Former Warriors prop Russell Packer turned in another strong performance for St George-Illawarra in their upset 16-10 over Cronulla in the final game of the round yesterday.

Packer and fellow starting prop Paul Vaughan helped pave the way for the Dragons success, as they ground down the reigning premiers with hard running and tackling in the middle of the park.

Kiwis winger Jason Nightingale was also impressive, fielding several towering kicks from the Sharks playmakers Chad Townsend and James Maloney under immense pressure.

The Red V now have two wins from three starts and head into Sunday's important round four clash against the Warriors at UOW Jubilee Oval with plenty of confidence and momentum.


Earlier yesterday, two tries from Kiwis wing Jordan Rapana helped power Canberra to a 46-6 shellacking of Wests Tigers to get their campaign going after back-to-back defeats to start the season.

Rapana ran in the first and last of the Raiders' eight tries to give the 27-year-old eight four-pointers in three appearances against the black and gold outfit.

The weekend's opening encounter between Melbourne and Brisbane marked the return of Kiwis captain Jesse Bromwich, who played with his injured thumb heavily strapped after a bad dislocation suffered in week one against the Bulldogs. The 27-year-old was inspirational for the home side, getting through 23 tackles with 15 runs for 132 metres, as the Storm sealed their third straight win.

The Warriors opened Friday night football with a deflating 24-12 loss to the Bulldogs in Dunedin, where they failed to capitalise on a wealth of possession and scoring chances.

For the Bulldogs, Kiwis forward Greg Eastwood was strong in his 150th game in blue and white, and former Warriors back-rower Raymond Faitala-Mariner provided an offload that led to Brett Morris' second try three minutes from fulltime. Debutant fullback and another former Junior Warriors star Brad Abbey made a couple of errors but finished the night with a smile with the Bulldogs registering their first victory of the season.

Later that night, the Gold Coast Titans claimed a surprise 26-14 win over Parramatta, with Konrad Hurrell and captain Kevin Proctor turning in strong showings. Hurrell topped the metres gained for his side with 127 from 13 carries and Proctor's 37 tackles was second only to fellow skipper Ryan James' 46.

Saturday's action began with the Rabbitohs 24-18 win over Newcastle saw former Kiwis wing Bryson Goodwin cross for his side's third four-pointer, before taking a moment to look to the heavens in memory of his late older brother Leon who passed away a day earlier.

Meanwhile, Penrith and Kiwis wing Dallin Watene-Zelezniak got through 80 minutes in his return from knee surgery but wasn't able to stop his side from losing 14-12 to the Sydney Roosters. Fellow Panthers backs Dean Whare, Te Maire Martin, and forward James Fisher-Harris were all solid, but Roosters and Kiwis international pair Jared Waerea Hargreaves and Shaun Kenny Dowall had the last laugh.

In Saturday's late game, Cowboys and Kiwis-eligible young gun Kalyn Ponga filled in for injured fullback Lachlan Coote in his side's shock 30-8 defeat to Manly. The 2015 premiers badly missed the go-forward of suspended Kiwis lock Jason Taumalolo and will be counting the days until his round five return against South Sydney.