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> SMH EXPERTS TOP 8 PREDICTIONS

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Berkeley_Eagle, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    > SMH EXPERTS TOP 8 PREDICTIONS

    Coaches hold ticket to glory

    Jacquelin Magnay | March 10, 2008

    THIS top eight comes with an important disclaimer. I came last in the Herald tipping competition last season because I followed my heart, not my head (refusing to tip Manly and repeatedly, and stupidly, thinking St George Illawarra would, indeed must, turn around their woeful form).
    In 2008, I am toughening up, switching tactics and following the coaches. There are three brilliant masterminds in the competition: Ricky Stuart, Craig Bellamy and Neil Henry. Tim Sheens is another but is hampered by Benji Marshall's fragility, which will restrict their top-eight chances.
    This season the Sharks will be the big improvers with Stuart's exacting demands extracting the best out of his men, but they will fall a fair way short of winning the minor premiership.
    That, of course, will go to current premiers Melbourne, who have lost a little in the way of personnel in the past three years but will once again dominate with stellar home performances and their explosive attacking flair.
    Last year's grand finalists Manly will continue the recent hoodoo of top teams failing the following year as they are vulnerable in the halves and have lost Michael Monaghan.
    Youthful enthusiasm and a touch of good luck will drive the Raiders, and their top-eight aspirations will be realised if they can win a couple of matches away from home.
    St George Illawarra will stutter along clinging desperately to 10th or 11th spot, if only because everyone expects them to fail dismally.
    If the players stay away from nightclubs the Eels will be strong contenders, as will the ever-improving Rabbitohs.
    The Cowboys' fortunes depend largely on Johnathan Thurston's return from two shoulder surgeries. Either the Roosters, Tigers or Warriors will round out the eight.
    MAGNAY'S EIGHT


    1. Melbourne
    2. Cronulla
    3. Parramatta
    4. South Sydney
    5. Canberra
    6. North Queensland
    7. Brisbane
    8. Sydney Roosters

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    One key injury and it's over


    http://www.leaguehq.com.au/news/news/one-k...4998282044.html

    Roy Masters | March 10, 2008

    THE NRL frigate, SS Salary Cap, is dumping cannon, making English Super League clubs stronger and Australian clubs weaker.
    Every NRL team, including premiers, Melbourne, has a serious tactical weakness.
    In past seasons, the Storm had specialist back-up for brilliant dummy-half/kicker, Cameron Smith, in Nathan Friend and James Aubusson, but they have moved to other clubs, leaving Matt Geyer - who has spent 11 years as a back - to fill in.
    Smith's absence during the State of Origin series, or unavailability via a major injury, will blow out the Storm.
    Parramatta gave the Storm a big scare at Telstra Dome in last year's preliminary final, mainly through the clever passes of centre Timana Tahu, who has gone to rugby union.
    The Cowboys have perhaps the best all-round back-rower, Luke O'Donnell, back from a season-long injury but he merely turns a two-man team (Matt Bowen and Johnathan Thurston) into a three-man team.
    Grand finalists Manly have lost their main playmaker, Michael Monaghan, leaving the front-running Matt Orford to get them home.
    The Warriors, with an entire nation to draw upon, have lost the one player they could least afford, fullback Wade McKinnon, for the year with a knee injury.
    No club can make the top eight without their best player.
    Similarly, if Wests Tigers hooker Robbie Farah, is hurt, the club can book their end of season trip early.
    Clubs without a sound 1, 6, 7 and 9 - the spine of a team - will struggle.
    The Sharks have the best back row in the NRL and can defend strongly but without the playmakers they have limited attack. The Broncos and Titans will sneak into the top eight on the basis of home penalties.
    MASTERS' EIGHT


    1. Melbourne
    2. Parramatta
    3. North Queensland
    4. Manly
    5. Sydney Roosters
    6. South Sydney
    7. Brisbane
    8. Gold Coast






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    Only big three have a chance


    http://www.leaguehq.com.au/news/news/only-...4998282041.html

    Greg Prichard | March 10, 2008

    MELBOURNE, Manly and Parramatta will be playing in their own competition and the remaining teams will be playing in another.
    The most intriguing battle will be between the Sea Eagles and the Eels, to see who plays the Storm in the grand final. It is unusual in these days of the salary cap to see bookmakers put up such a clear premiership favourite, as they have done with Melbourne. But it makes sense. The club's management has held the team together pretty well, in the face of cap pressure. They lose several players from last year's premiership-winning side, but regain representative prop Antonio Kaufusi after he missed the second half of last season injured.
    Manly may have been thrashed by Melbourne in last year's decider, but they were clearly the second best team over the course of the season. They will learn from that loss. The biggest test for them will be to handle the departure of hooker Michael Monaghan.
    Parramatta were the team that troubled the Storm most towards the end of last season and it should be automatic that several of their biggest stars - Jarryd Hayne, Krisnan Inu and Feleti Mateo - will be even better, because they have played only 87 first-grade games between them and are still learning. If halfback Tim Smith has dealt with his off-field problems sufficiently well, even better.
    Storm coach Craig Bellamy has proved he can get week-in, week-out consistency from his team. So has Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler. The Eels produced several inexplicably poor performances last season, which was the difference between them finishing the regular season in fifth place instead of third or fourth. Should they find that consistency this season, they will push for a top-two spot going into the finals.
    PRICHARD'S EIGHT


    1. Melbourne
    2. Manly
    3. Parramatta
    4. Brisbane
    5. South Sydney
    6. Sydney Roosters
    7. North Queensland
    8. NZ Warriors




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  2. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Re: > SMH EXPERTS TOP 8 PREDICTIONS

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    So even anyone could take spoils

    http://www.leaguehq.com.au/news/news/so-ev...4998282053.html


    Brad Walter | March 10, 2008

    IN THIS era of evenness created by the salary cap, how long until every team in the top eight the previous year finishes in the bottom eight?
    It's unlikely to happen this year but a look at the losses and gains suggests 2007 grand finalists Melbourne and Manly do not have the same depth, nor do the Bulldogs and Broncos, and Wade McKinnon's season-ending injury is a huge blow to the Warriors.
    Parramatta have also lost a number of players but the emergence of Krisnan Inu, Jarryd Hayne, Feleti Mateo and Weller Hauraki should offset the Eels' departures. Souths have added Craig Wing to a line-up boasting boom youngsters Issac Luke, Eddie Paea and Fetuli Talanoa, as well as the returning David Kidwell, who made just five appearances last season due to injury.
    The return of Cowboys forwards Luke O'Donnell, Steve Southern, Carl Webb, Sione Faumuina and Shane Tronc from injury or suspension plus the recruitment of players such as Manly five-eighth Travis Burns, former Bulldogs centre Ben Harris and Roosters winger John Williams has the side primed to improve on their brave performance of 2007, when they finished third. After surgery on both shoulders, Johnathan Thurston is set to miss the first month of action but should be much stronger on return.
    Of the clubs that finished outside the top eight last year to have improved their player stocks, the Roosters have grabbed the most headlines through the addition of Bulldogs Test props Mark O'Meley and Willie Mason, and big things are expected. But how much they will miss Wing?
    Manly will also feel the loss of Michael Monaghan and Burns. But the return of Monaghan's brother Joel to the Raiders gives added strike power to a young side brimming with talent and size.
    WALTER'S EIGHT


    1. North Queensland
    2. Parramatta
    3. South Sydney
    4. Melbourne
    5. Brisbane
    6. Manly
    7. Sydney Roosters
    8. Canberra


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    A little fillip for Eels, Cowboys


    http://www.leaguehq.com.au/news/news/a-lit...4998282068.html

    Glenn Jackson | March 10, 2008

    THEY say a fast big man will always beat a fast little man … but that particular rule has never been tested under the NRL's new interchange laws.
    This might be the code's 100th season, and rugby league has proved it is more survivor than sprinter in that time, however the game in the centenary year will be looking more like a 100-metre dash than anything middle- or long-distance.
    Speed will thrive, and that's why the likes of Parramatta and North Queensland will be even more prominent in the final moments of this 100th year.
    Both sides will move significantly closer to Melbourne than they ever managed last season. The Storm will again be strong, but the Eels, so long as they stay out of Kings Cross, will be their biggest threats to the throne.
    The speed, footwork and wizardry of Jarryd Hayne, Krisnan Inu and Luke Burt will put any tiring defence to the ultimate test, while Feleti Mateo will be a revelation this year - even though we were given glimpses of his brilliance last year.
    Every side needs its workers, and the Eels have them in Nathan Hindmarsh, Chad Robinson and co. Heck, even Mark Riddell has shed some weight in anticipation of the rigours of a premiership game with only 10 interchanges.
    With that in mind, the Cowboys have the best little men in the NRL. Fullback Matt Bowen and halfback Johnathan Thurston will be even more damaging against forwards who will be fatigued. It will be another bonus if Luke O'Donnell emerges from his horrific hamstring injury. However, there are always question marks over teams who know they will have a different coach the next season, and they may fall just short again. Ditto Manly, who will miss Michael Monaghan.
    JACKSON'S EIGHT


    1. Parramatta
    2. Melbourne
    3. North Queensland
    4. Sydney Roosters
    5. Manly
    6. Cronulla
    7. South Sydney
    8. Brisbane


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    Parra can grab it by the neck


    http://www.leaguehq.com.au/news/news/parra...4998282059.html

    Andrew Webster | March 10, 2008

    WHILE you're getting all warm and fuzzy and looking at the past in sepia tones and the future through shades because everything is just bright and dandy with this so-called greatest game of all, here's something to have you freefalling to terra firma .. the grapple tackle.
    Last month, Storm coach Craig Bellamy dismissed the mere notion that the promised blitz on any "prolonged contact with the head or neck" would not alter the way the game was played.
    Yet it must be expected that in the first two months we're either going to see referees popping an eyeball because they're blowing so many penalties, or the wrestle, which has become such a dominant feature in recent times, will go the way of the dodo.
    Bellamy has every right to feel aggrieved each time a rival coach fingers his team for slowing the play-the-ball, but if anyone can adapt to change, it's his well-drilled side.
    Only Parra will push 'em this year - just as they did on two occasions during the last season, including that absorbing preliminary final when winger Krisnan Inu came within millimetres of taking the Eels within a try of the Storm with six minutes left.
    Believe us, the Eels have taken plenty of confidence from going oh-so close to a team most considered unbeatable. And the scary sound of a gunshot in the early hours of Monday, March 3, could also be a turning point, as it sounded distinctly like someone calling last drinks on the players.
    In terms of the big picture, this centenary festivus might continue deep into November but it will serve as a stark reminder to all that rugby league is like that old pair of reg grundies: full of holes, sagging in parts, but, really, would you want to strut around the house in anything else?
    WEBSTER'S EIGHT


    1. Parramatta
    2. Melbourne
    3. Manly
    4. North Queensland
    5. Brisbane
    6. Sydney Roosters
    7. South Sydney
    8. NZ Warriors


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  3. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    Re: > SMH EXPERTS TOP 8 PREDICTIONS

    U can see why Magnay came last in tipping and why women have no place commentating on mens' sports.
     
  4. Fluffy

    Fluffy Well-Known Member

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    Re: > SMH EXPERTS TOP 8 PREDICTIONS

    most people who manage the spoon need a bit of bad luck to help but she did it all herself.

    Love the comment of not tipping manly then learning from mistakes.....and not tipping manly again.
     
  5. clontaago

    clontaago Well-Known Member

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    Re: > SMH EXPERTS TOP 8 PREDICTIONS

    On top of leaving Manly out of the 8, she has Canberra to come 5th.

    So in effect she will be taking the team that plays Manly almost every week, and Canberra almost every week. There's a guaranteed 2 losses per round and the season hasnt even started yet.
     
  6. fLIP

    fLIP UFO Hunter

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    Re: > SMH EXPERTS TOP 8 PREDICTIONS

    :eek:
     
  7. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    Re: > SMH EXPERTS TOP 8 PREDICTIONS

    What Flip? 

    I see that other genius Freeman has also tipped we'll miss the 8. 
     
  8. fLIP

    fLIP UFO Hunter

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    Re: > SMH EXPERTS TOP 8 PREDICTIONS

    I just don't see why someone is less qualified to comment on sport because they don't have a penis.
     
  9. Zep

    Zep Active Member

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    Re: > SMH EXPERTS TOP 8 PREDICTIONS

    if i could be so bold as to offer my  top 8:

    1. Storm
    2. Souths
    3. Manly
    4. Parra
    5. Cowboys
    6. Broncos
    7. Titans
    8. Roosters

    I don't believe anyone with Tim Smith in there team will win consistently as he is not a consistent performer. Storm have the team, Souths the passion. Manly don't have much depth in there backs any more. shame but we will see how it goes. Roosters with there forward pack will be interesting. Fittler just might be able to get Mason and co to perform for the whole season and just not when it suits them.
     
  10. clontaago

    clontaago Well-Known Member

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    Re: > SMH EXPERTS TOP 8 PREDICTIONS

    :'(

    Lets face it, women should never have been allowed to vote.
     
  11. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    Re: > SMH EXPERTS TOP 8 PREDICTIONS

      It has to do with brain and hormones, not genitals. 
     
  12. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Re: > SMH EXPERTS TOP 8 PREDICTIONS

    I agree with Doug on this one.

    Women can commentate on some sport though, like Netball but they just dont really get sport
     
  13. clontaago

    clontaago Well-Known Member

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    Re: > SMH EXPERTS TOP 8 PREDICTIONS

    I cant see the Bunnies getting any higher than 7th or 8th Zep. I also think the Broncos are in for a tough year and could miss the 8.
     
  14. Zep

    Zep Active Member

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    I cant see the Bunnies getting any higher than 7th or 8th Zep. I also think the Broncos are in for a tough year and could miss the 8.
    [/quote]
    True, i just have a feeling that in the next two years they are going to be title contenders, they have bought well in the last couple of years and just need 1 more top quality play in the halves.

    On the broncos, i think u have to look at Joel Clinton, one thing Bennet knows how to do is turn beasts of men into Football machines, he will lose all of his ball movement but will play for 80mins. They u have Lockyer who is due for a good year and when u have Hunt and Hodges outside him there is plenty of tries there.

    I was impressed with the titans tonite and believe they will play well at Skilled but poorly away from home especially west sydney, n q and melb
     

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