Here is my take.
Sydney Roosters v Brisbane Broncos = Brisbane Broncos (Roosters have been down on form)
Melbourne Storm v Parramatta Eels = Melbourne Storm
Manly Sea Eagles v Penrith Panthers = Manly Sea Eagles
Cronulla Sharks v North Queensland Cowboys = Cronulla Sharks
Sydney Roosters v Manly Sea Eagles = Sydney roosters.
Parramata Eels v Cronulla Sharks = Parramatta Eels.
Brisbane Broncos v Parramatta Eels = ? I think Eels by a whisker.
Melbourne Storm v Sydney Roosters = Melbourne Storm
Melbourne Storm v Parramatta Eels.
? Melbourne by a whisker.
I am basically counting on the Roosters not being as good as people think they are. They have had players leave and against the Broncos I think they will be out muscled in the front (Bennett can coach finals teams and I expect the Broncos to rise). I would definitely not write off Brisbane vs Roosters.
I think the Storm are solid enough to beat Parramatta week 1, but who knows with injuries and suspensions after that, who knows.
Definite gap between the top 4 and 4-8. Prelim finals I expect everyone to roll over but maybe Cronulla. If it is Cronulla vs Eels it will be a tight game and if the Eels get too bruised they will be out. I don’t see Cronulla winning and having the petrol to go back to back, not with the chaos of Jack Bird and everyone else aging a year. Roosters have the spine, but not the fullback. They are a star down and will go down of the top 3.
Melbourne are the team to beat, Broncos and Parramatta are the teams to beat them. so I am going to back westie’s.