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NRL Power Rankings: Week 10 - Origin sin of scheduling

NRL Power Rankings

Canterbury's Trent Hodkinson thoroughly deserves his first NSW jersey.

Canterbury's Trent Hodkinson thoroughly deserves his first NSW jersey. Photo: Getty Images

The best thing about Origin time for club coaches, especially those towards the bottom of the ladder, is there are usually a few matches where competition points come a lot easier than they otherwise would.

Now that the 34 anointed players for the opening game of 2014 have been announced, club football takes a back seat. It's a unique situation. No other sporting competition in the world is beset by this problem - they either have their regular league play or international breaks.

It will be rehashed elsewhere at some stage over the next few weeks but there simply is not a better system for the NRL. Pretty much every day of the week has been tried for Origin and all sorts of rules to protect clubs from fielding weakened sides but the clubs seemed to have learnt to grin and bear the existing system which still gives them a couple of months after Origin III to get their house in order for the playoffs.

South Sydney's Adam Reynolds didn't do enough against Melbourne.

South Sydney's Adam Reynolds didn't do enough against Melbourne. Photo: Getty Images

1. Bulldogs (last week 1): It's great to see good form rewarded by the Blues selectors in choosing Trent Hodkinson and Josh Reynolds as their halves combination although it's a little scary that Mitchell Pearce still would have been picked if he didn't have his Kings Cross incident to bear.

2. Sea Eagles (3): Eagle-Eye Cherry Evans is having that sort of season that even when he was below his best, he still had the confidence to nail a long-range last-gasp field goal to get Manly home against a determined Newcastle side on Monday night.

3. Eels (5): As they proved in their 2009 run to the finals, when Jarryd Hayne's in this sort of form, the rest of the team just have to provide solid support. For the last couple of years, Hayne has not been consistent and even when he did fire, his support cast was terrible. He was a class above in the 36-0 shellacking of the Dragons.

4. Roosters (2): The curse of the defending premiers seems to be growing. They've retained pretty much all of last year's squad but apart from winger Daniel Tupou and second-rower Mitchell Aubusson, everyone else in the team seems to be way down on form, desire, hunger, motivation, whatever that magical ingredient needed. Supercoach Robinson faces the toughest test of his brief career.

5. Panthers (6): It was an ugly win in Canberra but give supercoach Cleary's men the respect they deserve - they're in third spot after 10 rounds and even though the Origin selectors saw nobody in their side worthy of representative honours, opposition teams are no longer under-estimating the Panthers.

6. Rabbitohs (4): Adam Reynolds is a great kicker but can he kick himself? He should be after letting Trent Hodkinson leapfrog him in the Blues' pecking order. Reynolds had a perfect opportunity to show he was ready for the Origin furnace in a big Friday night game against Cooper Cronk and the Storm but he was ineffective throughout the 27-14 loss.

7. Cowboys (9): Like the Jarryd Hayne situation at the Eels, all that supercoach Green needs from 16 of his player is for them to fill their roles and the skinny fellow in the headgear can do the rest. Johnathan Thurston is benefitting from what has proved to have been a masterstroke in switching halfback Michael Morgan to the No.1 jersey. He's not quite Matt Bowen in his prime but he's giving North Queensland a better second attacking option than when he played alongside Thurston in the halves.

8. Tigers (8): For whatever reason they have had the wood on the Sharks in recent years and there seemed an air of inevitability about their comeback win at Cronulla last Saturday night. A 6-4 record after 10 rounds proves this team means business and would not look out of place in the finals this year.

9. Storm (11): They needed last Friday night's match on many levels. They needed a big match to stoke some fire in their belly. They needed to show they were not a spent force. And they needed the win to stay in the top eight leading into the Origin period. Still not back to their best but there's life in the old Storm legs yet.

10. Broncos (10): They lack impact in the forwards while Sam Thaiday is out but they'll never be outworked with the likes of Matt Gillett, Corey Parker and Josh McGuire in the side, backed up by the likes of David Stagg and Todd Lowrie on the bench.

11. Titans (7): The season-ending torn pectoral suffered by Aidan Sezer in the loss to Brisbane could well be the moment supercoach Cartwright looks back on this season and says that's where it all went wrong. It looks like another chapter is about to be written in their ongoing story of being fast out of the NRL gate then falling back mid-season.

12. Warriors (12): They could very well have stolen victory over the Bulldogs, they're showing they can be competitive with the top teams. They have a chance over the next few weeks while they're not affected by Origin to make up some of the ground they gave up to other teams with their poor start to the season under the guidance of the departed supercoach Elliott.

13. Dragons (13): Last week's ranking included the line "Dragons management will look red-faced if Benji’s new-found zest doesn’t last after signing him until the end of 2016". His timing was terrible against Parramatta, which is to be expected. If he doesn't get that back in the very near future, what then can St George Illawarra do? Canberra thought they had solved their halves problem a few years ago by signing a veteran playmaker who said he was ready for the challenge in Matt Orford. That didn't end well.

14. Sharks (14): Sometimes it's best not to rush back from injury. Todd Carney didn't, and couldn't, get out of second gear against the Tigers and is back in the injury ward nursing another hamstring problem.

15. Knights (15): It's easy to forget Akuila Uate was a barnstorming selection for NSW a couple of years ago, now he's infuriatingly hot and cold, as evidenced by his performance on Brookvale Oval where he set up a win with his attack then cost his team the game at the defensive end.

16. Raiders (16): Supercoach Stuart is right - struggling teams don't get the rub of the green when it comes to refereeing decisions. Whose fault is it that Canberra are playing so poorly? His comments about the refs last Sunday being "not up to first-grade standard" and "laughable" could quite easily apply to his own team judging on recent performances.

1 comment so far

  • From the cellar up....
    Last..Canberra...Rick Stuart is proving that his poor coaching at Parra last year was not an aberration...he is still a very poor coach....

    15.Newcastle....With Bennett preparing to return to Brisbane next year,their season is shot
    14.Cronulla now offocially an also ran
    13.Saints were woeful against Price must feel very very uneasy
    12..The Warriors are the sleeping giants of the comp
    11Titans have been decimated with injuries and will struggle from now on
    10.Coach Griffin is only warming the seat @ Brisbane,with Bennett set to return in 2015 usual the Storm's form will fall off after the bruising origin period...
    8..The Tigers play ok against the weaker teams but usually falter against the top teams...
    7.The Cowboys play well in Townsville...but stats show that when they play away from the tropics,their form drops....the big games at the end of the year are played in Sydney....
    6.Souths are not the same team without their first string hooker
    5.think the jury is still out on Penrith
    4.Easts are missing the impact of Luke O'Donnell...big time...when this bloke hit ,every tackle hit the mark....
    3.werent Parra fortunate that Rick Stuart walked out on them?
    2.Manly have yet another luck wonder Toovey isn't whingeing
    1.the Dogs...have had plenty of luck this season......but fortune does favour the brave

    Cyril Q Snodgrass
    Wentworth Falls
    Date and time
    May 21, 2014, 2:15PM

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    NRL Season 2015

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    MAN 24vs MEL 22 Stats
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    PAR 29vs SOU 16 Report Stats
    WST 24vs CBY 25 Report Stats
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    NEW 26vs PEN 14 Report Stats
    CRO 22vs GCT 24 Report Stats
    STG 12vs MAN 4 Report Stats
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    CRO 16vs NZW 20 Stats
    NQL 23vs CBY 16 Stats
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    PAR 10vs MEL 28 Stats
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    GCT 22vs CRO 23 Report Stats
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    NEW 22vs WST 12 Stats
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    SOU 14vs PAR 12 Report Stats
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    WST 0vs NQL 8 Stats
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    CBR 34vs CBY 41 Stats
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    SOU 36vs NZW 4 Stats
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    NZW 21vs SYD 25 Report Stats
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    WST 34vs MEL 16 Report Stats
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    NQL 32vs CBR 24 Stats
    MAN 44vs BRI 14 Stats
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    STG 46vs NEW 24 Stats
    SOU 20vs PEN 16 Report Stats
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    GCT 24vs PAR 14 Stats
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    Round 22
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    BRI 16vs CBY 18 Report Stats
    MAN 28vs SOU 8 Stats
    Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
    NZW 0vs STG 36 Stats
    CRO 30vs NQL 18 Stats
    PAR 10vs PEN 4 Stats
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    MEL 36vs GCT 14 Report Stats
    NEW 22vs SYD 38 Report Stats
    Mon, 10 AugTimes shown AEST
    CBR 18vs WST 20 Stats
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    Round 23
    Thu, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
    NQL 18vs SOU 31 Stats
    Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
    BRI 32vs STG 6 Report Stats
    Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
    WST 18vs NEW 24 Stats
    PEN 24vs NZW 10 Stats
    SYD 28vs PAR 18 Stats
    Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
    CBR 24vs MAN 26 Stats
    CBY 36vs GCT 14 Report Stats
    Mon, 17 AugTimes shown AEST
    CRO 2vs MEL 30 Stats
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    Round 24
    Thu, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
    STG 19vs PEN 12 Report Stats
    Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
    SOU 18vs CBY 32 Report Stats
    Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
    CRO 40vs WST 18 Report Stats
    NZW 16vs NQL 50 Report Stats
    SYD 12vs BRI 10 Report Stats
    Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
    GCT 28vs CBR 12 Stats
    MAN 16vs PAR 20 Report Stats
    Mon, 24 AugTimes shown AEST
    MEL 6vs NEW 20 Report Stats
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    Round 25
    Thu, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
    SOU 12vs BRI 47 Report Stats
    Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
    MAN 10vs SYD 46 Report Stats
    Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
    PAR 28vs CRO 35 Stats
    NEW 18vs CBY 20 Stats
    MEL 14vs NQL 6 Report Stats
    Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
    WST 50vs NZW 16 Report Stats
    GCT 28vs STG 26 Stats
    Mon, 31 AugTimes shown AEST
    CBR 34vs PEN 18 Stats
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    Round 26
    Thu, 03 SepTimes shown AEST
    BRI 8vs MEL 15 Report Stats
    Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
    SYD 30vs SOU 0 Report Stats
    Sat, 05 SepTimes shown AEST
    PEN 30vs NEW 12 Stats
    STG 32vs WST 30 Stats
    NQL 42vs GCT 12 Stats
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    PAR 24vs CBR 28 Stats
    CRO 12vs MAN 14 Stats
    CBY 26vs NZW 22 Stats
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    Telstra Premiership Finals Round 1
    Fri, 11 SepTimes shown AEST
    SYD 18vs MEL 20 Report Stats
    Sat, 12 SepTimes shown AEST
    CBY 11vs STG 10 Report Stats
    BRI 16vs NQL 12 Report Stats
    Sun, 13 SepTimes shown AEST
    CRO 28vs SOU 12 Report Stats
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    Telstra Premiership Finals Round 2
    Fri, 18 SepTimes shown AEST
    SYD 38vs CBY 12 Report Stats
    Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
    NQL 39vs CRO 0 Report Stats
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    Telstra Premiership Finals Round 3
    Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
    BRI 31vs SYD 12 Stats
    Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
    MEL 12vs NQL 32 Stats
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    Telstra Premiership Finals Round 4
    Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEDT
    BRI 16vs NQL 17 Report Stats
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    NRL Ladder 2015
    Overall standings
    Team P W L D Pts
    Sydney Roosters 24 18 6 0 40
    Brisbane Broncos 24 17 7 0 38
    North Queensland Cowboys 24 17 7 0 38
    Melbourne Storm 24 14 10 0 32
    Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 24 14 10 0 32
    Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 24 14 10 0 32
    South Sydney Rabbitohs 24 13 11 0 30
    St George-Illawarra Dragons 24 12 12 0 28
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