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.

Israel Folau scored a try and set up three more as the Catalans Dragons came from behind to thrash Castleford Tigers 40-14 in Super League.

The Tigers raced into a 14-point lead following Michael Shenton's early double but fell apart when Peter Mata'utia was sin-binned with 10 first-half minutes to go.

Catalans scored 40 unanswered points as Folau teed up Tom Davies for the first of the visitors' seven tries.

Folau – who once again did not kneel for the Black Lives Movement prior to kick-off – also went in prior to half-time, before the centre set up a further tries after the interval.

Warrington Wolves also scored 40 points in their first Super League match back as they cruised to a comfortable 40-10 win over Hull KR.

Tom Lineham scored two of their seven tries, with Josh Charnley, Gareth Widdop and Stefan Ratchford among the others to go over.

The Penrith Panthers matched a club record with an eighth straight win as they showed why they belong at the top of the NRL table.

A 28-12 win over the Canberra Raiders on Saturday came thanks to tries from Viliame Kikau, Liam Martin, the prolific Stephen Crichton and Brent Naden that all arrived before half-time.

Canberra trailed 24-0 at the break but cut their deficit after the break thanks to a double from Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad; however, Nathan Cleary's kicking for the Panthers kept them at arm's length.

The Panthers first won eight in a row in the 2003 season, when they went on to win the Grand Final.

The Melbourne Storm had briefly nudged ahead of the Panthers with a 41-10 success against the Canterbury Bulldogs earlier in the day, with Josh Addo-Carr and Kenneath Bromwich both dotting down twice.

Nicho Hynes, Justin Olam and Suliasi Vunivalu also poached tries, with the Storm having posted 22 points in their onslaught before the Bulldogs, who sit at the foot of the ladder, troubled the scoreboard.

The only setback for the Storm was a knee injury sustained by Cameron Munster that could see him miss several weeks of action.

The Storm were not the day's biggest winners, with that honour going to the Newcastle Knights who thumped Wests Tigers 44-4 to climb to sixth place.

Kalyn Ponga grabbed two tries and booted 12 points in a lively display, with Hymel Hunt, Starford To'a, Jacob Saifiti, Herman Ese'ese, Gehamat Shibasaki and Phoenix Crossland also scoring.

Veteran Blake Green made a bright Knights debut after joining in midweek from the New Zealand Warriors, feeding Ponga for the opening try in the ninth minute and winning praise from half-back partner and captain Mitchell Pearce.

"What a super player Greenie is and what a great pick-up for us," Pearce said, quoted on the NRL website. "In the short time I've met him you can tell what a good guy he is.

"I've heard such good raps on him from other players at other clubs and he is really calm, really smart."

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.

Leeds Rhinos claimed an astonishing 27-26 golden-point victory over Huddersfield Giants as Super League resumed in spectacular fashion at Headingley on Sunday. 

The Rhinos were comprehensively outplayed for the majority of the contest, with Darnell McIntosh running in a hat-trick. 

When Louis Senior touched down for his second of the contest, Huddersfield led 26-6 with a man advantage – Ash Handley having been sent to the sin bin for dissent. 

Luke Gale, who would ultimately prove the matchwinner, started the charge with a 68th-minute try – the first of four in a rampaging 10-minute spell. 

Luke Briscoe then went over in the corner to crown a fabulous team move and Alex Mellor collected a Gale pass to score against his former club. 

Konrad Hurrell's second try of the game gave Rhyse Martin a conversion to send the match into golden-point extra time, where Gale slotted over a drop goal to settle matters and spark wild celebrations. 

In Sunday's earlier game in Leeds, St Helens steamrollered Catalans Dragons 34, with Lachlan Coote going over for a try in each half as part of an 18-point haul.

Before kick-off, Catalans' Israel Folau once again made himself a figure of controversy by being the only player not to take a knee in support of Black Lives Matter.

Folau returned to rugby league in January after Rugby Australia sacked him for homophobic posts on his social media accounts.

Steve McNamara defended Israel Folau's personal choice after the controversial rugby star elected not to take a knee before Catalans Dragons' 34-6 Super League defeat to St Helens.

In keeping with displays of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement across the sporting world over recent months, players on both sides knelt before the UK's premier rugby league competition resumed.

The exception was Folau, leaving Catalans coach McNamara to address the Australia's refusal to take part in the gesture, which has been widely interpreted as a means of displaying a united front against and solidarity with the victims of police brutality.

"As a club and a group of players and coaching staff we spoke about it in depth," McNamara said.

"As a whole club we are completely against racism, we are completely for equal opportunity but there were some players and staff who made a decision not to the knee and that was based on their personal choice.

"As a group we decided we would respect anybody's personal choice in and around this matter. I think you've seen in some other sports that situation happening and those individuals have their own reasons for doing that."

Folau returned to rugby league with Catalans in January after Rugby Australia sacked him for posting homophobic slurs on his social media accounts.

Former Great Britain and England international Leon Pryce, who is himself of Jamaican descent, replied to a tweet reporting Folau's actions at Headingley to show support.

Pryce said Folau's decision was "absolutely fine" and added: " Nobody should feel like they are forced to do anything they are not comfortable with."

There was nothing so notable about the efforts of Folau or his team-mates on the field as Saints ran out convincing winners.

Lachlan Coote was the star of the show, crossing in each half and landing five conversions to end with an 18-point haul.

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.

 

 

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