Top eight watch | Who can finish where?

With one round to play in the NRL Telstra Premiership regular season, only one finals-bound team has locked in their finishing position already. Here's how the finals race is looking and what's at stake for each of the contenders in Round 26.

Melbourne Storm 

Current rank: 1st

Best case: 1st, can extend their winning streak to seven games with a win over Canberra.

Worst case: 1st. The minor premiership is theirs.

Sydney Roosters 

Current rank: 2nd

Best case: 2nd, with a win over the Titans.

Worst case: 4th. If the Roosters lose they will drop to third if the Broncos beat the Cowboys, and could drop to fourth if the Eels notch a big win against the Rabbitohs. 

Brisbane Broncos 

Current rank: 3rd

Best case: 2nd, if they beat the Cowboys and the Roosters lose to the Titans. 

Worst case: 5th. For this to happen the Sharks would need to produce a massive win over the Knights and the Broncos would need to suffer a heavy loss to the Cowboys. More likely Brisbane would drop to fourth if they lose and the Eels beat South Sydney.

Parramatta Eels

Current rank: 4th

Best case: 2nd. The Eels will leapfrog Brisbane if they can beat the Rabbitohs and Brisbane loses to North Queensland. They could finish above the Roosters as well if the Tricolours lose to the Titans. 

Worst case: 5th. If the Eels lose to Souths and the Sharks beat Newcastle Parramatta would drop out of the top four.

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks

Current rank: 5th

Best case: 3rd. A win against the Knights could propel the Sharks into fourth if Parramatta lose to the Rabbitohs, but Cronulla could only finish third if the Broncos suffer a very heavy loss to North Queensland.

Worst case: 7th. If the Sharks lose this weekend the Cowboys and the winner of the Panthers and Sea Eagles could join them on 32 competition points, with for-and-against to determine the order. The Panthers would jump the Sharks with a win while the Cowboys would need to make up a 28 points differential or the Sea Eagles would need to make up a 38 points differential. 

Penrith Panthers

Current rank: 6th

Best case: 5th. Penrith will rise if they beat Manly and the Sharks lose to Newcastle, unless the Cowboys produce a huge win against Brisbane. 

Worst case: 9th. If the Panthers lose to the Sea Eagles and the Cowboys and Dragons win their matches, Penrith drop out of the eight. A heavy loss could put the Panthers in danger even if the Cowboys suffer a narrow loss to Brisbane.

North Queensland Cowboys

Current rank: 7th

Best case: 5th. If the Cowboys beat Brisbane and Penrith lose, North Queensland jump to sixth. They would need to make up a 27-point differential on the Sharks, and for Cronulla to lose, to finish fifth. The Cowboys can still make the finals if they lose to the Broncos, provided the Dragons lose to Canterbury or Penrith win big against Manly.

Worst case: 9th. If the Cowboys lose to the Broncos and the Sea Eagles and Dragons win, North Queensland are out. Even if the Sea Eagles lose to Penrith they could bump the Cowboys to ninth if they make up a 10-point differential. 

Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

Current rank: 8th

Best case: 5th. If Manly beat Penrith they are safe in the finals, and they could rise as high as fifth if they make up a 37-point differential against the Sharks and Cronulla lose to Newcastle. Otherwise they will finish sixth if the Cowboys lose to Brisbane.

Worst case: 9th. If Manly lose they will be relying on the Cowboys losing big against Brisbane (making up a 10-point differential) or the Dragons losing to Canterbury. If Manly lose, the Cowboys suffer a narrow loss and St George Illawarra win, the Sea Eagles will miss the eight.

St George Illawarra Dragons

Current rank: 9th

Best case: 7th. The Dragons have the third-best points differential in the league and could leapfrog the Cowboys and the loser of Manly v Penrith if they beat the Bulldogs this weekend.

Worst case: 10th. If the Dragons lose they will miss the eight, and could drop behind the 10th-placed Raiders if Canberra stuns the Storm.

This article first appeared on NRL.COM