Raiders' double loss as Stuart injured in shock defeat
Canberra's semi-final hopes suffered a double blow against a rejuvenated Parramatta in Australian Rugby League premiership action yesterday. The Eels upset the Raiders 20-14 at Bruce Stadium but the real tragedy for the home side came midway through the second half when star half-back Ricky Stuart hobbled from the field with a knee injury. Stuart, the Raiders' playmaker and captain, is not expected to play again this season. Former Canterbury five-eighth Jim Dymock was the hero for Parramatta, starring in attack as the Eels recorded their first win of the year. The crowds came back to the game after staying away in the opening two rounds, voting through the turnstiles as the action hotted up.
More than 21,000 fans flocked to North Sydney Oval to witness a typically tough Norths-Manly local derby. Good crowds at Campbelltown, Brisbane and Canberra over the weekend also had league officials smiling, with today's Newcastle-St George game set to draw well. After trailing 6-0 early, the Bears bounced back for a resounding 20-10 win over arch-rivals Manly. Speedy winger Robbie Beckett scored two tries as Penrith outclassed South Queensland 22-4 in a spiteful encounter in Brisbane. Several players were placed on report in a match that saw at least three flare-ups. Perth's Western Reds scored their first win of the year, upsetting Cronulla 19-12. Former Sharks centre Darren Higgins scored two tries against his old club, while ex-Bronco Julian O'Neill starred at five-eighth.
The new Gold Coast Chargers scored their maiden win, downing the hapless South Sydney 18-16. Souths led 16-14 before a try 15 minutes from full-time by replacement back Jeremy Schloss - his second - sealed victory for the visitors.