SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 06: Roosters players celebrate victory during the 2019 NRL Grand Final match between the Canberra Raiders and the Sydney Roosters at ANZ Stadium on October 06, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

The Sydney Roosters are coming off back-to-back premierships and are the favourites to make it a three-peat in 2020.

The Tricolours got past Canberra Raiders in the grand final 14-8 to secure their second premiership in as many years despite Jack Wighton claiming the Clive Churchill Medal.

This team is loaded with stars, led by James Tedesco, Luke Keary and Angus Crichton while possessing the league’s best system on both ends of the ground. Can anyone stop Trent Robinson’s side? Here are the main three contenders.

Melbourne Storm

The Storm just keep on keeping on and consistently find themselves in the hunt for the top prize. Melbourne claimed the minor premiership last season with 20 wins and 4 losses but were knocked out by the Roosters in the preliminary final.

The Storm are the second favourites for the 2020 premiership behind the Roosters, and get all the best odds at NetBet.

It was revealed last week that club great Cameron Smith will extend his career into a 19th season, with the 36-year old becoming the first NRL player to reach 400 games in 2019.

“I’ve had a good break after another pretty big season in 2019. I’ve had time to relax and put my feet up and I’m feeling pretty fresh now,” Smith told the melbournestorm.com.au.

“I’m looking forward to next year.

“I’ve been given some ‘long service’ leave (from training) as I had last year as well so I won’t be back until the New Year.

“That seemed to work really well last year. It gives me plenty of time to freshen up and get ready for another gruelling season.

“I’m excited to see the squad improve on last year….and seeing the younger guys go to another level again in 2020.”

The Storm have lost Joe Stimson (Bulldogs), Billy Walters (Wests Tigers), Solomone Kata (rugby union), Brodie Croft (Broncos) and potentially Josh Addo-Carr. But you can never write off this club, especially with Smith back for another season.

Canberra Raiders

After finishing 10th in 2018, the Raiders came from nowhere last season to soar into the top four. The Green Machine weren’t satisfied with just regular season success though, knocking the Storm and Rabbitohs out of the finals to march on to the decider.

Unfortunately, Ricky Stuart’s side fell short at the last hurdle back will take plenty away from a successful campaign where they earned a reputation as one of the toughest defensive units in the league.

The Raiders will retain the majority of their 2018 squad, other than the departures of Jordan Rapana and Aidan Sezer, while Joey Leilua is sticking around. They will be boosted by the additions of George Williams (Wigan) and Curtis Scott (Melbourne)

And Canberra are looking to keep this side together for the long term, with NRL.com reporting that the club are looking to lock down Wighton and Jarrod Croker on long-term deals.

The Green Machine are the second biggest threat to upsetting the Roosters in 2020. And if they can improve on their fairy tale 2019 campaign, look out.

Manly Sea Eagles

Do the the Sea Eagles have what it takes to go all the way next year? The better question is – why not?

Des Hasler’s team finished sixth last season and ousted Cronulla in the first week of finals. However, Manly bowed out the following week against the Rabbitohs.

Api Koroisau (Panthers), Kane Elgey (retired), Trent Hodkinson (retired) all departed the club in what was a quiet off-season. But stability could be exactly what this side needs.

It feels like the Sea Eagles’ best can match is with the big dogs and they have a higher ceiling that they can reach in 2020. With the Trbjoevic brothers leading the way, a premiership tilt is not out of the question.

They might not be as well-rounded as the aforementioned teams, but if Manly can stay healthy in 2020, they might be the big premiership dark horse.

21 COMMENTS

  1. Without the little master Cooper Cronk and the part time X factor Mitchell, I’m sceptical of our chances for a three-peat.
    Trent Robinson has moulded a magnificent team together and you can never right them off. All depends on who can slot into the halback role and deliver beautiful passing to the running Keary to weave his magic.

    At this uncertain stage of the off season. I would have this order of favouritism.

    1. Canberra
    2. Parramatta
    3. Sydney
    4. Melbourne
    5. Manly
    6. Brisbane
    7. Cronulla
    Any team after that group above are basically not no hope of a top four position.

  2. Lol I love how you write off the bunnies even though we were top four and preliminary finalist. I respect rooster for what they have achieved. How about some respect back 🙄

  3. I have shown the ultimate respect Rabbit17 in highlighting the huge loss of Sutton and the Burgess brothers.

    Forwards win matches after stampling their authority
    In the middle establishing a foundation for the backs to unleash the teams flair.
    Soufths have a massive void to fill with those three gone.

    Also Bennett has no answers to the Soufths defensive problems. He definitely needs to retire, put his feet up and enjoy life now. At 70 he may ony have 10 years of quality life.

  4. Not a roosters fan but the only thing that can stop the 3peat is if Keary takes a few more head knocks and has to sit out the backend of the year or teddy does another knee. Injuries play a big part the roosters have had a decent run with injuries

  5. Very true. To win a comp everything must be near perfect. Injuries in the past have prevented many near certain grand final bound team from reaching the big dance.

  6. I would have loved to see how far manly could have gone last season if it hadn’t been for the large amount of injuries to key players just before the playoffs.

    Look at Roosters! Comin ta getcha.

  7. Nothing against Manly but I don’t see how they are the 3rd favourites to beat the storm.
    Jake and Tom are good but the rest of there backline and forwards are pretty average.
    On top of that they have no hooker and an ordinary halfback.
    Honestly I think they will be lucky to make the top 8.
    As for my Eels, we made the finals this year which means we should get the spoon next year. 😁

  8. ………News Flash………

    Just announced that Sezer has left the Raiders for Hudersfield. This brings Canberra back to the field with The Roosters, who basically both will field Rookie Halfbacks, while Parra has a Rookie 5/8, Melbourne have a fullback at Half (rookie) Manly have a makeshift 5/8 Walker who really is a centre, Brisbane have a Dudrius 5/8 who is a Dudrius Fullback these days.

    What happen to the days when every club had seasoned 5/8 and halfback?
    Canberra now have a running Pommie 5/8 who will be expected to play the catch and pass halfback.

  9. Dont tell me penso the clown has fallen off the rehab wagon and gone and got another login name attacking the Roosters cap.

    OK True.P00P.enso…… sign yourself back into salary cap rehab you Soufths TW1T.

  10. Three quarters of the article must be missing, given it goes from the Storm, Raiders (missing part of the article), Manly.

  11. I think there is somthing about the Eels this year, I dunno I just think they are in for a good season…there is just somthing about them. But Raiders to go 1 better in 2020!!

  12. My top four favourites for 2020 not necessarily in order are Sydney, Canberra, Manly and Parramatta.

    Plenty of pressure from Brisbane, Melbourne.
    Newcastle with the attacking coach O’Brien will sneak into the eight.
    Cronulla, Canterbury and NQ will all battle with Newcastle for the eight.

    The rest with Souths and Penrith plan for 2021

  13. Never rule out Souths, look what we did in 2019 without Burgess boys for big part of the year, Inglis since early in the year etc.
    With Bennett as coach, which could be his last year and the possibility of Jai Arrow, Tyson Frizzle or The Fox signing for 2020 look out.
    There are going to be people dissing souths, with no Sam Burgess etc, but we still have one Burgi, Damien Cook, Cam Murrey, Adam Reynolds and Cody Walker that should have NSW playmakers this year and young forwards in Tatola, Knight and Sua. There’s all possibility that we will go one better and make the GF in 2020.

  14. Rabbitohs17
    November 28, 2019 at 5:24 pm
    “Lol I love how you write off the bunnies even though we were top four and preliminary finalist. I respect rooster for what they have achieved. How about some respect back 🙄”
    Your asking for respect from a delusional moron who is void of any respect herself?
    That’s hilarious

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