The NRL News Power Rankings have been thrown into disarray with Melbourne now playing for zero points.
However, we simply cannot write-off the Storm to last position. They were so good against the Warriors, they’re playing for pride and we’re going to give them the respect they deserve.
1. Storm – Pumped on emotion, playing for pride – can they keep it up? No reason why they cannot continue to play with total freedom – if desire remains, they could tear teams apart.
2. Dragons – The new public enemy number 1 after the Storm have been toppled from their perch. The Dragons are playing consistently good footy and are solid in most departments. Their only enemy seems to be injury.
3. Panthers – Are surprising manly with their upbeat brand of footy, learning to play with each other and defence is improving weekly. Home crowds on the rise, all looks to be on the up at the foot of the Mountains. The key to their success remains with Frank Pritchard – when he arrives to play, this team wins.
4. Titans – As we’ve said before, they have an ability now to win when they aren’t at their best. Played only average footy, but hung in there. They stuck solid and stole a win from Manly at Brookvale. This side is build a good reputation and has great depth.
5. Sea Eagles – Manly will be crying in their weetbix at the moment, but they did virtually everything right. They held onto the ball for the most part, they just couldn’t convert it into more points. Had they had Brett Stewart on deck, they would have walloped the Titans. Looking OK despite this loss.
6. Roosters – They may have been pipped on Anzac Day, but the Bondi boys are a totally different outfit this year. They toiled hard and we’re far off the pace in this game, they know what they need to do and they will continue to improve each week. Don’t fret Roosters fans.
7. Wests Tigers – Have hit a rough patch after a hot start. Sure, injuries have slowed them somewhat – but in previous years, they’ve had a habit of falling away mid-season. Sheens needs to put a rocket under these guys now and ensure there is no drop in intensity in the coming weeks.
8. Bulldogs – Are back with a bang, turned on a show against the Broncos and will have gained plenty from this game. Ennis and Kimmorley remain key, however Ben Roberts is the weak link in defence and continues to be targeted. Big test against the Eels, but have seemingly turned the corner.
9. Eels – Carbon copy of the Bulldogs, they are building to something now after a horrible start to the season. Justin Poore hasn’t hit top gear and seems to be trying too hard to prove himself – but in the halves, the new combo of Mortimer and Keating looks to have more spark with the ball.
10. Souths – Remain frustratingly inconsistent, they have an endless array of talent but it seems to be simple errors that are killing them. Halves Sutton and Sandow still need to assertion in attack, however Issac Luke can help them out here by taking more responsibility.
11. NZ Warriors – Were always going to face a tough ask against a Melbourne Storm outfit that was going to punish whoever was put in front of them. They need to forget about this game and simply move on to next week. They have a good squad of players and up until now, have been going along OK.
12. Canberra Raiders – I feel for David Furner. I just don’t know what is missing at the Radiers. They have an exciting bunch of players, they can hurt almost any team from anywhere – but they just cant seem to close out a game when they are in the clutch. Seemingly stole defeat from jaws of victory this week against the Bunnies.
13. Broncos – Have improved in the past few weeks, it seems to be on the back of Folau returning. What concerns my about the Broncos is that Darren Lockyer seems in second gear these days. With respect, he has been one of the greats – but he has just slowed a little and the side cannot rely on him as much as they once could. Still a long road ahead for this mob.
14. Knights – Are lucky to secure 13th spot on the Power Rankings, they were extremely poor against the lowly ranked Sharks. What would be more of a worry for Rick Stone would be the non-existent desire. There was no passion, there was nothing. Even with Gidley on board, this side looked lost. Real worries here.
15. Sharks – Miracles do happen, the Sharks managed to find some attack when up against an out of sorts Newcastle. Naturally, they’d be looking to build on this and score back to back wins, but a game against the Dragons looks like a massive task away from home.
16. Cowboys – Its time to hit the panic button up North. The Cowboys lost to the Eels who haven’t won at Dairy Farmers since 2000. Thurston looked underdone, they’ve got Bowen on the sidelines – they need full thrust right away. Things haven’t been right up there since Murray was ousted. The problem obviously wasn’t Graham Murray – maybe its time for a serious clean out. However, Willie Mason remains in quality form.