Dramatic endings, dominant displays, solo brilliance. Round six of the NRL had it all.
League leaders Penrith showed their title credentials with a gritty 20-12 victory over Brisbane.
Trailing 12-10 inside the final 10 minutes, half-back Nathan Cleary levelled matters with a two-point drop goal before combining with fellow playmaker Jarome Luai to seal the win with a late try under the posts.
South Sydney remain hot on the heels of the Panthers as Tom Burgess’ remarkable try in extra-time helped them edge Wests Tigers 18-14.
In the NRL’s first golden point period of 2021, Luke Brooks danced around jubilant Rabbitohs celebrations and raced 105m to score under the posts for the Tigers, believing that England international Burgess had spilled the ball in the process of crashing over at the other end.
However, the video referee confirmed that Burgess’ fingertips remained on the ball when it was grounded, leaving the visitors heartbroken and Wayne Bennett’s side euphoric.
In contrast, Parramatta were able to get the job done in regular time to keep pace with the second-placed Rabbitohs.
They toppled 2019 NRL Grand Finalists Canberra 35-10, with back-rower Isaiah Papali’i crossing in either half for the Eels.
Defending NRL premiers Melbourne battled to a 20-4 victory against 2019 Grand Final victors Sydney at AAMI Park.
Jahrome Hughes, Ryan Papenhuyzen and Harry Grant all crossed for the Storm, with Papenhuyzen adding a further eight points from the boot. Matt Ikuvalu replied for the Roosters inside the final 90 seconds.
St. George Illawarra suffered their second defeat of the season at the hands of the New Zealand Warriors.
Trailing 14-12 heading into the final quarter, Kiwi international Roger Tuivasa-Sheck put his side in front with a converted try before the boot of Kodi Nikorima edged the Warriors further clear.
Play-off hopefuls Gold Coast were kept scoreless by a resurgent Manly outfit in Mudgee.
Reuben Garrick and Jason Saab both crossed twice as the Sea Eagles posted 36 unanswered points.
Newcastle leapfrogged Cronulla on the NRL ladder as Kalyn Ponga’s 78th minute try secured a dramatic 26-22 victory.
The Knights stunned the 2016 NRL premiers as Man of the Match Ponga fought off pre-match illness to produce a stellar performance which yielded two tries and two assists.
In the final game of the round, North Queensland recorded successive wins under Todd Payten after holding off 12-man Canterbury 30-18.
Jack Hetherington was sent off in the 55th minute for a high shot on Valentine Holmes, and the Cowboys full-back soon assisted Jake Granville to put his side 24-6 ahead. The winless Bulldogs crossed through Kyle Flanagan and Tuipulotu Katoa to set up a grandstand finish, but Mitch Dunn scored late on to seal a home win.
NRL round six results: