NRL Power Rankings: Panthers cruise, Roosters stumble as Origin period begins

The first split round is behind us with mixed fortunes for the teams blessed with multiple Origin players, while three clubs are now on the hunt for new coaches and more find themselves under pressure.

Here's where your club sits heading into round 14.

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: 1

If ever there was a danger week for the reigning premiers it was this one, with six star players unavailable through Origin -- including key playmaking trio Nathan Cleary, Jarome Luai and Isaah Yeo. And yet the Panthers didn't miss a beat, strolling to a 30-18 win over the Bulldogs. Sean O'Sullivan, Kurt Falls and Matthew Eisenhuth did admirable jobs stepping up in the absence of Cleary, Luai and Yeo, while Api Koroisau, James Fisher-Harris and Viliame Kikau were all standouts.

This week's opponent: Knights

2. Storm

Last week: 2

The fallout to Wednesday night's Origin I will be crucial for Melbourne ahead of a blockbuster battle with the Roosters, who are still capable of competing with the best in the league on their day. The Storm tend to cope pretty well during the Origin period despite the extra workload facing their stars, but it won't be easy this year with matches against top-eight sides Brisbane, Manly and Cronulla.

This week's opponent: Roosters

3. Eels

Last week: 3

Parramatta have a few forwards in action for the Blues on Wednesday but even if one or two are rested they should have what it takes to get the better of the Bulldogs, particularly with the bulk of the team fresh from last week's bye.

This week's opponent: Bulldogs

4. Roosters

Last week: 4

The Roosters will be disappointed to have lost on the road to the Raiders on Sunday, but they did get within a try of forcing golden point and were without James Tedesco, Daniel Tupou and Lindsay Collins. They'll probably need all three back on deck for a monster battle with Melbourne this week -- a loss would leave them with a 50% winning record and with a lot to do in the second half of the season if they are to secure a top-four finish.

This week's opponent: Storm

5. Sharks

Last week: 5

Nicho Hynes missed out on a spot in the NSW 17 to face Queensland in Origin I, but the Blues' loss is Cronulla's gain with the star halfback to be fully fit for this week's clash with a Warriors team reeling from the exit of coach Nathan Brown. Expect to see another win for the Sharks here.

This week's opponent: Warriors

6. Broncos

Last week: 6

Adam Reynolds is back and is now paired with talented young gun Ezra Mam in the halves for the Broncos with pivot Tyson Gamble out injured. Reynolds and Mam could become the pairing of the future for Brisbane, who face an in-form Canberra team in what could be the match of the round.

This week's opponent: Raiders

7. Cowboys

Last week: 7

With Reuben Cotter and Jeremiah Nanai having earned Maroons call-ups alongside Valentine Holmes, it was up to the likes of Jason Taumalolo, Reece Robson and Scott Drinkwater to lead the way against the Titans. And that they did, romping to a 32-6 win to get things back on track after last week's big loss to Penrith. The Cowboys have already been super-impressive in 2022 and have the chance to get even better when Cotter and Nanai return from their first taste of Origin football.

This week's opponent: Dragons

8. Raiders

Last week: 8

Sunday's win over the Roosters featured a lot of strong individual efforts -- Joe Tapine ran for 200 metres, Xavier Savage did the same and had a great pickup for a try, Corey Horsburgh set up a crucial try with a charge-down, Elliott Whitehead had a couple of try-saving tackles -- but the most satisfying thing for Canberra fans is probably the fact the team held onto their six-point half-time lead against a good side. There were times when it looked like the Roosters would steal the victory but the home side got the job done and have now won four of their last five.

This week's opponent: Broncos

9. Rabbitohs

Last week: 9

Souths had been alternating between wins and losses for the past seven rounds before last week's bye, but now have the chance to string some wins together with games against the Titans and Dragons coming up.

This week's opponent: Titans

10. Sea Eagles

Last week: 10

Manly bounced back from a three-game losing streak with an excellent 32-point thumping of the Warriors, despite the absence of superstar duo Daly Cherry-Evans and Tom Trbojevic. Josh Schuster gave a glimpse of the future with a few barnstorming plays at five-eighth but will return to the back row assuming Cherry-Evans backs up from Origin I.

This week's opponent: Tigers

11. Dragons

Last week: 12

The Dragons are in pretty good form -- winning five of their last seven ahead of last week's bye -- but have a huge month coming up with games against the Cowboys, Rabbitohs, Raiders, Broncos and Roosters. If things go well they could propel themselves into finals contention; if things go badly they could be facing a lengthy losing streak.

This week's opponent: Cowboys

12. Wests Tigers

Last week: 13

The Michael Maguire era is over, with Brett Kimmorley taking over as interim coach and the Tigers on the hunt for Maguire's long-term successor. Football manager Tim Sheens says the Tigers are a "development club" searching for a "development coach". How it will affect the team's on-field performances in the short term is anyone's guess; at this point there's no real expectation the Tigers will compete for a finals spot, but players are arguably playing for their future with the club taking the long view.

This week's opponent: Sea Eagles

13. Knights

Last week: 14

Rival coaches beware: the last two teams the Knights have beaten have responded by sacking their coaches. The good news for Newcastle is they are getting closer and closer to full-strength, with Kurt Mann back from injury this week. The bad: the Knights are playing Penrith this week. Ivan Cleary's position looks pretty safe.

This week's opponent: Panthers

14. Titans

Last week: 11

The poor Titans appear to be in freefall, losing eight of their past nine games (their one bright spot in that streak being a golden point win over the Dragons). After blowing a big lead against Brisbane last week the Gold Coast faced a North Queensland team missing their Origin stars and were blown away -- scoring the opening try of the game but conceding the next six. It's not a dire situation for the long-term prospects of the club -- their key players are all 23 years old or younger, and will improve -- but as of right now they look closer to wooden spoon candidates than top-eight contenders.

This week's opponent: Rabbitohs

15. Warriors

Last week: 15

Nathan Brown has been shown the door and Warriors legend Stacey Jones has taken the reigns as interim coach as the New Zealand club try to get their season back on track. After losing five straight and seven of their last eight matches, the Kiwi club is desperate for a change of fortunes but it'll be tough to find in the next fortnight with matches against Cronulla and Penrith.

This week's opponent: Sharks

16. Bulldogs

Last week: 16

Matt Burton played well against his old side on Friday night, setting up two Josh Addo-Carr tries and scoring another himself, while Jake Averillo got his first run as an NRL fullback. And the early signs are Addo-Carr has taken his Origin snubbing in his stride as he aims to turn the Bulldogs' fortunes around. But the positives don't go much further than that, and it's always a disappointing result when you take on a team missing six State of Origin stars and still lose comfortably. Canterbury have a long layoff until Monday's next game but things won't get any easier against Parramatta.

This week's opponent: Eels