Crikey’s NRL Hot Form Chart

A round of upsets and the mid-week shenanigans in Melbourne, (where over 50,000 people braved swine flu to watch teams from NSW and Qld play on a field with corners) have combined to throw tippers a real curve ball ahead of this weekend’s matches.

Brisbane and Melbourne, for instance. Both teams have key players backing up from Origin I but Olympic Park and Justin Hodges’ injury give the advantage to the Storm, particularly if Greg Inglis plays and can replicate his imperial representative form in club football.

The Sharks and Warriors are both last start winners (didn’t think I’d be writing that again this season) and present a real quandary for tippers because, apart from last weekend, both have been shocking. Can Cronulla win two in a row? Form Chart says no.

We’ll be sticking with Hot Form flyers St George despite tripping over the Tweed to take on the Titans at home. The Dragons are so even you could play billiards on them. The same could almost be said for Newcastle, which re-established its Form Chart standing with a first class effort last week. Anything like that form will dispatch Parramatta.

The Tigers have sunk to last on the Hot Form Chart and should struggle to overcome Penrith, and the Cowboys at home will be too strong for a Souths team that is, well, heading south.

And Manly take on the Sydney Roosters on Saturday night in a match the Sea Eagles must — and should — win. But nothing is ever that easy. You see the team formerly known as Easts has called in a legend to help turn things around. Artie Beetson’s advice? Toughen up. Now why didn’t Freddie Fittler think of that?

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

*Form over the past five games

Crikey’s Hot Form Tips for round 13 are:

  • Melbourne
  • Penrith
  • Cowboys
  • Manly
  • Newcastle
  • Warriors
  • Dragons

Last week: 2 (Season total: 56)

Crikey’s AFL Hot Form Chart

So it’s farewell to Tiger Terry who coaches for the last time against his old mob the Bulldogs tonight. Despite reciting his CV during the week, it is unthinkable that Wallace will coach again after his reign at Punt Rd delivered precisely zero finals appearances. Unfortunately, the Tigers are unlikely to send him off a winner tonight; emotion being a poor substitute for class.

The other big Melbourne clubs all must win to be considered seriously this season. Collingwood probably will — but the Demons are bound to knock off another team sooner rather than later. Essendon probably won’t — the Crows have oodles of young talent and a growing self-belief.

But it is the Blues who face the biggest test. They head to Brisbane to take on a team whose own top four ambitions are not altogether unreasonable. Carlton’s much-vaunted midfield need to dominate the Lions to show they can compete when the season gets pointy.

No rut large enough to upset the Geelong or St Kilda juggernauts can be identified in this week’s games, although the Saints in particular look to be struggling to replicate their ferocious game-plan week after week; and the Hawks must simply get it right against the Swans to stay a credible chance of defending their premiership.

So thus we come to Port and Freo, devourers of tips and good intentions. The Hot Form Chart (along with religion, philosophy, science and cryptozoology) holds few clues as to the workings of these strangest of football teams. Screw up your eyes and bet on a draw or, if you want to be certain of some return, a disappointment — that, at least, is a sure thing for one of these mobs.

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

*Form over the past five games

Crikey’s Hot Form Tips for round 11 are:

  • Bulldogs
  • St Kilda
  • Carlton
  • Port Adelaide
  • Adelaide
  • Hawthorn
  • Geelong
  • Collingwood

Last week: 6 (Season total: 47)