STORM 40 d. KNIGHTS 12 @ AAMI Park
Billy Slater provided a timely reminder of his all-time great qualities just 48 hours after Queensland’s Origin I loss, starring with two tries and two try-assists in Melbourne’s convincing win over an outclassed Newcastle on Friday night. The Storm led 16-6 at halftime before dominating the second stanza with a five-try blitz. Suliasi Vunivalu scored a try in each half, while Brandon Smith – filling in for the rested Cameron Smith – dotted down on debut.
EELS 32 d. WARRIORS 24 @ ANZ Stadium
Parramatta held on for a gutsy eight-point win over the erratic Warriors, despite the loss of Josh Hoffman, David Gower and Kaysa Pritchard to injury. Poor defensive reads from the returning Solomone Kata saw the Eels skip out to a 12-0 lead, but the Warriors clicked into gear to level the scores after 25 minutes. A bad error from Shaun Johnson allowed Semi Radradra to streak away for a long-range try eight minutes out from halftime, while Tepai Moeroa went over after the break and Clint Gutherson added a penalty to extend the lead to 14 points. The Warriors rallied against a tiring Eels side, however, with Ryan Hoffman and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck crossing to cut the deficit to just two points with nine minutes to go. Man-of-the-match Clint Gutherson sealed an emotional victory by charging over in the dying seconds.
DRAGONS 16 d. TIGERS 12 @ ANZ Stadium
Gareth Widdop returned from injury to inspire the Saints to a hard-fought 16-12 win over the Tigers on Saturday afternoon. A Widdop double pushed the Dragons out to a 12-2 halftime lead, but the embattled Tigers showed greater resilience in the second half. Kevin Naiqama’s opener for the Tigers in the 47th minute was quickly followed by a barnstorming Tryson Frizell charge, but a brilliant run out of the in-goal from James Tedesco laid the platform for Michael Chee-Kam’s 77th-minute try and a grandstand finish. The Dragons held on for a nervy victory to remain in the top four.
ROOSTERS 18 d. BRONCOS 16 @ Allianz Stadium
Origin-weary rivals the Roosters and Broncos played out a dramatic clash on Saturday evening at Allianz. The Roosters led 12-6 at halftime, and NSW captain Boyd Cordner looked to have sealed the result with 10 minutes left when he scored his second try. But Corey Oates and Tautau Moga crossed in quick succession to trim the lead to just two points. The Tricolours were forced to scramble defensively in the dying seconds to hang on for the win.
COWBOYS 20 d. TITANS 8 @ 1300SMILES Stadium
The Cowboys came from behind to record an ultimately comfortable win over a subpar Titans side in Townsville on Saturday night. The visitors led 8-6 at halftime after Michael Morgan and Ashley Taylor traded tries, but Maroons hopeful Coen Hess (49th minute) and Kyle Feldt (60th) scored the only two tries of the second half, while two Feldt penalty goals gave the Cowboys a crucial buffer.
SEA EAGLES 21 d. RADIERS 20 @ Lottoland
Daly Cherry-Evans sealed a thrilling home win for the Sea Eagles with a golden point field goal after one of the season’s most dramatic showdowns. An even opening quarter saw the scores locked at 6-all, but with Cherry-Evans and Walker on fire, the hosts scored three tries in nine minutes to lead by 14 at the break. The Raiders – hit by injuries to forwards Dunamis Lui and Shannon Boyd – clawed back via tries to the mercurial Jordan Rapana in the 45th and 70th minutes, before Jarrod Croker nailed a clutch penalty from out wide after the fulltime siren. The Sea Eagles regrouped, though, and DCE slotted the decisive one-pointer in the second minute of extra-time.
PANTHERS 38 d. BULLDOGS 0 @ ANZ Stadium
The resurgent Panthers notched their third straight win, while the Bulldogs’ campaign hit a new low in a 38-0 shutout on Sunday afternoon. Missing James Graham and Brett Morris, the Dogs’ maligned attack was at its worst, while their defence wasn’t much better. Hooker Mitch Rein scored two tries on club debut, while Matt Moylan’s shift to five-eighth proved a masterstroke. Josh Mansour also injured a fine comeback performance from an ACL rupture suffered during the Four Nations, racking up 180 metres from 20 carries and scoring a late try.