EELS 22 d. RABBITOHS 16 @ ANZ Stadium
The scoreline flattered South Sydney as Parramatta cruised to a solid 22-16 win on Friday night, ending a two-game losing streak and putting the Rabbitohs’ finals hopes on life support. Tepai Moeroa, Beau Scott and Semi Radradra all crossed in the first half as new recruit Mitchell Moses settled into his new surroundings impressively after a sloppy first-up performance in the blue-and-gold strip. Strapping back-rower Angus Crichton put Souths on the board with a long-range try in the 49th minute, but a stunning finish from Eels winger Josh Hoffman with 17 minutes to go broke the Rabbitohs’ flimsy resolve at 22-6. Two tries in the last six minutes to Alex Johnston could not disguise a dismal night for Michael Maguire’s inconsistent outfit.
WARRIORS 28 d. BRONCOS 10 @ Mt Smart Stadium
Pilloried for their performances in the previous fortnight, the Warriors bounced back vigorously with an 18-point win over the Origin-depleted Broncos. Shaun Johnson had worn much of the backlash for the Warriors’ two-game slide but he was in devastating touch, laying on the first try for Blake Ayshford with a deft pass, exploding onto the ball to score himself in the 19th minute, and threading a brilliant grubber for Roger Tuivasa-Sheck to give the hosts a 16-0 halftime lead. Ken Maumalo backed up an Issac Luke break to score just after the interval , but the Broncos rallied with Benji Marshall and then Ben Hunt setting up stunning long-range tries finished off by James Roberts. James Gavet crashed over in the 67th minute to seal the result.
SHARKS 9 d. BULLDOGS 8 @ Southern Cross Group Stadium
Cronulla joined Melbourne at the top of the NRL ladder with a super-gritty 9-8 defeat of Canterbury on Saturday night. Both teams were missing key Origin stars, but the Bulldogs looked to have adjusted better by building an 8-2 lead deep into the last quarter of the match. Cue Paul Gallen, whose incredible effort to get out of the Sharks’ in-goal led to Gerard Beale’s 67th-minute equaliser, before the skipper produced another barnstorming charge to lay the platform for Chad Townsend’s decisive field goal with less than three minutes on the clock.
RAIDERS 24 d. ROOSTERS 16 @ GIO Stadium
Canberra, missing just one player to Origin commitments, made hard work of putting away a Sydney Roosters side who refused to go away despite the absence of four representative stars. Jake Friend put the underdogs on the board first, but a Jordan Rapana double, quickly followed by 1,500-point milestone man Jarrod Croker’s 29th-minute try, put the Raiders in charge at 16-6. A long impasse ensued, but tries to Joseph Manu (62nd minute) and Latrell Mitchell (74th) set up a grandstand finish. Aidan Sezer raced away for the match-sealer on fulltime as the Roosters desperately kept the ball alive.