Better late than never (our fault, not Hammer’s), here are Hammer’s Power Rankings following the 2nd week of action.
Stat of the week: Brett Morris the first player to score back to back hattricks in the opening 2 rounds of the comp in the wettest round of rugby league since 1961.
Round 2 (NRL ladder position in brackets)
1. Sydney Roosters. (1st) Up one spot. Way too classy for Wests and are the early form team of the competition. Look unbeatable at this stage of the season.
2. Melbourne Storm. (9th) Down one spot. Some dummy-half deficiencies highlighted and possibly underrated their opposition but I still think they are the real deal.
3. South Sydney Rabbitohs. (8th) Holding 3rd in my eyes. Quality of the opposition left a lot to be desired but got the win and their spine looks superb. Have a bit of an injury toll at the moment.
4. Parramatta Eels. (5th) Up 4 spots. Outstanding upset win against the defending premiers. Bankwest is truly a fortress. Big wraps to the few supporters who had the balls to tip them. Sivo the difference in the end.
5. Penrith Panthers. (2nd) Down 1 spot. Again had a massive amount of possession in the opposition’s 20 with the score only blowing out after a questionable sin-binning. Some Kudos for their great defence but next Thursday night will tell the tale of where they are really at. Yet to play a decent side.
6. Newcastle Knights. (4th) Like Penrith, down 1 spot more due to Parra’s great win than their own form. Poor handling from the Warriors gifted them another win and it will be a few week’s before they play a decent side so I just can’t put them in the top 4 yet. Having said that, you can only play what’s in front of you.
7. Canberra Raiders. (3rd) Holding 7th at the moment. Don’t look like premiership material at this point. Maybe Croker will make a difference when he is back in a week or two. Far from their 2019 form when they made the GF.
8. Cronulla Sharks. (6th) Down 2 spots. Had ample opportunity to win the game but Townsend’s kicking resembled me off the first tee, although his general play looks really good. They do have Johnson back in a month.
9. New Zealand Warriors. (7th) Lucky to hold 9th, only because of what’s below them. Let a great opportunity slip and time will tell how badly that costs them later in the season.
10. St.George Illawarra Dragons. (11th) Up 2 spots due to Brisbane’s poor form and Bulldogs inability to play for 80. Diabolical start, plenty of mistakes by both sides. Hunt had a blinder and brilliant defence in the last 15 sealed a critical away win. Only conceded 1 line break.
11. Gold Coast Titans. (10th) Up 2 spots. Looked a lot more organised this week against a very questionable opposition. Time may improve their low position.
12. Canterbury Bulldogs. (14th) Down 1 spot. Not getting any favours from the refs. Their defence looks pretty sound to me despite the flogging from Penrith helped by ill-discipline.
13. North Qld Cowboys. (13th) Up 1 spot by default despite losing at home. Struggled in attack. Missed Taumalolo while Val Holmes is wasted on the wing. Probably should have gone on with it after scoring early.
14. Brisbane Broncos. (12th) Down 4 spots. Completely forgotten how to win. Massive problems and the coach will be desperate to get Payne Hass back.
15. Manly Sea Eagles. (16th) Holding. All in all pretty poor in disgraceful conditions. The form of their spine is a big worry, particularly DCE.
16. Wests Tigers. (15th) Holding. Showed glimpses in attack but gave up way too early and were ripped to shreds by one of the premiership favourites. Can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.