Given the way the finals ran I think you can say that we were the 6th best team in the comp this year. Looking ahead to next years' Top8 here are some things to consider: Are we stronger or weaker next year? I contend weaker - Lyon's arrival may cancel out the loss of BK, but we lose depth up front and we did have a good run with injury in the forwards this year. If we were to lose Kite (and he won't be as fresh next year if he serves Tri-Nations duty) we are cactus. Also, the two games against Souths will not be a gimme next year. Are any of the 5 teams ahead of us likely to decline next year to an extent they are behind us? Storm - No Broncos - unlikely Dragons - they will decline but they beat us 28-0 when the whips were cracking Bullwogs - unlikely Newcastle, quite possibly especially if Johns get injured. OF the 7th and 8th teams I think we can assume that the Raiders will go out backwards and the Eels will improve to be better than us next year (as much as I hate to say it). Thus we're still around 6th with a buffer of two spots between us and oblivion. Are there two teams who didn't make the 8 capable of overtaking us? Warriors - they should have made the 8 this time. A distinct possibility to improve. Panthers - unlikely but it is hard to get a certain 24-6 halftime Brrokvale score out of my head. Count them as a NO though. Sharks - NO. Cowboys - Absolutely yes. Tigers - A decent run with injuries and the 2005 Premiers are a YES. Souths - No doubt they will improve, but not enough - NO. Rorters - Hard to see them missing finals action again under Anderson and with further signings. YES Titans - Unlikely to surpass us in their first year. However, if things pan out as I fear is it possible that 11th is the best we can hope for next year?