Here we are at the mid season point of the NRL, after 13 rounds most teams are clearly defined ‘who’ they are, reliable or wildly unpredictable. We’ll unravel the current Premiership ladder and give some clues as to what the final top 8 may look like.
We put the ‘W’ in Wonder Woman
Just like a blockbusting Hollywood movie these teams have ‘super’ tendencies. After 13 rounds last season the two teams at the top of the ladder were….Sharks and Storm, the Grand Final rematch is on right now, regardless of tonight’s result here are the two best teams. What’s more surprising is the Dragons running 3rd, they get no love from the bookies at $13 to win it all, Gareth Widdop stays healthy they’re a top 4 chance.
With a great playing roster the Roosters are 4th and at 18 points would need a collapse to miss the 8, that won’t happen. Brisbane has lost their last 2 to drop to 5th and are going backwards. The pleasant surprise is Manly running 6th on the back of a 5-0 away record, improve their record at ‘Lottoland’ and they are finals bound. The cowboys have suffered with the Thurston injury sweepstakes and are 5-5 in their last 10 games; Thurston plays and they’re a chance. The Eels have slithered their way into 8th by winning their last 2, their minus 24 point differential will hurt them.
We are predictable at being unpredictable
If anything is true of the teams running 9th to 14th it’s that they will stuff up your footytips. The Raiders, Panthers, Titans, Warriors, Rabbits and Bulldogs are congested, the Raiders at 9th are on 12 points and the Bulldogs at 14th are on 10. The Raiders are the biggest disappointment and were a lot of pundits (me included) pre-season tip for the Premiership, they will break into the top 8 though. The Panthers have won 3 in a row and the mountain men are trending up. The Titans, Warriors and Rabbits are trending down, that won’t change. The Bulldogs are bleeding profusely, points and fan support; they’ve lost 4 on the trot and poor Des is public enemy number one.
I wonder what Vanuatu is like
The bottom two teams can start their end of season planning. The Tigers may be only 6 points off 8th place but it may well be 600, this season has been a disaster, player revolt and a fired coach sealed their fate. The Knights are where everyone thought they’d be, at the bottom, that’s not likely to change.
My pre-season hits and misses
I had a Raiders v Cowboys Grand Final, still a possibility but without making the Top 4 it’s unlikely. The Tigers were my surprise packet; they are a surprise, for the wrong reasons.
Its time to take another gamble and finish with my Top 8 after 26 rounds. Bet on these at your peril.
- Sea Eagles