Former champions says Eels will make NRL finals series

Aladinsane

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**Former champions says Eels will make NRL finals series**
By Dean Ritchie

MIGHTY Parramatta, the team that has set alight the NRL with four successive victories, are ready to barnstorm into this year's Telstra Premiership finals along with rivals and neighbours Penrith.

The Daily Telegraph yesterday polled five former champion players to reveal which teams would finish in positions five through eight given St George Illawarra, the Bulldogs, Gold Coast and Melbourne have all but sealed top-four places.

Parramatta received four votes from the five, as did Manly, Penrith and North Queensland.

The panel of Glenn Lazarus, Steve Mortimer, Bradley Clyde, Paul Langmack and Terry Lamb, collectively, could not find room for Brisbane, Souths, Wests Tigers and Newcastle. The Tigers did, however, attract three votes. Souths and Newcastle were completely friendless.

Seven Sydney teams remain in contention for this year's NRL title.

But it was the Eels who were the shock finals choice, given the club is still in 11th place.

"Parramatta is playing with a lot of confidence and they have momentum," former Canberra, NSW and Australian back-rower Clyde said.

"Teams that have momentum use it well at this time of year.

"I think Parramatta has a good mixture of youth and experience and they are all playing for one another and for the jersey."

Lamb, the former champion Dogs player, also supported the Eels.

"Parramatta are on a roll," Lamb said. "They have a good halves combination and Fuifui Moimoi is the key. They also have Feleti Mateo to come back.

"Wests Tigers are too flamboyant for me. They throw the ball around too much although they have a great second-rower (Gareth Ellis)."

Langmack, who won three premierships at Canterbury, likes the Eels and Tigers, but not premiers Manly.

"Wests Tigers have improved their defence," Langmack said. "Earlier this year, their defence was dreadful. **Gareth Ellis has shown the way. He is smashing people.**
"I think Parra has momentum too. Daniel Mortimer, he isn't an athlete - he's a footballer.

"Manly should have won their last two games. They have lost momentum. I think they will go down as a side that won the premiership but couldn't make the finals the following year."

Mortimer likes what he sees in Daniel Anderson's Eels.

**"Wests Tigers have a tough draw and have been too hot and cold this season,"** Mortimer said. **"They can't afford a slip-up**. Parramatta is on a roll. They look like a side building toward the finals."

Lazarus was the only former great to omit the Eels from his final eight.

"Parramatta have a lot of momentum but I think they have left their run a little too late," he said.

"They are in the unfortunate situation of having to hope for other teams to lose."
 

Aladinsane

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**The 12 games which will decide the make-up of the NRL top eight:**

**Round 22**
**MELBOURNE v NORTH QUEENSLAND**
Win this and the Storm are just about guaranteed a top four finish, but a Cowboys win will leave them just one point outside of the top four.
**PARRAMATTA v NEWCASTLE**
A classic four-pointer if ever there was one. The Eels need to win every game to be assured a finals berth, but they could just about kill off the slumping Knights if they consign them to a third straight loss.

**Round 23**
**BRISBANE v PENRITH**
Provided the Broncos get back on track against Cronulla this week and Penrith don't beat St George Illawarra on Friday night, these two teams will be separated by just one point heading into this game with the loser likely to be left out of the eight.
**NEWCASTLE v MELBOURNE**
If the Knights find form against the Eels, then this game will be about sending a message to the rest of the league. If they're coming off a loss, then Melbourne will just about be able to turn off Newcastle's life-support system.

**Round 24**
**MELBOURNE v MANLY**
Talk about a statement game. If Melbourne lose to either the Cowboys or the Knights, then this game could decide a top four berth. Adding extra spice to this encounter is the prospect of injured fullback Brett Stewart making his return for the Sea Eagles.
**WESTS TIGERS v PARRAMATTA**
If they haven't already, one team will be saying goodbye to season 2009 in this encounter. It's that simple.

**Round 25**
**PARRAMATTA v PENRITH**
The two teams enjoyed a points spree in their first meeting this year. The Panthers' run home includes a game against the Dragons as well as trips to Brisbane and Newcastle, so they'll definitely have the win pencilled in here.
**GOLD COAST v WESTS TIGERS**
This one depends on the Tigers still being alive, which is possible given they can afford to drop one game. If the Titans have stumbled in the meantime, they may need to win this to cement a top four berth given they travel to Fortress Brookvale in the last round.

**Round 26**
**NEWCASTLE v PENRITH**
Like a few games in the run home, this one is poised to offer a winner-takes-all-prize, with the loser bowing out of the race.
**MANLY v GOLD COAST**
Anyone say top four? What a scenario - the winner of this match may very well take home ground advantage for a rematch in the first week of the finals given they could be battling it out for fourth and fifth.
**ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA v PARRAMATTA** and **WESTS TIGERS v BULLDOGS**
There's something eerily similar about these two games. If by some chance both teams are still a finals chance heading into the last game, then they will need to beat one of the top two teams to book a finals berth.
 

weststigers

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Pfft…we haven't been at all flamboyant in the last 3 weeks. We've won all our games on defence.

I am wary of Parramatta though. They look like the Tigers in '05\. Laying points on at will.
 

Aladinsane

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<big>**This is what the "Legends" predict will be the ladder after Round 26.**</big>

1\. Dragons….............44
2.Bulldogs.................42
3.Storm...................37
4.Titans..................34
5.Eels.....................29
7.Knights.................28
8.Broncos.................28

9.Rabbitohs..............27
10.Panthers..............27
11.Cowboys..............26
12.Tigers.................26
13.Raiders................20
14.Warriors..............20
15.Roosters..............16
16.Sharks................14
_____________________________________________________________________________________

Coach Sheens should blow up this ladder and article, and put it up on every wall of the Concord Headquarters.

Cmon Tigers.....Not This Year.....so them all up
 

sargent

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Im not fussed on what the verdicts are saying where we will finish at the end of the season. I just hope the boys are looking at winning one game at a time and not focusing on what the media is saying.
 
G

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A lot can happen in the remaining 4 weeks. Melbourne have stood down their best player indefinitely and sides can always be hit with injuries or suspensions. If the Tigers continue to knuckle down and play week to week, then they're in with as good a chance as any of the sides fighting to make the 8.
 

Juro

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Remember that article a few weeks ago saying we wouldn't win another game?… :laughing:
 

tigerdre

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What a rubbish article.I had a chuckle when i read it :laughing:
They have the Broncs & knights in the top 8.They must be cracking jokes
Our stats over the past month are some of the best in the league esspecialy in defence
Typical Telegraph trash.Prove them wrong TIGERS :exclamation:
 

MGB

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This happens every year lately. Parra make a late charge and these legends of the game think back to Parra's heyday and cannot get past the notion that not only will they make the eight but win just about win the comp because they have been such such a strong club in years gone by. I am expecting the bubble to well and truly burst and soon, the win over Newcastle while impressive was hardly against worthy opposition, the Knights are rubbish at the moment, one look at Gidleys attempt to stop Inu scoring proved that to me. I wish we had them coming up.
 

Mrs_T

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I think the Knights and Broncos will be lucky to win another game this season and if Manly can't turn it around

against the Roosters this week, they too, may be gone. Wishful thinking? Maybe.
 

AndTheKungFoSing

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@Aladinsane said:
<big>**This is what the "Legends" predict will be the ladder after Round 26.**</big>

1\. Dragons….............44
2.Bulldogs.................42
3.Storm...................37
4.Titans..................34
5.Eels.....................29
7.Knights.................28
8.Broncos.................28

9.Rabbitohs..............27
10.Panthers..............27
11.Cowboys..............26
12.Tigers.................26
13.Raiders................20
14.Warriors..............20
15.Roosters..............16
16.Sharks................14
_____________________________________________________________________________________

Coach Sheens should blow up this ladder and article, and put it up on every wall of the Concord Headquarters.

Cmon Tigers.....Not This Year.....so them all up

LOL @ Souths on 27…
 

diedpretty

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@Kaiser said:
@Aladinsane said:
<big>**This is what the "Legends" predict will be the ladder after Round 26.**</big>

1\. Dragons….............44
2.Bulldogs.................42
3.Storm...................37
4.Titans..................34
5.Eels.....................29
7.Knights.................28
8.Broncos.................28

9.Rabbitohs..............27
10.Panthers..............27
11.Cowboys..............26
12.Tigers.................26
13.Raiders................20
14.Warriors..............20
15.Roosters..............16
16.Sharks................14
_____________________________________________________________________________________

Coach Sheens should blow up this ladder and article, and put it up on every wall of the Concord Headquarters.

Cmon Tigers.....Not This Year.....so them all up

LOL @ Souths on 27…

and the Knights on 28 :laughing:
 

Sabre

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@diedpretty said:
@Kaiser said:
@Aladinsane said:
<big>**This is what the "Legends" predict will be the ladder after Round 26.**</big>

1\. Dragons….............44
2.Bulldogs.................42
3.Storm...................37
4.Titans..................34
5.Eels.....................29
7.Knights.................28
8.Broncos.................28

9.Rabbitohs..............27
10.Panthers..............27
11.Cowboys..............26
12.Tigers.................26
13.Raiders................20
14.Warriors..............20
15.Roosters..............16
16.Sharks................14
_____________________________________________________________________________________

Coach Sheens should blow up this ladder and article, and put it up on every wall of the Concord Headquarters.

Cmon Tigers.....Not This Year.....so them all up

LOL @ Souths on 27…

and the Knights on 28 :laughing:

and broncos on 28
 

Aladinsane

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Good Pickup Weststigers, for some reason I have erased that team from my memory bank…..though a lot on here, wouldn't think that's a bad thing
 

tiger_sean

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I think everyone is jumping on the eels bandwagon a bit early.
There last two wins have come up against arguably the worst team in the comp (the sharks)
and one of the teams who are in very poor form (the knights)
 
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