General Warriors Preseason 2020

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tajhay

🏉
Wernt we linked to him last year but he turned us down?
Yes. Same old chestnut where players do not think they can develop further here.

 

bruce

Contributor
Dunno where to put this...from Peter Fitzsimons:
Goodness!

There is such a lot of pearl-clutching going on over the NRL’s new Simply The Best ad, it is hard to keep up. As you know, 30 years ago that ad, featuring Tina Turner singing her anthemic song spliced with match footage and the game’s best-loved characters, became the gold standard for global sports advertising. It was that good.

This year the idea was to re-release the same song, spliced with some of the best footage of the last 30 years, all with a different narrative. Roll tape, please maestro.

Here come the strains of the anthem, and now the action as what purports to be the young Cameron Smith watches the original ad on a television in his living room, ball in hand, before charging out to play footy in his backyard and dream of a rugby league future for himself.

And now action aplenty from the last three decades. The Benji Marshall flick pass. The Darren Albert try to win the 1997 grand final for Newcastle. Brad Fittler being congratulated after a try. Cameron Smith, living the dream. Raiders fans doing the Viking clap. Some Johnathan Thurston magic. The Macklemore song at the 2017, the ...

WAIT!

What the hell’s Macklemore doing there? He didn’t play rugby league! He just sang his own anthem to marriage equality at the 2017 grand final.

Yup. It was a brave move by Todd Greenberg to give that the go-ahead at the time, but it paid off many times over. If anything, ever, made the statement that the game has grown from being a mere parish pump game of big boofy blokes running into each other into a sophisticated and seriously professional game that wants and deserves the support of everyone, then it was that moment. And so Macklemore isn’t worth a second’s footage in a two-minute ad?

Please!


Ditto all the other things that drew flak. Mention of the Super League war, and the Souths fans marching in the streets to ensure their survival?

What’s not to celebrate? That was the most almighty sporting ruckus there ever was, but the game was so strong it survived it. And Souths fought back from near extinction to be the toast of the league.

Latrell Mitchell draped in the Aboriginal flag? Fabulous!

In the move to Indigenous justice in this country, rugby league is not the poor slobs up the back who simply have no clue we are in the 21st century, they are helping to lead the way. They are ahead of the curve, and Mitchell is emblematic of that. What’s not to celebrate? (Unless of course, you are one of the poor slobs up the back that just doesn’t get it.)

Double ditto the famous kiss between Karina Brown (Queensland) and Vanessa Foliaki (NSW) kissing after an Origin game. Some of the blokes at the bowlo didn’t like it. Who cares? Women playing Origin was as unthinkable 30 years ago as it was that opposing players might not only be lovers but be proud of it. But that is how far the country and rugby league has come. When you put together the 10 most iconic moments of league in the last 10 years – a moment that brought the attention of people far beyond the usual league market – in whose universe does that not make the cut?


After all, what is the aim of advertising? I say it is to bring in new customers, those who live around the margins of the products on display, who might be tempted to come on over and give it a go.

So yes, a red-meat, hairy-chested, white-bread ad might have received a hearty tick of approval from the red-meat, hairy-chested, white-bread mob. But so what? They are already the rugby league heartland. The joy of the game in recent times has been to embrace diversity and inclusion, and it has reaped the rewards accordingly and grown because of it.

This is what the critics don’t get, that the professionals do: diversify and include, or wither and die.

It is as simple as that.

My erstwhile colleague Steve Mascord put it beautifully, for rugbyleaguehub.com.

“The new NRL commercial seems to upset the same people who get annoyed by Greta Thunberg . . .” he wrote. “The young environmentalist does seem to trigger her critics in ways that are not entirely logical. It seems as annoying to them that others listen to Thunberg as it is that they disagree with the substance of what Thunberg actually does and says.”

A moment, please, to allow the mob of slobs up the back to vent on the subject of Thunberg. It’s alright I’ll put it in brackets, so you won’t have to hear most of it.

(%^&*! . . . charlatan . . . %&*@ Alan said!... *(@( teenager! &*(@(@ fake news! @((@%#)
Do go on, Steve.

“If there are triggers in the NRL ad, then they might be: the ‘Love Is Love’ pro-LGBT+ message, the prominence of the Aboriginal flag, women’s sport ... have I missed any? If referencing these issues is divisive, I know what side of that particular divide I’d like to be on.”


Exactly. History will show that the NRL got their positions on these matters right, and they’ll get a larger slab of the future because of it.

But give them one last burst, Steve Mascord, if you would.

“If the ad leaves you cold, chances are you’ll be cold and six foot deep a lot sooner than those who like it.”

It certainly won’t be the young girl we see at the end of the ad, watching Cameron Smith play, before charging out into her backyard, football in hand, to dream of her rugby league future.







Simply the best!
 
Dunno where to put this...from Peter Fitzsimons:
Goodness!

There is such a lot of pearl-clutching going on over the NRL’s new Simply The Best ad, it is hard to keep up. As you know, 30 years ago that ad, featuring Tina Turner singing her anthemic song spliced with match footage and the game’s best-loved characters, became the gold standard for global sports advertising. It was that good.

This year the idea was to re-release the same song, spliced with some of the best footage of the last 30 years, all with a different narrative. Roll tape, please maestro.

Here come the strains of the anthem, and now the action as what purports to be the young Cameron Smith watches the original ad on a television in his living room, ball in hand, before charging out to play footy in his backyard and dream of a rugby league future for himself.

And now action aplenty from the last three decades. The Benji Marshall flick pass. The Darren Albert try to win the 1997 grand final for Newcastle. Brad Fittler being congratulated after a try. Cameron Smith, living the dream. Raiders fans doing the Viking clap. Some Johnathan Thurston magic. The Macklemore song at the 2017, the ...

WAIT!

What the hell’s Macklemore doing there? He didn’t play rugby league! He just sang his own anthem to marriage equality at the 2017 grand final.

Yup. It was a brave move by Todd Greenberg to give that the go-ahead at the time, but it paid off many times over. If anything, ever, made the statement that the game has grown from being a mere parish pump game of big boofy blokes running into each other into a sophisticated and seriously professional game that wants and deserves the support of everyone, then it was that moment. And so Macklemore isn’t worth a second’s footage in a two-minute ad?

Please!


Ditto all the other things that drew flak. Mention of the Super League war, and the Souths fans marching in the streets to ensure their survival?

What’s not to celebrate? That was the most almighty sporting ruckus there ever was, but the game was so strong it survived it. And Souths fought back from near extinction to be the toast of the league.

Latrell Mitchell draped in the Aboriginal flag? Fabulous!

In the move to Indigenous justice in this country, rugby league is not the poor slobs up the back who simply have no clue we are in the 21st century, they are helping to lead the way. They are ahead of the curve, and Mitchell is emblematic of that. What’s not to celebrate? (Unless of course, you are one of the poor slobs up the back that just doesn’t get it.)

Double ditto the famous kiss between Karina Brown (Queensland) and Vanessa Foliaki (NSW) kissing after an Origin game. Some of the blokes at the bowlo didn’t like it. Who cares? Women playing Origin was as unthinkable 30 years ago as it was that opposing players might not only be lovers but be proud of it. But that is how far the country and rugby league has come. When you put together the 10 most iconic moments of league in the last 10 years – a moment that brought the attention of people far beyond the usual league market – in whose universe does that not make the cut?


After all, what is the aim of advertising? I say it is to bring in new customers, those who live around the margins of the products on display, who might be tempted to come on over and give it a go.

So yes, a red-meat, hairy-chested, white-bread ad might have received a hearty tick of approval from the red-meat, hairy-chested, white-bread mob. But so what? They are already the rugby league heartland. The joy of the game in recent times has been to embrace diversity and inclusion, and it has reaped the rewards accordingly and grown because of it.

This is what the critics don’t get, that the professionals do: diversify and include, or wither and die.

It is as simple as that.

My erstwhile colleague Steve Mascord put it beautifully, for rugbyleaguehub.com.

“The new NRL commercial seems to upset the same people who get annoyed by Greta Thunberg . . .” he wrote. “The young environmentalist does seem to trigger her critics in ways that are not entirely logical. It seems as annoying to them that others listen to Thunberg as it is that they disagree with the substance of what Thunberg actually does and says.”

A moment, please, to allow the mob of slobs up the back to vent on the subject of Thunberg. It’s alright I’ll put it in brackets, so you won’t have to hear most of it.

(%^&*! . . . charlatan . . . %&*@ Alan said!... *(@( teenager! &*(@(@ fake news! @((@%#)
Do go on, Steve.

“If there are triggers in the NRL ad, then they might be: the ‘Love Is Love’ pro-LGBT+ message, the prominence of the Aboriginal flag, women’s sport ... have I missed any? If referencing these issues is divisive, I know what side of that particular divide I’d like to be on.”


Exactly. History will show that the NRL got their positions on these matters right, and they’ll get a larger slab of the future because of it.

But give them one last burst, Steve Mascord, if you would.

“If the ad leaves you cold, chances are you’ll be cold and six foot deep a lot sooner than those who like it.”

It certainly won’t be the young girl we see at the end of the ad, watching Cameron Smith play, before charging out into her backyard, football in hand, to dream of her rugby league future.







Simply the best!
Whaddya reckon Bruce, are we on the right side of history or has the game gone soft?
 
Last edited:
Dunno where to put this...from Peter Fitzsimons:
Goodness!

There is such a lot of pearl-clutching going on over the NRL’s new Simply The Best ad, it is hard to keep up. As you know, 30 years ago that ad, featuring Tina Turner singing her anthemic song spliced with match footage and the game’s best-loved characters, became the gold standard for global sports advertising. It was that good.

This year the idea was to re-release the same song, spliced with some of the best footage of the last 30 years, all with a different narrative. Roll tape, please maestro.

Here come the strains of the anthem, and now the action as what purports to be the young Cameron Smith watches the original ad on a television in his living room, ball in hand, before charging out to play footy in his backyard and dream of a rugby league future for himself.

And now action aplenty from the last three decades. The Benji Marshall flick pass. The Darren Albert try to win the 1997 grand final for Newcastle. Brad Fittler being congratulated after a try. Cameron Smith, living the dream. Raiders fans doing the Viking clap. Some Johnathan Thurston magic. The Macklemore song at the 2017, the ...

WAIT!

What the hell’s Macklemore doing there? He didn’t play rugby league! He just sang his own anthem to marriage equality at the 2017 grand final.

Yup. It was a brave move by Todd Greenberg to give that the go-ahead at the time, but it paid off many times over. If anything, ever, made the statement that the game has grown from being a mere parish pump game of big boofy blokes running into each other into a sophisticated and seriously professional game that wants and deserves the support of everyone, then it was that moment. And so Macklemore isn’t worth a second’s footage in a two-minute ad?

Please!


Ditto all the other things that drew flak. Mention of the Super League war, and the Souths fans marching in the streets to ensure their survival?

What’s not to celebrate? That was the most almighty sporting ruckus there ever was, but the game was so strong it survived it. And Souths fought back from near extinction to be the toast of the league.

Latrell Mitchell draped in the Aboriginal flag? Fabulous!

In the move to Indigenous justice in this country, rugby league is not the poor slobs up the back who simply have no clue we are in the 21st century, they are helping to lead the way. They are ahead of the curve, and Mitchell is emblematic of that. What’s not to celebrate? (Unless of course, you are one of the poor slobs up the back that just doesn’t get it.)

Double ditto the famous kiss between Karina Brown (Queensland) and Vanessa Foliaki (NSW) kissing after an Origin game. Some of the blokes at the bowlo didn’t like it. Who cares? Women playing Origin was as unthinkable 30 years ago as it was that opposing players might not only be lovers but be proud of it. But that is how far the country and rugby league has come. When you put together the 10 most iconic moments of league in the last 10 years – a moment that brought the attention of people far beyond the usual league market – in whose universe does that not make the cut?


After all, what is the aim of advertising? I say it is to bring in new customers, those who live around the margins of the products on display, who might be tempted to come on over and give it a go.

So yes, a red-meat, hairy-chested, white-bread ad might have received a hearty tick of approval from the red-meat, hairy-chested, white-bread mob. But so what? They are already the rugby league heartland. The joy of the game in recent times has been to embrace diversity and inclusion, and it has reaped the rewards accordingly and grown because of it.

This is what the critics don’t get, that the professionals do: diversify and include, or wither and die.

It is as simple as that.

My erstwhile colleague Steve Mascord put it beautifully, for rugbyleaguehub.com.

“The new NRL commercial seems to upset the same people who get annoyed by Greta Thunberg . . .” he wrote. “The young environmentalist does seem to trigger her critics in ways that are not entirely logical. It seems as annoying to them that others listen to Thunberg as it is that they disagree with the substance of what Thunberg actually does and says.”

A moment, please, to allow the mob of slobs up the back to vent on the subject of Thunberg. It’s alright I’ll put it in brackets, so you won’t have to hear most of it.

(%^&*! . . . charlatan . . . %&*@ Alan said!... *(@( teenager! &*(@(@ fake news! @((@%#)
Do go on, Steve.

“If there are triggers in the NRL ad, then they might be: the ‘Love Is Love’ pro-LGBT+ message, the prominence of the Aboriginal flag, women’s sport ... have I missed any? If referencing these issues is divisive, I know what side of that particular divide I’d like to be on.”


Exactly. History will show that the NRL got their positions on these matters right, and they’ll get a larger slab of the future because of it.

But give them one last burst, Steve Mascord, if you would.

“If the ad leaves you cold, chances are you’ll be cold and six foot deep a lot sooner than those who like it.”

It certainly won’t be the young girl we see at the end of the ad, watching Cameron Smith play, before charging out into her backyard, football in hand, to dream of her rugby league future.







Simply the best!
Actions speak louder than words... when they run a fair competition that isn’t tilted towards favoured teams THEN they can start trying to solve the rest of societies problems
 
2020 NRL Season Preview: Part 1

58ab2ba3a08e72a869e64e550c889c8b

ZERO TACKLE
STAFF WRITERS
MARCH 4, 2020 - 4:33 PM


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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 06: Jack Wighton of the Raiders celebrates scoring a try during the 2019 NRL Grand Final match between the Canberra Raiders and the Sydney Roosters at ANZ Stadium on October 06, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
Ahead of next week’s NRL opening round, we preview eight teams and try to predict their finishing position.
Brisbane Broncos
Recruitment Grade: B
Not much to report outside of the retirement of Matt Gillette and the signing of Brodie Croft. Kahu returns after an almost holiday up north. Croft will likely start at 7.
Star Player: Anthony Milford
We’ve resisted the urge to name the Broncs 19-year prop here as we believe Milford to be the ace on Red Hill.
His partnership with the incoming Croft will define their 2020 season. Milf needs to make that six jersey his again.
Prediction: 9th
The Broncs have burned us before re predictions but they just have too many questions heading into 2020 to predict a top-eight finish.
Where do Boyd and Bird fit in? Can Milford bounce back? Can Haas and Fifita shoulder the insane amount of pressure placed on their young shoulders? How do Turpin and Brody Croft fit into their increases roles?
Canberra Raiders
Recruitment Grade: A
George Williams is a big in, if he can adapt to the quicker pace of NRL as quickly as hoped.
Curtis Scott is a genuine star in the making. Prior to Australia Day charge, we had the centre on my buy of the year shortlist.
Rapana is a huge out although I don’t believe Sezer nor Leilua would make this squad.
Star Player: Josh Hodgson
Many would have Wighton’s name here but the English number nine has proven himself to be the Green Machine’s main man.
Hodgson is set to br right up there in terms of a Dally M Medal. We’re expecting huge things.
Prediction: 1st
We can hear the keys in the comments already but we’d argue that the Raiders are stronger than last year.
Williams is an elite level halfback and should provide extra class, while Curtis Scott, should he be available, is an upgrade on Leilua.
CNK and Wighton have another pre-season under their belts in the roles they made their own in 2019. Minor Premiers!
GettyImages-987792110.jpg
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 30: Josh Hodgson of the Raiders passes the ball during the round 16 NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Canberra Raiders at Suncorp Stadium on June 30, 2018 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Recruitment Grade: C
Stimson is a solid in but it’s hard to see where he is overly needed in a strong pack.
Lichaa ‘headlines’ the list of names exiting the club. Not much to comment on here. Salary cap issues are still very much at play here.
Star Player: Dallin Watene-Zelenziak
Honestly, it’s hard to pinpoint any one player here but for mine, but Dallin Watene-Zelezniak is the club’s most important player.
They need the fullback to produce the form he showed for the Kiwis during his time in the custodian role. He’s super talented and made a huge difference to the Dogs after his mid-season switch.
Prediction: 14th
For everything, we like the blue and whites, but there’s equal things to dislike.
Their pack is jam-packed full of bark but their halves don’t seem to have the bite to back up their big men.
Their backs are quick and can find the line however to say they can find an error is an understatement.
Cronulla Sharks
Recruitment Grade: B
On paper the Sharks have lost way more than they gained, however in reality, it was time for change. Gallen’s retirement will hurt, as will Prior’s move to England. However, the Sharks super talented group of youngsters is ready to shine. Feki, Brailey and Capewell would likely have been replaced in 2020.
Jesse Ramien left the Shire a near rep certainty yet returns after a hugely underwhelming stint in the Hunter. He’s a gun player and strengthens the side.
Star Player: Shaun Johnson
Some of the talk in the media re Johnson had been absolutely ludicrous. He didn’t set the world on fire in 2020 but talks of him being on his last legs are laughable.
That said, the Sharks need their superstar half at his best if they’re any hope of a second premiership. His place kicking was abysmal in 2019 but all reports are his fitness and strength are back.
Prediction: 7th
This outfit could finish anywhere between 4th and 14th such is the level of unknown. If Johnson, Moylan and Dugan play to their best, it’s hard to see many who can stop this side.
Confidence in all three taking the field, let alone firing, is hardly sky high, but Wade Graham is the most creative back-rower on the code and shapes as their X-Factor. Look for Xerri and Ramien to have monster years.
GettyImages-1133164643.jpg
NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 02: Shaun Johnson of the Cronulla Sharks during the NRL Trial match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Newcastle Knights on March 02, 2019 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)Gold Coast Titans
Recruitment Grade: F
The Titans were distant wooden spooners in 2019 yet recruited no one of any circumstance.
They lost bit-part players but really needed to strengthen to enable any chance of immediate improvement.
Star Player: Ash Taylor
This has to be Ash Taylor’s year. This has to be the year he justifies his massive contract and hype.
No one doubts the talents held by the number seven, but Titans fans could be forgiven for starting to worry. We’re confident his big off-season will allow us to see the best of the once Origin linked playmaker.
Prediction: 15th
I see an improvement in the Titans in 2020, which is saying they can’t possibly be as bad as they were last year.
Taylor, Brimson and Peats will have to be in everything and far improved from last year, to be any chance of anything positive this year.
Ryan James’ season-ending injury was a horror blow, while their best fit forward in Arrow has made it clear that he’s Bunnies bound before a ball is even kicked in 2020
Manly Sea Eagles
Recruitment Grade: C
Danny Levi comes in as late cover in the number nine role after the departure of Koroisau and the unavailability of Fainu.
Api is a big out but Manly couldn’t have seen coming what happened to their first choice hooker. Sad to see Elgey and Hodkinson forced into retirement.
Star Player: Dally Cherry-Evans
“Turbo” you say? Not a bad shout, but no one is more instrumental to success at Brookie than DCE.
He’s lead the side to win streaks sans his fullback and is now one of the premier and experienced halves in the competition.
Prediction: 8th
Manly shocked everyone in 2019 by making the finals. I predict a second-straight finals finish based purely on their coach.
Hasler can get the best out of players but I honestly can’t see them matching last year. I’ll prepare to be proven wrong again.
Melbourne Storm
Recruitment Grade: C-
The Storm were dominant minor premiers and didn’t need to go big in the market, adding only a couple of fringe first grade Titans.
They did lose both starting centres and their back up number seven. I know better than to doubt Bellamy though.
Star Player: Cameron Munster
The Storm, Moron and Kangaroos pivot is at the peak of his powers, although seems to go even higher every year.
He’s now firmly overtaken Smith as the Storm, and arguably the competitions number one.
Prediction: 2nd
Every year the “experts” predict the Storm decline. It’ll come but it won’t be in 2020.
They’ve lost their starting centres but Chambers was burning out, and Bellamy saw something he didn’t like in Scott.
Smith is still there and Munster is top three players in the game. Maybe 2021 …
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GOSFORD, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 11: Cameron Munster of the Melbourne Storm in action during the round 21 NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Melbourne Storm at Central Coast Stadium on August 11, 2019 in Gosford, Australia. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)New Zealand Warriors
Recruitment Grade: D
Wayde Egan enters the multiple man race for the nine jersey, while Ayshford, Sao and Luke exit.
The Warriors played their trump card midseason in 2019 by signing Nikorima, which didn’t leave them with any substantial wiggle room.
Star Player: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
There is no more important player in terms of their team’s output than the Kiwi ace.
Everything that is good for the Warriors comes through the former, and almost back to back Dally M medalist.
Prediction: 16th
Last time we had the Warriors 16th and they looked finals bound for 3/4s of the season, but it’s hard to see anything close to finals footy in this squad.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is a genius and Green is in the argument for the games most underrated, but outside of their weapon wingers, where do the points come from?
 

Stalefish540

...
Contributor
2020 NRL Season Preview: Part 1

58ab2ba3a08e72a869e64e550c889c8b

ZERO TACKLE
STAFF WRITERS
MARCH 4, 2020 - 4:33 PM


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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 06: Jack Wighton of the Raiders celebrates scoring a try during the 2019 NRL Grand Final match between the Canberra Raiders and the Sydney Roosters at ANZ Stadium on October 06, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
Ahead of next week’s NRL opening round, we preview eight teams and try to predict their finishing position.
Brisbane Broncos
Recruitment Grade: B
Not much to report outside of the retirement of Matt Gillette and the signing of Brodie Croft. Kahu returns after an almost holiday up north. Croft will likely start at 7.
Star Player: Anthony Milford
We’ve resisted the urge to name the Broncs 19-year prop here as we believe Milford to be the ace on Red Hill.
His partnership with the incoming Croft will define their 2020 season. Milf needs to make that six jersey his again.
Prediction: 9th
The Broncs have burned us before re predictions but they just have too many questions heading into 2020 to predict a top-eight finish.
Where do Boyd and Bird fit in? Can Milford bounce back? Can Haas and Fifita shoulder the insane amount of pressure placed on their young shoulders? How do Turpin and Brody Croft fit into their increases roles?
Canberra Raiders
Recruitment Grade: A
George Williams is a big in, if he can adapt to the quicker pace of NRL as quickly as hoped.
Curtis Scott is a genuine star in the making. Prior to Australia Day charge, we had the centre on my buy of the year shortlist.
Rapana is a huge out although I don’t believe Sezer nor Leilua would make this squad.
Star Player: Josh Hodgson
Many would have Wighton’s name here but the English number nine has proven himself to be the Green Machine’s main man.
Hodgson is set to br right up there in terms of a Dally M Medal. We’re expecting huge things.
Prediction: 1st
We can hear the keys in the comments already but we’d argue that the Raiders are stronger than last year.
Williams is an elite level halfback and should provide extra class, while Curtis Scott, should he be available, is an upgrade on Leilua.
CNK and Wighton have another pre-season under their belts in the roles they made their own in 2019. Minor Premiers!
GettyImages-987792110.jpg
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 30: Josh Hodgson of the Raiders passes the ball during the round 16 NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Canberra Raiders at Suncorp Stadium on June 30, 2018 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Recruitment Grade: C
Stimson is a solid in but it’s hard to see where he is overly needed in a strong pack.
Lichaa ‘headlines’ the list of names exiting the club. Not much to comment on here. Salary cap issues are still very much at play here.
Star Player: Dallin Watene-Zelenziak
Honestly, it’s hard to pinpoint any one player here but for mine, but Dallin Watene-Zelezniak is the club’s most important player.
They need the fullback to produce the form he showed for the Kiwis during his time in the custodian role. He’s super talented and made a huge difference to the Dogs after his mid-season switch.
Prediction: 14th
For everything, we like the blue and whites, but there’s equal things to dislike.
Their pack is jam-packed full of bark but their halves don’t seem to have the bite to back up their big men.
Their backs are quick and can find the line however to say they can find an error is an understatement.
Cronulla Sharks
Recruitment Grade: B
On paper the Sharks have lost way more than they gained, however in reality, it was time for change. Gallen’s retirement will hurt, as will Prior’s move to England. However, the Sharks super talented group of youngsters is ready to shine. Feki, Brailey and Capewell would likely have been replaced in 2020.
Jesse Ramien left the Shire a near rep certainty yet returns after a hugely underwhelming stint in the Hunter. He’s a gun player and strengthens the side.
Star Player: Shaun Johnson
Some of the talk in the media re Johnson had been absolutely ludicrous. He didn’t set the world on fire in 2020 but talks of him being on his last legs are laughable.
That said, the Sharks need their superstar half at his best if they’re any hope of a second premiership. His place kicking was abysmal in 2019 but all reports are his fitness and strength are back.
Prediction: 7th
This outfit could finish anywhere between 4th and 14th such is the level of unknown. If Johnson, Moylan and Dugan play to their best, it’s hard to see many who can stop this side.
Confidence in all three taking the field, let alone firing, is hardly sky high, but Wade Graham is the most creative back-rower on the code and shapes as their X-Factor. Look for Xerri and Ramien to have monster years.
GettyImages-1133164643.jpg
NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 02: Shaun Johnson of the Cronulla Sharks during the NRL Trial match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Newcastle Knights on March 02, 2019 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)Gold Coast Titans
Recruitment Grade: F
The Titans were distant wooden spooners in 2019 yet recruited no one of any circumstance.
They lost bit-part players but really needed to strengthen to enable any chance of immediate improvement.
Star Player: Ash Taylor
This has to be Ash Taylor’s year. This has to be the year he justifies his massive contract and hype.
No one doubts the talents held by the number seven, but Titans fans could be forgiven for starting to worry. We’re confident his big off-season will allow us to see the best of the once Origin linked playmaker.
Prediction: 15th
I see an improvement in the Titans in 2020, which is saying they can’t possibly be as bad as they were last year.
Taylor, Brimson and Peats will have to be in everything and far improved from last year, to be any chance of anything positive this year.
Ryan James’ season-ending injury was a horror blow, while their best fit forward in Arrow has made it clear that he’s Bunnies bound before a ball is even kicked in 2020
Manly Sea Eagles
Recruitment Grade: C
Danny Levi comes in as late cover in the number nine role after the departure of Koroisau and the unavailability of Fainu.
Api is a big out but Manly couldn’t have seen coming what happened to their first choice hooker. Sad to see Elgey and Hodkinson forced into retirement.
Star Player: Dally Cherry-Evans
“Turbo” you say? Not a bad shout, but no one is more instrumental to success at Brookie than DCE.
He’s lead the side to win streaks sans his fullback and is now one of the premier and experienced halves in the competition.
Prediction: 8th
Manly shocked everyone in 2019 by making the finals. I predict a second-straight finals finish based purely on their coach.
Hasler can get the best out of players but I honestly can’t see them matching last year. I’ll prepare to be proven wrong again.
Melbourne Storm
Recruitment Grade: C-
The Storm were dominant minor premiers and didn’t need to go big in the market, adding only a couple of fringe first grade Titans.
They did lose both starting centres and their back up number seven. I know better than to doubt Bellamy though.
Star Player: Cameron Munster
The Storm, Moron and Kangaroos pivot is at the peak of his powers, although seems to go even higher every year.
He’s now firmly overtaken Smith as the Storm, and arguably the competitions number one.
Prediction: 2nd
Every year the “experts” predict the Storm decline. It’ll come but it won’t be in 2020.
They’ve lost their starting centres but Chambers was burning out, and Bellamy saw something he didn’t like in Scott.
Smith is still there and Munster is top three players in the game. Maybe 2021 …
GettyImages-1167324663.jpg
GOSFORD, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 11: Cameron Munster of the Melbourne Storm in action during the round 21 NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Melbourne Storm at Central Coast Stadium on August 11, 2019 in Gosford, Australia. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)New Zealand Warriors
Recruitment Grade: D
Wayde Egan enters the multiple man race for the nine jersey, while Ayshford, Sao and Luke exit.
The Warriors played their trump card midseason in 2019 by signing Nikorima, which didn’t leave them with any substantial wiggle room.
Star Player: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
There is no more important player in terms of their team’s output than the Kiwi ace.
Everything that is good for the Warriors comes through the former, and almost back to back Dally M medalist.
Prediction: 16th
Last time we had the Warriors 16th and they looked finals bound for 3/4s of the season, but it’s hard to see anything close to finals footy in this squad.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is a genius and Green is in the argument for the games most underrated, but outside of their weapon wingers, where do the points come from?
Green is in the argument for the games most underrated?

That'l do me.
 
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