round 20

Kiraz scores three as Bulldogs cruise to beat Knights

The Bulldogs ran in four tries to two, racking up more than 20 points for the fourth time in five weeks to pile on more home ground pain for the Knights this season.

Both clubs sat alongside each other on the Telstra Premiership ladder going into the contest but the difference in form and confidence between both couldn't be any more apart. 

Kiraz, who spent the off-season training with the Knights before gaining a release to return to Canterbury this year, had a treble by the 44th minute as the Bulldogs racked up a 24-4 lead.

Dragons v Cowboys: Mbye new No.1; Cotter nears return

When the two sides met in round 14 it was the Cowboys running away with the game 31-12 in Townsville and Todd Payten's men have gone on with the job since then to sit alone in second spot.

Should the Cowboys go on to secure an all important top-four spot they will look back on the round 15 miracle comeback against Manly and the round 19 great escape against the Tigers as pivotal moments in their season.

Knights v Bulldogs: Hoy in for Ponga; TPJ starts

Newcastle have lost five of their past six games and face the prospect of being without inspirational skipper Kalyn Ponga for an extended period after he suffered another concussion in the loss to the Roosters.

The Bulldogs are scoring tries and loving life, reviving 'The Entertainers' brand with 140 points in their past five matches and knocking off the Eels, Tigers and Titans along the way.

Doueihi dazzles as Tigers stun Broncos

With Adam Doueihi playing a leading role with a try and six goals the Tigers secured just their fourth win of the season by stunning the fifth-placed Broncos.

The Tigers opened the scoring in the 12th minute when Brent Naden finished off slick work by Fa'amanu Brown, Jock Madden and Asu Kepaoa to cross in the corner. Doueihi's sideline conversion made it 6-0 to the visitors.

Midway through the half the Broncos hit back when Tesi Niu showed some dazzling footwork to stand up Kepaoa and grab his third try of the season.

Raiders overpower Titans to make it three in a row

The only sour note was the loss of influential forward Adam Elliott to a hip injury in the second half, after he had looked on track to join Josh Papalii and Joseph Tapine in running for over 150 metres at Cbus Super Stadium.

Tapine's total haul of 173 metres was all the more impressive given he spent 10 minutes in the bin after throwing a punch in a first-half melee with Titans hooker Aaron Booth. 

Broncos v Wests Tigers: Mariner handed debut; Brooks ruled out

Having taken one of the competition heavyweights to the wire, the Tigers should be walking that little bit taller, but the deflating nature of the loss will have left them feeling flat.

The Broncos, meanwhile, continue to march on and are now inside the top four with all their remaining matches against sides currently below them on the ladder.

Their renaissance under the astute leadership of Adam Reynolds has been remarkable and with a top-four finish at their mercy they can dare to dream of a first premiership since 2006.

Sharks v Rabbitohs: McInnes moves to lock; Suluka-Fifita to start

Cronulla matched - and for large periods outplayed - Penrith in round 19, and were in the match right up until Jarome Luai's 77th-minute try put the game beyond reach.

The Rabbitohs head to PointsBet Stadium in red-hot form, having won their last four matches including a 24-12 victory over the Storm last weekend. 

The two clubs have met just once a year for the past six seasons, with South Sydney winning four of those clashes. 

Titans v Raiders: Prop star Tino; Same 17 for Ricky

After tackling the Titans on Saturday, Ricky Stuart's men have matches to come against the Panthers, Dragons, Knights, Sea Eagles and Tigers so they are well positioned to make a return to the finals after missing out last year.

The Titans have shown positive signs in the past fortnight against the Broncos and Bulldogs but they still remain equal last and face an uphill battle to avoid a second wooden spoon in four years.

Eels down 12-man Panthers to keep top four hopes alive

The Eels were on top before Cleary was sensationally given his marching orders by referee Todd Smith for a lifting tackle on Kiwis five-eighth Dylan Brown at a sold out CommBank Stadium.

Piling on five first half tries, Parramatta inflicted Penrith's second defeat of the season - and they were also responsible for the other loss in round nine.

Trailing 30-4 at halftime and without Cleary or injured five-eighth Jarome Luai, the Panthers showed why they have been the NRL's top team of the past three seasons to limit the Eels to just one late try despite being a man down.

Storm snap losing streak against gutsy Warriors

The Storm led from the seventh minute when PNG centre Justin Olam scored the opening try of the match but they were never comfortable until the fulltime siren as the Warriors refused to give up before a capacity home crowd.

Warriors winger Ed Kosi scored a hat-trick of tries but it wasn't enough to lift the New Zealand-based side to their second win in as many matches since ending their three year exodus.