Wonderful Warriors shock Broncos, Storm hit the summit
New Zealand Warriors turned on the style to stun Brisbane Broncos with a 36-18 win in Auckland on Saturday.
Although the Broncos came into the Round 13 match at Mt Smart Stadium having lost successive games, Wayne Bennett's men were still heavy favourites against a side that has struggled for form in 2016.
However, an excellent attacking display from the Warriors - inspired by New Zealand half-back Shaun Johnson - ensured the Broncos lost further ground at the top of the ladder.
Johnson dummied over for the Warriors' opening score and laid on the second try for Bodene Thompson before Jacob Lillyman crossed to put the hosts 18-0 up.
Brisbane responded through Alex Glenn before the interval, but David Fusitu'a claimed two second-half tries and there were also touchdowns for Ryan Hoffman and Solomone Kata as the Broncos were well beaten.
Melbourne Storm took over as league leaders courtesy of a 24-6 home victory over Penrith Panthers, which was inspired by Cooper Cronk.
The visitors took the lead through Josh Mansour, but soon found themselves on the back foot as Queensland playmaker Cronk provided try assists for Jesse Bromwich, Kevin Proctor and Ryan Morgan.
Cronk then claimed the game's final four-pointer late on, following superb work from Nelson Asofa-Solomona.
Elsewhere, Ray Thompson scored two tries in his 100th NRL game as reigning premiers North Queensland Cowboys eased past rock-bottom Newcastle Knights 46-16.