The second round of Holden Cup action saw the defending premiers flex their muscles, four games decided by six points or less, and a team score 42 points and still lose the game.
Panthers 46 def Bulldogs 6
The Panthers bounced back from a last-gasp loss to the Raiders in Round 1 to hand the Bulldogs a heavy 46-6 defeat. Halfback Nathan Cleary was at his mercurial best, laying on five tries and kicking seven goals for the hosts. Penrith fullback Dylan Edwards scored a hat-trick, while Tyrone May and Braidon Burns both snared doubles. It was an ominous warning from the defending Holden Cup premiers who will take some beating in 2016.
Broncos 14 def Warriors 8
The Broncos handed the Warriors their second straight loss to start the season, hanging on to win a tight contest 14-8 at Suncorp Stadium. Former Raider Tevita Pangai Jr scored for the second week in a row at his new club, while back-rower Jaydn Sua starred at both ends of the field. The Warriors will need to find their groove in attack quickly, with a game against the competition's best attacking side the Storm coming up in Round 3.
Roosters 32 def Raiders 22
The Roosters made it two wins on the trot with a see-sawing 10 point win over the Raiders. The Tricolours raced out to a 22-0 lead, only for the hosts to claw their way back in the second-half to level things up with 20 minutes to play. Two late tries to Connor Watson and Joseph Manu sealed the result in a match dominated by errors and penalties. Roosters five-eighth Watson was the best-on-ground, scoring a double and setting up three more.
Rabbitohs 28 def Knights 14
A dominant display from fullback Sione Mata'utia wasn't enough for the Knights who went down 28-14 to South Sydney. The former Kangaroo scored a try and set up another in the first-half before being rested for the second stanza ahead of his 18th man duties for the NRL side. Winger Tom Perrin grabbed a double for the Bunnies, while hooker Maia Sands was rewarded for another crafty performance with a four-pointer of his own.
Cowboys 34 def Eels 12
The Cowboys are counting the cost from their 34-12 win over the Eels, with hookers Brandon Smith and Reuben Cotter, centre Bacho Salam, and back-rower Cody Grills all suffering injuries on Saturday evening. Doubles to both North Queensland wingers, as well as experienced edge forward Coen Hess eased some of the pain. Parramatta will spend the week working on their goal-kicking after Michael Doolan missed all three shots at goal.
Sharks 26 def Dragons 24
Three late tries have propelled the Sharks to a thrilling two point win over local rivals the Dragons. Red V winger Reuben Garrick scored a hat-trick, taking his tally to five tries in two games, while Sione Katoa scored a double for the victors in the 26-24 win. The result could have been more convincing had Cronulla kicker Bessie Aufaga-Toomaga not hit the post three times.
Titans 44 def Storm 42
The Titans stunned the Storm 44-42 in the highest scoring game of the season so far. It was the second time the Thunderbolts had been involved in a match where the losing team had scored over 40 points and still lost (they beat the Junior Warriors 46-44 in Round 26, 2009). Melbourne opted to take a penalty goal with 10 minutes to play to push the lead out to eight, but two late tries to Gold Coast's Brian Kelly and prop Kurt Bernard had them wishing they had been more daring.
Tigers 34 def Sea Eagles 30
A second-half double to Obed Karwhin has helped the Tigers pip Manly 34-30 in a Monday night thriller at Leichhardt Oval. Neither side was able to assert any dominance in a game that had several lead changes. Nicho Hynes controlled the game well for the Sea Eagles, scoring a try and setting up two more, but his efforts weren't enough to get the 2015 NYC runners-up over the line.