Two rounds, three spots, five teams and minor premierships and wooden spooners to be decided. It’s looking like an exciting end to the Hastings Deering Colts regular season.
Note – a reminder that the Hastings Deering Colts uses a Top 6 finals system.
1 Townsville Blackhawks
39 points, +285 F/A
Remaining games: Burleigh (A), Wynnum Manly (A)
Last 5 games: WWWLW
A win from their final two games will hand Townsville the minor premiership, although they have to play two Top 6 contenders away from home. Round 23 opponents Burleigh handed them their first loss of the season back in Round 9. Mathematically, the Blackhawks could drop as low as 3rd if results don’t fall their way.
2 Norths Devils
36 points, +186 F/A
Remaining games: Mackay (A), Sunshine Coast (H)
Last 5 games: WWWWW
The inform team heading into the final two rounds, the Devils have won five in a row, are unable to miss the finals and play two sides in the bottom nine. They could drop to as low as 4th or take out the minor premiership if they win their final two games and Townsville lose theirs.
3 Northern Pride
35 points, +231 F/A
Remaining games: Redcliffe (H), Tweed Heads (H)
Last 5 games: WWWWL
A minor premiership is still possible for the Pride, although they would need Townsville to lose both their games. They can drop as low as 6th seems but that seems unlikely, considering their massive points differential. It seems more likely they’ll battle Norths for second place, with a win putting them clear of fourth-placed Victoria.
4 Victoria Thunderbolts
32 points, +224 F/A
Remaining games: Ipswich (H), Redcliffe (A)
Last 5 games: LLWWW
Victoria have been on a tear in recent weeks and play last-placed Ipswich at home this weekend. A win would move them to 34 points and set up an intriguing final round match up with Redcliffe, who are just behind them on for and against. Two losses and results going against them could potentially see them missing the Top 6.
5 Redcliffe Dolphins
32 points, +180 F/A
Remaining games: Northern Pride (A), Victoria (H)
Last 5 games: WWWWL
The Dolphins will endure the toughest run home of the remaining sides in contention, having to face two teams ahead of them on the ladder. They’ll need at least one win from those two games or they’ll be sweating on other results on the final day of the competition. They could potentially finish as high as 2nd or miss out completely.
6 Souths Logan Magpies
31 points, +92 F/A
Remaining games: Easts (A), Ipswich (H)
Last 5 games: WWLWW
Souths Logan are clinging to their spot in the Top 6, staying ahead of 7th-placed Wynnum Manly by 1 point on for and against. Luckily for them, they head into the final rounds in good form and play the teams in 13th and 15th on the ladder. Results going their way could see them finish 4th but losing just one of their games couldn’t see them out.
7 Wynnum Manly Seagulls
31 points, +91 F/A
Remaining games: Western Mustangs (H), Townsville (A)
Last 5 games: LWWWL
Wynnum Manly have a great chance to boost their points differential in Round 23 when they play the Western Mustangs, who have conceded an average of 60 points per game the last five weeks. After that is a much tougher ask in the Blackhawks. Winning both should see them sneak into the Top 6.
8 Burleigh Bears
30 points, +77 F/A
Remaining games: Townsville (H), Easts (A)
Last 5 games: WLLLL
The lowest team on the ladder still able to make the finals, Burleigh will enter the run home on the back of four straight losses. One win and Souths Logan and Wynnum losing their games will see them qualify but it’s unlikely. They’ll need to win both to stand a chance. A loss to Townsville and wins for either Souths Logan or Wynnum this weekend will eliminate them from finals contention.
And what about at the bottom of the ladder?
- The Western Mustangs (14 points, -464 F/A) can avoid the spoon without winning either of their final two games, as long the Jets do the same. Their horrendous for and against may come back to haunt them.
- Ipswich (12 points, -350 F/A) can avoid the spoon with one win and two Mustangs losses, thanks to their superior points differential. Unfortunately for them, they play the 4th-placed Thunderbolts and the 6th-placed Magpies away from home.