NRL Power Rankings: Round 6

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Updated: April 11, 2017

We are officially a quarter of the way into the NRL season and we are starting to get a better idea of where each team is at and just who might be playing finals or going on holidays in September.  Rather than ranking teams as the ladder stands, the OTLS NRL Power Rankings will take into account current form, potential, injuries and who we think would be the hardest to easiest to beat in the next weekends round.

 

1st Storm (Last Week: 1st)

Melbourne’s unbeaten run comes to an end as the Storm went down to defending premiers Cronulla in a wet and wild grand final rematch. While both teams were poor at handling the ball in the conditions, the Storm made 15 errors and conceded 7 penalties that disallowed Melbourne any chance of building any pressure on the Sharks. A rare bad performance from the Storm is exactly that, rare; and we still think they’re the team to beat in 2017, the Sea Eagles better look out come Saturday afternoon.   

2nd Raiders (Last Week: 3rd)

Canberra ran over a young Titans team with ease, the only negative to take away from their performance was that they let the Gold Coast score a couple of easy tries. Jordan Rapana has established himself as the best winger in the NRL and therefore the world, he tore apart the Titans with statistics more suited to video game standards.   

3rd Sharks (Last Week: 7th)

Pulled off a gutsy performance to record their first ever win over the Storm at AAMI Park. The heavy rain made the ball resemble a bar of soap and that reflected in their error count however the Sharks were able to handle the conditions a little better than the Storm could. James Segeyaro again only came on in the final 20 minutes but it was a match winning performance that included two clever kicks, one enforcing a drop out and then a subtle grubber leading to Segeyaro scoring his first try for Cronulla.

The Sharks are building towards another top four finish.

4th Dragons (Last Week: 5th)

Gareth Widdop single-handedly led the Dragons to victory over the Sea Eagles as St George Illawarra sit atop the NRL ladder. The Dragons forward pack is firing on all cylinders, Jack de Belin seems destined to take over Paul Gallen’s spot in the NSW Blues team while Paul Vaughan continues to put in strong performances.    

 

5th Roosters (Last Week: 2nd)

Hello ? Sydney Roosters, this is Earth. Welcome back to reality. The Roosters defence has been shaky all year, particularly around the edges and while their ability in attack has been strong enough to disguise it, it’s finally caught up with them. Sydney will play a spirited Knights outfit on Friday night in what could be seen as a danger game.   

 

6th Broncos (Last Week: 6th)

In what was one of the most unstructured and improvised attacking games of football, the Broncos got a win to stop their season from slipping away, however it came at a cost with halfback Ben Hunt suffering a hamstring injury that could see him miss the next 6-8 weeks. Kodi Nikorima should get his opportunity in the starting team and there’s no better team for him to face than the Titans as he tries to cement his spot.

7th Panthers (Last Week: 8th)

Sitting at 12th with a 2-4 record isn’t a great look for the Panthers who were considered as equal premiership favourites before the season began. Dropping captain Matthew Moylan as well as Pita Hiku and Waqa Blake proved costly as the Panthers went down by only a point to the Rabbitohs and only time will tell how costly missing out on those two premiership points is at the end of the season. It doesn’t get much easier for Penrith as they host the reigning premiers Cronulla on Sunday afternoon.

8th Cowboys (Last Week: 4th)

Johanthan Thurston, Matthew Scott, Jake Granville, Lachlan Coote, Justin O’Neill, Antonio Winterstein and Shaun Fensom. That is one hell of an injury list for the Cowboys. Depending on how serious Thurston’s calf injury is determines just how bad it may get for the North Queenslanders, the depleted squad is now vulnerable in games they were pencilled in to win before the season began and it may get even worse when the origin period hits. The doomsday bells are ringing and the Cowboys may be in serious danger of missing finals altogether.   

This is the darkest timeline for Cowboys fans.

9th Sea Eagles (Last Week: 9th)

Manly got ambushed early by the Dragons as they went down 14-0 in the first 20 minutes and they never really recovered from that point. The Sea Eagles will try to bounce back after a horrid performance however they couldn’t have asked for a harder task when they face a Melbourne team who just lost their first game of the season.

10th Warriors (Last Week: 12th)

The Warriors season is starting to build steam and it’s no coincidence the upward spike in their performance coincided with Kieran Foran’s recent inclusion. Foran has starred in both of his appearances for the Warriors and his contributions has lifted the performances of his teammates around him. The ultimate test of their finals chances awaits the Warriors this week when they take on the Raiders in Canberra on Saturday afternoon.

11th Bulldogs (Last Week: 11th)

It was an unconvincing win over the Knights but the Bulldogs will take the two points anyway they can get them. Matt Frawley was impressive enough that Moses Mbye might be in danger of losing his starting spot this week, the young half has rejuvenated the Bulldogs stagnant attack particularly when keeping the ball down the opposition’s end. Canterbury have a great opportunity to keep their winning streak alive when they take on the Rabbitohs in their annual Good Friday clash.    

12th Eels (Last Week: 10th)

It can’t be easy being a Parramatta fan, no matter how well things are going, disaster seems to lurk behind every corner. It was only four weeks ago they sat at the top of the NRL ladder and after four straight losses they sit 13th, only above the Tigers, Titans and Knights. To make matters worse, exciting fullback Bevan French will miss six weeks with a knee injury as they face a tough run of opponents in that period (Tigers, Panthers, Cowboys, Roosters and Raiders).

13th Rabbitohs (Last Week: 13th)

The Souths beat a self-inflicted depleted Panthers side by a point in a thrilling match. Winger Braidon Burns did everything he could to lose this one, Nathan Cleary’s bombs will be haunting Burns nightmares for quite some time. While the Rabbitohs did win, it should concern coach Michael Maguire that it took them almost everything they had to beat a Panthers team that wasn’t all that impressive.

It’s best not to think where the Bunnies would be without Reynolds.

14th Tigers (Last Week: 16th)

The Tigers went all out as they tried to impress their new coach Ivan Cleary and while they made a mountain of unforced errors, there is still a lot to like about the way they played. The only question now is can they play like that every week ? Their Easter Monday showdown with the Eels should get interesting as Mitchell Moses has reportedly signed with Parramatta and could join the Eels within hours after the match concludes.

15th Knights (Last Week: 15th)

Put in a strong effort against the Bulldogs but some lapses in defence along with a few 50/50 calls going against them, were unlucky not to snag a win. It’s encouraging for Knights that they are staying in games rather than getting blown out of the water week-in week-out like they did in 2016 however,  it’s just basic skill errors that keep them from putting themselves in winnable positions.

It’s a hard road to the top or in the Knights case, off the bottom.

16th Titans (Last Week: 14th)

It was like before the game the Titans knew they couldn’t win so they didn’t even try in what was arguably their worst loss of the season…so far. Young halfback Ash Taylor had an absolute shocker despite scoring a try while Tyrone Roberts added to an already long injury list with a broken toe. Nathan Peats could line-up against the Broncos on Friday night while Jarryd Hayne isn’t far off either, the Titans would hope to see a win very soon or their season will be over before it started.   

 

Written By Mitchell McGuinness

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