1. Storm (1)
The Storm just continue to hum along nicely. They were pushed on Friday night but their undefeated start to the season was never really threatened. Cam Smith became the game’s highest points scorer during the 18-12 victory. Addo-Carr returned to the side with two tries. Jahrome Hughes is flying and surely has the number one role for the season. Form team of the comp.
2. Roosters (2)
The Roosters set up a mouth-watering grand final rematch with a huge win in the Shire. Luke Keary is absolutely the form player of the competition. 30 straight points, including a brilliant try on half time, was more than enough to beat the Sharks. They turned off late but always had this in check. Manu scored a ridiculous try with zero room. Friday night can’t come quick enough.
3. Raiders (3)
The Green Machine look a completely different outfit in 2019. Their 19-0 win over the in-form Eels continues their dream start to the year. The Wighton move into the halves is working in a big way. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad is breathing fire at fullback. I can’t say enough about the pack transformation in the capital. They’re a genuine 80 minutes side!
4. Rabbitohs (4)
They were lucky but the Bunnies have returned to winning ways. Cody Walker continued his marvellous 2019 scoring four tries. Damien Cook tore the Warriors to shreds. The Rabbits are 4-1 despite not playing that well. This side has Wayne Bennett written all over them. They look short out wide with the expected retirement of Greg Inglis but just keep on winning.
5. Dragons (6)
Three straight for the Red V. This was a much more comfortable win than their back to back one point wins. Ben Hunt produced the performance of the round in his side’s 40-4 win. Everything he touched turned to gold. Matt Dufty ran a mile in another brilliant effort. Paul Vaughan, if fit, is walking into a sky blue jersey. Lafai had his best game in a long time. A brilliant all-round performance.
6. Sea Eagles (8)
Manly have now gone back to back to back after their eight-point win in the Hunter. No Turbo, no problems. DCE is asking some serious questions of QLD selectors. Jorge Taufua was a wrecking ball out wide. Brendan Elliott had a great game, deputising for a pretty handy fullback. Addin Fonua-Blake won his battle with David Klemmer despite a stint in the bin.
7. Eels (5)
The Eels were brought back to reality in a harsh way. They were held scoreless in Canberra and look to have lost Blake Ferguson to nose and rib injuries. They were not good. 53% completion rate and 18 errors makes for unhappy reading. King Gutherson topped the metres again but that pass to no one in the corner still has me confused. They have a HUGE week ahead ending in a clash with the Tigers.
8. Tigers (9)
The Tigers return to winning ways after a last-minute Michael Chee-Kam try saw off the Broncos. Luke Brooks lead the way while Josh Reynolds continued his brilliant results off the boot. Alex Twal is a defensive beast making 58 tackles. Fonua and Thompson won the wing battle. Tigers fans are surely happy with the start to their season.
9. Warriors (7)
The Warriors played their hearts out but just couldn’t handle Cody Walker. RTS could be the best fullback in the world right now. He’s undisputed in terms of defensive efforts. The 67% completion rate leaves no question as to why they lost this game. If the passes stick, they win this game. I’m a huge fan of Bunty Afoa coming off the bench.
10. Sharks (10)
The Sharks should be lower if not for results around them. Another 20-minute effort saw the Sharks score three tries late to restore some respectability to the scoreline. Xerri had a nightmare but will learn. Nikora and Capewell both continue to star. The Sharks are already relying too much on Johnson who was far from the best on Saturday. That early kick before half time should have seen him hooked.
11. Panthers (11)
Another side who should have free fallen down the ranks, the Panthers dropped two points to the Titans. The Panthers’ big name players just aren’t earning their keep, Kikau aside. I’m glad to see DWZ has shifted to fullback, that will pay dividends. The Panthers forwards were overrun again. They need a win this Thursday night. Maloney had 13 missed tackles…
12. Titans (16)
The Titans are on the board via a 30-24 win over the Panthers. Michael Gordon had a brilliant game in his 250th NRL appearance. Brimson and Roberts handled the early injury to Ash Taylor well and led their side. Ryan James is twice the player when in the middle. King, Hipgrave and Whitbread all made an impact off the bench. Anthony Don may be everybody’s second favourite player.
13. Bulldogs (13)
The Dogs were played off the park in the Sunday afternoon sunshine. The 40-0 loss was every bit as bad as it sounds. They handed the Dragons multiple tries through reserve grade errors. The Dogs are going to produce these kinds of games but hopefully rise to the massive occasion next Friday against the Bunnies.
14. Broncos (12)
The Broncos are dire right now. They should have won this game if not for an absolutely disgusting set when in field goal territory. The way they let Chee-Kam waltz through four defenders was reserve grade stuff. Darius Boyd will be lucky to hold onto his number one jumper despite Seibold’s comical comment that he’s happy with his fullbacks in 2019.
15. Knights (14)
1-4 and suddenly that expected return to the finals looks a long way away. The over-reliance on Kalyn Ponga is far too obvious. Klemmer seemed to fire up late but was otherwise kept quiet. A Knights fan and friend literally had to Google whether Pearce was on the field in the first half. They’ve legit forgot Jesse Ramien plays for them.
16. Cowboys (15)
The Cowboys were brave on Friday night yet never really looked in a position to win. Josh McGuire looks set for a stint on the sideline after a moment of madness. The Cows don’t need that considering their forwards are getting beaten. Why is Jake Granville playing 34 minutes? There must have been an injury I missed.