Hung race for house of NRL finals' reps - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hung race for house of NRL finals' reps

By Ben Horne 23/08/2010 04:15:37 PM Comments (0)

Just like the battle for Australian government, the NRL has a hung top-eight race, where the house of finals representatives won't be known for another complicated two weeks of counting.

Barring a miracle, the last two top-eight spots will be filled by a combination of the Warriors, Brisbane and Canberra.

The crucial Broncos and Raiders electorates are currently locked on 26 competition points each, and appear destined to play-off in round 26 for a final top-eight seat.

The Broncos currently cling to eighth spot, because of a points differential of plus seven - while the Raiders are hoping their differential of minus 40 won't come back to bite them.

This week, if the Raiders lose to lowly North Queensland in Canberra and the Broncos beat the Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium, the green machine would need to notch up a cricket score in the final round against the Queenslanders to edge them out for eighth spot.

A win this week over the Warriors would obviously be nice for the Broncos, however with the Raiders heavily favoured to take care of the Cowboys, it's most likely their season will come down to the final-round Friday-night showdown against Canberra at Suncorp Stadium.

The victors will take a top-eight spot and the losers will bow out.

The Warriors, at the moment on 28 points, need only win one of their last two fixtures to be assured.

South Sydney, Newcastle and Parramatta, currently on 24 competition points, appear to be fighting a losing battle.

But they can swing things if they win their final two matches and have other results go their way, which would ensure the top-eight cut-off is no higher than 28 competition points.

Souths and Parramatta face off this Friday, meaning one will be immediately eliminated from the race.

The Rabbitohs have a solid for and against but to be any hope Parramatta and the Knights must record big wins over the next two weeks to arrest their negative points differentials.

The guide for who Rabbitohs, Knights and Eels fans should cheer for over the coming weeks is highly complex but here is a basic formula.

In round 25, the Warriors need to lose to Brisbane and Canberra must lose to the Cowboys.

Then it would be preferable if the Raiders beat the Broncos and the Warriors lost to Parramatta in round 26.

If results went that way, the Warriors, Brisbane and Canberra would all be locked on 28 points meaning back-to-back victories could see the Knights and the winner out of the Eels and Bunnies possibly sneak in on points differential.

Souths, Parramatta and Newcastle will have no chance if Canberra or Brisbane were to win both of their remaining matches and the Warriors were to win just one more game.

Manly are all but over the line with their strong points differential, however they want one more win just to make sure.

If the Roosters lose to Gold Coast on Monday night, they will also need another two points just to be safe - and they play the Sea Eagles in a potentially definitive match this Sunday.

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