MAN OF THE ROUND: Jeremiah Nanai has done his hopes of a maiden State of Origin call-up no harm with a starring display in North Queensland's 36-6 trouncing of Melbourne. The 19-year-old has already caught the eye of Queensland coach Billy Slater and scored a double, made 114 running metres, four tackle breaks and 29 tackles as the Cowboys made it six straight by inflicting the Storm's biggest defeat since 2013.
STAT THAT MATTERS: After struggling for points under former coach Trent Barrett, Canterbury's return of 22 against Wests Tigers in their first match since Barrett's exit from Belmore on Monday was more than they'd managed in their past 10 games. The renewed potency in attack didn't secure a win for the ailing Bulldogs however, with the Tigers claiming a 36-22 win.
MAGIC MOMENT: He's a favourite for teammates and fans so it was no surprise Canberra prop Josh Papalii's 13th-minute try against South Sydney sparked scenes of jubiliation in Dubbo. The Queensland State of Origin representative became just the third player to reach 250 NRL games for the Raiders and not only marked the occasion with a try, but a win too, as the Raiders smashed the Rabbitohs 32-12.
QUOTE OF THE ROUND: "Do you reckon every opportunity you get to put me on report (you do). Don't you reckon? I'm just saying. Every time, bro. Every f***king time. It's not fair." - Sydney Roosters prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves accused referee Gerard Sutton of having a vendetta against him after being sin-binned for a high tackle on Penrith's James Fisher-Harris in the Panthers' 32-12 win on Saturday. Waerea-Hargreaves wasn't charged for the tackle but has copped an $1800 fine after his spray was deemed grade one contrary conduct by the Match Review Committee.
TALKING POINT: Has Manly's season been derailed by Tom Trbojevic's shoulder injury? The superstar requires surgery after dislocating his left shoulder in the Sea Eagles' loss to Parramatta on Friday. Even in a best-case scenario the Dally M Medallist is facing at least 12 weeks on the sidelines. Manly coach Des Hasler will be hoping Trbojevic's absence doesn't mean a repeat of the 2020 campaign when they finished 13th in a campaign played largely without their best player.
CASUALTY WARD: T Trbojevic (Sea Eagles, shoulder), A Fonua-Blake (Warriors, foot), J Taumalolo (Cowboys, knee), K Feldt (Cowboys, knee), S Talakai (Sharks, ankle), P Sami (Titans, knee).
JUDICIARY WATCH: H Olakau'atu (Sea Eagles, crusher tackle), S Keppie (Sea Eagles, dangerous throw), A Schoupp (Bulldogs, dangerous throw), J Waerea-Hargreaves (Roosters, contrary conduct), T Rudolph (Sharks, crusher tackle)
UNDER PRESSURE: Nathan Brown. The Warriors slumped to a fifth loss from their past six matches with a 24-18 defeat to St George Illawarra. In a week where the club and Matt Lodge parted ways immediately in circumstances that raised more questions than answers, Brown's front-row stocks have taken another hit with Addin Fonua-Blake suffering a suspected Lisfranc injury against the Dragons. The heat will be on the Warriors coach to find form when Newcastle visit Moreton Daily Stadium next weekend.
Australian Associated Press
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