Crikey’s NRL Hot Form Chart

The man who took the first step on Manly’s journey to stone motherless last on both the NRL ladder and Crikey’s Hot Form Chart, returns this week. Whether Brett Stewart alone can turn around the premier’s abject on-field fortunes, however, is a matter of consternation.

But if the Sea Eagles are Robinson Crusoe on Disappointment Island then Melbourne must be Man Friday. The Storm’s lethargy in losing to the Titans last week needed to be seen to be believed, and only a belting of Penrith at home will silence queries over their hunger.

Like Sartre, Brisbane tried to kill off its maker last week. The Broncos failed but should recapture form against a Roosters outift about as reliable as my 1985 Nissan Pulsar. Tonight’s other match sees Parramatta hosting the Dragons who, under Wayne Bennett, are starting to exhale a little smoke from the nostrils. The Eels have been slip-shod over the last season and a bit and should not pose a problem for the Form Chart’s number one side.

The Titans found touch away from home with a vengeance last week and will need to hold onto it as they travel to the other end of the continent to take on North Queensland. The Sharks are crumbling, the Raiders are flaky … or should that be the other way around? Whatever, flip a coin for this one as the respective formlines give little appeal.

And what has happened at the Warriors? Injuries, certainly, have played their part but the Kiwis have gone pear-shaped faster than Marlon Brando. A win on the road against the Knights seems unlikely.

The round wraps up on Easter Monday with a Hot Form cracker as Souths take on the Bulldogs. The teams would be one and two on the NRL ladder if not for the deduction of the Dogs’ premiership points, and the winner should set itself up for a red-hot tilt at the top-two in a year when being solid may just about be enough.

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

*Form over the past five games

Crikey’s Hot Form Tips for round five are:

  • Brisbane
  • Dragons
  • Canberra
  • Melbourne
  • Cowboys
  • Newcastle
  • Manly
  • Rabbitohs

Last week: 3 (Season total: 19)

Crikey’s AFL Hot Form Chart

Punch-ups, police investigations and perverse probings of poultry … the past week in the AFL has been one out of the box.

On the football front, the indication seems to be that the gap between last year’s grand finalists and the rest is shrinking. Collingwood might find the reality a little different when it meets Geelong at the MCG tonight, even if the question marks over the Cats’ strength at both ends of the ground are getting bigger.

Hawthorn, though, is in genuine strife. When he isn’t railing against the dark forces at work against him, coach Alastair Clarkson must knit his brow over the injuries that have so weakened his team. Web 2.0-savvy North Melbourne will reckon it is well placed to keep the premiers winless after three rounds.

The two most likely to challenge for supremacy — Hot Form movers the Saints and Dogs — should extend their perfect records at the expense of West Coast and Richmond. Carlton, too, will remain unbeaten after it disposes of Essendon . . . although the Blues aren’t quite as good as they think they are, despite riding high on Crikey’s Hot Form Chart.

The Crows have plenty to worry about, with injuries and assault allegations taking out key members of the team. Fortunately, their fall coincides with a draw against Fremantle, the softest landing in Australian sport.

Brisbane’s form is lumpy but the Lions, like their coach, are resilient. They’ll need to be. Brisbane has not defeated Sydney since 2004.

Which leaves Port Adelaide, whose chest-thumping bravado after round one proved as hollow as a pinata when the Power were pantsed by West Coast a week later. Port may well fool itself about being the real deal when it defeats Melbourne on Sunday, but early indications are that little has been learnt at Alberton in the off-season.

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

*Form over the past five games

Crikey’s Hot Form Tips for round three are:

  • Geelong
  • St Kilda
  • Brisbane
  • Carlton
  • Port Adelaide
  • North Melboure
  • Adelaide
  • Bulldogs

Last week: 4 (Season total: 10)

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