Mon, Jul 30, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Lowly Sydney City Roosters surprise Melbourne Storm


John Williams scored two tries as the 15th-placed Sydney City Roosters beat the first-placed Melbourne Storm 26-16 in weekend Round 20 matches in the National Rugby League.

The Roosters had won only seven of their previous 18 matches before staging the upset of the season and shortening the Storm's competition lead to four points.

Williams scored his first try during an opening flurry which boosted the Roosters to a 20-0 lead after 30 minutes. He touched down again nine minutes from fulltime to seal his team's third win since former Australia captain Brad Fittler took charge midway through the season.

Fittler, who received standing ovations from Roosters fans before and after the game, deflected praise for his role in a win which lifted Sydney City within two points of the top eight.

"We've got to be careful with who wins the game, most probably because I've got a profile with the Roosters that I'm a good target to put out there and it's a good story," Fittler said. "But I did nothing tonight ... the boys went out there and just busted their guts."

Second-place Manly rallied to beat third-placed Parramatta 32-24 at Parramatta to move within two competition points of leaders Melbourne.

For the sixth time this season, Manly trailed at halftime but fought back with two tries to Jamie Lyon to keep up their hot pursuit of the league leaders.

Their win nudged them eight points clear of Parramatta who held onto third place, two points ahead of the New Zealand Warriors whose 52-10 defeat of Newcastle lifted them to fourth.

Wade McKinnon, Grant Rovelli and Jerome Ropati each scored two tries for the Warriors, who outclassed injury-hit Newcastle by nine tries to two.

The win was the Warriors third in succession but coach Ivan Cleary said the club could not afford to get over-confident about their playoff chances.

"We've no right to be over confident," he said. "We had a full team and Newcastle were a long way from theirs. In all honestly we should have won."

The Bulldogs scored a disputed late try to beat St George-Illawarra 28-24 and to move into fifth place ahead of the North Queensland Cowboys who meet the Wests Tigers today.

Seventh-placed Brisbane beat Cronulla 30-16 while Souths beat Gold Coast 20-14 to hold onto the last place inside the top eight.

Canberra beat last-placed Penrith 34-30.

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