Monday?s Expert Wrap - Round 20, 2006

The Melbourne Storm have broken away to 34 competition points and a healthy lead on the NRL ladder following their 28-12 defeat of the Cronulla Sharks at Olympic Park on Friday night. The Storm now holds a six point buffer on the field while the seventh-placed Sharks join a mass of teams on 22 points.

Saturday football kicked off with the Canterbury Bulldogs crushing the Sydney Roosters by 25-0 in Homebush. The Bulldogs now hold outright second position on 28 points while the Roosters are second last on 16 points. With their season long gone, the Roosters? loss was compounded by the send-off of Adrian Morley who may have played his last match of club footy in Australia. The English prop faces the prospect of a lengthy suspension before heading back home to the old dart.

Later the same day, the Cowboys won their Queensland derby, defeating the Brisbane Broncos 26-10 in Townsville. Despite the loss, the third-placed Broncos are still looking well set on 26 points. It was a timely return to form for the Cowboys. On 22 points and hanging onto their top eight spot, the North Queenslanders? celebrations were dampened by the loss of playmaker Johnathon Thurston who was stretchered from the field with a dislocated kneecap and a grade two medial ligament strain.

Saturday night wrapped up with the Newcastle Knights defeating the last-placed South Sydney Rabbitohs 24-18 in Newcastle. In game of two halves, the Knights actually led 24-0 at half time before Souths mounted their comeback. But the Rabbitohs were unable to nail it in the end, crashing to their 18th loss of the season. The Knights are still in hunt on 22 points and in eighth position.

Sunday football saw a resurgent Parramatta Eels continue their charge with a comprehensive 34-6 victory over premiers Wests Tigers in Homebush. The Eels are now in sight of the top eight on 20 points while Wests Tigers are looking more than a little shaky on 18 points.

Meanwhile, down in the nation's capital, the Canberra Raiders posted a 31-12 victory, putting a dent in the St George Illawarra Dragons. The Raiders gave the home crowd plenty to cheer about and join a log jam of teams on 22 points. The third-placed Dragons have some work to do but are still well placed on 26 points.

Round 20 wrapped up at Brookvale Oval with the Manly Sea Eagles staging a tremendous revival to narrowly defeat the Penrith Panthers 32-30. The Panthers led 24-6 at half time before Manly surged back into contention, a penalty goal eventually delivering the home side victory. The Sea Eagles are in outright fifth spot on the ladder with 24 competition points while the Panthers are outside of the eight on 20 points.

All match results and details are listed below. Player Awards
Another powerful performance from Clinton Schifcofske sees the Raiders fullback maintaining first position in this year?s Player Awards. Schifcofske is looking the goods on 26 points, three points clear of Melbourne?s Cameron Smith who has moved up to outright second position and 23 points.

Nathan Hindmarsh (Eels), Greg Inglis (Storm), Willie Mason (Bulldogs) and last year?s winner Matt Orford (Sea Eagles) are all in equal third place on 20 points. Preston Campbell (Panthers) is not far away on 18 points.

With just six 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 20, 21 July ? 23 July 2006

Melbourne Storm: 28
Tries: Cooper Cronk, Ryan Hoffman, Dallas Johnson, Billy Slater(2)
Goals: Matt Geyer 1/1, Cameron Smith 3/4
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks: 12
Tries: Darren Albert, Richard Villasanti
Goals: Luke Covell 2/2
Half time: Storm 16-0
Venue: Olympic Park, Melbourne
Crowd: 11,486
Referee: Steve Clark players of the match:
3 - Cameron Smith (Storm)
2 - Ryan Hoffman (Storm)
1 - Cooper Cronk (Storm)

Canterbury Bulldogs: 25
Tries: Andrew Ryan, Sonny Bill Williams, Andrew Emelio
Goals: Hazem El Masri 6/8
Field Goals: Brent Sherwin
Sydney Roosters: 0
Half time: Bulldogs 10-0
Venue: Telstra Stadium
Crowd: 14,020
Referee: Jarred Maxwell players of the match:
3 - Willie Mason (Bulldogs)
2 - Brent Sherwin (Bulldogs)
1 - Roy Asotasi (Bulldogs)

North Queensland Cowboys: 26
Tries: Josh Hannay, Matt Sing(3), Ashley Graham
Goals: Josh Hannay 3/6
Brisbane Broncos: 10
Tries: Darren Lockyer, Brad Thorn
Goals: Darren Lockyer 1/2
Half time: Cowboys 14-4
Venue: Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville
Crowd: 24,658
Referee: Tony Archer players of the match:
3 - Matthew Bowen (Cowboys)
2 - Aaron Payne (Cowboys)
1 - Matt Sing (Cowboys)

Newcastle Knights: 24
Tries: Andrew Johns, Kirk Reynoldson, Steve Simpson, Brian Carney
Goals: Andrew Johns 4/4
South Sydney Rabbitohs: 18
Tries: Nathan Merritt, Paul Mellor, Stuart Webb
Goals: Ben Walker 3/3
Half time: Knights 24-0
Venue: EnergyAustralia Stadium
Crowd: 14,599
Referee: Gavin Badger players of the match:
3 - Steve Simpson (Knights)
2 - John Sutton (Rabbitohs)
1 - Andrew Johns (Knights)

Wests Tigers: 6
Tries: Robert Farah
Goals: Scott Prince 1/1
Parramatta Eels: 34
Tries: Nathan Hindmarsh, Wade McKinnon, Luke O'Dwyer, Jeremy Smith, Jarryd Hayne(2)
Goals: Mark Riddell 4/5, Jarryd Hayne 1/1
Half time: Eels 16-6
Venue: Telstra Stadium
Crowd: 21,456
Referee: Shayne Hayne players of the match:
3 - Nathan Hindmarsh (Eels)
2 - Nathan Cayless (Eels)
1 - Jarryd Hayne (Eels)

Canberra Raiders: 31
Tries: Todd Carney(2), Jason Smith, Michael Weyman, Adrian Purtell
Goals: Clinton Schifcofske 5/5
Field Goals: Clinton Schifcofske
St George Illawarra Dragons: 12
Tries: Trent Barrett, Mark Gasnier
Goals: Aaron Gorrell 2/2
Half time: Raiders 12-6
Venue: Canberra Stadium
Crowd: 13,504
Referee: Paul Simpkins players of the match:
3 - Jason Smith (Raiders)
2 - Clinton Schifcofske (Raiders)
1 - Adam Mogg (Raiders)

Manly Sea Eagles: 32
Tries: Chris Hicks, Paul Stephenson, Glenn Stewart, Michael Robertson, Mitch Creary
Goals: Travis Burns 6/7
Penrith Panthers: 30
Tries: Preston Campbell(2), Luke Lewis, Frank Pritchard, Rhys Wesser
Goals: Preston Campbell 5/5
Half time: Panthers 24-6
Venue: Brookvale Oval
Crowd: 15,177
Referee: Jason Robinson players of the match:
3 - Preston Campbell (Panthers)
2 - Travis Burns (Sea Eagles)
1 - Chris Hicks (Sea Eagles)

New Zealand Warriors v Bye


Round 21, 28-30 July 2006
Fri 7:30 SHARKS v KNIGHTS - Toyota Park
Sat 5:30 PANTHERS v WARRIORS - CUA Stadium, Penrith
Sat 7:30 EELS v SEA EAGLES - Parramatta Stadium
Sat 7:30 RABBITOHS v RAIDERS - Telstra Stadium
Sun 2:30 BRONCOS v TIGERS - Suncorp Stadium
Sun 3:00 DRAGONS v STORM - OKI Jubilee Stadium, Kogarah
Sun 3:00 ROOSTERS v COWBOYS - Aussie 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)

23 points
Cameron Smith (Storm)

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

18 points
Preston Campbell (Panthers)

17 points
Ben Kennedy (Sea Eagles), Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys)

16 points
Andrew Johns (Knights)

15 points
Cooper Cronk (Storm)

14 points
Matthew Bowen (Cowboys), 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), Danny Buderus (Knights), Karmichael Hunt (Broncos)

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

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

8 points
Brett Kimmorley (Sharks), Corey Parker (Broncos), Scott Prince (Tigers), Ruben Wiki (Warriors), Dean Young (Dragons)

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

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

5 points
Trent Barrett (Dragons), Peter Cusack (Rabbitohs), Aaron Gorrell (Dragons), Jarryd Hayne (Eels), Justin Hodges (Broncos), Wade McKinnon (Eels), Luke O'Donnell (Cowboys), Simon Mannering (Warriors), Brad Thorn (Broncos), Brent Webb (Warriors), Rhys Wesser (Panthers)

4 points
Darren Albert (Sharks), Brian Carney (Knights), Sione Faumuina (Warriors), David Kidwell (Storm), Ben Hornby (Dragons), Anthony Laffranchi (Tigers), Adam MacDougall (Rabbitohs), Fuifui Moimoi (Eels), Clint Newton (Knights), David Peachey (Rabbitohs), Luke Priddis (Panthers), 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), Greg Bird (Sharks), Nathan Cayless (Eels), Joel Clinton (Panthers), Darius Boyd (Broncos), Dean Collis (Tigers), Matt Cooper (Dragons), Luke Covell (Sharks), Michael Crocker (Storm), Greg Eastwood (Broncos), Brett Finch (Roosters), Michael Gordon (Panthers), Phillip Graham (Raiders), Clint Greenshields (Dragons), Nathan Hinton (Knights), Brett Kearney (Sharks), Luke MacDougall (Rabbitohs), Reni Maitua (Bulldogs), Manase Manuokafoa (Rabbitohs), 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), Nathan Merritt (Rabbitohs), 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), Nathan Friend (Storm), Matt Geyer (Storm), Kurt Gidley (Knights), Matthew 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), Ben Walker (Rabbitohs), Simon Woolford (Raiders), William Zillman (Raiders)