Crikey’s NRL Hot Form Chart
As with the AFL last week, the NRL is entering knock-out mode early with Sunday’s Newcastle v Penrith match. The winner will secure eighth (maybe seventh but that presupposes Parramatta losing which is an event, like being ice-locked in the Arctic, consigned to the past) while the loser will get a head start on celebrating what may be the last heady days of something called the “NRL”.
The Form Chart likes the Knights and the home ground advantage should also help to get them over the line.
As mentioned, the Eels no longer lose — which could prove a big problem for St George as it might run into them two weeks in a row. For a team already frayed at the edges, playing the Form Chart’s white-hot team consecutively could be terminal as far as premiership aspirations go.
The Storm should defeat the Warriors to lock down fourth spot … but they won’t, meaning the Broncos and Manly have a plenty big reason to win. That will prove tougher for the Sea Eagles, who are only just travelling and face a classy opposition in the Gold Coast (albeit less classy than when it is at home).
The Bulldogs should put the minor premiership to bed tonight with a win over Wests, and the others are all playing for nothing except Hot Form Chart glory.
|Form*||Team||Last week||NRL ladder position||Sequence|
*Form over the past five games
Crikey’s Hot Form Tips for round 26 are:
Last week: 6 (Season total: 120)
Crikey’s AFL Hot Form Chart
So the Western Bulldogs have sewn up the Hot Form Chart minor premiership thanks to their impressive win over Collingwood last week. Even more importantly (amazingly), the win put Rodney Eade’s men into third. The coach reckons he could not care which out of Geelong and St Kilda his team faced in the finals, but he sure did a good job of seeming to when Brad Johnson made the differential the required margin in the closing seconds against the Pies.
The Dogs have good reason to fancy their chances against Geelong, who seem the wobbliest out of the top four teams and will again be without Steve Johnson. Since his injury, the Cats have struggled but with so much class still in the team, it would be just a little premature to write them off.
The Saints have not exactly careered into September with the momentum of Jensen Button either (more like Lewis Hamilton), but it is understandable that the focus became fuzzy in the last rounds of the preliminary stuff. Expect the black and white vertical stripes of Collingwood to sharpen St Kilda’s concentration and viral footy in all its glory to return.
Essendon, in exposing the churlishness at the heart of the contemporary Hawthorn football club, provided a season highlight last week. Cherish it; it will be the Dons’ last contribution for the season. The Crows to keep cawing and possibly for a little longer yet, too.
Perhaps the most interesting game of the finals will be played tomorrow night in Brisbane. The Lions won home ground advantage with a gritty display last week, but are weakened by injury; while Carlton’s defensive effort against Adelaide came straight from its 2007 playbook. Expect the Blues to be better and just edge an undermanned Brisbane.
Here is how the Hot Form Chart ended up after the home-and-away rounds:
|Form*||Team||Last week||AFL ladder position||Sequence|
*Form over the past five games
Crikey’s Hot Form Tips for finals, round 1 are:
- St Kilda
Last week: 4 (Season total: 114)