Cook sparks Souths' NRL win over Cowboys
Hooker Damien Cook has put on a clinic to inspire South Sydney's 32-16 NRL Magic Round win over North Queensland at Suncorp Stadium.
© AAP Image Jake Granville Jake Granville will get one last chance to stake his claims for a State of Origin debut after being cleared of dangerous contact at the NRL judiciary.
The North Queensland hooker was staring at a one-game ban after being hit with a grade-one dangerous contact charge from Saturday's win over Parramatta.
However the three-person panel of Bob Lindner, Tony Puletua and Sean Garlick took 25 minutes to find the defendant not guilty in a one-hour hearing on Tuesday.
Granville is now free to face Canberra on Saturday in what will be his final opportunity to impress before the Queensland team for game one is announced.
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"It's pretty full-on. I'm not really used to stuff like that. A bit nerve-racking when it comes to the crunch there," Granville said after the hearing.
"We waited about 25 minutes to come to the decision and yeah, it was the right one, which we believed in. It was good to get off."
NRL judiciary counsel Peter McGrath argued Granville had launched himself at the legs of Eels' playmaker Mitchell Moses early in the game in Townsville.
McGrath said he attacked an airborne Moses in a position of vulnerability, before landing awkwardly on his right leg with the weight of Granville's body.
However Granville's defence counsel, Cowboys general manager Peter Parr, successfully argued his player's target area was above Moses' legs.
He also pointed to replays showing Granville's first point of contact was when Moses was still on the ground, and that he cradled the Eels No.7 after the hit.
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"Moses did get high off the ground, but as soon as (Granville) was aware that Moses was in a vulnerable position, he cradled him to the ground," Parr said.
"He did everything he could to ensure Moses was taken out of that vulnerability."
Granville has catapulted into Origin reckoning following injuries to Maroons incumbent Andrew McCullough, and long-time aspirant Jake Friend.
Former skipper Cameron Smith has repeatedly ruled out a dramatic return.
Ironically, Granville's major threat is teammate Josh McGuire, who is tipped to start at rake before being substituted by likely utility Ben Hunt.
McGuire himself hasn't played since straining his calf in round eight, but has been named on an extended bench for the road trip to the nation's capital.
Asked about his chances of an Origin berth after the hearing, Granville said: "I was just concentrating on the Cowboys and trying to get a game in this weekend.
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"I'm happy we got the decision we were after."
Pictures: The greatest moments in NRL history
From 1908 until 1994, Australia’s first rugby league competition was ran by New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL). However, the league along with other minor premiers were re-unified to form National Rugby League in 1998. A look at some of the most memorable moments over the years.
2015 - North Queensland Cowboys vs. Brisbane Broncos
In first NRL final that ended in a draw, North Queensland claimed victory over Brisbane 17-16 in golden point extra time. It was their first premiership title. The winning goal was scored by Johnathan Thurston (R), who was awarded the Clive Churchill medal.
(Pictured) Matthew Scott and Johnathan Thurston of the Cowboys hold aloft the premiership trophy after winning the 2015 NRL Grand Final match.
2014 – South Sydney Rabbitohs vs. Canterbury Bulldogs
Since 1971, Rabbitohs won their first ever title with the help of Sam Burgess’ (pictured) incredible performance that earned him the Clive Churchill Medal. The final score was 30-6.
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2013 – Sydney Roosters vs. Manly Sea Eagles
With 18-8 lead, Manly had everything under control until the last 25 minutes when Roosters made a stunning comeback to win the final for the first time since 2002. Roosters secured 26-18 victory when Michael Jennings (pictured) broke through to ground James Maloney's grubber in the last few minutes of the game.
2012 – Melbourne Storm vs. Canterbury Bulldogs
In one of the most controversial moment in NRL history, Bulldogs’ James Graham (R) bit the ear of Storm’s Billy Slater (L), for which the former received a 12-match ban. Storm won the final 14-4.
2008 – Manly Warringah Sea Eagles vs. Melbourne Storm
Team Manly thrashed their opponents by the biggest ever margin (40-0) in the game’s history. The highlight of the game was Michael Robertson’s (L) hat trick tries that made him the first player to score three tries since Steve Renouf in 1997. The final also saw Steven Menzies equal Terry Lamb's record of 349 first-grade games.
2005 – Wests Tigers vs. North Queensland Cowboys
It was the first ever grand final appearance for both the teams, where West Tigers’ won 30-16. Tigers’ Brett Hodgson displayed an incredible performance by scoring five goals.
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Canberra have gone down 22-16, losing their past four games by six points or less and North Queensland have won consecutive games for the first time this year.
2004 – Canterbury Bulldogs vs. Sydney Roosters
In the first half of the game, Bulldogs were trailing 13-6, but in the second half they quickly covered the lead with the help of Matt Utai and Hazem El Masri. During the last few minutes of the game, Bulldogs were leading 16-13, when Roosters’ Michael Crocker (pictured) made a break on the 40m line but was tackled by Bulldogs Captain Andrew Ryan. The Bulldogs win the final 16-13.
2003 – Penrith Panthers vs. Sydney Roosters
In the last game with Penrith, Scott Sattler made one of the greatest tackle in NRL history. It was a turning point of the game when Sattler chased down and made a tackle on the Roosters’ winger Todd Byrne (in white), sending him out of the field. Panthers won the game – 18-6.
2001 – Newcastle Knights vs. Parramatta Eels
Parramatta Eels were trailing 24-0 at high time and did everything to fight back but fell short. Knights won the final 30-24. The highlight of the match was Timana Tahu's (pictured) second-half try, where he got tangled up with Luke Burt before putting the ball down inside the chalk.
1999 – Melbourne Storm vs. St George Illawarra Dragons
At half-time Dragons were leading 14-0 and everyone thought the game was going to end in their favor. However, Storm made a stunning comeback when Anthony Mundine knocked on over the try line that proved to be a turning point in the game. Storm quickly covered up the lead to 18-14. In the 77th minute, Brett Kimmorley bombed to winger Craig Smith but before he could ground it, Dragons’ Jamie Ainscough knocked him unconscious. The video referee gave a penalty try to Storm, which was successfully converted. Storm won the game 20-18.
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1997 – Newcastle Knights vs. Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
Newcastle Knights’ Andrew Johns helped his team reach their first final against defending champions Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. Before the final game, there were concerns about Johns’ health as he had suffered a punctured lung, however, he went ahead and played the final. Both the teams were tied at 16-all and in the final moment of the game Johns ran down a narrow blind side and slipped a pass to winger Darren Albert who successfully scored, giving the Knights a 22-16 win over Manly.
1989 – Canberra Raiders vs. Balmain Tigers
In one of the greatest final, Canberra Raiders defeated Balmain Tigers 19-14. The final witnessed Canberra’s Steve Jackson come off the bench to score his memorable try that earned his team their first premiership.
1975 – Eastern Suburbs vs. St George
The 1975 final is best remembered for Graeme Langlands wearing white boots rather than the standard black. But the main highlight was his groin injury for which he was given a painkilling injection just before the game. Instead of reducing the pain it numbed his leg completely. Talking about the incident, he wrote in his book “Larrikin and Saint” – "It was an injection that went wrong. It wasn't the doctor's fault. The injection went in where the nerves shouldn't have been. They had moved because of all the injuries that I've had around the groin." Eastern Suburbs won 38-0.
(Pictured) Graeme Langlands talks to media during an NRL press conference at Sydney Cricket Ground on April 1, 2014.
1970 – South Sydney Rabbitohs vs. Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
In the 1970 final between South Sydney Rabbitohs and Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, South’s captain John Sattler turned out to be a star player. In the opening moments of the game, Sattler suffered a double fracture of his jaw after being punched by Manly’s John Bucknall. However, he decided to continue playing and said to his teammate Mike Cleary, "Hold me up so they don't know I'm hurt." South Sydney won the final 23-12.
(Pictured) John Sattler talks to the media during a NRL Grand Final media opportunity at Rugby League Central in Sydney on Oct. 3, 2014.
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