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Where We Stand: Round 21

It's shaping as a highly intriguing last month of football for the club's NRL and Intrust Super Premiership sides as they look to secure a finals berth in 2018.

A determined 25-16 win over the Newcastle Knights in Round 21 has kept Ivan Cleary's side in the hunt for a finals finish with four games remaining in the regular season. Heading in to Round 22, they sit just two wins behind the Cronulla Sharks (6th), Brisbane Broncos (7th) and New Zealand Warriors (8th).

Meanwhile, in the Intrust Super Premiership competition, Western Suburbs look on track to secure a top eight spot with just three games left in the regular season but there's still a hefty fight on in terms of positions. The Magpies currently sit just two points off the second-placed St. George Dragons but down in sixth position, with the New Zealand Warriors (7th) and Wyong Roos (8th) just two points behind them.

Wests Tigers Jersey Flegg side cannot make finals football, currently sitting in 12th spot on the ladder.

With potentials finals spots on the line, it's certainly going to be fascinating last few weeks of the regular season for both the NRL and Intrust Super Premiership boys as they look to feature in September footy!

 

NRL

Ladder Position | 9th (22 points, -36 F/A)

Teams Around Them | Sharks—6th (26 points), Broncos—7th (26 points), Warriors—8th (26 points)

Remaining Fixtures | Raiders—10th (A), Dragons—4th (H), Sea Eagles—14th (H), Rabbitohs—1st (A)

A win over the Knights kept the flame alive for Wests Tigers, but with the New Zealand Warriors scraping home against the Dragons on the weekend, it's looking like the side will probably need to win all four games left this year if they are to make the finals. Sitting in ninth position, Wests Tigers are four points behind the Sharks, Broncos and Warriors, who all have a number of tough games in the run home.

For Wests Tigers, Sunday's clash against the Raiders in Canberra is shaping as a tough one given the recent one-sided history between the two teams. Injuries to both sides will bring about a number of changes to the sides that played back in Round 15, but whoever does take the field will need to be at their best to down a Green Machine simply playing for pride this year after surrendering another lead in last weekend's loss.

Looking at the teams ahead of them, the Sharks face off against the Storm in Melbourne, the Broncos face local rivals the Cowboys in Townsville and the Warriors return to Mount Smart to face the Knights. 

 

ISP

Ladder Position | 6th (24 points, +22 F/A)

Teams Around Them | Jets—4th (24 points), Bulldogs—5th (24 points), Warriors—7th (22 points)

Remaining Fixtures | Mounties—2nd (A), Roos—8th (A), Jets—4th (A)

Down on troops, it was a tough result for the Magpies in Round 21 as they fell to a 38-10 defeat that saw Penrith clinch the minor premiership. Brett Hodgson's side are still on track to finish in the top eight, but they'll want to find some form again over the next few weeks as they prepare for September action — particularly given the sides they play are all likely to playing finals football alongside them.

They'll head down to the nation's capital to face Mounties this week in a game that will have huge top four ramifications for both sides. Mounties sit in second, just two points ahead of the Magpies, and if they can get the job done on Sunday, will likely lock in a top four spot and coveted second-chance in the finals.

For Wests, a win would see them move in to the top four and potentially give them a shot to secure that position in the following week's game against the eighth-placed Roos. With the third-placed Dragons and fourth-placed Jets both on the bye this week, Western Suburbs could struggle to break their way in to the top four if they don't secure a victory this weekend. However, a loss would put the pressure on them to win at least one of their last two games and not slide their way out of the top eight all together.

It's unlikely that would happen, but Blacktown Workers (9th) and North Sydney (10th) are just two wins behind the Magpies and do have relatively favourable run homes to finish this year.