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Opinion

NRL Power Rankings: Round 14 - Broncos buckin’ awful, Warriors on the warpath, Dogs surging, Tigers more like kittens

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Expert
10th June, 2024
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Brisbane’s slide is probably only a momentary lapse in a long season but their hopes of going one better than last year won’t be realised unless they get out of this funk quickly.

The Broncos have dropped to eighth after their second-half shocker against the Sharks after fading poorly in their previous loss to the Titans.

At 7-6 they are hardly reaching for the panic button but as their frustrated coach Kevin Walters succinctly summed it up in the post-match media conference, they have to “f—ing play better”.

They will again be without Reece Walsh this Friday against Souths and Adam Reynolds is months away from returning from his ruptured pec – the Broncs are not a one-man team but definitely too reliant on those two.

Team by team, here’s how the Power Rankings stack up after Round 14.

10 Sea Eagles (7): They have lost four of their past five outings and have dropped out of the top eight.

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With their next five matches against the Dragons, Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Knights and Titans, they have a chance to bank some wins against modest opposition but only if they’re not average themselves.

11 Eels (11): Trent Barrett hasn’t changed too much since taking over from Brad Arthur a few weeks back and they still seem to be hamstrung by their simplicity in attack unless Mitch Moses is orchestrating an attacking raid.

It is doubtful Parra could match it with the big dogs this season. A win on Monday over the Bulldogs would have lifted them to just two wins outside the top eight, but the late loss leaves their playoff campaign teetering on the proverbial tightrope.

12 Dragons (13): A long time ago in Wollongong, Rod Wishart started his first-grade career in the centres but didn’t make much of an impact so he was switched to the wing and went on to represent NSW and Australia.

Zac Lomax is on the same trajectory after his well-documented switch at the start of this season and after an impressive Blues debut and 32 points in the flogging of the Tigers on Friday, he should have been thanking Shane Flanagan not engineering a release to go to Parramatta.

13 Cowboys (12): After winning three on the trot and looking like they were starting to click in their upset win over the Roosters, they had a stinker against the Warriors.

Some of their goal-line defence was embarrassing. There’s something wrong with the attitude of this team which, on paper, should be top-four contenders.

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(Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

14 Rabbitohs (16): It was only the Titans but the 46-12 was the kind of cakewalk a team like Souths needs after a severely underwhelming start to their injury-riddled season.

They are only three wins outside the top eight and now they have Latrell Mitchell, Jack Wighton, Cody Walker and Damien Cook combining as their spine, they will be a dangerous opponent for any team.

15 Titans (14): Just when you think the Gold Coast are starting to get their act together by beating Brisbane, they show little to no effort at home against a team they should beat in Souths.

David Fifita was great at smashing Cody Walker in a couple of bursts late in the game. Maybe he should do that while running into other forwards earlier on when each team is fighting to get the upper hand.

16 Knights (15): They managed to rack up a few line breaks and put 28 on the scoreboard but still fell short in Melbourne.

They’ve got the Panthers twice, Parra, Canberra, Manly and Brisbane in their next six starts – their finals hopes could be over by the time Kalyn Ponga comes back.

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17 Wests (17): A total mess. The Lachlan Galvin situation is emblematic of the stigma that hovers over this club after many years of mismanagement and near-sighted decision making.

The Tigers not only have to pay over the odds to attract players to the club but they have to upgrade and extend contracts for their home-grown talent who don’t even want to stick around.

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