General 2016 NRL Top 8

Here's some predicted lineups.
Don't know how accurate they are but they give u an idea of what we'll be up against-

Brisbane Broncos: 1. Darius Boyd, 2. Corey Oates, 3. Jack Reed, 4. James Roberts, 5. Jordan Kahu, 6. Anthony Milford, 7. Ben Hunt, 8. Josh McGuire, 9. Andrew McCullough, 10. Sam Thaiday, 11. Alex Glenn, 12. Matthew Gillett, 13. Corey Parker. Interchange: 14. Kodi Nikorima, 15. Adam Blair, 16. Joe Ofahengaue, 17. Jarrod Wallace.

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs: 1. Brett Morris, 2. Curtis Rona, 3. Josh Morris, 4. Will Hopoate, 5. Sam Perrett, 6. Josh Reynolds, 7. Moses Mbye, 8. James Graham (c), 9. Michael Lichaa, 10. Aiden Tolman, 11. Josh Jackson, 12. Tony Williams, 13. Greg Eastwood. Interchange: 14. Sam Kasiano, 15. David Klemmer, 16. Shaun Lane, 17. Tim Browne.

North Queensland Cowboys: 1. Lachlan Coote, 2. Kyle Feldt, 3. Kane Linnett, 4. Justin O'Neill, 5. Antonio Winterstein, 6. Michael Morgan, 7. Johnathan Thurston (c), 8. Matt Scott (c), 9. Jake Granville, 10. James Tamou, 11. Gavin Cooper, 12. Ethan Lowe 13. Jason Taumalolo. Interchange: 14. Rory Kostjasyn, 15. Scott Bolton, 16. Ben Hannant, 17. John Asiata.

St George Illawarra Dragons: 1. Josh Dugan, 2. Peter Mata'utia, 3. Euan Aitken, 4. Tim Lafai, 5. Jason Nightingale, 6. Gareth Widdop, 7. Benji Marshall, 8. Lesson Ah Mau, 9. Mitch Rein, 10. Russell Packer, 11. Tyson Frizell, 12. Joel Thompson, 13. Mike Cooper. Interchange: 14. Ben Creagh (c), 15. Dunamis Lui, 16. Mose Masoe, 17. Jack de Belin.

Parramatta Eels: 1. Michael Gordon, 2. Semi Radradra, 3. Clinton Gutherson, 4. Brad Takairangi, 5. Ryan Morgan, 6. Corey Norman, 7. Kieran Foran, 8. Tim Mannah (c), 9. Nathan Peats, 10. Junior Paulo, 11. Beau Scott, 12. Manu Ma'u, 13. Anthony Watmough. Interchange: 14. Isaac De Gois, 15. Tepai Moeroa, 16. Danny Wicks, 17. David Gower.

Newcastle Knights: 1. Jake Mamo, 2. Nathan Ross*, 3. Dane Gagai, 4. Sione Mata'utia**, 5. Akuila Uate, 6. Jarrod Mullen, 7. Trent Hodkinson, 8. Kade Snowden, 9. Tyler Randell, 10. Korbin Sims, 11. Robbie Rochow, 12. Tariq Sims**, 13. Jeremy Smith. Interchange: 14. Danny Levi, 15. Mickey Paea, 16. Joe Tapine, 17. Jack Stockwell.

*If James McManus retires.
**Tariq Sims and Sione Mata'utia are suspended for the start of the 2016 season.


Penrith Panthers: 1. Matt Moylan, 2. Josh Mansour, 3. Dean Whare, 4. Peta Hiku, 5. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, 6. Jamie Soward, 7. Peter Wallace (c), 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard, 9. James Segeyaro, 10. Sam McKendry, 11. Bryce Cartwright, 12. Elijah Taylor, 13. Trent Merrin. Interchange: 14. Tyrone Peachey, 15. Jeremy Latimore, 16. Isaah Yeo, 17. Suaia Matagi.

South Sydney Rabbitohs: 1. Greg Inglis (c), 2. Alex Johnston, 3. Bryson Goodwin, 4. Kirisome Auva'a, 5. Aaron Gray, 6. Luke Keary, 7. Adam Reynolds, 8. George Burgess, 9. Damien Cook, 10. Dave Tyrrell, 11. Kyle Turner, 12. John Sutton, 13. Sam Burgess. Interchange: 14. Tom Burgess, 15. Chris Grevsmuhl, 16. Jason Clark, 17. Paul Carter.

Canberra Raiders: 1. Jack Wighton, 2. Jordan Rapana, 3. Jarrod Croker (c), 4. Sisa Waqa, 5. Edrick Lee, 6. Blake Austin, 7. Aidan Sezer, 8. Paul Vaughan, 9. Josh Hodgson, 10. Frank-Paul Nuuausala, 11. Sia Soliola, 12. Josh Papalii 13. Shaun Fensom. Interchange: 14. Adam Clydsdale, 15. Elliot Whitehead, 16. Jeff Lima, 17. Shannon Boyd.

Sydney Roosters: 1. Blake Ferguson, 2. Joe Burgess, 3. Michael Jennings, 4. Shaun Kenny-Dowall, 5. Daniel Tupou, 6. Jackson Hastings, 7. Mitchell Pearce (c), 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 9. Jake Friend (c), 10. Dylan Napa, 11. Boyd Cordner, 12. Aidan Guerra, 13. Isaac Liu. Interchange: 14. Sio Siua Taukeiaho, 15. Mitchell Aubusson, 16. Kane Evans, 17. Sam Moa.

Manly-Waringah Sea Eagles: 1. Brett Stewart, 2. Jorge Taufua, 3. Jamie Lyon (c), 4. Steve Matai, 5. Tom Trbojevic, 6. Dylan Walker, 7. Daly Cherry-Evans, 8. Nate Myles, 9. Apisai Koroisau, 10. Jake Trbojevic, 11. Jamie Buhrer, 12. Lewis Brown, 13. Martin Taupau. Interchange: 14. Feleti Mateo, 15. Brenton Lawrence, 16. Darcy Lussick, 17. Tom Symonds.

Cronulla Sharks: 1. Jack Bird, 2. Valentine Holmes, 3. Gerard Beale, 4. Ricky Leutele, 5. Sosaia Feki, 6. James Maloney, 7. Chad Townsend, 8. Sam Tagataese 9. Michael Ennis, 10. Andrew Fifita, 11. Luke Lewis, 12. Wade Graham, 13. Paul Gallen (c). Interchange: 14. Chris Heighington, 15. Jesse Sene-Lefao, 16. Ben Barba, 17. Jayson Bukuya.

Melbourne Storm: 1. Billy Slater, 2. Marika Koroibete, 3. Cameron Munster, 4. Will Chambers, 5. Cheyse Blair, 6. Blake Green, 7. Cooper Cronk, 8. Jesse Bromwich, 9. Cameron Smith (c), 10. Jordan McLean, 11. Kevin Proctor, 12. Tohu Harris, 13. Dale Finucane. Interchange: 14. Tim Glasby, 15. Kenny Bromwich, 16. Matt White, 17. Nelson Asofa-Solomona.

Wests Tigers: 1. James Tedesco, 2. Justin Hunt, 3. Tim Simona, 4. Kevin Naiqama, 5. David Nofoaluma, 6. Mitch Moses, 7. Luke Brooks*, 8. Aaron Woods, 9. Matt Ballin, 10. Sauaso Sue, 11. Curtis Sironen, 12. Chris Lawrence, 13. Dene Halatau*. Interchange: 14. Ava Seumanufagai, 15. Joel Edwards, 16. Manaia Cherrington, 17. Kyle Lovett.
*Luke Brooks and Dene Halatau are suspended for the start of the 2016 season.

Gold Coast Titans: 1. Josh Hoffman, 2. Anthony Don, 3. Will Zillman, 4. Nene Macdonald, 5. David Mead, 6. Ashley Taylor, 7. Tyrone Roberts, 8. Luke Douglas*, 9. Nathan Friend, 10. David Shillington, 11. Chris McQueen, 12. Ryan James, 13. Greg Bird. Interchange: 14. Daniel Mortimer, 15. Eddy Pettybourne, 16. Zeb Taia, 17. Agnatius Paasi.
*Luke Douglas is suspended for the start of the 2016 season.

New Zealand Warriors: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 2. Jonathan Wright, 3. Solomone Kata, 4. Tuimoala Lolohea, 5. Manu Vatuvei, 6. Thomas Leuluai, 7. Shaun Johnson, 8. Jacob Lillyman, 9. Issac Luke, 10. Ben Matulino, 11. Ryan Hoffman, 12. Bodene Thompson, 13. Simon Mannering (c). Interchange: 14. Ligi Sao, 15. Ben Henry, 16. Sam Lisone, 17. Albert Vete.
 
To be in the 8 you have to earn it. Consistent performances demanding effort and precision is paramount. Jagging away wins and converting home ground advantage is necessary. The Warriors should have a massive home ground advantage, most teams are in Sydney and barely leave the confines.

Another major factor is injury, the Warriors have not reacted well to key players being injured. Another example of players not taking personal responsibility. Injuries will be a factor for all teams and will affect the 8. The Warriors have less excuse than most for a drop in performance with their depth over the park.

It is folly to write off any team before a game has been played. For instance Wests have been written off by some. When I look at their lineup I think it is pretty good. Sure they have off field issues, but so have Manly for years and over those years they have been there and abouts all the time.

On a negative point my belief is that with the reduced interchange we will see teams rorting the concussion rule and that will have a big impact on some results.
 
My top 8 would be

1 broncos
2 roosters
3 storm
4 sharks
5 WARRIORS
6 dragons
7 cowboys
8 sea eagles

Imo sea eagles and dragons have recruited well so are on the up!
Alot of people dont have dragons in there 8 but going through there team there is alot of good players across the whole team. It may be a depth thing is that will be there issue in making the 8.
Even with burgess i can see the rabits droping out.

Parra,titans,penrith,tigers wont get close and the bulldogs and canberra will just miss out.
 
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It is folly to write off any team before a game has been played. For instance Wests have been written off by some. When I look at their lineup I think it is pretty good. Sure they have off field issues, but so have Manly for years and over those years they have been there and abouts all the time.
.

Very true- all these sides are capable of beating each other however to make the finals they're gonna have to win more than they lose.
The tigers have some great young players esp in the backs ( altho their halves will be heavily targeted in defence).
Their weakness IMO is going to be in the fowards
Wests Tigers:
8. Aaron Woods, 9. Matt Ballin, 10. Sauaso Sue, 11. CurtisSironen, 12. Chris Lawrence, 13. DeneHalatau*. Interchange: 14. AvaSeumanufagai, 15. Joel Edwards, 16. Manaia Cherrington, 17. Kyle Lovett.

With tapau gone, woods is pretty much playing a loan hand there.
Siro goes alright too but as a whole when u compare them to some of the other packs they're gonna come up against I think they'll struggle.
 
I'll pick mine at the end of round 26 ;)

Kidding.

Near Certainties:
Roosters
Cowboys (barring injury to JT)
Broncos
Storm (barring injury to 2 of the big 3)

Contenders for the other top 8 spots:
Warriors
Dragons - excellent recruitment, monster pack, strong halves
Bulldogs - tough to write off a Hasler coached side
Rabbitohs - I think they'll be in the mix. Luke is a big loss, but Inglis and Burgess will see them likely finish in the top 8
Eels - probably a season too early for them. Foran is a good pick up, but will it be enough to see them be consistent all season?
Panthers - how will they go with Griffin and not Cleary? Injuries crueled them in 2015.
Sea Eagles - I think they'll struggle, but hard to write off, have talent everywhere as per usual
Raiders - good recruitment. But is the problem their players, or their coach (who is a complete nutcase)

Teams that will struggle IMO:
Tigers - too many off field issues
Knights
Titans
Sharks - their veteran dirty pack is one year older, getting to the end of their careers. Got some good young players coming through, but will they keep them.

Based on that - my top 8:
Roosters
Broncos
Cowboys
Storm
Dragons
Rabbitohs

with the other two slots to go to the Warriors/Panthers/Bulldogs/Sea Eagles. Which of those sides will be the most consistent remains to be seen.

Warriors on paper should make the eight. But the game's not played on paper. We'll score enough points (injury permitting) to be there. But as usual the biggest question marks are over our defensive structures, focus and commitment for 80 minutes, and error counts. If all of those last four sides play to their potential, I think Warriors and Panthers will get the nod. But won't be surprised to see the Bulldogs or Sea Eagles sneak in.

Raiders will come out of the blocks on fire. And then fade away...
 

bruce

Contributor
The Titans for the wooden spoon.
Newcastle and Cronulla to fight them for it.
I reckon the Eels and Tigers might surprise.
Can the Cowboys follow up?
Any team that dumps a whole lot of players to make way for a forward is dreaming IMO. Souths will be lucky to do anything.
Sea Eagles depth and a new coach?
The Raiders look dangerous even if their coach is mental.
The Dragons will make up the numbers around the middle.
The Panthers will be the same.
The Dogs will be in the eight for sure so will the Storm.
The Chooks and Broncos will be in the top four for sure.
There is room for the Warriors to make the top four IMO, especially with SOO in the middle of the season giving them a leg up.
 
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I have never understood the belief that some how SOO is an advantage to the Warriors, there are other teams that lose less players to it every year than the Warriors yet no one claims they have a better shot at winning games during the series.
 
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I have never understood the belief that some how SOO is an advantage to the Warriors, there are other teams that lose less players to it every year than the Warriors yet no one claims they have a better shot at winning games during the series.

Normally we have a couple of byes during that time anyway.
 
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I have never understood the belief that some how SOO is an advantage to the Warriors, there are other teams that lose less players to it every year than the Warriors yet no one claims they have a better shot at winning games during the series.
Your problem like mine is you are thinking about it logically. We need to think like the Aussie league analysts and just look that our team is based in NZ and NZ isn't part of State of Origin hence no Origin players.o_O I know it doesn't make sense but that's the best I've got.:oops:

As you mentioned over the years there have been teams affected by Origin the same as we have been (1-2 players) or less with no players. But all we hear after every Warriors win is how big an advantage it is for us over this period. For as much as the commentators love the sport and talk about it I doubt they do any home work and look into any of these statistics.

Normally we have a couple of byes during that time anyway.
Yeah but our byes have less Origin players taken out of our team than the other teams have during their byes.:confused:

We have to have our byes at some point. We don't have them as often around the ANZAC test, even if we did have one then we still need to have on during the Origin period.

The competition isn't fair in-terms of not playing every team twice. Having the competition carry on during the Origin period is something they have decided to persevere with so we have a lull where teams play weaker sides. The Warriors having an advantage during the Origin period that other teams don't is another cliché in a competition full of them and they are hard to shake once they are attached to them. See Warriors + big forwards.
 
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I was trying to think how we could improve our winning percentage during our bye rounds, and I've come up with a few ideas...

Firstly, we withhold all our two Origin players from playing Origin.

Secondly, we think extra positive.

That should do the trick...
 
As much as we should make the 8 this season, on paper we should be top 4. However, with that being said, I think we will fit into 9th spot

We all have huge hope for this side, including myself, regardless of what side we feild. We can't tackle to save ourselves, and if TL is put in at 6, we have little to no chance of even making 9th spot.

We STILL need another leader, like we did with Steve Price, a no nonsense captain that lays the law down, and tells the boy's how it's going to be, and we STILL need a decent coach. Until then, as i've said before, it won't matter who we sign.

Broncos ( they will win it this season for sure imo )
Cowboys ( will make the grand final again, but will fall short this time )
Dogs
Eels ( watch these guys almost go the whole way this season )

Storm ( you can NEVER write this team off )
Raiders
Sharks
Dragons

Warriors ( as above ) but the potential is there
Manly ( just can't see them making the 8 again imo, Toovey had nothing to do with it last year, was all DCE fault and doing )
Panthers ( new coach still injured players yet to fully recover )
Roosters ( will really suffer with no JM or Roger Tuivasa-Sheck imo. )
Rabbitts ( watch this space for far to many good players been given up for just 1 player )
Newcastle
Tigers
Titans

I hope i'm VERY wrong about us.......time will tell.
 

bruce

Contributor
I have never understood the belief that some how SOO is an advantage to the Warriors, there are other teams that lose less players to it every year than the Warriors yet no one claims they have a better shot at winning games during the series.
I think the stats back it up (just don't ask me for them!!). We got into 4th spot last year after the SOO season, then crashed.
 
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I think the stats back it up (just don't ask me for them!!). We got into 4th spot last year after the SOO season, then crashed.

We got into 4th spot last year because we were already there about, even though the form was pretty sketchy, then Shaun Johnson got busted, something SOO had very little to do with.
 
Broncos (Bennett is the master)

Dragons

Panthers (Like us they were severely hit by injury last year)

Warriors (As long as we do not suffer too many injuries)


Cowboys (No team has gone back to back since the salary cap)

Dogs

Eels (Will be a different team with Kieran Foran)

Storm (NEVER write them off)


Raiders

Sharks (will be better with JM but will fall short)

Manly (Still too many problems with DCE in the side)

Roosters ( No JM or RTS will suffer with organisation)

Bunnies ( Can’t see Burgess being the savior they have let too many go)

Newcastle

Tigers

Titans

That is my top eight and I believe that we will make the grand final, so have bought season tickets for the first time since I left Auckland.
 

Far Away Fan

Guest
This thread already having carried a lot of discussion of our chances this year, it seemed like the best place for this really rather good article. Well, good that is until he picks Jonathan Wright to start from the get-go. That's just silly. Anyway...

https://www.theroar.com.au/2016/01/18/new-zealand-warriors-2016-nrl-season-preview/

New Zealand Warriors 2016 NRL season preview

Riley Pettigrew 18 January 2016

Following bad finish to 2016, the Warriors are out to qualify for the finals for the first time since 2011, with a strong recruitment drive seeing them installed as one of the favourites to win the competition.

The pressure is mounting on the New Zealand club, their coach Andrew McFadden, new recruits Issac Luke and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, and star halfback Shaun Johnson.

With an easy draw, that will see them face every team that missed the finals last year – except for the Raiders – both home and away, there will be no excuses for missing the playoffs in 2016.

Blessed with an entertaining roster riddled with Kiwi internationals, the Warriors shape as one of the NRL’s most exciting teams, and could well be the biggest improvers.

Rookie watch
The Warriors are well-known for their rookie sensations and their large nursery, however in 2016 it appears their streak of unearthing the hottest young talent – from Shaun Johnson and Ben Matulino to Solomone Kata and Tuimoala Lolohea – may have come to a temporary halt, with McFadden likely to blood only two of his six contracted rookies.

Versatile half, hooker, outside back or backrower Nathaniel Roache spent the past two seasons in the Warriors NYC side, playing 37 games and scoring 11 tries. A member of the 2014 premiership-winning side, the Mount Albert junior is almost certain to make his debut in 2016 when a position becomes available – and he plays just about all of them.

The other player in line for his debut in 2016 is menacing forward Toafofoa Sipley. The St Paul’s College product spent three seasons playing for the junior Warriors, making 43 appearances. With Ryan Hoffman and Jacob Lillyman both set for Origin call-ups, Sipley could step in as cover during the Origin period and get some experience against minnows the Knights and Titans.

Burleigh Bears recruit Henare Wells, livewire halfback Mafoa’aeta Hingano, backrower Marata Niukore and highly rated Cook Islands international Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad are the other rookies in the squad.

Under pressure
If the Warriors don’t start strong off the blocks, McFadden is almost certain to lose his job and be replaced by the man that led the franchise to the 2011 NRL grand final, Ivan Cleary.

McFadden, who played 100 games in the NRL for the Raiders, Eels and Storm, must get the best out of his team immediately and cannot waste any time.

Of course, the Auckland-based franchise had a decent start to 2015, but finished 13th after Johnson was injured. So anything other than a 2016 finals finish will be seen as a failure, and almost certainly lead to McFadden’s dismissal.

Can the Warriors live up to expectations?
After 20 years of failure, McFadden won’t be the only person whose job is on the line if 2016 isn’t a big one.

Several members of the football club, from the front office to the football field, face being let go if on-field performances do not go as expected.

The recruitment of Tuivasa-Sheck and Luke from the Roosters and Rabbitohs respectively means the Warriors now possess three quarters of the world number one New Zealand Kiwis’ spine. And while the Warriors struggled following Johnson’s Round 20 injury last year, if the same situation occurs in 2016, they have the leadership and talent to steer the team.

Add quality forwards such as Simon Mannering, Ben Matulino, Bodene Thompson and Origin stars Lillyman and Hoffman, and the Warriors have the star power to deliver a top-eight finish.

While there are many new players in key positions, the Warriors core have experience playing alongside each other at Test level, and should adjust quickly.

New Zealand are the most exciting team going into the 2016 season, if they can not finish in the finals there will be serious concerns over the club’s future.

Who will complete the Warriors’ spine?
The Warriors boast an impressive spine, however the five-eighth position is still vacant. There are three primary contenders for the gig.

Thomas Leuluai spent 2015 playing at hooker before injury forced him out of the side. The Kiwi Test legend is almost a certainty to slot in somewhere in the Warriors’ 17-man team, however he is most likely to come off the bench as a utility half, with the other candidates having stronger cases.

Jeff Robson joins the Warriors from Cronulla, after being pushed out by incoming players James Maloney and Chad Townsend. Heading into his 13th NRL season, Robson is a good chance to take the no.6 role, however there is an up-and-coming talent in his way.

Tuimoala Lolohea finished 2015 in the halves, replacing the injured Johnson, and despite the Warriors’ poor finish, he performed well enough to earn a New Zealand Test jumper in the halves for their tour of Great Britain at the back end of last year. Lolohea may be the right man to partner Johnson in the halves, and could even hold his position in the New Zealand Test team if he is able to help the Warriors succeed in 2016.

shaun-johnson.jpg


Must watch

Round 5 versus Roosters
Sunday, April 3, 2pm at Central Coast Stadium

Tuivasa-Sheck comes up against his old club when the Sydney Roosters host the Warriors at Central Coast Stadium.

Both sides have been installed as premiership favourites, and the match will feature two outstanding rosters and exciting match-ups across the field.

Round 8 versus Storm
Monday, April 25, 7pm at AAMI Park

The Warriors and Storm face off once again in their traditional Anzac Day clash, after a one-year hiatus, with members of both sides chasing selection in the Anzac Test.

Tuivasa-Sheck and Billy Slater, Johnson and Cooper Cronk, Manu Vatuvei and William Chambers, Issac Luke and Cameron Smith, Simon Mannering and Tohu Harris, Ben Matulino and Jesse Bromwich, Bodene Thompson and Kevin Proctor, Ryan Hoffman and Nelson Asofa-Solomona. These on-field match-ups are tantalising and make for an entertaining game.

Predicted best XVII
1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 2. Jonathan Wright, 3. Solomone Kata, 4. Konrad Hurrell, 5. Manu Vatuvei, 6. Tuimoala Lolohea, 7. Shaun Johnson, 8. Jacob Lillyman, 9. Issac Luke, 10. Ben Matulino, 11. Simon Mannering, 12. Ryan Hoffman, 13. Bodene Thompson
Interchange: 14. Thomas Leuluai, 15. Ben Henry, 16. Ligi Sao, 17. Albert Vete

2016 signings
Blake Ayshford (Cronulla Sharks), Ali Lauitiiti (Wakefield Wildcats), Issac Luke (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (Melbourne Storm), Jeff Robson (Cronulla Sharks), Ligi Sao (Manly Sea Eagles), Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Sydney Roosters), Henare Wells (Burleigh Bears)

2016 draw (AEST)
Round 1: Wests Tigers versus Warriors (Saturday, March 5, 5:30pm at Campbelltown Stadium)
Round 2: Broncos versus Warriors (Friday, March 11, 8:05pm at Suncorp Stadium)
Round 3: Warriors versus Storm (Sunday, March 20, 2pm at Mt Smart Stadium)
Round 4: Warriors versus Knights (Monday, March 28, 2pm at Mt Smart Stadium)
Round 5: Roosters versus Warriors (Sunday, April 3, 2pm at Central Coast Stadium)
Round 6: Warriors versus Sea Eagles (Saturday, April 9, 5:30pm at Mt Smart Stadium)
Round 7: Bulldogs versus Warriors (Saturday, April 16, 5:30pm at Westpac Stadium)
Round 8: Storm versus Warriors (Monday, April 25, 7pm at AAMI Park)
Round 9: Warriors versus Dragons (Sunday, May 1, 12pm at Mt Smart Stadium)
Round 10: Panthers versus Warriors (Saturday, May 14, 3pm at AMI Stadium)
Round 11: Warriors versus Raiders (Saturday, May 21, 5:30pm at Yarrow Stadium)
Round 12: Bye
Round 13: Warriors versus Broncos (Saturday, June 4, 3pm at Mt Smart Stadium)
Round 14: Knights versus Warriors (Saturday, June 11, 3pm at Hunter Stadium)
Round 15: Warriors versus Roosters (Sunday, June 19, 4pm at Mt Smart Stadium)
Round 16: Sharks versus Warriors (Saturday, June 25, 5:30pm at Shark Park)
Round 17: Warriors versus Titans (Saturday, July 2, 3pm at Mt Smart Stadium)
Round 18: Bye
Round 19: Sea Eagles versus Warriors (Saturday, July 16, 5:30pm at nib Stadium)
Round 20: Raiders versus Warriors (Saturday, July 23, 3pm at GIO Stadium)
Round 21: Warriors versus Panthers (July 28-August 1 at Mt Smart Stadium)
Round 22: Titans versus Warriors (August 4-August 8 at Cbus Super Stadium)
Round 23: Warriors versus Rabbitohs (August 11-August 15 at Mt Smart Stadium)
Round 24: Cowboys versus Warriors (August 18-August 22 at 1300Smiles Stadium)
Round 25: Warriors versus Wests Tigers (August 25-August 29 at Mt Smart Stadium)
Round 26: Warriors versus Eels (September 1-September 4 at Mt Smart Stadium)

Prediction
The Warriors will finish the regular season third, and come within one win of qualifying for the grand final.
 
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Parramatta Eels: 1. Michael Gordon, 2. Semi Radradra, 3. Clinton Gutherson, 4. Brad Takairangi, 5. Ryan Morgan, 6. Corey Norman, 7. Kieran Foran, 8. Tim Mannah (c), 9. Nathan Peats, 10. Junior Paulo, 11. Beau Scott, 12. Manu Ma'u, 13. Anthony Watmough. Interchange: 14. Isaac De Gois, 15. Tepai Moeroa, 16. Danny Wicks, 17. David Gower.

Add Jennings into that side and suddenly you have a dangerous looking Eels team. Brutal pack, good spine. Outside back depth might challenge them though.

Injuries permitting - they will go close to the 8 now.
 

eudebrito

|-|
Contributor
Its going to be crazy close this year, points differential etc could decide place in top 4. 3 teams at the bottom, couple at the top and everyone else scrapping it out in the middle. No such thing as an easy draw, from rd 5 to 11 we go Roosters, Sea Eagles, Bulldogs, Storm, Dragons, Panthers, Raiders, so while we might have a better team on paper than some of them, any of those games could be a win or a loss. Will be a rollercoaster of a season, and not just for the usual warrior reasons.

Saw a good quote about a typical fans expectations going into a season, “everything we did well last year will stay the same, and everything we did poorly will improve” so while the hooking and fullback positions improve big time, was there anything we did good with last year, that we can’t count on this year?

One concern is Johnson not recapturing his electric form, but we did manage to get to 3-3 when he was playing below average to begin the year, so a healthy team isn’t entirely bereft without him at top gear, despite what the end of the season says.

Another might be Mannering and Hoffman getting older and slowing down, making the forward pack appear better on paper than in reality, but Mannering is a robot who just had the first offseason rest in forever and Hoffman is more of a complementary player in the current line up. Our backrow depth is shaky outside of the 3 starters, Ben Henrys career could end at any time, Raymond Fumbles MissesTackles needs to improve heaps in certain areas, Lousi and Palavi are seemingly only still on the payroll due to previous regime giving them bigger contracts than their talents deserve.

Lots of options in the front row, but if Ben Matulino misses any amount of time will start looking a bit underpowered. Lillyman needs a big year, Luke should make the job easier for all the props though.

Outside backs is the obvious weakness, but the group as a whole legit can’t be worse than last year, the only way is up. I just hope if McFadden sees someone floundering out wide, they get the hook and a new face gets an opportunity.

If Kata can’t contain bigger centres, give Ayshford a run, if Hurrell makes too many mental mistakes, then that sucks for him, if Wright can’t finish a chance or cover across and behind him cos he is too bloody slow, try someone who can, it’s the coach getting the arse if these blokes let him down again. Same goes for Leuluai in the halves everyone at the club might agree he’s the man, but if the attack stalls around him… you brought Robson in for a reason. The stars of the team aren't changing and can be counted on, its the other 8-9 blokes on any given week that will determine if the team is a success or not, McFaddy should be ruthless on any weak links.
 
Another might be Mannering and Hoffman getting older and slowing down, making the forward pack appear better on paper than in reality, but Mannering is a robot who just had the first offseason rest in forever and Hoffman is more of a complementary player in the current line up. Our backrow depth is shaky outside of the 3 starters, Ben Henrys career could end at any time, Raymond Fumbles MissesTackles needs to improve heaps in certain areas, Lousi and Palavi are seemingly only still on the payroll due to previous regime giving them bigger contracts than their talents deserve.

Lots of options in the front row, but if Ben Matulino misses any amount of time will start looking a bit underpowered. Lillyman needs a big year, Luke should make the job easier for all the props though.

Really good post.

Couple of thoughts: I don't think we're short in the back row. Apart from our obvious starting three, Sao, Matulino (although that depowers the front row a bit), Gubb, Henry, Ali are all more than capable replacements for the back row. RFM is training the house down at the moment. I'm expecting a huge year from him.

Similar to the outside back depth as well IMO. We have enough depth with the exception of the spine positions. Wing: Manu, Lolohea, Wright, Wells, Fusitua, Kata, Hurrell, Ayshford can all play there. Centre - most of those can fill in there too. Fullback/halves/hooker - I would still like some more depth. If we lose one of those, we'll be covered (e.g. Lolohea for Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Robson/Leuluai for Shaun Johnson, Leuluai for Luke), but if we lose 2 - we're in trouble.

Key thing every member of the 17 needs to realise. It's not an individual game. If everyone does their job - we'll win.

In theory this year - we should have the best go forward coming out of our own half in the competition. Why? Roger Tuivasa-Sheck - the best metre eating fullback in history, followed by a Manu hit up on tackle 2. That should see us at the 30 after 2 tackles more often than not. Followed by a third hit up from slippery Lolohea, or Hurrell, or Kata if required before the likes of our props engage off the back of Luke at dummy half.

The problem with this theory though - means we need to be able to control the opposition's field position. If they're kicking from within their own half, we'll be fine. If our defence lets them off the hook - it'll be a long season. That's the biggest difference we need to see this season - commitment to defence across the entire field. No point having Thompson and Mannering racking up 100 tackles in mid-field if Kata/Hurrell/Manu are missing 6 on the edges letting them dictate terms...

That being said - Hurrell is also training the house down. He is really putting in the yards. How it translates to form on the field - I don't know. But right now he's in the best shape I think we've ever seen him.
 
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ToiletDuck

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You'll all be pleased to know that Matty Johns has predicted we'll again miss the 8. Can't blame him though can we, history is on his side.

Here's what he predicts, for what it's worth: Broncos, Cowboys, Roosters, Rabbitohs, Storm, Sharks, Bulldogs and Dragons
 

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