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NRL Power Rankings: A new king finally crowned at the top

1. Penrith Panthers (Last Week: 3): Well, what a statement win that was. Ran riot over the Dragons in their top of the table clash, and are now sitting at the top as we enter the Origin rounds.

2. South Sydney Rabbitohs (4): After knocking off the Dragons a couple of weeks ago and edging out a win in Townsville, they pass another test, heading to New Zealand and beating the (albeit depleted) Warriors.

On top: Penrith Panthers have found them in a great position as the season goes on.

Photo: NRL Photos

3. St George Illawarra Dragons (1): A disastrous result in Penrith, but still an excellent start to the season and plenty of time to make some adjustments.

4. Cronulla Sharks (6): A huge win in Newcastle, and that's six in a row for them now. A salivating clash against Souths awaits on Friday night.

5. Melbourne Storm (5): Ground out a narrow win over the Cowboys, and are sitting just outside the top four as we reach the midway point.

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6. New Zealand Warriors (2): Another heavy loss, although the absence of Shaun Johnson and understudy Mason Lino were felt. Still, a contender shouldn't be leaking 30 points at home, even without a halfback.

7. Brisbane Broncos (7): Another unimpressive win, but a win nonetheless. Despite all the negative stories to come out of Brisbane this year, they're trundling along and will probably make the finals.

8. Sydney Roosters (9): Blew the Titans away for an easy win, putting their disappointment at Suncorp Stadium the week before behind them.

9. Wests Tigers (8): Struggled against the Bulldogs for large parts of the game, but did enough to pull the win out and remain in the top eight.

10. Canberra Raiders (12): Finally, the shoe was on the other foot for the Raiders as they came from behind to win a close game – a welcome sight for their fans.

11. Manly Sea Eagles (10): After a great last couple of weeks, it all came crashing down for Manly on Friday night, blowing a late lead in Canberra.

12. North Queensland Cowboys (14): Hard luck losers for two weeks in a row, the season is probably over for the Cowboys, but they've looked a lot better.

13. Gold Coast Titans (13): Never really in the contest against the Roosters and couldn't build on their impressive performance last weekend. Another lost season looks likely.

14. Newcastle Knights (11): Completely embarrassed at home by the Sharks and that cracking early season form appears to have totally deserted them.

15. Canterbury Bankstown-Bulldogs (15): Played hard, but ultimately came up short against the Tigers – story of their season.

16. Parramatta Eels (16): Ten losses from 12 games now – how did it go so wrong for a team that many had in the top eight, if not the top four?

Matt Bungard

Matt Bungard is a journalist for the Sydney Morning Herald.

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