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SMH Rankings

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Rambo1987, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. Rambo1987

    Rambo1987 Well-Known Member

    +241 /2
    The first of the year, based on how the teams finished off last season, player comings and goings, the vibe at the clubs and, to a lesser extent, trial form. Last year's minor premiership finish. Have your say.

    1. Melbourne Position last ranking: Last ranking: 4
    They are premiers, and have had success already this season, winning the World Club Challenge. No Cooper Cronk or Brett White to start the season, but they still kick off with the superstar trio of Greg Inglis, Billy Slater and Cameron Smith intact.

    2. Parramatta Position last ranking: Last ranking: 8
    Stormed into the finals and then all the way to the grand final last season, and have added Timana Tahu, Justin Poore and Shane Shackleton. Didn't win any trials, but some key players were missing through injury. At full strength for kick-off.

    3. Canterbury Position last ranking: Last ranking: 2
    Injuries helped bring them down when they were playing the Eels for a grand final spot last year. There will be improvement in young players like Jamal Idris, and the old head of Brett Kimmorley will keep them moving round the field in a slick manner.

    4. St George Illawarra Position last ranking: Last ranking: 1
    Disappointing in the finals last year, when they went out with back-to-back losses after winning the minor premiership. Defence again looks like being a strength for them, but they need to step it up in attack to challenge for the title.

    5. Wests Tigers Position last ranking: Last ranking: 6
    The arrival of Lote Tuqiri completes a good-looking picture for them. Rookie halfback Robert Lui shaped well in the trials, and if he backs it up in the real thing, alongside Benji Marshall and Robbie Farah, the Tigers will be dynamic in attack.

    6. Gold Coast Position last ranking: Last ranking: 3
    They were the other top-four team that went out with back-to-back losses in the finals last year. They have added toughness and skill via the acquisition of Greg Bird, and should again base their season on a high percentage of wins at home.

    7. Manly Position last ranking: Last ranking: 5
    The departure of halfback and captain Matt Orford is a big blow, no two ways about it. New halfback Kieran Foran is a tremendous prospect, but he is still only 19. The team's hard core of experienced players will have to help him adapt on the run.

    8. South Sydney Position last ranking: Last ranking: 10
    They have a monster forward pack, so big that former Bronco Dave Taylor will start the season in the second-row and English import Sam Burgess at lock, when both could easily be at prop. Importantly, their big blokes are mobile, too.

    9. Penrith Position last ranking: Last ranking: 11
    There is a bit of a buzz around the club, based on encouraging trial form on top of the fact they almost made the finals last season. Hard to see them winning the comp, but they are definitely in the mix for a spot in the bottom half of the top eight.

    10. Broncos Position last ranking: Last ranking: 6
    They will be hit hard by the departures of Karmichael Hunt and Dave Taylor, plus Justin Hodges is on the long-term injured list. Three first-gamers have been included in the 17 for the first round. It's going to be a challenging year for them.

    11. Sydney Roosters Position last ranking: Last ranking: 16
    They won't run last again. Last year was a write-off year for them. It went pear-shaped, on and off the field, but now they have Brian Smith coaching, and he will get the team headed in the right direction. Plus, Todd Carney will add spark.

    12. North Queensland Position last ranking: Last ranking: 12
    Maybe it's just me, but they seem to be the hardest team to judge. It wouldn't be a surprise to see them make the top eight - after all, the best halfback in the world, Johnathan Thurston, runs the show - but I just think other teams look better.

    13. Newcastle Position last ranking: Last ranking: 7
    It's going to be tough for them. The off-season has seen the club lose two forwards - both charged with drug offences - and their best player, Kurt Gidley, will miss the first few rounds injured. They are going to have to dig deep, in true Knights fashion.

    14. Raiders Position last ranking: Last ranking: 13
    They are usually more dangerous than most people give them credit for, but if they are to kick on this year then their young talent has to start making a big impact. And Terry Campese has to become a genuine leader, and not drift in and out of form.

    15. New Zealand Warriors Position last ranking: Last ranking: 14
    After storming into the top eight and making it right through to the preliminary finals in 2008, they sank like a stone last year. But that's the Warriors - they have always been hard to predict. If they muscle up and respect the ball, they might surprise us.

    16. Cronulla Position last ranking: Last ranking: 15
    They had to rely on the Roosters having the season from hell to stop them from picking up the wooden spoon last year. They have got some quality players, but there are still some holes in the team and they don't look like pushing for a finals spot.

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