MUDGEE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 02: Corey Norman of the Dragons watches on during the NRL Trial match, which is the Charity Shield match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Glen Willow Stadium on March 02, 2019 in Mudgee, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Predicting an NRL premiership winner or unlocking Da Vinci code. Take your pick.

The past decade has highlighted the ever-growing openness of the NRL competition, with consecutive premierships still yet to be achieved by any club in the NRL era.

In this time, we’ve witnessed some of the great unforeseen rises and collapses in the premiership race, which have completely unwritten pre-season predictions.

So who could it be this year?

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4. Parramatta Eels

Whilst a finals push could be a lot to ask of the Eels, given their poor depth, those tipping the side to pick up another wooden spoon could be in for a shock.

Arguably they still possess a strong list with a good mix of youth, x-factor and experience. Adding to that, they have recruited some key pieces to their puzzle.

The signing of Blake Ferguson is crucial for the club. The representative winger highlighted his class in a huge season last year, and his ability to lift a side and pull off the big-game plays will be crucial.

Junior Paulo, if he is able to find the form he showed in his first season with Canberra, will help form a damaging and aggressive front row rotation with Daniel Alvaro and Tim Mannah. And a fresh Clint Gutherson will act like a new signing, after the dynamic fullback was sidelined for most of 2018.

With the excitement of returning to their new home in Parramatta, it could be a more positive year for Eels fans than first thought.

 

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – SEPTEMBER 01: Mitch Moses of the Eels waves to the crowd after victory in the round 26 NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium on September 1, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
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7 COMMENTS

  1. Saints, Penrith and Parramatta have an unassailably outstanding chance to participate in the 2019 semi finals

  2. However under the once brilliant coach who has lost his touch, within the last decade, my beloved South Sydney will incontestable and with great accuracy, send my beloved club on a downward spiral into the basement. It may take upwards of ten seasons to recover from this once scintillating brilliant coach who now is but a shadow of his past glorious self.

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