The Panthers proved too strong for the Warriors winning 32-18 in Hamilton with the Tigers beating the Parramatta Eels 41-4 at Campbelltown Stadium and the Roosters downing Manly 20-4 at Gosford.
The Knights also prevailed over the South Sydney Rabbitohs 18-6 in Coffs Harbour with the Cowboys too good for St George Illawarra with a 28-22 victory in Cairns and the Titans then beat the Brisbane Broncos 16-14 in Redcliffe.
NEWCASTLE recruit Jeremy Smith was placed on report for a lifting tackle to take some of the gloss off an otherwise impressive Knights display in the 18-6 NRL trial win over South Sydney in Coffs Harbour.
Knights officials are hopeful the New Zealand Test backrower won't have a case to answer after he was cautioned for his first half hit on Rabbitohs forward David Tyrell.
Smith was part of a full-strength Knights line-up for the opening half at the BCU International Stadium, the highlight of which was a brilliant run from former NSW Origin winger Akuila Uate to set up the only try of the period to Matt Hilder.
The Rabbitohs, who also ran out their big guns with Greg Inglis, Sam Burgess and Adam Reynolds all included, struggled to find the cohesion which propelled their run deep into last year's finals series.
Winger Nathan Merritt went closest to scoring when he lost the ball just short of the tryline in the second quarter, while Inglis only showed brief glimpses of his devastating best.
The Knights ran out a virtual second-string side for the second half, with halfback Tyrone Roberts bagging a double to show he may be worth another run in the top grade after filling in for injured skipper Kurt Gidley for much of last season.
Souths finally got on the board when Apisai Koroisau scored in the final quarter, but Roberts sealed the result with his second just before fulltime.
PENRITH second-rower Lewis Brown returned to New Zealand to play a key role in inflicting a second NRL pre-season defeat on former club the Warriors.
The Panthers showed more cohesion in running out convincing 32-18 winners in Hamilton on Saturday, scoring six tries to four.
The Christchurch-born Brown, who joined the Panthers in the summer after four seasons with the Warriors, scored two tries and had a hand in another.
Teammate Josh Mansour also finished with a brace at Waikato Stadium.
The result made it two wins from two for Penrith, who pipped Wests Tigers in their first trial of the year.
The Warriors have lost both theirs, after they went down to Gold Coast last weekend.
But, after going into Saturday's second half down 22-4, the Warriors did fight back.
Young outside back Ngani Laumape touched down early in the third quarter to reduce the arrears.
That effort was cancelled when Penrith five-eighth Lachlan Coote picked up a loose pass to run 60 metres to score.
But Kevin Locke finished off a big break by Manu Vatuvei and then Glen Fisiiahi scored from an expansive move to make it a 10-point game.
Mansour's second try five minutes from time made it a comfortable scoreline.
PARRAMATTA'S new era under Ricky Stuart melted in the face of a Benji Marshall master class, with the Wests Tigers demolishing last year's wooden spooners 41-4 in an NRL trial match at Campbelltown Stadium.
The Eels looked every bit as disjointed as at their lowest ebb in 2012 and must be wondering how much off-contract star Jarryd Hayne, who was rested, will be able to fix when he returns.
Parramatta, in their first near full-strength hitout under Stuart, were missing just Hayne and back-rowers Ben Smith (knee) and Reni Maitua (suspension), but were completely outclassed by the crisp Tigers.
So thorough was the mauling, Marshall and Tigers captain Robbie Farah were given early showers after giving Parramatta a bath, with new coach Mick Potter dragging them from the field with half an hour to go.
It was also a dream debut for Tigers recruit Braith Anasta, who bagged two of the four tries set up by Marshall's magic.
Anasta, the former Sydney Roosters skipper who left the club in acrimonious circumstances at the end of last year, lined up in the backrow and didn't take long to make an impact.
MANLY will head into the 2013 NRL campaign on the back of two defeats after going down 20-4 to the Sydney Roosters in Saturday's trial match at Gosford.
The Sea Eagles lost to Cronulla the previous weekend and in their final hit out before facing Brisbane in their season opener on March 8, they lost star backrower Anthony Watmough to a rib injury within the first 10 minutes.
Watmough, who underwent neck surgery at the conclusion of last season, looked in real pain as he sat out the remainder of the match as a precaution.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson left out Kiwi superstar Sonny Bill Williams and the newly re-signed Mitchell Pearce but gave debuts to NSW centre Michael Jennings and James Maloney.
Luke O'Donnell is yet to return to Australia after completing his move from Huddersfield on Thursday.
Maloney started the game at halfback with Daniel Mortimer named at five-eighth.
Manly coach Geoff Toovey left out Brett Stewart, Matt Ballin and co-captain Jason King, but named a strong side skippered by Jamie Lyon and including recruits Justin Horo and giant prop Brenton Lawrence.
The Roosters came racing out of the blocks with giant winger Daniel Tupou opening the scoring after four minutes as Manly's right-side defence was cut to shreds.
GOLD Coast held on to beat a fast-finishing Brisbane 16-14 in their NRL pre-season trial at Redcliffe's Dolphins Oval on Saturday night.
Rival coaches John Cartwright (Titans) and Anthony Griffin (Broncos) used their full squads to experiment with combinations ahead of next month's season-opening round.
The Broncos were first on the scoreboard through fullback Josh Hoffman, who beat three Titans in a 30-metre dash to the tryline.
The Titans however led 16-4 at halftime following a slick try to young halfback Albert Kelly, whose left foot step was too good for the defence, while winger David Mead and Brad Takarangi also scored four-pointers.
Mead's try was set up by a clever flick pass offload by giant centre Jamal Idris, who impressed in the opening 40 minutes.
Griffin rotated three halves in Peter Wallace, Scott Prince and Corey Norman, with Wallace spending a lot of time at dummy-half and Prince running the show.
Norman scored an opportunist try early in the second half after a Prince kick rebounded off the padded goalpost before winger Denan Kemp cashed in on a Prince kick to score in the corner to reduce the margin to 16-14, setting up a grandstand finish.
Brisbane utility Jake Granville scrambled across the tryline late in the game but was ruled to have been held up before Kemp was disallowed a second try from a Matt Gillett forward pass.
ROOKIE Michael Morgan looks likely to get the first shot at the North Queensland halfback spot alongside superstar Johnathan Thurston this NRL season after a dominant performance in the Cowboys' last-minute 28-22 trial win over St George Illawarra.
With many of their major playmakers missing, including Thurston, Morgan scored the game's second try and was the standout for the Cowboys at Barlow Park in Cairns.
Locked in a three-way battle with Ray Thompson and Robert Lui for the No.7 jersey, Thompson impressed in North Queensland's run to the finals last year and has begun the new season in form.
In front of a solid crowd of 12,036, the Cowboys put a tumultuous week behind them to snatch the late win, despite missing Kangaroos playmaker Thurston with a hand injury.
English recruit Scott Moore was another who impressed for North Queensland as he looks to fill the vacant hooking spot at Townsville following the requirement of Aaron Payne.
The Cowboys led 18-4 early after tries to ex-Dragons fullback Clint Greenshields, in his first outing for North Queensland, Morgan and Jason Taumalolo were matched by a four-pointer to Chase Stanley for the visitors.
Former representative centre Matt Cooper scored just before halftime to have the Dragons trailing 18-10.
St George Illawarra playmaker Jamie Soward crossed in the 53rd minute and the visitors snatched the lead 22-18 when back-rower Bronson Harrison scored in the final quarter. Before Matt Bowen's teenage nephew Javid scored late to tie the scores at 22-all and Joel Riethmuller crossed for the match winner.