Monday?s Expert League
Wrap - Round 4, 2006

Last year?s grand finalists the Cowboys are outright competition leaders after coming back to defeat the Eels 26-18 at Parramatta Stadium on Friday night. Five-eighth Johnathan Thurston again led the way as the North Queenslanders remain undefeated in season 2006.

In a round of close score lines, the Sharks got their first win of the year on Saturday when they downed the hapless Rabbitohs 24-22. Even closer were the Raiders who came back in extra time to pip the Panthers 21-20. Saturday night also saw Manly looking impressive when they overcame the Roosters 30-22 at Brookvale.

On Sunday the reigning premiers Wests Tigers held out the Melbourne Storm to post a narrow 30-28 victory. Meanwhile a young St George Illawarra Dragons pack got the better of Brisbane to down the Broncos 26-12 in Wollongong.

But the Monday?s Expert pick of the round goes to the New Zealand Warriors who travelled across the Tasman with the hope of stopping Newcastle?s winning run and advancing to zero points on the competition ladder. With no Andrew Johns to worry about, Warriors halfback Nathan Fien directed his troops across the park to defeat the second-placed Knights 26-22. Newcastle grabbed an early 10-0 lead but fell away to trail 14-10 at half time, the Warriors eventually coming out on top to win.

The big news for the Warriors is they have now wiped the slate clean on the competition ladder. After starting on -4 points, the New Zealand side have posted two wins. Although still in last position, the NZ lads look to have plenty of victories left in them for the season ahead.

All match results and details are listed below.

After four rounds, the Player Awards sees Cowboys five-eighth Johnathan Thurston holding outright lead on 12 points, three points ahead of Newcastle halfback Andrew Johns and four points ahead of St George Illawarra centre Mark Gasnier.

Not far away on six points are Craig Gower (Panthers), Darren Lockyer (Broncos), Clinton Schifcofske (Raiders) and Cameron Smith (Storm). Meanwhile Adam Dykes (Sharks) and Amos Roberts (Roosters) are well in contention on five points.

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.

League Wrap: Round 4, 31 March ? 2 April 2006

Parramatta Eels: 18
Tries: Eric Grothe, Wade McKinnon (2)
Goals: Mark Riddell 2/3, Brett Delaney 1/1
North Queensland Cowboys: 26
Tries: David Fauiumu, Matthew Scott, Matt Sing (2)
Goals: Johnathan Thurston 5/6
Half time: Eels 14-6
Venue: Parramatta Stadium
Crowd: 15,131
Referee: Paul Simpkins players of the match:
3 - Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys)
2 - Matt Sing (Cowboys)
1 - Tim Smith (Eels)

Cronulla Sutherland Sharks: 24
Tries: Phil Bailey, Beau Scott, Lance Thompson, Luke Douglas, Tevita Latu
Goals: Luke Covell 2/5
South Sydney Rabbitohs: 22
Tries: Todd Polglase, John Sutton, Nathan Merritt, Paul Mellor
Goals: Joe Williams 2/2, Nathan Merritt 1/2
Half time: Sharks 20-6
Venue: Toyota Park
Crowd: 12,274
Referee: Shayne Hayne players of the match:
3 - Adam Dykes (Sharks)
2 - Todd Polglase (Rabbitohs)
1 - John Sutton (Rabbitohs)

Manly Sea Eagles: 30
Tries: Travis Burns, Brett Stewart, Matt Orford, Steve Matai, Steve Bell
Goals: Matt Orford 5/5
Sydney Roosters: 22
Tries: Anthony Minichiello, Adrian Morley, Jamie Soward
Goals: Craig Fitzgibbon 3/3, Amos Roberts 2/2
Half time: Roosters 20-12
Venue: Brookvale Oval
Crowd: 17,117
Referee: Tony Archer players of the match:
3 - Matt Orford (Sea Eagles)
2 - Steve Bell (Sea Eagles)
1 - Steve Menzies (Sea Eagles)

Canberra Raiders: 21
Tries: Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, David Howell, Adam Mogg (2)
Goals: Clinton Shifcofske 2/4
Field Goals: Clinton Shifcofske
Penrith Panthers: 20
Tries: Luke Lewis, Frank Pritchard, Rhys Wesser, Lee Hookey
Goals: Preston Campbell 2/5
Half time: Raiders 10-8
Venue: Canberra Stadium
Crowd: 9,399
Referee: Gavin Badger players of the match:
3 - Clinton Schifcofske (Raiders)
2 - Luke Priddis (Panthers)
1 - Simon Woolford (Raiders)

Wests Tigers: 30
Tries: Shane Elford (2), Daniel Fitzhenry (3), Anthony Laffranchi, Paul Whatuira
Goals: Brett Hodgson 1/7
Melbourne Storm: 28
Tries: Cooper Cronk, Ryan Hoffman, Greg Inglis, Billy Slater (2)
Goals: Cameron Smith 4/5
Half time: Tigers 18-4
Venue: Leichhardt Oval
Crowd: 17,803
Referee: Jason Robinson players of the match:
3 - Paul Whatuira (Tigers)
2 - Daniel Fitzhenry (Tigers)
1 - Billy Slater (Storm)

St George Illawarra Dragons: 26
Tries: Aaron Gorrell, Ben Hornby, Sam Isemonger, Andrew Price
Goals: Mark Gasnier 1/1, Aaron Gorrell 4/4
Brisbane Broncos: 12
Tries: Shane Webcke, Darius Boyd
Goals: Michael Ennis 2/2
Half time: Dragons 14-6
Venue: WIN Stadium
Crowd: 13,708
Referee: Sean Hampstead players of the match:
3 - Aaron Gorrell (Dragons)
2 - Mark Gasnier (Dragons)
1 - Michael Ennis (Broncos)

Newcastle Knights: 22
Tries: Matthew Gidley(2), Todd Lowrie, Steve Simpson
Goals: Kurt Gidley 3/4
New Zealand Warriors: 26
Tries: Nathan Fien, Grant Rovelli, Evarn Tuimavave, Manu Vatuvei
Goals: Tony Martin 5/5
Half time: Warriors 14-10
Venue: EnergyAustralia Stadium
Crowd: 18,359
Referee: Russell Smith players of the match:
3 - Nathan Fien (Warriors)
2 - Steve Price (Warriors)
1 - Matthew Gidley (Knights)

Canterbury Bulldogs - Bye


Next weekend?s matches:
Round 5, 7-9 April 2006

Fri 7:30 - COWBOYS v TIGERS - Dairy Farmers Stadium
Sat 5:30 - BRONCOS v RABBITOHS - Suncorp Stadium
Sat 7:30 - SHARKS v ROOSTERS - Toyota Park
Sat 7:30 - DRAGONS v KNIGHTS - WIN Stadium
Sun 2:00(NZ) 12:00(AEST) - WARRIORS SEA EAGLES - Ericsson Stadium
Sun 2:30 - BULLDOGS v RAIDERS - Telstra Stadium
Sun 3:00 - EELS v PANTHERS - Parramatta Stadium



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

12 points
Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys)

9 points
Andrew Johns (Knights)

8 points
Mark Gasnier (Dragons)

6 points
Craig Gower (Panthers), Darren Lockyer (Broncos), Clinton Schifcofske (Raiders), Cameron Smith (Storm)

5 points
Adam Dykes (Sharks), Amos Roberts (Roosters)

4 points
Steve Bell (Sea Eagles), Nathan Fien (Warriors), Aaron Gorrell (Dragons), Jamie Soward (Roosters), Paul Whatuira (Tigers)

3 points
Hazem El Masri (Bulldogs), Nathan Hindmarsh (Eels), Ben Kennedy (Sea Eagles), Luke O'Donnell (Cowboys), Matt Orford (Sea Eagles), Steve Price (Warriors), Milton Thaiday (Knights), Ruben Wiki (Warriors)

2 points
Preston Campbell (Panthers), George Carmont (Knights), Cooper Cronk (Storm), Daniel Fitzhenry (Tigers), Karmichael Hunt (Broncos), Greg Inglis (Storm), Willie Mason (Bulldogs), Josh Perry (Knights), Wade McKinnon (Eels), Anthony Minichiello (Roosters), Mark O'Meley (Bulldogs), Aaron Payne (Cowboys), Todd Polglase (Rabbitohs), Luke Priddis (Panthers), Scott Prince (Tigers), Matt Sing (Cowboys), Jason Smith (Raiders), Steven Southern (Cowboys), John Sutton (Rabbitohs), Brad Thorn (Broncos), Clinton Toopi (Warriors), Dean Young (Dragons)

1 points
Trent Barrett (Dragons), Paul Bowman (Cowboys), Danny Buderus (Knights), Michael Ennis (Broncos), Matthew Gidley (Knights), Justin Hodges (Broncos), Wairangi Koopu (Warriors), Steve Menzies (Sea Eagles), Brent Sherwin (Bulldogs), Billy Slater (Storm), Tim Smith (Eels), Brett Stewart (Sea Eagles), Anthony Tupou (Roosters), Rhys Wesser (Panthers), Lincoln Withers (Raiders), Simon Woolford (Raiders), William Zillman (Raiders)