Newcastle Knights and Parramatta Eels earned resounding wins as they both made it two victories from two in the NRL on Sunday.
Mitchell Pearce, playing in front of the Leichardt Oval hill renamed in honour of his father Wayne, was influential as the Knights ran out 42-24 winners on the road at West Tigers.
With matches played behind closed doors, eager Tigers fans sat on roofs and scaffolding but saw their side fall to defeat in a 12-try game.
Pearce’s fine solo effort in the 63rd minute gave the Knights breathing space and he then played in Enari Tuala for his second try of the match.
Mitchell Barnett, Kurt Mann, Edrick Lee, Kalyn Ponga and Connor Watson also touched down for the Knights, while David Nofoaluma, Corey Thompson, Josh Reynolds and Luciano Leilua went over for the hosts.
A huge performance from Pearce!
— Newcastle Knights (@NRLKnights) March 22, 2020
The Eels were even more emphatic in their triumph at Gold Coast Titans as seven different players scored in a 46-6 hammering.
The luckless Titans were not helped by injuries to Dale Copley (ribs) and Tyrone Roberts (ankle), with Brian Kelly also needing a head injury assessment, but a series of errors proved their undoing.
Mitchell Moses was in fine form for the Eels – who top the infant NRL table ahead of the Knights – and scored the visitors’ opening try before Reed Mahoney dotted down and Copley replied for the Titans in a breathless opening 15 minutes.
The floodgates opened after the break, though, Dylan Brown crossing twice and Kane Evans, Maika Sivo and Peni Terepo all scoring for the Eels, while Moses ended with a personal points haul of 22.