Eagles and Storm set pace at Nines

Manly, Melbourne and Cronulla are the surprise pace setters on day one of the NRL Auckland Nines but favourites North Queensland and the Warriors fired shots across their bow.

The Sea Eagles, Storm and Sharks were the only sides to win both of their pool games on day one at Eden Park on Saturday.

The Storm were the quiet achievers of the first day of action, with Cameron Munster firing them to a 14-4 win over Parramatta before they snuck home 18-12 against South Sydney.

The Sea Eagles snuck home in two thrillers, beating Brisbane 22-16 after Matt Parcell scored with the final play of the game before downing the Warriors 15-12 in a controversial match.

Manly have been reduced to 15 men for the rest of the tournament after Jake Trbojevic suffered a concussion after he appeared to be kneed in the head by the Warriors’ Konrad Hurrell.

Jamie Buhrer is facing an extended stint on the sidelines after suffering a suspected broken jaw.

Winger Jorge Taufua has also been ruled out because of a hamstring injury he suffered before the tournament began.

Cronulla dispatched Gold Coast 23-12 and St George Illawarra 17-8 and face Canberra on day three.

The Cowboys looked to be the team to beat after smashing Newcastle 28-12 in their opening pool game but were humbled 13-12 by Wests Tigers later in the day.

They look to have uncovered the find of the tournament in winger Gideon Gala-Mosby who crossed with his first touch before scoring three more to be the tournament’s leading try-scorer.

The Warriors looked good after coming back from 8-0 down to trounce Canterbury 34-8.

However they were brought back to earth with a loss to Manly and must beat the winless Broncos to advance on Sunday.

The Roosters and Broncos both failed to win a game on day one. The tri-colours cannot make the finals while the Broncos must beat the Warriors and hope Manly beat Canterbury.

In the Rangitoto pool, the Cowboys, Sea Eagles, Knights and Panthers all have one win each.

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