If anything, the Denver Test has put some added form into the NRL-based England internationals.
A drop-goal from Cameron Smith was the only thing to separate Sydney Roosters and Melbourne Storm. Melbourne ran-out 9-8 winners in front of a crowd of over 17,000 in Adelaide. New Zealand international Nelson Asofa-Solomona got on the scoresheet for Storm, while Sydney’s Victor Radley was sin-binned for persistent team offences.
A late try from Edrick Lee snatched an 18-15 victory for Cronulla Sharks against New Zealand Warriors at the Mt Smart Stadium. New Zealand star Solomone Kata and former Wigan Warriors ace Anthony Gelling scored for the Warriors, but it wasn’t enough to get the win.
Manly Sea Eagles pulled off an upset as they beat Penrith Panthers 18-10 at Panthers Stadium. New Zealand full-back Dallin Watene-Zelezniak scored for the Panthers, while Joel Thompson, Matthew Wright and Trent Hodkinson scored for the Sea Eagles.
After a week where they lost Aaron Woods to Cronulla Sharks, Canterbury Bulldogs gave their fans something to cheer about thanks to a 36-16 win over Newcastle Knights. Kerrod Holland scored two tries for the Bulldogs, while Papua New Guinea international Rhyse Martin kicked six goals from six attempts.
Gold Coast Titans scored three unanswered second half tries to seal a comfortable 30-12 win against Wests Tigers. Moses Mbye and Robbie Farah made their debuts for the Tigers, while soon-to-be St Helens man Kevin Naiqama crossed for a try. Gold Coast loose forward Jai Arrow was outstanding.
Adam Reynolds added a late drop-goal to secure a 21-20 win for South Sydney Rabbitohs against North Queensland Cowboys. Tonga ace Robert Jennings scored for the Rabbitohs, while Tom Burgess and Sam Burgess backed up the Denver Test. Scotland international Lachlan Coote bagged a try for the Cowboys.
Samoa half-back Anthony Milford produced a man of the match display to inspire Brisbane Broncos to come from behind to beat Canberra Raiders 26-22. New Zealand international Jamayne Issako kicked five goals for the Broncos, while England internationals Elliott Whitehead and Josh Hodgson both scored for the Raiders.
England ace Gareth Widdop kicked four goals from four attempts to help St George Illawarra Dragons edge past Parramatta Eels 20-18 at WIN Stadium. Scotland centre Euan Aitken scored for the Dragons, while Fiji international Jarryd Hayne crossed for the Eels.
The Dragons remain top of the NRL ladder, closely followed by the Rabbitohs. The Cowboys and Eels have yet to reach double figures in points.
NRL round 16 results:
Sydney Roosters 8-9 Melbourne Storm (17,728)
St George Illawarra Dragons 20-18 Parramatta Eels (6,933)
New Zealand Warriors 15-18 Cronulla Sharks (14,195)
Penrith Panthers 10-18 Manly Sea Eagles (12,755)
Newcastle Knights 16-36 Canterbury Bulldogs (17,755)
Brisbane Broncos 26-22 Canberra Raiders (30,495)
Wests Tigers 12-30 Gold Coast Titans (16,984)
South Sydney Rabbitohs 21-20 North Queensland Cowboys (7,195)