How The Mighty Have Fallen

IT seems like eons ago now when the New Zealand Warriors were at the pinnacle of the proverbial rugby league mountain. Yet you only have to hark back four seasons to the clubs halcyon days of 2002 - 2003 when they seemingly had the rugby league world at their feet.

The Debutant

A ringing bell smashes you back to reality from your trance like state. Once again you begin to notice noise around you. Clapping, hooting, hollering and shouts of instructions. You quickly think to yourself "the bell has gone, two minutes till I go out there and give my all for my country".

Crocker faces lengthy stint on the sidelines

MELBOURNE Storm forward Michael Crocker has been charged with a grade four dangerous throw on Souths lock Shane Rigon. Crocker faces a minimum of nine weeks on the sidelines if he takes the early guilty plea.

Changes to City v Country

PENRITH winger Luke Rooney has been called into the NSW City rugby league team to play NSW Country on Friday night after Eric Grothe was ruled out.

Monday?s Expert League Wrap - Round 9, 2006

INTERNATIONAL Rugby League came to Brisbane on Friday night with 44,191 people on hand to see Australia run over the top of New Zealand by 50-12. Saturday football saw the Canberra Raiders travel to Parramatta and outclass last year?s minor premiers the Eels by 30-10. Later that night, the North Queensland Cowboys were too good for the Penrith Panthers, downing their southern visitors by 22-10. Meanwhile the Melbourne Storm were ripping into the South Sydney Rabbitohs, running away in the second half to win 38-12 at Sydney?s Telstra Stadium.On Sunday, the NRL hosted four matches starting with the Newcastle Knights v Brisbane Broncos. In a close encounter, the Knights came away with a 32-30 victory in front vocal Newcastle crowd of 21,252. Soon afterwards, the Canterbury Bulldogs clobbered the Sydney Roosters 30-14 after the Roosters led 12-6 at half time. Meanwhile Wests Tigers were too good for the Manly Sea Eagles, the home side winning 24-18 in front a huge Leichhardt Oval crowd. The round wrapped up with the Sharks putting together a solid second half display to smash the Dragons by 30-12 after the scores were locked up 12-all at half time.All match results and details are listed Player AwardsThe Player Awards still has Cowboys five-eighth Johnathan Thurston leading on 16 points. But new pressure is emerging from Storm hooker Cameron Smith (14 points) and Sharks playmaker Adam Dykes (13 points). Smith and Dykes have leapfrogged Knights half back Andrew Johns who appears anchored on 12 points.Not far away are Greg Inglis (Storm) and Matt Orford (Sea Eagles) on 11 points while Matthew Bowen (Cowboys) and Danny Buderus (Knights) are on 10 points. ForwardsBen Kennedy (Sea Eagles) and Willie Mason (Bulldogs) are still well in contention on nine points.The full leader board is below.The players of the match are decided by our live score updaters and tallied here each week on Monday?s Expert League wrap.Want to be a live score updater? For further enquiries, email us.League Wrap: Round 9, 5 ? 7 May 2006MATCH RESULTS:Australia: 50Tries: Darren Lockyer(2), Nathan Hindmarsh, Mark Gasnier, Matt Cooper, Timana Tahu(2), Danny BuderusGoals: Ben Kennedy 1/1, Andrew Johns 8/9New Zealand: 12Tries: David Kidwell, Sonny Bill WilliamsGoals: Brent Webb 2/4Half time: Australia 14-6Venue: Suncorp StadiumCrowd: 44,191Referee: Ashley KleinParramatta Eels: 10Tries: Glenn Morrison, Matthew PetersenGoals: Brett Delaney 1/2Canberra Raiders: 30Tries: Craig Frawley, Lincoln Withers, Simon Woolford, Adrian Purtell (2)Goals: Clinton Schifcofske 5/5Half time: Raiders 18-4Venue: Parramatta StadiumCrowd: 10,146Referee: Jason players of the match:3 - Jason Smith (Raiders)2 - Tom Learoyd-Lahrs (Raiders)1 - Lincoln Withers (Raiders)North Queensland Cowboys: 22Tries: Brenton Bowen, Aaron Payne, Johnathan Thurston, Shane TroncGoals: Johnathan Thurston 3/4Penrith Panthers: 6Tries: Shane RodneyGoals: Preston Campbell 1/1Half time: Cowboys 10-0Venue: Dairy Farmers StadiumCrowd: 16,808Referee: Ben players of the match:3 - Matthew Bowen (Cowboys)2 - Brenton Bowen (Cowboys)1 - Shane Rodney (Panthers)South Sydney Rabbitohs: 14Tries: David Fa'alogo, Luke MacDougall, Nathan MerrittGoals: Nathan Merritt 1/3Melbourne Storm: 38Tries: Michael Crocker, Chris Walker, Matt Geyer, Greg Inglis, Cameron Smith, Jeremy SmithGoals: Cameron Smith 7/8Half time: Storm 8-6Venue: Telstra StadiumCrowd: 8,083Referee: Gavin players of the match:3 - Cameron Smith (Storm)2 - Greg Inglis (Storm)1 - Luke MacDougall (Rabbitohs)Newcastle Knights: 32Tries: Todd Lowrie, David Seage, Steve Simpson, Brian Carney(2), Riley BrownGoals: Andrew Johns 4/7Brisbane Broncos: 30Tries: Darren Lockyer, Tame Tupou(2), Darius Boyd, Greg EastwoodGoals: Corey Parker 5/6Half time: Knights 20-14Venue: EnergyAustralia StadiumCrowd: 21,252Referee: Tony players of the match:3 - Danny Buderus (Knights)2 - Brian Carney (Knights)1 - Darren Lockyer (Broncos)Sydney Roosters: 14Tries: Nigel Plum, Amos RobertsGoals: Craig Fitzgibbon 3/3Canterbury Bulldogs: 30Tries: Tony Grimaldi, Willie Mason, Brad Morrin, Sonny Bill Williams, Daniel HoldsworthGoals: Hazem El Masri 5/5Half time: Roosters 12-6Venue: Aussie StadiumCrowd: 16,121Referee: Sean players of the match:3 - Willie Mason (Bulldogs)2 - Roy Asotasi (Bulldogs)1 - Tony Grimaldi (Bulldogs)Wests Tigers: 24Tries: Dean Collis, Daniel Fitzhenry, Todd Payten, Scott PrinceGoals: Brett Hodgson 4/5Manly Sea Eagles: 18Tries: Steve Menzies, Michael Monaghan, Paul Stephenson, Steve BellGoals: Matt Orford 1/4Half time: Tigers 16-14Venue: Leichhardt OvalCrowd: 20,231Referee: Russell players of the match:3 - Robert Farah (Tigers)2 - Steve Menzies (Sea Eagles)1 - Brett Hodgson (Tigers)Cronulla Sutherland Sharks: 30Tries: Luke Covell, David Simmons, Nigel Vagana, Lance Thompson, Darren AlbertGoals: Luke Covell 4/5, Lance Thompson 1/1St George Illawarra Dragons: 12Tries: Charles Leaneo(2)Goals: Aaron Gorrell 1/1, Ben Hornby 1/1Half time: 12 allVenue: Toyota ParkCrowd: 18,845Referee: Steven players of the match:3 - Adam Dykes (Sharks)2 - Paul Gallen (Sharks)1 - David Simmons (Sharks)NZ Warriors - ByeFULL DRAW, RESULTS & LINKS TO LIVE SCORES ? CLICK HERENext weekend?s matches:Fri 7:30 COUNTRY ORIGIN v CITY ORIGIN - DubboRound 9, 6-7 May 2006Sat 5:30 DRAGONS v WARRIORS - WIN StadiumSat 7:30 STORM v COWBOYS - Olympic Park Sat 7:30 BRONCOS v SEA EAGLES - Suncorp Stadium Sun 2:30 BULLDOGS v EELS - Telstra StadiumSun 3:00 TIGERS v KNIGHTS - Campbelltown StadiumSun 3:00 RAIDERS v SHARKS - Canberra StadiumSun 3:00 PANTHERS v RABBITOHS - CUA Stadium ROOSTERS v BYEFOR LATEST CENTREBET ODDSCLICK HERELEAGUEUNLIMITED.COM PLAYER AWARDS 2006LEADER BOARDThe players awards are decided by our live score updaters.Want to be a live score updater? For further enquiries, email us.16 pointsJohnathan Thurston (Cowboys)14 pointsCameron Smith (Storm)13 pointsAdam Dykes (Sharks)12 pointsAndrew Johns (Knights)11 pointsGreg Inglis (Storm), Matt Orford (Sea Eagles)10 pointsMatthew Bowen (Cowboys), Danny Buderus (Knights)9 pointsBen Kennedy (Sea Eagles), Willie Mason (Bulldogs)8 pointsHazem El Masri (Bulldogs), Mark Gasnier (Dragons), Clinton Schifcofske (Raiders)7 pointsSteve Bell (Sea Eagles), Karmichael Hunt (Broncos), Darren Lockyer (Broncos)6 pointsCraig Gower (Panthers), Mathew Head (Dragons), Nathan Hindmarsh (Eels), Corey Parker (Broncos), Ruben Wiki (Warriors)5 pointsRoy Asotasi (Bulldogs), Petero Civoniceva (Broncos), Robert Farah (Tigers), Nathan Fien (Warriors), Steve Menzies (Sea Eagles), Luke O'Donnell (Cowboys), Amos Roberts (Roosters), Jason Smith (Raiders), Alan Tongue (Raiders)4 pointsPreston Campbell (Panthers), Cooper Cronk (Storm), Aaron Gorrell (Dragons), Justin Hodges (Broncos), Brett Hodgson (Tigers), Mark O?Meley (Bulldogs), Steve Price (Warriors), Jamie Soward (Roosters), Rhys Wesser (Panthers), Paul Whatuira (Tigers)3 pointsLuke Covell (Sharks), Michael Crocker (Storm), Brett Finch (Roosters), Craig Fitzgibbon (Roosters), Adam MacDougall (Rabbitohs), Scott Prince (Tigers), Milton Thaiday (Knights), Lance Thompson (Sharks), Tame Tupou (Broncos), Lincoln Withers (Raiders),2 pointsLuke Bailey (Dragons), Brenton Bowen (Cowboys), George Carmont (Knights), Brian Carney (Knights), Peter Cusack (Rabbitohs), Daniel Fitzhenry (Tigers), Paul Gallen (Sharks), Awen Guttenbeil (Warriors), Ashley Harrison (Roosters), Tom Learoyd-Lahrs (Raiders), Josh Perry (Knights), Wade McKinnon (Eels), Anthony Minichiello (Roosters), Mark O'Meley (Bulldogs), Aaron Payne (Cowboys), Todd Polglase (Rabbitohs), Luke Priddis (Panthers), John Skandalis (Tigers), Matt Sing (Cowboys), Steven Southern (Cowboys), John Sutton (Rabbitohs), Brad Thorn (Broncos), Clinton Toopi (Warriors), Dean Young (Dragons)1 pointsDarren Albert (Sharks), Trent Barrett (Dragons), Paul Bowman (Cowboys), Nathan Cayless (Eels), Matt Cooper (Dragons), Michael Ennis (Broncos), Kurt Gidley (Knights), Matthew Gidley (Knights), Tony Grimaldi (Bulldogs), Lee Hookey (Panthers), Wairangi Koopu (Warriors), Luke MacDougall (Rabbitohs), Tony Martin (Warriors), Luke Patten (Bulldogs), Shane Rodney (Panthers), Brent Sherwin (Bulldogs), David Simmons (Sharks), Steve Simpson (Knights), Billy Slater (Storm), Tim Smith (Eels), Brett Stewart (Sea Eagles), Shane Tronc (Cowboys), Anthony Tupou (Roosters), Trent Waterhouse (Panthers), Simon Woolford (Raiders), Craig Wing (Roosters), William Zillman (Raiders)

Injury update: Roosters & Panthers

SYDNEY Roosters fullback Anthony Minichiello is facing back surgery which is expected to rule him out of this year's State of Origin series.

Weekend wrap

MELBOURNE backrower Michael Crocker will be hoping for some leniency from the NRL match review committee when it hands down its findings later today.

Engage Super League Rd 13 Review

HULL F.C. 28 (Yeaman 2, R Horne 2, Radford tries; Cook 4 goals) def. Bradford Bulls 12 (Pryce, Withers tries; I. Harris, B. Harris goals). Att: 12,180

Taylor Made For The Hard Yards

THE REPUTATION of David Taylor continues to grow, with the schoolboy front-rower helping Toowoomba to overcome arguably the most dominant pack in the competition and ending Redcliffe?s unbeaten start to the season.

City v Country sides named

BRAITH Anasta has been named at lock for City in the annual City Origin v Country Origin to be played next Friday night at Dubbo's Apex Oval.The former Bulldogs five-eighth and Kangaroo rep was recently overlooked for Australian selection and has been struggling find form in 2006.As the incumbent NSW five-eighth, Anasta is hoping to retain that position in the upcoming State of Origin series. Meanwhile Penrith's Craig Gower will be the City captain and has been named at five-eighth. Manly's Matt Orford has been named at halfback. Coach Tim Sheens believes Anasta's move to lock forward will better suit his style of play."We've got three quality players in the seven, six and 13 (jumpers). It's just a matter of finding spots for the three of them," he said."And what I'd like to see is him [Anasta] run a bit more, which I think from 13 he can do and from six he probably doesn't do enough."Seven new faces will be making their representative debut next Friday.Wests Tigers hooker Robbie Farah, Sharks lock Paul Gallen and Melbourne Storm forward Ryan Hoffman will be making their representative debut in the City side and will both start from the interchange bench.North Queensland Cowboys forward Mitchell Sargent and Newcastle Knights winger Anthony Quinn have been named for Country. Parramatta Eels utility Dean Widders and Melbourne forward Brett White have been named on the Country bench.Storm coach Craig Bellamy is the Country Origin coach.We've got a few new blokes who haven't played rep footy. That's always exciting," said Bellamy."We've got a few older guys as well, so we think it's a good mix."Canterbury Bulldogs backrower Andrew Ryan has been named Country captain. South Sydney back Adam MacDougall has also earned a place in the centres for Country. Under new Australian Rugby League guidelines, a number of players are unavailable including those who played in last Friday's Australia vs New Zealand Anzac Test match.TeamsCity: Brett Hodgson (Wests Tigers), Hazem El Masri (Bulldogs), Luke Lewis (Penrith), Matt Geyer (Melbourne) Eric Grothe (Parramatta), Craig Gower (Penrith, capt), Matt Orford (Manly), Braith Anasta (Sydney Roosters), Trent Waterhouse (Penrith), Lance Thompson (Cronulla), Joel Clinton (Penrith), Robbie Farah (Wests Tigers), Jason King (Manly). Interchange: Craig Wing (Sydney Roosters), John Skandalis (Wests Tigers), Paul Gallen (Cronulla), Ryan Hoffman (Melbourne).Country: Ben Hornby (St George Illawarra), Amos Roberts (Sydney Roosters), Chris Hicks (Manly), Adam MacDougall (South Sydney), Anthony Quinn (Newcastle), Kurt Gidley (Newcastle), Brett Finch (Sydney Roosters), Craig Fitzgibbon (Sydney Roosters), Andrew Ryan (Bulldogs, capt), Ben Creagh (St George Illawarra), Mitchell Sargent (North Queensland), Luke Priddis (Penrith), Brent Kite (Manly). Interchange: Preston Campbell (Penrith), Dean Widders (Parramatta), Clint Newton (Newcastle), Brett White (Melbourne).

West Tigers defeat Manly amidst referee controversy

TIGERS 24 vs Sea Eagles 18Round 9 - NRLLeichhardt Oval. Crowd: 20,231Referee: Russell SmithWests Tigers have held on to defeat the Manly Sea Eagles 24-18 amidst numerous controversial referee decisions at Leichhardt Oval today.In the 72nd minute, referee Russell Smith penalised Manly's Paul Stephenson for an incorrect play-the-ball despite the winger receiving interference from Tigers lock Jamaal Lolesi. The resulting penalty goal gave Wests Tigers a six point lead and the winning edge. It was one of several controversial referee decisions in a thrilling encounter, which saw a number of disallowed tries with breaches from both sides being missed by the referee and touch judges. After the match, Wests Tigers assistant coach Royce Simmonds was prompted to criticise the decisions in saying he "felt sorry" for the officials who he believed were "out of their depth" on a number of occasions.It was disappointing afternoon for Manly captain Ben Kennedy who was forced from the field with a calf strain in the 15th minute, Kennedy was backing up from Friday night's Test match. Half back Matt Orford then assumed the skipper role.Robbie Farah, wearing the No.7 jersey, played at hooker and looked in tremendous form in setting up two tries for Wests Tigers in the opening 10 minutes.With Australian rep Steve Menzies leading the way, Manly fought their way back into the match. Soon after, Manly's Michael Monaghan got the benefit of the doubt from video ref Chris Ward to take the score to 10-8 in favour of the Tigers.Manly's third try brought howls from the huge crowd when referee Smith missed a blatant knock-on in the lead-up to Steve Bell's four-pointer. The try and conversion gave Manly a 14-10 lead.But the Tigers struck back through Dean Collis and at half time the home side held a narrow 16-14 lead.In the 47th minute halfback Scott Prince brilliantly intercepted to score and put the Tigers further ahead. Menzies then setup play and replied through Stephenson who scored in the 56th minute to put the visitors back into the contest.With time running out, Hodgson kicked a penalty goal to put the Tigers six points in front.Wests Tigers: 24Tries: Dean Collis, Daniel Fitzhenry, Todd Payten, Scott PrinceGoals: Brett Hodgson 4/5Manly Sea Eagles: 18Tries: Steve Menzies, Michael Monaghan, Paul Stephenson, Steve BellGoals: Matt Orford 1/4By the clock:Plenty of players backing up from Friday's Test match but both teams pretty close to sides named. Kick off..!5 min: Still 0-0. Wests Tigers getting the early run of possession.6 min: TRY Wests TigersTodd Payten scores out wide for the Tigers. Brett Hodgson unable to convert Tigers 4-09 min: TRY Wests TigersDaniel Fitzhenry scores for Wests Tigers. Hodgson converts. Tigers 10-013 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesSteve Menzies strikes back for Manly. Matt Orford unsuccessful with conversion attempt. Tigers 10-419 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesMichael Monaghan scores for Manly. Conversion unsuccessful. Tigers 10-830 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesSteve Bell continues his good form with a try as Manly hit the front. Conversion from Oford is successful. Sea Eagles 14-1038 min: TRY Wests TigersDean Collis scores to level the scores. Hodgson's conversion puts the home side back in front! Tigers 16-14Half time: Tigers 16-14A tight first half possession-wise with Wests Tigers getting early breaks only to see Manly get the better share as the half progressed. Too close to call.Second half underway...47 min: TRY Wests TigersScott Prince gets a try and Wests Tigers go further ahead. Hodgson converts. Tigers 22-1456 min: TRY Manly Sea EaglesPaul Stephenson scores to bring Manly back into contention. Orford unsuccessful with the conversion. Tigers 22-1860 min: Possible try to Benji Marshall for the Tigers - video ref checking...VERDICT: NO TRY.70 min: Still Wests Tigers in front 22-18.72 min: PENALTY GOAL Wests TigersHodsgon slots a penalty goal. Tigers 24-1878 min: NEWS Tigers have the ball as the clock wounds down. Crowd: 20,231Full tme: Wests Tigers win 24-18. A thriller with the goal kicking being the difference. players of the match:3 - Robert Farah (Tigers)2 - Steve Menzies (Sea Eagles)1 - Brett Hodgson (Tigers)-----------------------------------------

Sharks too good in local derby

ROUND 9 Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 30 v St George Illawarra Dragons 12at Toyota ParkReferees: Steven ClarkMatch Summary:The Cronulla Sutherland Sharks have defeated the St George Illawarra Dragons 30-12 at Toyota Park this afternoon.The Sharks got off to a great start when Lance Thompson scored following a cut-out pass from Adam Dykes. The lead stretched to 12 soon after when Covell scored after some poor defence from the Dragons.To the Dragons credit they hit back late in the second half with two tries to newcomer Charles Leaneo to go in at the break locked together at 12 all.Despite having the wind at their backs in the first half, St George Illawarra appeared to be struggling for options, with the loss of centre Mark Gasnier after 15 minutes (hip injury) compounding their woes.The Sharks came out in the second half and scored two tries in 12 minutes. The Dragons never looked to be in the match as they made error after error and were held scoreless in the second half.Adam Dykes was outstanding for the Sharks and had a hand in nearly every try. Paul Gallen and David Simmons both had good games for the Sharks and Lance Thompson worked hard and couldn't help himself having a few words to his old teams mates after kicking the goal in the Sharks' last try.For the Dragons they will have to go back to the drawing board after a second half performance riddled with errors. Scorers:Cronulla Sutherland Sharks: 30Tries: Luke Covell, David Simmons, Nigel Vagana, Lance Thompson, Darren AlbertGoals: Luke Covell 4/5, Lance Thompson 1/1St George Illawarra Dragons: 12Tries: Charles Leaneo(2)Goals: Aaron Gorrell 1/1, Ben Hornby 1/1By the Clock:0 min: NEWS A sunny afternoon here today at Toyota Park for today's clash between the Sharks & Dragons. The Sharks come into the game in great form after good wins in their last 2 matches after a shaky start to the season, where on the other hand the Dragons have been inconsistent in recent weeks. A good close contest expected here today.1 min: NEWS Play underway4th min: NEWS off to the Video ref possible Sharks try4th min: NEWS NO TRY - goal line dropout Dragons5th min: NEWS Sharks blow a great chance by knocking on in the dummy half8th min: NEWS Still 0 - 0 strong defence from both sides as the Sharks enjoy the better field position10 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksLance Thompson opens the scoring after a great cutout pass from Adam Dykes.Conversion successful. Sharks 6-013 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksThe Sharks spread the ball wide and Covell scores after some poor defence from the Dragons.Conversion successful Sharks 12-015 min: NEWS Dragons blow a try after Hornby chips over to Gasnier who drops the ball trying to put the ball down.17 min: NEWS Off to the Video ref possible Dragons try17 min: NEWS NO - TRY - Penalty to the Sharks, Best penalised for tackling Covell in the air.NEWS - Gasnier (Dragons) forced off with a hip injury.23 min: NEWS Dragons also blow a try after Barrett launches up a high bomb and young Morris looses the ball with the line beckoning.31 min: NEWS This time the Sharks blow another try with the line wide open, lots of missed opportunities for both sides.34 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsLeaneo bursts through the Sharks defence to score for the Dragons.Conversion successful. Sharks 12-638 min: TRY St George Illawarra DragonsDragons Charles Leaneo score again on the back of a great break from Trent Barrett. Conversion successful from Ben Hornby. 12 all.40 min: NEWS Halftime - The Dragons have hit back late in the half with 2 tries to go into the sheds locked at 12 all after the Sharks were the better side for the majority of the first half. A great contest awaits, the Sharks will have the use of a stiff breeze in the second half.41 min: NEWS Mark Gasnier's first half injury report is that he will take no further part.44 min: NEWS Barrett comes within inches of scoring then loses the ball in the dummy half a let off for the Sharks46 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksThe Sharks spread the ball for Dykes to run around Bailey and link up with Albert to score out wide. Conversion unsuccessful Sharks 16-1252 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksMore poor defence from the Dragons as David Simmons puts on the speed to beat the defence and score an easy try. Conversion successful Sharks 22-1254 min: NEWS Goal line drop out for the Dragons after a great kick from Dykes that sits in the in goal58 min: NEWS Dragons putting the pressure on now with back to back goal line drop outs from the Sharks61 min: PENALTY GOAL Cronulla Sutherland SharksCovell converts from in front after a penalty from Trent Barret Sharks 24-1263 min: NEWS The Dragons are self exploding here with too many errors and are handing the game to the Sharks73 min: NEWS The game looks to have slipped away from the Dragons as they continue to make errors. The Sharks look to be home75 min: NEWS Unsuccessful field goal attemp from Brett Kearney78 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland SharksThe Sharks go up the middle of the ruck and Vagana supports and runs away to score the try and rub salt into the wounds of the Dragons. Lance Thompson converts against his old team Sharks 30-1280 min: NEWS Fulltime - The Sharks have completely outplayed a disappointing and error riddled Dragons side in the local derby at Toyota and come away easy winners 30 - 1280 min: NEWS Fulltime - The Sharks have completely outplayed a disappointing and error riddled Dragons side in the local derby at Toyota Park and come away easy winners 30 - players of the match:3 - Adam Dykes (Sharks)2 - Paul Gallen (Sharks)1 - David Simmons (Sharks)-----------------------------------------

Bulldogs tackle their way to victory

ROUND 9 Sydney Roosters 14 v Canterbury Bulldogs 30at Aussie StadiumReferees: Sean HampsteadMatch Summary:The Canterbury Bulldogs have recorded an impressive 30-14 victory over the Sydney Roosters in their NRL clash at Aussie Stadium today. The Bulldogs trailed 12-0 after 32 minutes, 12-6 at half time and 14-6 not long after half time.The Bulldogs dominated most of the first half, but poor finishing let them down. The Roosters opened the scoring after 25 minutes when Nigel Plum barged across the line for a 6-0 lead. That lead was doubled shortly afterwards with a great Roosters team try finished off by Amos Roberts. The Bulldogs struck back just before half time when Tony Grimaldi ran 30 metres from dummy half.The second half was very similar to the first, but the teams changed roles; the Bulldogs were defending their backsides off and the Roosters were pushing to score. Craig Fitzgibbon knocked a penalty over just after the resumption, but that was all the scoring for the Roosters in the second half, as the Bulldogs piled on 24 unanswered points. Daniel Holdsworth dotted down after 48 minutes, and then the Bulldogs took the lead 8 minutes later with a blockbusting barge over try to Willie Mason. The Bulldogs then had to defend madly for 20 minutes before a Luke Patten break was held up in a superb cover tackle by Amos Roberts. The Roosters couldn?t hold out for the set of six and conceded a try to Bulldogs prop Brad Morrin. Matt Utai made a try saving tackle on Setaimata Sa when he came down with a bomb just short of the line and Utai managed to wrap him up with just 4 minutes to go. After the siren the Bulldogs emphasised their second half domination with a try to Sonny Bill Williams after the siren. The only player placed on report was John Doyle from the Roosters, while Corey Hughes missed a large amount of the match with a hamstring injury.Scorers:Sydney Roosters: 14Tries: Nigel Plum, Amos RobertsGoals: Craig Fitzgibbon 3/3Canterbury Bulldogs: 30Tries: Tony Grimaldi, Willie Mason, Brad Morrin, Sonny Bill Williams, Daniel HoldsworthGoals: Hazem El Masri 5/5By the Clock:Swirling wind at the Football Stadium. Field is in good condition and it is a nice day in Sydney.Counting down to kickoff in the battle between these two hated rivals. The Roosters won both games in 2005 - 29-16 at Telstra Stadium and 32-12 at todays venue. Both teams are trying to get onto a 2 game winning streak. Fairly sparse looking crowd in attendance.1 min: Underway at the Sydney Football Stadium!4 min: NEWS Utai is bundled into touch by Sa and Perrett. The Roosters turn it over from the scrum.5 min: NEWS Andrew Ryan held up over the line. Roosters hold out the set.6 min: NEWS Finch attempts a 40/20 and the ball sails out on the full.7 min: NEWS Utai follows through a grubber kick but knocks it on as he spins to ground it. Call made by the on field referee for a change.9 min: NEWS Now Ben Roberts puts the ball out on the full.10 min: NEWS Anasta throws a rushed pass to Finch who drops it in good attacking position.16 min: NEWS The Roosters make their first foray into the Bulldogs 20 but follow it up with a dreadful kick.17 min: NEWS The Bulldogs are coming up with some really sloppy passes.19 min: NEWS The Bulldogs go on attack following a penalty, but Roberts puts in a poor kick on the third tackle. The Roosters turn the ball over though. The Bulldogs respond by passing the ball over the touchline again.21 min: NEWS The Bulldogs lose the ball in their own half, giving them one of their best attacking opportunities.22 min: NEWS Anasta appears to have dived on a ball in the in goal to knock the ball on in the in goal, but the Roosters earn a goal line drop out.25 min: TRY Sydney RoostersThe tackle count gets reset, and Plum runs through a yawning gap to score to the right of the posts to score his first try. Fitzgibbon converts. Roosters 6-026 min: NEWS Morley knocks on on the 2nd tackle. 8 Rooster errors to 5 Bulldogs errors.27 min: NEWS The Roosters survive after making an error on the first set after the kickoff.28 min: NEWS Corey Hughes has a hamsting injury - the probability of his return is unknown.30 min: NEWS Mellars makes a brave attempt to get out of the ingoal but he gets trapped and the Bulldogs get a repeat set.32 min: TRY Sydney RoostersThe Roosters spread the ball inside their 20. Perrett busts down the wing, he passes inside to Finch who finds Roberts who avoids some tacklers to score under the posts. A great breakout try. Fitzgibbon converts. Roosters 12-036 min: NEWS Plum putting in some great hits today. He knocks Mason onto his arse.37 min: TRY Canterbury BulldogsGrimaldi runs 30 metres from dummy half to score beside the posts. El Masri unsuprisingly converts, and reaches 100 points for the season. Roosters 12-639 min: NEWS The Bulldogs let the ball bounce across the dead ball line from the restart.40 min: NEWS Sonny Bill kicks ahead just before halftime, it bounces of Anasta who picks it up and puts centralising kicks that it taken care of safely by the Bulldogs.And so ends a first half punctuated by errors and dopey football. The Bulldogs dominated for most of the first half but find themselves down 12-6.40 min: NEWS Second half underway.42 min: PENALTY GOAL Sydney RoostersThe Bulldogs are penalised for stripping the ball. Fitzgibbon adds the points from out in front. Roosters 14-644 min: NEWS Corey Hughes is due to return to the math shortly.44 min: NEWS The kickoff goes out on the full, penalty Roosters on halfway.45 min: NEWS The Roosters go close to scoring but Wing forces the pass and it is gathered up by the Dogs.46 min: NEWS ON REPORT - John Doyle is put on report for a high tackle on Nate Myles.47 min: NEWS A good set from the Bulldogs gets them a goal line drop out.48 min: TRY Canterbury BulldogsAfter getting the repeat set, Maitua goes through a gap and throws a pass inside to Holdsworth who scores under the black dot. El Masri converts. Roosters 14-1251 min: NEWS The Roosters get a repeat set after a bomb is fumbled, but they are held out by the Bulldogs defence.54 min: NEWS Still quite a few errors in this match.56 min: TRY Canterbury BulldogsMason ploughs his way over the line on the last tackle, scores under the posts. El Masri converts. Bulldogs 18-1456 min: NEWS Utai drops the kickoff and the Roosters will get the ball right back.58 min: NEWS The Bulldogs defend their error.61 min: NEWS Anasta breaks up the middle, he kicks ahead for Finch. Finch can't see the ball and the Bulldogs are forced to play a goal line drop out.63 min: NEWS The Roosters are struggling in attack. The repeat set ends poorly as Sa kicks the ball dead. Roosters get the ball back via a strip.64 min: NEWS A far better kick from the Roosters nets them a line drop out. El Masri seems to have added the goose step to his set of moves.67 min: NEWS Patten breaks out and is tracked down and held up in a fantastic tackle by Amos Roberts.68 min: TRY Canterbury BulldogsAfter the Patten break the ball heads across field, Asotasi offloads to Morrin who scores amongst a bunch of tacklers. El Masri converts. The Bulldogs are out to a 10 point lead with 10 to go. Bulldogs 24-1475 min: NEWS The Roosters are starting their sets at the wrong end of the field if they expect to win this game.76 min: NEWS Sa comes down with a bomb, and somehow Matt Utai tackles him just short of the line, saving a certain try.78 min: NEWS Patten goes back to grab the ball from a breakout. The Bulldogs spread the ball wide and drop the ball 20 metres out.78 min: NEWS Shillington drops the ball and the Bulldogs will go on to win this game.80 min: NEWS With only 50 seconds to go the Roosters throw the ball over the sideline from the scrum.80 min: TRY Canterbury BulldogsThe Bulldogs throw the ball around after the siren and Sonny Bill Williams scores to put an exclamation mark on this win! El Masri converts. Bulldogs players of the match:3 - Willie Mason2 - Roy Asotasi1 - Tony Grimaldi-----------------------------------------

Knights hold on to beat Broncos

ROUND 9 Newcastle Knights 32 v Brisbane Broncos 30at EnergyAustralia StadiumReferees: Tony ArcherMatch Summary:The Newcastle Knights have beaten the Brisbane Broncos 32-30 at Energy Australia Stadium this afternoon in front of a crowd of over 21,000 people.Talk about a see-sawing match. The lead changed hands several times throughout the match but it was a penalty goal to Andrew Johns when the scores were locked at 30 all that broke the deadlock and ultimately proved to be the difference between the two sides.The match itself was played at a cracking pace for the entire eighty minutes and with six players from both sides backing up after Friday night?s test match, it was a superb effort from both sides to play such an entertaining match.For the Knights, Danny Buderus was excellent out of dummy half and Brian Carney proved to be a handful for the Broncos defence, scoring two tries and wreaking havoc from the back and from dummy half.For the Broncos, Darren Lockyer was the star while he was well supported overall by his forward pack, they just didn?t have enough left in the tank late in the match to get the Broncos home.The irony is the Broncos lost to the Raiders by two last week in a very similar match and get beaten by two this week.Scorers:Newcastle Knights: 32Tries: Todd Lowrie, David Seage, Steve Simpson, Brian Carney(2), Riley BrownGoals: Andrew Johns 4/7Brisbane Broncos: 30Tries: Darren Lockyer, Tame Tupou(2), Darius Boyd, Greg EastwoodGoals: Corey Parker 5/6By the Clock:1 min: NEWS We are underway at Energy Australia Stadium this afternoon in front a great crowd, covered in red and blue.4 min: PENALTY GOAL Brisbane BroncosBrisbane open the scoring through a penalty goal to Coery Parker. Broncos 2-011 min: NEWS Brisbane are applying all the pressure to the Knights in the opening ten minutes but are yet to cross for a try. Newcastle are hanging on. Just.12 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosBrisbane score through New Zealand winger Tame Tupou with a great backline movement. Brisbane are dominating in the opening stanza of the match. Broncos 8-016 min: TRY Newcastle KnightsNewcastle hit straight back through David Seage but the Broncos defence was caught napping and the Knights made them pay in quick time. Broncos 8-620 min: TRY Newcastle KnightsThe Knights have turned things around in quick time with Steve Simpson barging his way across out wide after some good lead up work. A very high quality game of footy unfolding here. Knights 10-827 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosBrisbane cross again in a see sawing contest that sees the side dominating possession scoring the points in quick time. Big winger Tame Tupou crosses for his second of the match and is proving to be a handful for the Knights defence out wide. Broncos 14-1032 min: NEWS Both teams using the football very well and making plenty of metres when in possession with Irish winger Brian Carney making some insightful runs from the backfiled and out of dummy half.37 min: TRY Newcastle KnightsNewcastle score through Todd Lowrie after Shane Webcke gave away a penalty for an incorrect play the ball. Kurt Gidley threw a simple inside ball that beat Corey Parker and the fullback Darius Boyd had no chance of stopping Lowrie Knights 16-1440 min: TRY Newcastle KnightsNewcastle are in again through Brian Carney, who has had a great game so far and caps it off with a try right on the stroke of half time. This try could prove very costly for the Broncos. Knights 20-1441 min: NEWS We are underway in the second half.43 min: TRY Newcastle KnightsThe Knights are in again through winger Brian Carney who is having a sensational game. The Knights are really starting to dominate the Broncos throuhg sweeping passing movements and the Broncos simply have no answer at the moment. Knights 24-1446 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosBroncos are in again to get themselves within a converted try of the Knights and I am starting to get RSI from all the typing. This match is moving at a very fast pace with tries every couple of minutes. Where will it stop? Knights 24-2050 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosThe Broncos are in again and my hands are getting worse! Defence is not in the vocab of either side today with 48 points scored in 50 minutes. Should be a 40 all draw by full time if the this trend continues. 24 all.52 min: TRY Brisbane BroncosCasey McGuire scampers out of dummy half, comes to a complete stand still to draw the fullback, then passes to Lockyer who races 40 metres untouched to score under the posts to give the Broncos a six point lead and a sixteen point turnaround in less than ten minutes. Broncos 30-2457 min: TRY Newcastle KnightsClint Newton throws a flick pass to Riley Brown, who steps Petero C easliy and is limping badly to level the scores for the Knights. 30 all.63 min: PENALTY GOAL Newcastle KnightsNewcastle take the lead again but I doubt the scoring is finished. The excitement level has reached fever pitch and the crowd are right into this game. Knights 32-3070 min: NEWS Shaun Berrigan loses the ball in his own half to give the Knights a great opportunity to wrap up the match.74 min: NEWS Both teams out on their feet. Will the Knights hang on to win or will the Broncos prevail?78 min: NEWS Justin Hodges chips ahead and the ball ends up with Todd Lowrie. Very poor option from Hodges. Broncos will get the ball back one more time.80 min: NEWS Newcastle hang on to win a two point thriller against the Broncos in front of a great crowd and the result was in doubt right up until the final ten seconds of the match. A penalty goal by Johns was ultimately the difference between the two players of the match:3 - Danny Buderus2 - Brian Carney1 - Darren Lockyer-----------------------------------------

Storm hold-out winless Rabbitohs

ROUND 9 South Sydney Rabbitohs 14 v Melbourne Storm 38at Telstra StadiumReferees: Gavin BadgerMatch Summary:The Melbourne Storm has defeated the South Sydney Rabbitohs tonight by 38-14 at Telstra Stadium in Homebush.Despite a spirited effort by the Bunnies and a close first half, Melbourne had too much class for the home side with a second half flurry of tries proving too much for South Sydney to handle.The game was an arm wrestle for the first half with Melbourne opening the scoring in the 18th minute through Cameron Smith after an extended period of heavy contact in the forwards. With his conversion and a penalty four minutes later the Storm took a cosy 8-nil lead.Souths hit back late in the half after slashing run from Luke MacDougall set up a try for flying winger Nathan Merritt who is having a superb season. With Merritt adding the extras the Rabbitohs went to the sheds at halftime trailing 8-6 and looking very much in the game.But Melbourne turned up the heat early in the second half, scoring tries through Greg Inglis and Michael Crocker to claim a 14-point advantage with their lead extending to 20-6. Shortly after, Crocker found himself in the sin-bin for a professional foul, opening the way for Souths to come back into the contest.They scored two quick tries through Luke MacDougall and David Fa?alogo to reign in the Storm and trail by 20-14 with 20 minutes of play remaining. But Melbourne rallied in the final quarter, dominating possession and laying on three more tries to Matt Geyer, Jeremy Smith and Chris Walker to run out 38-14 victors, dishing up what turned out to be an embarrassing result for Souths after plenty of effort had been exerted on their behalf.The victory has set up a rare treat next Saturday night as Melbourne host the Cowboys in a table-topping clash that is sure to be a cracker of a game. The Bunnies are well and truly at the other end of the scale though, slumping to last position on the ladder after the bye to the Warriors and their superior for-and-against took them from the foot of the competition table.Scorers:South Sydney Rabbitohs: 14Tries: David Fa'alogo, Luke MacDougall, Nathan MerrittGoals: Nathan Merritt 1/3Melbourne Storm: 38Tries: Michael Crocker, Chris Walker, Matt Geyer, Greg Inglis, Cameron Smith, Jeremy SmithGoals: Cameron Smith 7/8By the Clock:Both teams as per the program here at Telstra Stadium. It's a cool night and a reasonable crowd has gathered to watch this contest.1 min: NEWS And we're underway in the first half...7 min: NEWS No score as yet but the forwards are sorting themselves out early in the game with Melbourne enjoying the lions share of possession.13 min: NEWS Both teams still hunting their first points of the match. Good even contest at this point.18 min: TRY Melbourne StormIn-form rake Cameron Smith finds his way to the line after the Storm apply some good pressure to the Bunnies line. He converts his try and the visitors take the lead. Storm 6-030 min: NEWS No further score as yet with this game turning into a real arm-wrestle. The Storm are enjoying more possession but can't seem to convert it into points this stage.34 min: PENALTY GOAL Melbourne StormThe Storm take an easy two points on offer following an infringment in the ruck by Souths. This game is very tight with the Bunnies putting in some stiff resistence and these two points could come in handy later on in the match. Storm 8-039 min: TRY South Sydney RabbitohsThe Bunnies hit back just before halftime through try-scoring maching Nathan Merritt. He jinked his was to the line following a good break by Luke MacDougall. Merritt lands the goal from the sideline to make a game of it. Storm 8-640 min: NEWS Halftime: This game has been a fairly rugged contest and probably not what most of the League community was expecting. The simple facts are that Souths are competing well with the Storm and this game will not be a pushover for the visitors. Souths are chasing their first victory for the season against the table-topping Storm and they're certainly in the hunt at the moment. If the Bunnies keep their composure and continue to play "in your face" footy to the Storm they may well cause an upset. I'm sure Melbourne will have plenty to say about it though and the second half shapes as a very good contest.41 min: NEWS And we're underway in the second half...45 min: NEWS Melbourne again taking the possession advantage early in the second half.47 min: TRY Melbourne StormBoom Storm rookie Greg Inglis snatches a try from a Scott Hill kick and puts the Bunnies on the back foot. Smith converts and maintains the 8-point advantage. Storm 14-650 min: TRY Melbourne StormAnother in-form Storm player scores a try, with second-rower Michael Crocker crossing the stripe. He's furthering his claims for a starting berth in the Maroons side along with hooker Cameron Smith, who adds the extras and opens up a good lead. Storm 20-654 min: NEWS Mick Crocker gets a spell in the sin bin after a professional foul.57 min: TRY South Sydney RabbitohsThe Bunnies hit back through winger Luke MacDougall who is having a strong game. Souths are staying in touch with the Storm much the same way they did last week. Merrit fails to convert. Storm 20-1060 min: TRY South Sydney RabbitohsBack-rower David Fa'alogo breaks through the defensive line to get Souths right into the game. He's done well tonight after backing up from the Test 24 hours ago. Merrit falls short again but the gap has narrowed and the home team are within striking distance. Storm 20-1464 min: NEWS Crocker back on the field for the Storm.64 min: TRY Melbourne StormMakeshift Storm five-eighth Matt Geyer bags a try for the visitors, seemingly taking the game away from the Rabbitohs. Smith fails for the first time tonight Storm 24-1469 min: PENALTY GOAL Melbourne StormSmith boots another penalty to take the lead to 12 points with about ten minutes to go. Storm 26-1478 min: TRY Melbourne StormJeremy Smith sniffs out a try for the Storm as they put away the Rabbitohs. Cameron Smith kicks goal and Melbourne have this one wrapped up. Storm 32-1480 min: TRY Melbourne StormThe Storm score another try close to the siren through Chris Walker to run-out big winners. Smith converts and the scoreline is a little embarrassing for the Bunnies. Storm 38-1480 min: NEWS Fulltime here at Homebush with the Storm running out winners by 38-16 and leaving the Rabbitohs winless so far for the players of the match:3 - Cameron Smith2 - Greg Inglis1 - Luke MacDougall-----------------------------------------

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