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Predictions 2021 - Can ANY team outside top 5 make a late season run?

flippikat

Bench
Messages
2,742
Given the thrashing happening in the competition lately.. and that we're in the middle of Origin, I think it's a question worth asking.

Does anyone think any team from outside the top 5 (Storm, Panthers, Eels, Rabbitohs, Roosters) will make a late-season run & get to a preliminary final, grand final, or even WIN the Grand Final?

I honestly can't see it. Teams like the Sea Eagles, Warriors, Dragons, Raiders, Knights have their odd "good game", but do any of them have a realistic chance of making a run that could go that far?
 

flippikat

Bench
Messages
2,742
Maybe Manly? Penrith and Melbourne are so far ahead of everyone else I can’t see any other team making the Grand Final at this stage.

I think it'll take some stuff-up in week one for it NOT to be a Penrith/Melbourne GF.. (if one of them wins in week 1, the other loses - then I think they probably would play each other in a preliminary final)

But yeah.. I think Manly is a rough chance too.

While it's one thing to squeak into the top 8, it's another thing to press far onto September - let alone make or win a GF.

You need to string together a few wins in a row, for a start - which teams outside that top 5 have struggled with in the regular season.. imagining them doing that in September against top teams with the sword of elimination hanging over them is pretty fanciful.

However, Manly does have a coach, and a group of players who have some experience of winning in that scenario (unlike say the Warriors), so if they can plug-in to that experience they're a smoky chance, yeah.
 

mxlegend99

Referee
Messages
21,580
Honestly Storm have gone to another level that even Penrith would struggle with and they're comfortably better than most teams.

Souths in 3rd conceded 50 points to both those teams. Eels managed to beat Storm so maybe they have something come finals time. But it's Storms premiership to lose and Panthers the only team with a decent chance at stopping them. Not even injuries have slowed them down.
 

Munted

Bench
Messages
4,135
How the f**k have Melbourne upped it this year?
Was old man Smith slowing them down as he headed towards retirement?
 

flippikat

Bench
Messages
2,742
Honestly Storm have gone to another level that even Penrith would struggle with and they're comfortably better than most teams.

Souths in 3rd conceded 50 points to both those teams. Eels managed to beat Storm so maybe they have something come finals time. But it's Storms premiership to lose and Panthers the only team with a decent chance at stopping them. Not even injuries have slowed them down.

Thing is, if the Eels or Panthers play the Storm in a *sudden-death game* then 9 times out of 10 (or is it 99/100?) the Storm will win. They know how to peak at the right time, they know what it takes to win playoffs, and their structure is so solid, they can handle injuries seemingly without even batting en eyelid (contrast with the Roosters who've stumbled into 5th probably just because teams 6-16 are even more inconsistent or just plain woeful).
 

flippikat

Bench
Messages
2,742
How the f**k have Melbourne upped it this year?
Was old man Smith slowing them down as he headed towards retirement?
It absolutely astounds me.

I seem to recall a stat showing that their win % was down when he was out of the squad, and thinking this year would see the beginning of the end of their dynasty.

I had them down as fringe top-4 - anywhere from 3rd to 6th. (You see, this is why I never try predicting the table!)
 

big hit!

Bench
Messages
3,114
Outside of the teams mentioned, probably Manly. If Canberra could've defeated St George and gone on a second-half season run then I would've said them, but last night proved Sam Williams is such a downgrade on George that they've got no hope.

I'd scratch Roosters. They're operating on the smell of an oily rag and getting by on will to win, and Walker - the gun that he is - is already busted with two bung shoulders at 19.

Eels and Rabbits will put points against most in the comp because of the talent in those line-ups, but their attitude, individual will to win and mindset is below that of the Storm and Panthers.
 

big hit!

Bench
Messages
3,114
It absolutely astounds me.

I seem to recall a stat showing that their win % was down when he was out of the squad, and thinking this year would see the beginning of the end of their dynasty.

I had them down as fringe top-4 - anywhere from 3rd to 6th. (You see, this is why I never try predicting the table!)

There's a new dimension to their game with Grant and BSmith continually putting pressure on markers and A defenders around the ruck.

CSmith was a manager and distributor. He rarely ran and got tackled which is why he probably lasted to 37yo in the game.
 

GongPanther

Referee
Messages
23,554
Honestly Storm have gone to another level that even Penrith would struggle with and they're comfortably better than most teams.

Souths in 3rd conceded 50 points to both those teams. Eels managed to beat Storm so maybe they have something come finals time. But it's Storms premiership to lose and Panthers the only team with a decent chance at stopping them. Not even injuries have slowed them down.
Manly are next faves behind those 5 mentioned...and daylight is 7th to win the comp. If Manly stay injury free, I give them a huge change of getting within a week of the GF.

As far as the Storm V Panthers situation is concerned, the for and against has taken a beating for Penrith in their past three games. But if you account for allowances in how well Penrith were defending before the SOO player losses, and factor in those defensive averages, the Panthers are way ahead of the Storm, and it's defese that wins titles.

It's all fine and dandy in putting on cricket scores on teams that are cannon fodder before the kick-off like the Storm did to the Tigers, but I bet Bellamy was seething privately when WT scored 18 against them.
 

Munted

Bench
Messages
4,135
There's a new dimension to their game with Grant and BSmith continually putting pressure on markers and A defenders around the ruck.

CSmith was a manager and distributor. He rarely ran and got tackled which is why he probably lasted to 37yo in the game.
The Bsmith and Grant combo is a big reason, the ruck speed is insane and BSmith is just as dangerous burrowing like a fwd as he is running as a hooker.
The go forward the storm have of late is crazy, rarely, if ever on the back foot.
 

Munted

Bench
Messages
4,135
It's all fine and dandy in putting on cricket scores on teams that are cannon fodder before the kick-off like the Storm did to the Tigers, but I bet Bellamy was seething privately when WT scored 18 against them.
3 tries in the last 25 minutes vs Warriors last week, 3 in the last 20 vs tigers last night.
They clocked off against Penrith in the grand final too.
Yes the games are pretty much decided by that stage 40+ up, but I'm sure Bellamy is murdering them about those lapses.
 

Apey

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
24,554
It absolutely astounds me.

I seem to recall a stat showing that their win % was down when he was out of the squad, and thinking this year would see the beginning of the end of their dynasty.

I had them down as fringe top-4 - anywhere from 3rd to 6th. (You see, this is why I never try predicting the table!)
Smith is one of the best players to play the game but with the speed of the game right now, a Grant and B. Smith combination contributes a lot more. Their defence is weaker now without Smith but they're more than making up for it in attack.
 

flippikat

Bench
Messages
2,742
Manly are next faves behind those 5 mentioned...and daylight is 7th to win the comp. If Manly stay injury free, I give them a huge change of getting within a week of the GF.
I think what sets Manly aside from the other mid-table wannabe-contenders is "Playoff winning mentality".

As I said above, it's not inconceivable to think they can win back-to-back in the pressure of September.. and if they came up against Parra or Souths in week 2, they may snag a spot in a Prelim Final because they hold their nerve better, have far less pressure of expectation upon them and are playing an opponent with a recent history of failing in playoff games (how many times have Souths fallen at the Prelim Final now?).
 

GongPanther

Referee
Messages
23,554
3 tries in the last 25 minutes vs Warriors last week, 3 in the last 20 vs tigers last night.
They clocked off against Penrith in the grand final too.
Yes the games are pretty much decided by that stage 40+ up, but I'm sure Bellamy is murdering them about those lapses.
Once the SOO is over, I'll be anticipating whether we see our defensive average gets back to what it was. If it does, then we'll be solidly back on track.
 

mave

Coach
Messages
10,507
Realistically, Manly are a year, maybe 2 years away from a serious challenge......if PVL leaves the goddamn rules alone for 2 seconds.

We could string 4 great games in a row at the business end potentially, but we are 1 hamstring away from the bottom 4 as well.
 

blaza88z

Coach
Messages
13,946
No I don't think any team can

I gave Canberra a slight hope but their last 2 wins have come against the 2 worst teams in the comp and other than that they are struggling to win
 

GongPanther

Referee
Messages
23,554
Realistically, Manly are a year, maybe 2 years away from a serious challenge......if PVL leaves the goddamn rules alone for 2 seconds.

We could string 4 great games in a row at the business end potentially, but we are 1 hamstring away from the bottom 4 as well.
Enjoy the ride week by week.
 

Jim Rockford

Bench
Messages
3,082
Eels and Rabbits will put points against most in the comp because of the talent in those line-ups, but their attitude, individual will to win and mindset is below that of the Storm and Panthers.
Agree with regards to the Storm,but as Penrith showed last year, when the whips are crackin' and the games are worth more than just 2 points, they fold like a cheap suit.
 
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