NRL Power Rankings: Round 9

By
Updated: May 3, 2017

 

We are a third of the way into the NRL season and it’s becoming quite obvious who will be playing finals or at least in the running to and those going on an early holiday 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 have seemed to have pulled a complete 180 on their approach in games over the last few weeks compared to the starting rounds and last season. The Storm have turned a lot of their focus into attack which has led to them leaking more points than they usually do. Christian Welch was confirmed to be out for the season with an ACL injury which will force the Storm to draw from their endless depth to fill Welch’s bench spot.   

2nd Sharks (Last Week: 3rd)

An unconvincing return the winners circle however the Sharks are still winning most of their games despite playing well below what they are capable of. Cronulla will come out of the rep round with a game against local rivals St George-Illawarra in a battle for second spot that should be the game of the round.     

3rd Broncos (Last Week: 4th)

Weathered the Panthers energetic start and when it was their turn with the ball proceeded to tear Penrith apart in a dazzling attacking display, James Roberts in particular was impressive. Besides an injury to Roberts later in the match, there were no real negatives for Brisbane in this one and are travelling along nicely with Origin just around the corner.    

High fives all round at Red Hill

4th Raiders (Last Week: 2nd)

Things have gone a little awry at Canberra after two straight losses in games they were expected to win. While their right edge attack with Austin, Leilua and Rapana have produced 17 tries between them, their defence is worrying, the trio are also in top four at the club for committing errors with a combined tally of 40.

5th Roosters (Last Week: 5th)

Suffered a controversial loss to the Warriors that kept the Roosters from securing outright second place. The Roosters have proven last season was a one off and have set themselves up nicely to head into the middle third of the season. That foundation is greatly needed as it’s likely up to five players will go missing due to Origin duties.  

6th Warriors (Last Week: 6th)

New Zealand claimed their first big scalp of the year with a one point win over the Roosters, previously they had only recorded victories over the Knights, Titans and Eels. It’s being a shaky start for the Warriors but has gradually gotten better with each and every game. Kieran Foran’s arrival has somewhat limited Shaun Johnson’s influence and the duo are still trying to find the right balance. 

Johnson needs to regain control of the team.

7th Dragons (Last Week: 7th)

Sitting at second place after a third of the season completed is about as far away from where many expected the Dragons to be. Gareth Widdop has been arguably the most in form half in the competition and his absence against the Storm was noticeable as Kurt Mann struggled to lead the team around the park.

8th Sea Eagles (Last Week: 8th)

Akuila Uate was the man of the match with four tries however each one can be traced back to Dylan Walker as he set up his winger every time with a smart and skillful pass or offload. An argument could be made for Daly Cherry-Evans to take Michael Morgan’s bench spot in the Maroons team with the current form he’s in, the Manly captain has been influential to the Sea Eagles success while Morgan has struggled this year.

9th Eels (Last Week: 10th)

Have recovered well from their four game losing streak and have climbed back into the top eight with a win over the cowboys up in Townsville. Still need a lot to improve in defence and general attitude but have turned it around to be genuine finals contenders.

10th Canterbury (Last Week: 11th)

The Bulldogs put in an inspirational win after losing James Graham and Josh Reynolds to concussion and hamstring injuries respectively. After a slow start, the Bulldogs should thank Mbye for getting suspended as it was the turning point for Matt Frawley’s inclusion into the side and since Frawley’s arrival Canterbury have gone 4-1.  Josh Reynold’s injury is likely to keep him out for games against the Cowboys, Roosters and Sharks, his absence could be harmful to the team’s chances however it’ll give the aforementioned Frawley a more opportunity in the halves. 

Canterbury will get their first taste of life without Josh Reynolds this month.

11th Cowboys (Last Week: 9th)

The wheels have fallen off the wagon for the Cowboys who are desperate to get back senior players. I touched on last week that Michael Morgan was struggling with out Thurston by his side and it became even more apparent in the loss to the Eels. The Cowboys are about to head into an even tougher stretch, playing six of their next eight games away from home whilst missing players from Origin. It’s a make or break time for the North Queensland club who are in serious jeopardy of missing finals.    

12th Titans (Last Week: 13th)

Needed to continue their good form with another win and after a tough first half the Titans broke the game open and recorded a thumping victory. A sensational try from Konrad Hurrell off a well placed kick from Ash Taylor was proof enough that the Gold Coast do have the talent and skill to pull off another finals charge.

13th Rabbitohs (Last Week: 12th)

For the Rabbitohs players, it’s a relief that everyone is either on break or in representative camps as no one will want to sit down and watch a replay of Friday nights game with coach Michael Maguire. How the Souths respond to the loss in two weeks time is crucial to their season.   

14th Panthers (Last Week: 14th)

The Panthers were in desperate need of a win and they came out with all intentions to get the two points however after the controversial no-try decision to James Tamou, the Panthers seemed to drop their heads as Brisbane ran all over them in the first half. The Panthers last 3 first halves have been dismal to say the least with an aggregate score of 2-46.  

15th Tigers (Last Week: 15th)

Wests Tigers were cruelled by injury mid match, losing both James Tedesco and captain Aaron Woods before half time while David Nofoaluma was clearly carrying a leg injury. The respective injuries made it difficult for the Tigers to create any flow in their game however they still were only defeated by a clever chip kick from Cronulla halfback Chad Townsend so there were still positive signs.

16th Knights (Last Week: 16th)

With Jaime Buhrer, Mitch Barnett and Trent Hodkinson all missing due to either injury or form, the Knights are lacking much needed experience and direction in games, especially when the younger players need someone to look to for leadership. Where there was once hope for Newcastle now lies another probable wooden spoon.  

A familiar situation for the Knights.

 

Written By Mitchell McGuinness

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