The ladder in the NRL looks off a bit in the resumed Telstra 2020 NRL Premiership competition.

As this is written, just one game from Round 4 has been played, with Penrith Panthers climbing above the Parramatta Eels by virtue of having played their Round 4 match and beating South Sydney Rabbitohs 20 -12.

Penrith got a nice boost from Nathan Cleary, who had required hospitalisation for treatment of a facial skin infection.

The good news for Chooks fans is that they have recovered from the early season swoon to win their first four since the NRL returned.

Sydney has gone to the top in the points scored category, but they will need a few more games to atone for all the points they have surrendered.

The ladder topping Panthers, meanwhile have won five times in 2020, while at this same juncture in 2019, they had already lost five times and were threatening to take the bottom rung from North Queensland and Canterbury.

The remainder of the top eight look familiar, well except that which we said about Penrith could be said for Canterbury, as they have won four times against one loss and one draw. In the entire league, only Sydney is ahead on difference.

Parramatta will have a test Saturday when they face Canberra. The Raiders have been inconsistent in the early stage of the season. Their record stands at 4 – 2, but their scoring has been slightly anemic, with many of the clubs below them showing better offense. They have been tepid defensively, and their 32-point difference indicates that their wins were, on the whole, narrow wins.

The balance of the round has little on offer that appeals to us.

At this point, we are simply ecstatic that the NRL is playing, so we will save our predictions for when some semblance of normality returns.

TAG: The NRL ladder finds a couple of surprises at the top of the ladder.

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