South Sydney has claimed bragging rights against arch rivals the Roosters following a 26-16 victory at Stadium Australia.
Earlier, St George Illawarra recorded consecutive wins with a convincing 38-12 triumph over Manly in Wollongong.
Look back at how Friday night’s matches unfolded in our ScoreCentre.
South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Sydney Roosters
Dragons add to Manly’s woes
Off-contract St George Illawarra half Corey Norman has produced his best performance in recent memory to pile further pain on Manly.
Just days after admitting he was facing one of the most important years of his career, Norman had a role in three of the Dragons’ four tries.
It helped the Saints move into the NRL’s top eight for the first time since April 2019, after they started the season as early wooden spoon favourites.
The Sea Eagles could well be in the running for the race to avoid bottom spot, with their 0-3 record their worst start to a season in 12 years.
But while the Sea Eagles struggled, Norman starred.
The five-eighth helped Zac Lomax open the scoring with a cross-field kick for the high-leaping centre, then put Tariq Sims through a hole in the lead-up to the Dragons’ second try before the second rower found Matt Dufty back inside to cross the stripe.
The 30-year-old then iced the match with a nice inside ball for Dufty to cross with 12 minutes to play and put the result beyond doubt.
He should have had another assist to go with his four tackle busts when he broke free from inside his own half, only for Dufty to drop the pass with the line open.
Norman spoke this week about playing for a contract for the first time in his career, with talks yet to begin on a new deal.
The former Brisbane and Parramatta playmaker arrived at the club on an $800,000 deal in 2019, but is almost certain to face a pay cut if he stays.
The only concern for the Dragons was an apparent calf injury to Ben Hunt, but by the time he was put on ice he had already set up two tries and the Dragons led by 26 points.
After starring last week in Townsville, Hunt laid on a brilliant face ball for Jack Bird late in the first half, allowing Cody Ramsey to capitalise on the left wing.
He then helped Lomax bag a double when he grubbered for him late and Manly made a mess of claiming the ball.
Paul Vaughan also had a strong night up front with 160 run metres, while Lomax finished with an equal-club record 22 points.
In contrast, the Sea Eagles are in disarray and must face Penrith next week.
Their only tries against the Dragons came through Reuben Garrick and Daly Cherry-Evans.