Monday?s Expert League Wrap - Round 22, 2006

Friday night football saw a near capacity crowd brave damp conditions and witness a resurgent Parramatta Eels down an out-of-form St George Illawarra Dragons 28-6. The result sees the Eels in seventh position and 24 points on the National Rugby League ladder. The Dragons slip two places to sixth spot and 26 points.

Saturday football kicked off in Auckland with a small crowd on hand to witness the New Zealand Warriors post a 12-10 victory over the Cronulla Sharks. The 13th-placed Warriors are on 18 points. The Sharks are seemingly anchored on 22 points and have now slipped out of the top eight.

Saturday night took us to Melbourne to see competition leaders the Storm thrash last year?s premiers Wests Tigers by 46-4. The result almost confirms Melbourne as minor premiers for 2006. Now on 38 competition points and six points clear of the field, the southern franchise is looking odds on to go all the way. Things are not so rosy for the 12th-placed Wests Tigers, Struggling to keep in touch on 20 points, the Tigers appear to have little chance of making the cut in four weeks time.

Meanwhile, the Canterbury Bulldogs were asserting their authority in clobbering the North Queensland Cowboys 54-14 in Townsville. The result was the final nail in the coffin for the Cowboys. Last year?s grand finalists, the North Queenslanders began their season with a flurry of victories. But now the 10th-placed Cowboys are on 22 points and in real danger of missing out on a finals berth. The Bulldogs led 30-0 at half time and are firming up as real contenders in this year?s competition. With 32 points and in outright second position, the Bulldogs may the only team standing in the way of Melbourne.

Sunday football gave us three matches kicking off with the Raiders running over the top the Brisbane Broncos by 30-18 in Canberra. The result confirms that the Broncos are indeed in a post-Origin slump as they cling to third spot amongst a log jam of teams on 26 points. The Raiders put in a fine performance and must fancy themselves. They are now in the top eight on 24 points and only have to remain consistent to be there come finals time.

The Newcastle Knights have been promoted to fourth spot after they disposed of the Sydney Roosters by 32-18 at Central Coast Stadium. The Roosters are on 18 competition points and in second last position, their season ending some time ago.

Round 22 wrapped up at Homebush with the South Sydney Rabbitohs defeating the Penrith Panthers 32-26. The win takes the Rabbitohs to eight points on the competition ladder as they focus on getting themselves into double figures. With no chance of avoiding the wooden spoon, Souths are playing for pride and contracts. The 11th-placed Panthers are not playing like a team competing for a top eight spot and don?t really deserve a rating. But on 22 points and with four rounds remaining, they are still a chance to jag a finals berth.

All match results and details are listed below. Player Awards
This year?s Player Awards has got a new leader with Melbourne hooker Cameron Smith coming first on 27 points. Canberra full back Clinton Schifcofske maintains second spot on the leader board with 26 points.

Not far away are Preston Campbell (Panthers) and Nathan Hindmarsh (Eels) on 21 points while Greg Inglis (Storm), Willie Mason (Bulldogs), and Matt Orford (Sea Eagles) are on 20 points. On 19 points, and still a chance of taking out the award, are Ben Kennedy (Sea Eagles) and Andrew Johns (Knights).

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 22, 4 August ? 6 August 2006

Parramatta Eels: 28
Tries: Eric Grothe (2), Luke Burt, Chad Robinson
Goals: Luke Burt 6/7
St George Illawarra Dragons: 6
Tries: Colin Best
Goals: Mathew Head 1/2
Half time: Eels 10-6
Venue: Parramatta Stadium
Crowd: 19,137
Referee: Steve Clark players of the match:
3 - Nathan Cayless (Eels)
2 - Peter-John Marsh (Eels)
1 - John Morris (Eels)

New Zealand Warriors: 12
Tries: Michael Luck, Grant Rovelli
Goals: Tony Martin 2/3
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks: 10
Tries: Luke Covell, Brett Kimmorley
Goals: Luke Covell 1/2
Half time: 6 all
Venue: Mt Smart (Ericsson) Stadium
Crowd: 4,850
Referee: Jason Robinson players of the match:
3 - Steve Price (Warriors)
2 - Grant Rovelli (Warriors)
1 - Paul Gallen (Sharks)

Melbourne Storm: 46
Tries: Matt Geyer, Greg Inglis, Steve Turner(2), Jake Webster(4)
Goals: Greg Inglis 1/1, Cameron Smith 6/8
Wests Tigers: 4
Tries: Jamaal Lolesi
Half time: Storm 16-4
Venue: Olympic Park Melbourne
Crowd: 12,481
Referee: Sean Hampstead players of the match:
3 - Jake Webster (Storm)
2 - Scott Hill (Storm)
1 - Cameron Smith (Storm)

North Queensland Cowboys: 14
Tries: Matthew Scott, Ashley Graham, Mark Henry
Goals: Ashley Graham 1/2
Canterbury Bulldogs: 54
Tries: Trent Cutler, Hazem El Masri, Reni Maitua, Luke Patten, Willie Tonga, Sonny Bill Williams(2), Andrew Emelio(2)
Goals: Hazem El Masri 9/9
Half time: Bulldogs 30-0
Venue: Dairy Farmers Stadium
Crowd: 20,486
Referee: Paul Simpkins players of the match:
3 - Sonny Bill Williams (Bulldogs)
2 - Andrew Ryan (Bulldogs)
1 - Willie Tonga (Bulldogs)

Canberra Raiders: 30
Tries: Todd Carney, Phillip Graham, David Howell(2), Adam Mogg, Adrian Purtell
Goals: Clinton Schifcofske 3/6
Brisbane Broncos: 18
Tries: Sam Thaiday, Brad Thorn, Darius Boyd
Goals: Corey Parker 3/3
Half time: Raiders 14-6
Venue: Canberra Stadium
Crowd: 13,137
Referee: Gavin Badger players of the match:
3 - Alan Tongue (Raiders)
2 - Adam Mogg (Raiders)
1 - Phillip Graham (Raiders)

Sydney Roosters: 18
Tries: Ryan Cross, Iosia Soliola, Shaun Foley
Goals: Craig Fitzgibbon 2/2, Josh Lewis 1/1
Newcastle Knights: 32
Tries: Danny Buderus, Andrew Johns, Luke Davico, Chris Bailey, Riley Brown
Goals: Andrew Johns 6/6
Half time: Knights 26-6
Venue: Central Coast Stadium
Crowd: 18,124
Referee: Tony Archer players of the match:
3 - Andrew Johns (Knights)
2 - Danny Buderus (Knights)
1 - Milton Thaiday (Knights)

South Sydney Rabbitohs: 32
Tries: Mark Minichello, Germaine Paulson, Joe Williams, Nathan Merritt(3)
Goals: Joe Williams 4/6
Penrith Panthers: 26
Tries: Preston Campbell(2), Craig Gower, Tony Puletua, Michael Gordon
Goals: Michael Gordon 3/5
Half time: Rabbitohs 16-10
Venue: Telstra Stadium
Crowd: 9,126
Referee: Ben Cummins players of the match:
3 - Nathan Merritt (Rabbitohs)
2 - Joe Williams (Rabbitohs)
1 - Preston Campbell (Panthers)

Sea Eagles v Bye


Round 23, 11-13 August 2006
Fri 7:30 KNIGHTS v SEA EAGLES - EnergyAustralia Stadium
Sat 7:30 (NZ) 5:30 (AEST) WARRIORS v COWBOYS - Mt Smart (Ericsson) Stadium
Sat 7:30 PANTHERS v ROOSTERS - CUA Stadium, Penrith
Sat 7:30 SHARKS v EELS - Toyota Park
Sun 2:30 BRONCOS v STORM - Suncorp Stadium
Sun 3:00 BULLDOGS v DRAGONS - Telstra Stadium
Sun 3:00 TIGERS v RAIDERS - Campbelltown Stadium



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

27 points
Cameron Smith (Storm)

26 points
Clinton Schifcofske (Raiders)

21 points
Preston Campbell (Panthers), Nathan Hindmarsh (Eels)

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

19 points
Ben Kennedy (Sea Eagles), Andrew Johns (Knights)

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

16 points
Danny Buderus (Knights)

14 points
Matthew Bowen (Cowboys), Mark Gasnier (Dragons)

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

12 points
Steve Price (Warriors), Jason Smith (Raiders)

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

10 points
Petero Civoniceva (Broncos), Robert Farah (Tigers), Paul Gallen (Sharks), Sonny Bill Williams (Bulldogs)

9 points
Craig Fitzgibbon (Roosters), Mathew Head (Dragons), Brett Hodgson (Tigers), Alan Tongue (Raiders)

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

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

6 points
Nathan Cayless (Eels), Craig Gower (Panthers), Nathan Fien (Warriors), Ryan Hoffman (Storm), Luke Lewis (Panthers), Steve Menzies (Sea Eagles), Andrew Ryan (Bulldogs), Lance Thompson (Sharks)

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), Phillip Graham (Raiders), David Kidwell (Storm), Scott Hill (Storm), Ben Hornby (Dragons), Anthony Laffranchi (Tigers), Adam MacDougall (Rabbitohs), Fuifui Moimoi (Eels), Clint Newton (Knights), Brent Sherwin (Bulldogs), David Simmons (Sharks), Billy Slater (Storm), Jamie Soward (Roosters), John Sutton (Rabbitohs), Milton Thaiday (Knights), Anthony Tupou (Roosters), Paul Whatuira (Tigers), Lincoln Withers (Raiders)

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

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), Wairangi Koopu (Warriors), Tom Learoyd-Lahrs (Raiders), Tony Martin (Warriors), Anthony Minichiello (Roosters), Mark O'Meley (Bulldogs), Peter-John Marsh (Eels), Benji Marshall (Tigers), 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), Mark Riddell (Eels), Shane Rodney (Panthers), David Shillington (Roosters), Brent Tate (Broncos), Willie Tonga (Bulldogs), Shane Tronc (Cowboys), Taniela Tuiaki (Tigers), Ben Walker (Rabbitohs), Simon Woolford (Raiders), William Zillman (Raiders)