The Northern Territory news Sat 29 Jul 2017
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68 SPORT SATURDAY JULY 29 2017 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 Our 2007 win cant be erased: Bellamy CRAIG Bellamy sees some similarities in his current crop of Melbourne players to the team that won the 2007 grand final, which he rates as the best Storm side ever. Players from that team flew into Melbourne yesterday for a lunch to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of that emphatic triumph over Manly, who the Storm plays tomorrow. That premiership was later erased, as was their 2009 title, as part of their salary cap rorting penalties, but not in the eyes of Bellamy or the 2007 players. You talk to any of those players and they know how hard they worked that year to win the grand final, the Melbourne coach said. They can say what they like and erase what they like but theyre not going to erase these guys memories of what they did in 2007. The wrong thing was done (by the Storm) without a doubt but when you look at the penalties that were put on that team and see the other penalties that have been given to other teams I think everyone would agree it was harsh. The 2007 team included three of the current Storm lineup in Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater, while Greg Inglis, Ryan Hoffman are still playing in the NRL and Israel Folau with the Wallabies. Rookie key for Dragons finals push ST George Illawarras premiership hopes could rest in the hands of a 21-year-old after coach Paul McGregor insisted form would dictate who finishes the season in the key No.1 jumper. McGregor this week opted to push star Josh Dugan to the centres following a shoulder injury to Euan Aitken, keeping rookie Matt Dufty at fullback for todays clash against Newcastle. Dufty turned in a debut to remember in the Dragons 50point effort against Manly last week, giving McGregor what could be a season-defining selection risk on Aitkens return. McGregor dodged crowning the 21-year-old Dufty as the long-term replacement for Cronulla-bound Dugan next year, but said it was easy to retain him as custodian this week. It was a likely replacement for such an important player that Euan is, and such a worldclass player that Josh is, and the position he holds in that arena, McGregor said. McGregor admitted the Dragons hold the key to this years final make-up of the top eight, with his men needing to beat the Knights to stay two points ahead of ninth-placed Penrith. The last-placed Knights are aiming to avoid their ninth loss in a row. for which Nathan Brown was put on report. However Kenny Edwards could be in more trouble over the incident after he led with Parramattas Kirisome Auvaa and Michael Jennings celebrate after another Eels try against Brisbane at ANZ Stadium last night Picture: AAP IMAGES Slippery Eels blast past Broncs with slick finish PARRAMATTA have all but wrapped up an NRL top-eight spot with a spiteful 28-14 win over Brisbane at ANZ Stadium last night. The Broncos were struck a massive blow midway through the second half when hooker Andrew McCullough was assisted from the field with a knee problem. Its an injury which could have major ramifications for their title push. The Eels not only proved they deserved to return to finals football for the first time since 2009, they also signalled they were capable of troubling the competitions best sides. After going into round 21 in seventh, they have moved to 28 points alongside the Broncos. The Broncos, who came into the game in third, scored two tries in two minutes, but didnt trouble the scoreboard in the second half. With the scores locked at 14-14 heading into the final 20 minutes, Kirisome Auvaa broke the deadlock when he danced down the sideline for the match-winning try five minutes from fulltime. There was plenty of feeling between the two sides after they nearly came to blows over an ugly hit on Jonus Pearson the shoulder to hit the Broncos winger as he lay prone on the ground, setting off a push-andshove. The Broncos jumped out to a 12-0 lead thanks to early tries to Matt Gillett and James Roberts to look well in control. Mitchell Moses then orchestrated a Parramatta fightback, grubbering for Tepai Moeroa before throwing a harbour bridge pass for Auvaa to even the scores. Brisbane had salt rubbed into the wound when Mitchell Moses booted the ensuing penalty conversion to go ahead before tries to Auvaa and French finished off the job. Cronulla defeats careless Warriors AUCKLAND: The Warriors fell 26-12 to Cronulla in Auckland last night, reducing the Auckland-based sides hopes of qualifying for the NRL finals for the first time since 2011. As has been customary for much of 2017, multiple errors and repeated knock-ons ultimately proved the Warriors undoing. Despite another decent showing up front, where the Warriors outran the Sharks with the ball, the defending premiers ran in four tries to two to cement their place in the top four with five regularseason games remaining. The Warriors are on the precipice and will have to win their last five which include tough matches against Canberra and Manly to have any chance of a top-eight finish. Coach Stephen Kearney watched on as the Warriors again squandered chances and gifted the Sharks easy tries. In a mostly tight first half, Ken Maumalo failed to judge a Sharks grubber kick and gave Kurt Capewell the easiest of tries after four minutes, before Mason Linos 32nd-minute knock-on allowed Faamanu Brown to score. The Sharks first two tries both against the run of play sandwiched a juggling Solomone Kata intercept try in the 29th minute. There was a brief Warriors rally in the second half, with Lino putting Bodene Thompson over to get his side back to within two points. Former Warrior Sosaia Feki went over on the left edge in the 62nd minute, restoring the Sharks eight-point buffer, before Jayson Bukuya capitalised on a Matt Prior line break to score the Sharks fourth and wrap up the result. ANGELO RISSO EELS 28 BRONCOS 14 PARRAMATTA Tries: K Auvaa 2 B French T Moeroa Goals: M Moses 5 C Norman BRISBANE Tries: M Gillett J Roberts Goals: J Kahu 3 Refs: A Shortall, A Klein Crowd: 12,182 at ANZ Stadium SHARKS 26 WARRIORS 12 CRONULLA Tries: F Brown J Bukuya K Capewell S Feki Goals: V Holmes 5 NZ WARRIORS Tries: S Kata B Thompson Goals: I Luke 2 Refs: Matt Cecchin, Gavin Reynolds Crowd: 9771 at Mt Smart Stadium Parramattas Semi Radradra wraps up Anthony Milford