The SportingJournal

NRL Season Preview – Part 3

Today,
The SportingJournal’s Nick Page analyses the
NRL’s only international club, the New Zealand Warriors along with
the North Queensland Cowboys, Parramatta Eels and the Penrith
Panthers. Enjoy the 2013 NRL Season!

New Zealand Warriors
In 2012, the Warriors held high hopes, despite having new coach in Brian McLennan at the helm. However, the Warriors played awful
football and only won 8 of their 24 games, which lead to the
sacking of McLennan before the season was over. Thomas
Leuluai returns back to New Zealand after nine years in England, however the Warriors have lost some talent in Michael Luck, James
Maloney and Lewis Brown. Prediction:
15th Squad:
Konrad Hurrell, Simon Mannering, Jerome Ropati, Bill
Tupou, John Palavi, Ben Henry, Jacob Lillyman, Steve
Rapira, Ben Matulino, Glen
Fisiiahi, Nathan Friend, Pita Godinet,
Shaun Johnson, Kevin Locke,
Sione Lousi, Alehana Mara,
Feleti Mateo, Russell Packer, Sam
Rapira, Elijah Taylor, Manu Vatuvei,
Sebastine Ikahihifo, Sam
Lousi, Sio Siua Taukeiaho,
Carlos Tuimavave, Thomas Leuluai, Dane Nielsen, Todd
Lowrie, Dominique Peyroux, Harry Siejka.   North
Queensland Cowboys
The North Queensland Cowboys will have
one of their best chances of taking out their first NRL Premiership
in 2013. The Cowboys finished fifth last year and were eliminated
in the second week of the finals. This year, North Queensland’s premiership hopes will rest heavily on whether
Matthew Bowen and Jonathan Thurston can stay fit and healthy to last out the season. The Cowboys will
struggle without hookers Aaron Payne and James Segeyaro.
Prediction: 6th
Squad: Gavin Cooper, Glenn Hall, Ashton Sims,
Ashley Graham, Scott Bolton, Alex Elisala, Sam Hoare, Felise
Kaufusi, Blake Leary, Jason Taumalolo, Ray Thompson, Ricky Thorby,
Wayne Ulugia, Matt Bowen, Kalifa Faifai Loa, Dallas Johnson, Kane
Linnett, Robert Lui, Michael Morgan, Joel Riethmuller,
Matthew Scott, Tariq Sims, James Tamou, Brent Tate, Jonathan
Thurston, Antonio Winterstein, Kyle Feldt, Chris Grevsmuhl, Ethan
Lowe, Tyson Mason, Ben Jones, Luke Harlen, Michael Parker-Walshe,
Anthony Mitchell, Rory Kostjaysn, Curtis Rona, Clint
Greenshields, Scott Moore.   Parramatta
Eels
After two horrendous seasons Parramatta will be
looking for a fresh start in 2013. The Eels have been the worst
team in the past two seasons finishing 14th
in 2011 and 16th last year, winning just 12 games. However, former NSW coach Ricky Stuart is on-board as the new Parramatta coach and will no doubt looking to improve the club from previous years. Despite this addition, the Eels are still a few years away from being a major threat to the premiership. Chris Sandow, Jarryd Hayne
and new captain Tim Mannah will have big years for the club.
Prediction: 14th Squad: Ben
Smith, Ken Sio, Matt Ryan, Joseph Paulo, Fuifui Moimoi, Mitchell
Allgood, Cheyse Blair, Jarryd Hayne, Matt Keating, Luke Kelly,
Taniela Lasalo, Jacob Loko, Reni Maitua, Tim Mannah, Ryan Morgan,
Jake Mullaney, Pat O’Hanlon, Nathan Smith, Taulima Tautai, Willie
Tonga, Vai Toutai, Matthew Eisenhuth, Daniel Penese, Api
Pewhairangi, Semi Radradra, Ben Roberts, Chris Sandow, Jason Seage,
Peni Terepo, Brayden Willieme, Billy Rogers, John Folau, Rory
Brien, Darcy Lussick, Daniel Harrison, Kenny Edwards, Lorenze
Ma’afu.   Penrith Panthers It has been
a big 12 months at the foot of the mountains. On the field they
have been very ordinary and off the field hasn’t been any better.
It all started in May last year when Luke Lewis was dropped as
captain during the Origin period. Thus lead Lewis to sign with the
Sharks. Michael Gordon also signed with the Sharks and Michael
Jennings has signed with the Sydney Roosters. The Panthers have a
goal to sign Jonathan Thurston for the 2014 season, we will find
out if this will be the case later this season. For the Panthers
this season it is about rebuilding the club. The Panthers have
signed well despite losing three of their key players, signing Sika Manu, Dean Whare, Lewis Brown, among other great talent. Prediction: 12th
Squad: Blake Austin, Luke Walsh, Arana Taumata,
Josh Mansour, Dayne Weston, Brad Tighe, Kevin Kingston, Nigel Plum,
Cameron Ciraldo, Sam McKendry, Matt Robinson, Tim Grant, David
Simmons, Lachlan Coote, Geoff Daniela, Clint Newton, Nathan Smith,
Adam Docker, Tom Eisenhuth, Kane Morgan, Travis Robinson, Ryan
Simpkins, Vaipuna Tia Kilifi, Chris Armit, Danny Galea, Etuate
Uaisele, Ryan Walker, Safaru Fatiaki, Taioalo Vaivai, Yileen
Gordon, Lewis Brown, Dean Whare, Sika Manu, James Segeyaro,
Wes Naiqama, Kyle O’Donnell, Jeremy Latimore, James Roberts, Moses
Pangai, Sam Anderson, Ethan Cook, Maurice Kennedy, Tom
Humble, Shane Shackleton, Mose Masoe. Editor’s Note: All
teams were correct as of beginning of season.

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