Steelers tarnish Knights' armour
NEWCASTLE'S premiership ambitions suffered another major setback yesterday as the Knights were thrashed 28-6 by Illawarra in the Australian Rugby League premiership.
Coming just a week after a heavy defeat at home by Manly, the loss raised serious questions about the Knights' credentials for the finals.
Illawarra ran in six tries to the Knights' one, and only poor goalkicking saved Newcastle from a more embarrassing defeat.
Star for the Steelers was half-back John Simon, who confirmed mid-week he is leaving the club to join Sydney City.
Brisbane got off to a slow start before outclassing a gallant Penrith side 17-12.
The Panthers, missing several key players including Test star Brad Fittler, led 4-0 after a tight first half.
But two long-distance tries by Kangaroo star Steve Renouf in the opening 10 minutes of the second half proved the turning point for the Broncos.
Sydney City had some anxious moments before outlasting Parramatta 26-20.
The Roosters trailed 12-0 early before fighting back in the second half.
With the scores locked at 20-20, Roosters winger Graham Mackay scored the winning try off a pass that appeared suspiciously close to forward.
North Sydney kept their slim finals hopes alive with a 36-4 defeat of Sydney Tigers.
The Bears had few problems against a disappointing Tigers side, with classy back-rower Craig Wilson scoring two tries.
St George also kept up on the pace with the leaders, thrashing the Gold Coast 46-16.
Five-eighth Anthony Mundine continued his good run of form for Saints, bagging two tries.
Sydney Bulldogs added another chapter of woe to South Sydney's dismal season, smacking the Rabbitohs 46-10.
Winger Darryl Halligan led the point-scoring onslaught, snaring 22 points through two tries and seven goals.
Auckland took a stronger foothold on a top eight spot with a 28-10 win in North Queensland.
In steamy conditions, the Warriors overcame a stubborn but outclassed local outfit before running in three late tries to wrap up the result.