Mounties have had an unbelievable first half of 2015, winning 11 of their 12 matches while averaging over 35 points a game. Their first loss of the season came in the washout round to Concord, but besides that it has been a near perfect year where they boast a massive points differential of 226. Mounties have reached 72 points on two occasions this season, while they have hit 38 points no less than five times. Defensively, they have been strong, as they have only conceded more than 18 points three times, which certainly makes them the team to beat this season. Mounties are four competition points clear of second place, however they do not have an easy road ahead, playing Cabramatta next week, followed by Concord who are the only team to conquer them so far this season. They will be looking to carry their form in the run home towards the finals.
Predicted finish: 1st
Wentworthville Magpies (2nd)
Wentworthville have overcome a disrupted start to the season to sit in second spot with nine wins from 11 games. After winning their first five games, the next few rounds were incredibly frustrating for Chris Yates’ men, as they had two games abandoned due to poor weather, along with a bye in the same time frame. To be sitting in second spot with games in hand at this point of the season is a remarkable effort, and proves they are certainly contenders. Defensively, Wenty have been superb, conceding less than 14 points per game, while almost averaging 30 points a game in attack. Aside from the 52-4 thrashing of Kingsgrove, Wentworthville have not blown teams away as such, but most of their wins have been convincing. They have a winning margin average of 16 points per game, highlighting how their ability to score points compliments their stellar defence. With games in hand, expect Wentworthville to remain in the top four to end the season.
Predicted finish: 2nd
Asquith Magpies (3rd)
Alike Wentworthville, Asquith sit in the top four having played fewer games than the teams below them. They got off to a flying start to the season, winning their opening four games, and now having won eight from 11. Asquith are one of the three dominant sides in the competition and have shown they can blow teams away, as well as win the close games. This was typified just two rounds into the season when they beat Kingsgrove by 64 in round one, and then scraped home 33-32 over Cabramatta the next week. Asquith averages over 31 points a game while concede roughly 20 points per game making for tightly-played matches. Still, they are still one of the best performing teams of the competition, and should certainly retain their top-four spot coming into the finals.
Predicted finish: 3rd
Windsor Wolves (4th)
After a heavy 40-point loss in the opening round of the season, the Windsor Wolves bounced back with six consecutive victories and have not looked back since. They currently sit in fourth position on 18 competition points, however their poor points differential of -14 could come back to haunt them on the ladder. They are the only team inside the top eight at the moment with a negative points differential, which comes as a result of some big losses despite sitting in the top four. Defence is a problem for the Wolves, as they have conceded over 26 points a game on average – 118 of these points came in the space of three games. There is no doubt the Wolves have an ability to win matches, but there is a big question mark over consistency in a season that has included losing score lines such as 50-10, 36-4 and 32-6. However, they do average 25 points a game and if they put in a consistent weekly performance, they will be looking to keep that top-four spot heading into the back end of the season.
Predicted finish: 4th
Blacktown Workers (5th)
Blacktown has had a positive start to the season in terms of wins and losses, but have dramatically improved results as the season has progressed. They lost their first three games of the season before winning six of their next seven games. The major issue for the Workers is their inability to beat the stronger teams in the competition, with four of their defeats coming at the hands of Mounties, Windsor, and two from Wentworthville. They average just under 28 points a game, which included a 74-12 demolition of Kingsgrove and a 48-25 defeat over Concord-Burwood. Their defence can improve from 21 points a game conceded, which has predominantly come from victorious high-scoring affairs. The Workers have no issue with scoring points, but their defence will certainly be a major focus coming into the back end of the season, particularly if they want to match it with the stronger sides.
Predicted finish: 5th
Auburn Warriors (6th)
Auburn started the year well, but suffered through a frustrating run of form from rounds five to eleven where they lost five games. Defensively they have been poor, conceding over 25 points a game, and have lost by more than 40 points on two occasions. On the other hand, they put 50 points on Windsor, 48 on Kingsgrove and 49 on Cabramatta which proves they have the attacking ability within their side. If Auburn is any chance of putting a dent in this competition, they will have to notch up some wins soon and advance up the ladder because in the last four rounds, they will be facing the three top teams in the competition. Their positive points differential of 30 could be an advantage later in the season and they are the only team sitting on 14 competition points in what is a congested top eight.
Predicted finish: 6th
Guildford Owls (7th)
Guildford has had a dramatic roller-coaster first half of 2015, with results that are sure to give coach Steve Ghosn much to think about. They lost their first four matches to Wentworthville, Windsor, Auburn and Blacktown respectively. In an amazing turn around, they then won their next four encounters against Kingsgrove, Cabramatta, Concord-Burwood and Western Suburbs. Since then, they have only won one game from their past four matches. Consistency is obviously an issue for the Owls, who despite their five to seven win loss ratio, still have a positive for and against record of 15 which could be a huge advantage for any team sitting in and around the bottom of the top eight. They are currently in a stalemate position at seventh, as they are two whole wins away from fifth, but also two wins in front of ninth – they will be looking for more consecutive wins to try and break out of that seventh spot and advance up the ladder.
Predicted finish: 9th
Cabramatta Two Blues (8th)
Similar to Guildford, Cabramatta has had an inconsistent first half of 2015 and currently sit on five wins and seven losses. They started the season with a win against Western Suburbs, but proceeded to lose their next three – admittedly against strong sides in Asquith, Mounties and Windsor. They soon hit some form, winning four of their next five, before losing their last three games. Cabramatta are currently sitting in eighth spot and are four points clear of ninth position. However, they are in danger of dropping out of the eight due to the fact that the teams in ninth and tenth had a game washed out and therefore have an extra opportunity to close in. There is a lot of room for defensive improvement in the Cabramatta side, as they have a tendency to leak points in all of their games – no matter the result. They concede on average just under 30 points a game, and this will need to improve in the run home to the Finals if they are any chance of locking up a top eight spot.
Predicted finish: 7th
Concord-Burwood Wolves (9th)
Concord-Burwood Wolves do not have a flattering record coming into round 15 of the season. However, their position on the table along certainly does not reflect the way they have played this season. In their eight losses, six of them have been by less than 11 points – proving they have the ability to stay in the contest, but do not know how to close out a game in the dying stages. They are also responsible for competition leaders Mounties’ only loss for the season demonstrating they have the potential to be higher than ninth on the ladder. One of their shortcomings is their inability to score points, having the third worst attack in the competition with 284 to their name. Their negative-50 points differential could also hurt them if they make a late Finals charge, but they would certainly take a lot out of those tough losses with a game and push for the top eight.
Predicted finish: 8th
Western Suburbs Magpies (10th)
Western Suburbs Magpies have had a disappointing season to date but will certainly take a lot of heart from recently upsetting one of the competition heavyweights in Wentworthville 23-20. Before that win they have an unflattering record of two wins from ten matches and simply cannot afford to drop many more games if they are a chance to reach the Finals. Many of their losses have been tight defeats, including a 32-24 loss to Wentworthville, a 34-28 loss to Guildford and a 32-26 loss to Windsor. The Magpies will be focusing on defence in the second half of the season in a bid to make the top eight. An advantage for Western Suburbs is that they currently have a game in hand, which will give them an extra opportunity to notch up another win and break into the Finals. Another major positive for the Magpies is that they have shown to be able to keep up with the stronger teams of the competition, as they only went down to Wentworthville by eight points earlier in the season before beating them last round.
Predicted finish: 10th
Kingsgrove Colts (11th)
The Kingsgrove Colts are struggling, and it would take an epic effort to contend for the top eight. Facing all top-four teams in the opening four rounds certainly did not help out of the gates and has probably contributed to the fact that they have had 70 points scored against them three times. However, the Colts have improved, as demonstrated with their perofrmance in their 10-point loss to Guildford two weeks ago. The fact that no team has held them to zero points in match this season must give them confidence that they are able to score points – proving the Colts need to address their execution. The Colts will be determined to improve their defence as they concede an average of over 52 points a game with a points differential of -492. Although Finals are likely out of reach, the Colts have a good opportunity to establish consistent footy and notch up a couple of solid wins to restore some pride this season.
Predicted finish: 11th