My Mountain of Rankings: Round 11

We've experienced our first Draw of the season and wasn't it an explosive game? There were so many field goal attempts, and with each attempt I was getting closer to the edge of my seat thinking that I was watching a high scoring game of Rugby Union. This weekend holds lots of potential for teams to embarrass themselves, maybe not as badly as the Warriors have though.

#1 - King of the Hill - South Sydney Rabbitohs

Once again the Rabbitohs have continued to whoever their opponents are into ashes. This week's victim were the luckless Tigers who had to stand back and watch while the Bunnies put on a clinic in the first half on their way to a 38-4 half time lead. It seems as though Souths are on a roll and it's bloody exciting to watch them play. Whether their roll comes to an abrupt halt will depend on how Origin selection affects their camp.

Expectations for Round 11: Souths next victim comes in the form of the Cronulla Sharks. The Sharks have been playing some neat football of late so the Rabbitohs need to make sure that they don't fall asleep out on the field. If they apply pressure and don't lose focus I expect they'll run out pretty strong winners.

#2 Sydney Roosters

The Cowboys tried with everything they could muster and they still only put up eight points against the Roosters defence. That's freaking ridiculous. The Roosters defence has been amazing for the better part of the season, conceding a smooth 9.4 points per game. Here's a fun fact for you all. The Roosters have won five games in a row, and the last couple of times they have done that were '02, '03, '04 and '10. Do those years sound familiar to anyone?

Expectations for Round 11: The Roosters biggest test comes this weekend against the Melbourne Storm. With Melbourne having a short turn around and a 90 minute epic against Manly under their belt you'd have to think that the Roosters are at an advantage heading into the game. I expect the Roosters will keep up their strong defence and hold out for the win in a low scoring game.

#3 Melbourne Storm

The Storm tried their heart out, but Manly's defence stood strong and managed to keep them to an incredible 10 points. We all know Manly's defence is awesome, but only scoring 10 points is quite disappointing and one has to wonder if things are amiss in Melbourne. Although being off your game and still being the third best team in the comp is not the worst problem imaginable.

Expectations for Round 11: After an epic contest against the Sea Eagles the Storm face another massive test of their willpower by taking on the Roosters a mere five days later. The Roosters have been impenetrable in recent weeks but the Storm are not your average team. If the Roosters slack off the Storm won't be afraid to make them pay.

#4 Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

Manly played their part in the NRL's first draw for the 2013 season, once again opening the door to the wild debate of Golden Point in football and whether it still has its place in the our world. I thought their defence was monstrous this past weekend. Few other teams could keep the Storm at bay to the degree they did. I thought that having the game end as a draw was quite fitting as both teams deserved to come away from the game with something.

Expectations for Round 11: Melbourne and the Roosters underestimated the Raiders and paid the ultimate price, Manly will do well not to make the same mistake. While Manly will likely be just as gassed as the Storm this week they have the advantage of playing at home rather than having to travel to a far off land.

#5 North Queensland Cowboys

While their position on the ladder is very different to their one on my rankings, I feel as though their efforts the last few weeks have been gallant enough to push them up here, even though they haven't won they have played phenomenal footy and would have beaten probably all the other sides in the competition. Robert Lui played well in the first forty against the Roosters, I hope he can keep himself out of trouble and help out the Cowboys.

Expectations for Round 11: It seems like only yesterday it was 2005 and we were watching the Tigers take on the Cowboys in what was one of the better Grand Finals of years past. Eight years have flown by and we see two teams which have struggled to get themselves going this season. I expect the Cowboys to muscle up this weekend and put the Tigers to the sword, just to show us what they're made of.

#6 Newcastle Knights

The Knights played some damn good footy on the weekend. But for some reason I still don't see them as being a threat to the better teams in the competition. They did improve massively from their second half collapse against the Raiders but I still feel like the Knights leave so much to be desired. Willie Mason has impressed me quite a bit this season though, he might even score himself an origin jumper.

Expectations for Round 11: After a very confident performance against the Doggies last week the Knights have to face a Warriors team which may well be angry and looking for revenge after getting their pants pulled down last week by the Panthers. The trip to New Zealand is a massive one for teams so the Knights better turn up ready to play.

#7 Brisbane Broncos

I'm still not sure if the Broncos are contenders or pretenders after their comprehensive victory over the Titans last weekend. The Titans are an okay side, so the Broncos did well, but I still feel that overwhelming sense of mediocrity when I look at the Broncos organisation. It's not too difficult to get a roll on in a game when the opposition gives away ten straight penalties and only has 12 blokes on the field for ten minutes.

Expectations for Round 11: I'm kind of looking forward to this game to see how these guys perform. The Broncos have been playing pretty decent footy but they always leave me underwhelmed. The Bulldogs have an awesome pack but still can't come up with wins, so who will come up big in this battle of the Dark Horses? My money's on the Doggies, but I expect the Broncos will put up a fight.

#8 Penrith Panthers

Panthers fans must have thought they were dreaming last weekend, as their side put ten tries on the board while completely decimating the Warriors. Five Eight Isaac John was a standout for the Panthers and hopefully he was the piece of the puzzle needed to finally fix the Panthers halves issue. The Panthers are still yet to crack into the top eight but if they keep playing with that kind of ferocity then I think they'll be okay.

Expectations for Round 11: The Panthers were amazing last weekend but this week they face a rejuvenated Dragons side who will be looking to prove to the world that they can compete with the best of them. I expect the Panthers to continue playing with the intensity they finished off with last week.

#9 Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

How the heck is this side still at $11.00 to win the comp? Sitting 13th on the ladder the Bulldogs are a team that just isn't performing how they should be. Their three wins in a row were impressive, but they completely fell apart against the Knights. The first half was a pretty solid display from the Doggies but that second half was something you'd liken to the Tigers or Warriors, rather than the boys from Bankstown.

Expectations for Round 11: Brisbane are a tough team with a solid forward pack, pretty similar to the Bulldogs so it'll be an interesting game to watch to see how they try to outmatch each other. I think the Bulldogs will be out looking for blood after last week's embarrassing loss to the Knights so they may have the advantage heading into the game.

#10 Canberra Raiders

Bloody hell these Raiders are a fickle bunch. One minute they're beating the living soul out of the Melbourne Storm, the next minute they are losing to the Sharks. It's a funny old world. I enjoy watching them play but if they can't be more consistent then they're only hurting themselves. Tell you what though, how bloody good does Anthony Milford look? He is an exciting player to watch and I can't wait to see more of him in First Grade.

Expectations for Round 11: Canberra has taken some huge scalps already this season and this week they have a chance to harvest another one when they take on Manly. While it may seem like a gimme win for the Sea Eagles, the Raiders will be quietly confident knowing that they've already knocked over the Roosters and Storm, so Manly shouldn't be too different.

#11 Gold Coast Titans

Damn these guys just offered nothing in their match against the Brocnos. Brisbane was all "You're going down" and the Titans just responded with "Well, alright...". Sure the Broncos may have been really angry because they lost to the Eels but really, you've got to do better than that, get your shit together please. I really feel sorry for David Mead; bloke doesn't deserve all the rubbish injuries that he cops.

Expectations for Round 11: Parramatta are the perfect team for the Titans to take on to get their season back on track. I expect that the Titans will play some disciplined football and rely on Parra to make the mistakes which have them sitting down near the lower reaches of the Premiership ladder. Although if Parramatta turn up to play i'm not sure that the Titans will be able to stop them.

#12 Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks

Watching Cronulla win is like having your young toddler sleep through the night without wetting the bed. It's not the most earth shattering achievement known to man, but gosh darn it warms your heart and you're just so proud of them. The Sharks have so much potential so it's great to see them finally figuring stuff out. I just hope they don't enter another lull just because they lose all their players over the rep season. That would be a huge pity.

Expectations for Round 11: While the Sharks have been in some handsome form the Rabbitohs are at the top of the food chain so they won't be easy to take down. But with a few big names coming back they might be able to steal a win if they can start strong and catch Souths napping. I expect the Sharks to get real damn close to taking out the Bunnies.

#13 St. George Illawarra Dragons

Josh Dugan scored two tries! Dragons are awesome! They're going to make the finals now! No, shut-up. They kicked the Eels butt, who hasn't done that? As for Josh Dugan's "outstanding" two try effort, I'm fairly sure any competent winger in the NRL could have scored them both. So congratulations Mr Dugan, you are competent. The Dragons still have to show their stuff against the other fourteen teams in the competition and most of them are a truck load better then the Parramatta Eels.

Expectations for Round 11: The Dragons have a pretty massive test this week, facing a Panthers team which appears to be in fine form ever since the Roosters embarrassed them a few weeks ago. The Dragons will have to play some mighty fine footy and control the ruck if they want to keep this Panthers side at bay.

#14 Parramatta Eels

When you get outclassed by the lowly Dragons, you know it's time to have a solid look at yourself in the mirror and get sorted out. After an awesome win the week before, Eels fans hopes had been uplifted only for them to be dashed once more by their team's crappy performance against an exciting Dragons team who had their new play-toy which goes by the name Josh Dugan. Turning in one good performance every four weeks isn't really enough to get it done.

Expectations for Round 11: So, which Parramatta side will turn up this week? Will it be the energetic mob who managed to take down a decent side like the Broncos, or will it be the embarrassing lads who got pummelled by the Roosters and the Dragons? I expect it will be the latter.

#15 New Zealand Warriors

This mob simply carked it on the weekend. Talk about leaving your brain on the other side of the Pacific! The Warriors defence was completely decimated by the Panthers attack this past weekend and it showed how mentally weak this Warriors outfit is. It's tough to watch them go through it, because they're so much better than the woeful Tigers (I think), but they've got nothing to show for it. Let's hope this was just a one off...

Expectations for Round 11: The Knights are a tough team, but as seen in weeks past they have a tendency to not turn up for some games and that could be a gift for the Warriors who desperately need to get back in winning shape after their efforts (or lack thereof) last week against the Panthers. I don't know what to expect but I sure do hope that the Warriors can make something happen.

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

Benching Benji was a stroke of genius by Mick Potter. Good thing it didn't bite them in the ass. Oh wait, yes it did. These guys are off their nut and they just have no idea which way is up at the moment. Their starting thirteen would do well to beat a Harold Matthews squad at this point in time. I understand that every team has their bad games, but the Tigers aren't even trying to improve. Please get your act together for the sake of our mate Benji.

Expectations for Round 11: The Tigers have some quality talent on their roster but they just don't know how to use it anymore. With Benji getting his number 6 jumper back we should expect to see them play a little better, but they aren't going to become an awesome team overnight. Or are they?

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