State of Origin withdrawals cost the Storm, North Queensland and the Broncos in round 10 of the NRL, only the Roosters managing to win after contributing multiple players to the interstate game on Wednesday.
The Titans remain atop a congested competition ladder after Origin reject Scott Prince led them to a 24-20 win over the Bulldogs. But they have Nathan Friend, Mark Minichiello and Ashley Harrison at the doctors today to check hand injuries.
The discontent apparently continues within the Dogs camp, with Sydney newspapers claiming Kiwi Sonny Bill Williams wants a release and is looking at rugby clubs in England and France. Williams refusal to comment won't help quell that talk.
Behind the Gold Coast, who have enjoyed more home games than any other side, there are 10 teams with 10 to 14 points.
The Sharks made hard work of their 13-6 home win over the Broncos, given the visitors were without eight first-choice players.
Former Warriors wing Misi Taulapapa played well for Cronulla, his try at 38 minutes off Brett Kimmorley's pass bringing the Sharks back to from 0-6 after Tonie Carroll scored for Brisbane to 4-6 at the break.
Kimmorley was the engineer for the Sharks, putting aside his mid-week contract links to the Dogs.
The Storm had nine out at Origin camps plus coach Craig Bellamy so it was no surprise they slumped 36-12, six tries to two, to the Dragons.
Again the halfback was the playmaker, Jamie Soward scoring and having a hand in the other five plus kicking six goals for 16 points.
Kiwi's wing Jason Nightingale had two tries. Just 6881 watched the game while further south the Illawarra feeder club Shellharbour Marlins attracted 3000 as they beat Erina Eagles 30-22, Wendell Sailor making his return after a two-year drug ban and scoring two tries for the Marlins.
North Queensland coach Graham Murray is tipped to be sacked this week after the Cowboys fell 38-6 to the Sea Eagles at Manly.
The Roosters dumped a lacklustre Parramatta 32-12, the Eels looking less and less like a finals contender with a horror error rate.
Benji Marshall made a triumphant return from injury yesterday, scoring a double to help lead the Wests Tigers to a 38-26 victory over Newcastle.
Marshall scored two tries, booted a massive 40-20 which led to another try and a cross field kick for another as the Tigers claimed a seven-tries-to-five victory in front of 20,154 fans.By Peter Jessup Email Peter