NRL round-up: Thompson stars for Wests, Oldfield bags hat-trick, Rabbitohs remain top

Drew Darbyshire

There were a couple of comfortable scorelines in Round 18 of the NRL.

Tonga star Robert Jennings scored a hat-trick to help South Sydney Rabbitohs beat Canterbury Bulldogs 24-6 at ANZ Stadium. Adam Reynolds also scored a try for the Rabbitohs and kicked four goals.

A late penalty goal from Cameron Smith snatched a 14-13 win for Melbourne Storm against Manly Sea Eagles at Lottoland. Fiji winger Suliasi Vunivalu scored for Storm, while Shaun Lane bagged a brace for the Sea Eagles.

Ex-Catalans Dragons star Michael Oldfield completed a hat-trick to inspire Canberra Raiders to a 38-12 victory over North Queensland Cowboys at GIO Stadium. New Zealand international Jordan Rapana scored two for the Raiders.

New Zealand Warriors returned to winning ways after easing past Brisbane Broncos 26-6 at Suncorp Stadium. New Zealand centre Solomone Kata scored two for the Warriors. Brisbane’s Andrew McCullough was sin-binned for punching, while Tevita Satae and Peta Hiku were sin-binned for leading with the forearm and a professional foul respectively.

Former Widnes Vikings winger Corey Thompson scored to help Wests Tigers beat St George Illawarra Dragons 20-16 at Jubilee Oval. England half-back Gareth Widdop scored for the Dragons as well as kicking two goals.

Three tries from three different debutants guided Sydney Roosters to a 20-12 win against Gold Coast Titans at Cbus Super Stadium. Gold Coast’s Will Matthews was sent to the sin bin for persistent team offences, while Sydney’s Luke Keary was sin-binned for a professional foul.

Mitchell Pearce put in a man of the match performance to inspire Newcastle Knights to an 18-16 victory over Parramatta Eels at McDonald Jones Stadium. Connor Watson and Shaun Kenny-Dowall also crossed the whitewash for the Knights.

Australia winger Valentine Holmes scored two tries to help Cronulla Sharks win 24-12 against Penrith Panthers. He backed up for Cronulla just two days after Queensland’s State of Origin win. Matt Moylan was superb for the Sharks.

The Rabbitohs are top of the NRL ladder, closely followed by the Dragons and Storm. The Eels remain bottom.

NRL Round 18 results:

Newcastle Knights 18-16 Parramatta Eels (15,860)

Canterbury Bulldogs 6-24 South Sydney Rabbitohs (14,278)

Manly Sea Eagles 13-14 Melbourne Storm (9,277)

Canberra Raiders 38-12 North Queensland Cowboys (11,471)

Brisbane Broncos 6-26 New Zealand Warriors (37,492)

St George Illawarra Dragons 16-20 Wests Tigers (15,992)

Gold Coast Titans 12-20 Sydney Roosters (10,074)