ST Helens roared back to the top of Super League on Saturday after grinding down a gritty, injury-hit Salford to win 28-6 at Knowsley Road. Saints had frittered away a six-point lead after back-to-back defeats by Hull and Bradford but centre Jamie Lyon scored a brace of tries to help them get back to winning ways. Star of the show was hooker Keiron Cunningham, one of 12 Saints players in line to play in Tuesday?s XXXX Test between Great Britain and New Zealand at Knowsley Road. Salford simply had no answer to Cunningham?s darting runs from dummy half which set up tries for Lyon and Jon Wilkin. The visitors trailed only 10-6 at half-time but there was never any serious doubt over the outcome. Saints opened the scoring when stand-off Leon Pryce took Sean Long?s pass and sliced between defenders Andrew Brocklehurst and Stephen Myler for a seventh-minute try. Salford, without five first-choice backs through injury, gave debuts to 18-year-old winger Daley Williams and Samoan prop Danny Lima, who has joined them on loan from Warrington, and both men figured prominently in the early stages. But it was Saints who bossed the show, without being fully able to turn their obvious superiority into points. Wingers Francis Meli and Ade Gardner both missed clear-cut chances close to the line and full-back Paul Wellens also lost the ball in attempting to touch down. St Helens? pressure eventually told when a weaving run by Cunningham set up the position for centre Lyon to cross for a second try to make it 10-0 after 24 minutes. Salford threatened early in the match when second rower Ian Sibbit broke clear only for Lee Gilmour to pull off a timely interception and they got on the scoreboard nine minutes before the interval when heavyweight substitute Gareth Haggerty charged over from 10 metres, taking three defenders over the line with him. Myler?s successful conversion closed the cap to just four points, which somewhat flattered the visitors. But normal service was resumed when Cunningham re-entered the fray early in the second half after a well-deserved rest. His determined run from dummy half set alarm bells ringing in the Reds defence and second rower Jon Wilkin ran onto his perfectly-judged pass to score Saints? third try. Three minutes later skipper Paul Sculthorpe got the decisive touch after a Long high kick had caused mayhem in the Salford defence. Lyon kicked his second goal and also scored his second try, taking Long?s pass and fending off the challenge of Luke Robinson to touch down. Leading tryscorer Gardner then finished off the scoring, pouncing on Wilkin?s high kick to the corner to claim his 19th try of the season. The game was held up near the end to allow Meli to have treatment for a leg injury which looks certain to deny him the chance of a Test comeback with the Kiwis, while Vinnie Anderson also handed New Zealand coach Brian McClennan an injury headache.St Helens (10) 28.Tries: Pryce, Lyon 2, Wilkin, Sculthorpe, Gardner. Goals: Lyon 2. Salford (6) 6.Tries: Haggerty. Goals: Myler. St Helens: Wellens, Gardner, Lyon, Talau, Meli, Pryce, Long, P. Anderson, Cunningham, Cayless, Gilmour, Sculthorpe, Hooper.Replacements: Graham, Fozzard, Wilkin, V. Anderson.Salford: Hodgson, Langi, Littler, Moule, Williams, Myler, Robinson, Coley, Alker, Rutgerson, Sibbit, Brocklehurst, Finnigan.Replacements: Charles, Haggerty, Lima, Highton. Referee: P Bentham (Warrington) Att: 8,307Source: www.superleague.co.uk
JUSTIN Murphy scored two tries and Stacey Jones kicked 14 points as Catalans Dragons recovered from 12-0 down to claim an emphatic 38-18 victory over Harlequins at Stade Aime Giral.The hosts were looking to avoid their third consecutive defeat and started the game second bottom of engage Super League while Quins were aiming to put daylight between themselves and the relegation zone.But it was the visitors who took control from the start, easing into a 12-0 lead with only 11 minutes on the clock.Nick Bradley-Qalilawa scored the first try after just two minutes which Henry Paul converted before Karl Temata went over nine minutes later with Paul again supplying the conversion.However, the Dragons hit back with three quickfire tries in the space of seven minutes through Murphy, Gregory Mounis and Bruno Verges - all successfully converted by Jones - to take an 18-12 lead.Jones then scored a penalty goal as the hosts went in at half-time 20-12 to the good.Murphy claimed his second try with Jones again successfully converting, before Quins pair Mark McLinden and Daniel Williams were sin-binned in the 60th and 63rd minute.With the visitors down to 11 men, Catalans scored twice more through Aurelien Cologni and Mark Hughes while Jones maintained his 100% kicking record to give the Dragons a 38-12 lead.Quins pulled one back seven minutes from time through Tyrone Smith with Paul converting to reduce the deficit to 38-18.The victory saw the Dragons pull level on points with Wakefield Wildcats, although the Yorkshire side remain ahead on points difference, and just one point behind Castleford and visitors Harlequins.The London side have now won just one of their last four fixtures adding extra significance to their next two fixtures against rock-bottom Wigan and Castleford.Catalans Dragons (20) 38.Tries: Murphy 2, Mounis, Verges, Cologni, Hughes. Goals: Jones 7. Harlequins RL (12) 18.Tries: Bradley-Qalilawa, Temata, Smith. Goals: Paul 3. Catalans Dragons: Guigue, Murphy, Wilson, Hughes, Verges, Rudder, Jones, Beattie, Cologni, Fellous, Guisset, Fakir, Mounis.Replacements: Berthezene, Frayssinous, Chan, Casty.Harlequins RL: McLinden, Wells, Lucky Luisi, Smith, Bradley-Qalilawa, Paul, Dorn, Tookey, Randall, Temata, Haumono, Purdham, Williams.Replacements: Budworth, Mills, Heckenberg, Weisner.Referee: S Clark (Australia)Att: 4,197Source: www.superleague.co.uk
STUART Fielden got off to a winning start in a Wigan shirt as the Warriors enjoyed a 30-12 victory over Warrington at the JJB Stadium. All the pre-match talk had centred around Fielden, and the former Bradford Bulls prop was thrown straight into the front row for his debut alongside Iafeta Paleaaesina, with Scott Logan rested. And his side got off to the perfect start with two tries inside the opening 15 minutes through Paleaaesina and Nathan McAvoy, before Lee Briers created scores for Simon Grix and Toa Kohe-Love. Only Michael Dobson?s penalty goal separating the sides at the break but the second half belonged to Wigan, as further scores by Brett Dallas, Sean O?Loughlin and Bryan Fletcher sealed the points and closed the gap between Wigan and safety to just four points.Australian winger Pat Richards missed out for Wigan, with Mark Calderwood making a welcome return after several weeks out through injury. Wolves were missing Great Britain star Martin Gleeson due to a finger injury, with his brother Mark also sidelined with a broken thumb. The crowd were right behind the Warriors from the outset and Fielden, Paleaaesina and Fletcher made big yards in the early exchanges. Warrington, in contrast were struggling to stamp their authority on the game, and an uncharacteristic kick out on the full by Lee Briers conceded the field position that led to the opening Wigan try. Paleaaesina drove onto a neat short ball from Dobson and took two defenders over the line with him, with Dobson making no mistake with the conversion. Five minutes later it was 12-0 after a quite breathtaking score that covered 70 metres of the field. Calderwood made the break and, via the hands of Dobson, Chris Ashton, Danny Orr and Calderwood again, McAvoy took the final pass to touch down. Dobson again converted, but McAvoy went from hero to villain three minutes later when he made a clean break but ignored Dallas on his inside only to fall at Stuart Reardon?s feet. The mistake was to prove costly at the other end when, after a repeat set, great hands left saw Briers put Simon Grix over through Fletcher?s weak defence, with Briers closing the gap to six points. That was immediately extended to eight points via the boot of Dobson after Paul Noone had gone high on Fielden. Eight minutes before the break the Wolves again won a repeat set when Calderwood could not take Briers? towering kick to hand Warrington a scrum 10 metres out. From the restart, Kohe-Love took a Briers pass to to step out of Dobson?s challenge and score under the sticks, with Briers? successful kick leaving it tantalisingly poised at 14-12. The Warriors extended their lead 10 minutes into the second half, and it was a play right out of the Briers textbook. Dobson forced the drop out when his kick pinned Richie Barnett behind his own posts and, three tackles later, Ashton?s long ball put Dallas in at the corner. Dobson?s touchline goal made it 20-12 and, with the rampaging Paleaaesina back off the bench and taking three men to stop him every time, they were in the ascendancy. Only a marginal forward pass denied Calderwood in the right-hand corner, but it did not matter as the Warriors were in again on the hour. Another barnstorming run from Paaleaaesina, enjoying easily his best game in a Wigan shirt, set up the attacking position for Higham to put captain Sean O?Loughlin over, with Dobson?s boot pushing the score out to 26-12. Fletcher?s last-minute score, from O?Loughlin?s kick, was the icing on the cake for the majority of the 16,103 crowd. Wigan (14) 30.Tries: Paleaaesina, McAvoy, Dallas, O'Loughlin, Fletcher. Goals: Dobson 5. Warrington (12) 12.Tries: Grix, Kohe-Love. Goals: Briers 2. Wigan: Ashton, Calderwood, McAvoy, Vaealiki, Dallas, Orr, Dobson, Paleaaesina, Higham, Fielden, Hock, Fletcher, O?Loughlin.Replacements: Seu Seu, Brown, Hansen, Tickle.Warrington: Reardon, Grose, Grix, Kohe-Love, Barnett, Bridge, Briers, Leikvoll, Clarke, Wood, Westwood, Wainwright, Noone.Replacements: Sullivan, Parker, Bracek, Pickersgill.Referee: R Silverwood (Dewsbury)Att: 16,103Source: www.superleague.co.uk
FORMER Wakefield skipper Gareth Ellis grabbed a brace of tries as Leeds returned to the engage Super League summit for the first time in 11 months with a 36-20 win over the Wildcats.The Rhinos required victory by 10 points or more to move above St Helens on points difference and Ellis? first-half brace proved a key contribution to their success. The Great Britain international enjoyed the tussle against his erstwhile employers while Rhinos full-back Lee Smith claimed a double of his own after the restart. But it was skipper Kevin Sinfield, who was surprisingly omitted by Great Britain coach Brian Noble for next Tuesday?s Test against New Zealand, who took centre stage, claiming six goals and orchestrating much of his side?s attacking play. St Helens, who have suffered defeat in their previous two games, will reclaim top spot if they avoid defeat at home to Salford tomorrow, but may now just begin to feel the pressure with Leeds breathing down their necks.The Wildcats, who caused a storm last season when they claimed a shock 44-28 success at Headingley, fell behind after six minutes when Ellis punished some poor defence. Sinfield?s offload 20 metres out found Ellis and the former Belle Vue favourite showed some neat footwork to weave his way through and cross the line. Wakefield believed they had scored after 10 minutes when Semi Tadulala?s touchdown in the left corner was ruled out by the referee following a knock-on by the Wildcats wing. And the visitors suffered further misery nine minutes later when some meticulous dummy running from Sinfield saw him orchestrate Leeds? second try. The Rhinos skipper engineered a move which saw the ball pass through Ellis and Danny McGuire?s hands before the latter sent Keith Senior in at the left corner. Wakefield?s defence was again dreadful as Senior brushed aside their attempts to halt his progress before squeezing over for a try converted superbly by Sinfield. The Rhinos were firmly in command at 12-0 but Wakefield showed outstanding spirit and no little skill to draw level with two tries in as many minutes. Their first score came after 26 minutes when hooker David March found Ben Jeffries from the play-the-ball and the Wildcats scrum half scampered over the line from 10 metres. They crossed the line shortly after when David Solomona sent Ryan Atkins embarking on a lung-bursting 50-metre run which saw him outpace three Rhinos players and cross the line for a magnificent solo effort. Jamie Rooney converted both tries but Ellis forced his way over the line two minutes before the break, and with Sinfield converting, Leeds were 18-12 ahead. However, Leeds began to batter the visitors? line immediately after the restart and their efforts were soon rewarded as two quick tries put them firmly in command of the match. The first score came when McGuire played a delightful one-two with Chris Feather and crossed before Ellis and Sinfield combined to send Smith over for a simple score. And on the hour mark McGuire?s brilliant surge and check inside put Smith over for his brace but Sinfield failed to maintain his 100% record with the boot. Wakefield?s response was again impressive and tries from Jamie Field and Tadulala, neither of which Rooney could convert, rocked Leeds momentarily before Sinfield added a late penalty to ensure, fittingly, that he had the final say. Leeds (18) 36.Tries: Ellis 2, Senior, McGuire, Smith 2. Goals: Sinfield 6. Wakefield (12) 20.Tries: Jeffries, Atkins, J. Field, Tadulala. Goals: Rooney 2. Leeds: Smith, Donald, Walker, Senior, Williams, McGuire, Burrow, Jones-Buchanan, Millard, Bailey, Poching, Ellis, Sinfield.Replacements: Lauitiiti, O?Neill, Feather, Ablett.Wakefield: Saxton, Halpenny, Demetriou, Atkins, Tadulala, Rooney, Jeffries, MacGillivray, March, Korkidas, Solomona,Catic, Betham.Replacements: Griffin, J. Field, Watene, White.Referee: K Kirkpatrick (Warrington)Att: 13,597Source: www.superleague.co.uk
HULL chalked up a club record 10th successive win as they overcame an appalling start and a gritty Castleford side by 28-10 in the engage Super League.The Tigers sensationally scored after just 16 seconds at the KC Stadium through Andy Henderson but Hull hit back with a quickfire double from former Castleford back Motu Tony and Richard Horne.Sid Domic added another just before the break and Hull held firm despite a second-half reply from Richard Fa?aoso.Tommy Lee made sure of the win with a fourth Hull try 12 minutes from time and Nathan Blacklock added a fifth from a late interception.The game ? and Castleford ? could hardly have got off to a better start. Danny Brough ? Hull?s match-winner in last season?s Challenge Cup final ? was determined to make a point against the club that released him just last week and did so from the very kick-off.The scrum-half?s deep kick was spilled by his former partner Paul Cooke and Tigers skipper Danny Nutley quickly gathered and charged to the line.He was stopped short but Henderson dived over from the resulting play-the-ball to claim one of the fastest tries in Super League history, just outside Tim Jonkers? 14-second effort for St Helens.Brough converted but Cas immediately switched off and conceded four penalties in the opening 10 minutes to allow Hull straight back into the game.New Zealander Tony, who could be lining up against Great Britain next week, stretched over by the posts and then Richard Horne scored a superb solo try after a 20-metre run.Cooke added both conversions and the game settled down for a spell with Castleford dominating possession until Hull claimed their third try through Domic eight minutes before the break.Cooke was the creator on the left and then curled over a brilliant goal to give the hosts a handy 18-6 half-time advantage.The half ended scrappily with both sides reduced to 12 men. First Cas had Nutley and substitute Fa?aoso placed on report following a challenge on Scott Wheeldon.Fa?aoso failed to calm down and was sin-binned just before the hooter along with Cooke after the pair sparked a melee.Hull looked to press home their advantage when the game resumed but fierce Cas defence kept them at bay.Tony went close with a powerful run and then Michael Platt produced a superb tackle to deny Graeme Horne as he looked set to finish a slick move in the corner.The Tigers were struggling to assert themselves but did manage to get back into contention when they finally pieced together a strong set and Fa?aoso, back on the field, found a gap to go over.Yet Hull were not to be beaten and raised the tempo to kill off the game when the outstanding Tony kicked through and Danny Ward failed to gather.Lee was on hand to pounce on the loose ball and touch down and Cooke?s fourth goal put the game beyond reach.Winger Blacklock intercepted to run in the final try in the last minute.Hull (18) 28.Tries: Tony, R. Horne, Domic, Lee, Blacklock. Goals: Cooke 4. Castleford (6) 10.Tries: Henderson, Fa?aoso. Goals: Brough. Hull: Tony, Blacklock, Domic, Whiting, Raynor, Cooke, R. Horne, Dowes, Swain, Carvell, Radford, McMenemy, Washbrook.Replacements: G. Horne, King, Wheeldon, Lee.Castleford: Platt, Pryce, Viane, McGoldrick, Shenton, Lupton, Brough, Sculthorpe, Henderson, Nutley, Ward, Manu, Roarty.Replacements: Handforth, Huby, Fa?aoso, A. Fletcher.Referee: A Klein (London)Att: 11,360Source: www.superleague.co.uk
PAUL Deacon smashed Bradford?s points-scoring record to lift the engage Super League champions? spirits with a 42-16 win over Huddersfield following the shock sale of Stuart Fielden. The Bulls began life after Fielden in confident fashion, easing their way to a comfortable victory, with Deacon converting all seven tries to set a new scoring record of 1,834, eclipsing the previous best set by Keith Mumby in 1993. Bradford led only 12-10 after 52 minutes but ran away with the game after hitting a purple patch in which they ran in three tries in a decisive nine-minute spell at the re-named Grattan Stadium. Lesley Vainikolo, Ben Harris and Brett Ferres all touched down twice while Australian forward Brad Meyers scored the Bulls? other try, fine reward for his efforts as a makeshift prop. There was no obvious sign of protest over the sale of Fielden to Wigan and the Bulls looked competent enough without their Great Britain prop. After an attritional opening, Vainikolo broke the deadlock after 19 minutes when Bradford worked the ball out to the right and the visitors? defence stood off the big man, allowing him to cut inside and touch down. Huddersfield briefly threatened with a neat left-wing move involving full-back Paul Reilly and centre Chris Nero but the Bulls, fresh from their win over St Helens, were very much in command. The Giants put themselves under pressure when Paul Smith lost the ball inside his own half and, although Nero pulled off a brilliant tackle to deny Vainikolo, the defence could not regroup in time to prevent centre Harris crossing wide out. Deacon landed both conversions to put himself well on the way to beating Mumby?s record of 1,828 points. Huddersfield, who have never beaten Bradford in Super League and crashed to a 52-18 at Odsal two months ago, gave themselves hope when Nero took Reilly?s to score in the final act of the first half, with Chris Thorman adding the conversion to make it 12-6 at the break. Twice the visitors got within range in the first five minutes of the second half and when Matt James and Michael Withers were penalised for separate infringements, Thorman closed the gap to just two points. Bradford, too, were twice awarded penalties in kickable positions but they chose to run the ball and their enterprise paid off handsomely with three quickfire tries. First second-rower Ferres touched down a high kick from Iestyn Harris and then Vainikolo grabbed his second try after Withers supplied the final pass. That enabled Deacon to kick the record-breaking goal and he also converted a solo try from Meyers to stretch his side?s lead to 30-10 going into the final quarter. Substitute Steve Snitch grabbed a consolation try for Huddersfield, with Thorman kicking his fourth goal from as many attempts. But Bradford had the final say when Ben Harris forced his way over from close range and Ferres also grabbed his second following a defensive mix-up. Bradford (12) 42.Tries: Vainikolo 2, B. Harris 2, Ferres 2, Meyers. Goals: Deacon 7. Huddersfield (6) 16.Tries: Nero, Snitch. Goals: Thorman 4. Bradford: Withers, Vainikolo, Hape, B. Harris, St Hilaire, I. Harris, Deacon, Meyers, Henderson, Lynch, McKenna, Ferres, Langley.Replacements: Vagana, Gene, James, Pryce.Huddersfield: Reilly, Aspinwall, Wild, Nero, Donlan, Thorman, Paul, Mason, Drew, Gannon, Crabtree, Smith, Jones.Replacements: Snitch, Jackson, Gardner, McDonald.Referee: S Ganson (St Helens)Att: 10,655Source: www.superleague.co.uk
KIWI'S winger Francis Meli will play no part in this weeks Test against Great Britain after picking up a leg injury playing for ESL club, St Helens. The 27-year-old was injured in the later stages of Saints' victory over Salford and was stretchered the field. "We'll know more when he has a scan and we're hoping we're looking at a few weeks and not the season," said St Helens coach Daniel Anderson. Jason Cayless and Vinnie Anderson are also doubtful starters for New Zealand. The Saint Helens duo also picked up knocks playing this morning, leaving New Zealand coach Brian McClennan with a headache. The Test takes place at St Helens' Knowsley Road home and Saints expected to have as many as 12 players in action. Bradford winger Lesley Vainikolo, who was largely dormant in the early part of the season when Noble was in charge of the Bulls, is running into form just in time to cause trouble for Britain at St Helens in two days time.The powerhouse runner, who topped the Super League scoring chart in 2004 with a record-breaking 36 tries, has been plagued by niggling injuries but he was back to his best against Huddersfield on Friday, scoring two tries in the Bulls' 42-16 win.Vainikolo was a frustrated spectator 12,000 miles away when the Kiwis ended Australia's world domination with a 24-0 humiliation of the Kangaroos at Elland Road last November in the Tri-Nations final, but he hopes to help them defend their crown later this year.
THE New Zealand Residents made it two from two with a 38-10 win over the Jim Beam Cup Selection at the Rotorua International Stadium on Saturday. Among the try-scorers for the Residents were Vodafone Warriors first-grade squad members Cooper Vuna and Sonny Fai. In the other match, New South Wales Country just held out the Queensland Rangers. Match details:NEW SOUTH WALES COUNTRY 34 (Dean Amos 2, Michael Fortier, David Pickvance, Darren Jackson, Daniel Frame, Damien Seers tries; Craig Field 3 goals). QUEENSLAND RANGERS 32 (Nathaniel Bowman 2, Patrick Dall 2, Joshua Schwerin, Jim Baira tries; Patrick Dall 4 goals). Halftime: 20?10 NSW Country.NZ RESIDENTS 38 (Lusi Sione, David Fisi?iahi, Cooper Vuna, Steve Buckingham, Sala Fa?alogo, Sonny Fai tries; Steve Buckingham 7 goals). JIM BEAM CUP SELECTION 10 (David Val, Keiron Herring tries; Aaron Mercer goal). Halftime: 6?4 NZ Residents.
ROUND 16 Manly Sea Eagles 10 v Brisbane Broncos 16at Brookvale OvalReferees: Shayne HayneMatch Summary:The Brisbane Broncos have secured a 16-10 victory over the Manly Sea Eagles today in a match resembling an old-fashioned arm wrestle of yesteryear.It is the Bronco?s first win at Brookvale Oval since 1992 and it didn?t come easily with jarring forward clashes a feature throughout. The two points keeps them touch with competition leaders Melbourne Storm and they are now sitting in third position overall, looking ominous during the Origin period which is often difficult for them.The Broncos notched up a handy 10-nil first half lead after dominating possession and stifling the Manly attack, rarely allowing them any useful field position.After a few half chances, Darius Boyd posted the first try in the 23rd minute, filling the boots left by regular custodian Karmichael Hunt. Darren Lockyer created a gap and found centre Shaun Berrigan who set up Boyd well with a flick pass. Then with 10 minutes to go in the first half, reliable Manly forward Steve Menzies threw an uncharacteristically bad pass forward of his mark to Broncos centre Justin Hodges, providing a clear passage to the line.The Broncos picked up where they left off in the second half, scoring a brilliant individual try though hard-running winger Brent Tate. He went himself from 60 metres out and beat his opposite before standing-up speedy Manly fullback Brent Stewart to push the lead out to 14-0 and making things very difficult for the Sea Eagles to recover.But they almost mounted what would have been Brisbane?s second last-gasp defeat in as many weeks, beginning in the 52nd minute through Stewart who was found lurking infield by halfback Matt Orford and put under the sticks for the home side?s first try of the day.Manly then began to set the pace with heavy hits and powerful runs the order of the day. With 12 minutes to go Steve Matai crossed after Michael Robertson flew high for a cross-field kick and batted it back to the pony-tailed three-quarter who scored in the corner.With Burns missing the extras Manly trailed by 14-10 and searched far and wide for a try. With three minutes to go the Broncos booted a penalty goal when Lockyer was hit high and late from a clearing kick and the game looked over.A short kick-off resulting in a fumble by Brisbane handed possession back to Manly in good field position and the crowd got behind their team. And they made good use of the ball going wide and early and exposing some tired defence. Matai committed a cruel mistake in the final stages however, giving a pass he didn?t need to close to the line and grassing any hopes the Sea Eagles had of pulling this one out of the fire.Regardless of the loss, Manly still look to be a solid outfit and will press for a top-four position. They face off against the Knights at home next week in another blockbusting Friday night encounter.For Brisbane, they again proved themselves to be a high quality unit and they are coping well with the stress of the Origin period. Today was a crucial victory as they host the in-form Sharks next Sunday afternoon at Suncorp Stadium.Scorers:Manly Sea Eagles: 10Tries: Brett Stewart, Steve MataiGoals: Travis Burns 1/2Brisbane Broncos: 16Tries: Justin Hodges, Brent Tate, Darius BoydGoals: Corey Parker 2/4Halftime: Broncos 10-0Crowd: 16,084By the Clock:Cool day here on the peninsula where the Sea Eagles are looking to continue their solid form at home.Manly as per the program.Brisbane have lost Fraser Anderson, with Tate moving to the wing and Berrigan moving to the centres. Seymour moves into the hooking role and Carroll goes back to the bench with Thorn promoted to the starting side.1 min: NEWS Brisbane get us underway in the first half.3 min: NEWS Berrigan knocks-on close to his own line, opening up a great attacking opportunity for Manly.4 min: NEWS Robertson goes close to scoring but some great defence by Hodges prevents a try.7 min: NEWS Broncos go on the attack after a handling error by the Sea Eagles.10 min: NEWS Manly hold-out the Broncos showing some stout defence. Both sides are making a few handling errors whilst the forward battle is beginning to heat up.15 min: NEWS Brent Stewart narrowly misses scoring after being cut down short of the line and loosing possession.20 min: NEWS The forwards are firing at the moment. Some big hits involving Kennedy, Civoniceva and Matai is getting involved as well. Neither side is particularly fond of the other.23 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosThe Broncos open up the scoring through makeshift fullback Darius Boyd. Berrigan found some room on the short eastern side of the field after a good ball from Lockyer. Boyd loomed up and took a classy flick pass from Berrigan. Parker missed the goal from out wide. Broncos 4-025 min: NEWS Now it's Brisbane's turn to step up as Manly start asking some serious questions of their defence.30 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosA wayward pass from Steve Menzies is pounced upon by Justin Hodges and he races 30m to score under the posts. Brisbane are getting on top of them at the moment as Parker converts and extends the lead. Broncos 10-035 min: NEWS Brisbane dominating possession at the moment and pressing the line hard. They haven't found another way through the Manly defence as yet, but you get the feeling if the Sea Eagles could get some reasonable field position they might post points.40 min: NEWS The boys head to the sheds with the Broncos leading 10-0 and both teams have really gone hard here in the first half.Brisbane are playing very well but should probably be up by another try. Their forwards are dominating the exchanges and their defence is frustrating Manly.Meanwhile, I think the Sea Eagles will be content that they can win the game if they get some good possession, field position and cut down their errors.41 min: NEWS Manly restart proceedings here at Brooky.45 min: NEWS Both teams just feeling out each other in the opening exchanges in the second half.46 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosAnd the scorers are troubled for the first time this half with Brent Tate scoring a brilliant individual try. He got on the outside of his man and went 60m to score, giving a great in-an-away to Brent Stewart. Parker fails with his third attempt of the day. Broncos 14-047 min: NEWS Travis Burns placed on report for a high tackle on Thaiday.50 min: NEWS Dunley denied a try after the pass was ruled forward. They needed a try here to get back into the mix, but it wasn't to be.52 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesManly are in with a sparkling try to Brent Stewart under the posts after backing up his playmaker Orford. Burns slots the goal and the home team are back with a shot. Broncos 14-660 min: NEWS Some mistakes creeping into the game but the contest it heavily defence oriented. It's a good old fashioned arm-wrestle this one.68 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesManly are well back into the game here with Steve Matai scoring a great try, with Kennedy heavily involved in taking the ball forward before Robertson grabbed a kick and off-loaded to Matai who went over in the corner. Burns misses from the sideline, but they still needed another try to win anyhow. Broncos 14-1072 min: NEWS Broncos hold-off an attacking raid by the Sea Eagles as the home team start throwing caution to the wind.77 min: NEWS Three minutes to go and the Broncos are repelling everything the Sea Eagles have got.78 min: PENALTY GOAL Brisbane BroncosParker lands a penalty goal after a cheap shot on Lockyer. Silly stuff from Bryant. Broncos 16-1079 min: NEWS Manly have a scrum feed 35m out after the Broncos knocked-on a short kick-off.79 min: NEWS The Sea Eagles butcher a great chance after Matai throws a poor pass when it appeared all he need to do was go another metre and score.80 min: NEWS Fulltime: The Broncos secure their first victory at Brookvale in 1992.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Ben Kennedy2 - Petero Civoniceva1 - Brent Tate-----------------------------------------
ROUND 16 South Sydney Rabbitohs 0 v New Zealand Warriors 66at Telstra StadiumReferees: Gavin BadgerMatch Summary:The Warriors have put the so-called ?Pride of the league? to shame with a record breaking 66-0 demolition job of a gutless South Sydney Rabbitohs team. The Warriors were up 32-0 at half time and never looked like losing.It took the Warriors 10 minutes to score first, Jerome Ropati running through non-existent defence to dot down. Three minutes later the Warriors were in again with Patrick Ah Van scoring in the corner for a 10-0 lead. The Warriors scored their third try ? to Simon Mannering ? when he simply palmed off a defender and put the ball down. The conversion made it 16-0 after 17 minutes. After 24 minutes Tony Martin went in in the corner for 20-0. Steve Price fell over the line after a Webb break for another six points. Three minutes later Lance Hohaia scored the first of his three tries with another Webb break up the middle, and Souths were booed from the field down 32-0 at half time.Five minutes into the second half Lance Hohaia grabbed his second with a run from dummy half. At 50 minutes David Peachey was sin binned and the Warriors scored almost instantly afterwards as Webb scored almost untouched under the posts. Two minutes later Webb was in again after the Warriors spread the ball wide. The Warriors scored their third try with Peachey in the sin bin when Evarn Tuimavave dived on a Nathan Fien grubber, and it was 56-0 after 58 minutes. Paul Mellor had two chances to score for the Rabbitohs in quick succession, but he blew both of them. The Warriors dropped their intensity in the last 10 minutes, but still managed two more tries, Grant Rovelli grubbering across for Lance Hohaias hattrick, and Webb providing an inside ball to Ropati for the final 66-0 scoreline.The official crowd was 6597, which is a bit of a stretch. It looked closer to 3500.The result is a record win for the Warriors, eclipsing their 68-10 win over the Northern Eagles, and it is also a record loss for the Rabbitohs, overtaking their 62-0 loss to the Roosters. There is no excuse for the Rabbitohs, as the Warriors didn?t play extremely expansive, attacking football. They played simple, effective football that the Rabbitohs couldn?t match. The signings of three players are clearly not enough to turn this rabble around. The Warriors are in very impressive form, finally putting three in a row together, 63 games after their last three game winning streak. They can also lay claim to the second best points differential in the league, but thanks to their four point salary cap penalty they remain outside the eight, although they have jumped the Roosters into 12th.Scorers:South Sydney Rabbitohs: 0Tries: New Zealand Warriors: 66Tries: Lance Hohaia(3), Simon Mannering, Tony Martin, Steve Price, Jerome Ropati(2), Evarn Tuimavave, Brent Webb(2), Patrick Ah VanGoals: Tony Martin 9/12Halftime: Warriors 32-0Crowd: 6,597By the Clock:Today from Telstra Stadium it is the Rabbitohs vs Warriors. Both sides are looking to break a hoodoo of some sort this weekend. The Warriors haven't won three in a row since late 2003, while the Rabbitohs haven't beaten the Warriors since 1999. The Warriors defeated the Rabbitohs 46-14 in Round 7.The Warriors in silver today, the Rabbitohs in the usual red and green.The Warriors have Luck off the bench for Guttenbiel, as is the norm. The Rabbitohs are 1-17.Teams are on the field in front of a dismal crowd. A grey day at Telstra Stadium.1 min: Underway at Telstra, and Souths kick the ball dead on the full.3 min: The Warriors force a line dropout, from which the Rabbitohs looked to be all offside from the kick.4 min: Luck can't maintain control of the ball off a kick in the in goal and the Rabbitohs get out of jail.8 min: Souths finally venture into the Warriors half and a Warriors error gets the tackle count reset. Not much later Souths lose the ball.10 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsPrice makes a bust, he passes to Fein who is taken down in a fantastic head on tackle by Peachey. Numbers show on the next play as the Warriors spread the ball and Ropati steps through the defence and runs 30 metres to score. Martin converts. Warriors 6-013 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsSouths lose the ball on tackle one 15 metres out from their own line. The Warriors spread the ball wide to an unmarked Patrick Ah Van who scores in the corner. Martin hooks the conversion. Warriors 10-015 min: Warriors currently holding 73% of possession and making metres at will. Walker knocks on a Warriors pass on the last tackle, giving the Warriors yet more possession.17 min: Sutton makes a brave defensive play knocking the ball down. The Warriors get possession 10 out, but it avoided an instant try.17 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsThis is going to be a parade at this rate. From the scrum the Warriors spin the ball to Mannering, he palms off a defender and scores easily. Martin converts. Warriors 16-020 min: The Rabbitohs get a break as Price breaks the line again, and his offload to Webb, who was away, is ruled forward. The Rabbitohs go into touch from the scrum.22 min: A crossfield bomb goes into touch off Souths, Warriors ball hot on attack again.24 min: VIDEO REF - For a Warriors try....24 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsWarriors get the ball wide, Martin steps and scores in the corner. The conversion drops just short. Warriors 20-026 min: Warriors make an error and Souths get the ball 40 out.27 min: Souths get a line drop out. Things are looking up. Then they get a penalty for stripping, only to throw a clueless pass that is intercepted by Ah Van.30 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsSouths knock the ball down on the last tackle and they get six again. The Warriors move downfield again and Webb flicks the ball to Price who just had to fall over to score. Martin converts. Warriors 26-033 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsBreak out a marching band. Webb slips through a non existant tackle, he breaks up the middle, offloads to Hohaia who races away to score under the uprights. Martin converts. Warriors 32-036 min: Tony Martin dives on a loose ball 40 metres out. The Warriors make a rare error.38 min: Souths kick ahead, pass back on the inside only 10 out, but spill the ball.40 min: Halftime, and the Rabbitohs are being booed off the field.The Warriors are up 32-0 without breaking a sweat. They aren't playing footy that looks like scoring regularly, but even this basic footy is too much for Souths to handle.Possession: 70%/30% WarriorsTerritory: 62%/38% WarriorsMetres gained: 880/330 WarriorsLine Breaks: 7/0 WarriorsTackles-Mistackles: 152-20 Souths/96-3 WarriorsOffloads: 9/2 WarriorsErrors: 10/6 Souths Some very telling statistics. Incredibly, this is the Rabbitohs worst first half of the season. This is the biggest half time lead of any game this season.The teams return to the field.40 min: The match restarts, Souths get first possession.43 min: INJURY - Shane Walker down injured.45 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsSouths make an error on the last tackle. Hohaia takes the ball from dummy half and saunters 30 metres to score. Martin converts. Warriors 38-049 min: The Warriors let the ball bounce on the last tackle, Souths regather, tap the ball across and then a no look pass ends up next to the touch judge.50 min: SIN BIN - David Peachey goes for a professional foul.51 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsAfter the penalty the Warriors move the ball, Rovelli offloads to Webb who walks through the Rabbitohs defence to score under the posts. Martin converts. Warriors 44-053 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsThe Warriors spin the ball wide to Ah Van who breaks down the sideline. He sends the ball back inside to Webb who picks up a double. Martin converts and the Warriors get to 50. Warriors 50-055 min: Souths fans already talking the walk of shame out of the stadium.58 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsFien rolls a nice, easy kick into the in goal and Tuimavave dives on the ball to score. Martin converts. Warriors headed for a record victory. Warriors 56-061 min: Peachey returns from the sin bin.63 min: Warriors enforce a drop out.65 min: The Warriors have their first non-completion of the second half when they throw a forward pass.67 min: Mellor knocks on reaching out to score. They can't take a trick.68 min: Warriors get driven into touch and the Rabbitohs may be a half chance to get on the board. Paul Mellor knocks on again.70 min: The Warriors have dropped their intensity, but they're still threatening.72 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsRovelli grubbers across field, it bounces up for Hohaia who dots the ball down out wide and he picks up at hat trick. Martin misses the conversion. Warriors 60-074 min: CROWD - 6597. A pig just zoomed over the stadium.78 min: TRY New Zealand WarriorsThe Warriors go up the middle easily, Webb offloads to Ropati who scores under the posts. Worst Rabbitohs losing margin ever, best Warriors winning margin ever. Hang your heads Rabbitohs. Martin converts. Warriors 66-0FULLTIME: The Warriors put the Rabbitohs to shame, 66-0.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Steve Price (Warriors)2 - Grant Rovelli (Warriors)1 - Nathan Fien (Warriors)-----------------------------------------
LANCE Thompson is set to sign a three year deal with the Cronulla Sharks after agreeing to terms this week. Thompson, who is playing some of the best football of his life, was expected to attract considerable attention from other clubs but will now remain a Shark for several more years.In further good news for the Sharks, winger Luke Covell, centre Beau Scott and prop James Stosic are all close to signing contracts with the club.
XXXX CITY 22 - XXXX COUNTRY 18
ATTACK was a priority and defence was an afterthought as Souths Logan and Ipswich handed ABC TV yet another entertaining exhibition on Saturday.
WESTS Tigers' premiership defence took a broadside hit last night when five-eighth Benji Marshall was ruled out for the rest of the NRL season with another shoulder injury.Marshall left the field late in the second half of Penrith's 24-20 win over the Tigers at CUA Stadium and went immediately to the dressing sheds.He had attempted a tackle on Panthers forward Frank Puletua in the 74th minute and clutched at the shoulder immediately afterwards.Tigers club doctor Donald Kuah said the shoulder had dislocated but had popped back in without needing to be re-set."It went out and back in," Kuah said."He'll go in for surgery and usually (there is) a six-month rehab period."Kuah said Marshall had been understandably upset, but he was becoming used to his now regular shoulder problems."We almost expected that at some stage (this season) it might happen," he said.Asked if there was a chance the injury would end Marshall's NRL career, Kuah said: "No, actually none at all. He's like any other player with a shoulder reconstruction, there's about five in most NRL sides."
VODAFONE Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah tonight responded to confirmation that long-serving fullback Brent Webb has taken up an offer to join English Super League club Leeds next season.
Webb?s manager Jim Banaghan advised the club that the 25-year-old Kiwi international, who?s off contract at the end of the 2006 season, has signed a two-year contract with the Rhinos.
?We always held hope Brent would stay with us but we have been aware for some time that we would be unable to meet his financial expectations,? said Scurrah.
?While we?re pleased for him that he has secured his financial future we?re disappointed to see him go.
?Brent came to the club as an unheralded young player in 2002 and, in his time with the Vodafone Warriors, he has developed into a fine international fullback who is now able to command a lot of interest from other clubs.?
Scurrah confirmed the Vodafone Warriors would go to the market seeking to sign a first-grade fullback and the club would also develop other young players to fill the role in the long term.
?Just yesterday we once again underlined our commitment to becoming a development club by announcing the signings of exciting young prospects Russell and Paora Packer out of Manawatu,? he said.
Webb is due to make his 96th first-grade appearance for the Vodafone Warriors when they play South Sydney at Telstra Stadium tomorrow. He?s on course to become the 11th player to appear in 100 first-grade games for the club when the Vodafone Warriors face Penrith at CUA Stadium in round 21.