Round 11 NRL Ladder predictions: Storm keeping Panthers off top spot. Top 8 unchanged. 3 of last years top 8 aren’t going to make it.

Stat of the week: Ben Cummins AKA Alan Harper broke the all-time record of first grade games refereed with 394. 393 too many in my opinion.

(NRL ladder position in brackets)

1. Melbourne Storm. (2nd) Holding. Overcame a bad start to comprehensively beat the struggling Raiders. Not missing their spine. Not one little bit.

2. Penrith Panthers. (1st) Holding. Continue to be faultless. Unlucky not to be first on my ladder but the Storm are the defending premiers and look awesome when in adversity.

3. Parramatta Eels. (3rd) Holding. Only their 2nd loss of the season, again to a non “big 5” club. No need to panic yet.

4. Sydney Roosters. (5th) Holding. No-one saw that coming. If you put your house on them at $1.05 you’d be leaping from a top story window right now. A minor hiccup and they’ll be better for it. The big crackdown could destroy Radley’s career.

5. South Sydney Rabbitohs. (4th) Holding. Their returning players had every right to be rusty but this flogging is a major concern. They need to reset, and fast.

6. Manly Sea Eagles. (6th) Holding. Great win powered by emotion and their fantastic season turn-around continues.

7. Gold Coast Titans. (8th) Holding. Got the job done but their current defence will not see them go far come semi-final time.

8. St.George Illawarra Dragons. (7th) Holding. Guts, grit, determination, resilience. All these things are great but they had every opportunity to ice this match and didn’t. They’ll pay for it later in the season.

9. New Zealand Warriors. (9th) Up 1 spot. Got the job done but remain as inconsistent as the Titans and, similarly, their defence is highly questionable.

10. North Qld Cowboys. (10th) Up 1 spot. Good job and on the improve.

11. Newcastle Knights. (12th) Down 2 spots. Every time I see them play the worse they get. Frizell must be wondering why he ditched the Dragons captaincy to go to a “better” team.

12. Canberra Raiders. (11th) Holding. Still sliding badly and only a massive improvement can save their season. Worlds away from the club that has been a regular feature in the finals of recent years.

13. Brisbane Broncos. (15th) Up 2 spots. What an awesome win. Only the second side this season to knock off a “big 5” club (before Manly made it 3 on Sunday). Their next match against the Storm will show how much they’ve improved.

14. Wests Tigers. (14th) Down 1 spot. Another inconsistent side. Let’s see if they can back up their recent good wins with another against the Dragons this week. Hopefully not.

15. Cronulla Sharks. (13th) Down 1 spot. Have only won 3 games this year, 2 against the Dragons. I don’t think they’ll be able to lift again.

16. Canterbury Bulldogs. (16th) Holding. Another spoon coming their way. 4 points adrift plus a huge difference in for and against means only a miracle will save that unwanted award.

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