By Stephen Gallagher
Broncos 26 Raiders 18
It was good to be back at Suncorp, because the Broncos got the job done.
Their first half registered three converted tries was always going to be the difference, so the result was in the bag, but it was just by how much.
And when 18-0 became 24-0, the Raiders looked defeated and done.
Credit to them, reserve rake Kurt Baptise sparked a mini comeback, with two tries himself.
The Broncos were led by a hat-trick to fullback Darius Boyd and their forwards muscling up, finally.
Wests Tigers 30 Rabbitohs 14
It was an ambush, as the Tigers got the result for the second time this year over the Bunnies – a side with their season in disarray.
The Tigers played positive footy. There was confidence, there was support play, and there were world class tries.
The Rabbitohs looked shell-shocked after the Tigers took a 10-0 lead, and I could see in their body language that they’d already given this game up.
Credit to the Tigers, who never took their foot off the throttle, a couple of silly errors but overall outplayed the Rabbitohs.
Warriors 50 Knights 14
Well, the Knights are last on the table for a reason. They’re terrible. The Warriors put 50 on for the first time in a long time, making it 86 points in two outings and they may just have their groove back.
The first half almost seemed to go a point a minute, and the Knights looked to be in the game despite some strong Warrior tries. 22-14 seemed to be a fair reflection of the match at half time.
That was the last time the Knights scored any points. Being flogged in the second half as winger David Fusitua bagged four in the match, and six in his last two performances.
The Warriors are looking good. This is scary.
Eels 22 Titans 12
Darwin was the home venue for Parramatta, and the home fans were treated to a win. However an 8-0 Titans score-line after 12 minutes saw the Gold Coast in a healthy position.
That was it for them until the very end. It seemed the Eels had enough of being behind, and finally cracked in to gear. NRL Rookie Bevan French looked really comfortable on the wing, and the Eels forwards were able to get a few offloads away to help get them on the front foot.
A few penalty goals by Michael Gordon sealed the deal. The Titans looked really shaky for 60 minutes. You won’t win games like that.
Storm 46 Roosters 0
Yep, I didn’t see this result coming! 7 straight wins over the Roosters was stamped by this emphatic victory.
Fijian winger Suliasi Vunivalu nabbed a hat-trick, but put a wheelie-bin on the edge of this Storm backline and it’d score at least 10 tries a season too.
The Roosters offered nothing. Their only opportunity in the first half was struck out by a stumbling Blake Ferguson who eventually knocked on a metre from the line.
Melbourne are just a rugby league powerhouse. They know what works, and they stick by this recipe of success.
Every time the Roosters tried to apply pressure, the Storm disarmed them.
On attack, this Melbourne side is slick and hard to defend.
Panthers 31 Sea Eagles 24
The first half of this match was a typical Sunday outing in the sun for the Sea Eagles at Brookie! They were having a field day.
Dylan Walker crossed the white line two minutes in to the game and showed a grit of steel about him. The Panthers did hit back, but from then on it was all Manly.
They looked like a football team, for the first time in a few weeks. Despite all their injuries, this team was actually finding it’s feet.
A 16 point lead at half time soon turned to a 20 point lead. Unfortunately, that was it in the scoring column for the maroon and whites.
The Panthers put on an absolute second half clinic inspired by 18 year old Nathan Cleary, who nabbed himself a four pointer and dominated with his passing game.
It was an onslaught. There’s not many days in history where a Sea Eagles side at home lead by 20 and lose by 7. Trent Barrett’s chair kicking antics in the box was more than called for after his side blew it.
Anthony Griffin’s men showed a lot of determination to come back from that. A second half that may lead them to power on through the second half of the season.
Bulldogs 34 Dragons 16
This was a thrilling match for 60 minutes.
Both sides were in it, plenty of big hits and a big old arm wrestle.
However this match will only be remembered for the disgraceful call by the bunker leading to a Bulldogs try.
Apparently Tony Williams accidentally passed it to himself, propelling it forward and setting up a try.
Everyone was purplexed at the decision, until it was realised former Bulldogs player Luke Pattern was in the bunker.
It deflated the Dragons, and frustration threw them out, letting the Bulldogs run away with it.
Sharks 13 Cowboys 10
And the wins just keep rolling for Cronulla.
A match that had the intensity of an Origin clash, these two sides cane out swinging.
Big hits, powerful runs and quality ball control meant this match was one of the best this year.
Valentine Holmes’ intercept try was the best solo effort of the year.
The guts of it is for the Sharks is like any good team from years gone by – they find ways to win footy games. A stellar match and both sides gave it their all.
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