McHunt Report: Rounds 24 & 25. Our final taxi.


NRL Player
Sunshine Coast
After round 23's TRAGIC LOSS to SOUTHS we remain in the 8. There are now 7 teams fighting for the 2 bottom rungs in the Eight: SHARKS, BRONCOS, TIGERS, PANTHERS, KNIGHTS, BULLDOGS, WARRIORS. In that order.

Here's how it looks:


(Rank, team, points, differential, upcoming games (ladder leader in bold)).

7. SHARKS: 24, 34 (RAIDERS (H), TIGERS (A)
8. BRONCOS: 23, -42 (EELS (H), BULLDOGS (A) -
Points diff irrelevant unless tie
9. TIGERS: 22, -22 (DRAGONS (A), SHARKS (H)
10. PANTHERS: 22, -89 (ROOSTERS (A), KNIGHTS (H) -
Note points diff
11. KNIGHTS: 20, -27 (TITANS (H), PANTHERS (A)
12. BULLDOGS: 20, -160 (COWBOYS (A), BRONCOS (H) -
Note points diff (tough ask)
13. WARRIORS: 19, -124 (RABBITOHS (H), RAIDERS (A) - Note points diff (too hard)


(Based on team currently higher on ladder winning)

If there are no upsets (based on round 23 leaders being favourites), we make the eight. By winning only one game. Points differential might affect final order.

7. SHARKS: 26
8. BRONCOS: 25

9. TIGERS: 24
11. KNIGHTS: 22



Best case scenario: BRONCOS beat both the EELS and BULLDOGS. We finish 8th, or 7th if the SHARKS lose to both the RAIDERS and TIGERS.

Winning both games guarantees us a place in the finals.

But here's where it gets tricky: we only need one win to make the finals, but only if there are NO UPSETS. So to make it even more nerve wracking, we won't know whether we've made the finals until we've played the BULLDOGS on Sat 7th. No matter what happens against the EELS.



Preferred winner in bold. Critical games only.


(H) v BULLDOGS ---
LOSING to NQ will end CANTERBURY's season.


LOSING to SOUTHS wIll end NZ's season.

Darius & Macca joint testimonial match.
A WIN will knock out CANTERBURY and NZ. And NEWCASTLE will require 2 from 2 and CRONULLA to lose 2 from 2, and still battle on points differential.
A LOSS wil put us at the mercy of other results.



LOSING to the GOLD COAST will end NEWCASTLE's season.

BALMAIN and PENRITH are of our biggest rival for 8th place. We need PENRITH to lose at least one of its next two matches. But NEWCASTLE is the other one. So it gets complicated. By now, we'll know just how complicated.


We have a shot at 7th place if CRONULLA loses this game and the next, or just one game and we beat both PARRAMATTA (done) and CANTERBURY.

BALMAIN and PENRITH are of our biggest rival for 8th place. We need BALMAIN to lose at least one of its next two matches. But CRONULLA is the other one. So it gets complicated. As 7th place is up for grabs if CRONULLA loses at least one match, we might like it to be against BALMAIN. I told you it gets complicated.


Preferred winner in bold. Critical games only.

Stupid and boring

Stupid and boring


Final chance to kill off NZ if they're still kicking.

Might be our last gasp. Or not.
If we've beaten PARRAMATTA, this ISN'T a MUST WIN but we'll be reliant on tomorrow's results. A WIN sends us straight to the 8.

If we lost to PARRAMATTA, this is a MUST WIN. And, we'll be anxious about BALMAIN and PENRITH tomorrow


H) v
Contigency overdrive: at the end of Round 23, all four teams are competing for the 2 bottom spots in the 8. But the stakes will look clearer now.
Today is DO OR DIE if BRONCOS lose to PARRAMATTA or CANTERBURY. <<-------!

The biggest certainty is should we beat both PARRAMATTA and CANTERBURY - and CANBERRA beats CRONULLA - a TIGERS WIN will hand us 7th place. GOT THAT?
On the other hand, if CRONULLA beats CANBERRA and BALMAIN beats ILLAWARRA, we'll be ROOTING for CRONULLA. Go SHARKS!




We can still LOSE against both PARRAMATTA and CANTERBURY and still make the finals, but only if this happens:








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International Rep
the Daily Telegraph is tipping us to lose our next two matches and finish 12th


NRL Captain
It shits me, but I am feeling a bit the same. Only because I think we could be a much bigger threat and have a more fluent attack if he got Boyd out of the spine.
Yep surely macca or dargan are better options in the halves . And it's not like you're upsetting the left center spot if you put him there. I mean Shiba and Glenn haven't been making it their own.


NRL Player
I think McHunt McHunt disected this with far better clarity using much less words and space. Perhaps the journo should read up on BHQ a bit more.


NRL Player
Sunshine Coast
TL;DR: None of this means dick. At this point any team can beat any other team EXCEPT for the STORM. According to COTY 2018: "Melbourne are too good for us" not "Melbourne were too good for us." Interesting choice of words.

Finals race: NRL top eight shapes as a record in mediocrity

Adam Mobbs,
The Daily Telegraph
August 26, 2019 11:17am

The NRL could be on the way to setting a record in mediocrity. Brisbane can qualify for the finals series by not winning another game and finishing the season on 23 competition points — the lowest total of any top-eight team under the current format. The Broncos currently occupy the final playoff spot, one point ahead of the Wests Tigers and Penrith, and two ahead of Newcastle and Canterbury.

With games against Parramatta (home) and Canterbury (away), their finals place is far from certain, but in an amazing proposition, Brisbane can still lose those games and make the top eight. For that to eventuate, this needs to happen:

Round 24

* Gold Coast beat Newcastle;

* Sydney Roosters beat Penrith;

* Canberra beat Cronulla; and

* St George Illawarra beat Wests Tigers

Round 25

* Cronulla beat Wests Tigers

* Newcastle beat Penrith

If the Broncos fall into the finals this way, they will beat their own previous record of 24 competition points they needed to qualify for the top eight in 2007 under the 24-game season format. North Sydney also made the top eight with just 24 points in 1995 when the talent was far more diluted in the 20-team competition. Western Suburbs Magpies qualified for the seven-team ARL finals system in 1997 with 21 points from 22 games.

It’s unlikely 23 points will be enough to get the Broncos into the finals this year, and they’re likely to miss out altogether, meaning no Queensland representation in this year’s post-season. Here’s how we predict the season will finish:


Run home:
Rd 24 v Sea Eagles (A), Rd 25 v Cowboys (H)

Analysis: The minor premiership is virtually wrapped up, but there’s still plenty to play for in Melbourne. The Storm play Manly this weekend, whom they could face in the first week of the finals. Given the Sea Eagles beat them in Melbourne four weeks ago and this Saturday is eight years since the Battle of Brookvale, it shapes as a cracker.

Storm can wrap up the minor premiership this weekend. Picture: AAP

Storm can wrap up the minor premiership this weekend. Picture: AAP


Run home:
Rd 24 v Panthers (H), Rd 25 v Rabbitohs (A)

Analysis: With a top-two finish secured following a brilliant past six weeks (their last defeat came against North Queensland in mid-July), Trent Robinson’s men can take the foot off the gas a little — but they likely won’t. This weekend’s opponents Penrith are scrapping for their finals lives, while they won’t want to drop a final-round clash to bitter rivals South Sydney. The Roosters eased Sio Siua Taukeiaho back in from the bench, and still have captain Boyd Cordner and Jake Friend to return.


Run home:
Rd 24 v Sharks (A), Rd 25 v Warriors (H)

Analysis: Botched their chance to lock down a top-four finish after injury-hit Manly’s comeback win in Canberra last Sunday and could now slip to fifth place. Having looked like premiership contenders beating the Storm in Melbourne last week, the Raiders could now need to beat both Cronulla (away) and New Zealand (home) to ensure a top-four finish.


Run home:
Rd 24 v Storm (H), Rd 25 v Eels (A)

Analysis: After coming from behind to defeat the Raiders in Canberra, despite losing troops during the game, the Sea Eagles are closing in on the unlikeliest of top-four finishes. Firstly from where they came last year (15th), but also by how they’ve done it. Tough games against Melbourne (home) and Parramatta (away) to come, but they’ve already beaten both of those teams in 2019.

Jake Trbojevic and the Sea Eagles are closing in on a top-four finish. Picture: AAP

Jake Trbojevic and the Sea Eagles are closing in on a top-four finish. Picture: AAP


Run home:
Rd 24 v Warriors (A), Rd 25 v Roosters (H)

Analysis: One week Wayne Bennett is calling Souths’ slide almost terminal, the next he is in the bowels of Suncorp Stadium celebrating a crunch victory over Brisbane without a Burgess anywhere to be seen on the team sheet. They ended their three-match losing run gallantly and face New Zealand (away) this weekend, but a final-round blockbuster against the Roosters (home) still stands between the Rabbitohs and a top-four finish.


Run home:
Rd 24 v Roosters (A), Rd 25 v Knights (H)

Analysis: Not only did they potentially blow any top-four chance they had, Parramatta are now also looking nervously over their shoulder at Cronulla creeping up on them and potentially stealing a home final. Couldn’t extend their four-match winning streak, but have to regroup with matches against Brisbane (away) and Manly (home) to round out the season if they want week one of the finals to be at Bankwest Stadium.

Defeat to Canterbury has cost Parramatta a top-four shot. Picture: AAP

Defeat to Canterbury has cost Parramatta a top-four shot. Picture: AAP


Run home:
Rd 24 v Raiders (H), Rd 25 v Wests Tigers (A)

Analysis: With Penrith and Newcastle slipping up, one win from Cronulla’s final two matches against Canberra (away) and Wests Tigers (away) will get them into the finals. The Sharks can still snatch a home final if the Eels drop their remaining games. Sunday afternoon’s home clash against the Raiders will have major ramifications for both the top four and top eight.


Run home:
Rd 24 v Dragons (A), Rd 25 v Sharks (H)

Analysis: Wests can win their final two games against St George Illawarra (away) and Cronulla (home) and still miss the top eight. Although victory over the Dragons may be enough to get the Tigers into the top eight, on 24 points, given how their rivals continue to trip themselves up.

Wests Tigers are right in the hunt for the NRL top eight.

Wests Tigers are right in the hunt for the NRL top eight.


Run home:
Rd 24 v Roosters (A), Rd 25 v Knights (H)

Analysis: Had it all to play for against the Cowboys and let it slip. Amazingly, Penrith could lose to the Roosters this weekend and still make the eight by beating Newcastle in the final round, if other results go their way. Hard to see them toppling the Roosters following last week’s meek performance against North Queensland, but given the bunched sprint to the finish line, there’s still hope for Panthers fans praying their club isn’t about to embark on a rebuilding phase.


Run home:
Rd 24 v Cowboys (A), Rd 25 v Broncos (H)

Analysis: Canterbury can still make the finals. No, this isn’t a misprint, the team that was last on the NRL ladder seven weeks ago can still miraculously figure in the top eight. However unlikely, the Bulldogs can complete the Sunshine State double against North Queensland (away) and Brisbane (home, finish the season with eight wins from their final 10 games, do a Steven Bradbury and take advantage of their rivals slipping over ahead of them.


Run home:
Rd 24 v Eels (H), Rd 25 v Bulldogs (A)

Analysis: Brisbane can finish anywhere from seventh to 12th, such is the congestion at the bottom of the top eight. The home defeat to South Sydney hurts, and things don’t get any easier with Parramatta (home) and Canterbury (away) to close out the season. The Broncos benefit because two final-round games — Tigers v Sharks and Panthers v Knights — involve teams directly around them. They can win one match, finish on 25 competition points and still make the finals. Crazy.

It doesn’t get any easier for Anthony Milford and the Broncos. Picture: AAP

It doesn’t get any easier for Anthony Milford and the Broncos. Picture: AAP

Run home:
Rd 24 v Titans (H), Rd 25 v Panthers (A)

Analysis: What a way to self-sabotage your own finals hopes. The Knights owe their fans an explanation, and an apology, for the Nathan Brown debacle that has cost them their 2019 season and another year of disappointment that’s worse than when they won three wooden spoons because of the hope they held for better days ahead. Somehow, Newcastle can still make the finals but that hope just seems cruel on their supporters.

Already gone:
13 New Zealand
14 St George Illawarra
15 North Queensland
16 Gold Coast Titans
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NRL Player
Sunshine Coast

NRL finals countdown: Best and worst-case scenarios for all 16 teams

Alicia Newton
Tue 27 Aug 2019, 07:01 AM

Heading into the penultimate round of the 2019 NRL Telstra Premiership six teams are locked in for the finals and three are out of the race with seven sides still in the equation to fill seventh and eighth spot. Stats has crunched the numbers to determine the best and worst-case scenarios for all clubs. Only one team, last-placed Gold Coast, cannot change its position on the ladder in the final fortnight.

Six clubs are officially locked in after their performances in round 23 - the other teams in the top eight, Cronulla and Brisbane, still need to win at least one of their remaining two games to book a playoff berth.

The Sharks could rise as high as sixth if they beat Canberra and Wests Tigers and the Eels lose to Brisbane and Manly. The Knights, Panthers, Bulldogs, Warriors and Wests Tigers remain in the mix but will need help with other results going their way. Manly are continuing to defy the odds after being handed the toughest run home to surge into the top four with clashes against the Storm and Eels next in their way. Melbourne and the Roosters have all but locked in first and second spot on the ladder respectively unless either drops both their final two matches. The Raiders, Sea Eagles, Rabbitohs and Eels remain in the top-four hunt.

The Titans have officially locked in the 2019 wooden spoon after the Cowboys beat Penrith in round 23.

The finals equation

Melbourne Storm (1st, 38 points)
Best finish: 1st
Worst finish: 2nd
Run home: Sea Eagles, Cowboys
The win over the Titans has locked in a top-two spot. A further victory against either the Sea Eagles or Cowboys in the final two rounds will see the Storm secure the minor premiership for the third time in four years.

Sydney Roosters (2nd, 34 points)
Best finish: 1st
Worst finish: 5th
Run home: Panthers, Rabbitohs
The defending premiers are cruising with clashes against the Panthers and Rabbitohs to come. They can still take out the minor premiership if the Storm drop their final two games, a scenario that seems unlikely. If the Roosters stumble in the final fortnight they can slip as low as fifth.

Canberra Raiders (3rd, 30 points)
Best finish: 2nd
Worst finish: 6th
Run home: Sharks, Warriors
The Raiders' narrow loss to the Sea Eagles puts a dent in their top-two aspirations and sends them back into a bit of a log-jam. The Green Machine are now in a similar boat to the Sea Eagles and Rabbitohs, pushing for a top-four berth.They could effectively get back on track, and deliver a blow to the Sharks' hopes in the process, with a win this weekend in the Shire.

Manly Sea Eagles (4th, 30 points)
Best finish: 2nd
Worst finish: 6th
Run home: Storm, Eels
All hail Des Hasler as the impressive 2019 season gets even better for the Northern Beaches boys as they officially lock in a finals berth.
A tough draw to finish has been made to look easy by Hasler's men and their latest win over the Raiders leaves them within reach of a top-two spot – albeit the Roosters would have to drop their final two games in the process.

South Sydney Rabbitohs (5th, 30 points)
Best finish: 2nd
Worst finish: 6th
Run home: Warriors, Roosters
The Bunnies returned to the winner's list against the Broncos and with that they're back on track to focus on a top-four finish after slipping out in recent weeks. They can finish second at best, provided the Roosters drop their final two matches. At worst they can host a sudden-death finals clash at ANZ Stadium.

Parramatta Eels (6th, 28 points)
Best finish: 3rd
Worst finish: 7th
Run home: Broncos, Sea Eagles
A shock loss to the Bulldogs ended the Eels' top-two aspirations but the top four remains a focus. Parramatta are officially locked into the finals after last year's wooden spoon finish but it's up to them how far they climb. A third-place finish could see them play the Sydney Roosters in week one of the finals. At worst they'll host a sudden-death final at Bankwest Stadium.

Cronulla Sharks (7th, 24 points)
Best finish: 6th
Worst finish: 12th
Run home: Raiders, Wests Tigers
Cronulla did their for-and-against a big favour following their win over the Warriors, which gives them enough to push for a home final if they can win their next two games and jag sixth spot. That quest can be denied quickly if the Eels win at least one of their final two matches. A loss to either the Raiders or Wests Tigers will leave the Sharks vulnerable.

Brisbane Broncos (8th, 23 points)
Best finish: 7th
Worst finish: 13
Run home: Eels, Bulldogs
A loss to the Rabbitohs last week means the highest the Broncos can finish in 2019 is now seventh spot if they win their remaining two games against the Eels and Bulldogs. Anything less than that can see Anthony Seibold's men slip as far as 13th spot with rival clubs breathing down their neck.

Wests Tigers (9th, 22 points)
Best finish: 7th
Worst finish: 15th
Run home: Dragons, Sharks
The dream of a first finals berth since 2011 is still alive. If they can beat the Dragons at the SCG on Sunday it will set up a do-or-die final round against the Sharks at Leichhardt Oval a week later – a marketer's dream.

Penrith Panthers (10th, 22 points)
Best finish: 7th
Worst finish: 14th
Run home: Roosters, Knights
Two tricky games to finish the season including defending premiers Sydney Roosters on Saturday night. Put simply they'll need to win both by solid margins to play finals footy in 2019.

Newcastle Knights (11th, 20 points)
Best finish: 7th
Worst finish: 15th
Run home: Titans, Panthers
The Knights are mathematically alive in the finals race but their chances were dealt a hammer blow by the 46-4 loss to Wests Tigers last week. They'll need to do a big job on the Titans in their final home game before a similar performance against the Panthers in Penrith.

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs (12th, 20 points)
Best finish: 8th
Worst finish: 15th
Run home: Cowboys, Broncos
The unlikely finals dream lives on but, given other results in round 23, the highest Canterbury can now finish is eighth spot (down from seventh last week) despite their upset win over the Eels.
The club is daring to dream too, giving fans a rundown of what other results need to go their way.

New Zealand Warriors (13th, 19 points)
Best finish: 8th
Worst finish: 15th
Run home: Rabbitohs, Raiders
The Warriors remain a mathematical chance for an eighth-place finish but will need several results to go their way while beating the Rabbitohs and Raiders over the next fortnight by big margins.

North Queensland Cowboys (14th, 18 points)
Best finish: 9th
Worst finish: 15th
Run home: Bulldogs, Storm
The Cowboys have avoided the dreaded wooden spoon after beating the Panthers in round 23 in a much-needed boost for Paul Green's men.

St George Illawarra Dragons (15th, 16 points)
Best finish: 11th
Worst finish: 15th
Run home: Wests Tigers, Titans
A tough loss against the Roosters saw the Dragons slip a further place to 15th but the Titans' loss to Melbourne ensured the Red V avoid the ignominy of a first ever wooden spoon as a joint venture. A round 25 clash against the Titans will not be one for the ages.

Gold Coast Titans (16th, 10 points)
Best finish:
Worst finish: 16th
Run home: Knights, Dragons
The dreaded wooden spoon is locked in for the Titans after they suffered their ninth consecutive loss last weekend. It's the fifth time in the past six years that the Titans have finished in the bottom three.
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International Rep
lolz at the Titans. I know our season has being relatively disappointing but **** me they are bad. Best case scenario is the spoon lol.
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NRL Player
Sunshine Coast
lolz at the Titans. I know our season has being relatively disappointing but **** me they are bad. Best case scenario is the spoon lol.
Yep. How might it look now if this had happened?

1. Wayne went to the Titans
2. Kevvie got a one year contract at the Broncos
3. Seibold stayed out his contract at Souths


NRL Player
lolz at the Titans. I know our season has being relatively disappointing but **** me they are bad. Best case scenario is the spoon lol.
Where's Gordie.. I think his ambassadorial role is deflecting attention away from the GC.

Also lolz should be handed out to big Mal who tipped his beloved titans to win the premiership this yeah 😳😳😳


State of Origin Rep
I'd like to laugh but the fact is they beat us convincingly. That win would come in handy right about now.

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