For 79 minutes and 45 seconds, the South Sydney Rabbitohs renaissance was alive. They were clearly the better side and deserved the points.
But the National Rugby League has again proved itself as the closest competition in the world with the Sydney Roosters coming from nowhere to beat the Rabbitohs.
John Sutton stood up. Sam Burgess stood taller. Yet, somehow, the Roosters have the two competition points.
Now, the Rabbitohs will face the Melbourne Storm in round two in a huge clash which will test the mettle of Michael Maguire’s men.
The Rabbitohs can bend, but they must not break next weekend.
The Cronulla Sharks almost stole the points from a scratchy Wests Tigers on Sunday at Leichhardt Oval in a golden-point thriller.
A Benji Marshall field goal in extra time and a horrible refereeing blunder were the only differences between the sides. Now the Sharks find themselves in a similar boat to the Rabbitohs.
Cronulla host Newcastle Knights next weekend which shapes as a crunch match for both teams.
Nobody wants to go 0-2 to start the year. Its ridiculous to think we are already using the term ‘crunch match’ and we’ve just completed week one.
You could add the North Queensland Cowboys to the list of teams looking for a win in round two. But after Saturday night’s performance against Gold Coast in Townsville, simply improving would be a start. The Cowboys were beyond atrocious.
St George Illawarra Dragons and Newcastle Knights kicked off the season on Thursday night. The Knights were solid and the Dragons did enough to win, as they usually seem to do.
Steve Price and Wayne Bennett would be very relaxed with where their teams are at.
We may not know until round three where the Brisbane Broncos are really at.
The Broncos took care of business against a morbid Parramatta outfit on Friday night and will face the Cowboys in round two at Suncorp Stadium. The score could be anything if North Queensland give Brisbane the amount of possession they gave the Titans.
In round three Brisbane travel to Newcastle for a Friday night blockbuster with the Knights. This might just be the Broncos’ first test of the year.
Canberra and Canterbury have found themselves true leaders in Terry Campese and Michael Ennis. Campese’s sheer will to win was clearly evident on Saturday afternoon, showing that the 2012 Raiders won’t take a backward step.
Movers: Sea Eagles, Broncos, Dragons
Losers: Cowboys, Eels, Panthers