“Here we go again, Manly and Parra”
We all remember the old words of adverts from yester year. If you don’t remember, have a look. It’s brilliant!
Many and Parra will be playing obviously, but it won’t be with the same intensity of the 80’s and they definitely won’t be featuring in September or sharing a Tooheys or two.
The good thing for Parramatta is that, Ricky Stuart, one of the worst coaches in the modern era, with a record of 117 wins and 110 losses, has left and they can welcome a fresh start. It won’t be shades of Sterlo and Kenny for the Eels or 50 shades of blue and gold, but it definitely won’t be 50 shades of black, like it’s been for the last few seasons.
This year will be one of the most even ever. The hapless Dragons are the only team I can confidently say won’t make the eight… Or the top 15 for that matter. They’ve bought worse than investors before the GFC and Gareth Widdop won’t save them.
The only team to challenge the Dragons for the dreaded spoon is the Sharks. No coach. Injuries already. Findings still to come from ASADA. They will field a team in 2014…who knows how many regular players will be in that team. Who knows if they will keep competition points. This club has the team and heart to play towards October, but outside issues will hinder this.
The Tiger cubs will win a few games. Their team is full of interns. Luke Brooks might be a revelation in first grade. The Concorde might come back one day as well. Time will tell and the Leichardt faithful can’t wait to see what he can do.
Remember the Titans. Great Movie but doesn’t apply to the team on the Gold Coast. Already forgotten them for this season. A little birdy might have something to say about their chances of the top 8, but I don’t feel they’ll be there.
The Knights will slay the Dragons but the moat around their stadium won’t be impenetrable. Jarrod Mullen out until week 10 is just too big a hurdle to overcome.
Shaun Johnson is arguably the most exciting player in the competition. He is Houdini /Copperfield. He single handedly got NZ to the World Cup final and could quite literally guide this team to a premiership. Impossible to write off. Impossible to predict. Impossible to follow. The Warriors can do anything and nothing.
In my opinion had Canberra not been decimated by injuries and alcohol last season, they would have won the premiership. No idea what they put in the milk in 2013 but it wasn’t organic, homogenised or even full or creamy. I would never write off a team with a fit Terry Campese and hopefully the new coach, Ricky Stuart, can reunite his love with the team he once won a premiership with. Will be tough, but these fellas play in cold temperatures all the time, so they should be toughened up like King Gee.
The Broncos will be bucking this year after a few years of being in the doldrums. It’s time for the Hoff, not David Hasselhoff, but Josh Hoffman to step up and I’m sure Ben Barba won’t be the black sheep he was last year. They’ll be in the eight and will cause some damage.
Another QLD team the Cowboys who romped to victory in the 9’s will show they can play the 13 a side game just as well. Referees may have robbed them for the last two years but nothing will rob them of a finals berth this year. JT doesn’t have the moves of Justin Timberlake, but he has a few moves up his sleeve Timberlake can’t do.
The most impressive side to open their cheque books in the off season were the Panthers. They welcome home William, I mean Peter Wallace and I’m sure “They may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom”, will be heard when Wallace has the ball in hand. Ok, I can actually guarantee this will be the one thing which doesn’t happen in the NRL this year.
The puppies of last year, will be Dogs again this year. All the off-field distractions will hopefully be gone and their coach, who still sports a 60’s hairstyle, will wind back the clock and have this team primed for an assault at the end of the season. If the Dogs win the Premiership, I’ll even cut my hair the same way as Des Hasler.
The team most people hate, the Manly Sea Eagles are just a class act. They have been the most impressive team over the last decade, if not the last three decades. Schooners will be hammered down at Wharf Bar this year as the maroon and whites again, beat almost everyone in the comp.
It might be stormy weather in Melbourne and it’s stormy conditions for most teams who play against this super power. They aren’t as strong as previous years, but they’ll again continue to prove that no-one cares about League in Melbourne and that this team is one of the best, with one of the best coaches- ever.
South’s might be owned by Rusty, but they aren’t a rusty outfit. They choked last year in the semi finals, but don’t expect that to happen again. They will be in the Grand Final.
Then there’s SBW and the Roosters. I can’t quite see how anyone will beat them. I gave them no chance at the start of last year (again proving my incompetence), but the brand of footy they play is superb. Defence wins games and theirs is complete.
Get me to a game with a beer and four and twenty pie and some tom sauce!