Group 11 Power Rankings: Tight loss sees Spacemen slip from top spot

GOT HIM: Chad Porter and his Parkes teammates were squeezed out by Nyngan on the weekend. Photo: JENNY KINGHAM
GOT HIM: Chad Porter and his Parkes teammates were squeezed out by Nyngan on the weekend. Photo: JENNY KINGHAM

And then there were two.

Nyngan and Dubbo CYMS remain the only unbeaten sides in season 2019 after the Tigers edged past the Parkes Spacemen at Pioneer Oval on Sunday.

That, and each of the other results on the weekend, as resulted in changes to the power rankings.

Here's the rankings for week three:

1. Nyngan Tigers (last week: 2)

Captain-coach Justin Carney admits he's been surprised how well his side has come together early in the season.

There was a number of changes at the club in the off-season but the side has come out all guns blazing and a tough win over the previously unbeaten Parkes Spacemen, along with a gutsy round one win over Forbes, shows this side is already the real deal.

Josh Merritt is still to come back, Carney said he needs a few more training sessions under his belt yet, and it's fair to assume he'll only make this side stronger.

Confidence is building at Nyngan and if the Tigers can get the job done at Wellington in another testing road trip this weekend they'd become favourites for the minor premiership.

2. Dubbo CYMS (last week: 3)

That was more like it. After back-to-back scrappy wins to start the season the Fishies turned on the style on Saturday and dominated the derby clash with Macquarie.

It was a classic CYMS performing, absorbing early pressure before opponent before proving to an opponent just how important a complete 80-minute performance is.

There was yet another halves pairs on show on Sunday - Alex Bonham returned and partnered Harry Kempston - and once captain-coach Jarryn Powyer settles on co6. mbinations and they spend time together this side is only going to get better.

3. Parkes Spacemen (last week: 1)

The Spacemen have fallen from top spot in last week's rankings but there's still plenty to like about their form.

Parkes wasn't at its absolute best all game a week earlier but still scored a memorable win over Wellington, and on Sunday they will have taken plenty from the loss after again failing to produce a complete 80 minute performance.

Nyngan is already showing an ability to grind out results with plenty of patience and that's something the Spacemen will be keen to do in the coming weeks after errors stunted their progress on Sunday.

4. Wellington Cowboys (last week: 5)

Any side that scores triple figures just has to move up in the rankings.

It's hard to say just how good the Cowboys were on Sunday against a Westside lineup well short of genuine first grade quality.

But you can only play what's in front of you and in the space of 65 minutes the Cowboys ran in 18 tries. That has to be respected.

As coach Justin Toomey-White said post-game this side is "slowly" getting there. But with the likes of Travis Waddell, Tristan Lumley and Dennis Moran getting their hands on the ball a lot more and local talents like Mason Williams and CJ Ralph continuing to thrive there can only be good times ahead. Next round's clash with Nyngan will give a great idea of where this side stands.

5. Forbes Magpies (last week: 4)

It's harsh on the Magpies to have them drop a spot despite winning on the weekend.

But Wellington's ability to crack triple figures and the Magpies' normally stingy defence leaking 24 points sees them slip just one spot.

This side is still one on the rise through, it's back-to-back wins after an opening round loss to Nyngan and Sunday's victory over Narromine was the second time in as many weeks the men in black and white scored at least 40 points.

They were again missing a number of players through injury but they're expected to be back in the next couple of weeks. They meet CYMS in a blockbuster grand final rematch next round and victory there would see them rocket up these rankings.

6. Narromine Jets (last week: 6)

Without a win after three rounds, the Jets still showed some fight in Sunday's heavy loss to Forbes even in the absence of captain-coach Dylan Hill due to university commitments.

They're barely clinging to this spot on the rankings ahead of Macquarie and face more stern tests against Parkes and Nyngan in the coming weeks.

The Jets have shown progress but there's little to show for it so far.

7. Macquarie Raiders (last week: 7)

If the weekend's games all finished at the 30 minute mark the Raiders would be a lot higher on this list.

They began brilliantly against CYMS but after allowing two quick tries from the Fishies before half-time they never looked like getting back into the contest.

Captain-coach Wes Middleton continues to tinker with his side but he'll need to settle on a starting lineup soon to match some of the competition's top side. Next round's clash with Westside comes at the perfect time for a team in need of a confidence boost.

8. Dubbo Westside (last week: 8)

Three games into the new season and 272 points conceded. It doesn't make pretty reading for Rabbitohs fans.

There was obvious frustration among the Westside players on Sunday and that's completely understandable but one small positive was they continued to put the work in even when the game was incredibly out of their reach.

The smiles on the faces when Matt Gibbs scored the side's lone try of the day was a real boost for the entire club and it's almost certain little moments like that are all the men in red and green are going to cheer about this season.