NRL Round 2 Recap: Title Contenders Back on Track, and That Storm Try

Bren Gray.png
Bren Gray
NRL Round 2 Recap: Title Contenders Back on Track, and That Storm Try

Two rounds of NRL have taken place so far this year, and there’s plenty to talk about already. Title contenders the Brisbane Broncos and Penrith Panthers got their campaigns on track, while the St. George-Illawarra Dragons returned to their old ways too. The Melbourne Storm scored a ripping try, and plenty of controversy went down as well.

We break down all the big talking points from NRL round two, looking at the good, the bad and the ugly of the competition’s second round.

News Insights

  • Panthers and Broncos get campaigns back on track.
  • Dragons get thumped by Dolphins.
  • Latrell Mitchell gives an expletive-laden interview, and referees get pushed.

The Good: Big Names Win, Plus That Storm Try

A degree of normality has returned to the NRL this round, with both the Broncos and Panthers returning to their winning way in round two.

Brisbane and Penrith were picked as the two sides most likely to make the Grand Final at betting sites around the country heading into this year’s competition. When both lost their opening matches, question marks hovered over the oddsmakers’ predictions. Turns out, they knew what they were doing.

The Broncos scraped out a relatively ugly win over an error laden Rabbitohs side, winning 28-18. It was a match they controlled from the get-go, but it did bring some concerns with star Adam Reynolds limping off in the second half. Penrith also bagged a tight victory, winning 26-18 against the Eels after trailing 18-16 against the side they’ve failed to beat in regular season since 2021.

Perhaps the most spectacular feat of round two was the Melbourne Storm’s match-winning try-of-the-century against the New Zealand Warriors on Saturday night. Down 26-24 with less than a minute left on the clock, Melbourne launched a last gasp attack. The culmination was Xavier Coates dotting the ball down while fully vertical, over the sideline, and having propelled himself from several meters out. Heartbreak for the Warriors, but what a way to go.

The Bad: Dragons Return to Their Woeful Ways

Round one of the NRL gave Dragons fans false hope that their side, who finished 16th in 2023, may be turning a corner. Bad news: that was a lie. 

Facing off against a Dolphins side that lost 43-18 in their opening match and coming to Kayo Stadium off the back of a 28-4 victory, confidence was high for St. George-Illawarra. That all came crashing down when Redcliffe put on an absolute clinic, dispatching the visitors 38-0 on Sunday afternoon.

There’s little else to say, other than some serious change is needed if the Dragons are to avoid a repeat of 2023. Sure, the Dolphins were improved, but bottom line, this was a very bad performance by St. George-Illawarra just two rounds into the competition.

The Ugly: Swear Words and Referee Pushes

There was plenty of ugliness in round two of the NRL as well. Following the Rabbitoh’s loss to Brisbane on Thursday night, South Sydney fullback Latrell Mitchell let loose in his post-match interview with an expletive-laden tirade.

The Rabbitoh’s player used no less than five swear words live on-air after the defeat, at one stage saying, “I don’t care if I’m swearing, boys.” The interview was ultimately cut short as a result. In the aftermath, things have been equally as ugly, with Mitchell refusing to apologise, and the NRL failing to sanction him. Commentators and pundits have been split, with some supporting his candour, and others deriding it.

Add to this the pushing of referees in round two, and it was an ugly weekend. Jahrome Hughes has been suspended for a week after shoving referee Chris Butler to the ground when attempting to tackle a Warriors’ player on Saturday night. While the umpire was in the way, it’s been ruled that contact with referees is never appropriate.

Round two of the NRL saw plenty of action go down. The Broncos and Panthers are back on top, while the Storm stunned with a brilliant try. St. George-Illawarra are terrible again, and there’s been a bunch of controversy in the form of swear words and referee pushes.