Soward's Power Rankings: Warriors come out to play
Another week has gone by and the upsets keep coming. The Warriors and Dragons keep winning, Canberra and Parramatta keep losing, while the Storm have shown they are vulnerable. Check out what NRL.com expert Jamie Soward thinks of your team's form in this week's Power Rankings.
1. St George Illawarra Dragons (1)
The Dragons can't do much more than they've done in the first four rounds and they stay at number one again. They've proven they're the real deal and I wonder after Anzac Day will they still be able to hold up the form they had in the opening month. They have some starch in the middle and I love what Ben Hunt and Gareth Widdop bring each week. They are handling their business.
2. New Zealand Warriors (5)
Just an outstanding start to the season. Can't do any better than 4-0. I love that Blake Green is getting his just desserts as a big-name player who can game manage regardless of who's playing inside him. Even without Shaun Johnson, Mason Lino stood up and it seems like there's a real brotherhood and plan in that team.
3. Wests Tigers (6)
An outstanding win over Parramatta. They dominated for 65 minutes and scored some points off the back of their defence. Their defence continues to hold them in games. They're the most disciplined team over the opening rounds in terms of not giving points away and they really let their hair down in attack on Monday.
4. Melbourne Storm (2)
Their completion rate was poor on Friday night and they looked out of ideas against a stout Sharks defence. They didn't come up with any attacking plan to get past them and were frustrated out of it. They weren't as excited as they were the previous week against the Cowboys. I expect them to be back up the Power Rankings next week.
5. Penrith Panthers (8)
They dropped last week and they've bounced back up the Power Rankings, but I'd like to see some consistent week-to-week performances from them. They had a great win in North Queensland. I was very pleased to see Viliama Kikau included in the starting side. It's something I've been calling for and they should stick with him.
6. Sydney Roosters (3)
Coach Trent Robinson would've been very upset with Saturday's un-Roosters-like performance. They've put two of those together to start the year. They were out-classed and their completion rate was very disappointing. At the moment they're shooting themselves in the foot.
7. North Queensland Cowboys (4)
A disappointing start for the year for the Cowboys. The opening month is not what they would've expected. They look a little clunky in attack and maybe the expectation of being competition favourites is starting to get to them. I think they prefer the underdog role and haven't performed.
8. Cronulla Sharks (11)
A great win over the premiers and they really stuck solid to how they wanted to play with their completions and running hard from the back of the field. Jesse Ramien came in and created some good momentum for their forwards, and it was a really good win without Matt Moylan and Josh Dugan.
9. South Sydney Rabbitohs (10)
The Bunnies had everything going against them and didn't look like they were going to win, then all of a sudden they came up with a couple of big plays and found themselves in front. This side needs to scrap and fight for wins and needs all 17 players on the same page. They did that on Friday and were able to get the win.
10. Newcastle Knights (7)
They showed the difference between their experienced players and the less experienced guys. The new buys like Mitchell Pearce and Kalyn Ponga were outstanding but Brock Lamb was quiet, so the more consistency they can get the better they'll be.
11. Gold Coast Titans (14)
They executed a game plan really well and responded the right way after coach Garth Brennan called them out during the week to stand up or be sacked. They ran off the back of Ryan James who is a rep forward in the making and were able to create through Ash Taylor.
12. Manly Warringah Sea Eagles (13)
They're a bit Jekyl and Hyde based on whether they're at home or on the road. I'm sure they'd love to play every game at Brooky because they've shown they're going to struggle on the road. Tom Trbojevic is NSW-ready if he keeps his form up and I think Api Koroisau has put his hand up for Origin.
13. Brisbane Broncos (9)
A big drop for the Broncos because they returned to the round one Broncos. They lacked energy and enthusiasm in attack and I just don't know where their points are going to come from throughout this season.
14. Canterbury Bulldogs (12)
The Dogs probably deserve to be higher up the Power Rankings, but they really struggled to finish off that game against Souths. Even at this stage of the season you can't let the loss column get too far ahead of the win column, and after an okay start to the season they let themselves down a bit on the weekend.
15. Canberra Raiders (15)
The Raiders were disappointing again. They lacked intent and lacked a sense of urgency with their season possibly on the line. Coach Ricky Stuart summed up in the press conference how soft they were and they'll be ruing their start to the season because it'll be hard for them to come back.
16. Parramatta Eels (16)
Once again for 60 minutes they struggled to find any enthusiasm, even when they were leading 6-0. They lacked punch with their forward pack and their game management seemed to struggle off the back of that.