My Mountain of Rankings - Round 12

To all you NRL Fantasy coaches out there, I truly feel sorry for you this week. With half of the teams out of action, it's going to require one hell of an effort to keep your team afloat. Thankfully though, you're not Ricky Stuart, and you don't have to keep the Eels afloat. See? A bit of perspective never fails to go astray. Let's see these Rankings!

#1 - King of the Hill - Melbourne Storm

Welcome back to the top of the pile my good friends. It's good to have you back. These guys we're at their clinical finest against the Roosters (despite accusations they received the rub of the green), as they managed to take advantage of their decent field position and put points on the board. Heading into Origin, it's hard to say if they'll manage to keep this top spot, but they deserve it for taking down the Roosters who were in red hot form heading into that match.

Expectations for Round 12: Lucky these guys have the bye. I'm sure any team would prefer to take on Melbourne without their big three stars. Although if they were playing, Gareth Widdop would find out what it'll be like playing for the Dragons next season.


#2 South Sydney Rabbitohs

It warmed my tummy to watch the Sharks get on top of the Rabbitohs, especially without a few of their big names in the side. It was a brave effort from the Sharkies as they grit their teeth and managed to pull out a close win in the rain. For Souths, it's a bit disappointing, they'll be without some big names over the next few weeks so they'll have to find the determination to win those close games.

Expectations for Round 12: Souths have a bit of bad luck this weekend, with the other three top four sides getting the week off to have a cheeky little nap. Meanwhile, Souths have to take on the Knights who may or may not decide to actually play footy. It's hard to say how they'll perform without Inglis, McQueen and Teo, so it who wins will depend on which Knights side turns up.


#3 Sydney Roosters

It wasn't the usual impressive display from the Roosters. Their defence wasn't their usual selves and they gave away too much possession and the Storm took advantage of it. They will have learned a lot from the game though (hopefully) which means they'll be able to get rid of those mistakes from their game and be better for it. They're really missing Sam and Jared from their front row, although their replacements are doing the best they can.

Expectations for Round 12: The blokes will be stoked to have the bye this weekend. Although I'm sure Mortimer wouldn't complain about getting a starting gig in the halves. He'd probably do alright.


#4 Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

I was very happy with Manly's ability to one-up the Raiders this past weekend. They showed a whole bunch of determination to overcome the Raiders as they managed to work their ass off and come away with the two points. As important as the win was for their morale, it also keeps them in touch with the top four at this stage of the season which is bloody important. Unfortunately, as with all the top teams, they will lose players to Origin over the next two months which will test them.

Expectations for Round 12: Manly will be loving the week off after the tough games they've played over the last few weeks. Here's hoping they use it wisely and come back stronger then ever!


#5 Penrith Panthers

The Panthers deserve to be up here. They've played some impressive football over the past five weeks and because of that they've managed to sneak into the top 8. As bad as the Dragons are, keeping any team scoreless in a game of footy is something to be proud of. So congratulations Panthers. Youngster Matt Moylan has really impressed me with the enthusiasm he brings to the Panthers lineup.

Expectations for Round 12: These lad's have the bye this weekend, which I think might actually be a hindrance for them. They've been playing quality football and I think this might disrupt their momentum.


#6 Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

Are the Bulldogs back? They managed to put the Broncos away which was a rather impressive effort but at times they seem to be a little bit hit and miss. Ben Barba seems to finally be getting back into the electric form we all remember which could be incredibly beneficial heading into the back end of the season. Unfortunately, losing Josh Reynolds to Origin is a big deal, so they may fall off the pace for the next few weeks.

Expectations for Round 12: The Doggies have the Saints this week in what could very well be a tough game despite both sides losing some players to Origin. Have to give the edge to the Dogs just because of their brutal forward back. The Saint's haven't got much going for them without Morris and Merrin.


#7 Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks

Ahh, these guys just keep my heart all warm and fuzzy. They showed bucket loads of toughness in their win against the Rabbitohs and it's awesome to see them succeed. Not only are they winning tough games, but they're also able to do it without a bunch of their better players. Todd Carney has to be disappointed that he missed out on a NSW Jersey, but if he can stay in awesome form then the Sharks will continue to be better and might even sneak into the top four if they can continue their winning ways.

Expectations for Round 12: Cronulla are used to playing without their star players (sometimes I think they might play better without them). So I'm sure playing this week won't affect them like it would other clubs, they'll appreciate it none the less though.


#8 Gold Coast Titans

What's up with these guys? One minute they're woefully bad, the next they're winning by forty-odd. It's crazy. Either way they played some good footy on the weekend and they continue to pile on the wins while keeping up with the top eight and remaining under the radar. Jamal Idris is entering some scary form which could see him included in the Blues side for Game 2 if there are any unfortunate injuries in the centres or if they need a bench player with some impact.

Expectations for Round 12: Coming off a forty-ish point win last week, Cowboys without JT, the Titans would have to produce the world's worst performance this weekend to lose one would think. But stranger things have happened. I expect Titans have got it this week though.


#9 Brisbane Broncos

They didn't play their best game against a Bulldogs side who turned up ready to play. While the Broncos played well enough in the first half, their goal line defence went missing and they let in two pretty soft tries to the Bulldogs forwards and before they knew it, any chance of a comeback had gone the way of the Dodo Bird. As per usual the Broncos will be a little damaged by rep selections so it'll be interesting to see how they go over the next few weeks.

Expectations for Round 12: Broncos have been pretty inconsistent of late, and this week they take on the Warriors who made light work of the Knights last week. Their only consolation is that the games in Brisbane. Without their star players it's hard to see the Broncos pulling out a win here, stranger things have happened though.


#10 Newcastle Knights

The trip to New Zealand is never an easy one for teams to make, and the Knights certainly found that out this weekend when the Warriors produced an impressive display to keep themselves off the bottom of the ladder. While Darius Boyd hasn't been in the best form, he will still be missed by the Knights as he heads off to perform Origin duties. Kurt Gidley's injury is unfortunate as well, these missing players will certainly test Newcastle's depth in the skilled positions.

Expectations for Round 12: So, which Knights side will come to play this week? This wildly inconsistent side is the thorn in many a tipsters side and this week is not too different. Sitting at a respectable $2.90 for the win (last time I checked) the Knights might be able to cause a little upset if they can string some form together.


#11 North Queensland Cowboys

Losing to the Tigers? REALLY?! The Cowboys were not on their game by any stretch of the imagination. While the game itself was thoroughly entertaining, the Cowboys couldn't do what needed to be done and as a consequence they have to remember that they were so bad they lost to the Tigers. A good side would not have lost that game. Thus, the Cowboys are not a good side. With JT out for Origin duties, they may find themselves sliding down the ladder over the next few weeks to join the Warriors and Tigers.

Expectations for Round 12: It's kind of a general consensus that whoever gets to play the Cowboys during Origin is the luckiest team around, this time it's the Titans. The Cowboys have put together some pretty rubbish performances with JT on the field so imagine what they're like without him? This could be bloody ugly for you Northerners.


#12 Canberra Raiders

The Raiders tried their guts out but the Sea Eagles were just too damn good. This game was a good point to see where they are at when compared to one of the better sides in the comp, and they're not too far off. A little more consistency and the ability to string wins together is all they're lacking. Thankfully they're not affected by Origin to the extent of other teams (Losing Fergo is their main concern), so they may still be hope for them to make a finals appearance.

Expectations for Round 12: Not having to play without Fergo will be a relief for the Raiders faithful, hopefully these guys use the week off to the best they can and come back with a little more consistency.


#13 New Zealand Warriors

I think the Tigers win on Friday night was huge motivation for the Warriors to take care of the Knights. No team wants to be on the bottom of the ladder (except maybe the Tigers or Eels) so I was pretty relieved when the Warriors managed to take care of the Knights. They don't deserve the Spoon (not yet at least). They won't be losing any players to Origin so they have a chance to win a few games and get out of this tug-of-war with the Tigers for the Spoon.

Expectations for Round 12: I actually have no idea if the Warriors will do well this weekend. On one hand they're facing the Broncos who have lost some of their guys to Origin duties, on the other they're playing away from home and are wildly inconsistent. I'm hoping that they'll pull out the win though.


#14 St. George Illawarra Dragons

Surprisingly (or not), the addition of Dugan hasn't made much of a difference to the Dragons attack. They couldn't register a single point against the Panthers, despite having a fair bit of field position and crossing the line a couple of times. I'm not too sure what's happened to these guys, but things aren't going to get any better now that they've lost a few players to Origin duties. Jamie Soward needs to up his game and needs to up it now.

Expectations for Round 12: Take the best two players out of a bad side and what do you end up with? The Dragons side this weekend. I still expect it to be a tough game but damn I wouldn't be surprised if the Dragons laid a bit fat egg for the second week in a row. They've got nothing going for them.


#15 Wests Tigers

The Tigers played well against the Cowboys, they managed to pull a win out which they desperately needed, but now they've lost Farah to Origin duties it may be a while before we see them fetch another two points (heck they might even lose to the bye!). It was hard to choose who was worse between the Eels and the Tigers, I though rewarding the Tigers for their win might give them the morale boost they need to get back on track.

Expectations for Round 12: Much like the Eels, the Tigers face the Bye who many believe is due for a win any day now. In all seriousness though, these guys will love the week off. Hopefully they put it to good use.


#16 - Why do you even turn up? - Parramatta Eels

Poor Jarryd Hayne. He doesn't deserve the rubbish team he has to deal with on a daily basis. He deserved his spot at fullback for the Blues. Parramatta's incredibly woeful efforts don't entirely reflect his own over the course of this season. It's going to be interesting to see how this battle for the wooden spoon unfolds between the Tigers, Eels and even the Dragons or Warriors. Who is the worst? They're all pretty damn bad.

Expectations for Round 12: Tough game for the Eels this week against the Bye. One would have to think that the Bye is due for a win any day now, and the Eels are without their big man Hayne. This one's as close as they come.