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Toyota Cup Wrap: Round 7
The theme of close games lived on in the seventh week of the National Youth Competition this weekend, with a number of close-fought games - and a surprise blowout to finish the weekend.
Tigers 30 Broncos 16 (Friday 5:15pm)
Tigers 30 (Politoni 3, Evans, Sironen, Begovich tries; Miller 5/5 goals) def Broncos 16 (Baptiste 2, Cullen tries; Frei 2/3 goals) at the SFS. Referee: Michael Laverty
Panthers 38 Sea Eagles 24 (Friday 5:15pm)
Panthers 38 (Tia Kilifi 2, Austin 2, Siejka, Miller, Watene-Zelezniak tries; Siejka 5/7 goals) def Sea Eagles 24 (Patelesio-Sipley, Burrell, Annear, Cooper, Taufua tries; Drinkwater 2/5 goals) at Brookvale Oval. Referee: David Munro.
Sharks 36 Cowboys 20 (Saturday 3:15pm)
The FOX Sports feature match on Saturday afternoon was also a tale of two halves. Cronulla were convincing and showed why they're amongst the competition leaders in the first half, racing to a 24-4 halftime lead. They went on with it for a few minutes in the second half, stretching the lead to 36-4 before the Cowboys posted 16 unanswered points to reduce the deficit to 16 at fulltime.
Sharks 36 (Duggan, Coates, Frizell, Moroko, Tutauha, Malone tries; Townsend 6/6 goals) def Cowboys 20 (Feldt, Pangai, Grevsmuhi, Elisala tries; Feldt 2/4 goals) at Toyota Stadium. Referee: Jon Stone.
Bulldogs 38 Rabbitohs 16 (Saturday 5:15pm)
For the third time this weekend, it was a brilliant half of football that saw the home side victorious, although at ANZ Stadium on Saturday, it was Canterbury's second half. Trailing 16-12 at the break, a Daniel Abou-Sleiman hat-trick propelled the Bulldogs to a 38-16 victory. The result sees Canterbury isolating themselves in 7th position on the table with the Rabbitohs now languishing in 13th.
Bulldogs 38 (Abou-Sleiman 3, Ahafono 2, Lafai, Taotoa tries; Sezer 5/7 goals) def Rabbitohs 16 (Mecham 2, Phillips tries; Vale 2/3 goals) at ANZ Stadium. Referee: Chris Sutton.
Raiders 34 Knights 24 (Sunday 11:45am)
A spirited second-half effort from Newcastle wasn't enough in the Nation's Capital as one of the competition's favourites held on for victory. The Raiders 18-6 at the break and despite Newcastle's best efforts to level proceedings at 24-all, the home side skipped away with two late tries to ensure they kept pace with the leading pack.
Raiders 34 (Massey 2, Papalii, Sauiluma, Vaughan, Wighton tries; Massey 5/6 goals) def Knights 24 (Means, Cook, Knight, Connelly tries; W Smith 1/1, Sullivan 3/3 goals) at Canberra Stadium. Referee: Grant Atkins.
Eels 18 Titans 16 (Sunday 12:45pm)
Yet another example of two halves of football being completely different - Parramatta were solid in the first half to forge a 16-0 lead, before the Titans made it back to 16-all. A late penalty goal to the Eels kept the home side in the hunt and they took home an 18-16 victory. Ultimately the Titans paid the price for poor goalkicking as they had outscored the Eels four tries to three.
Eels 18 (Barba 2, O'Hanlon tries; Whebe 3/4 goals) def Titans 16 (Jones, Asiata, Iwin, Hartin tries; Rankin 0/1, McGrady 0/2 Srama 0/1 goals) at Parramatta Stadium. Referee: Luke Phillips.
Dragons 18 Roosters 16 (Monday 1:20pm)
A close ANZAC Day contest played at the unusual time of 1:20pm was eventually won by the Dragons. They led from start to finish, although the Roosters managed to stay close enough to force some brutal defence late in the game.
Dragons 18 (Thompson, de Belin, Green tries; Asquith 3/3 goals) def Roosters 16 (Blair, Bernstrom, Lowe tries; Taripo 2/2, Alofa 0/1 goals) at the SFS. Referee: Henry Perenara.
Storm 40 Warriors (Monday 4:15pm)
The only true "blowout" of the weekend came surprisingly between two of the competition's best sides, with the Melbourne Storm "Thunderbolts" running riot in the second half to thump the 2010 premiers the Junior Warriors 40-10.
Storm 40 (Griffin 3, Hampton, Loxley, K Bromwich, Leiataua tries; McGahan 6/7 goals) def Warriors 10 (Lousi, Collier tries; Collier 1/2 goals) at AAMI Park, Melbourne. Referee: Luke Potter.
Watch for LIVE and updated scores for Toyota Cup via our Twitter feed - www.twitter.com/leagueunlimited - over the weekend, then our Tuesday Toyota Cup wrap!