Daniel Nichols – NRL Power Rankings: Round 3

Each and every week until the finals I will present the totally unofficial LeagueFreak.com power rankings. Just a quick explanation, these are not based on who the better team is, or who would win if they played each other etc, it’s more a who would be happier with where they are, form, judgement type of system. The aim is not to bag out on teams, but create discussion. Please let us know if you agree, disagree etc, but please don’t turn this into a social media attack.

1. Dragons (1)
The high flying Dragons are now three from three after the aerial awesomeness of Brett Morris. Two tries, including his 100th at NRL level, but whereas people are unlikely to remember the century, they won’t soon forget try 101.

2. Storm (2)
Join the Dragons as the only teams undefeated after three rounds. A gutsy win over the team who ended their season in 2013. The Storm’s early form would have many worried as they probably haven’t even hit their straps yet.

3. Panthers (4)
We checked social media late in the game and it all read the same. ‘Panthers gone, Dogs on top’. Yet when we checked the full time score the Panthers had won. Sign of a good side that can win late when they haven’t played overly well.

4. Tigers (9)
The upset of the week. The upset of the season. The Tigers were given little to no chance, even when superstar Greg Inglis left the field. Showed that the pain they suffered in 2012 and 13 will be worth it. Brooks and Tedesco are brilliant.

5. Roosters (8)
Beat a confident and in form Broncos team on their own patch. The Roosters seem to be finding their feet after the round one slip up, although by all rights probably should have lost on Friday Night. Once again a sign of a good side who can win late and in style after a so-so performance.

6. Broncos (3)
If the final five minutes had gone a little differently they might be top of the list. Let a game they should have won against the champions slip. Although fans never feel better hearing they can be proud of their team, most Broncos fans I speak to would have taken 2-1 if offered.

7. Eagles (5)
Beat the Eels in a thriller. Had enough ball to beat Parra by a much larger margin but just couldn’t get the job done until the last few minutes. Missed Foran but proved that they can pull a win from anywhere.

8. Titans (12)
A hard fought victory in Canberra without Sezer. Are flying nicely under the radar and now sit win two wins from three. Albert Kelly doesn’t know how to score boring tries. Are establishing themselves as a team that’s likely to be a thorn in many sides this season.

9. Dogs (7)
Will be disappointed to lose in the dying minutes after a huge win against the Sharks. By all accounts probably should have beaten the Panthers but the fact they didn’t will worry fans. Still looking for the spark in the backline.

10. Bunnies (6)
Lost their star Greg Inglis early and looked a long way from the team that belted the Roosters in round one. The ‘no Inglis, no Souths’ tagline was quick to surface on social media. This loss won’t end the Bunnies season but it will hurt.

11. Cowboys (10)
The Cowboys could be three from three, or zero from three such is their inconsistency. As is they have lost a game at home they would have chalked up as a win. Came back late but couldn’t get the job done.

12. Warriors (16)
Finally got on the board after holding out the fast finishing Cowboys. Have yet to play anywhere near their potential so far in 2014. Combinations are starting to form and if they can produce a similar performance without the late game fade out, they’ll start ascending the ladder quick smart.

13. Eels (13)
The Eels looked like they might finally snatch an away win but were denied by a last minute Matai try. Radradra produced some absolute magic and will give many opposing wingers nightmares this season. Played their part in producing great entertainment.

14. Raiders (11)
The poor Raiders seemed to have forgotten how to attack. They were once known for their flair but young Milford aside, look like they’re playing to a plan A when a plan B is needed. Home fans were left frustrated by the lack of imagination.

15. Knights (16)
Fall to zero from three but the signs were there. Rallied hard in difficult circumstances against a quality Storm outfit. Will be confident of registering their first win at home on Sunday against the Sharks.

16. Sharks (15)
Welcomed back their star in Todd Carney but still fell short against the Dragons. The fact Todd Carney knocked on when ten out on tackle one sums up their season to far. Need troops back on deck before they fall too far off the pace.

League Rallies Behind Fallen Knight
It’s great to see the league community come together to support young Knight Alex McKinnon. Fingers and toes crossed he makes a full recovery and can return to league in some role.

Foran Puts Contract Talks On Hold
Worrying signs for Manly fans as Foran has put contract talks on hold until Glen Stewart’s future is decided. Eagles fans probably shouldn’t worry too much as Stewart has shown no interest in heading elsewhere, they just need to work out the books and both will re-sign. If not, expect the bidding war to end all bidding wars if Foran expresses an intention to leave the club.

Grand Final Replay On Friday
One of the marquee fixtures of the season will highlight the Friday night schedule as the Roosters host the Eagles in a replay of last season’s grand final. Meanwhile on Sunday afternoon we will be ‘treated’ to 15th vs 16th. What are the odds it’ll end in a draw?

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