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With teams preparing to complete the first third of the season this weekend, the Roosters continue to show why they're a great chance of winning back-to-back titles, the Sea Eagles have to be taken seriously, while the Knights and Broncos provided evidence of what they're capable of when they click.

Check out this week's Power Rankings.

1. Sydney Roosters (Last week: 1)

A special occasion on Anzac Day and the Roosters go out and show why they're still the best team in the competition. Their playmakers continue to put them in the right spots and their blue-collar workers are all doing their jobs. That's why the Roosters are on top of the table and it's why they'll be there in the first week of October defending their title.

2. South Sydney Rabbitohs (3)

Not a great overall performance but defensively the Rabbitohs were very good against the Panthers, and they've shown they can punish you if you give them half a chance. They didn't really deserve to win based on the opportunities they gave the Panthers, but their attack was slick and they defended well. The Bunnies continue to be what I expected.

Soward’s Power Rankings explained

3. Melbourne Storm (2)

The sign of a good team is being able to continue to win when you play bad, and that's what the Storm are doing. They're the team I thought they'd be without Slater and find themselves in tighter games than past seasons, but they have too many match-winners when the game's on the line and this time it was Brodie Croft's turn to step up.

4. Canberra Raiders (4)

The Raiders have been excellent to start the year and don't lose much with the loss to Manly. I'm curious to see how they bounce back against the Panthers and even more curious to see if they're truly up to overcoming some heavy hitters like the Roosters and Rabbitohs. Those games will come and we'll see if they withstand the pressure, but they showed on the road that they can be had.

5. Parramatta Eels (5)

Coming off a 50-point win and come out with a disappointing start against the Knights. They were off the pace in the first half but they showed fight to get back in the game and looked like they were going to go on with the job. I question what's going on with this contract situation and whether it's starting to play on the minds of players and coaches.

Match Highlights: Knights v Eels

6. Manly Warringah Sea Eagles (8)

A fantastic effort against the Raiders. They lost their captain and the expectation was that they'd struggle, but it really galvanised them as a team and they went on to get a good win against a team that has been great defensively. I like this Manly side with Croker at five-eighth and you can see the difference between him and Elgey.

7. St George Illawarra Dragons (7)

They stay the same because they didn't lose too much against the Roosters. They paid the price for some negativity early in that game when they had a chance near the Roosters' line and kicked it out. That was a surprise considering they've got such attacking prowess. I question the Ravalawa off the bench strategy when they could've used an extra forward, but the Dragons are still trending in the right direction.

8. Brisbane Broncos (9)

Everyone says the Broncos are back but an 8-6 second half wasn't overly convincing after leading 21-0. They did what they had to do with their season on the line, but the test for whether they should move up or not will be this week against the Rabbitohs. We'll get a clearer picture of where their season and their mentality are at.

Match Highlights: Broncos v Sharks

9. Cronulla Sharks (6)

The Sharks are the biggest dropper this week, due to injuries. They had a couple of debutants against Brisbane who probably had nights they'd rather forget. I really like the Sharks at full strength but they're in a tough spot at the moment with key guys out and there's not really enough depth to cover some of the quality they're missing.

10. Wests Tigers (10)

I couldn't move the Tigers because I gave them some leeway last week and a chance to bounce back after losing by 50. When they were down 14-0 I thought I might've got it wrong, but they continue to trend up. It'll be interesting to see if Benji's okay to come back in or if they have to move Moses Mbye.

11. Penrith Panthers (12)

A better effort than we'd seen in recent weeks so the Panthers get a reprieve and move up a place. The concern is that apart from Kikau they don't really have a go-to guy. Overall, that solid effort against Souths will put some steel into their game and they should be able to build on it.

12. Newcastle Knights (13)

They were playing for their season and it showed, but where's this been in previous weeks? Where's Connor Watson been at five-eighth? Where's Kalyn Ponga been at fullback, running the ball and supporting? I was reading some interesting some comments about Danny Levi that once he's let off the chain that he can do that to teams.

Levi releases Ponga into open space

13. Canterbury Bulldogs (15)

An outstanding effort against the Cowboys. It was a scrappy game and they just wanted it more. Bulldogs fans are going to have to be patient with this team because they're putting in efforts every week. There'll be times when they'll sniff out a win.

14. Gold Coast Titans (11) 

When you've won two in a row and you're up 14-0 against a team beaten by 50 the previous week you need to go on with the job, and the Titans really disappointed me. When they've got the ball they look like they can beat anyone on their day but Garth Brennan would be filthy with some of the soft tries they let in.

15. North Queensland Cowboys (14)

Just a dreadful display and I could've easily had them last, but I gave them leeway because they beat the Warriors last week. Their attack looks really ordinary and they continue to struggle to score points. I question their recruitment because there's guys like Bevan French looking for an opportunity. It's back to the drawing board for the Cowboys - they're done for 2019.

16. New Zealand Warriors (16)

Tried hard in Melbourne and probably deserved a win, but I left them in last spot because there's too many inconsistencies. I don't know which Warriors team we're going to get and they don't have that identity they had last year. They should be better with the talent they have but haven't consistently performed.


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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