NRL round-up: Ponga inspires Knights, Townsend snatches Sharks win, MacDonald on fire

There were a number of World Cup stars in good form on the weekend.

Brisbane Broncos beat South Sydney Rabbitohs 24-20 at ANZ Stadium on Thursday. Darius Boyd, Kodi Nikorima and Corey Oates all got on the scoresheet for the Broncos, while Greg Inglis played in his 250th NRL game. Tom Burgess and George Burgess both featured.

Kalyn Ponga put in a man-of-the-match performance to help Newcastle Knights edge past Manly Sea Eagles 18-12 at Lottoland on Friday. Nathan Ross’ try late on sealed the win for the Knights.

James Maloney kicked five goals to guide Penrith Panthers to a 22-14 victory over Canterbury Bulldogs at Panthers Stadium. Tonga ace Will Hopoate scored for the Bulldogs.

Chad Townsend’s second drop-goal in the last minute of the game snatched a 10-9 win for Cronulla Sharks against Gold Coast Titans at Cbus Super Stadium on Saturday. Australia’s World Cup star Valentine Holmes scored one of Cronulla’s tries.

Samoa star Josh Papalii and Tonga hooker Siliva Havili both scored to help Canberra Raiders brush aside North Queensland Cowboys 18-8 at 13000Smiles Stadium. Jonathan Thurston was great for the Cowboys, but it wasn’t enough to salvage anything from the game.

Parramatta Eels won their second game in a row with a narrow 24-22 win over Wests Tigers. New Zealand centre Brad Takairangi and Tonga forward Manu Ma’u both scored for the Eels, while Corey Thompson and Benji Marshall crossed the whitewash for the Tigers.

Two tries from Papua New Guinea international Nene MacDonald inspired St George Illawarra Dragons to a 24-8 triumph over Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium. Latrell Mitchell was unlucky to be on the losing side, scoring a try and kicking two goals.

Melbourne Storm marked Anzac Day with a sensational performance as they humbled New Zealand Warriors 50-10 at AAMI Park. Ryan Hoffman scored for Storm, while Australia full-back Billy Slater and Samoa ace Young Tonumaipea also got on the scoresheet. Tonga winger David Fusitu’a crossed twice for the Warriors.

The Dragons, Panthers, Warriors and Storm are currently in the top four, while the Eels, Cowboys, Bulldogs and Sea Eagles are joint bottom with four points each.

NRL round eight results:

South Sydney Rabbitohs 20-24 Brisbane Broncos

Manly Sea Eagles 12-18 Newcastle Knights

Penrith Panthers 22-14 Canterbury Bulldogs

Gold Coast Titans 9-10 Cronulla Sharks

North Queensland Cowboys 8-18 Canberra Raiders

Parramatta Eels 24-22 Wests Tigers

St George Illawarra Dragons 24-8 Sydney Roosters

Melbourne Storm 50-10 New Zealand Warriors