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Top 4 NRL Sides Firming

As the 2010 NRL regular season speeds up towards completion, it seems the current Top 4 could potentially be firmed in the finishing positions given their form, byes in hand and run home.

While the St George Illawarra Dragons have all but confirmed a Top 2 finish unless the wheels really fall off.

Bennett’s side has again performed beautifully, they’ve shown great depth during the Origin period and boast quality players in a range of positions as opposed to 1 or 2 strike men.

The Penrith Panthers have been the big surprise packet of 2010. Prior to the season kickoff NRL News feared Penny would again miss the Top 8 cut – but the reinvention of this side has been exciting to watch.

Penrith have always been an impressive attacking team, but they’ve developed more adaptive defensive techniques and since cutting the likes of Luke Priddis, they’ve been much more disciplined.

While some point to the amount of tries they score from kicks, they are running high on energy and are putting themselves in the right positions to get a good result when attacking.

Should remain Top 4.

What about the Wests Tigers? They’ve been in this position before, only to trip over a blade of grass in the final weeks and lose out of the Top 8 all together.

But 2010 looks to be different. Their current roster has not only performed well in recent weeks, but they’ve achieved some amazing feats.

They’ve bounced back from a horrible slump that saw a tonne of pressure on both coach and leading players. This can make or break teams and this year, it seems the furnace has galvanized the Tigers.

This year, Wests have also proved they can win in a grind. They have been able to tuck away their flashy attacking flair and roll the sleeves up.

Finally, they’ve had their fair share of injury woes. This has been tough, but allowed them to develop greater depth and blood some upcoming players. With several players due to return from injury in the back end of the season – the depth will only improve.

Lock them in, it’s Top 4 Tigers.

Lastly, the Gold Coast Titans should sneak into the final Top 4 spot. While their for and against isn’t as good as the teams above them, they do have a bye in hand.

They have the Sea Eagles and Roosters breathing down their necks, but the Titans have shown greater consistency this year and have an ability to win tight games.

Combine this with their fortress home ground and they should have enough in the tank to confirm a Top 4 spot this year.

With their experienced roster, it reads like a virtual who’s who of former and current representative players.

These guys are invaluable in the big games. When the heats on, Prince, Campbell, Rogers, Bird, Laffranchi, Meyers and Harrison have the runs on the board.

These guys are a genuine chance to take the trophy this year.

NRL Power Rankings Round 10

With a full round of games in Round 10, we’re able to get a better view of how teams are performing – how is your NRL traveling in 2010?

1. Dragons – Flexed more muscle against the Bulldogs. Weathered an early onslaught and continue on their merry way. May find it tought during Origin time with stars out.

2. Panthers – Close to the biggest improvers in 2010. Remain high on the ladder and have a flashy attacking flair that worries every other side. Great signs at Penrith.

3. Titans – Went missing this week. Patchy form finally caught up with them. Might be the kick in the bum they needed.

4. Eels – After poor start to 2010, starting to warm-up. Have deflected expectations after stuttering early – could be blessing in disguise for this mob.

5. Souths – Turned on the afterburners against Wests. When they click they are unstoppable. Jury may still be out however.

6. Manly – Realised how much they rely on Foran. Hot heads Matai and Watmough costing in the discipline department. Traveling OK though.

7. Bulldogs – Sitting in 10th on the ladder, but are better than that. Pipped by Dragons, but have improved over early Rounds. Expect them to be right come business end.

8. Roosters – Caught off guard against Knights. Might be some worry in the camp, just can’t find consistency. At least Carney didn’t make Origin – and will help the club cause.

9. Warriors – Like the Roosters, hard to put finger on these guys – pumped a hapless Cowboys side, but need to show more.

10. Broncos – Have proved everyone wrong in the past few weeks. Aren’t out of contention at all, have enough ability to give the finals a shake.

11. Tigers – On the slippery slide. Apparent internal fighting, bad signs at Wests Tigers. Face crunch game on Friday. A must win situation.

12. Knights – Will suffer badly without Gidley on deck, too unstructured it seems to achieve consistency or make the Top 8 this year. Need some miracles.

13. Raiders – Struggling along, being unable to generate wins at home is killing them. Hard to see where it goes wrong – have talent and a strong fortress.

14. Cowboys – Totally in disarray. Is it really worth them resigning JT? Bowen back is a help, but they need more it seems.

15. Cronulla – Are basically seen as a park football side, not offering much. Could kill reputations in coming months.

16. Storm – Need skills in the courts to save their bacon. On field, playing well but for how long?