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Red-hot Roosters, Raiders rolling; Panthers under pressure

The Roosters and Raiders are rolling, the Dragons are back with a bang, while the Knights, Broncos and Panthers still haven't got it right.

Take stock of how your team is progressing in this week's Power Rankings.

1. Sydney Roosters (Last week: 1)

Wow! The Roosters were in a tight one with the Sharks and knew they were in for a challenge, but they just raised the bar and took control. They have the attack, the smarts and the big players to blow anyone out of the water at any stage, not to mention Luke Keary is in amazing form. Everyone's chasing the Chooks.

2. Melbourne Storm (2)

They just keep rolling on and found a way to win again, even though they haven't been at their best over the past two weeks. Brodie Croft is looking the goods after five rounds with his combination with Cameron Munster and that's helped everyone around him. Well done Cam Smith on claiming the point-scoring record.

3. South Sydney Rabbitohs (3)

The Rabbitohs got a big scare from the Warriors but they managed to escape in a tight one. Wayne Bennett would be worried that his team has leaked points two weeks in a row. Having said that they're ravaged by injury in the outside backs so all in all it was a good win.

Match Highlights: Rabbitohs v Warriors

4. Canberra Raiders (5)

Defence, defence defence! The Raiders are building on their premiership assault through defence. They are locking teams out which takes pressure off their halves to come up with points. I'm liking what the Raiders are doing. They've been the biggest surprise packet so far.

5. St George Illawarra Dragons (7)

A great win over the Bulldogs, a very comprehensive performance after grinding out ugly wins in the previous two games. Ben Hunt and Corey Norman are combining well and the Dragons have found a nice mix of grit and grind with sparkle in attack. Interesting game against Manly this week.

Match Highlights: Dragons v Bulldogs

6. Parramatta Eels (4)

They've been up for a while and went to Canberra with the firm intentions to bash a tough Raiders pack. Things didn't work out as they planned and it's a bit of a worry they didn't score a point, but I've seen enough to know they are on the right track.

7. Cronulla Sharks (6)

They tried hard and but they're battling a huge amount of injuries and were ultimately out-classed by the Roosters. I'm waiting to see the Sharks' strongest 17 if they can get everyone healthy at the same time. Missing Wade Graham and Matt Moylan doesn't help Shaun Johnson adjust to his new team.

8. Manly Warringah Sea Eagles (10)

No Turbo, no worries. There were question marks as to how they'd perform without Tom Trbojevic but it was an amazing win on the road and Des Hasler is getting the most of their bargain buys. I love the front-row mix and DCE is playing like a million-dollar player.

Match Highlights: Knights v Sea Eagles

9. Wests Tigers (12)

Very gutsy effort in Brisbane. They continue to grind out wins and it was an amazing bounce-back after a tight loss the week before. This team works well together and they can make a lot of noise in this competition if they want to. One of the hardest working packs around without the big names.

10. Brisbane Broncos (8)

Another very disappointing letdown from a team that should be delivering a lot more than they have. Couldn't get it done when the game was there for the taking. They don't have leaders to get them out of this slump so they simply have to play their way out.

Match Highlights: Broncos v Wests Tigers

11. Newcastle Knights (9)

The Knights have been one of the most disappointing teams. They haven't figured out how they want to play for the full 80 minutes. There's flashes of brilliance but still not good enough for a team that a lot of people expect to make the top eight.

12. Penrith Panthers (11)

Leaking way too many points than their attack can handle and basically got what was as coming to them against the Titans. There's still way too many errors and they're giving away penalties. The Panthers need to start showing us if they want to be good or not.

13. New Zealand Warriors (14)

An impressive effort and it was good to see them show up against a big Souths pack. Tuivasa-Sheck was fantastic and they weren't far off an upset. They face a desperate Cowboys next and the test for the Warriors is to back it up week to week.

14. Canterbury Bulldogs (13)

Totally outplayed by the Dragons. The Dogs had been up for two weeks against the Tigers and Melbourne and showed some promising glimpses of what they can do, but they failed to carry that form into Sunday. A young team still learning what first grade is all about.

Soward’s Power Rankings explained

15. Gold Coast Titans (16)

Got their first win of the season which should provide some relief, but still some work to do in certain areas. It was a much better effort against the Panthers but they're still leaking soft tries. The forwards looked more physical which is what I expected.

16. North Queensland Cowboys (15)

They certainly tried hard but lost their fourth on the trot and they're obviously frustrated right now. They need a full-time fullback and it's time for Paul Green to make some hard decisions about the pack and who plays where.


The views in this article do not necessarily express the opinions of the NRL, ARLC, NRL clubs or state associations.

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