Crikey’s NRL Hot Form Chart

OK. We’re all squared off now. No more byes, Origin matches, missing stars, Kings Cross shootings, draws (fingers crossed) or dull-witted yobbos farting their noxious brain gas out of their putrid gobs (fingers and toes crossed).

Eleven rounds remain and, without stretching credibility too thin, fourteen teams are still realistic chances of playing finals football. Undoubtedly, the most remarkable finals journey — should it be completed — would be South Sydney’s. On Saturday, the Rabbitohs have the double opportunity of clawing their way closer to the eight while retarding the progress of rival Parramatta.

The Penrith-Newcastle clash takes on similar “four point win” significance but the other fixtures all seem a little more cut-throat for one team than the other.

Take the Titans. They play the Roosters tonight and should they lose will slip even further down the Hot Form Chart and to the very edge of the NRL top eight; which means a Warriors victory at home will put them just one game outside the provisional finalists. Given the Kiwis play Hot Form deadbeats North Queensland, that one can be penciled in.

The Broncos will aim to keep their snouts above the water line with a win at home over the Bulldogs, which in turn could almost shut the door on Canberra’s season providing Hot Form top seeds the Dragons give it a good shove first.

And then there’s Melbourne, which will still fancy its chances of a third straight minor premiership after it clicked into top gear for a period of about five minutes last week, which was enough to blow the Raiders away. Wests Tigers face the Storm on Monday night, and will be hoping that a delayed Origin hangover helps keep their season alive.

But match of the round, whichever way you look at it, is Saturday night’s huge clash between the Sharks and Sea Eagles. It takes the Hot Form Chart’s mind back to the torrid 1978 grand final, which ended in a draw only for Manly to win the replay over a depleted Cronulla-Sutherland. Fortunately for the Sharks, the referee in that occasion — the northern beach loving Greg Hartley — is no longer officiating. Despite this boon for the Sharkies, we still fancy Manly.

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 W-W-W-W-W
4 Rabbitohs 5 14 L-W-W-W-W
5 Roosters 4 2 W-L-W-W-W
6 Melbourne 7 4 W-L-W-L-W
7 Parramatta 6 9 W-W-L-W-L
8 Brisbane 8 6 W-L-L-W-D
9 Warriors 9 13 W-L-L-L-W
10 Canberra 10 12 L-W-W-L-L
11 Newcastle 11 11 W-W-L-L-L
12 Penrith 12 8 L-L-L-D-W
13 Titans 13 7 L-W-L-L-L
14 Tigers 14 10 L-W-L-L-L
15 Bulldogs 15 15 L-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 18 are:

  • Penrith
  • Roosters
  • Rabbitohs
  • Manly
  • Warriors
  • Brisbane
  • Dragons
  • Melbourne

Last week: 4
Season: 76

Crikey’s AFL Hot Form Chart

If you are anything like the Hot Form Chart, you’ll remember those Masters of the Universe dolls that would wind up on one side and throw a punch on the other — a bit like a certain footballer we all know. Unfortunately for Barry Hall and the Swans, he has been cast more as Skeletor than He-Man.

The Swans have sailed smooth waters in their recent years of success but now the winds have picked up. Just how they charter the challenge of Hawthorn on Sunday — not to mention the remainder of the season — will be a point of keen interest.

As will tonight’s Crikey match of the round between St Kilda and Carlton. The Saints shocked all and sundry with a come-from-behind victory two weeks ago and have some quality returning players. Carlton have a swagger, rediscovered near the back of a trophy cabinet at Princes Park, and head into the pivotal clash with no small sense of self-belief.

Tonight’s winner may well play finals and could even aspire to higher than eighth should Collingwood continue the Crows miserable month and win at the MCG on Saturday.

In the no-brainer basket, Geelong are at home to Fremantle (so that’s why Peter Bell pulled the pin) and the Bulldogs host Melbourne.

Of course Brisbane found themselves in the same basket last round and still managed a one-point loss to Melbourne, a result that gave us the season’s unlikeliest cuddle between two old stagers named Stynes and Wonaeamirri. The Lions will aim to atone against Essendon but will know that the Bombers have found the thin tendrils of a finals scent, and may be quite a challenge to shake.

The Kangaroos can close their eyes to September should they lose to Port Adelaide, a club that is now talking up past premiership players who are on the slide. The Fremantle bug must be catching.

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

*Form over the past five games

Crikey’s Hot Form Tips for round 15:

  • St Kilda
  • Collingwood
  • Geelong
  • Brisbane
  • North Melbourne
  • Hawthorn
  • Western
  • Bulldogs
  • Richmond Sydney

Last week (running): 3
Season: 79

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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