Our resident Dragons tragic Stephen is back again, this time with Part 2 of his NRL countdown.
So yesterday, I linked you up with 16th-13th positions on the 2012 NRL preview. Today we look at 12th-9th, to round out the bottom eight.
12th: Parramatta Eels
Hello: Chris Sandow (Rabbitohs), Ben Roberts (Bulldogs)
Goodbye: Joel Reddy (Wests Tigers), Jeff Robson (Sharks)
The Parramatta Eels are a side that you know can just do so well, but are just not consistent enough week in week out. Chris Sandow would have to be the buy of the season though – and for the Eels to have him is a very good thing for Parra. Coach Stephen Kearney does not know yet what his best halvesÂ combinationÂ will be. Have the trials proved their worth or will it take some tampering mid season which could spell disaster for this club?
Consistency is my main problem with Parramatta. A brilliant side to watch, but need to be brilliant to watch every week.
Chris Sandow – I know a club tries not to revolve around one player but his form for South Sydney was match winning. This could be the steady sail that the Eels need.
11th: Gold Coast Titans
Hello: Jamal Idris (Bulldogs), Nate Myles (Roosters)
Goodbye: Preston Campbell (Retirement), Nathan Friend (Warriors)
The Titans had a huge season to forget in 2011, and with a whole new side for this season – it could take awhile for everything to click in to place. They have a good team on paper – but sometimes paper does not transfer on to the field. Who will really stand up though, and take control of this side? The Wooden Spoon last year will be definite motivation for the club with a lot of room for improvement.
A lack of stability throughout the side could hinder their chances this season.
Have recruited very well for 2012 and beyond. Investing in the future is the key here.
10th: South Sydney Rabbitohs
Hello: Matt King (Warrington-ESL)
Goodbye: Chris Sandow (Eels), Ben Ross (Sharks)
The Rabbitohs are always there or there abouts, and with a horrid run of injuries in 2011, they would hope their luck will improve for the upcoming season. However they need a lot more than luck. A gaping hole called the halfback jersey is their first problem.
John Sutton’s inconsistencies are a blemish on the skin of this South Sydney face. Paired with Adam Reynolds – if these two turn in to passengers in 2012 it could meanÂ miseryÂ and frustration for many fans.
They have one of the most brutal forward packs in the competition. One of my favourite packs.
9th: Canberra Raiders
Hello: Shaun Berrigan (Warriors)
Goodbye: Alan Tongue (Retirement), Josh Miller (Dragons)The Raiders were tagged as the side to watch in 2011 after an impressive second half to their 2010 campaign, but were less than ordinary. 2012 will be a much better year for them but a lack of toughness mentally and physically could see them just miss out in the last 20 minutes in those crucial matches.
THUMBS DOWN: Lacking up front big time. The retirement of Tongue will hurt this team big time. They need to quickly find their strong pin.
Terry Campese is fit and ready to go. We all know what he isÂ capableÂ of, and I personally hope to see it on tap in 2012.