League Wrap ROUND 8: 4-7 MAY 2007

ROUND EIGHT of the NRL kicked off on Friday night with the St George Illawarra Dragons downing the Penrith Panthers by 28-16 in a scrappy encounter at Kogarah. It was more relief amongst Saints fans with their team having lost their previous five clashes. Penrith have now lost five on the trot. The result sees the Dragons move up to 13th spot on six points and just two points out of the top eight. The Panthers find themselves sharing the cellar on four competition points and have plenty of work to do. Meanwhile, reigning premiers the Brisbane Broncos snared a much needed two competition points with a narrow 8-4 win over the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Lang Park. The Rabbitohs maintain a top eight spot on eight points while the 12th-placed Broncos are not far away on six points.

Saturday rugby league took us to Auckland where the Cronulla Sharks came back to snatch a 22-20 victory over the New Zealand Warriors. Despite the loss, the Warriors are still in the top four on 10 points but the Sharks are not far away on eight points. Meanwhile in Gosford, Wests Tigers posted the upset of the round in downing competition leaders the Melbourne Storm by a whopping 30-12. The Storm remain on 14 points but slip to second place courtesy of the points differential. Wests Tigers are now in seventh place on eight points. Saturday night concluded in Parramatta with the Eels defeating the last-placed Sydney Roosters by 28-10. The improving Eels are in 10th spot and in touch with the top eight. The Roosters have only posted the one win this year and look destined for the wooden spoon.

Sunday football saw the Manly Sea Eagles thump the Raiders by 46-30 in a high scoring affair in Canberra. The Sea Eagles are now enjoying top spot on the NRL ladder with 14 points. The Raiders are on the lower rung of six points. Later the same day, the Canterbury Bulldogs disposed of the Newcastle Knights with a 30-16 win in Homebush. The Bulldogs have eight points and eighth spot while the Knights are also on eight points but have slipped out to 11th place.

Round eight of the NRL wrapped up on the Gold Coast on Monday night with the North Queensland Cowboys posting an impressive 24-10 win over the Titans. The Titans have dropped ninth spot and eight competition points while the Cowboys are well placed in third position and 12 points.


St George Illawarra Dragons 28 Tries: Jason Nightingale, Matt Cooper (2), Chase Stanley, Wes Naiqama Goals: Wes Naiqama (4/6) Penrith Panthers 16 Tries: Luke Rooney (2), Michael Gordon Goals: Michael Gordon (2/3) Kick-off: 7:30 PM Friday Half time: Dragons 18-10 Venue: Oki Jubilee Stadium Crowd: 9,057 Referee: Sean Hampstead Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 Points: Ben Creagh (Dragons) 2 Points: Matt Cooper (Dragons) 1 Point: Peter Wallace (Panthers) [Match Report]

Brisbane Broncos 8 Tries: Darius Boyd Goals: Darren Lockyer (1/2) South Sydney Rabbitohs 4 Tries: Shannon Hegarty Goals: Nathan Merritt (0/1) Kick-off: 7:30 PM Friday Half time: 0-0 Venue: Suncorp Stadium Crowd: 27,387 Referee: Paul Simpkins Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 Points: Greg Eastwood (Broncos) 2 Points: Roy Asotasi (Rabbitohs) 1 Point: Darren Lockyer (Broncos) [Match Report]

New Zealand Warriors 20 Tries: Sam Rapira, Michael Witt, Louis Anderson Goals: Tony Martin (4/4) Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 22 Tries: Ben Pomeroy, Greg Bird (2), Misi Taulapapa Goals: Luke Covell (3/6) Kick-off: 5:30 PM Saturday Half time: Warriors 8-6 Venue: Mt Smart Stadium Crowd: 13,587 Referee: Gavin Badger Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 Points: Greg Bird (Sharks) 2 Points: Ben Pomeroy (Sharks) 1 Point: Grant Rovelli (Warriors) [Match Report]

Wests Tigers 30 Tries: Chris Lawrence (2), Robbie Farah, Ben Galea Field Goals: John Morris (0/1) Goals: Dean Collis (7/7) Melbourne Storm 12 Tries: Matt King, Dallas Johnson Goals: Cameron Smith (2/2) Kick-off: 7:30 PM Saturday Half time: Tigers 22-0 Venue: Bluetongue Stadium Crowd: 19,111 Referee: Tony Archer Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 Points: Robbie Farah (Tigers) 2 Points: Chris Lawrence (Tigers) 1 Point: Dean Collis (Tigers) [Match Report]

Parramatta Eels 28 Tries: Krisnan Inu (2), Eric Grothe, Nathan Hindmarsh, Luke Burt Goals: Luke Burt (4/5) Sydney Roosters 10 Tries: Ashley Harrison, Sam Perrett Goals: Craig Fitzgibbon (1/1), Amos Roberts (0/1) Kick-off: 7:30 PM Saturday Half time: Eels 22-0 Venue: Parramatta Stadium Crowd: 13,021 Referee: Tony De Las Heras Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 Points: Tim Smith (Eels) 2 Points: Krisnan Inu (Eels) 1 Point: Luke Burt (Eels) [Match Report]

Canberra Raiders 30 Tries: Lincoln Withers, Michael Dobson, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, William Zillman, Neville Costigan Goals: Michael Dobson (5/5) Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 46 Tries: Brett Stewart, Michael Robertson (3), Michael Monaghan, Anthony Watmough, Steve Bell, Matt Ballin Goals: Jamie Lyon (6/7), Matt Orford (1/1) Kick-off: 2:00 PM Sunday Half time: Raiders 12-6 Venue: Canberra Stadium Crowd: 14,387 Referee: Jared Maxwell Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 Points: Michael Robertson (Sea Eagles) 2 Points: Jamie Lyon (Sea Eagles) 1 Point: Lincoln Withers (Raiders) [Match Report]

Canterbury Bulldogs 30 Tries: Reni Maitua, Luke Patten (2), Hazem El Masri, Matthew Utai Goals: Hazem El Masri (5/5) Newcastle Knights 16 Tries: Danny Buderus, James McManus, Cory Paterson Goals: Kurt Gidley (2/3) Kick-off: 3:00 PM Sunday Half time: Bulldogs 12-0 Venue: Telstra Stadium Crowd: 12,654 Referee: Steve Clark Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 Points: Luke Patten (Bulldogs) 2 Points: Willie Mason (Bulldogs) 1 Point: Hazem El Masri (Bulldogs) [Match Report]

Gold Coast Titans 10 Tries: Mat Rogers (2) Goals: Brett Delaney (0/1), Mat Rogers (1/1) North Queensland Cowboys 24 Tries: Matthew Bowen, Rod Jensen, Paul Bowman Goals: Johnathan Thurston (6/6) Kick-off: 7:00 PM Monday Half time: Cowboys 16-4 Venue: Gold Coast Stadium Crowd: 17,806 Referee: Ben Cummins Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 Points: Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys) 2 Points: Mat Rogers (Titans) 1 Point: Jacob Lillyman (Cowboys) [Match Report]


UPCOMING MATCHES: NRL ROUND 9: 11-14 MAY 2007 Fri 7:30 SHARKS v BRONCOS Toyota Park Fri 7:30 SEA EAGLES v EELS Brookvale Oval Sat 5:30 KNIGHTS v WARRIORS Energy Australia Stadium Sat 7:30 RABBITOHS v RAIDERS Telstra Stadium Sat 7:30 COWBOYS v PANTHERS Dairy Farmers Stadium Sun 2:00 ROOSTERS v TITANS Aussie Stadium Sun 3:00 WESTS TIGERS v DRAGONS Telstra Stadium Mon 7:00 STORM v BULLDOGS Olympic Park