Round 7 - My Mountain of Rankings

There's something about ANZAC Day that brings the excitement to a Round of Rugby League. Maybe it's the Beer and gambling, maybe it's not. Either way I had to wait through a weekend of sub-par Rep Footy matches for this week of Football so I'm going to appreciate it! Get ready to be blown away by some amazing games folks, this week is a cracker!

#1 - King of the Hill - Melbourne Storm

Well only one team could be defeated at the end of last Round and to no one's surprise it was the Storm (Hooray...?). Watching the game I never really thought they were going to lose it at any point so it was a rather enjoyable game. If the Storm can maintain their form and constancy then they might be looking at a golden season.

Expectations for Round 7: The Storm have a lot of players backing up from Rep Footy so they might be a little worse for wear. But fortunately for them they take on the Warriors who I don't think will have the class to match them.

#2 South Sydney Rabbitohs

These guys were admirable in their contest against the Storm. They showed they've improved a lot since their meeting in week one of the finals last season. Reynolds had a little taste of Representative football over the weekend (if you could call it that) and he will only be better for the experience. The trouble for the Rabbitohs is that they live and die on the fitness and performance of Reynolds and Inglis, and Inglis looks like he may have picked up a boo boo.

Expectations for Round 7: In what will hopefully be the game of the Round, the Bunnies have to get back in the right mindset and take on a powerful Manly outfit. The Sea Eagles are one of those teams where if they're in the zone they are bloody hard to stop so Souths need to come out of the gates with a bang.

#3 Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

These blokes might be a little older than the rest of the comp but they're showing they can match it with anyone. At their best any team will have a tough time matching them, but unfortunately for the Eagles they've had some disastrous and costly lapses in concentration which makes them look deadest ordinary. That's pretty much the only weakness in their game so if they can get that sorted they will be pretty sweet.

Expectations for Round 7: Souths are a quality team, so Manly can't afford to clock off at all in this contest. They need to keep their foot on the pedal else it could be a long night for the boys from Brookvale. I still think they can get it done, but they need to be wary of Souths' ability to lay on the points in a very small amount of time.

#4 Brisbane Broncos

The Broncos cemented themselves as contenders with a clean sweep of both their Queensland Rivals. Taking on the Cowboys was no easy feat and they managed to come out of it all with a win and a massive grin on their faces. They're still ridiculously underrated by most sides they come up against but I have a feeling these guys are just getting started. These guys are holding onto a little bit of momentum right now and the only time I see it stopping is when State of Origin come around.

Expectations for Round 7: It's always around this time every season where the Broncos start falling off the pace and dropping a few 'gimme' games which should be wins. This is one of those games, if the Broncos lose this one then I think that it might be a very long rep season for the Brisbane boys.

#5 Sydney Roosters

Roosters have some quality performances under their belt but I'm not sending them into the top four till they can beat some quality opposition (I know they beat Broncos but it wasn't exactly a good performance). If they can knock of the Dragons and their ANZAC Day hoodoo then I might start showing them some love, though more likely than not I will find something to complain about. Also I don't know why they continue to put Luke O'Donnell in their 17, he has not been playing good footy.

Expectations for Round 7: I'm expecting the Roosters to get it done this week, though I don't think it will be a blowout like some of their previous efforts. It will be a tough game of footy but I don't think the Dragons have enough going for them on the offensive side of the ball to keep up with an on song Roosters outfit.

#6 Gold Coast Titans

A pretty enormous win for these guys on the weekend, however a lot of teams would have crumbled and Titans decided to have a dig. They can hand this win to their discipline though as they managed to keep it clean in the second half which put the onus on the Eels to make the mistakes, and boy oh boy did they. The Titans need to fix themselves up quite a bit, but they're on the right track for now.

Expectations for Round 7: I'm eager to see this matchup because I'm still not sure about the Titans or the Knights' fortunes for this season. Both have put in excellent performances at times and both are kind of hard to get a read on. One thing the Knights have against them is that they have not been great away from home.

#7 North Queensland Cowboys

For all the injuries and crap these guys have to go through they're making life tough for other teams. The game against the Broncos went down to the wire and not many other NRL teams could to the same if they had been the ones with their roster decimated with injuries. Seriously though these guys had Clint Greensheilds playing fullback for them, a lot of you younger lads probably wouldn't even know who he is

Expectations for Round 7: Taking on the Raiders away up North shouldn't be too much of a trouble for the Cowboys as the Raiders are rubbish when they're not in the Nation's Capital. On top of this, the Raiders halves are coming off a weekend of Rep Footy that they're not used to playing in, so they may feel a bit more tired than usual during the game.

#8 Newcastle Knights

This was bad bad bad game no matter which way you look at it. Sure the Knights managed to take home the points but no team should be happy with a performance like that. Ugh, I think I'm going to be sick just thinking about it. The one half-decent thing the Knights can take out of this game is that they managed to defend pretty well when the Panthers sniffed their way back into the most hideous contest in Rugby League history.

Expectations for Round 7: It's a long way back after a performance like the Knights put on against the Panthers. Hopefully with the week off Bennett tore his players a new one and they'll come out firing against the Titans. The more likely scenario however is we get the a performance only slightly better than the one these guys served up against Penrith.

#9 St. George Illawarra Dragons

How the heck are these guys in the top 8? I was begging the Tigers to steal the win in the dying minutes but alas it wasn't meant to be. The big story from the game for me was the fact that the Dragons managed to score three tries. Seriously though, their defence seems to be the bees knees, but it hasn't really been tested against some decent opposition.

Expectations for Round 7: Usually I'm pretty set in stone when it comes to teams and their 'bogey' games but this time I think it's pretty clear that the Roosters have the edge. Mainly because I think the Roosters will score at least 20 points and I don't think the Dragons will be able to match that, no matter how hard they try.

#10 Penrith Panthers

The Panthers just need to forget that embarrassment of a game even existed. When a match is of that poor quality it's time to throw out the film study and get back to basics. Surely Phil Gould has some old Boots 'N All cone drills the Panthers can have a go at, which should be simple enough. I'm expecting more than a few of the Panthers fans are just looking forward to next season.

Expectations for Round 7: Penrith have a lot of problems, and that's a bit of an understatement. I look at their squad and nothing moves me, nothing makes me want to run to Penrith to watch them play. Yet somehow they are able to put in quality performances which make me wonder where it's all coming from. They've also put some shockers in as well though. I think this week will be a good test to see where they're at, because they should come away with the win.

#11 Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

I don't really know how a team can be trounced one week and still have shreds of dignity left but I feel as though the Bulldogs have found a way. They weren't horrible against the Roosters, they tried their guts out but nothing was coming off for them. Barba still looks like his mind isn't completely on footy which worries me a little bit, Dessy needs to sort these blokes out as soon as he can, else they might just find themselves out of finals contention.

Expectations for Round 7: The Bulldogs are taking on a club which is in a very similar position to them. Both clubs are desperate for a win but I can't see the Doggies pulling it out just yet. They've got a better team but they're just not finding the line yet. They need to find a bit of sparkle in attack because they're just not groovy at the moment.

#12 Canberra Raiders

So are these guys supposed to be a good team or what? As exciting as it was to see Campese back in action (before his inevitable re-injury) the Raiders didn't win in convincing fashion, it was just a sort of 'performance' which grabbed them the two points. The injury to the Pillow (David Shillington) was a bit of a worry too. I don't really know what to expect from the Raiders yet, still kind of figuring them out.

Expectations for Round 7: Raiders fans will be praying that JT and Bowen are somehow taken out of this match because if they're both in there then the Raiders are going to get a score put on them. Seriously Raiders, every game can't be played in Canberra, when are you going to get that through your head?

#13 Wests Tigers

You know, had these guys played decent football for more than three minutes last weekend they may have actually won the game. You can't just turn up; score two tries and then fall back asleep expecting the other team to forget the game is still being played. I don't know about these guys, sometimes I wonder if their brain is even switched on half of the time.

Expectations for Round 7: The Tigers love playing out of Campbelltown so they've definitely got that going for them this weekend, I've got a feeling they might sneak in a little upset this weekend and topple the Broncos. It all depends on if young gun Curtis Sironen can get his men going in attack.

#14 Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks

Each week I say it and each week I get no closer to finding out a reason, where the heck did the Sharks go and who are these woeful impersonators? I'll give partial credit to the Sharks for not completely rolling over and giving themselves over to the might of the Sea Eagles, but you can't gift the opposing team 16 points and expect everything to be all hunky-dory. Sort yourselves out Sharkies.

Expectations for Round 7: This is a must win match for both teams, they're both struggling and needing to find that extra gear to get themselves back into form and one of them is going to find it this week. I have a feeling that the Sharks are going to get on top in this match, just because Carney is back and he'll be able to add something to the Sharks team that will give them a creative edge. The same edge that Barba is still yet to give the Bulldogs.

#15 New Zealand Warriors

I have to give the Warriors some credit, they at least put themselves in a position where they can 'almost' get the win they realisation that they're the Warriors sinks in and they just want to cry and sleep forever watching romantic comedies about the old days where they made the Grand Final. How about that Konrad Hurell kid though? Damn he is something completely from another planet, it's awesome!

Expectations for Round 7: Sometime the Warriors have the competitive edge on the Storm just because they're not expected to play well, but I don't think this is one of those times. Sometimes good teams beat bad teams because they're bad teams and reading into their history is just going too far into it.

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

This pathetic team couldn't even knock over a crippled Titans team. How do you work that one out? It seems Parra are long for the spoon again, they'll only chalk up wins when they've been absolutely blown off the park the week before. Thankfully Eels fans have a bunch of exciting signings to look forward to for next season. Huzzah.

Expectations for Round 7: Chalk up another loss here, Parra are a mess. Maybe it's a bit harsh but it's the way I see it. What's it going to take for these guys to actually put in a quality 80 minute performance? I just don't believe that these guys are a good football team, and I'm still waiting for them to prove me wrong.