris Hicks (Sea Eagles), Daniel Holdsworth (Bulldogs), Lee Hookey (Panthers), Matt King (Storm), Todd Lowrie (Knights), Steve Matai (Sea Eagles), Daryl Millard (Dragons), Ryan O'Hara (Tigers), Shannon McDonnell (Tigers), Adam Mogg (Raiders), Mark Riddell (Eels), Shane Rodney (Panthers), David Shillington (Roosters), Brent Tate (Broncos), Shane Tronc (Cowboys), Taniela Tuiaki (Tigers), Ben Walker (Rabbitohs), Joe Williams (Rabbitohs), Simon Woolford (Raiders), William Zillman (Raiders)