NRL Projections Update – Round 26, 2017


brisbane-sm Brisbane 20 (16-8) d north qld-sm North Queensland 10 (13-11)

parramatta-sm Parramatta 22 (16-8) d souths-sm South Sydney 16 (9-15)

sydney city-sm Sydney City 20 (17-7) d gold coast titans-sm Gold Coast 16 (7-17)

manly-sm Manly 28 (14-10) d penrith-sm Penrith 12 (13-11)

melbourne-sm Melbourne 32 (20-4) d canberra-sm Canberra 6 (11-13)

cronulla-sm Cronulla 26 (15-9) d newcastle-sm Newcastle 18 (5-19)

canterbury-sm Canterbury 26 (10-14) d st george illawarra-sm St George Illawarra 20 (12-12)

wests tigers-sm Wests Tigers 28 (7-17) d warriors-sm New Zealand 16 (7-17)

Ladder Compare

Normally, we’d run through the Collated Ladder but this week, being the end of the regular season and the real ladder is far more accurate (being complete and all), I thought I’d compare the different systems to see how their rankings stack up:

rd26-2017-collated ladder.PNG

There’s not a bad level of agreement there, although Euclid has probably overreacted to the Raiders’ and Bulldogs’ most recent results. Obviously the Dragons’ and Panthers’ losses put a bit of a spanner in the works on the most recent edition of the Collated Ladder. The Collated Ladder positions post-rd 13 highlights just how far the Eels have come and how far from grace the Dragons fell. Newcastle fans can find some comfort in metrics which don’t place them at the bottom of the ladder but the Warriors should consider themselves lucky to have finished thirteenth.

Finals Matrix

The (normal) 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.

The below table shows the likelihood of each team being eliminated in a given round of the finals based on a modified, finals-specific Stocky. Teams with a line through them have already been eliminated.


Remember that the most likely outcome for each team is not necessarily the same as the most likely pathway. For example, of the seven non-Victorian teams, none have finishing runner-up as the most likely outcome and yet, one of them will be runners-up, assuming they can’t get Melbourne to choke in an unbelievably massive way.

On the Euclid rating system, the Storm have a rating of 1744, nearly 200 points clear of their nearest rivals in the Eels (1557) and Broncos (1552). That’s just ridiculous. For comparison, the Raiders were up by 100 points over the Storm at the end of last season and the Roosters led the Broncos by 90 in 2015. There were fewer than 50 points covering Melbourne, Sydney and Souths in 2014. There was no one rated over 1600 at the end of 2009.

Going back through, the 2017 Storm have the second highest ever end of season rating, behind the 2002 Roosters who finished on 1769. The current Storm are better than the 2001 Eels and the 2004 Bulldogs. Even then, the ’02 City side was 130 points ahead of the competition, not nearly 200. There’s no real comparable level of choke available for comparison if the Storm don’t win this. Here’s the closest analogs:

  • 2016 Raiders (1702 rating, 45 points clear of 2nd)
  • 2015 Roosters (1696 rating, 127 points clear of 2nd)
  • 2001 Eels (1689 rating, 87 points clear of 2nd)
  • The entire top 8 in 2005 that let the Tigers win (Tigers were rated 1491, 3 teams were 1600+ with 173 between the Dragons and the Tigers)

As a result, the odds of Melbourne winning the premiership are now around the $1.40 mark and that’s with three games still to win. You would’ve gotten similar odds for the Titans winning on Saturday as any of the other seven teams coming through to take the trophy.

The best hope of an upset lies with the Broncos and the Eels. Both will be hoping that they meet in the opposite preliminary final to Melbourne and that somehow, the Storm fail to win that game. There’s only about a 13% chance of the Storm not making the grand final but I think that’s the only way a premiership is going anywhere other than Victoria. The Sharks (due to a flattering rating and an unfavourable draw) and Roosters (due to a favourable draw and unflattering rating) are in the next tier with the Sea Eagles, Cowboys and Panthers almost non-existent.

I’ll have a more in-depth post later in the week (written with normies in mind) but for now:

Most Likely Pathway

  • Elimination – Cronulla d North Queensland; Manly d Penrith
  • Qualifying – Melbourne d Parramatta; Brisbane d Sydney
  • Semi – Parramatta d Cronulla; Manly d Sydney
  • Preliminary – Melbourne d Manly; Brisbane d Parramatta
  • Grand Final – Melbourne d Brisbane

Side note: Parramatta’s and Brisbane’s ratings are quite close at the moment but the win for Brisbane versus the loss-then-win for Parra moves the Broncos’ ratings up more and so makes them favourites for the preliminary final. We don’t consider home ground advantage in this analysis.