BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 15: Zac Woolford of the Raiders makes a break during the round 10 NRL match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Canberra Raiders at Suncorp Stadium, on May 15, 2022, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

The top eight is set and finals footy is upon us. We have four cracking fixtures next week to look forward to, while eight teams will enjoy their mad monday before long off-seasons ahead.

Where did your team land on our Power Rankings after a very entertaining Round 25?

1. Penrith Panthers (Last Week: 1)

The Panthers enter the finals on the back of their worst loss in recent memory, but will a squad that is completely healthy and available.

Saturday's result means nothing, it is all about round one of the finals. Cleary will be back after his suspension to join his Premiership player mates.

Penrith will have a huge chip on their shoulder given recent results against their opponents this weekend. I can't wait. Penrith will click up a gear from this point.

2. Cronulla Sharks (2)

The Sharks were less than stellar on Sunday afternoon yet still put the Knights away to the tune of 38 to 16. They wrapped up second spot and will host a final.

Nicho Hynes had arguably his worst game as a Shark yet still had three try assists and kicked the Knights into submission.

Cronulla needs to hold the ball. They've been able to repel ordinary opposition for the past two months but surely a 67% completion rate spells trouble moving forward.

3. Sydney Roosters (3)

The Roosters, pardon the pun, are absolutely flying right now. They're the team everyone wants to avoid come finals time.

They battered their most vicious of rivals on Friday night in front of a huge crowd. They'll go again next Sunday afternoon and my guess is the result will be similar.

Luke Keary has put all the doubts behind him and is now spearheading a genuine Premiership charge. Tedesco is at his very best. A season-ending injury to Joseph Manu was horrible to see.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 05: Luke Keary of the Roosters looks on before the round 16 NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Sydney Roosters at Bankwest Stadium on July 05, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

4. Parramatta Eels (4)

The Eels have roared into the top four on the back of five wins in their past six games. Those wins include victories over Penrith, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Mitch Moses, Dylan Brown and Clint Gutherson are all in career-best form right now; Brown especially. They're also playing behind a dominant and monster forward pack.

Parra face the unenviable task of heading to Penrith in week one, but having beaten Penrith twice in 2022, they have no reason to fear the Panthers.

5. North Queensland Cowboys (5)

The Cowboys enter their major semi-final this weekend on the back of a brutal victory over the Panthers. That win requires context but all the stars fired.

Valentine Holmes has been incredible for many weeks and topped the points scoring tally for 2022. Scott Drinkwater is one of the form players of the competition right now.

Reece Robson is one of the game's most underrated players. Both Cowboys halves look ready to take their side on a deep run into September.

6. Melbourne Storm (7)

The Storm enter the finals in the very strange position of an elimination game in Week 1. They host the game but face a Raiders side with their number, at least recently.

You would be far braver than I am to write the Storm off. History suggests they probably can't win it from here but if any side can buck tradition, it's Melbourne.

They'll have Jahrome Hughes back on deck. He was missed in a big way against the Eels this past week. Cameron Munster is the key. A key any side in the world would do anything to have at this time of the year.

7. Canberra Raiders (8)

The Raiders have flown into the finals, albeit with a little help from a Brisbane capitulation. That said they have done absolutely everything they could have.

42 first half points ended their contest with the Tigers, in a canter. They cruised in that second half. They earned that.

Tapine and Papalii are the form front rowers of the competition while Hudson Young is in another world right now. Every outside back to a man tore shreds off their Tigers counterparts.

8. South Sydney Rabbitohs (6)

The Bunnies' fanbase enjoyed both the highest of highs and endured the lowest of lows this week. The reality is they will start huge underdogs against the Roosters this weekend.

Cameron Murray was forced off in the opening set this past Friday night. Souths fan can hold to their heart that he'll be back and hopefully play 80 this time around.

Souths have all the talent required to give this competition a red hot crack. That said they'll need to be at 10 out of 10 to get past the Roosters.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - JULY 18: Cameron Murray of the Rabbitohs during the round 18 NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Canterbury Bulldogs at Cbus Super Stadium, on July 18, 2021, in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images, Image supplied by Kayo)

Eliminated sides final standings

9. St George Illawarra Dragons (9)

The Dragons were able to play spoiler on Saturday night. They ended the Broncos' season whilst ending their own on a high.

Ben Hunt may have won the Dally M medal with his best on ground performance. He was in everything, as usual. Jack Bird's last month has been incredible.

The Dragons fell short of a return to finals footy but are a better side now than this time last year.

10. Brisbane Broncos (10)

The Broncos season can be seen in one of two ways; they improved dramatically and almost made the eight ... or they fell apart in one of the all-time horror capitulations.

With everything to play for on Saturday and against an opposition playing for nothing more than pride, the Broncos fell short for the fifth time in six weeks.

Brisbane improved dramatically in 2022. They had a finals spot parcelled up six weeks ago. That slipped away. It's hard to see 2022 as the positive it probably should be.

11. Gold Coast Titans (11)

The Titans last month is perhaps how most of us saw the Titans 2022 going. They caught fire and were untouchable in the final moments.

Jayden Campbell is going to be a monster star. Alexander Brimson has had a wonderful month. Tanah Boyd became a match winner on Saturday afternoon.

Throw in David Fifita, Tino Fa'asuamaleaui and Beau Fermor and I just can't see how this side was drawn into a battle to avoid the spoon. Horrible season that ended well.

12. Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs (12)

All Dogs fans will remember about Friday evening is the late Matt Burton field goal to cap off a large comeback. That's all that needs to be remembered.

The Dogs started so slowly and looked en route to coping a hiding to a disinterested Manly outfit. Then they clicked into gear.

Braidon Burns, Aaron Schoupp and Kyle Flanagan were all very good, especially in the closing stages. They end a season on a high note. That's all that needs to be taken from this.

13. Manly Sea Eagles (13)

Manly lead 16-0 on Friday evening in the pouring rain. They were having their way with a broken Bulldogs side. Dally Cherry Evans had the ball on a string.

Then it all came crashing down. They were almost helpless as the Dogs trampled them in every aspect, slotting the winning field goal.

Manly powerbrokers are offering up ridiculous excuses while Des Hasler looks to be on his way out of the club. What an absolute mess.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 01: Daly Cherry-Evans of the Sea Eagles reacts after a Panthers try during the round four NRL match between the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles and the Penrith Panthers at Lottoland on April 01, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

14. New Zealand Warriors (15)

The Warriors move up here despite a loss due to the effort they put in compared to those sides below them. Simply put, they should have ended 2022 with a victory.

Reece Walsh sounded off his time in New Zealand with a brilliant performance. The fact he was begging to be allowed back onto the field despite injury says a lot about his character.

Josh Curran scored a double while Dallin Watene-Zelezniak ran his backside off. The Warriors did everything right except hold off a fast finishing Titans side.

15. Newcastle Knights (14)

Round 25s game followed the script that was the Knights 2022 season. At times they were good but ultimately they were a distant second best, even at home.

Dominic Young scored a handy double while Tex Hoy was the Knights best on field, but they just didn't have the firepower otherwise.

Newcastle massively underachieved in 2022; there's no way around it. I'd suggest big changes are ahead in the Hunter.

16. Wests Tigers (16)

The Tigers have endured a horror season. I saw fans on social media throw out lines such as "we're better than the 2016 Knights". That's the bar they've been forced to employ.

Sunday afternoon, in front of their own fans at their spiritual home, saw the Tigers cop 42 points before being boo'ed off at Half Time.

The sooner this season is confined to history, the better for the Tigers. That said they need to learn some very real and harsh lesson from 2022, which has been absolutely diabolical.


  1. Roosters over-rated and will not make the GF and nor should they. Good to see Melbourne out of the top 4. I would love any of the following GFs

    1. Penrith vs Parra
    2. Penrith or Parra vs Raiders
    3. Penrith or Parra vs Cowboys
    4. Parra vs Souths

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