SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 31: Sam Verrills of the Roosters celebrates with team mates after scoring a try during the round 24 NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the Penrith Panthers at Sydney Cricket Ground on August 31, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

1. Roosters (1)

Even without superstar halfback Cooper Cronk, the Tri-colours continue to set aside all before them. For the first time in weeks the reigning premiers were forced into a contest but emerged far too strong for the Panthers. They’ll now finish second. I was surprised to see them name such a strong side this weekend. I suspect it it hadn’t been against arch rivals the Bunnies that a few may have been rested. Equal title favourites for mine. That Sam Verrills is a find.

2. Storm (2)

Another Minor Premiership for the all conquering Storm as they belted rivals Manly by 30 points at Lottoland. This game was built up as a blockbuster and had it’s moments but truthfully the Storm were a class above. Ryan Papenhuyzen and Justin Olam are the latest young superstars to advance the Storm production line. Big NAS is arguably the most damaging middle in the game right now. Munster escaped the hit of the season but will be rested this weekend. The equal title favourites.

3. Raiders (4)

The Raiders all but locked in a top four finish with a golden point win over the Sharks. Three Sezer field goals mean only a series of three absolute disasters can stop the green machine from a double shot. Trailing 12-0 in front a hostile crowd Canberra could have folded and banked on a much easier home fixture but showed great fight. The competition dark horse.

4. Sea Eagles (3)

Manly’s top four chances now lay in the hands of the Roosters after a huge home loss to the Storm. A season ending injury to Tommy Turbo probably ends their title hopes but you’d imagine that Des Hasler will twist this and use it as motivation. Only a big win over bitter rivals in the Eels will see them any hope of a top four finish. A home final vs Wests/Cronulla looks likely.

5. Broncos (8)

The Broncos all but guaranteed themselves finals footy after a one point win over the Eels. Only a loss and a draw in another game can deny them what, at times, looked an unlikely finals fixture. Jamayne Isaako continues to forge a reputation as the ice man late. Darius Boyd had his best game of the season. Great to see him find that performance.

6. Eels (6)

Parra were extremely hard done by following a string of referee howlers. A huge home game vs Manly will end their regular season but in reality the result here doesn’t overly matter. They’ll host a final next weekend regardless. That’s a huge turnaround after a horror 2018. Mitch Moses is a legit shot at individual honours. This was a frustrating finish to end their top four hopes.

7. Bulldogs (5)

The Dogs’ amazing late run for the most unlikely of finals appearances ended in the far north. This wasn’t the easiest game to watch but the Dogs stats continue to make for good reading. 83% completion, with a little more imagination could take them much further next season. Big fan of Okunbur who scored yet again.

8. Tigers (9)

The Tiges have set up a mouth watering, winner take all fixture this Sunday after a magnificent win over the Dragons. Paul Momirovski scored a hatty in the 42-4 win. All eyes are on Robbie Farah’s fitness before Sunday in what will be a magnificent occasion. The Tigers look set for a return to finals. Huge!

9. Rabbitohs (11)

The Bunnies look set to finish top four following their big win across the Tasman. Only disaster against the Roosters will deny them now. The four try to two win will provide much needed confidence for a side capable of going deep into the finals. It’s great to see Alex Johnston score on return. The Cam Murray man crush is very real.

10. Sharks (7)

The Sharks flat out blew it on Sunday afternoon. 12-0 up in front of a sold out monster crowd in the Shire sun. A finals spot on the line and a chance to send the club’s best modern day player out a winner … And they blew it. Tough but the only way to describe this. Ronaldo Mulitalo continued his rapid rise with two amazing tries. Now face a must win game in enemy territory.

11. Cowboys (12)

Too little too late for the Cowboys finals hopes but they celebrated their last game at 1300SMILES with a win. The 15-8 victory over the Dogs wasn’t always pretty to watch but a win is a win. Shane Wright’s 79th minute try sealed two competition points and more importantly brought the curtain down on a stadium that has delivered some many amazing highlights over the years.

12. Knights (13)

The Knights rewarded a brave crowd on Saturday afternoon on old boys day with a huge win. Detractors will say it’s only the Titans but considering the fortnight the club has had to endure, this was a welcome win to say the least. Trailing after three minutes it looked like another long day at the office but a much more polished Knights outfit send their fans home happy. No finals footy but at least the coaching situation has been settled.

13. Panthers (10)

Penrith’s finals hopes were officially dashed ending a once promising season. The Roosters did the business and will relegate the Panthers to 10th-ish. James Maloney deserved better. The fans deserved better. Too many errors on and off the park make for grim reading and viewing. Hard done by just before halftime but the result was never in doubt.

14. Warriors (14)

The Warriors’ season has been over for four weeks but the official final whistle can’t come soon enough. Beaten everywhere on Friday evening by the Bunnies, there wasn’t a whole lot of fight here. I think it’s safe to say the decision to allow Shaun Johnson to leave has not paid off. I always enjoyed watching the Warriors play but this was not fun to watch.

15. Dragons (15)

The horror season is almost complete. Rep footy stars across the park and the once proud Red V will have to settle for a 15th placed finish. They were in their contest with the Tigers at stages but we’re ultimately played off the park yet again. Big questions will come this off season. Awful! Results vs expectations, this is the worst team in the competition.

16. Titans (16)

Ugh, this football side. I almost legitimately had to look up who beat them over the weekend just knowing that it was a big loss. The upset was on early as Jacks scored in the opening minutes. From there it was all Newcastle. I really hope Justin Holbrook has a few cards up his sleeve. He’s going to need them. The club’s best player has stated Premiership opportunity is important… all but ruling out the Titans.


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