NRL 2 years ago

Four teams two spots: The race for September

It's that time of year again where we play 'NRL Ladder' musical chairs for the last couple of spots in the NRL finals.

The top 6 look almost locked in, although the way Brisbane and Nth Queensland are going at the moment they still aren't guaranteed a September start.

Looking at the placings and the games remaining it seems like there are 4 teams, the Titans, Warriors, Panthers and Tigers who are vying for position 7 and 8.

The Titans (Games Rem.: Tigers, Knights, Panthers, Cowboys).

For the Titans you can really only pencil them in for a win against the Knights.  Their other games could go either way.  Dare it be said that the signing of Hayne might be the thing to derail their season. Hayne was a superstar of the game and could prove to be that again in a couple of seasons.  But for 2016 the Titans have relied on their combinations week in, week out.  Hayne just doesn't have that 'clique' with the rest of the playing group.  If they can get away with two wins they finish on 27 points. It wont be enough.  

The Warriors (Games Rem.: Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Tigers, Eels)

The Warriors, much like the Titans have a suspect run home.  Working in their favor are games against the Rabbitohs and the Eels.  The Eels wont prove too much a road block being it their last game of the season and their sights will be firmly set on 'Mad Monday!'. Johnson is the key.  Much like all the other contending sides the responsibility will rest on his shoulders.  If Johnson thinks 'run' before 'pass' the Warriors could go deep in September. If the Warriors can three out of four wins (potentially an upset against the out of touch Cowboys) they could finish on  30 points. 

The Panthers (Games Rem.: Knights, Tigers, Titans, Sea Eagles)

The most important game for the in form Panthers in their run home is going to be against the Titans. This could be make or break.  Looking at their run in and their current form, again like the Titans you could really only put them down for a win against the Knights.  Although Cartwright has filed the void at 6, it will work much better for the Panthers if they can get him into the back row. Again looking like they will  finish about the 28 point mark, it could be a stretch too far for the Panthers. For and against could decide their season.

The Tigers (Games Rem.: Titans, Panthers, Warriors, Raiders)

Along with the Warriors, look most likely to make the top 8. This is best evidenced by the way the Tiger's accounted for the premiers last week.  They shut down Thurston perfectly.  Taylor seems to finally have the side past the drama of Farah. Now that the coach and his halves have the list they want, they better deliver otherwise the Leichhardt faithful will turn into the Leichhardt Lynch Mob.  With games against the Titans, Panthers and Warriors, The Tigers more than anyone else will have a say into how the ladder shapes up. Based on current form should finish on 28-30 points.

To sum up it looks like the Warriors finish in 7th on 30 points and then 8th spot could be a for and against shoot out for Penrith and the Tigers on 28 points. 

Here is how it worked out when looking at match ups:

The bogie side is still the Sea Eagles, if they win every game running in they also finish on 28 points.  

That being said the old adage rings true, 'a week is long time in sport'.

Bring on September.
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