Crikey’s NRL Hot Form Chart
Form, as rugby league fans would appreciate, can be a little tricky to judge at this time of year. The best teams are compromised during the Origin period, giving the opportunity for those on the next level to surge up the ladder.
Still, you can only beat who you play against and over the last five weeks, the Dragons, Cronulla and to a lesser extent Parramatta have grabbed the opportunities presented by the mid-season draw. On Sunday, the Sharks and Eels face off to see which team can hold onto the momentum each has built up over recent weeks. Crikey’s match of the round? You bet.
The Dragons have a chance to consolidate their place in the top eight with a win over Penrith tonight. That would make it five in a row for the team formerly known as St George in a period that has seen it travel from Hot Form Chart doldrums to number one on the Crikey hit parade. No doubt Wayne Bennett will be thanking Nathan Brown for priming his team of 2009.
Benny’s team of 2008 played one of their worst games in years last week, and their free-fall to 13th on the Form Chart is no coincidence. At home to the Tigers, the Broncos must win tonight or face falling out of the eight.
The Raiders should make it two in a row against the Bulldogs and the Storm, in A-grade mode, could really do a number on North Queensland. A bunch of Cowboys hasn’t been this hapless since Blazing Saddles.
The remaining matches all have heavy favourites on paper but the Roosters, Sea Eagles and Titans are all travelling to traditionally troublesome venues. An apple cart or two could be upset, with the Knights in particular having plenty to play for.
|Form||Team||Last week||NRL ladder position||Sequence|
*Form over the past five games
Crikey’s Hot Form Tips for Round 15 are:
Last week: 3
Crikey’s AFL Hot Form Chart
Crikey’s Hot Form Chart has managed to avoid the folly of attempting to narrow down the field of real premiership contenders in season ‘08 — until now.
While it’s true that seven teams have pretty much cleared out from the rest — leaving just one finals spot up for grabs — only four are truly capable of snubbing the kiddies handing out the premiership medallions on grand final day. Those four now sit on top of the Hot Form Chart.
Geelong are a no-brainer and the Hawks put any lingering doubts over their credentials in the clinches to rest with a gutsy win over the Crows in Adelaide. The Dogs were simply awesome against Brisbane last week, and showed that the young Lions still have some way to travel before being a real threat. Just how Collingwood — lacking talls and stinging after a limpish effort against Carlton — deal with the Bulldog juggernaut will be fascinating.
That leaves the Swans who, if this week’s media is anything to go by, are feeling a bit unloved at the moment. Don’t worry boys; beating up on playground weakling Melbourne this week will keep you in the top four and high on pundits’ lists of premiership possibilities.
So, does that mean we can just forget about the rest? Well, yeah, pretty much.
The Lions-Crows clash might sort out the next best and Collingwood are too uneven to believe in wholeheartedly.
Carlton head those making up the numbers (and are pretty happy about it too) which just shows how well the bottom eight teams are travelling.
Still, form is a fickle fiend and who knows? If Port Adelaide, St Kilda or — God forbid — Fremantle string three or four wins together, could we be talking about a new premiership threat?
The answer is: no, we couldn’t.
|Form||Team||Last week||AFL ladder position||Sequence|
*Form over the past five games
Crikey’s Hot Form Tips for round 13:
- Port Adelaide
Last week: 5