Round six proved to be another weekend where upsets featured prominently while the Warriors recorded successive wins for the first time this season.
The St George Illawarra Dragons surprisingly find themselves atop the NRL standings having picked up their fifth win from six matches while the Melbourne Storm lost their first match of the season in the replay of last year's grand final against Cronulla.
Former Warriors coach Ivan Cleary began his tenure at the Wests Tigers with a stunning upset win over the North Queensland Cowboys.
Broncos prop Adam Blair enjoyed a win over fellow test contender Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and the Sydney Roosters to open the round on Thursday night. Both players looked sharp however and should feature in David Kidwell's test side in less than a month's time.
Hooker Danny Levi was impressive despite his Newcastle Knights side falling to the Bulldogs while five-eighth Te Maire Martin was one of the Panthers' best in a losing cause against the Rabbitohs.
Jason Nightingale filled in superbly at fullback for the injured Josh Dugan as the Dragons went top with a win over the Manly Sea Eagles.
Jason Taumalolo produced another metre-eating performance but had to watch his
Cowboys go down to the upstart Tigers. Teammate Kalyn Ponga again looked good at fullback for the Cowboys and could be a bolter for the Kiwis test side depending on which way he decides to take his allegiance.
Kieran Foran was a standout again for the Warriors as they eased past Parramatta while former test skipper Simon Mannering was terrific on both sides of the ball.
There were a few contenders this week - the Broncos and Raiders showed their title credentials after tough early season schedules while the Sharks impressed in the wet against the Storm and the Dragons continued their stunning start to the season.
But the best performance had to be the Wests Tigers knocking over the Cowboys in Townsville. In a week in which Ivan Cleary was finally appointed as head coach and star playmaker Mitchell Moses announced he will join the Eels next season the Tigers got their act together and beat one of the competition heavyweights.
The test will be producing that type of performance consistently but it was clearly the best performance of the weekend.
Raiders and Kiwi winger Jordan Rapana is in a rich vein of form. He scored another three tries on the end of the exciting Raiders back-line, made three line breaks and ran for a stunning 234 metres. Having claimed the Dally M Winger of the Year award last season Rapana has opened 2017 in ever better form and will be a certainty to play for the Kiwis in the mid-year test.
The sight of Cowboys halfback Johnathan Thurston limping off the park late in his side's loss to the Tigers will be of huge concern to Cowboys, Queensland and Australian fans. The champion halfback rarely shows pain and he looked concerned as he left with a calf injury. The Cowboys are already without co-captain Matt Scott for the season while fullback Lachlan Coote, hooker Jake Granville, winger Antonio Winterstein and centre Justin O'Neill are also sidelined. They can ill-afford to be without Thurston for long.
The NRL had to issue an apology to Brisbane after the Broncos were denied a crucial try at the time to halfback Ben Hunt in their win over the Roosters. Korbin Sims and Anthony Milford combined to put Hunt over under the posts but the on-field referees somehow found a forward pass in the movement. Replays clearly showed a try should have been awarded and the NRL had to tweet an apology. Thankfully the Broncos went on to win the game.
Team of the Week
1.Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Warriors)
2.David Mead (Broncos)
3.Dane Gagai (Knights)
4.Tautau Moga (Broncos)
5.Jordan Rapana (Raiders)
6.Cody Walker (Rabbitohs)
7.Adam Reynolds (Rabbitohs)
8.Junior Paulo (Raiders)
9.Andrew McCullough (Broncos)
10.James Graham (Bulldogs)
11.Elliott Whitehead (Raiders)
12.Matt Gillett (Broncos)
13.Jason Taumalolo (Cowboys)
14.Paul Vaughan (Dragons)
15.Simon Mannering (Warriors)
16.Gareth Widdop (Dragons)
17.Kieran Foran (Warriors)
8.Sea Eagles (-2)