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NRL 2021

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    Posted: 09 Feb 2021 at 3:40pm
Alright we have left the cricket and NFL behind us and we are in the middle of an impacted Australian Open tennis, but we are now turning our attention to the winter football codes and so here is this years NRL thread.

This season sees a lot of questions being asked.

1. Can Trent Barret and the new recruits get them to the finals?

2. Are the Titans huge recruits going to stay and improve their performance, or will they succumb to the distractions on the Gold Coast, like most who play their have in the past?

3. Will Tigers fans get an improvement to actually finish higher than ninth, or will they regress and fall to the bottom of the ladder?

4. Can Tom Trbojvec play the whole season, and lead Manly to the finals?

5. Is Kevin Walters the man to improve the culture at Brisbane?

6. Will those who failed last year improve this year.? Players like Valentine Holmes, Mitchell Pearce, Micheal Morgan, Tyson Frizzell, James Roberts, Ben Hunt, and many others, let their fans down for a variety of reasons.

7. Can Mitchell Moses lay well for a whole season and lead the Parramatta side to at least a grand final spot?

8. Which team will fall from the eight? Will it be the Raiders due to John Bateman and Nick Cotirc leaving and Hodgson a half season player these days? Will it be the Panthers due to the youngsters who played well last year not backing up? Do Souths need their best 17 on the paddock with the depth being lessened with player movement. 

9. What is happening at the Storm with the hooker position? And will it impact on the unity in the squad?

10. Can the New Zealand Warriors bottle their strength and unity from last year and send Roger Tuivasa Shek to rugby with a season to remember?

11. Was Kyle Flanagan the actual problem that caused the Roosters to not make the grand final? I say no and I say the older members of their forward pack including the brave but stupid captain who looks like he will risk his health when he gets to 50 or 60 by continuing the career, need to be moved on and replaced with younger guys to help the guys who are younger. Also they need the other concussion prone player Keary to play the whole season. To me they lack some firepower outwide. Manu is either fantastic or hopeless, usually the later, Tupou is good at finishing but he does not go looking for the ball, he waits to be set up. The dynamic Morris brothers surely can not play as well as last year, although they are ageless so anything is possible. Their halves depth has been diminished. Do we think they can make the grand final?

12. Can one of the mediocre teams from last season push up to become contenders? teams like Manly, New Zealand, Cronulla, Newcastle, Wests Tigers and Gold Coast were all around the 8th to 13th teams and this group is usually the group where one will improve to become a top four team the next season.

All in all this is shaping up as a very intriguing season. The preview to come during the week.        
Remember, it might take intelligence to be smart , but it takes experience to be wise
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ExceedAndExcel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 2021 at 3:56pm
Can’t wait for NRL (and AFL for that matter) to return. Looking forward to seeing what promotions the corporates will come up with this year. Hoping for the $2 lines to return with Ladbrokes but suspect they won’t or at the very least will have closed the loophole which made it VERY exploitable. Lead by 4 at half time you win, also a great promo so will be looking forward to it or some variant. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote max manewer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 2021 at 6:34pm
Very open market with Betfair for the Premiership.  As for the Broncos, I would be surprised if they go deep, Walters touting Milford as the ace in his pack, well he must be showing something in private that hasn't been obvious on the field for a long time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shrunk in the Wash Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2021 at 6:57am
Manly for the wooden spoon 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shrunk in the Wash Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2021 at 7:04am
Originally posted by Shrunk in the Wash Shrunk in the Wash wrote:

Manly for the wooden spoon 

Or the Sharks

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carioca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2021 at 9:48am
Year of the Rabbit. Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2021 at 10:25am
Souffs off season.

New faces

Jai Arrow (Titans), Jacob Host (Dragons), Josh Mansour (Panthers), Benji Marshall (Wests Tigers), Taane Milne (Warriors), Tautau Moga (Knights)

2021 losses

Ethan Lowe (retired), James Roberts (Tigers), Bayley Sironen (Warriors), Jack Johns (Knights), Joseph Suaalii (Roosters), Corey Allan (Bulldogs), Tom Amone, Cory Denniss, Kurt Dillon, Ky Rodwell (released)

    
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jujuno Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2021 at 10:29am
Originally posted by Passing Through Passing Through wrote:

Souffs off season.

New faces

Jai Arrow (Titans), Jacob Host (Dragons), Josh Mansour (Panthers), Benji Marshall (Wests Tigers), Taane Milne (Warriors), Tautau Moga (Knights)

2021 losses

Ethan Lowe (retired), James Roberts (Tigers), Bayley Sironen (Warriors), Jack Johns (Knights), Joseph Suaalii (Roosters), Corey Allan (Bulldogs), Tom Amone, Cory Denniss, Kurt Dillon, Ky Rodwell (released)


 the only real loss from that second list is Corey Allan. I'd far prefer him at fullback than Mitchell...



 
Desert War, Rain Lover, Latin Knight, Hay List, Mustard...my turf heroes...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2021 at 10:35am
Remains to be seen if Suaali is a loss, but I note Fittler has added him to the expanded Origin squad to get the feel of the atmosphere. 
    
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shrunk in the Wash Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2021 at 11:24am
Originally posted by Passing Through Passing Through wrote:

Remains to be seen if Suaali is a loss, but I note Fittler has added him to the expanded Origin squad to get the feel of the atmosphere. 

Part of the reason he walked out on Souths 
Freddy doing favours for uncle nick and his sombrero Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TJMitchell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2021 at 11:37am
Excited to see Harry Grant at Storm this year
I wish I had a sig
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Afros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2021 at 6:59pm
Originally posted by Passing Through Passing Through wrote:

Remains to be seen if Suaali is a loss, but I note Fittler has added him to the expanded Origin squad to get the feel of the atmosphere. 

Big pressure on the kid already, had a name for two years and achieved nothing of note.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote marble Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Feb 2021 at 11:46am
I see the storm are bailing of Victoria for the time being. Smart move but makes it difficult for family connections
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shrunk in the Wash Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Feb 2021 at 7:32pm
Is Smithy joining them?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Second Chance Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Feb 2021 at 3:47pm

Sad really on a couple of levels, Burgess in particular but also because most found Mitch Hooke to be a gifted agricultural industry lobbyist, but a quintessential assh2le at a personal level:

First this:

Former NRL star Sam Burgess will appeal a conviction for intimidating his former father-in-law during what the magistrate described as an angry, aggressive altercation that would have been “frightening for any Australian.”

Moss Vale Local Court magistrate Robert Rabbidge found on Friday morning Burgess had intimidated Mitchell Hooke at the family’s Glenquarry property in October 2019 with the intention of causing him physical and mental harm.

And now this:

Former NRL star Sam Burgess has allegedly failed a roadside drug test and has been charged with traffic offences in the New South Wales Southern Highlands.

Key points:

  • The ABC understands police will alleged Burgess tested positive for cocaine during a random drug test
  • Burgess is charged with driving without a valid NSW licence and using an unregistered vehicle
  • A second drug test has been sent for more analysis

Burgess, 32, was stopped in a BMW X5 at Braemar earlier this afternoon by highway patrol officers.

The ABC understands police will allege he tested positive for cocaine during a random drug test, with a second oral fluid test sample sent for further analysis.

He has been charged with driving without a valid NSW licence and using an unregistered vehicle and will face court in May.


On a couple of levels actually, particularly given most found Mitch Hooke to be a a top agricultural industry lobbyist, but a totally assh2le at a personal level.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tlazolteotl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Feb 2021 at 3:55pm
What a d1ckhead.Ouch
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Second Chance Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Feb 2021 at 4:14pm
Well maybe two sweethearts actually.  Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VOYAGER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Feb 2021 at 6:39pm
Okay I think we have our wooden spoon favorites St.George Illawarra.

I can see the coach coming under huge pressure early.
Remember, it might take intelligence to be smart , but it takes experience to be wise
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carioca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Feb 2021 at 10:52am
Mmmmm Rabbits looking good lol, Mitchell medal material ?Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Feb 2021 at 11:04am
Gotta get him fit and keep him happy carioca. The glow of the All Stars game will wear off.
    
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carioca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Feb 2021 at 11:55am
Might sound funny to some P T , but he has the midriff of big Artie lol , hut at this stage has a sorta " junior " look about it .LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carioca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Feb 2021 at 11:57am
* but at 'tis stage .
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Feb 2021 at 12:08pm
Originally posted by Carioca Carioca wrote:

Might sound funny to some P T , but he has the midriff of big Artie lol , hut at this stage has a sorta " junior " look about it .LOL

People forget the great man Artie started out as a lithe center/winger. Pies and beer diet took care of that though.
    
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carioca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Feb 2021 at 12:32pm
I made 3 sentimental journey's back to Randwick for the Autumn carnival /02-04 , stayed at a nice motel on Anzac PD just up from the Doncaster pub , had lunch there most days and Artie was always there playing euchre with his mates , lots of laughter from the table , iconic figure .
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shrunk in the Wash Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Feb 2021 at 12:36pm
Latrell is fit and is a star
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carioca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Feb 2021 at 12:46pm
Wayne has to get inside his head and Stay there .Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VOYAGER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Mar 2021 at 8:15pm
Alright lets see where we sit from our season preview.

Rankings in order. Before we start my rankings suggest this will be a very close competition with 10 points between the top ten teams.

1. Penrith Panthers - 124. This is a hard rating, but again we do have to remember that the young players who came through and played brilliantly, and who most now have big contracts, could regress. They have lost a lot of depth and so if they get injuries they could be in some trouble. 
2. Roosters - 123. They have only lost Flanagan, but their rating depends on two players who have had issues over the last two seasons. Cordner and Keary need to be present and playing for the entire season. If these two players are missing for more than six games then this rating goes down significantly. You also have to be concerned about how the Morris brothers can play at last seasons level. I can see  them being able to grab enough wins to make the top four, and they have the experience to go far but I am just not sure they have the talent all over the field in the backs and forwards to win the comp.
3. Souths - 122. Too me they look very well placed to challenge for the premiership. I excellent top 17, they have lost Corey Allen to the Bulldogs but Josh Mansour is a good swap. Jai Arrow and Jacob Host cover the losses in the forwards. I think Bennett will also be feeling this may be his last realistic hope of a title, and I can see Marshall being a very good buy. For me they are the ones to beat.  
4. Parramatta -122. This is their season to make a charge at the premiership. Of course their are four key factors that need to be met to accomplish this. One, they need to find a way to either be peaking in the finals or to keep their early season form going for the whole year. Two they need their spine to be more consistently productive. In some games they can look like superstars but in others they can look like reserve graders. It is about time Moses, Brown and Mahoney helped Gutherson for the whole season, and not just a few matches. Third they need the young forwards such as Nikore and Lane to keep improving. And finally the team seem to have a lot of players who are more worried about off field issues. I understand we all have families and problems, but most of the issues that occur are self inflicted such as Micheal Jennings getting done for cocaine usage.
5. Canberra - 122. Okay we need one thing to be a chance, we need Hodgson to stay healthy for the whole season. When he is out of the side, the balance of the side is not tuned to its optimum level. Cotric is a huge loss and I still do not think Curtis Scott is a first grade quality centre, but with Papalli, Whitehead and Tapine leading the forwards and if we can get Ryan James healthy and back to somewhere near his best, then we can go close.
6. Melbourne - 121. They have lost Vunivalu and I am saying Cameron Smith does not play, selfish Christmas pudding. Sorry guys but for a person who ahs always said the club comes first he has shown his true nature by not making a decision. Anyway they have two ready made replacements for Smith. I still have a problem with their outside backs, but they did do the job last season. Their forward depth has been taken, but they seem to be able to overcome that as a club. They should be up for Bellamy's last campaign south so motivation and the quality they have make them hard to stop going back to back.
7. New Zealand - 120. This one was a surprise to me but there you go. Addin Fonua Blake is an upgrade, the young forwards were outstanding last season and with that full season back Maumolo and Fusit'ua should be able to recapture their best. I was impressed with the young hooker last year who gave good service to his halves. I have a concern about their coach, can he bring them together like Todd Payten did last season and you do have to think that they will be super motivated to send their captain off to rugby on a high note. They always seem to disappoint, and I do not think they can win the comp, but I can see them doing well.
8. Manly - 119. Again we have a team who needs Tom Trbojevic on the field. Foran can add value and be productive if he is healthy. Aloiai is a direct replacement for Fonua Blake. They have a deficiency in the hooking position, as the service from that area of the field is not great. They have a good backline so if the forwards can match their opponents then they will be in most matches.
9. Wests - 116. They are already 9th in the ratings and they can do well, but they are one of the many teams that need their best 17 on the field all season. Nofoluma had a sensational season last year, I would play Douehi at five eight and put someone else back at fullback, but hey that is just me. Tamou and Roberts do add something to this side, even if they might be beyond their best. Obviously the loss of Harry Grant is horrible, but Liddle is a capable hooker. 
10. Gold Coast - 115. They should improve on what they have done the past few seasons, but for me they will either make the top four or miss the eight. If you are a side that five rounds out from the semi finals are in a fight with five or six clubs for the final two finals spots, then you need to be professional and limit your unforced errors to give yourself a chance of winning the matches you need to. The two big buys in the off season are dynamic players, but they are younger players who have some errors in their game when they are under pressure. If they get off to a huge start and are safe in the top eight and injury free they can challenge for the title.
11. Newcastle - 110. I am sorry Knights fans but I can not see where they improve this year. The addition of Frizzell makes their forward pack more productive and the young backs have another season under their belt, but I am not seeing any improvement from their senior players. Ponga, Pearce, Klemmer and Green are good players but their previous best has not been good enough and I am not seeing any way they can improve on that. Daniel Saifiti can continue to develop and Bradman Best is getting more seasoned and Edrick Lee had his best season last year, but they will be in the fight for seventh and eight at best.
12. StGeorge Illawarra - 109. This is the wooden spoon favorite. The teams below them all have something that can elevate them off their rating. This is a hard rating for the Dragons, which means I can not see how they improve, unless their younger players develop quickly. The only player who gets anywhere near a 10 out of 10 is Paul Vaughan, but just like Payne Haas at Broncos, he needs help from the others. If De Belin can come back even though he missed all last season he would add a point or two. If Norman and Hunt got their finger out they have the upper rating to improve the score, and Lomax and Dufty are talented but to my eye they are still developing. The forwards are among the worst packs in the comp and that falls even further when the interchange comes into effect during matches. As I stated above for me they are the spoon favs with the Cowboys.
13. Cronulla - 104. This team have fallen hard in the last two seasons. The youngsters have not come on as well as expected, the club have brought well at the time, but Moylan, Dugan, Woods and Johnson have not delivered on the big contracts. Fifita has leveled off his improvement and Ramien had that year off at Newcastle. The fact the their best young back since Ettingshausen will be out for four years because of a stupid decision. Again a team which ahs only one player who gets near a 10 and that is Wade Graham and he had injury troubles last year. I think Morris could be the first couach off the ranks this season.
14. Brisbane -104. This is a soft score, because they do have young talent who could develop unexpectedly this season. Staggs was a highlight for them last year making the State Of Origin. Payne Haas needs some help as he can not win forward battles himself. Lodge is in a performance plateau, he is doing his job but the Broncos need him to improve. It would be handy if Pengai Jr worried more about football than riding around on bikes with his so called mates. The halves are a huge problem and I am not seeing a genuine fullback in the squad. Problems all over the place, but Kevin Walters will do his best, whether that is good enough to improve the clubs position on the table is unclear.
15. North Queensland - 103. Can not see any areas of improvement for this squad. I am seeing Taumalolo starting to wind down his performance duration, not unexpected as he has not had any help from his fellow forwards for about three seasons. Morgan is a week to week proposition, they have no five eight, which is why they should move Holmes there and put the young guy Tabuai Fidow, in at fullback, his few games last year were signs that he could be as good as Matt Bowen. The forwards
are one of the most underachieving packs in the comp with Jordan McLean going from being a top four prop in the world to barely being able to make first grade. Along with the dragons they are spoon favorites.
16. Canterbury - 100. This is a very soft score. Some of the youngsters look like they are developing, the loss of Foran is huge, but they do get Flanagan who will not be as capable, but he is coming on. Luke Thompson has had the half season now and he has apparently settled in very well, and he could be a big improver. Cory Allen and Nick Cotric are good buys from the Rabbits and canberra respectively and with Zelezniak onto the wing that gives the backline a more balanced look. This team is another where the coach is vital. He was a polarising figure at Manly and if he gets off to a bad start with the players, so in other words if his game plans and training schedule are not successful early, it will see them have a long season with no improvement. 

Preliminary Finals.

Souths vs Parramatta
Melbourne vs Canberra

Grand Final

Souths vs Canberra

Premiers

South Sydney

Most Improved Team

New Zealand

Biggest Disappointment

Cronulla

Dally M Winner

A.J.Brimson

First Coach Shown The Door

John Morris

Biggest Story

Boyd Cordner forced to retire after his tenth concussion.

Most improved player

I am expecting big things this season from the young Cowboy Hamiso Tabuai Fidow, especially if they start him at fullback.

Most decline in performance from a player

James Luai.

Good luck to all clubs and fans for 2021 Thumbs Up


                             
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote max manewer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Mar 2021 at 8:51pm
I think the place to look is the leadership of these teams, teams without a solid leadership core don't do well. Looking at the Broncos, I can't see anything that could masquerade as leadership. Walters looks worried already, and the season hasn't even started !
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carioca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Mar 2021 at 8:59pm
Great coverage Voyager , it's opened my eyes a bit as I haven't been following player movements , in my footy tips I'll refer back to this. Star
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tlazolteotl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Mar 2021 at 5:37am
Cordner won't be playing the whole season. He won't play till June.
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