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The Run Home - Round 18
Melbourne have held their gap on Manly and appear to have the minor premiership wrapped up nicely, with the next four of their remaining games being expected wins. Following that, things might get a bit tougher but they host the Broncos and Eels which will help the cause.
Injuries seem to be the only thing that can stop them this year, with the Storm already having several players in the casualty ward, but they welcomed Slater back last week and should have Cronk on board for the Knights clash.
Any cracks that started to appear at Manly were filled with a big win over the Roosters. They should beat the Tigers at home but then they embark on a three week away journey to Cronulla, Parramatta and Brisbane.
Following that they should pick up their remaining games but Auckland is never easy but they are fielding pretty much their full-strength outfit.
The Cowboys have crept into third but they still have a pretty shabby for-and-against of -55. They have a big test against the Broncos this week, who have copped some injuries, but then they go on to face lowly placed clubs like the Raiders and Panthers.
Perhaps the Dragons and Knights will provide some stiffer competition now and the final round match against Canterbury could be a big one in the context of finals places.
A shock loss to the Knights has them in a spot of bother particularly with the injury to Burt. They should make short work of the Bunnies, but many expected them to account for Newcastle.
Following that they play some premiership heavyweights in Brisbane (twice), Manly, Canterbury and Melbourne and that will surely test their mettle.
The Tigers are in an enviable position at the moment and within striking distance of the top 4 and coming off a good win over the Panthers.
They probably expect to win five of their remaining eight games which could see them surge into a home semi final. With Marshall