Crikey’s NRL Hot Form Chart
We didn’t say it would. But we definitely said it could. And it turns out that it did.
The Warriors’ victory over the Storm was one of the great upsets in finals history and has blown the premiership race wide open. The Broncos were so shaken by the mere possibility of playing Melbourne this week, that it drove them to drink … copiously … during a finals campaign. The resultant police investigation and media scrutiny may well sure up Brisbane’s “them and us” resolve for one week at least. But Melbourne — previously the team to beat before you could even think about winning the premiership — has its own demons to slay.
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The result may well be the game of the season — even if the issues on the peripheries of the match end up being by far the more dominant.
Them what tamed the Storm, the Warriors, have the chance to knock the Roosters out in straight sets at Auckland’s Mt Smart Stadium on Friday night. New Zealand should not expect another 20-odd penalties to be blown in the match but the home ground advantage will make up for that, even if the Roosters do boast an impressive record there. The problem is the Roosters’ recent record at all grounds, which isn’t great. And with the Warriors riding a big wave powered by form and emotion, don’t expect the Kiwis to fall off the perch after last week’s triumph.
|Crikey Ranking||Team||Opponent this week||Last five games|
|4||Warriors||Roosters (Mt Smart)||W-L-W-W-W|
|6||Roosters Warriors||(Mt Smart)||L-L-W-W-L|
Crikey’s Hot Form Tips for finals round two:
Crikey’s AFL Hot Form Chart
In football, as in life, realists and romantics often have competing desires. One will want (and expect) the best two teams of the year to fight it out in next week’s grand final; the other will hope that a surprise result — perhaps even two — delivers a favourite of the sentimental variety.
Do the romantics have any chance? Let’s turn to the Hot Form Chart to find out.
|W-W-W-W-W||Last 5 games||L-W-L-L-W|
|L-W-L-W-W||Last 5 head to head||W-L-W-L-L|
|W-L-W-W-W||Last five at venue||L-W-W-L-W|
|121.3||Av. pts for||112|
|74.4||Av. pts against||96.2|
Realist or romantic? It would take Barbara Cartland in rare form indeed to even make a case for the Dogs. Geelong are as near unbeatable in professional sport as is possible. Any way you look it, the Cats have the edge and with their hunger seemingly undiminished by last year’s success, an upset is almost impossible to entertain. It would take the Bulldogs’ very best to trouble the reigning premiers for four quarters, and even then the Cats would have to be off their game to let this one slip.
And the winner is… Geelong by 39 points.
|W-L-W-W-W||Last 5 games||W-W-W-L-W|
|L-L-W-L-L||Last 5 head to head||W-W-L-W-W|
|W-L-W-L-W||Last five at venue||W-W-L-L-W|
|111.3||Av. pts for||95.5|
|83.6||Av. pts against||88.1|
Realist or romantic? The Hot Form Chart wrote off the Saints after their loss to Collingwood in round 19, so we are now precisely one win away from having not just egg, but an entire omelette on our face. And there’s just a hint that it may happen. St Kilda’s recent record over Hawthorn is excellent, and if the Saints’ back-half can break even then the Riewoldt-led forwards could very easily deliver victory. But the Hawks have been great all year and surely will be up and ready to rumble with a flag just two wins away. Phew! We got through all that without once mentioning Buddy … damn!
And the winner is… Hawthorn by 11 points.