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Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Box Seat

Tonight the Cowboys travel to the Nations Capital, home of the hung parliament, to play the Canberra Raiders in a huge game for the last spot of the top 8. If the Raiders win, they take the box seat for eighth spot, by jumping Souths, and Brisbane. If they lose, it sets up a huge last round of fixture. Currently they look like this.
  •  8th - Souths 26 points (+31)
  • 9th Brisbane 26 points (-25)
  • 10th Canberra 26 points (-40)
  • 11th Newcastle 24 points (-32)
  • 12th Parramatta 24 points (-64)
Effectively, you can count the Eels out. Even with a win next week, their points for and against differential of -64, prohibits them from figuring. As mentioned the Raiders play the Cowboys at home, and the Knights face off against the Dragons, both games tonight.

If the Raiders win, they are in the box seat as they face Brisbane next week, a contender that is now sitting squarely on their knees. The Knights if they win against the Dragons also come into the picture, especially if the Raiders lose tonight.

The big games next week, are the Broncos v Raiders game at Suncorp on Friday night. This is THE game in my eyes to determine eighth spot. However of some substance will be the Rabbits v Dragons game, especially if the Raiders lose tonight.  Adding some interest will be the fate of the Roosters (+28) and Manly (=57), who both sit on 28 points, just two clear of the mess. Their game tonight places one of these teams in the clear and places the other on a knife edge. Both have easy games next weekend, Cowboys and Bulldogs and you would have to presume are safe.

Ivan Henjak will go down as the coach of the first Brisbane side to miss the finals in 19 years, or something amazing like that. While Henjak will be the focus, the strategies of the football operations team must surely be the question, as the Broncos miss forward grunt, and all their big name signings of recent years have been overpriced backs.

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