The race for finals spots certainly starting to heat up with a four-point gap opening up between those in and outside of the top eight.
Despite a heavy defeat to Penrith in Round 15, Cronulla sit comfortably in eighth with a four-point buffer over Wests Tigers in ninth, the Dragons in 10th, the Sea Eagles in 11th and the Warriors in 12th — all of whom are level on 12 points.
Penrith's 10th straight win saw them move further clear on top of the ladder while the Bulldogs' second half half collapse saw them miss the chance to jump off the bottom of the ladder with the Broncos and Cowboys again tasting defeat.
ROUND 15 RESULTS
- Parramatta Eels 14 def. Melbourne Storm 0
- Penrith Panthers 38 def. Cronulla Sharks 12
- St. George-Illawarra Dragons 28 def. Brisbane Broncos 24
- Canberra Raiders 36 def. Gold Coast Titans 16
- Sydney Roosters 38 def. Wests Tigers 16
- South Sydney Rabbitohs 56 def. Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 16
- New Zealand Warriors 20 def. Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 14
- Newcastle Knights 12 def. North Queensland Cowboys 0
LATEST INJURY NEWS
Newcastle will likely be without new recruit Blake Green for the remainder of the season after he suffered a suspected ACL in his side's win over the Cowboys — a game that also saw North Queensland tyro Jason Taumalolo forced off with a calf injury that is expected to sideline him for the next few weeks.
Sea Eagles centre Moses Suli is also set to miss the rest of the year with a foot injury suffered against South Sydney, while Matt Ikuvalu will be hoping to return before finals after also went down with a foot injury on Saturday.
Brandon Smith was the only other high-profile player to take a knock in the round, with the talented utility facing four to six weeks out with a broken jaw.
Penrith forward Viliame Kikau will miss Round 16 after he was charged with a Dangerous Contact offence — the same charge levelled at Broncos hooker Isaac Luke, who is also set to miss his side's clash against the Roosters.
The new Crusher Tackle offence saw several players cited, with Dragons forward Paul Vaughan, Eels forward Marata Nuikore and Titans forward Moeaki Fotuaika all set to miss their respective matches this coming weekend.
ROUND 16 FIXTURES
Thursday, August 27
7:50pm — Parramatta Eels vs. South Sydney Rabbitohs
Friday, August 28
6:00pm — St. George-Illawarra Dragons vs. Gold Coast Titans
7:55pm — Sydney Roosters vs. Brisbane Broncos
Saturday, August 29
3:00pm — New Zealand Warriors vs. Newcastle Knights
5:30pm — Cronulla Sharks vs. North Queensland Cowboys
7:35pm — Penrith Panthers vs. Wests Tigers
Sunday, August 30
4:05pm — Melbourne Storm vs. Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
6:30pm — Canberra Raiders vs. Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs