We round up Saturday’s NRL action as Sydney Roosters, Cronulla Sharks and Canberra Raiders had the edge over their opponents…
New Zealand Warriors 10-18 Sydney Roosters
New Zealand international Joseph Manu helped the Roosters clinch a hard-fought win against the Warriors at Central Coast Stadium in Saturday’s opening match.
The Warriors, seeking to end a run of three straight defeats, led the reigning NRL champions 10-6 at the break, but second-half tries from Luke Keary and Manu ended hopes of a shock win.
July 26, 2020, 5:00am
Todd Payten’s side took the lead with just four minutes on the clock when Peta Hiku found Ken Maumalo to score following a testing kick by Kodi Nikorima. Adam Pompey kicked the conversion as well.
Sitili Tupouniua and Sio Taukeiaho then both had possible tries ruled out, but the former got the Roosters on the board in the 22nd minute, followed by Kyle Flanagan landing the first of three successful conversion attempts.
Nevertheless, the Warriors were back in front two minutes before half time as Eliesa Katoa crashed through the defence after taking a pass from stand-off Nikorima.
Keary’s converted try saw the Roosters edge ahead in the 50th minute and Manu put the seal on the win with his converted score 12 minutes from time.
Cronulla Sharks 28-24 St George Illawarra Dragons
A second-half fightback from the Dragons fell agonisingly short as Cronulla Sharks held on to secure the win at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium in Sydney.
The visitors were 28-14 down after 43 minutes but tries from Zac Lomax and Mikaele Ravalawa – the latter of which was converted – dragged them back into the match and set up a nail-biting finish.
Gold Coast Titans vs Penrith Panthers
July 26, 2020, 7:05am
However, they could not find the try which would have given them the chance to win it with a successful conversion or at the very least sent the game into golden point.
Tyrell Fuimano put the Dragons ahead with four minutes gone, only for Cronulla to reply through Jack Williams five minutes later.
Lomax’s penalty followed by his first try of the match put St George back in front, but again the Sharks hit back with Sione Katoa crossing. The hosts then kicked on through tries from Shaun Johnson and Will Kennedy before half-time.
Aaron Woods added a fifth try for Cronulla after the break and although Lomax and Ravalawa both went over for St George, it was the Sharks who were celebrating at full time.
Canberra Raiders 18-12 South Sydney Rabbitohs
Semi Valemei’s first try in the NRL proved enough to secure a win for the Raiders against South Sydney at GIO Stadium.
Nick Cotric put the Raiders ahead after six minutes with an unconverted score and then good work from Jarrod Croker to scoop up a loose ball and dive over, along with converted his own try, pushed them further ahead seven minutes later.
Dane Gagai hit back for Souths in the 21st minute with Adam Reynolds converting, followed by the half-back going over three minutes later and converting his own try to edge the visitors ahead.
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