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post #80 of (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 01:52 AM
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Re: Official Rugby League & Rugby Union Thread

sXe Maverick’s NRL Season Preview

Gained: Petero Civoniceva, Luke Capewell, Nick Slyney
Lost: Darren Lockyer, Shane Tronc, Denan Kemp, Shea Moylan, Justin Hunt
TAB Sportsbet: $11
The biggest question regarding Brisbane in 2012 is how they approach life without Darren Lockyer. A guy who many times led them to victory from the jaws of defeat will be sorely missed, especially in the early exchanges of the season. Peter Wallace is not a director of action on the field, and I don’t see Corey Norman or Ben Hunt being able to spark anything from the 5/8th position.
Their forward pack is brilliant, and with Petero being back in the pack, they will be a very strong force up front. Their success lies with how well the halves can capitalise on the work of the forwards. The origin period will once again have an impact on their form, and they will struggle to make the finals.
sXe Prediction: 14th

Gained: Shaun Berrigan, Michael Bani
Lost: Alan Tongue, Daniel Vidot, Josh Miller, Danny Galea, David Milne, Matt Orford, James Stuart
TAB Sportsbet: $26
Started 2011 with so much potential, but it all went so terribly wrong especially with no Campese and Orford playing pathetically. So another season begins, and the bulk of the 2011 squad is still together, minus Alan Tongue who is a great onfield inspiration. With Campese back fit and healthy, their attack will be boosted, and it will be good to see how a Campese and Sam Williams halves combination works out. Dugan at fullback will once again be dynamic, and the addition of Berrigan to the centres should assist them out wide.
Up front, the forward pack was left embarrassed at times last year. The likes of Shillington, White & Fensom won’t allow that to happen again, and it was these forwards who laid such a commanding platform for the Raiders in 2010. If they can reach this level of consistency again, then there won’t be many who can stop them.
sXe Prediction: 4th

Gained: James Graham, Luke MacDougall, James Gavet
Lost: Jamal Idris, Michael Hodgson, Brad Morrin, Ben Roberts, Gary Warburton, Jarred Hickey, Aidan Sezer, Andrew Ryan, Chris Armit, Grant Millington, Junior Tia Kilifi, John Kite
TAB Sportsbet: $15
Another team who failed to deliver in 2011. They have added a 2-time premiership winning coach to the ranks, and if anyone can get the most out of these players, it would be Des. First and foremost the Bulldogs need Hodkinson to recapture his 2010 form, because he suffered 2nd year syndrome bad last year. He also needs a 5/8th who can partner him successfully, and I feel that Kris Keating is not that man. The loss of Idris out wide loses some muscle from their width, and the loss of Ryan up front will be huge. James Graham may be able to bridge that gap, as he is a solid performer, but he needs support from the rest of the guys to succeed.
sXe Prediction: 9th

Gained: Todd Carney, Bryce Gibbs, Andrew Fifita, Jon Green, Jeff Robson, Isaac De Gois, Ben Ross
Lost: Luke Douglas, Kade Snowden, Taulima Tautai, Ryan Tongia, Paul Aiton, Jonny Mannah, Scott Porter, Tim Smith, Siosaia Vave, Dean Collis, Broderick Wright
TAB Sportsbet: $26
Cronulla have recruited very well during the off season. Gibbs, De Gois and Fifita add a lot of muscle and oomph to their forward pack, which will no doubt be led effortlessly again by Gallen and Jeremy Smith. The addition of Todd Carney to the halves, alongside Wade Graham, is something that could prove to be the catalyst for a brilliant season from the Sharks. Gardner playing well at fullback will help their attack, and I only see weakness on the wings and in the centres. They will be big improvers this season.
sXe Prediction: 11th

Gained: Jamal Idris, Luke Douglas, Beau Champion, Nate Myles, Beau Falloon, Aidan Sezer, Phil Graham
Lost: Nathan Friend, Anthony Laffranchi, Brad Myers, Joseph Tomane, Will Matthews, Preston Campbell, Luke Capewell, Clinton Toopi, Riley Brown, Shannon Walker, Mat Rogers
TAB Sportsbet: $41
Another team who has recruited very well in the off season, they will be hopeful that these recruits can gel together as quickly as possible and start attaining results on field. Luke Douglas will provide a lot of support for Bailey up front, as will Myles. The signing of Aidan Sezer is a great chance for them to have a 5/8th who can partner Scott Prince the way Rogers did and attain a level of success. The loss of Preston Campbell from the back will be something they may take some time to adjust to, but Zillman is good enough to fill that void, it’s just a matter of whether he can be bothered or not.
sXe Prediction: 12th

Gained: Nick Skinner, Ben Farrar, Liam Roach
Lost: Will Hopoate, Michael Robertson, Shane Rodney, Jamil Hopoate, Terence Seu Seu
TAB Sportsbet: $13
The defending premiers have retained the majority of their playing squad from 2011, but have lost their impactful coach. Their forwards were amazing last year, especially Watmough and Stewart, and the halves combo of Foran and DCE was world beating. For Manly to have a stellar 2012 they need to DCE to buck the trend and continue his 2011 form. Toovey’s coaching ability will come into question, and if he is half as good as Des in seeting the players minds right, they’ll have a very good chance to go back-to-back.
sXe Prediction: 7th

Gained: Jack Afamasaga, Ryan Hoffman, Shea Moylan, Mitchell Garbutt, Jason Ryles, Michael Greenfield
Lost: Chase Stanley, Beau Champion, Adam Blair, Atelea Vea, Adam Woolnough, Troy Thompson, Dane Chisholm
TAB Sportsbet: $7
A well drilled, fine oiled machine, Melbourne were the benchmark of 2011 before the wheels fell of the rudder and they got outplayed by the Warriors. Majority of their team has stayed the same, and whilst they lost Adam Blair, Ryan Hoffman returns to the fray to keep them a serious premiership contender. The spine of Slater, Widdop, Cronk and Smith is second to none, and if their forward pack can dominate the field like last year, then these 4 will be well set to dominate in attack
sXe Prediction: 2nd

Gained: Darius Boyd, Adam Cuthbertson, Kade Snowden, Timana Tahu, Robbie Rochow, Daine Laurie, Danny Buderus
Lost: Adam MacDougall, Dan Tolar, Ben Rogers, Isaac De Gois, Mark Taufua, Keith Lulia, Steve Southern, Cameron Ciraldo, Antonio Kaufusi, Josh Ailaomai
TAB Sportsbet: $8
The arrival of Wayne Bennett as coach to the steel city should be a successful one, especially bringing with him dynamic fullback Darius Boyd. This will shift Gidley to the halves, and the potential for he and Mullen to form a dynamic duo is there for all to see. Buderus’ return from England is a hard picture to foresee, but if he can recapture his usual form, the forwards will be well set to dominate and destroy. Defence has always been their issue, and is something they must address if they are to genuinely challenge for the premiership
sXe Prediction: 6th

Gained: Robert Lui, Kane Linnett, Luke Harlen, Sam Hoare, Michael Parker-Walshe
Lost: Willie Tonga, Leeson Ah Mau, Will Tupou, Shannon Gallant, Isaak Ah Mau, Michael Bani
TAB Sportsbet: $15
The big improvers of 2011 had their season derailed by an injury to their playmaker Thurston. The forwards were brutal, the backs were solid, and JT was as dominant as ever. With the addition of Robert Lui, the pressure for Thurston to create all the points is lifted somewhat, but until Lui becomes comfortable directing the side, they’ll still rely on JT. Origin will test them, as they’ll be without JT and a few others, and luck withstanding can mount a challenge post-origin.
sXe Prediction: 5th

Gained: Chris Sandow, Esi Tonga, Willie Tonga, Ben Roberts, Taulima Tautai, Jake Mullaney, Daniel Penese
Lost: Carl Webb, Chris Walker, Paul Whatuira, Chris Hicks, Jeff Robson, Joel Reddy
TAB Sportsbet: $21
When it comes to Parramatta, the name everyone is talking about is Chris Sandow, the hot and cold halfback picked up for way too much money for his playing ability. Sure, he’ll take a load off of Hayne in the attacking department, but like the Bulldogs, he doesn’t have a suitable 5/8th partner to relieve the pressure at times. The forwards should still be fine, especially with Hindmarsh and Moi Moi in the pack. However, like all other years, the weight of expectation will likely prove too much for them, Sandow will prove a bust, and more questions will be asked than answered.
sXe Prediction: 13th

Gained: Junio Vaivai, Geoff Daniela, Clint Newton, Chris Armit, Cameron Ciraldo, Danny Galea, Ryan Simpkins, Etu Uaisele, Junior Tia Kilifi
Lost: Timana Tahu, Trent Waterhouse, Frank Puletua, Shane Elford, Junior Paulo, Matthew Bell, Petero Civoniceva, Adrian Purtell, Daine Laurie
TAB Sportsbet: $21
A really hard team to predict, they are a really hot and cold team. When they are on, they are amazing. When they are off, they are awful. Losing Petero from their forwards, as well as Waterhouse, will be a big obstacle for them to overcome, especially for not having recruited well at all. Luke Walsh is an okay halfback, but really needs some support, and I doubt he can get it. The issues between Gordon and Coote pertaining to the fullback side could also cripple the team emotionally, and they need to sort this out quick smart.
sXe Prediction: 16th

Gained: Matt King, Ryan Carr, Justin Hunt
Lost: Rhys Wesser, Chris Sandow, Shannan McPherson, Beau Falloon, Ben Ross, Luke Stuart
TAB Sportsbet: $17
Injury, misfortune, laziness. Three words that can be used to describe the Rabbits 2011 season. 4 of their top forwards suffered season ending injuries, and they did a respectable job at the end of the season playing as well as they did. With a fit Sam Burgess in their side, the forwards will have a lot more spark about them, and if Isaac Luke can tackle properly and thus stay suspension free, he’ll have a great time of it. Adam Reynolds is the new kid on the block, but if trial form counts for anything, he’s a more than adequate replacement for Sandow. McGuire, the coach, will stamp out laziness, which may just see John Sutton play to his potential, or get thrown out on his arse.
sXe Prediction: 8th

Gained: Chase Stanley, Will Matthews, Daniel Vidot, Josh Miller, Denan Kemp, Leeson Ah Mau, Jeremy Latimore
Lost: Darisu Boyd, Adam Cuthbertson, Mark Gasnier, Jack Bosden, Jon Green, Peni Tagive, Daniel Penese
TAB Sportsbet: $17
The second half fadeout from the Dragons sealed their fate in 2011. Whilst they blamed it on Origin, the common sense approach put it down to teams working them out and them not being able to come up with an answer in time to rescue themselves. The losses of Boyd and Gasnier will damage their attacking potential, but they still have Soward who really needs to step his game up this year for them to have any chance. The mental aspect will be their biggest challenge, and without Bennett’s cool head, the Dragons of old will return, and the pressure will get too much for them.
sXe Prediction: 15th

Gained: Anthony Mitchell, Jack Bosden, Peni Tagive, Daniel Tupou, Adam Henry, Josh Ailaomai, Daniel Mortimer, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
Lost: Nate Myles, Mark Riddell, Daniel Conn, Kane Linnett, Phil Graham, Todd Carney, Anthony Watts, Jason Ryles
TAB Sportsbet: $21
A team who was plagued by off field issues last season will be looking for a much better showing in 2012. They have recruited well, with Bosden a solid bench player who can add some impact, and Mortimer and more than capable 5/8th who can partner well with Pearce. Out wide, the booming Tautau Moga should prove to be a damaging centre similar to Mal Meninga. If they can keep their defence in check, and keep a stable mind, they’ll surprise a lot of people this year.
sXe Prediction: 10th

Gained: Nathan Friend
Lost: Lance Hohaia, Brett Seymour, Jeremy Latimore, Aaron Heremaia, Joel Moon, Shaun Berrigan
TAB Sportsbet: $9
The pain of a grand final defeat should prove as much motivation for a great 2012 as anything else. A rather unchanged squad, minus the loss of Hohaia, they are more than capable of recapturing the form of 2011, especially with Nathan Friend being at the hooker position. Maloney and Johnson may be the best pairing of halves in the competition, and should be able to provide a wealth of opportunity for their backs to score points.
sXe Prediction: 3rd

Gained: Adam Blair, Joel Reddy, Matthew Bell, John Grant, Tom Humble, Jack Spencer, Dane Chisholm
Lost: Bryce Gibbs, Andrew Fifita, Mark Flanagan, Jason Cayless, Taniela Tuiaki, Geoff Daniela, Jason Schirnack, Robert Lui
TAB Sportsbet: $6
This team has so much playing potential and talent that it has come to the point where it is a premiership this season or bust. After coming agonisingly close in 2010 and 2011, it’s time to put up or shutup for this team. The addition of Adam Blair to the back row will prove a great pickup, as it’ll give Ellis and Heighington an added boost to perform hard each and every week. Benji Marshall is the most dynamic player of the comp, and if he can fire consistently, we’ll win a shitload of games. He’ll receive some great support from Moltzen, who is quite the creative little master himself, and speedy too. Farah should control the forwards from hooker, but needs to work on his consistency. Our backs should be in fine form again this season, with Tuqiri, Ryan, Lawrence and Ayshford all being fit and rearing to go, and Utai waiting in the wings to take over any dips in form. The young gun, Tedesco, will be incredible from the back and can really benefit from Benji and Moltz’ attacking flair, and possibly create some Cronk to Slater-esque moments. So much potential, it’s time to strike whilst the iron is hot.
sXe Prediction: 1st
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