POSSIBLE FINALS FINISHES FOR THE NRL WITH ONE ROUND TO PLAY:
SYDNEY ROOSTERS (1st, 38points, +261) to come – Souths (home)
A win over arch-rivals South Sydney on Friday night will deliver the Roosters their third successive minor premiership. If Brisbane beat Melbourne and the Roosters lose, the Tricolours will slip to second.
BRISBANE (2nd, 38pts +202) – Melbourne (h)
Like the Roosters, Brisbane are all but assured of a top two finish due to North Queensland’s far inferior for-and-against record. Brisbane need to beat the Storm on Thursday and hope for a Roosters’ loss on Friday to claim their first minor premiership since 2000.
NORTH QUEENSLAND (3rd, 36pts, +103) – Gold Coast (h)
Assured of a top four spot. Will play either the Roosters or Broncos away in week one of the finals. Only a Roosters or Broncos loss and a massive, unprecedented shift in for-and-against their way can give them a home final in week one of the playoffs.
CRONULLA (4th, 32pts, -5) – Manly (h)
A win over Manly will hand the Sharks fourth spot. If Cronulla lose and Melbourne, Canterbury (who host the Warriors) and South Sydney all record wins, they can fall as far as seventh.
MELBOURNE (5th, 30pts, +112) – Brisbane (a)
Need a win over Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium and a Sharks loss to finish fourth. Storm can fall as low as seventh if they lose to the Broncos and both the Bulldogs and Rabbitohs win.
CANTERBURY (6th, 30pts, +38) – Warriors (h)
Can move all the way up to fourth if they defeat the Warriors, and Souths, Cronulla and Melbourne lose. Will fall to seventh if they lose to the Warriors and Souths and Melbourne both win.
SOUTH SYDNEY (7th, 30pts, +28) – Roosters (h)
If Souths beat the Roosters and the Bulldogs, Storm and Sharks all lose they can move to fourth. If they lose to the Roosters, they will finish seventh because the Dragons can’t leapfrog them even with a win.
ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA (8th, 26pts, +25) – Tigers (h)
A win over the Tigers will earn them the final spot in the eight. A heavy loss and a big win by Manly over Cronulla and the Sea Eagles will take eighth spot instead.
MANLY (9th 24pts, -36) – Cronulla (a)
Have to hope the Dragons cop a hammering from the Tigers and then they need to do likewise to Cronulla to jump up into eighth spot.