1. Storm (1)
The Storm now sits an almost unbelievable six points clear atop the NRL ladder following their two-point win over the Roosters. The 14-12 win in Adelaide sets up a position where Bellamy can realistically rest players in the post Origin period. Ryan Papenhuyzen continued his ascent to superstardom with a scorching try after a late elevation to the run on side. He also ran for a game-high 251 metres. An 86% completion rate set the Storm apart on the night. Incredible effort thus far in 2019.
2. Knights (3)
The Knights bounced back from their disappointing loss last week with a convincing win over the Broncos. A big and loud crowd watched on as the home side run in four tries to two. Despite losing Kalyn Ponga pre-game, the Knights were well worth the two competition points. Mason Lino is proving to be a more than handy pick up scoring a try and kicking five goals here. Klemmer was a beast on return with over 200 metres. Edrick Lee scored an amazing try despite a possible broken arm.
3. Sea Eagles (4)
The Sea Eagles are flying on the back of a 30-12 win over the Titans. Curtis Sironen had a wow of a first half in his 100th game, scoring two tries and busting the line at will. At 20-2 at half time this game was over as a contest. Manly overcame a Sironen sin bin to go on with it in the second stanza. The visitors recorded an incredible eight line breaks. They’re lethal. Suli looked super dangerous out wide too.
4. Panthers (6)
Penrith did it again. Natural justice prevailed after an awful series of decisions threatened to rob the visitors. A James Maloney field goal in golden point wrapped up two competition points and the fifth win in a row for the resurgent mountain men. Two incredible Brent Naden tries set up a thrilling finish. James Tamou is in near career best form. Kikau is almost unstoppable. Mansour had his best game in a long time. Good win.
5. Raiders (2)
For the second time in two games, the Raiders let a huge lead slip. This time they weren’t able to swing momentum back to claim victory. At 16-0 up this game should have been over. Instead, they fly back from Darwin bruised and battered. Jack Wighton had some incredible moments but effectively handed the Eels a series of opportunities late on. This should provide a lesson in the capital. CNKs 290-metre effort may be largely forgotten.
6. Tigers (9)
The Tigers are big benefactors in the rankings thanks to other results after an ugly win. The 14-9 win was painful to watch but I can’t see a single Tigers fan complaining. Chee Kam scored his second incredible match winner this season. This game will be remembered for an ugly incident but should be remembered by Tigers fans as a genuine season-changing win. Corey Thompson was in everything. Hugely underrated.
7. Roosters (7)
The Roosters continued their poor run through the Origin rounds after a 14-12 defeat to the Storm. Their lone win in the past five rounds has been over the struggling Dogs. They had the chances needed to arrest that slump here but on the back of just 65% completions, they shot themselves in the foot. Luke Keary should return soon which will end the awful Latrell five-eighth experiment. Tedesco was in everything as you’d expect and the Chooks back five were pretty good. Their forwards were outplayed and shockingly, given the talent they possess, their bench offered very little.
8. Rabbitohs (5)
The Bunnies should be much lower here as their form has been atrocious. That said, they remain in second place despite not winning in over a month. George Burgess faces a long stint on the sidelines after a brain snap. It made for awful viewing. This game made for awful viewing, to be honest. The Bunnies need the bye.
9. Eels (14)
The Eels rocket up the rankings after a brilliant come back in Darwin. At 16-0 down this Eels side could very easily have been humiliated yet instead are celebrating two points. Blake Ferguson scored the go-ahead try before Mitch Moses put then six points ahead. I kept waiting for the Raiders’ moment but it never came thanks to the defence of a desperate Eels outfit. That Ma’u dummy was a thing of beauty.
10. Cowboys (10)
The Cowboys benefit here due to other results and stay 10th despite an eight-point loss. Losing Michael Morgan to a head knock did not help but a dud second half was to blame here. Taumalolo with another 230+ metre game while Scott Drinkwater looks an amazing pick-up. The Cows just need to take their chances more. Five line breaks weren’t enough to get them home.
11. Sharks (8)
Sharks fans look away. This was the single worst performance I’ve seen from this side. Chad Townsend blew a four on one overlap with the game on the line. Moylan made six errors with Shaun Johnson not far behind. They absolutely wasted Bronson Xerri on the wing. Another game with a disgusting completion rate must surely have John Morris ripping at his hair. Feki was outstanding but otherwise, this Sharks outfit should be forced to walk home. Morris said the team are believing their own hype. This should wake up the club’s hugely underperforming stars.
12. Warriors (11)
This was one that got away from the Warriors. The home side enjoyed a two-man advantage for five minutes after two sin bins yet still let it slip in golden point. RTS ran his backside off but made a horror decision in defence to allow Naden to level it up. A last minute penalty goal provided a lifeline but the Warriors lost their way in extra time. Not good.
13. Dragons (15)
The Red V recorded their second win in three games after an eight-point win in the Gong. They were made to work hard for it in the final moments but well worth the competition points. Corey Norman has reportedly played himself into an Origin jumper following a big performance. Only two penalties conceded really helped here. Good win which should kick start their finals run.
14. Broncos (12)
The Broncos needed a good performance here almost as much as they needed a win. They left Newcastle with neither and now look at long odds to play finals. The Darius experiment in the halves failed and surely a tough decision is looking. Payne Haas put his name back in Origin contention with a big effort. There was very little here to convince fans a big run of wins is on the horizon.
15. Bulldogs (16)
The Dogs survived a late bust to record a much needed two-point win over the Sharks. The Dogs raced to an early 14-0 lead on the back of some Foran brilliance. Unfortunately, he left the game with another injury but his side held on. Aiden Tolman made a try-saving play in the final minute of his 250th game. Morale boosting win for the side and their fans.
16. Titans (13)
The Titans were blown away by Manly on their own turf. An early penalty goal gave the Titans an early lead but it was all downhill from there. Trailing 20-2 at the break, the Gold Coast just couldn’t complete in the second half. Two Phillip Sami tries in 10 minutes made it fun but this was another poor effort. Real questions are to be asked on the holiday strip.