While the St George Illawarra Dragons have all but confirmed a Top 2 finish unless the wheels really fall off.
Bennett’s side has again performed beautifully, they’ve shown great depth during the Origin period and boast quality players in a range of positions as opposed to 1 or 2 strike men.
The Penrith Panthers have been the big surprise packet of 2010. Prior to the season kickoff NRL News feared Penny would again miss the Top 8 cut – but the reinvention of this side has been exciting to watch.
Penrith have always been an impressive attacking team, but they’ve developed more adaptive defensive techniques and since cutting the likes of Luke Priddis, they’ve been much more disciplined.
While some point to the amount of tries they score from kicks, they are running high on energy and are putting themselves in the right positions to get a good result when attacking.
Should remain Top 4.
What about the Wests Tigers? They’ve been in this position before, only to trip over a blade of grass in the final weeks and lose out of the Top 8 all together.
But 2010 looks to be different. Their current roster has not only performed well in recent weeks, but they’ve achieved some amazing feats.
They’ve bounced back from a horrible slump that saw a tonne of pressure on both coach and leading players. This can make or break teams and this year, it seems the furnace has galvanized the Tigers.
This year, Wests have also proved they can win in a grind. They have been able to tuck away their flashy attacking flair and roll the sleeves up.
Finally, they’ve had their fair share of injury woes. This has been tough, but allowed them to develop greater depth and blood some upcoming players. With several players due to return from injury in the back end of the season – the depth will only improve.
Lock them in, it’s Top 4 Tigers.
Lastly, the Gold Coast Titans should sneak into the final Top 4 spot. While their for and against isn’t as good as the teams above them, they do have a bye in hand.
They have the Sea Eagles and Roosters breathing down their necks, but the Titans have shown greater consistency this year and have an ability to win tight games.
Combine this with their fortress home ground and they should have enough in the tank to confirm a Top 4 spot this year.
With their experienced roster, it reads like a virtual who’s who of former and current representative players.
These guys are invaluable in the big games. When the heats on, Prince, Campbell, Rogers, Bird, Laffranchi, Meyers and Harrison have the runs on the board.
These guys are a genuine chance to take the trophy this year.