The match of the round was an absolute rip snorter with the City boys sneaking home by just one point against a top-notch Country outfit. Whoever said that these town v bush matches were not taken seriously, obviously have no idea. Sure, the concept of NSW hopefuls belting the hell out of each other and then taking on Queensland may seem illogical to some but think about how it toughens the lads up. So good was the match that the star pivot, Trent Barrett was forced off with a buggered ankle and I'm sure he can hardly wait for the surgeon's knife to start its handy work. You gotta laugh. I know a few of my mates from the Cane Toad state can see the funny side.
The next day in the Saints v Canterbury match, we saw another controversial decision from our beloved officials. Some joker by the name of Steve Nash came bursting onto the field to grab his 15 minutes of fame and subsequently make a complete goose of himself.
While the toey touchie was always going to be dropped, you have to wonder what was going through the mind of ref Simpkins who allowed a bloke 20 metres away to overule his decision. In my day, the ref used to just tell the touchie to 'f#@k off'... disobedience had the potential for nasty consequences as many a touchie often discovered that their flags had more than one place of purpose when the officials later met in the sheds. Like most experts, I can't stand touch judges.
At least the match delivered us the quote of the round from our favorite NRL coach, Nathan 'Kid' Brown. Brownie has become the most eloquent coach since Jack Gibson with his post-match comments, "f#@*ing disgraceful... it was one of several f#@*ing disgraceful decisions in the match." Pure poetry....
As predicted in my column over the last few weeks, the mighty Panthers made short work of the Raiders, knocking the competition leaders off their perch and giving the mountain men their fifth win on the trot. Never forget that it Mondays Expert who tipped a Panthers premiership victory back in round one. Never in doubt.
And the final match of the round saw the NRL's first ever Golden Point when Manly pipped Parra at the post to take the points. Unfortunately for the NRL, the final result was delivered in ordinary fashion when the ref Steve Lyons gave Manly a penalty - a decision that deserved a few more expletives. But alas, ref Lyons took the soft option of clutching at the old calf injury clause. Lyons declared himself 'unfit' for the next round thereby avoiding the axe.
Next week (round 11, 23-25 May): Raiders v Warriors in Wellington Bulldogs v Broncos at Telstra* Eels v Storm at Parramatta Knights v Sharks in Newcastle Manly v Cowboys at Brookvale Rabbitohs v Saints at Aussie Tigers v Panthers at Campbelltown *Mondays Expert match of the round
Round 10 results at a glance home team listed first
CITY 17 Tries: El Masri Goals: El Masri 4/4, Anasta FG COUNTRY 16 Tries: Peachey, Tahu, Johns Goals: Johns 2/3 Friday 16 May 2003 The Express Advocate Stadium Gosford Referee: Bill Harrigan Crowd: 17,674
DRAGONS 16 Tries: Kite, Cross, Timmins Goals: Riddell 1/2, Roberts 1/1 BULLDOGS 18 Tries: Harris 2, Norton Goals: El Masri 3/3 Saturday 17 May 2003 WIN Stadium Referee: Paul Simpkins Crowd: 11,555
COWBOYS 26 Tries: Sing 2, Luck, Muspratt Goals: Hannay 5/6 TIGERS 8 Tries: Laffranchi Goals: Covell 2/2 Saturday 17 May 2003 Dairy Farmers Stadium Referee: Stephen Clark Crowd: 10,783
RAIDERS 18 Tries: Smith, Lolesi, Graham Goals: Schifcofske 3/3 PANTHERS 26 Tries: Whatuira 2, Rodney, Rooney Goals: Campbell 5/5 Saturday 17 May 2003 Canberra Stadium Referee: Sean Hampstead Crowd: 13,140
BRONCOS 36 Tries: Lockyer x 2, Maguire, Berrigan, Kelly, Minto Goals: De Vere 6/6 STORM 16 Tries: Geyer, Kidwell, Slater Goals: Orford 1/2, Smith 1/1 Sunday 18 May 2003 ANZ Stadium Referee: Tim Mander Crowd: 15,876
ROOSTERS 36 Tries: Minichiello, Cross x2, Byrne, Hodges, Hegarty Goals: Fitzgibbon 5/7, Fittler 1/1 KNIGHTS 14 Tries: K Gidley, Hall Goals: Johns 3/3 Sunday 18 May 2003 Aussie Stadium Referee: Shayne Hayne Crowd: 14,115
SHARKS 30 Tries: Kimmorley, Rieck, Hilder, Gallen, Bailey Goals: Kimmorley 5/5 RABBITOHS 14 Tries: Fletcher, Smith, Hookey Goals: Smith 1/3 Sunday 18 May 2003 Toyota Park Referee: Matt Cecchin Crowd: 12,248
SEA EAGLES 36 Tries: Donald 2, Watmough, Reeves, Cannings, Walker Goals: Walker 6/7 EELS 34 Tries: Hopkins, Wagon, Witt, Petersen, Morris, Tonga Goals: Witt 5/6 Sunday 18 May 2003 Brookvale Oval Referee: Steve Lyons Crowd: 10,387
League Unlimited's Player of the Year Awards Points awarded for round nine: 3 points: S Price (Bulldogs), M Sing (Cowboys), P Campbell (Panthers), D Lockyer (Broncos), C Wing (Roosters), B Kimmorley (Sharks), B Walker (Sea Eagles) 2 points: S Timmins (Dragons), P Rauhihi (Cowboys), P Whatuira (Panthers), B Tate (Broncos), B Finch (Roosters), D Nutley (Sharks), A Watmough (Sea Eagles) 1 point: L Thompson (Dragons), K Campion (Cowboys), L Priddis (Panthers), M Orford (Storm), J Hodges (Roosters), P Gallen (Sharks), D Widders (Eels)
Tally update: 16 points: C Schicofske (Raiders) 14 points: D Lockyer (Broncos) 12 points: L Bailey (Dragons), A Minichiello (Roosters), S Price (Bulldogs) 10 points: C Fitzgibbon (Roosters), PJ Marsh (Warriors) 9 points: A Johns (Knights), J Smith (Rabbitohs), R Wesser (Panthers) 8 points: P Campbell (Panthers), J Ferris (Sea Eagles), M Sing (Cowboys) 7 points: L Hohaia (Warriors), S Kearney (Storm), M Orford (Storm), B Slater (Storm) 6 points: T Carroll (Broncos), B Drew (Raiders), B Sherwin (Bulldogs), B Walker (Sea Eagles), A Watmough (Sea Eagles), C Wing (Roosters) 5 points: B Fittler (Roosters), C Gower (Panthers), J Morris (Eels), D Nutley (Sharks), P Stringer (Rabbitohs), G Tallis (Broncos), S Woolford (Raiders) 4 points: D Abraham (Knights), S Berrigan (Broncos), K Campion (Cowboys), B Finch (Roosters), B Hodgson (Eels), B Kennedy (Knights), B Kimmorley (Sharks), D Peachey (Sharks), T Puletua (Panthers), M Riddell (Dragons), B Tate (Broncos), S Timmins (Dragons), P Whatuira (Panthers) 3 points: S Bell (Storm), D Buderus (Knights), T Byrne (Roosters), H El Masri (Bulldogs), B Firman (Dragons), A Guttenbeil (Warriors), T Hill (Tigers), J Lowe (Cowboys), J Lyon (Eels), M McClinden (Raiders), F Meli (Warriors), D Myles (Cowboys), M O'Meley (Bulldogs), C Pearson (Wests Tigers), J Perry (Knights), J Seu Seu (Warriors), S Webcke (Broncos), L Withers (Wests Tigers) 2 points: M Bowen (Cowboys), D Carlaw (Broncos), J Caine (Wests Tigers), M Gasnier (Dragons), M Gidley (Knights), J Hannay (Cowboys), B Harris (Bulldogs), S Hill (Storm), S Jones (Warriors), R Kearns (Storm), J Lolesi (Raiders), W Mason (Bulldogs), N Merritt (Rabbitohs), L McWilliams (Cowboys), G Morrison (Cowboys), C Pearson (Wests Tigers), L Priddis (Panthers), P Rauhihi (Cowboys), S Rudder (Knights), S Sattler (Panthers), D Senter (Wests Tigers), J Seu Seu (Warriors), L Swann (Warriors), S Tadulala (Storm), L Thompson (Dragons), N Vagana (Bulldogs), R Wiki (Raiders) 1 point: P Bailey (Sharks), T Barrett (Dragons), S Donald (Sea Eagles), S Dunley (Eels), B Fletcher (Raiders), B Galea (Wests Tigers), P Gallen (Sharks), R Girdler (Panthers), P Graham (Raiders), J Hodges (Roosters), S Kelly (Broncos), D Kidwell (Storm), F Meli (Warriors), S Menzies (Sea Eagles), R O'Davis (Knights), A Quinn (Knights), L Ricketson (Roosters), R Swain (Broncos), J Thurston (Bulldogs), B Webb (Warriors), D Widders (Eels), M Witt (Eels), A Woolnough (Knights)Like