NRL Projections Update – Round 25, 2017
Parramatta 52 (15-8) d Brisbane 34 (15-8)
Canberra 46 (11-12) d Newcastle 28 (5-18)
North Queensland 22 (13-10) d Wests Tigers 14 (6-17)
Canterbury 26 (9-14) d Gold Coast 14 (7-16)
Melbourne 64 (19-4) d South Sydney 6 (9-14)
Sydney City 16 (16-7) d Cronulla 14 (14-9)
Manly 22 (13-10) d New Zealand 21 (7-16)
St George Illawarra 16 (12-11) d Penrith 14 (13-10)
Now to look ahead to see what the Collated Ladder has predicted for the final standings of the season.
The Collated Ladder is a bit useless now and I’m mostly just publishing it for completeness. For example, it strangely has both Brisbane and North Queensland losing their final round face-off, which is a relic of the way the ladder comes together. Look at the Stocky column for a better bet:
- 90% of a last win – Sydney
- 80% of a last win – Melbourne, Parra
- 70% of a last win – Penrith, St George
- Approx 50:50 – Brisbane/NQ and Cronulla/Newcastle
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.
I’m not going to the effort of posting the Matrix because what’s left to be decided is beyond the ability of the Stocky to sort out. Here’s how it breaks down:
- Melbourne are minor premiers (and staggeringly likely to win the major as well)
- Roosters are guaranteed a top 4 finish. They play the Titans at home so are overwhelmingly likely to finish second.
- The Broncos, Eels and Sharks are all likely to win their respective games and, barring handing out a hammering, stay in their current positions of third, fourth and fifth (respectively). Remember no NRL premier has finished the regular season outside the top four so that could put a line through Cronulla.
- Penrith, Manly, North Queensland and St George Illawarra are trying to score the last three finals spots. The Cowboys will probably lose to the Broncos. The Dragons will probably beat the Bulldogs (if they lose, that seals it for the other three, handing everyone else a 30% headstart). The Sea Eagles and Panthers play each other. The winner of the latter will be safe. Assuming the Dragons win, then it will come down to the two with the best differential which is currently the Dragons (+89), then Panthers (+61), Cowboys (+34) and then Sea Eagles (+24).
- Newcastle are wooden spooners, unless they can beat Cronulla by 50ish points and Wests lose to the Warriors which is being played at the unusual time of 6.30 on Sunday.
The below table shows the likelihood of each team reaching a given round of the finals based on a modified, finals-specific Stocky. Teams with a line through them have a slim-to-no chance of finishing in the top eight.
In the 5,000 simulations I run for these finals projections, in only 20 or so does Manly win the premiership. In about another 100, they lose the grand final. In the rest, they don’t even get that far. Assuming the Sea Eagles make the finals, we could almost put a line through them now based on their form.
That leaves six teams competing for a chance to lose the grand final to the Storm. In 63% of simulations, the Storm win the grand final. There is almost no chance of stopping them. Ridiculous.
Of the remainder, Parramatta have the best rating, coming off a big win over Brisbane. The Roosters and Broncos follow, with the Panthers bringing up the rear of pretenders to the throne, although their loss to the Dragons and soft draw is not encouraging.
For the record, the Dragons’ current rating is much better than the Sea Eagles’, marginally better than the Cowboy’s and not as good as the Panthers’. St George Illawarra making the top eight in lieu of Manly would change the calculus somewhat but they aren’t going to stop Melbourne.
Most Likely Pathway
- Elimination – Cronulla d Manly; Penrith d North Queensland
- Qualifying – Melbourne d Parramatta; Sydney d Brisbane
- Semi – Parramatta d Cronulla; Penrith d Brisbane
- Preliminary – Melbourne d Penrith; Parramatta d Sydney
- Grand Final – Melbourne d Parramatta