Wednesday 21 February 2018 / 10:23 AM

Round 3 Wrap-Up

Storm 22 Bulldogs 18
Storm: Ryan Hinchcliffe (21’), Mahe Fonua (36’), Matthew Duffie (63’), Lagi Setu (66’)
Bulldogs: Sam Perrett (43’), Krisnan Inu (71’), Kris Keating (75’)


It wasn’t too long ago that these two teams went head-to-head in the NRL Grand Final.  No doubt the Bulldogs would be looking for revenge, however it was the Dog’s who cracked first.


Both teams blew early chances. It was a beautiful short ball from Cooper Cronk to a charging Ryan Hinchcliffe, that opened Melbourne’s account (21’).  


Just before the halftime break the reigning premiers had a scrum 20 out.  On the back of a perfectly executed second man play, Mahe Fonua was over in the corner despite taking out the corner post.


Half Time: Storm 10 Bulldogs 0.


In the 42nd minute Billy Slater went high to defuse a bomb, however was placed on report as his boot made contact with David Clemmer’s face. The Dog’s received a penalty and from the ensuing play a lovely chip kick from Josh Reynolds was taken and grounded by Sam Perrett to give the Dog’s their first points.


Cooper Cronk continued his rampage and appeared to score in the 59th minute, though a controversial obstruction call denied the Storm their 3rd try.


Cronk’s disbelief at the decision didn’t affect him, and moments later his cross-field kick was plucked out of the sky by Matthew Duffie and the Storm went up 16-6.


The Storm looked like they put the game out of reach as they took advantage of some tired goal-line defense and Lagi Setu strolled in.


The Dog’s gave the Storm a scare putting on two late tries in the 71st and 75th minute, however it wouldn’t be enough.


Tigers 31 Eels 18
Tigers: Chris Lawrence (4’, 20’), Blake Ayshford (31’), Benji Marshall (48’), Tim Moltzen (51’)
Eels: Ryan Morgan (43’), Vai Toutai (68’), Jacob Loko (70’)
Leichhardt Oval


The Tigers went on the attack from the start, and they were in great field position after Robbie Farah and Benji Marshall combined for a line break. Moments later Benji was at it again as he fed a storming Chris Lawrence to score his first on the night.


The Eels just couldn’t get it going as a dropped ball from Hayne gave the Tigers a set of six just 20 out. This time it was Farah who combined with Lawrence to give the Tigers a 14-0 lead in the 20th minute.


After attacking down the left, the Tigers went right and a dummy half dart from Blake Ayshford gifted Wests another 4-pointer.


Half Time: Tigers 18 Eels 0.


After playing two consecutive halves without scoring points, the Eels were determined to get on the board. That they did right after the half time break through Ryan Morgan.


Just as the momentum looked to be favouring the Eels, off a penalty, Benji Marshall took a tap and ran untouched 70 meters to score under the black dot (48’).


A brain exposing in the 51st minute sealed the game for the Tigers.


Parramatta put on two late tries, but the game was out of reach.


Titans 16 Manly 14
Titans: Ryan James (45’), David Mead (51’)
Manly: Jorge Taufua (57’, 71’), Tom Symonds (60’)
Skilled Park


Both teams attacked early with the video referee denying Manly twice.


The only points of the half came on the back of penalty. In his 200th NRL game Ashley Harrison was stretched off after Manly’s Richard Fa’aoso shoulder charge left Harrison out cold.


Half Time: Titans 2 Manly 0.


Finally, 5 minutes into the second half Ryan James smashed over from 10 meters out to grab his first ever NRL try.


The Titans kept their foot down, and David Mead jump on a grubber after Jorge Taufua couldn’t clean it up (51’).


With points seemingly hard to come by, Manly needed to score next. Taufua finished off some nice hands in the 57th minute to put the score at 14-4.


Everything was going Manly’s way, and they capitalised through Tom Symonds in the 60th minute to cut the lead to just 6.


Taufua made up for his early blunder by pouncing on a Matai grubber to score his second of the night. Jamie Lyon converted from the sideline to lock the game at 14 all.


The Titans pushed forward and managed to force a drop out in the 75th minute. But Manly halfback Daly Cherry-Evans produced a huge error kicking the ball out on the full gifting the Titans a penalty 10 out, right infront of the uprights.


Roosters 8 Broncos 0
Roosters: James Maloney (31’)
Broncos: –
Allianz Stadium


The Broncos were struggling with injuries, however had won 7 out of their last 9 clashes with the Roosters.


Both teams were creating chances but poor ball security was letting each side down.


Locked in an arm wrestle, it was two of Sydney’s new buys that opened the scoreboard. A lovely offload from Sonny Bill Williams allowed James Maloney to stroll over in the 31st minute.


Half Time: Roosters 6 Broncos 0.


The Broncos stepped it up a gear, and Rooster did well to hold up Sam Thaiday in the 51st minute.


The Roosters extended their lead as Andrew McCullough was called for a strip and Maloney added the extra 2.


For the first time in 5 years the Roosters kept an opposition scoreless.


Sharks 28 Warriors 4
Sharks: John Morris (9’), Michael Gordon (34’), Beau Ryan (39’), Sam Tagataese (45’), Jeff Robson (70’)
Warriors: Konrad Hurrell (74’)
Sharks Stadium


The Warriors were still searching for their first 2-points of the season, yet Todd Carney had other ideas as he darted from dummy half and found John Morris on the inside for a 4-pointer (9’).


Due to the hot and humid conditions the game was played in quarters, which gave the Warriors time to gather themselves after a horrible start.


The Sharks applied more pressure and were tearing the Warriors defense apart, storming twice more before the half (Gordon 34′, Ryan 39′).


Half Time: Sharks 18 Warriors 0.


The second half started much like the first finished. Sam Tagataese found himself in space 50 out, and a simple dummy fooled the fullback to give the Sharks their 4th try of the day.


Ball control was a problem for the Warriors as they dropped the pill over the line twice in the next 20 minutes.


Jeff Robson’s right footstep in the 70th minute exposed the Warriors defense yet again. Not even three defenders could stop him from putting the ball down.


Panthers 32 Rabbitohs 44
Panthers: Sam McKendry (12’), Brad Tighe (15’), David Simmons (34’, 52’), James Segeyaro (64’), Wes Naiqama (70’)
Rabbitohs: John Sutton (4’), Nathan Merritt (7’, 29’, 79’), Andrew Everingham (20’), Bryson Goodwin (26’), Greg Inglis (39’), Ben Te’o (76’)
Centrebet Stadium


On a steaming day at Centrebet Stadium, the Panthers and Rabbitohs put on a try-scoring clinic.


There was nothing the Panthers could do in the 4th minute as a hungry (and big) John Sutton took on two defenders and scored under the posts. The Rabbitohs were at it again just minutes later, as some quick hands down the left put Merritt over for his 1st.


With a 12-point lead after 8 minutes, it looked like the Rabbitohs were going to run away with it. But the Panther replied straight away with 2 tries of their own, one a beautiful solo try from Brad Tighe in the 15th minute.


Man of the match, Greg Inglis, was involved in everything; including some hands down the left and right, which pushed the Rabbitohs lead back to 12. But it was Greg’s tackle bust and 60-meter run that set up Merritt for his second in the 29th minute that had NSW fans worried.


The speed of the game was simply incredible, and the Panthers hit back through David Simmons (34’).


Inglis was at it again, and when an inside ball landed in his hands 30 meters out, there was no stopping the destructive fullback.


Half Time: Panthers 16 Rabbitohs 34.


With fantastic field position, the home side struck twice in the 52nd and 64th minute to put the Panthers right back in the game.


Down by 6 points, the Panthers took a chance and ran the ball on the 6th. Wes Naiqama got on the outside of his man and scored in the 70th minute.


With just a 2-point lead, and no points in the second half, the Rabbitohs stormed in two late tries to seal the game.


Nathan Merritt got his second hat-trick of the season.


Raiders 30 Dragons 17
Raiders: Reece Robinson (31’, 43’), Jarrod Croker (52’, 77’), Sandor Earl (60’)
Dragons: Brett Morris (17’), Daniel Vidot (48’), Nathan Fien (65’)
Canberra Stadium


It’s been 13 years since the Dragons had a victory in Canberra, and on Sunday the Raiders made sure they continued the streak.


Lucky for the Raiders, in just the 6th minute a controversial obstruction decision was made which denied the Dragons a try.


The call didn’t stop the Dragons from attacking and after making 87-meters on a set of six, Brett Morris went horizontal catching a lovely chip to score in the corner (17’).

The Raider hit back not long after as Reece Robinson landed on a Blake Ferguson grubber.


Half Time: Raiders 6 Dragons 5.


On the back of a Jarrod Croker line break, Robinson grabbed his double walking over from dummy half (43’).


As the Dragons lazy defense continued, the Raiders extended their lead to 13 at the 60th minute mark.


A try to Nathan Fien in the 65th minute gave Illawarra fans some hope, cutting the lead to 7.



The Green-Machine were full of confidence.

Robinson found himself in space 80 out with just the fullback to beat, an inside ball to Croker finished off the Dragons.


Knights 34 Cowboys 6
Knights: Tyrone Roberts (18’), Akuila Uate (26’, 67’), Alex McKinnon (30’), James McManus (59’), Darius Boyd (75’)
Cowboys: Gavin Cooper (9’)
Hunter Stadium


With all the possession early, the Cowboys got off to the perfect start as Gavin Cooper reached out and scored in the 9th minute.


The Knights took control of the game after this.


When the Knights finally got some possession, Tyron Roberts made the Cowboys pay, scoring in Newcastle’s first set of six inside the oppositions 20 (18’).


Mullen and Buderus combined to bombed a try,  though Mullen made up for his error in the 26th minute as his amazing cut-out pass gave the Knights numbers and Uate got his first of the night.


Wayne Bennett’s men continued to attack down the right, and Alex McKinnon stormed over in the 30th minute to cap off a dominating half.


Half Time: Knights 14 Cowboys 6.


If Cowboys supporters were disappointed with their first half, they must have been on suicide watch during the second.


North Queensland’s poor discipline and horrible ball control was gifting the Knights chances, and they capitalised twice off Mullen’s boot in 10 minutes.


The Cowboys second half was absolutely atrocious.


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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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