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NRL Power Rankings: Top teams nearly stumble, Eels start to stir

1. Penrith Panthers (Last Week: 1): Worked hard late in the contest to see off a depleted Canberra team by a single point – not pretty, but they got the job done.

2. South Sydney Rabbitohs (2): Speaking of not pretty, the Bunnies were equally flat against the Titans but also did enough to pull out a close win.

The Panthers retain their spot at the top of our NRL power rankings.

Photo: NRL Photos

3. St George Illawarra Dragons (3): And let's go for the hat trick – the Saints held on late against their rivals the Bulldogs as the top three won by a combined five points.

4. Melbourne Storm (4): Pulled away from the Broncos in the second half and look to be on track to be right around the top four at season's end.

5. New Zealand Warriors (5):Flattened the Sea Eagles and this is the time of year where the Warriors really thrive – will the Denver test disrupt their rhythm?

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6. Cronulla Sharks (6): Came from behind to overrun the Tigers late on, another team that could be primed for a strong second half surge.

7. Sydney Roosters (8): Just did enough against the Knights, and are quietly lurking just outside the top four.

8. Brisbane Broncos (7): Well beaten in Melbourne, and are really struggling for cohesion and organisation. Still haven't worked out their best halves pairing.

9. Canberra Raiders (10): Another game, another heartbreaking late loss for the Raiders. Their fans have suffered more in the last couple of years than anyone should in one lifetime.

10. Wests Tigers (9): Starting to slow down now as Ivan Cleary continues to chop and change his backline each week in the search for more points.

11. Newcastle Knights (12): Ripped in against the Roosters and nearly came away with the two points – could shock a few sides when Mitchell Pearce returns.

12. North Queensland Cowboys (11): Easily beaten by Parramatta in Darwin before a couple of late tries gave the scoreline some respectibility.

13. Gold Coast Titans (14): Unlucky to lose against the Rabbitohs as their poor season continues – some bright sparks for the future, though.

14. Manly Sea Eagles (13): A big loss on the field, and off-field drama continuing to rear its head as well. Not looking good at all on the northern beaches.

15. Parramatta Eels (16): A much more solid performance this week, with Jarryd Hayne putting in his best shift of the year.

16. Canterbury Bankstown-Bulldogs (15): Worked really hard against the Dragons but still came up short and still struggling to find points in attack.

Matt Bungard

Matt Bungard is a journalist for the Sydney Morning Herald.

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