Crikey’s NRL Hot Form Chart

Big moves on the Hot Form Chart have added real spice to the remaining rounds with finals spots, and — yes, even a grand final berth — up for grabs.

The Storm have, once again, cleared out and are still the team to catch. But the identity of their most likely rivals is a little more mysterious than it once was, following Manly’s fall from footballing grace and to 13th on the Form Chart.

As such, it is to the lower regions of the NRL eight that one might cast an eye to find a team capable of making a late charge to glory.

Canberra and the Warriors have been red-hot in recent times as evidenced by their lofty Form Chart ratings. This week, the Raiders should continue their run over Souths. The Warriors face a sterner test away to the Dragons but there’s a lot to like about the New Zealanders at the moment and they appear the dangerous floater in the draw … a term that has probably been applied to our brothers across the Tasman before.

The other mob that sorta, kinda might have got their act together is Parramatta. The Eels are still pushing a heavy load uphill to see finals but the gradient is too sharp this week — they play the Bulldogs.

The Sharks and Roosters are faltering but the victor of their clash tonight can at least pretend they are premiership material for one more week. The Broncos will be hoping that team is Cronulla as they search to nab a spot in the top four. Should they triumph in the derby at the Gold Coast, the Broncs might find themselves only half a game off the double chance.

The Knights will be searching to address the points differential with a huge win at home over North Queensland, and Manly should narrow the finals race down by reattaching the wheels and disposing of Wests.

That leaves Monday night’s clash and the bad news for finals aspirants Penrith is that — like Bob Hawke — the Storm are off the piss. And he went back-to-back too if memory serves.

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

*Form over the past five games

Crikey’s Hot Form Tips for Round 24 are:

  • Cronulla
  • Brisbane
  • Parramatta
  • Newcastle
  • Manly
  • Warriors
  • Canberra
  • Melbourne

Last week: 5
Season: 106

Crikey’s AFL Hot Form Chart

All eyes will be on Geelong this weekend. No, not for its searing natural beauty but for Sunday’s match of the round between the Cats and Roos. North Melbourne just aren’t sexy but have now endeared themselves sufficiently, in true Ugly Betty style, to be classified as Geelong’s main rival. Sunday afternoon will tell the truth of that tale.

One time premiership rival the Bulldogs are heading in the other direction. Poor form and a worrying drop in confidence has them as no certainties to get over Essendon tonight, and even less likely to triumph over the big boys when finals get under way.

The Hawks, too, suffered a hiccup against Richmond and would like nothing more than to climb straight back on the horse this week. Unfortunately, The Eagles are more docile Shetland pony than wild-eyed bucking bronco, and won’t present much of a challenge.

The Tigers will keep nudging the teams above them with a win over Freo; a match that will fortunately take attention away from the yawn-inducing Port v Melbourne clash on Saturday afternoon.

And then there are some key clashes. The Swans have missed the double chance and could yet kiss a fond farewell to finals altogether if they lose to Collingwood on the weekend – a result the Form Chart sees as more likely than not; and the splashes of brilliance that have the Saints in the Hot Form Top four won’t be enough against the Crows — a team so even you could hang a plumb bob off it and find the centre of the universe.

The Lions have climbed up the Form Chart after a gutsy win over the Dogs and now face Carlton in one of those must-win type situations. Fortunately the home-ground advantage is theirs, but unfortunately, it is too late in the season for the Blues to start tanking in an effort to secure Jonathan Brown, Daniel Kerr, Jeff White, Robert Warnock, and Usain Bolt too if he’s available.

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

*Form over the past five games

Crikey’s Hot Form Tips for round 21:

  • Bulldogs
  • Richmond
  • Port Adelaide
  • Brisbane
  • Collingwood
  • Geelong
  • Adelaide
  • Hawthorn

Last week: 4
Season: 106

Peter Fray

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