League Wrap ROUND 11: 25-28 MAY 2007

BULLDOGS 16 - COWBOYS 26 Round 11 of the NRL kicked off on Friday night in Brisbane with the North Queensland Cowboys travelling south to play a 'home' game in the state's capital. It seemed to work a treat with the Cowboys outclassing the Canterbury Bulldogs by 26-16. Called the 'Reconciliation Cup', the match was a winner for Jonathan Thurston, the Cowboys halfback backing up after Wednesday's State of Origin. Thurston looked in tip top shape and had a hand in all of his teams tries as well as kicking five goals from five attempts in a man of the match performance.

RAIDERS 30 - DRAGONS 6 The other Friday encounter was played in Canberra with the Raiders making short work of the St George Illawarra Dragons. In their 30-6 demolition of Saints, the Raiders have all but shaken off the 'spoon favourites' tag they were lumbered with in the pre-season. Raiders centre Adrian Purtell grabbed a hat trick in the slippery conditions as home side appeared to have pace to burn on both sides of the ruck. In discarding the Red V for the day, the Dragons arrived in their fashionable all red jerseys, and perhaps they thought this was preparation enough. Unfortunately, the flashy outfits didn't add any speed to their outside men who seemed to be chasing Canberra all night.

SEA EAGLES 13 - STORM 12 Saturday rugby league took us to Brookvale for the match of the round and the top of the table clash between the Manly Sea Eagles and Melbourne Storm. In a thriller, it was the Sea Eagles who came out on top, winning by just 13-12. Manly half back Matt Orford was the hero in slotting a match winning field goal with just three minutes remaining. It was a costly win for the home side with popular forward and cult hero George Rose breaking his leg and bringing his season to an abrupt end. The Storm also made the injury list with star full back Billy Slater reportedly out for six weeks with a fractured cheekbone.

SHARKS 12 - ROOSTERS 13 Saturday night saw the upset of the round and another 13-12 scoreline with the Sydney Roosters narrowly defeating the Cronulla Sharks in the Sutherland Shire. After leading 12-0 soon after half time, the Sharks looked the goods and were still 12-0 in front with only 12 minutes remaining. But the Roosters defied the odds and came back, scoring twice in four minutes and sending the match into golden point time. In the tense atmosphere that followed, renowned funny man and part time referee Sean Hampstead starting delivering his famous one-liners to Sharks forward Lance Thompson. Perhaps he thought it would ease the tension. Nevertheless, Thompson failed to see the funny side and five minutes later NSW fullback Anthony Minichiello added the one pointer to give Easts a rare win.

TITANS 25 - RABBITOHS 18 Meanwhile, the Titans potted a field goal of their own in downing the South Sydney Rabbitohs by 25-18 on the Gold Coast. It was another packed house for the NRL's latest acquisition who seem to do well when they don't have to travel too far. Nevertheless, big things are in store for the Gold Coast and they are still a better than even chance for a top eight spot come finals time. For Souths, as predicted, the wheels have fallen off the chariot with the Rabbitohs crashing to their fourth consecutive loss. Souths had their opportunities to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, most notably late in the match when the Rabbitohs were attacking from only 30 metres out. But they were thwarted by an 'off the ball' incident involving the Titans centre Brett Delaney and Souths prop Jaiman Lowe. In delivering his knock-out blow, Lowe claimed he was merely defending his manhood. This didn't wash with the referee who had no hesitation in sending Lowe to an early shower. It was a costly brain explosion. The Titans got the penalty and new signing Josh Lewis kicked a field goal just before full time.

BRONCOS 71 - KNIGHTS 6 Sunday football took us back to Brisbane to witness a slaughter, the Broncos crushing the Newcastle Knights by 71-6. The assault began in the seventh minute and didn't let up as the Broncos ran in 12 tries to one. Not surprisingly, it was a record win for the Broncos and record loss for the Knights. Just to make sure of it, skipper Darren Lockyer got with the program and slotted a field goal just before half time, giving the home side a commanding 25-6 lead at the break. A total annhiliation followed with the Broncos eventually declaring in the 80th minute.

PANTHERS 24 - WESTS TIGERS 25 Also on Sunday, Wests Tigers overcame the Penrith bogey with a hard fought 25-24 win over the Panthers. It was Wests Tigers sixth consecutive win. Nevertheless, the Panthers were gallant in defeat as they came back despite an injury toll which saw them running out of troops late in the match. Naturally, a field goal had to be kicked by someone and the job was done by Robbie Farah, the Wests Tigers hooker slotting what would be the eventual match winner just before half time.

EELS 30 - WARRIORS 6 Monday night football gave rise to Parramatta with the Eels defeating the Warriors by 30-6 and proving far too good on the night. Unfortunately for Warriors, Manu Vatuvei became the talking point of the match, the winger dropping the ball repeatedly leading to four tries against the Warriors. It was hard not to feel sorry for Vatuvei who even drew some sympathy from the opposition. The result adds curry to the Eels stocks as they look well placed in the top eight. The Warriors have some work to do after suffering their fourth consecutive loss.


STATE OF ORIGIN Queensland Maroons 25 Tries: Greg Inglis (2), Steve Price, Darren Lockyer Field Goals: Johnathan Thurston (1/1) Goals: Johnathan Thurston (4/4) New South Wales Blues 18 Tries: Nathan Hindmarsh, Matt Cooper, Jarryd Hayne Goals: Jamie Lyon (3/4) Kick-off: 8:00 PM Wednesday Half time: Blues 18-6 Venue: Suncorp Stadium Crowd: 52,498 Referee: Paul Simpkins [Match Report]

Canterbury Bulldogs 16 Tries: Hazem El Masri, Andrew Emelio, Andrew Ryan Goals: Hazem El Masri (2/3) North Queensland Cowboys 26 Tries: Matthew Bowen (2), Shane Tronc, Sione Faumuina Goals: Johnathan Thurston (5/5) Kick-off: 7:30 PM Friday Half time: Cowboys 12-0 Venue: Suncorp Stadium Crowd: 15,412 Referee: Tony Archer Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys) 2 Points: Matthew Bowen (Cowboys) 1 Point: Andrew Ryan (Bulldogs) [Match Report]

Canberra Raiders 30 Tries: Adrian Purtell (3), William Zillman, Neville Costigan Goals: Michael Dobson (5/5) St George Illawarra Dragons 6 Tries: Matt Cooper Goals: Mathew Head (1/1) Kick-off: 7:30 PM Friday Half time: Raiders 12-0 Venue: Canberra Stadium Crowd: 13,187 Referee: Stephen Clark Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Adrian Purtell (Raiders) 2 Points: Neville Costigan (Raiders) 1 Point: Alan Tongue (Raiders) [Match Report]

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 13 Tries: Chris Hicks, Anthony Watmough Field Goals: Matt Orford (1/1) Goals: Jamie Lyon (2/3) Melbourne Storm 12 Tries: Israel Folau, Matt King Goals: Cameron Smith (2/2) Kick-off: 5:30 PM Saturday Half time: Sea Eagles 12-6 Venue: Brookvale Oval Crowd: 18,640 Referee: Shayne Hayne Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Anthony Watmough (Sea Eagles) 2 Points: Cooper Cronk (Storm) 1 Point: Matt Orford (Sea Eagles) [Match Report]

Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 12 Tries: Paul Gallen, Greg Bird Goals: Luke Covell (2/2) Sydney Roosters 13 Tries: Ashley Harrison, John Williams Field Goals: Anthony Minichiello (1/1) Goals: Craig Fitzgibbon (2/2) Kick-off: 7:30 PM Saturday Half time: Sharks 6-0 Venue: Toyota Park Crowd: 11,193 Referee: Sean Hampstead Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 Points: Anthony Minichiello (Roosters) 2 Points: Greg Bird (Sharks) 1 Point: Jamie Soward (Roosters) [Match Report]

Gold Coast Titans 25 Tries: Mark Minichiello, Brett Delaney, Scott Prince (2) Field Goals: Josh Lewis (1/1) Goals: Mat Rogers (4/4) South Sydney Rabbitohs 18 Tries: Jeremy Smith, Fetuli Talanoa, Reece Simmonds Goals: Joe Williams (3/3) Kick-off: 7:30 PM Saturday Half time: Titans 12-6 Venue: Gold Coast Stadium Crowd: 17,266 Referee: Tony De Las Heras Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 Points: Luke Bailey (Titans) 2 Points: Joe Williams (Rabbitohs) 1 Point: Josh Lewis (Titans) [Match Report]

Brisbane Broncos 71 Tries: Tonie Carroll (2), Ben Hannant, Petero Civoniceva, Brent Tate (2), Justin Hodges (2), Karmichael Hunt, Greg Eastwood, Joel Moon, Darius Boyd Field Goals: Darren Lockyer (1/1) Goals: Darren Lockyer (3/3), Corey Parker (4/5), Michael Ennis (4/4) Newcastle Knights 6 Tries: Jarrod Mullen Goals: Cory Paterson (1/1) Kick-off: 2:00 PM Sunday Half time: Broncos 25-6 Venue: Suncorp Stadium Crowd: 27,433 Referee: Ben Cummins Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 Points: Ben Hannant (Broncos) 2 Points: Karmichael Hunt (Broncos) 1 Point: Justin Hodges (Broncos) [Match Report]

Penrith Panthers 24 Tries: Frank Puletua, Michael Gordon, Geoff Daniela, Nick Youngquest Goals: Michael Gordon (2/2), Peter Wallace (2/2) Wests Tigers 25 Tries: Liam Fulton, Daniel Fitzhenry, Chris Lawrence, Ben Galea Field Goals: Robbie Farah (1/1) Goals: Brett Hodgson (4/4 Kick-off: 3:00 PM Sunday Half time: Tigers 13-6 Venue: CUA Stadium Crowd: 17,337 Referee: Jared Maxwell Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 Points: Paul Whatuira (Tigers) 2 Points: Brett Hodgson (Tigers) 1 Point: Joel Clinton (Panthers) [Match Report]

Parramatta Eels 30 Tries: Jarryd Hayne, Ben Smith, Daniel Wagon, Eric Grothe, Nathan Cayless Goals: Luke Burt (5/6) New Zealand Warriors 6 Tries: Logan Swann Goals: Tony Martin (1/1) Kick-off: 7:00 PM Monday Half time: Eels 12-6 Venue: Parramatta Stadium Crowd: 11,160 Referee: Paul Simpkins Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 Points: Jarryd Hayne (Eels) 2 Points: Mark Riddell (Eels) 1 Point: Fui Fui Moi Moi (Eels) [Match Report]



ROUND 12: 1-4 JUNE 2007 Fri 7:30 PANTHERS v SEA EAGLES CUA Stadium Fri 7:30 DRAGONS v BRONCOS Oki Jubilee Stadium Sat 5:30 ROOSTERS v KNIGHTS Bluetongue Stadium Sat 7:30 COWBOYS v SHARKS Dairy Farmers Stadium Sat 7:30 STORM v RABBITOHS Olympic Park Sun 2:00 TITANS v RAIDERS Gold Coast Stadium Sun 4:00 (NZ) 2:00 (AEST) WARRIORS v BULLDOGS Mt Smart Stadium Mon 7:00 WESTS TIGERS v EELS Telstra Stadium