MAD Butcher Grading Round
THE Sydney Airport Jets have turned in a very controlled and impressive performance at Campbelltown Stadium tonight. Newtown has defeated Western Suburbs in this fifth round NSWRL VB Premier League match by 30-10.
SATURDAY 9 April 2005
OCCASIONALLY, I am reminded why I love our great game so much, it's unpredictability.
I was reminded of that today, when, in an absolute boil over, at Auckland's Cornwall Park, fourth placed Foundation Cup side, First National Northland, took out their game against the previously unbeaten Auckland Crowns. An unbelievable victory with the final score 24/22 to the Northerners.
The game began on a fairly even footing with two quick unconverted tries to both teams.The Auckland side after the first ten minutes began to claim some ascendancy, scoring three more tries before the break, with the number 11 second rower claiming two of them.
The hooter had gone at 18/4 to the Crowns and it appeared as if they had it in the bag and would simply go through the motions in the second half to make an appearance in the Grand Final at Ericcson Stadium next week.
Unfortunately that is exactly what they did - go through the motions. Early in the half, the Crowns number 11 got his hat-trick - 22/4 and it's in the bag. Wrong, the Crowns reckoned without the hunger and "refuse to lie down" attitude of their Northern neighbours. First National Northland scored three successive tries to claw it back to 22/18. About 5 minutes left on the clock and the Crowns had a try disallowed. A dead set try that the bloke with the flag said was knocked on - it wasn't, but that's the breaks. Seconds left on the clock and Northland score under the sticks, the conversion floats over and that'sthe ball game.
Well done Northland and good luck in the final next week.
The Kiwi Cup game at Cornwall was the local derby between the undefeated Auckland Crowns and fourth placed Auckland Sea Lions. In their match up in the rounds, the Crowns had beaten the Sea Lions by a 20 point margin and today was not going to be any easier on the Sea Lions. Scott Jones, Crowns second rower, opened with a penalty goal and it was game on. The lead changed five times in the first half, with the Crowns taking control, only in the last 10 minutes. In one of those little quirks, Crowns full-back, James Nathan, snapped a field goal to take the score at the break to 27/12.
The Crowns were on top, but you could not write off the Sea Lions. They had tired in the last 10 minutes but the break would do them good.
Sadly, the break didn't actually did not do them a lot of good at all. They managed to score one converted try in the second dig while the Crowns managed another four. The half was not without excitement, with Crowns players, Nui Talau and Frank Paul Nuuausala spending time in the bin, but at the end of the day the Auckland Crowns were too strong and skillful for the South Auckland team. The Crowns earned their spot in the final at Ericcson by winning 45/18.
In other semi results, the Auckland Sea lions beat Wellington, in the Foundation Cup, 26/14 and
Canterbury beat Wellington in the Kiwi Cup 24/22.
We are now set for the Grand Finals at Ericcson Stadium week. The Foundation Cup features First National Northland and the Auckland Sea Lions and the Kiwi Cup will be fought out by the undefeated Auckland Crowns and Canterbury.
FULL back Paul Reilly grabbed a hat-trick as rejuvenated Huddersfield ended Wigan?s Super League revival at the Galpharm Stadium tonight by 24-16.
SCRUM-HALF Sean Long passed the 2000 career points barrier as his St Helens side demolished Leigh 60-16 to go equal on points with leaders Leeds at the top of the engage Super League.
WARRINGTON Wolves V Bradford Bulls
LEEDS captain Kevin Sinfield believes the engage Super League can expect another thriller when London Broncos visit Headingley on Saturday.
FLYING winger Marcus Bai scorched in for a hat-trick of tries in the final 17 minutes as engage Super League leaders Leeds Rhinos roared back to form by defeating London Broncos 64-6.
TWO first-half tries from Luke Robinson and some heroic work in defence helped Salford secure a rare win over Wakefield at The Willows by 16-14.
Rabbitohs 37 v Knights 12
BRONCOS 54 v EELS 14
RAIDERS 24 v ROOSTERS 16
FIVE weeks in, and Cronulla finally hit their straps. Twenty minutes in and the Sharks had barely seen the ball, but after soaking up almost everything the Cowboys could throw at them, the floodgates opened and they came back with thirty eight unanswered points.
TWO of the biggest names in Rugby League are dusting off the boots one more time to help raise funds for former South Queensland, Gold Coast and Parramatta forward Brett Horsnell who has been diagnosed with cancer.