NRL Hot Form Chart
Strange time of year, this. Five games one week, six games the next. What’s a poor Hot Form Chart to do? Ignore the byes, that’s what.
Here at Crikey, we are only interested in how you perform on the park. None of this namby-pamby two points for a non-game rubbish in this column! And so, as you will notice, we are by-passing the byes this year in an effort to identify exactly who’s smokin’ and who’s coughing up dust.
It’s no surprise to see the Hot Form top four more or less mirroring the NRL’s, but the personnel is still a bit of a brow-raiser.
Melbourne and Manly are gimmes, but the Titans and Broncos have exceeded all expectations — well, outside the sunshine state at least. This week, both teams face tough away games against unpredictable opponents.
The Knights and Tigers have had more highs and lows than a Puccini opera already this season. As they’re both coming off wins, we’ve plumped for the Queenslanders.
But the science of choosing a winner doesn’t always lie in following the form, it’s also a matter of surrendering to clichés.
Because Parramatta have the “cattle on the park” and face a “must win” game, we’re going to give them “one more chance” and tip them over the more unfashionable, but higher-ranked, Panthers. If they lose, of course, they can “get stuffed”.
That sentiment already applies to Souths so a North Queensland team who did everything but beat Melbourne last week have the nod in that encounter.
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And it’s Hot Form number seven against Hot Form number 14 in the remaining fixture this weekend. The expert consensus is with the home team, and if there’s one thing the Hot Form Chart is not, it’s an expert.
Oh, and I suppose you’d like a tip in the City-Country clash too, eh? No? Well, OK. Fine.
Last week: 4
Season: 29 AFL Hot Form Chart
When asked how he summoned the rage necessary to play his character in the comic book spin-off film Hulk , Eric Bana was to the point: he said he just thought of his football team, St Kilda. After watching their side stumble to an embarrassing mistake-ridden loss to Port Adelaide last Saturday night, many Saints fans would be battling little green monsters of their own.
This weekend, the Saints come up against the Terry Wallace Project, who could only have been more impressive in the last two weeks if they had won.
Perth welcomes Chris Judd home on Friday, and with the Eagles’ coach already conceding the season, the reception may not be as hot as anticipated. Things could scarcely be bleaker for West Coast, as evidenced by the fact that Carlton are favourites.
Having beaten Melbourne last weekend, the Lions go up a class or 10 when they face Geelong away. Still, Brisbane don’t have the worst record at the Cattery and Geelong have shown signs of humanity in the last two weeks.
Crikey’s Hot Form match of the round rattles into Adelaide this week. We’ll tip the Crows by a feather but retain the right to nod sagely if North bring home the boiled lollies.
Equally as enticing is the MCG bill featuring Collingwood and the Hawks. It may be an interesting exercise to compare the crowd size from that match to the next day’s MCG fixture which pits winless Melbourne against Fremantle. Tell you what: if the difference is lower than the Demon’s percentage, you owe us a slab.
Port Adelaide are the Hot Form Chart’s big improvers, a trend that should continue after their overcoming Essendon.
And the increasingly grumpy Paul Roos will coach the Swans against the increasingly undefeated Western Bulldogs. It’s doubtful Sydney will employ a 19th man, or tunnelling, or left-hooks to the jaw in the match. But they might employ very boring football. Of course if they do, we won’t blame Paul — he might get angry and we don’t like him when he’s angry.