The first three weeks of the 2014 NRL season have produced some interesting results.
Based on 2013 rankings at the end of the regular season, the trends in performance are:
The number of red cells in the upper half of the Table indicates that last year’s lower ranked teams have had a good pre-season preparation. Five teams outperformed their 2013 Ranking in Round 1 (Rabbitohs, Titans, Panthers, Broncos and Eels), six in Round 2 (Sea Eagles, Bulldogs, Broncos, Raiders, Dragons, Tigers) and four in Round 3 (Panthers, Warriors, Dragons and Tigers).
The top eight on the Ladder are:
The Dragons and Tigers are this season’s most improved teams after three Rounds. The Storm are the most consistent of last year’s higher ranked teams. As anticipated, the Sharks are having a difficult start to the year and have lost all three games played to lower ranked teams from 2013.
This was the pattern after Round 3 in 2013: