Pearce leads Roosters in win over Tigers in Australia’s NRL
SYDNEY (AP) — Halfback Mitchell Pearce scored two tries and set up another on Sunday to lead the Sydney Roosters to a 40-18 win over the Wests Tigers and into second place in Australia’s National Rugby League.
The Roosters trail first-place Melbourne by four points and are level with the defending champion Cronulla Sharks on 20 points each.
On Saturday, the NRL moved outside its traditional “home” venues — from Bathurst in central New South Wales state to Darwin in the Top End of the Northern Territory.
At Bathurst, in the central tablelands of the state about 200 kilometers (120 miles) northwest of Sydney, two Matt Moylan try assists in the final three minutes led Penrith to a 24-20 comeback win over Canberra at the 10,000-seat Carrington Park stadium.
The Panthers trailed by eight points when Moylan put Corey Harawira-Naera over before the captain sent Tyrone Peachey across on the final play of the match.
In the tropical northern city of Darwin, the North Queensland Cowboys outclassed Parramatta 32-6.
The game marked the return of Cowboys star Johnathan Thurston, who scored a try after a month away with a shoulder injury.
“It’s a little bit sore. I had a couple of late hits, but it’s come through unscathed so I’m pleased,” Thurston said.
In another game Saturday, the New Zealand Warriors defeated the Gold Coast Titans 34-12, the Warriors’ seventh consecutive win at the Titans’ home ground on the tourist strip south of Brisbane.
Brisbane beat South Sydney 24-18 and Akuila Uate scored a pair of tries against his former team as Manly beat Newcastle 18-14.
Brisbane lost five-eighth Anthony Milford, who plays for Queensland in the State of Origin, for at least six weeks with a dislocated left shoulder. That would make him unavailable for the second Origin match on June 21 in Sydney, with Queensland trailing the best-of-three series 1-0.
“We are looking at a six-week process at least,” Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett said. “Then we will see where we are after that, see if he can go the rest of the season.”
In a grand final replay, second rower Felise Kaufusi scored a late try to give the Storm an 18-13 win over Cronulla. The Sharks trailed 12-0 before taking a 13-12 lead ahead of Kaufusi’s winning score.
Canterbury and fourth-placed St. George Illawarra play on Monday to conclude the 14th round.