It's only round 10 in the 2013 NRL season, and already the competition is down to just four teams. Oh, I'm sure Newcastle fans will have you believe they are contenders, and even Cowboys, Brisbane and Cronulla fans will push their case for inclusion. Bulldogs fans will come out howling that they are on their way back to make it two Grand Finals in a row. But they're wrong and kidding themselves. Twelve clubs are already planning for next season, or positioning themselves in that way.
No, in 2013 only the Storm, the Sea Eagles, the Rabbitohs and the Roosters are in contention for this season's title. They have been the stand-out teams so far, and look like the winners. This was highlighted by the great drawn game on Monday night between Manly and Melbourne. Both teams showed their best, and they couldn't be seperated after 90 minutes.
Of course, the Origin series is almost upon us, an eight week period that will likely include a number of players from each of these Clubs - although Souths may well get away with a very small representation, which will be to their benefit.