NRL News presents ‘The Grubber Report’. This week the Grubber braved the rain around the grounds, to bring us his expert insight into how your team is travelling. Melbourne and Manly remain comfortably atop the NRL Power Rankings ladder, however the big movers are the Brisbane Broncos as they accounted for the hapless Dogs.
1. Melbourne Storm: Surely their capture of back to back minor premierships is now a mere formality. Will be sweating on Cronk’s injury however to ensure that momentum is not lost in the coming weeks. Power score: 9/10, Number of times Ryan Hoffman is likely to kick again this year: Once, maybe twice (if he gets caught with the ball on the fifth).
2. Manly Sea Eagles: Got the job done in the wet against Souths and showed great commitment to back up from the bye and Origin. Still suffering from injuries and face a real test against desperate Bulldogs on Friday night at the Fortress. Power score: 8/10, Number of times ground announcer Grant Goldman said “Beeeaaaver” on Friday night: 917.
3. Brisbane Broncos: Origin stars showed great class to outmuscle and out skill the Bulldogs. Will be dangerous if they can put some form together prior to getting over the Origin hump. Power score: 7.5/10, Odds of Broncos somehow (again) defying the salary cap and managing to keep Seventycentsalitre 2-1.
4. Parramatta Eels: Did enough to beat St George-Illawarra, but poor execution cost them several scoring opportunities. Seem to be warming up to another dominating effort however Tim Smith needs to challenge the line if they are to be a premiership threat. Power score: 7.5/10, Brain explosions by Nathan Hindmarsh last Sunday: 15.
5. Wests Tigers: Couldn’t control the ball when it counted on Sunday and accordingly went down to gallant Gold Coast side. Missing Hodgson and will eagerly await his return. Power score: 7.5/10, Odds of Wests Tigers management experimenting with any more Russian players: 100-1.
6. Gold Coast Titans: Scored probably the greatest victory in the history of the franchise with nail-biting win against feeder side the Wests Tigers. Will be at short odds this weekend with return of Preston Campbell. Power score: 7/10, Odds of Richie Mathers returning to the NRL: 50-1.
7. New Zealand Warriors: Finally got it together to beat Cronulla. Still have issues with finishing on the 5th tackle and will be keen to make it two wins in a row. Power score: 7/10, Odds that Mt Smart Stadium crowd will exceed 12,000 in rare Friday night clash: 10-1.
8. Canterbury Bulldogs: Suffering on-field issues as a consequence of off-field drama. Need to bounce back against Manly this Friday (and are well capable of doing so) in order to save their season. Power score 6.5/10, Odds of Manly officials improving “this way to Men’s bathroom” signage in dressing rooms before Friday’s clash: 2-1.
9. Cronulla Sharks: Kimmorley and Dykes struggled to find options in error riddled display against Warriors. Face a test this weekend against resolute Souths defence. Power score: 6.5/10, Number of Sharks fans who travelled to UK on working holiday/”gap” year and brought back English Premier League soccer songs and chants, thereby influencing far-weather Cronulla fan base: 3.
10. Newcastle Knights: May have overcome off-field issues with 80 minute performance against Raiders. Will be concerned with injury to Josh Perry that may leave him grounded in Pasha Bulkar fashion. Power score: 6.5/10, Odds that Danny Buderus will represent anything (other than maybe the Country Origin) side after this season: 100-1.
11. North Queensland Cowboys: Smashed for the second week in a row and fans will be asking if another slide is on the way. Would be expected to bounce back this weekend with Graham Murray back at the helm. Power score: 6/10, Odds that another “sexual misconduct” rumour will start if the Cowboys drop another game: 8-1.
12. Sydney City Roosters: Showed great commitment and patience to snatch last minute victory from the Panthers. Pearce well and truly avenged his sister’s groping at hands of leery Gower. Power score: 6/10, Number of weeks before Ricky Stuart writes an article explaining that Nate Myles is now the new Adrian Morley: 2.
13. Canberra Raiders: Finally turned up ready to play two weeks in a row but lacked poise when required against Newcastle. Back at home this weekend and have a great opportunity put some points on the board against the woefully out of form Cowboys. Power score: 6/10, Odds of Canberra ever luring another representative player to the Nation’s capital: 100-1.
14. South Sydney Rabbitohs: Wasted multiple opportunities on the edges against Manly and never really looked like scoring in the second half. Will take heart from their defensive effort though given sustained Sea Eagles attack. Power score: 5.5/10, Odds that Dean Widders will be encouraged to kick at the end of a set after Friday’s effort: 1000-1.
15. St George-Illawarra Dragons: Put themselves in a position to win against Parramatta but ultimately their halves in Soward and Williams showed themselves unable to deliver the decisive play. Will try yet another halves combination with Williams Penrith bound. Power score: 5/10, Odds that Richie Williams will be sought out by the media for comment before matching up against Dragons: 2-1.
16. Penrith Penrith: Struggled again to mount pressure and are probably the easy beats of the NRL at the midpoint of the season. Must improve handling and offensive execution if they are to avoid the spoon. Power score: 4/10, Odds of Panthers dropping the name “Penrith” and replacing it with “The ill-disciplined”: 230.
Yours in League,