Toyota Cup commentator Matt Russell looks at all the action from Round 22 in the Toyota Cup.
Penrith fullback Matt Moylan delivered his best game of the season in one of the Toyota Cup’s most memorable upsets on Saturday.
The Panthers went into the game in 13th place and without star five-eighth Blake Austin. Melbourne sat fourth and had dropped only one of 10 home games this season.
It counted for nothing as Moylan out-jumped his opposite Sean Loxley to score a try, set up two more with fantastic passes, had 20 runs for 282 metres and produced try-saving tackles.
It was one of the finest Toyota Cup performances I can recall.
Moylan had some good help. Winger Malakai Watene-Zelezniak scored a try as reward for his 24 runs and 289 metres. Second rower Jake Grace came up with 60 tackles.
It left outgoing Penrith coach Alex Melville a proud man and wondering what could have been. The Panthers are six points out of the top eight and will miss finals footy.
How they’d love to beat Wests Tigers on Friday night.
The Fox Sports curse?
The Penrith result above might have been the upset of the season if it wasn’t for North Queensland
Remember the Cowboys, sitting fourth, have twice lost to the team running last – Manly and then Gold Coast. Both of those fixtures were Fox Sports TV games.
Now Melbourne’s only home losses – against Cronulla and Penrith – have also been on Fox.
Coaches Kristian Woolf and Dean Pay might start building road blocks for the outside broadcast trucks.
Back on the horse
Just when you start to wonder if the Cowboys have too many frailties to win the title, they come up with a performance to have you believing again.
Against Canterbury at Homebush on Friday, North Queensland trailed 12-0 but fought back to win 22-18.
Centre Moses Pangai scored a try and ran for a team-high 167m, just ahead of Jason Taumalolo’s 165m.
Michael Parker-Walshe topped a big week, after being added to the club’s 2012 NRL squad, by scoring the first and last tries.
Still, they’ll want a better completion rate than 67% when they host Brisbane on Friday night.
Some like it hot
Cronulla and the Roosters are the hottest teams in the Toyota Cup right now.
They are on seven-game winning streaks and show no signs of stopping.
The Sharks breezed past Gold Coast 38-18 in the latest round while the Roosters downed Manly 26-18, despite being without seven regulars. Cronulla sits second, one win behind the Warriors. The Bondi boys are up to fifth.
This weekend the Roosters travel to Wollongong for a resurgent St George Illawarra.
Cronulla host a desperate Canterbury in a Monday evening cracker. Both streakers will have to play really well or risk having their pants pulled down.
Red V for victory
You can build a strong argument for St George Illawarra to make the top eight.
With a month to go, the Dragons sit ninth, one point behind Parramatta.
They have been beaten in only one of their last eight games and on Friday turned more heads with a 28-0 shutout against Wests Tigers.
That after piling on 50 points in each of their two previous wins.
Here are some names to suggest they can keep on winning – Nathan Green, Jack De Belin, Alex McKinnon, Kyle Stanley, Cameron King and Evander Cummins.
Fullback Cummins has crossed for doubles in his last two games and against the Tigers came up with 18 tackle breaks. Good luck getting hold of him at Corrimal High!
The Dragons-Warriors Fox Sports game in Round 25 is one to look forward to.
Stop the clock
Brisbane will miss the finals this year but seemed set for a big scalp when leading the Warriors 26-4 on Saturday.
Final score: 26-all!
Interestingly, it was 26-all for the final 14 minutes.
Earlier this season, the Broncos led Canberra 30-4 and finished at 34-all.
Surely the Broncos won’t give up a big lead again this season... will they?
Newcastle can give its top eight dream a massive boost by beating the Warriors in Auckland on Saturday.
The Knights have never made the Toyota Cup finals and stayed in the hunt with a 24-8 win against Canberra last Sunday.
Korbin Sims scored two tries to continue his family’s great year.
Brett Kimmorley is convinced the performances of Ashton and Tariq Sims at North Queensland are helping Korbin... and maybe vice versa.
They won’t be uniting any time soon with Korbin signed by Newcastle for a while yet.
While speaking of brothers, Newcastle’s last try created by winger Chanel Mata’utia and scored by centre Pat Mata’utia was all class and probably like many they’ve created in the backyard.
You can see the Warriors v Newcastle game on Super Saturday from 3.15pm EST. On Sunday, we’re in Canberra for the Raiders v South Sydney from 11.30am EST. Both games on Fox Sports 2.