NRL Power Rankings: Week 8

1. St George Illawarra Dragons

Last week: 2nd

ANZAC Day was always going to be an interesting day for these power rankings; the St. George Illawarra Dragons held against the Sydney Roosters, while the Warriors served four double faults in Melbourne. Advantage Dragons.

2. Melbourne Storm

Last week: 5th

The Melbourne Storm we know and love are back, showing the Warriors there’s more to being the best team in the League than being first in the standings – you have to actually believe it. There’s still a sizeable gap between first and second, though.

3. Penrith Panthers

Last week: 4th

Up one spot after a victory over the Bulldogs and the Wests Tigers’ loss, the Penrith Panthers will look to further separate themselves from the chasing pack by putting the hurt on the visiting North Queensland Cowboys this week.

4. Wests Tigers

Last week: 3rd

While a loss to Parramatta does not look nearly as bad as it would have the first time around, it’s still an L, which means Wests are slowly starting to lose grip on the upper echelon of the NRL. A road trip to the Warriors this week will be a big test.

5. New Zealand Warriors

Last week: 1st

Life imitating art was what sprung to mind when, for the first time something was asked of the Warriors all season, they lose 50-10. They have the chance to slightly reverse the damage of bad loss with a good win over the Tigers this week.

6. Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks

Last week: 9th

Without many noticing, the Sharks are slowly starting to creep up the pointy end of the rankings – perhaps it’s the unspectacular manner in which they’re doing it (a 1-point win over Gold Coast). A win over the Parramatta this week is compulsory.

7. Newcastle Knights

Last week: 10th

The Newcastle Knights have returned to the friendly side of the ledger with a second win in a row. We all know Mitchell Pearce’s absence will hurt sooner or later, but for now, this ticking time bomb remains unexploded.

8. Brisbane Broncos

Last week: 10th

Just when you begin to wave your red pen over the Brisbane Broncos, Wayne Bennett reaches out and slaps it away, last week doing so with a win over the South Sydney Rabbitohs. Extra points for debuting monster forward Payne Haas.

9. South Sydney Rabbitohs

Last week: 6th

South Sydney had a chance to make a real statement this week by showing they’re a changed team in taking out Benny’s Broncos. They didn’t, though, and here they are in 9th. 

10. Sydney Roosters

Last week: 7th

They may be in the Rabbitohs’ shadow in more ways than one this week, as the two rivals not only share Sydney’s East side, but also the famed “mediocrity spots” on the standings. Fortunately, Easts play the bye this round.

11. Canberra Raiders

Last week: 14th

News surrounding the Canberra Raiders suggests they may lose a fair amount of off-contract talent this offseason, but a forced rebuild might be a necessary pill to swallow. This team looks tired and unmotivated.

12. Parramatta Eels

Last week: 15th

Teams that have not played the Parramatta Eels yet will be cursing their luck they failed to bring them up in the first six weeks of the season. My bet is, more than a few squads on the precipice of finals spots will be nervous about this sudden resurgence. 

13. North Queensland Cowboys

Last week: 11th

Greg Alexander may have confirmed his notoriety as the NRL’s best analyst with his call on Johnathan Thurston having played a season too long. Right now, NQ’s offense is problem number one, and number 7 is at the heart of the matter.

14. Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

Last week: 12th

The important thing to remember about the Bulldogs is, this is not Dean Pay’s team. This roster was assembled for Des Hasler, and Pay may have more than one thing to say about its direction in the offseason. Have hope, ‘Dogs fans

15. Gold Coast Titans

Last week: 13th

This may be unfair on Gold Coast– they’re probably not the second-worst team in the NRL, but there’s precious little on their resume to assess them by. Last week’s field goal loss to the Sharks may prove to be quite the sliding doors moment.

16. Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

Last week: 16th

Mess on the field, mess off it, the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles quite soundly resemble the 2005 Los Angeles Lakers and 2014 Manchester United teams in wishing the cultivator of their success had never left. Come back, Bozo.

Are our Week 8 NRL Power Rankings on the mark? Let us know in the comments below.

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