Toyota Cup Wrap - Round 15
It was a weekend which threw the minor premiership race wide open in the Toyota Cup, with New Zealand and Melbourne both losing to teams below them, making for an interesting second half of the season.
St George Illawarra 22, Brisbane 18
Coming off a victory over cellar dwellers Gold Coast, St George headed to Brisbane, looking to win back to back for only the second time this season. It was looking grim when they fell behind in the 46th minute after a Bryce Hegarty try but tries to Gillies, Catterall and Musolino got the Dragons home for a much needed victory.
St George Illawarra Dragons 22 (Moore, Gillies, Catterall and Musolino tries. Gillies 1/2 and Rosser 2/2 goals) defeated Brisbane Broncos 18 (Baptiste, Hegarty and Wallace tries. Wallace 3/3 goals)
South Sydney 28, Gold Coast 24
In a match, which was moved to Redfern Oval due to the heavy workload on ANZ Stadium over the last week. It seemed a South Sydney victory was inevitable after a slew of tries in the first half but a resurgence by the Coast in the second half, got them close but not enough, Souths holding out to win.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 28 (Lee Hang, Tongahai, French, Ha'angana and England tries. Jaegar 1/2 and French 3/3 goals) defeated Gold Coast Titans 24 (Taliauli 2, Jones, Vaoa and Saville tries. Rankin 1/4 and Springer 1/2 goals)
Newcastle 28, Penrith 10
Newcastle have put themselves on the cusp of the Toyota Cup top eight, after a dominant 28-10 victory over the lowly Penrith Panthers. The Knights did all their scoring within the first fifty minutes to put the Panthers to bed, with the Panthers making it respectable after scoring late.
Newcastle Knights 28 (Redman, Smith, Mata'utia, Mason and Elias tries. Smith 4/5 goals) defeated Penrith Panthers 10 (Horton and Butler-Fleming tries. Horton goal)
North Queensland 42, Warriors 22
First of the two upsets this weekend, saw North Queensland turn over the competition leaders New Zealand Warriors. The contest went point for point for the first sixty minutes until the Cowboys ran away with it, scoring three tries to make it look impressive.
North Queensland Cowboys 42 (Pangai, Norford, Feldt, Santo, Parker-Walshe, McLean, Ulugia, Taumalolo tries. Feldt 5/8 goals) defeated New Zealand Warriors 22 (Tuimavave 2, Sao and Hurrell tries. Collier 3/4 goals)
Canterbury-Bankstown 30, Cronulla 26
Sunday's first clash saw one of the more entertaining Toyota Cup clashes, with Canterbury storming home in the second half, to win 30-26. Cronulla took a 20-0 lead early due to a Pickerd double but once Canterbury got on the board, they couldn't be stopped. The result takes them to second on the ladder.
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 30 (Abou-Sleiman 2, Centrone 2, Fitzpatrick and Deaves tries. Langai 2/5 and Fitzpatrick 1/1 goals) defeated Cronulla Sharks 26 (Pickerd 2, Hill, Masima and Hijazi tries. Hijazi 3/5 goals)
Wests 60, Melbourne 20
To say this result was unexpected would be an understatement, Wests just put on try after try. James Tedesco scoring two tries either side of halftime for his four try romp, with Limoni Kamuta bagging a double. Melbourne scored three tries late to lessen the blow.
Wests Tigers 60 (Tedesco 4, Kamuta 2, Murdoch-Masila, Fotuaika, Evans and C. Sironen tries. Miller 9/10 goals.) defeated Melbourne Storm 20 (Loxley 2, Fa'amausili and D. Sironen tries. Fonua 1/1 and Loxley 1/3 goals.)
Parramatta 30, Manly 16
Parramatta cemented their position in the the top eight, with a comfortable 30-16 victory on the lacklustre Manly Sea Eagles. Marmin Barba matched his brothers feats in the NRL, scoring one tonight to help Parramatta to sixth on the ladder. Manly continue to be anchored to the bottom, with finals aspirations seeming to be extinguished.
Parramatta Eels 30 (Jennings, Ualesi, Barba, Asiata and Terepo tries. Breust 5/5 goals.) defeated Manly Sea Eagles 16 (McDougall, Drinkwater and Annear tries. Matthews 2/3 goals.)
Toyota Cup Ladder, After Round 15
New Zealand 24, Canterbury 24, Melbourne 24, North Queensland 22, Cronulla 21, Parramatta 19, Wests 18, Canberra 17, Newcastle 16, Brisbane 15, St George Illawarra 13, Sydney 13, Penrith 12, South Sydney 11, Manly 8, Gold Coast 7