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Roosters remain on top, Eels the real deal

The Roosters and Storm are playing catch us if you can, the Raiders and Eels are making noise, while the Knights, Panthers and Warriors continue to struggle.

Check out if your team is hot or not in this week's Power Rankings.

1. Sydney Roosters (Last week: 1)

A heap of injuries for the Roosters but that was the game of the year and both sides don't lose anything with that result in terms of Power Rankings. They showed how important it is to have depth in your squad and guys who can come in and know the role they have to play for the team. They consistently put their match-winners in positions to come up with big plays and no-one has bigger match-winners than the Roosters.

2. Melbourne Storm (2)

I'm seeing a replay of last year's grand final. Melbourne just stick to their plan so well and don't fuss or get anxious if things aren't going their way. To get back to 20-all after being down 20-nil just showed that poise in their game. The Storm are like the New England Patriots in that players just do their job and they're always in the game.

Soward’s Power Rankings explained

3. Canberra Raiders (4)

I don't know what's in the Canberra milk down there but they were outstanding again and are building nicely. They defend really hard for each other, they grind away and complete sets. Sam Williams has been a revelation after not starting earlier in the year and takes the pressure off Jack Wighton. The English contingent has been outstanding and John Bateman is my favourite player to watch.

4. South Sydney Rabbitohs (3)

They had some tough games in that first month and scraped through a few games lately, but it's been an emotional time for the Rabbitohs with GI's sudden retirement and I expect them to settle down this week. It's a sign of a good side when you're winning when you're not at your best and I think Souths are building towards a big performance against Penrith.

5. Parramatta Eels (6)

A very impressive performance at their new stadium. They all turned up for the occasion and you could sense pre-game that they wanted to put on a show and the simplicity with which they did it was tremendous. They didn't overplay their hand, they rolled through and played a possession game, and took their chances. Have to back it up this weekend against a desperate Knights.

Match Highlights: Eels v Wests Tigers

6. Cronulla Sharks (7)

A fantastic, gutsy display. They hung in there and could've easily packed up shop when they were down by 14 on two occasions. They stuck to the plan and never showed any negative body language when they were being out-played. Chad Townsend was terrific and I still believe the Sharks are a competition threat when they get their best 17 on the park.

7. St George Illawarra Dragons (5)

Drop a couple of spots but I just think the teams above them are playing a little better. It looked like the Dragons didn't respect the opposition on Saturday night and being able to adapt their attack when they see a different defence concerns me. They need to let Corey Norman go a bit more off the cuff to vary their attack.

Match Highlights: Dragons v Sea Eagles

8. Manly Warringah Sea Eagles (8)

An outstanding effort, probably the best performance we've seen from a Manly side in terms of defensive energy and enthusiasm. They really took it to the Dragons and deserved more out of that game. I'm liking what I'm seeing from Manly if they can consistently stay at that level.

9. Brisbane Broncos (10)

A better effort in Canberra than they've put in recently and there were positive signs. They were right in that game and I like what I saw, but the bottom line is time is starting to run out for the Broncos and this week's game against the Sharks is almost a grand final for them.

10. Wests Tigers (9)

It was a big occasion at Parramatta's new home and they just had a bad day. They kick the ball dead for Parra's first try and then don't see the ball again for another 15 minutes. I'm chalking it down to two tough games previously that went down to the last minute so they've been up for a while. I see them bouncing back next week.

11. Gold Coast Titans (15)

Two wins in a row and they did it the hard way after losing two key men like Proctor and James. They had a slow start to the year but this is the team I thought I'd see in 2019. When Taylor and Roberts are on they're a hard team to beat, so we can expect them to get some more wins.

Match Highlights: Titans v Knights

12. Penrith Panthers (12)

Ill-disciplined and when a team gets them into a grind there's no control or much thought going into how they can get that momentum back. Started well but a disappointing performance overall. They're not young anymore and they need to start getting it right.

13. Newcastle Knights (11)

I did not see this coming. They haven't turned up and they're pretty much playing under 16 footy where they pass the ball to Ponga and hope that he does something. They continue to make errors week after week and get punished and don't seem to be learning anything from their losses.

14. North Queensland Cowboys (16)

A massive win over the Warriors in Auckland. Not pretty to watch but they needed to win so badly that it should help their confidence a bit. It was crucial that they turn up and play for each other. They had to get that win if they're to have any chance of making the eight.

Match Highlights: Warriors v Cowboys

15. Canterbury Bulldogs (14)

I watched this game out at ANZ and Bulldogs fans have to be patient because this team is young, and they're going to be in games and sometimes they'll get blown out. I'm liking the effort they're putting in but the fact they're young and still learning means there will be games they get blown out.

16. New Zealand Warriors (13)

This form from the Warriors is why I said hold on to your horses after round one. A disappointing effort against the Cowboys and no spark about how they went about their business. They're easily the worst team in the competition when it comes to getting up week after week.


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


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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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