NRL Power Rankings: Broncos, Roosters on the up

This year's Magic Round was a massive improvement on last year's sin-bin-packed version, with some big upsets shaking up the NRL pecking order after 10 rounds.

Penrith regained their frontrunner status, Cronulla and Parramatta are just hanging on to places in our top four, the Roosters are back and Adam Reynolds is performing miracles for the Broncos.

Here's where your club sits heading into round 11.

Note: Throughout the year, ESPN will rank all 16 teams, from top to bottom, taking into account which teams are playing the best footy, injuries, each team's recent opponents, and which teams are looking most like premiership contenders.


1. Panthers

Last week: 2

The Panthers are back on top after a superb display against Melbourne on Saturday night, with Isaah Yep and Nathan Cleary pulling the strings in the middle and Izack Tago and Viliame Kikau providing the fireworks out wide. The league's best defensive side held a brilliant attacking Storm team to just six points, bouncing back in the best possible way after the previous week's loss to Parramatta. Melbourne weren't at their strongest but the result is enough to ensure Penrith remain premiership frontrunners for now.

This week's opponent: Roosters

2. Storm

Last week: 1

The loss of star fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen and halfback Jahrome Hughes proved too much for Melbourne against Penrith, and they were never really in the contest despite a couple of moments of brilliance from Cameron Munster -- including a pinpoint, improvised kick for Nick Meaney in the Storm's only try. Melbourne have a tricky draw coming up (Manly are the only non-top-eight team they play between now and the end of the State of Origin period) so it'll be interesting to see how they navigate things through Origin.

This week's opponent: Cowboys

3. Sharks

Last week: 3

Cronulla were on the wrong end of one of several shock results from Magic Round, a 30-10 thumping at the hands of the previously struggling Raiders. The loss came despite the men in Green losing players to the sin bin not once but three times. The injury to Will Kennedy -- and subsequent move of star recruit Nicho Hynes from halfback to fullback -- appeared to derail the Sharks' spine combinations but they should be much better this week against the Gold Coast.

This week's opponent: Titans

4. Eels

Last week: 4

Like Cronulla, Parramatta were caught on the hop in Magic Round although they at least were competitive in a high-quality 31-24 loss to the Roosters. Mitchell Moses and Isaiah Papali'i were in sublime form despite the result but the Eels can't afford to take it lightly this week against a Manly outfit that was embarrassed by Brisbane last Friday.

This week's opponent: Sea Eagles

5. Broncos

Last week: 7

The signing of Adam Reynolds just looks better every week for Brisbane, with the former Rabbitohs skipper engineering a 38-0 drubbing of Manly on Friday night. Reynolds scored one try and had assists for two more, with his sublime kicking game and combination with talented speedster Selwyn Cobbo coming up trumps against the Sea Eagles. Just how far can Reynolds take this Broncos team?

This week's opponent: Knights

6. Cowboys

Last week: 6

The Cowboys have now won five straight but they have a monster fortnight ahead of them after a fairly cruisy opening 10 rounds, with just two matches against top-eight opposition so far. With home ground advantage they are a chance against the injury-hit Storm this round before a daunting trip to Penrith the following week.

This week's opponent: Storm

7. Roosters

Last week: 8

We've been waiting for the Roosters to click into gear all year and it's finally happened in the past couple of weeks, with a flogging of the Titans and a great win over Parramatta. It sets up a blockbuster against Penrith this week ahead of another tough test against the Sharks before the Origin period kicks off. Victor Radley's injury presents some real problems in the middle -- especially against Penrith this week -- but the Tricolours do have the depth to compete without him.

This week's opponent: Panthers

8. Sea Eagles

Last week: 5

Manly remain perfect against bottom-eight opposition but winless against top-eight sides this season, with a humiliating 38-0 loss to Brisbane a new low this season. Tom Trbojevic appeared to struggle with a knee injury and it's a worrying time for Des Hasler's men with a couple of tough games against Parramatta and Melbourne coming up before they lose the likes of Trbojevic and Daly Cherry-Evans to State of Origin selection.

This week's opponent: Eels

9. Rabbitohs

Last week: 9

After being embarrassed by Adam Reynolds and the Broncos last week, Souths made the perfect start against the Warriors on Saturday with Reynolds' old halves partner Cody Walker in superb touch with three try assists. But they seemingly switched off at halftime, with the Warriors charging back into the contest and threatening a boilover. Souths escaped with a 32-30 win but it's yet another wake-up call that the Rabbitohs can't afford to cruise these days.

This week's opponent: Raiders

10. Raiders

Last week: 12

Canberra's 30-10 win over the Sharks was arguably the biggest shock of the weekend, a strong performance from start to finish for a team with an infamous knack of switching off in the second half of games. Jack Wighton returns this week as the Raiders look to keep the good times rolling against the Rabbitohs.

This week's opponent: Rabbitohs

11. Titans

Last week: 13

The Titans missed four field goal attempts so scored a try instead to win in golden point against the Dragons. It brings a much-needed confidence boost after a five-game losing streak for one of the league's most inconsistent teams.

This week's opponent: Sharks

12. Dragons

Last week: 10

Saturday's golden-point loss to the Titans was a frustrating result for a Dragons side that had so far appeared to be the most solid of mid-table teams -- winning their games against bottom-eight sides (and getting one win over the Roosters) while all their losses came against top-eight teams. A 50% winning rate is usually good enough to earn a spot in the finals and that means the Dragons will need wins against teams like the Titans, and the Warriors this week.

This week's opponent: Warriors

13. Wests Tigers

Last week: 11

The Tigers were well in the battle against the Cowboys on Sunday night, leading 12-8 after half an hour, but two tries late in the first half swung momentum North Queensland's way and three more in the second blew the scoreline out to 36-12. Luke Brooks has joined an ever-growing casualty ward but they're still a big chance of bouncing back this week against a Canterbury team that has played Trent Barrett out of a job.

This week's opponent: Bulldogs

14. Warriors

Last week: 13

The Warriors were truly horrible in the first half against Souths, trailing 26-0 a couple of minutes before the break, and yet somehow came within two points of pulling off a stunning comeback win. Skipper Tohu Harris played 29 minutes off the bench in his first appearance since a long injury layoff and will be better for the run.

This week's opponent: Dragons

15. Knights

Last week: 16

"We needed to win, how it looked in terms of attack didn't matter to me," was the verdict of a relieved Adam O'Brien after Newcastle climbed off the foot of the ladder with a 16-6 win over the Bulldogs on Friday night. It ended a seven-match losing streak and should be a much-needed confidence boost for a team that is also welcoming back a few more players from the casualty ward. But not every opponent will be as forgiving as the Bulldogs and the Knights' clunky attack will need to start looking better if they are to make much of an impression on this season.

This week's opponent: Broncos

16. Bulldogs

Last week: 14

It's been a case of one step forward, two steps back for the Dogs in recent weeks with all the momentum of a stunning win over the Roosters seemingly wasted after 10-point losses to strugglers Canberra and Newcastle. Trent Barrett has paid the price and the club is officially on the hunt for a new coach. Their attack remains a huge issue -- they've scored just 18 tries in 10 games; Melbourne has scored 60 -- and are still yet to show the kind of improvement expected of them this season after their high-profile recruiting spree. With the coach gone, the attention now turns to the misfiring players with a winnable match-up against a weakened Tigers team this week.

This week's opponent: Wests Tigers