Going nowhere: Nathan Merritt is tackled by Bodene Thompson in round three. Photo: Getty Images
We're only three rounds into the NRL season but it's safe to say already this is a much more wide open premiership race.
The top four teams from last year - Melbourne, Manly, the Roosters and Rabbitohs - are still premiership contenders but they don't seem as dominant and the chasing pack seems stronger.
Going into the season with huge expectations about snapping their premiership drought, the Bunnies are under the most pressure with injury and judiciary woes piling on top of their 1-2 start to the season.
And if you believe the extreme opinions of many fans, supercoaches Potter and Price can suddenly coach with the Wests Tigers and St George Illawarra Dragons looking like totally different outfits to last year's also-rans.
1. Melbourne: (Last week 1): To paraphrase Wes Mantooth's speech to Ron Burgundy, you can pure, straight hate the Melbourne Storm, but goddammit you respect them. That's three wins in a row where they easily could have lost but they found a way to win, this time repelling Newcastle's late momentum with one of the three usual suspects, Cameron Smith, icing the win with a close-range try.
2. Roosters (2): They shook off their premiership hangover by going on a bender against Parramatta and last Friday night, they still looked a little tipsy in Brisbane. Fair play to the Broncos, they're a better team but supercoach Robinson will not be happy with his team's performances despite their 2-1 record.
3. Sea Eagles (4): like the Roosters and Storm, the Manly men have won ugly when they've needed to do so and Steve Matai's last-minute try to save their skin against Parra won't bluff supercoach Toovey into thinking his side is anywhere near its best.
4. Panthers (5): they are seamlessly making that leap from team which competed hard but often lost close matches last year to one that finds a way to win even when defeat looks inevitable, a hallmark of the better sides any given year. How good was that Matt Moylan sideline conversion to win after the siren? And he's their third-string kicker. That kid's got it.
5. Dragons (8): a little high in the rankings perhaps but you've got to give supercoach Price the benefit of the doubt. Three wins from as many starts. Brett Morris is a beast on the left wing - as slippery quick as his old man but with the bonus of added size. He could score another hundred for the Dragons before he's done.
6. Rabbitohs (3): the previous week's loss to Manly was supposed to be the early-season wake-up call for the Bunnies. It appears they hit the snooze button. The Wests Tigers rattled them last Friday in a good old-fashioned ambush. There's been a lot of talk about the size of South Sydney's forwards but it doesn't mean opposition packs have to take any notice.
7. Bulldogs (7): every year there's a team that is derailed by ongoing speculation surrounding players coming and going. Canterbury could be the ones in 2014. The Dogs of yore would not have lost that match to Penrith last weekend after appearing to have all the momentum in the last 10 minutes.
8. Tigers (10): another team which on first glance you might think looks a little high but why not? They have thrashed the Titans and Rabbitohs in successive weeks and supercoach Potter looks to have instilled some mongrel in the forward pack. They smashed Souths. If opposition teams think the Tigers have a soft underbelly again this year, they'd be mistaken.
9. Broncos (6): losing on the bell at home to the Roosters was hard to swallow but despite missing out on what seemed to be a certain victory, all signs point to Brisbane being finals contenders for the first time in a couple of years.
10. Titans (11): to mangle an old rock song, two out of three is meatloaf. Don't get me wrong, that ain't bad (to quote much better songsters in Ratcat) but it's not great when you consider they faced a severely understrength Sharks in round one, lost big time at home to the Tigers then beat the Raiders. As always appears to be the case with this team, a question mark lingers.
11. Cowboys (9): now they go and lose to the Warriors in Townsville. In the fair dinkum, you beaut, dinky-di department, if the Cowboys can't account for the cold and occasionally hot Warriors on their home tropical turf in March, then they won't be finals contenders in 2014.
12. Warriors (14): perhaps another team ranked a little high considering they've won just one of their opening three. But the talent is there to make a run up the ladder. Supercoach Elliott needs to unlock that potential or he could be the first coach out the door. He was the overwhelming favourite with 38 per cent of the 17,672 votes received in last week's LeagueHQ poll asking which coach would be first to go in 2014.
13. Eels (15): one big win, an even bigger loss and then a heart-breaking loss on the bell at Brookvale. It's sad to say but Parra fans these days would take that if it was offered to them before the start of the season after the last couple of years of mediocrity.
14. Raiders (12): supercoach Stuart's teams are renowned for having slow starts - it happened at the Roosters before he turned them into a premiership force, again at Cronulla before he dragged them one win from the grand final and also at Parramatta but the Eels never did gather any pace last year. Patience will be required in the national capital.
15. Sharks (16): they don't have a lot of their stars available but at least they've got some fighting spirit. When Brett Morris scored on the stroke of half-time last Saturday night, the Sharks could have turned up their toes (err, fins, whatever) but they refused to surrender and if they had a couple more of their attacking players on deck, they would have run down the Dragons.
16. Knights (13): that's three losses on the trot and Tinkler's money pit seems to be empty. The squad doesn't have quite the pensioner feel of last year's side that went within a game of the grand final but it could do with an influx of young legs to get through the grind of a 24-game regular season.