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Another game, another controversy for
South Sydney benefited from two
dubious calls to hold out Brisbane and
claim a remarkable 28-26 NRL win at
Suncorp Stadium last night.
The Rabbitohs locked up the scores
at 26-26 when centre Kirisome Auva’a
was awarded a contentious try by the
video referee in the 73rd minute despite
Broncos halfback Ben Hunt appearing
to be obstructed by Rabbitohs backrower
Chris McQ ueen.
Then came the call that ensured the
Broncos faithful in the 44,122-strong
crowd booed the officials off the ground
After charging down Hunt ’s attempted
field goal, Sam Burgess was then awarded
a dubious strip penalty. Winger Bryson
Goodwin attempted a quick tap only to
be stripped himself illegally.
Referee Gavin Badger blew the penalty
again and South Sydney quickly regained
their cool before Adam Reynolds potted
over the 78th minute match-winning
Remarkably a Greg Inglis-inspired
South Sydney led Brisbane (both 4-4
records) 14-0 after just 15 minutes only
for the hosts to snatch a two-point half-
Inglis set up hooker Apisai Koroisau
(7th minute) and debutant Alex Johnston
— replacing winger Nathan Merritt — in
Then Inglis swooped on a Ben Barba
chip to run 89m and swat away seven
defenders to file an early nomination for
try of the season.
It could have been worse — the video
referee denied centre Dylan Walker a
25th minute try after replays showed
backrower Ben Te’o knocked on Reynolds’
grubber in the lead-up.
A minute later Inglis showed he was
human when he knocked on a Dale
Copley grubber close to his line and
Andrew McCullough (26th) scored.
Brisbane hit the lead 16-14 when they
capitalised on a remarkable 10 straight
sets as winger Lachlan Maranta (30th)
and lock Matt Gillett (35th) crossed.
The Broncos were up 22-14 when
McCullough (43rd) burrowed over from
dummy half but South Sydney hit back
through a barnstorming George Burgess
(52nd) to make it 22-20 to the hosts.
Jack Reed pounced on a Hunt grubber
but Corey Parker missed the conversion
to make it 26-20 to leave the door open
for South Sydney.
Broncos coach Anthony Griffin blamed
his side’s composure rather than the
officials for the loss.
“ We are finding ways to lose in
ridiculous ways,” he said. — AAP
Melbourne Storm’s season remains in
free-fall, with the Storm’s 16-10 Anzac
Day loss to the Warriors their fourth
defeat from their past five matches.
A record sold-out crowd of 28,716
turned out but Melbourne’s AAMI
Park fortress is now on shaky ground,
a possibly serious ankle injury to centre
Justin O’Neill compounding their
Second-last on the ladder, the Warriors
always rise for the challenge of playing
the Storm, and the win snapped a three-
game losing streak, and provided a first
win for coach Andrew McFadden.
With electric halfback Shaun Johnson
pulling the strings for their fast and
physical backline, they led from start to
finish in a high quality match played at
a frantic pace.
The visitors repeatedly tested the
home side’s problematic defence and
while the Storm delivered an improved
performance, there were still worrying
The Warriors led 12-6 at half-time,
which could have been far greater after
dominating possession and territory.
They opened the scoring in the ninth
minute through winger David Fusitua,
who showed incredible athleticism to
plant the ball as he was being tackled
into touch by Billy Slater.
The lead was out to 10-0 when Feleti
Mateo ran on to a Simon Mannering
pass and crossed untouched under the
The Storm got on the scoreboard in
the 37th minute when halfback Cooper
Cronk finally got some rewards for his
efforts, finding Kevin Proctor on the
charge for the second-rower to touch
It looked like they would trail by only
four points before Kiwi international
Johnson slotted a penalty after half-time
after a decoy play went wrong for the
Melbourne started the second half in
strong fashion and Ryan Hoffman set
up a try for winger Young Tonumaipea
to get them within two points.
The Warriors also lifted and Johnson
added a try of his own after combining
Johnson missed two field goal attempts
but they held out a late Storm charge to
clinch the win.
McFadden was thrilled that his team
had finally been rewarded for their hard
work after their run of losses.
“ We’ve been putting in the effort so it ’s
really nice for the players to have that
feeling again of achieving something
pretty special,” he said.
“ It ’s been building for the last few
weeks but we lacked a bit of confidence.
We came here with nothing to lose and
we went for it.
“ It was the result we needed to get our
confidence back and we’re going to use it
as a stepping stone to something better.”
Storm coach Craig Bellamy lauded his
team’s defensive efforts, particularly in
the first half when they were star ved of
He felt their attack, which had been a
strength, this week let them down and
said they were “struggling to all be on
the same page”.
“ In the second half we scored early and
were right back in the game but they
defended really well. We made enough
line-breaks to win the game but we
couldn’t seem to finish them off.
“ You have to give the Warriors a wrap
for the way they defended.” — AAP
Saturday, April 26, 2014
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PICTURE: Getty Images
Warriors Feleti Mateo celebrates with captain Simon Mannering after scoring
a tr y in last night ’s clash with the Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park.
PICTURE: Getty Images
Highlanders Aaron Smith jumps for the ball in this morning’s Super 15 match against the Sharks at
Growthpoint Kings Park, in Durban.
The Highlanders made a strong
statement of their Super Rugby
play-off intentions with a stunning
34-18 victory over the table-topping
The Sharks had lost just one game
all season but were outclassed in every
department, as Otago scored four tries
without reply to move up to fifth in the
Richard Buckman, Aaron Smith,
Shane Christie and Malakai Fekitoa all
crossed for the Highlanders, while the
hosts were entirely reliant on the boot
of novice first five-eighths Tim Swiel,
who landed six penalties.
Although the Sharks retained top
spot in the table, the defeat left them
with just a one-point lead ahead of a
four-match tour of Australasia.
No side had breached the Sharks
defence in the first half of a Super Rugby
game this season, yet the Highlanders
managed it three times as they blended
brain and brawn in the first 40 minutes.
While the Sharks made regular
forays into the Highlanders 22 during
an open game, they made a series of
errors and were forced to settle for
After Swiel had given the hosts a 6-3
lead in the opening quarter of an hour,
the Highlanders created front-foot
ball and Shaun Treeby’s grubber found
space in behind the Sharks defensive
line for Buckman to score.
Ten minutes later another sweeping
move took the Highlanders to within
5m of the Sharks tryline, and Smith
darted through a gap to dot down
under the posts.
The pressure on the Sharks grew after
Swiel missed a straightforward penalty
attempt with a horrible slice, and seven
minutes before half-time they conceded
the sort of try that South African sides
usually inflict on New Zealanders when
a rolling maul from a lineout took
Swiel landed a penalty either side of
the break to narrow the gap, and with
half an hour to go the Sharks were
back in the game when Joe Wheeler
was yellow-carded for infringing at the
lineout and Swiel sent over his sixth
penalty to make it 24-18 to the visitors.
However Lima Sopoaga widened
the gap with a penalty, before Fekitoa
sealed the bonus point in sensational
fashion when he collected the ball on
the halfway line and stepped his way
through half of the Sharks side to score.
Sopoaga produced a 100% return
from the boot with four conversions
and two penalties as the Sharks suffered
their first home defeat of the season and
only their second loss in nine outings.
English-born flyhalf Tim Swiel
kicked six penalties for the lethargic
Sharks, who had cut the deficit to six
points with 20 minutes left, but paid
the price for a poor performance filled
with handling errors and wayward
It was a grand final rematch but only
one side looks like they can make their
way back to Super Rugby’s showpiece.
The Chiefs dropped a second
straight crunch clash 41-23 and, with
just one win from their last six games,
this can no longer be called an early-
Certainly not with the humbling
they received at the hands of the
Brumbies last night. While the two
teams came into the encounter level
on 25 points, the Brumbies had six
wins in this campaign to the Chiefs’
four — and the disparity showed.
It was five tries to two and the
Chiefs were desperately lucky to earn
that return. While the defending
champions still sit on top of the
New Zealand conference, that falsely
inflated position could come to an end
as early as tonight.
The fall would hardly be undeserved.
The Chiefs have yet to turn in a
convincing 80-minute performance
this season and perhaps the only
positive is this nadir should cause
some real soul-searching in Hamilton.
A double-digit injury list hardly
helps, especially when one absentee
is talisman Aaron Cruden, but Dave
Rennie’s outfit have always preached
depth and a team-first ethos able to
overcome any loss in personnel.
The attacking malaise that has
hampered the Chiefs in recent weeks
continued throughout tonight ’s
game, with a lack of imagination
compounded by repeated handling
errors. While much of the pre-match
focus was on the respective teams’ set
piece, the Chiefs more than held their
own only to be let down in an area in
which they generally excel.
But that strength has traditionally
come with Cruden at the helm and,
once again without their main spark,
the Chiefs were short of creativity
and often forced the issue with ball in
That led to a number of drops in
promising positions, granting respite
for the Brumbies’ defence whenever
the home side seemed to grow weary.
Ill-discipline had a similar effect on
the Chiefs’ momentum, with seven
penalties in the first half gifting the
opposition improved field position.
One such instance led to the only
try of the half, when the Brumbies’
composure allowing Matt Toomua
to eventually drag a couple of tacklers
over the line from close range. The
hosts could have been better off than
their seven-point halftime lead were
it not for the Chiefs much-maligned
lineout winning all seven of their
throws in a solid half.
Dave Rennie and co appeared to
utilise the break to deliver the message
about pressing in attack and it was
a far more patient, probing Chiefs
who returned. Unfortunately for their
chances, a pair of sustained spells in
possession — the second totalling 15
phases — both broke down without
Sandwiched between those moves,
the Brumbies once again illustrated
a cutting edge absent in their
opposition, with Joe Tomane finishing
a sharp move in the corner. Things
soon got worse for the Chiefs when
James L owe was sent to the sin bin
for tripping, and the extra man proved
fruitful when Tevita Kuridrani crossed
to give his side an unassailable lead.
Chiefs crash to heavy defeat against Brumbies
Rabbits down Broncos
Warriors crash Storm’s thunder
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