A surprisingly high quality round of games. I think we all expected the Sharks to monster the Tigers and the Rabbitohs-Titans and the Eels-Dragons games to be yawnfests. That couldn’t have been further from the truth. The Gold Coast and Wests stormed out to early leads in their respective games. The better team overwhelmed them eventually with the lead gained at 50′ for Souths and, even for the comeback kings leaving it very late, 78′ for Cronulla.
Melbourne and North Queensland fought an excellent battle with a mix of experienced NRL hands and Intrust Super Cup replacement players in a testimony to how good Queensland football can be if we could just shut up about Origin for five bloody minutes. Some future household names will have played in that game.
Parramatta surprised me and a few others by getting an early lead and then never letting St George Illawarra back into the match. They pounced on their opponent’s mistakes like a team playing to the level of Clint Gutherson, which is in stark contrast to their heel-dragging of the last fourteen rounds, making Gutho stand out. I even saw Mitchell Moses make a couple of try line tackles.
Round 15 Results
South Sydney 36 (5-9) d Gold Coast 20 (4-10)
Melbourne 23 (12-2) d North Queensland 22 (8-6)
Cronulla 24 (10-4) d Wests Tigers 22 (3-11)
Parramatta 24 (8-7) d St George Illawarra 10 (8-6)
Now to look ahead to see what the Collated Ladder has predicted for the final standings of the season.
The Stocky has gotten its act together this week and really re-rated the teams. It might be that there’s not that many games left and every team has had at least one bye. But we’re off to the races now: Melbourne has 20.2 wins on the Stocky and 19 on the Collated Ladder. The Storm are now three wins clear of the pack, which instinctively feels right.
The Sharks, Roosters and Broncos make up the top four, which again instinctively feels right, based on what we’ve seen. Meanwhile, the Dragons have dropped right down below the Sea Eagles, with the Panthers and Cowboys chasing. Parramatta will keep them honest if their worryingly good performance against Saints is anything to go by but the Ladder is expecting them to just fall short. The bottom four are largely who we would expect to find there and in the positions we would expect.
The Stocky can give us the probability of specific season outcomes so you can see how your team is tracking to win the minor premiership, make the finals or avoid the wooden spoon.
Melbourne remain way out in front. With the Stocky starting to put various genitals on the block, here’s a list of teams that have zero zero chance of winning the minor premiership: Canberra, Canterbury, Gold Coast, Newcastle, Souths and Wests. Parramatta, St George Illawarra and New Zealand are a combined 7 in 10,000 chance. The Storm and for some reason, the Roosters are a combined 90% chance of winning the minor premiership.
Newcastle remain way behind, even if they are technically off the bottom of the ladder this week. Here’s a list of teams that have zero zero chance of getting the wooden spoon: Brisbane, Cronulla, Manly, Melbourne, North Queensland and Sydney City. It’s really just a race between the Tigers and the Knights. Both were close but no cigar in their last games but there’s a long road ahead of them.
This table and graph shows the number of predicted wins this season for each club using the Stocky and Pythagorean expectation. The numbers should align to an extent but a significant mismatch can indicate a possible imminent change in performance.
The immediate outlook compares the projected wins from the Stocky and Pythag to approximately assess how each team might go in the foreseeable future. It assumes that the Stocky is more accurate than Pythagoras. If Stocky is higher than Pythag, more wins by bigger margins are in the offing. If the Pythag is higher, then more losses or narrow wins might be ahead. To be clear, this is very approximate and has not been tested.