NRL round-up: Holmes scores on return, Brisbane win Queensland derby & Warriors nilled by the Knights

There were plenty of close affairs in the opening round of the 2020 NRL season. 

Parramatta kicked off the 2020 season with a tense 8-2 win over Canterbury. 

Reed Mahoney scored the only try of the game with 14 minutes left, with Mitchell Moses adding four points from the boot. Brandon Wakeham had given the visitors the lead with an early penalty.

Defending champions Sydney suffered a shock 20-14 round one defeat to Penrith at Panthers Stadium.

Brent Naden, Stephen Crichton and Viliame Kikau all crossed for Ivan Cleary’s side. Mitch Aubusson and Sio Siua Taukeiaho’s tries had given the Roosters a 12-0 lead, before the hosts rallied superbly in the second half.

Melbourne began their 2020 campaign with an 18-4 win away at Manly. 

Suliasi Vunivalu scored a brace, while Tom Eisenhuth also crossed four minutes from time. All of Manly’s points came courtesy of Reuben Garrick penalty goals.

Valentine Holmes marked his return to the NRL with a try, but it was not enough to prevent new employers North Queensland from suffering a derby defeat to Brisbane.

The Broncos crossed five times, with second-half tries from Tevita Pangai Jnr, David Fifita and Jamayne Isaako adding to Jake Turpin and Kotoni Staggs’ earlier efforts. Gavin Cooper and Ben Hampton reduced the margin of defeat for the hosts with tries inside the final 15 minutes.

Last season’s beaten NRL Grand Finalists Canberra opened the new season with a commanding 24-6 victory against Gold Coast. 

Jack Wighton (2), Emre Guler and Elliott Whitehead all scored for the Raiders, with Anthony Don grabbing the Titans’ sole consolation just after half-time.

Newcastle began their 2020 campaign by nilling the New Zealand Warriors at home.

Daniel Saifiti, Edrick Lee and Kalyn Ponga all bagged tries as the Knights ran in 20 unanswered points at McDonald Jones Stadium.

South Sydney were made to work hard for their opening win of the season as they edged past Cronulla 22-18.

Both sides scored three tries, but Adam Reynolds’ 100% conversion accuracy, plus two penalty goals, saw the Rabbitohs home. Their tries came courtesy of Reynolds – who achieved a 14-point haul – Campbell Graham and Ethan Lowe.

In the final game of the round, Wests Tigers picked up a 24-14 victory away at St George.

David Nofoaluma (2), Benji Marshall and Luciano Leilua scored as the Tigers stretched clear with three tries in the final 30 minutes.

NRL Round 1 results:

Canberra Raiders 24-6 Gold Coast Titans

Manly Sea Eagles 4-18 Melbourne Storm

Newcastle Knights 20-0 New Zealand Warriors

North Queensland Cowboys 21-28 Brisbane Broncos

Parramatta Eels 8-2 Canterbury Bulldogs

Penrith Panthers 20-14 Sydney Roosters

South Sydney Rabbitohs 22-18 Cronulla Sharks

St George Illawarra Dragons 14-24 Wests Tigers

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