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.
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.
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.
- Valentine Holmes
- Euan Aitken
- James Roberts
- Josh Addo-Carr
- James Maloney
- Ben Hunt
- Andrew Fifita
- Damien Cook
- Martin Taupau
- John Sutton
- Tyson Frizell
- Jack de Belin
Predicted Top Eight:
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.