After a round of tight affairs and upsets, team changes are looming likely following a slew of suspensions, returnees and injuries set to considerably boost or cripple a number of sides.
The Dolphins are undefeated and Parramatta winless, just two of a number of surprising standings heading into Round 3, while we're finally set to witness a long-touted positional switch.
It's a round of rivalries as the Sea Eagles host Parramatta, rugby league's oldest feud in South Sydney against the Roosters, while Wayne returns to Newcastle with a top four Dolphins outfit.
Five players are set to be suspended from the round, opening the door for fringe first-graders to get an opportunity, while a select few are set to return from injury and celebrate a belated start to the season.
Manly Sea Eagles vs Parramatta Eels
Manly Sea Eagles
After a pre-season calf injury saw him miss Manly's opening game, Josh Schuster looks set to be named at five-eighth, finally making the long-awaited switch from the second-row to halves following Kieran Foran's departure.
Cooper Johns will be bumped from the starting side, but could still find himself on the bench in place Kaeo Weekes. Sean Keppie was named at lock last start but was demoted to the bench before kick-off in a switch with Josh Aloiai, which may happen again this weekend.
Parramatta has slowly regathered its troops, however, the only name on their roster set to return this weekend is Nathan Brown, who is currently packing his bags ahead of an immediate move to Bondi.
Once again, Brad Arthur named a bench of four hulking forwards, and once again he left one of them on the sideline for the game's entirety. They're lacking mobility, with Ryan Matterson still a week away, meaning they'll need their middles to stand tall to muzzle an explosive Manly pack.
Newcastle Knights vs The Dolphins
Easily the most decimated side coming out of the last round, a gutsy Newcastle outfit pulled off a monumental 14-12 victory at a heavy cost. Both Kalyn Ponga and Jayden Brailey suffered concussions in the opening 15 minutes and didn't return, while Tyson Frizell suffered an ankle injury.
Jacob Saifiti has been handed a five-week suspension provided he takes the early guilty plea after a monster hit on Jake Simpkin, while both Adam Elliott (groin) and Kurt Mann (calf) are set to miss 4-6 weeks. Jack Johns also suffered a minor ankle injury.
Expect Tyson Gamble and Phoenix Crossland to start in the spine, while Mat Croker comes into the front-row rotation for Saifiti, and Brodie Jones is called up for Frizell's edge.
Adam Clune will likely snatch the No. 14 jersey. Options are thin for the bench, provided the NRL grants the club an exemption, watch for names like Toni Tupouniua, Ben Talty and Thomas Cant to make their NRL debuts.
It's a fairly settled Dolphins' outfit in comparison to the Knights, with Wayne Bennett sure to be sky-high when he rides into Newcastle, one of his many old stomping grounds.
Jeremy Marshall-King has taken an early guilty plea following dangerous contact on Corey Horsburgh, opening the door for Kodi Nikorima to make his club debut. Kurt Donoghoe is the current bench utility and may start, with Nikorima joining the bench.
Sydney Roosters vs South Sydney Rabbitohs
Joseph Suaalii escaped the 20-12 win over the Warriors with just a fine for his shot on Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, meaning the Samoan international is free to face his former club.
The news isn't as positive for Brandon Smith, but not entirely grim either. The hooker lasted just 27 minutes before succumbing to a back complaint, and could well be rested this weekend. That would open the door for Jake Turpin to start, with Siua Wong the likely bench inclusion, unless Nathan Brown is announced prior to 4pm AEDT Tuesday.
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves is close to returning from his own back issue and is expected to be named in the 22-man squad, while Victor Radley will return from concussion.
The Rabbitohs could have some troops back on deck after fielding a bare-bones forward pack against the Penrith Panthers last weekend.
Missing five forwards from their full-strength 17, the Rabbitohs could gain as many as three back in Tevita Tatola, Jai Arrow and Hame Sele. Arrow is the most unlikely of the trio after suffering a minor hamstring strain in Round 1.
Tatola and Sele's inclusion would likely see Daniel Suluka-Fifita and Jed Cartwright drop out of the pack.
Izaac Thompson had four handling errors last weekend and could be axed from the side, opening the door for the returning Taane Milne, or rookie outside backs Terrell Kalo Kalo and Josiah Karapani.
Gold Coast Titans vs Melbourne Storm
The Titans got through their loss to St George Illawarra relatively unscathed, outside of a knock to 50th-game try-scorer Sam Verrills, who seemingly hurt his shoulder during the contest.
His absence would promote Chris Randall to the starting side at hooker.
Brian Kelly returns from suspension, and could potentially knock Phillip Sami out of the side at left centre. Despite scoring the opening try, Alofiana Khan-Pereira struggled at times, which could also open the door for Sami to shift wider.
Right as their players slowly start to return to the side, they lose another key star in the process.
Nelson Asofa-Solomona may be sidelined until Magic Round after copping a knee injury in the loss to Canterbury, ruling the big man out for 6-8 weeks.
Tariq Sims and Tom Eisenhuth are shaping as big inclusions to the side, replacing NAS and Kane Bradley in the side.
Xavier Coates is expected to start on the left wing in lieu of Grant Anderson after overcoming a shoulder injury.
North Queensland Cowboys vs New Zealand Warriors
The Cowboys have lost both Scott Drinkwater and Peta Hiku to suspension, opening the door for two former Newcastle Knights' outside backs to slot into the side.
Drinkwater's ban will likely see Valentine Holmes return to fullback, and promote Brendan Elliott to centre after starting the first two games of the season as the 18th man.
Gehamat Shibasaki is the front-runner for Hiku's right centre role, however, if Todd Payten opts to leave Holmes at centre, Elliott will fill in on the right, and Tom Chester will play fullback.
While they didn't earn an upset, the Warriors were one of the bigger surprise packets of the round, leaving it unlikely for Andrew Webster to make bulk changes to his 17.
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and Jackson Ford both failed HIAs during the contest, however, the club will be in safe hands if either or both are ruled out.
Ford's exclusion would see Mitch Barnett shift to an edge and bring Jazz Tevaga into the 17 as part of the middle rotation, while Nicoll-Klokstad's absence would see Te Maire Martin shift to fullback, and welcome Ronald Volkman back to first-grade.
Brisbane Broncos vs St George Illawarra Dragons
Arguably the form team of the competition, Kevin Walters won't be making more than a singular change to Brisbane's line-up for this weekend.
Corey Oates broke his jaw against the Cowboys courtesy of a Scott Drinkwater shoulder charge, leaving the Queensland Maroons flanker sidelined until at least Round 8.
Jesse Arthars, who entered the game as the 18th man last round after Oates went off, is almost certain to snatch the vacancy on the wing, although Deine Mariner, Delouise Hoeter and Jordan Pereira will also put their hands up.
After starting the season 1-0, it's doubtful that 'Hook' hooks many members of the winning 17, although Jack de Belin's likely return to full fitness could see Josh Kerr pushed out of the team.
Rookie forward Toby Couchman copped a head knock and will be monitored, while Talatau Amone is unlikely to feature after Jayden Sullivan got off to a winning start.
Canterbury Bulldogs vs Wests Tigers
Canterbury pulled off arguably the second-best upset of the season against Melbourne, and will look to continue their winning ways with a stable squad.
Jacob Preston was a late inclusion in the starting side last round, playing on the right edge with Raymond Faitala-Mariner moving into lock, and Fa'amanu Brown on the pine.
Whether Cameron Ciraldo names Preston on the bench again or in the starting side, the back-rower will start against the Wests Tigers regardless of whether he wears jersey No. 12 or No. 17.
Jake Simpkin is looking doubtful after copping a nasty head knock late in the game, resulting in Jacob Saifiti being sent from the field. Tommy Talau also failed his HIA, but is looking likely to line up.
Ken Maumalo is close to returning from injury and could replace Charlie Staines on the left wing, while Shawn Blore is set to come back from a nasty concussion suffered in Round 1, and could come in for Isaiah Papalii, who's facing a one-week suspension.
John Bateman remains an outside chance as he continues to acclimatise.
Canberra Raiders vs Cronulla Sharks
Ata Mariota will drop out of the side after breaking his hand against the Dolphins, and will sit out at least the next month.
Josh Papalii is close to returning from his calf injury, which would push Pasami Saulo to the bench and accommodate the loss of Mariota.
Sebastian Kris made some key errors at fullback last round, and could lead to a Raiders reshuffle with Kris in the centres, Harley Smith-Shields to the wing and Albert Hopoate to fullback.
Nicho Hynes appears set to sit out again with fears he might not return until after Cronulla's Round 6 bye.
They can afford to take their time thanks to the form of Braydon Trindall, who led the Sharks to their first win of the season against Parramatta on the weekend, and has arguably done enough to earn the bench utility role when Hynes returns.
Jack Williams missed the Eels clash after a Round 1 concussion, however, with the middle forward set to return this weekend, Connor Tracey appears the unlucky man to miss out against Canberra.