by Warren Boland
The battle for positions in the top four and top eight is becoming a precarious game of snakes and ladders with four games to go till the finals.
As we head into Round 23, teams can quickly climb or slide a number of positions depending on whether they win or lose, their for and against margin, and how others teams around them fare.
This weekend features exciting match-ups between first and second (Melbourne v Roosters), third and fourth (Brisbane v Cronulla), and sixth versus eighth ( Cowboys v Panthers).
Teams fifth and seventh ( Parramatta and Manly) have matches they will be banking on winning against the bottom two sides in the competition (the improving Newcastle and Wests Tigers) to bolster their positions.
Meanwhile after two narrow losses the Dragons have dropped back to ninth but will fancy their chances in a must-win against the Titans at Jubilee.
Canberra in tenth position will stay in the race if they can keep winning, starting with the Warriors in Auckland.
Here are my tips ( winners in CAPITALS):
- RABBITOHS v Bulldogs
- EELS v Knights
- BRONCOS v Sharks
- DRAGONS v Titans
- STORM v Roosters
- PANTHERS v Cowboys
- Warriors v RAIDERS
- Tigers v SEA EAGLES
Last week: 6/8 Total: 113/160