Toyota Cup - Round 12 Review
St George-Illawarra Dragons v Penrith Panthers - WIN Stadium
A double to Panthers players, Michael Fualalo and Joel Romelo has helped Penrith knock off the high flying St George-Illawarra Dragons at WIN Stadium on Friday night, ending the Dragons nine game winning streak.
The under-rated Panthers started the match in the best possible fashion, scoring twice in the opening quarter through loose-forward Romelo and winger Fualalo, but in front of a home crowd the Dragons quickly hit back in the form of Clifford Morris and Brad Hudson to level the scores to 12-all in the 25th minute.
Scores continued to see-saw through the remainder of the first half, before a double to the Panthers in the second half gave them the breathing space they needed to defend out the rest of the match.
PENRITH PANTHERS 28 (Tries: Joel Romelo 2, Michael Fualalo 2, Stirling Siejka; Goals: Stirling Siejka 4) DEFEATED ST GEORGE-ILLAWARRA DRAGONS 24 (Tries: Clifford Morris, Brad Hudson, Beau Henry, Ken Edwards; Goals: Beau Henry 4)
Parramatta Eels v Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks - Parramatta Stadium
Despite wet and cold conditions at Parramatta Stadium on Saturday night, the Eels returned to their attacking best, blitzing the hapless Cronulla Sharks 52 – 4.
Both teams arrived at Parramatta Stadium on equal points, with the match promising to be a tight affair, but what unfolded was not equal in any shape.
Sharks fullback Hayden Peacock opened the scoring for the game, crossing out wide in the fourth minute to give the visitors the lead until the 13th minute. From there, the Eels scored 10 unanswered tries, including a triple to Albert Kelly, whilst winger Nathan Gardner collected 20 points in the clash.
PARRAMATTA EELS 52 (Tries: Albert Kelly 3, Nathan Gardner 2, Brad Graham 2, Rory Brien, Kene Te Whata, Joel Latham; Goals: Nathan Gardner 6) DEFEATED CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS 4 (Tries: Hayden Peacock)
Newcastle Knights v Bulldogs - EnergyAustralia Stadium
Attacking football was on the cards at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Sunday when the Bulldogs and the Knights both threw the defensive books out the window, battling out for the highest ever draw in Toyota Cup history.
Fifteen tries were scored between the two teams, as the Knights dominated the first half of the match, before the fast finishing Bulldogs leveled the scores in the 79th minute of the game.
Top try scorers for the match were Simon Williams from the Newcastle Knights with four, whilst Pakisonasi Afu collected three,
NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS 42 (Tries: Simon Williams 4, Manaia Osborne, Ryan Stig, Kevin Naiqama; Goals: Peter Mata'utia 7) DREW WITH BULLDOGS 42 (Pakisonasi Afu 3, Josh Bishop, Ben Shea, Peter Tuiaso, Ramone Jackson, Martin Taupau; Goals: Matt Minto 5)
Warriors v Wests Tigers - Mt Smart Stadium
A conversion from the sideline by Wests Tigers halfback, Darren Nicholls, has ensured the visitors have come away with one premiership point from their visit to Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday.
With both teams level at 18 all in the 70th minute, the Warriors chanced their arm through hooker Alehana Mara, crashing under the posts in the 74th minute for what looked like the match winner.
The Wests Tigers had other ideas, and with less than two minutes on the clock, half, Nicholls, ran the shortside, chipping ahead for centre Clarke to re-gather and then offloaded back inside for winger Sama Sauvao to score.
Despite the wet and windy conditions, and vocal Auckland crowd, Nicholls converted the difficult kick to ensure there would be two draws on Sunday in Toyota Cup.
WARRIORS 24 (Tries: Bill Tupou 2, Michael Afioga, Alehana Mara; Goals: Shaun Johnson 4) DREW WITH WESTS TIGERS 24 (Tries: Andrew Fifita 2, Jake Mullany, Sama Sauvao; Goals: Jake Mullany 3, Darren Nicholls 1)
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