By Kaaps Loche.
Welcome to the first edition of Kick to Come, our view on League which we hope to bring you weekly throughout the season.
As the season kicks off tonight we release our first edition as a homage to the Qld league fan – slightly delayed. Not that it’s that big a deal that the game isn’t live tonight in Qld, as no one else on TV is showing, and if you can avoid the internet and radio who cares. Really it’s Queensland’s fault anyway for not embracing all the positive aspects of daylight savings, so we only have ourselves to blame. A cynic could also point to a revenge by NSW heavy sports hierarchy at Channel 9 for years of origin dominance. The worry is the intent from Nine that the Lock Desk Monster and ACA is more important than League. In case you’re wondering, dole bludgers, neighbours at war are interesting but not more than league. Enjoy the live game though Tasmania. League heartland.
As a Souths fan I don’t mind the extra wait, the prospect of beating the Roosters looks unlikely. Although it looks unlikely that many teams will be the Roosters this year. They seemed a work in progress last year with some good signings but quickly evolved into the deserving premiers they eventually became. However for all the talk of back to back and the talk is deserved, many a good Manly, Melbourne, Bulldogs sides over the years weren’t able to manage it. My money is on that the Roosters will go close. But anyone can tip a favourite.
The rest of the Top 4 will have many teams tipped as bolters or hopefuls, but is more than likely going to be the same as last year, and those sides haven’t gone backwards nor have any of the chasing pack gotten that much better. The usual overhyped Cowboys and NZ will be thrown around, but history proves the talk is different to walk. Not that both of these entertaining sides wouldn’t be welcomed in the sharp end of the year.
The midfield looks longer than usual with most of the remaining clubs having claims. Frenzied talk of Penrith has been bandied, but the recruiting of last chance saloon rejects from other clubs doesn’t inspire. Their quality under 20 side from last year does, and hopefully more of those will be included as year goes on. The Gurgler thinks the bolter will be Parramatta. Some good signings, and the most vital movement of Ricky Stuart departing can only be good.
Broncos expectations will be as low as ever in their history starting the year, and rightly so based on last year’s descent and awful trial form. The Gurgler predicts the expectations will lead to Griffin being the first coach given the full confidence of the board – read sacking. Maybe the Broncos could buy another fullback to get them out of their troubles.
The spoon looks reserved for Ricky Stuart to do a back to back club to club double. This will hopefully see the Whinge Express terminated for good.
Anyway, for no good reason here’s our predictions for the year.
FIRST PLAYER IN TROUBLE
STATE OF ORIGIN