‘The Grubber gives NRL News readers all his notes from the weekends games. The Bulldogs shoot to the top of the Grubbers ‘Power Rankings NRL Ladder’ and are hitting form at the right time. The same goes for the Broncos, as their nursery was let loose in Penrith – routing the hapless Panthers. This is how the NRL Power Rankings Table looks after Round 16, NRL 2007:

1. Bulldogs: Were simply awesome against the Roosters and were led ably by SBW and a resurgent Brent Sherwin. Will take some stopping in the coming weeks and a top 4 four finish is well within their grasp. Power score 8.5/10, Odds that anyone other than Willie Mason attacked Blues Coach Graham Murray in the media: 1000-1 .

2. Brisbane Broncos: Looking the team most likely to able to post a big score. Have done well to survive and thrive during the Origin period and have well and truly recovered from a terrible start to the season. Power score: 8/10, Odds of Seventycentsalitre ever turning down another $300,000 contract: 100-1.

3. Wests Tigers: Really turned up against recent rivals Canberra and through good go forward and some enterprising half play they came away with the win. Power score: 7.5/10, Number of punters who would have backed the “Draw at 80 minutes” option in this game: Heaps.

4. South Sydney Rabbitohs: Came back strongly in the second half to overcome horrible ref decisions. Probably one of their better wins of the season despite the Origin devastated opposition. Should draw much confidence from recent performances. Power score: 7/10, Odds of Jeremy Smith retaining his number 7 jersey next year: 300-1.

5. New Zealand Warriors: Continued their streak with a patchy performance against very weak opposition. Still need to make better use of their quality second-phase play. Power score: 7/10, Odds that Mark Geyer will use the late appearance of the Warriors at the Gold Coast game as another reason to try and have them kicked out of the NRL: 2-1.

6. Canberra Raiders:
Reasonably unlucky for the second week in a row. Have made a habit of winning these tight ones in recent years and so will hope that the last two losses aren’t enough to keep them out of the 8. Power score: 6.5/10, Odds of snow falling during a Canberra home game this year: 2-1.

7. Manly Sea Eagles: Continued their mid-season slide against the Dragons and will need a solid win this weekend to convince supporters that they are the real deal this year. Must consider replacing Monaghan with Ballin in order to give Orford more freedom and control. Power score: 6.5/10, Number of commentators who managed to correctly pronounce the names of the Manly side last weekend: 0.
8. St George-Illawarra Dragons: Youngsters really stepped up against Manly and commitment and desperation got them them the win. Creagh is one of the three best players in the NRL right now. Power score: 6/10, Odds that the Roosters would take back Soward right now if they could: 2-1.
9. Gold Coast Titans: Praise and expectation finally caught up with them and they were woeful in defeat against a shaky Warriors side. Will do better when flying under the radar. Power score: 6/10, Odds of Preston Campbell putting in another display like that any time soon: 20-1.

10. Newcastle Knights: Scoreline probably flattered them against Souths. Were short of their three best players however and will hope that this weekend beings a solid 80 minute performance. Power score: 6/10, Number of exotic try celebrations to be performed again by Adam "Needles" McDougall again this year: 0.

Sydney City Roosters: Were mere bowling pins to be scattered in the wake of the SBW wrecking ball performance. Will rate themselves a good chance against Manly this weekend though if they can improve ruck area play. Power score: 5.5/10, Likelihood of Nick Politis taking over the coaching role himself this year: 3-1

12. Penrith Panthers: Were made to look ordinary against Bennett’s Babes and key off field issues have clearly take their toll on the Panthers. Capable of far more than they are producing. Power score: 4/10, Odds of Matt Elliot and Craig Gower lasting out the season: 1000 -1.

Bye Teams:

Melbourne Storm: Will be torn between on the one hand wanting to continue momentum and their winning ways and on the other getting a possible slump well out of the way before the finals. Seem to possess the mental fortitude this year to win the competition but Brisbane and Canterbury loom as threats.

Parramatta Eels: Remain on track for a top 4 finish and should back themselves to grab the number 2 spot ahead of Manly.

North Queensland Cowboys: Haven’t quite put it together yet, however any side with Thurston and Bowen is capable of doing some damage. Will look to cement their tough at home reputation so as to fight for a top 4 spot.

Cronulla Sharks: Still struggling to put points on the board. Halves combination doesn’t seem the answer for them right now and depending on the performance of the Kimmorley-Bird duo may wish to try their luck with that pairing in place of the UK-bound Dykes.

Yours in League,

The Grubber

(NRL News would like to thank ‘The Grubber’ for his continued sideline eye, bringing all of us the NRL Power Rankings Table / Ladder – see if you can guess which team The Grubber supports? Email NRLfeedback@gmail.com)

By ricky

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