After 6 weeks, how is the NRL shaping up?

NRL team the Parramatta Eels
The Parramatta Eels have not yet earned a single competition point. Photo: Paddynapper, Wikimedia Commons

6 weeks in the NRL is as unpredictable and exciting as it’s ever been. Most sides are very evenly matched, with neither form nor common sense helping to pick the winners of most games. In fact, anyone who has correctly tipped at least 6 out of the 8 matches in any round so far should take a bow.

The form teams

There are four teams that are currently streets ahead of the rest form wise. St George is currently undefeated, and is the real standout so far. Behind the Dragons the Panthers, Warriors and Tigers have each lost only one game, with no one else even getting to four wins so far.

That these teams would be at the top was completely unexpected, with the Warriors and Tigers in particular expected to be wooden spoon contenders. The NRL world has seemingly been turned on its head, and these four teams will have to have a lot go wrong from here if they are to miss the finals.

The disappointments

Even more surprising than the teams that are going well are the teams that are going really badly. Parramatta, who finished last year in 4th and made the semi-finals, and North Queensland, who were grand finalists, have both been woeful this year. The Cowboys won their first round clash, but have only gone downhill since then. Parramatta has not won a single game.

Both of these teams will start winning at some point – they have too much talent not to. They both have good coaches as well – Paul Green, in particular, has a spectacular record. The only question is whether they will be able to play themselves into form in time to push for a finals spot.

The rest

The remaining 10 NRL teams have either 2 or 3 wins, and any of them can beat any other on their day. This, of course, makes tipping exceptionally difficult! It is also very tough to pick which teams will make the top 8, especially since the Eels and Cowboys can still make a run.

The teams that are least disrupted by Origin should be able to take advantage, and in the end this could be the deciding factor. I’m certainly not game to try and pick a top 8 at this stage – about the only team that I’m confident will make it are the Dragons! This NRL season has been incredibly intriguing – and hopefully it continues along the same path.