Run and won – the NRL title race

THE CLOSEST GAME OF ALL?

With one-third of the season completed, this year’s NRL premiership shapes as one of the most tightly contested in memory. But history tells us that after eight rounds the divide between contenders and pretenders has all but been created.

Here is what has happened over the last five seasons:

AFTER ROUND EIGHT OVERALL (2010-2014)

– At least six teams in the top eight eventually made the finals in each season.

– Only three of a possible 20 top-four teams missed the finals.

– The lowest a team has climbed from is 13th (Canberra in 2012)

– Only one team from the bottom four recovered to make the finals.

2014

– Six of the top eight teams after eight rounds qualified for the finals.

– The final two spots went to the Storm and Cowboys, who were 10th and 12th respectively.

– Two of the top four sides – the Titans and the Tigers – missed the finals completely.

– None of the bottom four teams made the finals.

2013

– Six of the top eight teams after eight rounds qualified for the finals.

– The final two playoff spots went to the Bulldogs and Sharks, who were 10th and 11th respectively.

– The top four remained the same.

– None of the bottom five teams after round eight made the finals.

2012

– Six of the top eight teams after eight rounds qualified for the finals.

– The final two spots went to the Rabbitohs and Raiders, who were ninth and 13th respectively.

– One team from the top four, the Dragons, missed the finals completely.

– The bottom three teams after round eight missed the finals.

2011

– Seven teams in the top eight after round eight made the finals.

– The final spot went to the Warriors, who were ninth.

– No team in the top four after eight rounds missed the finals.

– None of the bottom four teams made the finals.

2010

– Six teams in the top eight after round eight qualified for the finals.

– The final two spots went to the Warriors and Sharks, who were 10th and 12th respectively.

– No team in the top four after round eight missed the finals.

– None of the bottom four teams made the finals

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