2017 ladder predictions (Part 1)

Josh Allerton Roar Guru

By Josh Allerton, Josh Allerton is a Roar Guru & Live Blogger


29 Have your say

    The 2017 NRL season is just around the corner. Here is what I think the ladder will look like at season’s end.

    16) Newcastle Knights
    Unfortunately for the Knights, this season looms as a transitional one for the young squad. They still boast some of the most exciting young guns in the game – including Brock Lamb, the Saifiti brothers and Dylan Phythian. Coach Nathan Brown will be hoping to improve from their solitary victory in 2016.

    The Knights simply won’t have enough x-factor to avoid their third consecutive wooden spoon.

    15) St George Illawarra Dragons
    The Dragons’ 2017 season will be strained by their developing spine, high-profile contract dramas and attacking impairment. Since losing halfback Drew Hutchinson in a freak training accident, they will be resorting to Josh McCrone, at least for the first few rounds, although young guns such as, Matt Dufty and Jai Field will eventually feature in the side.

    Their inability to score tries will result in the Dragons once again sliding down the ladder.

    14) Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
    Des Hasler has a proven success rate of getting his teams to the finals. That will not be the case for the Dogs in 2017. The Bulldogs’ major problems in 2016 stemmed from their attack.

    Specifically, the halves came under plenty of scrutiny, especially for their kicking game. The rest of their spine also came under criticism, as Michael Lichaa didn’t improve on an impressive 2015, and Will Hopoate sat out of Sunday matches for religious reasons.

    In fairness, when Hopoate did play, he was very impressive, although he sat out of their one and only finals appearance of 2016. Zac Woolford will be breathing down Lichaa’s neck.

    13) Manly Warringah Sea-Eagles
    Perhaps the most talented side of the bottom four I’ve named thus far, Manly’s side this year boasts some fantastic new recruits including, Blake Green, Curtis Sironen and Brian Kelly. For now, I see Manly has a bottom four side due to their lack of depth, strike power out wide, and their inexperience, especially with the recent losses of Brett Stewart and Steve Matai.

    12) Parramatta Eels
    This year, the Eels will boast a completely different team to the one that was predicted success in 2016. New recruits Frank Pritchard, Nathan Brown and Josh Hoffman will prove great buys for the club.

    The downfall for Parramatta is their spine. Bevan French will be a wonderful fullback. Although questions must be raised about their halves and hooker situation. Clint Gutherson is a fantastic player, but his creativity in the halves will be in question.

    His combination with Corey Norman is vital to the success of the team. Issac De Gois and Cameron King will most likely share the hooking roles throughout the season. If the Eels are to have success their spine must shine.

    11) Wests Tigers
    The young Tigers team have a lot to prove this year, none more so than their coach, Jason Taylor. Although, I believe due to their lack of depth, this year they’ll narrowly miss out again on the finals.

    The loss of Tim Simona has created more problems for their backline depth, which may be exposed during the year if an injury strikes. It will all come down to the “big four” – Luke Brooks, Mitchell Moses, James Tedesco and Aaron Woods.


    10) Cronulla Sharks
    Yes, I have last year’s premiers missing out on the finals. The losses of Michael Ennis and Ben Barba is set to have a huge impact on their team.

    They can cover Barba with Valentine Holmes, although the loss of Ennis will be significant to their performance this year, as first exposed in the World Club Challenge. Pressure will be on the senior players to prove their worth.

    9) Gold Coast Titans
    The Titans are tough to leave out of my top 8. In so many areas they boast some serious talent, especially their spine. But I have them just missing out in a close race. The recent injury to Nathan Peats will impact the side, and a lot will depend on how he returns.

    If the Titans are to make a dent in the competition, their attack will need to gel through their young halves and the form of superstar Jarryd Hayne.

    Who do you think should be higher? Or perhaps lower?

    Twitter: @Joshayyyy21

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    The Crowd Says (29)

    • Roar Pro

      February 26th 2017 @ 7:19am
      boonboon said | February 26th 2017 @ 7:19am | ! Report

      I think both the Titans and the Tigers will make the top 8 in 2017.

      I think the Titans will start a bit slower due to injuries but they have a lot of talent across the park.

      The Tigers young players will keep getting better and while they have only limited signings I think with youth getting older they have a significantly better team then last year. Also the depth thing you mentioned I don’t know if any club that has quality replacements across the board to be honest in the Salary Cap era.

      I do agree about the Sharks struggling with the post GF comedown and the loss of Barba and Ennis. Now while Valentine Homes covers for Barba as you say no one ever mentions that this means they have effectively lost a winger of Holmes talent and with no obvious replacements. THe 3/4 line is the Sharks weakness and prob was last yr but it looks much weaker without Holmes

      • February 27th 2017 @ 2:48am
        Dexter The Hamster said | February 27th 2017 @ 2:48am | ! Report

        Edrick Lee looks a pretty good winger to me….

    • Roar Guru

      February 26th 2017 @ 8:25am
      The Barry said | February 26th 2017 @ 8:25am | ! Report


      Another one that think the Tigers have a three ladder position squad than the Bulldogs. Compare the two man for man. It’s laughable.

      Funny how I keep reading that the Bulldogs attack struggled in 2016 but also about the brilliant young attacking Tigers. The Dour Dogs actually scored more points than the Terrific Tigers.

      The Dogs also conceded 159 fewer points.

      Yet to see / read / hear a credible reason why this will turn around so markedly in 2017?

      It’s the vibe. It’s Mabo.

      • February 26th 2017 @ 9:34am
        Brendon said | February 26th 2017 @ 9:34am | ! Report

        Talking up the tigers seems to be a requirement of the Roar, it’s not the first time I’ve seen them spoken about in a positive light despite their crappy recent history.

      • February 26th 2017 @ 10:11am
        Johnybulldog said | February 26th 2017 @ 10:11am | ! Report

        Not long to we beat one of the premiership favs in the first round Baz,maybe then tunes will change.Just hope this Hasler to saints business isn’t a distraction & holds no water.

        • Roar Rookie

          February 26th 2017 @ 10:16am
          Joe said | February 26th 2017 @ 10:16am | ! Report

          Unfortunately for me I think you’re right about round 1. Dogs were looking fantastic at trials and Storm look underdone and still haven’t found their 17. They’ve now lost Harris and Slater won’t play. Just hoping its not a bloodbath.

          • February 26th 2017 @ 2:56pm
            Johnybulldog said | February 26th 2017 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

            Don’t think it’ll be that bad Joe,the storm are too good,even with the injuries etc.The Doggies just seem to have the wood on them & even though i’m biased I think we’re specials….just load up…happy to eat humble pie.

        • Roar Guru

          February 26th 2017 @ 12:16pm
          The Barry said | February 26th 2017 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

          Tough way to start the season but instant credibility test. I don’t read too much into trial form but looking forward to see if the Dogs will play with positive intent.

    • February 26th 2017 @ 9:04am
      PatchMan said | February 26th 2017 @ 9:04am | ! Report

      Yes’ The Nights will be in bottom 4′ & Bulldogs, Dragon’s,…& I’m a Dragon’s supporter! ..& Tiger’s.
      Titans may start a little slow’ but when Peats comes back’ they’ll make a run to the finals!…I actually have them in my Top 6′..

    • Roar Rookie

      February 26th 2017 @ 10:09am
      up in the north said | February 26th 2017 @ 10:09am | ! Report

      I love these long range predictions..

      As a non Manly person I find it wierd that Lyon doesn’t rate a mention as a big loss to their side, how a commentator can overlook his loss is beyond me.

      And as a non Bulldog supporter, for the life of me I don’t know how the Warriors could be half a dozen places in front of them either.

      Can’t wait to see part two of this piece of fantasy.

    • February 26th 2017 @ 10:52am
      Oingo Boingo said | February 26th 2017 @ 10:52am | ! Report

      I really can’t see the point in putting your head on the block and making these long range forecasts.
      I guess there is the attraction of deliberately attempting to stir up the hardcore roarers , such as ” The Barry” , by predicting the obligatory imminent implosion at Belmore or pumping up the tyres of the perennial disappointers out at Campbeltown , now that they have beheaded the , all infecting snake that was Robbie Farah , just in time for the dynasty to be ushered in .
      When in reality , no one, in this day and age really has a clue how this season is going to play out .
      I personally don’t see the Knights collecting , what is a very effective child disciplinary tool ,two years in a row and I don’t see The Mad Professor at Belmore steering his team to such a tragic outcome before hitting the eject button and parachuting into Kogarah .
      The only comfort I can take from this collection of paragraphs that would normally be absorbed by a bib is that the Roosters are coming somewhere in the top eight .

      • Roar Guru

        February 26th 2017 @ 2:06pm
        Mr X said | February 26th 2017 @ 2:06pm | ! Report

        The Knights have already had the spoon for two years straight… 2015 and 2016.

      • February 26th 2017 @ 3:55pm
        Kilgore Trout said | February 26th 2017 @ 3:55pm | ! Report

        These convos keep us entertained through a long off season . Barry is spot on as per ….. and brings the facts to support . No back row for the Tigers shows in their defensive stats . Lyon is a huge loss and has barely made a mention . Titans have recruited brilliantly over last few seasons but there are a lot of new combinations . Roosters should bounce back strongly .Injuries are always a huge factor for every side . Take a few lynch pins out of ant side and it makes it a different comp . Massive long range predictions by many but all good fun . Not long now . My favourite off season post related to Mitchell Pearce and the fact he did have his pants on so could only be accused of “dry humping” a canine !

    • February 26th 2017 @ 11:58am
      The eye said | February 26th 2017 @ 11:58am | ! Report

      Dogs had a top 4 roster last year and havent had significant enough change to alter that this year..have to respect the coach for not spitting and walking away when challenged… expect Des to actualize that ability this season with revitalized offence …then move on.

      Klemmer,Kasiano (slimmer means more minutes hopefully) and RFM..like to see their onfield profiles raised further..and Tolman,Jackson and Graham the,so to speak, ‘triarii’..