Parramatta are firmly rooted to the bottom of the NRL ladder after going down to Canberra.
Parramatta are firmly rooted to the bottom of the NRL ladder after going down to Canberra.

The misery continued for Parramatta coach Stephen Kearney as the Eels fell to Canberra on Sunday while Cronulla became the first team to beat Melbourne this season in a thrilling round 10 of the NRL.

A question and answer session with members at the club's annual general meeting during the week couldn't inspire the Eels who remain bottom of the ladder with just one win after their latest loss, a 40-34 defeat at the hands of the Raiders after trailing 24-6 at halftime.

"I'm disappointed and frustrated but, again, what I asked for from the lads at halftime was for some fight and some pride in our jumper," Kearney said.

"And for the most part, they came out and showed that. They didn't give in.

"... I'm very clear on where we're going and how we're going to get there."

Unheralded Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan has no such problems motivating the Sharks who maintained third place on the ladder with a tough 12-10 win over Melbourne.

Stand-in captain Jeremy Smith was the hero when he barged over from dummy-half to score the winner nine minutes from fulltime at Toyota Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

On Saturday night, two of the games most experienced coaches Wayne Bennett and Brian Smith took aim at referees after their sides lost.

Newcastle's Bennett accused officials of ignoring player welfare and said he would encourage his players to lie down to win penalties even if they are not injured after the Knights ordinary season continued with a 32-12 defeat to the Cowboys.

Bennett was fuming over a hit on fullback Darius Boyd by Johnathan Thurston who went unpunished.

The supercoach said he would discuss the matter with referees' boss Bill Harrigan during the week.

Sydney Roosters mentor Smith launched an attack on referees following some baffling decisions against his side in the 30-26 loss to the Warriors in Auckland.

Smith was particularly concerned over time-wasting tactics after a scrum late in the match took an age to pack and - despite Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson baulking his feed - a penalty went against the Roosters.

Manly's premiership defence appears back on track after David Williams' last minute try gave them a 24-22 win over the Broncos in Friday night's double header in Brisbane.

Gold Coast finally gave their small band of fans something to cheer about when they upset Canterbury 25-14 in the second game.

NZ Newswire

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