They were given equal billing in the Australia v New Zealand double-header at Hunter Stadium but the women's Test went a step further and stole the show in Newcastle, while the Kangaroos were forced to defend their ageing squad.
The Pacific Nations put on an enthralling night of entertainment at Pirtek Stadium, while rugby league in Canada continues to gain momentum.
Women's game outshines the men
It was billed as a double-header, but as far as entertainment value goes it was a no contest. The women's Test between the Harvey Norman Jillaroos and Kiwi Ferns again proved how far the women's game has come and upstaged their higher-profile male counterparts.
Massive tackles, sublime cut-out passes and passion in spades, the women's Test was an outstanding advertisement for rugby league.
The more these two teams can play against each other the better for rugby league. It is compelling viewing.
Kangaroos too old?
Calls for wholesale changes to the Kangaroos team are a little premature. Their performance was cumbersome, but the squad only came together on Monday morning and had two training sessions before Friday's Test match. Hardly an ideal preparation.
In truth, both sides struggled with the short lead-in time.
While there is no question the Kiwi side was understrength due to a heavy toll of injuries and suspensions, the Kangaroos still managed to keep them scoreless for 80 minutes.
"Tell me a guy who doesn't deserve to be here tonight? We're all in great form," captain Cameron Smith said post match.
"The man of the match [Paul Gallen] was the oldest one out there."
Mal Meninga's first job as national coach was to end a three-match losing streak, which the Australians did comfortably.
His next job will be to pick a squad for the end of season Four Nations with an eye to next year's World Cup. There is little doubt the Kangaroos band of ageing brothers will all be on the plane – and they deserve to be. They may be getting older, but they are still the best players Australia has to offer.
You can expect Meninga to pick a couple of new faces for the UK trip, a perfect chance to blood some new players and get them to mix and learn from some of the best players the game has seen.
Toughest player in league?
Move over Geoff Toovey, John Sattler, Malcolm Reilly, and James Graham, there is a new contender, one who could arguably be the toughest player in the modern game. She can play too!
Jillaroos forward Kezie Apps is fast building a reputation as one of the toughest players in rugby league.
Inspired by the Jillaroos' World Cup win in 2013, Apps signed up to play with Helensburgh in the Illawarra competition in 2014 and in the space of one season was named the Illawarra Women's Player of the Year, NSW Women's Player of the Year and selected to make her debut for Australia in the Test against the Kiwi Ferns.
She's been a rock in the Jillaroos forward pack ever since.
Apps travels four and a half hours from Bega to Wollongong every weekend just to play rugby league.
On Friday night she was in the thick of the action, one of her trademark runs broke the Kiwi Ferns defence and led directly to the Jillaroos first try to Sam Bremner.
Later in the game, she was smashed by a Teuila Fotu-Moala special and while the hit lit up the crowd and social media, Apps bounced straight up and played the ball as if nothing had happened.
"Tough as nails, a legend," debutant Allana Ferguson offered of her teammate.
While Queenslander Karina Brown who scored one of the tries of the weekend was also full of praise.
"Kezie Apps is so tough, such a competitor, plays with heart every game," Brown said.
Apps will now turn her attention to NSW and trying to end Queensland's 17-year undefeated streak.
It's a tough ask, but perhaps not out of Apps' league.
International game is beautiful
Rugby league in this country tends to be very insular and somewhat cynical. But anyone who witnessed the powerful prematch rituals for the Pacific Test matches on Saturday night couldn't help but be moved.
The Fiji hymn I Jiova became one of the most endearing hallmarks of the 2013 World Cup and that tradition continued before the test against PNG – it was simply spine-tingling.
The football that followed was every bit as good.
While Semi Radradra was a well-publicised omission thanks to his Australian defection, the man who replaced him, Etuate Qionimacawa, scored a hat-trick on his international debut.
If you nurture it, they will come
Samoa's Siva Tau war dance and Tonga's Sipi Tau response showcased the immense passion that both cultures bring to the game. Just listen to the crowd during the four minutes that both traditional war dances were being performed. It was incredibly powerful stuff.
Frank Pritchard and Sika Manu were allowed by their English club Hull FC to make a 33,000km round journey to be involved in the Test match at Pirtek Stadium and miss an important Challenge Cup clash to be involved in the fixture.
Just before the contest it was announced that Samoa will host a historic Test match against Fiji in Apia on October 8 – Samoa's first official Test match on home soil.
Your humble correspondent hopes that this will be a watershed moment for the international game.
Big step for the game in Canada
Last week it was announced that the Toronto Wolfpack had become the 16th team in the English League 1.
The Wolfpack will begin playing in the competition in March 2017. The regular season will have 11 home matches to be played at Lamport Stadium "The Den", in Liberty Village, Toronto and 11 away matches to be played in England, Wales and France before the finals and the Challenge Cup.
The Wolfpack haven't wasted any time capitalising on the exciting announcement, coach Paul Rowley made history at the weekend by throwing the first pitch at the Toronto Blue Jays game in Rogers Centre in front of almost 40,000 fans.
Hopefully a few of them are converted to watch his team when they start their hopeful journey to the English Super League.
Watch this space!
Thanks to Paul Rowley, head coach of the @TOwolfpack, for throwing out tonight's first pitch! pic.twitter.com/HOy8D2LOZs— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) May 6, 2016
Lebanon v Cook Islands
Finally, there was little fanfare to this rugby league international, but the Cook Islands defeated Lebanon 30-20 at the weekend.
While the NRL resumes normal transmission this week, we hope the game can build upon the great success of international rugby league.