Yes! It’s back, and here’s my annual (2nd straight year!) preview
But first, let’s see how I did last year with my fearless predictions
Melbourne (+4 places)
North Queensland (+13)
New Zealand (+10)
Gold Coast (-4)
Well, my top 4 were way off, but I didn’t do too badly with the rest of them. Was within 2 places for 6 of the teams!
I’m not going to give a rundown on every team this year, simply because I couldn’t be arsed, but here is how I think they will finish up this season!
1st – Parramatta Eels – Yes. I am sticking with them as any good supporter would. We have a perfectly balanced team in talent, but not the perfectly balanced mindset. If they can sort their heads out this year, they will blow most teams off the park
2nd – Melbourne Storm – They were dominant all of last year, and the year before that and I can’t see that changing this year. They could go back-to-back, but they’ll have to get past the might of the Eels first!
3rd – Manly Sea-Eagles – As much as I hate the damn silvertails, they will put in another good season, especially to give Beaver Menzies a big send-off. Look for another big year from Jamie (traitor) Lyon.
4th – North Queensland Cowboys – If the Bowen/Thurston show stays fit, they will easily fit into the Top 4 this year. Little did I know this time last year how potent they can be! Mind you, I think they lack depth and could drop fast if their top players are injured
5th – Sydney Roosters – I love to hate them, as does most of the country, but they have a solid team this year after buying up big (and I mean BIG) with Mason and Myles. The Roosters have been out of contention for a while, but this year they will bounce right back
7th – Cronulla Sharks – I like the comination of Kimmorley, Bird and Gallen and I think they will bring this team back to the Finals. It’s been a while!
8th – Wests Tigers – With a fit Benji and Farah, Hodgson and Morris, they will scrape into the finals this year.
9th – Bulldogs – Although they still have a lot of fire power up front, I think the decline of the Bulldogs has begun, starting with tomorrow’s thrashing by the Eels!
10th – Gold Coast Titans – They had a big opening season, but they really dropped off in the latter half.If their personnel stays fit I think they can improve their standing, but will still be shy of the Playoffs.
11th – New Zealand Warriors – Although they still have the old heads of Steve Price and now Brent Tate, I don’t think it will be enough to make the Warriors anything but an annoying trip across the Tasman.
12th – St.George-Illawarra Dragons – This will be a tough year for Nathan Brown and his troops. Unless Gasnier and Cooper can keep the ship afloat, I think it will be a lean season for them
13th – Canberra Raiders – Things aren’t all doom and gloom for the Raiders, but they will still struggle. They do have some up and coming talent in the side and Carney should become a revelation for the local region if he performs, stays off the plonk and the roads. Then again, he just has to stay in Canberra for that to happen. It won’t be the best year for the Raiders again. They still lack the experience, with no-one in the side having played more than 150 games, to win the big close games.
14th – Brisbane Broncos – It’s not often I would pick the Broncos to finish down here, but it’s my big pick this year. They didn’t make the finals last year and even with Lockyer trying his hardest, I think they will really struggle this year. Playing in Brisbane will no longer mean certain death!
15th – Penrith Panthers – They stole the wooden spoon off the Knights last year, but should reverse positions this time. They still have some quality players in their team like Rooney and now Civoniceva, but I can’t see them threatening too many teams yet.
16th – Newcastle Knights – The poor old Knights really took a tumble after mourning their greatest players fall last year. I’m afraid it won’t get much better for them as Buderus has just announced his defection to England next year and they really lack any sort of firepower to support him. Spoon goes to the Knights this year!
So there we go. The way it will be this season.
That’s right, because I am the Guru of the Greatest Game of All 🙂
GO THE EELS!