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Around the Grounds: Round 7

Injuries and upsets were the major talking points out of Round 7 of the NRL with a slew of storylines emerging from the weekend.

Brisbane's tough run of form continued when they went down to the Gold Coast Titans, while the North Queensland Cowboys bounced back from their tough trip to Sydney last week with a strong win over the Newcastle Knights.

The Roosters and Storm picked up comfortable wins — although not withstanding a key injury or two — while the Parramatta Eels and Penrith Panthers squeezed out tight wins to cement their spot inside the top four.

Wests Tigers ensured it would end a positive round with a dominant win over the Bulldogs in what was the club's 500th game since foundation and Michael Maguire's 100th win as Coach — running out 34-6 winners over the Bulldogs.

2020 Match Highlights: Rd.7, Bulldogs vs. Wests Tigers

Penrith Panthers 20 def. South Sydney Rabbitohs 12

Judiciary — No charges.

Injuries — Nathan Cleary (face), Liam Martin (shoulder), Viliame Kikau (shoulder)

Up Next — Wests Tigers vs. Panthers (Saturday), Bulldogs vs. Rabbitohs (Sunday)

Penrith halfback Nathan Cleary overcame an infection that required a hospital visit to help his side down an error-prone South Sydney on Thursday night.

The win took Panthers momentarily to the top of the table and sees them end the round comfortably inside the top four ahead of next week's clash with Wests Tigers, while the Rabbitohs remain winless away from home (0-4) in 2020.

Melbourne Storm 50 def. NZ Warriors 6

Judiciary — Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (1 week)

Injuries — Cameron Munster (knee)

Up Next — Storm vs. Roosters (Thursday), Warriors vs. Broncos (Saturday)

The Warriors' tough week got a lot tougher thanks to a 50-6 thrashing at the hands of Melbourne on Friday night but the win may have come at a cost for Craig Bellamy's men. In a match where scintillating performances from Ryan Papenhuyzen and Jahrome Hughes helped the Storm pile on the points, an early knee injury to star playmaker Cameron Munster is cause for concern for the Victorians ahead of next week's clash against the two-time defending premiers.

Sydney Roosters 26 def. St. George-Illawarra Dragons 12

Judiciary — No charges.

Injuries — Sam Verrills (knee), Victor Radley (knee)

Up Next — Storm vs. Roosters (Thursday), Raiders vs. Dragons (Friday)

James Tedesco and Josh Morris watched from the stands while Victor Radley and Sam Verrills soon disappeared beneath them nursing season-ending ACL ruptures. And still, with only 15 men — one of those being Isaac Liu who played on with a broken rib — and some $2 million of playing stock sidelined, the Sydney Roosters had enough tricks up their sleeve to slay the wayward Dragons.

Post-Match: Tommy Talau

North Queensland Cowboys 32 def. Newcastle Knights 20

Judiciary — No charges.

Injuries — No injuries reported.

Up Next — Eels vs. Cowboys (Friday), Sea Eagles vs. Knights (Sunday)

The North Queensland Cowboys out-muscled, out-enthused and outplayed the Newcastle Knights in a first-half masterclass on Saturday to set up a 32-20 win that snapped a three-match losing streak. Only a week after conceding 34 first-half points to the Wests Tigers, North Queensland posted 26 unanswered points in a near-perfect opening 40 minutes to cruise to victory in the end.

Gold Coast Titans 30 def. Brisbane Broncos 12

Judiciary — Joe Ofahengaue (2-3 weeks), Corey Oates (monetary fine)

Injuries — Matt Lodge (knee)

Up Next — Titans vs. Sharks (Saturday), Warriors vs. Broncos (Saturday)

Brisbane's tough run of form went from bad to worse on Saturday night when they were trounced by the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium to record their fifth consecutive defeat. The result leaves Brisbane sitting 15th on the competition ladder and without a win since the competition resumed over a month ago.

Press Conference: NRL Round 7

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Parramatta Eels 25 def. Canberra Raiders 24

Judiciary — Jordan Rapana (monetary fine)

Injuries — Mitchell Moses (calf), Corey Hosburgh (ankle), Joseph Tapine (knee)

Up Next — Eels vs. Cowboys (Friday), Raiders vs. Dragons (Friday)

Parramatta have overcome the loss of Mitchell Moses to hang on and beat the Raiders 25-24 in a golden point thriller at Bankwest Stadium. Clint Gutherson proved the hero for the blue and gold, sinking an 87th-minute field goal after the Raiders were ruled to have knocked on in the lead-up.

Cronulla Sharks 40 def. Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 22

Judiciary — No charges.

Injuries — Josh Dugan (calf)

Up Next — Sea Eagles vs. Knights (Sunday), Titans vs. Sharks (Saturday)

It was tough going for the Manly Sea Eagles in their first outing without star fullback Tom Trbojevic as dominant displays from Shaun Johnson, Chad Townsend and Matt Moylan lifted the Cronulla Sharks to their third win in four matches.

Wests Tigers 34 def. Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 6

Judiciary — No charges.

Injuries — Will Hopoate (ankle)

Up Next — Wests Tigers vs. Panthers (Saturday), Bulldogs vs. Rabbitohs (Sunday)

Wests Tigers recorded back-to-back wins for the first time this season with a strong 34-6 victory over the Bulldogs at Bankwest Stadium. Doubles to Tommy Talau and David Nofoaluma saw the visitors overcome a slow start to finish the better of the two sides, and ensure they would end the round back inside the top eight.

Post-Match: Adam Doueihi

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