I’m running a bit short on time this week, so I’ll dispense with the usual round up of matches and dive straight into it.
Actually, I’ll take one moment to say that I watched five of the eight games on the weekend (missed the Saturday fixtures) and the Souths-Saints game was the best of the lot. It might be because my expectations were so low but that was a hell of a finish from the Bunnies.
Round 22 Results
Parramatta 20 (13-7) d Canterbury 4 (7-13)
South Sydney 26 (7-13) d St George Illawarra 24 (10-10)
Melbourne 26 (15-5) d North Queensland 8 (12-8)
Newcastle 26 (4-16) d New Zealand 10 (7-13)
Brisbane 54 (13-7) d Gold Coast 0 (7-13)
Canberra 30 (9-11) d Cronulla 12 (13-7)
Manly 36 (12-8) d Sydney City 18 (14-6)
Penrith 28 (11-9) d Wests Tigers 14 (5-15)
Now to look ahead to see what the Collated Ladder has predicted for the final standings of the season.
No surprises on the top 4 this week because it’s basically the same as last week. I’d be very surprised if we finished with any other teams occupying the top four places.
Penrith have sidled up to fifth place with their superior Pythagoras elevating them above North Queensland and Parramatta. The Eels and Cowboys are the higher rated of the teams, although the latter has a tough run to the finals and so will probably slip down the standings. If Parra’s run of form continues, they’ll probably slide into fifth.
Manly are just hanging on to eighth after battering Easts. One or two more results like that will effectively be stepping on the fingertips of a Dragons/Raiders (delete as per personal biases) outfit grimly hanging on to a ledge.
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.
With Sydney and Cronulla losing, Melbourne are nearly there to the 2017 minor premiership. This weekend’s game between the Storm and Roosters should finalise it if Melbourne win and I can’t see how that wouldn’t be the case.
The finalists are almost locked in. Only Manly and Penrith are less than 100% at 94% and 99% respectively. The other six – Brisbane, Cronulla, Melbourne, North Queensland, Parramatta and Sydney City – are certainties. The Dragons and Raiders have been ejected. I’ve included them on the finalists graph so you can see their terrifying descent into mediocrity.
Newcastle have won two in a row and it’s not enough to free them from the wooden spoon. The Stocky isn’t giving the Knights much of a chance. They only need to win two more games than the Tigers out of the remaining four. Given they’ve only won five in the last two years, that seems steep, but then two have come in two weeks.
We’re getting closer to the end of the season and the clubs are shaping into two camps of who will and who will not be there in September. The Stocky has been modified to run it’s magic on the finals series for two scenarios:
- Inputs based on today’s ratings for the top eight based on today’s ladder positions
- Inputs based on the Stocky’s projected end of season rating and the Collated Ladder’s top eight
The below table shows the likelihood of each team reaching a given round of the finals based on these scenarios. Teams with a line through them have a slim-to-no chance in either scenario of finishing in the top eight, let alone featuring as more than elimination final speedbumps.
The most likely scenario for each team, although not the most likely outcome of each game, is highlighted in green and the premiership favourites are highlighted in yellow.
Copy + paste what I wrote last week.
That’s not an editorial note left over. It’s just true. Melbourne’s odds as premiership winners are increasing each week. They’re now just shy of 50-50 with literally any other team. Brisbane – as Andrew Johns astutely pointed out – is a bit of a dark horse, with a decent chance of having a shot at losing the grand final to the Storm. The story for the rest of the finalists is that Manly and North Queensland are looking good to be ejected by Parramatta and Penrith in the elimination finals. The Eels and Panthers will likely go on to take care of the Roosters and Sharks in the semis before going down to the Broncos and Storm in the preliminary finals. If Parra or Penrith make it to the grand final, it’s 50-50 for them to win the game based on current form.
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.