Things are starting to heat up in the finals for both the NRL and AFL and the champion players are standing up and it made for some cracking games.
REYNOLDS KICKS SOUTH’S INTO PRELIMINARY FINAL
Cometh the hour, cometh Adam Reynolds! The South Sydney Rabbitohs halfback played a major roll in his sides win, scoring all of the side’s points as the Rabbitohs scored a one-point victory over St-George Illawarra Dragons. While it would have been easy for the Rabbitohs to feel distracted after news broke of a sexting scandal, they got down to business and got the win. For the Dragons it was the season that could have been after they started the year on fire only to go into the finals win two of their last nine games. Though he copped much of his team’s criticism, Ben Hunt is surely the half that the Dragons need and his combination with Gareth Widdop will only get stronger. South Sydney will meet rivals Sydney Roosters next week.
SHARKS HOLD OFF COMEBACK KINGS
Cronulla Sharks were lucky to get away with a one-point victory after the Penrith Panthers gave them an almighty scare but falling short 21-20. The game looked like it was going to be a one sided affair as the Sharks jumped out to an 18-0 lead before the Panthers were able to get a penalty goal just making it 18-2 heading into half-time. Sometimes half-time can come at the worst possible time as the Sharks started to lose some momentum as the have so many times in the past, the Panthers found their mojo. Tries to Nathan Cleary, Viliame Kikau and Waqa Blake got the Panthers back into the game as they looked poised to get the win. The Sharks were able to hold on even though Paul Gallen and Luke Lewis had to leave the field; Half back Chad Townsend put the nail in the coffin with his 74th minute field goal. Though it’s always sad not to go further in the finals, the Panthers looked pretty tired in the send half of the season and an early exit may give them a good start for next year.
DRAGONS GIRLS BREATH FIRE WHILE ROOSTERS STAY WINLESS
Round two of the women’s NRL saw the St-George Illawarra Dragons get their first win by defeating the New Zealand Warriors 22-10. The Dragons were a step above their performance last week in the victory scoring some great tries with backs Rikeya Horne, Jess Sergis and Shakiah Tungai showing speed and strength when scoring tries. The Brisbane Bronco ladies showed their class and why they are already a force with the early stages of the competition beating the Sydney Roosters 14-4. Broncos Halfback Ali Briggenshaw showed her skills with the ball when she went over for the Broncos first try and Chelsea Baker showed her class at the back when she pulled off a try saving tackle.
ARGENTINA DOWN WALLABIES
Though they scored some great tries the Wallabies went down to Argentina 23-19 on the Gold Coast on Saturday night, the first time they had lost at home to the Pumas in 35 years. Defence cost the Wallabies and the Pumas made them pay, Bautista Delguy scoring a try that should have easily been stopped. Israel Folau, who showed his sublime skills by beating five defenders when scoring his first try, had the chance to get the Wallabies the victory when he had Bernard Foley unmarked on his outside, however he decided to go himself and lost the ball from some terrific defence from the Pumas.
VIKINGS MAKE IT TWO IN ROW
The Canberra Vikings notch their second win by defeating the Western Force 29-19 in the third round of National Rugby Championship. Leading 17-7 in the 35th minute, the Western Force put on two tries to head into the break leading 19-17. The Vikings regained the lead in the 61st minute through winger Andrew Muirhead before fly-half Wharenui Hawera stepped his way over the try line. The Force almost hit back in the 72 minute but fullback Jack McGregor dropped the ball while attempting to score.
HUNT LOSES IN MOSCOW
The UFC made it way to Moscow for the first time at the weekend with Aussie based slugger Mark ‘Super Samoan’ Hunt losing to Aleksei Oleinik via first round rear-naked choke submission. Hunt hit Oleinik with some leg kicks and a big right hand early before Oleinik was able to get the upper hand landing a left hand that wobbled Hunt. From there Oleinik took Hunt’s back and got him to the ground where he was able to submit him.
PLAY OF THE WEEKEND
This week’s play of the weekend is courtesy of Rikeya Horne and Mel Howard from St-George Illawarra. Howard showed great vision putting a kick in behind the Warriors defence, the ball bounced up perfectly for Horne gather before beating Warrior fullback to score.
That’s it for another edition of the weekend sport wrap and I look forward to seeing you again next week.
Cover Image @ssfcrabbitohs