13 Rounds have been played meaning we’ve reached the halfway point in the season. Let’s look at what teams are performing, treading water or failing miserably. Also, how accurate were my predictions at the beginning of the year?
We’re in Top 8, yippee!
Cronulla and Melbourne are going great guns. The Storm have overcome the loss of playmaker Billy Slater and the Sharks have built a fortress at home with a 6-0 record. The Cowboys and Broncos will survive the Origin period and likely finish in the all-important top 4.
Teams 5th thru 8th are the Eels, Raiders, Dogs and Titans. The Eels will plummet when the NRL deducts 12 points for salary cap infractions so they’ll be a non-factor, the hot team in this group are the Titans who have won 3 in a row whilst the Dogs have lost back to back games.
So, You’re telling me there’s a Chance
Teams 9th thru 14th are still in the mix with the Dragons, Rabbits, Panthers, Warriors, Sea Eagles and Wests all looking to force their way into the finals. Out of these teams the Dragons have the upper hand as they’re on equal points with the eighth placed Titans but their run home includes 7 away games where they currently have a 1-6 away record.
As much as it pains me to say the Sea Eagles are going backwards with 4 straight losses and a horror injury toll so I’d be shocked to see them in the finals.
As for and against numbers can make a difference the Rabbits are in a good position with a -6 differential and a roster to make a run if they can manage to put it all together.
How much are Jetstar Flights to Fiji
Even though I’ve put the Roosters in the end of season holiday category I wouldn’t count them out just yet after their win over the Tigers last weekend. They would have to win 10 out of their last 12 games potentially and this weekend’s clash with the Storm at Allianz could start that run if they cause an upset.
On the flip side of any finals run is the hapless Newcastle Knights who have been horrendous all year. The wooden spoon will be making an appearance in their trophy cabinet. I can only imagine Paul Harragon and Andrew Johns are shaking their heads as to what has become of their beloved club.
My Pre-Season Hits and Misses
I was way off on my wooden spoon prediction, I had the Titans finishing the season last, they’ve shocked many by currently sitting 8th. I had Manly in the top 4, they sit 13th. I did have a few hits however, the Sharks are unbeatable at home, my predicted Grand Final of the Storm vs Broncos is still a real possibility and the Eels have been a surprise packet all right, currently in 5th place until the NRL drops the hammer.
So why not finish with another prediction. Here is my Top 8 at the end of the regular season.
I’ll do another report after round 26 making my finals predictions which you’d be crazy to bet on but I promise to give you a good giggle.