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17 Jul 2018

Is the top 8 really set in stone?

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Sides that go into a slump

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Sides that get red-hot

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Ladder changes

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Final ladder

Picture credit: Angry mob mulls options

With eight games remaining in the NRL competition and a sizeable three-win gap between eighth and ninth place, it seems certain to many that the 2018 finalists are set in stone.

Mathematically though, it is possible for the Tigers and Raiders to make it into the top 8, but as well know, form is king.

If we were to look at the remaining games for all the sides and predict that the result and score line will be the same as the last time these sides met at the same venue, we will see some very interesting results indeed.

Sides that go into a slump

Souths will have a three-game losing streak and will win just one of their final five games, while the Panthers are about set to go on a run of four straight losses. Both the Roosters and Sharks will lose three straight before turning their fortunes around in time for the finals and the Warriors will go on yet another typically miserable run home, losing the last three games before the finals.

The Tigers are also expected to extend their current run of outs before some relief quickly turns to more losses, while the Knights are set to win just twice more.

But worst of all will be the Titans, who will lose all of their remaining eight games.

Sides that get red-hot

The Storm stand out here, winning all bar one of their remaining eight games, while the Sharks will surge up the ladder with four straight wins to close out the season. Manly will have the best end to the regular season, winning seven straight, while the Cowboys are set to win their next four straight.

Ladder changes

The top three will remain in the top three, but all will change position. The Storm will rise from third to Minor Premiers, Competition leaders right now, Souths, will drop to second while the Dragons will move into third place.

The Broncos and Sharks will jump above Penrith and the Roosters.

But the biggest changes come further down the ladder. Manly’s surge and Canberra’s improved run, combined with the Warriors winning just two games, will see all three sides tied on competition points, however it will be the Raiders who sneak into the top 8, Manly narrowly missing out in ninth (Their points difference will be just 8 worse than Canberra’s) while the Warriors will run 10th.

The 11th placed Titans horror home run will see them plunge to the bottom of the ladder to claim the wooden spoon.

Final ladder

Position at Round 17 Team W D L F A Pts PD
3MEL180658734238245
1SOU160858145034131
2SGI16085514583493
7BRI15094994563243
6CRO15094484333215
4PEN140104914113080
5SYD140104764023074
9CAN120125985212677
13MAN120125875182669
8WAR1201245851826-60
10WST1001438950822-119
14NQL901544546120-16
15CBY801641248718-75
12NEW801641963018-211
16PAR701740451616-112
11GCT601842065414-234

Do you agree with these bold predictions? Let us know in the comments below.