Ok, so we are only into the 3rd round of Rugby League for 2007 – but already we are able to see some small trends and get an idea of the formidable Rugby League teams for this year.
The best way to dertermine the final 8 – is to eliminate the teams who you think ‘cannot’ realistically make the finals cutoff.
As we look at the lower ranked teams so far; Sydney Roosters, Parramatta, Cronulla, Tigers, Raiders, Titans, Saints and Brisbane – which of these teams can realistically compete with the big boys? It’s really only the Brisbane Broncos who can be confident of breaking the shackles and forcing themselves into the top 8 come finals time.
That leaves 7 teams who don’t look like making the 8, and means we need to find another team to miss out.
The Roosters have no direction and simply have to many rookies to successfully make the finals, Parramatta Eels are lacking forward power and depth; they may improve their scrumbase combination over the coming weeks but forwards are key, so the Eels will miss the cut. Cronulla don’t have the big names to get them into the finals, Kimmorley and Dykes aren’t dominating because the forwards aren’t laying the platform, shoddy defence – no finals. Tigers were originally predicted by NRL News to make the finals; but poor results have seen their stature shattered – with the Tigers looking a shadow of their former 2005 selves – bye bye. The Raiders showed they can turn it on this week, by pounding the Knights – but their form and depth over the season surely is questionable. Don’t think so. The Titans are the new kids and have their first win on the board, but nervous attack and awfully low depth will see them exit stage left before finals time. Maybe next year. St George Illawarra were looking the goods before the season started, as always – but losing Gaz for the year and seemingly having millions of talent always injured they won’t make the finals in 2007. Sorry boys. And finally the last early leaver pass must go to the Warriors. The Warriors were electric in their 2 home games so far – killing off the Eels with ease and smashing the Broncos. However, their ability to travel still remains under a cloud and this factor along with shallow depth if injuries strike will see them hit mad Monday early in 2007.
That leaves a final 8 make up of:
That’s how we see things shaping up, and of course it’s only round 3 so don’t get too excited or disheartened about your team.
Enjoy your NRL Rugby League and keep the comments coming in.