WHAT HAPPENED IN ROUND 3 OF THE NRL:
*QUOTE OF THE ROUND: “When Junior (Mitchell Pearce) went I thought, ‘OK we’ve got Connor (Watson) there’. I was thinking I’m the smartest coach in the world having two nines and that’s going to help, but then Connor went two minutes later,” said Knights coach Adam O’Brien after his side’s 14-14 draw with Penrith on Sunday despite losing two playmakers in the first 10 minutes.
* STAT THAT MATTERS: The Warriors achieved the most unlikely of records on Saturday, completing 45 of 47 sets – the most of any team in NRL history according to Fox Sports Lab. Remarkably, they completed 45 of 45 before fading late in the match against St George Illawarra.
* MAGIC MOMENT: Joseph Tapine’s incredible try-saving tackle on Melbourne centre Justin Olam late in the game helped seal Canberra’s third-straight win over Storm. The Raiders are now unbeaten from their opening three games for the first time since 2005.
* TALKING POINT: It’s become a talking point only because nobody was talking about it but the decision to revert to one referee has – for the time being – been hailed a success. In addition with the six-again rule games have flowed, attacking footy has been promoted and decisions of officials are not being forensically analysed.
* MAN OF ROUND: English halfback George Williams showed he was up to the NRL task in his third game, pulling the strings as the Raiders man-handled Melbourne in their own backyard on Saturday. The No.7 showed off his running and passing game with two cool first-half try assists before revealing his tenacious streak with some crucial defensive play to shut out any Storm revival.
* JUDICIARY WATCH: Roosters – Victor Radley (dangerous throw); Broncos – Kotoni Staggs (high tackle); Warriors – Agnatius Paasi (dangerous contact); Storm – Nelson Asofa-Solomona (dangerous contact).
* CASUALTY WARD: Broncos – Alex Glenn (calf); Sharks – Chad Townsend (hamstring), Andrew Fifita (knee); Dragons – Ben Hunt (cork); Warriors – Peta Hiku (ribs); Knights – Mitchell Pearce (concussion), Connor Watson (ankle).
* UNDER PRESSURE: Dragons coach Paul McGregor was feeling the heat before the season started, and after losing the opening three games for their worst start in seven years the temperature is being cranked up even further.