The Sydney Roosters secured their first win of the season, 17-10, against arch rivals the South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ stadium on Friday night.
The Roosters showed their intentions from the start when Jake Friend broke through the defensive line before passing to Mitchell Aubusson, who was brought down just short of the line. On the next play Jackson Hastings put a chip kick into the corner for Daniel Tupou to score first points.
The Rabbitohs tried to fight back but the Roosters defence was solid, Dylan Napa smashing the Rabbitohs forwards with some huge hits. On the back of that solid defence the Roosters scored again when Aiden Guerra carried 4 defenders over the line to force the ball down.
The Rabbitohs finally scored through Aaron Gray in the corner after a set play with quick hands, taking the score to 10-4 at half-time.
The Rabbitohs appeared to have taken first blood in the second half but a review by the bunker saw Cameron McInnes’ try was disallowed. The Roosters were soon back on the attack and scored off a chip kick from Hastings with Napa diving on the ball near the goal posts. Hastings then kicked a field goal to further their lead.
Cody Walker scored a consolation try for the Rabbitohs, grubbering the ball for himself, but it wasn’t enough as the Roosters won 17-10. – JW
Cronulla win cliffhanger at home
The Cronulla Sharks beat the Gold Coast Titans 25-20 at Shark Park on Sunday afternoon. The Sharks opened the scoring in controversial fashion, with James Maloney appearing to knock the ball on before fullback Ben Barba raced 90 metres to score in the corner. The bunker allowed the on-field try decision to stand. Sosaia Feki and prop Matt Prior both scored to increase the Sharks lead to 14-0 lead before Titans winger Nene McDonald intercepted a wayward pass to run the length of the field and score. The Titans’ Cameron Cullen scored before half-time then halfback Ash Taylor crossed to give the Titans the lead for 10 minutes after half-time before a pin-point kick from Michael Ennis allowed Andrew Fifita to pick up and score under the posts. The game was deadlocked at 20-all heading into the final 10 minutes before a Chad Townsend field goal was followed by an acrobatic finish from winger Valentine Holmes to give the Sharks their third win of the season. – JM
Relief for Knights as they shade Tigers
The Newcastle Knights held on to defeated the Wests Tigers 18-16 in front of a packed Hunter Stadium today. In form fullback James Tedesco gave the Tigers the perfect start, scoring his eighth try of the season to make the score 4-0. The Knights responded with a well-constructed set-piece that sent Akuila Uate over. There was another exchange, with Tigers winger Jordan Rankin and Knights prop Korbin Sims both scoring to take the half-time score to 12-10 in the Knights’ favour. Winger Nathan Ross opened the second half scoring to give the Knights an eight-point lead before Rankin crossed for his second try, setting up a tight finish. The Knights held on though to take some pressure off new coach Nathan Brown, who will be desperate to keep his side from collecting the wooden spoon for the second year running. – JM
Manly too strong for the Warriors
The Manly Sea Eagles beat the New Zealand Warriors 34-18 in Auckland. Manly completed 82 per cent and took full advantage of the Warriors errors. Warriors winger Tuimoala Lolohea had a first 30 minutes he would like to forget, his errors giving Manly two easy tries to open proceedings. Martin Taupau went over first and prop Josh Starling scored his first try in the NRL. The Warriors eventually hit back when Roger Tuivasa-Sheck took a quick tap from a penalty and passed for Ayshford to make the score 12-6. Jamie Lyon was perfect with the boot and never looked like missing. In the second half, The Sea Eagles didn’t relent but the Warriors kept pressing and came away with two tries from Solomone Kata and Issac Luke. A string of penalties and handling errors gave Manly an easy victory. Steve Matai went over for a double and Tom Trbojevic got the final try just before the hooter. – JM
Cowboys pip the Panthers at Pepper
The North Queensland Cowboys survived their foray into enemy territory, In enemy territory, beating the Penrith Panthers 23-18 at Pepper Stadium. The Panthers threw the ball around, their offloads, with rising star Bryce Cartwright in the tick of things, giving the Cowboys defence a torrid time. For 60 minutes the Panthers seemed to be on target for a win over the reigning premiers but the Cowboys stuck to their task and showed why they belong at the top. Former Panther Lachlan Coote set up two tries for the Cowboys and kicked the field goal. Cowboys Hooker Jake Granville had a remarkable game coming off the bench for 51 minutes that delivered 31 tackles and 70 metres. The Panthers new recruit Trent Merrin was their best performer, scoring his second try of the season, making 39 tackles and running 109 metres. Dallin Watene Zelezniak scored a double for Penrith but Gavin Cooper pulled one back for the visitors then Kyle Feldt scored at the death to ensure a Cowboys win. – JM
Parramatta Eels run away from Raiders
The Parramatta Eels crushed the Canberra Raiders 36-6 at Pirtek Stadium. The Eels were quick to score with their halves pairing of Kieran Foran and Corey Norman combining to break through the line and set up a flying Michael Jennings to score early. Jennings scored again shortly after with Norman again playing a part giving him a short pass to cut through the line.
The Eels next points came through their star halfback Kieran Foran who scored an individual try by stepping and weaving his way to the try line. Beau Scott scored next off a grubber kick from Corey Norman to dive over the line making the score 24-0 at halftime.
The Eels scored first in the second when Kenny Edwards capitalised on a Jack Wighton knock-on behind the line. The Raiders finally scored some points when Blake Austin gathered in a kick just before it went over the dead ball line but the Eels were relentless as they returned fire. Brad Takairangi soared high to pick off a chip kick and score making it a 36-6 margin for the Eels. – JW
Broncos keep woeful Dragons scoreless
The Broncos came out firing in last night’s opening match of the round, scoring within three minutes and keeping the Dragons scoreless for a second week.
A cut-out pass from Anthony Milford sent Corey Oates over in the corner for the Broncos’ first try, but Corey Parker failed to maximise on the early opportunity. The Dragons then compounded their own misery by giving away a series of penalties through a lack of discipline, allowing Parker to redeem himself by kicking a goal and taking the score to 6-0.
The Dragons thought they’d broken their try drought through Jack De Belin, however the bunker overturned the on-field decision because there was sufficient evidence that De Belin failed to ground the ball. The Broncos capitalised on constant handling errors by the Dragons, Alex Glenn scoring from a grubber kick by Ben Hunt to take the score to 12-0 at half-time. In the second half, the Dragons failed again on the line when Peter Mata’utia dropping the ball. They Dragons continued to give away possession. The Broncos took full advantage, with Parker kicking another penalty goal.
In the last 10 minutes the Broncos rode home, scoring another two tries through Anthony Milford and Jordan Kahu to win 26-0. – JW
Match reports by James Wardell and Jesse Mullens
Photo of Jake Friend (left) and Aiden Guerra (right) celebrating the end of the Roosters’ drought, from the NRL’s Facebook page.