Friday night footy saw the Dragons out-muscle the Broncos at WIN Stadium. The win sees Saints into the top eight. The Broncos managed to hang onto top spot, thanks to other results.
Meanwhile, Saturday footy saw the Roosters stage a second half domination of Souths at Aussie Stadium to consolidate their position in the top four. The Rabbitohs season however goes from bad to worst and they now find themselves in last position and six points adrift.
The Sharks were never in the race against the all-conquering Panthers who kept their Sutherland cousins scoreless at Toyota Park. The victory sees Penrith on equal points with competition leaders Brisbane. The mighty dynamo, Preston Campbell now finds himself in equal first place in the Leagueunlimited.com Player of the Year Awards. Meanwhile, the Sharks find themselves languishing in 12th spot.
The Cowboys wound up the evening ending their four match losing streak with a convincing victory over the Warriors in Townsville. The Cowboys are four points from the cut and still a mathematical chance of making the semis. The Warriors are hanging onto equal eighth spot but need to overcome some inconsistent form to give the competition a shake.
Sunday footy kicked off with the Raiders going down to a committed Melbourne outfit in Canberra. The loss cost the Raiders a chance for equal share of the top spot and sees them slip to third position. Meanwhile, the Storm join the log jam with four other teams on 20 points and in the top eight.
Next up was the Eels who torpedoed Manly's 2003 chances with a fine second display at Parramatta. The Sea Eagles will need a serious turnaround in form to be there come semi-finals time. The Parramatta Eels, realistically not chance this year, will no doubt cause a few headaches for the high flyers when crunch-time happens.
The final match of the round saw Canterbury crush the Knights at Telstra Stadium. The result sends a warning out to other teams that the Bulldogs are back and sees both teams join the log jam at the cut-off point.
Next week (round 18, 11-13 July): Broncos v Bulldogs at Suncorp Panthers v Souths in Penrith Storm v Cowboys at Olympic Warriors v Manly at Ericsson* Tigers v Sharks at Leichhardt St George v Canberra at Kogarah Eels, Roosters, Knights: Bye *Mondays Expert match of the round
Round 17 results at a glance home team listed first
DRAGONS 32 Tries: Gasnier 2, Hornby, Kite, Cooper, Blacklock Goals: Riddell 3/4, Firman 1/2 defeated BRONCOS 16 Tries: Frawley, Ikin, Tallis Goals: Lockyer 2/3 Friday 4 July 2003 7:30 PM WIN Stadium Referee: Stephen Clark Crowd: 14,153 Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - B Firman (Dragons) 2 - J Ryles (Dragons) 1 - D Lockyer (Broncos)
ROOSTERS 38 Tries: Wing 2, Robinson, Cross, Minichiello, Fittler, Walker Goals: Crocker 4/6, Fittler 1/1 defeated RABBITOHS 10 Tries: MacDougall Goals: Smith 3/3 Saturday 5 July 2003 5:30 PM Aussie Stadium Referee: Paul Simpkins Crowd: 17,148 Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - C Wing (Roosters) 2 - A Minichiello (Roosters) 1 - J Smith (Rabbitohs)
SHARKS 0 Tries: Goals: defeated by PANTHERS 20 Tries: Wesser, Rooney, Campbell Goals: Girdler 4/5 Saturday 5 July 2003 7:30 PM Toyota Park Referee: Shayne Hayne Crowd: 13,477 Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - P Campbell (Panthers) 2 - C Gower (Panthers) 1 - L Rooney (Panthers)
COWBOYS 30 Tries: Morrison, Hannay, Sing, Williams Goals: Hannay (7/9) defeated WARRIORS 10 Tries: Swann 2 Goals: Jones (1/2) Saturday 5 July 2003 7:30 PM Dairy Farmers Stadium Referee: Bill Harrigan Crowd: 16,028 Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - K Campion (Cowboys) 2 - G Morrison (Cowboys) 1 - P Rauhihi (Cowboys)
RAIDERS 8 Tries: Martin, Croker Goals: Schifcofske 0/3 defeated by STORM 18 Tries: Geyer, Bell, Moala Goals: Smith 1/1, Orford 2/2 Sunday 6 July 2003 2:30 PM Canberra Stadium Referee: Steve Lyons Crowd: 11,689 Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - M Geyer (Storm) 2 - M Orford (Storm) 1 - J Croker (Raiders)
EELS 27 Tries: Solomona, Vaealiki, Lyon, Hindmarsh Goals: Witt 5/7. Field Goal: Witt. defeated SEA EAGLES 16 Tries: Watmough, Torrens Goals: Williamson 4/4 Sunday 6 July 2003 3:00 PM Parramatta Stadium Referee: Sean Hampstead Crowd: 10,358 Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - N Hindmarsh (Eels) 2 - D Heckenberg (Eels) 1 - J Lyon (Eels)
BULLDOGS 48 Tries: 3 Harris, Anasta, Mason, Scott, Ryan, Sherwin Goals: El Masri 8/8 defeated KNIGHTS 14 Tries: Hall, Woolnough Goals: Johns 3/3 Sunday 6 July 2003 3:00 PM Telstra Stadium Referee: Tim Mander Crowd: 26,234 Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - B Harris (Bulldogs) 2 - W Mason (Bulldogs) 1 - B Sherwin (Bulldogs)
Leagueunlimited.com Player of the Year Awards Round 17
Tally update: 19 points: P Campbell (Panthers), D Lockyer (Broncos), M Orford (Storm) 17 points: L Bailey (Dragons) 16 points: A Johns (Knights), C Schicofske (Raiders) 14 points: A Minichiello (Roosters) 13 points: C Fitzgibbon (Roosters) 12 points: C Gower (Panthers), B Kimmorley (Sharks), S Price (Bulldogs), C Wing (Roosters) 11 points: B Sherwin (Bulldogs) 10 points: PJ Marsh (Warriors), G Morrison (Cowboys), L Priddis (Panthers), M Sing (Cowboys), B Slater (Storm), J Smith (Rabbitohs) 9 points: B Drew (Raiders), B Firman (Dragons), T Hill (Tigers), R Wesser (Panthers), B Walker (Sea Eagles) 8 points: M Bowen (Cowboys), K Campion (Cowboys), J Ferris (Sea Eagles), D Nutley (Sharks), G Tallis (Broncos), R Wiki (Raiders) 7 points: S Berrigan (Broncos), D Buderus (Knights), L Hohaia (Warriors), S Kearney (Storm), F Meli (Warriors), J Morris (Eels), S Timmins (Dragons), N Vagana (Bulldogs) 6 points: T Carroll (Broncos), S Faumuina (Warriors), B Kennedy (Knights), N Hindmarsh (Eels), M O'Meley (Bulldogs), C Pearson (Wests Tigers), A Watmough (Sea Eagles), L Withers (Wests Tigers) 5 points: B Fittler (Roosters), M Gidley (Knights), S Jones (Warriors), J Hannay (Cowboys), B Harris (Bulldogs), J Lyon (Eels), W Mason (Bulldogs), D Peachey (Sharks), J Seu Seu (Warriors), P Stringer (Rabbitohs), L Swann (Warriors), L Thompson (Dragons), S Webcke (Broncos), S Woolford (Raiders) 4 points: D Abraham (Knights), P Bailey (Sharks), T Byrne (Roosters), B Finch (Roosters), B Fletcher (Rabbitohs), B Hodgson (Eels), R Kearns (Storm), L McWilliams (Cowboys), J Monaghan (Raiders), T Puletua (Panthers), C Randall (Sea Eagles), M Riddell (Dragons), J Skandalis (Tigers), B Tate (Broncos), P Whatuira (Panthers) 3 points: B Anasta (Bulldogs), S Bell (Storm), O Craigie (Rabbitohs), H El Masri (Bulldogs), M Geyer (Storm), P Graham (Raiders), A Guttenbeil (Warriors), L Lewis (Panthers), J Lowe (Cowboys), M McClinden (Raiders), A Morley (Roosters), D Myles (Cowboys), J Perry (Knights), P Rauhihi (Cowboys), D Senter (Wests Tigers), B Webb (Warriors) 2 points: N Blacklock (Dragons), L Covell (Tigers), D Byrne (Dragons), D Carlaw (Broncos), J Caine (Wests Tigers), L Dorn (Sea Eagles), J Feeney (Bulldogs), M Gasnier (Dragons), A Graham (Eels), D Heckenberg (Eels), S Hill (Storm), L Hopkins (Eels), J Lolesi (Raiders), A MacDougall (Knights), M McLinden (Raiders), N Merritt (Rabbitohs), B Reeves (Sea Eagles), L Ricketson (Roosters), S Rudder (Knights), J Ryles (Dragons), S Sattler (Panthers), S Tadulala (Storm), T Tahu (Knights) 1 point: T Barrett (Dragons), C Beattie (Sharks), J Croker (Raiders), J Death (Rabbitohs), M De Vere (Broncos), S Donald (Sea Eagles), S Dunley (Eels), H Fa'afili (Warriors), B Galea (Wests Tigers), P Gallen (Sharks), J Galuvao (Panthers), R Girdler (Panthers), E Grothe (Roosters), A Hart (Rabbitohs), J Hodges (Roosters), S Kelly (Broncos), D Kidwell (Storm), S Menzies (Sea Eagles), R O'Davis (Knights), M Peterson (Eels), A Quinn (Knights), L Rooney (Panthers), C Sheppard (Cowboys), T Smith (Raiders), R Swain (Broncos), J Thurston (Bulldogs), D Widders (Eels), T Williams (Cowboys), M Witt (Eels), A Woolnough (Knights)