NRL Round Nine Roundup: Eels steal a win to remain top
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 11: Josh Dugan of the Sharks reacts after Charles Staines of the Panthers scores a try during the round nine NRL match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Penrith Panthers at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on July 11, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

In another exciting round of fixtures, the Parramatta Eels made it eight wins out of nine to keep a grasp on first place, and the bottom of the NRL Ladder looks just as tight with five teams now on the same points. 

You can find a summary of all of the round nine fixtures below:

  • High fives for Ikuvalu as Roosters return to winning ways

North Queensland Cowboys 16 Sydney Roosters 42

After last round's defeat away to the Melbourne Storm, the Sydney Roosters were in need of a victory at the Queensland Country Bank Stadium in the opening game of round nine. 

And the North Queensland Cowboys were also looking to make up for their heavy defeat away to the Eels the week before, but were no match for Sydney's Matt Ikuvalu who tore down the Cowboys' defence to go over five times himself. 

The Cowboys conceded 42 points for the second game in a row and fell down to 12th in the Ladder, whilst Sydney put themselves back into the mix at the top by rising to 4th place. 

  • Titans edge Warriors to make it tight at the bottom

Gold Coast Titans 16 New Zealand Warriors 12

Two tries in the first 10 minutes was not enough for the New Zealand Warriors as the Gold Coast Titans took the two points from their guests. 

The Warriors started the contest the stronger side, and went into half-time with a 6-12 lead. But two more tries from the Titans in the second forty, the last just six minutes from time, decided a close game. 

Both sides now sit on six points, with the Titans remaining in 15th and the Warriors now sitting in 13th. 

  • Gagai gets the win for Rabbitohs with a trio of tries

South Sydney Rabbitohs 18 Wests Tigers 10

The Wests Tigers made it two defeats on the bounce in Friday's clash away to the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Three tries from Rabbitohs' Dane Gagai helped his side climb up to 6th in the Ladder, and the difference would have been bigger if South Sydney hadn't have missed all four of their conversions.

The Wests Tigers will host the Brisbane Broncos this Friday in the hope they can give their fans something to cheer about.

  • Panthers put 10 past Sharks 

Cronulla Sharks 24 Penrith Panthers 56

A class performance from the Penrith Panthers kept the side hot on the heels of the Eels, as they ran rampant at the Netsrata Jubilee Stadium away to the Cronulla Sharks.

Saturday's game looked buried before 30 minutes as the Panthers picked up five tries that were unanswered from the Sharks.

Although the Sharks did pick up two of their own before half-time and two in the second-half, another five from the Panthers in the second forty put the game to bed and ramped up the pressure on the Eels, who the Panthers are trailing by just one point.

  • Brisbane beat Bulldogs in bottom-of-the-ladder bout

Brisbane Broncos 26 Canterbury Bulldogs 8 

The Canterbury Bulldogs continued their dismal run with a fifth defeat in a row on Saturday at Suncorp Stadium.

A second-half brace from Jamayne Isaako helped seal the victory for the Broncos, who finally put an end to their own losing streak that stretched back to round three. 

The Bulldogs remain bottom of the Ladder with only one win in a possible nine so far, whilst Brisbane stay in 14th but are now only two points off 8th, which highlights just how tight the league is.

  • Storm record third victory in a row to stay in race for top spot 

Canberra Raiders 14 Melbourne Storm 20

The Melbourne Storm kept themselves in contention for 1st place on Saturday with a close victory over the Canberra Raiders.

Both sides grounded the ball three times, but conversions and a penalty was the difference as the Raiders slumped to their fourth defeat since the NRL restart.

Melbourne remain just two points off 1st place, with the Titans next in round 10. The Raiders fall down to 7th, level on points with the the Rabbitohs. 

  • Sivo is the difference as Eels keep a grasp on top rung

Newcastle Knights 6 Parramatta Eels 10

The Eels just about clinched the victory in yesterday's clash away to the Newcastle Knights, with an eventful last 20 minutes that added some tension onto the shoulders of an Eels side that has been closely pursued all season. 

There was plenty of drama in the latter stages of the game, with both sides having tries ruled out. It was the two penalties that the Eels were awarded that made the difference, Clinton Gutherson chose the two to give his side a slight lead, before taking advantage of a distracted Knights defence to create the Maika Sivo try that sealed the win.

  • St. George put six past a mediocre Manly

St. George Illawara Dragons 34 Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 4

 A defeat away to the St. George Illawara Dragons for the  Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles means they will host the league leaders this Saturday on a three-game losing streak.

The last game of round nine saw St. George cruise to a comfortable victory as a lacklustre Manly defence gifted the Dragons the two points.

That victory has put St. George up to 11th place, and they welcome the Bulldogs in round 10 in they hope they can repeat yesterday's performance.