Melbourne Storm lost Jesse Bromwich to a gruesome thumb injury as they started their NRL season with a 12-6 win at Canterbury Bulldogs before Wests Tigers outclassed South Sydney Rabbitohs on Friday.
New Zealand captain Bromwich suffered a dislocated thumb, with bone breaching his skin, in the 10th minute of a game played in torrential rain at Belmore Sports Ground.
Storm coach Craig Bellamy said the prop could be out for "a fair few weeks", which is a big early-season blow with Tohu Harris (foot) out and Kevin Proctor having moved on.
Last year's runners-up were not to be denied a winning start, though, after early tries from Cheyse Blair and Suliasi Vunivalu as well as four points from the boot of Cameron Smith put them 12-0 up after 24 minutes.
Josh Reynolds' converted try just before the half-hour mark got the Bulldogs back in it, but there was no score in the second half.
Will Chambers and Sam Kasiano were sent to the sin bin after punches were thrown in a first-half melee, while Cameron Munster was placed on report for tripping after the break in a fiery contest which was played in testing conditions.
James Tedesco inspired Wests to a 34-18 win at ANZ Stadium despite a hat-trick from Bryson Goodwin as Robbie Farah endured a miserable NRL debut for the Bunnies against his former club.
Greg Inglis also picked up a knee injury for a Rabbitohs side that was tormented by Tedesco, who scored one of Wests' six tries and set up another three in an outstanding display.