That’s all from me today in an entertaining day of Australian sport. I started with the finals-defining clash between the Demons and Saints – which ended up being something of a disappointment given the dominance of Melbourne (before the Saints surged back to set up an exciting final term). Ultimately the Saints were far from their best, and the Demons deserved the win, which sees them sit at seventh spot after the conclusion of the round. The Dees have Brisbane and Collingwood to come – and one would think they will make the finals for the first time since 2006. The Saints, however, look destined to miss out, mired in 11th and one win and a big percentage gap between them and the Eagles in eighth.
The Wests v Manly clash at Leichhardt then provided an unexpected highlight – with the Tigers surging to a memorable win in the second half. The Sea Eagles had led by 20-6 at half-time, and were still leading with 2 minutes remaining at 26-24 – with the ball in hand. After a crucial mistake from Manly rookie Brad Parker, however, the Tigers were handed back the ball and stole the win with a try to Watene-Zelezniak. The scenes at Leichhardt Oval were something to behold – and the Tigers are now a win clear of a rejuvenated Newcastle (despite the Knights winning three in a row). For the Sea Eagles, it was a telling loss – as they had a good chance to finish in the top four, but instead are left hanging onto a spot in the top eight. The Sea Eagles will find some relief in the fact that they face a poor Canterbury outfit next week, while the Tigers will take on the Roosters who fell in a thriller to the Storm on Saturday night.
Other results for the day went as expected – with the Raiders easily accounting for the Warriors in the NRL, while the Hawks comfortably beat the Kangaroos, and the Power saw off a fast-finishing Magpies outfit.
Thanks to those who joined me, in comments below, on Twitter, or who simply read along and enjoyed some…