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Around the Grounds | Major Comps - Week Nine

All the latest updates from week nine of the NSWRL's major competitions.

Johnston bags three to lead Knights to victory

Star forward Caitlin Johnston has celebrated re-signing with the Newcastle Knights NRLW team during the week with a captain’s knock that included a hat-trick in the 30-20 win over South Sydney Rabbitohs in the Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership.

It didn’t take long for Johnston to make her presence known with the opening try just four minutes into the contest.

Newcastle pushed their lead further ahead in the early part of the match after four-pointers to halfback Jesse Southwell (10th minute) and back-rower Sophie Higgins (18th minute). Southwell kicked two form three conversions for a 16-0 lead.

The Rabbitohs managed to hit back with three quickfire tries, courtesy of centre Monique Donovan, hooker Seli Mailangi and No.15 Moniqca Mo’Ale. An extra two points from five-eighth Akira Kelly had the Knights trailing 16-14 at the break.

Newcastle found their groove again in the second half with Johnston leading the way to score her second try at the 37-minute mark. No.9 Shannon Evans scored one five minutes later.

At that point South Sydney kept themselves in the contest when Mailangi completed her double with just over 20 minutes to play, but it was Johnston’s third try soon after which cut short any hopes of a comeback for the home side.

Southwell was also perfect off the boot in the second half to help the Knights’ to a 14-point victory.

Click here for more Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership results.

Dragons and Bulldogs share the spoils in six-try battle

The St George Illawarra Dragons and Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs couldn’t be separated in their Jersey Flegg Cup match on Saturday, playing out a 16-all draw at Centenary Field in Wollongong.

It is only the second draw of the 2022 season, with the Red V featuring in both matches.

The visiting Bulldogs jumped out to an early lead when winger Compton Fuatimau scored. It only took seven minutes for the Dragons to hit back with Campbell Watchirs – who was a late inclusion at centre in the No.15 jersey – finding his way to the tryline.

The scores remained at four-all with less than 15 minutes in the first half, but both sides produced one more try each before halftime, via Joash Papalii for the Bulldogs (22nd minute) and centre Benjamin Johnson for the Dragons.

The Bulldogs took a narrow 10-8 lead into the break following Eli Clark’s conversion.

The arm wrestle continued in the second half, which had little change on the scoreboard.

St George Illawarra were able to find the lead for the first time in the 45th minute through fullback Callum Gromek, before captain Sam Hooper landed the extra two points to make the scores 14-10.

Hooper added to his tally not long after with a penalty goal before the Dogs gave themselves a chance when speedster Sam Kanaan crossed the line. While Clark was unable to convert, he landed a penalty goal with seven minutes remaining to even the ledger with neither team unable to break the deadlock before the final whistle.

Click here for more Jersey Flegg Cup results.

Second half surge gets Tigers past Sea Eagles

A strong second half has seen Wests Tigers defeat Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 30-24 at 4 Pines Park in the Jersey Flegg Cup.

The home side came out firing for the Manly faithful, running in two tries in the opening 11 minutes to wingers Sanele Aukusitino and Cameron Brown. Jamie Humphreys converted both to put his side up 12-0.

After some physical opening exchanges, Tigers second-rower Finnley Neilsen opened the scoring for his side after he was able to isolate the smaller defender and crash over on the right edge.

Viliami Fifita used his brute strength shortly afterwards to burrow over close to the line and Humphreys again added the extras to extend the Sea Eagles lead to 18-4.

Just 10 minutes later, the Tigers would score the final points of the first half through winger Jay Kirk, after an unfortunate ‘falcon’ saw the ball bounce fortuitously into the hands of five-eighth Jamie Lawler who raced away downfield before generously passing to his outside man. Kade Hill added the extras to reduce the deficit to 18-10 at the break.

The Tigers came out of the sheds firing and ran in three consecutive tries to the ever-elusive Jahream Bula, James Valevatu and Troy Lolesio to surge to a 24-18 lead.

Some nice footwork from five-eighth Flynn Angles-Corke saw him cut back on the inside and score for the Sea Eagles. Humphreys brought the scores level at 24-all after a successful conversion.

With less than 10 minutes remaining, the Sea Eagles goal-line defence only had eyes for the players out the back, allowing interchange forward Samuel Kamu to crash over untouched under the posts. Humphreys added the extras and the Tigers came away for an impressive 30-24 win.

Click here for more Jersey Flegg Cup results.

Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.