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finals time

It’s finals time and I think there are 5 teams who can win this year’s GF. I hope this becomes obvious below, the first 2 games are 50/50 will the other 2 are more clear cut:

Manly/Dogs: I am going with Manly as the form team coming into the finals.
Storm/Souths: I am going with Storm although not with a lot of confidence. Funnily enough, neither Manly nor the Storm will appreciate the week off – Manly are the form team and want to maintain their groove. The Storm are struggling to impose themselves and need game time to get into their groove. Dogs & Souths will be the better for a reversal.

Cowboys/Broncos: the Cowboys are the other form team and will be expected to dispatch the Broncos without too much difficulty
Canberra/Cronulla: Canberra want to win but they don’t really excite me. Cronulla are becoming chokers. Canberra to sneak this one

I am not sure the match ups this produces for week 2 although I don’t see the Raiders troubling either Souths or the Bulldogs. The Cowboys on the other hand will be a handful for whoever they play.

I’ll leave it at that for predictions other than:

Bulldogs – have they come too far too soon with Des? Will they be “up for" finals football?
Storm – contain a number of old lags from their previous finals campaigns but they are not clicking at the moment
Souths - have they come too far too soon with MacGuire? Will they be “up for" finals football?
Manly – contain a number of old lags from LAST YEAR’S finals campaign and they are clicking at the moment
Cowboys – have been a work in progress for some years now so is this the year?
Cronulla – a good team is in place so this year’s experience will come in handy next year

posted on 5/9/12

I have said for a couple of months that its the Canterbury Bulldogs, with Melbourne the big danger.

posted on 6/9/12

The winner of the Canberra/Sharks game goes on to play the loser of the Storm/Souths match.

The winner of the Brisbane/NthQ game goes on to play the loser of the Dog's/Manly match.

I'm going for South's and Manly to get the week off in the 2nd week....with Raiders and Nth'Q to progress.
Albeit there will more then likely only be 1 try in it in each game........love this time of the year...cheers..

posted on 10/9/12

And then there were 6: Manly tried the rough stuff on the Dogs with no success. Canterbury have “favourites” stamped all over them. Souths suffered from stage fright and were 18-0 down before they remembered their lines. The Dogs and Storm get a week off. This is especially welcome for Gareth Widdop who had big Dave Taylor running at him all night. And Canterbury in general after a bruising encounter.

As expected the Cowboys were too much for Brisbane. Canberra dispatched fading Cronulla without too much trouble.

So next weekend Manly “host” the Cowboys. But not at fortress Brookvale as the NRL have shifted the fixture to the Sydney Football Stadium. No home ground advantage for Manly and they have to back up from Friday night’s biffathon. Blimey, Centrebet have the Cowboys as favourites – there you go!

Souths are all over the place and need to calm down. If they do they can deal with Canberra. Both teams can score points from anywhere on the park. Both teams can make far too many errors.

Based on the evidence of the weekend Canterbury are strong favourites. I think they play the winners of the Souths-Canberra game and will blow away either of those teams. On the other side of the draw you have Manly/North Qld/Melbourne who are a lot closer. Melbourne will be hoping the other 2 batter each other into submission on Friday night prior to their trip down to Melbourne the week after.

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