Golden touch: Burton and DCE step up to boot Bulldogs and Sea Eagles to victories (2024)

One weapon that Burton has that the other contenders don’t is a booming left boot that not only is it capable of kicking goals - Mitchell Moses had to forgo the honours in Origin II - but also hoist the highest bombs in the NRL.

For the most part, Burton’s bombs were again of the traditional rather than the torpedo variety. But with the scores deadlocked, he hit a sweet ‘torp’ that resulted in a try, only for the referee to correctly find Kurt Mann offside in the lead up.

Instead, Burton’s biggest contribution until that point was an intercept that resulted in a try for comeback kid Bronson Xerri.

The match was crucial to the finals prospects of both teams and was played at a befitting intensity. While it has been a disappointing season from the Warriors to date, they showed plenty of resilience at Accor Stadium. Given they finished the match without their back three of Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (calf), Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and Marcelo Montoya (groin), it was one of their bravest performances in the Andrew Webster era.

Their best period of the game was without the ball. In the final five minutes of the first half, Canterbury peppered the opposition tryline, but the Warriors’ defence didn’t crack.


Mitchell Barnett, another man tantalisingly close to a Blues jersey, was one of the greatest contributors in a Warriors side that had many. However, it wasn’t enough.

“I’m gutted for the boys, they put so much effort into something,” Webster said. “They were so resilient, we had so many injuries, so many people in different spots. But we didn’t get what we wanted today.”

The final minutes of regulation time were frantic. Burton had the chance to kick the winning field goal two games in a row; instead, the Steeden hit the post and bounced back. Just when it seemed things couldn’t get any more dramatic, we had a pitch invader.

In golden point, Burton’s second field-goal attempt crept just under the black dot. Chanel Harris-Tavita had two attempts that just missed, the second deflected by Reed Mahoney. And then Burton found the mark again when it mattered. Just like he did last week.

DCE shows golden touch again for Sea Eagles

The NRL’s golden-point king has propelled Manly back into the top eight, with Daly Cherry-Evans kicking the Sea Eagles to a 21-20 win over North Queensland.

After the Cowboys missed five field goals in regulation and extra time, Cherry-Evans stood up in the first half of golden point to nail a shot from 30 metres out.

The win moved the Sea Eagles into seventh spot on the NRL ladder after a high-tempo Townsville clash that leaves the Cowboys behind them in eighth.

Manly welcomed back Tom Trbojevic, playing at centre, with the 2021 Dally M medallist having limited involvement in his first game in eight weeks.

But while all the pre-match focus was on Trbojevic, Cherry-Evans was the star.

Manly led the game 18-6 via a Jason Saab hat-trick, before the winger limped off with what the Sea Eagles hoped was only cramp. The Cowboys surged back to 18-18.

Cherry-Evans’ first game-changing moment came when he skipped out of dummy half with eight minutes to play, earning a penalty when pulled back after passing.

The Sea Eagles went 20-18 in front on the next set, after Jeremiah Nanai was penalised for interference in the ruck.

But North Queensland were back level when Scott Drinkwater slotted a two-point field goal from 43 metres out with three minutes left on the clock.

Cherry-Evans had a chance to win it for the Sea Eagles but sprayed a shot wide, before a Jake Trbojevic charge-down accounted for one of three missed kicks from Chad Townsend before full-time.

Golden touch: Burton and DCE step up to boot Bulldogs and Sea Eagles to victories (1)

The Cowboys had two more chances in golden point, only for Valentine Holmes to fluff both.

But Cherry-Evans would not be denied twice, kicking his seventh golden-point field goal – three more than any other player.

“There were some amazing efforts to save tries and block field goals,” Cherry-Evans said.

“Jake’s one in particular was a massive play just before the game ended in normal time.

A lot of things happened before [the winning kick] to help me get in that position, so I am proud of the boys for digging deep.”

Tigers sweating over Koroisau after slumping to loss against Storm

As if watching former favourite son Ryan Papenhuyzen carve up was not painful enough, Wests Tigers fans will now be hoping they do not lose Api Koroisau to suspension.

Koroisau was placed on report for making contact with the legs of Melbourne halfback Jahrome Hughes after he had kicked just before full-time in the Storm’s 40-28 victory at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday night.

Hughes was fine, and there was not much force, but referee Peter Gough wasted no time letting Koroisau know he was in trouble. The Storm feared they would lose Harry Grant for a similar incident when making contact on Cronulla’s Daniel Atkinson earlier this year, and allowed Grant to contest a $1000 fine at the judiciary to prove how innocuous the tackle was.

The Tigers tried hard and led Melbourne after half an hour before crashing to defeat.

“There was a lot to like and a lot to not like – to score 28 points against the team at the top of the table, given our attack has struggled a bit this year, was good,” Tigers coach Benji Marshall said.

“But there were moments of frustration where we let the pressure off. They’re first in the comp for a reason – they don’t beat themselves. They showed that again tonight.”

The joint venture needs its best player and skipper on the field for Friday’s clash against Cronulla.

Golden touch: Burton and DCE step up to boot Bulldogs and Sea Eagles to victories (2)

For many Tigers supporters, their main focus at this point of the campaign is to make sure western Sydney neighbours Parramatta finish with the wooden spoon.

Such little things can keep fans amused, but what is no laughing matter is seeing the likes of Papenhuyzen, who was a Balmain junior, go on to become a star elsewhere.

Watching James Tedesco join the Sydney Roosters and win a couple of premierships will always haunt the Tigers’ faithful – but Papenhuyzen’s loss hurts just as badly.

Papenhuyzen returned from a heel injury to score a try, set up another and save another couple.

Golden touch: Burton and DCE step up to boot Bulldogs and Sea Eagles to victories (3)

Coach Craig Bellamy was tempted to give him a spell, given the competition leaders have the bye next week, but the fullback was having none of it.

The Tigers have finally unearthed a brilliant No.1 in Jahream Bula, but Papenhuyzen gives the Storm the X-factor come September.

Throw in Jahrome Hughes, arguably the game’s most in-form halfback, and excitement machine Sua Fa’alogo, who scored two tries – and stood in the in-goal waiting for the second half to start when mobbed by local juniors who had just taken part in a half-time relay race – and it is easy to believe Melbourne could go all the way.

Bellamy said he loved Papenhuyzen’s defensive efforts, but saved his highest praise for Hughes.

“I can safely say we wouldn’t be where we are on the table if it wasn’t for him,” Bellamy said of Hughes.

Tigers coach Benji Marshall would have loved what he saw in the early exchanges.

Fonua Pole made his intentions clear from the opening hit-up, when he came from what felt like the top row of the Keith Barnes Stand. Pole, Bula and Lachie Galvin are the future of the club, and will improve over the next 18 to 24 months.

Tigers winger Solomona Faataape was binned early in the second half for taking out Will Warbrick in the air.


It was difficult to see where else Faataape could have gone. He had eyes on the ball before looking up to see Warbrick on top of him.

The Storm scored twice via Grant Anderson and Fa’alogo while the Tigers had 12 men.

Storm giant Nelson Asofa-Solomona did not make it to half-time because of a hamstring injury.

And Storm target Stefano Utoikamanu was well contained by the Melbourne forwards, and let his frustrations spill over in the first half when involved in a push and shove with Trent Loiero. Utoikamanu, who has been in the headlines about his future, had a quiet night for a second week in a row.

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Golden touch: Burton and DCE step up to boot Bulldogs and Sea Eagles to victories (2024)
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