Can favourites bounce back at NRL Nines?
THE first day of the 2020 NRL Nines delivered upsets galore, veterans turning back the clock and a scorching display by the new fastest man in the game.
Former Newcastle fullback Kurt Gidley wound back the clock with a slick performance in searing heat on in Perth at HBF Park.
Sweating through 40C weather in the peak of the afternoon, the 37-year-old former Australia and NSW star slotted into the Knights side beautifully with two try assists as they soared to a 34-0 win over the Warriors.
Meanwhile $6 TAB tournament favourites Parramatta have one knee on the canvas ahead of Saturday's elimination matches after suffering a 13-10 loss to pool rivals and rank outsiders Canterbury.
Also facing a sudden and surprising exit from the kick-and-giggle format are several sides many thought would thrive at the Nines including second-favourites Cronulla, the usually damaging Warriors, Broncos and fourth favourites the Rabbitohs.
The Cowboys have unearthed another teenage sensation in Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow.
The 18-year-old Australian Schoolboys star torched the Broncos with his pace in the Cowboys' crucial 17-14 pool win.
With nothing happening, Scott Drinkwater kicked on his 30m line and the "Hammer" took off, scorching past Broncos defenders before winning the race to the ball to plunge the dagger into the Cowboys' arch rivals.
RESULTS FROM DAY ONE OF THE NRL NINES:
Panthers 35 - Roosters 0
Knights 34 - Warriors 0
Bulldogs 13 - Eels 10
Dragons 27 - Sharks 5
Titans 27 - Raiders 10
Wests Tigers 17 - Rabbitohs 8
Cowboys 17 - Broncos 11
Sea Eagles 18 - Storm 4
Broncos 13 - Dragons 6
Warriors 13 - Roosters 8