With the NRL top-eight is set in stone, interested has shifted to the bottom of the ladder as the Bulldogs and Broncos scrap to avoid the wooden spoon in 2020.
With just two rounds remaining the Bulldogs sit on four points, just one win behind the Broncos who sit on six.
It makes for a tantalising finish to what has been a torrid year for both franchises, but the possibility perhaps seems to make Brisbane’s historic season from hell all the more macabre.
While there will be camps on either side of the fence, NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler says he hopes the Bulldogs can pull a rabbit from a hat to ensure Brisbane get the finish they need in order to grow.
“I do feel like, I’ve got this thing, that Brisbane will get the wooden spoon for some reason,” Fittler told WWOS.
“But then Canterbury has to play souths this week and then Penrith.”
It will be a tall order for the Sydneysiders who have battled through their own off-field dramas at clubland with a reported schism in upper management tearing through their leadership.
With incoming coach Trent Barret taking the reins in 2021, the Dogs will hope to have their issues sorted as they set about a well overdue rebuild at Belmore.
Avoiding a wooden spoon finish may go a long way in that endeavor. Before they can get there however they’ll face a resurgent Rabbitohs outfit peaking under Wayne Bennett.