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Where teams could be placed after this round

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Berkeley_Eagle, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Where your team could be after this round

    By Dean Ritchie | August 22, 2008

    WARRIORS and Queensland centre Brent Tate last night spoke of the horror prospect that his side could actually plummet eight positions in just 80 minutes of footy this weekend. In a wonderful round for the NRL, all eight games will have a bearing on the finals with some teams facing the possibility of crashing out of contention.
    NRL statistician David Middleton yesterday compiled a comprehensive guide which shows where clubs could finish this weekend with a win and where they could with defeat.
    New Zealand could be fifth with victory over St George Illawarra in Wollongong on Sunday - but 13th with a loss. The Dragons could be fifth or 12th.
    Penrith, Newcastle, Wests Tigers and Parramatta - with wins - could push to seventh but drop to 13th with a loss.
    Canberra, the team gathering momentum, could rise to fifth with victory over Souths at Homebush but slide to 11th with defeat.

    "It's unbelievable to think we could drop eight spots in one game," Tate told The Daily Telegraph.
    "Everything is so close. Everyone is so desperate.
    "I think everyone will see some desperate football this weekend.
    "We are aware how big this game is. It's pretty important for St George Illawarra as well.
    "It really is semi-final football come a few weeks early. It has a finals feel about it.
    "It's all there to play for.
    "I guess it shows this is a great competition and that the salary cap is working."
    Wests Tigers fullback Brett Hodgson is aware how crucial his side's match is against Manly tomorrow.
    "You feel the intensity lift at this time of the year," Hodgson said.
    "You need quality in your game. We will need to lift after Monday night's loss (to Parramatta) otherwise we will fall away."
    The Knights face the possibility of falling six places with a loss against North Queensland.
    "So many teams are so even," Knights and NSW forward Steve Simpson said last night.
    "It will be a massive game for us. They all will be from here on in.
    "It is coming down to the last few games. It is good to see such an even competition."
    Raiders skipper Alan Tongue said his side won't be altering their attractive playing style because of the tense competition.
    "We understand the importance of this game against Souths and the position we're in," Tongue said.
    "But we just want to focus of keeping our momentum going.
    "We've had tough challenges all year - this is another one we will face."
    NRL chief executive David Gallop added: "Every week matters now."
    Meanwhile Roosters prop Mark O'Meley has spoken of the difficulties about confronting Cronulla tonight at Toyota Stadium.
    "They are a team that like the grind. They like the 80-minute arm wrestle," O'Meley told The Daily Telegraph.
    "Cronulla try to wear you down. They get three in a tackle and try and fatigue their opposition.
    "When they see you are vulnerable, they go and attack you.
    "They are willing to work you over and be patient."
    Asked was Cronulla a premiership force, O'Meley said: "I think they are. There are a few teams in form and they are certainly one of them."
  2. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14

    Green machine have inside line in race for fourth spot

    Brad Walter | August 22, 2008

    VENUE management in Canberra, Wollongong and Brisbane have been told to ensure their stadiums are available for the opening match of the finals on September 12, with the Raiders, Dragons and Broncos still in contention to finish fourth.

    A month after the top four appeared cut and dried, the race for fourth spot - and the right to host a home final - is again wide open after successive defeats by Sydney Roosters and Cronulla's loss to the Warriors last weekend.

    And Canberra, the team that keeps surprising critics and punters after almost annually being tipped to finish last, is now looming as the side most likely to climb into the top four due to their favourable draw that comprises matches against the three bottom teams - Souths, North Queensland and the Bulldogs.

    After crushing Penrith 74-12 two weeks ago and downing Newcastle 38-18 last Sunday, the Raiders (+92) have the third best for-and-against in the competition behind Melbourne (+231) and Manly (+222).

    Should Canberra win all of their remaining three matches and the Roosters (+73) lose two of their games against third-placed Cronulla, arch-rivals South Sydney and St George Illawarra, both clubs would be equal on 32 points but the Green Machine's superior for-and-against would put them higher.

    Ditto if the Roosters lose all three of their matches and Canberra win two. More secure are the Sharks (+15), who can be usurped from the top four only if they lose all of their remaining games against the Roosters, Wests Tigers and the Cowboys as they are already on 32 points.

    Also on 26 points are the Dragons (+67) but with matches against the Warriors (26), Parramatta (24) and the Roosters they would appear to face a tougher draw.

    With a negative for-and-against (-81), the Warriors seem out of reach of a top-four place but they will secure a finals berth if they win two of their matches against St George Illawarra, Penrith (25) and the Eels.

    Had they beaten the Dragons at Suncorp Stadium last week, the Broncos (27) would be perfectly placed to sneak into the top four but a draw with Penrith when they were undermanned during Origin may prove costly to both clubs.

    Brisbane's run home comprises tonight's local derby with Gold Coast (24), the Bulldogs and an emotional last regular-season home match for departing coach Wayne Bennett against Newcastle (24). If the Broncos do manage to claim fourth place there would be a potential clash with the third Bledisloe Cup Test at Suncorp Stadium on September 13 but indications are that the Australian Rugby Union would not object to the NRL final proceeding the night before - even if the Wallabies and All Blacks had to forego a final training session at the venue under lights.

    Of the teams outside the top eight, the Panthers will have to win two - and possibly all - of their three remaining matches against the Storm, Warriors and Sea Eagles to make the top eight, while Parramatta suddenly appear to have the simplest equation as they play the Bulldogs then the Dragons and Warriors. With the Dragons and Warriors two points ahead of them on the premiership ladder, the Eels hold the key to their own fate.

    Like Penrith, the Tigers face a tough draw against Manly, Cronulla and the Titans, whose run home also comprises Brisbane and the Sea Eagles.

    The Knights host North Queensland tomorrow night but then face the Storm and Broncos.

    After losing their past two matches to Melbourne and Souths, Manly need the Storm to be beaten by either the Panthers, Knights or Rabbitohs to have any chance of winning the minor premiership.


    Melbourne (34 pts, +231) Panthers (a), Knights (a), Rabbitohs (h)

    Manly (32, +222) Tigers (a), Titans (h), Panthers (a)

    Cronulla (32, +15) Roosters (h), Tigers (a), Cowboys (h)

    Sydney Roosters (30, +73) Sharks (a), Rabbitohs (h), Dragons (h)

    Brisbane (27, +68) Titans (h), Bulldogs (a), Knights (h)

    Canberra (26, +92) Rabbitohs (a), Cowboys (a), Bulldogs (h)

    St George Illawarra (26, +67) Warriors (h), Eels (h), Roosters (a)

    NZ Warriors (26, -81) Dragons (a), Panthers (h), Eels (a)


    Penrith (25, -33) Storm (h), Warriors (a), Sea Eagles (h)

    Newcastle (24, +37) Cowboys (h), Storm (h), Broncos (a)

    Wests Tigers (24, +10) Sea Eagles (h), Sharks (h), Titans (a)

    Parramatta (24, -12) Bulldogs (a), Dragons (a), Warriors (h)

    Gold Coast (24, -72) Broncos (a), Sea Eagles (a), Tigers (h)

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