Ryan Papenhuyzen scored a wonder try for the high-flying Melbourne Storm in their 26-16 victory over Newcastle Knights.

A blow to captain Cameron Smith, who was forced off with a shoulder injury and could be sidelined for three weeks, took some of the shine off the Storm's success.

But it was another successful day on the pitch for Craig Bellamy's team, who have now won 10 of 12 games in the NRL this season and sit second on the ladder.

Melbourne's Suliasi Vunivalu and Newcastle's Bradman Best traded early tries before Smith suffered his shoulder blow when landing on it while scoring the Storm's second in the 24th minute.

Papenhuyzen produced his masterpiece in the 31st minute, with the 22-year-old full-back collecting a stray ball and racing from his own 10-metre line to score in the right corner.

Tino Faasuamaleaui dotted down for the Storm in the second half, between tries from Newcastle's Aidan Guerra and Enari Tuala.

The Parramatta Eels are third, also with 10 wins from 12, after sneaking home 18-16 against the Canterbury Bulldogs.

Brad Arthur's Eels side looked like streaking away with the win when they raced to an 18-0 lead inside 29 minutes, on the back of two tries from Clinton Gutherson and one from Mitchell Moses, who also booted three goals.

But they almost threw it away, with Raymond Faitala-Mariner, Jake Averillo and Marcelo Montoya slashing the deficit to two points by early in the second half.

Averillo added the extras to the tries from Faitala-Mariner and Montoya but could not crown his own score with the extras as the Bulldogs' comeback fell agonisingly short.

After the Eels went so close to wasting their early good work, coach Arthur revealed the post-game tradition of bellowing out the team song threatened to become a chore.

According to the NRL website, Arthur said "It was like a morgue in the dressing sheds. I had to ask them did they really want to sing the team song?

"But that's good because we're setting high expectations and we know we can be better. I don't want to take any credit away from the Dogs, either, because they rolled their sleeves up and threw plenty at us."

Brisbane Broncos head coach Anthony Seibold said he is interested in signing Melbourne Storm captain Cameron Smith.

Smith – the first player to reach 400 NRL games – is uncontracted beyond this season after extending his contract with the Storm last year.

The 37-year-old Australia great was born in Queensland but he has spent his entire career with the Storm since 2002, winning two NRL Grand Finals and as many Dally M Medals.

It remains to be seen whether Smith will continue playing next season but Seibold – who worked with the superstar as an assistant during his time at the Storm and Queensland Maroons – revealed the Broncos will consider pursuing the veteran.

"Of course, it is something we would consider but it is a really long bow. Would he add something to us? Could he add something to us? Of course he could," Seibold said on Wednesday.

"I worked with Smithy for five years at club level and rep level so I do have a really good working relationship with him. It is not something I have spoken to Cameron about or he has spoken to me about.

"A little bit of experience would be something to add to the group, going forward. I am not sure how long he wants to play for but Cameron would add not only experience but leadership and quality on and off the field to any organisation or any team… but I would assume that Cameron would finish his career at the Melbourne Storm."

However, Storm chairman Matt Tripp played down Brisbane's interest in Smith midweek as the Melbourne club look to retain the icon in some capacity.

"This is absolute news to me. We know nothing about that," Tripp told SEN Breakfast. "Cameron is contracted until the end of the year.

"At some point in the next month or so we will attempt to either renegotiate a contract for Cameron as a player or we will try and arrange something for him whereby he will remain committed and part of the Melbourne Storm in some capacity for hopefully many years to come."

Smith has made 11 appearances for the second-placed Storm this season, kicking 49 goals with a conversion rate of 89 per cent while recording nine try assists.

"First and foremost I would try and convince him to stay. He is so important to our club," Tripp said. "Whether that's in a playing capacity or whether that is being one of the coaches, sitting on our board, there are many options for Cameron in terms of what he may do.

"All of those options to my mind involve the Melbourne Storm and certainly not a Queensland club."

Josh Addo-Carr, Jahrome Hughes and Tino Faasuamaleaui each scored twice as Melbourne Storm raced to the top of the NRL standings with a stunning second-half display at Brisbane Broncos.

The Storm - third at the start of play - needed to win by at least 12 points to overtake Parramatta Eels at the summit and duly delivered a dominant 46-8 success.

Addo-Carr got the scoring started in the second minute, but the comfortable margin of victory seemed unlikely before half-time.

The Broncos even led briefly after Herbie Farnworth crossed and Kotoni Staggs converted before dispatching a penalty, but Cameron Smith's boot levelled matters before Hughes put Melbourne back in front.

It was one-way traffic following the restart as further tries steadily followed. Kenny Bromwich, Faasuamaleaui and Ryan Papenhuyzen each went over, followed by a stylish second for Hughes with just under a quarter of an hour to play.

Things then went from bad to worse for Brisbane when Tevita Pangai Jr kicked the ball away and was sent to the sin bin for a period in which Addo-Carr and Faasuamaleaui completed the scoring.

In the early game, Manly Sea Eagles climbed to seventh with a 24-14 success at North Queensland Cowboys.

Interim coach Josh Hannay took charge of the Cowboys for the first time, but they had a mountain to climb after Curtis Sironen crossed early and Danny Levi added a second Manly try.

Although a response came from Kyle Feldt before half-time, the Sea Eagles set up a comfortable triumph with scores from Daly Cherry-Evans and Cade Cust prior to Francis Molo's consolation.

The beleaguered Brisbane Broncos lost Corey Oates to injury as they were hammered 48-0 at Wests Tigers after Melbourne Storm thrashed Gold Coast Titans on Friday.

Broncos coach Anthony Seibold said his side had taken a "step in the right direction" after they ended a six-match NRL losing streak with a victory over Canterbury Bulldogs last weekend.

Yet they were torn apart as the Tigers made a dream return to Leichhardt Oval in the rain, scoring nine tries without reply to move up to seventh in the standings.

The hosts breached a fragile Broncos defence all too easily time and again, breezing into a 26-0 half-time lead with a brace of tries for Luciano Leilua and one apiece for David Nofoaluma, Harry Grant and Benji Marshall.

Nofoaluma and team-mates Josh Aloiai and Zac Cini, as well as two staff members, live in an area of Sydney that has seen a rise in confirmed coronavirus cases and were only cleared to play after testing negative for COVID-19.

The Tigers were relentless, Luke Garner crossing either side of scores from Sam McIntyre and Billy Walters, with Moses Mbye on target with six conversions.

Back-rower Oates suffered a leg injury late on in a punishing outing for the Broncos, who are 14th with just three wins from 10 matches.

The Storm also ran riot, extending their winning run to four matches with a 42-6 thumping of the Titans at Sunshine Coast Stadium.

Josh Addo-Carr and Nelson Asofa-Solomona scored doubles, while Cameron Munster, Brenko Lee and Brandon Smith also crossed as Melbourne rose to second - level on points with leaders Parramatta Eels.

 

Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart said "I don't give a s***" about the doubters after Josh Hodgson was added to their long injury list in Saturday's defeat to Melbourne Storm.

Hooker Hodgson is suspected to have suffered an ACL injury in Canberra's 20-14 loss to the Storm, which also saw them lose Bailey Simonsson to a shoulder injury.

With John Bateman (shoulder), Sia Soliola (facial fractures), Corey Horsburgh (foot) and Emre Guler (ankle) all on the sideline, the scale of the Raiders' injury problems is sure to lead to questions as to whether they can return to the Grand Final, having lost the showpiece to Sydney Roosters last season.

Stuart, though, has little time for any downbeat assessments of his team.

"I don't give a s*** what you think," said Stuart. "We won't put our heads down. That I promise.

"I have never had an injury list like this, but I just asked the boys to keep on turning up with same attitude and desire. I just want that effort that we had tonight."

On the injury to Hodgson, Stuart said: "It doesn't look good. He has gone for scans but yeah it looks like I have now lost four players for a long time."

Teenager Charlie Staines enjoyed an unforgettable NRL debut as the Penrith Panthers moved top of the standings with a thumping win over the Cronulla Sharks.

Backed by a group of friends who had travelled to Netstrata Jubilee Oval, the 19-year-old scored four tries as the Panthers won 56-24 to move above the Parramatta Eels, having played a game more.

Staines is the first player to score four debut tries since Jordan Atkins for the Gold Coast Titans 12 years ago.

The Panthers dominated from the off and were 16-0 ahead after 20 minutes, Brent Naden, Liam Martin and Stephen Crichton scoring tries and Nathan Cleary twice adding the extras.

Staines' first came after 23 minutes as he finished a slick backline move before he set up Dylan Edwards to add another two minutes later.

The Sharks rallied through Briton Nikora and Blayke Brailey before half-time but Staines and Billy Burns strengthened the Panthers' advantage despite the loss of captain James Tamou to the sin bin.

A Cleary penalty and another Crichton try put paid to any hopes of a comeback after Jesse Ramien went over, and Staines made sure the headlines belonged to him with two further tries in the final seven minutes.

In the late game on Saturday, Melbourne Storm stood firm in the face of late pressure to claim a 20-14 win over the Canberra Raiders, who lost Josh Hodgson to a suspected ACL injury after 28 minutes.

Storm were 12-6 up at half-time at GIO Stadium, Brenko Lee and Josh Addo-Carr going over either side of a Josh Papalii try.

Ryan Papenhuyzen stretched the lead after the interval, gathering a kick and racing 90 yards down the right wing before dotting down, but Nick Cotric reduced the arrears with 13 minutes left.

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad scored in the final minute but it was not enough for the Raiders, who slip four points behind third-place Storm.

The Brisbane Broncos had an easier time of things against the struggling Canterbury Bulldogs, winning 26-8 at Suncorp Stadium.

Jamayne Isaako scored two of his side's five tries to add to six points with the boot, although a knee injury to captain Alex Glenn soured celebrations.

Melbourne Storm produced an incredible comeback to beat reigning NRL champions Sydney Roosters 27-25 in a golden-point classic at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday.

The Storm trailed by 10 points with 11 minutes remaining but took the lead thanks to quickfire tries from Jahrome Hughes and Paul Momirovski – both of which were converted by Cameron Smith

Kyle Flanagan's successful penalty was followed by a drop goal from Luke Keary in the final minute to send the Roosters back in front, but Ryan Papenhuyzen landed a one-pointer of his own before the buzzer.

Smith then kicked a successful penalty in the fifth minute of additional time to earn Melbourne back-to-back wins in a thrilling encounter.

The Roosters were out to make it six straight victories since the league resumed and led 12-6 at half-time – Flanagan and Josh Morris crossing either side of Josh Addo-Carr's try.

Hughes gave Melbourne a foothold in the match two minutes into the second period when racing away and touching down under the posts.

But the Roosters pulled away through Brett Morris and a second try for his twin brother Josh, with Keary unable to convert the latter in the 70th minute in what proved to be a costly miss.

Hughes danced through the opposition defence to give the Storm hope, however, and Momirovski helped complete the comeback two minutes later.

Then came another late twist as Flanagan nailed a penalty given away by Suliasi Vunivalu, before Keary split the posts from 30 metres out.

But Papenhuyzen levelled up right from the restart to take the game all the way and Smith kicked the golden points following a lapse in judgement from Jake Friend.

Melbourne Storm star Cameron Munster will miss at least three weeks due to a knee injury.

Munster suffered the injury during the Storm's 50-6 thrashing of the New Zealand Warriors in the NRL on Friday.

The Storm confirmed on Tuesday that the Australia and Queensland representative would be sidelined for at least three weeks.

"Scans have confirmed Cameron Munster suffered a grade-two medial tear during Friday night's round-seven win over the Warriors," a statement read.

"He will be sidelined for the next 3-4 weeks, making his likely return our round 12 clash with the Knights."

Fourth on the ladder, the Storm face the Sydney Roosters on Thursday before matches against the Canberra Raiders, Gold Coast Titans and Brisbane Broncos.

Melbourne Storm and Sydney Roosters overcame injuries to star players to record NRL wins over New Zealand Warriors and St George Illawarra Dragons.

The Storm ran in nine tries - three of which were scored by Suliasi Vunivalu - in a 50-6 thrashing of the Warriors.

However, they lost Cameron Munster to a knee ligament injury that is expected to keep him out for at least the next four weeks.

Meanwhile, the Roosters, who were already without James Tedesco and Josh Morris, had Victor Radley and Sam Verrills go off with suspected anterior cruciate ligament injuries in a battling 26-12 triumph over the Dragons.

Munster sustained his knee injury four minutes into the Storm's contest but continued until half-time before calling it a night, with Melbourne already 22-0 up.

As well as Vunivalu's treble, Paul Momirovski and Ryan Papenhuyzen both crossed twice while Brandon Smith and Josh Addo-Carr scored late tries to go along with Cameron Smith's 14 points from the boot.

Melbourne face the Roosters next, and they could meet a Sydney team depleted by injuries after Radley and Verrills both suffered possibly serious knee problems in the first half against the Dragons.

Sydney went 10-0 up through tries from Brett Morris and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves - the second coming after Tedesco's stand-in Joey Manu had collected his own kick and flicked a brilliant no-look pass to the try-scorer.

The Dragons fought back, though, courtesy of scores from Mikaele Ravalawa and Zac Lomax, who then slotted over a 46th-minute penalty to put them ahead.

Yet Brett Morris - the brother of Josh - completed a second-half hat-trick either side of a score from Luke Keary to move the Roosters up to second.

Melbourne Storm are "closely monitoring" the coronavirus situation in Victoria amid reports they are moving their NRL home game on Friday.

The Storm are due to host New Zealand Warriors at AAMI Park in Melbourne, but Fox Sports reported they would move that game to Sydney due to COVID-19.

Victoria has been Australia's most affected state with coronavirus in the past six days, recording 106 new cases.

In a brief statement on Monday, the club said: "The NRL and Melbourne Storm are closely monitoring the situation in Victoria in response to the increase in positive COVID-19 tests in recent days."

Melbourne Storm are due to play their next two games at home, also hosting Sydney Roosters on July 2.

They are sixth in the NRL table after winning four of their opening six games.

Craig Bellamy has dismissed a report linking him with a move to Canterbury Bulldogs and revealed 2021 could be his last year as a head coach.

Media speculation suggested the Melbourne Storm coach had received a lucrative offer to take over at the Bulldogs, who have won just once in five outings this season, following talks.

However, speaking after the Storm's loss to Penrith Panthers on Friday, Bellamy shot down the story, insisting he had never had contact with anyone at Canterbury.

"I didn't read the story and I don't want to read the story because, at the end of the day, what's in there isn’t true," he said when asked about the rumour.

"Somebody told me that I had spoken to someone from the Bulldogs twice, when I haven't spoken to anyone from the Bulldogs. 

"I can honestly sit here and say I haven't spoken to the Bulldogs, I think they've said the same. At the end of the day, it irks me a little bit."

The Bulldogs - currently led by coach Dean Pay - had already put out a statement on Friday denying the report.

"I think it is important for our members and fans that we end any speculation around Craig Bellamy having been contacted by the Bulldogs," Canterbury chief executive Andrew Hill said.

Bellamy has a further season to run on his contract with the Storm but admits it may be nearing the time to step aside, albeit he is yet to make a final call on his future.

"I've got a contract with the Storm for next year so I'm not going to say what I'm going to do because I don’t quite know to be honest,"Bellamy told the media.

"I'm 62 [in 2021], so next year will probably be it for head coaching. Having said that, things change at times and I've said that before, but it's a young man’s game these days."

Wayne Bennett refused to reveal why Latrell Mitchell was so emotional after South Sydney Rabbitohs dismantled New Zealand Warriors on Friday, while Penrith Panthers beat Melbourne Storm. 

Mitchell was outstanding as the Bunnies thrashed the Warriors 40-12 to secure back-to-back victories in the NRL. 

The full-back set up tries from Campbell Graham and Alex Johnston, with Adam Reynolds and Braidon Burns also crossing in the first half at Bankwest Stadium. 

Cody Walker, Damien Cook and Alex Johnston dotted down in the second half of a one-sided encounter, which saw David Fusitu'a and Agnatius Paasi score for the Warriors. 

Mitchell, who looked fortunate to get away with a high shot on Fusitu'a, was emotional on the field after the final whistle and was seen in tears in the dressing room, but Bennett was in no mood to explain the reason. 

The Rabbitohs coach told reporters: "No I'm not going to tell you why. It's got nothing to do with you, to be honest with you.

"He may well have been [upset] but it's got nothing to do with you. The changing room for me has always been a sacred place and unfortunately the game gave away a lot of our rights to those places, but in my mind and in my head, it's a place where we can go and be who we want to be and not have to answer anyone."

Penrith later moved above the Storm to go third with a 21-14 victory at Campbelltown Stadium.

Stephen Crichton, Brian To'o and Viliame Kikau touched down, while Nathan Cleary scored nine points with the boot in an influential display for the Panthers.

 

Canterbury Bulldogs have dismissed speculation they are preparing a deal to land Melbourne Storm head coach Craig Bellamy.

News Corp reported the Bulldogs had put together a multi-million dollar offer for Bellamy, who has been at the helm of the Storm since 2003.

But the Bulldogs dismissed the reports on Friday, insisting there had been no approach to the premiership-winning coach.

"I think it is important for our members and fans that we end any speculation around Craig Bellamy having been contacted by the Bulldogs," Canterbury chief executive Andrew Hill said.

"When spoken to last night I confirmed to media that there had been no contact made."

The Bulldogs have made a poor start to the 2020 season, holding a 1-4 win-loss record, leading to pressure on coach Dean Pay.

Melbourne Storm handed Newcastle Knights their first loss of the 2020 NRL season, while Latrell Mitchell's fine first half led South Sydney Rabbitohs to victory against Gold Coast Titans.

The Storm's 26-12 success against the Knights at Central Coast Stadium means leaders Parramatta Eels are the only remaining undefeated team in NRL this year.

Ryley Jacks went over after just three minutes before Cameron Smith set up first-half tries for Suliasi Vunivalu and Tino Faasuamaleaui - his first in the competition - to send Melbourne into the interval with a commanding 18-2 lead, but the Knights responded well with Bradman Best and Edrick Lee making it a one-score game.

However, Cameron Smith slotted through a penalty after David Klemmer was pinged for an early tackle and Brandon Smith somehow barrelled through three defenders with three minutes remaining to clinch the victory.

In Saturday's first game, the Rabbitohs were 32-12 winners over the Titans at Bankwest Stadium thanks in large part to Mitchell.

The former Sydney Roosters full-back caught the ball and dotted down in the third minute after Damien Cook's pass bounced off his chest to get Souths up and running.

Phillip Sami briefly restored parity before Alex Johnston crossed to restore the Rabbitohs' lead. Mitchell then tipped a pass to Dane Gagai to race in at the corner and saw Anthony Don's failure to gather his grubber kick enable Braidon Burns to put the Bunnies well on top.

The Titans were unable to gain momentum despite Bryce Cartwright's 44th-minute score, with Gagai's second try followed by a conversion from Adam Reynolds, who finished the game with 12 points.

Canberra Raiders got back to winning ways by coming from behind to defeat Wests Tigers 14-6 in Ricky Stuart's 400th game as an NRL coach.

The Raiders were trailing to Luke Brooks' uncovered first-half score, but Jack Wighton's try five minutes following the restart was converted by Jarrod Croker and Nick Cotric dived over after Russell Packer was sent to the sin bin for a professional foul on Jordan Rapana just five minutes after coming on.

Moses Mbye reduced the deficit from the tee but, after Packer was placed on report for a high tackle upon his return, Croker restored Canberra's eight-point cushion as they moved up to second.

Melbourne Storm half-back Jahrome Hughes will miss at least two weeks after breaking his hand in Friday's win over the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Hughes, 25, suffered the injury during the Storm's 22-8 victory over the Rabbitohs at AAMI Park.

The New Zealand international will need surgery and is out for at least two weeks, the Storm said on Saturday.

"Half-back Jahrome Hughes has broken his hand in last night's win over the Rabbitohs," they wrote on Twitter.

"He will undergo surgery and is expected to be out for 2-3 weeks."

The Storm's win was their third in four games this season and they sit fourth in the table.

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