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

Messages
3,666
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.
I can see the Storm beating Penrith in the GF again this year. Penrith have been touted as virtually unbeatable at full-strength but they only got the Storm by 2 points earlier this year and Melbourne have gotten much better since then. I suppose we'll find out in July where both are sitting.
 

mxlegend99

Referee
Messages
21,580
I can see the Storm beating Penrith in the GF again this year. Penrith have been touted as virtually unbeatable at full-strength but they only got the Storm by 2 points earlier this year and Melbourne have gotten much better since then. I suppose we'll find out in July where both are sitting.
Well Panthers have gotten better since then too. That game is no indication of how either team has played really. It was only round 3 and a bunch of players from both sides were missing. Although it just might be the last time Villiame Kikau did anything worthwhile.

Storm look like nothing including injury can slow them down. Panthers need their halves on deck at the very least. Storm will be in the grand final basically no matter what. Panthers need to stay fit to be there. A few injuries and there's a few teams lined up ready to lose to them in the grand final.
 

Smug Panther

Bench
Messages
2,918
People are way too high on Manly. Tommy was on fire before and after the Penrith game but we shut him down easily
 

franklin2323

Immortal
Messages
33,545
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.
This.

Noy sure of the record but so far the Panthers are conceding 9.6 a game. That would be up there with the best ever sides.

Defence is generally more important. So it will be interesting to see how it plays out over the last few rounds
 

perverse

Referee
Messages
23,474
People are way too high on Manly. Tommy was on fire before and after the Penrith game but we shut him down easily
The Knights shut him down too, lol. I can still see it as a very, very remote outside chance purely on the back of Turbo, but it would be a miracle.
 

Tiger Shark

Juniors
Messages
2,034
I know the Panthers and Storm are the clear two deserved favourites and why everyone thinks they'l be the two GF teams but for some reason I feel something is going to happen and it won't be those 2 teams. Perhaps they face each other before the GF for example.
 

STORM.99/07

Bench
Messages
2,754
Gus Gould didn't even have Storm in his top 8 at the beginning of the season. No Smith no Storm..Our fringe players have covered well for our more experienced players who have been injured this season.
 

flippikat

Bench
Messages
2,742
I know the Panthers and Storm are the clear two deserved favourites and why everyone thinks they'l be the two GF teams but for some reason I feel something is going to happen and it won't be those 2 teams. Perhaps they face each other before the GF for example.
If I'm not mistaken, pretty sure way the playoff draw works is that the qualifying finals in week 1 (1 v 4 and 2 v 3) determine what "side" of the playoff bracket those top 4 teams are in.

Currently the top 4 is Storm, Panthers, Rabbitohs, Eels.. (1,2,3, 4) - so assuming they finish in that order, week 1 would have Storm v Eels (1v4) and Panthers v Rabbitohs (2v3)

If Storm & Panthers both win in week 1 - no problem - they both miss week 2 & progress to their own Prelim finals (week 3) - and wouldn't play each other until the GF (if they make it).

If the Storm & Panthers both LOSE in week 1 - still possible for them to meet in the GF, but both of them have to do it the hard way - Sudden death game in week 2.. then prelim final in week 3.. then GF.

HOWEVER if one of them wins & the other loses in week 1, the winning team goes directly to a prelim final (week 3), but the LOSING team has to go into a sudden death game in week 2.. THEN they'd meet in a preliminary final if that team wins it's week 2 game.

For instance...
Week 1: Melbourne beats Parra, but Penrith loses to Souths.
Week 2: Melbourne has a week off (straight to Prelim final), Penrith beats whoever they have to play
Week 3 (Prelim finals): Melbourne plays Penrith in a Prelim Final, Souths (the other winner in week 1) plays *someone*
Week 4 (GF): Winner of Melbourne v Penrith VERSUS Souths or *someone*

I honestly think that's the most likely way we don't get Storm v Panthers in the GF - and it's most likely to be a club ambushing Penrith in week 1 of the playoffs that will do it.
 

chrisD

Coach
Messages
11,423
Manly are a concern. They've improved greatly since we played them, their line defence against the fast and fluid Titans attack was worryingly impressive.
 
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