Crikey’s NRL Hot Form Chart

Another year, another Maroon-coloured triumph. And with the conclusion of an almost predictably epic Origin contest, the NRL teams have rounded the second corner and entered the straight, all handicaps negotiated.

With its A-team back on track, Melbourne may be in the middle of the pack from a Hot Form Chart perspective but all runners will be wary of its scintillating finishing burst. Expect the stride to lengthen against Canberra this week.

Manly are in even better shape and should continue their impressive run tonight over a Titans outfit for whom the distance is beginning to look a bit hefty.

The Dragons have their noses in front of all comers from a form perspective, with more than a little steam filtering through their snouts and all. It would be quite the story if the mob formerly known as St George went deep into the finals with a sacked coach, but they must first negotiate some very tricky games just like tomorrow’s clash away to the Knights.

The Hot Form Chart match of the round pits Parramatta against Penrith in a match in which more than bragging rights in Andrew Demetriou’s promised land are at stake. The winner will sit in the eight after this round, and though the form says Parramatta, a plucky win from the mountain men would not surprise.

And wrapping up the round are the Rabbitohs and their continuing quest for sport’s unlikeliest finalist. Souths have rocketed up the Form Chart in recent weeks and should keep the dream alive following their clash with the disappointment that is the Bulldogs.

Form* Team Last week Ladder position Sequence
1 Dragons 1 5 W-W-W-W-W
2 Cronulla 2 3 W-W-W-W-W
3 Manly 3 1 L-W-W-W-W
4 Roosters 4 2 W-L-W-W-W
5 Rabbitohs 7 14 L-L-W-W-W
6 Parramatta 9 8 L-W-W-L-W
7 Melbourne 6 4 W-W-L-W-L
8 Brisbane 8 7 W-L-L-W-D
9 Warriors 14 13 W-L-L-L-W
10 Canberra 5 11 L-L-W-W-L
11 Newcastle 10 10 L-W-W-L-L
12 Penrith 13 9 W-L-L-L-D
13 Titans 11 6 L-L-W-L-L
14 Tigers 12 12 L-W-L-L-L
15 Bulldogs 15 15 W-L-L-L-L
16 Cowboys 16 16 L-L-L-L-L

*Form over the past five games

Crikey’s Hot Form Tips for Round 17 are:

  • Manly
  • Dragons
  • Parramatta
  • Melbourne
  • Souths

Last week: 7
Season: 72

Crikey’s AFL Hot Form Chart

Split rounds are annoying for footy nerds, even those in residence. As a breed, we have to come up with something new to talk about after covering all of the games last week anyway.

So here it is, the straw being clutched tightly in the Hot Form Chart’s paw: Crikey’s Hot Form run home.

Yes, yes; no prizes for originality but with the AFL final eight supposedly set in poly-spak only a few weeks ago, someone should still take a look at the teams with a chance of seeing September and identify which, if any, might surprise come mad Monday.

The certainties

Geelong, Western Bulldogs, Swans, Hawthorn. No point running through these mobs — they’ll make it and two will play each other in the grand final.

The next four

Adelaide

The run: Geelong, Collingwood, Port, Swans, Carlton, Richmond, Essendon, St Kilda, Bulldogs

Wins left: 3-6

So? As long as their form holds reasonably steady, the Crows should do enough to play finals. But the top four finish once dreamed of is gone and it may even be that others make more appeal as a dark horse than the pride of South Australia.

Brisbane

The run: Essendon, West Coast, Richmond, Kangaroos, Hawthorn, Western Bulldogs, Carlton, Swans

Wins left: 4-6

So? A pretty good run and enough games at the Gabba should see the young Lions compete at the business end with a home final in week one.

Collingwood

The run: Swans, Adelaide, Kangaroos, Essendon, Hawthorn, St Kilda, Port Adelaide, Swans, Fremantle

Wins left: 4-7

So? The Pies seem a long way off the form that saw them destroy Geelong in round nine and if there’s a wall and they hit it, they may finish out of finals action altogether. Good young talent and top coaching is unlikely to see that happen, however, even if back-to-back preliminary finals is unlikely.

St Kilda

The run: Carlton, Hawthorn, West Coast, Port, Collingwood, Fremantle, Adelaide, Essendon

Wins left: 4-7

So? The Saints found the backbone thought lost after a particularly heavy night on Acland St back in the mid-seventies in defeating North last week. Add that to the skill everyone imagines St Kilda has and a final in 2008 is not out the question.

Carlton

The run: St Kilda, Swans, Bulldogs, Adelaide, Port Adelaide, Kangaroos, Brisbane, Hawthorn

Wins left: 2-5

So? The Blues could scrape into the eight with five wins from their last eight games but a win over St Kilda next Friday night to kick the run off is essential.

Kangaroos

The run: Port, Collingwood, Melbourne, Brisbane, Bulldogs, Carlton, Geelong, Port

Wins left: 3-5

So? The best scenario on current form would see North on 11 wins, which – with the draw – would probably be enough for September. But last week’s fade-out loss to St Kilda really hurts and means the Kangaroos will need some help from one or two of those above.

Richmond

The run: West Coast, Essendon, Brisbane, Geelong, Adelaide, Hawthorn, Fremantle, Melbourne

Wins left: 3 – 6

So? Splitting the season 11-11 might be considered a success at Tigerland but even if it happens, finals are very unlikely after a poor loss to Carlton.

Essendon

The run: Brisbane, Richmond, Collingwood, Melbourne, West Coast, Adelaide, Bulldogs, St Kilda

Wins left: 2 – 6

So? How the Bombers end of the year will define how they are talked about in season 2009. Season 2008 will be over after round 22.

Maybe next year

Melbourne’s upside from 2008 could yet be substantial but the only award Fremantle, West Coast or Port Adelaide will win will be season’s biggest disappointment.

Form* Team Last week Ladder position Sequence
1 Sydney ** 1 4 W-W-W-W-W
2 Bulldogs 3 1 W-W-W-W-W
3 Geelong ** 2 2 L-W-W-W-W
4 Essendon 9 12 L-L-W-W-W
5 St Kilda 10 8 W-L-L-W-W
6 Hawthorn 6 3 L-W-W-L-W
7 Carlton 7 9 L-W-W-L-W
8 Brisbane 4 6 W-W-L-W-L
9 Collingwood** 8 7 W-W-W-L-L
10 Richmond 5 11 L-L-W-W-L
11 Adelaide ** 12 5 L-W-W-L-L
12 Melbourne 16 16 L-L-L-L-W
13 North Melbourne 11 10 L-L-L-W-L
14 Fremantle 13 14 L-L-W-L-L
15 Port Adelaide 14 13 W-L-L-L-L
16 West Coast 15 15 L-L-L-L-L

*Form over the past five games
** Completing round 14 this weekend

Crikey’s Hot Form Tips for round 14 (remaining):

  • Geelong
  • Sydney

Last week (running): 2
Season: 78

Peter Fray

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