Is the 8 already decided ?

Clearly this blog is in the "going off too early" category, but does anyone else feel that the 8 is in effect, if not in fact, already decided ? 

I get that there is still 16 rounds to play, but is there a real contender to make the 8 that is not currently in the 8, and if so, who are the teams to fall out ?

The obvious answers to the 1st question are the Broncos & Rabbitohs, but I have real doubts about both teams.

The Broncos will still beat up on bad teams at home, but the problem is that they don't play that many bad teams. They have the Titans twice & the Dragons, Bulldogs & Warriors, but that's about it. Even if they win all 5 of those games that only gives them 7. Maybe they beat the Tigers & Bunnies, that's 9. I still don't think that's enough. They also already have a terrible for and against.

The Bunnies are better than the Broncos, but less talented, but are they better than any team currently in the 8 ? The Cowboys ? Maybe. The Knights or Panthers ? Not on what we've seen so far. Cody Walker will help their attack somewhat when he returns, but they still feel a couple of boss middles short of being a real threat and I still don't see Latrell as a legit fullback. Their draw is slightly easier than the Broncos, but only slightly. They have the Dogs twice, the Dragons, Titans & Warriors, but again that only gets them to 7 wins like the Broncos. They do play the Tigers twice which could go either way, but you'd suspect they'll split those games, that gets them to 8 wins, still not enough.

So, who are the candidates to slide ?

The Cowboys immediately come to mind, especially in light of how the Sharks towelled them up last night. Their draw isn't particularly friendly, with really only games against the Warriors, Titans & Dragons as expected wins, however they have a number of games that they could conceivably win if they are at their best, whilst only having 4 games against the presumptive top 4 of the Eels, Raiders, Roosters & Storm.  When the Cowboys have been good this season thus far, they've looked very good. The round 14 fixture on Aug 15 against the Bunnies could be pivotal. 

If there is going to be a change based on the first 4 rounds, the only real possibility I think is the Rabbitohs replacing the Cowboys, and I still favour the Cows. 

I think.

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  • Probably too early to say but 16pts will likely get you a spot in the 8. 18pts definitely gets you in. Where in our case & possibly Canberra by the end of the day will both be on 8pts.

    Newcastle have a few tough games over the next few weeks where they play, Melbourne, Brisbane, North Queensland, Manly & us. And there's already concerns about the Cowboys, Broncos & Rabbitohs.

    I think there'll be a little battle for the last few spots around the fringe of the 8 between Newcastle, North Queensland, South Sydney & Brisbane. 

    But I wouldn't say any spot in the 8 is certain yet. Give it another 4-6 weeks and see where everyone is sitting then. 

     

     

    • I agree, that's why I qualified my statement at the very beginning, but maybe because of the shorter season it just feels like more teams than usual are already well off the pace. I do think the top 4 will be as I said, and I think Manly are definitely the 5th best team. Of the other 11, the Knights & Panthers have looked the most convincing and I'm pretty confident that one of, and probably both will be there, which really only leaves the last spot.

      I think 18 points will be needed unless you have a really good F/A. The draw between the Panthers & Knights will probably be the difference for them. I can see them finishing on 19 or 21 points each. In a 20 round season with no byes, 20 points should have to be the cutoff, but with 3 really bad teams, (Titans, Dogs & Dragons), and another 2 that are highly suspect, (Warriors & Sharks), we will probably see 8th spot going to a team on 9 wins or 8 wins and a good F/A.

    • 16 points at the end of 20 rounds gets you into the top 8? I highly doubt that. 20 points I'd say would be the  minimum. 

      • 24 game season usually sees 28pts being enough. 13 wins + your bye. This year there 4 less game. Do the math, maybe I might've been a bit off the mark with the 16pt claim. but as Brett said 18pts gets you in depending on F/A, 20pts definitely gets you, I reckon 24pts will be enough for the top 4 going off how close the ladders been in recent years. 

        • 28 points hasn't always got you there. Some years you have needed as many as 32 points. You usually have to win at least half your games to be assured a position. 

        • I did the ladder predictor on NRL.com, the top 4 were the Eels & Raiders on 32, The Roosters & Melbourne on 30, Manly on 28, the Panthers on 27, the Knights on 23, and then Souths squeaked in on 18, with the Tigers finishing their usual 9th spot on 18, the Cows 10th on 18, the Broncos 11th on 16, the Sharks 12th on 14.

          So basically one team will get through on a losing record like the Broncos last year. 5th spot will be a real prize come finals time, home game against an ordinary team.

          Which then begs the question, should the cutoff for finals footy be at least a 50% record or better as opposed to a top 8 ?

          Should a losing record be rewarded with a finals spot ?

          If so, what would the finals system then look like ?

           

      • Yep

        20 and a great go and against or 22

  • The 8 is taking shape, the cowboys and broncos are gone. The bunnies have been playing well in patches once Cody walker and James Roberts return they will be a real threat.  The 8 will look like this imo, 1. Eels. 2. Roosters 3.Raiders 4.Storm 5.Panthers 6.Newcastle 7.Souths 8. Sharks 

    • You don't have Manly in there ?

      Wow.

      I mean, sure if they were to lose DCE, the brothers or any of their key forwards for an extended period of time, but wow.

      • lol shit I forgot about Manly 1. Eels 2 Roosters 3. Raiders 4. Manly 5. Storm 6 Panthers 7 Newcastle 8 Souths

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