NRL Round 26 and NRLW Round 6: And then there were ten

 

For general use

 

And then there were ten. The pedantic might argue that the Eels and Sea Eagles are mathematical chances to make the final eight but harsh reality says they’re gone. The top seven look safe with only the order of finish to be decided. So it comes down to one of the following three to fill the final spot: South Sydney, the Cowboys or the Roosters. My best guess is that the Round 27 clash between the Roosters and the Rabbitohs will decide the final place. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. All three of those teams have to get through this weekend first.

 

NRL

What new can you say about the Panthers? Firm favourites for the flag and a rare threepeat. Meanwhile it’s been a disappointing season for the Eels – from Grand Finalists to out of the eight this year. Let’s not dwell on their missed opportunities and simply say that the Panthers will win this one.

 

The Warriors have been the good news story of the year and a top four spot is a good reward for their efforts. And they’ve done it with style and enthusiasm. The Dragons, however, have been one of the disappointments of the year but at least they’ll avoid the dreaded spoon. The Warriors to prevail here.

 

The length and grind of the season caught up with the Dolphins about a month ago. They’ve gone close a couple of times but just couldn’t find the sealer. Nevertheless they’ve had a solid debut season with some good troops lined up for next year, eg Farnworth and Flegler.  The Cowboys have to win this one to have any chance as they have the Panthers in the final round. Their fate seems to be in the hands of others but I think they’ll keep the dream alive for at least one more week and pray for other results to go their way. Get on the Cowboys.

 

The Storm are hitting stride at the right time of the season with Paps likely to return next week. The Titans were ordinary last week and will probably suffer the same fate this week against quality opposition. The Storm should consolidate fourth position with a win.

 

It’s a simple formula for the Roosters – win and you’re still in it, lose and your fate lies with others. Wests Tigers have put some better performances together and just scraped over the line last week. They’ll compete but I don’t think they can win. The Roosters for me.

 

The Raiders put on a good second half last week but will need a full 80 minutes if they’re to run with the Broncos. It was good to see Big Papa back to his best for Canberra and he might still teach the younger Brisbane  forwards a thing or two. However I think the Broncos are galloping along very nicely and will want to give Oates a win in his 200th game. Brisbane for me.

 

The Bulldogs showed some bite for 40 minutes last week but then fell apart. The Sea Eagles were a bit stiff against the Warriors but are missing a couple of key pieces of the puzzle. This could go either way but logic says the Sea Eagles, so that’s where I’ll head.

 

The Knights are charging at the right time but will be tested by the rediscovered verve of the Sharks. Home ground advantage might play a part here and spur Newcastle to their eighth on the trot. It will be very close with a late field goal to settle it. I’ll go with Newcastle.

 

South Sydney Rabbitohs have the bye.

 

My winners this week are the Panthers, Warriors, Cowboys, Storm, Roosters, Broncos, Sea Eagles and Newcastle. (I got 5/8 last week.)

 

NRLW

The Eels v Cowboys match-up is 9th v 10th so not a lot to get excited about. The girls from the north have shown considerably more enterprise than this week’s opponent and so they should have a win. The Eels are looking forward to next year. Cowboys for me.

 

The Dragons have hardly set the competition alight but downed the more fancied Wests Tigers last week. Meanwhile the Titans have lost their last two in a row after starting the season with three straight wins. This one is a nightmare but for whatever reason I’ll go with the Dragons.

 

The Roosters have hit their straps after an earlier wobble while the Wests Tigers have lost their early season energy. Only one way to go here and that’s the Roosters.

 

The Broncos lost the unlosable last week to really knock their confidence and hurt their season chances. The Raiders are in very good form and should be brimming with confidence. I think that will tell the story this week. Get on the Raiders.

 

The Knights came back from the dead last week – but good teams can do that. I doubt they’ll be so shy early on this week. The Sharks may not have had the best of results to date but have been honest and hard-working. But the Knights will play in the Grand Final and this week’s win will be another step along the way.

 

So my winners this week are the Cowboys, Dragons, Roosters, Raiders and Knights.

 

To see the full draw for Season 2023 click HERE.

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About Ian Hauser

A relaxed, Noosa-based retiree with a (very) modest sporting CV. A loyal Queenslander, especially when it comes to cricket and rugby league. Enjoys travel, coffee and cake, reading, and has been known to appreciate a glass or three of wine. One of Footy Almanac's online editors who enjoys the occasional editing opportunity to assist aspiring writers.

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