Sunday Territorian 20 Jul 2014
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Nationwide News Pty. Limited
56 SPORT SUNDAY JULY 20 2014 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 Copley inspires Broncos victory MAKESHIFT Brisbane centre Dale Copley was the unlikely second-half hero as the Broncos put a tumultuous week behind them with a thrilling 28-22 NRL win over the New Zealand Warriors last night at Suncorp Stadium. The Broncos stopped the in-form Auckland-based outfits three-game winning streak as Copley produced the mostinfluential match of his career. The 22-year-old scored two tries in three minutes midway through the second half to turn a 22-18 deficit into a six-point lead before Brisbane finally closed out a tight match. The win ends a three-match rut and moves the Broncos to equal sixth on the table with the Warriors on 22 points. Down 12-0 after nine minutes, the home side belatedly muscled up to ensure no one was left to rue under-pressure coach Anthony Griffins decision to dump Jack Reed, Daniel Vidot and Corey Oates for a big night out. Griffin was rewarded for his controversial call with the performances by their backline replacements. Moved from the wing to left centre due to the axings, Copley was outstanding while late wing addition Lachlan Maranta was also influential with three superb high-ball takes under immense pressure near his line. Copleys double came after opposing centre Konrad Hurrell was replaced with concussion and back-rower Ben Henry, who scored two tries, was unable to contain him in defence. While star recruit Ben Barba, shifted to five-eighth, continued to struggle, halfback Ben Hunt continued the form that has had him topping the Dally M Medal count. The match had followed the form line in a one-way opening for the visitors who successfully targeted Barba, playing in the front line at No.6, on the Broncos makeshift left side. But the match turned when Ben Hannant scored a soft try by powering past Suaia Matagi and Tomkins. The Warriors attack, which had piled eight tries on against Parramatta last week, then lost all composure and precision, gifting Brisbane field position three times with errors in their own half. Henrys two tries after the break gave the lead back to the Warriors but Copleys heroics late in the game ensured the Brisbane crowd went home happy. By JIM MORTON in Brisbane Melbourne face testing time on the road NOW the true test will come for the Melbourne Storm. Last night was the warm up act, a game they just had to win against a struggling Canberra side sitting third last. They did what they had to do, putting away the Raiders in the second half for a solid 28-14 victory. But the coming month will determine how this season will be remembered. The Storm who remain locked in a tight battle for a spot in the finals will be heading on the road for their next three games. They will need to finish the season strongly and, with some momentum behind them, will be able to mount a late premiership charge. No team will count Melbourne out, and last nights performance was the proof. Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy lamented his side were constantly just a few me tres short in last weeks tight loss to the Bulldogs. But they found those vital metres last night. Back-rower Kevin Proctor was over after four minutes, scoring the opener for the second straight week. Then big man Jordan McLean barged his way over, and from there the Storm were never behind. They now face the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium next Friday night. Mitchell Pearce looks for a teammate during the Roosters win against Penrith Picture: MARK EVANS Roosters on the boil for victory THE values were built in brilliant sunshine at a swish beachside resort last week. Last night they were applied in true blue collar style under filthy skies that would make a coal miner shiver. Plunged into a mid-season crisis after their woeful fadeout against Cronulla two weeks ago, the Sydney Roosters opted for grit over glamour to bring high-flying Penrith back to terra firma with a powerful 32-12 victory. Fresh from a four-day training camp at Avoca Beach that also featured some brutal home truths about their upand-down season, the premiers spent the first hour putting their private words into practice before 13,993 stoic fans. For the best part of an hour their defence resembled the regime that kept six teams scoreless last season, and left the NRL surprise packets looking clueless in attack. The resolve was typified by Sonny Bill Williams, who played the entire 80 minutes without hydration because of his strict observance of Ramadan. Although he was treated to a much lighter defensive load in the centres, Williams still recorded a game-high 174m from 18 runs, the last of which saw him almost set up a fairytale length-of-the-field intercept try. BRONCOS 28 WARRIORS 22 BRISBANE Tries: D Copley 2 B Hannant B Hunt J Kahu Goals: C Parker 4 NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS Tries: B Henry 2 S Mannering S Tomkins Goals: S Johnson 3 Crowd: 37,082 at Suncorp Stadium Referees: A Devcich, G Atkins ROOSTERS 32 PANTHERS 12 SYDNEY ROOSTERS Tries: B Cordner 2 M Aubusson R Casty A Guerra Goals: J Maloney 6 PENRITH Tries: B Cartwright J Segeyaro Goals: J Soward 2 Referees: A Klein, A Gee Crowd: 13,993 at Allianz Stadium STORM 28 RAIDERS 14 MELBOURNE Tries: M Fonua 2 M Koroibete J McLean K Proctor S Waqa Goals: C Smith 2 CANBERRA Tries: J Croker A Milford S Sauiluma Goals: J Croker Referees: S Hayne, C Butler Crowd: 11,479 at AAMI Park NRL LADDER ROUND 19 P W D L B +/- Pts Sea Eagles 16 11 - 5 2 111 26 Bulldogs 16 11 - 5 2 66 26 Panrthers 17 11 - 6 2 62 26 Rabbitohs 17 10 - 7 2 132 24 Roosters 17 10 - 7 2 124 24 Broncos 17 9 - 8 2 82 22 Warriors 17 9 - 8 2 64 22 Storm 17 9 - 8 2 -20 22 Cowboys 17 8 - 9 2 78 20 Dragons 16 8 - 8 2 -54 20 Tigers 16 8 - 8 2 -80 20 Eels 17 8 - 9 2 -102 20 Titans 16 7 - 9 2 -74 18 Knights 16 5 - 11 2 -84 14 Raiders 17 5 - 12 2 -117 14 Sharks 17 4 - 13 2 -188 12 McKinnon will feel the Hunter love in Rise for Alex round NEWCASTLE is bracing for the most emotional day in their storied rugby league history today for the centrepiece game of the NRLs Rise For Alex round. Alex McKinnon will return to Hunter Stadium for the first time since suffering his spinal injury in March for round 19s clash with the Gold Coast. All roads will lead to the sporting temple at the centre of that great rugby league heartland 160km north of Sydney. An emotion charged afternoon was experienced there the week after McKinnon was injured in round three against Melbourne and Knights prop Willie Mason is expecting emotions to overflow again. Two-time premiership winners the Knights belted Cronulla 30-0 that day and the Titans could be in for a similar experience. I thought the Cronulla game at the start of the year when it was the Rise for Alex game, it was highly emotional for a lot of guys and this one is probably going to be twice as much, Mason said. I know in that circle we were standing in (before the game), everyone was crying and I know in this one it is probably going to be as bad. If you cant rise up for this you shouldnt be playing rugby league. The whole NRL is going to stand up but we are the club that are going to do it. The NRL have announced a range of matchday activities at Hunter Stadium that includes a performance by pop superstar Jessica Mauboy. The result of the game will be something of a footnote but the Knights can continue their unlikely finals push with their fourth win in a row. But much of the focus will of course be on McKinnon. It is the Rise for Alex week but he doesnt want to put it on himself, he is thanking everybody else. That is the sort of guy he is, Mason said. He is such good kid, I cant say anything bad about the kid. Ive got nothing but love for him.
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