With only four rounds remaining in the 2022 NRL season, we take a look at the teams still in with a shot at playing finals, their run home and our prediction on where they will finish.
Current Position: 1
Current Points: 38
For and against differential: 314
Games remaining: Storm (H), Rabbitohs (A), Warriors (H), Cowboys (A)
Predicted finish: Minor Premiers
Verdict: The Panthers have a tough run home, especially with halfback Nathan Cleary out of the picture until the finals through suspension. They do enjoy a hefty lead at the top of the ladder and a massive for and against differential, and only need to win one of these games to lock up the Minor Premiership.
North Queensland Cowboys
Current Position: 2
Current Points: 32
For and against differential: 222
Games remaining: Roosters (A), Warriors (H), Rabbitohs (A), Panthers (H)
Predicted finish: Third
Verdict: The Cowboys face a torrid run to the finals, which is exactly what they need if they are going to be ready for a shot at the premiership. They are only two points clear of the Sharks, with the Storm and Eels a further game back, so there is the potential for the Cowboys to drop out of the vital Top 4. It could come down to their Round 25 showdown with Penrith, with the Panthers possibly resting players ahead of the finals.
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks
Current Position: 3
Current Points: 30
For and against differential: 113
Games remaining: Tigers (A), Sea Eagles (A), Bulldogs (H), Knights (A)
Predicted finish: Second
Verdict: In contrast to the Cowboys, the Sharks have a relatively easy run to the finals, with only the Sea Eagles to provide a realistic challenge. They should take all eight points and move past the Cowboys into second position on the ladder, as long as they remain injury free.
Current Position: 4
Current Points: 28
For and against differential: 195
Games remaining: Panthers (A), Broncos (A), Roosters (H), Eels (A)
Predicted finish: Fifth
Verdict: The Storm have one of the toughest runs to the finals of any team and have been in some ordinary form of late as well. If they lose all four and the Raiders win their four, relatively easier games, the Storm could even miss the finals. Coach Craig Bellamy has prepared his team for too many finals campaigns to let his team slip, but a Top 4 finish looks in doubt.
Current Position: 5
Current Points: 28
For and against differential: 54
Games remaining: Rabbitohs (H), Bulldogs (H), Broncos (A), Storm (H)
Predicted finish: Fourth
Verdict: The Eels don't have an easy run home, particularly considering the Bulldogs belted them last time they met. They need Mitchell Moses back from injury and firing, and they need to find their best form, as anything less could see them wind up wasting another promising season.
South Sydney Rabbitohs
Current Position: 6
Current Points: 26
For and against differential: 108
Games remaining: Eels (A), Panthers (H), Cowboys (H), Roosters (A)
Predicted finish: Eighth
Verdict: If the Storm think they have a tough run home, the Rabbitohs have requested that someone hold their beer. The Bunnies are finding the right form at the right part for the year, but this run will really test their credentials. If things really go pear shaped they too could miss the finals.
Current Position: 7
Current Points: 26
For and against differential: 51
Games remaining: Knights (H), Storm (H), Eels (H), Dragons (A)
Predicted finish: Sixth
Verdict: The Broncos have a couple of relatively easy games on their run home, but they have shown an alarming drop in form lately and will need to turn things around. If they do, they should move up the ladder to safely secure a spot in the finals.
Current Position: 8
Current Points: 24
For and against differential: 107
Games remaining: Cowboys (H), Tigers (A), Storm (A), Rabbitohs (H)
Predicted finish: Seventh
Verdict: The Roosters have some challenges ahead of them as well, starting with the Cowboys and finishing against the Rabbitohs at the opening of the new Allianz Stadium. That final game could mean so much to both teams and will provide the perfect drama for the big occasion.
Current Position: 9
Current Points: 22
For and against differential: -33
Games remaining: Dragons (H), Knights (A), Sea Eagles (H), Tigers (A)
Predicted finish: Ninth
Verdict: The Raiders have to win just about everything and hope for other results to go their way to sneak into the finals. They should be capable of winning every one of their remaining games, but it won't take much for one of these teams to topple the Green Machine and end their chances. They also have the Ricky Stuart saga to navigate.
Manly Sea Eagles
Current Position: 10
Current Points: 20
For and against differential: -8
Games remaining: Titans (A), Sharks (H), Raiders (A), Bulldogs (A)
Predicted finish: Tenth
Verdict: The Sea Eagles are an unpredictable group who need to start winning if they are to have any shot at the finals. They face four winnable games, starting with the Titans; the Sharks could end their season the following week, though.
St George Illawarra Dragons
Current Position: 11
Current Points: 20
For and against differential: -130
Games remaining: Raiders (A), Titans (H), Tigers (A), Broncos (H)
Predicted finish: Eleventh
Verdict: The Dragons remain as much a mathematical chance of scraping into the finals as the Sea Eagles, only they have a horrendous differential. They could conceivably win all four remaining games, but would need other results to go their way and on current form they are likely to drop a couple of these.
All odds correct at time of publication. Check tab.com.au for the latest.