Round 6 has come to a close, but apart from the consistent Dragons, little has settled amongst the NRL teams – with again, a fairly even competition.
1. Dragons – Bennetts machine might not always be sexy, but they are super consistent and deserve their place atop the rankings.
2. Panthers – The big movers this week are the Panthers, they are achieving consistency and find themselves right up the ladder. A strong away win against the Warriors.
3. Manly – The Sea Eagles after a shaky start have really snuck up the leaderboard. Beating the Storm in Melbourne heartland is a good effort. The young halves pairing of Foran and Hodkinson is really proving the doubters wrong (including this scribe). Perry hitting good form as is Watmough. Don’t write them off just yet.
4. Titans – Just edge out the Roosters, everyone knows their potential. They have a fortress at Robina and talent to burn. But it all goes to waste with Scott Prince on the sidelines. Salary cap probe a worry too.
5. Tigers – Might have lost, but their defence effort with limited personnel was highly impressive. If they can maintain that defence and continue their well-respected attack – the Tigers can go Top 4.
6. Storm – Hit a few speedbumps in the past fortnight. The injury to Greg Inglis will also give them a case of the hiccups. Missing the bulletproof forward pack they once had. Keep an eye on the Storm in the next few weeks, they won’t want to drop off the pace – but they just might.
7. Roosters – Jury still out on the new Roosters. Have boast some firepower in attack, but are yet to achieve harmony. Ryles still looks to be a liability in the forwards and stocks are low. But any time with Carney, Mini, Braith and Pearce is a chance to win. Not to mention the nous of Brian Smith.
8. Warriors – Split decision between the men from NZ and the Bunnies for 7th spot. The Kiwis will write this off as a bad hair day, but have otherwise been surprise packets. Don’t hit the alarm just yet – these guys have the squad.
9. South Sydney – Lucky to be so high in the Power Rankings. They have virtually played the Eels back into form, gave away tonnes of ball and capitulated in their match. Lang should sack Wesser after this one and they’ll be keen to get Asotasi and Crocker back on deck ASAP.
10. Knights – On the back of Gidleys return, they have flexed some muscle. The appearance alone of Gids helped his teammates no end. Admittedly played an out of sorts Cowboys – but this will be a building block for this mob.
11. Bulldogs – Have got themselves out of the media spotlight with a rusty, but much needed win. Bombed several chances, but they managed to get the chocolates. The Dogs with a few wins under their belt will be a different team, expect to see them rise from here.
12. Eels – Much like the Dogs, they have managed to get the media and monkeys off their back. Wasn’t super flashy and they’ll want to forget the first half, but signs of 2009 were there. Good support play and a pumped up Timana Tahu. Face the Cowboys away next week.
13. Broncos – Back with a bang. Israel returns and it all happens. Took their anger out on the Sharks and it has done them the world of good. Lockyer is looking tired, but a win like this makes it seem worth it. Big ask this week, facing the resurgent Dogs in Sydney.
14. Raiders – The Green Machine crashed back to earth after their good away win against the Eels. Has been impossible for this team to win consistently away from home. Young backline is either diamonds or stones for these guys. Need Campese to take more control.
15. Cowboys – Were pretty bad, only saved by the hapless Sharks. Their pack is in disarray, expect to see plenty of changes this week. Hard to see these guys punching their way out of things with Thurston, O’Donnell and Payne on the sidelines.
16. Cronulla – It hurts to keep writing bad things about this lot, but they keep playing like busted bums. Critics talk about their lack of quality in the squad, but with hardworking props like Snowden and Douglas and playmakers like Barrett and Tupou, there really shouldn’t be excuses. Ricky on the ropes.