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I'll start at the bottom and add other teams later. I'm working on the standard of 28pts as the minimum to reach the finals.

After Round 17:

finals-run1.png.c9127baeef7d535d35fc56cc354c0d0e.png

 

16. EELS:  not only does their current points tally rule them out but, even if there was a massive rash of upsets above them, they would still have to beat the Storm, St George, Souths and the Chooks. If they could pull off 1 upset and win their games against the Titans and Dogs, they might just get off the bottom but I can't see it.

15. BULLDOGS: The best they could hope for is a traffic jam on 26 competition points and squeak through on +/-. This isn't going to happen and they would have to win all their games, including beating Souths, Broncos, Warriors, Dragons and Cronulla. There is one bright ray of hope for the Doggies: their +/- isn't too bad in comparison with the teams above them. A couple of wins could see them rise as many as 4 ladder places.

14: COWBOYS: St George, Roosters, Broncos, Sharks plus Raiders. They have only 2 games against teams at their end and their +/- is only 1pt better than the Doggies so I think they are looking at 15th.

13: MANLY: the only team in the bottom four with any chance of reaching the magical 28pts but that will require wins over Storm, Chooks, Panthers, Fish and Horsies. Not gunna happen.

 

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Dogs look to be condemned to this lowly area of the ladder for more than just this season.

Cowboys need to find a path to the future beyond JThurs. What a disappointment this season has been for them. maybe if they could have kept Ponga...

Edited by Graham

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12. KNIGHTS:  The Tin Men have 4 games against other bottom 8 teams and with Mitchell Pearce returning they could scrape 4-5 wins on the run home. This would only give them 24 points maximum which might put them 10th. Still a huge improvement over the last couple of years. Unfortunately, the Novocastrians have the worst +/- in the comp so they have probably already settled at 12th.

11:  TITANS: The Coast also have 4 games against the bottom 8 teams and a 40 point better +/- than the Knights so when these two teams meet in Round 19, the winner will probably finish 11th and the loser 12th.

10: WESTS TIGERS:  The Tigers will be kicking themselves for their three 2-point losses and the 1-point loss which derailed their excellent start to the season. They also have 4 games against bottom-half teams and only 3 home games left. Even if a team crashed out of the top 8, the Tigers have a 90-point worse +/- than the Raiders so they won't be filling the vacancy. A spectacular end-of-season Warriors crash might see Wests end up 9th but more likely 10th.

9: CANBERRA: Only 2 games against sides lower-placed than them, they could drop as low as 13th. I find it impossible to guess their form. The most reliable thread running through their form is that they have lost every game against a top 8 team and won nearly all games against bottom 8 teams so they would be a very deserving 9th place.

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Interesting note on Canberra’s form. Of course now you have said that, they will pick up their first win against top 8 next week against the Sharkies....

The chase for a top four spot was looking very tasty from a couple of weeks ago. Now origin is over and a few more weekly results have come through, that chase is looking even more dramatic.

I don’t think many teams in the top 8 have many games against each other in the remaining weeks. Maybe 4 maximum, so it will be the teams that can get a run against bottom 8 clubs that should get them in the top 4 and in good form for September.

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Raiders only ones with a faint chance of sneaking into 8th from outside. I seem to think they play Warriors in R25. Canberra will be hoping for a Warriors collapse and a chance to get 8th place in that game.

They looked good for most of today’s game. Croker’s kneecap injury makes their job harder though.

Sharks v Raiders... Sharks surely too strong for Raiders?

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On 7/12/2018 at 4:20 PM, Farmduck said:

12. KNIGHTS:  The Tin Men have 4 games against other bottom 8 teams and with Mitchell Pearce returning they could scrape 4-5 wins on the run home. This would only give them 24 points maximum which might put them 10th. Still a huge improvement over the last couple of years. Unfortunately, the Novocastrians have the worst +/- in the comp so they have probably already settled at 12th.

11:  TITANS: The Coast also have 4 games against the bottom 8 teams and a 40 point better +/- than the Knights so when these two teams meet in Round 19, the winner will probably finish 11th and the loser 12th.

10: WESTS TIGERS:  The Tigers will be kicking themselves for their three 2-point losses and the 1-point loss which derailed their excellent start to the season. They also have 4 games against bottom-half teams and only 3 home games left. Even if a team crashed out of the top 8, the Tigers have a 90-point worse +/- than the Raiders so they won't be filling the vacancy. A spectacular end-of-season Warriors crash might see Wests end up 9th but more likely 10th.

9: CANBERRA: Only 2 games against sides lower-placed than them, they could drop as low as 13th. I find it impossible to guess their form. The most reliable thread running through their form is that they have lost every game against a top 8 team and won nearly all games against bottom 8 teams so they would be a very deserving 9th place.

Hey FD, did you cover the Tigers and then get depressed and not bother with the rest of your thread?

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6 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

Hey FD, did you cover the Tigers and then get depressed and not bother with the rest of your thread?

No, I think the top 8 have already been determined. With a couple of important games this week I was going to start on the top after this round. If the gap between 8 and 9 widens this week I think we can forget the bottom 8.

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7 hours ago, Farmduck said:

No, I think the top 8 have already been determined. With a couple of important games this week I was going to start on the top after this round. If the gap between 8 and 9 widens this week I think we can forget the bottom 8.

Haha. Well, we’re halfway to that gap widening. 

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runtofinals.png.b61d19975594bafaeda481193619a850.png

 

The Knights play the Tigers on Friday so if they don't win then their season is over, barring a history-making collapse by the Broncos and/or the Warriors. After this round they play 4 games against top 8 teams.

The Raiders also need 5 wins and face Panthers, Wests, Roosters, Bunnies and Warriors. The Raiders have lost 6 games by 4 points or less. If they'd saved or scored just 1 extra try per game they would be equal 1st now. Instead they might win 2 more and finish 10th or 11th on 22pts.

Wests have a tough road ahead but at least they play 3 teams below them. This should give them 3 wins and secure 9th spot. Like Canberra, the Tigers will regret the close losses - 3 by 4pts and 1 by 2pts. They play Newcastle, Canberra, St George, Manly and Souths. They will be hoping for a Warriors collapse and banking their 3 most likely wins. Their points diff is -45 and the Warriors' is -20 so there is still some hope.

Warriors can effectively wrap up the top 8 by beating St George on Saturday. They finish the season with games against Knights, Dogs, Panthers and Raiders. I can't see them getting higher than 8th because they don't play close games. In contrast to the Raiders and Tigers, only 2 Warriors games this year have ended with margins under 6 points - 1W and 1L. I don't think they can overtake Brisbane who also have 3 games against bottom-half teams. Warriors are only 28pts worse on +/- than the Horsies so if they finished equal on wins, they might just jump them on +/-

 

I'll come back to this after this round (Round 21) although I think the top 8 is set. The margins will be very important in the two groups, 1-4 and 5-8. Panthers, Broncos and Sharks all need a couple of 30-point wins to advance much further. The Sharks only have 1 game against a top 8 team - Storm - so they may be able to snag 5th spot. (possibly 4th unless St George do something drastic to turn their slide around.)

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Top eight looks set , but Warriors are inconsistent, so they might leave the door open for Tigers or Raiders to sneak in as you say FD.

Can't see Raiders troubling too many in the 8 though as injuries and lack of form handicap them.

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The Warriors might get out of the 8, the way they're playing at the moment. A loss next week to the Dragons, and I can see them drop the rest of their games.

The top 3 look like title contenders, the rest are just making up the numbers.

And once again, Storm are on top. What an amazing coach Bellamy is!

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The Storm aand Roosters as expected really have come good and the attack with both seems to have improved to complement the defence. My money is on them being in the  GF. I think they both are the two form teams and they have both strength in depth and the quality that others dont seem to have. They have a number of key players across the park and if one or two are off they have others that can still get them to spark and win in someway.

I think Origin has hurt the Dragons big style more mentally than physically. I think they dont have the mental toughness to now beat the rivals in the top 4 especially if they fall behind in a game. They were not at the races for the Panthers and Roosters games recently for example. They are not consistant enough to challenge for a GF spot for me

Souths have also dropped off  performance wise recently, but are still winning games. They should have lost against the Eels but somehow won. The next two games are massive against Storm and Roosters. They need to really step up and show they can match if not beat them both over 80 minutes. Not sure they can.

Cronulla could be the dark horses for a GF but they seem to be a bit hot and cold at times. I dont think in the backs and halves they have the quality and consistancy that the Roosters and Storm have. And I could not understand at  the weekend why Gallen took the ball for a hit up when they had to score with a minute on the clock. They just at times fail to read the situation to win importnt games. They are  a tough team to beat but sometimes they seem to beat themselves by playing dumb.

Panthers and Broncos are hard to call and inconsistant. Panthers against the Sea Eagles a prime example. Both teams I think lack strength in depth and rely on a couple of players to get them to spark and win. If they are off, then the whole team seems to struggle. Broncos have a great pack but question marks about the Halves and backs. The Coaching issues around the next coach probably doesnt help at times.

 

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These are some of the important games coming up:

This week:

Bunnies v Storm

St George v Warriors

Sharks v Raiders - Sharks need a convincing win, not just a scrapping last-minute 1-pointer.

 

Round 22:

Souths v Chooks

Storm v Sharks

 

Round 23:

Broncos v Souths

Raiders v Roosters

 

Round 24:

Warriors v Panthers

Roosters v Broncos

 

Round 25:

Storm v Panthers

 

Aside from these games, nearly all the others feature teams separated by 3 or more ladder spots or feature 2 teams in the bottom 8. Of course, if the Tigers and Raiders did win their next 2 games then the Warriors could still drop out of the 8 and face 3 must-win games in a row - who'd back the Warriors in that situation?

 

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11 hours ago, Lounge Room Lizard said:

[...]

And I could not understand at  the weekend why Gallen took the ball for a hit up when they had to score with a minute on the clock. They just at times fail to read the situation to win importnt games.

[...]

Honestly, I don't think that outside Gallen, anyone does... And even this is doubtful.

He's made an habit for the past 10 years or so of taking the ball on the 4th, usually wasting a tackle. He'll keep on doing that until he retires. At least, now he doesn't think he's a halfback. He's slowly getting better. There's still hope yet, I suppose.

 

I tend to agree with the rest of your post. Losing Keary for any length of time may hamper the Roosters chances though.

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I’ll take fourth for the Dragons now , it’s been clunky and hit n miss for the second half of the season . The Roosters , Storm and Rabbits look a cut above . Anyone but Melbourne though will do 

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the-run-home_r22_top.jpg?center=0.3,0.5&

 

the-run-home_r22_bottom.jpg?center=0.3,0

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First of all, let's dispense with the "anything's possible" cases, Canberra and Newcastle. In theory, Warriors, Sharks and Broncos could all go winless for the rest of the year and Raiders and Knights could win all 4 of their remaining games. Then it comes down to +/- which would be very tight - Knights currently -149 but Raiders +15.

I always believe that once you reach 3 levels of A + B + C in these scenarios you can forget it. For example, Knights need:

- to win all 4, all against higher-placed teams +

- at least one of the higher-placed teams to lose all 4 +

- to win those games by an average of 40 points +

- they probably need Wests and Canberra to stop winning as well.

 

Which leaves the Raiders - Tigers, Roosters, Bunnies (all in Canberra) then Warriors in Auckland. The Raiders' +/- gives them a slightly larger glimmer of hope than the Knights but I think they're gone.

So the Tigers, two games clear of the previous two clubs, are still a possibility to finish as high as 6th!!! They have already beaten 3 of their upcoming opponents this year - Manly, St George and Souths. Unfortunately I think this will be one of those rare years when the 8th-placed team finishes on 30 points, leaving Wests 9th on either 26 or 28 points.

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The 8 looks to be decided.

Tigers might just sneak in I suppose, but they finish with a game against Souths  and three maverick teams before that who could turn it on on the day.

If however Tigers could find their early season magic then who knows.

Perhaps if they want to hold on to Ivan Cleary they might bust a gut for him.

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Yes, in reality, the Tigers are gone. Broncos, Sharks and Warriors should all win at least 2 more so Wests would have to win all 4 and have a couple of big wins. One unlikely but possible twist is that the Broncos could lose all 4 remaining games - Cows, Chooks, Manly and Bunnies. "Derbies" (if the Cows are a "local" rival) can go either way and Manly can be very hot or cold and the Horsies haven't been very consistent. They've lost 4 games against bottom-half teams and at least 3 of those games included no Origin effect.

Even their wins against bottom-halfers haven't been thumpings:  Wests 2pts, Dogs 2, Eels 8, Raiders 4. Maybe I've been looking at the wrong team and it's not the Warriors who will collapse but the Broncos.

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I am near convinced the 8 is done and dusted for season 2018

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After this weekend Roosters v Sharks grand final is conceivable, with Roosters taking it.

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Back at the start of the season I think I expected a Chooks GF win, mainly because of Cronk, Teddy and Latrine, and I think it's heading that way. JWH has broken ribs and will be gone until the finals and Luke Keary should be back in R25.

The Tigers could be in 8th spot after this week. They play St George and the Broncos play the Bunnies so, depending on the margins, Wests could leap-Bronc the Horsies. Bizarre!

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