Crikey’s NRL Hot Form Chart

Another week, another self-inflicted machete wound to rugby league’s torso. Gone are those innocent days when the words “group sex” and “fame” conjured images of one public figure enjoying the spin-offs of his or her notoriety with a willing posse — millions of teenage boys teach themselves to play an E chord with this very picture in their minds. Some footballers, it seems, are cut from a different cloth; a cloth made of narcissism, misogyny and hostility towards their clearly unresolved sexuality.

But anyway, let’s get to the footy.

Just when we write off Manly, the Sea Eagles come out and deliver a massive upset on Brisbane’s home turf. Could this, then, be the beginnings of a turnaround for the premiers? Sunday’s assignment against the Eels seems much easier and is a game that simply must be won by a team harbouring top-four ambitions.

The Broncos will be stung by last week but will need more than attitude to get over cross-Dreamworld rivals the Titans, who themselves are coming off a loss.

It is tonight’s other game, however, that really excites. The Bulldogs, unbeaten in five matches, come up against the Dragons in a top-of-the-table clash — at least, according to the NRL ladder. The Form Chart, of course, sees things differently and the Dragons’ wavering form — plus the back-up from North Queensland’s heat – is enough to nod in the direction of Bankstown.

Newcastle over the Roosters and Penrith over Cronulla are no-brainers according to the Form Chart, and one would fancy the Storm at home to Canberra, with Melbourne having rediscovered some sex appeal not to mention the art of scoring tries.

The Cowboys make the trek to Auckland in a fixture that poses problems for tipsters. The Form Chart says North Queensland; collective wisdom likes the Warriors. Why not split the difference and plump for the home team?

And much hinges on the result of the Tigers-Souths clash on Sunday. The winner will go top-eight while the vanquished will slip into the red as far as win-loss ratio is concerned. Not catastrophic if you’re Wayne Swan but football clubs can’t afford five years to turn things around. The Bunnies just.

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

*Form over the past five games

Crikey’s Hot Form Tips for round 10 are:

  • Broncos
  • Bulldogs
  • Penrith
  • Newcastle
  • Manly
  • Warriors
  • Rabbitohs
  • Melbourne

Last week: 2 (Season total: 42)

Crikey’s AFL Hot Form Chart

Oh dear. After talking up the Hawks last week, the Hot Form Chart is still scraping the egg off its face put there by a young, fast and frenetic Essendon. This week the Bombers pit their brand of run-like-you-stole-something footy against St Kilda, a team whose game plan is modelled on the ebola virus. No one will tip the Dons (including us) but if they nail their run-and-carry style, they just might trouble the all-conquering Saints.

Hawthorn itself is now in serious trouble. Down on form and fitness, the Hawks go west for tonight’s match against a Fremantle team bubbling with belief. After swearing off the Dockers in round one, can we now dare to tip them over the reigning premiers? As some bloke once said: yes, we can.

The Dogs have found their bark and will account for Melbourne, but the Kangaroos, away to Geelong, are no chance of buggering up everyone’s tips for the second week in a row.

Port Adelaide and Sydney appeal at home against Richmond and West Coast respectively, as do the Lions over Adelaide … sort of. You see, Brisbane’s win last week wasn’t nearly as impressive as is being made out and the Crows have a talented young brigade who will click some time soon. Those looking for an upset may want to consider the pride of South Australia.

And Collingwood and Carlton play each other in an apparent blockbuster on Sunday. Neither club were backward in coming forward about their ambitions at the start of the season, but the Hot Form Chart tells us that ambition and ability are sometimes painfully distinct concepts. Carlton gets the nod but it can thank Collingwood’s threadbare list rather than its own less than imperious form — the Blues have won just once in the last five games. So they’re not quite coming yet.

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

*Form over the past five games

Crikey’s Hot Form Tips for round eight are:

  • Fremantle
  • Bulldogs
  • Geelong
  • Brisbane
  • Sydney
  • Port Adelaide
  • Carlton
  • St Kilda

Last week: 4 (Season total: 29)

Read Crikey’s exclusive chat with Gold Coast AFL coach Guy McKenna

Peter Fray

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