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NRL Wrap: Fifth Round Action Brings Close Matches, Big Wins & Pitch Invaders

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NRL Wrap: Fifth Round Action Brings Close Matches, Big Wins & Pitch Invaders

It was another great weekend of rugby league, ranging from close matches to runaway score lines.

So, in case you missed anything, this is your Monday review of Round 5 in the NRL.

Manly Sea Eagles 30 - Newcastle Knights 6

No Turbo? No trouble! Manly went into this match as the underdogs without their star fullback Tom Trbojevic, but they showed everyone they can do just fine without him, defeating the Knights in the pouring rain on Thursday night in Newcastle.

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The Sea Eagles outscored the Knights five tries to one, and despite a few lucky calls going their way, they were the better team on the night.

DCE put in another commanding performance, with a strong kicking game and leading his team around the park. Rueben Garrick was also on point, filling in perfectly out the back for the injured Turbo.

Despite of few glimpses of Ponga greatness, the fullback was well below his best - is it injury or contract distraction holding him back? The rest of his teammates never fully adapted to the conditions - 49 percent completion rate, 30 missed tackle and 13 errors was never going to end well.

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New Zealand Warriors 25 - North Queensland Cowboys 24

It was a game won and lost on the boot with the Warriors beating the Cowboys with a Shaun Johnson field goal in golden point.

Johnson became a national hero after his field goal secured the Warriors victory, their third win in a row.

The Cowboys started the match strong and took a commanding 18-6 lead. Just before half-time, Chanel Harris-Tavita kicked a precision point that gave the Warriors perfect field position. Moments later Josh Curran crossed for a four pointer and kept his team in the match.

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The Warriors struck first in the second half through Kodi Nikorima, levelling the scores 18-all. The Cowboys took the lead once more with a gallant Valentine Holmes try, only for the Warriors to bring themselves back in line through Euan Aitken. The 24-all deadlock before full-time couldn't be broken, and after missed field goal attempts from both sides, Johnson succeeded with the boot in the 83rd minute.

Not placing blame on the back of kickers, but games like this show how important goal kicking is in a match. Holmes missed two conversions with only one of those required to win, and the game could have ended differently had the Cowboys opted for a field goal late in normal time.

Sydney Roosters 24 - Brisbane Broncos 20

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Joey Manu showed once again why he is the in-form centre of the NRL, playing a pivotal role in his team's victory over the Broncos.

A brilliant individual performance from Manu, along with five eighth Sam Walker, helped a Roosters side that wasn't overly impressive get the win. Manu was strong in defence and scored two solo tries, while Walker's kicking game gave the Tricolours the upper hand.

Brisbane seemed to be the better team for most of the game, but execution let them down and allowed the Roosters a sniff. Bronco's winger Corey Oates had a superb game in a losing side, finding some much-needed form.

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Another game going down to the wire, and another score line dictated by goal kicks. Adam Reynolds missed two conversions, with Walker kicking all four of his. The gap of four points with minutes to go ensured a two-point field goal was not enough, and the Broncos were also gifted a penalty in that time but once again a successful kick would not have secured the win.

Melbourne Storm 30 - Canberra Raiders 16

Everyone in purple played their roles perfectly and proved too strong against the Raiders in Wagga on Saturday.

Cameron Munster had one of his best games so far this season, with four offloads, two-line breaks and setting up two tries while running for 130m. Harry Grant also had a superb game, with many believing he is doing all the right things to possibly take the number nine Australian jersey.

Ryan Papenhyuzen had another great day out, converting all five of his teams tries and scoring a four pointer of his own.

Canberra still seems unable to find their rhythm this season, again making too many errors and their big boys lacking up the middle. Coach Ricky Stuart admitted in the post-match conference that his boys are struggling to put the opposition under any pressure.

For those that noticed big Nelson Asofoa-Solomona's colourful hairdo during the game, it was a touching tribute to 14-year-old Bella Tripp, the daughter of Storm chairman Matt Tripp, who sadly passed away during the week after a courageous battle with Leukaemia.

South Sydney Rabbitohs 24 - St George Illawarra Dragons 12

In one of the lacklustre games of the round, the Bunnies managed their second win of the season, beating the Dragons on Saturday night.

Both sides were well below par, with a combined total of 64 missed tackles, 29 errors and 11 penalties adding to the frustrations of the game.

Equally sharing the possession, Souths were able to do more with their time holding the ball, outscoring their opponents four tries to two.

South's fullback Latrell Mitchell went off with an injured hamstring in the 14th minute and never returned, but not before he scored the first try of the match. Young Blake Taafe jumped into the fullback role and did a terrific job filling in for Latrell, both out the back and in the goal kicking department.

Halfback Lachlan Illias put in another strong performance, growing in confidence with every game at number seven.

All doesn't seem well at the moment in Dragon-land, with the team once again looking very disheartened and low on confidence.

Parramatta Eels 26 - Gold Coast Titans 20

In a complete contrast from the previous game, the Eels held on to beat the Titans once again this season in a thriller.

This game had it all - a controversial sin binning, exploitations of the captain's challenge, and a tackle by a security guard on a fan who decided to run onto the field that was so textbook many thought he should be offered a playing contract.

Eels' forward Junior Paulo was put in the sin bin for what seemed like a sensational hard hit on AJ Brimson while the Titans successfully used a loophole twice in the match, giving away a penalty on purpose so they could use a Captains Challenge to question the play before.

In amongst all the controversy was a great game of footy, with both sides throwing everything they had at each other until the final minute.

With Parramatta dominating the first half, they streaked to a 20-0 lead by the 50th minute. The Titans hit back scoring the next three tries and keeping their hopes alive. David Fifita scored one of the best solo tries you will ever see, pushing five Eels out of the way while storming 40m to the try line and getting his team back within striking distance.

Dylan Brown scored in the 71st minute for the blue and gold, but Greg Marzhew returned serve only a few minutes later. Despite trying everything the Titans couldn't close the converted try difference, and the Eels held on for the win.

Cronulla Sharks 30 - Wests Tigers 4

The Sharks successful 2022 campaign continued Sunday afternoon, scoring a dominating 30-4 win in front of their home crowd over the Tigers.

After beating the Knights 18-0 last round. Cronulla almost kept their opponents scoreless for the second week in a row, but a late try to winger Ken Maumalo got the Tigers on the board.

It wasn't the Sharks best hit out this year, only completing 70 percent of their sets and evenly sharing the errors and penalties at 15 and 5 each respectively, the Tigers were very poor and continued to help the home side keep the scoreboard ticking over.

65 percent set completion, 43 missed tackles, 69 kick return meters compared to the Sharks 261, as well as only 21 tackle breaks are stats that will never win games.

While the Sharks now enjoy a nice view near the top of the NRL ladder, the Tigers are sitting alone on the bottom after losing all five of their matches so far this season, and pressure continually growing on coach Michael Maguire.

And once again, two fans in the crowd decided it would be hilarious to storm the field, with one of the geniuses letting off a flare in the middle of the game.

Penrith Panthers 32 - Canterbury Bulldogs 12

Penrith are now 5-0 and remain the outright leaders after their win against Canterbury on Sunday night.

Scoring five tries to two, the premiers never seemed too troubled by their opposition, despite it not being their best team effort of the season.

Captain Isaah Yeo put on another close to faultless performance for the Panthers, and Dylan Edwards continues to stake his claim as one of the top fullbacks in the competition.

His opposing number one Matt Dufty had a game he would like to quickly forget, falling victim to numerous high bombs as well as having a poor night in attack and defence.

Kyle Flanagan seemed to put the drama around his return behind him by putting in a good performance for his team. Hopefully the young number seven will continue to grow in confidence if given the chance.

While there was a lot more effort than in their 44-0 thrashing by Storm last week, discipline and handling errors kept the Dogs from really threatening the Panthers.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Images

Topics: nrl, Australia

Danielle Smith
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