Crikey’s NRL Hot Form Chart

There is one thing certain about tonight’s Manly v Storm clash: it may be the grand final re-match, but it sure won’t be the grand final preview. Manly can’t win without Brett Stewart but for Melbourne personnel seems irrelevant — the Storm can’t win no matter who’s playing. Safest to go with home ground advantage.

At the top, the competition is tinged maroon. The Titans came back to earth last week but should rebound at home, although the Bunnies will take some beating; likewise the Knights who will give Brisbane a workout in Newcastle. North Queensland travel too but the opposition, the hapless Eels, make little appeal.

The Form Chart’s nether regions will get a working over when Cronulla host the Roosters. At least one team will win … probably. In fact, those with some derring-do may tip a draw.

Expect the Panthers to continue their surge up the Form Chart in Canberra, while the Dogs should become the first team this season to make it five straight at the Tigers’ expense.

And there’s no doubting Wayne Bennett’s credentials. He has the Dragons at the pointy end in every place that counts, Hot Form Chart included. The Warriors will need to find their early season form to get anywhere near one of the competition’s red-hot teams.

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

*Form over the past five games

Crikey’s Hot Form Tips for round eight are:

  • Cowboys
  • Manly
  • Titans
  • Roosters
  • Brisbane
  • Penrith
  • Dragons
  • Bulldogs

Last week: 5 (Season total: 35)

Crikey’s AFL Hot Form Chart

It must be rivalry round or hated foe round or shake fist and gnash teeth round or something, because this week the AFL fixture has Montague and Capulet written all over it.

In Adelaide it’s the showdown. In Perth, the derby. These games amaze for never disappointing those who thirst for proof that cross-town rivals hate each other’s guts. It also makes these matches tough to tip. The Form Chart is going with the big brothers, the Crows and Eagles.

The game’s oldest rivals, Melbourne and Geelong, also meet this round. The Demons are paying $11 for the win, about $1000 under the odds.

Carlton plays Hawthorn and has Dick Pratt’s demise for inspiration. The Hawks only have Jeff Kennett’s barely literate fuming at the league and its umpires to spur them on so it’s the Blues for us.

Not sure what the historical basis for the Dogs/Saints rivalry is but the match promises to be a cracker. The ant army are flying (or at least crawling with aplomb) but the Bullies are wobbling and will need a considerable turnaround to avoid three straight losses.

Richmond and Essendon both travel interstate and will like their chances too. The Tigers’ break through win could work wonders, particularly against the slowing Swans. The Bombers play a Brisbane team without a ruckman and, it seems, a definitive game plan. Should the Lions lose, all the early-season gloss will have gone from Michael Voss’s coaching career.

But the match with most riding on it is tonight’s Collingwood v North Melbourne fixture. Key Kangaroo injuries will have most tipping the Pies but this is exactly the type of game Nathan Buckley said Collingwood loses too often. Should he be proved right, he may well be asked down to the Lexus centre sooner rather than later to outline how he would go about remedying the situation as coach.

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

*Form over the past five games

Crikey’s Hot Form Tips for round six are:

  • Collingwood
  • Carlton
  • West Coast
  • Adelaide
  • Essendon
  • Sydney
  • Geelong
  • St Kilda

Last week: 4 (Season total: 21)