Crikey’s NRL Hot Form Chart

The fallout from the Karmichael Hunt affair has been astounding. Go to Japan, France, England; front up against your old mates next year in a different jersey, but whatever you do, never defect to the AFL. Hunt’s egregious sin was labelled “mercenary” and the “most expensive media stunt in the history of sport” by the most hyperbolic CEO in the history of everything, Titans chief Michael Serle.

Whatever the atmosphere at training, the Broncos can only hope the whole matter re-focuses their footy because Brisbane’s form has been abysmal. Out of the eight and 14th on the Hot Form Chart, the Broncs simply have to rally against Canberra to be any sort of hope of sending public enemy #1 out the door as a winner.

Tonight’s action highlights the round with a derby of sorts at the Gold Coast and the Storm meeting the competition’s new benchmark in St George. The Dragons are heading towards cementing the Wayne Bennett legend and should put Melbourne’s top-four hopes in jeopardy.

The Titans can close in on second spot with a win over the faltering Cowboys, especially if a resurgent Bunnies — fourth on the Form Chart after three wins on the trot — get the job done over a Dogs outfit that is just starting to wobble . . . a little like Mike Serle’s metaphors.

Here’s one to leave you with: ‘‘Now the monster’s out of the bag, they’re not going to be able to put it back in … rest assured, the Gold Coast region won’t tolerate a circus”. Sound more like a freak show to us.

Form* Team Last week NRL ladder position Sequence

*Form over the past five games

Crikey’s Hot Form Tips for round 21 are:

  • Dragons
  • Titans
  • Newcastle
  • Penrith
  • Brisbane
  • Rabbitohs
  • Parramatta
  • Manly

Last week: 6 (Season total: 92)

Crikey’s AFL Hot Form Chart

Ireland’s out, Karmichael Hunt is in, and all is well with the world.

The AFL is cooing like a pet dove and the trill will get louder once Hawthorn fix up Port Adelaide this weekend. Not that the league has any special reason for disliking Port beyond their poor gates and abysmally uncontested style of play, but the powers that be would dearly love to see the premiers in September action.

The Hawks will get there too because, while the Power are just one spot adrift on the Hot Form Chart, there is a chasm of galactic proportions between the two teams.

The other match with real finals consequences sees Collingwood hosting Brisbane at the MCG. A glance at the form table confirms both teams are warmer than a soup-sipping grandma in a snuggie, and the winner can almost bank on a double chance come September — particularly after Geelong sweep away Adelaide’s top-four prospects on Saturday afternoon.

The Doggies have fallen Form Chart-wise but will rise again. Their premiership credentials, however, may have taken a fatal hit at the hands of the rabid Saints last week.

And Adam Simpson plays his 306th, and last, game tonight. Denting Carlton’s finals aspirations would be a lovely way for the North veteran to bow out, although Australia’s poultry population (both real and rubber) may believe otherwise.

Form* Team Last week AFL ladder position Sequence
1St Kilda11W-W-W-W-W
10Port Adelaide1010L-W-L-W-L
15West Coast1414W-L-L-L-L
16North Melbourne1513L-L-L-D-L

*Form over the past five games

Crikey’s Hot Form Tips for round 18 are:

  • Carlton
  • Geelong
  • Bulldogs
  • St Kilda
  • Collingwood
  • Richmond
  • Hawthorn
  • Essendon

Last week: 6 (Season total: 90)

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Peter Fray

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