SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 13: Damien Cook of the Rabbitohs runs the ball during the round 10 NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the St George Illawarra Dragons at ANZ Stadium on May 13, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

At the halfway point of the competition we’ve decided to take the opportunity to rate our best of the best as well as naming the most disappointing.

Just because it’s always fun, we’ll also lay down our updated top eight predictions and name the form team of the NRL season thus far. Let us know below how wrong we have it.

Form Player: Damien Cook

Damien Cook fan alert! James Maloney, Andrew Fifita and Kalyn Ponga may be the top three Dally M leaders but name one player in better form that the Souths and Origin number nine. He has done something no man has been able to do for a decade and that is displace Cameron Smith as the form hooker of the competition. Cook’s form has absolutely demanded selection for the Blues and he’s the red hot favourite to take over the Kangaroos jersey at the end of the year. As good as Greg Inglis, Dylan Walker and John Sutton have been, no man has been more responsible for the Bunnies’ rise than Damien Cook.

Form Team: South Sydney Rabbitohs

The Dragons and Panthers can feel hard done by here but right now I believe South Sydney are THE team best placed. They’re flying high, their form players are all looking good, and they’ve just beaten the red hot Sharks. The Burgess brothers are riding high right now while Josh Reynolds and Walker are among the form halves combinations running around today. Cook is the best player in the competition while Angus Crichton and Sutton are almost untouchable. Inglis is slowly reaching his top form, which is frightening. Dane Gagai has been solid but is yet to find top form. If he, Inglis and Alex Johnston all fire on the same day, yikes, watch out.

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Under-performing Team: Parramatta Eels

The Cowboys are lucky that Parramatta downright stink right now or they’d be copping no end of grief for their horror fall from grace. Right now the Eels are down right painful to watch, and that is a shock considering their brilliant 2017. Their forwards are going backwards, Jarryd Hayne has been a monumental let down, while Corey Norman, Clint Gutherson and Mitchell Moses just haven’t found their combinations. It’s hard to pin point what has gone wrong but considering Semi Radradra for Hayne was the only real player turnover, it suggests a change in attitude may be responsible.

Best Signing: Kalyn Ponga

Edging out Maloney and Ben Hunt is the Knights’ number one. He has completely shifted the fortunes of the Newcastle side with his brilliance and attitude. There is genuine talk that he will debut for Origin I, and if not may play a part later in the series. That is insanity for a player in his first season of regular NRL action. There is a reason he is in genuine Dally M medal winning contention. Most expected him to fall away when Mitchell Pearce went down injured but if anything he has gotten better. Brilliant player.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 02: Kalyn Ponga of the Knights in action during the round 13 NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Newcastle Knights at ANZ Stadium on June 2, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Worst Signing: Jack Bird

Bryce Cartwright can be lucky his name is not here in lights but Jack Bird has gone from Origin mainstay to bit part player in a short period of time. I take no enjoyment in seeing Bird’s fall from grace following his incredible efforts for the Sharks in their title winning season. Bird was signed as a number six but is yet to fire there or in his regular position of centre. He’s currently resting his body but having played through much worse, it’s probably a form motivated decision, at least partially. He’ll be back, he’s too talented not to, but right now he looks a shadow of his former self.

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Form 13:

  1. KalynPonga
  2. Valentine Holmes
  3. Euan Aitken
  4. James Roberts
  5. Josh Addo-Carr
  6. James Maloney
  7. Ben Hunt
  8. Andrew Fifita
  9. Damien Cook
  10. Martin Taupau
  11. John Sutton
  12. Tyson Frizell
  13. Jack de Belin

Predicted Top Eight:

  1. Souths
  2. Panthers
  3. Dragons
  4. Storm
  5. Roosters
  6. Warriors
  7. Sharks
  8. Tigers

Top Try Scorer Prediction: Josh Addo Carr

Following his Origin commitments I expect the Fox to go BOOM!!! He’s currently tied for most tries with 12 but I expect him to double that effort before the finals. The Storm are there or there abouts in terms of form but are yet to really light up the competition. When they do, Addo Carr will bust the competition wide open. I expect him to start crossing the line with regularity and finish a try or two in front of Holmes and the Fus.

Dally M Medal Winner Prediction: Damien Cook

Coming off a man of the series effort for the Blues, Cook is going to become unstoppable on his way to winning the highest individual honour. Ponga can’t possibly keep up his incredible form while the Sharks look like they have peaked meaning Fifita’s points tally may struggle. Maloney will push him but ultimately I can’t see anyone other than the Souths megastar wearing the medal on the game’s night of nights.

10 COMMENTS

  1. I see a Souths fan with one eye has written a nice little story. Souths minor premiers…..ahahahahahahašŸ¤£, Dally M a Souths player….ahahahahahahahahšŸ¤£, We are halfway into the season. A hell of a lot happens between now and September 30. Sydney and Melbourne will definitely swap places for a top four place. Nearly all season the Roosters have had to cover for Tupou’s injury and play 2nd rowers in the centre and centres on the wing. Now that we have our backline in tact and all of a sudden an overflow of big forwards. Then I think the Chooks are looking extremely well placed for just over the halfway point of season 2018. Deadset top four finish this season.šŸ†

    • Hey woody, i know its friendly banter and the souths boys (penso and sstid, when he’s not barred;) give us heaps but every team ‘buys’ these days.
      I really enjoy watching the Souths team this year and i dont miss any of their games due to the entertainment value.
      I think they still benefit from the madge days but the new coach has unleashed them and they are efn awesome !!

      • As long as you don’t do a Brian Fletcher, Mark Minichelo, Michael Mosman, Shannon Hegerty, Stuart Webb, Micheal Crocker, Gary Metcalf, Peter Cusack, Shane Rigon, Ken Wright, Russell Fairfax, Royce Ayliffe, Marty Gurr, Craig Salvatori, etc.etc.etc. and get yourself converted to a rabbit. šŸ˜Ž

    • You think tupou coming back is going to change things? Hahahaha you really are delusional. He is one of the worst wingers in the game.

      • You should know all about shocking wingers with Nightingale in those sliding Saint Illawarra side. TOTAL HASBEEN…. BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAšŸ˜

  2. So Hayne’s signing obviously wasn’t a masterstoke, but to say he has been a “monumental letdown” when he has been injured for 2/3 of the season sounds like more Hayne bashing for the sake of Hayne bashing, which is nothing new.

    As for the season predictions, I don’t see Cook getting the Dally M, not necessarily because he doesn’t deserve it, but because he has too much competition in his own team for points. Same with Maloney now that Cleary is back. I think Penrith will be hard top beat for minor premiers, the balance in their team looks to be just right this year.

    • Thanks eels. I reckon Saints deserve a lot of credit. Failed to make the finals 2017 and now equal first with the same differential as us.
      The haters are having a good time bagging them but they’re running better than most.

  3. No Broncos top 8? I get they’ve been extremley inconsistent, but they have the players to make the 8 over the Tigs. And Bird worst signing? He’s been playing with injury all season, and he’s made SOME positive productions, more than Hayne or Cartwright.

  4. My Predictions
    Ladder:
    1. Panthers
    2. Rabbitohs
    3. Storm
    4. Dragons
    5. Roosters
    6. Sharks
    7. Warriors
    8. Broncos
    9. Tigers
    10. Raiders
    11. Cowboys
    12. Manly
    13. Knights
    14. Titans
    15. Bulldogs
    16. Eels
    Dally M: James Maloney
    Premiership Winner: Rabbitohs
    Grand Finalist: Panthers
    Worst Signing: Kane Evans
    Best Signing: James Maloney

    • Looks pretty spot on But I still believe the Roosters will make the four in place of Melbourne and definitely the eight spot is between Wests with their magnificent defense, Brisbane & Canberra who on their day are a top team. Grand finalists will be Penrith and the Roosters. or Souths and the Roosters or Penrith and Souths. But that depends on which side of the draw in the top four those sides play and which two sides get the week off before the Preliminary FinalšŸ“.

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