Matt Cooper scored two tries and Jamie Soward scored one and kicked eight points as St George Illawarra Dragons beat the New Zealand Warriors 22-20 yesterday to retain the lead in Australia's National Rugby League after the 13th round of games.
St George defeat Warriors to stay top of NRL
Matt Cooper scored two tries and Jamie Soward scored one and kicked eight points as St George Illawarra Dragons beat the New Zealand Warriors 22-20 yesterday to retain the lead in Australia's National Rugby League after the 13th round of games. Defeat for the Warriors was compounded by the news that Brent Tate, the Australian and Queensland State of Origin centre, sustained a broken jaw after only 13 minutes of Sunday's match, adding to a long injury list. Tate joins Brett Seymour and props Steve Price, Sam Rapira and Jacob Lillyman on the sidelines.
"It just seems like deja vu," said Ivan Cleary, the Warriors coach. "It's terrible. We just have to hope for the best and that it's not too bad. It didn't look too good and I feel like probably the footy gods are not with us at the moment." Brent Tighe, the winger, scored two tries against his former NewcastleKnights clubmates as the Penrith Panthers briefly joined St George at the top of the table.
Luke Lewis was outstanding, leading the Penrith defence as Newcastle rallied from 18-0 down to 18-10. "He was outstanding," Matt Elliott, the Penrith coach, said of Lewis. "If he was sat here he would be talking about the couple of errors he made but his response to those errors was what makes him a great player." Israel Folau, the Australian Rules recruit, scored two tries for the Brisbane Broncos who beat the Manly Sea Eagles 22-6 while Robert Lui kicked the first field goal of his NRL career to clinch the Wests Tigers' 19-12 win over the Canterbury Bulldogs.
Elsewhere, the Canberra Raiders lead 26-6 early in the second half, before barely haning on to beat the Gold Coast Titans 28-24 at Canberra Stadium. In the Super League yesterday, Jermaine McGillvary scored two tries on his debut as the Huddersfield Giants returned to winning ways with a thumping 52-6 win over the Bradford Bulls. The 22-year-old McGillvary, who was loaned out to Championship clubs Batley and Barrow after being unable to force his way into the Giants line-up, made the most of his opportunity by touching down twice before half time to help his side to a 28-0 lead.
Bradford sorely missed the creative skills of Matt Orford, who rejoined the injury list alongside Brett Kearney, Jamie Langley and James Donaldson. The Wigan Warriors re-established a four-point lead over the Warrington Wolves at the top the table with a win over the Castleford Tigers at the DW Stadium. The Warriors always looked the likely winners but were made to work hard for their victory by a dogged Tigers side who were outscored seven tries to four.
Meanwhile, a solid defence saw Hull KR to an impressive 24-6 win over Catalans Dragons. * Agencies