What have we learned in three weeks? Elliott and Price will not see out the season. Griffin is already on thin ice and the hoodoo is alive and well thankfully for David Furner.
1. Melbourne Storm
The benchmark early on and is anyone surprised by this? Not I. They will drop a few during Origin but early wins are setting themselves up for a top four finish.
2. South Sydney Rabbitohs
Definitely not at their best but they are still undefeated. The hallmark of a good side is winning ugly. Wait til’they come good! Inglis can still improve and that’s scary!
3. Cronulla Sharks
A gritty football team with a lot of talent. Top four material and should demolish the hapless Dragons this weekend. Michael Gordon has been outstanding and they’d be licking their lips knowing they have the Dragons this weekend.
4. Gold Coast Titans
The surprise packet early on and they are playing hard nosed football through a massive forward pack and clever halves. Definitely top eight material and will cause more than a few upsets throughout the course of the season.
5. Manly Sea Eagles
Age shall not weary them. Not true in Manly’s case. They are a solid football team but I doubt they have the firepower to go all the way this year. Their glory days are in the rear vision mirror. They still fight hard though.
6. Sydney Roosters
SBW is finding his feet and the Roosters have won two on the trot. They still have work to do but it’s only round three and I think they’ll get better, not worse. Cordner is a gun and will be a revelation this season.
7. Newcastle Knights
A bit of a Jekyll and Hyde team at the moment. Big win followed by big loss then big win. Should be too strong for the Raiders at home this weekend.
8. Wests Tigers
I’m not sure what to make of the Tigers. They are going ok but I think the lack of size in the forward pack will hurt them down the stretch. Could make the eight but need luck with injuries.
9. Canterbury Bulldogs
The Dogs are going well despite having won only one game. Once they get their full compliment back they are capable of winning 10+ game in a row but giving a head start is never a good thing in such a tight competition.
10. North Queensland Cowboys
Two big defeats on the trot for the Cowboys. It’s not panic stations yet but there is cause for concern. Their defence is in tatters and Thurston can’t do it all on his own. He may think he can but he needs help if they are to be contenders this year.
11. Penrith Panthers
The Panthers are treading water and after flogging the Raiders, the wheels aren’t spinning, they have fallen off. Signing Brent Kite is no master stroke either. Cleary would be better blooding youngsters rather than sign aging veterans.
12. Brisbane Broncos
Kept scoreless against the Chooks and it wasn’t pretty. I predicted Wallace and Prince would be ineffective and if anything, they are worse than I expected. Griffin doesn’t have long to turn this sinking ship around.
13. Parramatta Eels
Where was the grit from round one and two? Against the Tigers they looked more like the team from last year. I guess these things take time and Eels fans need to learn patience really is a virtue. Ben Roberts is not even a short term answer.
14. Canberra Raiders
Kept the hoodoo in tact but don’t read anything into their win over the Dragons. It’s expected. Let’s see if they can win a tough one on the road before I start to take them seriously. The return of Brett White was a massive positive for the Raiders in terms of in field leadership.
15. St George Illawarra Dragons
Pop gun attack from a team and coach devoid of ideas. Face the Sharks this weekend and barring a miracle, the Dragons will be 0-4. Steve Price better have a good manager.
16. New Zealand Warriors
If you can’t say anything nice…