1. Panthers (Last Week: 1)

The Panthers remain the only undefeated side in the competition after yet another comprehensive win on Friday Night.

They easily outplayed the highly fancied Raiders and sent them packing via a 30-10 point loss. Despite Dally M voting, Jarome Luai was close to perfect. He has to be in the running for that Origin spot. Cleary was good, Charlie Staines scored a double, Brian To’o ran for over 250 metres and the Panthers forwards were beastly.

Hard to see any side beating this side right now.

2. Roosters (3)

The great escape? A star was born? The two narratives that came out of the Roosters’ Saturday evening win over the Sharks.

Sam Walker’s final 20 minutes will not soon be forgotten as he took his side from in the fight to knock out victors. The Roosters were a FAR better side when Victor Radley was on the park. He cannot move into the nine, he’s way too important in the middle.

It took the Tri-colours 60 minutes to put the brave Sharks away, however in the final 20 they were in another league. Life sans Keary looks good.

3. Dragons (6)

The Dragons weren’t supposed to beat the Eels on Sunday evening. They’re not meant to be four wins from five and in the top four on the ladder. Yet, here we are and the Red V are breathing fire.

Jack Bird looks a different player to the version of him at Red Hill. Matt Dufty scored another double. It’s almost comical to think the Dragons were shopping him around last season. Paul Vaughan and Daniel Alvaro battered the bigger name Eels forwards. They’ll be joined by Josh McGuire who arrives after being granted a release from the Cowboys.

NRL Rd 2 - Cowboys v Dragons
TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 20: Jack Bird of the Dragons looks on during the round two NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the St George Illawarra Dragons at QCB Stadium, on March 20, 2021, in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

4. Rabbitohs (4)

The Bunnies will face bigger tests but they’re sitting pretty on the back of four-straight wins. No Walker, no worries after Benji Marshall stepped in and had a stellar game. Surely there’s no way the red and green let Adam Reynolds leave.

Thomas Burgess looks like the machine of old, topping the metres with 246. Latrell Mitchell is arguably the form player of the competition right now. Josh Mansour is playing too well to lose his spot again any time soon. 35-6 reads pretty and they were every bit as good as the score line suggests.

5. Eels (2)

The Eels suffered their first loss of the season on Sunday evening at the hands of the Dragons. It’s hardly time to panic, however this is the kind of performance many fans were expecting.

The first half was all Dragons despite a big, loud home crowd. Isaiah Papali’i is making a real run for value signing of the season. Brad Arthur’s use of the bench was strange. I dare say Bryce Cartwright won’t be playing first grade for a while.

Face a huge game against the Raiders this weekend.

6. Storm (10)

Again, the Storm will face bigger obstacles but they managed to dispose of the Bulldogs without really breaking a sweat. To the Dogs’ credit, they pushed Papenhuyzen all the way but the superstar managed to pip them at the end.

No parades will be thrown after beating the Bulldogs this year but the Storm were ultra professional (outside of a NAS moment of madness) and never looked troubled. George Jennings is making a case to keep his spot after a series of strong performances. Great to see Harry Grant back.

7. Raiders (5)

Canberra had a real chance to send a message on Friday Night but fell WELL short off their Penrith rivals.

The Green Machine looked to be rolling 11 minutes in when Jack Wighton crossed. Their defence had been tight and they were well on top. Then the game changed and it was as though the Raiders were running up hill.

A head knock to CNK really upset their backline however they were a distant second best. Hudson Young continues his brilliant rise. 147 metres, four tackle breaks and a line break. Otherwise their forwards were well beaten.

8. Titans (11)

The Titans returned to winning ways after last week’s horror show against the Raiders with a big win over the Knights. The 42-16 win came on the back of a brilliant team effort but David Fifita is unstoppable. His hat-trick was power, speed and skill; frighteningly so.

Corey Thompson, again! AJ Brimson won his one on one duel with Ponga. Brian Kelly looked super dangerous on return. This was a fun game to watch and should set the Titans up for bigger and better things.

Watch Zero Tackle’s Dan Nichols review the round of footy via Rugby League Outlaws

9. Sharks (8)

The Sharks continue to be very difficult to place despite being incredibly easy to tip for/against. They started Saturday night clearly outclassing the Roosters. Will Kennedy had the ball on a string and the Sharks halves completely took Tedesco out of the game.

The 12-4 result flattered the Roosters. What, unfortunately, followed in the second half was like a different side ran out. They couldn’t complete, they couldn’t tackle and in the final 20 minutes they conceded four unanswered tries. Still yet to beat a top-eight side from last year.

10. Knights (9)

This is one the Knights and their fans will want to forget. They were pretty awful and had no answer for David Fifita, Corey Thompson or Aj Brimson. Ponga had a mixed night despite certain journalists praising his “huge game”. He’ll come good.

Daniel Saifiti has been a monster this season but had a mare on Saturday afternoon. The Knights will welcome back Bradman Best this week. Not a minute too soon. They lacked punch this weekend.

11. Warriors (10)

I’m not really sure what went wrong here but the Warriors will be absolutely filthy dropping a game to a Manly side they were expected to beat. This side is really going to miss AFB if this game is anything to judge by. He may miss the season.

RTS was again magnificent. I’ll never be ok with the fact he’s leaving to play Rugby. The Warriors had multiple chances to win this but they didn’t have a DCE to ice the game.

12. Cowboys (14)

The Cowboys are on the board. What a win for the North Queenslanders despite a horror injury toll. Some of the tries the Cowboys scored will live long in the memories of fans.

Young Tabuai-Fidow scored one of the season’s best in the early minutes in the Leichhardt sun. Reuben Cotter was huge from the bench and should feature moving forward.

Yes, there was a late fade out here this was an entertaining win. The keyword being “win”. Great stuff.

13. Sea Eagles (15)

Manly!!! Winners!!! Didn’t see myself typing that for at least a few weeks after their previous efforts. In truth this game was dire, and I feel like I’m being polite there … but Manly fans will not care one ounce.

A literal last second field goal from Daly Cherry-Evans gave them the win they needed to kickstart their season. They should welcome back Tommy Turbo in a very winnable game against the Tigers this weekend.

14. Broncos (12)

Brisbane have come crashing back to earth over the past fortnight following a drought-breaking win. Payne Haas, Pangai Jr and Matt Lodge were huge in the middle but unfortunately didn’t have too much help.

Anthony Milford looks a shell of his former, superstar self. Is Corey Oates still playing Rugby League? Jamayne Isaako has made the fullback role his own. I don’t like their chances against Penrith this weekend.

15. Tigers (13)

Oh no. This was a horror show in front of a packed Leichhardt Oval. Tigers fans booed their players off at half-time, such was the lack of performance and effort in the first half.

The fact they managed to score five tries to one in the second half saved this afternoon from being one of the darkest days in a long time. Not one they’ll want to remember considering the opposition and the emotion. Adam Doueihi though. Wow!

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 21: Adam Doueihi of the Wests Tigers looks dejected during the round two NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Sydney Roosters at Campbelltown Sports Stadium, on March 21, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

16. Bulldogs (16)

Well, they scored some points. I don’t want to sound negative but when you celebrate scoring a try like it was a Grand Final winner … that says it all. The huge positive came in the form of Luke Thompson who was an absolute monster on return from suspension. Hopefully the Dogs build from this and get that win for their fans.