NRL's run home in 2008 By Neil Cadigan | July 11, 2008 http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/sport/nrl/story/0,26799,24001110-5006066,00.html We've asked Fox Sports Stats, providers of comprehensive analysis and statistics to The Daily Telegraph and Fox Sports, to predict the results of every remaining game and come up with the answers. They ran all this season's information on every team through their computers, plus the history of the past seven seasons, and predicted only one change to the current top eight - the injury-ravaged Gold Coast dropping out for the second straight season (they were eighth after 17 rounds in 2007) and being replaced by Parramatta. Penrith, its computers deduct, will win four of their last nine to hang on for eighth on 27 points - meaning, for the fourth time in the past seven seasons, the final finals spot will be won by a team losing more games than it won. But they see a massive shift between the top six and the rest - with the Sharks finishing eight points clear of seventh - headed by the Sea Eagles finishing with their first minor premiership since 1997, beating Melbourne home on for-and-against. Wherever your team finishes, one thing is more evident this year than any other - with five teams rested from last weekend's bye and a gallery of stars returning over the next few weeks in Mark Gasnier, Darren Lockyer, Peter Wallace, Justin Hodges, Sia Soliola, Ben Creagh and Greg Bird _ the starter's gun sounds tonight on a truly run run home. Brisbane, with the "softest'' draw, are looming as the danger team - and they sense it. Their players all shook hands yesterday as if they were reporting for their first pre-season session. Their non-Origin players had been given eight days off after their round 16 draw with Penrith and, thanks to a bye last weekend, their Origin reps Darius Boyd, Karmichael Hunt, Sam Thaiday and Ben Hannant reported back only yesterday. Hunt and Boyd spent a week in Thailand, arriving in Brisbane yesterday morning refreshed, wiping the zinc cream off their lips just in time for training. "The timing of the bye after Origin III was perfect for us,'' said Bennett. "You can see how the players have freshened up and there is a real buzz in the place since they got back. We hadn't trained together as a whole squad since May 10. "For us it's about getting a good start, holding together during the rep season, then being in good shape to take it home. We're not a tired team as we often have been at this time of year, so that's encouraging.'' Departing Sharks halfback Kimmorley doesn't want to dwell on it, but he knows how tough these next two crucial months have been for his team for too long. There's no hiding from it, they have failed the test for the past five seasons - winning three of their last nine every year except 2006 when they crashed to lose all nine - dropping out of the eight for four seasons straight. Yet everyone recognises new steel in the Sharks' make-up, and the benefit of their many close losses last year. And with six home matches, more than any other side, they know a top-four finish is at their mercy. "We spoke about going into last weekend's bye on a positive, and with five straight wins having most of the week off, we're in a healthy position,'' Kimmorley says.