Premiership Odds: (via $4.50

Big Outs: Dale Copley, Justin Hodges

Big Ins: James Roberts

The Broncos looked home and hosed with only a few minutes to go in last year’s Grand Final.

Two pieces of Johnathan Thurston magic, as well as a magic piece of work from Michael Morgan took the title away from Wayne Bennett’s men.

The Broncos lost a super player in Justin Hodges through retirement but were gifted James Roberts, who is a more than capable replacement.

With Josh McGuire back to full fitness and this side having had yet another pre-season under the great Wayne Bennett, they may be even more dangerous in 2016.

Key Player: Ben Hunt

Forget the final minutes of the Grand Final, Ben Hunt has a brilliant 2015 season and deserves plenty of praise for it, despite his error.

In his 23 games he scored 10 tries and lad on 18 try assists. Add to that he made eight line-breaks himself making him one of the elite attacking halves in the competition.

His partnership with Anthony Milford was one of the most exciting in the modern game, and should be better for having a year together.

At 25 years of age Hunt has plenty of improvement left in him. Despite the horror moments of 2015’s golden point, he has enough experience to use it as motivation.

Young Gun: Corey Oats

For the record I believe Anthony Milford has played himself past a “young gun” tag and has entered genuine superstar status.

21 year-old Corey Oats will play a big role this season following the retirement of Justin Hodges and the moving on of Dale Copley.

Oats has played 54 games for the Broncos and has scored 27 tries. If he stays fit he’ll ad many more games and plenty more tries.

At 192 cm tall and well over 100 kilos, he’ll be one of the bigger wingers across the competition. He’ll be a target on the wing for cross-field kicks, which should put him well and truly in the game.

SEE ALSO:  Makinson sets sights on NRL future

Best Signing: James Roberts

As good as Justin Hodges was, James Roberts may prove to be an even more dangerous replacement, given his pace and try scoring ability.

He had a supreme 2015 in a horrible season for the Titans, and with the likes of Hunt and Milford pulling the strings, I have Roberts on my shortlist for top try scorer.

His speed is obviously his biggest asset but an off-season under Bennett, and a season outside of Hunt and Milford will help make him the all-round centre.

He had problems in defence last season so I’d assume he’ll be doing a lot of work on that during the off-season, and if he can get that right, watch out.

Roberts moved to the Broncos for a shot at the premiership and to work under Bennett. If he plays to his potential this season, a blue jersey is in his future, along with a stack of tries.

Strength: Attacking weapons everywhere

Boyd, Kahu, Milford, Hunt, Roberts, Gillett, Parker. There are attacking weapons all across the park in this brilliant Broncos line-up.

They have forwards who can create second phase through offloads, and the outside backs to back that up.

The Broncos contain two of the best halves in the competition who get to play behind one of the best packs going around.

Their bench is full of impact and size, but is mobile enough to adjust to the reduced interchange rules.

Like the Cowboys, their strongest 17 looks very similar to the squad that went so close to winning it all last season.

Weakness: Possible Grand Final hang over

How will the Broncos bounce back from their Grand Final heartbreak? For the large majority of the 80 minutes last October, the Broncos felt as though they had the title won.

SEE ALSO:  Sharks release statement on Shane Flanagan's future

They went into their shell in the final ten or so minutes, kicking for the line to soak up time rather than trying to pin the Cowboys in their own ten or twenty.

For some players that drives them on to improve, however some will carry that in the back of their minds even as they enter the next season.

The pressure will be on the Broncos from the start from fans, critics and the players themselves. If they can overcome that, there may be no stopping them.

Strongest 17:

1. Darius Boyd
2. Corey Oats
3. Jack Reed
4. James Roberts
5. Jordan Kahu
6. Anthony Milford
7. Ben Hunt
8. Sam Thaiday
9. Andrew McCullough
10. Adam Blair
11. Alex Glenn
12. Matt Gillett
13. Corey Parker

14. Josh McGuire
15. Joe Ofahengaue
16. Jarrod Wallace
17. Kodi Nikorima

Prediction: 1st

The Broncos will be chomping at the bit to avenge their Grand Final loss in 2015, and have the squad and coach to go on further than last season.

James Roberts is a brilliant signing and adds yet another weapon to an already dangerous arsenal.

The Broncos starting forward pack are all capable of playing big minutes which will be a big advantage in the early rounds as teams come to terms with reduced interchange.

There really is no weakness in this line up. They have arguably the top 17 across the competition and have plenty of depth.

Throw in Wayne Bennett and the drive given to them by falling short last season and I simply can’t see any side matching the Broncos across the season.

Anything less than a premiership will be underachieving for this ridiculously talented quad.


    • There is no logic to this prediction but I do not think the broncos will win it. They have the cattle and will do well but I think they will stumble and fail at some point.

      About as logical as thinking that Cronulla will make the top 4 but more sense in it than marking a team down because they might get injured but there you have it.

      • Yes I agree with the sharks not making the top 4 they were lucky to get were they did last year. If the Broncos play like they did last year they will be hard to beat

        • Thanks Brutus, Everyone is talking them up (but then that often happens in the off season) but in reality the sharks were flattered last year in getting to 6th. Their for/against ratio told a more accurate story in my view. Last year and as the incumbent wooden spooners, they were able to ambush a few of the better teams, something they won’t find so easy this year.

          Everyone is talking about Holmes and Bird and yes, as young players they are probably too good to be at the sharks, but last year was their debut season and they have the second year blues to contend with. I see the sharks as mid table battlers come the back end of the season.

          Broncos, as I said, on paper they are very strong but something in my gut is saying “sorry but no cigar”.

        • Yeah thanks Brutus. not sure if u watch many sharks games..just to give u a little insight on why people are talking the Sharks up.. This year we have 2 established that has won a GF in recent.. Plus a lot of roosters success came from maloney. 2015 bird and robbo exceeded expectation.. Took till round 5 or so to give bird a run…so we didn’t start the season off so great. ur also forgetting that our best forward was suspended for 6 weeks and missed all our games leading into finals.. I’m pretty confident in saying that sharks would of taken out 4th spot with Andrew Fifita in the line up. so I guess that’s y the people are backing the Sharks. Thanks again……. Up up Cronulla.

      • What is with the hate on the sharkies buddy they have a great side Maloney is one of the best halves in the comp he pretty much made Pearce look good and ran the Chooks around I think Roosters will struggle without him there

  1. Id like to see Carlin Anderson outside of James Roberts! Thats speed would be awesome to watch

  2. its funny how every year the every experts top 2 picks are the grand finalists, for the record I have:
    1st) Sharks – they can outgrind any team in the comp, townsend & maloney will elevate their attack.
    2nd) Broncos – Concerned with the amount of players picked for the rep season.
    3rd) Storm
    4th) Cowboys/Warriors

    • I pretty much agree with this except for the sharks, they will be mid table battlers. Otherwise, I think you will be right.

  3. Hard to go past this team as prediction No 1. But as we all know teams on paper don’t equate to teams in Grand Finals.

    You only have to look at what’s happened during the off-season to see how quickly things change. Good luck to the Broncos for 2016.

  4. I think everyone is tipping brisbane to finish 1st. Same team as last year, with 7 day turn arounds most of the time. If ben hunt gets picked for origin this year they might drop a couple of games. But its hard not to see them finishing 1st or 2nd

    • I hate when people accuse the broncos of some what ‘buying’ or manipulating the nrl to get consistent Friday night games. The broncos make the most TV revenue = more prime time.

      • I live out of the league states and don’t have pay tv but watch every game I can on free to air and I would love to see raiders gold coast and other clubs cause im sick of broncos every Friday night with the goose Hadley calling the games as I need to watch with volume down

      • Not having a go here as its not the Broncos fault. But of course they get more revenue and people watching the games! They get the prime time slot on Friday night. By having this year on year they are able to attract sponsors as they know they will be seen, players want to play there as free to air , they get acknowledged more, chances for higher honours, prime time games creates a young fan base that will follow them for years as it is on at a time they are awake. From that they get a favourite player which, whether they support the broncos or not most kids will follow their hero so more viewing. If the Friday night slot was shared a bit more over the years, maybe then we would have other clubs being able to recruit more sponsors and top line players!?

  5. Now for my list


    Start the fighting in the comments section below

    • 1. Broncos
      2. Warriors
      3. Sea Eagles
      4. Cowboys
      5. Storm
      6. Eels
      7. Raiders
      8. Bulldogs
      9. Rabbitohs
      10. Sharks
      11. Panthers
      12. Dragons
      13. Roosters/Titans
      14. Titans/Knights
      15. Knights/Roosters
      16. Tigers

      (On the right side of the / is what it would look like if Mitchell Pearce gets banned for a year or longer)

    • @isthegamerigged i think he is solid centre. Would be a good suit for a Titans, or Tigers side. He does his job and tackles really well not really a match winner but not a match loser either. Eg Sandow could almost win games on his own but he could also cost his team games aswell Reed is a good fit imo

      • @hayne2roosters he would be good in both those team’s, i think looking at that line up he is one you would replace its a awesome line up .
        I don’t know the Bronco’s list but i’m sure he could be replaced. For me he is not the fastest and he defends side on a bit and get’s turned inside out imo.

  6. 1.Broncos

    • I think that Manly might do better than that particularly back end of the season. Put them in 6 and shift everyone else down and you have a decent prediction.

  7. will make the 4 but definately not #1 this team i admit should of won it in 2015 but didn’t and that loss will haunt them in 2016 .. james roberts is not a good signing , he has speed but thats all his defense and ballwork is terrible they it will leave a hole where hodges was , get use to it ponies , they might look good on paper but on field not as good , wait and see ..believe that

    • The Dally M centre of the year bought for peanuts, “not a good signing’??????
      I don;t “believe that”

        • flakewithchips couldnt you come up with a better name than that shows you know more about fish n chip shops than rugby league i been watching your comments and see a hatred for the sharks and most of the time you have no idea what your yapping about , open your eyes and see the realism of the game , manly , sharks, broncos… cowboys or warriors top 4 depending injury …believe that

        • Mate what about your name you try to make everyone believe what your say but it is your opinion people have different opinions

        • My name comes from the fact that flake is fried shark meat and the best way to have shark is battered with chips. Consequently my name reflects my view that the Cronulla Skarks are not fit to play in this competition. My name might be a little convoluted but at least I used more than 2 brain cells in thinking it up.

  8. I would have mcguire start with the new rule change. Thaiday will be better used of the bench. In attack i would have boyd and milf change positions and use milfs pace with a kick chase imagine milf and roberts on kick returns

  9. Chokers yeh man did u see what hunt done to the roosters thats what a quality half does .. we have the halves who fire how are the roosters halves looking

  10. We played the best footy all season was great to watch . Roberts is the next thing for the broncos i think.. killer 2 season ahead .. he wants that big deal haha

  11. How hard is it to pick a winner. Bris, cowboys, sharks, warriors, manly, storm, eels, bulldogs and panthers could all win it. The most exciting season is ahead of us. Tipping is going to be a nightmare. Picking underdogs every week might be the go

  12. Haha yes well warriors,eels,sharks are the underdogs i think.hey put a lazy 10 bucks on titans to make the 8 to no expectations there haha

  13. Broncos minor premiers and premiers easy season they will win easy any team close to them are Cowboys and warriors they will win the comp the Broncos. Learn it , love it and love with it

    • For 79 minutes of this years Grand Final the Broncos could have been the 2015 Premiers, but they aren’t. I know it, love it and laugh about it.

  14. So if they don’t come out on top after the regular season and do not win the Premiership this team will be a complete and utter failure…ha ha, no pressure…with this team, they should have no reason not to win the comp. So if the Bronco’s are not premiers by the end of this season I will laugh my head off!!!

  15. Absolutely agree with this prediction James Roberts will add a real attacking threat to their game I would also love to see Carlin Anderson play he is a gun player

Comments are closed.