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The "big three" continue to win while seven or eight teams are vying for the other top-eight spots.

The bottom group of teams appear to be in rebuild mode but even so, there were some positive signs for some in round six.

1. Penrith Panthers (Last week: 1)

You've got to win in different ways, it's not always going to be pretty, and the Panthers continue to do so. In my eyes, Nathan Cleary is the best player in the competition at the moment and he came up clutch.

I feel the Panthers are again on a grand final collision course with the Storm. Souths are thereabouts but I don't know if they can control the ball like the other two sides.

2. Melbourne Storm (3)

Intensity-wise, their win against the Roosters on Friday night was above anything else I watched over the weekend. Melbourne have the players and star power to get it done (again). 

3. South Sydney Rabbitohs (2)

They beat the Tigers - just - but the Rabbitohs have a really, really tough period with consecutive games against the Titans, Raiders, Storm, Sharks and Panthers. I think there might be a few losses in there with Latrell Mitchell facing suspension. 

4. Parramatta Eels (5)

Parramatta proved their blueprint to success is playing a power game complemented by Mitch Moses's kicking. Points come off the back of that. If they did that in round five, the Eels would still be undefeated. They now face the Broncos in Darwin, so we'll have to see how they react to that trip.

Get Caught Up: Round 6 must-see moments

5. Sydney Roosters (4)

Looked frustrated by the intensity that Melbourne brought last weekend. The Dragons will need to do the same to beat the Roosters in a huge Anzac Day game. The Roosters are still a top-six side with so much class over the field, but they are starting to run out of troops.

6. St George Illawarra Dragons (6)

The Dragons have won in tough environments but failed to deliver at home against the Warriors. For me, they'll be on the brink of the top eight at the end of the year, but so far I don't think anyone would disagree that St George Illawarra have shown more consistency than the teams below them.

7. Canberra Raiders (7)

Really big concerns. Canberra have been the most disappointing side in the top half of the competition from last year. They look lost in attack and they're leaking tries in defence. 

8. New Zealand Warriors (10)

Their completion rate was perfect and they stayed in the grind against the Dragons. But can the Warriors do it this week against Melbourne at AAMI Park? They won't be ranked much higher until they show consistency. They were awful last week against Manly but fantastic on Sunday. 

Every try from Round 6

9. Newcastle Knights (11)

An important win over the Sharks to stop their losing slide. That win will hopefully galvanise Newcastle but they play Penrith on Thursday, so I haven't elevated them too much. But I couldn't have the Knights below the Titans despite losing to them a week earlier. I think if those teams played again this week, Adam O'Brien's side would win.

10. Gold Coast Titans (8)

Frustrating, inconsistent, immature. The Titans aren't understanding the values of week-to-week NRL footy and got belted.

11. Manly Sea Eagles (12)

I'm starting to think it won't be long before Manly jump a few teams ahead of them. They were absolutely fantastic against the Titans. Tom Trbojevic isn't worth 30 points to the team, but his return from injury gave the Sea Eagles a lot of confidence. Watch out for them to go on a bit of a run. 

Magic Round: One month to go

12. Cronulla Sharks (9)

I'm worried about the Sharks. For the past two games, their last 20 minutes has been diabolical. Saturday's clash with the Bulldogs is crucial for Cronulla's season. They need to win before a hard stretch of the draw against the Storm, Panthers and Rabbitohs. 

13. North Queensland Cowboys (13)

The Cowboys have won two in a row, but I couldn't move them above anyone else because they've only beaten opponents below them. Hopefully, that explains some of the Rankings from week to week. I need to see how North Queensland fare against the Raiders at home on Saturday.

14. Wests Tigers (14)

The Tigers set their standard against the Rabbitohs, but they need to build off that performance because they still lost - albeit in golden point. I'm keen to see how they bounce back against a red-hot Manly on Anzac Day.

15. Brisbane Broncos (15)

Also set their standard against Penrith. Their young guys did the little things well - kicking to corners, understanding patience, staying in long cycles. I still think we'll see ups and downs from the Broncos, but Kevin Walters has found his halves pairing with Tom Dearden and Brodie Croft.

16. Canterbury Bulldogs (16)

Tried hard away from home but hurt themselves with errors. Canterbury are conceding more than 30 points per game and that stems from attitude and not taking care of the fundamentals.

The Bulldogs may not win for another month with matches against the Sharks, Eels, Dragons and Raiders coming up.


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The views in this article do not necessarily express the opinions of the NRL, ARLC, NRL clubs or state associations.

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