Halfway through the first round things are starting to crystallize a little.

I have always been of the opinion that 11 to 12 wins are required to guarantee a place in the finals.The question is, who at the present is likely to achieve that target.

I don't think, even at this early stage, that Palmyra, Nedlands and Wests are likely to miss out. Pally and Wests have almost reached half that target, while Nedlands are only just behind on 3.5 wins and a truckload of bonus points.

Palmyra will make it because of their depth. Wests will make it because of the concentration of quality players already in their premier grade. Nedlands will make it because they will only improve as the season progresses, and they gain access to Force players as the Super season ends.

The question then is, who will fill the fourth position.

Joondalup? They have had three wins, and sit in fourth spot, but they have lost two games to sides lower than them on the ladder, and have only won against the bottom three by relatively small margins.

Associates? True, they drew with a depleted Nedlands, but were flogged by Wests, though they defeated Joondalup. With only 2.5 wins, and no bonus points, they have a struggle ahead.

Kalamunda? Possibly, but three of the next four rounds are against sides ahead of them in the ladder, Joondalup, Associates and Wests, and it will be a big ask for them to win all three to stay in the hunt. Their last game in the first round will be against Cottesloe, and that too will certainly not be a given.

Of the remaining four sides, I don't think Wanneroo, Uni or Perth have any chance of making up the ground required. One win or less, a quarter of the way through the season, will not cut it.

That leaves Cottesloe, who, while only on two wins, have great experience in making and winning finals despite insurmountable odds, so cannot be written off.

I believe that fourth spot will be fought out between Joondalup and Cottesloe.