1. Dragons (Last Week: 1)
For the life of me I cannot see any justification for the Dragons not being the number one side across every power ranking list in the land. They are 6-0, just put 40 points on their local rivals, and are in great shape across the park. Dufty is an absolute magician at the back with speed to burn. The halves are firing, Aitken and co are scoring with ease, McInnes is probably second in line for an Origin spot, and the Red V forward pack is yet to lose a battle. 10/10 thus far.
2. Wests Tigers (Last Week: 3)
The Wests Tigers are another team that are breathing fire right now. On the back of an absolute masterclass from both Luke Brooks and Benji Marshall, the Tigers had their way with Manly at Lottoland on Sunday afternoon. Josh Reynolds is back which offers yet another route of attack for a side that has found its attacking flair in the past few weeks. I don't remember seeing a side settle so quickly after such a huge turn over of players. Brilliant to watch. That first half of footy against Manly was as close to perfect and you're going to see.
3. Panthers (Last Week: 4)
The Panthers are now 5-1 despite all the supposed talk about disharmony in the ranks. Anthony Griffin has this side humming despite a horror injury toll. Maloney has taken over and has lead from the front since his halves partner Nathan Cleary went down injured. Tyrone Peachey is Mr Fix It and looked great in the six. Up front the Panthers are among the game's elite with CHN joining JFH, RCG and co in bashing opponents around the park. Smashed the brave Titans on Sunday.
4. Warriors (Last Week: 2)
Although the Warriors win streak has fallen, there is absolutely no reason for panic. A 27-18 loss to the Broncos obviously wasn't the result they were chasing but they hardly played terribly and have a huge game to bounce back in this Friday evening. I'm not sure what Shaun Johnson has been eating in the off-season but I want some. He looks chock full of energy in attack. Tohu Harris, even in defeat was a rock.
5. Rabbitohs (Last Week: 11)
This week's HUGE movers following a massive win over local rivals the Roosters in trying circumstances. Without Sam Burgess and Cam Murray the Bunnies put the Roosters to the sword in amazing fashion. The likes of Crichton and Sutton really stood up in the face of adversity and outplayed their near full strength opponents. Damien Cook is unstoppable at the moment and must play Origin. Adam Reynolds is looking fit and confident. Cody Walker is certainly taking the pressure off his halves partner.
6. Storm (Last Week: 10)
The Storm answered their critics with their best performance of the season in their easy 40-14 win over the Knights. Ryley Jacks justified his coach's decision to change it up in the halves while Addo Carr and Vunivalu both went huge scoring two tries each. Jesse Bromwich has returned to form with a big display and over 135 metres ran. Curtis Scott shook his early season cobwebs off and cut through the defense on a few occasions. Scary signs perhaps?
7. Broncos (Last Week: 12)
The Broncs are slowly going about their business and in the process have ended the Warriors unbeaten start to the season. Anthony Milford looked more sure of his role with a new halves partner which will pose questions for Bennett and his staff. Jack Bird put in his best effort for his new side and looked to enjoy being more involved. Corey Oates is almost unstoppable when he's in that mood. Jamayne Isaako is a find and a half.
8. Titans (Last Week: 5)
The poor Titans continue their bounce up and down the rankings and NRL ladders. They were soundly beaten on Sunday afternoon by the Panthers yet you wouldn't bet against them winning this weekend, no matter who the opposition. You certainly couldn't fault their effort but they were a distant second best in Penrith. Konrad Hurrell looks like a man on a mission. Probably one to forget for the Titans but the scoreline probably didn't match their effort. The Panthers were just better on the day.
9. Roosters (Last Week: 6)
I really don't know how to feel about the Chooks right now. One week they look unbeatable, the next they look awful. Souths were there for the taking on Thursday night and the tri-colours just weren't up to it. Latrell Mitchell is a megastar in the making and continues to create highlight reel moments. Ryan Matterson is having a wonderful season. He can't stop scoring tries. Outside that though, the Roosters faithful will want to forget this week.
10. Knights (Last Week: 7)
Newcastle were unlucky to run into a Storm outfit hell bent on sending a message. After conceding three tries in the opening 15 minutes the game looked gone. On the plus side, back rower Lachlan Fitzgibbon continues to find the line with amazing regularity. Ken Sio also scored two tries and made three line breaks, but the real worry here was in defense. They just had no answer for the previously quiet Vinivalu and Addo Carr. Up front they made 500 metres less than their opponents. That's telling.
11. Raiders (Last Week: 13)
The Raiders have quietly put together a second win in a row after their 18-2 triumph over the struggling Eels. This is not a game that will be talked about for years to come but it was the result that counts for Canberra. It's good to see Josh Papalii lead the metres made for the Green Machine. Canberra fans will celebrate but the less said about the game overall the better.
12. Bulldogs (Last Week: 14)
Beating the Cowboys at 1300SMILES Stadium should see the Dogsskyrockett up the rankings, but the Cows just aren't their 2017 selves. That said, the Dogs did their part and were well worth their two competition points. Raymond Faitala-Mariner has been a revelation this year for the Dogs. It's his tries and tackle breaks that grab the attention but he works so hard in defense and adds so much to this Dogs pack. Klemmer looked aggressive, good signs. An 87% completion rate will see them win plenty of games.
13. Sea Eagles (Last Week: 9)
It's ok, to a point, to lose away, if you win all of your home games. Manly were played off the park by the Tigers, and dead set were reduced to spectators in that first half. If not for two late tries this score-line would have been embarrassing. Uate has a night to forget, although outside of one or two attacking movements, it's hard to remember too much going right for the home side.
14. Sharks (Last Week: 8)
The Sharks fell six places in the rankings but it should have been worse. OK they were brave to fight back after a series of injuries but they never, for one second, looked like upsetting the Dragons. Fifita had a 9/10 first half before he went off injured and from there the Sharks were shot. Moylan is obviously playing injured and needs to get right. There's no finals footy in a halves combination of Hodkinson and Townsend.
15. Cowboys (Last Week: 15)
2017 seems an eternity ago now for the Cowboys. They're at rock bottom following a big loss despite a very winnable game. On the positive side, Jason Taumalolo was an absolute wrecking ball. They need him in that sort of form. Apart from that though, it was a pretty bleak evening for the home side. The Cowboys HAVE to beat the Titans next weekend at home or start looking for Bali specials.
16. Eels (Last Week: 16)
Yuck! Yuck! Yuck! The Eels had a chance to come out against a struggling side and send a message that they are not to be forgotten in 2018. Instead they bored us all into submission and kicked a penalty goal. Did I mention yuck!? I suppose they defended OK but when you have names like Norman, Moses and Gutherson yet you're talking about OK defence... yuck.