With only 9 rounds remaining in the NRL we are well and truly heading into the business end of the season. The Origin is (thankfully) over for another year and the real contenders are starting to show their wares as they battle for hotly contested Top Eight positions.
The Ladder Predictor is a man's best and worst friend at this time of year more so than any other. Whether your team is tussling around the middle of the pack or languishing near the bottom there's a formula and a cut-off point for every team.
If all remaining games were won by the home side the ladder would read thusly:
It's the away record that let's them down. With only one win from seven matches on the road Penrith are the second worst travelling team in the NRL, only Manly are worse (one win from eight matches).
It's never that simple though and teams can often draw upon previous finals experience to rally the spirit of the troops and charge towards another finals series.
If the team who had most recently won a premiership won each of the remaining matches this season, the table would end up like this:
Check out the Cowboys scrambling to remain in the top eight despite having never won a premiership - a fantastic indicator of what a great start to the season they've had.
In this ladder Penrith manage to sneak in, but they'll be battling with shock jumpers Manly on points differential for that final spot in the finals.
It's not all doom and gloom for Penrith from here though, in fact it's possible for the mountain men to finish first - and by a significant margin!
There's never one deciding factor that decides the final layout of the ladder, making those above unlikely, but with divine wisdom a final ladder has been legitimately procured that shows Penrith are still very much in the title race.
The form is on the park now, the right time of season, and players young and old are standing up and taking responsibility. All the makings are here for Penrith, all they need to do now is grasp onto the opportunity in front of them with both hands and do what they've shown us they can do in the last fortnight.
Have Your Say: Where will the Penrith Panthers finish on the ladder in 2015?