The NRL season isn’t far away now! Here is part three of our 50 Fearless Predictions for 2020.
30. Groundhog Day at Concord – Get ready for a year of frustration, Tigers fans. There isn’t too many new faces at Leichardt that will have much effect on the side’s fortunes on field, and without a recognised first-grade hooker to start the season, the Tigers are destined for another year in 9th position.
29. Titanic Performance – Justin Holbrook will ensure the Titans improve leaps and bounds this season – to 11th. It’s not a big improvement on paper, but it’ll be the sides attitude that is the biggest positive. They won’t pack their bags and give up when they’re on the losing side of the score lime, Holbrook’s newfound resolve will give Gold Coast fans hope, but they won’t see the finals until at least 2022. Holbrooks’ a great coach, but he’s not a miracle worker.
28. On the chopping block – This season will see two coaches sacked in Paul McGregor and Stephen Kearney after lacklustre starts to the year again. Nathan Brown will be take Kearney’s job at the Warriors, but McGregor’s will be a tough seat to fill. They have Shane Flanagan signed to assistant coach, but he’s banned from head coaching in 2020.
27. Prince Croft – Wally Lewis will always be the King, but Croft will shine at Red Hill partnering Milford, finally delivering on the potential he’s promised for years. Seibold will bring out the best in the former Melbourne halfback, and have Brisbane fans quickly forgetting about THAT 58-0 game.
26. Frightening Crichton – Angus Crichton had as mixed a bag as you can get in 2019 winning his first NRL premiership as well as being demoted to the bench at club level and dropped from the Origin side. While he won’t earn an Origin recall, he will earn back his starting spot, and recapture the fantastic form he showed at South Sydney.
25. Origin debutants – Luke Keary will finally debut as will Ryan Matterson for New South Wales, while Kyle Feldt will get long earned recognition as marks his maiden jersey with a try, while Kurt Capewell will get a look in via the bench.
24. State of Origin – Queensland will finally get one back in a 2-1 series win and stop the Blues from claiming a threepeat. Many forget just how close the Maroons were in 2019, winning Game I in typical cane toad fashion as well as being locked at 20-20 just seconds before the series ended. Throw Valentine Holmes in the mix and the fact that the Blues will have a new halves pairing, it’s their year.
23. Finding a Holmes on the wing – While Valentine Holmes will slot into fullback at club level, he’ll be right at home on the right flank for the Maroons as he inherits the job of trying to stop the Fox.
22. Wayne to Wane – No, it doesn’t mean Wayne Bennett’s ability is waning, but rather Bennett will lose his job as England’s coach, and it’ll be former Wigan premiership-winning head coach Shaun Wane that takes the position.
21. GI Junior – Latrell Mitchell will emulate the man he’s been compared to for half a decade in Greg Inglis, and make the switch from left centre to fullback, and dominate from the get go. South Sydney had the goanna, and now they’ll have the kangaroo ears as well.