Penrith Panthers secured their first NRL minor premiership in 17 years thanks to a dominant first-half showing in a 32-12 win over North Queensland Cowboys.

Brian To'o, Stephen Crichton, Josh Mansour and Jarome Luai all crossed as the Panthers racked up 20 unanswered points during the opening 40 minutes en route to the J.J. Giltinan Shield.

Viliame Kikau continued to pile the misery on to his former employers as he leapt to claim Nathan Cleary's kick and score four minutes into the second half.

Brent Nadan touched down in between converted consolation tries for Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow and Kyle Feldt, with Penrith able to rest James Tamou, Api Koroisau and Zane Tetevano, casting an eye towards post-season.

Following Canterbury Bulldogs' surprise win over South Sydney Rabbitohs on Thursday, Brisbane Broncos are now the team in bottom spot after a lacklustre 26-12 defeat to the Parramatta Eels, for whom captain Clint Gutherson scored twice.

The Broncos must win the Queensland derby to have any hope of avoiding a first wooden spoon in their history, with Gold Coast Titans-bound David Fifita a major doubt for that match having been helped from the field with an ankle sprain.

Liam Martin scored a memorable leaping effort as Penrith Panthers made a statement of intent by defeating potential Finals rivals Parramatta Eels 20-2 to rack up a 13th straight NRL win.

Table-topping Penrith led 6-2 at the end of a low-scoring first half at Panthers Stadium on Friday, with Josh Mansour diving over from Jarome Luai's pass at the siren.

But the Eels eventually caved under a barrage of attacks, having held up several efforts in the first half, with Martin athletically snaring the ball out of the air to touch down in the 56th minute.

Luai went over in the final stages as well to add gloss to the scoreline and provide the third-place Eels a reminder of the task they could potentially face come Finals time in October.

In Friday's other contest, Manly Sea Eagles triumphed 32-20 at rock-bottom Canterbury Bulldogs with Taniela Paseka, Curtis Sironen, Brad Parker, Jack Gosiewski, Morgan Harper and Martin Taupau all scoring in the six-try effort.

The win was soured slightly by late injuries to Cade Cust (ankle) and Addin Fonua-Blake (knee). The former is expected to miss the final two rounds, while the latter is doubtful to play against Gold Coast Titans next week.

North Queensland Cowboys' Valentine Holmes scored a golden point as his side edged out St George Illawarra Dragons 23-22 to all but end the visitors' NRL Finals hopes.

Having come into Saturday's clash on the back of a nine-game losing streak, the Cowboys lifted themselves two points clear of the foot of the table in dramatic fashion.

Francis Molo had put the hosts ahead in Townsville, but tries from Euan Aitken and Mikaele Ravalawa turned things around by half-time.

Jake Clifford and the Dragons' Jacob Host exchanged tries early in the second half, before Holmes and Kyle Feldt swung the momentum back in the Cowboys' favour.

Zac Lomax's penalty levelled things up, with Corey Norman then sending a drop-goal attempt wide in added time, setting the stage for Holmes to clinch the victory.

The defeat leaves the Dragons in 11th place, six points behind the top eight.

In Sunday's earlier clash, Chanel Harris-Tavita's fine individual display was not enough for New Zealand Warriors as they went down 24-18 to Parramatta Eels.

It was a gritty performance from the Eels, who responded well to a 38-0 defeat to South Syndey Rabbitohs last time out.

Harris-Tavita scored two tries and converted six points, yet a late penalty from Mitchell Moses ensured a six-point win for the third-placed Eels.

South Sydney Rabbitohs boosted their chances of securing a top-four finish in the NRL by beating Parramatta Eels 38-0, but Latrell Mitchell is set for a spell on the sidelines. 

The Rabbitohs racked up their fifth straight win to move level on points with the fourth-placed Sydney Roosters, who do have a game in hand, but saw full-back Mitchell leave the game in the second half with a hamstring injury. 

After racing into a club-record 38-0 half-time lead against Manly Sea Eagles last week, Souths produced another stunning opening period against Parramatta on Thursday. 

Corey Allan touched down for the first try in the sixth minute after being released on the left by the quick hands of Mitchell. 

Jaxson Paulo crossed in the right corner for his first NRL try and Cody Walker went under the posts before Jaydn Su'a latched onto a grubber kick from Adam Reynolds, whose third successful conversion made it 22-0 at the break.

Mitchell was injured while attempting to stop Dylan Brown crossing for the Eels in the 50th minute, but the try was overturned by the TMO for an obstruction in the build-up. 

Campbell Graham stopped any hopes of Parramatta building some momentum with a try two minutes later, while he doubled his tally after Reynolds went over. 

The Eels, who only scored two tries in a 14-0 victory over a severely depleted Melbourne Storm last week, saw Brown go off with an apparent ankle problem and will need to quickly pick themselves back up with four rounds remaining before the finals. 

Melbourne Storm were kept off the scoresheet for just the sixth time in their 23-year history as they lost 14-0 to Parramatta Eels on Thursday. 

The NRL's top two defensive sides gave little quarter at Bankwest Stadium but tries from Waqa Blake and Maika Sivo and the boot of Mitchell Moses were enough to down a depleted Storm side. 

Blake went over from Ryan Matterson's offload to add to Moses' earlier penalty that had put the Eels ahead, and Sivo's 12th try of the season made it 12-0 before the interval. 

Storm lost Ryley Jacks to a hip injury and Nelson Asofa-Solomona to the sin bin, with Moses adding two more points from the resulting penalty. 

Brandon Smith was also hurt in the closing stages as a weakened Storm offered little hope of a comeback, ending a game scoreless for the first time since 2014. 

They stay second to Penrith Panthers in the standings, with the Eels now level on points in third.

Penrith Panthers set a new club record with a ninth successive NRL win, though their 18-12 triumph over New Zealand Warriors was overshadowed by alleged racial abuse of Brent Naden. 

Panthers winger Naden, who is an indigenous Australian, reported comments made from a section of the crowd that led to a small group of supporters being escorted from Central Coast Stadium. 

The NRL are investigating the incident; acting CEO Andrew Abdo said in a statement that "decisive action" will be taken against anyone found guilty, while the governing body will offer support to those players involved. 

Naden scored the opening try as Penrith maintained their impressive streak, Apisai Koroisau and Dylan Edwards also touching down as the leaders opened up a 16-6 advantage by half-time. 

Patrick Herbert converted his own try as the Warriors fought hard in the second half, though the table-topping Panthers held on to make it nine in a row. 

In Friday's other game, outgoing coach Paul McGregor enjoyed a successful farewell as St George Illawarra Dragons prevailed 14-12 against Parramatta Eels. 

The Dragons announced this week that McGregor would be stepping down after the game at Bankwest Stadium, despite having over a year left to run on his contract. Dean Young is to take over on an interim basis.  

His final outing in charge saw a victory secured thanks to a brace of tries from Mikaele Ravalawa, as well as six points from the boot of Zac Lomax.  

Clinton Gutherson and Kane Evans touched down for the Eels, who missed the chance to go level on points with the second-placed Melbourne Storm in the ladder.

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.

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.

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."

Parramatta Eels went back to the top of the NRL ladder on Thursday with a 26-16 victory over Wests Tigers in Sydney.

A bruising contest at Bankwest Stadium saw the visitors get off to a flyer when Luciano Leilua powered over the line in the opening minute.

The Eels went behind after just two minutes in last Saturday's 22-18 defeat to Manly Sea Eagles and it seemed another early setback had left them shaken, despite Maika Sivo's 10th try of the season drawing them level.

David Nofoaluma also reached 10 tries for the campaign before a Moses Mbye penalty goal made it 12-4, giving the Tigers a measure of control.

Matters soon unravelled for Michael Maguire's men, however, Reagan Campbell-Gillard's 40-metre charge for the line reducing the deficit before a Mitchell Moses penalty goal levelled the scores again.

The Tigers lost Michael Chee-Kam to a serious-looking concussion and were soon trailing by six at the break, Moses scoring after a superb chip and chase.

Shaun Lane touched down from a Clint Gutherson grubber to stretch the Eels' advantage and Sivo's second effectively sealed the points.

Some quick passing sent Tommy Talau clear down the left to score a consolation, but the Tigers stay seventh in the standings, with the Eels a point above Penrith Panthers after playing a game more.

Manly Sea Eagles shocked NRL leaders Parramatta Eels with a 22-18 victory on Saturday despite the threat of a late comeback.

Brad Arthur's men trailed 22-4 at half-time after a careless start saw them concede three tries in the opening 16 minutes.

Martin Taupau capitalised on a mistake just two minutes in before Daly Cherry-Evans and Daniel Levi made the most of some slack defending.

Michael Jennings got the visitors on the scoreboard 30 minutes in, but Joel Thompson's try a minute before the break put the Sea Eagles firmly in control.

The Eels then got the benefit of a contentious call, Waqa Blake running nearly the length of the field to score after a reprieve from the bunker, which seemed to put the Lottoland crowd on edge.

Michael Jennings burst through to score his side's third and George Jennings dotted down in the corner after an excellent offload, but there was not enough time for the league leaders to prevent just a second loss of the season.

St George-Illawarra Dragons produced an impressive comeback to beat Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 28-22 and deny interim coach Steve Georgallis a winning start.

Georgallis, who replaced Dean Pay this week, saw his side respond to a try from Matt Dufty 58 seconds in to lead 20-10 at half-time.

Euan Aitken finished from a good move involving Adam Clune and Dufty to extend the Dragons' early advantage, but Jason Marshall-King, Nick Meaney and Raymond Faitala-Mariner all went over to give the visitors the lead.

Jason Saab dragged the Dragons back into the contest after fumbling an earlier chance for a try, and Clune set up Dufty for his second to level the scores before Zac Lomax converted.

Corey Norman got the Dragons' fifth try with two minutes remaining and Lomax added the extras, leaving the Bulldogs four points adrift at the foot of the ladder.

Newcastle Knights survived a late fightback from South Sydney Rabbitohs to claim a 20-18 win at Bankwest Stadium.

The away side led 14-0 at the interval thanks to first-half tries from Enari Tuala, Kurt Mann and Kalyn Ponga, who had come in for criticism for his recent form.

Bradman Best touched down after a clever Ponga kick three minutes into the second half, but the full-back's third missed conversion appeared to give the Rabbitohs some hope.

Mark Nicholls and Damien Cook went over in the space of two minutes and Cook got his second from debutant Jaxson Paulo's kick, but the Knights held firm in the closing stages.

Parramatta Eels reclaimed top spot in the NRL with a tight 10-4 win over Newcastle Knights, though one of their players may have committed a breach of the league's COVID-19 protocols.

The Eels held on for victory at McDonald Jones Stadium, where the Knights were playing for the first time since round one in March.

Maika Sivo's 64th-minute try proved the difference, with Tex Hoy's try that looked set to force golden-point extra time ruled out for offside.

However, there is scrutiny on the actions of prop Stefano Utoikamanu, who hugged relatives after making his debut, with players not permitted to touch members of the public at games or training sessions.

The Eels said they are waiting to hear from the league regarding the potential breach of protocols.

In Sunday's later game, St. George-Illawarra Dragons claimed only their third win of the campaign, thumping Manly Sea Eagles 34-4.

The Dragons fell behind to Joel Thompson's eighth-minute try but ran in six tries thereafter at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.

A searing long-range effort from Matthew Dufty and an interception from Zac Lomax were the pick of the bunch. Josh Kerr and the impressive Mikaele Ravalawa also went over, with Corey Norman and Euan Aitken completing the rout.

Maika Sivo scored four tries as NRL leaders Parramatta Eels hammered North Queensland Cowboys 42-4 and there was a happy homecoming for Canberra Raiders on Friday.

The Eels showed they can cope without the injured Mitchell Moses at Bankwest Stadium, where Sivo starred and Clinton Gutherson also tormented the sorry Cowboys.

Tries from Michael Jennings, Sivo and Waqa Blake put Brad Arthur's side in command before Tom Opacic crossed to put the Cowboys on the board late in the first half.

North Queensland were unable to contain the leaders after the break, Jai Field touching down and Gutherson providing a third assist for Sivo with a pinpoint cutout pass before the wing completed his treble in the corner.

Sivo was handed a fourth try on a plate with eight minutes to play and full-back Gutherson took his tally with the boot to 14 points with a late penalty as the Eels moved two points clear at the summit.

Canberra responded to back-to-back defeats with a 22-16 defeat of St George-Illawarra Dragon in their first match at GIO Stadium since the resumption.

The Raiders, who this week confirmed John Bateman will leave at the end of the season, scored 22 points - 10 coming from Jarrod Croker - without reply but had to withstand a Dragons fightback to move up to fifth.

George Williams was among the four Raiders try-scorers, but their victory came at a cost as Iosia Soliola, Elliott Whitehead and Emre Guler joined the injury list.

Bankwest Stadium will host three games in round eight of the NRL season after an inspection was carried out in response to concerns raised over the state of the field.

Sydney Roosters duo Victor Radley and Sam Verrills both suffered serious knee injuries during the first half of their team's 26-12 victory over St George-Illawarra Dragons last Friday.

However, following an independent examination of the playing surface, the venue has been cleared for use.

"We had two really unfortunate season-ending injuries there and no one ever wants to see that," NRL head of football Graham Annesley said.

"The fact they happened so close together did raise questions and the NRL acted quickly. By close of business that night we had organised an independent inspection of the field the next morning.

"That took place and the detailed report we received was an assessment across the field in many different points.

"They took readings for traction, firmness and any other gauge to determine the quality of a professional sporting field.

"All of those readings came back to an acceptable range. The Rugby League Players Association were in attendance for that and they were satisfied."

Annesley also confirmed that plans to replace the field have been moved forward, adding: "They started that process late last night. By the time we get to round eight this week it will effectively be a brand new surface."

Parramatta Eels against North Queensland Cowboys will kick off the action at the ground on Friday. 

Wests Tigers will then take on table-topping Penrith Panthers the following day, while the trio of fixtures at Bankwest Stadium will be completed on Sunday when the Canterbury Bulldogs meet the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Meanwhile, a number of clubs have been granted permission to play at their respective homes again.

Canberra Raiders are to host the Dragons at GIO Stadium, Gold Coast Titans will be back at Cbus Super Stadium for their clash with Cronulla Sharks and Manly Sea Eagles return to Lottoland to take on Newcastle Knights.

Clinton Gutherson stepped up in the absence of the injured Mitchell Moses for Parramatta Eels, sealing a 25-24 victory over Canberra Raiders in a thrilling golden-point finale. 

After Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad's late double forced extra time, Parramatta full-back Gutherson succeeded in slotting through a one-pointer with his third opportunity after Jack Wighton was penalised for a knock-on. 

The responsibility fell to Gutherson after Moses sustained a lower leg injury in the first half on Saturday, a day after Sydney Roosters duo Victor Radley and Sam Verrills suffered ACL damage while playing at the same ground. 

Canberra came from behind to lead into half-time, with Elliott Whitehead touching down after a blatant forward pass from Jarrod Croker in the build-up was missed. 

Ray Stone and Michael Jennings crossed before Maika Sivo scored his 26th NRL try in his 32nd appearance to seemingly put the Eels out of reach, but Nicoll-Klokstad went over twice in as many minutes to keep the Raiders alive. 

However, Gutherson's golden point drop goal ensured Parramatta got the win that sent them back to the top of the standings. 

Brisbane Broncos' dismal form continued as they succumbed to a fifth straight defeat, going down 30-12 to Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium. 

Brisbane were booed off when they went into the break 22-0 down, with Ash Taylor and Anthony Don, whose second try came after intercepting Tesi Niu's pass while Moeaki Fotuaika was in the sin bin for a professional foul, impressing for the Titans. 

The Broncos lost Matt Lodge to an apparent knee injury and saw Corey Oates yellow carded for verbal dissent in the closing stages, but coach Anthony Seibold insisted he remains the right man for the job. 

Seibold told a post-match news conference: "I'm trying to stay in the present, I've got a five-year deal. I think I'm the right person to bring this group through but if the board think otherwise, or Paul White as CEO thinks otherwise, they'll tell me. 

"I'm not looking over my shoulder. I'll get up and go again in the morning. It's frustrating." 

North Queensland Cowboys ended a three-game losing streak by overcoming Newcastle Knights 32-20 at Queensland Country Bank Stadium. 

Justin O'Neill, Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, Jake Clifford and Kyle Feldt crossed as the Cowboys scored 26 points without response in the first half. 

Coen Hess responded after Tex Hoy crossed for the Knights, who were unable to get close despite running in a further three tries in the second period. 

Page 1 of 2
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.