Round 11 began at Bankwest Stadium with the Wests Tigers taking on the Parramatta Eels.
Mitch Moses was back and joined Dylan Brown in the halves for the Eels. Both sides lost players to concussion, with Ryan Matterson out after 15 minutes and Michael Chee Kam suffering a horrendous head injury in the 26th minute that left him in convulsions on the ground. He was taken to hospital and cleared of any major injury. Adam Doueihi also went down early in the second half and didn’t return.
The Eels didn’t start well with the Tigers scoring early. Reagan Campbell-Gillard was the spark for the Eels, who went on a 45m run to score. The game got scrappy toward the end of the second half but the Eels took the premiership points, beating the Tigers 26-16.
It’s TRY JULY for the Men of League Foundation, with Sportsbet contributing $5000 for every unique try celebration. The notable one for this game was Maika Sivo from the Eels – drinking Kava in the in-goal!
Friday night footy kicked off in Townsville at Queensland Country Bank Stadium where the Cowboys hosted the Sea Eagles. Neither team were at their best, but the Cowboys came out strong after the half-time break. Fortunately, Daly Cherry-Evans steered his side well and the Cowboys just couldn’t make anything from their opportunities. In the end, the Manly side scrapped their way to victory, winning 24-12.
The Friday night marquee game saw the Broncos take on the Storm at home in Brisbane.
Anthony Milford had been moved to fullback, which left Brodie Croft at 6. Tom Dearden came into the side to play in the 7. Dearden directed the side better and this helped the Broncos, who started well and only trailed 14-8 at half time.
The Storm came out firing after a half time roast from coach Bellamy and dominated the Broncos right across the park. Cameron Munster and Jahrome Hughes in the halves put on a show with Cameron Smith in the middle and Ryan Papenhuyzen at the back, who ran for over 250 metres. The Storm took the two premiership points, thumping the Broncos 46-8.
Central Coast Stadium was the venue to kickoff Super Saturday, with the Warriors taking on the Roosters. The Warriors were quick out of the gates and were leading the somewhat flat looking Roosters at half time. The slog continued until the Roosters scored late in the game, with both Luke Keary and Joseph Manu going over the stripe. The final score was 18-10.
It was a try-laden game for the second game of the Saturday ticket when the Sharks hosted the Dragons at Jubilee Stadium.
The Dragons opened the scoring with Matt Dufty crossing the white line for the first try of the game. The Sharks replied not long after, with Jack Williams getting to a grubber from Shaun Johnson. This was controversial with footage showing the Dufty grounded the ball prior to Williams. The Sharks were denied next, before Zac Lomax regained the lead for the Dragons. Sione Katoa replied for the Cronulla side, scoring his tenth try for the season. Johnson went over himself about 30 minutes in before giving a good ball to Will Kennedy to take the lead into the sheds.
Adam Clune and Trent Merrin suffered injuries and didn’t come out after half time. Aaron Woods went over the stripe for the first time this year and in his 200th game. While the lead was seemingly too big to catch, the Dragons didn’t give up. They didn’t have the ball and got a run of calls against them but kept with the Sharks. They were coming home fast but in the end but the Sharks held on to win 28-24.
We headed to chilly Canberra for the final Saturday game, where the Rabbitohs had travelled down the Federal Highway to play the Raiders. The Bunnies got out to an early lead but the greasy, wet conditions at GIO Stadium didn’t help their completion rates. Jarrod Croker’s penalty goal just after half time leveled the scores up before the rain set in. The second half was a slog, with the Raiders coming back to take the win, 18-12.
The Knights hosted the Bulldogs at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Unfortunately for the Knights, the game cost them more than the two points. They had season-ending injuries to Andrew McCullough and Connor Watson. On the plus side, Kurt Mann was excellent for them in the dummy half role once Watson was out injured. The Newcastle side looked like the just couldn’t break the Bulldogs defensive line. The did rally about an hour into the match, but it was too late by then and the Bulldogs were home, 18-12.
The Gold Coast wasn’t all that sunny late on Sunday afternoon, where the Titans hosted the Panthers at CBUS Stadium.
Nathan Cleary was the difference for the Panthers, who spotted gaps and overlaps to put three tries on and make the most of their opportunities. The Titans were only down 16-14 at half time. Coach Justin Holbrook is clearly having an effect on the club with the Titans players not bowing to pressure when trailing. They fought back at half-time, but their kick options weren’t up to scratch. The Panthers took the two premiership points with the final score being 22-14.
Harry Grant is still leading the Dally M Leaderboard with 13 points, with Cameron Smith and Clint Gutherson trailing him on 12 points.