Crikey’s NRL Hot Form Chart

It really hasn’t been much of a year for the NRL, big-picture wise. And now Greg Bird has gone and allegedly shoved a broken glass in the already bruised face of the game by allegedly assaulting his alleged girlfriend, allegedly, and then allegedly asking his mate to take the rap.

Perhaps Bird had delusions of grandeur after last week’s whitewash of the Roosters and could not bear to miss the Sharks inevitable premiership tilt over something as piddling as grievous bodily harm.

Whatever, the Sharks are now without him. Bird, though overrated, is important to Cronulla, and his boneheadedness has cost it its slim chances of upsetting the two big guns.

What’s more, the Sharks are likely to run into Canberra in week one of the finals after the Raiders stitch up sixth with a victory over North Queensland on Saturday. Only one team is in better form at the end of home and away, making Canberra a floater of toxic proportions come finals time.

The Roosters are fading fast and are every chance to surrender fourth place by the end of this round, given their tough match against Souths and the Broncos’ guaranteed victory over the Bulldogs.

For St George and the Eels, the time is now. A win will put Parramatta into the eight if the Storm can deal with the Buderus-less Knights. But form can be misleading, and Parra’s last start win over the Dogs did not inspire.

The Warriors will be rooting for the Dragons — beat Penrith and New Zealand can still grasp the chance they fumbled last week and snap up a spot in the eight. Then it will be all down to next week’s match with Parramatta; the winner earning the right to be bundled out of the finals in week one by Melbourne.

Unless, of course, the Storm slip up. Then the honour of smacking the eighth team will go to Manly, a sure thing against Gold Coast.

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

*Form over the past five games

Crikey’s Hot Form Tips for Round 25 are:

  • Souths
  • Cronulla
  • Canberra
  • Dragons
  • Storm
  • Broncos
  • Warriors
  • Manly

Last week: 7
Season: 113

Crikey’s AFL Hot Form Chart

So the eight is done and dusted. Ironic then that Form Charts show that one of the teams in the eight — the Swans — are the most out of form mob in the competition.

Lucky for them they play Brisbane, the team whose ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory finally caught up to it last weekend. In fact, the Swans may even end up in seventh, which is great fortune for whichever team finishes sixth and meets them in week one of the finals.

Because that’s all there is now, the jockeying for positions. St Kilda will fix up Essendon, and Collingwood likewise with Freo, which makes the clutch match the Crows v Bulldogs. If Adelaide win, and everything goes to plan, we will be confronted with a virtual re-run of round 21 come finals time. Which will make it nice and easy for those obsessed enough to still be tipping.

Of course, North needs to deal with Port first — a task unlikely to stretch the impressive Roos. Last year’s grand finalists have been the biggest disappointment of the year, a fact not unnoticed at Alberton. Off-season ructions may follow.

The Tigers will snuggle into the warm familiarity of ninth with a final round walloping of Melbourne, while footy’s side-show will visit Telstra Dome when Buddy and Fev shoot for their centuries.

And one of the best teams of the last 20 years, Geelong, will round off its finals preparation by playing one of the worst in West Coast. The ever-generous markets are offering $1.01 on the Cats, which is also a conservative estimate of the likely margin.

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-L
3 Adelaide 3 6 W-W-W-W-L
4 Collingwood 7 5 L-L-W-W-W
5 St Kilda 4 7 L-W-L-W-W
6 Richmond 5 9 W-L-L-W-W
7 Hawthorn 9 2 L-W-W-L-W
8 Carlton 10 11 W-L-W-L-W
9 Bulldogs 15 3 L-W-L-L-W
10 West Coast 11 15 W-L-W-L-L
11 Fremantle 6 14 W-W-L-L-L
12 Essendon 13 12 W-W-L-L-L
13 Port Adelaide 16 13 L-L-L-L-W
14 Brisbane 8 10 L-L-L-W-L
15 Melbourne 14 16 L-L-L-W-L
16 Sydney 12 8 L-L-W-L-L

*Form over the past five games

Crikey’s Hot Form Tips for round 22

  • Collingwood
  • North Melbourne
  • Geelong
  • Adelaide
  • Hawthorn
  • Brisbane
  • Richmond
  • St Kilda

Last week: 6
Season: 112

Peter Fray

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