FULLTIME score:Round 2Sydney Roosters 18 v Melbourne Storm 22Match summary:The Sydney Roosters have staged a remarkable comeback this afternoon, but it wasn?t quite enough to defeat the Melbourne Storm in a cliff-hanger today at Aussie Stadium, the Storm winning the match 22-18 on a warm Sydney afternoon.Melbourne came firing off the blocks in the first half, and took a 16-0 lead into halftime, a lead which was almost extended right on the break with Storm winger Jake Webster failing to keep his feet in play, crashing over the sideline and the margin remained at 16 at the interval. The Roosters then staged a remarkable second half fight-back. After trailing 22-0 midway through the half, the Roosters crossed for three converted tries in quick time, and were an Anthony Minichiello mistake away from claiming victory. The Australian fullback put a regulation pass to ground and granted the Storm a massive reprieve. Ball control was a problem for the Bondi club all afternoon, and in retrospect, the Roosters should have won this match according to the number of chances they squandered, in comparison to the end margin of just four points. Melbourne went into their shells during the second half and were remarkably lucky to hang on after a scanty performance towards the end of the match. But otherwise the Storm were consummate in victory, with an excellent platform laid down by their forwards which enabled their skilled backline of Billy Slater, Greg Inglis and Jake Webster to wreak havoc on a shaky Roosters defensive line.The Storm had to battle with 16 men for the majority of the match, former Rooster Michael Crocker was forced to leave the field in the 24th minute with a suspected nasal injury. This may have contributed to their lacklustre finish to the match.The Roosters? performance was far inferior to that of last week?s effort against Souths, new buys Braith Anasta and Ashley Harrison appeared to be non-existent out on the field today. Last year?s demons appear to have followed the Roosters into 2006, and they need to look at bringing Craig Wing into the starting side for Brett Finch, Finch seeming to hinder the Roosters attacking structure and is again trying to get too involved when players of far more quality, Anasta and Harrison, are virtual ghosts.The one shining light for the Roosters today was Jamie Soward, and he appears to have a mortgage on the number seven jumper.Matt King was earlier ruled out for Melbourne, causing concern for management who simply can?t afford to have him ruled out of action for a long period.Sam Perrett was sent to the sin bin in just the 4th minute for the Roosters, but there were no reports to speak of from this game.Melbourne have had a pleasing start to 2006 with two victories from two starts, both away from home. The Roosters have been very patchy and it looks as though the men from Bondi have some cobwebs to sweep out of the closet, similarly to last season after the loss of Brad Fittler. Scorers:Sydney Roosters: 18Tries: Ryan Cross, Amos Roberts, Jamie SowardGoals: Craig Fitzgibbon 3/3Melbourne Storm: 22Tries: Cooper Cronk, Ryan Hoffman, Greg Inglis, Steve TurnerGoals: Cameron Smith 3/4Venue: Aussie StadiumCrowd: 10,841Referee: Tony ArcherHalf time: Storm 16-0Live commentary:0 min: NEWS Today sees a rejuvenated Sydney Roosters side minus the suspended Adrian Morley up against a much-improved Melbourne Storm outfit, minus Matt King, at Aussie Stadium on a hot March afternoon in Sydney.Changes: Roosters: as-per-programStorm: Steve Turner comes off the bench into the centres for the injured Matt King, Jamie Feeney comes into the side onto the interchange bench.KICKOFF!, match underway at Aussie Stadium in Sydney4 min: NEWS Sam Perret sent to the sin bin for a professional foul close to the Roosters line.9 min: TRY Melbourne StormGreg Inglis capitalises on a brilliant cross-field kick from Storm halfback Cooper Cronk, taking advantage of his superior height to Iosia Soliola. Storm 4-014 min: NEWS Billy Slater denied a try by on-field officials, ruling to have attempted a double movement and is penalised accordingly. Meanwhile, Sam Perrett has returned from the sin bin.20 min: TRY Melbourne StormMelbourne have capitalised on a Roosters mistake from the play-the-ball, with Jake Webster moving the ball quickly to Steve Turner for a try in the corner. Storm 10-028 min: NEWS The Roosters have an abysmal completion rate at the moment with no cohesion in their attack. Brett Finch is assuming a halfback-type role at the moment with Jamie Soward rarely getting his hands on the ball, and this appears to be affecting their overall structure.34 min: NEWS NO TRY: Finch loses control of the ball over the line off a crafty Soward grubber kick.36 min: TRY Melbourne StormSoward makes a defensive error, sprinting out of the defensive line in an attempt to effect an intercept, the Cooper Cronk pass found the arms to a dashing Ryan Hoffman who subseqeuntly scores in the corner. Storm 16-040 min: NEWS HALFTIME: A possible Jake Webster try is denied right on halftime, with the video referee referring the decision back to referee Tony Archer who in-turn ruled Webster's foot to be over the sideline when he had grounded the ball. Despite the disallowed try, the Storm still hold a commanding 16-point lead and the Roosters will need to improve thier completion rate remarkably in order to have any chance in the second half. 40 min: NEWS Michael Crocker has sustained a depressed nasal fracture and will be out for the rest of this match. The Storm will have to manage with 16 players.Second half underway at Aussie Stadium in Sydney.47 min: NEWS NO TRY: Cameron Smith ruled to have knocked the ball forward in the in-goal area off his own grubber kick by the video referee. Still the Storm leading 16-0 and in reasonable control of this match.50 min: TRY Melbourne StormCooper Cronk races from a Storm scrum win to score a regulation try under the posts from just 10 metres out. The Storm now hold a commanding 22-0 lead and there's no way back for the Roosters now even with 30 minutes still remaining. Storm 22-058 min: TRY Sydney RoostersCraig Fitzgibbon takes an intercept 30 metres out from his own line and links up with Jamie Soward, culminating in a length of the field try for the new and improved Roosters halfback. Storm 22-662 min: TRY Sydney RoostersLooks as though I spoke too soon as Amos Roberts pounces on a cross-field kick from Jamie Soward, one which four Storm players made no attempt to catch, and grounds the ball for a try. Roosters making a comeback with ample time remaining for them to pull this one out of the fire. Storm 22-1270 min: NEWS Melbourne hanging on by the skin of their teeth at the moment, the Roosters are looking very dangerous with the likes of Anasta and Minichiello wreaking havoc.74 min: NEWS The Roosters look to have blown their last opportunity to mount an unbelievable fightback with a Soward grubber going straight into the arms of Billy Slater. The Storm should hang on with the score still at 22-12.77 min: TRY Sydney RoostersRyan Cross scores under the posts after another break by Soward from the Roosters half, and we have a grandstand finish here. An incredible comeback from the Roosters and one last opportunity to complete what would be a remarkable comeback. Storm 22-1878 min: NEWS The Storm have kicked the ball out on the full from the restart. The Roosters will receive a penalty at the halfway line and now have a real opportunity to steal this one!79 min: NEWS Minichiello's hands let him down yet again, putting the ball to ground and with just 40 seconds left that looks to be the ball game. The Storm look as though they will hang on, just.F/T: NEWS After a nail-biting second half, the Melbourne Storm have hung on by a thread to defeat the Sydney Roosters by 22 points to 18 this afternoon at Aussie Stadium in Sydney. The Storm held the ascendancy for the whole of the first half and early in the second, but the Roosters were so close to pulling off one of the best comebacks in the modern era until Anthony Minichiello put the ball to ground with just seconds remaining, giving the Storm a much-needed reprieve and a satisfying win away from home.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Cameron Smith (Storm)2 - Cooper Cronk (Storm)1 - Jamie Soward (Roosters)-----------------------------------------
ROUND 2Penrith Panthers 13 def St George Illawarra 12Match summary:The Penrith Panthers have recorded their second victory of the season with a one-point win over perennial slow-starters St George Illawarra in extra time by 13-12.It is the first time in more than 15 years (round 1, 1991) that Penrith have won at Wollongong.Preston Campbell was the villain turned hero after he snapped a field goal in the 84th minute to get the Panthers home after he struggled throughout the match to find form. The match, played in hot conditions, was punctuated by 22 penalties and a mountain of handling errors. Frank Puletua and Ben Hornby were each sin-binned throughout the clash, with Puletua?s somewhat controversial considering it was for a high shot on Dragons lock Andrew Price shortly before halftime. Price left the field heavily concussed and failed to return.At halftime the scores were locked at 2-all following both sides? inability to turn possession into tries, with Gorrell and Campbell each kicking a penalty goal.The second half was a little different as man of the match Craig Gower came into his own. The Penrith playmaker laid on a try for captain Tony Puletua in the 47th minute and another for fullback Rhys Wesser 15 minutes later as the Panthers began to take control of the match and pushed their lead out to 12-2.The Dragon?s suffered a further blow midway through the second half as Australian prop Luke Bailey left the field with a knee injury. The home side rallied however and a try to Reece Simmonds out wide in the 72nd minute saw the scores at 12-6 and setup a tense final few minutes.St George Illawarra didn?t disappoint as the previously dour struggle turned rather exciting with hooker Gorrell putting Ashton Sims over next to the posts. With the successful conversion, the Dragons pushed the game into extra time.The Panthers started the third period on fire and were looking the goods early with Tony Puletua denied a try in the 83rd minute. From the ensuing play Campbell snapped the ball between the sticks and sunk the Dragons hopes of pulling the game out of the fire.The Panthers now head into the bye with 2 wins from 2 starts, defying critics of the club who had them in the reckoning for the wooden spoon. Ironically, premiership favourites the Dragons continue to slide down the ladder and face the Rabbitohs next week at Telstra Stadium.Scorers:St George Illawarra Dragons: 12Tries: Reece Simmonds, Ashton SimsGoals: Aaron Gorell 2/3Penrith Panthers: 13Tries: Tony Puletua, Rhys WesserGoals: Preston Campbell 2/3Field Goals: Preston CampbellWIN StadiumReferee: Shayne HayneLive commentary:Nice and warm day down in picturesque Wollongong. The Dragons will run with the wind in the first half, as Ryles leads the team out in his 100th game. Penrith will kick-off through Preston Campbell.And we're underway in the first half!5 min: NEWS Both teams sorting each other out in the early stages here, with the Dragons going close to scoring through Gorrell and Greenshields.7 min: NEWS Handling errors from both sides marring the contest in the early stages.15 min: NEWS Gower held-up in goal. Penrith receive a penalty 10m out from the Dragons line and continue to press their defence.22 min: NEWS Another try disallowed by the video referee, with the Danny Galea having no luck from the man upstairs.25 min: NEWS Still no score here at WIN Stadium. Both teams really into the contest now.30 min: NEWS A Dragons raid ends in misery with handling errors and poor options costing them.35 min: NEWS Frank Puletua in the bin and on report for a high shot after a string of sloppy plays. Andrew Price for the Dragons taken from the field.38 min: PENALTY GOAL St George Illawarra DragonsFollowing on from the high shot, Gorrell slots a penalty and finally opens the scoring for the day.Dragons 2-039 min: PENALTY GOAL Penrith PanthersA penalty to the Panthers sees them level the scores with a return penalty goal. 2 all.40 min: NEWS Halftime: Both sides playing very scrappy football. The Panthers have had the majority of possession but have been unable to score any tries. Obviously the heat is playing a big part in the proceedings. The real talking point has been Puletua's sin-binning for foul play. It's anyone's game from here, but if possession evens up you'd have to think the Dragons would be a chance.41 min: And we're underway in the second half!43 min: NEWS Hornby in the bin for a professional foul. Andrew Price is heavily concussed.47 min: TRY Penrith PanthersWith the Dragons down to 12 men, Gower jinks and dummies before giving a pass to Tony Puletua who scores. Conversion unsuccessful. Panthers 6-253 min: NEWS Hornby back on the field.55 min: NEWS Bailey has left the field with a knee injury.62 min: TRY Penrith PanthersCraig Gower again takes control of the game and finds Wesser running into a yawning gap. The Dragons are out on their feet. Campbell converts. Panthers 12-270 min: NEWS Ten to go and the signs are pretty positive for the Panthers. They're playing much better footy now and starting to create opportunities.72 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsReece Simmonds scores in the corner after getting on the end of a Dean Young cut-out pass. Gorrell fails to convert from the sideline. Panthers 12-678 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsYoung hooker George Ndaira finds some room and puts Ashton Sims over next to the post. Gorrell converts to lock up the game. 12 all80 min: NEWS We've gone into extra time here at WIN Stadium, where the Dragons are making a late charge for their first premiership points.84 min: FIELD GOAL Penrith PanthersPreston Campbell snaps a field goal to sink the Dragons and claim the points for the Panthers. Panthers 13-12-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Craig Gower (Panthers)2 - Preston Campbell (Panthers)1 - Aaron Gorrell (Dragons)-----------------------------------------
THE members of the South Sydney Football club today upheld an offer from Peter Holmes a Court and Russell Crowe to purchase 75% of the club for $3m. The "YES" vote received 75.8% support from members.The bid is designed to enable Holmes a Court and Crowe to manage the club under their own steam and control the board of directors whilst protecting the club?s history, colours, emblem and location.Some 4,500 fans participated in the vote with several thousand fans converging on Telstra Stadium where the count was taken and votes collated. It brings to an end a bitter battle for the club whose poor form on the field has been mirrored by mismanagement off it for over 15 years.
ROUND 2 North Queensland Cowboys 20 def. Manly Sea Eagles 16 Match summary:The North Queensland Cowboys have held on to defeat Manly Sea Eagles 20-16 in Townsville tonight.The Cowboys opened the scoring after nine minutes when winger Matt Sing crossed for the first of his three tries.The Sea Eagles struck back in the 17th minute through winger Steve Bell.But two more tries to the Cowboys, including a decisive blow from halfback Brett Firman, gave the North Queenslanders a handy 16-4 lead at half time.The second half stated disastrously for Cowboys forward Aaron Payne who went down after a head knock. He was assisted from the field in a neck brace but was reportedly regaining movement later that evening.The Cowboys went up another gear through Matt Bowen, the fullback kicking the first 40/20 of season in the 44th minute and putting the home side on the attack. A minute later Manly veteran Steve Menzies was sin binned for dissent and a minute after that, Sing posted his hat trick to give the Cowboys a commanding 20-4 lead.Nevertheless, despite enjoying the bulk of possession and field position, the Cowboys were unable to put their opponents away. Manly produced an outstanding defensive effort and on this foundation, launched their comeback.Tries to fullback Brett Stewart in the 51st and 62nd minutes got the Sea Eagles within four points and with over 15 minutes to go, the visitors had the momentum going their way. The Cowboys responded with repeat sets but were unable to breach the Manly line.With time running out, the Sea Eagles launched one final assault - the Cowboys holding on and taking the points in a nail-biting finish.Scorers:North Queensland Cowboys: 20Tries: Matt Sing (3), Brett FirmanGoals: Johnathan Thurston 2/6Manly Sea Eagles: 16Tries: Brett Stewart (2), Steve BellGoals: Matt Orford 2/3Dairy Farmers StadiumReferee: Paul Simpkins Live Commentary:Big crowd in Townsville for tonight's clash. Kick off soon...Players coming onto the field. A number of changes for both sides including Manly's Steve Menzies who has been moved to the centres.Kick off!9 min: NEWS Video ref checking possible Cowboys try.9 min: TRY North Queensland CowboysMatt Sing gets the nod from the video ref after getting benefit of the doubt on a possible offside call. Cowboys having the early momentum. Try scored out wide and the conversion from Johnathan Thurston is a ripper. Cowboys 6-014 min: NEWS Video ref checking possible Manly try.VERDICT: NO TRY.Knock on and scrum.15 min: NEWS At the other end of the field as the Cowboys counter attack. Video ref checking possible Cowboys try.VERDICT: NO TRY.Knock on against Ty Williams.17 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesWinger Steve Bell scores out wide after Manly cuts through the defence down the left side. In the next movement, they have an overlap on the right and Bell is on hand to score. Orford's conversion attempt hits the upright and is waved away. Cowboys 6-423 min: TRY North Queensland CowboysSing gets a double out wide. Follows an intercept and 50m run from Justin Smith, putting the Manly defence on the back foot. Conversion attempt hits the upright and is unsuccessful. Cowboys 10-428 min: NEWS Injury to Cowboys forward Aaron Payne, copping a knock in the head. He is taken off on a medicab in a neck brace.29 min: ATTEMPTED PENALTY GOAL North Queensland CowboysThurston unsuccessful with penalty goal attempt. Cowboys 10-437 min: TRY North Queensland CowboysHalfback Brett Firman steps through and then forces his way over next to the posts. Thurston converts. A killer blow for the Sea Eagles just before half time. Cowboys 16-439 min: NEWS Manly forward Shane Dunley on report after a lifting tackle on Steve Southern. Southern's momentum carrying his legs northwards.HALF TIME: Cowboys 16-4Cowboys with more possession, more completions and less errors. Manly with all the work to do.Second half underway...43 min: NEWS Aaron Payne reportedly taken to hospital with a bit of numbness in the neck. However he does have movement.44 min: NEWS Cowboys fullback Matt Bowen kicks a 40/20, the first one of 2006.45 min: NEWS Manly centre Steve Menzies SIN BINNED for back chatting the referee.46 min: TRY North Queensland CowboysSing gets a hat trick. His 150th career try. Simple catch and pass and the Cowboys have the numbers. Sing crosses and improves the position for Thurston who hooks it away. Cowboys 20-451 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesBrett Stewart takes the final pass to score after a classy 60m movement from Manly beginning with Steve Bell who found Chris Hicks in support. Orford conversion is OK. Cowboys 20-1058 min: NEWS Cowboys pressing after receiving a penalty following a bit of a dust-up. In other news Matt Sing has apparently left the field after receiving a knock.61 min: NEWS Video Ref looking at possible Manly try.62 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesBrett Stewart gets benefit of the doubt, scoring in the corner just before going into touch. Follows Cowboys error which put Manly on the attack. Tremendous kick from Orford and conversion is successful. Cowboys 20-1665 min: ATTEMPTED PENALTY GOAL North Queensland CowboysManly penalised for play-the-ball infringement. Kick is from 15m out and 15m in from touch, and Thurston misses. Cowboys 20-1675 min: NEWS Cowboys forward Shane Tronc HELD UP. Great defence from Manly holding out Cowboys for two sets after Menzies knocks on in front of the sticks. Outstanding effort but time is running out for the Sea Eagles.In other news, Manly's Brett Stewart is limping badly.76 min: NEWS Cowboys get the ball back and Ty Wlliams is HELD UP - Manly defend in tremendous fashion once again.80 min: NEWS Cowboys get the points, hanging on to win 20-16. Manly had one last throw of the dice with a set at the Cowboys line. Manly played approximately 65% of the game in the own half and had around 40% of possession. But despite this, they put in a good showing in the latter stages. -----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys)2 - Luke O'Donnell (Cowboys)1 - Brett Stewart (Sea Eagles)-----------------------------------------
NEW Catalans Dragons head coach Mick Potter is confident his side can lift themselves off the bottom of the table.
ROUND 2Brisbane Broncos 16 def. Cronulla Sharks 12Match summary:The Brisbane Broncos have come from behind late in the match to defeat the Cronulla Sharks 16-12 at Toyota Park this evening.Cronulla should have run away with this game and how theThe Brisbane Broncos have come from behind late in the match to defeat the Cronulla Sharks 16-12 at Toyota Park this evening.Cronulla should have run away with this game and how they lost it is beyond me but their completion rate for the entire game was below 50% and if you can?t complete your sets at least half the time, then you are going to struggle to win football games. Stuart Raper will be bitterly disappointed losing their opening game at home to a team flogged by 32 points the previous week.The Broncos did well to hang in when they should have been down by at least 18 points midway through the first half if Luke Covell had shown some brains and passed the ball to an unmarked player on his outside to seal the match and go up by 18 points.The win was vital for the Broncos after last weekends capitulation at the hands of the Cowboys and it was a chance for the Broncos to prove the naysayers wrong (me included) and that they are not a dads army or a spent force in 2006.The Sharks scored a fantastic 100 metre try after the Broncos put up the bomb and David Simmons caught it in his own in goal, set off down filed and tore the Broncos defence to shreds and eventually offloaded to Darren Albert to score the try of the season so far and a try that will no doubt be one of the highlights of the season.Brett Kimmorley was rusty in his first game for the year but Adam Dykes played a fine game for the Sharks while for the Broncos the experienced men led the way superbly with Darren Lockyer, Shane Webcke and Brad Thorn all having strong games for the visiting team.ScorersCronulla Sutherland Sharks: 12Tries: Adam Dykes, Darren AlbertGoals: Luke Covell 2/3Brisbane Broncos: 16Tries: Casey McGuire, Brad Thorn, Shane WebckeGoals: Michael Ennis 2/3Toyota ParkCrowd: 14,221Referee: Russell Smith 1 min: NEWS We are underway at Toyota Park for the Sharks first game of the year.1 min: NEWS We are currently observing a minutes silence to honour the great Steve Rogers who passed away earlier this year.3 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksBrett Kimmorely drifts across field and picks up Adam Dykes running through a gaping hole in the Broncos defence to score the Sharks first try of the year. Conversion successful. Sharks 6-015 min: NEWS Cronulla looking stronger and more skillful this year with a new looking side. Brisbane are playing well but the Sharks look comfortable so far.21 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksDavid Simmons catches a Broncos bomb in his own in goal and then runs 90 metres before offloading to Darren Albert to score under the posts untouched. A 100 metre try to shred the Broncos defence and open up a 12 point lead midway through the first half. Outstanding try from the Sharks. Sharks 12-028 min: NEWS Darren Lockyer gets the Broncos a repeate set of six as they begin to mount some pressure on the Sharks defensive line.33 min: NEWS Luke Covell makes a 80 metre break and fails to pass to the man unmarked on his outside to butcher another Sharks try leading into half time. Had the Sharks scored and converted, there was no coming back for the Broncos from an 18 point deficit.39 min: ATTEMPTED PENALTY GOAL Cronulla Sutherland SharksMissed penalty goal from Luke Covell a minute out from half time. Sharks 12-040 min: NEWS The Broncos are down by a dozen at the break and if they don't fix their defensive line in the next 40 minutes, the Sharks will eat them alive.41 min: NEWS We are underway in the second half.45 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosThorn scores off a great break made by Michael Ennis to get the Broncos back into the match. Conversion unsuccessful. Sharks 12-451 min: NEWS video ref to check on a possible try to Broncos winger Darius Boyd but the try is not awarded as Boyd put a foot into touch and failed to ground the ball.65 min: NEWS The game is getting scrappy but the Broncos are on the attack and if they score off this set of six, they are right back in the match. The handling and execution in th second half has been ordinary at best.66 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosShane Webcke crosses for a rare four pointer to close the gap as we enter the final stage of a disappointing game of football. Conversion successful. Sharks 12-1069 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosMcGuire scores off a Lockyer grubber to give the Broncos the lead for the first time in the match. Can the Sharks hit back or will the Broncos score again and put the issue beyond doubt? How the Sharks are behind in this match is beyond me. Broncos 16-1278 min: NEWS Luke Covell kills off any chance of a Sharks comeback by stickig his mits where they did not belong. He has cost them twice this evening and his stature as some sort of eclectic cult heror is seriously under threat after a very poor performance. -----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Darren Lockyer (Broncos)2 - Brad Thorn (Broncos)1 - Adam Dykes (Sharks)-----------------------------------------
ROUND 2Parramatta Eels 22 def. New Zealand Warriors 14Match summary:The Parramatta Eels have run out 22-14 winners over the New Zealand Warriors at Waikato Stadium this evening.The Eels took the lead early and never relinquished it as the Warriors fought in vain to get back into the match but it was never going to be.Nathan Hindmarsh had a mighty game for the Eels with two tries and over 40 tackles while for the Warriors Steve Price and Nathan Fien tried hard but they are lacking the class of Stacey Jones to steer them around the park in tight situations.Hindmarsh was well supported by Tim Smith and Wade McKinnon with both players having a good game directing the Eels around the park.With the Warriors already on ?4 points, back to back losses makes it a very hard road ahead and no doubt deflating for their fans when you consider we are only halfway through round two and they are potentially eight points off the competition lead.Warriors coach Ivan Cleary has a lot on his plate if he is going to turn around the listing ship that is the Warriors in his maiden season as a first grade coach in the NRL.The Eels looked a lot sharper than what they did against the Knights and when you consider they lost Timana Tahu and Eric Grothe to injuries hours before kickoff, the Eels did well to come away with the two points in the home away from home match. However, the Eels will not be getting carried away with tonight?s performance as any team can beat the other if you don?t turn up ready to play.Scorers:Parramatta Eels: 22Tries: Nathan Hindmarsh(2), Ben Smith , Dean WiddersGoals: Luke Burt 3/4New Zealand Warriors: 14Tries: Evarn Tuimavave, Manu VatuveiGoals: Tony Martin 3/3Waikato Stadium NZCrowd: 16,089Referee: Sean Hampstead Live Commentary:1 min: NEWS We are underway at Waikato Stadium this evening!4 min: TRY Parramatta EelsBen Smith crosses out wide in the 4th minute and it was all too easy after some sustained pressure in the Warriors half. Conversion unsuccessful. Eels 4-010 min: PENALTY GOAL New Zealand WarriorsTony Martin gets the Warriors on the board after P J Marsh gave away a penalty for the Eels. Eels 4-213 min: NEWS Possible try to Luke Burt denied by the video ref as Burt looks to have knocked on over the line.20 min: NEWS Video ref rules no try to the Warriors after Matt Petersen from the Eels grounded the ball on his own line then lost the ball. From the ensuing goal line drop out, the Eels went shallow and recovered the ball and proceeded 40 metres up field with ease.21 min: TRY Parramatta EelsNathan Hindmarh surges onto a superb cutout pass from Tim Smith to cross the line without being touched. This all came about from the short goal line drop out from the Eels at the other end. Conversion successful Eels 10-226 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsStrange try to the Warriors with the ball coming off Steve Price's shoulder as he backed into the tackle, propelling the ball forward, but not off his hands with Tuimavave there to dive on the loose ball. Conversion successful. Eels 10-840 min: NEWS The Warriors had the Eels on the rack for the latter stages of the first half but couldn't get across the line to take the lead. The game is starting to open up and we shoudl be in for an expansive second half based on the last ten minutes of the first half.41 min: NEWS We are underway in the second half!48 min: NEWS No change in the score as both teams look to break the shackles and blow the game wide open. A real arm wrestle in the opening ten minutes of the second half.55 min: TRY Parramatta EelsHindy crosses for try number two as the Eels take control of the match midway through the second half. Conversion successful. Eels 16-863 min: NEWS Mark Riddell throws a forward pass from dummy half deep inside his own half to give the Warriors possession and a chance to get back into the match.64 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsNathan Fien hoists the ball high and Vatuvei comes down with the ball and charges over to get the Warriors back into the match. Conversion successful. Eels 16-1469 min: TRY Parramatta EelsThe Magic Pudding (Dean Widders) scores off his own grubber kick to extend the Eels lead as we enter the closing stages of a forgettable match for both sides. Conversion successful. Eels 22-1480 min: NEWS Full time: The Eels have run out winners over the Warriors in a flat game of footy where neither side rose to any great heights. Things get all the more difficult for the Warriors with two losses to start the season when you consider they are already on -4 points. -----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Nathan Hindmarsh (Eels)2 - Wade Mckinnon (Eels)1 - Nathan Fien (Warriors)-----------------------------------------
ST Helens youngster James Roby is hoping to prove his fitness for the top-of-the-table engage Super League clash with Bradford.
SURPRISE package Salford will be out to show their lofty position is no fluke when they take on third-placed Leeds.
ROUND 2Canterbury Bulldogs 47 def. Wests Tigers 12Match summary:Hazem El Masri scored 34 points in the form of four tries and nine goals in the Bulldogs 47-12 runaway win over the Wests Tigers at Telstra Stadium tonight.The Bulldogs dominated the lacklustre Tigers in the first half as they raced away to a 24-0 lead with tries to Willie Mason, and El Masri?s first two. This was accompanied by El Masri?s three first half penalty goals. With just under ten minutes in the first half remaining, Mark O?Meley and Bryce Gibbs were sin binned for fighting.The Tigers got a quick start to the second half, scoring care of Daniel Fitzhenry and Brett Hodgson. Mark O?Meley settled the mini-feud he had going with Bryce Gibbs when he utterly smashed Gibbs in a hit up, knocking him out cold. Sherwin kicked a long range field goal, and then the floodgates opened, with El Masri scoring in the 63rd minute, Maitua scoring in the 66th and El Masri crossing for his fourth try in the 70th minute. The rout was topped off by a Patten try with two minutes to go, however El Masri missed the conversion and was forced to settle with only 34 points in the match.Scorers:Canterbury Bulldogs: 47Tries: Hazem El Masri(4), Reni Maitua, Willie Mason, Luke PattenGoals: Hazem El Masri 9/10Field Goals: Brent SherwinWests Tigers: 12Tries: Daniel Fitzhenry, Brett HodgsonGoals: Brett Hodgson 2/2Venue: Telstra StadiumCrowd: 32,587Referee: Steve ClarkHalf time: Bulldogs 24-0Live commentary:1 min: NEWS The Bulldogs kick off!2 min: NEWS Both teams have received early penalties, the Tigers with the better of field position early.5 min: PENALTY GOAL Canterbury BulldogsThe Tigers are penalised for holding down, El Masri slots the goal from right in front. Bulldogs 2-010 min: NEWS The Tigers play some expansive football, but manage to cross the line on a forward pass.13 min: TRY Canterbury BulldogsMason barges across on the last tackle, try awarded by the video referee. El Masri converts from an easy angle. Bulldogs 8-017 min: NEWS The Tigers get a chance to have a whole set inside the Bulldogs 10, but a wild pass squanders the chance.18 min: NEWS Mason is placed on report for a high tackle on Lolesi, that making his third high tackle in the match.19 min: NEWS Bulldogs giving away a string of penalties, count already 6-2 in the Tigers favour. The Tigers are unable to take any advantage of the count with plenty of sloppy play.25 min: PENALTY GOAL Canterbury BulldogsThe Tigers give away another penalty and El Masri converts the goal from 25 metres out. Bulldogs 10-028 min: TRY Canterbury BulldogsEl Masri somehow gets through several tacklers and gets the ball down on the last tackle. He converts his own try for a commanding lead. Bulldogs 16-030 min: NEWS O'Meley and Gibbs get into a punch up, Gibbs gets a spell in the sin bin, and so does O'Meley.34 min: NEWS Bulldogs play some top notch football and get a penalty 10 out from the Tigers line, to create real pressure on the Tigers.36 min: PENALTY GOAL Canterbury BulldogsAs the penalty count goes to 8-6 in the Bulldogs favour, El Masri hits another penalty goal from right in front. Bulldogs 18-038 min: TRY Canterbury BulldogsSherwin intercepts the pass from the scrum base, he races away and El Masri finishes next to the posts. He adds the conversion and already has 20 points tonight! Bulldogs 24-040 min: NEWS Todd Payten is placed on report for a high tackle.Half time in a very scrappy match. The match is filled with numerous needless penalties. The Tigers were very average, while the Bulldogs were quite impressive in the first half.40 min: NEWS The second half kicks off!42 min: NEWS O'Meley and Gibbs return to action.46 min: TRY Wests TigersFitzhenry finds a gap and scores easily from 10 out. Hodgson converts. Bulldogs 24-650 min: NEWS A great kick and chase by the Bulldogs trap Hodgson resulting in a goal line drop out.50 min: NEWS O'Meley wins his battle with Gibbs as he runs right over him, knocking him out cold. Gibbs is in a neck brace and taken off the field on the golf cart.52 min: TRY Wests TigersThe Tigers run the ball on the last tackle, they break down the right and Hodgson scores next to the posts. Patten also placed on report for a late charge on Collis. Bulldogs 24-1259 min: FIELD GOAL Canterbury BulldogsSherwin kicks a long range field goal to make something out of a nothing situation. Bulldogs 25-1263 min: TRY Canterbury BulldogsA kick to the corner sees the ball come to El Masri who gets the third Friday night hat-trick of 2006. From the sideline, El Masri converts. 26 points so far! Bulldogs 31-1266 min: TRY Canterbury BulldogsTries in two successive sets to the Bulldogs, as slick passing has Reni Maitua scoring beside the posts. El Masris conversion equals the Bulldogs club record for points in a match. Bulldogs 37-1270 min: TRY Canterbury BulldogsA break up the middle sees El Masri score his fourth! He converts. 34 points! Bulldogs 43-1272 min: NEWS 32,578 Crowd78 min: TRY Canterbury BulldogsPatten scores in the left corner. El Masri misses the conversion! Bulldogs 47-1280 min: NEWS Full time in a very one sided match. The Tigers pulled back to 24-12 before the Bulldogs ran away laughing.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Hazem El Masri (Bulldogs)2 - Mark O'Meley (Bulldogs)1 - Brent Sherwin (Bulldogs)-----------------------------------------
THE Wollongong Sportsground Trust and the St George Illawarra Dragons today announced an extension to the Venue Hiring Agreement for WIN Stadium.The Dragons and the Trust had formally only completed a one year agreement for 2006 due to a number of critical issues some of which include:- the ongoing viability of the Illawarra Steelers- the possibility of further development of WIN Stadium, in particular the Western Grandstand- the determination of the full impact of the NSW Government?s Poker Machine Tax on both St George and the Illawarra Steelers Licensed Clubs.With the recent announcement of the significant financial commitment of WIN Corporation, the Dragons have now been able to confirm a longer term Venue Hire Agreement with the Wollongong Sportsground Trust.In essence, the one year deal for 2006 was formulated so as to provide a sound commercial basis for the future, this agreement has now been extended for a further five years, with a commitment to play six or on average 50 per cent of the Dragons home games plus a NRL Trial at WIN Stadium each year.The Wollongong Sportsground Trust and the Dragons were both very pleased to be able to communicate with Dragons supporters and the community generally about elite rugby league having a long-term future at WIN Stadium.Chairman of the Wollongong Sportsground Trust Mr Chris Christodolou welcomed the confirmation of the extension of the agreement with the Dragons.?I am really happy for Dragons fans and the people of Wollongong and the Illawarra generally,? saidChristodolou.?I am very also pleased for the Wollongong Trust and the NSW Government as thisoutstanding community asset, WIN Stadium, can be confirmed as the long-term home of a national sporting icon ? the mighty Dragons?.Chief Executive Officer of the St George Illawarra Dragons Mr Peter Doust reinforced how the Dragonsregional presence, at both Oki Jubilee and WIN Stadium was a very important business strategy of theDragons.?The commercial terms of this five year extension are sound however, the Trust and the Dragons have also agreed that it is imperative ongoing improvements to Corporate, Media and Player facilities occur over time,? said Doust.?The Dragons need to continue to grow their revenue yield and keep pace with appropriate standards of facilities going forward?.
CANBERRA has re-signed rookie winger Adrian Purtell for two more NRL seasons - less than a week on from his NRL debut against Manly.The 21-year-old caught Raiders coach Matt Elliott's eye after an outstanding 2005 season in the reserves and was given a first-grade run out after an impressive pre-season. Purtell's signing is the second of the week for the Raiders, who also re-signed promising centre David Howell for two more seasons.
WAYNE Bennett says he'll remove Brisbane five-eighth Darren Lockyer from the defensive firing line if he has to this NRL season.Lockyer missed 11 tackles against North Queensland last weekend, raising further concerns the Australian captain is being targeted by forwards continually running at him. Bennett says Lockyer is staying where he is for now but if the problem persists he'll have the courage to return him to his former position at fullback.Brisbane takes on Cronulla tomorrow with Bennett looking for his players to turn around their abysmal completion and handling rates from the 36-4 first-round loss to the Cowboys. Centre Justin Hodges has withdrawn with a side strain with utility Casey McGuire shifting from lock into the backline.
NICOLSON Sports Consultancy is pleased to offer 2006 Rugby League Players Alamanc for download through Legends World of Sport on League Unlimited this weekend. After launching the Almanac last season, the 2006 edition is a cleaner crisper version featuring the most comprehensive playing rosters of all 15 NRL clubs.The Almanac, featuring over 700 players and the two new inductees to the NSC Rugby League Honour Roll, will cost you $22.00 AUD to download this year. But for your hard earned you not only get the 2006 Almanac but NSC will be delivering weekly League Player Ratings (LPR) directly to your inbox throughout the season.LPR will analyse the performance of every single NRL player each weekend and give them a objective rating out of 10. Only subscribers will have access to the full list of LPR each week. That means 238 exclusive individual ratings in PDF format will be sent directly to your inbox allowing you to track your favourite player and team?s performance.These ratings will not be available freely online. Only a weekly leader board will be listed in NSC?s League Unlimited Column every Thursday morning.The 2006 NSC Almanac and 2006 League Player Ratings are available only through Legends World of Sport on League Unlimited for much less than you will pay for a subscription to the print magazines on the market.http://www.leagueunlimited.com/static/nsc.aspEnjoy the footy in 2006.Regards,Warrick NicolsonNicolson Sports [email protected]: 0402 851 485 Fax: 02 9653 1483
BRISBANE centre Justin Hodges has pulled out of tomorrow night's NRL clash with Cronulla in Sydney with a side strain.Hodges, Brisbane's best in their 36-4 loss to the Cowboys last weekend, has been replaced in the centres by utility Casey McGuire (pictured). Neville Costigan comes off the bench to fill McGuire's lock role with big Tame Tupou the new interchange player.Coach Wayne Bennett says he's just looking to his side to improve on some abysmal ball control.