Your teams chances in 2007

What are your teams chances in 2007?

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Newcastle Knights – 1st

The biggest advantage Newcastle will have over other teams is the added prepration of Brian Smith.

Smith is one of the most well prepared coaches in the NRL; his attention to detail and creation of a game plan for every opponent is well known. This will suit Newcastle, who in the past have had a licence to thrill – which has at times both helped and hurt them.

Manly Sea Eagles – 2nd

This is a bolter of a selection here; however the Eagles have been on the improve for a few seasons now. Losing Ben Kennedy will hurt them sure, but the addition of Jamie Lyon will add solid attacking and defending skills and each of the squad are more acustomed to the Matt Orford style of play. Big things expected here.

Melbourne Storm – 3rd

You can always count on Melbourne to be in the mix. Since their birth in 1998, they have always been competitive. Well managed, well coached and a great mixed squad of youth and experience. They have lost a few players; most notably David Kidwell and Scott Hill – but the likes of Inglis and Slater make this Storm side capable of beating any other NRL side.

Brisbane Broncos – 4th

The boys from Red Hill will find it a little tougher in 2007. While taking the honours in 2006, the loss of Webcke, the pressure of backing up a premiership will be too much. While Wayne Bennett will go down as one of the great coaches; realistically he has had plenty of talent to pick from in Brisbane and really he himself and the team need a fresh change.

Wests Tigers – 5th

Another bolter selection here; the Tigers will either be untouchable or downright shocking. They have flair around the park, Benji is heavier and stronger and the addition of John Morris will be a great asset for this team. I feel they are ready to repeat the feats of 2005; injuries will be a key factor for this team.

Bulldogs – 6th

While boasting the likes of Sonny Bill, Big Willy and Co. The Bulldogs always seem to be in the mix every year. 2007 will be no different, while making the final 8 – they might however struggle come finals time. The lack of a ‘pure’ homeground, constant injuries to key players and a lack of dicipline will hurt the mob from Belmore.

Gold Coast Titans – 7th

No, not just because I have $500 big ones on these guys to make the final 8 – I really feel they have the squad, the management and the potential fanbase to make the big time. Sure, there is a lot of ‘if’s and but’s’ – but they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. I feel these boys will play in a style similar to the winning Wests Tigers team of 2005.

South Sydney Rabbitohs – 8th

And finally, the Bunnies will round of the final 8 for 2007. The injection of funds from Russell Crowe and Peter Homles Acourt will project the boys from Redfern into the finals mix. A strong squad, with the new players sure to add the ‘winning’ attitude – if this side wins a few on the trot, look out.

Remaining Teams:

Parra – My team will find it difficult, many losses, few gains. Few Forwards and Soft Halves.

St Geo Illa – Big losses here, no direction under Brown – worrying times.

Nth Qld – Lost Billy Johnstone, morale is a concern. Hit and miss.

Warriors – Well coached, but poor squad and poor crowds. Need a halfback.

Penrith – Matt Elliott will help, but never recovered from lost players after 2003.

Canberra – No name coach and squad, no crowd support. Real worry here.

Cronulla – Sad times in Shire, limited outside backs, young squad and unforgiving coach.

Sydney Roosters – No cohesion in squad, several lost players and coach that creates tension.

Gold Coast Titans Review

An Introduction to the Gold Coast Titans

Today we have a look at the new kid on the block in 2007; the The ‘Jetstar’ Gold Coast Titans.

The new side will play their home games out of Carrara Oval on the Gold Coast and have done well to recruit high profile NRL players such as: Luke Bailey, Anthony Laffranchi, Brad Myers, Scott Prince, Preston Campbell, Matt Rogers and will be coached by John Cartwright.

From the looks of their management and infrastucture; the Titans should realistically be a force in their first year. Smart planning and recruitment by Searle and a strong suburban base to build a large fan following. I have personally put $500 down; on the Titans making the final 8 in 2007.

The Titans will kick off against St George Illawarra at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday March 18th at 3pm.
We wish the Titans all the best; a strong showing early will ensure a strong fan base for life.
What are your thoughts on the Titans and how will they go in 2007?

TEAM REVIEW: Penrith Panthers

Today we have a quick look at the Penrith Panthers for Season 2007.

Matthew Elliott is head coach for this season and roster for first grade reads as follows:Paul Aiton, Matt Bell, Joel Clinton, Matt Cross, Geoff Daniela, Brett Firman, Michael Gordon, Craig Gower, Michael Jennings, Luke Lewis, Mark Meredith, Peewee Moke, Bryan Norrie, Mark O’Halloran, Luke Priddis, Frank Pritchard, Frank Puletua, Tony Puletua, Shane Rodney, Luke Rooney, Peter Wallace, Trent Waterhouse, Rhys Wesser, Brendan Worth, Nick Youngquest.

Matt Elliott saw the opportunity at the Panthers; and said it was “Too Good To Miss” – With a glowing roster of talent and the recent history of strong results made it an easy choice for the former Canberra head coach.

Penrith wasn’t extremely active in the player market for this year; partly due to the fact that there wasn’t a whole lot of atrractive talent on the market – but also due to the fact that they have a strong existing player base and “small adjustments” accordingly to Elliott can bring Penrith into contention for the trophy this year.In assessing the depth of player talent; Elliott feels players from on the fringe of first grade include: Michael Jennings, Junior Moors and some future first graders in years to come include Tim Grant and Geoff Daniella from SG Ball.

Certainly depth is no problem out at the foot of the mountains.Elliott also makes mention of the strong coaching team around him at Penrith; staff that include – Wayne Collins, Matt Adamson and Steve Georgallis.Training for the Panthers resumes on the 6th of November – good luck for 2007.

Prediction for 2007: The ultimate test for the Panthers will be the coach; Elliott showed strong signs he is a top coach by getting a bunch of no names into the top 8 at Canberra. Can he take a decent side such as Penrith to the top? Time will tell.We feel that in 2007; they will fall just short of the top 8. Possibly with a year under his belt; 2008 might be a year they have a tilt at the top prize.

Be sure and get your Panthers Supporter Gear, Memorabilia and Game Tickets for 2007!

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