Crikey’s NRL Hot Form Chart

Everything else sort of pales into comparison, really. No, not when lined up against the nobility Sonny Bill found somewhere in his huge pile of euros, but as compared with tonight’s top of the table clash. Manly won the corresponding fixture at Brookvale last year but there is more at stake this time around, perhaps even a top-two finish. Expect the best game of the season.

The Tigers have been flirting with a finals spot all season and may even get to first base if they can overcome the Dragons, while the Sharks and Rabbits — cheek by jowl on the Hot Form Chart — meet in a match that means a lot more for Cronulla fans.

The Broncos are on the up and up form-wise and may yet push for a top-four spot. But it’s a tough assignment in Auckland against a Warriors outfit locked in a five-way tussle for eighth spot.

On Sunday, the Roosters should dispose of the Eels leaving the real interest in the finals-shaping Canberra v Penrith clash. Home ground advantage may just nab the Raiders a de facto spot in the eight.

The Knights travel to the increasingly ironically named Skilled Park on the Gold Coast, a place once feared but now about as scary as the log ride at Dreamworld.

Which leaves just the one match to wrap-up: The Bulldogs at ‘home’, that is in Brisbane, to the Cowboys. What is it about this fixture, at neither team’s home base, played in pretty much the only venue capable of pulling a crowd that them way down south can’t sniffle at, that makes so much sense? In a round that also features Manly playing the Storm, it seems like a stroke of genius. But just to be on the safe side, the Hot Form Chart will put it down to blind luck on the NRL’s part.

Form* Team Last week Ladder position Sequence
1 Manly 2 1 W-W-W-L-W
2 Melbourne 8 2 W-W-W-L-W
3 Warriors 1 12 W-W-W-W-L
4 Brisbane 4 5 D-L-W-W-W
5 Roosters 7 3 W-L-L-W-W
6 Cronulla 9 4 W-L-W-L-W
7 Rabbitohs 10 14 W-W-L-L-W
8 Canberra 5 10 L-W-W-W-L
9 Penrith 3 7 W-L-W-W-L
10 Tigers 11 9 L-L-W-L-W
11 Newcastle 12 8 L-W-L-L-W
12 Dragons 6 6 W-L-L-W-L
13 Parramatta 13 13 L-L-L-W-L
14 Titans 14 11 L-W-L-L-L
15 Bulldogs 15 15 L-W-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 22 are:

  • Manly
  • Dragons
  • Cowboys
  • Cronulla
  • Warriors
  • Canberra
  • Roosters
  • Newcastle

Last week: 6
Season: 95

Crikey’s AFL Hot Form Chart

It’s been 150 years since something approximating Aussie Rules was first played so the AFL are holding a shindig under the auspice of the Tom Wills Round. Tom Wills was a shady character whose contribution to the game is a matter of some dispute … kind of like Alan Didak.

Anyhoo, the centrepiece of the party is tonight’s Melbourne vs. Geelong clash at the ‘G … hmmm, sounds like one of those parties where you turn up, there’s four girls and about 100 blokes, someone steals your beer, and a Lionel Ritchie CD gets stuck in the stereo*. Fun, fun, fun.

The real debauchery should get under way the following night when Collingwood host the Saints. Both clubs, on the face of things, have a lot to prove but if the Robert Harvey factor can’t get St Kilda over the line, nothing will. Match of the round material.

Carlton should really fix up Port to keep the September fire burning and the Lions’ slide down the ladder and the Hot Form Chart will continue, only in a colder climate, against the Hawks in Tassie.

Freo, lighter several old blokes, are finally playing good football about 15 rounds too late — just enough to raise hopes for next season. Still, the Form Chart says the Dockers are every chance of upsetting the fading Swans at home.

And if that were to occur, and if North could beat the Bulldogs, and if the smog cleared in Beijing long enough to see what patriotic design Leisel Jones has on her fingernails, then the Roos will find themselves in fourth by round’s end — the same spot everyone said they didn’t deserve last year.

The Tigers still have ambitions beyond home and away and could fire them further over a Crows team bereft of goalkickers. And a bunch of blokes in Eagles jerseys play Essendon on Sunday evening, by which time Australia will be on top of the medal tally, or at least that’s what we’ll think the table says … hard to see with the smog.

*The Hot Form Chart does know about iPods but refuses to obtain one until The Jack Dyer Story becomes available for purchase as an audio book.

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

*Form over the past five games

Crikey’s Hot Form Tips for round 19:

  • Geelong
  • Carlton
  • Hawthorn
  • St Kilda
  • Sydney
  • Bulldogs
  • Richmond
  • Essendon

Last week: 6
Season: 98