What we learned from round two


BRISBANE: They deserve their favouritism. Brisbane are still yet to look flustered at any point in the opening two rounds.

CANBERRA: Injuries won’t concern them. They have now lost three playmakers in two weeks, but the likes of Josh Hodgson shifting from hooker to the halves characterises their versatility.

CANTERBURY: They aren’t fading late, even with the new interchange laws. Big-minutes forward Aiden Tolman missed most of Thursday’s match with concussion, but the Bulldogs still finished strong.

CRONULLA: Renowned for grinding out matches, the Sharks now have the points they craved for so long with Chad Townsend and James Maloney in the halves.

GOLD COAST: No-frills football is the order of the day for Neil Henry’s men this year and it seems to be making them more competitive in matches than most predicted.

MANLY: The 64 points they have conceded mark their equal-worst defensive start to the season since 1999, and it may be a while before their revamped structure kicks in.

MELBOURNE: Cameron Munster can cover Billy Slater. The 21-year-old scored once and defused two potential tries from kicks in Slater’s absence.

NEWCASTLE: Rebuilding is often seen as an excuse, but it’s a reality at Newcastle. It could be a tough year for Knights fans.

NORTH QUEENSLAND: The trip to England may have taken its toll. The 15 handling errors highlighted intensity levels that were well below par against Parramatta.

PARRAMATTA: Off-season scandals have rattled them in the past, but the likes of Michael Gordon and Kieran Foran have experience in ignoring such dramas.

PENRITH: Peter Wallace may be a suitable but unlikely replacement for the injured James Segeyaro, potentially opening the door for young half Te Maire Martin to debut.

SOUTH SYDNEY: A year in rugby union hasn’t hurt Sam Burgess. He ran 150 metres and had an influential hand in three tries as Souths crunched the Knights.

ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA: Josh Dugan needs to play fullback. A lack of space in the centres have seen him rendered almost ineffective while Kurt Mann has had his troubles at the back.

SYDNEY ROOSTERS: They miss Mitchell Pearce and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves in their attacking structure. Never was it more evident than in the closing stages of the loss to the Raiders.

WARRIORS: Six is more than just a number on the back for Shaun Johnson. He looked lost and fumbled his way through the defeat against the Broncos, and needs to revert to halfback.

WESTS TIGERS: James Tedesco is in for an unbelievable season. His combination with Mitchell Moses and Luke Brooks could be lethal on both edges and has already netted five tries.

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