|=| Beaten Sea Eagles and Broncos open the door to chasing pack.
Round 23 of the NRL Premiership saw the gap between the current Top 8 and the chasing pack close as Manly-Warringah & Brisbane both faltered.
The Sea Eagles were beaten 32-10 by the Dragons - who look to have secured the Minor Premiership - missing a golden opportunity to move into the Top 4, yet at the same time the loss means they are just 2 points clear of three teams in equal 9th. Brisbane could have ended Parramatta's season yet found the absence of Darren Lockyer too much to overcome as the Eels produced an impressive 30-14 win at Suncorp. Now the Broncos find themselves in 8th spot behind the Sea Eagles - but both are on 26 points with only their differentials holding them in good stead should they lose again next week.
Of the chasing pack, Parramatta's win put them back into the reckoning on 24 points, Canberra defeated a very poor Canterbury team 28-14 to also go to 24 points and although South Sydney lost 18-16 to Melbourne their 24 points and quality differential of +61 keeps them in the hunt. Newcastle's season ended at the hands of the Warriors with a 22-10 defeat in Auckland - they are stuck on 22 points and have a poor differential that makes even their best case scenario of 28 points not enough to get them into the Finals.
In the other two games - the Titans lead 19-0, then 19-18 over the Cowboys before rallying late to win 37-18 at Skilled and move into 2nd spot on percentages with 30 points. Cronulla shocked the Sydney Roosters 18-12 in a game that saw the Roosters blow a thousand tryscoring opportunities in the 1st half and the loss could cost them a home final. The win sees the Sharks hand the Cowboys the dreaded unofficial Wooden Spoon for 15th spot.
Finally we saw the Wests Tigers produce a game that may have a number of contenders for the premiership nervously looking over their shoulders as the Tigers attack sparked up and they blew the Panthers off the park late en route to a 43-18 win at Campbelltown. The Panthers have lost 5 of 6 and are now only in the Top 4 on percentages, while the Tigers have moved into 3rd spot on 30 points.
It was a good round of footy but yet again inconsistent refereeing and some pathetic video referee calls overshadowed the football itself.
Let's hope the last three weeks see the footy take centre stage. All the results, highlights & reactions are below.
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NOT The Footy Show Episode 34 - Round 23 NRL Preview Podcast -
|=| The NRL Tweet's Game NotesFrom Suncorp: |=| #NRL Recap: Parramatta's season survives thanks to their defence as Brisbane minus Lockyer waste chance after chance in the 1st half. Eels put it away late to win 30-14 at Suncorp.
14 |=| BRISBANE BRONCOS J Yow Yeh, J Hoffman, B Te'o Tries; C Parker 1/3 Goals.
30 |=| PARRAMATTA EELS J Hayne, J Reddy, K Inu, L Burt, A Mitchell Tries; L Burt 5/5 Goals.
For the rest of Round 23's Results, Game Notes & Video Highlights click below...
SHARKS 18-12 ROOSTERS
|=| The NRL Tweet's Game Notes From Toyota: |=| #NRL Recap: I said I wouldn't be shocked if the Sharks won... but the Roosters blow a thousand opportunities & Cronulla take their few to win 18-12 at Toyota.
18 |=| CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS B Pomeroy, D Collis, N Gardner Tries; L Covell 3/3 Goals.
12 |=| SYDNEY ROOSTERS B Anasta, S Kenny-Dowall Tries; T Carney 2/2 Goals.