Round 17 began at Suncorp Stadium where the Broncos hosted the top-of-the-ladder Panthers.
The Panthers secured their 12th win in a row while the Broncos landed their 8th loss on the trot and their 14th loss for the season. The Broncos were on song to begin with and their overall performance was improved. The Panthers were a bit flat in the early stages of the game. Nathan Cleary, together with Jarome Luai and Api Koroisau took control at the end of the first half and for most of the second, guiding their side to a 25-12 win.
McDonald Jones Stadium was the location for a controversial game between the Knights and Sharks.
Chad Townsend was sent off after a late, high shoulder charge on Kalyn Ponga. Newcastle was up 22-4 at halftime after their best half all season. The Sharks were awful from the outset, kicking out on the full to start the game, and never got any better. Kalyn Ponga recovered from the hit by Townsend to score the first hat-trick of his career. In the end, the Knights smashed a very poor Sharks outfit, 38-10.
The Storm met the Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium on Friday night.
With Brandon Smith and Asofa-Solomona out, Chris Lewis and Darryn Schonig really lifted and showed that Melbourne had some serious depth in their squad.
The Rabbitohs came out firing and the Storm had to tackle their hearts out in the first fifteen minutes. The Storm reversed that in the second half, clawing their way back into the game. Ryan Papenhuyzen was on song, scoring one and setting up another two. Souths were their own worst enemy with too many unforced errors with the Storm going onto win 22-16.
Kicking off Super Saturday was the Bulldogs and Titans clash at ANZ Stadium in Sydney.
The Titans had a great game and were up 14-6 at half time. Bulldogs beleaguered player Kieran Foran was rule out for the rest of 2020 with a pec injury sustained in the second half. The Bulldogs fought back, but the Titans were too good in the end with a scoreline of 18-14.
The Sea Eagles went up early at Lottoland on Saturday afternoon over the Tigers. Wests Tigers were merely getting tackling practice for the first part of the first forty. Daly Cherry-Evans set up his side’s first three tries, with great debuts from Morgan Harper and Josh Schuster. David Nofoaluma was the saviour for the Tigers, scoring a hat-trick to set up a grandstand finish. The Tigers ended up getting the two important premiership points, winning 34-32.
At GIO Stadium in Canberra was the most anticipated game of the round. Sonny Bill Williams was back for the Roosters against the Raiders.
While he only played thirteen minutes off the bench, coach Trent Robinson heralded his return. James Tedesco, however, outshone him, scoring a double with his side up 12-6 at the break. The reigning Premiers were just too good again for the Raiders, even with Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and Jack Wighton performing well for the home side. The Raiders ended up with their star forward, Josh Papalii suffering shoulder injury in their 18-6 loss.
The opening Sunday match was at Central Coast Stadium where the Warriors took on the Eels. The Eels came out firing, shooting out to a early 16-0 lead. The Warriors had to play catch-up footy and came close twice to taking the lead, but Mitch Moses was good for the Eels to steer them home 24-18.
A warm spring night at Country Bank Stadium in Townsville greeted the Cowboys and the Dragons. Jake Clifford and Josh Drinkwater were great in the halves, along with Valentine Holmes back at fullback. The game went back and forth between the teams for the whole eighty minutes minutes, until Holmes’ field goal in golden point split the two sides with the Cowboys winning 23-22.