Welcome to the first edition of Hammer’s NRL Power Rankings. Hopefully we can make this a regular fixture.
Stat of the week: Anthony Griffin used the phrase “you know” 49 times in the presser.
Round 1 (NRL ladder position in brackets)
1. Melbourne Storm. (8th) I tipped them to play Roosters in this year’s GF and have seen nothing to change my mind.
2. Sydney Roosters. (1st) Lack of a goal kicker may cost them later in the season when it counts but otherwise red hot.
3. South Sydney Rabbitohs. (9th) Did well to come back and stop the pain against the Storm. Difficult to rate properly at this stage of the season.
4. Penrith Panthers. (2nd) Kept a mistake riddled Cowboys to zero but given the huge number of tackles in the opposition 20 early should have won by a lot more.
5. Newcastle Knights. (4th) Got ambushed early by the Dogs but got the win assisted by the ref’s interpretation of the ridiculous 6 again rule.
6. Cronulla Sharks. (5th) Great competition rate and looked sharp in attack. Defence under the bomb a little worrying.
7. Canberra Raiders. (3rd) Difficult to rate given the oppositions poor ball handling in their own 20. Got the rub of the green from the ref.
8. Parramatta Eels. (7th) Found a way to win after being down early against a much-improved Broncos.
9. New Zealand Warriors. (6th) Great start for them but time will tell what side turns up each week.
10. Brisbane Broncos. (10th) Much improved from last season despite the loss.
11. Canterbury Bulldogs. (13th) Another side that looked much improved.
12. St.George Illawarra Dragons. (12th) Woeful first half. Comeback cruelled by the bunker. Need to be a lot better.
13. Gold Coast Titans. (11th) Completely failed to live up to the hype. A couple of good signings does not always transform an average team into a good one.
14. North Qld Cowboys. (15th) The only highlight was some desperate defence against a Penrith side permanently camped inside their 20. Handling was diabolical.
15. Manly Sea Eagles. (16th) Another side difficult to rate given the form of the opposition. Mistake rate terrible and lucky not to concede 60.
16. Wests Tigers. (14th) Threw away a great start and looked terrible from that point onwards.