NRL big guns let loose - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL big guns let loose

By Darren Walton 10/08/2003 09:08:01 PM Comments (0)

The heavyweights flexed their muscles as the battle for the minor premiership intensified after a high-scoring round of the National Rugby League this week.

August is traditionally the month of making statements and the premiership's top four teams all made their intentions known loud and clear.

Reigning premiers the Sydney Roosters survived a second-half scare to dismiss Cronulla 36-28 at Aussie Stadium to retain the competition lead.

The Roosters ran in seven tries - conceding three while briefly resting inspirational leader Brad Fittler - in another exhibition of attacking firepower.

Canberra continued to defy its critics, romping to a 51-16 win over Manly at Brookvale Oval to retain second spot - despite being largely snubbed as a title threat by the bookies.

Winger Joel Monaghan posted four tries for the rampant Raiders, while regular suspect Clinton Schifcofske contributed 16 points from a try and six conversions.

Penrith also advanced to 32 competition points with a plucky 13-6 victory over Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night to stay third on for-and-against behind the Roosters and Canberra.

Craig Gower was captain courageous for the Panthers, fighting on with painful knee and sternum injuries and then finishing off the Broncos with a decisive 40m field goal.

The Bulldogs continue to loom as the major threat, notching eight tries in a 50-4 trouncing of Melbourne at Sydney Showground.

Pocket rocket Matt Utai wreaked havoc down the left flank with a hat-trick before halftime.

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