The Cronulla Sharks have lost three of their last four games before taking on the Gold Coast Titans on Friday evening, and will need a major form turnaround to be a player in the finals - provided they make the top eight.
Their form - which has been up and down throughout the course of the 2023 season in backing up last year's top two finish before a straight sets finals exit - will need to improve out of sight to contend in the finals.
That's the view of Dan Nichols and Terry Mortimer, who were asked by Instagram user Malachicridland on this week's Knock On podcast during the mailbag whether the Sharks could turn things around.
"I don't think they are going to slide out of the top eight because the Sharks have had a couple of favourable games," Mortimer said.
"I think the shot at the top four is gone unless they are perfect. You are probably looking at sixth or seventh for the Sharks."
Mortimer and Nichols both theorised that Wade Graham's impending retirement - the second-rower will hang up the boots at the end of the season - could spur the Sharks on.
"I can't see Cronulla winning the comp whether Wade is retiring or not, but it certainly won't hurt with motivation," Nichols added.
You can watch the full episode of this week's Knock On Podcast, as well as other rugby league videos, on the Zero Tackle YouTube Channel or listen wherever you get your podcasts.