1. Roosters (2)
The Roosters won their Grand Final “rematch” thanks to a marvellous, long-range field goal from Latrell Mitchell. The 21-20 victory has the Roosters flying high. All of the tri-colour stars stood up despite a serious injury toll. Collins and Tupouniua were huge in the absence of Taukeiaho. James Tedesco and Luke Keary are absolute locks for Origin and will form a lethal combination. That field goal!!!
2. Raiders (3)
The Raiders are now five from six on the back of a fifth straight victory. The 26-22 win over Brisbane came on the back of utter domination across their backline. CNK, Leilua, Croker, Cotric, Rapana; all massive. Leilua is now firmly in the Origin discussion after his two tries. The English imports are firing with both Bateman and Sutton scoring despite a big work rate. The 2019 Raiders are a completely different side to their 2018 counterparts.
3. Storm (1)
The Storm remains atop the NRL ladder despite their first loss of the season. The golden point loss will hurt as the purple haze had opportunities to win this game. That said there are no alarm bells. They were only one Curtis Scott handling error away from 6-0. Christian Welch made over 200 metres off the bench and looks a lock for QLD come game one.
4. Rabbitohs (4)
The Bunnies are now five from six despite not playing well. The Good Friday clash didn’t live up to clashes of the past but the two tries to one win sets the Rabbits up well. Campbell Graham can’t stop scoring. Burgess and Murray lead the way again while Liam Knight ran for 120 metres from the bench. Damien Cook is head and shoulders above the rest of the competition’s number nines.
5. Dragons (5)
Four straight wins for the Red V has them flying. The 12-10 win came under controversial circumstances but they won late which is a positive. Paul Vaughan is a monster and has an Origin jumper sewn up. Not a fan of Lomax being named yet not used. Ben Hunt registered another two try assists. His kicking game is really an asset. They’re in great form heading into a massive Anzac Day clash.
6. Eels (7)
Wow! What a performance and what a result. The 51-6 win over the Tigers was the perfect way to open their new stadium. Mitch Moses was a wizard on the day. Michael Jennings turned back the clock. The nine tries to one win was the highlight of the round. To do that despite losing Daniel Alvaro in the opening minute is huge. Tim Mannah stood up in his absence. How good were Shaun Lane and Junior Paulo?
7. Sharks (10)
What a comeback. At 14-0 down at half time the Sharks looked shot. It was their youngsters in Kennedy, Nikora and Xerri who led the way in the second half. Townsend and Johnson won their battle with their Origin halves opponents. They made 500 more metres in attack despite only leading the contest for four minutes. Dugan was Jekyll and Hyde in each half on the back of illness and a shift to the wing. Young Jayden Brailey is tough as nails. Fifita was enormous.
8. Sea Eagles (6)
The Sea Eagles are rightfully filthy at the manner of their defeat but this is still one that got away. DCE is leading the way in a big way. Marty Taupau topped the metres with almost 170. They really missed AFB up front. Corey Waddell is playing well off the bench. Manly should have won this game. They’re a far different side than last year.
9. Titans (12)
What a win! The Titans did away with the Knights to the tune of 38-14 despite losing Ryan James early, and Kevin Proctor earlier in the day. Six tries, including a double to Tyrone Roberts, were more than enough. An 89% completion rate is very impressive. Phillip Sami ran for 219 metres off the bench, he must have had spiders on him. Impressive afternoon for the Titans.
10. Warriors (9)
Despite scoring two tries each, the Warriors fell to the Cowboys. They really missed the experience of Blake Green in the later stages of the game. 68% completion doesn’t make for pretty reading. RTS was brilliant. I have that on copy and paste for next week. Adam Blair has come under heavy scrutiny and for good reason. 41 metres in 80 minutes of footy is ridiculous.
11. Tigers (8)
Yuk! This is one the Tigers and their fans will want to forget. The nine-try to one loss will hurt all week and rightfully so. 10 line breaks conceded, 2041 metres allowed … not good reading. They were soft in the middle. There’s not much to like here other than the game is over, never to be thought about again.
12. Cowboys (10)
It is still early but the Cowboys may have kept their season alive with the seven-point win across the Tasman. Coen Hess played his best game of the season. Michael Morgan iced the game with a clever field goal. Josh McGuire was immense in his milestone game. Jake Clifford has enormous potential. That 84% completion rate will make Paul Green happy after a few weeks of bad handling.
13. Panthers (11)
At 14-0, and then 20-6, the Panthers should be disgusted with the final result. They simply couldn’t wrestle back momentum once it was lost. 46 missed tackles (to 14) is awful. Maloney is going to lose his Origin jersey if he can’t fix his defence. DWZ will want this game back after a series of errors and his brain explosion to hand the ball back to the Sharks.
14. Bulldogs (13)
The Dogs were much better this week yet still fell well short. The 14-6 win was brave but they’re struggling to find points. Two tries in 80 minutes doesn’t make for good reading. I like the look of Ofahiki Ogden at prop. Will Hopoate played well after being shifted to full back after 50 minutes. Why is Rhyse Martin relegated to the bench? Insanity. Elliott was good but only managed 40 minutes.
15. Broncos (14)
The 26-22 scoreline flattered the Broncs after a late Jack Bird try. Payne Haas set a platform with 170 run metres but the Broncos spine just isn’t producing. Hard to put a finger on exactly what is going wrong but Anthony Seibold probably only has two or three weeks to work it out before the season is lost.
16. Knights (15)
Oh dear. The Knights are now 1-5 despite winning their first game and all that off-season hype. There’s plenty of annoyance on social media re the media’s focus on Ponga but he ran for 234 metres, made three line breaks and scored a try. The over-reliance on the kid is worrying. Klemmer aside the Knights big men were awful.