Given that round 7 didn’t finish until Monday night, I couldn’t get the updated projections out until they’d actually finished playing. Being Tuesday, we’ll skip the updated ratings post and will do the same again next week when the projections update will come out Tuesday night after the ANZAC Day games.
This week though, we see the impact of wins that Euclid loves and wins that Euclid doesn’t rate. The Dragons’ and Broncos’ wins were too close for Euclid with 2 and 6 point wins for what were heavily backed favourites. In contrast, the Sharks’ dismantling, sloppy though it may have been, of the Panthers was well received by Euclid. The Dragons lost 30 rating points of their projected end of season rating, Brisbane lost nearly 50 and Cronulla gained 60. Big moves that were mirrored in their opponents’ ratings and consequently, their projected results.
Round 7 Results
Canterbury 24 (4-3) d South Sydney 9 (3-4)
Sydney 24 (5-2) d Newcastle 6 (1-6)
Brisbane 24 (4-3) d Gold Coast 22 (1-6)
Melbourne 30 (6-1) d Manly 26 (3-4)
Canberra 20 (4-3) d New Zealand 8 (3-4)
St George Illawarra 28 (6-1) d North Queensland 22 (4-3)
Cronulla 28 (5-2) d Penrith 2 (2-5)
Parramatta 26 (3-4) d Wests Tigers 22 (2-5)
[Home team in italics]
There’s a bit of disagreement between the Stocky and Pythagoras over the Warriors – two wins difference. The Warriors concede a lot of points, so Pythagoras is taking their relatively poor defensive effort into account. I’m not sure where the 11 wins that the Stocky is forecasting will come from. I see them not as wooden spoon contenders but not making the finals either.
Manly also has a 2.4 win difference. The Stocky really just does not like the Sea Eagles until they start putting down some consistent wins. Until then, on the bubble of the finals they will sit.
There’s really nothing in it for the top three at the moment. A couple of tight-ish wins for Melbourne has let their for-and-against slip so Pythagoras rates them lower than Cronulla or St George. Those three plus Canberra are the top teams at the moment.
I’m not convinced that Brisbane can stay in fifth if they can’t start throwing down solid wins like they did against the Roosters. Then again, it’s hard to see the Bulldogs, Sea Eagles, Panthers or a Thurston-less Cowboys can get in front of them.
From about 11th down looks about right, although I personally would probably place the Rabbitohs and Cowboys above the Panthers (you know where the current ladder has them). Newcastle and Gold Coast are going to have to get into gear if they even want to meet the low number of projected wins from a 1-6 start to the year.
After the Titans managed to give the Broncos a scare, their chances have halved while Newcastle’s, as a result of yet another solid loss at the hands of the Roosters, are the favourites at 43% after only seven rounds of play. In this case, the system has given Gold Coast a higher rating despite losing because if they can give Brisbane a run for their money, they should be able to account for lower rated teams, like Wests and Parramatta.
Melbourne, despite sitting in third place in the Collated Ladder, are just edging out Cronulla and St George Illawarra as favourites for the minor premiership. SGI have some tough fixtures coming up, including both Melbourne and Cronulla, that should sort out the contenders and the pretenders. If they can turn on how they played for the first half against the Cowboys for a full 80 minutes, they’re a chance.