Rivals old and new clashed in the second round, with multiple teams' leadership groups highlighting their knowledge and skill for the game navigating their sides out of brutal contests.
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.
Penrith Panthers 16 South Sydney Rabbitohs 10
3 - Dylan Edwards - Penrith Panthers (5)
2 - Liam Martin - Penrith Panthers (3)
1 - Keaon Koloamatangi (1)
The Penrith Panthers got their first points on the board on Thursday night holding off the South Sydney Rabbitohs who took control in the final 15 minutes to almost force the match into golden point.
Fullback Dylan Edwards was in command all night running for 150 metres and settling a firey Panthers backline that looked poised to throw away their momentum due to defensive infringements.
South Sydney struggled to match the Panther's quick play of the ball coughing up 13 errors in the process, however, the away side found its spirit in the dying minutes of the match with two tries on the left edge by way of Alex Johnston and Isaiah Tass.
Parramatta Eels 26 Cronulla Sharks 30
3 - William Kennedy - Cronulla Sharks (3)
2 - Mitchell Moses - Parramatta Eels (2)
1 - Reagan Campbell-Gillard - Parramatta Eels (1)
After big losses in Round One, a Friday night shootout was just what the doctor ordered for the Parramatta Eels and the Cronulla Sharks.Thanks to a hattrick from Will Kennedy and accurate conversions from Braydon Trindall the Sharks managed to pick up their first win of the season.
Parramatta looked in control early picking up two tries in the first five minutes of the match but momentum swung against them just as quickly with Cronulla pulling ahead 20 minutes into the match.
The two sides could hardly be split on the stats sheet, with the Eels only having one additional set to the Sharks, however, the Sharks took advantage in their sets with 32 tackle breaks to the Eels' 24.
Brisbane Broncos 28 North Queensland Cowboys 16
3 - Reece Walsh - Brisbane Broncos (3)
2 - Payne Haas - Brisbane Broncos (2)
1 - Herbie Farnworth - Brisbane Broncos (1)
The Brisbane Broncos came out on top in the Queensland Derby for the first time since Round 20 in the 2021 season, taking down the North Queensland Cowboys at Suncorp Stadium.
The Cowboys hit the front early with a try in the fifth minute followed by a penalty goal just before the 20-minute mark, but the Broncos were quick to fight back scoring two tries in the final 10 minutes of the first half to send both sides into the sheds at 10 all.
The second half couldn't have started worse for the Cowboys with Scott Drinkwater given 10 in the sin bin and the Broncos capitalising, putting another two tries on the board. Reece Walsh got to have the final say in the 76th minute after contributing to Ezra Mam's incredible try on halftime.
Sydney Roosters 20 New Zealand Warriors 12
3 - Joseph-Aukuso Suaali - Sydney Roosters (3)
2 - Tohu Harris - New Zealand Warriors (5)
1 - Sam Walker - Sydney Roosters (1)
After last week's upset the Sydney Roosters were firing in their first game at home for 2023 against the New Zealand Warriors.
Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii was in command running for 231 metres and getting two linebreaks in a best-on-ground performance. Jaxson Paulo looked more at home on the Roosters wing opening the try-scoring in each half.
Tohu Harris has made a name for himself early in 2023, the lock completing 60 tackles for the match, averaging 9.6 metres from his 15 runs.
Dolphins 20 Canberra Raiders 14
3 - Hamiso Tabuai-Fiddow - Dolphins (3)
2 - Jack Wighton - Canberra Raiders (2)
1 - Tom Gilbert - Dolphins (1)
The new kids on the block have thrown down the gauntlet early this season challenging anyone that comes against them, besting the Canberra Raiders on Saturday evening.
Hamiso Tabuai-Fiddow came in clutch late in the first half to score the Dolphin's first try and fronted up again with 3 minutes to go to finally put the Dolphins in front.
Five-eighth Jack Wighton lead the charge for the Raiders, kicking 245 metres and scoring the opening try of the match, and having a heavy hand in the Raiders' high completion rate of 82 per cent.
Melbourne Storm 12 Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs 26
3 - Jacob Kiraz - Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs (3)
2 - Max King - Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs (2)
1 - Jarome Hughes - Melbourne Storm (1)
The lone major upset of the round came by way of the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs trouncing Melbourne Storm convincingly at AAMI Park.
The Bulldogs went into the half up 16-0, aided by the sin-binning of Young Tonumaipea which allowed Jacob Kiraz and Josh Addo-Carr to put two tries on the board.
The Bulldogs came out just as hard in the second half putting up two quick tries to sit 26-0 ahead before putting on the breaks, allowing Storm to score two tries inside five minutes. The drama wasn't over however, with Vilame Kikau getting sent to the bin in the dying minutes of the match for tripping an offence that put the second rower on report.
Wests Tigers 12 Newcastle Knights 14
3 - Dane Gagai - New Castle Knights (3)
2 - Daniel Saifiti - New Castle Knights (2)
1 - Daine Laurie - Wests Tigers (1)
The Newcastle Knights came out the gates strong in their match against Wests Tigers to take home their first win of the season with Dane Gagai leading the charge with two try assists and 173 running metres.
It wasn't a perfect day for the Knights however, with Dominic Young receiving a sin bin in the 29th minute followed up by a late send-off for Jacob Safiti, the ill-disciplined performance resulted in the Knights receiving 10 penalties for the match.
The Tigers weren't much better off coughing up 18 errors and penalised for being inside 10 metres twice throughout the match it was truly a battle of who could make the most out of their opponent's mistakes rather than genuine chances created by clever playmaking.
St George Illawarra Dragons 32 Gold Coast Titans 18
3 - Ben Hunt - St George Illawarra Dragons (3)
2 - Blake Laurie - St George Illawarra Dragons (2)
1 - Tyrell Sloane - St George Illawarra Dragons (1)
The additional week off before the start of the season definitely worked in the Dragons' favour at Jubilee Stadium against the Gold Coast Titans.
The Titans got out to an early 12-2 lead, but the Dragons came into halftime in front off the back of several great plays. Ben Hunt led the charge in offence with four tackle breaks and two line breaks to provide one try and one try assist towards the Dragons' win.
1 = Tohu Harris - New Zealand Warriors 5
1 = Dylan Edwards - Penrith Panthers 5
3 = Ben Hunt - St George Illawarra Dragons 3
3 = Daly Cherry-Evans - Manly Sea Eagles 3
3 = Dane Gagai - Newcastle Knights 3
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