By Stephen Gallagher
This ten point win could be enough for Souths to get their season back on track.
A fast, strong start by the Red V, donning a wonderful Indigenous jersey saw them continue their impressive record of scoring first in every game this season.
However it was the Rabbitohs who came back strongly, a two point lead saw them take the half time spoils in a so far high quality game.
And the scoreline continued to go back and forth between the two teams, but it was a stroke of luck, that saw them get to the ball first as Dragons custodian came up with thin air trying to ground the pill – and Souths’ Paul Carter getting the four points.
A late surge by a cut Will Matthews was not enough, Adam Reynolds sealing the deal with a penalty right on full time.
Cowboys 19 Broncos 18
Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Non a truer statement was said in regards to future-immortal Jonathan Thurston.
Starring in his 250th appearance, it was going to be a JT special to help them get over the line against the Broncos.
The last two times these two met, it was a one-point thriller in Golden Point.
The Cowboys struck first, but it was all Brisbane from that point. Three tries and a penalty goal set the team sitting in first spot to a 18-6 lead. Very similar to the Grand Final of last season.
But twelve points in eight minutes from the North Queenslanders ensured the last fifteen minutes were going to be thrilling.
After being winded in the play previous to the play the ball, JT took the team on his shoulders, and crushed a field goal with 5 to go. Sending the Brisbane players to their knees – a feeling they know all too well of late against the Cowboys.
That was it, a one pointer in JT’s 250th to win it. And win it he did.
Tigers 20 Knights 12
The battle of the duds, the Tigers were brave in this win.
In what was their fourth win of the season, this dour match could have been enough for rugby league fanatics across the world to switch to union.
It was tight for all of ten minutes, then the defence of both sides opened up like Sydney Heads. The only thing stopping this match raining tries was the lack of execution and poor mistakes with ball in hand.
The Tigers were good enough to win this one. They took the line on with speed, and did not panic when they were trailing. One trait to take out of this match.
The Knights will be scratching their heads in disappointment, but at least they didn’t get dicked like the previous week.
Raiders 38 Warriors 12
It was a rugby league first for New Plymouth – and it was all green from about 20 minutes in.
In rugby heartland, it was interesting to see the turnout, and just under 13,000 in what was poor conditions all day turned out to see a one sided raid by Canberra.
The Warriors are in disarray. There’s no effort, and at this rate – I would tip the Knights to beat them for sure.
The Raiders took the most of all their chances, despite their handling errors out-weighing the Warriors – they did convert their chances.
20-0 half time lead and it was over from there. Warriors prop Sam Lisone took the comeback in his shoulders, but the lack of support saw this fizzle out and made the other members of his team look even worse.
Take nothing away from the Raiders, who after a heart-wrenching loss the week before were clinical in their display and rightfully notched up 38 points in a scoring frenzy.
Sharks 20 Sea Eagles 12
A win would see the Sharks sit pretty in first spot – and they’d be able to notch up their eighth straight win.
The Sea Eagles have a great record over the Sharks, with more then 50 wins separating the two in history.
However on Saturday night history was made in another sense. A blistering start saw the Sharkies take a 12-0 lead in what was a ‘one-way, blink and you’ll miss it’ start to the match.
However when Valentine Holmes notched up his 10th for the season, that was it for the scoring for Cronulla at the time as the Sea Eagles put some sets back to back and crossed right on half time.
Then the Sea Eagles notched up two more, with the scoreline set at 12 a piece, the fans were biting their nails in nervousness.
But it was all Cronulla in the last quarter, notching a penalty and a Ben Barba try to see them go eight-straight in the clubs biggest successful run in a long time.
Titans 28 Panthers 24
Penrith’s season of being consistency inconsistent continued.
They were hot out of the blocks, and this first half soon turned in to a display of attacking excellence by both sides.
At half time, it was hard to know who was going to come out on top – a 12-12 scoreline attributed to this.
And again, a see-saw of top notch tries led this time to be a tense finish – and when Leilani Latu hit the biggest gap to score by the sticks, it seemed a 6 point margin was going to be enough for Penrith to notch up three straight.
Alas, the Titans who impressed in the second half last week, did very much the same in the final ten minutes – with tries to Ash Taylor and Anthony Don swinging the game their way with no chance for the Panthers to retaliate.
Bulldogs 32 Roosters 20
Two teams with a rich history of success, and two teams who love going up against each other. This game was always going to be a quality Sunday production.
But it was the home side who proved why they are in the top eight, stunning the Roosters to be up 18-0 and a personal highlight from Josh Reynolds who scored an absolutely perfect solo try.
Two minutes from half time, the Roosters worked it out left again this time met with success.
What happened just before half time though was seriously impressive.
A lazy penalty given 60 metres out saw the Roosters take action. A brilliant display of athleticism and strength by wonderkid Latrell Mitchell saw the Chooks sneak right back in to this match.
But this effort right on half time was all in vein, as the Bulldogs came out of the cage the more settled of the two – and put eight points on with not much effort.
The Roosters were always trying to catch the Bulldogs, which ultimately was the deciding factor in the match. A Canterbury Bankstown blitz in the first 35 minutes was enough to see them come out victors as Tux Wonder Dogs.
Storm 18 Eels 6
It wasn’t the flashest game of rugby league to round out the week, but the Storm got the job done.
And for the Parramatta Eels – They now need to win 12 or their 13 remaining games. An almost impossible feat.
The Storm’s kicking game was clinical, turning the Eels around every chance they got – forcing them to bring it out of their own half.
The Eels never really had a chance to get themselves in to the game. It was a poor showing from them.
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