Monday?s Expert League Wrap - Round 8,

Another big weekend of football began on Friday night with the Cronulla Sharks surging back into contention following their 40-12 victory over the Panthers in Penrith. The Sharks join a number of teams, including the Panthers, in the middle of the competition ladder on eight points.

Saturday footy saw the Sydney Roosters bounce back with a victory over competition front runners the North Queensland Cowboys. After leading 10-6 at half time, the Roosters held on to win by 22-18. The result sees the Roosters join the log jam on eight points while the Cowboys share a chunk of the top spot on 12 points.

Meanwhile in Melbourne, the Storm played excellent wet weather football to outclass the St George IIlawarra Dragons by 24-12. Saints are battling for form on eight points while the win elevates the Storm into 12 points and equal with the competition leaders.

The Brisbane Broncos are also on 12 points after they came from behind to defeat the Canberra Raiders at old Lang Park. Amazingly, the 12th-placed Raiders led 18-0 at half time, only to be chased down in the second half.

Sunday Rugby League kicked off with the Canterbury Bulldogs proving too good for the New Zealand Warriors with a 30-16 victory in Auckland. The Bulldogs are now firming into the top eight on 10 points while the Warriors are still trying to kick clear of the last-placed Souths.

Talking of which, the South Sydney Rabbitohs continue their run of losses going down 24-18 to the fourth-placed Newcastle Knights at Telstra Stadium.

The round wrapped up at the SCG with a thrilling 23-22 win to the Manly Sea Eagles over the Parramatta Eels. A field goal in 78th minute snatched victory, elevating Manly to 10 points and into fifth spot on the ladder. The luckless Eels continue to stumble in 2006 and remain in 13th position.

All match results and details are listed below. Player Awards
The Player Awards still has Cowboys five-eighth Johnathan Thurston leading on 16 points and Knights half back Andrew Johns is still in second place on 12 points. But the challenge is being thrown down by half back Matt Orford (Sea Eagles) and hooker Cameron Smith (Storm) who have both moved into third position on 11 points.

Meanwhile Adam Dykes (Sharks) is on 10 points while Ben Kennedy (Sea Eagles) and Greg Inglis (Storm) are not far away on nine 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.

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

League Wrap: Round 8, 28 ? 30 April 2006

Penrith Panthers: 12
Tries: Rhys Wesser, Matthew Cross
Goals: Preston Campbell 2/2
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks: 40
Tries: Luke Covell (2), Adam Dykes, Paul Gallen, Darren Albert (2), Luke Douglas
Goals: Luke Covell 6/7
Half time: Sharks 22-12
Venue: CUA Stadium Penrith
Crowd: 16,268
Referee: Sean Hampstead players of the match:
3 - Lance Thompson (Sharks)
2 - Adam Dykes (Sharks)
1 - Luke Covell (Sharks)

North Queensland Cowboys: 18
Tries: Aaron Payne, Johnathan Thurston, Neil Sweeney
Goals: Johnathan Thurston 3/3
Sydney Roosters: 22
Tries: Sam Perrett, Amos Roberts, Anthony Tupou, Vince Mellars
Goals: Craig Fitzgibbon 3/4
Half time: Roosters 10-6
Venue: Dairy Farmers Stadium
Crowd: 21,175
Referee: Shayne Hayne players of the match:
3 - Brett Finch (Roosters)
2 - Matthew Bowen (Cowboys)
1 - Ashley Harrison (Roosters)

Melbourne Storm: 24
Tries: Ian Donnelly, Steve Turner, Jake Webster (2)
Goals: Cameron Smith 4/6
St George Illawarra Dragons: 10
Tries: Colin Best, Reece Simmonds
Goals: Aaron Gorrell 1/1, Mathew Head 0/1
Half time: Storm 14-4
Venue: Olympic Park Melbourne
Crowd: 8,694
Referee: Tony Archer players of the match:
3 - Greg Inglis (Storm)
2 - Cooper Cronk (Storm)
1 - Cameron Smith (Storm)

Brisbane Broncos: 30
Tries: Justin Hodges, Karmichael Hunt(2), Darren Lockyer, David Stagg
Goals: Darren Lockyer 1/1, Corey Parker 4/4
Canberra Raiders: 28
Tries: Jason Croker, Adam Mogg(2), Clinton Schifcofske, Alan Tongue
Goals: Clinton Schifcofske 4/5
Half time: Raiders 18-0
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Crowd: 23,582
Referee: Russell Smith players of the match:
3 - Corey Parker (Broncos)
2 - Alan Tongue (Raiders)
1 - Karmichael Hunt (Broncos)

New Zealand Warriors: 16
Tries: Sione Faumuina, Wairangi Koopu
Goals: Tony Martin 4/4
Canterbury Bulldogs: 30
Tries: Roy Asotasi, Hazem El Masri(2), Willie Tonga, Daniel Holdsworth
Goals: Hazem El Masri 5/6
Half time: Bulldogs 16-8
Venue: Ericsson Stadium
Crowd: 11,604
Referee: Gavin Badger players of the match:
3 - Roy Asotasi (Bulldogs)
2 - Hazem El Masri (Bulldogs)
1 - Nathan Fien (Warriors)

South Sydney Rabbitohs: 18
Tries: David Fa'alogo, Adam MacDougall, Joe Galuvao
Goals: Nathan Merritt 3/3
Newcastle Knights: 24
Tries: Danny Buderus(2), George Carmont, Milton Thaiday
Goals: Andrew Johns 4/4
Half time: Knights 12-6
Venue: Telstra Stadium
Crowd: 8,649
Referee: Jason Robinson players of the match:
3 - Adam MacDougall (Rabbitohs)
2 - Danny Buderus (Knights)
1 - Steve Simpson (Knights)

Manly Sea Eagles: 23
Tries: Chris Hicks, Brent Kite, Brett Stewart, Steve Bell
Goals: Matt Orford 3/4
Field Goals: Matt Orford
Parramatta Eels: 22
Tries: Glenn Morrison, Matthew Petersen, Brett Delaney
Goals: Brett Delaney 5/5
Half time: Eels 16-12
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground
Crowd: 19,208
Referee: Steven Clark players of the match:
3 - Matt Orford (Sea Eagles)
2 - Ben Kennedy (Sea Eagles)
1 - Steve Menzies (Sea Eagles)

Wests Tigers - Bye


Next weekend?s matches:
Fri 7:30, 5 May 2006 ? AUSTRALIA v NEW ZEALAND TEST MATCH ? Suncorp Stadium
Round 9, 6-7 May 2006
Sat 5:30 EELS v RAIDERS - Parramatta Stadium
Sat 7:30 COWBOYS v PANTHERS - Dairy Farmers Stadium
Sat 7:30 RABBITOHS v STORM - Telstra Stadium
Sun 2:30 KNIGHTS v BRONCOS - EnergyAustralia Stadium
Sun 3:00 TIGERS v SEA EAGLES - Leichhardt Oval
Sun 3:00 ROOSTERS v BULLDOGS - Aussie Stadium
Sun 3:00 SHARKS v DRAGONS - Toyota Park



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

16 points
Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys)

12 points
Andrew Johns (Knights)

11 points
Matt Orford (Sea Eagles), Cameron Smith (Storm)

10 points
Adam Dykes (Sharks)

9 points
Ben Kennedy (Sea Eagles), Greg Inglis (Storm)

8 points
Hazem El Masri (Bulldogs), Mark Gasnier (Dragons), Clinton Schifcofske (Raiders)

7 points
Steve Bell (Sea Eagles), Matthew Bowen (Cowboys), Danny Buderus (Knights), Karmichael Hunt (Broncos)

6 points
Craig Gower (Panthers), Mathew Head (Dragons), Nathan Hindmarsh (Eels), Darren Lockyer (Broncos), Willie Mason (Bulldogs), Corey Parker (Broncos), Ruben Wiki (Warriors)

5 points
Petero Civoniceva (Broncos), Nathan Fien (Warriors), Luke O'Donnell (Cowboys), Amos Roberts (Roosters), Alan Tongue (Raiders)

4 points
Preston Campbell (Panthers), Cooper Cronk (Storm), Aaron Gorrell (Dragons), Justin Hodges (Broncos), Mark O?Meley (Bulldogs), Steve Price (Warriors), Jamie Soward (Roosters), Rhys Wesser (Panthers), Paul Whatuira (Tigers)

3 points
Roy Asotasi (Bulldogs), Luke Covell (Sharks), Michael Crocker (Storm), Brett Finch (Roosters), Craig Fitzgibbon (Roosters), Brett Hodgson (Tigers), Adam MacDougall (Rabbitohs), Steve Menzies (Sea Eagles), Scott Prince (Tigers), Milton Thaiday (Knights), Lance Thompson (Sharks), Tame Tupou (Broncos)

2 points
Luke Bailey (Dragons), George Carmont (Knights), Peter Cusack (Rabbitohs), Robert Farah (Tigers), Daniel Fitzhenry (Tigers), Awen Guttenbeil (Warriors), Ashley Harrison (Roosters), Josh Perry (Knights), Wade McKinnon (Eels), Anthony Minichiello (Roosters), Mark O'Meley (Bulldogs), Aaron Payne (Cowboys), Todd Polglase (Rabbitohs), Luke Priddis (Panthers), John Skandalis (Tigers), Matt Sing (Cowboys), Jason Smith (Raiders), Steven Southern (Cowboys), John Sutton (Rabbitohs), Brad Thorn (Broncos), Clinton Toopi (Warriors), Lincoln Withers (Raiders), Dean Young (Dragons)

1 points
Darren Albert (Sharks), Trent Barrett (Dragons), Paul Bowman (Cowboys), Nathan Cayless (Eels), Matt Cooper (Dragons), Michael Ennis (Broncos), Kurt Gidley (Knights), Matthew Gidley (Knights), Lee Hookey (Panthers), Wairangi Koopu (Warriors), Tony Martin (Warriors), Luke Patten (Bulldogs), Brent Sherwin (Bulldogs), Steve Simpson (Knights), Billy Slater (Storm), Tim Smith (Eels), Brett Stewart (Sea Eagles), Shane Tronc (Cowboys), Anthony Tupou (Roosters), Trent Waterhouse (Panthers), Simon Woolford (Raiders), Craig Wing (Roosters), William Zillman (Raiders)