You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
How the top eight will finish: NRL.com experts view

How will the NRL top eight shape up by the end of round 25? The NRL.com experts used the ladder predictor to come up with eight finalists for 2019.

NRL.com's experts view

Brett Kimmorley (Former NSW halfback)

Winning home games will be very important between now and the end of the season. Last season we saw the closeness of the competition so for-and-against will also matter come round 25. It looks as though Brisbane's horrendous start will prove their undoing. The Knights have had two poor runs during the season. You can't get away with that.

  1. Storm 44
  2. Roosters 38
  3. Raiders 32
  4. Rabbitohs 32
  5. Manly 32
  6. Eels 30
  7. Panthers 30
  8. Sharks 28

Steve Renouf (Maroons legend)

I don't see any changes to the top four but the Broncos can march up the ladder and finish sixth to host a semi-final. The Brisbane forwards are starting to gel and Anthony Milford's switch to fullback gives the side more attacking punch.

  1. Storm 42
  2. Rabbitohs 38
  3. Roosters 36
  4. Raiders 34
  5. Sea Eagles 32
  6. Broncos 29
  7. Eels 28
  8. Panthers 26

Zac Bailey (NRL.com reporter)

The top eight won't change from what it is now. The Roosters will edge the Raiders for second spot and the Rabbitohs will drop to fourth. Despite having the toughest run home of any team, Manly will do enough to hang on to fifth spot ahead of the Eels, while the Panthers will finish seventh. The Broncos' draw with the Warriors could also prove crucial, with Brisbane edging out the Sharks by one competition point, despite having a worse points differential after 25 rounds.

  1. Storm 42
  2. Roosters 36
  3. Raiders 36
  4. Rabbitohs 34
  5. Sea Eagles 28
  6. Eels 28
  7. Panthers 28
  8. Broncos 27

DCE says Des will find a way to stay underdogs

Tony Webeck (NRL.com reporter)

It looks like 26 points will be enough to qualify for the top eight this year, but it won't be enough for the Panthers. In what shapes as a blockbuster end to the regular season I've got the Panthers beating the Knights yet I don't think it will be enough to overcome their points differential. The Rabbits will finish strong with the return of Sam Burgess and the Eels will edge Sea Eagles into fifth win a round 25 Bankwest classic.

  1. Storm 42
  2. Rabbitohs 40
  3. Roosters 36
  4. Raiders 34
  5. Eels 30
  6. Sea Eagles 28
  7. Broncos 27
  8. Knights 26

Margie McDonald (NRL.com senior reporter)

Four of the eight round 19 games were decided by two points or less, so I'm thinking the Panthers' and Broncos' poorer points differentials might hurt them. I'm also a firm believer in halfbacks winning big games, so I see the Knights (Pearce) and Sharks (Townsend) getting their teams into the last two finals spots.

  1. Storm
  2. Rabbitohs
  3. Raiders
  4. Roosters
  5. Sea Eagles
  6. Eels
  7. Knights
  8. Sharks

Eels in the hunt to lure RCG

Maria Tsialis (Big League editor)

The Knights, Sharks and Tigers finish just outside the top eight in my predicted ladder, with the Broncos' one point for a draw with the Warriors sneaking them in. I think there will be a few upsets in store from teams like the Cowboys and Bulldogs to end the season.

  1. Storm 44
  2. Roosters 38
  3. Raiders 34
  4. Rabbitohs 34
  5. Sea Eagles 32
  6. Panthers 30
  7. Eels 28
  8. Broncos 25

Chris Kennedy (NRL.com reporter)

The only changes from the current top eight are the Cowboys and Sharks – who are each probably better than their current ladder position would suggest – both enjoying a relatively gentle draw over the closing stages to displace the Panthers and Broncos. The round 25 clash between the Eels and Sea Eagles will determine who finishes fifth but neither side will quite catch the Raiders.

  1. Storm 42
  2. Rabbitohs 40
  3. Roosters 36
  4. Raiders 34
  5. Sea Eagles 32
  6. Eels 30
  7. Sharks 26
  8. Cowboys 26

Brad Walter (NRL.com senior reporter)

Wests Tigers have the most favourable draw of the teams vying for eighth position and can edge out the Sharks by winning their last round clash at Leichhardt Oval, which will be an emotion-charged farewell to favourite son Robbie Farah. The rest of the top eight is unlikely to change but Canberra may push ahead of the injury-ravaged Roosters to claim third place.

  1. Storm  40
  2. Rabbitohs 38
  3. Raiders 36
  4. Roosters 34
  5. Sea Eagles 32
  6. Eels 32
  7. Panthers 28
  8. Tigers 26

Mary Konstantopoulos (Ladies Who League)

There's very little change in my top four other than the Raiders swapping places with the third-placed Roosters. As predicted, the real battle will lie for seventh and eighth spot. The Panthers and Broncos get those final two spots based on my predictions with the Broncos being helped home by four home games during their finals run.

  1. Storm 44
  2. Rabbitohs 38
  3. Raiders 36
  4. Roosters 34
  5. Sea Eagles 32
  6. Eels 30
  7. Panthers 28
  8. Broncos 27

Lone Scout (NRL Fantasy expert)

The top eight race could come down to the final day of the regular season, with the clash between the Tigers and Sharks possibly deciding which club finishes seventh and who finishes ninth. I gave the nod to Cronulla, with Brisbane squeezing into the eight and Penrith and Newcastle missing out.

  1. Storm 42
  2. Roosters 38
  3. Rabbitohs 36
  4. Raiders 32
  5. Sea Eagles 32
  6. Eels 30
  7. Sharks 28
  8. Broncos 27

Michael Chammas (NRL.com chief reporter)

Surprisingly the Tigers sneak into the top eight based on the NRL ladder predictor selections. They have a relatively soft draw however the Tigers have made a habit of losing the games they should win. The Panthers and Broncos drop out of the eight, making way for the Tigers and Sharks. There are some huge games in the final round that will go a long way to deciding the finals.

  1. Storm 40
  2. Rabbitohs 38
  3. Roosters 34
  4. Raiders 32
  5. Sea Eagles 32
  6. Eels 30
  7. Sharks 26
  8. Tigers 26

Retiring Robbie reflects on career

Joel Gould (NRL.com reporter)

The top four won't change but I am tipping the Raiders to slip into third spot with their squad only to be strengthened by the imminent return of Nick Cotric and BJ Leilua. The Broncos should win four of their remaining six games to move up to seventh position and the Wests Tigers favourable draw and predicted better for and against by round 25 should be enough to edge them ahead of Penrith on 26 points to round out the top eight.

  1. Storm 42
  2. Rabbitohs 38
  3. Raiders 36
  4. Roosters 34
  5. Sea Eagles 34
  6. Eels 28
  7. Broncos 27
  8. Wests Tigers 26


Troy Whittaker (NRL.com reporter)

The Roosters will leapfrog the Rabbitohs in second but the top four remains the same otherwise. I've got Manly pipping Parramatta for fifth despite finishing on even points, given they have four matches against lower-ranking teams (including the Eels) and already boast a superior differential. Brisbane's drawn match puts them one point ahead of Cronulla, who scrape into eighth.

  1. Storm 42
  2. Roosters 38
  3. Rabbitohs 36
  4. Raiders 32
  5. Sea Eagles 30
  6. Eels 30
  7. Broncos 27
  8. Sharks 26

Corey Rosser (NRL.com reporter)

I see only one change to the ladder as it sits heading into round 20, with the Sharks just managing to climb back into the top eight. Positions inside the eight should remain pretty well settled as well. 

  1. Storm 42
  2. Roosters 36
  3. Raiders 36
  4. Rabbitohs 36
  5. Sea Eagles 34
  6. Eels 32
  7. Sharks 26
  8. Panthers 26​

Tanisha Stanton (NRL.com reporter)

It's a big call but I've tipped the Raiders to go on a late charge which moves them up to second on the ladder. Sea Eagles, Eels and Panthers will retain same and if the Sharks don't suffer any more injuries or suspensions they should win majority of their games which will just keep them in the eight.

  1. Storm 42
  2. Raiders 38
  3. Roosters 36
  4. Rabbitohs 34
  5. Sea Eagles 32
  6. Eels 32
  7. Panthers 30
  8. Sharks 26

Kenny Scott (NRL.com podcaster)

The only difference to the end-of-season ladder and the ladder as it stands today is the Tigers. Using the NRL.com ladder predictor and a healthy sense of pessimism sees them sneak into eighth place with the Broncos dropping out. The Tigers have a favourable run home and those that know that fairy tales do really come true has it all coming day down to the last round, against the Sharks in Robbie Farah's last game at Leichhardt. How good is rugby league?

  1. Storm 42
  2. Roosters 36
  3. Raiders 34
  4. Rabbitohs 34
  5. Eels 32
  6. Sea Eagles 30
  7. Panthers 28
  8. Tigers 26

Why the Men of League Foundation matters

Alica Newton (NRL.com reporter)

A couple of clubs shuffle around in the top four for my ladder predictor finish, while the Panthers' tough run home saw them drop out and the Knights in, although they'd need to get their act together soon. Penrith and Newcastle face each other in the penultimate round which already looms as a crucial game. The Broncos' one competition point for their draw against the Warriors helps them pip the Sharks to finish eighth.

  1. Storm 44
  2. Roosters 38
  3. Rabbitohs 36
  4. Raiders 34
  5. Eels 34
  6. Sea Eagles 32
  7. Knights 28
  8. Broncos 27

Dan Walsh (NRL.com reporter)

The Roosters' new injury concerns could see an upset sprung at some point in the run home but otherwise the top four will carry on at another level to the rest of the competition – Melbourne finishing well out in front as they have been all year. The Eels have wobbled in recent weeks despite getting away with a win over the Warriors, while Brisbane's three straight home games before finishing against Canterbury will see them into eighth spot. Penrith's comfy run home will also have them climbing the ladder in their typical late-season run.

  1. Storm 42
  2. Raiders 36
  3. Rabbitohs 36
  4. Roosters 34
  5. Sea Eagles 32
  6. Panthers 30
  7. Eels 28
  8. Broncos 27