The Cronulla Sharks last night beat the North Queensland Cowboys 13-10 to extend their winning streak to 10 matches.
Cowboys winger Antonio Winterstein was first to score in the 5th minute, then Thurston added a penalty in the 25th to give his team an 8-0 lead. But there was no room for complacency. In the 30th Valentine Holmes intercepted just in front of his line then ran in a scintillating 95-metre try that left the Cowboys’ defence helpless. James Maloney converted and, two minutes later, kicked a penalty to send the teams in at 8-all.
The second half was a gruelling affair with neither side conceding an inch of space When the Cowboys conceded a penalty in the 57th Maloney snapped up the two points. Neither side gave an inch of space until the Cowboys were penalised once again, and Maloney opted to take the two points to make it 10-8. Thurston levelled, then, with just six minutes remaining, Maloney snapped a field goal, delighting the Shark Park fans. The Sharks won another penalty in the 78th, and Maloney opted to take the two for a 13-10 margin and close down the game rather than chase a try.
Eels win third in a row after shaky start against Titans
The Gold Coast Titans started strong, scoring two tries in the first 12 minutes of Saturday’s match at Marrara Oval, Darwin. Winger Anthony Don crossed in the 6th minute, then the powerful forward Agnatius Paasi barged through Parramatta’s defence to score.
Though the momentum started to shift, what looked like a certain try to Michael Jennings was overturned by the bunker. Bevan French compensated for that letdown by scoring off a Titans mistake in the 27th minute. The Eels were starting to look more confident and Michael Gordon went over to score five minutes later. The teams went into the break at 12-8, courtesy of Gordon’s vastly superior performance with the boot.
Kaysa Pritchard scored for the Eels in the 60th minute, who extended their lead to 22-8 by the 65th, thanks to penalties. Don went over for his second five minutes before full-time but the Titans were unable to close the gap. The Titans failed to convert any of their three tries, while Gordon kicked a perfect three from three for Parramatta and slotted home two of his three penalty goal attempts. Eels won 22-12.
Brisbane break out of slump as Darius Boyd fires
The first 25 minutes of the Broncos -Raiders game at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday night was full of errors, missed tackles and missed opportunities. Corey Parker was first to score, in the 26th minute, and from there on the Broncos found their groove. They had the Raiders on the back foot for the remainder of the first half, sending fullback Darius Boyd over for two tries to lead 18-0 at halftime. scoring two of his three tries in a man-of-the-match performance.
Only four minutes into the second half Boyd went over for his third. Parker again was perfect with the boot, giving the Broncos a 24-0 lead. The Raiders finally got on the scoreboard in the 59th minute when former Bronco Kurt Baptiste scooted past tired defence to score from dummy half. The Raiders then started to make a comeback. Blake Austin scored in the 66th minute and Baptiste went over for his second in the 77th, but the Broncos defence held on to prevent an embarrassing reverse of fortunes at the death. Broncos won 26-18.
The result snapped the Broncos’ three-game losing streak and checked Canberra’s far more modest winning streak. Prop Josh McGuire ran an impressive 216 metres for the Brisbane team. – Jesse Mullens
Other round 14 results:
Wests Tigers 30 – 14 South Sydney Rabbitohs
New Zealand Warriors 50 – 14 Newcastle Knights
Melbourne Storm 46 – 0 Sydney Roosters
Penrith Panthers 31 – 24 Manly Sea Eagles
Canterbury Bulldogs 34 – 16 St George Illawarra Dragons
Photo of Jason Taumalolo clashing with Cronulla captain Paul Gallen by Mark Nolan for NRL Photos, from the Cowboys’ website.