If The Finals Were Played This Weekend, This Is What It Would Look Like

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If The Finals Were Played This Weekend, This Is What It Would Look Like

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19 rounds are done. Every team has had their byes, so it’s a level playing field. And a lot of fans reckon we can almost lock-in the Top 8.

So if the finals were played this weekend, this is what it would look like:

Storm vs Broncos
Roosters vs Sea Eagles
Sharks vs Dragons
Cowboys vs Eels

Melbourne are on top of the table and are so far ahead on 'for and against', you have to overtake them on wins to take their spot.

The Roosters are second and there's a four-way tie on third with Manly, Brisbane, Cronulla and Cowboys.

Then you’ve got Parramatta and St George Illawarra. Listen to the full audio below from the 6-minute mark.

THE RUN HOME FOR THE NRL'S FINALS CONTENDERS

MELBOURNE

* Position: 1st

* Run home: Canberra (a), Manly (h), North Queensland (a), Sydney Roosters (h), Newcastle (a), South Sydney (h), Canberra (h).

* Major injuries: Cheyse Blair (ankle - season).

Rarely been better placed heading into the final rounds. Have their Queensland Origin leaders well rested after giving them time off during the representative period.

* Predicted finish: 1st

SYDNEY ROOSTERS

* Position: 2nd

* Run home: Newcastle (h), North Queensland (h), Manly (a), Melbourne (a), Wests Tigers (h), Cronulla (a), Gold Coast (h).

* Major injuries: Jake Friend (hand - 3 weeks), Michael Gordon (pectoral - 7 weeks).

Need Mitchell Pearce and Boyd Cordner to overcome their Origin blues quickly as they face most of the other top contenders. Are 3-3 against top-six teams.

* Predicted finish: 3rd

MANLY

* Position: 3rd

* Run home: St George Illawarra (a), Melbourne (a), Sydney Roosters (h), Wests Tigers (a), Canterbury (a), Warriors (a), Penrith (h).

* Major injuries: Jorge Taufua (knee - season), Curtis Sironen (pectoral - 6 weeks).

A soft final month means if Daly Cherry-Evans continues to fire there are no reasons why they can't push for a surprise top-four berth.

* Predicted finish: 4th

BRISBANE

* Position: 4th

* Run home: Canterbury (h), Parramatta (a), Gold Coast (a), Cronulla (h), St George Illawarra (h), Parramatta (h), North Queensland (a).

* Major injuries: Nil.

Will sweat on the fitness of Anthony Milford and Darius Boyd over the final two months. If they can get back to their best, Brisbane would fancy themselves to make top four with a soft draw.

* Predicted finish: 2nd

CRONULLA

* Position: 5th

* Run home: South Sydney (h), Warriors (a), Raiders (h), Brisbane (a), North Queensland (a), Sydney Roosters (h), Newcastle (a).

* Major injuries: Jayden Brailey (jaw - 2 weeks).

Have the arsenal to defend their title if they play at their best, but patchy form and a tough draw could see them battle to fight back into the top four.

* Predicted finish: 5th

NORTH QUEENSLAND

* Position: 6th

* Run home: Warriors (h), Sydney Roosters (a), Melbourne (h), Penrith (a), Cronulla (h), Wests Tigers (a), Brisbane (h).

* Major injuries: Johnathan Thurston (shoulder - season), Matt Scott (knee - season).

Michael Morgan needs his biggest two months to reach the top four. Have won three straight since Johnathan Thurston was ruled out for the season, but real test will come against four top-six teams.

* Predicted finish: 6th

PARRAMATTA

* Position: 7th

* Run home: Wests Tigers (a), Brisbane (h), Canterbury (a), Newcastle (h), Gold Coast (h), Brisbane (a), South Sydney (h).

* Major injuries: Kaysa Pritchard (knee - season), Beau Scott (biceps - season).

The Eels are charging with fullback Clint Gutherson the surprise star. As well, six of their seven games in the run home are at ANZ Stadium.

* Predicted finish: 7th

ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA

* Position: 8th

* Run home: Manly (h), Newcastle (a), South Sydney (h), Gold Coast (h), Brisbane (a), Penrith (a), Canterbury (h).

* Major injuries: Nil.

Need to get back to dominating the middle to keep top-eight spot. Most at risk of slipping out of the finals, but three wins should be enough with a good for-and-against.

* Predicted finish: 8th

PENRITH

* Position: 9th

* Run home: Gold Coast (h), Canterbury (h), Wests Tigers (h), North Queensland (h), Canberra (a), St George Illawarra (h), Manly (a).

* Major injuries: Bryce Cartwright (knee - indefinite), Dean Whare (jaw - 3 weeks), Matt Moylan (hamstring - indefinite).

Hope to have re-found their momentum with wins over Warriors and Manly after a difficult month. Struggling with injuries in key positions.

* Predicted finish: 9th

CANBERRA

*Position: 10th

* Run home: Melbourne (h), South Sydney (a), Cronulla (a), Warriors (a), Penrith (h), Newcastle (h), Melbourne (a).

* Major injuries: Nil.

Toughest run home and will need more strong efforts from halves Aidan Sezer and Blake Austin if they're to make their customary late run.

* Predicted finish: 11th

WARRIORS

* Position: 11th

* Run home: North Queensland (a), Cronulla (h), Newcastle (a), Canberra (h), South Sydney (a), Manly (h), Wests Tigers (a).

* Major injuries: Ryan Hoffman (ankle - 4 weeks), Shaun Johnson (knee - indefinite).

Despite their New Zealand Test spine, they're already showing signs of another end-of-season crash and burn.

* Predicted finish: 10th

GOLD COAST

* Position: 12th

* Run home: Penrith (a), Wests Tigers (h), Brisbane (h), St George Illawarra (a), Parramatta (a), Canterbury (h), Sydney Roosters (a).

* Major injuries: Kane Elgey (sternum - indefinite), Chris Grevsmuhl (shoulder - indefinite), Ryan Simpkins (knee - season).

Showed their class against Cronulla, but have been battered by injuries and are next to no hope of making a late run.

* Predicted finish: 12th

CANTERBURY

* Position: 13th

* Run home: Brisbane (a), Penrith (a), Parramatta (h), South Sydney (a), Manly (h), Gold Coast (a), St George Illawarra (a).

* Major injuries: James Graham (neck - 1 week).

Won three of their last 10 to be big disappointments. If it weren't for a few victories which papered over the cracks, coach Des Hasler would be under pressure.

* Predicted finish: 13th

OUT OF CONTENTION: South Sydney, Wests Tigers and Newcastle.

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