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NRL Wrap: Round Six Easter Weekend Sees An Upset For The Ages

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NRL Wrap: Round Six Easter Weekend Sees An Upset For The Ages

What a perfect weekend of footy for the Easter Long Weekend.

Close finishes, come from behind wins, some questionable calls, and an upset for the ages.

Let's recap all the brilliance and excitement that was the NRL's Round 6.

North Queensland Cowboys 18 - Canberra Raiders 12

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This was definitely a game of two halves.

The Cowboys beat the Raiders for the second time this season, with a come from behind 18-12 victory in the Nation's capital on Thursday night.

The Green Machine opened the scoring early though hooker Tom Starling, crossing untouched in only the third minute. Winger Jordan Rapana got his name on the board in the 15th minute, and the Raiders went to the sheds at half time with a 12-0 lead.

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Canberra controlled the first half while the Cowboys made silly errors and gave away too many penalties. It all flipped on its head for the second half, something that is becoming all too familiar to Raiders fans.

The visitors hit back first through Heilum Luki, followed by Valentine Holmes to level the scores 12-12. Cowboys young gun Jeremiah Nanai who had a poor first half made up for it in the second stanza with a solid effort in defence as well as scoring what would be the winning try.

It was Canberra's turn to make silly mistakes and give away cheap penalties, becoming their own worst enemy and getting completely dominated by the Cowboys.

With another weak Raiders performance in the second half allowing a team back into the match, coach Ricky Stuart was ropable.

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"I'm sick of defending playing 40 minutes of football. The way we started the second half was pathetic," he admitted in his post-match conference.

South Sydney Rabbitohs 36 - Canterbury Bulldogs 16

Souths hooker Damien Cook had a very Good Friday, putting on a strong performance and scoring a hat-trick in his side's win against the Dogs.

Cook's treble and a double from winger Alex Johnston put the Bunnies in good stead against a Dogs pack that started strong but then lost their way.

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Despite crossing first in the 15th minute through Brent Naden, the wheels fell off for Canterbury after Jeremy Marshall-King was controversially sent to the sin bin. Two of Cook's tries as well as one of Johnston's were scored while the Dogs were down to 12 men, and they never recovered.

Lachlan Ilias continues to grow as a halfback, Blake Taafe was solid at fullback filling in for the injured Latrell Mitchell, and Keanon Koloamatangi had another huge impact up the middle.

Canterbury once again showed plenty of heart, but still struggle put together a winning performance. Captain Josh Jackson put in another strong game despite being involved in a nasty head clash early on, and fullback Matt Dufty had a better day out than last weekend. Winger Josh Addo-Carr finally scored his first try of the season, but I'm sure he would have happily traded it for a win.

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Penrith Panthers 40 - Brisbane Broncos 12

The Panthers just keep on rolling, now 6-0, adding the Broncos to their 2022 hit list after a dominant performance in front of their home crowd on Friday night.

They showed why they are favoured to take out back-to-back premierships, scoring seven tries to two, leading the possession with 56 percent and running for a combined 2266 metres compared to Brisbane's 1454 metres. Winger Taylan May put in another top effort on the wing, running for 228 of his side's metres and crossing for a try.

Captain Isaah Yeo once again led from the font, making the most tackles out of either side with 46. Fullback Dylan Edwards had another superb performance, despite he and Bronco forward Keenan Palasia being sent to the sin bin for slapping each other in the face. Yep, slapping each other in the face.

Adam Reynolds had a good hit out for the Broncos, with coach Kevin Walters saying he thought he 'had his best game for the club'. Walters was happy with his side's performance despite the loss, focusing on the positives and adding 'there's better days ahead for the Broncos.'

Nathan Cleary was placed on report during the match for a dangerous tackle against Brisbane's Billy Walters, but the charge was downgraded, and he received only a $1000 fine. Broncos Tesi Nui had a grade three hamstring tear and could miss ten weeks with the injury.

Manly Sea Eagles 26 - Gold Coast Titans 18

After losing their first two matches of the season, Manly have hit their strides and notched up their fourth win in a row on Saturday night.

Manly took a dominate 24-4 lead into half-time on the back of some Daly Cherry-Evans and Kieran Foran brilliance.

As they have done far too often this season, the Titans allowed their opposition to get a big head start, making the fight back difficult. They scored in the 51st, 58th and 66th minutes, but Toby Sexton could only convert one of his team's four tries. A 24-18 score line with ten minutes left gave the visitors hope, but a penalty goal to Manly made it an eight-point game and made the win just that bit harder for the Titans.

A disallowed try in the final minutes to the Gold Coast could have made it an exciting finish had it been given, especially with many believing the offside call forcing the 'no try' decision was incorrect. Despite the late fightback from the Titans, the Sea Eagles were able to hold their 26-18 lead until the end.

Melbourne Storm 34 - Cronulla Sharks 18

While the match of the round didn't have a closer score line like many predicted, it was still a hard-fought battle between two of the top sides. The final score didn't accurately represent the level of footy that both teams produced.

It was a fast-paced high intensity start to the match, with both teams strong in defence. Many were looking forward to seeing ex-Storm stars Dale Finucane and Nicho Hynes face off against their old club, but unfortunately for Finucane he went off in the eighth minute to have a HIA and never returned.

Hynes took the first points against his former team through a penalty goal, and it took until the 21st minute for a try when Justin Olam scored for the Storm. The Sharks hit back only seven minutes later with the ball going through five sets of hands before Siosifa Talakai crossed for a four pointer.

It was then Cameron Munster's turn to show why he is in high demand, busting through the Sharks defence and running 40m to score. The Storm took a 12-8 lead to the half time break, with both teams still well and truly in the match.

It wasn't the start to the second half the Sharks wanted, letting the ball bounce out from the kick off. Olam crossed for his second straight try right from the scrum before a tackle had been made. It was a matter of tit-for-tat for the remainder of the match with the Sharks crossing through winger Ronaldo Mulitalo, then the Storm through Ryan Papenhuyzen, the Sharks again through Mulitalo, and then Melbourne through Harry Grant.

Down by 12 with 12 minutes left on the clock gave the Sharks some hope, but two quick penalty goals to the Storm put the game out of reach.

Along with the loss, the Sharks have an anxious wait with a few of their stars. Cameron McInnes was put on report for a 'hip drop' tackle on Papenhuyzen which could see him miss a game or two, and Braden Hamlin-Uele is expected to spend quite some time on the sideline after sustaining a pectoral injury.

Sydney Roosters 22 - New Zealand Warriors 14

The Roosters celebrated the twentieth anniversary of their victory in the 2002 Roosters v Warriors Grand Final with a win against the same side on Sunday at the SCG. The old boys from the premiership winning team such as Luke Ricketson, Anthony Minichiello and Adrian Morley watched on as the Tricolours came from behind to beat the visitors.

The Roosters turned an 8-0 deficit into a 20-8 lead by the 60th minute. Sam Walker had a superb game with the boot and got his team back in the fight. The Warriors tried to put on their own comeback when Dallin Watene-Zelezniak crossed for a try, but the Roosters held on for the win.

Despite the score line, many are saying the better team lost, with the Warriors efforts high and the Roosters well below their best. Prop Addin Fonua-Blake had one of his best games so far this season, and teammate Josh Curran came back from injury to continue his fine form of the year. Shaun Johnson is thriving every week back in Warriors colours, and he led his team around the park brilliantly again here.

The match was marred with controversy, with many claiming the Warriors were on the wrong end of some bad decisions. A few dicey 50/50 bunker calls went against them, and Roosters captain James Tedesco should have been sin-binned for a professional foul but was free to remain on the field.

St George Illawarra Dragons 21 - Newcastle Knights 16

The Dragons are finally back in the winner's circle after a tight win against the Knights in Wollongong on Sunday, who slumped to their fourth loss in a row.

Both teams kept allowing their opponents back into the match with errors and poor fifth tackle options. The Dragons got away to an 8-0 lead, but winger Enari Tuala scored late in the first half to see the Knights only trail by two at the break.

Newcastle hit first in the second half through Dane Gagai, but the Dragons returned serve minutes later when Jack Brid crossed, and then Mathew Feagai extend their lead minutes later. Knights' fullback Kalyn Ponga scored and levelled the scores to 16-16.

Zac Lomax eventually broke the deadlock with a field goal in the 78th minute, but not before displaying some poor sportsmanship by jumping on top of Tyson Frizell and celebrating after he couldn't stop a Bird's try earlier in the half. Feagai crossed for his second try in the dying seconds sealing the match for the Red V.

Ben Hunt and Andrew McCullough had strong games for the Dragons, but it was their teammate Moses Suli who was close to unstoppable for the home team.

The Knights were happy to welcome back David Klemmer and Edrick Lee from injury who both had good games, but they will be hoping the rest of their walking wounded return soon so they can turn their poor form around.

Wests Tigers 22 - Parramatta Eels 20

What a game to end the four-day long weekend with! The Tigers are finally on the board with their first win of the season, upsetting the Eels in a thriller at Commbank Stadium on Monday.

The Tigers put on a brilliant performance, with a 76 percent completion rate and only eight errors compared to the Eels 15. Effort levels were through the roof and those important one-per-cent plays were taken.

The Tigers took a surprising 14-10 lead into halftime, with two tries to winger David Nofoaluma. They extended that lead not long after half time through Ken Maumalo, but the Eels crossed for the next two tries levelling the scores at 20-20.

Both teams threw everything at each other in the final ten minutes, and with the scores remaining deadlocked everyone was ready for golden point until Jackson Hasting kicked a beautiful two-point field goal in the final seconds to steal the win for the Tigers.

With Hastings wearing the number seven jersey and Luke Brooks moving to five eighth, the pair worked well together and gave the Tigers some much needed structure. One of the highlights of the match was a surprise battle of the fullbacks between Daine Laurie and Clint Gutherson, with the Tigers number one Laurie coming out on top.

Under pressure coach Michael Maguire will be very relieved and savouring every moment of that victory.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Images

Topics: nrl, Australia

Danielle Smith
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