My Mountain of Rankings - Round 10

Another average performance by the Storm sees a new leader at the top of the Rankings. There were so many upsets this week I thought the commentators were going to collapse during their broadcasts, but they managed to stay strong to give us another week of awesome football action. With State of Origin at the forefront of everyone's mind, which teams will step up to the plate and who will be crushed?

#1 - King of the Hill - South Sydney Rabbitohs

Souths are getting stronger and stronger every single week, it's awesome to watch. Seeing the adjustments their coach makes throughout a game to catch their opponents off guard is amazing and it's won them a lot of games already this season. I can see them holding onto the first place on the Ladder for a while as well. They won't be affected by Origin by most clubs, so they will decimate sides during the rep season.

Expectations for Round 10: The Rabbitohs must be salivating with the prospect of blowing the Tigers off the park this weekend, I'm not going to call it a slaughter-house because whenever I do that it seems to backfire, but the Tigers will have to completely reinvent the wheel if they want to take on a scorching Souths side.

#2 Sydney Roosters

What is 26 feet wide and fends of Dragons, Sea Eagles, Panthers and Bulldogs? The Roosters brick wall, mean, lean and war machine like defence. That's what. While their attack blew some opportunities and dropped a whole lot of football, the Roosters defence came to play and completely stopped Manly in their tracks. The loss of enforcer Jared Waerea-Hargreaves is massive and will leave a massive hole in the Roosters line-up. He has been one of their best this season.

Expectations for Round 10: The Roosters must be exhausted from the hectic game against Manly on Monday night. It doesn't get any easier for them however as they have to travel up North to face a Cowboys side which has a forward pack as big as the moon. With their two starting props out I expect the Roosters may find it difficult to match it with the Cowboys monsters.

#3 Melbourne Storm

This is not the same Melbourne Storm that won the comp last season. Where the heck have you gone? While at first glance this may seem like the losing streak they went on last season, this one cannot be attributed to State of Origin and if I was a Storm fan I'd be worried. Of course they've still only lost 2 games so far so they can find their way back easily enough; they just need to start winning again, fast.

Expectations for Round 10: This is one huge game in the context of each team's season. For Melbourne, they've lost two games in a row to pretty average sides who have turned up ready to play, if they lose a third game it will be detrimental to their morale and their Minor Premiership aspirations. For Manly, they've lost both their games to the Roosters and Souths, if they lose to the Storm as well they will be stuck in the category of teams below them like the Knights, Cowboys and Titans.

#4 Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

It's not looking good for the Sea Eagles, while they are a good team (and have proved as much). They've lost to two of their biggest title threats in recent weeks, and it doesn't get any easier this weekend. If Manly loose this weekend, I don't know how they're going to recover, Origin will hit them very hard and they may be looking at a slide down the ladder if they're not careful.

Expectations for Round 10: This is a massive game for Manly, I expect they may get on top of the Storm just because of pure determination and grit, but it won't be easy. They will need to execute to perfection and keep their defence on the ball. It's hard to say what will happen because both sides can be such a force on their day.

#5 Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

The Doggies are slowly crawling their way back into the competition, which at this early stage of the season isn't too hard to do. They came out of the blocks slowly against the Warriors, but some good patches of defence and some last minute attacking efforts netted them the win which ultimately helps them in the old 'grand scheme' of things. They've still got a bit to work on, but then again, who doesn't?

Expectations for Round 10: The Doggies are hitting their stride and face a Knights team who is reeling from an embarrassing display against the Raiders. While the Knights have the professionalism of Wayne Bennett on their side the Bulldogs have (in my mind) a more superior squad and a more polished squad. I can't see them being beaten unless Newcastle blow them away early.

#6 Canberra Raiders

These guys have put themselves on the map after two awesome performances back to back. They completely massacred the Knights in the second half and they have beaten three of the teams in the top five positions on the NRL Ladder. The Raiders play with the energy of a top eight side, and they have shown they can beat the top sides in the comp when they're on their game. I hope they can keep this form going because they're awesome to watch.

Expectations for Round 10: The Sharks are slowly building confidence with every win they post, but the Raiders are already confidant and ready to party with whichever team they get matched up against. Travelling to Sydney isn't the most enjoyable ride for the Green Machine, but they've got the talent to win if they can keep their composure.

#7 North Queensland Cowboys

The Cowboys simply couldn't match it with the Rabbitohs last weekend. They managed to do it for 40 minutes but they couldn't keep up and as a result they slumped to another loss which keeps them outside the top eight on the competition ladder. They are a good side but once the other side get's on a roll it looks like they can't match it with them so they give up. They need to have more of a backbone if they're going to last the season.

Expectations for Round 10: The Roosters are in some scintillating form right now, but the Cowboys have a perfect opportunity to sneak out a win using their bruising forward pack. If the Cowboys can take a leaf out of Souths booklet from Round 1 then they have the blueprint for beating the Roosters. This is all providing JT can orchestrate a few fancy tries.

#8 Newcastle Knights

Wayne Bennett has given the Knights their own little wakeup call (and don't they need it!) by dropping Tahu and Houston this weekend. Getting belted by the Raiders at home was simply an embarrassment and the Knights need to sort themselves out. Unfortunately for the Knights they have more problems to worry about on the park then they'd like to admit. This weekend's game could make or break their season.

Expectations for Round 10: I expect the Knights to look like a completely new team this weekend, I want to see discipline, great work ethic and a gritty determination. Something just doesn't seem right when I watch this team play, I want to like them but they just don't get me excited like other teams do. Let's hope the Knights can get things started again against the Doggies.

#9 Brisbane Broncos

The Eels. You lost to the bloody hopeless Eels! How on Earth do you manage to do that? I guess I had simply misunderstood the Broncos, what I thought was constancy and reliability was simply mediocrity. These guys are pretty much just a slightly better version of the Dragons, they can score points (sometimes) and keep the other side from scoring (most of the time), but when it comes to getting it done or coming up big they just do a whole lot of nothing.

Expectations for Round 10: With Justin Hodges sitting out for another week of footy, it's not hard to see this weekend's game against the Titans being one massive cripple-fight. I expect the Broncos to put up their usual fight, though ultimately the match will come down to how long the Titans want to play footy for.

#10 Gold Coast Titans

The Titans are a good a perfectly capable football team, when they feel like it. They just go missing sometimes, as exciting as it is to watch you can't just play awesome football in the last 20 minutes of a game and expect to pull out the victory (unless you're taking on the Dragons). I like the Titans, but they need to put in 80 minute performances if they want to be taken seriously in this competition.

Expectations for Round 10: The Titans have been hit and miss not only throughout the season, but during games as well. The game against the Broncos is always a big one so they'll need to be on their game if they want to have any hope of knocking them over.

#11 Penrith Panthers

Put your hand up if you were blown away by Penrith's first half efforts against the Storm last weekend. Just as I though, everyone in the entire world put their hand up. The Panthers played their guts out during the first forty minutes against the Storm and managed to barely hold onto the lead to steam a victory away from the Storm. As great as the win was, Penrith fans must be wondering where that kind of performance is every week.

Expectations for Round 10: I am actually really keen on checking out the Panthers game this week. The Panthers and Warriors are two sides who have struggled to post victories this season but they seem to be improving week to week. I expect the Panthers can carry on their efforts from last week's game and come away with the two points.

#12 New Zealand Warriors

Once again the Warriors inability to close a game out cost them dearly and they suffered a loss to the Bulldogs who seem to be flying very high at the moment. One positive for the Warriors is that the jersey that they were wearing for that game looked absolutely awesome. The second positive is that they started very hot out of the gate and did some flashy things with the ball in hand. The only thing stopping them right now is their inability to close out a victory. Also, the jersey they wore last weekend was amazing.

Expectations for Round 10: The Warriors aren't going anywhere until they can figure out how to win a game, so this week's game against the Panthers is likely going to be a loss unless they can somehow remember what it's like to actually win a game without falling off the pace. I expect they'll come close to winning, but they just don't have it in them.

#13 Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks

It warms my tummy to see the Sharks winning again, even if it is against a woeful Tigers team. Any morale boost is a positive for a team that has been through as much as these guys have been this season. It doesn't get any easier for them though, they face some quality teams over the Origin period and they could lose a lot of talent from their squad.

Expectations for Round 10: Not having to travel to the nation's capital to take on the Raiders is always a bonus, but make no mistake about it this Raiders team should not be taken lightly. While the Sharks have improved over the last few weeks, the Raiders have been electrifying, I'm not sure they can be stopped, even by the Sharks.

#14 Parramatta Eels

Whatever Ricky had his boys doing this week worked wonders, they actually looked like an NRL team during stages of that match against the Broncos and somehow they managed to pull out a win. I'm still having trouble wrapping my head around how they actually managed to do it, but all that matters is that they pulled out the win which is more then I can say about the Broncos and seven of the other teams that played last week.

Expectations for Round 10: While Dragons/Eels games are notoriously low scoring; this one may take the cake as I think it could very well end up 1-0 after 80 minutes. In all seriousness though I think the Dragons might have this one. Their defence is fairly reliable and Parra's defence might actually make the Dragons attack look good. Provided Parra revert back to their rubbish playing style from two weeks ago.

#15 St. George Illawarra Dragons

There isn't too much to say about the Dragons that I haven't already said. They just can't score points. Having Josh Dugan named in their squad is the only reason to watch these blokes anymore (aside from my main man Nightingale obviously). They should have held on for the win over the weekend, a good side would have. They have no excuses for what they are putting on show on the field. I hope Josh Dugan can make a difference for them.

Expectations for Round 10: I am just hoping and praying that, for the Dragons sake, Dugan can bring something to their sleep-inducing attack. Jamie Soward's goal kicking is going the way of the Wests Tigers season. I hope they can sort themselves out.

#16 - Why do you even turn up? - Wests Tigers

I hate to say it, but this is a really bad team. They can't defend, they can't score points. They're just waiting for something to happen, but because no one is doing anything nothing happens. They'd do just as well if they placed thirteen cheese graters onto the field and asked them to play football. I think it's pretty clear that big changes will be made in this organisation before the season is over.

Expectations for Round 10: There isn't a bigger challenge right now then taking on Souths. They're a team of blokes with a chip on their shoulder and they're not about to let anyone take them down. I do expect the Tigers to get utterly obliterated, but I'm hoping they can find a way to keep it close and at least give the Bunnies a scare.

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