Love NRL: Round 14, Origin 2, Round 15

New South Wales stole the headlines with their first State of Origin success in nine years, whilst in the Telstra Premiership, Penrith and Manly continued their good work at the top of the ladder.

The Blues’ hard earned 6-4 win at ANZ Stadium broke the Maroons’ stranglehold on Origin, with half back Trent Hodkinson the hero.

The 25-year-old’s late try cancelled out two Jonathan Thurston penalties, before his conversion won a typically titanic battle.

Queenslanders Matt Scott and Brent Tate both suffered serious injuries, whilst NSW centre Michael Jennings is also likely to miss a few weeks of action.

In Round 14 the Panthers edged a close contest with St George Illawarra, as Dean Whare‘s first half double proved vital.

The 18-14 win moved Ivan Cleary’s side two points clear at the summit, although victories for South Sydney and Sydney Roosters kept the pressure on.

The Rabbitohs enjoyed an easy 32-10 win over Wests Tigers, whilst the Tricolours beat bottom side Newcastle 29-12.

Parramatta and Melbourne also took maximum points in Round 14, defeating Canterbury and Gold Coast respectively.

Earlier in June, Beau Ryan announced his retirement from the game due to a persistent neck problem, although it seems he won’t miss playing all that much.

The Cronulla winger says that he used to get anxious on a game day and wouldn’t eat properly.

“The day just dragged on and I’d get really tired,” Ryan told Rugby League Week.

“I ended up just lounging around and doing nothing, just waiting for the game to arrive.

“Playing 126 games, I have basically lost 126 days of my life!”

Without him the Sharks – who have signed Bulldogs’ captain Michael Ennis for next season – are struggling, and their 26-0 Round 15 defeat to the Sea Eagles meant a third consecutive loss without scoring a point.

Manly on the other hand are on a run of six wins in their last eight, and they sit joint top with Penrith on 22 points.

In Round 15’s other fixtures Canterbury returned to winning ways at Canberra, whilst NZ Warriors were too good for Brisbane.

The Kiwis’ 19-10 victory was their fifth in seven games, and they are now well in the hunt for a top eight finish.

The Storm, who recently announced the mid-season acquisition of Tigers winger Marika Koroibete, then won an entertaining encounter with the Eels.

Billy Slater bounced back from Origin with two tries and two assists in the 46-20 win at AAMI Park.

Finally, Garreth Widdop’s drop goal was the only difference as the Dragons beat the Titans 19-18, before the Knights enjoyed only their third win of 2014 against North Queensland.

Round 14 results:

South Sydney 32-10 Wests Tigers (Jun 13, ANZ Stadium)

Penrith 18-14 St George Illawarra (Jun 14, Sportingbet Stadium)

Sydney Roosters 29-12 Newcastle (Jun 14, Allianz Stadium)

Canterbury 12-22 Parramatta (Jun 15, ANZ Stadium)

Gold Coast 20-24 Melbourne (Jun 16, Cbus Super Stadium)

State of Origin 2 result:

New South Wales 6-4 Queensland (Jun 18, ANZ Stadium)

Round 15 results:

Canberra 14-22 Canterbury (Jun 20, GIO Stadium)

NZ Warriors 19-10 Brisbane (Jun 21, Mount Smart Stadium)

Cronulla 0-26 Manly (Jun 21, Remondis Stadium)

Melbourne 46-20 Parramatta (Jun 22, AAMI Park)

Gold Coast 18-19 St George Illawarra (Jun 22, Cbus Super Stadium)

Newcastle 36-28 North Queensland (Jun 23, Hunter Stadium)

Round 16 fixtures:

Brisbane v Cronulla (Jun 27, Suncorp Stadium)

Manly v Sydney Roosters (Jun 27, Brookvale Oval)

Wests Tigers v Canberra (Jun 28, Campbelltown Sports Stadium)

North Queensland v South Sydney (Jun 28, 1300SMILES Stadium)

Parramatta v Newcastle (Jun 29, Pirtek Stadium)

NZ Warriors v Penrith (Jun 29, Mount Smart Stadium)

St George Illawarra v Melbourne (Jun 30, WIN Stadium)

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