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Laurie Daleys 2011 predictions

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Berkeley_Eagle, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Foxsports.com.au's 2011 NRL season preview with Laurie Daley: Cronulla, tipped to finish 16th

    2011 Cronulla NRL Squad
    Paul Aiton, Colin Best, Jayson Bukuya, Andrew Clayton, Dean Collis, Josh Cordoba, Luke Douglas, Stuart Flanagan, Paul Gallen, Nathan Gardner, Isaac Gordon, Wade Graham, Trent Grubb, Albert Kelly, Kose Lelei, Ricky Leutele, Johnny Mannah, Stewart Mills, John Morris, Matt Parata, Ben Pomeroy, Scott Porter, Jeremy Smith, Tim Smith, Kade Snowden, Nathan Stapleton, Taulima Tautai, Ryan Tongia, Anthony Tupou, Siosaia Vave, John Williams, Broderick Wright, Matthew Wright.

    New faces: Andrew Clayton (Brisbane Broncos), Colin Best (South Sydney), Jeremy Smith (St George Illawarra), John Williams (North Queensland Cowboys), Kose Lelei (Canterbury-Bankstown), Ryan Tongia (Gold Coast Titans), Wade Graham (Penrith).

    Out the door: Kyle O'Donnell (Newcastle Knights), Grant Millington (Canterbury-Bankstown), Blake Ferguson (Canberra), Adam Cuthbertson (St George Illawarra), Trent Barrett, Luke Covell, Reece Williams (retired), Josh Lewis (Tolouse), Lancen Joudo (North Queensland Cowboys), Luke Harlen (released).

    Last year: The bright spots were again few for the Sharks, finishing with a 7-17 record. They did manage to maintain their bogey-team mantle against Parramatta with home and away wins, a feat they also achieved against grand finalists Sydney Roosters. But the highlight of the year was no doubt coming back from 18-0 down against North Queensland Cowboys to steal a dramatic 19-18 win in golden-point. 

    Room for improvement: It's hard not to say everywhere given Cronulla finished with the worst points differential in the competition last year, suggesting they need serious work on both sides of the ball. Perhaps they could start by learning how to harness confidence and build momentum; the Sharks had some great victories against quality oppositions in 2010 but failed to win back-to-back games. The last time they did so was round 14, 2009.

    Game breaker: Paul Gallen is the heart and soul of Cronulla and, along with his back-row partners, could be the difference between turning the corner and another losing season. Some may suggest it's the non-tangibles that are Gallen's biggest contribution but in 2010 he played more minutes than any other Sharks player, made more tackles and was the leading offloader also. Better yet, he led the NRL in average runs and metres gained.

    Rising star: Ryan Tongia joins Cronulla with the rare distinction of being capped twice at international level without ever making an NRL appearance. The Papua New Guinea fullback scored 18 tries in 20 Toyota Cup games for Gold Coast Titans in 2010 and that was enough to see him called up for the Kumuls' Four Nations campaign. How Tongia is to be used remains a mystery, however, given last season saw the Sharks unleash their own custodian prodigy in Nathan Gardner.

    Key arrival: For various reasons Wade Graham has yet to establish himself as an NRL footballer but he'll have the perfect opportunity to do so in 2011. Not only will the former Penrith player be asked to fill the boots of departed veteran Trent Barrett, he'll do so knowing the success of Cronulla's floundering attack hinges on him forging a successful halves combination with Tim Smith. Jeremy Smith might be the higher profile addition but the weight of expectation will be far heavier on Graham.

    Coach factor: Shane Flanagan got a taste of what to expect when Ricky Stuart made for him earlier than expected in 2010. He notched two wins in his seven matches in charge, against Sydney Roosters and Gold Coast Titans. With four years' experience as an assistant coach with New South Wales and the past five seasons at the Sharks, Flanagan has a proven professionalism that suggests business as usual, though hopefully with a fresh approach to the new season.

    Fox Sports Stats: The Sharks desperately need to improve their attack - they scored the fewest points in 2010 (14.8 per game), the fewest in 2009 (15 per game) and the second fewest in 2008 (18.7 per game).

    Laurie Daley says: "Cronulla's foward pack is outstanding, and I think that alone will lead them to having a better season than their last. The halves are the chief concern with the Sharks - recruit Wade Graham is a terrific young player but he'll need to strike up a partneship with either Tim Smith, Scott Porter or Albert Kelly. And they still don't have enought strike out wide. They've got a good 17 to 19 players but after that they could struggle for depth. I think they'll be competitive but I can see them again struggling to put points on opposition teams. They just don't have the class of some of the other teams."

    The Adjudicator says: "Forget the NRL premiership, this year the Sharks will go head-to head with the New South Wales Origin side to see who the worst team in blue is. I'll give you a hint, the Sharks might end up trotting out onto Suncorp Stadium on May 25. You see, with the best bak row in the comp and that nippy little fella at the back, they're just not that bad. And this from a guy whose sole purpose on this earth is to berate professional sportspeople! With crowds set to pass those posted by Gold Coast United in the A-League, the sky is the limit."

    Fantasy banker and darkhorse: If 2010 was Nathan Gardner's (Outside Back, $320K) coming out party then 2011 is the year he turns into Fantasy gold dust. We've all seen what he's capable of producing from anywhere on the park and with the No.1 between the shoulder blades you know he's going to see plenty of ball. Plenty of people have probably given up on Albert Kelly (Halfback, $160K) after his numerous attempts to find a home in the Sharks 17. But keep him on your radar as he'll still get his chances in 2011, though it remains to be seen where.

    Loz's NRL preview: team 16 | Fox Sports
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    Penrith, tipped to finish 15th

    2011 Penrith NRL Squad
    Adrian Purtell, Arana Taumata, Brad Tighe, Brendon Gibb, Daine Laurie, Dayne Weston, David Simmons, Dayne Weston, Evrett Vaurasi, Frank Puletua, Greg Waddell, Harry Seijka, Joseph Paulo, Junior Paulo, Kevin Kingston, Lachlan Coote, Luke Lewis, Luke Walsh, Masada Iosefa, Matthew Bell, Michael Gordon, Michael Jennings, Nafe Seluini, Nathan Smith, Nigel Plum, Petero Civoniceva, Ryan Walker, Sam McKendry, Sandor Earl, Shane Elford, Shannon Wakeman, Travis Burns, Trent Waterhouse, Tim Grant, Yileen Gordon

    New faces: Yileen Gordon (Canterbury-Bankstown), Arana Taumata (North Queensland Cowboys), Coedi Towney (The Entrance - Bundaberg Red Cup), Dayne Weston (North Queensland Cowboys), Michael Worrincy (Bradford Bulls - Super League), Nafe Seluini (Warriors), Brendon Gibb (Norths Devils - Queensland Cup), Junior Paulo (St George Illawarra), Tim Winitana (Canterbury-Bankstown).

    Out the door: Wade Graham (Cronulla), Frank Pritchard (Canterbury-Bankstown), Gavin Cooper (North Queensland Cowboys), Josh Bateman (North Queensland Cowboys), Maurice Blair (Melbourne Storm), Daniel Penese (St George Illawarra).

    Last year: Penrith produced their best season since their 2003 title, finishing second in the regular season, but ended the season with a bitter taste in their mouths after bowing out with back-to-back losses in the finals. On a positive note the flourishing of Luke Walsh, Michael Gordon and Lachlan Coote saw the Panthers develop into an attacking force in the back half of the season. Luke Lewis and Petero Civoniceva were at their consistent best and provided the reliable spine for the Panthers in a season where Matt Elliot's men exceeded expectations.

    Room for improvement: Injuries and suspensions rattled the Panthers' late-season charge so keeping their best players fit is a must. The loss of Wade Graham means Penrith's halves will need to stand up with the cupboard looking a little bare in behind the first-choice options. Incredibly they averaged the most points scored per game with 26.1, despite ranking last in average tackle busts (29.2). This indicates they were reliant on their kicking game; but developing a stronger running game will be pivotal to again being a top-rated attacking force.

    Game breaker: Centre Michael Jennings has electrifying pace and is the go-to man when the Panthers are searching for a big play. He struggled with ankle injuries last season but when fit is one of the most devastating players in the game. Jennings scored 16 tries in 25 matches in 2010, but at his best is capable of improving on that strike rate in 2011.

    Rising star: Penrith winger Sandor Earl capped a brilliant 2010 by winning the club's rookie of the year award and looks set to continue his meteoric rise. He scored one of the tries of the season against Canberra in the qualifying finals last year and regularly displayed his brilliant finishing ability. The youngster has all the skills and with his height he provides a valuable target out wide for Penrith's precise kicking game.

    Key arrival: With the departure of Frank Pritchard, the Panthers will be searching for some penetration from their back-row, something Yileen Gordon can provide when fit. With the size and skill to hurt teams on the fringes, a good run in the top grade may yet see him realise his potential following a bad run with injuries in recent seasons.

    Coach factor: Matt Elliott managed to fend off the circling critics that were calling for his head in 2010. He appears to at last have his squad playing to his game plan, but after losing a few key players it won't take much to see the critics resurface this season. Entering his fifth season in charge of the Panthers, expectations will be high for Elliot whose players should be well accustomed to his coaching style.

    Fox Sports Stats: Penrith will be hoping their attack runs as smoothly as it did last season. In 2010 Penrith averaged the most points per game (26.1) and scored the most tries (4.5) per game.

    Laurie Daley says: "I love their forward pack, it's as good as any in the competition. However, the Panthers scored a lot of tries last year from kicks last season and I think most teams would be aware of that. Lachlan Coote's return will certainly help, as they missed their star fullback at the end of the season. However, I think they may have overachieved a little and I have a query over their halves. I think they may have flown under the radar last season - teams will respect them a lot more this year - and the loss of Frank Pritchard on the edge will be a blow for them. Penrith have recruited lots of players but the only one of them that's probably a walk-in to their 17 is Yileen Gordon. Sometimes you need a turnover of players who are going to walk straight into your team - and I just don't see that with Penrith."

    The Adjudicator says: "Take it from Kevin Muscat: the way you finish in sport is often how you are remembered and there is no better example of that than Penrith. The Panthers' 2010 season faded more dramatically than an Adjudicator three wood, and despite finishing second in the regular season they aren't shaping up as a contender for Mr.A this season. Me thinks they were pretending."

    Fantasy banker and darkhorse: Michael Gordon ($360K) turned into points-scoring machine in 2010 and is a must-have for Fantasy managers. He rarely misses with the boot and his speed out white guarantees him of some try-scoring action. Travis Burns ($160K) can be a risk with an unfortunate knack of giving away penalties, but he makes plenty of tackles for a five-eighth and should make a reasonable number of try assists.

    Loz's NRL preview: team 15 | Fox Sports
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    North Queensland, tipped to finish 14th

    2011 North Queensland NRL Squad
    Isaac Ah Mau, Leeson Ah Mau, Clint Amos, Michael Bani, Scott Bolton, Matt Bowen, Gavin Cooper, Jack Cooper, Kalifa Fai Fai Loa, Shannon Gallant, Ashley Graham, Glenn Hall, Dane Hogan, Dallas Johnson, Ben Jones, Blake Leary, Tyson Martin, Michael Morgan, Aaron Payne, Matthew Scott, James Segeyaro, Ashton Sims, Tariq Sims, James Tamou, Brent Tate, Ray Thompson, Ricky Thorby, Johnathan Thurston, Willie Tonga, Will Tupou, Antonio Winterstein.

    New faces: Antonio Winterstein (Brisbane Broncos), Brent Tate (Warriors), Tariq Sims (Brisbane Broncos), Kalifa Fai Fai Loa (St George Illawarra), Ashton Sims (Brisbane Broncos), Ricky Thorby (St George Illawarra), Gavin Cooper (Penrith), Dallas Johnson (Catalans Dragons - Super League), Ben Jones (Sydney Roosters), Blake Leary (Melbourne Storm), Lancen Joudo (Cronulla), Glen Hall (Bradford Bulls - Super League).

    Out the door: Steve Rapira (Warriors), Anthony Watts (Sydney Roosters), Luke O'Donnell (Huddersfield Giants - Super League), Ty Williams (retired), Carl Webb (Parramatta), Willie Mason (Hull Kingston Rovers - Super League), Steve Southern (Newcastle Knights), Arana Taumata (Penrith), John Williams (Cronulla), Dayne Weston (Penrith).

    Last year: It was back to the bad old days for North Queensland in 2010, with only the salary cap-plagued Melbourne Storm allowing the Cowboys to avoid the wooden spoon. The side spent the entire season in the doldrums, winning just five matches and just once in the last three months of the season. Marquee stars Jonathan Thurston (16 games), Matthew Bown (15) and Luke O'Donnell (13) suffered injuries and rumblings surfaced about coach Neil Henry's leadership.

    Room for improvement: Lay a solid foundation, and then discover the old Cowboys flair. North Queensland's defensive spirit mirrored a pub team at times in 2010, on the way to finishing with a points differential of -242. The Cowboys have made some shrewd recruitment decisions in buying Dallas Johnson, Glen Hall and Gavin Cooper who will provide the side with a more steely resolve. It will be a whole new ball game if Thurston and Bowen can build on what they showed in this year's All Stars match. Hooker Aaron Payne shouldered a heavy load in 2010, so it's crucial that recruit Ben Jones, the latest to audition for the supporting role to Thurston, provides a back-up option to the chief ball-players.

    Game breaker: Last season the Cowboys badly missed Matt Bowen, a fullback whose freakish talent can inspire his side from the back. The Cowboys attack is solid with the likes of Ashley Graham, Shannon Gallant and Antonio Winterstein out wide, although it's a shame Willie Tonga won't be joined in the centres by Test centre Brent Tate, who is likely to miss the whole season with a knee injury.

    Rising star: Emerging Blues big man Tariq Sims moves to Townsville with wraps as an 80-minute, bustling front or back-rower - just what the club needs after seeing Steve Southern, Antonio Kaufusi, Manase Manuokafoa and Carle Webb move out the door. A standout for Brisbane Broncos' Toyota Cup side in previous seasons, the 20-year-old is the younger brother of former Broncos and Dragons forward Ashton, who joins him at the Cowboys.

    Key arrival: Dallas Johnson can redefine the Cowboys brand in 2011. A proud Queenslander, Johnson is a titanic workhorse with a no-frills attitude that can inspire his teammates. Mobile, fit and an 80-minute player, he offers a different style of leadership to the departed O'Donnell.

    Coach factor: Neil Henry is under the pump before a ball has been kicked this season. Although he is hailed as the brains behind Queensland's Origin success, his North Queensland side were a rabble in 2010. With rumours that he has lost some support in the dressing room, another poor start to the year will put Henry under extreme pressure to see out the year. Henry quickly needs to win back the support of his senior players if the Cowboys are to prosper.

    Fox Sports Stats: The Cowboys will need to start winning matches on the road to have any chance of making their first final series since 2007. Since 2008 they have won just seven of their 36 matches away from home.

    Laurie Daley says: "This is the strongest roster North Queensland have put together for the past couple of years and I expect them to have a better season. Having spoken to Matt Bowen during the Indigenous All Stars camp, he seems back to his best, while Johnathan Thurston tells me he's sick of not playing finals football. While JT is in that type of mood I won't be discounting them. Dallas Johnson and Brent Tate are strong acquisitions. I am prepared to leave them out of my eight but it's not going to shock me if they get there."

    The Adjudicator says: "So desperate were the Cowboys after last year that they had to ask the great Gus Gould what to do next - and all the self-appointed voice of the NRL could offer was no, no, no, no, no, I'm not getting involved! But there's one obvious statistic in the Cowboys' favour - the bounce-back effect of punting Willie Mason. After he sent the Bulldogs and Roosters to the foot of the table, was it any surprise the Cowboys followed suit when they signed the headline merchant? They won't go as badly as in 2010, even without the help of a salary cap saga to keep them off the foot of the table."

    Fantasy banker/darkhorse: With a point for every two tackles, tackling machine Dallas Johnson ($320K) will have at least 15 points in the bank for you each week before any other calculations are made. Aaron Payne is relatively cheap ($260K) given his standing in the side. He'll tackle, score, provide the odd assist and play 80 minutes every week. If you're looking for an outside back, Antonio Winterstein ($240K) should be in for a big year after his move north.

    Loz's NRL preview: team 14 | Fox Sports
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    Manly to finish 13th

    see http://www.silvertails.net/news/5374-laurie-daley-manly-to-finish-13th
  2. Chip and Chase

    Chip and Chase True Supporter Staff Member Administrator Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +8,599 /80
    Penrith 15th ??? WTF. Daley is a moron.
  3. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Laurie Daley predicts will finish 12th this year.

    2011 Parramatta Eels NRL Squad
    Mitchell Allgood, Jordan Atkins, Luke Burt, Karlos Filiga, Jarryd Hayne, Chris Hicks, Nathan Hindmarsh (c), Justin Horo, Tom Humble, Matt Keating, Taniela Lasalo, Tim Mannah, Manase Manuokafoa, Casey McGuire, Anthony Mitchell, Fuifui Moimoi, Daniel Mortimer, Pele Peletelese, Justin Poore, Joel Reddy, Jeff Robson, Billy Rogers, Shane Shackleton, Ben Smith, Etu Uaisele, Chris Walker, Carl Webb, Paul Whatuira.

    New faces: Carl Webb (North Queensland Cowboys), Reni Maitua (suspension), Jordan Atkins (Gold Coast Titans), Chris Walker (Catalans Dragons - Super League), Eni Folau (Easts Tigers - Queensland Cup), Brad Murray (Sydney Roosters), Chris Hicks (Warrington Wolves - Super League), Paul Whatuira (Huddersfield Giants - Super League), Casey McGuire (Catalans Dragons - Super League).

    Out the door: Nathan Cayless (retired), Feleti Mateo (Warriors), Krisnan Inu (Warriors), Kris Keating (Canterbury-Bankstown), Jonathan Wright (Canterbury-Bankstown), Tim Robinson (Manly).

    Last year: After making a miraculous late charge to the 2009 decider, everyone was waiting for a similar late run after Parramatta's indifferent start to 2010 - it never came. They peaked at seventh spot in round seven and that was as good as it got for their fans, the Eels capitulating to finish 12th. Promising half Daniel Mortimer suffered in his second year in the top grade and the mood around the Eels camp was one of discontent, ending with Daniel Anderson's dismissal with a year to run on his contract.

    Room for improvement: Consistency. In 2010 the Eels relied too heavily on Jarryd Hayne. If they are to succeed this time, Matthew Keating, Jeff Robson and Mortimer will need to steer the side around the paddock. The added experience of Casey McGuire might give some stability to the line-up, and the removal of Feleti Mateo and Krisnan Inu hints that the Eels might be prepared to sacrifice flair in this campaign. The squad is well stocked with experienced forwards up front who need to step up. The Eels have few excuses on the edges either, with the likes of Ben Smith, Nathan Hindmarsh and Reni Maitua providing size and mobility. Recruits Paul Whatuira, Chris Hicks and Chris Walker were terrific NRL players in their day but will need to show they've still got what it takes.

    Game breaker: While they don't want to rely on their talisman, Jarryd Hayne, Parramatta's form inevitably flows with that of their custodian. With the power of a second-rower, skills of a playmaker, speed of a winger, and kicking game of a halfback, if Hayne can pick his moments to chime into the backline, Parramatta can come back into the premiership equation.

    Rising star: Anthony Mitchell was a bolter from the blue to get a run in the Indigenous All Stars line-up, but the nippy hooker impressed in his three-game NRL stint in 2010, scoring two tries. The 22-year-old could provide a livewire option off the bench.

    Key arrival: Parramatta have turned to journeymen in their recruitment for 2011, and the most interesting arrival is Reni Maitua who returns from an 18-month drug ban. The Eels have provided the lifeline that will make or break the hard-running backrower's career. On his day the NRL bad boy is a dynamic, Origin-quality player, so it could prove a worthy gamble.

    Coach factor: Melbourne Storm and New Zealand international players swear by the style of Stephen Kearney as a mentor, coach and a confidant. Kearney has former NRL coach Peter Sharp alongside him and a Four Nations trophy to his name. He will need to instil that same level of passion at the Eels as he had with the Kiwis, as he tries to galvanise a team who looked stale and sloppy for large portions of 2010. It's a huge first-up test for a rookie coach who will need to find the best from some of the club's older, riskier recruits.

    Fox Sports Stats: "Busy recruiters in the off-season, Parramatta will be relying on the older brigade to bring them success in 2011. Carl Webb, Reni Maitua, Chris Hicks, Paul Whatuira and Chris Walker bring with them a combined experience of 760 NRL matches. They bring in 134 more matches of experience than those they replace in Nathan Cayless, Feleti Mateo, Krisnan Inu, Kris Keating and Timana Tahu who in total had played 626 NRL matches."

    Laurie Daley says: "After a big turnover of players and with question marks over the halves it's hard to see them doing enough to make the eight. It's so important to have a settled combination in your key positions and they just haven't got that. Jarryd Hayne is obviously the key but it's a matter of everyone else doing their role. Both Craig Bellamy and Wayne Bennett speak very highly of new coach Stephen Kearney, as do the players that have played under him. He is reported to have his players training really hard, however, we really don't know what style they're going to play. I am not prepared to go with them at this stage."

    The Adjudicator says: "Who is next out of the Parramatta trap door? Gone is the old chief executive Dennis Fitzgerald, then the coach Daniel Anderson and then the captain Nathan Cayless! What next? Stephen Kearney and Nathan Hindmarsh better look out because patience is running out at Parramatta. And with the squad resembling a retirement centre-cum-rehab clinic, they'll want the Hayne Plane to take off again and hope that little Mortimer's problems really are only confined to that dreaded second year!"

    Fantasy banker/darkhorse: Luke Burt ($260K) is a safe selection. His goal kicking is prodigious; he is a regular scorer, breaks the line and will score consistent points throughout the campaign. Outside back Jordan Atkins ($160K) is as cheap as you can get at the Eels, and the former Gold Coast Titans winger - who scored four tries on debut - also knows how to find the stripe.

  4. eagle-rock08

    eagle-rock08 Active Member

    +70 /0
    I wonder what medication he is on?
  5. Ralphie

    Ralphie Well-Known Member Premium Member

    +2,949 /287
    My predictions surely couldn't be any worst than Laurie Daleys

    1 Wests
    2 Easts
    3 Canberra
    4 Manly
    5 St George
    6 Souths
    7 Warriors
    8 Gold Coast
    9 Brisbane
    10 Melbourne
    11 Parramatta
    12 Canterbury
    13 Penrith
    14 Newcastle
    15 North Qld
    16 Cronulla
  6. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Laurie Daley predicts will finish 11th this year.


    2011 Melbourne Storm NRL Squad
    Adam Blair, Maurice Blair, Jesse Bromwich, Beau Champion, Dane Chisholm, Cooper Cronk, Matt Duffie, Jake Hawkins, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Mitchel Johnson, Luke Kelly, Sione Kite, Rory Kostjasyn, Jaiman Lowe, Todd Lowrie, Sika Manu, Tu'u Maori, Dane Nielsen, Elijah Niko, Bryan Norrie, Justin O'Neill, Kevin Proctor, Anthony Quinn, Robbie Rochow, Billy Slater, Cameron Smith, Chase Stanley, Troy Thompson, Atelea Vea, Gareth Widdop, Adam Woolnough.

    New faces: Adam Woolnough (out of retirement), Beau Champion (South Sydney), Elijah Niko (Warriors), Jaiman Lowe (South Sydney), Maurice Blair (Penrith), Troy Thompson (Canberra).

    Out the door: Aiden Tolman (Canterbury-Bankstown), Jeff Lima (Wigan Warriors - Super League), Ryan Hoffman (Wigan Warriors - Super League), Brett Finch (Wigan Warriors - Super League), Brett White (Canberra), Greg Inglis (South Sydney).

    Last year: Melbourne Storm started the season as defending premiers and again looked the team to beat until revelations of the club's salary cap rorting came after round six. The Storm played the remainder of the season for pride, blowing away a number of teams before their performances gradually deteriorated as their season came to a premature end.

    Room for improvement: A massive roster turnover makes continuity the biggest challenge for Melbourne Storm. Craig Bellamy will have his players ruthlessly prepared, but it is hard to predict how the player influx will affect the team’s style of play. The spine of Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith won't have forgotten how to win games, but can they be as effective following the loss of some of their right-hand men? The Storm finished last in run metres in 2010, putting the onus is on their forwards to make greater yardage so that their stars can run riot. Their exciting style of play - admittedly brought about by their penalty situation - saw them finish 15th in errors made, which is unusual for a Melbourne team.

    Game breaker: Cameron Smith. The chief brain of this team faces one of his greatest challenges of his career - leading a club who have had to rebuild from its greatest adversity. The Storm captain provides his side with a mental edge every time he takes the field; he needs to be fit and firing if Melbourne are to rise to prominence in 2011.

    Rising star: Talented five-eighth Luke Kelly played junior football in the Northern Territory before landing an NRL contract with the Storm. The 21-year-old captained Melbourne's Toyota Cup side to a premiership, in 2009, and has five NRL games under his belt. With Brett Finch's exit Kelly has a golden opportunity to better his craft playing outside Cooper Cronk.

    Coach factor: It's unlikely that any coach is looking forward to this season more than Craig Bellamy. After a nightmare 2010 the former New South Wales coach will have just one thing on his mind - rebuilding the Storm back to one of the NRL's most disciplined and feared teams. Bellamy's major hurdle will be assimilating a big bunch of recruits, some of which have failed to fire in recent NRL seasons. However, with his ruthless attitude to training and preparation, Storm fans can be sure Bellamy will extract every of inch of effort from his new-look side.

    Fox Sports Stats: Melbourne will be out to prove a point in 2011 and continue their domination at home. They have lost just eight of their 66 matches in Melbourne since the beginning of 2006.

    Laurie Daley says: "If Melbourne Storm keep their best players on the paddock for the entire season they should make the eight. But teams usually use over 25 players, and if the Storm do that this year I think it will hurt them, especially when Cooper Cronk, Billy Slater and Cameron Smith are on rep duty. I also suspect they may take a bit of time to recover from the salary cap scandal. Playing for Canberra in 1991, we had to shed a lot of players at the end of the year; in 1992, once we ran into a few injuries, our season was over. If anyone can bounce back quickly it's the Storm, especially with Craig Bellamy at the helm, but I just don't know if they have enough class for this campaign. The high turnover of players might be a bit too much this year."

    The Adjudicator says: "A licorice allsorts of a team if I ever saw one, Melbourne will again become the NRL's 16th side with a squad that mixes stars with wash-ups. One player looking to prove himself is Adam Woolnough, who returns after a belated spring break trip across the world. If players like he and Raiders discard Troy Thompson can rediscover the form of their youth - their football form, that is - the Storm will come close to being the team that no coach wants to play. However, I'm yet to be convinced."

    Fantasy banker/darkhorse: There's no reason why Beau Champion ($280K) can't continue his stunning form of 2010, especially with the added motivation of being made Souths' sacrificial lamb to get Greg Inglis. Meanwhile, Kiwi winger Elijah Niko ($80K) is already drawing comparisons to Warriors giant Manu Vatuvei - keep an eye on this kid.
  7. kurri eagle

    kurri eagle Active Member

    +22 /1
    I predict Laurie Daley will continue to have a strong bias against Manly everytime he opens his mouth during the 2011 . I predict he will be eating his words again at the end of the season.
  8. Masked Eagle

    Masked Eagle Well-Known Member

    +976 /0
    He's obviously got the Sea Eagles wrong and where he has put the Knights today is a great mystery but I think he's right about the Panthers.  I think they'll struggle this year.  I just think they had almost the entire roster have career best years last year (except Petro who maybe on the downslide).  Thats a pretty tough thing to reproduce, if they are down just a little bit and in a competition which is as tough and close as the NRL is, they could tumble down the ladder.
  9. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Laurie Daley predicts will finish 10th this year.


    2011 Newcastle Knights
    Cameron Ciraldo, Nev Costigan, Isaac De Gois, Joel Edwards, Lisiate Richie Fa’aoso, Kurt Gidley, Beau Henry, Matt Hilder, Chris Houston, Marvin Karawana, Antonio Kaufusi, Siutonga Likiliki, Keith Lulia, Adam MacDougall, Peter Mata’utia, Shannon McDonnell, James McManus, Constantine Mika, Jarrod Mullen, Kevin Naiqama, Wes Naiqama, Kyle O’Donnell, Cory Paterson, Ben Rogers, Tafeaga Junior Sa’u, Steve Southern, Zeb Taia, Mark Taufua, Zane Tetevano, Dan Tolar, Evarn Tuimavave, Akuila Uate.

    New faces: Beau Henry (St George Illawarra), Chris Houston (Suspension), Korbin Sims (Brisbane Broncos), Kyle O'Donnell (Cronulla), Maipele Morseau (Melbourne Storm), Neville Costigan (St George Illawarra), Siuatonga Likiliki (Warriors), Steve Southern (North Queensland Cowboys).

    Out the door: Cooper Vuna (Melbourne Rebels - Super Rugby), Scott Dureau (Catalans Dragons - Super League), Ben Cross (Leeds Rhinos - Super League), Steve Simpson (Retired).

    Last year: Newcastle were never in the hunt in 2010, despite being a finals team the season before. They lost captain Kurt Gidley in the pre-season and played the opening two months without him. The back end of the year saw the Knights produce some impressive performances, including big wins over Manly (32-14), Canterbury-Bankstown (30-6) and Brisbane Broncos (44-18), and the form of Dally M winger of the year Akuila Uate gave them hope of turning things around.

    Room for improvement: The Knights need to go back to basics and generate some good old-fashioned go forward. The big men failed to set a platform on attack in 2010, which is an absolute crime when you have Jarrod Mullen under-utilised as a result. Ben Cross was the forward averaging most metres per game (85) but he’s gone now, while Zeb Taia was the next best (83). The Knights ranked second-last in metres gained during 2010, without a single forward pushing triple figures.

    Game breaker: It’s easy to lose sight of Jarrod Mullen as one of the game’s best playmakers. Mullen more often than not has been let down by those around him, as the Knights have struggled to provide him with a compatible halves partner or a consistent forward pack to work behind. Presuming Kurt Gidley anchors the team from the back and Beau Henry turns into the No.7 most expect him to, Mullen should be given the room to create and direct a Knights backline that has plenty of potential.

    Rising star: Last season was meant to be the year Siuatonga Likiliki got his feet wet in the top grade. But the two-time Toyota Cup Team of the Year member never got a look in despite injuries to the Warriors top grade. Likiliki decided to follow the path that worked so well for Cooper Vuna, heading to Newcastle where he’ll join a backline built around exactly his style of play. A big bopper with plenty of pace, he’ll be eager for a chance to claim an NRL spot.

    Key arrival: While it remains to be seen whether Beau Henry or Ben Rogers will start the season partnering Jarrod Mullen in the halves, the general consensus is that Henry is the long-term option. All this despite being yet to make his NRL debut. Henry played three seasons of Toyota Cup with St George Illawarra, and he was the 2009 player of the year. He’s a bulky lad capable of flashes of brilliance, but questions remain over his maturity and temperament that could delay his NRL aspirations.

    Coach factor: No one is quite sure of Rick Stone’s position in the Knights’ plans for the future. A quick fix when Brian Smith left early, Stone was a low-profile appointment that seemed to reflect the city’s no-frills footy mentality. But in the final year of his contract, Stone’s job security is already being questioned before a ball has been kicked. With his job on the line, it will be interesting to see how Stone’s team delivers. That said, the failure of Nathan Tinkler's proposed ownership takeover means Newcastle are no longer likely to chase a big-name mentor.

    Fox Sports Stats: The Knights will be hoping Akuila Uate picks up where he left off last year. He scored 21 tries, made 30 linebreaks, busted 136 tackles and averaged 144 metres per game - all of which were the most for the Knights in 2010.

    Laurie Daley says: "The Knights are a happy club under coach Rick Stone and have made some really good recruitment decisions. Their forwards are big and aggressive, while in the backs Jarrod Mullen is about to show his best and Kurt Gidley is a great leader. On paper this team is as good as any, it's just a matter of how often they get it right - they can knock off the premiers but get beat by a team that are struggling, and that's why they aren't in my eight despite their potential. A few injuries in the outside backs could knock them around. Their aim for the year should be to find greater consistency in their performances."

    The Adjudicator says: "Things could be worse in the Hunter region; sure the Knights aren't knocking on the door of premiership glory but Henny Penny fans should be satisfied with their lot. The sooner everyone realises that Jarrod Mullen isn't Andrew Johns and Kurt Gidley isn't Matt Gidley then the more realistic target of being a mighty fine group of competitors seems a lot more attainable. Did that sound condescending? It wasn't mean to, really Newcastle we can only ask that you do your best."

    Fantasy banker and darkhorse: Akuila Uate (Outside Back, $360K) is up in the top echelon of wingers who will give Fantasy owners bang for their buck on tryscoring ability alone. Uate's 21 tries were padded out by his linebreaks and tackle busts, and he still looks like there’s improvement in him. You may have forgotten about Steve Southern (Back Row Forward, $220K) but he’ll reincarnate himself this year with the Knights. Injury has seen his price drop but history tells us “Bluey the workaholic” knows how to score Fantasy points the hard way.
  10. ayjay007

    ayjay007 Well-Known Member

    +83 /0
    laurie who??
  11. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Laurie Daley predicts Bulldogs will finish ninth this year.

    2011 Canterbury-Bankstown NRL Squad
    Chris Armit, Ben Barba, Tim Browne, Greg Eastwood, Michael Ennis, Jake Foster, Bryson Goodwin, Dene Halatau, Michael Hodgson, Trent Hodkinson, Jamal Idris, Sam Kasiano, Kris Keating, Michael Lett, Grant Millington, Josh Morris, Mickey Paea, Corey Payne, Frank Pritchard, Ben Roberts, Joel Romelo, Andrew Ryan, David, Stagg, Ryan Tandy, Martin Taupau, Junior Tia-Kilifi, Aiden Tolman, Steve Turner, Gary Warburton, Jonathon Wright.

    New faces:
    Aiden Tolman (Melbourne Storm), Greg Eastwood (Leeds Rhinos
    (Brisbane Broncos), Nathan Massey (Canberra), Daniel Harrison (Manly), Luke Patten (Salford City Reds - Super League), Brett Kimmorley (retired), Blake Green (Hull Kingston Rovers - Super League).

    Last year: Few saw such a disappointing season coming for a Bulldogs side who had only surrendered the 2009 minor premiership on points differential. A glimpse of the Dogs' potential was seen in their 60-14 thrashing of eventual grand finalists Sydney Roosters, in round three, however they were unable to find any consistency as a heavy mid-season injury toll stretched the squad's depth to its limits. The Dogs finished in 13th position, forcing coach Kevin Moore to explain his side's failing in an internal review.

    Room for improvement: While the Bulldogs have beefed up their forward pack they will also have to revive their ability to score tries. The Dogs ranked 12th in attack last year - having led the NRL in 2009 after 26 rounds - despite possessing prolific try scorers like Ben Barba and Josh Morris. Fundamental to fixing this area will be finding the right halves combination, the Dogs pinning their hopes on recruits Kris Keating and Trent Hodkinson along with Ben Roberts. Barba's transition to fullback is another grey area for the club following the departure of stalwart Luke Patten. A formidable roster leaves no excuses; it's now up to coach Moore and the players to find the chemistry.

    Game breaker: Powerful, fast and athletic, Jamal Idris has his best chance to deliver on his seemingly boundless potential. With the club recruiting a couple of monster forwards, the stage is set for Idris to concentre his efforts out wide by terrorising opposition centres.Â

    Rising star: Ben Barba proved to be among the NRL's most damaging interchange players in 2010, scoring 15 tries in 21 games, with 11 of those appearances coming from the bench. This season he gets the opportunity to become an 80-minute player by taking Luke Patten's old fullback position. Barba's style is in the mould of North Queensland Cowboys livewire Matt Bowen, meaning opposition defences will be sweating on the youngster's kick returns.

    Key arrival:  The return of Greg Eastwood is a massive signing for a Bulldogs side that lacked mongrel through the middle third of the field last season. The New Zealand backrower is hard and uncompromising, a recruit who knows the Dogs system and will lead by example.

    Coach factor: The term 'second-year syndrome' is typically reserved for players, yet Kevin Moore suffered an acute case of it in 2010 as his side failed to live up to lofty expectations. Moore will be wiser for the experience, and with a stronger squad he can afford to be less patient with players performing below their best. The Dogs coach's early-season decisions - particularly in the Dogs spine - will be crucial as he looks to blend a team who have just endured a high roster turnover, including the retirement of Brett Kimmorley.

    Fox Sports Stats: Canterbury-Bankstown need to improve on their consistency this season. They only managed nine NRL victories in 2010, and on only two occasions did they win more than two consecutive matches.

    Laurie Daley says: "They've recruited more than any other teams, grabbing some big-name players. Last time they did that they had a very successful season, in 2009, but I think on that occasion they recruited more experienced players, like Brett Kimmorley and Michael Ennis. I worry about this side's halves - Hodkinson has only played one season and doesn't yet have a settled partner with him, whether it ends up being Ben Roberts or Kris Keating. Very rarely do they miss the eight, however, I think they may start slow because of the amount of changes to their team, and from there they could be chasing their tail a little bit."

    The Adjudicator says: "This forward pack is enough to turn the underwear of any opposition side a dark shade of brown. With Pritchard running down one flank and Greg Beastwood on the other, the Dogs should rank high both in metres gained and injury assists this season. Moore's men have the mongrel to go deep in 2011, though I am not yet convinced they have the brains in the backs."

    Fantasy banker/darkhorse: For a strong forward acquisition look no further than Aiden Tolman ($280K), an impressive young backrower who won't shy away from hard work. In the inside backs, Kris Keating will be a Fantasy NRL steal at ($140K) if he can get the No.6 nod over Ben Roberts.

    [hr]Post  automatically merged: [time]1299231740[/time][hr]
    Laurie Daley predicts will finish eighth this year.

    2011 South Sydney NRL Squad
    Roy Asotasi, George Burgess, Sam Burgess, Jason Clark, Shaune Corrigan, Michael Crocker, Beau Falloon, Dylan Farrell, Scott Geddes, Greg Inglis, Blake Judd, Ben Lowe, Issac Luke, Josh Mansour, Shannan McPherson, Chris McQueen, Nathan Merritt, Kane Morgan, Matt Mundine, Nathan Peats, Eddy Pettybourne, Adam Reynolds, Ben Ross, Chris Sandow, Luke Stuart, John Sutton, Fetuli Talanoa, David Taylor, Dave Tyrrell, Taioalo Vaivai, Malcolm Webster, Rhys Wesser.

    New faces: George Burgess (Bradford Bulls - Super League), Greg Inglis (Melbourne Storm).

    Out the door: Colin Best (Cronulla), Luke Capewell (Gold Coast Titans), Jaiman Lowe (Melbourne Storm), Beau Champion (Melbourne Storm), Jamie Simpson (Huddersfield Giants - Super League).

    Last year: Rarely have the fortunes of a team shifted so significantly from week to week as they did for the Rabbitohs in 2010. After being belted in the opening round by Sydney Roosters (10-36), Souths got off to a 7-5 start and sat in third spot halfway through the season. Then came the slide; the Rabbitohs fading with four wins on the run home. A 50-10 thumping of Wests Tigers was a high point but offset by conceding half-centuries against Brisbane Broncos (22-50) and Penrith (18-54), the later showcasing one of the worst halves of football in the club's history.

    Room for improvement: The biggest change South Sydney can make is off the field. Too much of their 2010 campaign was played out in front of the media, shooting their mouths off about their ability without backing it up on the weekend. The post-season pursuit and acquisition of Greg Inglis kept the drama on high rotation and ensured Souths would start 2011 under the microscope again. If the team can keep their focus on playing 80 minutes of high-skill, high-intensity rugby league and ignore the external factors it will be a big step forward.

    Game breaker: South Sydney have three proven game-changing stars but it's John Sutton who shoulders the greatest responsibility. Sutton's versatility has proven a blessing and a curse throughout his career; his size and aggression along with his ability to create both before and at the line means he shoulders expectations of playing like a forward and a half at the same time. Trying to be everything to everyone has seen Sutton fall short of expectations in the past couple of seasons and he'll face those same pressures in 2011.

    Rising star: The NRL got a taste of Dylan Farrell in 2010 but the promise is he'll see more game time in his second season. He scored a hat-trick on debut, including the match-winner against Wests Tigers, plus Farrell was also a member of the 2010 Toyota Cup Team of the Year and won the RLPA NYC Player of the Year award. Farrell heads the list of fringe three-quarters most likely to partner Greg Inglis in a backline that was already among the most potent in the league over the past two seasons.
    Key arrival: South Sydney have thrown all their eggs in one basket with the signing of Greg Inglis. While the cost of the transaction is already being counted, from the media frenzy, NRL audit and the loss of local product Beau Champion, the responsibility of showing it was all worth it rests squarely with Inglis. At his best he is the greatest inside back in the world, but he'll be going around without the kind of supporting cast he's had in the past and it's unlikely he'll be given much settling-in time by the fans and media alike.

    Coach factor: It's the second and final year of one of the strangest coaching posts in the league. John Lang was brought on board to right the ship in Redfern but admits he'll be out of there at the end of the season. Lang's proven ability to turn teams around as he did with Cronulla and Penrith was evident at times during 2010, with the Rabbitohs showing signs of a team that believed in themselves in-game. What remains to be seen is how he can prevent a talented line-up from bottoming out when the going gets tough.

    Fox Sports Stats: South Sydney will need to improve their defence to be a real chance in 2011. Although they averaged the second most points in 2010 (24.3 per game), they also conceded the fourth most points (23.6 per game).

    Laurie Daley says: "South Sydney scrape into my top eight on the back of the Greg Inglis signing, as they now have a superstar out wide. Their pack is as good as any in the competition, but it will come back to the halves, where there is a question mark over Chris Sandow being able to make the right choices at the right times. He's a very enthusiastic player with all the skills, but at times he can get caught up with the emotion of the game instead of the thinking about what's required by his team. If he can perform well he will fire Souths to the finals, but if he can't do that then it could turn out to be another season where South Sydney promise plenty but fail to deliver. If they don't they've definitely underachieved."

    The Adjudicator says: "I'm not yet convinced that the addition of Greg Inglis will make a lick of difference on the pitch for South Sydney in 2011. But his impact on the local economy cannot be denied, with sales of Rabbitohs' No.3 jerseys going through the roof, bettered only by the dent GI himself has made in stocks of chicken and mushroom pies from Garlo's. The question will be how big a basket case this team wants to become before Benny rocks up in 2012 to save the day; if they underwhelm to the extent Souths usually do then a miracle worker could be just around the corner."

    Fantasy banker/darkhorse: In Fantasy terms, hooker Issac Luke ($400K) is as complete an asset as you can hope to own. A dummy-half who'll get his hands on the ball nearly every play, he attacks the line and is adept at both creating and executing line breaks. Plus he kicks goals. Scott Geddes ($180K) is hardly new on the scene, but his injury-interrupted 2010 skewed his Fantasy numbers. He only totalled 207 points but he managed that in just 12 games, meaning if he stays fit he can be a handy bench player.
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    Laurie Daley predicts Brisbane Broncos will finish seventh this year.

    2011 Brisbane Broncos NRL Squad
    Rohan Ahern, Scott Anderson, Kurt Baptiste, Gerard Beale, Matt Britt, Dane Carlaw, Dale Copley, Mitchell Dodds, Mitchell Frei, Dane Gagai, Matt Gillett, Alex
    Glenn, David Hala, Ben Hannant, Justin Hodges, Josh Hoffman, Ben Hunt, Jordan Kahu, Denan Kemp, Nick Kenny, Kurtis Lingwoodock, Darren Lockyer, Dunamis Lui, Andrew McCullough, Josh McGuire, Corey Norman, Corey Parker, Jack Reed, Ben Te’o, Sam Thaiday, Shane Tronc, Peter Wallace, Aaron Whitchurch, Jharal Yow Yeh.
    2011 NRL Ins And Outs

    New faces: Ben Hannant (Canterbury Bulldogs), Dane Carlaw (Catalans Dragons, ESL), John Te Reo (Wynnum Manly, Queensland Cup).

    Out the door: Israel Folau (GWS AFL), Lagi Setu (Mormon Mission), Antonio Winterstein (North Queensland Cowboys), Tariq Sims (North Queensland Cowboys), Ashton Sims (North Queensland Cowboys), Korbin Sims (Newcastle Knights).

    Last year: Brisbane's 18-year finals run ended as their season capitulated over the final four rounds of 2010. Despite rising to top spot and premiership favouritism in round 14, an inexperienced Broncos outfit struggled without Justin Hodges and ran out of puff when Darren Lockyer missed the end of the year with a rib injury.

    Room for improvement: Re-building fortress Suncorp Stadium. The Broncos' aura evaporated in 2010, and statistically their defence was one of the worst in the league in terms of missed tackles and off-loads, meters and line breaks conceded. The Broncos' outstanding back row shouldered the burden in 2010, and the club have recruited some steely forwards to help them bring back the grunt. The biggest early-season decision will be to decide who will partner Lockyer in the halves - Ben Hunt or Peter Wallace. Brisbane have enough young talent to become a force again this year, but they'll need to bound together quickly under new coach Anthony Griffin.

    Game breaker: With Israel Folau's departure and Greg Inglis's non-arrival, the return of Justin Hodges is invaluable. From all reports, the Kangaroos and Maroons star has looked impressive in Brisbane's trials. With classy footwork, speed and the strength, Hodges's return is a huge boost to Brisbane's young backline.

    Rising star: The Broncos are renowned for producing strong youngsters, and with Dally M Rookie of the year Matt Gillett and Broncos player of the year Josh Hoffman, they are well served again. But another interesting prospect in 2011 will be dynamic fullback Corey Norman. Brisbane have had influential No.1's over the years, and Norman can build on some of the glimpses of skill he showed last season he could add his name to the list.

    Key arrival: Ben Hannant's return to Brisbane brings determination and attitude back to a pack that is starting to look a bit more like its usual formidable and experienced self. The Queensland prop requested a release from Canterbury-Bankstown and will be looking to make the most of his return home to Brisbane.

    Coach factor: How quickly things change. Brisbane were expected to start their campaign with a coach already under enormous pressure, but with Ivan Henjak's shock dismissal, Anthony Griffin has been thrown into the deep end. It remains to be seen whether a change of coach three weeks before the season will destabilise the club or rejuvenate the players. Either way, everyone at the Broncos will be under the constant spotlight of rumours about Wayne Bennett's possible return.

    Fox Sports Stats: Brisbane have lost a key ingredient to their attack with Israel Folau jumping ship to play Aussie Rules. He scored 20 tries last season (most for the Broncos and equal second in NRL), made 22 line breaks and busted 122 tackles, both of which were the most for Brisbane.

    Laurie Daley says: "Brisbane Broncos at times last year showed everyone what they were capable of. Four weeks out from the finals a lot of people were starting to think that they could win the comp, then Darren Lockyer went down injured and they didn't win another game and failed to make the eight. With Justin Hodges back from injury and Ben Hannant on board, combined with the memory of last year's miss, they will be spurred on to greater heights. If they can keep their best players available they'll be hard to beat."

    The Adjudicator says: "What's going on in thoroughbred territory? There are more loose lips than in a Mr Ed episode! New clubs, new coaches; where have the mighty Broncos gone? Maybe the more things change the more things will stay the same? Ben Hannant and Dane Carlaw are back, Wayne Bennett will follow. Get big Sam Thaiday, Ben Teo'o and those ugly fellas in there to rough things up and Locky will steer the boys home on the back of them. Another tricky year ahead for the Broncos, but they'll be back in the eight."

    Fantasy banker/darkhorse: Corey Parker ($380K) is a rarity these days - a goal-kicking forward with a high work-rate. He's Brisbane's Fantasy banker, but you'll have to break the bank to get him. Meanwhile, athletic winger Jharal Yow Yeh ($200K) looks a solid investment for your wing position.
  12. The Eagle

    The Eagle Well-Known Member

    +480 /0
  13. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Gold Coast Titans, tipped to finish sixth

    Gold Coast Titans 2011 Squad
    Luke Bailey, Greg Bird, Riley Brown, Preston Campbell, Luke Capewell, Nathan Friend, Kevin Gordon, Ashley Harrison, Michael Henderson, Ryan James, Anthony Laffranchi, Brenton Lawrence, Kayne Lawton, Will Matthews, David Mead, Brad Meyers, Steve Michaels, Mark Minichiello, Luke O'Dwyer, Dominique Peyroux, Scott Prince, Jordan Rankin, Ben Ridge, Matt Srama, Sam Tagataese, Bodene Thompson, Joseph Tomane, Esikeli Tonga, Clinton Toopi, Joe Vickery, Shannon Walker, Matthew White, Richie Williams, William Zillman.

    New faces: Joe Vickery (St George Illawarra), Luke Capewell (South Sydney), Richie Williams (Burleigh Bears - Queensland Cup).

    Out the door: Jordan Atkins (Parramatta), Mat Rogers (retired), Ryan Tongia (Cronulla), Selasi Berdie (released), Aaron Cannings (released), Marshall Chalk (released), Josh Graham (released).

    Last year: The Titans' ability to win close contests proved to be the secret to their success in a 2010 campaign that saw them come within one game of the grand final. After bowing out in 2009 with two straight finals defeats, the Titans made an important step by defeating the Warriors in their qualifying final and will look to draw on that experience in 2011. Their impressive finish was made more remarkable by the fact they were without star players Scott Prince, Mat Rogers and Luke Bailey for extended periods during the regular season.  However, they seemed to save their worst game for last, losing 32-6 to Sydney Roosters in the preliminary final.

    Room for improvement: The Titans developed a counter-punching style last season, but were rarely able to put teams away with their hit-and-miss attack. Gold Coast were ranked 14th in tackle breaks for the NRL and 11th in offloads. If they want to go one step further in 2011, they will want to improve in these areas in a bid to take some pressure off their defence. Filling the void left by Mat Rogers will be another concern, however, recruit Luke Capewell shapes as a promising option at pivot while Greg Bird has shown he can ballplay.

    Game breaker: Since the Titans franchise began, Prince has been the linchpin of their game and will continue to play a key role in 2011. Prince ranked second in the league for try assists and always provides the steadying influence over the Titans team. If he isn't setting up tries he is likely to at least be putting the Titans in position to score them, with 30 of his kicks last season forcing line drop-outs, more than any other player in the NRL.

    Rising star: Ryan James. A Tweed Heads junior, James gained selection in the 2010 Toyota Cup Team of the Year and the Junior Kangaroos. The 195cm forward got a taste of the top grade last season by playing four NRL games. He made a big impression in his NRL debut against Manly, deploying a highly physical game which saw him end up in a scuffle with experienced Manly prop Jason King. James has the potential to add some explosive power to the Titans forward pack while adding to their ever-growing list of local products.

    Key arrival: Luke Capewell. The former South Sydney player has moved north of the border to seek a regular starting gig, and he could fell find it in the No.6 jersey vacated by the retired Mat Rogers. Capewell was in and out of the Rabbitohs team, often being forced to play fullback with limited chances in the halves. He has blistering speed for a pivot and excellent touch in his kicking game, a style of play that should work well in partnership with the steady hand of Scott Prince.

    Coach factor: The best indication of how highly John Cartwright is regarded is the coach's recent five-year contract extension. Since being appointed the club's foundation coach, Cartwright has done a terrific job in taking a team in their infancy to two finals appearances. He seems popular amongst the players and the stability gained from his contract deal is a major plus for the club.

    Fox Sports Stats: Scott Prince's form will go a long way to determining where Gold Coast finish this season. Prince has been their try-assist leader in each of their four seasons, and in 2010 was second in the NRL for try assists with 28.

    Laurie Daley says: "Gold Coast Titans challenge themselves to be better week in, week out. If they get it right they are capable of beating anyone. I think they will be right up there once again, building on their tremendous home ground advantage. Classy Scott Prince will lead the way and Greg Bird will be in even better shape. They've got some promising players coming through - the likes of Ryan James, Kevin Gordon and William Zillman - so for me they're a team that will stay consistent. The feeling that comes from just missing out on the grand final will be another motivator. I expect them to make the top eight and be a big chance once they get there."

    The Adjudicator says: "Last year the Titans weren't the Adjudicator's favourite franchise. It's fair to say it became a bit of a Phil Gould and Ricky Stuart situation towards of the end of the season, getting a bit personal as the barbs started flying. In 2011 the A-bomb is happy to wipe the slate clean if the Titans choose to step up a gear and play some footy that is good to watch. They are effective team, but Mr. A wants more."

    Fantasy banker and darkhorse: David Mead ($180K) is a consistent try scorer that made a name for himself in 2010. Mead has the attributes of a player who could easily put 20 tries on the board this season, so at his current price it's well worth the gamble. Anthony Laffranchi ($360K) is a valuable Fantasy asset year in, year out. He makes lots of tackles, has lots of run and can also find his way across the tryline from close range.
  14. Nthn NSW

    Nthn NSW Active Member

    +59 /0
    My predictions for 2011-

    -Laurie Daley to get nose reduction surgery.His nose is now only 10" long.
    -Laurie Daley's commentary on Fox will continue to be biased,speech inpendant,blood curdingly amateurish.
    -Along with Gordon Tallis,Daley will continue to make a complete fool of himself.
  15. Phantar

    Phantar Well-Known Member

    +273 /0
    Another 2011 prediction - after the nose job, Laurie will have corrective surgery on his face to move his eyes further apart.
  16. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Warriors, tipped to finish fifth
    By Christopher Sutton FOX SPORTS March 07, 2011 8:46AM

    the Warriors, the team rugby league legend Laurie Daley predicts will finish fifth this year.

    Warriors 2011 Squad
    Aaron Heremaia, Alehana Mara, Ben Henry, Ben Matulino, Bill Tupou, Brett Seymour, Elijah Taylor, Feleti Mateo, Glen Fisiiahi, Isaac John, Ivan Penehe, Jacob Lillyman, James Gavet, James Maloney, Jeremy Latimore, Jerome Ropati, Joel Moon, Kevin Locke, Krisnan Inu, Lance Hohaia, Lewis Brown, Manu Vatuvei, Matt Robinson, Michael Luck, Russell Packer, Sam Rapira, Shaun Berrigan, Shaun Johnson, Simon Mannering, Sione Lousi, Steve Rapira, Ukuma Ta’ai, Upa Poching.

    Out the door: Brent Tate (North Queensland Cowboys), Siuatonga Likiliki (Newcastle Knights), Ian Henderson (Catalans Dragons - Super League), Elijah Niko (Melbourne Storm), Patrick Ah Van (Bradford Bulls - Super League), Mark Ioane (Canberra), Nafe Seluini (Penrith), Steve Price (retired), Jesse Royal (retired).

    Last year: Written off by many after a poor 2009 the Warriors made a strong start to 2010, winning two of their opening three matches, including a record thumping of Brisbane Broncos. They then lost six of their next nine before resurrecting their season with nine wins in the back half. Their 14 regular-season wins was the Warriors’ best effort in seven years. An excruciating week-one finals elimination was a sad way to end a promising campaign, being forced to await their fate after losing to Gold Coast Titans on the opening night.

    Room for improvement: Setting the pace is something the Warriors haven’t done since those memorable teams of 2002 and 2003. That was the last time the Aucklanders had a winning percentage in the opening half of the season; their last three trips to the finals have all come on the back of late-season streaks. If the Warriors can break the trend and start winning early, there’s no telling what kind of record they could put together, and perhaps make a genuine run at the premiership.

    Game breaker: James Maloney was an unknown entity at the start of 2010, but before long he was the epicentre of the Warriors’ offensive structure. Showing vision in attack that surprised most that had seen him at Melbourne Storm and Parramatta, Maloney covered both halves positions in Brett Seymour’s absence. Providing a stabilising playmaker role not seen at the club since Stacey Jones’s first incarnation, Maloney quickly became the man the Warriors couldn’t afford to lose.

    Rising star: Glen Fisiiahi scored 20 tries in the 2010 Toyota Cup, but he’s probably more known for the one he didn’t score. A YouTube sensation after a premature try celebration turned embarrassing, those demons were dismissed when the Warriors won that match and the NYC grand final both against South Sydney. Last season Fisiiahi led the Toyota Cup in line breaks (27) and was second in kick-return metres (1116). This year he has his sights set on the right wing spot Ivan Cleary considers open in 2011.

    Key arrival: On the surface, the acquisition of Feleti Mateo appears a match made in heaven. Mateo’s ball-playing skills and ability to attack the line put him among the league’s top offensive weapons. The Warriors have always prided themselves on attacking flair, but it’s something that hasn’t been as prevalent under Ivan Cleary’s reign. The arrival of Mateo adds a new dimension to a solid back row and could be the spark the Warriors’ attack needs.

    Coach factor: The Warriors’ longest-serving coach, Ivan Cleary, is coming off his most successful regular season at the helm. While not the most charismatic or eloquent of mentors, Cleary has strong ties to both the club and the city and his consistency in results is something the Warriors faithful have grown to value. With two years to run on his contract (already extended on three occasions) there shouldn’t be any undue pressure.

    Fox Sports Stats: How far the Warriors go in the competition is usually dictated by their form on the road. In 2009 they managed just two victories away from home, but in 2010 they won seven of their 12 regular season matches in Australia. If the Warriors can have similar success in 2011 they will be well on their way to finals football again.

    Laurie Daley says: "The Warriors have made some strong recruits and appear to be another team on the rise. They played without Steven Price last year, meaning a lot of their young front-rowers got exposed before time, which will help them become better players this year. Shaun Berrigan is a very dangerous player; if Feleti Mateo can get to his best he will add creativity to this side. They possess a hard-working forward pack and are also starting to become mentally tougher than they were a couple of seasons ago. I think they're on the verge of a special season. A genuine chance."

    The Adjudicator says: "As Jimmy Cliff once sang, "I can see Cleary now", and the outlook is pretty bright for the Warriors in 2011. That is presuming they can survive through to round two without losing half their squad to variations of the same hamstring injury. And more teams follow Cronulla's lead by moving their home games to the Warriors' own backyard. Yeah who am I kidding, they'll struggle to make more than a sneaky one-week finals appearance but with even more strike power than usual they'll no doubt look good doing it."

    Fantasy banker and darkhorse: Injury is the only thing that will stop Manu Vatuvei (Outside Back, $400K) being an absolute Fantasy points machine. And while it’s been an issue before, Vatuvei never seems to have trouble bouncing back. His 20 tries and 19 linebreaks helped him amass 732 points last year, placing him among the Fantasy elite. Ukuma Ta’ai’s  (Prop, $200K) role has grown season upon season and while he’ll rarely start, he’ll nearly always be in the 17. With 370 points in 2010 - off the back of five tries and his share of defence- Ta’ai represents good value.
    [hr]Post  automatically merged: [time]1299530022[/time][hr]
    Laurie Daley predicts Canberra will finish fourth this year.

    2011 Canberra NRL Squad
    Mark Appleton, Glen Buttriss, Terry Campese, Jarrod Croker, Josh Dugan, Shaun Fensom, Blake Ferguson, Danny Galea, Bronson Harrison, Mark Ioane, Jarrad Kennedy, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, Drury Low, Nathan Massey, Sam Mataora, Josh McCrone, Josh Miller, David Milne, Mark Nicholls, Matt Orford, Joe Picker, Michael Picker, Reece Robinson, David Shillington, Nick Skinner, James Stuart, Joel Thompson, Trevor Thurling, Dane Tilse, Alan Tongue, Daniel Vidot, Travis Waddell, Brett White

    New faces: Nathan Massey (Canterbury-Bankstown), Brett White (Melbourne Storm), Blake Ferguson (Cronulla), Mark Ioane (Warriors).

    Out the door: Justin Carney (Sydney Roosters), Scott Logan (retired), Troy Thompson (Melbourne Storm), Adam Mogg (retired), Marc Herbert (Bradford Bulls - Super League), Joel Monaghan (released).

    Last year: Canberra moved closer to realising their potential in 2010 with young stars Josh Dugan and Daniel Vidot rising to prominence on the back of their imposing forward pack. However, it took more than half of the year for the Green Machine to fire, David Furner's side winning eight of their past night matches to sneak into the finals in seventh position. Having shocked second-placed Penrith in week one of the finals, the Raiders then endured a heartbreaking 26-24 loss to Wests Tigers in the semi-finals, after Jarrod Croker missed a late, makeable penalty attempt that would have sent the game into golden-point.

    Room for improvement: Canberra's past two finals appearances, in 2008 and 2010, have been characterised by late sprints to the finish line. If the Raiders are to build on their platform from 2010 they need to find consistency earlier in the season. Central to achieving this will be ensuring they reinstate Canberra Stadium as a burial ground for visiting teams - the Raiders posted just two home wins in the first 13 rounds of last season to leave their finals hopes dangling precariously. With Terry Campese missing for at least the first half of the season, the pressure is on the halves paring of Josh McCrone and recruit Matt Orford to deliver.

    Game breaker: Every time Josh Dugan gathers the football this season opposition defensive lines will ring the alarm bell. The explosive fullback re-signed with the Raiders in 2010 and will set his sights on an Origin jersey. His man-of-the-match performance in the All Stars game is just a glimpse of bigger things to come.

    Rising star: Injury cut down Joel Thompson last season just as he was beginning to impose himself on the NRL. Equally adept in the back row or centres, Thompson has represented Australian Schoolboys and played for the NRL All Stars this year. Mark the 22-year-old down as a bolter for the Blues Origin side.

    Key arrival: Matt Orford is Canberra's critical signing given their lack of creative options outside the injured Terry Campese. Returning from a year in Super League, the 2008 Dally M Medallist is a cool head who will look to impart his experience and guile onto a batch of emerging stars.

    Coach factor: This season could be defining for Canberra coach David Furner who is blessed with the Raiders' best squad for a number of seasons. Adding to his confidence from last year's semi-finals finish is Furner's recent contract extension until the end of 2014. In his third season in charge of top squad, the wily coach will keep his media profile low key as he goes about plotting what looms as a very successful season for the Green Machine.

    Fox Sports Stats: Canberra will need an improved start to their season. Last season they won just five of their first 15 matches, before winning eight of their last nine regular season matches and storming into the semi-finals.

    Laurie Daley says: "It's the first time in a long while that I've been excited about their chances at the start of the year rather than the end of the year. Canberra have recruited very well. The big issue will be the loss of chief playmaker Terry Campese. How quickly can he make it back? This side is dangerous, big forwards combined with talented outside backs like Josh Dugan and Jarrod Croker - they tick all the boxes as far as a team on the rise and a team that's ready to go. I can see nothing but good things for the Raiders this year."

    The Adjudicator says: "I thought I was staring at the cover of the movie 300 when I saw this year's Canberra team photo. Their pack already looked like a bunch of Spartans before they brought in Steve Price's good mate Brett White. If they can hold onto the football their backs should have more time on their hands than a Red Rooster employee. But they'll also need to get that Milk logo more prominent if they are to rediscover the glory years of 1994 and go all the way."

    Fantasy banker/darkhorse: For a banker, Bronson Harrison ($300K) is your man. The barging backrower brings offloads. line-breaks and tackle busts to the equation along with his high work rate. Winger Blake Ferguson ($220K) could turn out to be one of the buys of the Fantasy NRL season. The elusive outside back arrives from Cronulla and should revel on the end of an exciting Canberra backline.
  17. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Bumpy bump
  18. swoop

    swoop Well-Known Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +1,543 /26
    He wasn't even close. So why does anyone take this idiot seriously?
  19. Kiwi Eagle

    Kiwi Eagle Moderator Staff Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +3,886 /65
    He would be as close as just about every other league expert/fan out there trying to pick stuff pre season.

    Remember back to this time last year, and especially after round 1, and all the pundits on here were bagging the side non stop and saying how crap it was and would be lucky to make the 8 etc
  20. lsz

    lsz Well-Known Member Staff Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +4,847 /102
    So we are now paranoid / angry about something has not even happened yet?

    Fair enough if he writes us off....

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