Justin Olam scored a pair of tries as Melbourne Storm defeated defending premiers Sydney Roosters 24-6 to move to the top of the NRL standings.

Olam's double came sandwiched between scores from the excellent Jahrome Hughes and Felise Kaufusi, with Ryan Papenhuyzen adding three successful conversions and a penalty.

The Storm led inside the opening 10 minutes, with Olam then further compounding the home side's misery before Papenhuyzen saw a try ruled out.

Having lost Lachlan Lam and Mitch Aubusson to ankle and wrist injuries respectively, the Roosters were dealt a further blow when star man Luke Keary was forced off with a rib problem.

An ambulance had to be called for Keary, with Sydney fearing the hit to his ribs may have caused internal injury.

There was some consolation for Sydney, as Christian Tuipulotu dived over in the corner for a debut try, but the Storm never looked in danger of letting their lead slip away as they eased to an eighth straight win.

Paul McGregor will leave his post as St George Illawarra Dragons head coach after Friday's NRL clash with Parramatta Eels.

McGregor took the helm of the Dragons in 2014, but they have made the finals just twice since then.

The 52-year-old and the club agreed on Thursday that McGregor should leave the position, with assistant Dean Young to be interim head coach for the rest of 2020.

"I wish to thank the Dragons for allowing me to be head coach over the past seven seasons as well as everyone who has been involved in my journey at this proud club," McGregor said.

"I approached the club's chief executive Ryan Webb earlier in the week regarding a number of matters and we eventually came to an agreement that this week will be my last as coach of the Dragons.

"I understand a fresh face and new voice is needed to move the club forward. I hope this decision will provide clarity to the playing group, the entire staff and our passionate Red V members and partners regarding the direction the club is headed.

"After 25 years with the Illawarra Steelers and St George Illawarra as a player, staff member, captain and coach; I viewed my positions as a series of privileges not obligations.

"We haven't met performance expectations over the past 18 months, and I take acceptance of responsibility. I had the opportunity to build my team, which we did in 2017 and 2018. Unfortunately, we have not put that same side on the field since for a number of reasons.

"Dean Young and the team have a fantastic opportunity over the next six weeks to build into the 2021 campaign. Dean deserves this great opportunity to showcase his capabilities in the head coach role."

Ahead of facing the Eels, the Dragons are 12th in the NRL, six points adrift of eighth-placed Cronulla Sharks.

Dragons chief executive Ryan Webb thanked McGregor, who represented Australia during his playing career.

"The decision to part ways with Paul was one that nobody took lightly," Webb said.

"Paul has had a 25-year association with our club and the joint venture's founding club, the Illawarra Steelers and has shown great passion, integrity, character and a strong work ethic throughout this time. He will forever be a part of the Dragons family.

"It's important to note that Craig Young excused himself of any decision making pertinent to Paul's departure and Dean's appointment. As such, for as long as Dean remains coach, Craig will take a voluntary leave of absence from the board. 

"The club will now turn its focus to establishing the crucial process of appointing a new head coach for the 2021 season and beyond."

Mitchell Moses' 69th-minute penalty proved crucial as the Parramatta Eels ran out 14-12 winners against Cronulla Sharks at a soaking Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.

Veteran Shaun Johnson set up two of the Sharks' three tries and his playmaking was generally excellent but his failure to execute any of Cronulla's conversions proved crucial.

Dylan Brown and Kane Evans tries in either half had the Eels ahead, with Jesse Ramien's score the Sharks' only first-half points.

A quickfire double from Ronaldo Mulitalo tied up a hectic game, which saw handling errors mixed with supreme skill in torrential rain.

But ultimately it was Moses' kick after Braden Hamlin-Uele took out Reagan Campbell-Gillard off the ball that proved decisive and moved the Eels to third on the NRL ladder.

In Sunday's other NRL contest, Alexander Brimson inspired Gold Coast Titans to a 30-10 triumph over the North Queensland Cowboys.

A stunning first half saw the full-back score two tries, create another and save one at Cbus Super Stadium.

Anthony Don, Kevin Proctor, Brian Kelly, Phillip Sami also touched down in a six-try outing for the Titans, who earned the Queensland bragging rights to jump ahead of the Cowboys into 13th.

New Zealand Warriors have appointed Nathan Brown as their new head coach.

Brown joins on a deal until the end of the 2023 NRL season after Stephen Kearney was relieved of his duties last month.

The Warriors, who have played the entire season in Australia because of restrictions in New Zealand enforced to combat coronavirus, have enjoyed an upturn in fortunes in recent weeks, claiming successive wins over Wests Tigers and Manly Sea Eagles under interim coach Todd Payten.

"I'm a career coach. I just love coaching and this job with the Warriors is a fantastic opportunity," Brown told the Warriors' official website.

"I spent time in Auckland during the pre-season and was really impressed with the whole set-up, the players and the staff throughout the organisation.

"The Warriors are hugely important to the competition. We've seen that this year with the sacrifices they've made to keep the NRL going. I can't wait to get stuck in."

Meanwhile, Brisbane Broncos coach Anthony Seibold is to self-isolate for 14 days.

Following the Broncos loss to South Sydney Rabbitohs on Friday, Seibold remained in Sydney for personal reasons.

Broncos CEO Paul White said: "Anthony is dealing with a serious family matter and could not fly back to Brisbane with the team after the Rabbitohs game last night.

"He expects to be able to return to Brisbane within 48 hours but in line with COVID regulations he will need to self-isolate for 14 days once he is back in Queensland.

"Anthony will return to the Broncos after that. Assistant Coach Peter Gentle will coach the team in Anthony's absence."

The Broncos are enduring a dismal season and have just six points from 13 games.

South Sydney Rabbitohs inflicted more pain on the beleaguered Brisbane Broncos despite the absence of Wayne Bennett with an emphatic 28-10 victory in the rain at ANZ Stadium.

Broncos coach Bennett was forced into isolation for two weeks on Thursday after breaching the NRL's biosecurity protocol with a trip to a restaurant.

The Bunnies were clearly not affected by Bennett not being present for the clash with his former club on Friday as they moved up to sixth place, with Jason Demetriou filling in as coach.

Dane Gagai finished off a well-worked move to put the Rabbitohs in front and although the Broncos responded with a score from Herbie Farnworth, Adam Reynolds and Mark Nicholls crossed to give the home side a 20-6 half-time lead.

The fit-again David Fifita marked his return from injury with a try to give the second-bottom Broncos hope, but Tom Burgess finished at the other end and Reynolds made it four conversions out of four to complete the scoring.

It was another day to forget for Brisbane, with club legend Allan Langer earlier among three staff members to be stood down for breaching COVID-19 protocols.

New Zealand Warriors earlier ruined Manly Sea Eagles boss Des Hasler's 400th game as an NRL coach with a 26-22 victory at Lottoland.

Patrick Herbert grabbed a double as the Warriors got off to a storming start, leading 16-0 after 18 minutes, before withstanding a Manly fightback to move up to 11th.

Allan Langer is among three members of the Brisbane Broncos staff to be stood down for breaching coronavirus protocols.

Langer, Ryan Whitley and Blake Duncan attended a private function in Brisbane and must undergo COVID-19 testing before being allowed to return to the bubble.

The trio were not permitted to not travel for the Broncos' NRL clash with South Sydney Rabbitohs on Friday

A Broncos statement said: "Three Broncos staff members will undergo COVID-19 testing after attending a private function in Brisbane.

"The club became aware of the matter today [Friday] involving football staff Allan Langer, Ryan Whitley and Blake Duncan, and contacted the NRL immediately.

"As a precaution, those staff have been placed on "COVID Holds", and will undergo testing before returning to the Project Apollo bubble.

"To adhere to best practice, the staff members won’t travel for tonight's game in Sydney against the Rabbitohs."

Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett and St George Illawarra Dragons prop Paul Vaughan were stood down on Thursday for breaching protocols.

 

Mitchell Aubusson scored a try in his 300th NRL appearance as the in-form Sydney Roosters beat St George Illawarra Dragons 24-16 on Thursday.

Aubusson became only the 40th player to reach the landmark and the one-club man marked the occasion in style, scoring the second of five Roosters tries at WIN Stadium.

Joseph Manu crossed in the first minute in Wollongong and Aubusson crashed over to put the two-time defending premiers 10-0 up after 13 minutes.

The Dragons, reeling from back-to-back defeats, hit back and were level at the break following a double from Zac Lomax, who converted one of his scores.

Luke Keary starred in the second half, laying on a try for Sitili Tupouniua and scoring one of his own after Manu dotted down for his second of the night.

Matt Dufty scored a third Dragons try in the closing stages, but the Roosters had a third consecutive win in a row in the bag by then to sit three points behind leaders Penrith Panthers, in fourth place.

South Sydney Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett and St George Illawarra Dragons prop Paul Vaughan will go into self-isolation amid coronavirus concerns.

Bennett and Vaughan breached NRL biosecurity protocols by dining separately at restaurants.

The pair have been placed in a 14-day "COVID Hold" and they will isolate for two weeks and must test negative for coronavirus before returning.

"We are living in extraordinary times and we must do everything in our power to ensure the health and safety of our players, staff and the general community," NRL acting chief executive Andrew Abdo said.

"This is a regrettable decision but today's actions will operate as an important reminder to our players and staff about the importance of strict adherence to the protocols.

"Our players and staff have made significant sacrifices to ensure the season can proceed. I have sympathy for the liberties they have had to give up and I am proud of how well the overwhelming majority have complied with our protocols.

"We have worked closely with governments, biosecurity experts and our clubs to ensure a successful and entertaining season and today's enforcement of protocols will ensure no risk to the playing groups or the general community."

The Rabbitohs and Dragons are battling to finish in the top eight and face the Brisbane Broncos and Sydney Roosters respectively in round 13.

Warrington Wolves coach Steve Price says he was "blindsided" by reports that Gareth Widdop could return to St George Illawarra Dragons.

News Corp this week reported that Widdop wanted to head back to the NRL for personal reasons just seven months after signing a three-year deal with Warrington.

It was claimed Corey Norman had been offered to the Wolves in exchange for Widdop after the Dragons five-eighth was dropped for the clash with Sydney Roosters.

Price has ruled out the possibility of half-back Widdop leaving the Super League club as they prepare to return to action against Hull KR on Saturday following a hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He told reporters on Wednesday: "I was totally blindsided by that. Gareth is really happy at our club.

"He's really enjoyed his time here at Warrington Wolves. He is contracted here for a number of years now and the player that has been linked to us – that will definitely not be happening. He would not even come into my thought process."

Dragons coach Paul McGregor was also surprised by talk of Widdop and Norman swapping clubs.

He said earlier in the day: "The first time [Norman] hasn't been picked in 18 months at the club and we're talking about Gareth coming back already.

"That's too unfair at this raw stage to even talk about it. And it hasn't been mentioned to me with the recruitment either.

"I have not been told anything about that and it's just so unfair to the player, in Corey, that's here. We want Corey to play well this year."

Brad Arthur has signed a new deal to remain as Parramatta Eels coach until the end of 2022.

The Eels kept faith with Arthur despite suffering the ignominy of finishing with the NRL wooden spoon in 2018 and the 46-year-old has rewarded the powers that be.

Parramatta made the semi-finals last year and they are sitting pretty in third place after 12 rounds of the current campaign.

Arthur has masterminded five wins in the Eels' past six games and has earned a one-year contract extension.

"I'm really pleased that the club has the confidence in me to continue to lead the team towards our goal of bringing success to our members and fans," Arthur said in a statement.

"Our playing group has evolved quite considerably over the last couple of years and they are determined to drive high standards to ensure we achieve our goals.

"I am looking forward to the challenge of leading this group and continuing to develop our emerging junior talent in an exciting period for our club and I know that the blue and gold army will be behind us every step of the way."

Only Brian Smith has taken charge of more Eels games than Arthur, who was appointed six years ago.

Blake Green has joined the injury-hit Newcastle Knights for the rest of the NRL season.

The 33-year-old playmaker's move to the seventh-placed Knights was confirmed on Tuesday after he was granted a release from his New Zealand Warriors contract.

Newcastle will be the much-travelled Green's seventh NRL club and he has also spent spells with Super League clubs Hull KR and Wigan Warriors.

The addition of Green is a big boost for Knights coach Adam O'Brien, who is without Connor Watson, Andrew McCullough and Jayden Brailey due to injury.

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."

Penrith Panthers extended their winning run to seven matches with a 42-12 thrashing of Manly Sea Eagles on Saturday. 

The NRL table-toppers ran riot in Sydney, scoring seven tries and moving past the 300-point mark for the 2020 season. 

Rookie Charlie Staines, who scored four tries on his debut, helped himself to two more in his second appearance while Nathan Cleary provided 18 points and pulled the strings with two try assists in a one-sided contest. 

Staines might have had more than his early double - which came either side of Isaah Yeo's four-pointer - had he not injured his hamstring diving for the corner to score his second try. 

Stephen Crichton, Cleary, Brent Naden and Apisai Koroisau also went over for Penrith, while Jake Trbojevic and Jorge Taufua were the Sea Eagles' try-scorers. 

The boot of Kyle Flanagan proved crucial as he kicked five goals in Sydney Roosters' narrow 18-12 victory over Gold Coast Titans, who had Brian Kelly and Keegan Hipgrave sent to the sin bin in either half of a contest where both sides scored two tries apiece. 

John Bateman's first appearance of the season helped Canberra Raiders - beaten in last year's NRL Grand Final - overcome North Queensland Cowboys 14-12. 

Bateman, back from a shoulder injury, had a hand in both of his team's tries, including Curtis Scott's 55th-minute score which proved decisive in a tight affair.

 

 

A miserable NRL season for Brisbane Broncos continued with a dramatic 36-26 defeat to Cronulla Sharks, while Wests Tigers saw their Finals hopes suffer a blow as New Zealand Warriors recorded a surprise victory.

Brisbane have now lost nine of their past 10 games as the pressure grows on coach Anthony Seibold, while Cronulla are up to fifth in the ladder after claiming a sixth win in seven despite being without a host of stars including Josh Dugan.

In a back-and-forth contest featuring 11 tries, Sharks snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with three scores in the final 10 minutes.

Sione Katoa, Connor Tracey and Braden Hamlin-Uele went over in the closing stages at Suncorp Stadium to follow up on first-half efforts from Ronaldo Mulitalo, Siosifa Talakai and Jackson Ferris.

Richard Kennar dotted down twice for the Broncos, who fell to defeat despite scoring five times. They scored 12 unanswered points to overturn a half-time deficit but were unable to hold on.

In Friday's other contest, the Warriors came from behind to triumph 26-20 and win for first time in four games, as interim coach Todd Payten got one over his former team.

An inspired second-half double from Peta Hiku and what proved to be a match-winning try from Tohu Harris turned the tables at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The Tigers have now lost four of their last five NRL matches but that scenario did not look likely when captain Moses Mbye and David Nofoaluma crossed inside the opening 12 minutes, with 14-8 the eventual half-time lead.

Hiku made the difference with two superb tries on the left wing, before Adam Pompey set up the pivotal score from Harris.

Tommy Talau got one back for Wests late on to put them within six points, but the Warriors were not to be denied.

Alex Johnston scored a hat-trick as South Sydney Rabbitohs overcame a 16-point deficit to defeat St George-Illawarra Dragons 32-24 in Thursday's NRL clash.

The Rabbitohs were 16-0 down when Matthew Dufty ran in his second try of the game after 16 minutes either side of Euan Aitken's score at the Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, but Wayne Bennett's side came back in style.

Four unanswered tries from Cody Walker, Johnston and Latrell Mitchell levelled the scores by half-time.

Johnston's second score continued the Rabbitohs' momentum after the restart, though Tyson Frizell latched onto a grubber to restore parity with 25 minutes remaining.

Yet the Rabbitohs had the bit between their teeth – Walker helping himself to a second before Johnston raced over to complete his hat-trick after intercepting Tristan Sailor's sloppy pass.

Mikaele Ravalawa snatched a late consolation for the Dragons, but the visitors ultimately won with ease as they moved into the top eight.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.