NRL round-up: Thurston admired in Townsville, Fusitu’a inspires Warriors, Dragons humiliated

Australia and Queensland legend Johnathan Thurston received a fantastic reception in his goodbye game to Townsville.  

Thurston put in a man of the match display in his final game in Townsville as North Queensland Cowboys thrashed Parramatta Eels 44-6 at 1300Smiles Stadium. Kyle Feldt scored a hat-trick for the Cowboys, while Thurston kicked eight goals from as many attempts.

Daly Cherry-Evans missed a penalty goal in the dying embers of the game as Manly Sea Eagles went down to a 22-20 defeat against Wests Tigers at Campbelltown Stadium. Soon-to-be St Helens man Kevin Naiqama scored twice for the Tigers, while Cherry-Evans scored two tries and kicked three goals for the Sea Eagles.

New Zealand Warriors booked their place in the play-offs with a comfortable 36-16 win over Penrith Panthers at Mt Smart Stadium. It will be the first time the Warriors have reached the play-offs since 2011. Tonga star David Fusitu’a bagged a hat-trick for the Warriors and Australia winger Josh Mansour crossed for a Penrith try.

Canberra Raiders beat South Sydney Rabbitohs 24-12 at GIO Stadium. Michael Oldfield bagged a brace for the Raiders, while Warrington Wolves’ recruit for 2019, Blake Austin, was a standout in the game. Australia international Greg Inglis went over for the Rabbitohs.

Melbourne Storm remained at the top of the NRL table thanks to a 10-8 win against Gold Coast Titans at Cbus Super Stadium. Australia representative Cameron Munster scored in a man of the match display for Storm.

Cronulla Sharks ran-out convincing 38-12 winners against Newcastle Knights at Southern Cross Group Stadium to move into the top-four. Sharks winger Edrick Lee crossed the whitewash twice, while Australia duo Valentine Holmes and Josh Dugan also scored. Knights ace Aidan Guerra was sin-binned in the first half for repeated team offences.

St George Illawarra Dragons had their top-four hopes crushed after suffering a whopping 38-0 defeat to Canterbury Bulldogs at Jubilee Oval. Bulldogs winger Reimis Smith completed a hat-trick, while Josh Morris, Brett Morris and Ofahiki Ogden also scored.

Brisbane Broncos clinched their spot in the top-eight with one game left following a dazzling 22-8 win over Sydney Roosters. New Zealand international Jamayne Isaako scored a try and kicked five goals for the Broncos, while fellow Kiwi Kodi Nikorima also went over.

Melbourne, Sydney Roosters, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Cronulla, Penrith, St George, Brisbane and New Zealand Warriors are all in the top-eight.

NRL Round 24 results:

Wests Tigers 22-20 Manly Sea Eagles (8,163)

New Zealand Warriors 36-16 Penirth Panthers (17,195)

North Queensland Cowboys 44-6 Parramatta Eels (25,095)

Canberra Raiders 24-12 South Sydney Rabbitohs (15,900)

Gold Coast Titans 8-10 Melbourne Storm (14,266)

Cronulla Sharks 38-12 Newcastle Knights (11,836)

St George Illawarra Dragons 0-38 Canterbury Bulldogs (12,436)

Sydney Roosters 8-22 Brisbane Broncos (13,263)

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