TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 08: Darius Boyd of the Broncos warms up before the start of the round 21 NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Brisbane Broncos at 1300SMILES Stadium on August 08, 2019 in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

The NRL season kicks off in 64 days’ time! Here is part one of our 50 Fearless Predictions for 2020.

50. 7/8 ain’t bad – Seven teams that played in the 2019 finals series will feature in September footy again in 2020, but who will slip out? None other than Grand Finalists and near premiers, the Canberra Raiders. Releasing Sezer is a huge mistake, and the loss of Jordan Rapana can’t be underestimated. Canberra will fall all the way from 4th to 10th, with a North Queensland outfit featuring Valentine Holmes will return to pressure cooker footy.

49. Chocolate soldiers melting – Penrith will miss the eight as the rest of the competition laughs at the clubs decision to bring Ivan Cleary back purely to see his son re-sign. They’ve added the likes of Koroisau, Tetevano and Capewell, two of which are premiership winners, however the loss of Maloney and Campbell-Gillard will see them fall to 14th.|

48. NRL Nines – The Rabbitohs’ will win their second Nines title, with explosive, off-the-cuff players like Cody Walker and Damien Cook leading the side, with James Roberts to be the leading try-scorer for the two day tournament.

47. Captain’s challenge a messy success – The captain’s challenge will work, overturning decisions and changing the result in games. But it will add to the confusion of fans at home and ultimately slow down a game that figures high up have been trying to speed up for years.

46. Musical chairs – Latrell Mitchell’s immediate move to South Sydney will trigger a host of moves across the competition. South Sydney will release Gagai to the Titans and Johnston to the Tigers, and while everyone is talking about Bronson Xerri moving to Bondi, it’ll be Cronulla team mate Josh Morris that bites the bullet and joins brother Brett at the premiers, opening up enough salary cap room for Xerri to re-sign on big money for the Sharks.

45. Best value recruit – Right the name Edene Gebbie down in your little black book. The PNG flyer tore England and Fiji to shreds in the end of season test matches for the Kumuls. Signed for South Sydney, Gebbie is usually a fullback but is equally comfortable on the wing. Don’t be surprised if Gebbie is a bolter for an opening round spot on the wing for the Rabbitohs, with the club potentially releasing Dane Gagai and Alex Johnston to accommodate the arrival of Latrell Mitchell and Jai Arrow.

44. Worst recruit – George Williams will prove that forwards are the only thing England can produce that can handle the rigours of the NRL. The Super League is very attack based, with less defensive structure allowing halves and backs to dominate, unlike the defence-focused NRL game plans. Ricky will try to get the best from Williams but they’ll soon see letting Sezer walk will haunt them.

43. Best recruit – Jayden Brailey plugs the much-needed gap of a class hooker in the Knights’ outfit, someone who’ll get quick and clean service to Pearce and Ponga. He’ll also help fix Newcastle’s middle third defence.

42. Finally, revenge – The Tiger’s have watched for years as players that debuted at the club left only to suceed and reach their potential elsewhere. James Tedesco, Marika Koroibete, Ryan Papenhuyzen, Mitchell Moses, Andrew Fifita…. Now, they’ll finally snare one of the players that left back. Josh Addo-Carr is set to return to Sydney in 2021, and expect him to return to where it all began. Addo-Carr nearly tried to backflip on his contract to join Melbourne when he signed on in mid-2016, but he’ll finally have his wish, and the Tigers will get their man.

41. Boyd by low expectations – Everyone has written off the remainder of Darius Boyd’s career, however the former Kangaroo will register his highest ever try-scoring tally for a season with 14, finding a new home on the right wing for the Broncos outside of Croft and Staggs, Boyd isn’t done yet.

22 COMMENTS

  1. Two of which are premiership winners?
    Actually all three were part of their clubs premiership wins , during those seasons.

  2. Thanks for your excellent predictions but I wish to challenge a couple and add 1.
    Ado Carr will probably go the Bulldogs if not Souths.
    Best signing will be Latrell Mitchell going to another level under Wayne Bennett
    Sadly, Alex Johnston will go to the Tigers and hook up with his premiership coach Michael Maguire.
    Sydney Roosters stripped of 2 premierships, massive fines, players to be released and cap restrictions for 1 or 2 years.

  3. Tetevano and Koroisau have both won NRL Premeirships, while Capewell was part of the Cronulla squad but didn’t play on Grand Final day.

  4. Yes, I know. Capewell still contributed to the premiership win .As being part of the squad & playing in games during the season still makes him a premiership winner.
    I’d have to question the part about Campbell-Gillard also. How are the new forwards worse than him? Certainly based on last couple of seasons, both are better. As Gillard still carries the scars of the broken jaws & back injury.
    If the writer was going to give a reason for a Panthers prediction . Go with the lack of at least one more good centre. Then still having Whare , Mansour on the books.

  5. To be fair, he didn’t say the new forwards are worse than RCG, but rather implied that the recruits do not offset the loss of him and Maloney. I agree, at this stage anyway, as I think the loss of Maloney is massive. If Cleary steps up and finally plays to his potential, then the loss of Maloney isn’t as bad. But as it stands now, I think he is a massive loss that hasn’t been covered. The forwards on the other hand should offset the loss of RCG in isolation. I am hoping that new surroundings and a fresh start helps him in finding form again though.

  6. Think Canberra will slip a bit but not that much. Williams is better than portrayed here and should go well.

  7. Boyd might improve a little over last year but not by much. He is burnt out I am afraid and stealing Broncos dollars. Sad to see but that is life.

  8. Could never understand the boom on Boyd. Had one good year and two average years at the Dragons. Was a superstar for QLD expertly catching the ball and falling over the line outside New South Whelshman Greg Inglis. Time at Broncs and Newcastle was more than forgettable. Luckiest man in history as far as his pay packet goes for what he actually provides.

  9. Disagree on 50. 6/8 teams to revisit finals, Souths will be 9th and Newcastle will sneak in on the honeymoon of a new coach.

  10. Not really Eels. He said the loss of RCG , was massive. In the same breath ,as the loss of Maloney.
    I don’t see it that way. Penrith were still often overpowered by better packs, whether RCG was there or not. So he didn’t make that big a difference. Capewell & Burns now give them a running game in the forwards, with Koroisau. Something they lacked most of last season.
    Maloney & Cleary never clicked as a halves partnership. Both seemed better without the other.
    Penrith aren’t locked in with Cleary & Luai. Luai can also play centre ?
    They have two other excellent 5/8th’s coming through the grades ., including Burton. Who will be a great first grader!
    So don’t count your soldiers before they melt. 👍

  11. Like I said, I think Maloney is a big loss, but if Cleary does reach that potential we keep hearing about then the loss is reduced.
    Same could be said to you about not counting your soldiers with all of these young guys you keep saying will be great first graders. Big step up to first grade, and a lot of stars from junior ranks cannot make the jump. Still, I hope some of your young guys do come good, just don’t bank on all of them being a success.

    BTW, I still don’t see where he said RCG is a massive loss or that the new guys aren’t as good, all I see is “however the loss of Maloney and Campbell-Gillard will see them fall to 14th”

  12. True… He didn’t say they were a massive loss. It just inferred that they are a loss that the club could not overcome . Therefore they must end up near the bottom of the table,
    Burton only came into the Canterbury Cup team end of last year. When they had a massive injury list. He was already leading them around at 18 years old & looked the best player .
    Same as Parramatta’s Brown. If they have the talent, age is not a barrier.
    I think Burton has the talent. So does Staines at fullback. Could always be wrong, but don’t think so with them.
    Parramatta is paying millions to Brown. On the promise he’s shown & because he looks the goods. Same deal.

  13. The reason I love your predictions Jack is because your always wrong…I remember you saying in 2019 that Canberra had no chance of making the finals, they were this close of winning the premiership. The Raiders made you look stupid…can’t wait til they do it again.

  14. The Nuggets did indeed go on a halves buying spree. Desperately trying to find a halfback replacement for yet another bought half in Cronk. Talk about a transit lounge!
    Tried to buy Cleary, Johnson, Brooks . Many Nuggets supporters were so happy. Saying how Politis always gets his man. What’s this? They all knocked the club back. How could this be? Desperately buying half after half , including Canterbury Cup halves. They eventually stumbled onto Flanagan from Cronulla. Lucky Cronulla had a spare halfback who is ready for first grade.
    Not a bad player, to be fair.
    Is the buying spree over in the hall of bought halves? Well that depends on what other halves become available , from other clubs.

  15. The only issue with the age thing EOD is that the body isn’t always ready for the constant hits in first grade. I’ll take your example of Brown for the Eels. Sat out quite a bit of last season to look after his back. Parra have shown faith in his ability and potential, but it is a risk in doing so, they are just hoping the reward outweighs the risk. Ability and skill isn’t all that is needed to succeed in first grade. They must also be mentally and physically ready. This is where a lot of young guys fall over and don’t reach the heights expected after starring in lower grades.

    I have seen a bit of Burton though, and he does look good. Again, I hope he does work out for you though.

  16. 3hats you forgot Walker was upgraded a couple og hundred grand which brings the green and red rabbit cap back to around 350-400k.

    You had better go back over your rubbish story filled with rubbish figures in the scap heap bin in ZT. Buddy

  17. Talking about penso17, what happened to his other login Rabbitoh17. Hahahaha my god it is just so obvious they are the same clown.

  18. Both under cover hiding since RopeableRooster brought it up that penso17 went missing in action when Rabbit17 was born onto the ZT site.

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