THE semi final race continues to heat up in NSW Premier League, with 11 teams still in contention.After falling into a patch of bad form, North Sydney have managed to stay in touch with the top eight after recording a 14 all draw with arch-rivals Manly on Saturday, while the Raiders toppled the Knights to stay well entrenched in the top eight.After dropping to a couple of losses, Balmain have bounced back in recent weeks, flogging Norths and then venture buddy the Magpies, 50-12 at Campbelltown on the weekend. The Tigers now sit comfortably within the eight on 14 points.So, after 11 rounds of the competition, who?s hot and who?s not? Here?s my round 11 rankings.1. Newtown Jets ? The Jets haven?t lost a game since their round 5 thumping at the hands of the Sharks. Impressive against quality opposition on the weekend in Souths, the Jets are building their season nicely.2. St Mary?s Penrith Cougars ? The Cougars bounced back well after their disappointing performance against the Bunnies in round 10, knocking over the top of the table Eels 25-18.3. Parramatta Eels ? Losses to the Eagles in round 8 and the Cougars in round 11 have proven the Eels are not unbeatable. With coach Jason Taylor moving up to coach the NRL, the distraction at the club may prove to be too much.4. Canberra Raiders ? The ever consistent Raiders are always hard to go past. Never far behind in a loss and always in control when they?re winning, the 2003 Premiers may prove to be the dark horse of this seasons competition. 5. Cronulla Sharks ? On their day they can beat anyone, but inconsistency has become a problem in recent weeks. The Sharks murdered the Dragons three weeks ago, but then followed up this strong performance by getting smashed by the Raiders the week after. A narrow win over the Bulldogs on the weekend gives the Sharks an opportunity to string some wins together.6. Balmain Ryde Eastwood Tigers ? The Tigers started the season in astonishing fashion, winning their first four matches. The purple patch finished in sensational style, when the Tigers dropped their next four matches. Bouncing back against the Bears in round 10, the Tigers seem to be back on track.7. Manly Warringah Sea Eagles ? One of only two teams to knock over Parramatta this season, the Eagles have found stringing consistent performances together to be tough going. With a couple of NRL players out with Origin duty over the next couple of months, the Premier League boys may struggle.8. St George-Illawarra Dragons ? Two losses and a bye in the last three weeks has the Dragons looking shaky. Need to bounce back against the Knights in Newcastle this weekend.9. South Sydney Rabbitohs ? Unable to kick on after three straight wins, which included a thrashing of the highly fancied Cougars. The Rabbits clash against the Tigers this weekend should be useful for the form guide.10. Newcastle Knights ? Still capable of making the top eight. The Knights need to win this weekend against the Dragons. Were competitive against the Raiders in a tight match.11. North Sydney Bears ? If anyone can work out the form of the Mighty Bears, come and see me. Thrashed in consecutive weeks by the Knights and Tigers, the Bears lifted against Manly this weekend for a draw. Started the season with real promise, with a top performance against the Sharks, the Bears have faltered ever since. Periodic inclusion of some Storm players may be proving to be too disruptive to the squad.12. Canterbury Bulldogs ? The Bulldogs are the biggest underachievers of this seasons competition. Possessing a quality squad, the Bulldogs should be challenging for top spot. Are in danger of losing touch with the eight.13. Western Suburbs Magpies ? One win from 11 rounds says enough. The battlers from the West could never be accused of not trying, but good results have been hard to come by. A tough year for Magpies fans.
THE fifth round of the Powergen Challenge Cup got underway on Friday night when Leeds Rhinos easily overcame Rochdale Hornets with a 12-try romp at Headingley Carnegie Stadium. Scott Donald scored a hat-trick for his new club. The match also saw the welcome return of the home team?s skipper Kevin Sinfield.
FORMER North Queensland player Rory Bromley has scored with 20 seconds remaining for Redcliffe to beat the Young Guns 16-14 in the top-of-the-table clash.
QUEENSLAND RUGBY LEAGUEFOG CUP ROUND 10 RESULTS - A GRADESaturday 20th MayTWEED HEADS 30 (Brett Woolley 2, Ryan O?Connell, Andre Amato, Nathan Small try; Paul Rolls 5) d BURLEIGH 14 (Hayden Allsop 2, Phil Ramage tries; Phil Ramage goal) at Pizzey Park.IPSWICH 44 (Ricky Dodd 4, Allan Petersen, John Dean, Todd Riggs, Cody Fullarton tries; Steven West 6) d WESTERN DISTRICTS 24 (Ben Demmel 3, Darcy Sumner tries; Brad McKee 4 goals) at QLD Group Stadium.Sunday 21st MayASPLEY 34 (Nass Teddy, Jorgie Skeen, Pat Dall, Robert Fisher, Vaughan Eriksen, Lachlan Morgan tries; Pat Dall 5 goals) d NORTHS 16 (Nathan Daley, Phil Wuersching, Andrew Anderson tries; Phil Wuersching 2 goals) at Bishop Park.SUNSHINE COAST 28 (Jason Wardrop 2, Clint Broomham, Jay Tedge, Kris Boyce tries; Kris Boyce 4 goals) d REDCLIFFE 26 (Adam Fletcher 2, Dominic Fallini, Luke Boldery, Adam Lutchetti, Chris Giumelli tries; Adam Lutchetti goal) at Dolphin Oval.SOUTHS LOGAN 34 (John Andrews 2, Josh Henaway 2, Mehau Phillip, Christian Thompson, Grant Lewis tries; John Andrews 2, Ron Troutman goals) d WYNNUM MANLY 32(Chris Rafter 3, Chris Currie, Chris Young, Bart Masters tries; Bart Masters 4 goals)at BMD Kougari Oval.BYE: Easts TigersQUEENSLAND RUGBY LEAGUEROUND 10 RESULTS - COLTS GRADESaturday 20th MayTWEED HEADS 26 (Zane McCarthy 2, Denis Gordon, William Matthews, Matt Lindsay tries; Trent Iselin 3 goals) d BURLEIGH 10 (Casey Lyons, Dominick Devitt tries; Marty Paulson goal) at Pizzey Park.WESTERN DISTRICTS 28 (Adam Breen 2, Ryan Corrie, Kristian Freed, Curtis Purssell tries; Michael Walker 4 goals) d IPSWICH 24 (Dean Bannermann, Matt McGready, Brenden Mazzer, Kailyb Gray tries; Tim McIlwain 4 goals) at QLD Group Stadium.Sunday 21st MayASPLEY 39 (Matthew Baird 2, Chris Minehan, Chris Bella, Alex Tallon, Troyden Edwards, Stephen Johnston tries; Jacob Fauid 5 goals; Jacob Fauid field goal) d NORTHS 22 (Sam McPhail, Blayne Harling, Luke Capewell, Dean Franckom, Steve Beaumont tries; Kieran Turner goal) at Bishop Park.REDCLIFFE 25 (Phil Daisy, Michael Wilson, Andrew Rickertt, Tim Yee, Matt Gillett tries; Tim Benson 2 goals; Tim Benson field goal) d SUNSHINE COAST 24 (Ben Whiddon, Russell Roche, Ben Harney, Luke Williamson, Darren Peck tries; Ben Whiddon 2 goals) at Dolphin Oval.WYNNUM MANLY 30 (Brendon O?Neill, Michael Chaplain, Bruce Kolio, Shaun Cotter, Aaron Brown tries; Luke Menhinnitt 5 goals) d SOUTHS LOGAN 26 (Craig Brown 3, Louis Makuare, Chris Sandow tries; Chris Sandow 3 goals) at BMD Kougari Oval.BYE: Easts TigersNEXT ROUND?S GAMES ? ROUND 11QRL FOGS: CUP - CHALLENGESATURDAY 27TH MAYIpswich Jets v Easts Tigers QLD Group Stadium 12.15pm - 10.45amSouths Logan Magpies v Aspley Devils Brandon Park 1.15pm - 11.45pmSunshine Coast Falcons v Wynnum Manly Seagulls Quad Park - 5.30pmWestern Districts Panthers V Norths DevilsQuad Park Kev McKell Oval 1.15pm - 4.00pmSUNDAY 28th MAY Tweed Heads Seagulls v Redcliffe Dolphins Piggabeen Complex 1.15pm - 11.45amBurleigh Bears v Bye# Rescheduled matchSATURDAY 24th JUNE# Sunshine Coast Falcons v Wynnum Manly Seagulls Quad Park 3.00pm
BOLSTERED by the inclusion of NRL stars, Mark Riddell and Tim Smith, Parramatta were at short odds of continuing their domination of the NSW Premier League against the Cougars on Friday night. However, the Cougars had other ideas and were desperate to impress in front of their home crowd.Led by strong performances from Craig Trindall and Liam Georgetown, the Cougars were well placed at half time, leading 18-0.In the second half the top of the table Eels managed to outscore the Cougars 18-7, but the Cougars held on for a well deserved 25-18 win, bagging two valuable competition points in the process.The loss was the second of the season for Parramatta. The Eels now sit just two points ahead of the Cougars on the Premier League ladder, with the Jets and Dragons a further point behind on 15.
WIDNES must avoid losing to French opposition for a second successive year if they are to reach the last eight of the Powergen Challenge Cup.
THE Giants take a break from Super League this coming Sunday with Round 5 of the Powergen Challenge Cup, National League side York City Knights being the visitors to the Galpharm for the game which kicks off at 3.00pm.
IT was good news and bad news week this week for Hull KR head coach Justin Morgan.
A host of old friends will become rivals on Sunday afternoon as Warrington Wolves take on Whitehaven RL at The Halliwell Jones Stadium.The Cumbrian NL1 side will make the trip to Cheshire for the fifth round of the Powergen Challenge Cup and their will be a sense of familiarity on the pitch and in the dugouts.Wolves coach Paul Cullen, who coached the Cumbrian side before returning to Wilderspool will be looking forward to welcoming his former employers, while Warrington?s Cumbrian born Senior Academy Coach Gary Chambers will be plotting the downfall of his brother Craig who is expected to take the field for Haven.Commenting on the draw Paul Cullen said "This will certainly be an exciting fixture for all concerned. Wolves supporters can rest assured that we will be giving Whitehaven the respect they deserve and I do not intend to rest any players for this game. I know quite a lot about the Whitehaven squad including many of the players I have worked with in the past. This promises to be a traditional cup tie for all the supporters."The two teams have only ever met twice before in the Challenge Cup, once in 1970 when Warrington took the victory 20-4 and in 2004 in the Quarter-Final stage with the Wolves again taking a victory, 42 points to 10.- courtesy Wolf WebPowergen Challenge Cup Fifth RoundWarrington Wolves vs Whitehaven RLKick-Off 4pm at The Halliwell Jones StadiumWarrington 20-man squad:Stuart Reardon, Henry Fa'afili, Martin Gleeson, Brent Grose, Richie Barnett, Lee Briers, Michael Sullivan, Paul Wood, Jon Clarke, Mark Hilton, Logan Swann, Paul Noone, Ben Westwood, Mark Gleeson, Simon Grix, Steve Pickersgill, Danny Lima, Chris Riley, Andy Bracek, Ben Harrison.Whitehaven squad (from):Neil Baynes, Gary Broadbent, Craig Calvert, Craig Chambers, Mark Deans, John Duffy, Derry Eilbeck, David Fatialofa, Howard Hill, Marc Jackon, Rob Jackson, Leroy Joe, John Lebbon, Aaron Lester, Steve Maden, Graeme Mattinson, Scott McAvoy, Chris McKinney, Spencer Miller, Paul O'Neil, Carl Rudd, David Seeds, Carl Sice, Steve Trindall, Craig Walsh, Ricky Wright.
ST Helens maintained their supremacy over Bradford by putting the Super League champions to the sword by 42-18 in a one-sided Powergen Challenge Cup fifth-round tie at Knowsley Road.
HARLEQUINS strolled past minnows Barrow in the Powergen Challenge Cup fifth round, running in 14 tries at the Twickenham Stoop.The hosts led 40-0 at the break after tries from Joe Mbu, Pat Weisner, Chad Randall, Luke Dorn, Matt Gafa and Nick Bradley-Qalilawa.James Nixon and James Finch replied for the competition's 1000-1 outsiders in the second half, but there was not let up from Quins.Rob Purdham, Michael Worrincy, Weisner and Dorn completed doubles and Lee Hopkins and Tim Hartley added further scores, Purdham kicking 13 goals.A pass from Dorn sent Weisner over from close range with six minutes on the clock and the hosts thought they had scored again after a fumble by Barrow prop Paul Raftery.A forward pass ruled out a Bradley-Qalilawa try, but the visitors failed to make the most of their reprieve and when they kicked the ball back to Bradley-Qalilawa the winger's mazy run gave Randall an easy score.Tyrone Smith's barnstorming run from his own line gave Hopkins a chance but he was hauled down by Raiders full-back Paul Jones. Hopkins then reached the line only to be called back for a forward pass.It mattered little as Dorn dummied Matt Blake and side-stepped Jones to touchdown under the posts, then Gafa provided the scoring pass for Mbu.The Raiders were struggling to get out of their own half, Harlequins? smart kicking game forcing a number of drop-outs, and from one of these 20-year-old second-row Worrincy scored in his first start for Quins.Gafa took Zebastian Luisi's pass to give Purdham his sixth straightforward conversion and Bradley-Qalilawa finally got in on the act following a break by Neil Budworth.Barrow winger Nixon gave the spirited away support something to cheer when he capitalised on Bradley-Qalilawa's sloppy handling to race in unopposed.But Purdham promptly muscled in at the other end and the half-century was brought up when Hopkins' break set up Worrincy's second.Hopkins ran in the host's 10th try himself, Dorn was the beneficiary of slick handling and Hartley sprinted clear from halfway.Finch reduced the arrears after Brett McDermott collected a loose ball 60 metres out, but Weisner and Purdham completed the rout.Harlequins RL: Lucky Luisi, Smith, Gafa, Purdham, Bradley-Qalilawa, Weisner, Dorn, Tookey, Randall, Mills, Hopkins, Worrincy, Mbu.Replacements: Williams, Lolohea, Budworth, Hartley.Barrow: Jones, J. Finch, Atkinson, Harrison, Nixon, Kaighan, Holt, Raftery, C. Archer, Blake, McDermott, Wilcock, Whitehead.Replacements: Marshall, Luxon, Butler, Wood.Harlequins RL (40) 82.Tries: Weisner 2, Randall 2, Dorn 2, Mbu, Worrincy 2, Gafa, Bradley-Qalilawa, Hartley 2, Purdham. Goals: Gafa, Purdham 12.Barrow (0) 8.Tries: Nixon, J. Finch.Referee: J Leahy (Dewsbury)Att: 10,000
WIGAN?S poor season continued on Friday night when they were bundled out of the Powergen Challenge Cup following a 16-4 defeat against Salford.
LEEDS Rhinos cruised into the last eight of the Powergen Challenge Cup with a 12-try, 66-0 demolition of an outclassed Rochdale Hornets outfit at Headingley Carnegie.
ROUND 11 Sydney Roosters 28 v South Sydney Rabbitohs 26at Aussie StadiumReferees: Shayne HayneMatch Summary:A depleted Sydney Roosters outfit have accounted for the South Sydney Rabbitohs by 28-26 in a close and exciting contest at Aussie Stadium.With several players missing from their line-up through a mixture of injuries and representative duties, the Roosters displayed their guile to outwit the Bunnies who have slumped to their 10th loss of the season in as many starts.Surprisingly it was Souths who opened the scoring in the 5th minute through Nathan Merritt when centre Adam MacDougall showed his class to get the ball out wide with some quick hands. The skinny winger still had plenty of work to do though, chipping over the top and regathering to score a memorable try.The Roosters hit back in the 13th minute through Amos Roberts who ran well off a flick pass from Ashley Harrison to score. With a try to Soliola five minutes later and the ensuing conversions, the Roosters took a comfortable 12-4 lead and they were cruising towards halftime.But fiery centre Adam MacDougall burst his way across the stripe with a determined solo effort just before the break and the Rabbitohs were very much in the game at 12-10 when they went to the sheds.This feeling was short lived for the Bunnies though when John Doyle crossed from dummy half early in the second half to extend their lead. Further tries to opportunistic winger Vince Mellars and young firebrand David Shillington added to the misery of Souths fans as the Roosters opened up a commanding 28-10 lead.As we?ve seen a few times this season though, Souths made a late charge to come firmly back into the reckoning, with goal-kicking letting them down at crucial periods.Ben Rogers scored off a neat John Sutton grubber in the 65th minute, before Joe Williams went himself five minutes later to bring to gap to 28-20. The final 10 minutes of play kept people on the edge of their seats but Souths squandered several opportunities to frustrate their fans before Kiwi representative David Fa?alogo bagged a late consolation try to take the score within two points.The Roosters can take some heart out of the victory given their circumstances but letting the Rabbitohs in towards the end of the game was a worrying sign. They take on the Eels at Parramatta Stadium Sunday whilst the Bunnies continue to search for their first win of the year. They play Wests Tigers at Homebush who will be keen to make amends for their loss against the Warriors.Scorers:Sydney Roosters: 28Tries: Amos Roberts, Iosia Soliola, John Doyle, David Shillington, Vince MellarsGoals: Craig Fitzgibbon 4/5South Sydney Rabbitohs: 26Tries: David Fa'alogo, Adam MacDougall, Joe Williams, Nathan Merritt, Ben RogersGoals: Joe Williams 3/5By the Clock:Good conditions here at Aussie Stadium. There are plenty of team changes for both sides.Souths: Minichiello in for Webb who is injured. Shannon McPherson finds himself on the bench.Roosters: Soward into the starting side with Doyle dropping to the bench.The Roosters kick-off in the first half.5 min: TRY South Sydney RabbitohsQuick hands from Adam MacDougall finds winger Nathan Merritt who chips over the top, regathers and beats Amos Roberts to the ball to post the first try of the match. Joe Williams misses the goal from out wide. Rabbitohs 4-010 min: NEWS An open contest at the moment with both teams making solid in-roads.13 min: TRY Sydney RoostersThe Roosters spread the ball well with Harrison, lurking out wide, flicking the ball to Roberts for the Roosters' first try. Fitzgibbon adds the extras and the Chooks are in front. Roosters 6-415 min: NEWS Some bad luck with the restart after Souths put it too deep and incur a 50m penalty.18 min: TRY Sydney RoostersRoberts puts in a cheeky little kick and finds Soliola out wide. Fitzgibbon hits the upright, then the crossbar and somehow jags a goal from out wide. Roosters 12-425 min: NEWS A few mistakes and errors creeping into this game as both teams struggle for some cohesion with so many players out.30 min: NEWS Souths are making constructive plays but letting themselves down with handling errors. The Roosters have a bit more discipline at this stage and are controlling play well when in possession.32 min: NEWS The game is becoming pretty scrappy. Souths look to be struggling for penetration with Sutton in the centres.35 min: NEWS John Doyle (Roosters) looks to be struggling with a knee injury.40 min: TRY South Sydney RabbitohsThe Bunnies get themselves right back in the contest when Adam MacDougall punches through the Roosters defence from 30m out to score a great solo try. Williams pots the conversion and they're right back in the contest on the halftime buzzer. Roosters 12-1040 min: NEWS Halftime: A great late try to MacDougall has the Bunnies in this one just when it appeared as though they'd given up again. The Roosters will be pretty disappointed with that but they still have a number of big names with the capabilities to control the game. But from here the game is absolutely anyone's and it shapes as a great second half stoush.The Rabbitohs restart play in the second period.46 min: TRY Sydney RoostersDoyle, back on the field despite a knee injury, burrows over from dummy half. Fiztgibbon put the conversion through and the Chooks take a healthy 8-point lead. Roosters 18-1054 min: TRY Sydney RoostersSome good hands by the Roosters finds Vince Mellars out on the wing unmarked and he crosses the line to put the Roosters back on top. Fitzgibbon fails to convert. Roosters 22-1060 min: TRY Sydney RoostersBig prop Dave Shillington barges his way over the chalk to take a commanding lead for the Roosters. Fitzgibbon lands the goal. Roosters 28-1065 min: TRY South Sydney RabbitohsJohn Sutton puts through a neat grubber for Ben Rogers who scores and gets the Bunnies back into this one. Williams converts and they might give the Roosters a scare here. Roosters 28-1670 min: TRY South Sydney RabbitohsWilliams, who's having a great game, goes himself close to the line and scores after Sam Perrett turned over possession close to his own line. Williams fails to convert and 8 points might be too hard for the Bunnies to peg back. Roosters 28-2075 min: NEWS The Bunnies grass a few opportunities here in the closing stages.79 min: TRY South Sydney RabbitohsThe Kiwi forward drives his way to the line and reaches out to score a good consolation try after Shane Rigon got out of dummy half quickly. Williams converts and it's a shame there's no more time left. Roosters 28-2680 min: NEWS Fulltime: The Bunnies just can't quite get there as the Roosters stumble home to a 2-point victory.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Anthony Tupou2 - Iosia Soliola1 - Adam MacDougall-----------------------------------------
ROUND 11 Canterbury Bulldogs 32 v Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 24at Telstra StadiumReferees: Tony ArcherMatch Summary:Canterbury have held out a late surge by Cronulla to score a 32-24 victory at Telstra Stadium this afternoon.With several players missing through NSW rep duties, the Bulldogs took a good early lead with tries to winger Matt Utai (16th minute) and five-eighth Daniel Holdsworth (20th minute) to set up a 12 point lead.The Sharks hit back ten minutes later through centre Phil Bailey but with El Masri?s penalty goal just before half time, Canterbury held a solid 8-point lead at the break.The game resumed with the Doggies gaining the upper hand early through El Masri in the 47th minute after Brent Sherwin kicked across field for their pet play. Utai scored his second three minutes later when Willie Tonga found some space and slipped a good ball. With a penalty goal to El Masri five minutes later the Bulldogs were looking well in command at 26-6.But everything changed with just over 20 minutes remaining. Sonny Bill Williams incited a fight with Phil Bailey in the 58th minute and both players found themselves in the sin bin. This put Cronulla on the attack immediately, almost scoring through Covell. Shortly afterwards Holdsworth also found himself in the bin and Canterbury were behind the eight-ball all of a sudden.Cronulla took advantage with tries to Luke Covell (66th), Matt Hilder (68th), Greg Bird (71st) and David Simmons (74th) powering them back into the game and if not for a poor attempted conversion from Covell the scores could have been level.A try to Willie Tonga in the final minute secured the game for Canterbury after Holdsworth had been denied by the video ref just prior.It was a disappointing end for the Sharks who had their chances to win the match, breaking a four-game winning streak and were making headway up the competition ladder after a poor start to the season. They face the Warriors at home next week in what should be an anticipated showdown given the Auckland-based club?s performance against the Tigers.For the Bulldogs, coach Steve Folkes will more than likely be happy with the 2 points but very disappointed by the second half performance particularly their lack of discipline in relinquishing a 20-point lead. They were missing four players through State of Origin duties but that?s no excuse and they?ll need a more focussed effort against the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium next week.Scorers:Canterbury Bulldogs: 32Tries: Hazem El Masri, Willie Tonga, Matthew Utai(2), Daniel HoldsworthGoals: Hazem El Masri 6/8Cronulla Sutherland Sharks: 24Tries: Phil Bailey, Greg Bird, Luke Covell, Matt Hilder, David SimmonsGoals: Luke Covell 2/5By the Clock:Cool but sunny day here at Telstra Stadium.Changes:Sharks - Brett Kimmorley is in, he will play halfback and captain the side. Greg Bird moves to the second row with Cameron Ciraldo to start from the bench. Richard Villasanti is in the seconds.Bulldogs - as per the program and Tony Grimaldi will captain the side in the absence of Andrew Ryan.And the Bulldogs get us underway in the first half!5 min: NEWS It's a good open contest at the moment with both sides creating opportunities but not yet able to convert.7 min: NEWS Sharks enjoying the early run of possession after the Dogs give away three silly penalties.13 min: NEWS Sonny Bill looking dangerous on the fringes of the ruck, but the Sharks have been scrambling well with both teams just feeling each other out at the moment.15 min: NEWS Both sides finding a fair bit of room out side, with Covell making a 40m burst down the western flank.16 min: TRY Canterbury BulldogsKiwi winger Matt Utai breaks through for the first try after a series of long passes finds him unmarked on the wing. El Masri fails to add the extras and the Bulldogs take the lead. Bulldogs 4-020 min: TRY Canterbury BulldogsDogs five-eighth Holdsworth takes on the Sharks line from 30m out and beats three defenders to score under the posts. El Masri converts and the Doggies are looking good. Bulldogs 10-023 min: PENALTY GOAL Canterbury BulldogsEl Masri adds another two points with a penalty goal as the home side extends their lead. Bulldogs 12-027 min: NEWS The Dogs grass a good scoring opportunity, but this kid Hickey is of an enormous stature.30 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksSharks centre Phil Bailey dummies and goes himself at acting half to get Cronulla on the board. Covell converts and the Sharkies are back in the think of things. Bulldogs 12-636 min: PENALTY GOAL Canterbury BulldogsEl Masri lands another goal after Paul Gallen belted Brent Sherwin following a clearing kick and gave away a penalty. The Dogs have a handy 8-point lead. Bulldogs 14-640 min: NEWS Halftime: The Bulldogs hold a solid lead over the Sharks with both teams still well and truly in the game. The Dogs are playing well and Sherwin is controlling things better for them. Cronulla look a little more disorganised but are playing well from broken play up the middle of the field. It really is anyone's game though.And the Sharks get us underway in the second half!44 min: NEWS A bit of a stink breaks out between Morrin (Dogs) and Bailey (Sharks) with Cronulla getting the penalty. Neither player did their boxing aspirtations any good.47 min: TRY Canterbury BulldogsSherwin gets the fires burning for the Dogs in the second half with an old favourite kick over to El Masri on the wing, who scores his 121st try in first grade. El Masri misses again, and the lead blows out to 12. Bulldogs 18-650 min: TRY Canterbury BulldogsA good backline movement sees Tonga slip a great pass to Utai who crosses for his second of the day. El Masri converts and the Dogs are very much in command. Bulldogs 24-655 min: PENALTY GOAL Canterbury BulldogsThe Dogs push further ahead with another penalty to El Masri and the lead is now out to 20. You'd think that would be enough top secure victory at this stage. Bulldogs 26-658 min: NEWS Sonny Bill locks horns with Bailey and both players find themselves in the bin. Sonny Bill was the aggressor in this case but Bailey doesn't seem able to avoid trouble today. Cronulla get the penalty.59 min: NEWS Covell goes close to scoring for the Sharks as they appear to take the upperhand here. The video ref denies it and there's no change to the score.65 min: NEWS Now Daniel Holdsworth finds himself in the sin bin for a hand on the ball in a tackle, as the Doggies are reduced to 11 men for then next few minutes.66 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksThe Sharks score through Covell after Beau Scott gets dragged over the line, but releases the ball for his winger who dives across the stripe. There were plenty of hands in there and some doubt over the grounding as well, but the video ref puts it back to Tony Archer and he awards the try. Covell converts from the sideline and the Sharks are on the charge. Bulldogs 26-1268 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksMatt Hilder scores out wide after some great lead-up work from Simmons. Covell misses the goal but the Sharks are trying their hearts out to win this one. Bulldogs 26-1668 min: NEWS Sonny Bill and Phil are back on the field.71 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksGreg Bird smashes his way through the Dogs' defensive line from close range. Covell does a terrible job from next to the posts with the conversion and it's a six point game. Bulldogs 26-2074 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksAfter going the length of the field, Kimmorley chips over the top and finds David Simmons for a great try out wide. Covell shaves the upright and the Sharks still trail by 2. Bulldogs 26-2475 min: NEWS Daniel Holdsworth is back on the field for the Doggies and it looks like they need him.77 min: NEWS Holdsworth is back on and the almost scores but the video ref awards Cronulla a penalty following an obstruction.79 min: TRY Canterbury BulldogsThe Bulldogs wrap up an exciting clash through centre Willie Tonga who scored out wide. Great game, El Masri converts. Bulldogs 32-2480 min: NEWS The Bulldogs hold on for a great win here at Telstra Stadium, despite a late surge from the Sharks.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Matthew Utai2 - Hazem El Masri1 - Brett Kimmorley-----------------------------------------