The first round is in the books and there were some surprises for all of us. Who expected the Eels to put 40 on the Warriors? Not I.
The Raiders were horrible and were only surpassed by the Warriors and Tigers. Anyway, on to the ranking and please let me know what you think and make a comment.
1. Newcastle Knights: Pummeled the Tigers with ease and should have scored 6o. That was a top four performance and even though it is only round one, Knights fans have a lot to be excited about this year.
2. Parramatta Eels: Who saw that coming? I didn’t but it was a pleasure to watch the Eels trounce the Warriors. Should be a big crowd against the Doggies. Any idea on what Hayne’s new signature move will be?
3. Melbourne Storm: Melbourne were Melbourne and Saints were sinners. The Storm took care of business as expected and nothing has changed south of the border.
4. South Sydney Rabbitohs: Smashed the chooks and didn’t they love it! Inglis is a beast and will be unstoppable in 2013 barring injury. Reynolds looks sharp too. He’ll be knocking on the Origin door this year me thinks.
5. Cronulla Sharks: An emotional, gutsy win against the Titans, who played the Sharks hard all night. Will week 2 be an emotional letdown? Only time will tell but well done to the Sharks.
6. North Queensland Cowboys: Thurston was on fire and got paid like the best player in the game. He will retire a very rich Cowboy and deserves every cent! Cowboys are the real deal in 2013.
7. Penrith Panthers: The Panthers scuttled the Raiders without a star studded line up so kudos to them. Gould and Cleary have a plan and they are sticking to it. It looks like success is on the horizon if they can stay the course.
8. Manly Sea Eagles: Workman like performance from Manly. Their halves are the key to success and they are both gutsy young blokes who like to roll their sleeves up and get down and dirty. The Cherry-Evans tackle on Jack Reed was the highlight of the night against the Broncos.
9. Gold Coast Titans: Yes, the Titans lost but there was a lot to like about the way they played. It was gritty and gutsy and they were on a hiding to nothing against a fired up Sharks side. The top eight is not out of the question for the Titans.
10. Canterbury Bulldogs: The Doggies lost minus four of their big guns but there is no rest for the wicked in the NRL. Next up are the Eels and they will not be a pushover. If Dessie loses two on the trot will the calls for Barba to return get louder around Belmore?
11. Brisbane Broncos: This is who I thought the Broncos would be in 2013. Start hard and fade badly. Prince and Wallace would be the least threatening halves combo in the NRL. Hodges can’t do it all on his own and I think Griffin will be on the hot seat before too long.
12. St George Illawarra Dragons: Were outclassed by the permiers and that will be the common theme with the Dragons in 2013. They are a team in decline and should use 2013 to blood youngsters with a view to the future. The other worrying thing is no decent player wants to sign with the Dragons. Why is that?
13. Sydney Roosters: I expected more of the Roosters but they fizzled big time. They have the Warriors this week and need to turn it around big time. SBW will need time to get used to the more physical nature of the NRL and should improve considerably once he’s in the groove. Mitchell Pearce on the other hand…
14. New Zealand Warriors: I sort of expected this from a Matt Elliott coached side. I see little upside for the Warriors in 2013 unfortunately. Elliott may not last the year in N.Z.
15. Canberra Raiders: Talk about pathetic! Dugan has revealed he has major personal issues to deal with. Anyone surprised by this? Todd Carney revisited? For such a talented side on paper, the Raiders tend to disappoint more often than not. If guys like Dugan and Earl worry more about their football than their appearance, the Raiders may just be taken seriously.
16. Wests Tigers: I tipped the Tigers to be near the bottom in 2o13 and last night only confirms what I was thinking. They are going to be mauled this year with a small forward pack and not much outside of Marshall and Farah. Mick Potter has a hell of a job on his hands to get this team to be competitive on a weekly basis.