In a weekend in which there were a couple of upsets,
the race for the final eight in the NRL premiership tightened up considerably
with only one team, the Broncos, guaranteed a finals spot.
This is how close the race is – there are six
teams holding down equal third position with 24 points, but second place is
held by the Eels on 26 points who will be relieved to have the bye, and two
certain points, next weekend.

In order of points – for and against – the top eight
spots are held by Broncos, Eels, Storm, Cowboys, Dragons, Tigers, Sharks and
Sea Eagles. Just one point in arrears are the Bulldogs, and two points out of
the eight are the Raiders. And given the closeness of the competition, there’s every
chance that places three to eight might be determined on a points “for and
against” basis.

It must be said there are pluses and minuses with an
extremely close competition – especially one where every try,
every goal, might be critical in September.
It means that just about every match in the next six
weeks will count one way or another, even when one of the
teams in a match is out of finals contention – and that definitely
includes the Panthers, Rabbitohs and Knights. But the other 12 all have a chance.

A full report is on the site here.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey