Mon, May 1, 11:05am by Head Editor
Round Nine of the NRL season saw three outsiders win from the eight matches, and saw the Melbourne Storm put a two-game gap between them and the rest of the competition with a 34-22 win over the Dragons on Sunday.
The round started way back on Thursday night when the Broncos were too strong for the Panthers in Brisbane. They may have got the two points but the hosts did lose their star centre James Roberts to a knee injury five minutes from full-time.
In the early game on Friday, the Sea Eagles steamrolled the Rabbitohs 46-8 at the Sydney Football Stadium. Manly’s right edge had a field day with Akuila Uate scoring four tries and Dylan Walker doing his state of origin hopes no harm with as many try assists.
The first upset of the round came in the late game on Friday night when the Eels stunned the Cowboys in Townsville. Parramatta – who were a $2.55 shot – ran in four tries to one against an injury ravaged North Queensland line-up.
Saturday’s triple header started on the Gold Coast when the Titans came back from an 8-6 half-time deficit before scoring 32 unanswered points in the second half. Jarryd Hayne was once again brilliant, scoring two tries. The Knights are anchored to the bottom of the ladder, with just one win.
The second upset of the round came on Saturday night at the Olympic Stadium, when the Bulldogs overcame injuries to both James Graham (concussion) and Josh Reynolds (hamstring) to beat the Raiders 16-10. The hosts were a $2.65 chance pre-game.
The final game on Saturday saw the reigning Premier Cronulla Sharks get the job done 22-16 against the Tigers at Leichhardt Oval. A four-pointer from Chad Townsend ensured the result just 10 minutes before the end.
On Sunday, the Warriors were the third and final upset of the round at $2 when they beat the Roosters in a thriller at Mount Smart Stadium. A last-gasp Shaun Johnson penalty goal got the hosts over the line 14-13.
The final match of the round saw the top two teams in the league meet at Wollongong’s WIN Stadium and as mentioned, the Storm proved their Premiership credentials with a dominant win over the Dragons.
The Storm’s eighth win from nine starts sees them shorten even further in Premiership betting from $4.50 to $4.25.
Round 10 kicks off on Thursday night when the Bulldogs ($2.08) host the Cowboys ($1.75) at the Olympic Stadium. The closest match according to the bookmakers comes on Friday night when the Tigers ($2) host the Rabbitohs ($1.81).
Round 10 (Sportsbet)
Canterbury Bulldogs ($2.08) v Nth Queensland Cowboys ($1.75)
St George Illawarra Dragons ($2.66) v Cronulla Sharks ($1.49)
Wests Tigers ($2) v South Sydney Rabbitohs ($1.81)
Penrith Panthers ($1.80) v New Zealand Warriors ($2)
Melbourne Storm ($1.33) v Gold Coast Titans ($3.34)
Manly Sea Eagles ($2.20) v Brisbane Broncos ($1.65)
Newcastle Knights ($4.45) v Canberra Raiders ($1.21)
Sydney Roosters ($1.50) v Parramatta Eels ($2.58)
North Qld $17
St George $17
New Zealand $21
Gold Coast $41
South Sydney $101
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