Friday night footy saw another loss for the Dragons who went down to the Storm in Wollongong. By rights, Saints should be out of contention for the top eight but results in other matches have been keeping their slim hopes alive. The Storm on the other hand have secured themselves a semi-final spot and are looking the goods to give the comp a real shake.
Saturday saw the Panthers put together a mighty display to clobber the Wests Tigers at wet and miserable Penrith Football Stadium. In all, 14 tries were scored and at one point the home lads held a 32-0 lead before the Tigers made something of a comeback. The victory secures the Panthers a top four berth.
Saturday night featured a battle amongst the also-rans... or so we thought. The talking point of the round of the Eels v Cronulla match which saw the Sharks being smashed 74-4 in front of delighted Parramatta crowd. The result gives re-newed hope to the Parramatta side who are suddenly back in finals contention.
Sharks' skipper David Peachey allowed his frustration to get the better of him as he waved his arms about and leveled some less than complimentary remarks towards referee Shayne Hayne. In the space of 90 seconds Peachey was penalised, then marched ten metres and then sin binned before grabbing the grand prize of being sent off for good.
Many Sharks fans are calling for Hayne's blood while Peachey will be forced to answer a contrary conduct charge. But he won't have the front the judiciary alone with a number of players on report - at one point, the Sharks were reduced to 10 men while the ref was stamping his mark on the match.
The 74-4 result was a record win for Parramatta and record loss for the Sharks. Eels centre Jamie Lyon made the Parra record books as well scoring no less than five tries. Parramatta's 70 point victory is in good company as the largest winning margin since 1935 when Canterbury were defeated 91-6 by St George (a premiership record) and 87-7 by Easts.
While all this was going on, there was another flogging happening in Townsville with the Cowboys putting on club record of 60-8 over the Rabbitohs. Centre Josh Hannay kicked 10 goals and scored a try for personal tally of 24 points posting yet another new club record.
Sunday saw the Brisbane going down to the Warriors at Ericsson. Not to be outdone by Mr Hayne, referee Bill Harrigan got in the act of sin binning players following an all-in brawl in the first half.
It's been a tough last couple of months for the Broncos who have registered their fifth straight loss. Amazingly, the once mighty Brisbane side are actually in danger of being shunted out of the top eight. The Warriors however are now guaranteed a semi-final spot.
Meanwhile, the Raiders outclassed the Knights at a freezing cold Canberra Stadium. It was a gutsy win for the Raiders who have now cemented themselves a top four berth. The Knights on the other hand are nervously looking over their shoulders and need to win next week to be assured a spot in the playoffs.
The last match of the round saw the Roosters defeat the Sea Eagles at a windy Aussie Stadium and grab top spot on the ladder.
Next week (round 25, 29-31 August): Bulldogs v Raiders at the Showground Broncos v Eels at Lang Park Rabbitohs v Sharks at Aussie Manly v Panthers at Brookvale Roosters v Warriors at Aussie Westie Tigers v Cowboys at Campbelltown St George v Knights at Kogarah Storm: Bye *Mondays Expert match of the round
Round 24 results at a glance home team listed first
DRAGONS 14 Tries: Perenara, Blacklock Goals: Riddell 3/3 defeated by STORM 22 Tries: Moala 2, Slater, Sargent Goals: Orford 4/5 Friday 22 August 2003 7:30 PM WIN Stadium Referee: Tim Mander Video Referee: Stephen Clark Crwod: 11,367 Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - M Orford (Storm) 2 - C Smith (Storm) 1 - B Slater (Storm)
PANTHERS 44 Tries: Puletua, Wesser 2, Lewis 2, Rooney, Whatuira, Priddis, Waterhouse Goals: Girdler (4/9) defeated TIGERS 28 Tries: Wilson 2, Gibbs, Marshall, Bradley-Qalilawa Goals: Covell (4/5) Saturday 23 August 2003 5:30 PM Penrith Football Stadium Referee: Paul Simpkins Video Referee: Tim Mander Crowd: 10,924 Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - L Priddis (Panthers) 2 - P Campbell (Panthers) 1 - R Mears (Tigers)
COWBOYS 60 Tries: Bowen 3, Sing, Muckert, Myles, Rauhihi, Williams, Payne, Hannay Goals: Hannay 10/12 defeated RABBITOHS 8 Tries: Meredith, Merritt Goals: Merritt 0/2 Saturday 23 August 2003 7:30 PM Dairy Farmers Stadium Referee: Jason Robinson Video Referee: Mick Stone Crowd: 13,872 Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - M Bowen (Cowboys) 2 - P Rauhihi (Cowboys) 1 - J Hannay (Cowboys)
EELS 74 Tries: Lyon 5, Graham 2, Morris, Petersen, Vaealiki, Moodie, Cayless, Hopkins, Webster. Goals: Witt 4/6, Morris 1/2, Dykes 4/5, Hindmarsh 0/1. defeated SHARKS 4 Tries: Gallen Goals: Anderson 0/1 Saturday 23 August 2003 7:30 PM Parramatta Stadium Referee: Shayne Hayne Video Referee: Mick Lewis Crowd: 7,050 Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - J Lyon (Eels) 2 - J Morris (Eels) 1 - N Hindmarsh (Eels)
WARRIORS 22 Tries: Meli, Anderson, Latu, Faumuina Goals: Meli (0/1), Webb (3/4) defeated BRONCOS 14 Tries: De Vere 2 Goals: De Vere (2/3) Sunday 24 August 2003 4:00PM Local; 2:00PM AEST Ericsson Stadium Referee: Bill Harrigan Video Referee: Graeme West Crowd: 19,439 Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - B Webb (Warriors) 2 - A Guttenbeil (Warriors) 1 - P Civoniceva (Broncos)
RAIDERS 24 Tries: J Monaghan, Wiki, Martin, Drew Goals: Schifcofske 4/4 defeated KNIGHTS 16 Tries: Quinn, Perry, MacDougall Goals: Abraham 2/3 Sunday 24 August 2003 2:30 PM Canberra Stadium Referee: Sean Hampstead Video Referee: Phil Cooley Crowd: 8,050 Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - L Davico (Raiders) 2 - M Parsons (Knights) 1 - M Monaghan (Raiders)
ROOSTERS 46 Tries: Crocker, Finch 3, Cross, Walker, Minichello, Webb Goals: Crocker 7/9 defeated SEA EAGLES 16 Tries: Donald, McGuinness Goals: Ferris 1/2 Sunday 24 August 2003 3:00 PM Aussie Stadium Referee: Stephen Clark Video Referee: Chris Ward Crowd: 9,986 Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - B Finch (Roosters) 2 - M Crocker (Roosters) 1 - A Minichiello (Roosters)
Leagueunlimited.com Player of the Year Awards Round 24 Tally update: 27 points: M Orford (Storm) 21 points: P Campbell (Panthers), D Lockyer (Broncos) 20 points: L Bailey (Dragons), B Sherwin (Bulldogs) 19 points: A Johns (Knights) 18 points: A Minichiello (Roosters), L Priddis (Panthers) 17 points: B Firman (Dragons), C Gower (Panthers), B Slater (Storm) 16 points: C Schicofske (Raiders) 14 points: C Wing (Roosters) 13 points: C Fitzgibbon (Roosters), S Price (Bulldogs) 12 points: B Fittler (Roosters), T Hill (Tigers), B Kimmorley (Sharks), J Morris (Eels) 11 points: M Bowen (Cowboys), J Monaghan (Raiders), G Morrison (Cowboys), J Smith (Rabbitohs) 10 points: D Buderus (Knights), M Crocker (Roosters), B Drew (Raiders), H El Masri (Bulldogs), M Geyer (Storm), S Jones (Warriors), PJ Marsh (Warriors), F Meli (Warriors), D Nutley (Sharks), M Sing (Cowboys), L Withers (Tigers) 9 points: N Hindmarsh (Eels), L Hohaia (Warriors), R Kearns (Storm), B Walker (Sea Eagles), R Wesser (Panthers) 8 points: K Campion (Cowboys), J Ferris (Sea Eagles), M McLinden (Raiders), J Lyon (Eels), D Senter (Tigers), G Tallis (Broncos), L Thompson (Dragons), R Wiki (Raiders) 7 points: P Bailey (Sharks), S Berrigan (Broncos), B Finch (Roosters), B Fletcher (Rabbitohs), B Harris (Bulldogs), S Kearney (Storm), W Mason (Bulldogs), D Peachey (Sharks), P Rauhihi (Cowboys), S Timmins (Dragons), N Vagana (Bulldogs), S Webcke (Broncos), M Witt (Eels) 6 points: T Carroll (Broncos), S Faumuina (Warriors), J Hannay (Cowboys), B Kennedy (Knights), M O'Meley (Bulldogs), D Myles (Cowboys), C Pearson (Wests Tigers), J Skandalis (Tigers), A Watmough (Sea Eagles), B Webb (Warriors), S Webcke (Broncos) 5 points: D Abraham (Knights), O Craigie (Rabbitohs), M Gidley (Knights), A Guttenbeil (Warriors), M O'Neill (Tigers), J Perry (Knights), C Randall (Sea Eagles), M Riddell (Dragons), J Seu Seu (Warriors), C Smith (Storm), P Stringer (Rabbitohs), L Swann (Warriors), S Woolford (Raiders) 4 points: N Blacklock (Dragons), T Byrne (Roosters), S Donald (Sea Eagles), J Galuvao (Panthers), M Gasnier (Dragons), B Hodgson (Eels), L McWilliams (Cowboys), T Puletua (Panthers), S Sattler (Panthers), T Tahu (Knights), B Tate (Broncos), M Utai (Bulldogs), P Whatuira (Panthers) 3 points: B Anasta (Bulldogs), S Bell (Storm), L Covell (Tigers), L Davico (Raiders), M De Vere (Broncos), C Flannery (Roosters), K Gidley (Knights), P Graham (Raiders), A Lauiti'iti (Warriors), L Lewis (Panthers), J Lowe (Cowboys), A MacDougall (Knights), M McClinden (Raiders), S Menzies (Sea Eagles), A Morley (Roosters), R O'Hara (Raiders), L Rooney (Panthers), M Sullivan (Sharks) 2 points: D Byrne (Dragons), D Carlaw (Broncos), J Caine (Wests Tigers), N Cayless (Roosters), L Dorn (Sea Eagles), J Feeney (Bulldogs), B Galea (Tigers), A Graham (Eels), T Grimaldi (Bulldogs), D Heckenberg (Eels), C Heighnington (Tigers), S Hill (Storm), L Hopkins (Eels), M Hughes (Knights), A Laffranchi (Tigers), J Lolesi (Raiders), N Merritt (Rabbitohs), A Mogg (Raiders), R O'Hara (Raiders), M Parsons (Knights), B Reeves (Sea Eagles), L Ricketson (Roosters), S Rudder (Knights), J Ryles (Dragons), M Sargent (Storm), S Tadulala (Storm), C Toopi (Warriors), D Wagon (Eels), L Williamson (Eagles) 1 point: T Barrett (Dragons), C Beattie (Sharks), J Bulgarelli (Raiders), J Carlaw (Warriors), P Civoniceva (Broncos), M Creary (Sea Eagles), J Croker (Raiders), J Death (Rabbitohs), S Dunley (Eels), H Fa'afili (Warriors), P Gallen (Sharks), R Girdler (Panthers), E Grothe (Roosters), A Hart (Rabbitohs), J Hodges (Roosters), S Kelly (Broncos), D Kidwell (Storm), L MacDougall (Rabbitohs), R Mears (Tigers), R O'Davis (Knights), C Parker (Broncos), M Peterson (Eels), A Quinn (Knights), C Sheppard (Cowboys), T Smith (Raiders), R Swain (Broncos), J Thurston (Bulldogs), C Webb (Broncos), D Widders (Eels), T Williams (Cowboys), A Woolnough (Knights)