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Roosters go top in NRL as Cronulla upsets Melbourne

SYDNEY (AP) The Sydney Roosters hauled themselves onto the top rung of a constantly shifting ladder in Australia's National Rugby League with a hard-fought 18-14 win over previous leaders Souths in the weekend's 22nd round. Reigning premiers Melbourne had the chance to regain first place in the last match of the round on Sunday but, after losing to Souths in round 21, faltered again and went down 17-14 to Cronulla who climbed back into sixth

At the same time, Parramatta beat fast-fading St. George Illawarra 40-4, helped by three tries by former NFL star Jarryd Hayne, to bounce off the bottom of the premiership table for the first time in almost five months.

The Roosters, Souths, Melbourne and Penrith occupy the top four places on the ladder after 22 of 25 regular season rounds. After their clash on Friday, the Roosters and Souths both have 32 championship points but the Roosters lead the premiership on points difference.