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  1. So here's the TL;DR: - I think the top 3 are locked in. - Warriors and Tigers are just fulfilling contractual obligations now. - Finals spots 7 and 8 are still up for grabs and Newcastle, partly because of +/- are an outside chance. If Sharks stumble - they weren't good yesterday - the final round game between Knights and Panthers may decide 8th spot. 1. Melbourne Storm (36 points, 277+/-) Remaining games: Titans (H), Manly (A), Cows (H) They'll surely win 2 with only the Manly game a bit 50/50. 2 wins puts them clear on top with 40 points. Very slight possibility that they lose 2 badly and the Chooks draw level on points with a better +/- but I can't see it. 2. Roosters (32 points, 232+/-) Remaining games: St George (A), Panthers (H), Souths (A) Should win all 3 and finish 2nd. I can't see any other result. The Storm won't collapse and the Raiders and Manly play each other so they can't both win 3/3. 3. Raiders (30 points, 157+/-) Remaining games: Manly (H), Sharks (A), Warriors (H) I think they win all 3 and finish on 36 behind the Roosters. Even if they lose to Manly this week they'll still be 3rd - even if they lose by 30. Worst case: they lose all 3 and finish 6th. Most likely: they win at least 2 and stay 3rd. 4. Manly Sea Eagles (28 points, 92 +/-) Remaining games: Raiders (A), Storm (H), Eels (A) They have beaten the Raiders, Eels and Storm this year. If they win all 3 and finish on 34 points they would be 4th, unless the Green Machine loses to the Warriors AND Sharks - possible but it's hard to see Canberra losing 3 in a row now. Worst-case: they lose all 3 and finish 6th-8th. I'm assuming Brisbane won't win all 3 so Manly will always stay ahead of them 5. Souths (28 points, 75+/-) Remaining games: Broncos (A), Warriors (A), Roosters (H) On the bright side, they can't drop out of the finals. They probably can't drop below 6th and a win over the Warriors would secure that. If they could beat the Broncos this week they may even secure 5th - this would limit Brisbane to a maximum of 27 points. 6 Parramatta Eels (28 points, 51 +/-) Remaining games: Bulldogs (H), Broncos (A), Sea Eagles (H) Parra could climb to 4th with 3 wins which isn't unimagineable. Even one win should guarantee 6th spot and possibly 5th if Souths don't pull a rabbit out of their hat soon. They had big wins over the Dogs and Broncos this year but lost to Manly less than a month ago. (That was a full-strength Broncos team as well.) I assume they'll repeat these results and finish on 32pts in 5th spot or 4th if they beat Manly in the final round. 7. Brisbane Broncos (23 points, -40 +/-) Remaining games: Rabbitohs (H), Eels (H), Bulldogs (A) I think they're locked in at 7th. Parra only need one more win to stay ahead of them so we would need Souths to go winless for a slot to open up for the Horsies. In theory Panthers and Sharks could win all 3 and knock the Broncos out of the finals but I can't see Penrith beating Easts or the Fish beating the Raiders. 8 Cronulla Sharks (22 points, 8 +/-) Remaining games: Warriors (H), Raiders (H), Tigers (A) The Sharks probably won't beat the Raiders which would leave them on 26 points but with the best +/-. Lucky for them the Panthers face the Chooks so will probably finish on 26 points at best. 9 Penrith Panthers (22 points, -75 +/-) Remaining games: Cowboys (A), Roosters (A), Knights (H) Best-case scenario: win 3 and finish 28pts, about 20+/-. This could be 7th and knock Broncos down to 8th, depending on the Broncos, who could win 3 and finish on 29 or win 2 and land on 27. More likely: they'll lose to the Roosters and finish 9th or 10th depending on the final-round game against Newcastle. Their bad +/- means they definitely need 3 wins because 2 wins could leave them equal on points with Sharks and Knights (and, unlikely, Wests) who both have +/- in the black. 10 Newcastle Knights (20 points, 15 +/-) Remaining games: Tigers (A), Titans (H), Panthers (A) In theory they could win all 3 and finish 7th or 8th on 26 points. Their +/- is 90 points better than Panthers so that would help them. Anything less will not be good enough as Brisbane will probably finish on 25 and either Panthers or Sharks (or maybe even Wests) could finish on 26. They still have a reasonable chance of finishing 9th or 10th (in 2018 they were 11th) and 1 or 2 wins better than 2018. 11 Wests Tigers (20 points, -64 +/-) Remaining games: Knights (H), Dragons (A), Sharks (H) Still have a better +/- than Panthers. It comes down to this week's game against the Tin Men. Win and they could still end on 26 but their only chance at 8th spot would probably come down to the final round against the Fish - possibly that will be a playoff for 8th spot. If they lose against Newcastle then the most they could get would be 24 points and there will already be 8 teams on 24 or better so it would come down to +/- Of the 3 or 4 teams who could tie for 8th spot, the Sharks and Knights have the best +/- by a long way. Tigers - maybe 9th but probably 10th 12 Warriors (19 points, -98 +/-) Remaining games: Sharks (A), Rabbitohs (H), Raiders (A) The Warriors have a very, very slim chance of sneaking into 8th on 25 points but if they lose to the Sharks this week they could only reach 23 and the Sharks will already have 24 and the Broncos 23 with a better +/-. Then throw in the chance of the 3 teams ahead of them reaching 24 points and the NZers are gone. Their main goal now should be to have a big win over the Bunnies in their last home game.
  2. Not a good omen for the upcoming GB/NZ games. We just saw the GB 7 and the NZ 7 spend 10 minutes trying to close out a game and neither could do it. It reminded me of back when Mitchell Pearce and Todd Carney were the NSW halves. When Carney was at Sharks and Pearce at the Chooks the 2 teams played a draw. Even with the extra 10 minutes, neither NSW half was able to seal a game.
  3. St George try the trick kickoff which doesn't work but at least they didn't get penalised which they should have with at least 4 players offside.
  4. 76min: Xerri? Bunker looking for Sharks' touch on the bounce after the high kick. Maybe came off his forehead and Xerri was behind him so the ball went back. Xerri TRY. Johnson goal. 18-12
  5. OMG!!!!!! St George get the ball back, make a 50m break and Gwidop kicks ahead for no-one, 7-tackle set for the Fish.
  6. God I hope this game doesn't go to Golden Point. The 74 minutes so far has been awful. I want my money back and I didn't even go.
  7. and again, Fish drop the ball 10m out from their own line. Have all these players swapped jumpers at HT?
  8. Now Frizell goes to HIA and there's only 17 minutes left so he'll miss most of them. St George have only 14 fit layers now. Did Leilua score? Bounced it, surely. Ref says NO TRY ====> bunker ====> grounds it. TRY Leilua has been playing in the halves since Hunt went off. Gwiddop goal. 12 - 12
  9. Weird game. This is a mirror image of the first half with St George this time having all the ball and field position but finding every possible way to avoid scoring. Ben Hunt not coming back from HIA
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