Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
5 days ago
Friday night footy saw a tough face off with the Roosters overcoming the Raiders in a top of the table clash at Aussie Stadium. Canberra came away as proud losers and will take a lot of positives from the match.
Saturday afternoon saw the Warriors go down to a committed Melbourne outfit in Auckland. Still hanging on to the top eight, both sides needed the win. But it was the Storm snatching victory with a Matt Orford penalty goal late in the match.
Saturday night saw the Eels withstand a late charge from the Wests Tigers to claim the points at Parramatta. It wasn't convincing but the win sees a glimmer of hope still flickering for Parra as the semi-final cut draws ever closer.
Meanwhile, the upset of the round was going down at the old Endeavour Field with the Sharks cruising to victory over the Broncos. Given the off-field dramas at Cronulla, its little wonder the Sharkies came out firing against a lucklustre Brisbane outfit. The smart money was always on the Sharks.
Sunday footy saw a mother of a thrashing at Aussie with the Rabbitohs suffering a 62-12 humiliation at the hands of the Bulldogs. With nothing to play for, Souths actually looked okay early in the match. But it wasn't long before they lived up to their wooden spooner tag.
The Knights meanwhile came back to edge out the Sea Eagles in Newcastle. The result spells the end of Manly's 2003 campaign but sees an unconvincing Knights' team hanging onto a tenuous share of the top eight.
The final match of the round saw a gallant Panthers outfit going down controversially to the Dragons in Wollongong. In a game of two halves, the Panthers could have won if the bounce of the ball and the bounce of the video ref's eyes had gone their way. Nevertheless, it was a great afternoon for the Tingha Express faithful who travelled a thousand clicks to see their two favourite sons, Nathan Blacklock and Preston Campbell score five tries between them.
Next week (round 22, 08-10 August): Roosters v Raiders at Aussie Broncos vs Panthers at Lang Park* Roosters vs Sharks at Aussie Cowboys vs Knights in Townsville Westie Tigers vs Rabbitohs at Leichhardt St George vs Warriors at Kogarah Jubilee Manly vs Raiders at Brookvale Bulldogs vs Storm at the Showground Eels: Bye *Mondays Expert match of the round
Round 21 results at a glance home team listed first
ROOSTERS 20 Tries: 2 Cross, Hegarty Goals: Crocker 4/5 defeated RAIDERS 16 Tries: McLinden, Crocker, Drew Goals: Schifcofske 2/5 Friday 1 August 2003 7:30 PM Aussie Stadium Referee: Bill Harrigan Video Referee: Tim Mander Crowd: 15,842 Leagueunlimited Player of the match: 3 - M Crocker (Roosters) 2 - C Wing (Roosters) 1 - M McLinden (Raiders)
WARRIORS 12 Tries: Toopi, Anderson Goals: Hohaia 2/2 defeated by STORM 14 Tries: Reynoldson, Bai Goals: Orford 3/4 Saturday 2 August 2003 7:30 PM Local 5:30 PM AEST Ericsson Stadium Referee: Stephen Clark Video Referee: Phil Cooley Crowd: 15,207 Leagueunlimited Player of the match: 3 - R Kearns (Storm) 2 - C Smith (Storm) 1 - L Hohaia (Warriors)
EELS 21 Tries: Moodie, Graham, Petersen, Dunley Goals: Witt 2/5 Field Goals: Morris defeated TIGERS 18 Tries: Miles, Wilson, Clayton Goals: Covell 3/3 Saturday 2 August 2003 7:30 PM Parramatta Stadium Referee: Tim Mander Video Referee: Graeme West Crowd: 14,887 Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - J Morris (Eels) 2 - D Senter (Tigers) 1 - A Laffranchi (Tigers)
SHARKS 20 Tries: Gallen, Kent, Bailey 2 Goals: Anderson 2/5 defeated BRONCOS 10 Tries: De Vere, Frawley Goals: De Vere 1/2 Saturday 2 August 2003 7:30 PM Toyota Park Referee: Shayne Hayne Video Referee: Bill Harrigan Crowd: 8,274 Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - P Bailey (Sharks) 2 - M De Vere (Broncos) 1 - D Peachey (Sharks)
RABBITOHS 12 Tries: Harrison, Rigon. Goals: Merritt 1/1, Smith 1/2 Sunday 3 August 2003 defeated by BULLDOGS 62 Tries: Utai 3, Mason 2, El Masri, O'Meley, Harris, Vagana Goals: El Masri 11/11 Sunday 3 August 2003 2:30 PM Aussie Stadium Referee: Sean Hampstead Video Referee: Mick Lewis Crowd: 8,482 Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - H El Masri (Bulldogs) 2 - M Utai (Bulldogs) 1 - W Mason (Bulldogs)
KNIGHTS 36 Tries: Hughes 2, Perry, Buderus, Rudder, Macdougall, K Gidley Goals: Abraham 4/6, Johns 0/2 defeated SEA EAGLES 28 Tries: Donald 2, Harris, Menzies, Macdougall Goals: Williamson 4/5 Sunday 3 August 2003 3:00 PM EnergyAustralia Stadium Referee: Steve Lyons Video Referee: Chris Ward Crowd: Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - D Buderus (Knights) 2 - S Menzies (Sea Eagles) 1 - D Abraham (Knights)
DRAGONS 34 Tries: Blacklock 3, Riddell, Howell, Cooper Goals: Riddell 3/4, Firman 2/3 defeated PANTHERS 28 Tries: Campbell 2, Rooney 2, Whatuira Goals: Girdler 4/5 Sunday 3 August 2003 3:00 PM WIN Stadium Referee: Paul Simpkins Video Referee: Eddie Ward Crowd: 15,310 Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - L Thompson (Dragons) 2 - N Blacklock (Dragons) 1 - L Priddis (Panthers)
Leagueunlimited.com Player of the Year Awards Round 20 Tally update: 21 points: D Lockyer (Broncos), M Orford (Storm) 19 points: P Campbell (Panthers) 18 points: L Bailey (Dragons) 17 points: B Sherwin (Bulldogs) 16 points: A Johns (Knights), C Schicofske (Raiders), B Slater (Storm) 15 points: B Firman (Dragons), C Gower (Panthers) 14 points: A Minichiello (Roosters), C Wing (Roosters) 13 points: C Fitzgibbon (Roosters), S Price (Bulldogs) 12 points: T Hill (Tigers), B Kimmorley (Sharks), L Priddis (Panthers) 10 points: D Buderus (Knights), B Fittler (Roosters), S Jones (Warriors), PJ Marsh (Warriors), F Meli (Warriors), J Morris (Eels), G Morrison (Cowboys), M Sing (Cowboys), J Smith (Rabbitohs), L Withers (Tigers) 9 points: B Drew (Raiders), R Kearns (Storm), B Walker (Sea Eagles), R Wesser (Panthers) 8 points: M Bowen (Cowboys), K Campion (Cowboys), M Crocker (Roosters), J Ferris (Sea Eagles), N Hindmarsh (Eels), L Hohaia (Warriors), M McLinden (Raiders), D Nutley (Sharks), D Senter (Tigers), G Tallis (Broncos), L Thompson (Dragons), R Wiki (Raiders) 7 points: P Bailey (Sharks), S Berrigan (Broncos), M Geyer (Storm), S Kearney (Storm), D Peachey (Sharks), S Timmins (Dragons), N Vagana (Bulldogs), M Witt (Eels) 6 points: T Carroll (Broncos), H El Masri (Bulldogs), S Faumuina (Warriors), B Kennedy (Knights), W Mason (Bulldogs), M O'Meley (Bulldogs), C Pearson (Wests Tigers), J Skandalis (Tigers), A Watmough (Sea Eagles), S Webcke (Broncos) 5 points: D Abraham (Knights), O Craigie (Rabbitohs), M Gidley (Knights), J Hannay (Cowboys), B Harris (Bulldogs), J Lyon (Eels), J Monaghan (Raiders), C Randall (Sea Eagles), P Rauhihi (Cowboys), M Riddell (Dragons), J Seu Seu (Warriors), P Stringer (Rabbitohs), L Swann (Warriors), S Woolford (Raiders) 4 points: N Blacklock (Dragons), T Byrne (Roosters), S Donald (Sea Eagles), B Finch (Roosters), B Fletcher (Rabbitohs), J Galuvao (Panthers), M Gasnier (Dragons), B Hodgson (Eels), L McWilliams (Cowboys), T Puletua (Panthers), S Sattler (Panthers), T Tahu (Knights), B Tate (Broncos), P Whatuira (Panthers) 3 points: B Anasta (Bulldogs), S Bell (Storm), L Covell (Tigers), M De Vere (Broncos), P Graham (Raiders), A Guttenbeil (Warriors), L Lewis (Panthers), J Lowe (Cowboys), M McClinden (Raiders), S Menzies (Sea Eagles), A Morley (Roosters), D Myles (Cowboys), R O'Hara (Raiders), J Perry (Knights), L Rooney (Panthers), B Webb (Warriors) 2 points: D Byrne (Dragons), D Carlaw (Broncos), J Caine (Wests Tigers), L Dorn (Sea Eagles), J Feeney (Bulldogs), B Galea (Tigers), A Graham (Eels), 2 - T Grimaldi (Bulldogs), D Heckenberg (Eels), S Hill (Storm), L Hopkins (Eels), J Lolesi (Raiders), A MacDougall (Knights), N Merritt (Rabbitohs), A Mogg (Raiders), B Reeves (Sea Eagles), L Ricketson (Roosters), S Rudder (Knights), J Ryles (Dragons), M Sargent (Storm), C Smith (Storm), S Tadulala (Storm), C Toopi (Warriors), M Utai (Bulldogs), D Wagon (Eels), L Williamson (Eagles) 1 point: T Barrett (Dragons), C Beattie (Sharks), J Bulgarelli (Raiders), M Creary (Sea Eagles), J Croker (Raiders), J Death (Rabbitohs), S Dunley (Eels), H Fa'afili (Warriors), P Gallen (Sharks), R Girdler (Panthers), E Grothe (Roosters), A Hart (Rabbitohs), J Hodges (Roosters), S Kelly (Broncos), D Kidwell (Storm), A Laffranchi (Tigers), L MacDougall (Rabbitohs), R O'Davis (Knights), M Peterson (Eels), A Quinn (Knights), C Sheppard (Cowboys), T Smith (Raiders), R Swain (Broncos), J Thurston (Bulldogs), C Webb (Broncos), D Widders (Eels), T Williams (Cowboys), A Woolnough (Knights)