Shoulder charges, SBW and Sharks to win premiership - 13 for '13 by: Phil Rothfield. SHOULDER charges, SBW and Sharks to win premiership - Phil Rothfield provides his top 13 fearless predictions for rugby league in 2013 1. NEW BOSS DAVE SMITH TO LEARN WHO CAMERON SMITH IS There is no questioning his business pedigree but Dave Smith is clearly a novice when it comes to rugby league. Hopefully he'll eventually work out who captained the Melbourne Storm, the Maroons' Origin team and the Kangaroos to glory in 2012. He's obviously a smart operator who will hopefully transfer his financial and management skills to build rugby league into an even greater game. 2. BLUES TO WIN ORIGIN SERIES Laurie Daley couldn't be coming in at a better time. The Blues were just two controversial refereeing decisions away from knocking off the Maroons this year. Two home games in Sydney is a massive bonus and the players will appreciate the less intense approach that comes with Daley's personality. Blues to win 2-1. Paul Gallen man-of-the-series. Thank-you linesman, thank-you ballboys. 3. PARRAMATTA TO FINISH IN THE BOTTOM FOUR All that's changed is a new coach who will have to do his best with the roster that failed so dismally last year. They've lost a stack of experience in Nathan Hindmarsh and Luke Burt and the club still doesn't know who will be the new captain. 4. STEVE PRICE TO BE FIRST COACH SACKED It's common knowledge the Dragons have already made enquiries with premier coach Craig Bellamy. If he quits the Storm, the Dragons are a huge chance. I feel for Price because outside an outstanding back three - Gerard Beale, Brett Morris and Jason Nightingale - he's lacking talent. The Dragons will be flat out making the top eight. 5. THE RABBITOHS TO MAKE THE GRAND FINAL They went so close this year before boom halfback Adam Reynolds did his hamstring in the grand final qualifier. Ben Te'o and Jeff Lima will add even more oomph to what was already a punishing forward pack. Next season they have the coach and the playing depth to go all the way. 6. SONNY BILL TO QUIT ROOSTERS Player agent Khoder Nasser will move the circus on by October. SBW wants to fight, play for the All Blacks in the next World Cup and maybe even have a crack at the Rio Olympics in Sevens rugby. You never know, he could even join Sydney FC in between. Or maybe the Sydney Kings? 7. MANLY TO GO BACKWARDS The Sea Eagles will seriously feel the losses of T-Rex Williams, Darcy Lussick and Dean Whare. Adding Andrew Johns to the coaching staff will help, particularly around the halves, where they struggled last year. The senior players are another year older and a bit injury prone. I wouldn't be backing them to make the top eight. 8. SHOULDER CHARGE UPROAR Thankfully the NRL listened to the people who know best - the club doctors - to rub shoulder charges out of the game. The NRL is tough enough without the sickening Greg Inglis - Dean Young sort of contact. When the first player gets sent-off or suspended for a month, the coaches and players will scream. They should instead google some of the stories about braindamaged American footballers and their struggles in later life. 9. NEW FACES FOR BLUES Mitchell Pearce and Todd Carney need to be on fire early to retain their State of Origin jerseys. Laurie Daley has shown his hand by putting the Reynolds boys, Josh and Adam, in the Blues' emerging squad. Adam Reynolds was the best performed non-Queensland halfback in this year's premiership. He is unbelievably solid under pressure and would not be out of place in the No.7 jersey. Josh Reynolds too has the temperament to play Origin. 10. JOHNATHAN THURSTON TO JOIN THE PANTHERS More career opportunities after football will convince the champion five-eighth to move to Sydney. Channel Nine and Fox Sports will get into a bidding war for his services. Delivering Thurston will be Phil Gould's parting gift to the Panthers. He'll pack and leave at the end of the season to return to work for Nick Politis at Bondi. 11. REFEREES TO IMPROVE Well, they can't go any worse than this season when players, coaches, officials, punters and fans lost all confidence in the decision making. Hopefully Daniel Anderson will start by knocking a few of their egos into shape. Experienced operators like recently retired Steve Teddy Lyons will be used in the video boxes. Benefit of the doubt had to go. It's either a try, or it's not. Full stop. End story. 12. BIGGEST IMPROVERS Wayne Bennett has signed the two toughest forwards in the NRL - Beau Scott and Jeremy Smith. With Kurt Gidley back from injury, they'll make the top four. Sadly, Nathan Tinkler will stay in Singapore for the rest of his life and never watch another game. It's hard to travel without a plane or helicopter. 13. SHARKS TO WIN PREMIERSHIP Well, that's what I've asked Santa for. Have a merry Christmas - and bring on NRL 2013.