After only two rounds, we are down to three undefeated teams and it’s no surprise all three are considered legitimate title threats this year.
At the other end we have three teams who have yet to register a win with the Raiders anchored to the bottom of the table with a dreadful -58 points differential.
Let’s get to it.
1. Melbourne Storm
The premiers are still in fine form and will take some beating this year. They aren’t perfect and it will take a team to be perfect on their day to stop them. The big three still make the best spine in the NRL.
2. Manly Sea Eagles
You can’t buy experience but it’s the Sea Eagles halves who are causing the opposition the most headaches. Cherry-Evans and Foran are formidable and under the guidance of andrew Johns, will only continue to improve.
3. South Sydney Rabbitohs
The Bunnies are elite and can win the close ones even when they aren’t at their best. They beat the Sharks in a scrappy game with the difference being the boot of Adam Reynolds, who is putting the heat on Mitchell Pearce for the NSW number 7 jersey.
4. Cronulla Sharks
The Sharks have won a close one and lost a close one. Michael Gordon has been outstanding for the Sharks and amidst the turmoil, they are playing with pride and passion. What more could Sharks fans ask for?
5. Canterbury Bulldogs
The Dogs won a close one against the Eels and were not the better side but with Barba and Kasiano due back shortly, they will take their place in the top four before long. Josh Reynolds is the real deal and will probably be the NSW five eighth this year.
6. Gold Coast Titans
The Titans are exceeding expectations after losing a close one to the Sharks and thumping the Raiders. They have a monster forward pack and their havles are playing above themselves. Sezer has been impressive and Kelly looks to be on the straight and narrow. Are definitely top eight material.
7. North Queensland Cowboys
The Cowboys are a top four team and were int eh game for quite a while against the Storm, but Melbourne don’t give you much. No reason to panic as many more teams will come undone at the hands of the Storm.
8. Parramatta Eels
The Eels lost a tough one to the Dogs and Chris Sandow played out of his skin. He looks fit and confident but Hayne looked disinterested for most of the night and even though he picked up an ankle injury, he was capable of more than he delivered. The Eels need him firing if they are to climb the ladder. ps, Ben Smith should retire.
9. Newcastle Knights
The Knights came back to earth with a thud against Manly and even though it’s only round two, being kept scoreless is a concern. Still time to turn it all around and Bennett will make sure they do.
10. Brisbane Broncos
The Broncos beat the Dragons but that’s not all that difficult is it? I’m still not convinced they are good enough to make the top eight but they may prove me wrong, Matt Gillett has been their best so far this year.
11. Sydney Roosters
The Roosters got their first win against the Warriors and SBW is getting his mojo back but there are still signs the Roosters are a step or two off the pace of the front runners. They need more from their halves, especially Pearce.
12. Wests Tigers
The Tigers got their first win over the Panthers but I’m still not convinced they have the side to make the eight. Galloway is gone for four months and they are light on up front. They’ll need Farah and Marshall at their best every week.
13. Penrith Panthers
The Panthers came back to earth with a loss at the hands of the Tigers. A good reality check but with Coote gone for the season, it’s going to be tough to make the eight down one of their best players.
14 St George Illawarra Dragons
Steve Price won’t last the season unless he can things arond right now and win over the Raiders in Canberra might be the catalyst to get things going. The Dragona have a weak halves pairing and for that reason, I don’t see them climbing above 14th this year.
15. New Zealand Warriors
Matt Elliott has had the expected result with the Warriors. Yes, they lost at home in a close one, but under Elliott the only sides they will beat are the Dragons and the Raiders. A team with only one oar in the water.
16. Canberra Raiders
The Raiders have been pathetic to start the season. After all the hype and promises of getting it right this off-season, the Raiders are anchored to the bottom of the table and are playing like heartless bludgers. Only Reece Robinson can hold his head high after last week. Nuff said!