After three rounds two sides remain winless, while the 40-point barrier tumbled for the first time in 2023 thanks to the undefeated Brisbane Broncos, while NRLs biggest rivalry went right to the line with Jaxson Paulo starring against his old club.
The Edge of the Crowd writers have come together to review each match and have submitted their votes for the Dally M predictor for the 2023 season.
Manly Sea Eagles 34 Parramatta Eels 30
3 - Tom Trbojevic - Manly Sea Eagles (3)
2 - Josh Hodgson - Parramatta Eels (2)
1 - Reuben Garrick - Manly Sea Eagles (2)
The Parramatta Eels' horror start to the season continued in yet another close contest against the Manly Sea Eagles. Just four points split the two sides and it could have been by a narrower margin with Reuben Garrick and Mitchell Moses struggling with the conversions.
Tom Trbojevic starred scoring two tries and running for 204 metres, settling a Manly side that looked spotty in periods. Clint Gutherson might have been the loser in the battle of the fullbacks but other than three errors there was little to critique as Gutherson brought the Eels back into the match with a double.
The two sides matched in most areas on the stats sheet, scoring six tries apiece, giving away seven errors and coughing up 14 errors, but it was the Sea Eagles' 33 tackle breaks that swung the match in their favour, keeping them just out in front despite the Eels' fast finish.
Newcastle Knights 20 Dolphins 36
3 - Tesi Niu - Dolphins(3)
2 - Euan Aitken - Dolphins (2)
1 - Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow (4)
The Dolphins' unbeaten run continues after defeating the Newcastle Knights on Friday night in an impressive match-up where both sides showed there's a lot to like going into the next month of football.
Tesi Niu opened the scoring in the ninth minute, ultimately finishing the night with a hattrick, while Euan Aitken acted as a playmaker from the centre picking up two try assists.
The Knights' Dominic Young had a quiet night but players in the spine stepped up with Lachlan Miller and Tyson Gamble scoring their first tries for the Knights. Unfortunately, the Knights just didn't have enough of the ball to be truly competitive on the scoreboard having 10 fewer completed sets than the Dolphins.
Sydney Roosters 20 South Sydney Rabbitohs 18
3 - Jaxson Paulo - Sydney Roosters (3)
2 - Keaon Koloamatangi - South Sydney Rabbitohs (3)
1- Campbell Graham - South Sydney Rabbitohs (2)
Tensions were flaring in the NRL's oldest grudge match that saw the Sydney Roosters defeat the South Sydney Rabbitohs in an exciting battle that saw a double from Jaxson Paulo, sin bins and multiple players put on report.
The target of bombs from Lachlan Illias and Cody Walker, Paulo has truly settled into his place on the Roosters' right edge, helped on by the work of Joseph Manu and Luke Keary.
Souths got off to a brilliant start scoring two tries inside the first 12 minutes but the Roosters were able to come back hard in the final 10 of the half. Both sides looked sloppy in patches in the second half giving up the ball in repeat sets, ultimately the Roosters were just that little bit cleaner with a rocky 72 per cent completion rate that handed them the win despite a late push from Souths and a near-impossible two-point field goal attempt from Latrell Mitchell.
Gold Coast Titans 38 Melbourne Storm 34
3 - Harry Grant - Melbourne Storm (6)
2 - David Fifita - Gold Coast Titans (5)
1 - Tanah Boyd - Gold Coast Titans (1)
In an upset very few saw coming, the Gold Coast Titans downed Melbourne Storm in an error-filled shootout. Alofiana Khan-Pereira got the scoring underway three minutes into the match with the left edge coming together over a 70-metre run between Brian Kelly, Aj Brimson and Khan-Pereira.
Storm's errors and penalties mounted fast, giving away 8 penalties for the match and 17 errors, 10 of which came from the defensive line. Not even Harry Grant's spectacular performance and playmaking could turn the tide with the two penalty goals from Tanah Boyd turning the tide for the match.
North Queensland Cowboys 12 New Zealand Warriors 26
3 - Shaun Johnson - New Zealand Warriors (3)
2 - Reece Robson - North Queensland Cowboys (5)
1 - Tohu Harris - New Zealand Warriors (6)
The New Zealand Warriors ended their two-week stint across the Tasman with a much-needed win in Townsville over the North Queensland Cowboys, snapping an 11-month losing streak on Australian soil.
Shaun Johnson was instrumental in the win combining with Te Maire to have a hand in three of the Warriors' tries. Tom Chester and Reece Robson were the lone try scorers for the Cowboys with both tries coming in the opening 15 minutes
Wayde Egan continued to dazzle opening the scoring for the Warriors in the eighth minute, however, lost crucial minutes on the park being sent for an HIA in both halves.
Brisbane Broncos 40 St George Illawarra Dragons 18
3 - Adam Reynolds - Brisbane Broncos (6)
2 - Payne Haas - Brisbane Broncos (4)
1 - Reece Walsh - Brisbane Broncos (4)
The trip up north to Suncorp Stadium was expected to be a tough one for St George Illawarra Dragons but the Bronco's continued run of form proved brutal with the Dragons becoming the first side in 2023 to concede 40 points in a match.
It all came down to the final 10 minutes with the scores level at 18-18 in the 70th minute before Selwyn Cobbo pulled the Broncos in front. The tries kept flowing from there with Reece Walsh scoring a double and Ezra Mam scoring a try to finish off an exhausted-looking Dragons.
Adam Reynolds continues to be the glue that holds the impressive Broncos lineup together, having a heavy hand in the Broncos' 89 per cent completion rate in the second half.
Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs 26 Wests Tigers 22
3 - Matt Burton - Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs (3)
2 - Josh Addo-Carr - Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs (2)
1 - Stefano Utoikamanu - Wests Tigers (1)
The NRL was forced to activate its heat policy at Belmore park but the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs and Wests Tigers put on a show that went down to the wire with an impressive fightback from the Tigers.
The Bulldogs got out to an early lead that had them sitting 20-6 up at halftime thanks to a double from winger Josh Addo-Carr. Their final try came from Matt Burton five-eight Matt Burton in the 54th minute, with Kyle Flanagan converting to make the score 26-6.
It was a finish few saw coming with the Tigers kicking it up a notch with 13 minutes to go with the Tigers crossing the try line three times before the final siren and hunted for a fifth try in the dying minutes but gave away three penalties in the final five minutes to seal their fate as the second team to start the season with an 0-3 record.
Canberra Raiders 24 Cronulla Sharks 20
3 - Corey Horsburgh - Canberra Raiders (3)
2 - Albert Hopoate - Canberra Raiders (2)
1 - Braydon Trindall - Cronulla Sharks (1)
The Canberra Raiders and Cronulla Sharks came together for the final match of Round Three with the Raiders taking out their first win of the season at home.
It was an epic performance off the bench from Corey Horsburgh who picked up the first double of his career in his 50 minutes on field, looking absolutely electric in offence with five tackle breaks and two line breaks.
Braydon Trindall starred for the Sharks, having his hand in two tries and assisting in the Sharks' 87 per cent completion rate, however, his conversion rate was less than impressive kicking at 50 per cent.
1 = Adam Reynolds - Brisbane Broncos 6
1 = Harry Grant - Melbourne Storm 6
1 = Tohu Harris - New Zealand Warriors 6
4 = David Fifita - Gold Coast Titans 5
4 = Reece Walsh - Brisbane Broncos 5
4 = Dylan Edwards - Penrith Panthers 5
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