With seven rounds remaining in the 2016 NRL season, 12 of the 16 teams have reasonable prospects of making it into the finals beginning in September.
The Cronulla Sharks would appear to have the top rung secured, with only one game against a top four team, two with top eight teams, two with bottom four teams and two with bottom eight teams. Their stiffest test will probably be in the final round when they have to pay a visit to Melbourne for a game with the Storm where the minor premiership could be on the line.
The North Queensland Cowboys, currently in the number three spot, had a tough patch with players away at Origin, but their strongest competition remaining will all be on their home ground.
Things get interesting at number seven Titans. Three of their last four games will be on the road, including their final game against the Cowboys, where a slot in the finals could be riding on a win.
The number eight New Zealand Warriors can control their own fate, but with games against other teams trying to extend their seasons, they could use a little boost from one or more of the other clubs.
The Panthers, Dragons, Tigers and Sea Eagles need to win out if they are to qualify or elsewise be dependent for their fate on the games over which they have no control.