Power rankings continue from week 1.
10) CANBERRA RAIDERS
The Raiders going to polarise spectators all year. Smash mouth, old school footy side that aren’t going to do it pretty at any point in time. Was a tough performance to come back from 18-0 down and go within a point of last year’s preliminary finalists in foreign conditions. Junior Paulo and Xavier Savage back will elevate this side dramatically. The Ricky tantrums are wearing thin though.
9) MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Probably unlucky not to be a little higher here due to their opposition being deplorable. Tom Turbo fit and firing makes the Manly side one that no one wants to play. Daly Cherry-Evans looked great, and the rest of their side continued their impressive pre-season form.
8) SYDNEY ROOSTERS
The less said about this game the better, completed horrifically, star studded spine looked disjointed and the lightly experienced middle forwards were bullied by the Dolphins pack after Lindsay Collins went for a spell. Notoriously slow starters I fully expect this to be a blip on a successful season still. On a side note: any danger of James Tedesco getting a boot sponsor that can stop him sliding around like a baby deer on an ice rink?!
7) PARAMATTA EELS
A few concerns around the ability of Josh Hodgson to get early clean ball to their halves but the Eels don’t seem to have lost too much through the forwards with the emergence of J’Maine Hopgood particularly impressive. Plenty of bodies to come back into the side also.
6) CRONULLA SHARKS
Was a gutsy performance without the Dally M winner of last year. Souths are a very good football team but the defensive edge of Matt Moylan and Teig Wilton was of great concern moving forward.
5) BRISBANE BRONCOS
One of the huge winners of the round with the x-factor of Reece Walsh to come back the Broncos look a great prospect to rectify their calamitous slide in the back half of last year. If Pat Carrigan and Payne Haas can sustain their effectiveness through big workloads over a 27 round season the Broncos are a scary team.
4) NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Went like a bat out of hell in the early going. A little concerning that they let a depleted Canberra side get so close, but the first 30 minutes was enough to show the entertainers of 2022 are here to play. Soft run of games early could have them sliding up the rankings in week to come.
3) MELBOURNE STORM
Gritty performance against a dogged Paramatta side to extend one of the great records in football 21 years without a Rd. 1 loss for the mastermind coach, missing a plethora of stars both before the game and for chunks of the 84 minutes. Will take good sides playing 80 minutes to get past the purple army.
2) PENRITH PANTHERS
The first time in 3 years the Panthers don’t have a chokehold on top spot, the emergence of Soni Luke in the second half leads to thinking if they can get him on the park for more minutes and unlock their star-studded right edge things mill be just fine at the foot of the mountains.
1) SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
Following a breakout game from Lachlan Ilias it was hard not to be excited by the Bunnies in a tough win in the Shire where they have had a poor record in recent years after losing a few key middle forwards early.