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Test skipper Cameron Smith celebrated his 250th National Rugby League game by leading the Melbourne Storm to a crushing 38-6 win over Cronulla on Sunday.
Backing up from Queensland's State of Origin 14-6 loss to NSW in midweek, Smith was one of the stars in his milestone game as the defending champions wrapped up the match by half-time with five unanswered tries for a 28-0 lead.
Queensland Origin teammate, Cooper Cronk, was instrumental, with a hand in each of those tries as the Storm climbed to second spot, one point behind competition leaders South Sydney.
The Sydney Roosters are third after a 38-24 win over Parramatta.
Parramatta's woes of hitting rock bottom were compounded by a hamstring injury to their NSW fullback Jarryd Hayne, who is in doubt for the second State of Origin game against Queensland.
The New Zealand Warriors showed character that has been lacking this season when they came back from a 12-0 deficit to topple the fourth-placed Sea Eagles 18-16 in Auckland on Sunday.
It was a much tighter match than their 56-18 thrashing of a weakened Broncos team last Monday, but coach Matthew Elliott said it was more important given the challenge Manly posed.
Canterbury heaped further pressure on the coaching tenure of North Queensland boss Neil Henry, coming from behind for a 36-26 victory over the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville.
It was the Cowboys' fifth straight NRL loss and they fell away after leading 20-12 with 30 minutes remaining.
Fullback Josh Dugan starred in St George Illawarra's upset 14-8 win over Newcastle in just his fourth game for the Dragons after being sacked by Canberra in March.
The Wests Tigers defied a crippling injury toll to chalk up one of their best ever wins - coming from behind to beat in-form Penrith 20-18 at Penrith on Sunday.
The Tigers, who had a dozen first graders unavailable including skipper Robbie Farah, trailed 18-4 , but held on bravely to see off the Panthers who went into the game on the back of four straight wins.
Canberra Raiders host the Brisbane Broncos in Monday's remaining match, while Souths and Gold Coast had byes this weekend.