1. North Queensland Cowboys
The North Queensland Cowboys won their opening game against the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, and the top-ranked Sydney Roosters lost theirs to the Wests Tigers. This is just simple math.
2. Melbourne Storm
Likewise, the Melbourne Storm defeated the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs on neutral territory in Western Australia, despite a so-so defensive effort.
3. St George Illawarra Dragons
A great opening week effort from the St. George Illawarra Dragons, despite the teething of introducing many new faces into the lineup.
Perhaps my expectations for the Brisbane Broncos were slightly too high, but beating a Wayne Bennett team that badly will always score brownie points.
4. Penrith Panthers
The Penrith Panthers jump a few sports for their comeback over western Sydney rivals the Parramatta Eels; warning: if still, they’re offering this kind of first half defensive effort in a few weeks times, it’s very unlikely they will remain here.
5. Parramatta Eels
Parramatta is one of two teams in the power rankings to rise despite a loss, but that’s just the nature of the first week of competition; the Eels will be good in 2018, and I undersold them in my fist power rankings of the year.
6. Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
They also rise in the rankings despite a loss, thanks to a good performance against this week’s number one side. The offensive potential looks to be real if Moylan can reach his ceiling as a playmaker. Questions remain over Valentine Holmes at fullback
7. Brisbane Broncos
Dropping three spots in the rankings are Brisbane, who thoroughly disappointed against the Dragons. They were playing away though, and we’re not about to write off a Bennett-coached side after one week.
8. Sydney Roosters
This week’s most disappointing team is an easy one; Sydney drops from the top of the rankings all the way to 8th, which may not even be enough for some. Let’s be real though; this was a poor start, but it’ll likely be long forgotten by the end of the season.
9. Wests Tigers
Wests fans will not be pleased to see themselves below the team they beat on the weekend, but does anyone truly believe the Tigers are a better team than the Roosters?
10. Newcastle Knights
A one-point victory over the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles is good for about a two-spot jump, but that’s it. They will get another chance this week to build some momentum with a victory over the team at the bottom of these rankings.
11. Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Like the Eels, the Bulldogs get a minor boost for giving a good performance against one of the teams at the top of the rankings. Like the Knights, we will get to see the true nature of this team next week against Easts.
12. New Zealand Warriors
The Warriors jump a few spots for getting a win over what I perceived to be a strong South Sydney Rabbitohs squad. Who knows how much this will mean by the end of the season.
13. Gold Coast Titans
No one knew how good the Canberra Raiders would be before the season, and the answer was not good. Not good at all. Still, the Gold Coast Titans beat the team the NRL put in front of them, and for that, they get a small boost.
14. Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
Defence was a big worry for the Sea Eagles to start the season, letting in three tries to an extremely green Newcastle Knights team with three spine players playing their first games as their team’s number one option.
15. South Sydney Rabbitohs
A big fall for South Sydney this weekend, who lost to the Warriors last weekend. Not much more explaining is needed.
16. Canberra Raiders
I was foolish for thinking Canberra would push for finals. Ricky Stuart coaches them, and they’re awful.
Are our Round 1 Power Rankings spot on or are some teams way off the mark? Let us know in the comments below.
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