The start of the NRL season is less than four weeks away but you already knew that.
This is the time of year Gypsies make a fortune from selling crystal balls and as the talk heats up about who is the team to beat in 2014, bias bubbles to the surface and impartiality takes a walk, a long walk…
This coming weekend we have the Auckland Nines tournament but nothing can be gauged as far as premiership form goes. The same goes for trials. Canberra beat Melbourne so some are thinking the Raiders are top four material. Doesn’t work like that.
A cursory glance tells me nothing much is going to change this year. The Rooster look by far the strongest with Souths and Manly not far behind. Penrith look to be the big improvers and I think the Sharks can do some damage. Newcastle also look to be strong on paper but have had a disrupted off season but Bennett should be able to smooth those waters without too much angst.
At the other end the Eels, Raiders, Dragons and Tigers look to be bringing up the rear and there is not a lot separating them in my humble opinion. A distinct lack of depth and if injuries strike, thing will get ugly. Brisbane fall into this category as well with no established halves.
The rest fall somewhere in between with the Dogs boasting an awesome pack but not much else. The Cowboys have a new coach so it remains to be seen how they adjust. Melbourne are getting old in key positions and the Titans look to be fragile so I can’t pick them with any certainty to make the finals. Then we have the Warriors. Who knows what they will dish up this year? I don’t think they even know.
That’s as far as I’m willing to stick my neck out and if I’m right, I told you so and if not, blame injuries, salary cap, Origin, NRL management etc…