1. Cowboys (last week: 1)
impressing everyone over the last month of football, the Cowboys now
have serious trouble on the horizon. Rampaging forward Jason Taumalolo
will miss between six and eight weeks with a knee injury, and while they
were able to cover his loss in the opening minutes against Newcastle,
the task won't be so easy after the break for the rep weekend.
2. Dragons (3)
when it seemed like nothing could stop St George Illawarra's run, the
weather intervened and the players were taken from the ground after
torrential rain so heavy they were struggling to see the ball. The
Dragons lost all the momentum after the break, but still managed to
cling on for the win, showcasing just how far this side have come since
the start of the season.
3. Broncos (7)
worth issuing an apology here. We were accused of reacting too harshly
by dropping the Broncos so far last week, and we're big enough to admit
we were wrong.
4. Roosters (8)
Has this side
forgotten how to win? Another narrow loss against – this time the best
defensive side in the competition – has us scratching our heads. The
week off for rep footy might be just what the Chooks need to regroup
before a soft return to the winner's list against the Wests Tigers.
5. Titans (10)
on 32 points in the win against the Warriors and in the process sealed
their position as the best attacking side in the competition, only
marginally ahead of the team that they beat. If they had finished all
the chances they blew against the Warriors they could have opened up a
much bigger gap.
6. Panthers (11)
It is looking like
2014 all over again, with the Panthers winning in the face of what
should be insurmountable injury problems. Already missing six regular
first graders going into the match against the Sharks, Penrith lost
James Segeyaro and Dean Whare before the start and the case looked
hopeless. Yet somehow they got the points. We can't explain it, so we'll
just look on in wonder, like we did last season.
7. Storm (2)
much-vaunted Storm attack couldn't score a point against one of the
worst sides in the competition in the second half, posing questions over
whether Melbourne are the real deal this season. There is no faulting
their defence, but they looked to be out of options while Fijian flyer
Marika Koroibete was off the pitch for a concussion test.
8. Sharks (5)
if losing to Penrith isn't bad enough, the Sharks have further bad
news, with Michael Ennis and Chris Heighington sure to spend time on the
sidelines after a lifting tackle on Jeremy Latimore. They'll be hard
pressed covering for this pair as well as Paul Gallen in the coming
9. Warriors (9)
The Warriors continue to have
real problems at right centre. Against the Titans youngster David
Fusitu'a was the latest to try his hand in the role, and while he scored
his side's opening try, he was opened up defensively on several
occasions. Looks like it is back to the drawing board for Andrew
10. Bulldogs (4)
There can be no side in
the competition wanting the break for rep footy more than the Bulldogs.
They should get David Klemmer and Josh Morris back after the break, and
things might start turning around after that.
11. Raiders (14)
looks like there is a new side vying with the Titans for the best away
side in the competition. The Raiders have now managed four wins on the
road after getting across the line against the Bunnies, while still
remaining winless at home.
12. Rabbitohs (6)
every passing week that Adam Reynolds is out of the side it appears his
next contract will only continue to increase in value.
13. Wests Tigers (15)
still can't understand why Jason Taylor was complaining about having to
face the Bulldogs a second time, when he met them at what was probably
their most vulnerable. That aside, how exciting is it watching Pat
14. Eels (12)
As good as Parramatta look at
times, they always let their opponents back into the game at some stage
through basic errors or lapses in concentration. If teams are patient
enough to wait and absorb pressure, the mistakes will always come.
15. Knights (13)
certainly pushed the Cowboys a lot harder than we were expecting, but
we think that had more to do with the injuries suffered by North
Queensland than any huge lift in intensity from the Knights.
16. Sea Eagles (16)
the win over Melbourne a sign that the tide has turned, or was it a
dead-cat bounce? At the minute we are not ready to say Manly have turned
things around, but we should get a clearer sign of whether they have
lifted when they play the Knights after the break.