Sunday 18 March 2018 / 07:01 PM

Round 1 Wrap-Up

Roosters 10 Rabbitohs 28
Roosters: James Maloney (3′), Sonny Bill Williams (75′)

Rabbitohs: Nathan Merritt (10′, 28′, 61′) Chris McQueen (40′), George Burgess (46′)
Allianz Stadium


The Rabbitohs started off slow and for the first 15 minutes the newly formed Roosters team seemed to have the upper hand. As they game went on, so did the physicality.


James Maloney started his Roosters career off well with an easy try in the 3rd minute, however this was cancelled out instantly as Nathan Merritt took advantage of an overlap to score the first of his 3 tries on the night.


After giving away back-to-back penalties, the Roosters had no one else to blame, eventually faltering to the pressure. A pinpoint cross-field kick from Adam Reynolds was tapped on by Greg Inglis, landing in the hands of Merritt who crossed the white line again.


With continuous errors and penalties, The Roosters were making it hard on themselves, and another cross-field bomb bounced into the hands of Chris McQueen who scored in the corner.


Half Time: Roosters 4 – Rabbitohs 16.


The Rabbitohs started off the second half like the finished the first, with George Burgess beating three Roosters defenders to score in the 46th minute.


Sam Burgess was placed on report in the 58th minute for his high shot on Mitchell Pearce, and will accept a one-match suspension.


Nathan Merritt’s 3rd try came in the 61st minute after a Rabbitohs set move left them with an overlap.


Sonny Bill Williams was welcomed back to the NRL by Sam Burgess early in the game, and things didn’t easier Sonny as he racked up a few errors throughout the night. However, Sonny ran great lines, none better than in the 75th minute which allowed him to stroll over basically untouched.


Brisbane 14 Manly 22
Brisbane: Matt Gillett (19’), Lachlan Maranta (34’)

Manly: Steve Matai (27’, 52’), Daly Cherry-Evans (48’), David Williams (56’)
Suncorp Stadium


Brisbane’s new halves paring looked sharp early as Scott Prince and Peter Wallace gave their fans some real hope for the 2013 season.


Late inclusion Anthony Watt, gave away a penalty for not being square in the 14th minute and Scott Prince put the home team up 2-0.


Just moment later, on the back of a few Manly penalties, veteran center Justin Hodges put on a lovely right footstep before offloading to Matt Gillett to get the first 4-pointer of the match.


It took Manly just 8 minutes to reply, as Steve Matai went over after some brilliant attacking football down the left.


Brisbane manage to shrug off their recent defensive lapse and displayed some of their own dazzling offense, with another beautiful offload to Lachlan Maranta, Hodges picked up his second assist of the night.


Despite having two tries disallowed, the Broncos still took a lead into the half time break.


Half Time: Brisbane 14 Manly 6.


Within the first 7 minutes of the second half the referee ruled on a forward pass by Scott Prince and a stripping penalty against Matt Gillett. From here things didn’t get any easier for the Broncos as Manly stormed in 3 tries over the next 7 minutes.


The first was when Daly Cherry-Evans took charge and barged his way over in the 48th minute.


The next occurred in the 52nd minute as Steve Matai found himself in a 2-on-1 situation and threw a dummy to find the line for his second try of the night.


Finally, after a solid tackle by Cherry-Evans, Jack Reed lost control of the ball and David Williams swooped on it and scored his first try of the season.


16 unanswered points by Manly in the second half proved too much for the Brisbane Broncos.


Eels 40 Warriors 10
Eels: Chris Sandow (17’), Jarryd Hayne (27’, 66’, 69’), Matthew Ryan (35’), Ken Sio (63’, 77’)
Warriors: Jacob Lillyman (51’), Dane Nielsen (56’)
Parramatta Stadium


Two clubs with new coaches went head to head over the weekend.


Both teams were disallowed tries early, but a simple step and duck in the 17th minute gave halfback Chris Sandow enough room to open Parramatta’s scoring campaign for 2013.


10 minutes later Reni Maitua made up for an error by producing a magical offload to Luke Kelly 50 meters out. It was none other than Jarryd Hayne backing up in support to give the Eels their second try.


Up 12-0 in the 35th minute, the Eels kept their foot down. Ryan Morgan’s amazing in-and-away left him in space with just the fullback to beat, and a simple ball back on the inside set up Matthew Ryan for Parramatta’s third.


Half Time: Eels 18 Warriors 0.


It was well known for the Warriors to get back in the game they needed to strike first in the second half, that they did. Some poor one-on-one, goal line defense allowed Jacob Lillyman to cruise over in the 51st minute.


Things got better for the New Zealand team in the 56th minute as a combination of Kevin Locke’s lovely short ball and big fend from Dane Nielsen’s put the Warriors within 8.


But just as Warriors fans grabbed a little bit of hope, a fantastic second man play that was finished off by a one-handed dive from Ken Sio put the Eels back up by 14.


Moments later a ‘Johnathan Thurston’ like show-and-go from Sandow left the Eels with a 3-on-1 which Jarryd Hayne happily finished off.


The Eels kept rolling with two more tries to Hayne (69th min) and Sio (77th min).


Bulldogs 12 Cowboys 24
Bulldogs: Josh Reynolds (5’), Steve Turner (10’)

Cowboys: Ashley Graham (2’, 59’), Gavin Cooper (19’), Antonio Winterstein (27’)
Bluetongue Stadium


The Bulldogs started the year without their superstar and 2012 Dally M winner Ben Barba, and his replacement at fullback couldn’t of had a worse start. Dropping a highball in the 2nd minute that was pounced on by Ashley Graham.


However a lucky bounce off a Cowboys defender allowed Josh Reynolds to reply with a 4-pointer of their own 3 minutes later.


Fortunate bounces were keeping the Dogs in the game as another deflection off Brent Tate landed in the hands of Steve Turner who scored the blue and whites second try in the 10th minute.


Just as the home team looked to be in control, Johnathan Thurston broke the line 5 meters out and offloaded to Gavin Cooper for the Cowboys second try.


Thurston wasn’t done there as he put through a perfect grubber for an unmark Winterstein in the 27th minute.


Half Time: Bulldogs 12 – Cowboys 18.


18 minutes into the second half and a second man play that was started by JT, and finished with a Matty Bowen cut out pass, got Graham over the white line.


An 80 meter try saving tackle by Josh Morris kept the Bulldogs in the game, however it wasn’t enough as the Cowboys finished out the game with some strong defense.


Panthers 32 Raiders 10
Panthers: Sika Manu (22’), James Segeyaro (39’), Lachlan Coote (47’), Nathan Smith (76’), Nigel Plum (80’)

Raiders: Josh McCrone (31’), Blake Ferguson (54’)
Centrebet Stadium


With many viewing this as the least interesting game of the weekend, the first 20 minutes was proving otherwise. With two disallowed tries to the Raiders and big shots from both teams, the arm wrestle was in a lock. However in the 22nd minute a spin move from Panthers new recruit Sika Manu opened the scoreboard.


It didn’t take long for the Raiders to reply. With a nice offload from Matt Mcllwrick and some fancy footwork from Josh McCrone, the scores were locked at 6 all.


First try hero Matt Mcllwrick was pulled up for a forward pass in the 38th minute which gave the Panthers a set of 6 inside the Raiders 20m. A few tackles later and James Segeyaro took advantage of some lazy marking to cross just before the half.


Half Time: Panthers – 12 Raiders 6.


Straight out of half time, another error by Matt Mcllwrick, and a touched ball by Sandor Earl, the Panthers had two sets of 6 in great field position.


The mixture of a perfectly placed kick by Luke Walsh, and a great chase from Lachlan Coote, put the Panthers up 18-6 in the 47th minute.


The Raiders weren’t done yet, and with some soft hands and a lovely pick up off his bootlaces, Blake Ferguson went over in the corner for the Raiders second try.


The Panthers cemented victory with two tries in the final 5 minutes.


Storm 30 Dragons 10
Storm: Billy Slater (14’), Gareth Widdop (28’), Justin O’Neill (34’, 55’), Mahe Fonua (72’)

Dragons: Jamie Soward (42’), Jason Nightingale (58’)?


The Storm opened up their 2013 in style with three tries in the first half.


A Cooper Cronk 40/20 in the 12-minute put the Storm in a great attacking position. It was his partner in crime, Billy Slater, who opened up Melbourne’s 2013 premiership campaign as he beat five Dragons defenders to score next to the post in the 14th minute.


11 minutes later Gareth Widdop broke the line. A simple draw and pass would have given Billy Slater a double, however inexperience left Widdop taking on the fullback and bombing a try. Widdop made up for his error moments later as he charged down a grubber kick and ran 80 meters to score his first of the season.


The Storm kept attacking and a Ryan Hoff line break followed by a draw and pass to Justin O’Neill, and the Storm were in again on the 34th minute mark.


Half Time: Storm 18 – Dragons 0.


The miserable Dragons started their second half in perfect fashion as Jamie Soward took an intercept and ran 60 meters to score in the 42nd minute.


The favour was returned within 13 minutes as Justin O’Neill copied Soward with a 60 meter incept try of his own.


The Dragons managed to hit back next thanks to some nice hands and a Jason Nightingale dive, but Melbourne were too good as they capitalised on numerous mistakes and showed off some of their own skilful hands out wide.


Sharks 12 Titans 10
Sharks: Matthew Wright (27’), Andrew Fifita (55’)

Titans: David Mead (47’), Dave Taylor (70’)
Sharks Stadium


The Sharks have been in the media for all the wrong reasons and were out to thanks their fans for the recent support.


With a close battle early on, a massive 40/20 from Todd Carney put the Sharks in a great attacking positions. A few sets of six later it was Carney’s pinpoint bomb to Matthew Wright that unlocked the scoreboard.


Half Time: Sharks 6 – Titans 0.


David Mead of the Titans struck 8 minutes into the second half after taking a cross-field bomb that resembled that of Carneys in the first half.


After conceding, the Sharks went on the attack and the Titans were forced to defend for four straight sets. A short ball from Josh Morris to a rampaging Andrew Fifita handed Cronulla a 12-6 lead.

The Titans kept themselves in the game thanks to some great defense that lead to a disallowed try to Matthew Wright.

Just as they did in the earlier in the half the Titans attacked the right hand side with another bomb and big man Dave Taylor came up with his first try for the club in the 70th minute.


Aiden Sezer’s unsuccessful conversion proved to be the difference as the Sharks grab their first 2 points of the season.


Knights 42 Tigers 10
Knights: James McManus (10’, 55’), Akuila Uate (21’, 46’, 49’), Dane Gagai (26’, 37’)

Tigers: Adam Blair (6’), Tim Moltzen (80’)
Hunter Stadium


The Tigers were first to score in just the 6th minute as a quick play the ball gave Adam Blair enough room to stroll over. However, it would be a very long time before the Tigers would add to their score again.


4 minutes later and the Knights had their first proper attacking set of six. A second man play that started with Kurt Gidley and ended with a beautiful cut out pass from Darius Boyd to James McManus, gave the Newcastle men their first 4-pointer of the season.


From a return kick Akuila Uate broke the line and made a 70-meter run. The ensuing play he was rewarded for his efforts with a try as the Knights went wide and found Uate some space in the 21st minute.


Dane Gagai added to the scoreboard in the 26th minute as the Tigers let in three tries in 16 minutes.


Countless errors made it hard for the Tigers to get back in the game, and when Dane Gagai swooped on a dropped ball and ran 50-meters to score it felt like the game was already over before the half-time break.


Half Time: Knights 24 – Tigers 6.


It wasn’t just the Knights attack causing all the problems; Darius Boyd’s work at the back to stop a 2-on-1 will have Queensland selectors extremely thrilled.


Uate finished off his hat-trick with two tries in 3 minutes (46th and 49th), and moments later James McManus flew high to score the Knights 7th try and to put the game well out of reach.


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Drew Woodhouse

Our inspirational leader, Commentary Box Sports founder Drew is a born sports fanatic – particularly when it comes to rugby league, union, surfing NBA and NFL. A Brisbane native currently working out of Sydney, Drew’s occasional writing forays reflect that fierce passion.

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