NRL Power Rankings: Eels surge as Rabbitohs tumble

The Dragons leapfrogged the Rabbitohs in the biggest move of the week while the Eels are looking like the real deal again.

Here's where your club sits heading into round 16.

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

It's going to be a genuine surprise if the Panthers don't win back-to-back premierships at this rate, with the league leaders cruising to yet another big win -- this time a 40-6 road thrashing of the Warriors. Just about the entire squad has earned a rep call up for State of Origin or the mid-year internationals and it's deserved for a team firing on all cylinders.

Next round's opponent: Roosters

2. Storm

Last week: 2

There was a genuine scare against the Broncos this week when Melbourne conceded three tries inside half an hour to trail 16-6, but a couple of quick tries to halves Cameron Munster and Jahrome Hughes levelled things up at halftime before a Dean Ieremia double put the Storm in control in the second half. It was a third straight win for Craig Bellamy's side who is navigating the Origin period well so far.

Next round's opponent: Sea Eagles

3. Eels

Last week: 6

This Eels side is a rare beast; a genuine premiership threat that is capable of losing to the worst team in the competition (multiple times!). Parramatta put last week's embarrassing 30-point thrashing at the hands of the Bulldogs behind them with a strong win over the Roosters, and they produced one of the best first-half displays of any team this season. When they are in the right frame of mind they can beat anybody, so while they remain close to full strength you can't write them off this year.

Next round's opponent: Rabbitohs

4. Sharks

Last week: 3

Cronulla have back-to-back wins for the first time since round 5, but it was hardly convincing with an 18-10 win over the lowly Titans after scores were level at 10-10 at halftime. A quirk of the draw means the Sharks' last four wins have come against the Warriors and Titans, and the last time they've beaten a team currently in the top eight was against the Dragons way back in round 3.

Next round's opponent: Bulldogs

5. Cowboys

Last week: 5

Friday night's win over the Sea Eagles at Brookvale was a strange one -- North Queensland conceded the first two tries, scored the next two, conceded the next three and scored the final three in a 28-26 comeback win. Valentine Holmes' long-range try got his team out of jail in a game a top-eight team should have expected to win, but it's still a good time to be a Cowboys fan with new Maroon Murray Taulagi joining an ever-increasing crop of rep players at the club this weekend.

Next round's opponent: Broncos

6. Broncos

Last week: 4

Brisbane did well to keep touch with the Storm on Friday night and there's no shame in losing to Melbourne -- a result that ended their seven-game winning streak. Rookie five-eighth Ezra Mam has now scored three tries in four games while four Broncos will take part in Sunday's Origin II with another couple in the extended Maroons squad. They have a terrific match-up with the Cowboys coming up in a little over a week.

Next round's opponent: Cowboys

7. Roosters

Last week: 7

After losing to the Eels the Roosters find themselves in a tough spot, outside the NRL top eight, having already lost to three of the teams around them on the ladder -- the Rabbitohs, Dragons and Raiders -- and needing some big scalps to get back into contention. And next up they face a Penrith side that looks just about unbeatable at the moment. This week's break for the representative weekend means they are going to finish the month of June with three losses and no wins, and at serious risk of slipping out of finals contention if they don't turn things around in the second half of the season.

Next round's opponent: Panthers

8. Raiders

Last week: 9

The dreaded "faders" reputation looked alive and well on Sunday when a 14-0 lead against the Knights turned into an 18-14 deficit heading into the final 10 minutes. But an audacious solo try from Hudson Young -- who kicked ahead and regathered to score with two minutes left -- saved Canberra's blushes and kept them within striking distance of the top eight. Joe Tapine is in incredible form, having made at least 200 run metres in each of his past four games, and he was the man on the spot to deny what could have been a late match-sealing try for the Knights.

Next round's opponent: Dragons

9. Dragons

Last week: 11

The Dragons have been flying under the radar this season, with a tough early draw meaning they had just one win from the first five rounds. Since then they've won four games by six points or less, been hammered by the Storm and Cowboys, beaten the Bulldogs and lost to the Titans. But that all changed with a headline-grabbing 20-point drubbing of South Sydney on Thursday night, a result that somehow lifts St George Illawarra into eighth place on the NRL ladder. Ben Hunt ranks third in the league for try assists and first for line engagements and 40/20s, and his team could pip a few more fancied rivals in the race for a finals spot.

Next round's opponent: Raiders

10. Sea Eagles

Last week: 10

Manly played well enough to beat the high-flying Cowboys on Friday, and looked to have the result in the bag when they led 26-12 with less than 15 minutes left. But the Sea Eagles conceded three tries in a chaotic three minutes to let the game slip away at home. It could have been their first win against a top-eight team this year and at least shows they are still capable of competing with the top sides even without Tom Trbojevic.

Next round's opponent: Storm

11. Rabbitohs

Last week: 8

There are a group of four or five teams on the edge of the top eight, so matches between two of those teams become doubly important in the race for the finals. It makes South Sydney's shock 32-12 loss to the Dragons even more costly; the teams are now level on 16 competition points when a win would have given the Rabbitohs a four-point margin ahead of one of their rivals. More has been made of Lachlan Ilias's 29th-minute hooking than it probably warrants -- coach Jason Demetriou's move was more about switching the more experienced Kodi Nikorima to halfback after the team's horror start than it was about assigning any blame to Ilias -- but it's certainly won't help Ilias's confidence going forward.

Next round's opponent: Eels

12. Bulldogs

Last week: 12

It feels like an age since the Bulldogs have celebrated back-to-back wins, especially a couple of comprehensive results like the Dogs' thrashings of the Tigers and Eels in the last fortnight. The team's turnaround in attack has been particularly remarkable under Mick Potter; their best five attacking games of the season have come in the past five weeks, and they've racked up 70 points in the past two games -- a stunning return for a team that averaged less than 10 points a game after round 10.

Next round's opponent: Sharks

13. Knights

Last week: 14

Like Manly, Newcastle appeared destined to clinch a win over a higher-ranked side with 10 minutes left on the weekend, only to be denied by a stunning late try. For the Knights, the heartbreak came very late -- with an unlikely Hudson Young try from his own kick putting the Raiders in front inside the final two minutes. It was a cruel end after the Knights had fought back from 14-0 down to hit the front, but the performance should at least bring the team some much-needed confidence as they look to turn their campaign around.

Next round's opponent: Titans

14. Titans

Last week: 15

The Gold Coast were right in Saturday's contest with the Sharks at Coffs Harbour, levelling the scores at 10-10 in the first half and conceding just one try in the second. It's a significant improvement defensively on the previous three weeks when the Titans conceded more than 30 points against each of the Broncos, Cowboys and Rabbitohs, even if the result meant the team slipped to last place on the NRL ladder. They'll get a decent chance of improving their position against fellow strugglers Newcastle next up.

Next round's opponent: Knights

15. Wests Tigers

Last week: 13

The difference between the Tigers and their opponents the Bulldogs was stark on Sunday, and not just on the scoreline. Both teams had parted ways with their coach in recent weeks, but while the Bulldogs have made immediate improvements that hasn't been the case for the Tigers, who have now lost their past three games by 26 points (against Souths), 26 again (against Manly) and 24 points (against the Dogs). They've also picked the worst time to come up against the Warriors in what will be their long-awaited homecoming in Auckland in a fortnight.

Next round's opponent: Warriors

16. Warriors

Last week: 16

A thumping 40-6 loss to the Panthers was pretty much expected but the good news is that it's the last game the Warriors have to "host" in Redcliffe. Next round they're back at Mt Smart Stadium where the most patient fanbase in the league will get to cheer on their team in person again. It's a big piece of positive news for a club that really needs some, and the only way is up from here.

Next round's opponent: Wests Tigers