THE BIG PICTURE: Footy finals races have become harder to predict

RACE IN FIVE?: Orange Hawks have announced themselves as Group 10 premiership contenders, while the previously high-flying Mudgee Dragons have come back to the pack. Photo: BEN HARRIS

RACE IN FIVE?: Orange Hawks have announced themselves as Group 10 premiership contenders, while the previously high-flying Mudgee Dragons have come back to the pack. Photo: BEN HARRIS

TWO weeks ago if someone asked me who was likely to take out this year’s Blowes Clothing Cup title, the answer would have been swift.

That same conviction would have been fired at a Group 10 prediction too.

Nostradamus cap firmly on, a fortnight ago there was only one team that could possibly win the Group 10 premier league crown this season.

Now, both premiership races are wide open.

In the space of two weeks both Dubbo Roos and the Mudgee Dragons - unbackable favourites as both seemed certain to clinch minor premierships - have shown some serious chinks in their respective armours, banking just one win between the two of them in the last fortnight.

And where there’s light, there’s hope.

Now, in Group 10, any one of five teams can realistically win the title.

The form side of the competition, Orange Hawks, sits in fifth place, and is showing no signs of letting a six-game winning streak end after knocking off Mudgee in their last start at Glen Willow.

And while the Blowes Clothing Cup isn’t a race in five, it’s, crucially, no longer a race in one.

If they weren’t already, Emus’ 48-3 hammering of Roos announced the greens as serious premiership contenders while two-time defending champions Orange City can’t be discounted either, not with barnstorming outside centre Tatafu Na’aniumotu set to return this weekend against Mudgee.

The finals for both competitions are just over a month away and with the top sides stumbling ever so slightly, just who will be crowned champions of either code is as wide open as ever.

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