HARLEQUINS hope to maintain their recent form following successive wins over Catalans Dragons and Wigan as they travel to Wakefield.
ROUND 7 Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 24 v North Queensland Cowboys 22at Toyota ParkReferees: Gavin BadgerMatch Summary:Following a week of turmoil, the Cronulla Sharks have responded with a 24-22 victory over competition front-runners North Queensland Cowboys tonight.An email campaign from disgruntled fans had coach Stuart Raper fuming during the week. With many supporters calling for his sacking, an angry Raper responded in the media by describing those behind the emails as "idiots".With a crowd of just over 9,000 on hand, the Toyota Park faithful were treated to a spirited comeback as the Sharks scored 14 unanswered points in the second half. The Cowboys were first to score when backrower Luke O'Donnell backed up after just five minutes. The Sharks struck back through Phil Bailey in the 14th minute to make it 6-4 in favour of the visitors. Five minutes later forward Lance Thompson burst onto a pass from half back Adam Dykes to put the Sharks in front by 10-6 imidway through the first half.With five-eighth Johnathan Thurston setting up play, the North Queenslanders then lifted with sharp tries to Rod Jensen in the 34th minute, and another to O'Donnell to take the Cowboys to a 22-10 half time lead.With Adam Dykes at the helm, the Sharks started the second half in tremendous fashion. A try to Dykes in the 54th minute narrowed the Cowboys lead to six. Dykes then inspired the next try with a fabulous grubber kick for himself before finding Nigel Vagana in support. With 20 minutes to go, the score was locked up at 22-all.With 15 minutes to go, Winger Luke Covell slotted a penalty goal, putting the Sharks two points in front and setting up a nail-biting finish.The Cowboys lifted an effort to keep their unbeaten run intact but the Sharks were equal to the task, holding out their more fancied rivals and pulling off what could be the upset of the season.Scorers:Cronulla Sutherland Sharks: 24Tries: Phil Bailey, Adam Dykes, Nigel Vagana, Lance ThompsonGoals: Luke Covell 4/5North Queensland Cowboys: 22Tries: Rod Jensen, Luke O'Donnell(2), Matt SingGoals: Johnathan Thurston 3/4By the Clock:Beaut night at Toyota Park.Calm conditions and no real wind. But a poor crowd just before kickoff.The Sharks desperate for a win and take on competition leaders the Cowboys.Kickoff!5 min: TRY North Queensland CowboysO'Donnell scores. The Cowboys punching 95m upfield following an intercept from Ashley Graham. Conversion from Johnathan Thurston. Cowboys 6-014 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksPhil Bailey crashes over after pushing past some ordinary defence. Follows video ref scrutiny over the put down. Luke Covell unable to convert. Cowboys 6-419 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksLance Thompson on the burst from an Adam Dykes pass, and gets past two defenders to score. Covell converts from right in front. Sharks 10-623 min: TRY North Queensland CowboysMatt Sing scores after the Cowboys get around the defence and have the numbers. Beautifully engineered by Thurston and then Sing who still had plenty of work to do out wide. Thurston conversion attempt just misses. 10 all.28 min: NEWS Sharks looking good in attack. A poor play-the-ball from Thompson sees them lose possession and a good chance goes begging. But the home side are applying the bulk of the pressure.34 min: TRY North Queensland CowboysRod Jensen scores for the visitors. Sharks unable to get a kick away on the last tackle of the previous set and Cowboys capitalise. Thurston converts. Cowboys 16-1037 min: TRY North Queensland CowboysO'Donnell gets a double after Thurston makes a 50m break with Matt Bowen in support. In the next play O'Donnell scores as the defence is trying to regroup. Conversion from Thurston successful. Cowboys 22-10Half time: Cowboys 22-10The Cowboys and Jonnathan Thurston have stamped their authority on the match in the backend of the first half.The Sharks looked good up until 10 minutes ago with Dykes and Thompson the best of the home side. But they were simply unable to keep focussed as the Cowboys stepped up a gear.Still plenty in this match for the Sharks but the Cowboys' converted try just before the break might have been the killer.Second half underway, Sharks defending the southern end...NEWS - Sharks winger Darren Albert noticeably playing more at fullback with David Simmons on the right wing.48 min: NEWS Great start to the second half from the Sharks. Now getting repeat sets at the Cowboys line.52 min: NEWS Sharks get another opportunity when Albert does a terrific job in getting the ball back into the field of play. Then Tevita Latu makes a bust. But they follow it up with handling errors and the Cowboys are off the hook.54 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksAdam Dykes scores next to the posts after Sharks get a penalty and then a roll on. Covell adds the extras. Cowboys 22-1661 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksNigel Vagana scores a great try with a Dykes grubber kick setting up play beautifully. Covell converts 10m from the posts and its all locked up! 22 all.65 min: PENALTY GOAL Cronulla Sutherland SharksFrom about 30m out and right in front, Covell puts the Sharks in front. Sharks 24-2268 min: NEWS Cowboys now getting some possession and a repeat set at the Sharks line.70 min: NEWS Sharks' line holds firm and Covell returns the ball with a good run. Dykes putting in a top class kick at the end of the set.73 min: NEWS Sharks still on the attack as Brett Kelly gets his first touch of the ball in first grade. Paul Gallen loses the ball and the Cowboys now counter-attack.77 min: NEWS Aaron Payne now lifting for the Cowboys but the Sharks hold firm and have the ball with just three minutes remaining.78 min: NEWS Tremendous attacking raid from the Cowboys ends with a kick going dead.Full time: Sharks 24-22Sharks put together a great second half to deliver the upset of the year. The Cowboys suffering their first loss of 2006.Following a week of turmoil and harsh criticism from their fans, the Sharks players and coach Stuart Raper have responded in the best possible way, on the football field.Top notch effort from Sharks half Adam Dykes who gets our man of the match. Dykes was the difference in the sides and was able to outshine Thurston who was one of the Cowboys' best. Cowboys backrower Luke O'Donnell made a lot of strong runs, backed up, and was rewarded with two tries. Sharks Winger and part time fullback Darren Albert made some nice breaks and supported his forwards well.Crowd: 9025-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Adam Dykes (Sharks)2 - Luke O'Donnell (Cowboys)1 - Darren Albert (Sharks)-----------------------------------------
ROUND 7 Melbourne Storm 52 v Newcastle Knights 6at Olympic Park MelbourneReferees: Russell SmithMatch Summary:The Melbourne Storm has thrashed the Newcastle Knights 52-6 at Olympic Park this evening in front of a healthy first up home crowd for the Storm.Melbourne came out ready to play footy and with Newcastle missing one A Johns, the task was going to become so much harder as the Knights winning record without Johns would suggest.The game played to script with the Storm running away with the game, which was effectively over by half time with Melbourne holding a commanding 24-6 lead through first half doubles to Greg Inglis and Steve Turner. Inglis left the field midway through the second half with a minor leg injury, which is not believed to be serious.The second half picked up where the first half left off with Melbourne applying the blow torch to the Newcastle defence and they came up trumps more often than not, with Mick Crocker leading the way with some punishing defence and Cameron Smith providing the spark in attack.Newcastle, to put it simply, had no answer for the speed of the Melbourne Storm, who were fast and ruthless in everything they did. Melbourne?s little men in Cooper Cronk, Cameron Smith and Nathan Friend all proved to be a handful for the Knights defence and apart from Danny Buderus, the rest of the Knights could not keep pace with their southern opponents.As the game wore on, the tensions between the two sides started to boil over with some cheap shots from the Knights and some punishing legal and not so legal defence from the Storm with Jake Webster put on report for a dangerous throw while Daniel Tolar for the Knights was replaced after getting smashed in a perfectly legal Mick Crocker tackle.History has shown that no side has ever won the competition after having 50 points scored against them and Newcastle join Canberra and St George Illawarra, two teams they ironically scored 50 against as the only teams in the NRL to date to concede 50 points in a match.On tonight?s form, the Storm are very much in the premiership hunt for 2006. Newcastle are obviously still a threat but without Johns, they are a completely different side, one devoid of leadership and confidence.Scorers:Melbourne Storm: 52Tries: Matt Geyer, Greg Inglis(2), Antonio Kaufusi, David Kidwell, Matt King, Steve Turner(2), Jake WebsterGoals: Cameron Smith 8/10Newcastle Knights: 6Tries: Kurt GidleyGoals: Kurt Gidley 1/1By the Clock: 1 min: NEWS We are underway for the first time in 2006 at Olympic Park in Melbourne.1 min: TRY Melbourne StormThe Melbourne Storm are off to a flying start with a try in the first minute to teen sensation Greg Inglis. A true superstar in the making. Storm 6-09 min: PENALTY GOAL Melbourne StormGreg Inglis was taken high by Kurt Gidley in front of his own posts and Cameron Smith wastes no time in extending the Storms lead. Storm 8-011 min: NEWS Melbourne look very sharp tonight and are making plenty of metres up the middle and are looking good on the fringes as well. Andrew Johns is not playing for the Knights in case anyone was wondering.14 min: NEWS No try to the Knights after video ref Bill Harrigan rules Josh Perry passed the ball from the ground. It was the correct call.15 min: TRY Newcastle KnightsJarred Mulle drops in a nice kick behind the Storm defensive line for Kurt Gidley to punce on the ball to score the Knights first try. Gidley copped a cork to the hip in the process. Storm 8-620 min: TRY Melbourne StormSteve Turner scores a great try in the corner off a well place brubber in behind the Knights defensive line. Touchline conversion successful. Storm 14-629 min: NEWS Possible try to Mick Crocker from the Storm. He is having a very good game so far. Damaging on both attack and defence.29 min: NEWS No try to the Storm. Changeover to the Knights.30 min: TRY Melbourne StormGreg Inglis scores another sizzling try to take his season tally to 8 and his name will almost certainly be read out when the Qld team is announced for Origin 1. Storm 20-636 min: TRY Melbourne StormCameron Smith kicks the ball downfiled and the Storm players race down after the ball and with a lucky bounce, Steve Turner beats David Seage to the ball on the Knights line, spins and scores an absolute ripper just before half time. Turner and Inglis have two tries each so far and the Knights are a long way off the pace now. Storm 24-640 min: NEWS Melbourne hold a commanding 18 point lead over the Knights at half time and the Storm are doing it in style with two tries to both Greg Inglis and Steve Turner. Mick Crocker is making his presence felt in both attack and defence while Cameron Smith is having a blinder out of dummy half. Newcastle aren't playing that bad but the enthusiasm levels and skill from the Storm is proving too much for the Knights at this stage.43 min: TRY Melbourne StormKidwell scores without a finger being placed on him to make it virtually impossible for the Knights to comeback from here without Andrew Johns. Storm 30-651 min: NEWS Greg Inglis leaves the field with a leg injury while Mick Crocker has been mistakenly put on report for a dangerous throw. The player in question was Jake Webster.53 min: TRY Melbourne StormJake Webster scores for the Storm as the game starts to become embarrassing for the Knights. With still over 25 minutes to play, the Storm look set to run riot. Storm 36-661 min: NEWS Possible try to Matt Knig for the Storm and thematch all of a sudden has become very feiry with Melbourne coming up with some ferocious defence, led superbly by Mick Crocker.61 min: TRY Melbourne StormTry awarded to Matt King who had been relatively quiet up until half time. He has had an excellent second half and the Knights have well and truly put the cue in the rack. Storm 42-667 min: NEWS Melbourne get a repeat set of six and the fifty point mark is certainly not out of the question with the mood the Storm are in.71 min: TRY Melbourne StormAnother try to the Storm as the 50 point marks looms large on the horizon. This time Antonio Kaufusi was the beneficiary. Storm 46-677 min: TRY Melbourne StormMelboure hit 50 and the Knights now join Canberra and St George Illawarra as the only teams to have 50 scored against them this year. Storm 52-6-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Michael Crocker2 - Cameron Smith1 - Greg Inglis-----------------------------------------
ROUND 7 New Zealand Warriors 46 v South Sydney Rabbitohs 14at Ericsson StadiumReferees: Jason RobinsonMatch Summary:Warriors Move in to the Positive The New Zealand Warriors are off the mark in 2006 following a 46-14 hammering of the South Sydney Rabbitohs in Auckland tonight. The forwards led from the front from the first whistle with inspirational leaders, Ruben Wiki and Steven Price standing up and taking control. Tony Martin kicked 9 from 9 and scored a try for a 22 point tally for the former Melbourne Storm star. This was a record for the most amount of points scored by a Warriors against a Rabbitoh in their short history as an NRL club. The Warriors led 26-4 at the break after a point scoring spree in the last fifteen minutes before halftime. The game was left wide open after a tight open quarter but the game sprung to life after a try to Tony Martin against the run of play. The Rabbitohs were able to get one try back before the break through former Panther Ben Rogers but a penalty goal and a long range try to Brent Webb opened the game right up before the break. The Rabbitohs lost Todd Polglase to a hamstring injury late in the first half but that didn?t stop them from coming out fired up for the second half. They ran in two quick tries just after the break to give themselves a sniff at 28-14. However, with the great goforward of the Warriors forwards, they were able to run away with the game. The Warriors now move in to positive territory on two points following their four point deduction as a result of a salary cap breach. They move off the bottom of the ladder which now means Souths sit in last place without a win. It won?t get any easier for the Bunnies as they take on Newcastle next weekend.Scorers:New Zealand Warriors: 46Tries: Todd Byrne, Tony Martin, Steve Price, Brent Webb, Ruben Wiki(2), George GatisGoals: Tony Martin 9/9South Sydney Rabbitohs: 14Tries: John Sutton, Paul Mellor, Ben RogersGoals: Nathan Merritt 1/3By the Clock:There is 1 change for the Warriors tonight.Jerome Ropati moves to five-eight,Grant Rovelli goes back to the bench with Richard Villasanti dropping off the bench.Guttenbiel will go back to the bench with Luck promoted to the starting side.For Souths,Germaine Paulson comes in for Adam Macdougall,Paul Mellor for Shannon Hegarty.Shannan McPherson drops off the bench.A very small crowd in here,but that won't darken each sides efforts to take the 2 points out of this one.1 min: NEWS Kickoff!5 min: NEWS Michael Luck is hit in a bellringer from Shane Walker5 min: NEWS Clinton Toopi is held up ingoal and it will be a play the ball on 0 tackle following a lead up play touched by Souths.6 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsSome poor goal line defence and Ruben Wiki from a standing start crashes over next to the posts.Martin converts the try. Warriors 6-013 min: NEWS Souths are deep on the attack but Ben Walker lets his team down on the last tackle as his bomb sails well over the dead ball line.16 min: NEWS Fien puts a kick down field and Merritt takes off with the ball.He finds Paulson who races down field,tries to find Merritt on his outside but the ball goes in to touch 30 metres out from the tryline.17 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsRuben Wiki takes the tap from a penalty 30 metres out.He charges past the first line of defence before barging over the top of Polglase to score under the posts for his second try!Martin converts the Wiki try.Warriors 12-022 min: NEWS Brent Webb is denied a try after Ropati throws a forward pass to him on the inside.25 min: NEWS Going to the video for a possible Warriors try ...25 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsTony Martin scoops up a grubber that rebounded off a player next to him.He picks it up and runs 50 metres to score under the posts.A question on whether he was offside.Martin converts his own try. Warriors 18-028 min: TRY South Sydney RabbitohsRogers gets one back for the Rabbits as he scores in the corner off a swift second man play.Merritt from the touchline hooks it wide. Warriors 18-429 min: NEWS Faalogo drops the ball from the kickoff giving the Warriors a chance to hit back.32 min: PENALTY GOAL New Zealand WarriorsMartin shoots over a penalty goal from right infront following a hold down penalty from Souths. Warriors 20-433 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsA break by Gutenbiel on half way,he links up with Brent Webb who runs 40 metres to score under the posts.Martin slots another one over from right infront. Warriors 26-435 min: NEWS After a mistake from the kickoff from the Warriors,Lowe tries to pop a pass on the first tackle for the Bunnies but the ball goes straight to Guttenbiel.40 min: NEWS Halftime.South Sydney have been horrible in defence in the first half.They have already missed 20 tackles and things like they will go from bad to worse.They have no respect for the football as they have had 8 errors in the first half.The Warriors however,despite not being flashy in the first half,they have got the job done so far with only 6 mistackles and 6 errors.Warriors 61% - Rabbitohs 49 % Possession41 min: NEWS Second Half underway and the Warriors kick out on the full from the kickoff!42 min: NEWS With a gap opening,Merritt finds Walker who puts it down releasing all the pressure they had gained.43 min: PENALTY GOAL New Zealand WarriorsMartin slots a penalty goal from right in front after an obstruction when a Fien bomb hit the turf. Warriors 28-446 min: NEWS Going upstairs for a possible Souths try.46 min: TRY South Sydney RabbitohsBen Walker,with nothing on puts a cross field grubber in for Paul Mellor who does extremely well to stay in as he scores in the corner.Merritt's conversion is way off the mark. Warriors 28-851 min: NEWS The Bunnies deep on the attack from back to back penalties.53 min: TRY South Sydney RabbitohsJohn Sutton barges over under the posts on tackle 5 following sustained pressure on the back of repeat sets of 6 from penalties.Merritt converts his first of the night. Warriors 28-1463 min: NEWS Souths have kept the Warriors out in attack very well in the 2nd half,thus giving themselves a slight chance of a comeback.66 min: NEWS The Warriors get six more tackles on the Rabbitohs line.67 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsGeorge Gatis dives over from dummy half to seal the game for the Warriors.Martin keeps his good record in tact. Warriors 34-1471 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsSteve Price dives over from out wide off an offload close to the line.Martin slots another one over. Warriors 40-1478 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsA great offload by Faumuina on the left hand side and Todd Byrne dives over to score which caps off a great night for the Warriors.Martin's conversion from the sideline is a ripper. Warriors 46-1480 min: NEWS Fulltime here in Auckland!-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Ruben Wiki2 - Awen Guttenbeil1 - Steve Price-----------------------------------------
HULL?S caretaker coach Richard Agar admits he is looking forward to relinquishing control of first-team affairs after Saturday?s trip to Catalans Dragons.
GREAT Britain coach Brian Noble takes charge of Wigan for the first time at Huddersfield.
SALFORD coach Karl Harrison believes his in-form players are helping create a bright new future for the club.
FORMER Leeds prop Danny Ward insists he has no axe to grind as he prepares for his first return to Headingley since his sacking.
BARTERCARD CUP COMPETITION - ROUND 5 FIXTURES (Split Round) Saturday 22 April 2006 Waitakere Rangers vs Canterbury BullsEricsson Stadium, Auckland 5:30pm Kick OffWarriors/Rabbitohs Curtain RaiserWaitakere RangersROBINSON GODFREY (Wearing Number 18)JOHN TAVAGABOYCIE NELSONLEE TAMATOANANA TUIPULOTUGAVIN BAILEY (CO-C)BERNARD PERENARAHAMISH BARCLAYJUNIOR FIUCHARLIE WAIDEHENRY TURUA (CO-C)KARL EDMONDSONMATTHEW RUABENCHDEAN SHEPHERDMARK TOELAUBLEU TAMATOATANGATA RAELACoach: Bernie PerenaraCanterbury BullsLEE FIDOWDANIEL METCALFDONOVAN AITKENROSS MARTINLUCAS TAMAKAHAJOSH RUEBENDUANE WINETIVINCE WHARE(C) SHANE BEYERS ALEX TIMOJONNY LIMMERCLINTON FRASERCOREY LAWRIEBENCHROSS TURIBLAKE MILNERJOSEPH POMBOJOHN LENECoach: Philip PrescottReferee: Craig PascoeTouch Judges: Raima Koti and Aaron KeshaWaicoa Bay Stallions vs Northern Storm Resthills Park, Hamilton 2.30pm Kick OffWaicoa Bay StallionsJUNIOR AURUANARU GRANTMATT STOWERSDANEY RAYNERMICHAEL MOOREHEREMAIA SAMSONHAYDEN KARENATHOMAS UFI (C)PETER PRIMESHANE TEKURUNOAH RUTENESIMON BEALEMICHAEL STEVENSBENCHSHEA BRODRICKJOSHUA DAVIDJOSHUA ADAMSMARRIN HAGGIECoach: Hiki RuteneNorthern StormDYLAN WEREINOKE TAUFASIONE MOALAJACK WALKERARNIE KANEJOEL FREEMANANTHONY CLYDESTEVE RAUHENRY GODINETPUHI TOABLAKE EWEADAM DONALDSON(C) JOE RAUBENCHKAHU HENAREJOHNEEN FAGAVAOJOE IOANEVINCENT MAFICoach: Geoff MortonReferee: Phil CrumpeTouch Judges: TBAMonday 24 April 2006Live And Free-To-Air On Maori TelevisionTamaki Leopards vs Wellington OrcasNorth Harbour Stadium, Albany 8.00pm Kick OffFREE ENTRYTamaki LeopardsCOOPER VUNATAAVILI LEAUNOAAIROE BOAZAKOTISI FAKALATATUKI JACKSONWILLIE HETAMANA ASHFORDSINAVE FAITALE (C)TROY BECROFT (GENE VAAFUSUAGA)GEORGE TUAKURAISAAC LIAVAARITCHIE JOHNSONPAUL ATKINSBENCHFRED TURUWHENUASIONE NIUILADARIN KINGIGEOFFREY RUAPOROPELE PELETELESECoach: Dean ClarkWellington OrcasDION LAULUDESTA BUCHANANMATT WANOATOLLY AUVAAOMPALUS KUABEN TARAEKALEON BOYD(C) TAYLOR PELENISEJUSTIN CARNEGIEPAUL RUDMANDALLAS RENNIESIMON MANNERINGHAYDEN DAVISBENCHASHLEY PARKERWESLEY HENRYDANIEL MISAMOSE MASOECoach: Paul BergmanReferee: Dave PakietoTouch Judges: TBA
REDCLIFFE'S Greg Bourke will chase Damian Richters' all-time Queensland Wizard Cup record of 1030 points this Sunday against Wynnum Manly at BMD Kougari Oval.
WYNNUM MANLY v REDCLIFFE
BMD Kougari Oval, Sunday April 23, 3.00pm.
Referee: Brett Suttor
THE Brisbane Broncos say they will not ask prop Shane Webcke to play on for less money next NRL season.
NEW Zealand coach Brian McClennan says big Brisbane winger Tame Tupou has come right into Test calculations.The Kiwis are battling with wingers Manu Vatuvei and Matt Utai both injured a fortnight out from next month's ANZAC Test against the Kangaroos. McClennan says Tupou - who's scored four tries in five games for Brisbane - has definitely put his hand up to play for the Kiwis if needed.Tupou, who gave up rugby union because it wasn't tough enough, says pulling the Kiwis jersey on would be an honour. The Kiwis humiliated Australia 24-0 in the Tri Nations final in Leeds last November.
THE appointment of Great Britain mentor Brian Noble as Wigan coach has made it more likely for St George Illawarra skipper Trent Barrett to make the 2006 N-R-L season his last and relocate to England.Barrett's manager Wayne Beavis has hinted that only Wigan's relegation will stop his charge from linking with the English Super League club which last night (AEST) unveiled Noble as its 10th coach in as many years.The Dragons playmaker is under contract with St George Illawarra until the end of next season but has a clause which allows him to link with a Super League club next season. Beavis says he is talking to a total of three Super League clubs as well as the Dragons but admitted Noble's appointment at Wigan until 2008 sweetened the deal to lure Barrett to the Warriors.The Dragons are sweating on an answer from Barrett so they'll know how much to offer rugby target Mark Gasnier next year.
PARRAMATTA has received a massive boost ahead of tonight's NRL clash with Wests Tigers with the re-signing of four key players for a further two years.