Roosters: (real chance) have been very up and down but their fundamentals remain strong. With Carney added to their existing (and past) rep players, the roster is strong and in good form. Expect them to be in the 8 if they develop some consistency
Canberra: (possible chance) this team has many good young players and a big forward pack. They lack the clinical edge and this may see them miss out on the 8.
Bulldogs: (real chance) a very slow start but their player roster is strong. They will not dominate like last year but they will beat any team on their day. They should play finals footy.
Cowboys: (no chance) This team can be very strong at home. Nothing technical here but early indications suggest this team will struggle this year. Jonathan Thurston (and to a small degree Aaron Payne) are the cornerstones. Injuries now are a problem and with their current record they look set to struggle for the eight.
Newcastle: (no chance) early season issues look to have effected this team. Mullen needs another star to hook up wiht (Kidley?). They have looked strong in patches but like the Raiders they lack the clinical edge and this may see them miss out on the 8.
Panthers: (real chance) Agree with the early season predictions that this team could be a dark house. Their halves (not included Lewis who should be at 13) need to fire for them to be a force. Strong chance of the 8
Warriors: (possible chance) very hard to predict. A team of strong (yet not star studded) players who are unpredictable. Very strong at home. They were almost there in 08 and failed on 09. ’10 is looking good so far but who knows with this team.
Manly: (real chance) this is a class team even without Orford. If their new halves combo fires they could be a real threat. They know how to grind out a win and also how to play finals footy. Outside 8 most likely
Gold Coast: (top 4) a round, in round out quality team. Very good at home. While they should be a top 4 team, they are yet to show that they are real premiership contenders.
St George: (top 4) on their day the best in the comp, on another, they are as vulnerable as any below 8 team. They don’t have the steel of Melbourne. Their player roster is full of quality and is well blended (i.e. Melbourne has a number of no names in positions (although they are all well drilled)). In the heat of the finals they are yet to prove that they are the real thing
Brisbane: (no chance) this young and decimated team will improve this year. It is a culture there. But a time comes when a club must hit rock bottom. This is that year despite some of their aging and new stars with good footy in them
Sharks: (no chance) A terrible 12 months for the team. I feel for their supporters. I get the feeling they will improve this year and they should avoid the wooden spoon.
Melbourne: (top 4) the team to beat. Simple, they are the only sure premiership contenders
Parramatta: (real chance) very slow start to the season. No doubt they will improve. I have backed them to win this week. A win or two in a row and we will see their 09 form. May not win the games to make the eight but possible fringe 8 contenders
Souths: (real chance) Their forwards are very big and they have a real star in Luke. If their backs fire they could be a real force. Fringe 8 team and perhaps battling with the Tigers
Tigers: (real chance) Read the rest of the forum. We have to be there! :supporter:
There are three ‘definite’ top eighters.
There are another 7 teams all with a ‘real chance’ of fighting for the remaining 5 spots in the eight. That still leaves 2 teams who ‘should make it’ who will fail (not to mention those teams with a ‘possible chance’). It is a very close and tough comp!
I am not at all confident that we are shoe-in’s for the 8 but we are as much in the running as any of the other 7 real-chance teams (+ possibles)
Some good thoughts about the teams. Rep season and injuries to as few teams will see some start to struggle as the season goes on. I think the next few weeks could tell us more about the Tigers with the Panthers, Roosters and Souths all coming up. A win or two there will really build confidence.
After today’s game and the fact that they have Melbourne next week, Warriors are looking a likely team to fall out of the “real chancers”. Manly play Melbourne this week for a likely loss but obviously that wont rule them out. If Parramatta lose to the Bunnies they will struggle (but you cant forget last year’s come back from nowhere). I may have been harsh on Newcastle with Kidley retuning - they are a possible chance only. If we win 2 of the next 3 games we should be sitting well in the eight. Panthers will be very tough next week. If we only 1 of the next 3, we may already be out of the eight.