SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 23: The Cowboys looks dejected after a Sharks try during the NRL Preliminary Final match between the Cronulla Sharks and the North Queensland Cowboys at Allianz Stadium on September 23, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

With the rugby league season over and the long suffering Cronulla fans finally tasting the ultimate success, attention turns to the 2017 season.

Despite winning the flag, the Sharks are not expected to go back to back, sitting fourth favourite, at $9 (NRL odds courtesy of CrownBet) for next year’s premiership.

The Brisbane Broncos are favourites, along with cross-town rivals, the Cowboys at $7.50, while the Storm, after going down in a nail biting Grand Final, are third at $8.

The Panthers join the Sharks at $9, while the Raiders are just behind at $10.

Unsurprisingly, the Knights are the longest odds for next year’s flag, paying a whopping $251, while the Dragons are at $101.

Meanwhile, Australia are favourites to take out the upcoming test against the Kiwis, paying $1,40, compared to New Zealand’s $2.95 for the win.

The Kangaroos host New Zealand at NIB Stadium in Perth on Saturday, October 15.

See the full squads for the match below:

Australia: Cameron Smith (c) (Storm), Darius Boyd (Broncos), Shannon Boyd (Raiders), Boyd Cordner (Roosters), Cooper Cronk (Storm), Josh Dugan (Dragons), Blake Ferguson (Roosters), Jake Friend (Roosters), Tyson Frizell (Dragons), Matt Gillett (Broncos), Valentine Holmes (Sharks), Greg Inglis (Rabbitohs), David Klemmer (Bulldogs), James Maloney (Sharks), Josh Mansour (Panthers), Trent Merrin (Panthers), Michael Morgan (Cowboys), Matt Moylan (Panthers), Justin O’Neill (Cowboys), Josh Papalii (Raiders), Matt Scott (Cowboys), Sam Thaiday (Broncos), Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys), Aaron Woods (Wests Tigers).

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New Zealand: Gerard Beale (Sharks), Adam Blair (Broncos), Jesse Bromwich (c) (Storm), Lewis Brown (Sea Eagles), Greg Eastwood (Bulldogs), David Fusitu’a (Warriors), Tohu Harris (Storm), Shaun Johnson (Warriors), Jordan Kahu (Broncos), Solomone Kata (Warriors), Shaun Kenny-Dowall (Roosters), Thomas Leuluai (Warriors), Issac Luke (Warriors), Simon Mannering (Warriors), Te Maire Martin (Panthers), Manu Ma’u (Eels), Jason Nightingale (Dragons), Kevin Proctor (Storm), Jordan Rapana (Raiders), Joseph Tapine (Raiders), Jason Taumalolo (Cowboys), Martin Taupau (Sea Eagles), Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (Roosters), Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (Panthers).


  1. Have storm lost players for next season? I thought they would have been favorites for sure.

    I would have gone:

    1. Storm
    2. Cowboys
    3. Broncos (maybe, I think they might be on the way back down)
    4. Sharks/Raiders

    • hardyards

      Recent history proves Grand Finalists don’t go back to back (i.e. teams that make the GF one year don’t make it the next).

      1. Cowboys (interested to see how young players like Hess and Ponga contribute next year, plus more mins for Granville)
      2. Storm/Panthers (IF Slater fires otherwise 4th – Smith/Cronk/Slater are getting too old to carry the team)
      3. Panthers/Raiders
      4. Raiders/Storm
      5. Sharks
      6. Souths/Broncos
      7. Broncos/Souths
      8. Titans/Bulldogs ??

      I agree with your assessment re the Broncos (but they will be a top 8 side, possibly even top 6).
      IF Souths retain Cook (go relatively injury free) and Farah makes a positive contirbution, I think Souths are a strong chance of making the top 4 BUT there are too many IF’s.

        • Apologies to eelsalmighty/eels47/phatty/FootyFan2016. Guys if it is any consolation my tips for the finals this year were pretty hit and miss. Eels have just as good a chance as any but at this stage everything is still too far off to make any reliable prediction. The Eels need to sort out their halves and hooker (and add more punch to their forwards – still need to a Junior Paulo type player and Vave doesn’t have the mins and needs to drop Kgs).

  2. Storm are favourites for me.

    My next four in order are Cowboys, Raiders, Sharks, Panthers.

    I’m unsure on the Broncs, not sure where they will improve from last season to next. If they ship off Hunt without getting a better half back, I think they will struggle to relevant. Will probably make the eight but not be a serious threat of winning the whole thing.

    • Miltontoaster

      “Storm are favourites for me”

      I can understand how you might think that but I am just saying recent history shows that neither team that make a Grand final appear in the GF the following year.

      Not since 2007/2008 when Manly and the Storm contested BOTH GFs has a single Grand finalist from the previous year appeared in the following GF.

      You also made a point (regarding recent history) just prior to the GF that the premiers from 2014 and 2015 finished the season in 3rd place. The Sharks won this year after finishing in 3rd place so maybe “recent history” is becoming a fairly reliable indicator for predictions after all?

      • As a punter on the footy as well as the horses, I am always looking for history to repeat. I have learnt that the moment you think history will repeat, that is when it doesn’t.
        I just feel like the Storm realise that they are running out of opportunities to win another comp with the all star spine and will go all out next year.

        • Miltontoaster

          Fair enough. I had to smile at your comment:

          “I have learnt that the moment you think history will repeat, that is when it doesn’t.”

          Of course that is right. I don’t generally bet on anything (except for the Melbourne Cup) but I just might put something on the team that finishes the regular season in 3rd place in 2017. Just in case. 😉

      • tommyknocker

        “Not since 2007/2008 when Manly and the Storm contested BOTH GFs has a single Grand finalist from the previous year appeared in the following GF.”

        Btw, there’s some proof for your argument about how the competition is fairly even despite all the current salary cap concerns.

  3. the odds are mostly based on what the people think, not what the bookies solely think. IE, when demand for Broncos is made, odds decrease.

    anybody putting bets on premiership winners now is an idiot – therefore, there appear to be a lot of idiots backing the broncos

    • darryldanger

      “anybody putting bets on premiership winners now is an idiot”

      Actually I also agree with the same sentence if you take “now” out of the equation:

      “Anybody putting bets on premiership winners is an idiot – period!”

    • josh001

      Brave call this far out. I certainly wouldn’t make that prediction, but every year one or two of the teams in the top 8 are replaced by others so, we will see.

      • Just think they’re going to miss Parker a lot more than people realise. Add to that the quality of young player in the system not being what it used to be and i see them struggling.

        • josh001

          “Just think they’re going to miss Parker”

          An understatement or what? Serves them right for under cutting his contract and showing him the door. Parker said himself that Bennett “indicated” it might be time. Parker could play at least for another 2 years in the NRL and possibly another 2 in the English SL.

          There is still also a lot of uncertainty about their halves and that also doesn’t help things. I agree IMO they will be down on 2015/2016 but I still think they will make the top 8. But that’s just an opinion, who knows.

  4. AS ALWAYS PREMMATURE SELECTIONS FOR THE following season …typical though queensland teams favourits every year there favourites ….top 4 in no order …raiders..sharks,,cows … manly/donkeys then next 2 panthers / storm .. final 2 unknown yet but bottom 4 drags..rabbits…knights…eels …believe that

    • believethis

      “top 4 in no order …raiders..sharks,,cows … manly/donkeys”

      That’s 5 Harold. Also, Panthers, Raiders and Souths will finish on top of Manly … believe that!

  5. Bronco’s to miss the 8 or just scrap in , Canberra , Souths ,Penrith Storm, there’s your top 4 Manly near wooden spoon but Newcastle again, Easts to go well top 8 damm it, Cowboys also top 8 any one’s guess last top 8 spot.

  6. Bennett always said from the get-go, that it would take at least 3 years before a premiership will come.
    2015 was an outstanding year and was above his expectations
    2016 is was harder due to the success they had in 2015.
    Hunt will be better is 2017, with the heart break of 2015 long behind him (would have learnt a lot from 2016)

    No retirements in 2017; youngish squad will game experience, I wouldn’t be writing of the Broncos too soon!

    Thaiday, Gillett, McGuire, Oates & Boyd all played Origin
    Hunt & Milford are in the emerging QLD squad (again) and will be their 3rd season together
    Kahu, Blair, Glenn & Nikorima have all played for NZ (currently or previously)
    James Roberts will have a better year in 2017 (started to see him improve late 2016)
    Reed has retired and Mead has replaced him (pace on both the left and right now)
    Some young players have had NRL experience in 2016 and will be better for it in 2017, the likes of Arrow, Ese’ese, Opacic, Junior, Ofahengaue & Pearson. That is more than enough to field a team.

    Like all other years, the amount of injuries and suspensions has a big factor on your success

    Let’s not forget that 2017 is the Broncos 30th year in the Comp.

  7. Ever since the terrible year we had in 2014…I always knew we were on the way up from then. Ive been saying for years that 2017 will be the year of the Raiders…im sticking with it.

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