General Nrl Predictions 2013!




The Dogs played some absolutely outstanding football in 2012 only to fall to a clinical Storm side in the final. I think most pick them to go one better this year, and it’s not hard to see why. David Stagg and Jonathan Wright are probably the only notable losses in a squad that was somehow able to pick up unwanted outside backs almost at will mid-season last year. Add to that the addition of NSW and Kangaroo backrower Tony Williams and it’s really hard to see why the Dogs won’t be the force to be reckoned with in 2013. Oddly enough, their biggest weakness probably lies in their halves, but with their big men able to create ball movement close to the line there isn’t a great need for the likes of Reynolds to create something from nothing. Des has had a full off-season to fine tune their game-plan combined with Navy sessions and altitude chambers. He’s leading the coaching revolution and I back them to go all the way. Prediction: Premiers

Goodbye Russell? I’m saddened that he’ll no longer be synonymous with the Rabbits. It’s been a happy union which has turned the perennial easy-beats into premiership contenders. The South Sydney Burgess brothers, err Rabbitohs, look set for another crack at premiership glory. Gringlis was a revolution in 2012, returning to his roots at fullback while Adam Reynolds came from nowhere in an outstanding debut season at halfback. Heck, even John Sutton looked to be playing well. Squad wise they’ve lost Dave Taylor (Titans) but have picked up Ben Te’o from the Broncos as a more-than-adequate replacement. The rest of the league world will be praying for a capitulation to restore order, but it should be strength to strength for the Rabbits this year. Prediction: 2nd

Is the party finally coming to an end? Smith, Cronk and Slater are headed towards 30 and it may well be Bellamy’s last season. The ‘big 3’ will again be central to their fortunes, but they’ve also lost a fair chunk of the supporting cast in Jaiman Lowe (retired), Lowrie (Warriors), Sika Manu (Pamfers), Nielsen (Warriors) and Anthony Quinn (Knights). Their biggest addition appears to be Brett Finch, though I’m not totally sure where he’ll fit into their setup given the success of Gareth Widdop at 6. Motivation was high last year to erase the misery of their stripped premierships, and while they are still a force to be reckoned with, it will be a massive effort to reproduce what they did last year. If Bellamy ends up leaving, the motivation may be there for another big push - otherwise I think it may be a step too far in this comp which has shown to be near impossible to go back-to-back. Prediction: 3rd

The world’s strongest forward pack combined with the world’s most boring backline? Actually that may no longer be accurate, if Michael Gordon can stay fit and re-discover his pre-injury form he’ll be a great acquisition. Beau Ryan and Jonathan Wright may be unspectacular but there are worse outside backs to pick up. The talking points however surround their forward pack. The loss of Jeremy Smith hardly seems a big one when you look at the addition of Luke Lewis and Heighington. Todd Carney finally seems to have found his sober boots and the side is superbly led by Paul Gallen – who has redefined the meaning of superman. They lost a bit of momentum towards the end of last season, but I back them to go a step further this year and head deep into September. Prediction: 4th

Has a team ever relied on one single player more than the Cowboys? (Well, maybe the Knights in the Johns era). That’s not a slight on their side, it’s more of an indication of the quality that JT brings to the table. I think the Cowboys will go fairly well this season. Apart from the departure of Payne (retirement) and Segeyaro (Panthers), they have a relatively settled line-up. Their forward pack is quality - led by Scott and Tamou, and with Tariq Sims, Taumalolo and Dallas Johnson in the backrow they have a nice blend of attack and defence. Arguably the toughest place to travel to in the NRL, they’ll again be strong at Dairy Farmers and their fortunes will largely lie in how well they travel and negotiate the Origin period. Prediction: 5th

Scott Prince making the short trip north back to his first NRL home was a surprise, especially given the Titans’ lack of depth in the halves. None-the-less I think he’ll be a good pick up for the Broncs, and may be what’s required to take some of the pressure off Peter Wallace. I thought Wallace started the season well last year under scrutiny post Lockyer’s retirement, however he and Norman struggled in the back half of the year. Importantly their young players have come through a couple of seasons and now have a good deal of experience. Reed and Glenn are International reps, and Gillett is now an Origin regular. McCullough is fast becoming one of the most consistent dummy halves in the competition. Add in the possibility of Yow Yeh making his long awaited return and they have the makings of a top side. Prediction: 6th

Sea Eagles
I expect Manly to be there or thereabouts in 2013 but of all the top sides they’re my pick to under-perform. They’re an established squad but the likes of Lyon, Matai, Kite, Watmough and the Stewart brothers have been around and performing at a high level for a while now and may just be running out of steam. Notable losses include Darcy Lussick (Eels), Michael Oldfield (Roosters), Dean Whare (Pamfers) and of course Tony Williams (Dogs). Quality in the halves no doubt, but I’m not sold on Toovey as a coach and last year I thought they looked a shadow of the Hasler led side. Will beat the average teams but not sure they’ve added enough to their arsenal to go the distance. Prediction: 7th

A team that is incredibly difficult to pick. Last year they headed into the competition as favourites for the premiership with super-coach Wayne Bennett at the helm, only to crash and burn. Compounding problems have been Tinkler’s well publicised financial issues, though the message from the club has been that the Knights haven’t been affected. On the field however they’ve built a fairly solid squad. Importantly their spine is relatively settled – Boyd, Mullen, Gidley and Buderus with quality out wide. Wayne has recruited some good talent over the off-season in BJ Leilua, Beau Scott, Jeremy Smith, Anthony Quinn and former Braith Anasta assassin – David Fa’alogo. It’s difficult to believe that Bennett may miss out on the finals 2 years running, I think they’ll sneak in. Prediction: 8th

The Roosters are probably the hardest side to gauge for the 2013 season. All the early talk surrounded the acquisition of SBW, but they’ve gained and lost personnel in key areas – not least of all the appointment of Trent Robinson as coach. The disappointment of losing (sacking) BJ Leilua was quickly erased with the recent signing of Michael Jennings and they’re now looking like one of the stronger squads in the competition. You’d have to think if Maloney and Pearce can form any sort of combination in the halves then they’ll be a threat. While I wouldn’t be surprised by a total implosion inside the first half of the season, if this team can get its shit together then look out. However a lot of their key men haven’t played together before and it’ll take time for combinations to develop. Could go either way but I think they’ll just miss out. Prediction: 9th

A couple of surprise departures in the off-season, not least of all that of Tim Sheens. I for one think this can only be a good thing for them. Notable losses include Heighington and Beau Ryan to the Sharks, while Gareth Ellis’ return to the UK will take a bit of sting out of their pack. Important additions include Braith Analstar who brings a wealth of experience to the table. I expect him to slot into Heighington’s place at 13, but is an adequate fill in at 6 should they need it. On the coaching front the appointment of Mick Potter is an astute one. A former NRL player that has earned his stripes in the ESL, he’ll bring a fresh and new perspective to a club that has been stuck in the maniacal grip of Sheens for far too long. I think their forwards may struggle to dominate opposition packs but they’ve got obvious quality in Marshall and Farah and a stellar backline. This could go either way, but the Sheens hangover may keep them grounded. Prediction: 10th

A disgraceful 2012 saw the Warriors lose eight in a row in an embarrassing finale to the season. Brian McClennan and Tony Iro out, Matt Elliot and Andrew McFadden in. Most notable departure is that of James Maloney (Roosters) while they’ve added some reasonable players in Dane Nielsen, Thomas Leuluai, Todd Lowrie, Dominique Peyroux and Harry Siejka. The strengths of this side include a solid forward pack, particularly in the front row - while Shaun Johnson and Thomas Leuluai should compliment eachother nicely in the halves. Still incredibly vulnerable out wide, Elliot needs to find his best centre and wing pairings early and stick with them. Another club that looks to be headed in the right direction off the field at this stage, but are by no means a settled line-up. They should be better than last year but are probably still a good way off mounting a premiership assault. Prediction: 11th

The definition of unpredictable, the Raiders are a joy to watch on their day but lack the consistency to mount sustained title pushes. Such is the nature of their play, coach David Furner was all but headed for the exit halfway through last season until a late push saw them sneak into the 8. Importantly, their squad has remained quite stable, the only notable loss being that of Bronson Harrison to the Dragons. They’re otherwise fairly settled, and not totally devoid of quality in key areas. I suppose the big question will again be whether Terry Campese (aka Mr Glass) can remain fit. If so then anything is possible but for me they’re just too unpredictable. Prediction: 12th

He may be a clown but Ricky Stuart has been around a long time now and knows a couple of things about rugby league. Despite the losses while coaching NSW I thought his teams were probably the most competitive of any side NSW has produced over the last half decade. He brings a no-nonsense approach to a club which was shambolic throughout 2012. Missing out on Israel Folau will have hurt them, but it’s not all doom and gloom. I thought Cheyse Blair was impressive last year, while forgotten man Jacob Loko should break into the side if he can stay fit. Sadly their forward pack really isn’t much to write home about, and if Fui Fui isn’t firing they may struggle against some of the stronger packs. Though the club appears to be headed in the right direction, they’re heavily reliant on Hayne and Sandow who tend to be very up-and-down with their form (and attitude). A couple of class players surrounded by a decidedly average squad, like the Pamfers I can’t see them consistently troubling too many sides. Prediction: 13th

Gus and Ivan head into their 2nd year in charge of the Panthers’ heavily publicised revolution. The question is how long their supporters will be happy to accept mediocrity during this period? They’ve brought in some not-so-terrible players for 2013 in the likes of Whare, Segeyaro, Sika Manu and Lewis Brown. Outweighing the gains however have been the personnel they’ve lost. Luke Lewis and Michael Gordon have left for the green pastures of the Shire amongst the recent Hobbit hype, whilst Jennings has finally put to bed the long-standing saga surrounding his future. Luke Walsh is adequate without being dominant, and I’m not totally sold on the idea of Coote in the halves. They’re a side that may punch above their weight for a period but ultimately the lack of quality in key areas will be telling. Another year of building in this transition period and I still can’t see them consistently worrying too many sides. Prediction: 14th

Post Wayne Bennett hangover, or just a crap squad? Constant speculation about Bellamy’s arrival in Wollongong from 2014 must have taken its toll on Steve Price. Big losses in Beau Scott (Knights), Ben Hornby (Retired) as well as Kyle Stanley (injury) pre-season – things already look to be heading south for the Dragons and I’d be surprised if they mount a proper challenge on the top 8. They do have decent outside backs in Brett Morris, Jason Nightingale and newly signed Gerard Beale – but the lack of depth in the halves combined with the up-and-down form of Jamie Soward will go a long way to deciding their fate. With a couple more key players hanging up their boots at the end of the season, and constant speculation over the future of coach Steve Price, this is well and truly a ‘transition period’ for the Drags and I wouldn’t be surprised if this season quickly becomes one to forget. Prediction: 15th

Arguably the competition’s best supporting cast combined with the worst spine. Letting Scott Prince go was a curious (retarded) decision, and now means the Titans have a distinct lack of depth in their halves. Aidan Seizer is a certainty at 6, leaving Jordan Rankin, Beau Henry and Albert Kelly vying for Prince’s vacant jersey. Early word is that Albert Kelly has the inside running, but don’t be surprised to see multiple players get a shot – or for Cartwright to throw Greg Bird an SOS call and play him at 6 once things turn to shit. They do boast a great forward pack and decent outside backs but the lack of experience and overall quality in their spine will be crippling. Prediction: Wooden Spoon
Latest on Yow Yeh and Im afraid its not good news.

Be a huge loss to the Broncos. They still have alot of talent though...

Yeah I saw that earlier this evening. Unfortunate for him...

I decided to leave everything as it is, otherwise I'll be continually chopping/changing stuff all the way until round 1. Trials always produce injuries etc too. Just have to throw it out there and see what eventuates ;)
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WIZ: Put your (best mate’s) house on the Storm to win it

Acdn0theroarcomau wp content experts 7655 Columnist
By Gary Freeman, 25 Jan 2013

20120930000579124329 original
The Melbourne Storm's Ryan Hoffman (right) is congratulated after scoring a try against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs during the NRL Grand Final at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012.
The Wiz is going out on limb and naming the top eight before the season has even started. Gulp! It’s never an easy task, but here goes …

Melbourne, Bulldogs, Cowboys, Manly, Souths, Newcastle, Penrith, Canberra.

That’s my eight, and for mine, the Storm are specials to repeat the success of 2012, regardless of whether Bellamy decides to stay or leave at the end of the year.

In fact, while I still like the look of Manly this season, something tells me it could be a Melbourne vs Bulldogs grand final again. They just seem like the best prepared, resourced and coached teams, and these days, that can make all the difference.

They also have quality players in the vital 9, 7, 6, and 1 positions and have depth and talent right across their respective squads.

Everyone’s been hearing about how hard the Bulldogs have been training in the off-season. They can go to another level this year. Meanwhile, Bellamy’s teams are always so well structured and drilled, they are very difficult to crack.

My only real worry with the Storm is their short trip to England to play in the Club Challenge. We’ve learned from past years that this match can really knock teams off their equilibrium for the first few rounds of the season proper.

It will be a draining experience for the players, especially given that Craig Bellamy really wants to win it.

All that said, the toughest part of picking a top 8 at this time of the year is that everyone is fresh. All the teams are primed for big seasons and we’ve all heard the reports that this player is training the house down and that team is being punished on the training field and responding well, and so on.

Who knows what to believe. At this stage, you can really only go on gut instinct.

And my instinct is telling me that – despite some big name off-season signings – the Roosters will struggle again; as will an improved Parramatta; St George are still rebuilding; and the Warriors, while working hard in the offseason, are too hit and miss to be backed with any great confidence. They’ll miss Maloney.

You can forget about the rest as being serious contenders.


He's not far off the mark with the Warriors but he doesnt exactly back them anyway. Interestingly he has Penrith in his top 8. Every other prediction Ive read has them as Wooden Spooners or close to it.
Agree with Wiz's 1st four.....completely disagree with his last four.

How could he not have the Broncos in there? The chooks will likely slip into the 8 as well.

I'm happy for us to be written off. It's when we are our most dangerous, and should be good motivation for the boys.
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A few rational comments on there..

But yeah, the comments would be exactly the same no matter what the 1-16 was.. because every single person will see at least one team that they think is either gonna do way worse, or way better than what you say, and so their reaction is "WTF! no fuckin way mate!" and comment accordingly..

And most of the comments disagree with each other anyway..

like so:

"Roosters outside 8 is complete and utter bullshit."

"Roosters too high. Should be at best 15th."

"Roosters finishing outside the eight. You must be kidding"

"Roosters will take out the spoon"

"Tigers 10th…??!!! 5th at worst. Goose"

"Tigers 10th.I’d have some of what they’re smoking!"

"Tigers for wooden spoon"

And this is my favourite exchange.. To everyones surprise "Titans Riley" is upset that you think Titans will get the spoon..

Titans Riley
Posted January 25, 2013 at 10:35 AM
All I can say is the post if full of ignorance, wait till we’re half way through the season and you’ll see where the Titans are. It seems as though Zero Tackle that you’re the only person with this anti bias towards the Titans, especially when you’re being ridiculed for your decision to put them last. Just wait, you’ll see, idiot.
  • Reply Report
    Zero Tackle
    Posted January 25, 2013 at 10:41 AM
    If you could read, you would see that we didn’t actually write the predictions. But thanks for your feedback and your continually un-biased view of the Gold Coast Titans.
    • Reply Report
      Posted January 25, 2013 at 12:42 PM
      At least be professional about it. That was just rude, grow up.
All those people commenting clearly HATE that website.. Why are they even posting on it?
Yeah there's a lot of differing opinion surrounding the Tigers and Roosters in particular, could either be great or shit. Hence why I have them close to the top 8 and acknowledge they were difficult to pick. Doesn't seem to matter...

All those people commenting clearly HATE that website.. Why are they even posting on it?

And yeah, seems to be a lot of anger directed towards zero tackle.
Wow Freeman predicting last years top two teams to be this years top two teams! That's outrageous- what a risk taker!
I only made one prediction last year- tigers to miss the finals and that was ridiculed at the time but came up trumps so I'll see if I can go two in a row and back the panthers to make the 8- I think their squad looks alot more balanced now- sure the spines a bit weak but that didn't stop cleary getting us to the finals more often than not. Cleary will have them playing a boring, percentage type footy and they should win as many as they lose.

He's not far off the mark with the Warriors but he doesnt exactly back them anyway. Interestingly he has Penrith in his top 8. Every other prediction Ive read has them as Wooden Spooners or close to it.

Dreaming, if Bellamy gets the Storm up this year they should call him Gandolf, they have lost 5 of their GF forward pack, including their 2 tacklebots add in a Rep centre and very consistent winger. That's big chunk of team to replace, although they picked up Sau and Finch woohoo and Slater already carrying an injury and Smith overdue for acl or similar to go.
Slater will have to start the season for them to be any chance.
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Fairly reasonable predictions and explanations. I think this season is again going to be a hard one to pick. But my extra 2 cents worth is this:

Bulldogs: will the change in refs boss and obstruction rule hinder the dogs attack? The storm showed how one dimensional it could be when they shut down the dogs go to move in the GF. Dessy will have worked on some new moves in the off season, though will they work?

Souths: Overachieved IMO. The last half of the season they played basically no one in the top half of the table and come finals time they were found wanting. Suspect defensively and that is what wins the big games. No Dave Taylor is a bonus for the Bunnies I think. Not top 4.

Storm: I always think that this is the year the Storm get found out (and I'm not talking salary cap) yet every year they are there or there abouts. Injured Slater and rep comitments and lost a big chunk of their team. Should scrape into the 8 but I wouldn't be surprised to see them miss out.

Sharks: Heavy recruitment again so looks a stronger team to me. Always put in for each other and usually quite tight defensively. I think they have issues in Todd Carney (missing in big games) and at hooker. should make the 8 but not sure they will go top 4

Cowboys: Biggest advantage they have is playing at home. Forward pack is great with Scott and Tamou leading the way. Should be top 8 but I don't think they are a genuine contender and will only win the comp if the GF is played at Dairy Farmers. Will get found out away from home.

Broncos: If they play Prince at half and Wallace at 6 then I think they will win the comp. The Friday night factor, if they get the same amount of them this year, gives them a huge (unfair IMO) advantage.

Manly: Agree with your assesment here. Toovey did an ok job stepping into Haslers shoes but I think they peaked two years ago and will need to start rebuilding shortly. Just squeak in to the 8, maybe.

Knights: If Mullen, Giddley, Buderus and Boyd stay on the field together for majority of the season they make the 8. If not....

Roosters: Probably going to be the most watched first game of the season with SBW playing (if fit) but new coach and new combinations might make it tough to win more than they lose.

Tigers: Lost to many players, new coach, bad mojo in the place. Will hammer some sides at Liechhardt but will get some real beatings themselves away from home.

Warriors: Potentially a top contender. Need to sort defence out in the first few rounds and learn to hang onto 50% possesion. Do this and easily top 8. Question is, can ME get this to happen?

Raiders: Big forward pack and some useful backs. Another overachiever for me last year. Won't make the 8 and Furner one of the leading favourites for first coach to be sacked this season.

Eels: Ricky might be able to stop the BS that has been happening at the Eels but any team with Chris Sandow at halfback will never make the 8.

Panthers: Another heavy recruitment team. Some peoples pick as dark horse for the 8. My pick as dead horse, can it and sell it for dog food. They have lost their best attacking players in Gordon and Jennings, but Lewis Brown can fill in at centre. Oh wait....

Dragons: Soward really needs to step up this season with no Hornby. Can't see them troubling to many teams. Steve Price could beat David Furner in the sweepstake.

Titans: No Scott Prince, No win. That's generally how it has been in past seasons and I can't see it changing now. Might be better than the Dragons though.

so, my top 6 predictions are Broncos, Dogs, Warriors, Cowboys, Sharks, Storm.. Souths, Manly, Knights and Rooters fighting it out for 7 and 8
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Every team has a glass half full half empty look to it. IMO write off storm at your peril, they always turn up, can't see them winning it. Such a competition look at team with best forwards and spine, with quality squad injury covery picks, dogs, cowboys, souths, sharks with warriors as the smoky. At the other end a good but injury ravaged team without good depth will win spoon.
Every team has a glass half full half empty look to it. IMO write off storm at your peril, they always turn up, can't see them winning it. Such a competition look at team with best forwards and spine, with quality squad injury covery picks, dogs, cowboys, souths, sharks with warriors as the smoky. At the other end a good but injury ravaged team without good depth will win spoon.

Wise words my son.

How about that Gary Freeman, predicting a Storm vs Dogs final. True genius.

To quote someone you may or may not have heard of "The groundhog is like most other prophets; it delivers its prediction and then disappears."

If only this were true for Gary.
Wise words my son.

How about that Gary Freeman, predicting a Storm vs Dogs final. True genius.

To quote someone you may or may not have heard of "The groundhog is like most other prophets; it delivers its prediction and then disappears."

If only this were true for Gary.
Freemans an ass IMO,
Wise words would be "write any team off at your peril", this is the best competition in the world no matter what sport, 16th can beat 1st, doesn't happen in any other comp, trying to pick the worst team at the moment is just plain stupid, because this comp has shown regularly that the impossible is possible.
Great article, Im predicting a souths storm gf this year with the rest of the 8 made up of doggies, sea eagles, sharks, cows, broncos, roosters. With the panthers, warriors darkhorses to maybe make the 8.
Scott Princes first Nrl home was with the cowboys and not the broncs as well.
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1 Bulldogs
2 Cowboys
3 Storm
4 Sharks
5 Rabbits
6 Warriors
7 Sea Eagles
8 Raiders
9 Roosters
10 Tigers
11 Panthers
12 Knights
13 Titans
14 Broncos
15 Dragons
16 Eels

Warriors V Cowboys final
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One factor that hasn't come up is the referees. Eg if they want to speed up the play the ball I think it affects storm. Obstruction dogs. The tackle area is the biggest balls up on NrL and union imo. Interested in comments. Judging from last years finals they have too much influence in results.
Great article, Im predicting a souths storm gf this year with the rest of the 8 made up of doggies, sea eagles, sharks, cows, broncos, roosters. With the panthers, warriors darkhorses to maybe make the 8.
Scott Princes first Nrl home was with the cowboys and not the broncs as well.

Oh true. Cheers for that.

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