Sunday, 3 July 2016

The Run Home

As we head into the second bye of the season, the Warriors have managed to claw themselves out of a fairly decent sized hole that they managed to dig themselves with their early season form, or lack thereof.

Since the teams first bye, they've managed to go on to win 4 of their last 5 games, with their only loss in that period coming at the hands of the competition leaders in golden point thanks to a James Maloney field goal.

The resolve and sudden shift in attitude, commitment and pride within the camp is something that should be commended. It's a shame it had to take as long as it did for the players to come together as one and collectively take responsibility for their poor early season showings. As they say though, better late than never.

With 8 games remaining in the regular season for the Warriors they face only 1 team currently in the top 4 (Cowboys), 2 sides who currently sit above them in 5th* and 7th respectively (Eels and Raiders) and have somewhat of a luxury in facing 5 teams currently below them (Sea Eagles, Panthers, Titans, Rabbitohs and Tigers)

Currently sitting in 8th position (pending the remainder of results in Rd 17) and on 18 competition points with the bye in hand, only 4 victories from the remaining 8 games are required to reach the "magical" number for a top 8 position. (28 points)

Below i gaze into the crystal ball and take a look at the remaining games and which ones i think we should win, subsequently giving a prediction to how many points we should end up on and how history can show where we are likely to finish.

Rd 18 Bye: 2 points

Rd 19 Manly Warringah Sea Eagles (14th): A tricky away match where the team must travel to Perth. Having lost 4 of our last 5 against Manly it's fair to say the Sea Eagles could be classed as a bit of a bogey side. The position Manly find themselves on the ladder is a fair indication of how the team is traveling and the Warriors should make light work of the opposition in this game. Prediction: Win - 22 points

Rd 20 Canberra Raiders (7th): Losses tend to stick in the mind more so than most victories, and the way the Warriors went down to the Raiders in their Rd 11 clash in New Plymouth will still be leaving a bitter taste in players mouths. Playing Canberra at home is another tricky away trip but i think the drive the boys will have within them to make amends for their last showing will be enough to get them over the line. Prediction: Win - 24 points 

Rd 21 Penrith Panthers (9th): The Panthers are in my opinion one of the smokeys of the competition. With numerous heart breaking losses already this season it's probably fair to say that they could be sitting much higher on the ladder than their current position. A return home for the Warriors after 2 tough away trips might not be enough to stop the Panthers claiming a 2nd victory over them for the year. Prediction: Loss - 24 points

Rd 22 Gold Coast Titans (11th): A second encounter with the Titans side in a little over a month shapes up as a very interesting encounter, especially with Konrad available for selection against his former team mates. The Warriors will get an extra bit of motivation to get one over their ex team mate and the boys will be keen to get that winning feeling back after a loss at home the previous week. Prediction: Win - 26 points

Rd 23 South Sydney Rabbitohs (13th): 2016 has been a season to forget and their position on the ladder is a clear indication that the 2014 Premiers have been well below their best. A return home for the Warriors fighting for a spot in the 8 and a season that's not likely to be salvaged for the Rabbits will be the difference between the two sides. Prediction: Win - 28 points

Rd 24 North QLD Cowboys (3rd): Back on the road and this time it's an away trip against the defending premiers. With state of origin well and truly done and dusted the stars from the Cowboys side will be feeling a little more energetic and will be pushing hard for the minor premiership. A tough trip away which might prove too difficult to overcome. Prediction: Loss - 28 points

Rd 25 Wests Tigers (12th): Although they sit down at 12th position i still believe the Tigers are over achieving and should really be a couple of spots lower down. The Warriors will be looking to redeem themselves for a poor display against the Tigers in Rd 1 and should make easy work of getting the win in this game. Prediction: Win - 30 points

Rd 26 Parramatta Eels (5th): With the season from hell coming to an end for the Eels and likely being stripped of 12 points leaving them well out of finals contention, the air in the lungs may have been taken out of the Parra side who are likely to be thinking more about their off season than the game at hand. The Warriors final game at home for the season should be more than enough motivation to propel them into the finals series with some solid form under their belt. Prediction: Win - 32 points.

With 32 points to play with history seems to suggest that'll be more than enough to easily cement their position within the top 8. 2015 saw teams with the same amount of points finish between 4th and 6th, 2014 (5th and 6th), 2013 (5th) and 2012 (6th). While it might not be enough to hand us a top 4 finish, it'll be more than enough to see the side play their first finals match since 2011, where coincidentally they finished on 32 points in 6th position.


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