To say Round 12 was a newsworthy weekend of football would be a massive understatement. On and off the field we saw a host of talking points that will be discussed for weeks.

Focusing today purely on the on-field; Round 12 was a round of upsets.

The Tigers recorded the most unlikely or results while the Raiders fell short of joining five other teams atop the NRL table.

Where did your team land after an upside down Round 12 of Rugby League?:

1. Penrith Panthers (Last Week: 2)
The mighty Panthers have ascended to the top of both the NRL table and the Power Rankings. Heading into the Origin break they are once again the team to beat.

Nathan Cleary once again pulled all the right strings at Suncorp Stadium, the second time in a month. Dylan Edwards was fantastic yet again. You could copy and paste this entry every week.

Heading into the Origin period the Panthers have now conceded just 125 points - 61 less than their nearest competitors. It's scary to think Penrith's attack probably hasn't yet hit top form.

2. South Sydney Rabbitohs (1)
The Bunnies were served a severe dose of reality on Friday night. They struggled to match it with the Eels in what was their first really bad performance of the season.

Jai Arrow's massive performance earned him an Origin spot. Cody walker missed out on a rep recall despite three try assists on the night.

Souths have out performed all expectations in the face of a horror injury toll. They sit second although I'd argue they've been the competition's best performers for the majority of the season.

3. Cronulla Sharks (5)
The Sharks enter the Origin period with an equal spot on the top of the ladder. Their comfortable win over the Knights was their second straight win, largely correcting their Magic Round slip-up.

Nicho Hynes was, again, brilliant and well worth his Origin call-up. William Kennedy and Connor Tracey were also brilliant on the day. Jack Williams was massive off the bench.

Cronulla sit in third spot despite having dropped a series of games where they beat themselves. Sharks fans should be more than happy with where they sit, and only one player entering the rep arena.

4. Brisbane Broncos (4)
The Broncos were humbled at home on Thursday night by the high flying Panthers. Despite being brave in defense, they were held to just the one try and never really looked like they could win on the night.

Patrick Carrigan made a ridiculous 67 tackles with only two misses. Payne Haas and Tom Flegler joined the aforementioned Carrigan in holding the middle against an elite Panthers pack.

Brisbane have enjoyed a dream start to the season and sit in the fourth position as we enter the Origin period. They've set themselves up well for what has historically been a difficult time.

5. Melbourne Storm (6)
The Storm went to Suncorp Stadium to put in one of their best performances of the season. They blew the Dolphins off the park despite the 24-16 score line suggesting it was close. Largely it was not.

Jahrome Hughes put in his best performance of the season. Eliesa Katoa was huge out wide and easily outpointed the man he replaced, Felise Kaufusi.

Melbourne have seemingly under-performed this season yet sit fifth and equal with the competition leaders. That is downright frightening. They'll be hugely Origin effected.

6. The Dolphins (3)
The Dolphins returned from their first bye well rested only to be comfortably beaten. They were good, in patches, but ultimately fell a distant second to their visitors, the Storm.

Jamayne Isaako continued his impressive season with a try double and a game high 169 running metres. Felise Kaufusi was the only Phin forward to run for over 100 metres despite spending ten minutes in the sin bin.

The NRL's newest club sit comfortably in sixth spot, having blown away even the highest of expectations. The next few weeks will be tough but they've set themselves up very well.

7. New Zealand Warriors (7)
The Warriors have been one of the competition's big surprises in 2023. They've played some incredibly entertaining footy en route to a top eight spot as we hit the Origin period.

Shaun Johnson has been back to his very best while Addin Fonua-Blake and Tohu Harris have been absolute monsters in the middle.

They're well set to make a big move as other teams are heavily depleted via Origin commitments. Their week off was perfectly timed despite the fact they missed an important round on the NRL calendar.

8. Parramatta Eels (11)
The Eels bounced back into form in a big way - by crushing the table topping Bunnies on their own home patch. The 36-16 win was every bit as dominant as the score-line would suggest.

Dylan Brown was arguably the performer of the week with a monster effort. Mitch Moses celebrated his contract extension with a brilliant performance himself. Junior Paulo bossed the middle with 207 metres.

Parramatta endured a horror start to the season but this win has given the momentum that will surely see them go on a run. They'll maintain their entire spine throughout the Origin period.

9. Canberra Raiders (8)
The Raiders missed out on a brilliant opportunity to join five other teams atop the NRL table. They lost, at home, to a struggling Manly outfit.

Jamal Fogarty and Jack Wighton's stats both look good but they were easily outplayed by their Manly counterparts. Canberra's all star forward pack were all largely kept quiet.

Canberra are another side who, despite a horror loss or two, sit well above where most expected. They'll unexpectedly keep Wighton and Papali'i throughout the Origin period, which outs them in a really strong position moving forward.

10. Gold Coast Titans (9)
This Titans side have quickly become the most frustrating across the competition. They, somehow, sit in tenth spot despite dropping yet another game they had won.

David Fifita has been the star all season and has earned a recall into the Origin side. Justin Holbrook's attempt to take him from the field in the final minute was one of the all time coaching stinkers.

It's tough to sum this side up. On their side they're brilliant. When they're not on their game though they are awful. They'll be hit hard during Origin.

11. Newcastle Knights (10)
The Knights had their moments on Saturday afternoon but were ultimately outclassed by the Sharks. The Kalyn Ponga experiment in the halves is once again over, after costing him his Origin spot.

Daniel Saifiti was the only forward who bent the line on the day. Greg Marzhew was in boss mode out wide. Those two players aside, there wasn't much to write home about for Newcastle or their fan base.

Newcastle have had their moments in 2023 but look a fair way off the pace of the better side. Lachlan Miller started the season well yet will play in NSW Cup this weekend.

12. Manly Sea Eagles (14)
What a difference a week makes. This time last week Manly were licking their wounds after a bad loss. Now they're coming off their best win of the season on the back of Tommy Turbo brilliance.

Josh Schuster returned and put forward the best game of his NRL career to date. His ball playing brilliance was exactly what Manly needed and freed up DCE and the aforementioned Turbo.

Manly have had an up and down system yet sit one win outside of the top eight. I dare say fans can be pretty happy with their start to 2023, especially considering their awful 2022.

13. Wests Tigers (15)
What a magnificent performance from the Tigers! Long suffering fans absolutely deserved this as they saw their team run up 66 points against last years preliminary finalists.

Starford To'a was devastating. He gave Origin rep Valentine Holmes a bath. Jahream Bula is very quickly becoming the game's top young star. His arrival has turned his side around.

The Tigers have endured a horror season to date but this performance, and an upcoming favourable fixture list, has them marked for a sharp rise up the competition ladder.

14. Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs (16)
What a win! The Dogs returned to the winner's circle via a last ditch win over the Titans. They moved off the bottom of the table and returned faith to a fan base who deserved this win.

Tevita Pangai Junior's monster performance saw him earn the most unlikely of Origin call ups. Matt Burton's boot was lethal on the day. Jayden Okunbor scored the match-winner after being very good over the past few weeks.

The Dogs have massively under-delivered thus far in 2023 but this win could kick start a run. They'll enjoy a bye this weekend which should have them well placed moving forward.

15. St George Illawarra Dragons (17)
What a finish! What a win! The Dragons scored the most exciting of victories at literally the last moment. Long suffering Dragons fans deserved the right to enjoy this win in a big way.

Jaydn Su'a was unstoppable out wide. Jack de Belin was equally as powerful in the middle. Ben Hunt pulled all the right strings. Mosese Suli looked brilliant now that he's back on his correct side.

The Dragons have been dire all season but now have something to build upon. The next few weeks will be a huge test with Ben Hunt largely unavailable but there can be no excuses now.

16. Sydney Roosters (13)
This Roosters team are an absolute shell of the side we all expected to dominate in 2023. They snatched a loss from the jaws of victory to a side without a full time coach, or a win in over a month.

Luke Keary awoke from his sleep to score a double while James Tedesco had some brilliant moments. He crossed for a double of his own and ran for 200 metres.

The Chooks sit 11th but given their pre-season expectations, this can't be seen as anything near positive. Yes they've had some injuries but so has every team.

17. North Queensland Cowboys (12)
The Cowboys hit rock bottom and drop a eye-watering five spots here - something almost unheard of this far into the competition. They deserve ever position they fell.

This was, undoubtedly, the most listless performance of the season for any side. The 66-18 loss left fans speechless. It just continues their horror season following 2022's heroics.

Luciano Leilua can hold his head high while Valentine Holmes managed to run for 163 metres. The gloss falls off Val's performance when you add the contest that he was given the mother of all baths by someone with only 50 games to his name.


  1. Dan, much as I give you a hard time occasionally, I think your rankings are spot on nearly every week. I can’t argue with any of these assertions.

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