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Opinion

The premiership is no longer a two-horse race

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Roar Guru
18th August, 2021
22

The NRL premiership winner is still well undecided yet as earlier what looked like to be a Penrith versus Melbourne battle to take it out, is now a shootout between multiple improved sides.

South Sydney Rabbitohs
The South Sydney Rabbitohs are playing their best footy of the season at the moment as they have been absolutely ambushing and destroying their opposition teams lately.

One of their most impressive victories came against the Parramatta Eels, as they thrashed them in a 28-point victory which was just one of their great wins over the past weeks.

Another highly noticeable win was against the Dragons in Round 20 where they put 50 on them. All these blowout achievements have added up to scoring 146 points across the last four rounds. All this information shows why Souths are a sneaky threat towards winning the premiership.

Penrith Panthers
The Penrith Panthers have slightly slipped off the rails lately as they have had some underwhelming performances. Nevertheless, Penrith are still a heavyweight contender and with the return of Nathan Cleary, they will almost certainly go back to their best footy just in time for finals.

The Mountain Men have had a couple of slip ups throughout the season, such as their losses to the Tigers and Sharks, as well as their loss against Melbourne.

All their defeats came at the absence of Nathan Cleary. This shows how much of an effect Cleary has on his side as when he has played this season he has not lost.

Nathan Cleary of the Panthers celebrates kicking a field goal

(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

A key game that will tell us so much is the upcoming Friday night match-up between Penrith and Souths. This is a likely finals preview and will give us a great sign of where both sides are at when coming up against the big teams of the competition.

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Melbourne Storm
Of course, we can’t talk about contenders without having the Melbourne Storm in the conversation. Melbourne have certainly been the most consistent team in the last ten years-plus and they will once again be where they belong, a heavyweight contender.

Head coach Craig Bellamy and his side will look to nearly secure their fifth minor premiership this decade as they are heavy favourites to defeat the Gold Coast on Thursday night and are my favourites to win the premiership.

Melbourne looks unstoppable at the moment and would take a lot to stop them from winning their fifth premiership in club history.

Manly Sea Eagles
There is one man to describe the success of the Manly Sea Eagles and that man is Tom Trbojevic. Tommy is having the most successful season as a fullback and possible the greatest individual season ever. He has carried this team from one of the worst starts to a season into being in the race for a premiership.

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By no means do I think that he is the only great player in this Manly side as he has not just made himself better but his teammate s as well.

The only argument against Manly being a contender is that they have not beaten a top-four team this season and they won’t have another chance at beating one before finals time as it all outside the top four opponents to finish off the regular season.

Manly’s latest test against a top team was in Round 21 against Melbourne. This game ended in a score line of 28 points to 18 in favour of Melbourne.

If Manly can turn it on and perform at their very best, they will have a chance at beating one of these heavyweights.

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