NRL Power Rankings: Round 4

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Updated: March 28, 2017

Another new segment here at OTLS NRL, with the power rankings revealed each and every week on Tuesdays. Rather than ranking teams as the ladder stands, the OTLS NRL Power Ranking will take into account current form, potential, injuries and who we think would be the hardest to beat the next week.

 

1st Storm (Last Week: 1st)

Despite their recent hardships at Leichhardt Oval, facing a team on the coach rebound and finding themselves trailing by 14 points, the Storm found a way to win and continue their perfect start to the season. A long trip to Perth against the Panthers presents another challenge to the Storm to stay undefeated.   

2nd Roosters (Last Week: 2nd)

Like the Storm, the Roosters also remain perfect. They took care of the Souths without too much trouble while Luke Keary and Mitchell Pearce continue to be a winning combination. The win takes the Roosters to 4-0, their best start to a season since 1996 however in that year they went undefeated until round 10.  

All smiles at the Roosters.

3rd Cowboys (Last Week: 3rd)

Coen Hess has stepped up when the Cowboys really needed him and he delivered, Kayln Ponga showed exactly why he was so sought after in a performance that will have Knights fans excited for his  arrival in 2018. The Cowboys have been badly hurt by injuries but their depth has covered them well enough in the meantime. They will get Jason Taumalolo back this week while first choice fullback Lachlan Coote is a chance to return also.  

4th Broncos (Last Week: 4th)

Scored a much needed win in yet another close game for the Broncos, they still have a heap of room to improve but they remain one of the better teams. One has to wonder if the closeness of their recent matches will start to take a toll on the players soon, however Brisbane should get some reprieve and make easy work of the Bulldogs on Thursday night.

5th Panthers (Last Week: 8th)

The Panthers bounced back after their controversial loss to the Roosters and absolutely destroyed the Knights with a brilliant display of attacking football. Keeping the opposition scoreless is a nice feather in the cap as well for Penrith however the Knights were that poor that most teams would have been able to shut them out. The Panthers face a great test to their contender credentials when they go up against the Storm in Perth on Saturday night.  

6th Sharks (Last Week: 7th)

The best teams are the ones that can win “ugly” and while the Sharks were average by their standards and managed to win, the Eels were so deplorable that the Sharks Under 20’s team probably would have won as well. The debut of James Segeyaro despite an early penalty was largely uneventful in his 20 minute run.  Flanagan has slated him to come off the bench and take the pressure off rookie Jayden Brailey in a partnership that is mutually beneficial for Brailey, Segeyaro and most definitely Cronulla.   

7th Dragons (Last Week: 9th)

The Dragons have gone from a team with a couple of lucky upsets, to a team that shouldn’t be underestimated. While the Warriors aren’t exactly a great indicator at the moment to how good a team is, it was the way the Dragons beat them that was impressive. The Dragons should add another win to to the tally this weekend against the Tigers and continue building towards a surprise finals berth.

Paul Vaughan tries to eat Josh McCrone. In other news the Dragons might actually be good in 2017.

8th Raiders (Last Week: 5th)

The Raiders have shown 2016 wasn’t a fluke and have been in some good form in the opening four rounds (minus the 26 point loss to Cronulla) however they haven’t managed to win the close games which is critical for any successful club to do. The Raiders have committed 51 errors so far this season which is equal first with the Wests Tigers, it’s clearly an area of their game they must improve on or they’ll continue to play themselves out of victory.   

9th Eels (Last Week: 6th)

Parramatta were by any definition of the word… terrible. They committed a massive 16 errors, conceded 8 penalties and they could only manage a completion rate of 61 percent in a performance that would have made Brad Arthur tear his hair out if he had any. We’d give the Eels the benefit of the doubt and chalk it up to just a bad day but the Eels loss to the Titans last week was riddled with errors as well. Their upcoming game against the Raiders who are also desperate for a win shapes up to be a cutthroat affair.

The magical start the Eels had is well and truly over.

10th Sea Eagles (Last Week: 12th)

The pressure on newly appointed captain and “Ten Million Dollar Man” Daly Cherry-Evans at the start of the season is gone, after two brilliant back to back performances, Cherry-Evans and his team mates have pundits reassessing their pre-season expectations of Manly. Their upcoming game against the Roosters on Friday night should indicate whether Manly are a finals chance or if the last two weeks were just a flash in the pan.     

11th Rabbitohs (Last Week: 11th)

The Souths tried their hardest but without Inglis and missing Sam Burgess to concussion in the second half, they just couldn’t match the skill level of the Roosters. Second in the NRL for try assists and equal second for line breaks and equal first for line break assists, Cody Walker has been an attacking weapon and a shining light for the Bunnies this season. It doesn’t get any easier for the Rabbitohs this week with a trip up to Townsville to face the Cowboys.

12th Titans (Last Week: 14th)

The Titans have conceded at least the first two tries in each of their four matches this season and while their second half never-give-up performances have been encouraging, the slow starts are killing off their chances to win games. Have the perfect opportunity to get their second win of the season against a struggling Warriors team on Sunday afternoon.

13th Tigers (Last Week: 16th)

The Tigers bounced back like teams usually do when the coach is sacked however that surge only lasted 20 minutes. The media circus surrounding the “Big Four” seems to be a distraction that just won’t go away and will continue to do so until their all four of their futures are clear.

The Tigers were…better ? slightly.

14th Warriors (Last Week: 13th)

This team has way too much talent to be performing like they have been, even if they are the Warriors. Not being able to perform basic skills has let them down and their attacking game has been inadequate to say the least. It seems to be a classic case of “a champion team will always beat a team of champions” because despite the horde of talent they have, it isn’t working and something needs to change.

15th Bulldogs (Last Week: 10th)

Pre-game expectations at OTLS was that the Bulldogs would beat the Sea Eagles in a comfortable manner, however that was far from the case proving that the Bulldogs win against the Warriors last week was a once off. The Bulldogs were back to their predictable and boring attacking style while their usually good defence was slow and ragged. Moses Mbye will miss a week due to a shoulder charge suspension, the change could further hinder their attack but maybe it could be the shake-up they need.   

16th Knights (Last Week: 15th)

Newcastle were back to their 2016 selves, their defence seemed lost and unable to stop anything the Panthers tried, constantly on the back foot, the Knights struggled to wrestle the momentum back their way. The improvement Newcastle have shown in 2017 would have made their fans think the blowout losses were over, however the loss shows they are still a team that will struggle this year. It’s important they bounce back this week and don’t fall into a rut, they’re only facing the defending premiers in Cronulla who they lost to in 2016 for an aggregate score of 96-4.

 

Written By Mitchell McGuinness

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