General Week 1 Finals predictions

PB_old

Guest
Instead of who I think will win, which is usually wrong, I'm picking on hope.

Warriors beat Titans
Roosters beat Tigers
Raiders beat Panthers
Dragons beat Manly

Dragons and Warriors go straight through to the Preliminary Final (Sydney) as the two highest placed winners, and awaiting the victors of Roosters vs Panthers and Raiders vs. Tigpies respectively.
 

The 22 BEAST_old

Guest
Instead of who I think will win, which is usually wrong, I'm picking on hope.

Warriors beat Titans
Roosters beat Tigers
Raiders beat Panthers
Dragons beat Manly

Dragons and Warriors go straight through to the Preliminary Final (Sydney) as the two highest placed winners, and awaiting the victors of Roosters vs Panthers and Raiders vs. Tigpies respectively.

Ill take that Fries
 

BringBackRovelli_old

Guest
Dragons and Warriors go straight through to the Preliminary Final (Sydney) as the two highest placed winners, and awaiting the victors of Roosters vs Panthers and Raiders vs. Tigpies respectively.

Are the Prelim finals definitely in Sydney, no matter who's involved?
 

Magic Stick_old

Guest
Warriors will smash the Titans friday night sending a shockwave through the Aussie league public
 

ToiletDuck_old

Guest
Except Fittler has just come out and said the Titans should be nervous and we're one of the teams to beat..
 

sebastian_old

Guest
I saw Fittler was working with the Titans halves so I don't know how sincere he was in regards to us, this time.
 

BringBackRovelli_old

Guest
It was his job to help the Titans' preparation, coming out and saying what he did, achieved just that. He's making sure the Titans aren't complacent at all, and hoping we are.
 

PB_old

Guest
Warren Ryan in the Newcastle Herald.

Do the results produced during the season provide any insight into the outcomes this weekend? Or, more importantly, do the results achieved against the other seven members of the eight hold any clues?
There’s a well-held belief that statistics don’t play for a team and every new game is a blank page waiting for some information. But the counter-argument is that the players who compile the statistics do play and when the finals roll around, they’re itching to prove that earlier victories were no fluke.

Before we take a look at the head-to-head results for the teams this weekend, I thought an overview of what each team did against the other seven might be of interest.

Now if everyone played each other twice during the season on a home-and-away basis, each team in the eight would have played 14 matches against the other seven. But, as we all know, teams don’t meet everyone twice, so here’s the breakdown.

The Gold Coast Titans drew the short straw. They finished up playing 13 of the possible 14 games against other members of the top eight. The only side they met once was Penrith and they dispatched the visitors 38-24.

The Tigers and Raiders had to cope with 12 games, while it was a little easier for St George Illawarra, the Roosters and Manly, who had 11. The luck of the draw delivered Penrith and the Warriors the lightest burden of 10.

Now let’s look at the number of wins and losses each team had against the other members of the eight, the points scored and the points leaked.

Minor premiers the Dragons in their 11 games surprisingly weren’t overly dominant. They won six, lost five, scored 208 and conceded 165 for a points difference of plus 43.

Second-placed Penrith’s 10 games yielded six wins, four losses, points for 254 and against 205 – a difference of plus 49.

Team three, the Tigers, played 12, won six, lost six, scored plenty (293) but let in plenty (265) for a points difference of plus 28.

The Gold Coast were the standout performers. They posted an impressive nine wins and four losses in their 13 outings, scoring 281, conceding 236 for a points difference of plus 45. The quiet achievers might also turn out to be the dark horses of this comp.

The fourth-placed Warriors’ 10 games produced poor results – two wins and eight losses. Not impressive against the top sides by any means, and look at these numbers – scored 146, conceded 244, points difference minus 98.

At fifth, the Roosters’ all-season rhythm of win one, lose one, shows up even here at the top of the table. Eleven games, six wins, five losses, for 230, against 206 – points difference plus 24.

Now we come to teams seven and eight. They’re on the platform, but the hangman hasn’t pulled the lever yet. The Raiders might escape, but I don’t like Manly’s chances.

The Raiders’ 12 games featured six wins and six losses, but the 227 for and 287 against throws up a huge minus 60 points difference.

With injuries and suspensions biting into Manly’s ranks, their experience on Kogarah Oval on Sunday could be painful physically and mentally. In 11 games, it was four wins and seven losses, points for 221, against 252, for a minus 31 difference.

So let’s look at the weekend’s games.

Friday night’s match, four versus five on the Gold Coast, should be a great contest. The Titans downed the Warriors twice this year, 24-18 in round one and 28-20 in NZ in round 21. But the Warriors’ form is on the up at the right time.

Dummy-half Aaron Heremaia and fullback Lance Hohaia loom as danger men for the Gold Coast, while Brett Seymour and James Maloney have formed a very efficient partnership in the halves. However, I think the Gold Coast will win, providing Scott Prince is given the required foundation by his forwards against the powerful Kiwi pack.

Saturday’s three versus six game, Tigers against Roosters, should be the most entertaining of the weekend. Both sides can light up the stadium with their ball movement. Robbie Farah and Benji Marshall versus Mitchell Pearce and Todd Carney is at the core of this result. Their teammates will give it everything, but it’s what these playmakers do that will determine the outcome. For the record, the Roosters have won both encounters, 44-32 on Sydney Football Stadium in round two and 12-8 in Tiger territory in round eight. I think the Tigers have made a well-intentioned mistake taking this game to the SFS instead of Leichhardt Oval. I’ll tip the Roosters to get home, maybe even on goal kicking. Benji’s goal kicking has been a problem all year.

The two versus seven game on Saturday night at Penrith promises plenty of points if the passes stick. The Raiders have won five on the trot and are running up big scores, but no team have strung six wins together this year. They’ve met twice, both winning on home turf. It was Penrith 34-16 in round one and Canberra 30-26 in round 22.

As always, possession will rule with the verdict going to whichever side have the cleaner bill of health with mistakes and penalties.

Both attacks are too good for the other side’s goal-line defence, which in turn means they both have difficulties in defending their errors. I slightly favour the home team, but if Raiders skipper Alan Tongue is fit to play, Canberra will be much harder to beat.

Sunday at Kogarah promises to be a tough 80 minutes for what’s left of the Manly line-up. Suspensions to prop Jason King and centre Steve Matai (will he never learn?) and injuries have reduced them to cannon fodder.

In racing it is said, ‘‘weight can stop a train’’. In football, ‘‘injuries can kill a team’’. These two head-to-head both won on home turf. It was the Sea Eagles 24-6 in round nine and the Dragons 32-10 in round 23.

This could have been one of the great advantage-line battles of the season, but it won’t get close to being that now. If it was a boxing match, it would have been postponed until both fighters were fit and ready to go.
 
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PB_old

Guest
Well, those aren't good stats.

No, they aren't.

He's pretty insightful, old Wok. One of the best coaches there's been, and he knows how to slice and dice things. But he'll cop it if he's wrong. So if he is we won't need to get aggro with him. :) He got the Warriors and Roosters placings wrong, but it's an easy error to make when you are a guest columnist, write something, and then edit it down. I doubt a subby did more than spellcheck, and maybe format a little.

I look forward to Sterling's column in the same paper. Tomorrow I think. I find it better than his NRL.com piece, but both are interesting.
 
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ToiletDuck_old

Guest
Yeah I don't see an upset on the cards. There's way too much jizzing over the Titans going on. And other than Campbell and Meyers they appear full-strength - Prince isn't even a maybe, he's a definite.

The packed home crowd factor will be too much and they'll get the run of the decisions and the bounce of the ball. Also Friend usually destroys us from dummy half, esp when we're defending our line.
 

PB_old

Guest
Yeah I don't see an upset on the cards. There's way too much jizzing over the Titans going on. And other than Campbell and Meyers they appear full-strength - Prince isn't even a maybe, he's a definite.

The packed home crowd factor will be too much and they'll get the run of the decisions and the bounce of the ball. Also Friend usually destroys us from dummy half, esp when we're defending our line.

Well, Campbell has had hamstring issues, Michaels has a similar problem to Prince's shoulder, but not as bad, Rogers his hip, and Bailey a thumb injury. Scuttlebutt says we'll know on Thursday if someone can't make it. Who knows? It's the time of year for ducks and drakes.
 

Lego_Man_old

Guest
I'm planning to put come coin on a Scott Prince field goal as the last scoring play.

That's another area of weakness for us.
 

Lego_Man_old

Guest
Preliminary finals = semi finals (the Final 4) according to the NRL website. Confusingly Week 2 are actually labelled "Semi Finals"...reversing what you'd logically think.

But you are correct in that it goes Home Ground, Home Region, Sydney, Sydney from Weeks 1-4. So the Warriors get a bigger advantage in Week 2 if they play at home particularly compared to Sydney teams.