1. Roosters (1)
The tri-coloured juggernaut continues to roll on. The Chooks managed to roll the red hot Raiders despite a horror in game injury toll. Thankfully Latrell Mitchell looks to have overcome an almighty injury scare. James Tedesco continues to light up the competition. His incredible combination with Luke Keary looks set to continue in sky blue. Two late tries took the gloss off the result but the premiers continue to set the pace. Taukeiaho may be the most in form big man in the game.
2. Rabbitohs (2)
Damien Cook. A name the Cowboys won’t want to hear anytime soon. The Souths, Blues and Roos number nine ran riot and had his way with the Cowboys defense. Cody Walker continues to make it near impossible to overlook him for rep duties. Sam Burgess and Cam Murray continue to star in a dominant pack. Kyle Turner’s nrl career may have been saved by his efforts at centre. Cook though … Unstoppable!!!
3. Storm (5)
Well then … Seems the Storm have taken their very public criticism to heart. The poor Eels were in the wrong place as the purple Haze ran riot. 11 tries, including some absolute pearlers, blasted the Eels off the park 64-10. Curtis Scott, wow. Addo-Carr, phwoar! Papenhuyzen, oh my! 12 line breaks, 51 tackle breaks. Destruction! This was an incredible performance and sent a loud message.
4. Raiders (3)
The Raiders were one forward pass away from possibly taking their epic clash with the premiers into golden point. The 30-24 loss proved their credentials but also showed that they’re just below the elite teams. The Green machine will hold their breathe on news of Jordan Rapanas injury news. CNK is an absolute weapon. What a signing. They won plenty of admirers here despite trailing 24-6 at the break. Jarrod Croker looks set for a blues debit.
5. Sea Eagles (4)
Manlys magical run ended at Suncorp after a 26-10 loss to the Broncos. Jurbo tackled himself to exhaustion while Taupau ran for almost 180 metres. Corey Waddell continues to impress from the bench also. Abbas Miski looked solid on debut. Until their two stars come back Manly are going to have to tough out victories. Hard to win a game with just 41% possession and sans DCE and Tommy Turbo.
6. Sharks (7)
A Paul Gallen try and conversion was a perfect way to round out his career north of the Tweed. The sharks managed to grind out a second straight victory sans their stars. Chad Townsend is in career best form, leading his side with real class. Josh Morris is ageless, scoring another two tries. Aaron Gray overcame a shocking start to score a double and make one of the try savers of the year. That kick from Flanagan under pressure was clutch.
7. Tigers (9)
Wow! That opening 20 minutes by the Tigers was just about as good as it gets. They were unstoppable, running in five straight tries. Ryan Matterson continues to excell after his move. Moses Mbye had a brilliant game after last week’s below par showing. There’s genuine talk of Robbie Farah playing on. Judging by his first half on Friday I’d be surprised if he didn’t.
8. Eels (6)
Magic weekend won’t be fondly remembered by those wearing blue and gold. The 64-10 thumping brought the Eels back to earth in a big way. 51 missed tackles is awful but honestly sounds light. Clint Gutherson had a nightmare game despite topping the metres ran. Parra fans will want to move on quickly from an awful performance.
9. Knights (11)
This is the Knights side I expected in the pre-season. Mitch Pearce is running the show, Kalyn Ponga is scoring match-sealing tries, Lachlan Fitzgibbon is near impossible to stop close to the line and David Klemmer is leading the way. Still a long way to go but the Knights have been much better over the past three weeks. Only 8 missed tackles in 80 minutes is incredible. This really could have been much more convincing than it was.
10. Dragons (8)
The Dragons looked set to put last week’s loss behind them in a huge way, only to drop a horror loss. Leading 18-6 after a series of amazing tries, the red V were awful in the back 25. The Ben Hunt drop will dominate headlines but the on line defense is to blame here. Jai Field looks a player. I cannot believe McGregor’s use of the bench with Lomax and Graham.
11. Warriors (13)
The upset of the magic weekend came via a 26-18 win by the Warriors over the Dragons. Trailing 28-6 at halftime the Warriors bossed the second 40. 91% completion rate, 8 line breaks and only 6 errors makes for brilliant reading. Nikorima played very well on debut for his new club. Fus, Maumalo and Hiku bossed the game out wide. Rts was back to his magical self.
12. Cowboys (10)
It’s a testimate to the fight in this side that the half time scoreline was only 18-10. It very easily could have been 30+. That said the Cowboys offered up very little in the second half. Coen Hess may have played himself out of Origin contention. Justin O’Neill reminded everyone of his credentials. The decision to bench Granville was woeful. The Cowboys forgot how to tackle in the opening 25 minutes.
13. Broncos (15)
The Broncos finished off a horror week with an encouraging 26-10 win over Manly. A Jack Bird injury was the only negative on an otherwise positive night. Anthony Milford looked keen, Matt Gillett was strong and Darius Boyd managed to cross the line. 83% completions from almost 60% possession says it all. Corey Oates found form pre Origin.
14. Titans (12)
The Titans fought to literally the final play but ultimately lost again. Leading 18-10 at half time they failed to trouble the scoreboard in the second stanza. Tyrone Peachey may have played himself out of Origin contention with ten horror minutes when the game was on the line. Jai Arrow is an elite forward and obviously loves playing the Sharks. 39% possession just wasn’t enough. Brave.
15. Bulldogs (14)
History will show a 22-10 loss. An unlucky decision robbed the Dogs of a last gasp winner but they were massively outclassed. A Smith intercept brought the Dogs back into a game that looked gone but 38 miss tackles to 8 frames their attack. Dylan Napa was moneterous in his 185 metre effort. Too many mistakes were made.
16. Panthers (16)
Yikes! When the hot shot coach says he feels sorry for supporters of the club, well that says it all. The Panthers didn’t want to tackle in the first 20 minutes. The decision to play a back rower at centre was ridiculous. Cleary needs to make some huge decisions, especially around the halves partnership.