After a weekend off for Representative Round, NRL action returned with a bang on Friday.
First up was a Queensland derby at 1300SMILES Stadium, where North Queensland produced a storming performance.
The home side’s tenacious defence was matched by clinical attack, and they ran out 27-14 winners over Brisbane.
Half back Mitchell Pearce was amongst the scorers for the Tricolours, but he has since been embroiled in controversy surrounding a drunken night out.
The club have attempted to draw a line under the situation with a $20,000 fine and a one game ban, but with Origin duty on the horizon, media scrutiny is sure to continue.
The demoralised Raiders, who this week had the end-of-season departure of Anthony Milford confirmed, desperately need to sure up their defence having conceded 258 points so far this season.
There are still complications to be ironed out with his move though, so Marshall had to watch on as the Dragons became the latest victims of Canterbury’s winning streak – which is now up to six.
The Bulldogs, who have been specialists in close-fought wins this season, enjoyed an easy 38-6 victory, with Tim Lafai grabbing a hatrick.
In other results Melbourne edged Manly 22-19 in a thriller at AAMI Park, whilst South Sydney, Penrith and Parramatta also celebrated wins.
Round 9 results:
North Queensland 27-14 Brisbane (May 09, 1300SMILES Stadium)
NZ Warriors 54-12 Canberra (May 10, Eden Park)
Gold Coast 18-40 South Sydney (May 10, Cbus Super Stadium)
Melbourne 22-19 Manly (May 10, AAMI Park)
Newcastle 10-32 Penrith (May 11, Hunter Stadium)
St George Illawarra 6-38 Canterbury (May 11, ANZ Stadium)
Parramatta 42-24 Cronulla (May 12, Pirtek Stadium)
Round 10 fixtures:
South Sydney v Melbourne (May 16, ANZ Stadium)
Brisbane v Gold Coast (May 16, Suncorp Stadium)
Parramatta v St George Illawarra (May 17, Pirtek Stadium)
Cronulla v Wests Tigers (May 17, Remondis Stadium)
North Queensland v Sydney Roosters (May 17, 1300SMILES Stadium)
Canberra v Penrith (May 18, GIO Stadium)
Canterbury v NZ Warriors (May 18, Waikato Stadium)
Manly v Newcastle (May 19, Brookvale Oval)