KANGAROO tourists Ben Creagh and Matt Cooper will make their return from injury against the Broncos this Sunday at WIN Stadium in the Illawarra Heritage Match.Creagh has been recovering from a knee injury and will play his first game for 2006, while Cooper has missed the past two rounds with a hamstring injury.Players from the 1978 Illawarra Division team will be recognised on the day, with this teams achievements considered the catalyst for the Steelers entering the NSWRL competition.The Dragons will wear their alternate jersey that incorporates the traditions of the former Steelers jersey in this round 4 match.Unavailable Dragons due to injury are: Wes Naiqama (ankle), Shaun Timmins (knee), Mathew Head (knee), Luke Bailey (Knee) and Jason Ryles (Hand).DRAGONS NRL TEAM LIST v Broncos 3:00pm Sunday 2 April WIN Stadium Coach: Nathan Brown 1. Clint GREENSHIELDS2. Reece SIMMONDS3. Mark GASNIER4. Matt COOPER5. Colin BEST6. Trent BARRETT (c)7. Ben HORNBY8. Justin POORE9. Dean YOUNG10. Michael HENDERSON11. Corey PAYNE12. Ashton SIMS13. Matt BICKERSTAFF14. Andrew PRICE15. Ben CREAGH16. Sam ISEMONGER17. Aaron GORRELL DRAGONS JERSEY FLEGG TEAM LIST v Bulldogs 1:00am Sunday 2 AprilWIN Stadium Coach: Corey Pearson 1. Jason NIGHTINGALE2. Rota SETU3. Junior SEUMANUTAFA4. Keith LULIA5. Luke IRWIN6. Richard WILLIAMS7. Matt SEAMARK8. Charlie LEAENO9. Brad DAVIDSON10. Chris FARRELL11. Lagi SETU12. James GREHAN13. Brian WEST (c)14. Luke YOUNG15. Francis LANGIFISI16. Lewis McPHAIL17. Nathan WYNN18. James KEELAN(Premier League team has the bye)
SOUTH Sydney will be without hooker Stuart Webb until round seven of the NRL competition after he pleaded guilty to a grade one reckless high tackle charge. In a further blow to the Rabbitohs, promising centre Yileen Gordon will also miss this weekend's clash with Cronulla after pleading guilty to a grade one careless high tackle.
CLUB chief executives have agreed in principle to an increase in the salary cap at a meeting at NRL headquarters today.
AN electrifying week 3 of NRL has seen some new faces and some all too familiar ones etch their names into the Round 3 League Unlimited Team of the Week. In an unprecedented turn of events we have seen Johnathan Thurston and Andrew Johns team up in the halves for a third straight week, with both players delivering breathtaking, yet consistent, performances over the past three matches. Wouldn?t it be great to see these two guys in action for Australia in the Anzac Day Test match?
NRL boss David Gallop will meet with the chief executives of all 15 clubs in Sydney today to discuss increases to the salary cap. Gallop believes the game can sustain a small increase to the cap, but clubs are split on the issue.
A shoulder injury is not expected to sideline young Parramatta halfback Tim Smith for Friday night's NRL clash against North Queensland.The same can't be said for teammates Eric Grothe, Dean Widders, Timana Tahu and Glenn Morrison, who are all in some doubt for the Parramatta Stadium match.St George Illawarra coach Nathan Brown is set name centre Matt Cooper and backrower Ben Creagh for Sunday's clash against Brisbane in Wollongong. Cooper missed the last two games with a hamstring strain while Creagh is yet to play this season due to a knee injury.Penrith coach John Lang will have international representatives Luke Rooney and Trent Waterhouse available for the first time this year for Saturday's trip to Canberra.St George Illawarra prop Jason Ryles has ruled out making a hasty return from a broken hand in a bid to play in next month's Anzac Test against New Zealand. Ryles is expected to be out for a month leaving him just one match, against Melbourne in round eight, to press his claims for a Test spot. The Dragons are already light on for props, with Luke Bailey sidelined with a knee injury. Meanwhile, North Queensland winger Ty Williams has undergone an operation to insert a plate and screws into his broken ankle and is likely to be out for three months. Teammate Jacob Lillyman could be out for up to three weeks with a knee injury.And Canberra centre Phil Graham has been ruled out for six weeks with a broken thumb.
A DREAM start quickly turned to a nightmare for the Central Comets on Sunday, as Redcliffe recovered from a 24-0 deficit to win 38-30 in their first appearance of the season at Dolphin Oval.Fresh from beating Burleigh at Browne Park, Central looked set to record back-to-back wins against the competition?s two most successful clubs.Yet without top-line forwards Troy Lindsay, Danny Green, Mark Shipway, Clint Frazer and Pat Gardner, Redcliffe produced a lion-hearted effort to rise from the dead.The Dolphins 38 points came in a deluge, squished between a scoreless opening 25 minutes and a lapse before the final hooter when Central scored again.Among the players called up by Redcliffe to fill holes were former Central boys Gerard Parle and Shannon Fish. Parle responded by being among the best on ground, while Fish and another ex-Comet, Ryan Cullen, found their way onto the try-scorers? list.?We spoke about it (being short-handed) early in the week and there was confidence in everyone that came into the side,? noted Redcliffe coach Anthony Griffin.?I?d like to think we?re strong enough to cover in those situations.?At the completion of three rounds the Dolphins are now just one of three unbeaten teams, along with Easts and North Queensland. Due to the bye they rank third on the ladder.Central sits eighth, but has plenty of sides looking over their shoulder after a promising last fortnight.?The Comets are a very big and physical side,? said Griffin, himself Rockhampton-bred.?They?re a different kettle of fish to previous seasons. They worked us over at different stages of the game and they are particularly powerful.?I?d say especially at home they are going to be a hard side to beat.?Central?s next up assignment is indeed on home turf, with the Wynnum Manly Seagulls travelling to Browne Park next Saturday. Redcliffe faces off against Easts at Langlands Park earlier the same day.The Dolphins will have Gardner and Richard Russell back from suspension and will monitor Lindsay, Shipway and Green throughout the week.Greg Bourke is fast closing on Damien Richters for the all-time Queensland Wizard Cup scoring title. He now has 952 points to Richters? 1030. The anomaly in the situation is Burleigh?s Reggie Cressbrook, who is on 983 points, but is yet to play Wizard Cup this season and will play hist first game in the local Gold Coast Rugby League next week.REDCLIFFE 38 (Shane Perry 2, Shannon Fish, Ryan Cullen, Alwyn Simpson, Nick Emmett, Greg Bourke tries; Greg Bourke 5 goals) beat CENTRAL 30 (Tyron Haynes 2, Herewini Rangi, Peter Penaia, Scott Porter tries; Scott Porter 5 goals).This article is courtesy of the QRL for more Queensland Wizard Cup information visit www.qrl.com.au
THE Newcastle Knights Premier League team recorded their second straight win on the weekend with a comfortable 46-12 victory over the previously undefeated Bulldogs. The first half was a tight contest with the Knights kicking clear towards the end of the half. Tries in the first half to Knights winger James McManus (9th minute) who was called up to replace Trent Salkeld opened the scoring before halfback Dane Campbell extended the lead to 12 when he pounced on a grubber kick from promising young halfback Jarrod Mullen. Chris Bailey, who joined the Knights from the Newcastle local competition this year scored his first try in Knights colours when he crashed over beside the posts in the 23rd minute to extend the Knights lead to 18 after 3 successful conversions from Brad Tighe. The Dogs hit back through hooker Billy Ngawini in the 27th minute as the Dogs closed to 18-6 at halftime.
MANLY has been issued with a breach notice by the NRL following Sea Eagles trainer Geoff Toovey's altercation with referee Sean Hampstead at Brookvale Oval on Saturday night.
SOUTH Sydney could be without centre Yileen Gorden and hooker Stuart Webb for Saturday night's clash against Cronulla after both were hit with high tackle charges by the NRL match review committee today.Webb is facing a minimum three-week stint on the sidelines after copping a grade one reckless high tackle charge for his first-half hit on St George Illawarra fullback Clint Greenshields. The former Sydney Roosters rake will be outed for four weeks if he challenges the charge and is unsuccessful at the NRL judiciary on Wednesday night. Gorden will miss only the game against the Sharks after being charged with a grade one careless high tackle for his swinging arm on Dragons prop Michael Henderson.In other charges, Melbourne front rower Antonio Kafusi is looking at a three-week suspension for a grade two reckless high tackle, while his Storm teammate Greg Inglis and North Queensland playmaker Johnathan Thurston will avoid suspension with early guilty pleas.
BRADFORD Bulls 34 (Bai, Hape, Lynch, McKenna, B.Harris, Pryce, Vainikolo tries; I.Harris 3 goals) v Wigan Warriors 12 (O?Loughlin, Richards tries; Tickle 2 goals). Att: 11,644.Wigan Warriors sank to the foot of the Engage Super League table as Bradford Bulls overcame wet, foggy conditions to romp home at Odsal Stadium. Wigan, who have had their worst start to a season for 25 years are a pale shadow of the team which dominated British club rugby league in the late 1980s and early 1990s.Bradford raced to a 12-0 lead with tries from Andy Lynch and Ben Harris. The visiting fans did have something to shout about when Wigan?s Skipper Sean O?Loughlin scored after taking a good pass from Danny Orr. Danny Tickles conversion cut the Bulls lead to 6. However, Bradford hit back and extended their lead with two further tries through Shontayne Hape and Karl Pryce to take a 20-6 advantage at the break.It took the Bulls only 80 seconds at the start of the second half to score their fifth try from Marcus Bai. After both teams struggled in the fog Chris McKenna?s try extended the home teams? lead to 30-6. Wigan then scored a consolation try through Pat Richards, goaled by Tickle. With seven minutes left, Lesley Vainikolo pounced for his 115 try, in only 110 appearances, to round off the scoring.Hull FC 0 v St Helens 46(Pryce 2, Meli 2, Gardner, Lyon, Hooper, Anderson tries; Lyon 5, Hooper 2 goals). Att: 11,277.St Helens maintained their 100% record with a very impressive victory over Hull FC at K.C. Stadium. The visitors showed their true credentials for being this year?s champion team with a superb quality performance of attacking rugby and mean defence to shut out a very disappointing Hull side.After being put under some early pressure, the Saints scored first through Jamie Lyon after a good pass from Ade Gardner. The visitors then put the foot on the pedal and ran in 4 further first half tries through Francis Meli, Ade Gardner, Jason Hooper and Leon Pryce, which gave Saints a 30-0 lead at the break.Hull?s defensive capabilities improved and they managed to hold out the Saints until the final quarter. Then normal service was resumed with the visitors running in three further tries through Vinny Anderson, Pryce and Meli who both scored their second.Catalans Dragons 22 (Hughes 2, Wilson, Chan tries; Dobson 3 goals) v Salford City Reds 28 (Moule 2, Coley, Finnigan, Fitzpatrick tries; Hodgson 2 goals). Att: 6,547.Salford got back to their winning ways with spirited victory over Catalans Dragons at Stade Aime Giral. With the arrival of new coach Mick Potter, the much improving Dragons team took a first minute lead when John Wilson pounced an error by Salford to score.The visitors hit back and took a 20-6 lead by scoring four tries with man of the match, Karl Fitzpatrick scoring a brace and others coming from Aaron Moule and Andy Coley. On the half-time hooter, Alex Chan cut the lead to 20-12 with a try.The home team stepped up the pace in the second half and with two tries from Mark Hughes the Dragons looked to be favourites to win the game with a 22-20 lead. However, Salford had other ideas and two late tries from Simon Finnigan and Moule?s second, after a superb long pass from Luke Robinson, gave the visitors a well earned victory.Harlequins RL 0 v Leeds Rhinos 60 (McGuire 4, Burrow, Poching, Lauitiiti, Feather, Senior, Smith tries; Sinfield 9, Burrow goals). Att: 5,208.Leeds Rhinos ran riot with 10-try demolition of a poor Harlequins team, who failed to register a single point at a soggy Twickenham Stoop. The home team were missing seven key players and never got a foothold in the game, they conceded 6 first half tries to trail 36-0. Chief architect for the Rhinos was man of the match, Danny McGuire who scored four of the six tries, with the others coming from Rob Burrow and Willie Poching.After the break the Quins gave a much better performance and had a try chalked off by the video referee, when winger Nick Bradley-Qalilawa had a foot in touch. Leeds extended the lead on 52 minutes when Lee Smith intercepted Luke Dorn's long pass and galloped clear.Three further tries came in the last quarter of the game, against a very dispirited home team. In the last minute of the game, the Rhinos showed real team sprit and refused to let the Quins cross their line after the Sin-binning of Keith Senior. The impressive Rhinos maintained second place in the table and handed out a record home defeat for Harlequins.Castleford Tigers 22 (Manu 2, Dyer, Bird tries; Kain 2, Huby goals) v Huddersfield Giants 36(Wild 2, Drew, Snitch, Evans, Reilly tries; Thorman 6 goals). Att: 6,881.Huddersfield held off a spirited fight back from the Castleford Tigers to gain victory at the Jungle. The Giants looked to have the game won in the first 11 minutes as they ran in 4 unanswered tries scored by Paul Reilly, Brad Drew and two by Stephen Wild. Chris Thorman landed three conversations and the Visitors led 22-0.However, the Tigers roared back with three tries, two from Willie Manu, his first tries for his new club, and Luke Dyer to cut the deficit to just 22-14 at the break. With the second half only a minute old Deon Bird scored the home teams? fourth try to leave them only trailing by 2 points at 22-20 and on quarter time the game was all square with a Craig Huby penalty goal.The game was still in the balance when Evans pounced on Robbie Paul's perfectly-judged kick for the clinching try eight minutes from the end. Steve Snitch then scored the finally try to give the Giants a nervy victory.Wakefield Wildcats 21 (Rooney 2, Tadulala tries; Rooney 4 goals, 1 field goal) v Warrington Wolves 22 (Bridge 2, Swan, Kohe-Love tries; Bridge 3 goals). Att: 4,723.Warrington Wolves came back from the dead to deny Wakefield Wildcats victory, at the Atlantic Solutions Stadium. In a game of two halves, the Wildcats threw away a commanding 21-0 half time lead to lose 22-21. The home team scored three first half tries from Semi Tadulala and two Jamie Rooney tries. Rooney also kicked four goals and with a drop goal he contributed 17 points but that was as good as it got for Wakefield.With coach Paul Cullen?s words ringing in their ears, the Wolves produced a stirring second half comeback. Toa Kohe-Love turned the tide in the 47th minute before Chris Bridge and Logan Swann added two more. Bridge grabbed his second with six minutes to go to seal a dramatic win, leaving the Wildcats down at the bottom end of the table.
THE Newcastle Knights kicked off the round by racking up a big score against the Bulldogs and moving to the top of the competition ladder. Fullback Milton Thaiday got himself a hat trick of tries while ?Joey? Johns was running rings around the flat-footed Bulldogs defence. Last year?s wooden spooners, the Knights have stunned opposition packs in recent weeks.The Warriors defeated last year?s premiers Wests Tigers to finally get their first win on the board for 2006 and their first win in New Zealand outside of Auckland. Now on minus two competition points, the result sees the Warriors move closer to zero, just one win away from wiping the slate clean and starting over.Meanwhile the Sea Eagles scored their first win of the season, defeating the Sharks in Brookvale. For the second week running, the Sharks have posted a handy first half lead only to be chased down by their opponents.In Townsville, the North Queensland Cowboys thrashed the Melbourne Storm. Five-eighth Jonhathan Thurston carved them up in a man-of-the-match performance. Last year?s grand-finalists, the Cowboys are looking to go one better in 2006.Sunday football saw the St George Illawarra Dragons score a big win over the South Sydney Rabbitohs, but not before Souths showed some ticker in the first half. In a sometimes scrappy game, Saints were just too good in the second half with Mark Gasnier racking up a hat trick of tries.In other matches, Darren Lockyer put in a sterling performance in Brisbane as the Broncos downed the Parramatta Eels and posted their second win on the trot. Meanwhile in Sydney, the Roosters hammered the Raiders 56-20 after the Raiders actually led 20-10 early in the second half.All match results and details are listed below.The LeagueUnlimited.com Player Awards sees two players breaking away from the pack. Newcastle halfback Andrew Johns and Cowboys five-eighth Johnathan Thurston have scored maximum points for three consecutive weeks to lead the awards on nine points.A log jam is developing on six points with Mark Gasnier (Dragons), Craig Gower (Panthers), Darren Lockyer (Broncos) and Cameron Smith (Storm) not far away from the front-runners.The full leader board is below.The Leagueunlimited.com players of the match are decided by our live score updaters and tallied here each week on Monday?s Expert League wrap.League Wrap: Round 3, 24-26 March 2006MATCH RESULTS:Newcastle Knights: 46Tries: Danny Buderus, Matthew Gidley, Todd Lowrie, Milton Thaiday (3), Brian CarneyGoals: Andrew Johns 9/10Canterbury Bulldogs: 22Tries: Hazem El Masri, Corey Hughes, Willie Mason, Andrew EmelioGoals: Hazem El Masri 3/4Half time: Knights 34-6Venue: EnergyAustralia Stadium Crowd: 25,504Referee: Steve ClarkLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Andrew Johns (Knights)2 - Josh Perry (Knights)1 - Milton Thaiday (Knights)Wests Tigers: 10Tries: Daniel Fitzhenry, Michael CrockettGoals: Brett Hodgson 1/2New Zealand Warriors: 26Tries: Awen Guttenbeil, Jerome Ropati, Clinton Toopi, Manu Vatuvei, Brent WebbGoals: Tony Martin 3/5Half time: Warriors 14-0Venue: Jade Stadium NZCrowd: 14,675Referee: Paul SimpkinsLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Ruben Wiki (Warriors)2 - Clinton Toopi (Warriors)1 - Steve Price (Warriors)Manly Sea Eagles: 20Tries: Travis Burns, Brett Stewart, Steve BellGoals: Matt Orford 4/4Cronulla Sutherland Sharks: 18Tries: Phil Bailey, Adam Dykes, Darren AlbertGoals: Luke Covell 3/4Half time: Sharks 10-6Venue: Brookvale OvalCrowd: 13,114 Referee: Sean HampsteadLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Ben Kennedy (Sea Eagles)2 - Steve Bell (Sea Eagles)1 - Adam Dykes (Sharks)North Queensland Cowboys: 40Tries: Paul Bowman, Luke O'Donnell, Johnathan Thurston (2), Ty Williams, Neil SweeneyGoals: Johnathan Thurston 8/8Melbourne Storm: 8Tries: Matt Geyer, Jake WebsterGoals: Cameron Smith 0/2Half time: Cowboys 22-4Venue: Dairy Farmers StadiumCrowd: 21,346Referee: Russell SmithLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys)2 - Steven Southern (Cowboys)1 - Luke O?Donnell (Cowboys)South Sydney Rabbitohs: 14Tries: Yileen Gordon, Shane Rigon, Nathan MerrittGoals: Nathan Merritt 1/3St George Illawarra Dragons: 44Tries: Colin Best, Mark Gasnie r(3), Aaron Gorrell, Ben Hornby, Daryl MillardGoals: Aaron Gorrell 8/8Half time: Dragons 26-8Venue: Telstra StadiumCrowd: 16,049Referee: Jason RobinsonLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Mark Gasnier (Dragons)2 - Dean Young (Dragons)1 - Trent Barrett (Dragons)Brisbane Broncos: 30Tries: Justin Hodges, Karmichael Hunt, Darren Lockyer, David Stagg, Tame Tupou (2)Goals: Corey Parker 1/1, Michael Ennis 2/5Parramatta Eels: 10Tries: Ben Smith , Micheal VellaGoals: Luke Burt 1/2Half time: Broncos 8-6Venue: Suncorp StadiumCrowd: 25,525Referee: Tony ArcherLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Darren Lockyer (Broncos)2 - Karmichael Hunt (Broncos)1 - Justin Hodges (Broncos)Sydney Roosters: 56Tries: Ryan Cross, Brett Finch, Anthony Minichello(2), Amos Roberts(2), Iosia Soliola, Anthony Tupou(2), Ashley HarrisonGoals: Craig Fitzgibbon 6/8, Amos Roberts 2/2Canberra Raiders: 20Tries: David Howell, Alan Tongue(2), Lincoln WithersGoals: Clinton Shifcofske 2/4Half time: Raiders 14-10Venue: Aussie StadiumCrowd: 9,826Referee: Shayne HayneLeagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Amos Roberts (Roosters)2 - Anthony Minichiello (Roosters)1 - Anthony Tupou (Roosters)Penrith Panthers - ByeFULL DRAW, RESULTS & LINKS TO LIVE SCORES ? CLICK HERENext weekend?s matches:Round 4, 31 March-2 April 2006Fri 7:30 - EELS v COWBOYS - Parramatta StadiumSat 5:30 - SHARKS v RABBITOHS - Toyota ParkSat 7:30 - SEA EAGLES ROOSTERS - Brookvale OvalSat 7:30 - RAIDERS v PANTHERS - Canberra StadiumSun 2:30 - TIGERS v STORM - Leichhardt OvalSun 3:00 - DRAGONS v BRONCOS - WIN StadiumSun 3:00 - KNIGHTS v WARRIORS - EnergyAustralia StadiumBULLDOGS - BYE (NB: NSW Daylight Saving ends 3am Sunday 2 March)FOR LATEST CENTREBET ODDSCLICK HERELEAGUEUNLIMITED.COM PLAYER AWARDS 2006LEADER BOARDThe Leagueunlimited.com players awards are decided by our live score updaters.Want to be a live score updater? For further enquiries, email us.9 pointsAndrew Johns (Knights), Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys)6 pointsMark Gasnier (Dragons), Craig Gower (Panthers), Darren Lockyer (Broncos), Cameron Smith (Storm)5 pointsAmos Roberts (Roosters)4 pointsJamie Soward (Roosters)3 pointsHazem El Masri (Bulldogs), Nathan Hindmarsh (Eels), Ben Kennedy (Sea Eagles), Luke O'Donnell (Cowboys), Clinton Shifcofske (Raiders), Milton Thaiday (Knights), Ruben Wiki (Warriors)2 pointsSteve Bell (Sea Eagles), Preston Campbell (Panthers), George Carmont (Knights), Cooper Cronk (Storm), Adam Dykes (Sharks), Karmichael Hunt (Broncos), Greg Inglis (Storm), Willie Mason (Bulldogs), Josh Perry (Knights), Wade McKinnon (Eels), Anthony Minichiello (Roosters), Mark O'Meley (Bulldogs), Aaron Payne (Cowboys), Scott Prince (Tigers), Jason Smith (Raiders), Steven Southern (Cowboys), Brad Thorn (Broncos), Clinton Toopi (Warriors), Dean Young (Dragons)1 pointsTrent Barrett (Dragons), Paul Bowman (Cowboys), Danny Buderus (Knights), Nathan Fien (Warriors), Aaron Gorrell (Dragons), Justin Hodges (Broncos), Wairangi Koopu (Warriors), Steve Price (Warriors), Brent Sherwin (Bulldogs), Brett Stewart (Sea Eagles), John Sutton (Rabbitohs), Anthony Tupou (Roosters), Rhys Wesser (Panthers), Paul Whatuira (Tigers), Lincoln Withers (Raiders), William Zillman (Raiders)
ST George Illawarra may have paid a heavy price for finally breaking its 2006 duck with Test prop Jason Ryles suffering a suspected broken hand.Ryles will have scans tomorrow after leaving the field midway through the second half clutching his hand in the Dragons 44-14 win over Souths today. News of the possible injury couldn't have come at a worse time for the Dragons, with fellow front rower Luke Bailey already sidelined for another month with a knee injury.The Bunnies meanwhile could also suffer as a result of the loss, with three players placed on report for high tackles, including Yileen Gordon and David Fa'alogo for the one tackle on Dragons prop Michael Henderson. Hooker Stuart Webb will also come under the scrutiny of the match review committee for his high shot on Clint Greenshields.Meanwhile, Bulldogs winger Matt Utai will also check a rib cartilage injury suffered in his side's loss to Newcastle on Friday night. Parramatta will be hoping halfback Tim Smith pulls up alright after injuring his shoulder in yesterday's loss to Brisbane.Scans have already confirmed North Queensland centre Ty Williams will be sidelined for an extended period after breaking his ankle in Saturday night's win over Melbourne.Ladder-wise, Newcastle and North Queensland re-affirmed their NRL premiership credentials with comprehensive wins over the weekend to remain two of only three sides yet to be beaten in 2006.The Knights, Cowboys and Penrith all top the table after three rounds with the Panthers on six points courtesy of a bye on the weekend. Two points adrift are Sydney Roosters, Brisbane and Melbourne. Souths and Cronulla remain the only sides to register a win.The New Zealand Warriors beat premiers Wests Tigers but are still on minus two competition points because of their salary cap punishment.
Sydney Roosters 56 def. Canberra Raiders 20
FULLTIME score:Round 3St George Illawarra Dragons 44 def. South Sydney Rabbitohs 14Match summary:The St George Illawarra Dragons have today flexed their potential premiership muscles with a majestic 44-14 victory over a hapless South Sydney outfit at the Rabbitohs? new home of Telstra Stadium.South Sydney started the stronger of the two sides, and had an 8-6 lead after half an hour of play and it looked as though we were to be treated to a close one after Nathan Merritt?s 28th minute try.But the Dragons came up with three blows, the third being the knockout one, in the 10 minute period leading into halftime. Daryl Millard, playing in just his second career game was the first of those try-scorers after a beautiful pass from captain Trent Barrett. Subsequent four-pointers to Aaron Gorrell and Colin Best ensured the Dragons weren?t going to let this one slip through their fingers and went in with a match-securing 26-8 lead at the break.The Dragons kept the foot on the accelerator after halftime. Mark Gasnier crossed for the first of his three tries just three minutes into the second half, and at that stage it was quite obvious that the Dragons were about to claim their first win in season 2006.The match hit a lull somewhat midway through the second half, with both sides producing a comedy of errors. Gasnier came back to the party late in the match with two late tries to change the status of the victory from comprehensive to blowout.Nathan Merritt scored a consolation try for Souths right on the fulltime hooter, the Dragons running out winners 44 points to 14.South Sydney will be disappointed with the way things went pear-shaped from the 30th minute onwards. Their position is not improved with the news that Stuart Webb, Yileen Gordon, and Manase Manuokafoa have all been placed on report. And looking at all three of those incidents, things don?t look good for those players on the judiciary front. They meet the Sharks at Toyota Park next Saturday afternoon.St George Illawarra put in a more impressive performance in attack today, coming away with their first victory in 2006. Good news and bad to come out of this one for the Dragons, Ben Creagh and Matt Cooper are poised for a return next week in their clash with the Broncos at WIN Stadium next Sunday. But unfortunately for the Dragons, Jason Ryles has a suspected broken hand and more news will come out of that prospect during the week.Scorers:South Sydney Rabbitohs: 14Tries: Yileen Gordon, Shane Rigon, Nathan MerrittGoals: Nathan Merritt 1/3St George Illawarra Dragons: 44Tries: Colin Best, Mark Gasnier(3), Aaron Gorrell, Ben Hornby, Daryl MillardGoals: Aaron Gorrell 8/8 Venue: Telstra StadiumCrowd: 16,049Referee: Jason RobinsonHalf time: Dragons 26-8Live commentary:Sunshine beaming down onto the field here at Homebush in what looks certain to be a cracking contest between the Rabbitohs and the Dragons.Team changes (Dragons): Andrew Price comes onto the bench for Aaron Wheatley.South Sydney are as per the program.And we're underway in the first half! The Bunnies kick-off.4 min: TRY South Sydney RabbitohsBuddy Gordon opens the scoring for Souths after a simple run-around and dummy from Rigon creates some space for the young centre. Attempted conversion from Merritt fails. Rabbitohs 4-011 min: NEWS Both teams sorting themselves out here. Plenty of open play at the moment promising an entertaining affair.14 min: NEWS Greenshields makes a mess of a bomb in goal, presenting a good attacking opportunity for the Bunnies.19 min: NEWS A bit scrappy here at the moment. Both sides are making a few mistakes and the Dragons completion rate is poor.22 min: NEWS Stuart Webb on report for a high shot on Clint Greenshields.23 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsGreat try here with Justin Poore taking the ball to the line and flicking it out the back to Hornby who finds Best lurking midfield. Gorrell converts and the Dragons lead. Dragons 6-424 min: NEWS Buddy Gordon struggling out wide, seems he's taken a bit of a knock to the head.28 min: TRY South Sydney RabbitohsA cheeky try here to Rigon after Merritt appeared to go to ground with the ball before slipping a miracle pass from under the defence, finding Sutton who offloads to Rigon out wide. Merritt misses a relatively easy one.Rabbitohs 8-631 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsA mistake from Jaiman Lowe turns possession over to the Dragons in good field position. Barrett fires a pass to Millard who strolls over out wide. Gorrell converts and the Dragons hit back almost straight away. Dragons 12-835 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsAnother turn-over in Souths territory sees the Dragons with the ball in good position. Gorrell scoots out of acting half and manages to bustle his way over the line next to the sticks. Pretty soft stuff from the Bunnies who have crumbled in the last 10 minutes. Gorrell converts his own try. Dragons 18-837 min: NEWS Buddy Gordon and David Fa'alogo on report for a high tackle on Micheal Henderson. This one doesn't look real good and the Dragons are lining up a penalty goal.38 min: PENALTY GOAL St George Illawarra DragonsGorrell adds another two courtesy of the penalty from the high shot. Dragons 20-840 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsThe Dragons pile on another try despite a question mark over an obstruction to John Sutton. Gorrell adds the extras. Dragons 26-8A disappointing back-end of the half from Souths, who looked very competitive for 25-30 minutes. Some soft tries have almost played them out of the game here at halftime, with some extraordinary work needed to dig them out of the fire. The Dragons look competent, but not great and have made many mistakes throughout. This first half should give them the confidence necessary to roll the Bunnies however.Second half underway at Telstra Stadium43 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsFloodgates opening now very early on in the second half, with Dragons centre Mark Gasnier running onto a classy cross-field ball from a seemingly rejuvenated Trent Barrett to cross for another try. Dragons 32-850 min: NEWS Still no change to the score at Telstra, the Dragons still holding a 32-8 lead. Souths have allowed mistakes to creep into their game which have cost them dearly, both sides really only playing out time now with the result a foregone conclusion.53 min: NEWS Clint Greenshields down injured after a collision with Shannon Hegarty. We will update you as more information comes to hand on the injury. Still 32-8 to the Dragons with no sign of a comeback happening here.57 min: NEWS Greenshields appears to have recovered from the collision with Hegarty. 32-8 the score remains.60 min: NEWS Crowd 16,049.61 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsGasnier pounces on a loose ball and out-sprints Hegarty from 90 metres out to score under the posts. A disappointing finish to this match for Souths after a positive start. Dragons 38-868 min: NEWS The score remains the Dragons 38 South Sydney 8. Bothy sides seem to have their eyes on the clock right now. The Dragons will get their first win of 2006 here.71 min: TRY St George IllawarraShocking defence from John Sutton and Shannon Hegarty close to their own line, and Mark Gasnier scores a simple try from dummy-half to cap off a hat-trick. Dragons 44-880 min: TRY South Sydney RabbitohsNathan Merritt scores a consolation try right on the siren for Souths, the Dragons running out winners by 44 points to 14 in a commanding performance. Dragons 44-14-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Mark Gasnier2 - Dean Young1 - Trent Barrett-----------------------------------------