The new NRL season is upon us.
If the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that the underdogs can’t catch a break. The Grand Final continues to be dominated by the Sydney Roosters and the Melbourne Storm, with the kind of shock victories seen by the likes of the North Queensland Cowboys in 2015 and the St. George Illawarra Dragons in 2010 seeming less likely than ever to repeat themselves.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom for those supporters who haven’t seen their team make it to the finals in recent years. Some strong performances from unexpected places mean that we might be seeing a shake-up in the final eight this year. Read on to find out who stands the best chances of making it to the 2020 NRL finals.
1. Sydney Roosters
We all saw this one coming. As holders of the previous two premierships, as well as four runner-up years and five minor years, everyone is expecting the Roosters to make the final eight with flying colours in 2020. Whether someone will be able to knock them off their perch in 2020 is another matter entirely.
2. Melbourne Storm
Melbourne Storm trail the Roosters by one, with a total of three Final wins under their belt. Their manager was pretty vocal about wanting to beat the Roosters’ record in 2019, which means Storm will likely be doubling-down in 2020 to see if they can escape second place.
3. Canberra Raiders
While the Canberra Raiders have had 0 title wins in their history, their strong performance of the past few seasons means that they remain hot favourites. According to the biggest rugby league betting sites in the country, the Canberra Raiders are currently on 1.28 odds of making the final eight, putting them a hair’s breadth away from Melbourne and Sydney.
4. South Sydney Rabbitohs
While South Sydney hasn’t secured a win in several years, the oldest team in the League boasts the most overall premierships by far, with a total of 21 under its belt. They may have had a rocky start to the year so far, with injuries and delayed transfers galore, but they still enjoy some of the most favourable odds in the entire NRL.
5. Parramatta Eels
Yes, the beleaguered Parramatta eels are currently in the depths of 34-year title drought, making them one of the worst major players in the League, but that doesn’t mean they won’t glide into the final eight just as they nearly always do. Eels fans will be praying we don’t see a repeat of 2018, where the season saw them go from favourites to win to ending up with the wooden spoon.
6. Manly Sea Eagles
The Manly Sea Eagles are one of the most successful teams in the NRL, with a consistent tendency to defy naysayers and pull a last-minute victory out of the bag. The team has been very active on the transfer front in recent months, suggesting that they are going for a major shake-up in their quest to snag the premiership for the first time in nine years.
7. North Queensland Cowboys
The question on everyone’s lips in 2020 will be whether Townsville’s finest will be able to shake off their recent legal and PR troubles in order to give a decent showing during the Premiership. They currently enjoy favourable odds across the board to make it to the top eight, but few people have any higher expectations beyond this.
8. Brisbane Broncos
The Brisbane Broncos are still a force to be reckoned with, even if many fans have a distinct impression that the glory days of the 2000s are well and truly over. While there is little doubt that the Broncos are a shoe-in for the final eight, it is too early to tell whether newcomer captain Alex Glenn will be able to drive his team to victory.
While these are the current favourites to make the final eight, we understand that anything can happen in the NRL. Watch this space for more updates are the finals approach.