by Warren Boland
Now the NRL gets serious again with a full round of eight matches in Round 20.
With seven games to go , the target to make the finals is more likely to be 30 points than 28 this year. This leaves fourteen teams who can theoretically still make the final eight but it looks well beyond Souths so let’s realistically say thirteen.
Four teams (10th -13th on the ladder) are hanging precariously on 18 points with 7 wins / 10 losses and two byes for the season: Canberra, the Warriors, Titans and Bulldogs. Despite their potential, their unreliability this season leaves them with no room for a slip-up. All have tough games this weekend and a loss would be near fatal to their chances.
Meanwhile the teams currently in the eight will have one eye looking over their shoulder and the other on the teams ahead. They will be jostling for a spot in the vital top four or, even better, top two.
Here are my tips (winners in CAPITALS):
- BRONCOS v Bulldogs
- ROOSTERS v Knights
- SHARKS v Rabbitohs
- PANTHERS v Titans
- Raiders v STORM
- COWBOYS v Warriors
- DRAGONS v Sea Eagles
- Tigers v EELS
Last week: 5/6 Total: 94/136