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It has been more than a year since the Roosters dropped below fifth place in the Power Rankings.

But with a crippling injury toll and fatigue battering the champion side's hopes of a three-peat, they've taken a tumble.

As the bottom five teams on the ladder are almost certainly out of finals contention, their rankings reflect where I think they'll finish.

Here are the rankings after round 14.

1. Penrith Panthers (Last week: 1)

I thought Penrith may have needed a loss but they were gritty and determined against the Warriors. Bigger games are ahead and Ivan Cleary could rest players leading into the finals. The premiership windows is definitely open - they could win two titles in the next five years. Something special is brewing.

2. Melbourne Storm (2)

The Storm are really 1B. This is shaping as their year - they're the top team along with the Penrith Panthers. Amid all the questions around Harry Grant and Brandon Smith's futures - the latter is proving he's the club's best No.9 outside of Cameron Smith.

3. Parramatta Eels (4)

The Eels have gone up a spot after a loss they needed to have against the Dragons. They were only skating by and sometimes winning close games can mask problems. Parramatta's attack has struggled the past few weeks, but they can now freshen up and learn from the defeat.

4. Canberra Raiders (5)

I still doubt Canberra can win the premiership, but they proved against Brisbane they can beat teams with "unstructured structure" and better players. That puts them in the top-four frame, but I don't see how it converts into a deep finals run. 

5. Newcastle Knights (6)

Adam O'Brien would be filthy his team gave away a lead and lacked intensity at home. They can't afford to start slow at the business end against the top teams. Newcastle are learning a lot of lessons this season which is why I think they're a year or two away.

6. Sydney Roosters (3)

Concerned about the petrol tank. The upcoming month will decide whether the Roosters finish in the top four or the bottom half of the eight. Fatigue has set in and I'll have to trend them down until the make-up of the team over the next couple of weeks becomes clearer.

7. Cronulla Sharks (7)

Cronulla have talent but they need to put it all together. They're well entrenched in the eight but that's due to a bit of a soft draw. However, the Sharks turned a corner in last week's gritty loss to the Eels and I think they can only get better. 

Every try from round 14

8. South Sydney Rabbitohs (8)

Definitely not at their best. Halfback Adam Reynolds was outstanding but Damien Cook, Cody Walker and Latrell Mitchell need to follow his lead. The spine should have a meeting to outline what it will take for them all to click. Coach Wayne Bennett is the master of that.

9. Wests Tigers (12)

On the basis of their first 25 minutes against the Bulldogs, the Tigers are top-eight contenders. Then they took their foot off the pedal, allowed Canterbury to make it a contest and almost let the game go. They got the win, but I still think the Tigers will miss the finals.

10. Manly Sea Eagles (9)

Down on troops and they lost another man in Brendan Elliot on Sunday. Always love watching them because they've got some of the NRL's best players, but they need more depth. Not having the full salary cap has hampered them.

Relive the final moments of Wests Tigers v Bulldogs

11. St George Illawarra Dragons (14)

Where was this desperation three months ago when the competition restarted? Watching the celebrations after beating the Eels to farewell Paul McGregor was a bit hard to swallow when the urgency wasn't there earlier. If it had been, they could be in the top eight or even five.

12. New Zealand Warriors (10)

The Warriors will scrap to another win, taking them out of the battle to avoid the bottom three. How much the Warriors have been able to get out of their season under the circumstances has been understated.

13. Gold Coast Titans (13)

Standards are being set by Justin Holbrook. The team is responding. They really could have beaten the Sharks if it wasn't for the Kevin Proctor send-off. Bright things are ahead.

14. North Queensland Cowboys (15)

North Queensland should get another win in 2020, if only because the trip to Townsville is tough for their opponents. They almost pulled South Sydney's pants down and Michael Morgan was a lot better, which was promising.

15. Canterbury Bulldogs (11)

Another game thrown away. They had some bad luck with injuries and when you're not a good team, you need everything to go right. Looked fantastic after clawing back an early deficit.

16. Brisbane Broncos (16)

If rock bottom wasn't reached on Saturday night, it's not far away. Once again, Brisbane competed for 40 minutes. It's a real shame that David Fifita and Kotoni Staggs won't be combining next year - the pair would have torn up the NRL for the next five years at least.


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

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