NRL 2006 – The Final 8 Takes Shape

Well, after Round 23 the final 8 for the 2005 finals is all but decided. With a four point gap between 8 and 9 it will be to much for the Sharks, Panthers and Cowboys too make up. The Tigers, Panthers and Warriors have no hope.

My atempt at predicting the 8 a few weeks ago hasn’t quite panned out. I had the Sharkies in there but their run of losses has put them out of contention. The Broncos and Dragons are in free fall and the run of the Eels (even for me) has exceeded all expectations.

The Storm will finish Minor Premiers and the Bulldogs runners up. There is an interesting battle going one for 3rd spot. I’m going to give that to the Knights. They have the easiest run home (Cowboys, Panthers and the bye). That should be six points and 32 points at the end.

The Eels will run fourth. I only say this as I expect to drop a game before the finals (It is almost all too good to be true). The game against the Roosters looms as a danger game. Then again the Eels have met all challenges so far and if their streak continues then they could pip the Knights for third on for and against.

The Sea Eagles and The Dragons will battle it out for fifth and sixth. I’m tipping the Dragons as they have the easier run home of the two sides even through their form is poor. Manly has the Bunnies but end the season up against the Bulldogs and The Storm.

Brisbane will finish in seventh spot. I honestly did not expect Brisbane to be this dreadful at the end of the season. It is time for Wayne to go. As Canberra’s for and against is woeful they will round out the eight.
So the final eight will be:

Storm
Bulldogs
Knights
Eels
Sea Eagles
Dragons
Bronocs
Raiders

Of course I’m basing this on current form. The teams out of the eight could act as spoilers so third to seventh could fluctuate a little.

One thing I will not do is say that it is the Storm and the Bulldogs all the way to the grand final. Once the finals start all bets are off and the Knights, Eels and Sea Eagles could all win their way through. This season is far from over.

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6 Responses to NRL 2006 – The Final 8 Takes Shape

  1. Shaun says:

    Given Johns is facing two weeks suspension (deserved as no player is bigger than the game and he should pull his head in) I’m not so confident that the Knights will get third.

  2. Ken Parish says:

    Yes I think I’d back Parramatta to finish third. And I reckon they’ve got a real show for the premiership too (although I do think Bulldogs and Storm are entitled to be red hot joint favourites). I’ve got my doubts whether either Newcastle (even with Joey) or Manly can win.

  3. Rafe Champion says:

    On the other hand that could be just the break he needs to be fully fit for the finals.

    Like the spell that he got late in 2001 for an elbow in the face of a Cronulla player (Dykes?).

  4. vee says:

    Well I don’t need to follow the NRL anymore then since my team has no hope. Its just like Origin and Test matches, as much as you want to support your State or Country but its not that interesting if someone from your team isn’t in it.

  5. Ken Parish says:

    Actually, according to the SMH Joey is likely to miss the first week of the finals after being charged with grade 3 “contrary conduct” for calling touch judge Matt Cechin a “f–ing c–“. Sadly truth isn’t a defence before rugby tribunals, because all players know that being one of those is a prerequisite for a ref or touchie.

  6. Shaun says:

    2 weeks would have been enough for Johns. He has put himself above the game and he should know better. While refs aren’t perfect I’d hate to see abusing the ref become a part of the game. The young refs have enough trouble as it is in the junior grades.

    And Manly won Ken. What are you worried about?;-)

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