Billy Slater made a compelling case for a State of Origin recall at AAMI Park on Friday as NRL leaders Melbourne Storm thrashed bottom club Newcastle Knights 40-12.
Slater, who failed to dislodge Darius Boyd as Queensland's full-back for Wednesday's Origin opener that the Maroons lost 28-4, scored two tries and set up another two as the Storm crossed eight times against the beleaguered Knights, restoring their four-point lead at the top of the table.
Friday's clash was brought to life by a sumptuous over-armed pass from Slater to send Josh Addo Carr over, before the full-back then played Felise Kaufusi into a gap in the Knights' defence.
The second half saw Slater up the ante with his first score as he collected Cooper Cronk's grubber kick, before weaving his way through several challengers to double his tally.
Cheyse Blair finished the triumph off in the final minute to send Newcastle to a 10th defeat of the campaign.
Parramatta Eels moved into the top eight with a thrilling 32-24 victory over New Zealand Warriors at ANZ Stadium.
The Eels took control of proceedings as some shabby Warriors defending allowed Kirisome Auva'a and Josh Hoffman to score inside the opening 10 minutes.
Injuries to Kaysa Pritchard and Hoffman forced two changes for the Eels and the Warriors took advantage to pull level.
However, the Eels were able to triumph, Semi Radradra, Tepai Moeroa and Clint Gutherson crossing despite further injuries to David Gower and Auva'a.