With just one round to go until the Supporters League Grand Finals, it’s time to preview each of the competitions. From 16 teams at the start of the year, we are now down to four and it’s getting tense because on the line for the winners is an NRL jersey of their choice! You would hope they pick the team they are representing…
Supporters League I
Last week we said farewell to Incudan’s Tigers and Gal’s Sharks with neither worrying their rivals too much. The Tigers went down to the Roosters 58-49 and the Sharks were spanked by the Titans 83-42 on the back of 18 points to Suliasi Vunivalu, 18 points to kicker Nathan Cleary and 26 points to captain Ryan James.
The first Preliminary Final sees one of the oldest NRLCEO rivalries in history. These two fierce rivals have been playing against each other on NRLCEO since 1998! Site founder Mig’s Broncos slayed everyone before them in the regular season finishing as Minor Premiers and being the only team to score more than 1,000 points. Despite being on a six game winning streak, the last team to beat them was… the Titans! Captaincy selection will be crucial for Mig as the Broncos take on the Storm in the NRL and points will be hard to come by. This conundrum will be music to Bona’s Titans as his mixed rabble of troops have many different match-ups this week. I tipped them to win 13+ and they did that easily! Bona will be hoping for a free flowing game between the Titans and Panthers so that Ryan James and Nathan Cleary can fire, but they surely can’t score the same points as last week. Someway, somehow the Broncos will manage to win this one 1-12.
The core of AC’s Bulldogs have put him in a great position so far this year. Having the overall top scoring player in James Graham as well as Dream Team prop Aiden Tolman means he is guaranteed 10-16 points from his bookends each week. That will get you to the finals, but it won’t win you games. His Dogs take on the Cowboys in the NRL with a top four spot on the line, so I can’t see it being high scoring. Skeeny’s Roosters have come from fifth in the regular season to find themselves one win away from a Grand Final. These two teams met each other back in Round 20 with the Roosters taking the win 38-30, but I think the Bulldogs will get revenge and come back and win 1-12 in a game where both teams finish under 50 points.
Supporters League II
This was a tough one for me to write this week as my mighty Raiders were knocked out last week despite scoring 70 points and having Vunivalu score four tries! Full credit to JP’s Roosters for the 75-70 win – I believe he’s the form CEO in all competitions at the moment winning all three of his semi finals. The other team knocked out was Bish’s Eels who failed to raise the bat and went down 54-45.
The first Preliminary Final sees Rock Hudson’s Broncos raring to go after the week off for winning in the first week of finals. He finished fourth on the ladder for the regular season but relies heavily on Ben Hunt and Anthony Milford and in some terrible timing for him, the Broncos face the Storm in the NRL this week. He recently picked up Aidan Guerra after his week in reserve grade and will be hoping he fires. In the way of a Grand Final appearance is JP’s Roosters who I mentioned earlier are the form team of the competition. He pulled off a master stroke last week changing his captain from Boyd Cordner to Blake Ferguson with five minutes to go which ultimate got him the win. He relies heavily on Nathan Cleary and will be hoping the Panthers put a cricket score on the Titans. I want the Roosters to win but I think the Broncos will win this one 1-12.
The Bulldogs CEO ‘337’ is pretty confident heading into this game. After finishing second on the regular season ladder, but being the only team to score 1,000 points for the year, the Bulldogs beat the Roosters easily back in the first week of the finals. They’ve won six of their last seven games and have a strong Bulldogs core topped with Marika Koroibete and BJ Leilua. I tipped Deano’s Cowboys to win last week and they didn’t let me down. They were far from convincing last week relying heavily of Johnathan Thurston’s 19 points and will be hoping for a better captaincy selection this week after Latrell Mitchell only scored two last week. Weighing it all up, I’ll back the Bulldogs 1-12.
Supporters League III
The semi finals saw Cabeman’s Broncos and Pokerface86’s Warriors punted from the third Supporters League. Cabeman will be disappointed his Broncos didn’t put up a better fight going down 53-36 but his season was as good as over when the Broncos only put up 20 points and his kicker lost the kicking tee to Jordan Kahu. The Warriors would have made the big show in many other head to heads going down 62-58 in a tight but high scoring battle.
The first Preliminary Final has a name you might recognise in it. JP’s Roosters are in the Prelims for both Supporters League II and III. He adopted the team post draft from his brother who could no longer commit to the game and has taken both teams to great heights despite the Roosters being third last on the NRL ladder! Like his other team he has profited from the superb form of Nathan Cleary with the ball in hand and on the tee. They are taking on Matt’s Tigers who are short one James Tedesco but fortunately for him, he was the one who snaffled Jarryd Hayne back on that fateful night of hell on the site. I didn’t back the Tigers last week and they proved me wrong, but I’ll back them this week as I think the Roosters luck might just run out! Tigers 1-12.
The second preliminary final sees the two most powerful teams in this league go head to head and only one can progress to the Grand Final! This is the only Supporters League where two teams scored more than 1,000 points and coincidentally it was these two teams who finished first and second. Troy’s Cowboys are a model of consistency and have been all year. They have scored 50 or more in three of their last four appearances and nothing less than 50 points will get the win in this battle. Their team is strong across the park with Klemmer, Lowe, Cooper and JWH leading the charge but it all boils down to the halves whether they win this week. Johnathan Thurston and Michael Morgan will need to dominate the Dogs in the NRL to rack up the fantasy points here. Melb’s Storm finished as Minor Premiers but fell in the first week against the Roosters. They’ve since fought back with a big 62 points last week getting their title challenge back on track. Their forward pack looks weaker than the Cowboys with Bromwich and Soliola not getting the minutes lately, but can Cronk and Smith get them over the line? I think they will – Storm 1-12.
Supporters League IV
I only tipped one from two in this league last week with Jamie’s Storm and Cara’s Broncos being bundled out of contention. The Storm fought hard but were no chance against as rampant Raiders, going down 68-45. I tipped the Broncos to get up but Cara will be shattered her NRLCEO debut season ended in disappointment, losing 42-35 to the Eels.
The first preliminary final sees NRLCEO live stats manager Sheriff and his Bulldogs up for a high scoring battle. The Dogs were dominant all year losing only five games and smashing the Eels in the first week of finals. They have scored 48 points or more every week since Round 14 which shows just how hard they are to beat! Even in Round 20 when the Dogs were smashed in the NRL by the Cowboys 36-0 they still managed 51 NRLCEO points! They’ll need an even better performance than that this time around though to make it to the big show. Rocky7st’s Raiders have come from the furthest point on the ladder out of all the leagues to get to the prelims. After finishing seventh in the regular season, the Raiders red hot form in the NRL has seen them go on a hot streak of 68, 43, 65, 49 and 54 points for the past five rounds. With Jarrod Croker, Cam Munster, Suliasi Vunivalu and Nathan Cleary in the squad I think they’ll continue their run and win this battle 1-12.
The final game of all sees Ambrose’s Warriors take to the field. After finishing second in the regular season they are on a seven game unbeaten streak and look like a tough team to beat! With Greg Inglis, Tom Trbojevic and Bevan French lining up alongside Shaun Johnson, Bodene Thompson and Simon Mannering it’s no wonder they are destroying teams in their way. But never write off a team with their backs against the walls. The NRL has been cruel to the Eels this year but Czerny hopes his NRLCEO Eels will bring home some success. I have to tip the Warriors though – 1-12.
Good luck to all the finalists!