Captains' poll details


Which team will you play in the grand final? Melbourne 4 votes, Brisbane 2, Bulldogs 1, Undecided 1

Which team is the dark horse? Newcastle 2, St George Illawarra 2, Parramatta 1, Undecided 3

Which player will be the x-factor in the finals? Andrew Johns 2, Greg Inglis 1.5, Ben Kennedy 1, Matt King 1, Justin Hodges 1, Mark Gasnier 0.5

Who is your tip for the Dally M medal? Cameron Smith 6, Ben Kennedy 1, Andrew Ryan 1


Questions: 1) Which team will you play in the grand final? 2) Why will your team win it? 3) Who will be your go-to man? 4) Which team is the dark horse? 5) Which opposition player will be the x-factor? 6) Who is your tip for the Dally M medal? 7) How do you compare the standard of this season to last year?

SCOTT HILL (Melbourne)

1) Brisbane 2) "We've been able to produce week in week out for the last 26 rounds, we're confident we can produce it on the night." 3) Greg Inglis - "But we have a number of other players that can trouble the defensive line." 4) Undecided 5) Undecided 6) Cameron Smith 7) "I think every year, it's just getting tougher and tougher."

ANDREW RYAN (Bulldogs)

1) Melbourne 2) "We've been there before." 3) Brent Sherwin - "If he can have a big final series, I think we can go a long way to winning the comp." 4) Undecided - "I think everyone's a threat." 5) Matt King 6) Cameron Smith 7) "I think it's pretty similar."


1) Melbourne - "They've only lost four games all year." 2) "The last few weeks our defence has got us results so it's just a matter of keeping things going." 3) Justin Hodges 4) St George Illawarra - "They're a team full of stars, if they get really confident, they can beat anyone. 5) Mark Gasnier and Greg Inglis - "It's hard to split them." 6) Cameron Smith 7) "Similar. I think the closeness of the competition makes for a good comp."

ANDREW JOHNS (Newcastle)

1) Melbourne 2) "We've got big-match players" 3) Steve Simpson 4) St George Illawarra 5) Greg Inglis 6) Cameron Smith 7) "It just keeps improving every year."


1) Undecided - "I think there's at least six teams that could win the grand final." 2) "In all the key positions we've got good players." 3) Matt Orford 4) Undecided 5) Andrew Johns - "I know everyone goes out to shut Andrew Johns down but quite frankly I don't think you can." 6) Cameron Smith - "Although I'd love to see a bloke like Nathan Hindmarsh win it - it would be good to see a player like that rewarded." 7) "About the same."

TRENT BARRETT (St George Illawarra)

1) Melbourne 2) "I don't think there's any reason why we can't." 3) Mark Gasnier and Matt Cooper 4) Newcastle - "They're creeping along pretty quietly and having Joey back fit, I think they're a big danger." 5) Andrew Johns 6) Cameron Smith 7) "I think every year the comp is great."


1) Brisbane - "It's the old cliche but forwards win matches in September." 2) "We're a team that was supposed to finish last and we finished seventh, we've got nothing to lose." 3) Todd Carney - "A lot's said about Jason Smith, but I'm sure you'll see a couple of really good performances from Todd in the next couple of weeks." 4) Newcastle - "They've flown under the radar a little bit... and us (Canberra)." 5) Justin Hodges - "He's on fire at the moment." 6) Andrew Ryan 7) "It improves every year, its a wonderful game, I think its the best team competition in the world."


1) Bulldogs 2) "We've got belief in ourselves and we've come from the dead this year already." 3) Tim Smith 4) Parramatta 5) Ben Kennedy - "He's shown this year he's inspirational for Manly. He's carried the team and done a great job" 6) Ben Kennedy 7) "It's improved again - it's a lot more defence-orientated this year, a lot more physical than the last few seasons. It get harder and tougher every year."