Saturday's NRL wrap: Luke Thompson suffers Canterbury debut loss; Josh Hodgson injured
Round 9 of the NRL season concludes with two more games live on Sky Sports Arena on Sunday: Newcastle Knights vs Parramatta Eels (7.05am) and St George Illawarra Dragons vs Manly Sea Eagles (9.30am)
By Sky Sports Rugby League
Last Updated: 11/07/20 1:07pm
We recap Saturday's NRL action, including news of England forward Luke Thompson's debut for Canterbury Bulldogs, an injury blow for Josh Hodgson and a teenage sensation making his mark for Penrith Panthers...
Cronulla Sharks 24-56 Penrith Panthers
Debutant Charlie Staines led the way with four tries as Penrith stormed to victory over Cronulla in a high-scoring encounter at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.
A total of 80 points and 14 tries were scored between the teams, with 19-year-old centre Staines making a huge impact on his first NRL appearance.
Brett Naden got the ball rolling for the Panthers with the opening try after just three minutes, with further scores from Liam Martin and Stephen Crichton helping the visitors into a 16-0 lead after just 19 minutes.
Winger Staines, called into the side in place of the injured Brian To'o, and Dylan Edwards pushed Penirth further ahead, although Cronulla pulled the deficit back to 26-12 at half time thanks to converted scores from Briton Nikora and Blake Brailey.
There was no let-up from the Panthers when play resumed though as Staines, Billy Burns and Crichton all crossed, along with Nathan Cleary kicking a penalty, to keep the scoreboard ticking over despite James Tamou being sin-binned.
Cronulla, who also had Aaron Woods sent to the sin-bin, did manage two more tries through Jesse Ramien and Nene Macdonald, but two more tries from Staines in the final seven minutes made him the first player to score four tries on his NRL debut since Jordan Atkins for Gold Coast Titans in 2008.
Brisbane Broncos 26-8 Canterbury Bulldogs
Luke Thompson's first appearance for Cantebury ended in defeat as Brisbane snapped a six-game losing run in the clash of two of the competition's strugglers.
England international Thompson lined up at loose forward for the Bulldogs and made an impact in both attack and defence early on with big carries and tackles.
But ultimately the Broncos proved too strong, relieving some of the pressure which head coach Anthony Seibold had been under following a string of poor results.
Corey Oates put the hosts ahead with a try on six minutes and Tevita Pangai Jr added to that tally 11 minutes later with a try converted by Jamayne Isaako. Nick Meaney's unconverted score for Canterbury on 28 minutes made it 10-4 to the Broncos at half-time.
Isaako's converted try three minutes after the restart kept Brisbane in the ascendancy and he added a penalty on 54 minutes followed by Xavier Coates crossing on the hour to give the Suncorp Stadium faithful more to cheer.
Dallin Watene-Zelezniak's 68th-minute score proved scant consolation for Cantebury and Isaako wrapped up the scoring with his second try five minutes from time, handing the Bulldogs their eighth loss of the season.
Canberra Raiders 14-20 Melbourne Storm
Josh Hodgson's season could be over after the England hooker suffered a suspected ACL injury in his right knee during the first half of Canberra's defeat at home to Melbourne.
The 30-year-old went down after making a tackle and is set to have a scan to determine the extent of the injury, compounding a tough match for the Raiders where nothing seemed to go their way.
Brenko Lee put the Storm in front with a try converted by Cameron Smith on nine minutes, but Canberra were level in the 22nd minute as Josh Papalii crossed followed by Jarrod Croker kicking the extras.
But the balance shifted in favour of Melbourne when Bailey Simonsson was sin-binned for a professional foul five minutes later after referee Grant Atkins consulted with the Bunker, followed by Josh Addo-Carr darting over for a second converted score.
Hodgson was forced to leave the field soon after as the Raiders found themselves 12-6 down at half-time and a penalty from Smith pushed Melbourne further in front in the 53rd minute.
Then Elliot Whitehead had a try ruled out by the video referee, followed by Josh Papenhuyzen going nearly the length of the field for a converted score. Canberra did manage late tries from Nick Cotric and Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, but did not have time to claw back any further.