1. Storm (2)
I feel a little guilty for not placing the Storm number one last week. They sent a huge message by defeating the red hot Knights by 30 points. Six tries to one have the Storm sitting top of the comp and premiership favourites … again. 55% possession and 72% completion rate saw the home side play the Knights off the park. Cam Munster was magnificent, Jesse Bromwich almost unstoppable at times while Cam Smith continues to lead the way. Joe Stimson had a fair 23 minutes.
2. Raiders (4)
Canberra enter the week off on the back of a strange victory over the Sharks in freezing conditions. 20-0 up in just over 20 minutes, it looked like a case of Raiders by how much. Although they did concede four straight tries, two penalty goals, but got the chocolates. Josh Papalii was a monster with 184 metres. Wighton did enough to earn another origin jumper while Nick Cotric may be out for an extended period through injury.
3. Knights (1)
The Knights were riding high last week on the back of five straight wins. Friday evening’s 34-4 loss in Melbourne may be a wake-up call yet ultimately shouldn’t break their season. Hymel Hunt’s 47th minute try was all she wrote for the red and blues. Ponga and Pearce were kept quiet while Origin call up Daniel Saifiti was limited to only 61 running metres. The representative break came at a good time for the Knights.
4. Sea Eagles (5)
Manly continue their incredible 2019 season with a huge 34-14 win over the Dragons. Ben Hunt’s early try seemed to wake up the home side who went on to score six straight tries. I say this every week but Cade Cust is a wonderful find. This was the Tommy Turbo show. The Manly fullback finished with 341 metres, two line breaks, a try assist, nine tackle breaks, a line break assist and a try. Huge!!! He walked straight back into the Blues’ side as expected.
5. Rabbitohs (3)
The Bunnies dropped their third straight game, this time in a 19-18 loss to the Panthers. Cam Murray’s 15th minute try looked like Souths might be on their way back into the winner’s circle. Back to back tries from Knight and Gagai weren’t enough after a late To’o try and field goal from Maloney. Again, this won’t end their season but three straight losses has them ready to drop down the rankings.
6. Panthers (9)
The Panthers recorded their fourth straight close win in a row. A 74th minute James Maloney field goal landed the two points and a Maloney a return to Origin selection. Brian To’o’s try in the 69th minute tied this contest up allowing the experienced NSW five-eighth to make it four straight. Viliame Kikau would walk into either Origin squad.
7. Roosters (7)
The Premiers are back after three straight losses after a 38-12 win over the Dogs. Latrell Mitchell scored a double in the face of being dropped by NSW. Joseph Manu had his best game of the season covering for Tedesco at fullback. 299 metres, a try and a try assist made for good reading. Boyd Cordner was a man possessed and snapped Foran in half multiple times. Good win.
8. Sharks (6)
The Sharks found themselves on the receiving end of an ambush in the capital. 20-0 down after 23 minutes, the Sharks scored four tries to tie the game up in incredible fashion. Ill-discipline cost the Sharks with a dire 66% completion rate and a horror penalty cost them victory. Wade Graham completely changed the game when he came on and earned an Origin call up. Dugan scored twice while Hamlin-Uele dominated the middle. Johnson has 80 minutes under his belt.
9. Tigers (11)
The Tigers are back in the winner’s circle after a brilliant 84th minute Benji Marshall field goal. The Tigers raced to an early lead 18-0 lead yet probably deserved to let it slip. Corey Thompson topped the Tigers running metres and made five tackle breaks but four errors brought the Cowboys into it. Ryan Matterson is unlucky to have missed the Origin cut. The Benji field goal was all class after a literal match winning run by Chris Lawrence.
10. Cowboys (8)
18-0 down after 27 minutes yet the Cowboys were able to fight back and take this into extra time. A 78th minute Clifford penalty goal tied it up after it looked like they’d blown a brilliant fight back. Jason Taumalolo made another 218 metres in yet another monster effort. Kyle Feldt scored another two tries and has to have been close to an Origin call up. I’m not sure how the Cowboys will feel after this. They were gone after 27 minutes yet a late try cost them a game they should have won.
11. Warriors (13)
The Warriors bounced back from their disappointing loss last week with a solid 24-20 win over the Titans. Two early tries sent the Warriors on their way and although a late Titans try made it a tense finish, the visitors were well worth their two points. Ken Maumalo ran for a game-high 284 metres but this was again the RTS show. Six linebreaks to three showed the Warriors attacking flair. Good win.
12. Broncos (10)
The Broncos fell to their second straight disappointing loss in a row after a poor 38-10 loss to the Eels. The much-hyped Broncs pack fell well short of their Parramatta counterparts. Seven tries conceded makes for awful reading. Corey Oates had a horror night but managed to cross for a late try. The Broncs need the break.
13. Titans (12)
The Titans failed to back up their incredible win over the Broncos after dropping a four-point home loss to the Warriors. Jarrod Wallace topped the metres for the Titans with 181 metres and will return to the Queensland set up as a result. A ridiculous last-minute play by Brimson robbed us of a magic finish but he was otherwise very good. Cartwright returned and made 40 tackles.
14. Eels (15)
The Eels bounced back from their horror show in the Shire with a brilliant 38-10 win over the Broncos. Seven tries including some amazing efforts in the first half continued their brilliant form at Bankwest. Josh Hoffman bounced back from a tough week with a double. Nathan Brown continues his strong return to the game with a game high 199 metres.
15. Dragons (14)
A 50-minute Ben Hunt try and an early 8-0 lead meant very little after conceding six straight tries. 47 missed tackles, 29 ineffective tackles, enough said. Euan Aitken lead the metres with 226 but that was largely padded thanks to a late try. Cam McInnes went off for a HIA and didn’t return. The defensive line lost its speed.
16. Bulldogs (16)
Another fixture another case of the Bulldogs being brave but outclassed. Keiran Foran was in everything but will have a Boyd Cordner indent on his chest tomorrow. DWZ was strong on debut but had to leave with a nasty head injury. No team needs the break more than the Bulldogs.