25 rounds, 192 games, #Origin on a Sunday, and a September Grand Final.
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Another bone crushing weekend of footy sees Parramatta joining Souths and Penrith on the bottom of the ladder. Meanwhile, the Raiders can't believe it as they look ahead only to see open space - a nice change from looking up the backside of other teams. They head up the top of the table and find themselves in good company with the Storm, Brisbane and Easts breathing down their neck.
With things hotting up, the judiciary suddenly woke from its slumber and five players were cited after the weekend's footy.
Wests Tigers Second Rower Luke O'Donnell is in all sorts of strife after thumping charge against Raiders halfback Michael Monaghan who was carted off the field with a broken jaw. While there is some justification in allowing Raiders fans an hour alone with O'Donnell, its more likely big Luke will be dealt with by the judiciary and be off for at least two months.
Meanwhile, Parra's Steve Crouch took out the double with two clangers in the space of four minutes. Dragons hooker, Mark Riddell was first up copping one on the chin and for an encore, Crouch used Craig Stapleton's shoulder to dig up the WIN Stadium turf. The Dragons prop will be out for 6-8 weeks while Crouch will be suspended for about 2-3 weeks.
Talk of the town was the redemption of Gorden Tallis who saved his Broncos against a gutsy Souths outfit. With Paul Stringer at the helm, a spirited Rabbitohs side came within a whisker of causing the upset of the round.
League Unlimited's Player of the Year Awards Tally Round Two:
5 points C Schicofske (Raiders) 4 points C Fitzgibbon (Roosters), L Hohaia (Warriors), A Minichiello (Roosters), G Tallis (Broncos) 3 points A Guttenbeil (Warriors), A Johns (Knights), L Bailey (St George), S Bell (Storm), B Drew (Raiders), J Lowe (Cowboys), H El Masri (Bulldogs), B Fittler (Roosters), D Lockyer (Broncos), B Slater (Storm), P Stringer (Rabbitohs), L Withers (Wests Tigers) 2 points M Gasnier (Dragons), J Lolesi (Raiders), S Kearney (Storm), B Kennedy (Knights), S Price (Bulldogs), D Senter (Wests Tigers), J Smith (Souths), M Sing (Cowboys), S Tadulala (Storm) 1 point J Caine (Wests Tigers), P Campbell (Panthers), S Donald (Sea Eagles), R Girdler (Panthers), P Graham (Raiders), B Hodgson (Eels), R O'Davis (Knights), D Peachey (Sharks), R Swain (Broncos), L Thompson (Dragons)
Round 2 results at a glance
Sydney Roosters 14 (Tries: Justin Hodges, Ian Henderson; Conversions: Craig Fitzgibbon 3/4) def Newcastle Knights 10 (Tries: Matthew Gidley; Conversions: Andrew Johns 3/3; Field Goals: Andrew Johns 0/1) Referee: S Hampstead Crowd: 21562
Melbourne Storm 42 (Tries: Matt Geyer, Billy Slater (2), Cameron Smith, Peter Robinson, Danny Williams, Semi Tadulala (2); Conversions: Matt Geyer 5/9) def Penrith Panthers 16 (Tries: Rhys Wesser, Preston Campbell, Craig Gower; Conversions: Preston Campbell 2/3) Referee: S Lyons Crowd: 10254
Canberra Raiders 15 (Tries: Clinton Schifcofske, Adam Mogg, Jamaal Lolesi; Conversions: Clinton Schifcofske 1/3; Field Goals: Clinton Schifcofske 1/1) def Wests Tigers 8 (Tries: Joel Caine; Conversions: Joel Caine 2/2) Referee: P Simpkins Crowd: 7800
North Queensland Cowboys 30 (Tries: Matt Sing, Paul McNicholas, Jaiman Lowe (2); Conversions: Josh Hannay 7/8) def Manly Sea Eagles 20 (Tries: Sam Murphy, Scott Donald (2), Anthony Watmough, Luke Dorn; Conversions: Ben Walker 0/2, Jason Ferris 0/3) Referee: S Clark Crowd: 10937
St George Illawarra Dragons 30 (Tries: Reece Simmonds, Mark Gasnier, Ben Hornby, Mark Riddell, Dean Byrne; Conversions: Mark Riddell 4/4, Dean Byrne 1/1) def Parramatta Eels 28 (Tries: Luke Burt (2), Jason Moodie, Lee Hopkins, Daniel Wagon; Conversions: Brett Hodgson 4/4, Luke Burt 0/1) Referee: T Mander Crowd: 13149
Broncos 22 (Tries: Michael De Vere, Brent Tate (2), Gorden Tallis, Casey McGuire; Conversions: Michael De Vere 2/2) def Souths 20 (Tries: Chris Walker, Owen Craigie, Justin Smith; Conversions: Justin Smith 4/5) Referee: S Hayne Crowd: 9830
Warriors 24 (Tries: Henry Faafili, Francis Meli, Lance Hohaia (2), Awen Guttenbeil; Conversions: Lance Hohaia 0/1, Stacey Jones 0/2, PJ Marsh 2/2) def Bulldogs 20 (Tries: Nigel Vagana, Matthew Utai, Willie Mason; Conversions: Hazem El Masri 4/4) Referee: B Harrigan Crowd: 16229