By Stephen Gallagher
Round 13 marked the halfway point in the NRL Regular Season…. How’s your team been going? Find out below!
- Brisbane Broncos – Played 13, Won 10, Lost 3. +83
Bennet’s Broncos have been a breath of fresh air this season. After a somewhat slow start – they’ve really progressed and grown as a unit – with not too many major setbacks, and having Boyd back after what could have been a season ending injury, they’ve been impressive.
They’ve been really strong up front – but it’s Ben Hunt who’s been the stand out player for Brisbane in 2015, if he can continue his red hot form, his confidence will grow even more and he could lead them to a Premiership victory.
GRADE: A. Standout performers, and can get even better – scary for opposition sides.
- North Queensland Cowboys – Played 13, Won 10, Lost 3. +33
Well what can you say about the Cowboys? If I told you they lost their first three games, and looked like they could easily have their season written off? Now… They’ve clocked 10 wins in a row, and could look to go through the second half of the season without losing a game.
James Tamou, Johnathan Thurston and Jake Granville have all been shining lights for the club who celebrate their 20th season in the NRL. I think they’re the real deal. Even better than their last two years.
GRADE: A+. When you can get out of any situation with a win, it’s hard to get better than that.
- Melbourne Storm – Played 12, Won 8, Lost 4. +62
The Storm have been a solid outfit once again, but that’s what you learn to accept when you follow the NRL. Melbourne will always be a force. They’ve had the best spine for the last 6 years – but now they’re grooming plenty of youngsters who can get the job done with their formidable flair all over the park.
Jesse Bromwich has been the best forward in the game for two years, and he is leading the way in his purple patch of form.
GRADE: A-. When they’re on, they’re on. When they’re not – they look quite lost.
- Saint George Illawarra Dragons – Played 12, Won 8, Lost 4. +57
Saint George have been the biggest surprise package of 2015. If you said they’d be sitting pretty in the top four after 13 rounds before the season started – I’d probably ask you what the winning Lotto numbers will be this weekend. They’ve backed it on their defence. Where over 13 rounds in the last 20 minutes they’ve only conceded 25 points. Phenomenal.
Mary has sorted his troops out – but none better than Benji Marshall. His maturity and love for the game again has been a joy to watch.
GRADE: B+. Their defence is so good and that’s why they’re so strong.
- South Sydney Rabbitohs – Played 13, Won 8, Lost 5. +48
It’s easy to say the Rabbitohs have had a mixed season so far. They’ve gone MIA plenty of times, and a few of their wins haven’t been flashy, but they’ve still got the result. They’re not the same team as the side who won the Premiership in 2014, but they do have plenty of talented souls that can help them go back to back.
George Burgess has been outstanding this year, growing more so in stature since his brother Sam departed to union.
GRADE: B-. Less injuries, more consistency needed.
- Sydney Roosters – Played 12, Won 6, Lost 6. +99
Roosters fans have been disappointed in the consistency, or lack of for this stacked side. Sitting 6th at the halfway mark, I am sure they’d have hoped for better, but will take it. They’ve absolutely blown sides away in some massive margin wins, but have also struggled to get points on the board too – which has set them back in some crucial losses.
Mitchell Pearce has been brilliant and composed, and his leadership does wonders for this team. He cops a lot of criticism when they lose though. The joy of being a halfback.
GRADE: C+. The Roosters are better than this, and they have to start putting out class performances in the next few weeks to make them a side to fear.
- Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs – Played 12, Won 6, Lost 6. -20
The Doggies have had a few injury setbacks in 2015 that have hampered their campaign. However they’ve punched above their weight to get the wins on the board. Their much talked about forward pack has been their one constant, and have not let them down.
Curtis Rona leads the try scoring tally and has been a fine finished in 2015, and I don’t see his talents stopping or letting down the Doggies any time soon.
GRADE: C-. Their injuries have been constant and annoying, if they can get through the rest of the season free of major injuries they can time their run perfectly, much like they did last season to make the Grand Final.
- New Zealand Warriors – Played 12, Won 6, Lost 6. -27
Well it’s always a rollercoaster as they say to be a Warriors fan. This side with potential that comes out of their ears has been let down in the 80 minute ball game. Often falling flat after 60 and let other sides in to steal the match. They’ve been a little flat on attack all year, but they’re learning to be more patient with ball in hand – and that’s something the Warriors have lacked in for 20 years.
Solomone Kata has been an exceptional rookie, but it’s the leadership of Ryan Hoffman that has really grown this side.
GRADE: C. They need to harness their talents and use them for 80 minutes. Play for 80 and get a result.
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