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Melbourne destroys Kangaroos by 57 points, West Coast Eagles beat Carlton for sixth straight AFL win


Melbourne has thrashed the Kangaroos by 57 points at Adelaide Oval to sit ninth on the AFL premiership ladder.

Earlier on Sunday, the West Coast Eagles claimed a sixth consecutive win after unleashing a devastating third-quarter blitz to beat Carlton by 22 points in Perth.

In Adelaide, Christian Petracca and Angus Brayshaw were outstanding in the Demons’ 13.14 (92) to 5.5 (35) win.

The pair combined for 58 disposals as Melbourne completed a remarkable reversal of fortunes in a five-day stint in Adelaide.

The Demons arrived in the South Australian capital last Wednesday under a blowtorch after club chairman Glen Bartlett labelled them insipid in a preceding loss to Port Adelaide.

But they crushed winless Adelaide by 51 points last Wednesday night and then dismantled North Melbourne to return to finals contention.

Melbourne is now just two points shy of the eighth-placed Collingwood — and with a match in hand on most other clubs — while the Kangaroos remain in the mire in 16th position.

The Demons’ victory was full of midfield substance with Petracca (29 disposals, one goal), Clayton Oliver (31 disposals, one goal) and Brayshaw — whose 29 touches included a goal and eight inside 50s — all instrumental.

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Emerging key forward Sam Weideman kicked two goals and missed three other gilt-edged chances, Bailey Fritsch also slotted two majors, while Kysaiah Pickett (one goal) was eye-catching in patches.

The Kangaroos relied almost solely on Nick Larkey, who booted four of his side’s five goals with the other coming from Majak Daw in the second minute of the match.

North Melbourne led by 10 points at quarter-time but managed just two more goals in the match as the tide turned the Demons’ way.

The Demons booted three goals to one in both the second and third terms to create a 16-point buffer at three-quarter time.

And just as they did against Adelaide when they scored seven last-term goals, the Demons again went on a scoring spree in the final quarter.

This time, they kicked six consecutive goals while restricting the flagging Kangaroos to a solitary point.

Eagles maintain winning form

Alarm bells were ringing for the Eagles when Zac Fisher’s fourth goal gave Carlton a 19-point lead in the opening minute of the third quarter.

Josh Kennedy, however, settled West Coast’s nerves a few minutes later with his first goal of the match.

But the real damage was done in the dying minutes of the third term when West Coast slammed home four goals in the space of three minutes to go into three-quarter time with an 11-point lead.

Dom Sheed then booted two goals in the final quarter to help lift West Coast to the 11.6 (72) to 7.8 (50) win in front of 19,092 spectators.

Sheed was best afield with 26 disposals, nine clearances and two goals, while teammate Nic Naitanui (41 hit-outs, seven clearances) was a dominant force in the ruck.

The Blues lost Jack Martin to a calf injury in the second quarter and ruckman Marc Pittonet spent about 30 minutes off the field with what appeared to be a finger injury.

Carlton’s star midfielder Patrick Cripps tallied 19 disposals and eight clearances despite spending long stints up forward.

A West Coast Eagles AFL player marks the ball with two hands in the air as a teammate jumps up at the same time.
The Eagles got on top of the Blues late in the match to clinch the four competition points.(AAP: Richard Wainwright)

West Coast’s win improved its standing to a 7-3 win-loss record. Carlton (4-6) now faces an uphill battle to make the top eight.

Both teams booted two goals apiece in the opening term, with the most notable moment coming when the Blues were on the wrong end of a controversial holding-the-ball free kick late in the quarter.

Sam Petrevski-Seton was powerless to get a disposal away after having his arms pinned in a bear-hug tackle from Jack Darling as soon as he got the ball.

The Carlton defender expressed his disbelief when the free kick was paid, with the subsequent 50-metre penalty gifting the Eagles a lucky goal.

Fisher booted his second and third goals in the second quarter to help give Carlton a surprise 13-point lead at half-time.

The sun peeked out from behind the clouds in the third quarter in what was a complete contrast to the pre-match downpour.

The conditions clearly favoured West Coast, who had Naitanui dominating in the ruck and the team’s midfielders feasting at ground level.

AAP/ABC



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Newcastle hands 44-4 NRL thrashing to Wests Tigers as Melbourne Storm beat Bulldogs 41-10


Blake Green has breathed new life into Newcastle’s NRL finals hopes after starring in the Knights’ heavy 44-4 defeat of the Wests Tigers.

The comprehensive win simultaneously threw the Tigers into a tailspin to save their own season as the dismal display produced their third consecutive loss.

In Saturday’s earlier match, Cameron Munster sustained a knee injury in the Melbourne Storm’s 41-10 victory over Canterbury on the Sunshine Coast.

For Green, it was the second win in as many weeks over the Tigers after arriving at the Knights from the Warriors at the start of the week.

An old hand at fitting in quickly, Green slipped easily into attacking structures and set up the first try of the night and put up the kick for the second within the first 14 minutes.

His experience allowed the new-look spine to click as the Knights advanced to a 24-4 half-time lead before completing a 40-point rout.

Star full-back Kalyn Ponga was as dangerous as he has been all season, scoring two tries as well as setting up another two.

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His 194 run metres and three line breaks ripped through poor Tigers defence that did not do milestone man Chris Lawrence justice in his 250th NRL match.

In all, the Knights scored eight tries with Hymel Hunt, Starford To’a, Jacob Saifiti, Herman Ese’ese, Gehamat Shibasaki and Phonix Crossland also crossing over.

Half-back Benji Marshall, in his 250th appearance for the Tigers, had a particularly difficult night as his forward pack was thoroughly outmuscled.

Marshall and recalled halves partner Luke Brooks were targeted in defence, but had limited ball in attacking space to get points on the board.

The Tigers’ lone try was not a moment of brilliance and came just before half-time when Luciano Leilua kicked through a ball that ricocheted from Marshall’s boot to score.

The loss will come as a huge blow to the Tigers, who now face a tough run into the end of the season and sit 10th on the ladder, in danger of missing the finals.

Over the last seven rounds, they will play every top four side as well as Manly, South Sydney and Gold Coast.

Meanwhile, the Knights moved into sixth position on the ladder despite eight starting players missing through injury.

Munster injury sours Storm win

Munster, a Queensland State of Origin representative, fell awkwardly in a tackle and is set to miss two matches.

The Storm were already without injured hooker Cameron Smith (shoulder), in-form full-back Ryan Papenhuyzen and forward Dale Finucane (both rested) on the Sunshine Coast.

Munster has already missed time with a knee injury this season and will now join Smith on the sidelines for next Thursday’s clash with the Sydney Roosters and possibly the following round against Parramatta.

The Munster injury did not fluster the Storm on Saturday, however, as replacement hooker Brandon Smith, back rower Kenny Bromwich (two tries) and new full-back Nicho Hines ran riot.

A Melbourne Storm NRL players has an anguished look on his face as he lies on the ground getting treatment on his right knee.
Cameron Munster will be sidelined after sustaining a knee injury against the Bulldogs.(AAP: Darren England)

The Bulldogs did not help themselves. Lachlan Lewis and Josh Jackson both threw loose passes that were scooped up by wingers Josh Addo-Carr and Suliasi Vunivalu respectively for long-range tries.

The first was one of three in five minutes to break the match open, while Vunivalu made up for some lazy play to close the first half just as the Bulldogs threatened a boilover trailing 23-10.

Addo-Carr then added salt to the Bulldogs’ wounds, winning the race to a long kick down-field to grab a brace.

Hines was as far back as fourth in the pecking order last season but was all class in the number one jersey with strong carries, assured kicking, safe hands and an early try.

Lewis’s forgettable match included being sin-binned and placed on report for a high shot on Munster.

The Bulldogs (2-11) remain rooted to the bottom of the ladder, while the win was the Storm’s (11-2) seventh straight, moving them into top spot ahead of Penrith, who meet Canberra later on Saturday.

AAP/ABC



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Ireland beat England with one ball to spare in third ODI thanks to twin centuries


Ireland chased down a daunting target of 329 to stun world champions England with a seven-wicket win in the third and final one-day international at the Rose Bowl on Tuesday.

Paul Stirling and captain Andy Balbirnie both struck superb centuries as the tourists secured just their second ever win over England in international cricket.

England, who had already sealed the series, batted first and recovered from early trouble to post 328 all out one ball shy of their 50 overs, with captain Eoin Morgan providing another classy century against the country of his birth.

But Ireland never looked intimidated in their chase as Stirling smashed 142 from 128 balls and Balbirnie 113 from 112 to put on a record 214 for the second wicket, and the second-highest partnership for Ireland in ODIs as they reached their target with one ball to spare.

The series is the first in the International Cricket Council’s 13-team Super League that serves as the qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup in India, where the hosts and the leading seven sides will play at the finals.

Eoin Morgan ducks under a short ball with his bat in the air
Eoin Morgan scored a century for England, against the country of his birth.(Pool via AP: Adrian Dennis)

England slipped to 44-3 at the start of their innings, but Morgan, who previously played 23 ODIs for Ireland, took the attack to the bowlers and was well supported by Tom Banton (58) as they put on 146 in 18.2 overs for the fourth wicket.

David Willey (51) and Tom Curran (38 not out) added 73 more for the eighth wicket to see England past 300.

Ireland raced along in their reply, aided by a poor length from the home bowlers, with Stirling reaching his ninth ODI century and captain Balbirnie his sixth, but neither could see their side home.

The visitors needed eight off the last over bowled by Saqib Mahmood, and were aided by a waist-high no-ball that provided an extra ball and a free hit.

Ireland’s only other victory over England in 13 ODI matches came at the 2011 World Cup when they scored 329-7 as Kevin O’Brien scored a century.

He was at the crease to hit the winning runs in this latest victory to seal another famous Ireland success.

Paul Stirling hits a shot down on one knee
Paul Stirling hit a spectacular 142 runs in 128 balls.(Pool via AP: Adrian Dennis)

Stirling said Ireland always believed they could chase down a score of over 300.

“It was brilliant to get our first win in the competition, especially after a few tough performances in the last two games,” Stirling said.

“We’ve chased over 300 a number of times, particularly in World Cups, so we knew we could do it.

“It [the big target] maybe just freed us up a little bit to go a bit harder up top and have a bit of fun.

“In the middle overs we were able to keep it ticking along, so it was just a pretty solid chase in the end.”

It was Stirling’s ninth ODI hundred, but one of his best, though he was more relieved to have broken his side’s duck in the Super League.

“This one is up top there, definitely. To do it against England in England is a nice one to have under your belt, but it was a team performance.

“It is the win that counts and 10 points there on the board. They are the most important things.”

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West Coast Eagles beat Geelong by nine points as Majak Daw makes winning AFL return with North Melbourne


Nic Naitanui has played a starring role to help the West Coast Eagles post a nine-point comeback victory against Geelong in Perth.

The home side trailed by 21 points early in the third quarter of Saturday night’s match but booted five of the final six goals to secure the 11.7 (73) to 10.4 (64) win in front of 26,211 spectators.

The Eagles’ win followed an emotional day on the the other side of the country, with North Melbourne’s Majak Daw making a winning return to the AFL on the Gold Coast.

Daw had not played an AFL match since late 2018 and he helped the Kangaroos defeat Adelaide by 69 points.

Also on Saturday, St Kilda recorded a third consecutive win for the first time in more than three years with a thumping 53-point victory over injury-hit Sydney.

In Perth, Eagles spearhead Josh Kennedy booted two vital goals in the pulsating final quarter to finish with four for the match.

Tim Kelly tallied 23 disposals and five clearances in his first match against the Cats since leaving the club at the end of last year.

Dom Sheed was also exceptional with two goals and six clearances from his 24 disposals.

But it was Naitanui who had the biggest influence on the match, despite tallying just nine disposals and failing to take a mark.

A significant portion of Naitanui’s 34 hit-outs fell in the lap of his midfield troops, leading to several crucial goals.

His bullocking work at ground level was also vital in helping turn the midfield battle West Coast’s way in the second half.

The result moves West Coast into fourth spot with a 6-3 record, while Geelong (5-4) are sixth.

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West Coast booted the first goal of the match within 12 seconds courtesy of a great ruck tap from Naitanui and a mark from Kennedy in the square.

The Cats won the inside 50 count 11-6 to take a six-point lead into the first break, but they deserved more for their dominance.

The visitors threatened to break away in the second term as the lead grew to 22 points, but a late goal to Sheed ensured the damage was not too great.

Geelong were forced to defend grimly for long periods of the second half as West Coast launched wave after wave of attack.

The Cats were clinging to a two-point lead early in the final quarter when the goal review system took centre stage.

Geelong’s Sam Simpson celebrated a goal despite his kick coming off his knee.

Replays were inconclusive as to whether the ball touched his boot after coming off his knee, meaning the goal umpire’s original decision of a goal stood.

A centimetre-perfect Naitanui ruck tap a short time later helped Kennedy score his third goal, and the Eagles were in front when Jack Darling kicked truly at the 12-minute mark.

The next 10 minutes was full of frenzied excitement as players from both sides threw everything at the contest.

The sealer did not come until the final minute, when Kennedy kicked his fourth.

Daw completes inspiring AFL comeback

Daw, playing in his first AFL match in more than 700 days after suffering serious hip and pelvic injuries in a fall from Melbourne’s Bolte Bridge in December 2018, was the focus in Carrara as the Kangaroos claimed a 19.5 (119) to 7.8 (50) win.

The 29-year-old provided the highlight of the victory when he kicked a goal in the final term, with every one of his teammates coming to jump all over him in celebration.

Daw finished with eight disposals, four marks and his goal.

A North Melbourne AFL player watches the ball in front of him while surrounded by a teammate and an Adelaide opponent.
Majak Daw (centre) kicked a goal in his first AFL match in almost two years.(AAP: Dave Hunt)

North Melbourne’s victory ends a six-match losing run and leaves winless Adelaide stranded at the bottom of the ladder.

The Kangaroos’ tally of 119 is also the highest score by a team in 2020, eclipsing West Coast’s 111 against Collingwood in round eight.

The Crows’ unwanted club-record losing run is now at 12 and it will be more than a year since their last AFL win when they take to Adelaide Oval to play Melbourne on Wednesday.

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Daw did not take long to make an impact on the match, playing a key role in the build-up to the opening goal scored by Luke Davies-Uniacke.

That score sent the Kangaroos on their way as they kicked four goals to none in the opening term.

Adelaide made an attempt at a comeback in the second term but a flurry of three goals at the end of the half ensured North had extended their margin to 34 points by the main break.

Saints hand Swans heavy loss

Tough midfielder Zak Jones starred for the Saints against his old side with 21 disposals and six clearances in the 15.11 (101) to 6.12 (48) triumph at the Gabba.

The Swans had no answer to St Kilda’s superior run and slick ball use after half-time as Jack Steele (24 disposals), Jade Gresham (23) and Jack Billings (19) racked up possessions through the midfield.

Emerging key forward Max King and Nick Hind both kicked three goals as Dan Butler, Josh Battle and Gresham chipped in with two each.

It was the first time the Saints had managed a triple-figure score this season.

A St Kilda AFL player is hugged around his shoulders by a teammate as they celebrate a goal against Sydney.
Zak Jones (right) was impressive for the Saints in their win over the Swans.(AAP: Albert Perez)

Luke Parker (26 disposals and five clearances) and James Rowbottom (16 and seven) worked hard for the Swans and Tom McCartin finished with three goals.

Tom Papley, the Coleman Medal leader heading into round nine, managed just one goal under Ben Paton’s watch.

The only real sour note for St Kilda was a calf injury that led to Seb Ross’s late withdrawal before the bounce.

Ross had missed just one match in five seasons and was replaced by Shane Savage, who had 14 disposals in his first senior appearance of 2020.

AAP/ABC



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Canberra Raiders score 14-12 NRL win over North Queensland as Sydney Roosters beat Gold Coast


Canberra has shown its class to sneak home with a 14-12 win over North Queensland in an NRL arm wrestle in Townsville.

Earlier in the afternoon, the depleted Sydney Roosters survived an almighty scare from an inspired Gold Coast Titans to escape with a vital 18-12 win at the SCG.

Up north, it was far from the Raiders’ best performance but they did enough to edge a willing Cowboys outfit, with both teams scoring two tries.

The Cowboys threw everything at their opponents but too often let themselves down with their kicking options.

Gunning for their third successive victory, the Raiders looked as if they were suffering jet lag early on after their long match-day flight to Canberra.

They were caught out just two minutes into the match when North Queensland hooker Reece Robson dashed over the line from dummy half.

The Raiders found their groove to level in the 18th minute when half-back George Williams started and finished a 70-metre try, helped by a big charge and fend by winger Nick Cotric.

A 35th-minute penalty strike by captain Jarrod Croker allowed his team to take an 8-6 lead to half-time.

Canberra prop Josh Papalii was both hero and villain within two minutes, stripping the ball but then being placed on report for a forearm to the head of the Cowboys’ teenage full-back Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow.

Cowboys skipper Jason Taumalolo steamed to the try line to put his side up but it was short-lived with the Raiders hitting back four minutes later.

England international John Bateman, playing his first match of the year after two rounds of shoulder surgery, found Curtis Scott, who fended off winger Murray Taulagi to score.

Sharpshooter Croker then showed his value, nailing the conversion from the sideline to put his side ahead again.

The final 12 minutes saw four captains’ challenges, with the Cowboys correct with both but they couldn’t find the points for a win or to take the match into golden point.

Roosters deny gutsy Titans

In an action-packed match laced with drama, the Roosters overcame their crippling injury toll to preserve their place in the top four thanks largely to the heroics of classy centre Joseph Manu.

Already missing eight players from their 2019 grand final-winning outfit and with superstar signing Sonny Bill Williams holed up in quarantine, the Roosters lost try-scoring ace Josh Morris to a calf strain before this afternoon’s kick-off.

Fortunately the back-to-back premiers had Manu, whose leaping 58th-minute try and miracle first-half try saver on Phillip Sami saved the Roosters embarrassment.

The Titans could have bagged four first-half tries but had to settle for only one after blowing two and seeing Manu pull off his incredible rescue act before the break.

Jamal Fogarty was also denied a try in just the second minute, the half-back touching down only for the bunker to rule Titans teammate Brian Kelly had passed him the ball off the ground.

A Sydney Roosters NRL player tackles a Gold Coast Titans opponent holding the ball around the chest area.
Roosters hooker Jake Friend (left) tries to bring down Gold Coast lock Jai Arrow.(AAP: Dean Lewins)

But there was no denying Anthony Don eight minutes later when the prolific winger started and finished his own 75-metre effort.

After scrambling for much of the half, somehow the Roosters went to the break with a 10-6 advantage after half-back Kyle Flanagan added two penalties to his conversion of Mitch Aubusson’s try.

The Titans were reduced to 12 men for a second time in the match when Keegan Hipgrave was sin-binned for taking out Lindsay Collins.

The Roosters’ claims for a penalty try were denied but Flanagan’s two points made it 12-6 before Manu soared high to reel in Luke Keary’s cross-field bomb.

That appeared to seal the deal before Sami crossed with five minutes remaining to give Roosters fans a tense finish.

AAP/ABC



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Adelaide United hit top form under Carl Vaert, beat Perth Glory 5-3 in A-League


A devastating four-goal first-half blitz has propelled Adelaide United to a stunning 5-3 win over fellow A-League finals aspirants Perth Glory in Sydney.

Adelaide consolidated sixth spot, pulling four points clear of seventh-placed Western United, who have played three games less.

United moved level on points with fifth-placed Perth, who have a better goal difference and have played one game less than Adelaide.

Adelaide exploited some uncharacteristic sloppiness in Glory’s defensive work as Perth conceded five in the A-League for the first time in coach Tony Popovic’s tenure, slumping to successive losses.

The win made it seven points out of nine for Adelaide since the competition restarted and Carl Veart took over as interim coach after Gertjan Verbeek returned to the Netherlands in April.

Just prior to the competition shutting down in late March, Adelaide lost four in a row, leaking 15 goals in that time.

“I think the boys were lacking a bit of confidence before the break, we were in a bit of a hole and we couldn’t get out of it,”‘ said Veart, who was then the assistant coach.

Carl Vaert claps wearing a blue suit
Carl Vaert is temporarily in charge of Adelaide, but has seven points from a possible nine so far.(ABC Image: Brendan Esposito)

“After the COVID break we came back and I really emphasised to the players that I want them to enjoy their football.

“It’s about them enjoying and expressing themselves and I think we saw that tonight with some of the football they played was great.”

The Glory looked the livelier side in the early stages, but their early shooting opportunities were either blocked or off target at Parramatta Stadium.

Adelaide missed a glorious chance to open the scoring when Riley McGree had a penalty saved by Liam Reddy after Jacob Tratt was judged to have fouled Ben Halloran.

It proved a brief reprieve for Perth, who never recovered after conceding two goals in as many minutes.

Defender Michael Jacobsen triggered the Adelaide goal avalanche with a header from a perfectly delivered in-swinging corner from Taras Gomulka.

Lachlan Brook quickly added a second, sweeping in a pass from the outstanding Kristian Opseth, who drew three defenders after Adelaide punished Perth for losing possession.

“It took us a little bit to get into the game and after we missed the penalty, we lifted and we played some great football in that last 30 minutes of the first half,” Veart said.

“That’s what we’re looking for and that’s what we’ve been asking for the players, to show that character and that fight.”

Glory briefly stemmed the tide with Kristain Popovic finishing well after trapping a Neil Kilkenny cross.

But five minutes later Adelaide restored their two-goal advantage with Opseth heading into an empty net after an ineffective punch by Reddy from another Gomulka corner.

Adelaide scored a fourth on the stroke of half-time when Opseth released Ben Halloran, whose shot deflected off Osama Malik into the net.

Glory made a positive start to the second half but couldn’t turn chances into goals.

Stefan Mauk, wearing red, takes the ball away from Kristian Popovic, wearing white
Adelaide gave Perth the run-around in a dominant first half.(ABC Image: Brendan Esposito)

Substitute Pacifique Niyongabire, the brother of Melbourne Victory’s Elvis Kamsoba, made it 5-1 when he stepped past a defender and lashed the ball into the net for his first A-League goal..

Perth pulled two goals back in the final stages.

Bruno Fornaroli netted in the 73rd minute and Juande put away a penalty ten minutes later after Ryan Kitto fouled substitute Jake Brimmer.

“We got punished for mistakes, we gave away two goals from corners so it wasn’t defensively a good night,” Tony Popovic said.

“Our opponent punished us for the gifts we gave them tonight.”

AAP/ABC



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Penrith Panthers beat Gold Coast Titans to take top spot back, Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs upset Newcastle Knights


A contentious second-half try has helped an injury-hit Penrith to hold out Gold Coast 22-14 in the wet and regain top spot on the NRL ladder.

The Panthers were kept honest on Sunday by a gritty Titans but the visitors sealed the scrappy clash when Malakai Watene-Zelezniak crossed in the 61st minute, scoring off what appeared to be a forward pass from Brent Naden.

Buoyed by the poaching of Brisbane back-rower David Fifita on a lucrative three-year deal from 2021, the third-last Titans punched above their weight in front of 5,095 fans but still could not land a knockout blow on a depleted Panthers.

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Penrith fielded the most-inexperienced team in the competition this weekend, their 17 boasting just 968 games after losing Dylan Edwards (hamstring), Api Koroisau (elbow), Dean Whare (leg) and star Viliame Kikau (calf).

However, they dug deep to clinch their sixth-straight win and move to their best season start after 11 games.

Penrith ignored their horror form in Queensland to move to a 9-1-1 (win-draw-loss record), improving on their previous best of eight wins from the first 11 games in five previous seasons (1989, 1991, 2003, 2004, 2018).

Remarkably, the Panthers registered only their eighth win in 26 games in Queensland since 2010.

Penrith clung on to a 16-14 halftime lead after a fightback from the hosts which included two tries in the stanza’s final three minutes.

Bulldogs pull off major upset against Knights

Canterbury has staged one of the upsets of the NRL season, holding off a late comeback from an injury-hit Newcastle to prevail 18-12 in the wet.

Knights duo Andrew McCullough (hamstring) and Connor Watson (Achilles tendon) were chaired from the field on Sunday afternoon after suffering possible season-ending injuries.

Kalyn Ponga grimaces as two people wearing blue and white shirts hit him with their arms
Kalyn Ponga came to life in the second half.(AAP: Darren Pateman)

Newcastle struggled to overcome the loss of both players, while also committing too many errors in the driving rain.

The last-placed Bulldogs had no such issues with the heavy conditions, completing at more than 90 per cent to claim just their second win of the season.

The victory comes just days after the appointment of incoming coach Trent Barrett, who will take plenty of positives out of their no-frills performance.

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Veteran front-rower Aiden Tolman was among Canterbury’s best, carting the ball up for a team-high 181 metres and also adding a crucial first-half try.

Hooker Jeremy Marshall-King tallied a game-high 50 tackles and set up a try for Raymond Faitala-Mariner in the second half.

Canterbury took advantage of a Newcastle side who struggled to hold possession, surging out to a three-try lead after Jake Averillo’s scored in the 49th minute.

The Knights finally found some footing when Hymel Hunt made the most of a Tautau Moga offload to reduce the deficit to 12 points.

The 3,521 souls who braved the conditions were treated to a thrilling finish when Sione Mata’utia slid over with 10 minutes left in the contest.

But the Bulldogs held off a series of attacking waves on their own tryline in the final 20 minutes to earn their first win since round four.

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Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs upset NRL ladder to beat injury-hit Newcastle Knights



Canterbury has staged one of the upsets of the NRL season, holding off a late comeback from an injury-hit Newcastle to prevail 18-12 in the wet.

Knights duo Andrew McCullough (hamstring) and Connor Watson (Achilles tendon) were chaired from the field on Sunday afternoon after suffering possible season-ending injuries.

Newcastle struggled to overcome the loss of both players, while also committing too many errors in the driving rain.

The last-placed Bulldogs had no such issues with the heavy conditions, completing at more than 90 per cent to claim just their second win of the season.

The victory comes just days after the appointment of incoming coach Trent Barrett, who will take plenty of positives out of their no-frills performance.

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Veteran front-rower Aiden Tolman was among Canterbury’s best, carting the ball up for a team-high 181 metres and also adding a crucial first-half try.

Hooker Jeremy Marshall-King tallied a game-high 50 tackles and set up a try for Raymond Faitala-Mariner in the second half.

Canterbury took advantage of a Newcastle side who struggled to hold possession, surging out to a three-try lead after Jake Averillo’s scored in the 49th minute.

The Knights finally found some footing when Hymel Hunt made the most of a Tautau Moga offload to reduce the deficit to 12 points.

The 3,521 souls who braved the conditions were treated to a thrilling finish when Sione Mata’utia slid over with 10 minutes left in the contest.

But the Bulldogs held off a series of attacking waves on their own tryline in the final 20 minutes to earn their first win since round four.

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Cronulla Sharks beat St George Illawarra Dragons despite coughing up lead, Sydney Roosters survive Warriors scare


St George Illawarra has gone close to pulling off an improbable comeback win over arch-rivals Cronulla, going down 28-24 in an enthralling affair in Kogarah.

The Dragons were down by four with two minutes to go on Saturday night when Matt Dufty failed to cleanly ground a Ben Hunt grubber with no one in sight.

Jason Saab then had a chance to steal the game with the final play when he soared to take a Corey Norman kick, but grounded the ball on the dead-ball line.

St George Illawarra coach Paul McGregor will also be left to rue a dubious try to Cronulla’s Jack Williams early in the contest.

The frantic last few minutes provided a thrilling finish to an entertaining contest at Jubilee Stadium, with the sides combining for nine tries in the wet conditions.

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Dragons centre Zac Lomax was involved in two contenders for the try of the year, but it was not enough to prevent the hot form of Sharks star Shaun Johnson.

The NRL leader in try assists added two more, taking his tally to 16, while he was involved in a third and scored a fourth himself in another stellar display.

He was supported by prop Royce Hunt, who made 196 metres off the bench.

The win may have come at a cost, though, with halfback Chad Townsend failing to finish the match after suffering a suspected calf injury.

Roosters run all the way by Warriors

Playing below their best, NRL premiers the Sydney Roosters outlasted a gutsy Warriors side for an 18-10 win in Gosford.

The Warriors led 10-6 at half-time, but the boot of Roosters five-eighth Luke Keary eventually weakened their defence on Saturday afternoon as Trent Robinson’s men escaped with the win late.

Jared Warea-Hargreave is being tackled by the ankles and chest by two Warriors opponents
The Roosters were made to work for their two points against the Warriors.(AAP: Darren Pateman)

Keary produced a try assist, a try and four repeat sets on the Warriors’ line in the second half to tire out the gritty defence.

Fireworks sparked late in the second half when Warriors loan prop Jack Hetherington took on Roosters enforcer Jared Waerea-Hargreaves in a personal battle up front.

The two came face-to-face, gripping jerseys, and made a mission to run at one another, raising the intensity late in the game.

Taking a hit-up with 10 minutes to go, the New Zealand international charged at Hetherington, who didn’t back down from the confrontation.

But the energy lifted the Roosters and, off a quick play-the-ball, Joseph Manu spotted space from dummy-half and raced over to score to extend the lead to 18-10.

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After a bitter battle in the middle, Manu’s try put the result beyond doubt for the Roosters, who had appeared less that their clinical best over the past few weeks.

It was the third-straight loss for the Warriors but a much-improved performance after last week’s 48-10 loss to Cronulla at Central Coast Stadium.

Departing Warriors winger Ken Maumalo scored the first try of the afternoon five minutes in when he ran over untouched in the left corner and it took almost 20 minutes for the Roosters to hit back.

And after some brilliant pressure from the Warriors, the premiers finally responded when a Keary bomb was cleaned up by replacement forward Sitili Tupouniua to score between the posts.

A try late in the second half for rising Warriors star Eli Kaota off a deceptive handball from Kodi Nikorima gave the home side the half-time lead.

The Roosters didn’t hit the lead until the 51st minute, when Keary put through a grubber to score and go up by two points with half-an-hour to play.

AAP



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Sydney Roosters beat Warriors 18-10 as NRL strugglers run premiership fancies to the wire



Playing below their best, NRL premiers the Sydney Roosters have outlasted a gutsy Warriors side for an 18-10 win in Gosford.

The Warriors led 10-6 at half-time, but the boot of Roosters five-eighth Luke Keary eventually weakened their defence on Saturday afternoon as Trent Robinson’s men escaped with the win late.

Keary produced a try assist, a try and four repeat sets on the Warriors’ line in the second half to tire out the gritty defence.

Fireworks sparked late in the second half when Warriors loan prop Jack Hetherington took on Roosters enforcer Jared Waerea-Hargreaves in a personal battle up front.

The two came face-to-face, gripping jerseys, and made a mission to run at one another, raising the intensity late in the game.

Taking a hit-up with 10 minutes to go, the New Zealand international charged at Hetherington, who didn’t back down from the confrontation.

But the energy lifted the Roosters and, off a quick play-the-ball, Joseph Manu spotted space from dummy-half and raced over to score to extend the lead to 18-10.

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After a bitter battle in the middle, Manu’s try put the result beyond doubt for the Roosters, who had appeared less that their clinical best over the past few weeks.

It was the third-straight loss for the Warriors but a much-improved performance after last week’s 48-10 loss to Cronulla at Central Coast Stadium.

Departing Warriors winger Ken Maumalo scored the first try of the afternoon five minutes in when he ran over untouched in the left corner and it took almost 20 minutes for the Roosters to hit back.

And after some brilliant pressure from the Warriors, the premiers finally responded when a Keary bomb was cleaned up by replacement forward Sitili Tupouniua to score between the posts.

A try late in the second half for rising Warriors star Eli Kaota off a deceptive handball from Kodi Nikorima gave the home side the half-time lead.

The Roosters didn’t hit the lead until the 51st minute, when Keary put through a grubber to score and go up by two points with half-an-hour to play.

AAP



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