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Roosters Trampled By Stampeding Broncos And Bunnies Burned By Dragons

By HeBeGeeBee on April 19, 2011 in Sport

What a week in Rugby League! It started with Wayne Bennett rejecting the South Sydney Rabbitohs’ coaching position, instead opting for a 6-8 million dollar deal from new Knights billionaire owner Nathan Tinkler. Following this, Jamal ‘Boy Giant’ Idris chose to join the Gold Coast Titans for the next five years, pocketing a cool $1.8 million for his services. Then there were calls for players to be offered more protection due to numerous concussions and to top things off, Todd Carney could be benched for the rest of the season due to a breach of his off-field obligations. So if you were at the races on Saturday or missed any games over the weekend, this is the place to catch up on all the victories and losses for your favourite team.


After a day of downpours the Roosters week only got worse when they faced Brisbane at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford on Saturday night. In what was always going to be a great battle, the Broncos were on the scoreboard early with a penalty goal from Corey Parker and for the next 30 minutes both teams played end to end in the horrid conditions. Finally the line was broken when Jharal Yow Yeh went in out wide off a Justin Hodges miracle offload and the Broncs were quick to follow it up with Dale Copley stepping through Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Mitchell Pearce to tally up another four pointer off a sloppy play. Leading by 12 points at the start of the second half, the Broncos had the advantage in the wet weather but Roosters fans were hoping things would turn around for the boys from Bondi Junction… they didn’t. Dale Copley bagged his second try in the 51st minute after which it was going to be a hard fight back for the Tri-colours. Ben Hannant compounded the situation when he fell on a loose ball for a try after a Justin Carney fumble (while his namesake Todd fumbled off-field), giving Brisbane an unattainable a 24-0 at the start of the final quarter. Joseph Leilua managed a try in the corner to at least get the Roosters on the board but the game had been controlled by the Broncos throughout and it continued that way for the final 13 minutes. Hopefully things will turn around for the Eastern Suburbs club over the next few weeks but one thing is for sure, with drama off-field and a lack of cohesion on-field, Brian Smith has got his work cut out for him. Meanwhile, the Broncos are sitting quite comfortably at the top of this year’s ladder in a position not many people expected them to be in.

Next Round – ROOSTERS vs. DRAGONS (MONDAY 25/04 at 4:00PM at the Sydney Football Stadium)


A clash between these two teams always produces a close result, and this was to be no different on Monday night with the arm wrestle resulting in a try-less first 70 minutes. Both teams went at each other in an exceptional display of resolve and determination. Souths came heart-breakingly close to grabbing first points only to be held up over the line, and even an offload from that same play couldn’t produce the goods as Chris Sandow was swamped by the unbreakable St-George defence. The Bunnies appeared to have the Dragons’ number and were down by only 2 points when Rhys Wesser had a lapse in defence and allowed Darius Boyd to post first points 72 minutes after the kick-off. Unfortunately for Souths fans, things got worse when another break in the line had Mark Gasnier jumping for joy after sliding through and getting the ball down for a lead of 14-0 with only minutes remaining. Jamie Soward extended that lead with a late penalty goal that helped run the clock down. Wayne Bennett really put the sword to an already smarting Rabbitohs outfit after they failed to secure his services this week, proving again that the ‘Supercoach’ is a great asset for any club. To get back into this year’s comp Souths need to combine their attacking flair with the kind of defensive effort they produced here and they could easily go on to win enough games to challenge in the eight this year.

Next Round – BULLDOGS vs. RABBITOHS (SATURDAY 23/04 at 7:30PM at ANZ Stadium)


Out of the gates both teams needed to get back on track and for the first 29 minutes the Eels had the Doggies on the ropes and looked to be cruising to a comfortable half-time lead… then all hell broke loose! Jarryd Hayne crossed the line in the 6th minute to post first points with an individual moment of brilliance that had fans on their feet, albeit with fingers crossed, as ‘the plane’ finally decided to take off. This was followed by some fast-paced attacking plays that saw the Blue & Gold’s cross the advantage line twice but fail to convert the opportunities into points until Hayne finally posted another four-pointer in the 24th minute. Unfortunately, five minutes later Hayne had a brain explosion, pushing a head butt in the general direction of prop Corey Payne after copping a swinging arm in a tackle, and ending up in the sin bin with the instigator in an incident that will forever be known as ‘Hayne vs. Payne’. The trend continued minutes later when all-round nice-guy Nathan Hindmarsh took exception to something Michael Ennis had uttered and again both were sent from the field for a 10-minute breather following the ensuing altercation. With both teams down to 11 men, the Bulldogs seized on the opportunity and posted three quick tries before half-time, locking it up at 14-14. Most expected a battle of epic proportions in the second half but instead the Eels helpless as the Doggies posted another 20 points to win 34-14. All up the Doggies scored 34 unanswered points from the 29th minute onwards, with a hat trick from micro fullback Ben Barba and a double from Jamal Idris. If the Eels could have produced a performance similar to their opening half hour in the second part of the match this could have been the game of the season, but instead the Blue & Gold army will have to drink from the bitter cup of defeat this week.


The Tigers got the ball rolling early with solid tries to Simon Dwyer and Chris Heighington, which were split by a penalty goal from Benji Marshall, giving the big cats a 14-0 lead early on. But the bounce of the ball can be a cruel thing and when Scott Prince put a bomb up in the middle of the half it appeared to be a nothing kick. That is, until it bounced awkwardly in goal confusing fullback Tim Moltzen ending up in the arms of a flying William Zillman for a try. Zillman attempted to steer the Titans back on course and again posted more points only minutes later but with Prince missing both conversions the Titans went to the break down 14-8. In the final ten minutes of the match Scott Prince proved the difference and redeemed his poor first half choices with an equalising try and conversion to lock the scores up at 14-14 with six minutes to play. Two mistakes from Todd Payten coming of his own line saw the Tigers under extreme pressure and the Titans capitalised on good field position to secure a final four pointer that saw them take the two competition points. In what turned out to be a close game, the Titans have seemingly got their season back on track.


In a penalty and error riddled game, both the Sea Eagles and the Warriors were ordinary but Manly ultimately kept it together for the win. The scoring didn’t get underway until late in the first half when the Warriors’ Lewis Brown barged through close to the line to secure the first four-pointer for the visitors. But just before half-time Manly responded with a flurry of tries to the two Michaels, Oldfield and Robertson, with Jamie Buhrer scoring a third to give the Sea Eagles a ten-point lead and all the momentum going into the second stanza. The second half was a mistake-a-thon from both sides but the Sea Eagles managed to mount an enormous amount of pressure through good field position, which resulted in another try and a 20-4 lead on the scoreboard. The Warriors grabbed a consolation try in the final minutes of the game when Elijah Taylor capitalised on a series of repeat sets but the final score was always going to be in the Sea Eagles’ favour.


The Raiders woes continued in Townsville with the ground literally shaking beneath them as the Richter scale registered a 5.6 magnitude earthquake 120km south of the tropical city. The Cowboys got stuck into the scoring early in an intense attacking set with Antonio Winterstein bagging the first try. Scott Bolton and Glenn Hall also crossed for the North Queensland side and with only 20 minutes gone things were looking bad for the Green Machine as they fell 18 points behind. Try scoring saviour Blake Ferguson used his go-go gadget arms to tally up six tries in six games when he reached across the goal line from a metre out to bring up the Raiders’ first points. Jonathan Thurston countered the effort from Ferguson ten minutes later to stretch the lead back out to three converted tries when he used his best soccer skills to steal possession from a messy Raiders play the ball and dribble across the try line. The Cowboys have a worrying trend of not getting across the try line in the second 40 minutes and with only a penalty goal kicked by Thurston it was Canberra’s game to win. Unfortunately they couldn’t find the line more than twice and went down 26-18.


The newly inspired Knights, pumped up from this week’s news, stumbled at first and allowed a solid looking Sharks outfit the first points when Ben Pomeroy crossed the chalk. The Knights responded in kind with a cross-field kick that was regathered messily by Wes Naiqama to get the scores back to even at 4-4. Enter Albert Kelly, who broke the line and set up Nathan Gardner with a clear run to the in-goal, and the Sharks were back in front by four points. By the time the match was ten minutes into the second half the Knights had bagged three additional tries and had a fairly comfortable lead at 24-10. The Shire lads showed a renewed vigour and assaulted a tired Knights team in the final twenty, managing to get to within a converted try. The level of enthusiasm from the Sharks was soured by what some might see as poor calls from the referees but the final five minutes were still edge of your seat stuff for the Novacastrians who were lucky to get away with their first win under new owner Nathan Tinkler.


The Melbourne Storm were again clinical in their approach and powered through the Mountain Men to secure their first win away in a long time. Only two tries were scored in the first half and it appeared that this could be a lot closer than the final outcome. Cooper Cronk, as he did last week, scored the first try and Sandor Earl snatched four points for the home team. A late penalty goal from Cameron Smith sent the Storm into the break up by four points at 8-4. The second 40 minutes was slow to start but Melbourne eventually found the right gear and ran in three unanswered tries and booted a field goal to push the score out to 25-4. Timana Tahu found his way over with a sly dummy and surge to give the boys from the foot of the mountains a few extra points but the clock ran down and Melbourne now sit on top of the NRL ladder.