ROUND 24 Canterbury Bulldogs 0 v Brisbane Broncos 30at Telstra StadiumReferee: Steve ClarkMatch Summary:The Brisbane Broncos have defeated the Canterbury Bulldogs 30-0 in a stunning upset at Telstra Stadium tonight. The Broncos were in control throughout and led 18-0 at half time.The Broncos took seven minutes to open the scoring with a try to Tonie Carroll who crashed over from short range off a Darren Lockyer pass. It then took nearly half an hour for the next points to be posted, when Shaun Berrigan snuck through some dreadful defence to score. Mere minutes later the 26,111 crowd were stunned as Lockyer capped off a breakout play by the Broncos for an 18-0 lead. The Bulldogs lost a number of players to injury in the first half ? they lost Asotasi, Tonga and Myles to leg injuries and Asotasi and Tongas futures this season are up in the air.The Broncos sealed the match after 55 minutes with a great try to Shaun Berrigan. Justin Hodges fielded a long kick, returned it right through the defensive line and offloaded to Berrigan who raced away to score. The second half meandered along with a number of tries rubbed out by Steve Clark or the video ref. The Broncos put an exclamation point on the win in the 80th minute with another breakout try, on this occasion to Brent Tate.Next week the stunned Bulldogs will travel to Brookvale for another Friday night clash, while the Broncos face yet another challenge as they return to Sydney to play the Eels at Parramatta Stadium.The result tonight officially crowned the Melbourne Storm as Minor Premiers.Scorers:Canterbury Bulldogs: 0Tries: Brisbane Broncos: 30Tries: Shaun Berrigan(2), Tonie Carroll, Darren Lockyer, Brent TateGoals: Darren Lockyer 2/2, Corey Parker 3/3By the Clock:Good evening from Telstra Stadium. Tonight we have to Bulldogs looking to continue their drive to second on the ladder with a victory over the rather listless Broncos.Last week the Bulldogs took care of business in beating the Dragons 26-10, while the Broncos were brave in their 12-18 loss to the Storm.The Broncos are 1-17. The Bulldogs are missing Sonny Bill, Dallas McIlwain comes in for him.Pretty good looking crowd in. The Dogs in butchers stripes, the Broncos in maroon.1 min: The Bulldogs kick off!3 min: A few players slipping over early.7 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosTonie Carroll barges over from close range off a Lockyer short pass. Lockyer converts. Broncos 6-010 min: ON REPORT - A swinging arm from Willie Mason has Shane Perry in less than great shape. It was also a somewhat late tackle.13 min: INJURY - Asotasi forced into the dressing rooms with a knee injury.14 min: The Dogs making some uncharacteristic errors.16 min: Boyd crosses out wide, but the final pass from Tate is ruled forward. A very close call.17 min: A very similar incident at the other end of the field. Utai makes a clean break up the middle. The last pass from Ryan to Patten is ruled forward in a dreadful decision.22 min: INJURY - Willie Tonga headed for the sheds as well.23 min: INJURY - Nate Myles injured but he is forced to play on. Mason is also injured. He's had a head clash but can carry on.26 min: INJURY UPDATE - Willie Tonga out for the night with a knee injury. Scans tomorrow for the rest of his season. Nate Myles has limped from the field too. The Dogs are down to one man on the bench.30 min: Still the Bulldogs are making wierd errors. Bad passes, simple knock ons.34 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosBerrigan runs across field from dummy half, escapes from some flimsy tackles and scores to the left of the posts. Parker converts. Broncos 12-036 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosThe Broncos go back to back. Parker makes a break up the middle. Tate gets tackled, Lockyer races onto the ball to score under the posts. Parker converts. This is a vintage Pre-Origin Broncos performance. Broncos 18-0Half time in a less than exciting match. The Broncos are going well, but the Bulldogs are flatter than a crepe.40 min: Back underway at Telstra!44 min: VIDEO REF - For an unlikely Bulldogs try..44 min: NO TRY - BulldogsMcIlwain ruled to have bounced the ball in trying to ground it chasing his own kick. It looked like it could justifiably have been awarded as a benefit of the doubt try.McIlwain injured his shoulder in the process of scoring.47 min: Bulldogs totally unable to crack the Broncos defence. It isn't their night.55 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosHodges returns a kick, opens up the Bulldogs defence, draws Patten and passes to Berrigan who races 48 metres to score under the posts. Parker converts. Broncos 24-059 min: CROWD - 26,11162 min: Another Broncos try is wiped out on a dodgy forward pass call. More forward passes called tonight than in an entire weekend.64 min: VIDEO REF - For a Broncos try...64 min: NO TRY - BroncosTate knocks a cross field kick on.66 min: VIDEO REF - For a Bulldogs try...66 min: NO TRY - Utai forced into the corner post before he ground the ball.69 min: El Masri trapped in the ingoal for a Broncos dropout.74 min: VIDEO REF - For a Broncos try...74 min: NO TRY - BroncosBoyd ruled to have knocked on being tackled close to the line.78 min: VIDEO REF - For a Bulldogs try...78 min: NO TRY - BulldogsAndrew Ryan penalised for interfering with Justin Hodges chasing a kick.80 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosThaiday breaks the Bulldogs defence and offloads to Tate who races away to score under the posts. Lockyer adds the extras. Broncos 30-0Fulltime, and the Broncos claim an astounding 30-0 victory over the previously in form Bulldogs.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Justin Hodges (Broncos)2 - Petero Civoniceva (Broncos)1 - Darren Lockyer (Broncos)-----------------------------------------
THE Bulldogs have been given a massive boost with superstar Sonny Bill Williams cleared of a serious knee injury. Williams was forced from the field with a jarred knee in his side's 20-12 NRL victory over North Queensland on the Gold Coast yesterday, sparking fears he may face another lengthy stint on the sidelines.
CRONULLA utility Nigel Vagana has signed a two-year deal with South Sydney, the NRL club announced today. The 31-year-old, a veteran of 198 first grade games and 32 Tests for the Kiwis, will join the Rabbitohs at the end of the current season.
FOLLOWING Queensland?s 30-6 demolition of NSW to level the State of Origin series, we stayed over at old Lang Park until Friday night to witness the St George Illawarra Dragons pip the Brisbane Broncos by just 18-16.
THE Broncos have a mammoth injury toll, with up to 14 players in the casualty ward after Friday night's 18-16 loss to St George Illawarra.
FORMER Queensland State of Origin utility Casey McGuire looks set to join English Super League club Catalans Dragons with the French-based team announcing it has sealed a three-year deal.
NEWCASTLE captain Andrew Johns has ripped into his team's performance, labelling it "appalling" after the Knights stumbled to a 30-18 NRL loss at Ericsson Stadium yesterday.
IMPRESSIVE Vodafone Warriors prop Evarn Tuimavave has ended speculation about his future by signing a new three-year contract to stay with the Auckland club until the end of the 2009 NRL season.
WARRIORS and Dragons announce squads
TIGERS and Giants announce squads
Castleford Tigers and Huddersfield Giants have announced their respective 18-man squads for the engage Super League clash at The Jungle on Sunday.
WOLVES and Wildcats announce squads
ROUND 15 New Zealand Warriors 30 v Newcastle Knights 18at Ericsson StadiumReferees: Jarred MaxwellMatch Summary:The New Zealand Warriors have continued on their stellar winning run with a 30-18 victory over the Newcastle Knights at Ericsson Stadium in Auckland this afternoon.The 12-point margin flattered the visitors somewhat - the men from the Hunter Valley scoring two consolation tries late in the piece after Warriors winger Patrick Ah Van was sent to the sin bin with just three minutes remaining.It was all the Warriors in the first 20 minutes, battering the Knights from pillar to post, illustrating a strong physical presence. A 14-0 lead was just reward for their efforts and it was clear from the outset that any Newcastle side minus Danny Buderus is almost as disorganised as one without Andrew Johns.Newcastle kept themselves in contention with a try just prior to halftime ? the Warriors holding a 14-6 advantage at the break.But the Warriors snuffed out any possible Newcastle comeback with three tries in the first 20 minutes after halftime.Kiwi international Sione Faumuina was outstanding this afternoon, wreaking havoc for the Newcastle defenders and seemed to make it his own personal mission to dominate the Knights? pack physically. His offload proved to be very difficult for the Knights to shut down.Other performances of note today came from halves Grant Rovelli and Jerome Ropati who steered the Warriors in the right direction for the full 80 minutes, something their Newcastle counterparts ? Andrew Johns and Kurt Gidley, failed miserably at doing.Both sides appear to have escaped this match with a clean bill of health but a few spiteful incidents will come under close video examination by the match review committee tomorrow.Three straight losses now for Newcastle, who are staring down the barrel of missing the top eight this season if they don?t improve their attacking cohesion any time shortly. They meet Cronulla next Saturday night at home and the way the Sharks are playing, that won?t be any easy task.The Warriors will be thinking what might have been if they weren?t forced to start season 2006 on minus four competition points. They can still play the spoiler though and they really should focus on rectifying their poor record on home turf. After today?s performance, it appears that steps have already been taken in that regard.Scorers:New Zealand Warriors: 30Tries: Sione Faumuina, Nathan Fien(2), Steve Price, Jerome RopatiGoals: Tony Martin 5/6Newcastle Knights: 18Tries: George Carmont, Todd Lowrie, Brian CarneyGoals: Andrew Johns 3/3Halftime: Warriors 14-6Crowd: 6,240By the Clock:Ericsson Stadium is the venue for this round 15 clash between the New Zealand Warriors and the Newcastle Knights. Changes: Warriors: Just one change for the home side with Awen Guttenbeil reverting to the bench; Michael Luck comes into the starting side.Knights: A Couple of changes: Nathan Hinton and Kirk Reynoldson come in for Danny Buderus and David Seage.KICKOFF! Match underway in Auckland6 min: NEWS NO TRY: The Warriors deny the Knights early on as Manu Vatuvei manages to force the ball in-goal before Anthony Quinn could score for Newcastle. The Knights are still on the attack here. Still 0-all.14 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsSimple try for the Warriors. Nathan Fien scoots from dummy half on the last tackle and plants the ball down near the posts. Poor defence from Newcastle there. Warriors 6-020 min: NEWS Some heavy contact between both clubs with Davico and Perry in the mix for the Knights, whilst Faumuina and Wiki playing hard for the Warriors.25 min: PENALTY GOAL New Zealand WarriorsMartin puts the home side ahead by a further 2 points after slotting a goal from a penalty. Brent Webb was shaken pretty hard as Newton came across in a tackle and made contact with his head. Warriors looking solid as light rain begins to fall. Warriors 8-028 min: NEWS NO TRY - Hinton denied a four-pointer due to a blatant double-movement. After some good hands from Johns and Gidley, Carney cruised down the flank before kicking in-field for the rookie back, who got a bit too excited.30 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsFien scores his second for the day as a good bust up the middle by Gettenbeil who finds Webb in support, who in turn off loads to the flying hooker. Martin adds the extras and the Warriors are looking good. Warriors 14-035 min: NEWS Another chip into the ingoal from Johns fails as Gidley misses it completely only for Carney to make a meal of it as well.37 min: TRY Newcastle KnightsThis time it comes off for the Knights down the eastern side with Johns flicking to Gidley who offers Carney a clear passage to the line. Johns kicks it from the sideline and the Knights strike back just prior to the break. Warriors 14-640 min: NEWS Halftime: The Warriors hold off a late charge by the Knights to go into the sheds with an 8-point advantage. The home side are playing well and their forward pack is certainly taking it up to the Knights. They've created a few opportunities and are certainly the better side at the moment. They would be a bit disappointed that they let the Knights in, but they've been targeted down Vatuvei's wing all day.For the Knights, they're probably a bit surprised at the plucky Warriors who appear rejuvenated after last week's victory over the Roosters. On top of that they look a bit rusty coming off the bye. Newcastle have more points in them but it's a matter of how well they their execute their plays, which has been pretty ordinary. I think we're in for a cracker of a second half, but the Warriors have to be careful not to protect a lead.RESTART! Second half underway.45 min: NEWS Newcastle diffuse a testing situation with a precise cross-field kick from Rovelli finding Vatuvei who comes within inches of scoring. Both teams scoping opportunites early in the second half.50 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsRovelli puts in another pin-point kick close to the line after being flagged by Faumuina who rushes through and claims the footy, evading the cover to score next to the sticks. Martin converts and the Knights are looking in real strife. Warriors 20-655 min: NEWS The Knights are struggling to penetrate the Warriors line coming up short after several minutes pressing the stripe. New Zealand look the better all-round side with some scrambling defence proving too good for the Knights attackers.57 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsRopati stands-up Johns pointlessly as he motors 35m to score in the corner and go a long way to securing the match for the Warriors. Martin fails from the sideline and the home team are three converted tries clear. Warriors 24-660 min: NEWS I haven't seen the Knights play this poorly for a while, but full credit to the Warriors who are putting them under plenty of pressure and are very enthusiastic today.62 min: NEWS Riley Brown (Knights) leaves the field with a shoulder injury.63 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsSteve Price celebrates his 250th game in style by scoring a try next to the posts without a finger laid on him. The Warriors are all over the Knights today and thoroughly deserve this victory. Martin adds the extras and it's getting a little embarrassing for Newcastle and there's still a shade over 15 minutes left. Warriors 30-667 min: NEWS Crowd: 6,240. That is terrible!72 min: NEWS The game is turning a bit scrappy here as both sides throw the ball about with gay abandon. It's not sticking though.75 min: TRY Newcastle KnightsThe Knights bag a consolation try through Todd Lowrie after a neat blindside play involving Johns and Carmont. Joey kicks his second from a difficult position today. Warriors 30-1277 min: NEWS Patrick Ah Van gets 10 minutes in the bin for a professional foul on Anthony Quinn.78 min: TRY Newcastle KnightsAnother late try to the Knights through George Carmont adds a bit of credibility to the scoreline. Johns adds another beauty from the sideline. Warriors 30-1880 min: NEWS And the Warriors cause an upset here in Auckland, running out good winners despite the Knights rallying late to score two tries.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Sione Faumuina2 - Grant Rovelli1 - Jerome Ropati-----------------------------------------
ROUND 15 Canterbury Bulldogs 20 v North Queensland Cowboys 12at Carrara Stadium, Gold CoastReferee: Shayne HayneMatch Summary:The Bulldogs have done enough to get away with a win over the insipid North Queensland Cowboys in their match at Carrara this afternoon. The final score was 20-12, with the Bulldogs leading 8-6 at half time.It only took nine minutes for the Bulldogs to get on the board, care of a fantastic try to Roy Asotasi. Firman threw a dreadful pass that was dived on by the Bulldogs. The next play Asotasi bolted 40 metres to score underneath the posts. The Cowboys returned fire with a try to Paul Bowman, also off the back of a Bulldogs error. With 14 minutes to go before half time, El Masri gave the Bulldogs their 8-6 lead with a penalty goal. It didn?t take the Cowboys long to take the lead after half time, Brenton Bowen latching onto an intercept off Sherwin and racing the 95 metres to score in about the time it took you to read this sentence. For 20 minutes the Bulldogs were unable to breach the Cowboys defence. They finally did with a fairly spectacular try to Brent Sherwin. Sherwin put up a less than average cross kick to El Masri, who offloaded to Sherwin who scored in the corner. Only two minutes later Tony Grimaldi scored off a Matt Bowen error for the final 20-12 lead.Try as they might, the Cowboys were unable to make any inroads and the frustration built. The Cowboys are in utter freefall having lost 7 of their last 8, while the Bulldogs push into the Top 4. There are several injury worries after the match. Matt Bowen was helped from the field late in the game, while Sonny Bill Williams left the field with a knee ligament injury, and Ashley Graham has a dislocated kneecap.Scorers:Canterbury Bulldogs: 20Tries: Roy Asotasi, Tony Grimaldi, Brent SherwinGoals: Hazem El Masri 4/4North Queensland Cowboys: 12Tries: Brenton Bowen, Paul BowmanGoals: Johnathan Thurston 2/2Halftime: Bulldogs 8-6Crowd: 16,231By the Clock:Good afternoon from Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast. Today the Bulldogs take a game away from Telstra Stadium as they host the Cowboys at the future home of the Titans.Last year the Cowboys romped away with this match, 48-12. The Bulldogs have been going well lately, however they lost last week 28-26 to Canberra. The Cowboys are in freefall, having won just once in the last two months. Last week they were clobbered by the Sharks 26-4 in Townsville.A bit of damp on the Coast today.1 min: Shayne Hayne blows time on!9 min: TRY Canterbury BulldogsFirman throws a dreadful pass that is picked up by the Bulldogs. Asotasi gets the ball for a regulation hitup, but goes straight through flimsy defence and runs 40 metres to score under the posts. El Masri converts. Bulldogs 6-014 min: TRY North Queensland CowboysThe Cowboys come up with the ball care of a Bulldogs error. They go close a couple of times, Bowman rushes onto the ball and scores just to the left of the posts. Thurston converts. 6 all.15 min: INJURY - Ashley Graham is down with a knee injury, and he is off the field. He has dislocated his kneecap.20 min: Both teams are playing this game through the forwards, not much attacking enterprise.24 min: Matt Bowen is just stopped short on the last tackle.26 min: PENALTY GOAL Canterbury BulldogsEl Masri lands a penalty goal for a play the ball infringement. Bulldogs 8-629 min: At the moment it looks like both teams are playing to not lose, rather than win.35 min: All of a sudden both teams decide to throw the ball around a bit and both come up with errors.37 min: A big hit from Williams forces a Cowboys mistake only 5 metres out from the Dogs line.HALF TIME: We go to half time with the Bulldogs up by two.The Bulldogs are leading possession 51/49%. The Dogs have completed 14/19, the Cowboys 14/21. The Bulldogs have made 158 tackles and missed 15, the Cowboys are 177/15. Plenty of metres made in this game, 783 for the Bulldogs and 726 for the Cowboys. 8-3 the offloads to the Bulldogs, while the Cowboys have made 7 errors to the Bulldogs 5.41 min: Underway in the second half...the sun is out now.43 min: An eventful period of play - Thurston chips, regathers, he offloads, gets the ball back, passes to Bowen who puts a bomb up that is taken by Utai who looks like taking off briefly.45 min: TRY North Queensland CowboysThe Bulldogs go right on attack, the pass to the winger from Sherwin is intercepted by Brenton Bowen and he goes 95 metres to score under the posts. He was a cert to score 80 metres out. Thurston converts. Cowboys 12-846 min: CROWD: 16,23154 min: Bulldogs lacking finesse at the moment and can't take advantage of good territory.60 min: Matt Bowen somehow gets out of the in goal.61 min: Both teams have already gone through a lot of interchanges, nine each. Sonny Bill on the sideline looking injured.64 min: TRY Canterbury BulldogsUnbelieveable Bulldogs try. Grimaldi comes up with a terrible move on the last tackle from dummy half, he passes to Sherwin who puts up a horrible cross kick to El Masri, El Masri moves forward, offloads to Sherwin who dots down out wide. El Masri converts. Bulldogs 14-1267 min: INJURY - Sonny Bill out for the rest of the match with a ligament strain to his knee.67 min: Canterbury BulldogsThe Bulldogs kick downfield, Bowen looks to be being forced in the in goal, he tries a wild offload that is picked up and passed to Grimaldi who scores. El Masri converts. Bulldogs 20-1271 min: Cowboys caught in possession on the last tackle.72 min: Mason tries a chip and chase, he kicks ahead a second time but the ball runs dead.75 min: Matt Utai is penalised for a dangerous throw.75 min: INJURY - Matt Bowen is carried from the field.FULL TIME: And the Bulldogs do enough to get up over the Cowboys.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Willie Mason2 - Roy Asotasi1 - Luke Patten-----------------------------------------
ROUND 15 Melbourne Storm 22 v Canberra Raiders 12at Olympic Park, MelbourneReferees: Shayne HayneMatch Summary:Melbourne has continued their impressive home ground advantage in beating the Canberra Raiders today by 22-12 at Olympic Park. The win places the Storm 4 points clear at the top of the table, despite injuries to speedsters Greg Inglis and Billy Slater, adding to a remarkable season for the Victorian-based club.Canberra took a 2-nil lead early in the game through a penalty goal from captain Clinton Schifcofske. It was to be their only points of the first half though, with the Storm dominating possession from that point in.Storm second-rower David Kidwell scored the first of his two tries in the 7th minute when he went himself out of dummy half close to the line, catching the Raiders forwards napping.He was at it again ten minutes later when classy halfback Cooper Cronk turned the ball inside to him allowing for a clear run to the line. Cronk was in the thick of things on his very next touch two minutes later, shaping an awkward kick for his stampeding three-quarters with Chris Walker falling on the ball to score.At that point the Raiders dug in for a period of time before a truly bizarre passage of play. Ryan Hoffman was twice denied a try in the 34th and 36th minutes of the game through a combination of forward passes and obstructions. Showing character and determination, Hoffman gobbled up a ball in the 38th minute that was batted back by Matt Geyer to finally register a four-pointer and put his team ahead 22-2 and cruising into halftime.But you?ve got to wonder if Melbourne?s oranges were replaced with something more sinister at the break as they failed to score a single point in the second half.Instead it was Canberra who got on the board early through veteran second-rower Jason Croker. With centre Matt King interfering in a cut-out pass the ball ricocheted into Croker?s head and travelled forward into the in-goal area where he gleefully pounced on the loose pill.For the next 30 minutes both sides gave very little with the game lowering itself into some scrappy patches throughout. Both sides made line breaks but were unable to capitalise on them, a feature of the defence being Schifcofske?s classic tackling. I don?t know how much they pay that bloke, but it?s not enough.Chris Walker went close to scoring his double in the 75th minute of the game but the ball beat him over the line. Canberra then collected a late consolation try in the 78th minute through Queensland Origin hero Adam Mogg who dummied close to the line and scored. With Schifcofske?s conversion the final scoreline was 22-12 but not before the odd scuffle broke out, demonstrating an undercurrent of dislike between the two most southern clubs on the mainland.Scorers:Melbourne Storm: 22Tries: Chris Walker, Ryan Hoffman, David Kidwell(2)Goals: Cameron Smith 3/4Canberra Raiders: 12Tries: Jason Croker, Adam MoggGoals: Clinton Schifcofske 2/3Halftime: Melbourne 22-2Crowd: 7,954By the Clock:Cool and slippery day down here at Olympic Park in our Southern Capital of Victoria. It shouldn't faze the Raiders considering their climate, so we should be in for a good game of footy.Plenty of changes in the forwards and bench for both teams. 1-7 are unchanged however:Melbourne has promoted Ian Donnelly to the starting side with Garrett Crossman out. Dallas Johnson is also out with Jamie Feeney being promoted to the starting side. Blair and Samau drop off the bench for Smith, Kaufusi, Friend and Cross.For the Raiders, Jason Williams starts at prop for Troy Thompson and Alan Rothery replaces the injured Tom Learoyd-Lars. Ben Jones is at lock with Alan Tongue moving to hooker following Simon Woolford's withdrawal. Trevor Thurling and Dane Tilse join Marshall Chalk and Michael Weyman on the bench.1 min: NEWS Canberra get us underway in the first half.2 min: PENALTY GOAL Canberra RaidersThe Raiders open the scoring with a penalty goal by Schifcofske following some hands in the play the ball area from Melbourne. Raiders 2-07 min: TRY Melbourne StormBunnies-bound backrower David Kidwell barges over from close range to post Melbourne's first try of the day. Smith adds the extras as the home team take the lead. Storm 6-213 min: NEWS Melbourne pressuring Canberra well with a charge down by Hill earning them another set of six. Canberra have dug in though and look for them to sneak up on the Storm.16 min: NEWS The Storm dominating possession with over 2/3 of the ball at the moment.17 min: TRY Melbourne StormKidwell bags a double as Cronk turns it inside for him to beat Weyman and score 10m left of the posts. He's going great guns at the moment. Smith converts again. Storm 12-219 min: TRY Melbourne StormThe Storm are running riot! Chris Walker latches onto a loose ball after Cronk put a clever chip/bomb near the Raiders line. Canberra let it bounce to their peril and are letting this one get away from them. Storm 18-224 min: NEWS Raiders dig themselves out of trouble with a great 40-20 from Todd Carney and an opportunity to attack.30 min: NEWS Storm press the Raiders line but Webster in held up.34 min: NEWS Storm narrowly miss out on another try after Hill popped the ball close to the line for Hoffman only to have it ruled forward.36 min: NEWS Hoffman denied for the second time in two minutes, this time for an obstruction. The video ref has ruled that Donnelly took Withers out of the action and Hoffman went through the gap to cross the line.38 min: TRY Melbourne StormPersistence pays off for Ryan Hoffman as he finally scores a legitimate try. Cronk put the ball up on the western flank and Geyer batted it back over the head of Crawley for the barnstorming backrower. Smith misses his first for the day but the Storm take the margin out to 20 point. Storm 22-240 min: NEWS Halftime: The boys hit the sheds with Melbourne holding a commanding 22-2 lead against the Raiders. They have dominated possession though, so you would expect that to be the case. Canberra can get back into the contest if they manage to hold the ball and play constructive footy, but the Storm will have plenty to say about that and should continue their winning ways at the top of the ladder.41 min: NEWS Melbourne restart play in the second half.44 min: TRY Canberra RaidersA good start to the second half by the Raiders as they score through Jason Croker's head. The ball swung wide and Melbourne's Matt King dashed up close to the line to intercept only to propel the ball into Croker's noggin. The burly second rower dived on the loose ball and scored. Schifcofske misses the goal from the sideline. Storm 22-653 min: NEWS Kidwell's off the field with a bit of a knock. Both sides settling into a groove at the moment.60 min: NEWS some scrappy play here as both sides seem to have lost their way a bit.70 min: NEWS Alan Tongue held up over the line.71 min: NEWS A bit of a scuffle breaks out between Webster and Frawley as the boys get a bit frustrated. It has added a spark of excitement to an otherwise dull half of footy.75 min: NEWS Walker narrowly misses scoring a double as the ball goes dead. Schifcofske has defended superbly in this second half.78 min: TRY Canberra RaidersMogg dummies his way through the defence close to the line for a nice consolation try. Schifcofske converts and the Raiders have put in a good effort today. Storm 22-1280 min: NEWS A fight breaks out on the fulltime siren with the boys letting off a bit of steam. Melbourne were always in control but will be disappointed that they didn't score a single point in the second half.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - David Kidwell2 - Cooper Cronk1 - Clinton Schifcofske-----------------------------------------
ROUND 15 Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 15 v Manly Sea Eagles 12at Toyota ParkReferees: Sean HampsteadMatch Summary:The Cronulla Sharks have entered the NRL Top 4 for the first time in 2006 after putting Manly away 15-12 in match definitely not for the purists. At a cold and windy Toyota Park, the Sea Eagles opened the scoring via Steve Menzies, after he was denied by a Brett Stewart forward pass in the previous set of six. A penalty conversion seen them go up 8-0 after 30 minutes until Greg Bird crossed for his first try to take the teams into halftime, Manly ahead by 8 points to 6. In the second half the Sharks were aided by a stiff breeze at their backs and countless repeat sets of six which they were unable to take full advantage of, despite levelling the scores through a Covell penalty from in front. Bird then scored his second try of the match from a pinpoint Kimmorley grubber kick and Cronulla seemed comfortable, leading by 6 with less than 10 minutes to go. Kimmorley then made sure of the result by potting a field goal in the dying minutes, still Manly refused to concede as Stewart scored an unconverted try in the last seconds of the game.As far as injuries go, the Sharks lost Phil Bailey early in the match to a suspected broken cheekbone. For Manly Luke Williamson shouldn't remember too much about his 8 minutes spent on the field after he was knocked out cold whilst tackling Sharks prop James Stosic. Five-eighth Travis Burns also left the field of play late in the match with an injury not known at this time.Scorers:Cronulla Sutherland Sharks: 15Tries: Greg Bird(2)Goals: Luke Covell 3/3Field Goals: Brett KimmorleyManly Sea Eagles: 12Tries: Steve Menzies, Brett StewartGoals: Travis Burns 2/2Halftime: Sea Eagles 8-6Crowd: 11,083By the Clock:Round 15 action comes from a cold Toyota Park as the Sharks take on the Manly Sea Eagles. Steve Bell is out of action, suffering a facial injury after a headclash with Steve Menzies in Origin II. Menzies will take his position in the centres, Luke Williamson will start in the second row, George Rose comes into the side and will start from the interchange bench. Cronulla line up as per program.1 min: NEWS Covell kicks off and it's game on6 min: NEWS An awful set of six by Manly sees them fail to get a decent kick away despite having 2 attempts. Sharks are on the attack now.8 min: NEWS Luke Williamson has been flattened after an attempted tackle on James Stosic. The Medicab comes out onto the field but Williamson rises to his feet and walks off unassisted.9 min: NEWS Albert flies high to catch a Kimmorley bomb, but knocks on in attempting to ground the ball - NO TRY - 20 metre restart to Manly.15 min: NEWS 15 minutes gone and nobody has been able to cross the stripe as yet. Kimmorley and Orford are going set for set in trying to break the line and set up the opening score for the night. 16 min: NEWS Video Ref is called upon to check a possible Manly try but the resulting call is NO TRY - 20 metre restart to the Sharks.18 min: NEWS Menzies scores in the corner but the play is called back for a forward pass by Stewart. 19 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesThis time Steve Menzies won't be denied as the Sea Eagles put on pretty much the same play that got called back for a forward pass a set earlier. Burns converts. Sea Eagles 6-024 min: PENALTY GOAL Manly Sea EaglesBurns knocks over a penalty shot after a Sharks infringement in the play-the-ball. Sea Eagles 8-027 min: NEWS Luke Covell takes a Kimmorley bomb but knocks on to send the play back to the 20 metre line. Sharks have had their chances but have been unable to convert anything into points thus far.29 min: INJURY News comes through that Phil Bailey will not play again tonight after suffering a suspected broken cheekbone. Sharks are down to 16 for the remainder of the match.30 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksBird crosses out wide for the Sharks, giving them their first points 10 minutes out from halftime. Covell nails the conversion. Sea Eagles 8-635 min: NEWS Momentum has swung in favour of the Sharks in these last minutes before the break, they get a penalty and start on another attacking raid on the Sea Eagles line.38 min: NEWS Orford attempts a field goal but the ball takes a right turn off the boot and is waved away.HALFTIME. We go to oranges with Manly just shading the Sharks 8 points to 6. PENALTIES - Sharks 6-2COMPLETIONS - Sharks 16/24 Manly 14/20ERRORS - Sharks 9 Manly 641 min: NEWS Players are back out there, Burns kicks off and the second half is underway.43 min: NEWS Sharks get a repeat set early after the restart and go straight on the attack, but drop the ball cold at the play-the-ball.51 min: NEWS The Sharks waste a chance at points after earning another repeat set. 55 min: NEWS The Sharks butcher another chance after a great try saving tackle on Vagana by Dunley. 60 min: NEWS Great tryline defence sees Manly deny the Sharks again after yet another repeat set.61 min: PENALTY GOAL Cronulla Sutherland SharksCovell slots an easy penalty conversion to tie the match up at 8 all. The Sharks are enjoying great field position but they are failing to convert pressure into points, something which may come back to haunt them in the remaining 19 minutes. 8 all.64 min: NEWS Darren Albert goes down clutching at his throat after bringing down a runaway Menzies. He is ok though and play continues with the Sharks working the ball out from their own line.68 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksBird crosses for his second try after a pin-point grubber from Kimmorley. Pressure has finally paid off for Cronulla as Covell converts and the Sharks lead for the first time in the match. Sharks 14-873 min: NEWS Manly almost go over in the corner but end up in touch. 77 min: FIELD GOAL Cronulla Sutherland SharksKimmorley nails a sweetly hit field goal and the 2 points look like staying in the Shire. Sharks 15-878 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesStewart crosses out wide to set up a nail biter. Hicks misses the conversion. Sharks 15-12FULLTIME - In a dour struggle the Sharks have come out on top 15 points to 12, and as a result they will spend the night at equal second on the NRL points table. Manly will be disappointed at the outcome considering they led the match 8-0 after half an hour.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Greg Bird2 - Brett Kimmorley1 - Paul Gallen-----------------------------------------