Today Sam Bourke takes a look at the optimism in the water out Bondi way, as the Sydney Roosters loo...
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League Wrap ROUND 10: 18-21 MAY 2007
ROUND 10 of the NRL kicked off on Friday night in Wollongong with the St George Illawarra Dragons downing the Gold Coast Titans 28-10 and posting their third win of the year. Following a tirade from fans and media through the week, the Dragons responded with a better than average performance and coach Nathan Brown's job seems safe for at least another week. Meanwhile the Titans' honeymoon appears to be over, the Coasters crashing to their third successive loss with both cellar dwellers, the Roosters and the Dragons, defeating them over the last fortnight. The Dragons now join the Titans on eight competition points and outside of the top eight.
Game two of the round took us to Parramatta Stadium where the Eels clobbered a tired looking North Queensland Cowboys by 44-14. It was stand out performance from the in-form Eels are now maintaining eighth spot while the Cowboys have now slipped out of the top four.
Saturday night was a Melbourne vs Sydney affair with competition favourites the Storm outclassing the last-placed Roosters by 26-2 at Olympic Park. It was a match Melbourne were never going to lose while the try-less Roosters' season just goes from bad to worse. With a terrible points differential, the boys from Bondi have to do more than just win games if they are to avoid the spoon in 2007.
Sunday afternoon rugby league kicked off in Auckland with Wests Tigers defeating the New Zealand Warriors by 30-26. In what was described as a topsy-turvy match, the lead changed a couple of times before Wests Tigers got their noses in front. But the Warriors kept coming back and scored the final try with just three minutes remaining, two earlier penalty goals to the Wests Tigers ultimately being the difference. Both sides appear well placed on the ladder with Warriors in seventh position while Wests Tigers are in the top four.
Homebush's Telstra Stadium played host to the other Sunday match with the Cronulla Sharks proving too good for home side the Canterbury Bulldogs. The third-placed Sharks put together a rock solid performance in posting their 30-20 victory, and even have some punters declaring that the 40-year-old club may break the drought and lose their virginity this year. Only time will tell. Meanwhile Canterbury are looking decidedly shaky, outside of the top eight and looking in.
Monday night football saw competition leaders the Manly Sea Eagles outclass the Brisbane Broncos by 18-6 at Brookvale Oval. It was a spirited performance from the baby Broncos but not enough, and the reigning premiers now find themselves languishing in equal last place on the ladder. Manly are certainly looking the goods, but their true test comes up next Saturday when they meet the Storm at Brookvale in what could be the match of the year.
St George Illawarra Dragons 28 Tries: Wes Naiqama, Adam Peek, Corey Payne, Jason Nightingale, Ashton Sims Goals: Mathew Head (3/4), Wes Naiqama (1/1) Gold Coast Titans 10 Tries: Matt Petersen, Scott Prince Goals: Mat Rogers (1/2) Kick-off: 7:30 PM Friday Half time: Dragons 12-4 Venue: WIN Stadium Crowd: 12,058 Referee: Tony Archer Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 Points: Ben Creagh (Dragons) 2 Points: Simon Woolford (Dragons) 1 Point: Gavin Cooper (Titans) [Match Report]
Parramatta Eels 44 Tries: Feleti Mateo, Ben Smith, Mark Riddell, Chad Robinson, Luke Burt (2), Aaron Cannings Goals: Luke Burt (8/9) North Queensland Cowboys 14 Tries: Sione Faumuina, Scott Minto, Ashley Graham Goals: Ashley Graham (1/3) Kick-off: 5:30 PM Saturday Half time: Eels 20-4 Venue: Parramatta Stadium Crowd: 10,182 Referee: Shayne Hayne Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 Points: Luke Burt (Eels) 2 Points: Mark Riddell (Eels) 1 Point: Nathan Cayless (Eels) [Match Report]
Melbourne Storm 26 Tries: Ryan Hoffman, Israel Folau, Jeff Lima, Will Chambers, Billy Slater Goals: Steve Turner (3/5) Sydney Roosters 2 Goals: Craig Fitzgibbon (1/1) Kick-off: 7:30 PM Saturday Half time: Storm 10-2 Venue: Olympic Park Crowd: 9,354 Referee: Gavin Badger Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 Points: Billy Slater (Storm) 2 Points: Ryan Hoffman (Storm) 1 Point: Ben Cross (Storm) [Match Report]
New Zealand Warriors 26 Tries: Manu Vatuvei, Jerome Ropati, Simon Mannering, Patrick Ah Van, Lance Hohaia Goals: Tony Martin (3/5) Wests Tigers 30 Tries: Liam Fulton, Ben Teo, John Morris, Chris Lawrence Goals: Brett Hodgson (7/8 ) Kick-off: 2:00 PM Sunday Half time: 12 all Venue: Mt Smart Stadium Crowd: 10,282 Referee: Steve Clark Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 Points: Taniela Tuiaki (Tigers) 2 Points: Todd Payten (Tigers) 1 Point: Brett Hodgson (Tigers) [Match Report]
Canterbury Bulldogs 20 Tries: Brent Sherwin (2), Sonny Bill Williams, Jarrad Hickey Goals: Hazem El Masri (2/4) Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 30 Tries: Phillip Leuluai, Isaac De Gois, Reece Williams, Ben Pomeroy, Paul Gallen Goals: Luke Covell (5/5) Kick-off: 3:00 PM Sunday Half time: Sharks 12-6 Venue: Telstra Stadium Crowd: 12,834 Referee: Ben Cummins Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 Points: Paul Gallen (Sharks) 2 Points: Greg Bird (Sharks) 1 Point: Adam Dykes (Sharks) [Match Report]
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 18 Tries: Nick Bradley-Qualiwawa (2), Jason King, Anthony Watmough Goals: Matt Orford (1/4) Brisbane Broncos 6 Tries: Denan Kemp Goals: Corey Parker (1/1) Kick-off: 7:00 PM Monday Half time: Sea Eagles 10-0 Venue: Brookvale Oval Crowd: 13,493 Referee: Jared Maxwell Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 Points: Anthony Watmough (Sea Eagles) 2 Points: Nick Bradley-Qualiwawa (Sea Eagles) 1 Point: Denan Kemp (Broncos) [Match Report]
FULL DRAW, RESULTS & LINKS TO LIVE SCORES - CLICK HERE
STATE OF ORIGIN 1: 23 MAY 2007 Wed 8:00 QLD MAROONS v NSW BLUES Suncorp Stadium
ROUND 11: 25-28 MAY 2007 Fri 7:30 BULLDOGS v COWBOYS Suncorp Stadium Fri 7:30 RAIDERS v DRAGONS Canberra Stadium Sat 5:30 SEA EAGLES v STORM Brookvale Oval Sat 7:30 SHARKS v ROOSTERS Toyota Park Sat 7:30 TITANS v RABBITOHS Gold Coast Stadium Sun 2:00 BRONCOS v KNIGHTS Suncorp Stadium Sun 3:00 PANTHERS v WESTS TIGERS CUA Stadium Mon 7:00 EELS v WARRIORS Parramatta Stadium