2023 Predicted Line-Ups

Sproj

Sproj

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Not wanting to piss on your optimism - and I'm sure we're capable of pulling one out of the hat - but purely on paper?

Melbourne v Brisbane spines:

1. Papenhuyzen v Walsh
6. Munster v Mam
7. Hughes v Reynolds
9. Grant v Walters

In fairness, we can match or challenge them everywhere else.

Yep probably right but to me, as good as the Storm's spine is, they still need some field position and I am just not sure the pack will be that good. That said, they still have NAS and Welch (unless he gets injured again) but who else?

That said, they are Melbourne and they will always be decent while Bellamy is coach and they will always beat Brisbane no matter who plays for them it seems.

So maybe Melbourne should go in that next tier down from the top 3 but above the rest.
 
Big Pete

Big Pete

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This is more of a hunch than anything else, but I see Wests as one of those teams that will turn heads at some point and right as the media begins to pay attention something will go awry and they'll fall back to the pack.

They won't be easy-beats but they'll be found wanting and I can see questions being asked of their marquee players.
 
theshed

theshed

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See, I'm not so sure about that. Yes, once Bennett has settled on a 17 he loathes to change it and he's very deliberate about when and how he'll blood his younger players. However when it comes to that Round 1 team, he's not afraid to go left field, especially on the wing. I mean how many Broncos seasons began with a Steve Irwin, Leon Bott, Darius Boyd, Reece Robinson, Greg Eden, Tautau Moga etc. coming from virtually nowhere to grab a spot in the backline?

Then of course there was Karmichael Hunt and Kerrod Walters who were two of his most surprising selections.

So I'm curious to see who that bolter will be. Whether it's Te Whare or if they upgrade one of their development players early. It's not like they don't have the space in the top squad, they still have 3 spots that need to be filled. My guess is that one of those 3 players will be in the Round 1 team.
I actually agree that there will be a youngster debuted round 1 but I played it safe as they are all almost equally possible, as you have implied. I think an outside back will be most likely and if I had to provide a guess I’d say it would be Te Whare on a wing or pushing out Brenko. Harrison would be paying decent odds to be in the round 1 team too but I’ll actually go out on a limb and suggest that the halves will be the biggest shock with Milford at 7 and Katoa at 5/8th.
 
Sproj

Sproj

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I actually agree that there will be a youngster debuted round 1 but I played it safe as they are all almost equally possible, as you have implied. I think an outside back will be most likely and if I had to provide a guess I’d say it would be Te Whare on a wing or pushing out Brenko. Harrison would be paying decent odds to be in the round 1 team too but I’ll actually go out on a limb and suggest that the halves will be the biggest shock with Milford at 7 and Katoa at 5/8th.

Yep these are basically all my thoughts too. I wouldn't be surprised if they roll out this round 1 dependent on injuries / stupidity between now and then:

1. Hammer
2. Isaako
3. Te Whare
4. Gildart
5. Lee
6. Milford
7. Katoa
8. J.Bromwich (c)
9. Marshall-King
10. Nicholls
11. Kaufusi
12. Gilbert
13. Stone

14. Graham
15. Ese'ese/Wallace
16. Lemuelu/Wallace
17. Aitken
 
Sproj

Sproj

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Titans:
1. Brimson
2. Fifita
3. Kelly
4. Schoupp
5. Sami
6. Foran
7. Boyd
8. Fotuaika
9. Verrills
10. Liu
11. Fifita
12. Fermor
13. Fa'asuamaleaui

14. Clark
15. Jolliffe
16. Stimson
17. Haas
 
BroncsFan

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This is more of a hunch than anything else, but I see Wests as one of those teams that will turn heads at some point and right as the media begins to pay attention something will go awry and they'll fall back to the pack.

They won't be easy-beats but they'll be found wanting and I can see questions being asked of their marquee players.
It will be interesting to see how Douehi goes.

He'll basically be carrying the attack, but instead of last year the whole preseason and attacking structure will be focussed on him... whereas last year he was coming in off a long injury layoff and just had to fit in and play footy.

If Wests go too structured with their attack it could bog him down and then where do they find their points from.
 
Big Pete

Big Pete

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It will be interesting to see how Douehi goes.

He'll basically be carrying the attack, but instead of last year the whole preseason and attacking structure will be focussed on him... whereas last year he was coming in off a long injury layoff and just had to fit in and play footy.

If Wests go too structured with their attack it could bog him down and then where do they find their points from.
I expect Sheens to let Doueihi play eyes-up footy. Sheens has promised an all-out attack for '23 which suggests he's taken a page from his 2005 playbook. I can see him using Doueihi to play a similar role as Benji where he'll be instructed to run first and play off the back of it.

It'll be up to Luke Brooks to make that combination successful. Brooks will have to get his end of sets right and steer the team around. He's not as talented as Prince, but he's a better player than what he's shown these past few seasons and if Sheens can get that out of him it'll go a long way for Wests.

Their biggest question mark is going to be fullback. I find it difficult to split Laurie and Staines - Laurie seems to be more of a team-player while Staines is the better athlete. My fear is that he'll take the easy route and play both even if Laurie isn't providing enough at fullback.

It was the one weakness the Tigers had post-Hodgson. They could never find a replacement and when they eventually did in Tedesco, he did his knee 30-or so minutes into his debut game. We never got to see whether he could be successful in a Sheens system.
 
Big Pete

Big Pete

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How do you guys expect the Dragons to fare in '23?

No Ramsey or Amone, Sullivan is out for 4-6 weeks it's starting to stack up against them.

I'm curious to see who they'll name at 1. Their most exciting option is Tyrell Sloan who has all the skills but struggled positionally in '22. So much so, he found himself deputising for Treigh Stewart who could also be an option.

Neither player suits the style of fullback Hook has traditionally gone for. Griffen prefers the bigger body work it out the back-field types like Hoffman, Edwards and the like.

The Sullivan injury is frustrating because it means he'll make another slow start to the season. Sullivan showed plenty of promise in NSW Cup, taking the Dragons from easy-beats to a respectable team but he's at that age where he ought to be making an impact at NRL level.

It puts a lot of pressure on Ben Hunt to perform. He'll be relied upon to come up with the end of sets, while whoever comes in for Jayden Sullivan, either Moses Mbye or Jack Bird will largely be relying on their run game. Of the two, Bird would be the better option with Mbye off the bench but he'll have to be at his best to get the Dragons off to a flyer.

I'm curious to see how Liddle goes. He doesn't have the biggest reputation in the NRL but he's quicker out of dummy half than McCullough and if Hook can get him running like '21 he could be a real difference maker for them.

Another positive is their backline. I like the look of the Feagai twins and Mat in particular built a solid foundation for himself to work from. Lomax has all the talent to be a world-class centre, if he puts away the no-look flick pass and takes some pressure off of Hunt he could be in for a break-out '24. Even players like Suli and Ravalawa on their day can be destructive.

On the other hand their pack is average. I rate de Belin, but he's not good enough to carry the rest of them especially during their 'off' days. The pack was already looking questionable in '22 and it's only gone backwards with their lack of quality signings.

I can't see them making the 8 but we'll know what season they're in for when they play the Titans (x2), Dolphins, Broncos, Bulldogs and Tigers in the first 10 rounds. If they can split enough of those results they'll be in the mix, especially with a friendly draw. Lose and they'll likely end the year with a new coach.
 
Big Pete

Big Pete

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Actually, I misread the Sullivan article and it sounds like he's a chance of playing the Charity Shield. It's a Grade 2 hamstring strain and with the Dragons having the bye in Round 1 he'll be every chance to play the Titans.

That solves that headache, it's just a matter of who plays 1.
 
Xzei

Xzei

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Actually, I misread the Sullivan article and it sounds like he's a chance of playing the Charity Shield. It's a Grade 2 hamstring strain and with the Dragons having the bye in Round 1 he'll be every chance to play the Titans.

That solves that headache, it's just a matter of who plays 1.
im guessing mbye might be the last man standing for fullback,if thats the way they go will put some pressure on their wingers to give them a good 2 hit ups coming out of their end.
dont think bird would have the fitness now for it but you never know.
 
Sproj

Sproj

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Actually, I misread the Sullivan article and it sounds like he's a chance of playing the Charity Shield. It's a Grade 2 hamstring strain and with the Dragons having the bye in Round 1 he'll be every chance to play the Titans.

That solves that headache, it's just a matter of who plays 1.

Sloane has been agitating for 1 hasn't he?
 
Sproj

Sproj

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Alrighty, list time for round 1 Broncs' side, only two weeks away now. What do we all reckon based on injury news and who is in the final trial?

1. Walsh/Cobbo
2. Oates
3. Staggs
4. Farnworth
5. Cobbo/Mariner
6. Mam
7. Reynolds/Madden
8. Haas
9. Paix
10. Flegler
11. Capewell
12. Riki
13. Carrigan

14. Walters
15. Jensen/Willison
16. Taupau
17. Piakura

A couple of thoughts behind it:
1. It goes without saying, the last trial will impact this a lot
2. I was actually really impressed with Paix in the second trial, he seemed a level above both Walters and (who was really average but let's see what the next trial brings)
3. I am really interested to see how Willison goes because the Broncs have invested in him long term but he is coming back from injury. I am sure if all goes to plan, he'll be top 17 at some point this season but likely not right away. I'd imagine the plan is to transfer Jensen into Willison at some point
4. Piakura was actually pretty impressive on second watch last week, I'd say that 17 spot is earmarked for him.
 
Tristan1990

Tristan1990

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Alrighty, list time for round 1 Broncs' side, only two weeks away now. What do we all reckon based on injury news and who is in the final trial?

1. Walsh/Cobbo
2. Oates
3. Staggs
4. Farnworth
5. Cobbo/Mariner
6. Mam
7. Reynolds/Madden
8. Haas
9. Paix
10. Flegler
11. Capewell
12. Riki
13. Carrigan

14. Walters
15. Jensen/Willison
16. Taupau
17. Piakura

A couple of thoughts behind it:
1. It goes without saying, the last trial will impact this a lot
2. I was actually really impressed with Paix in the second trial, he seemed a level above both Walters and (who was really average but let's see what the next trial brings)
3. I am really interested to see how Willison goes because the Broncs have invested in him long term but he is coming back from injury. I am sure if all goes to plan, he'll be top 17 at some point this season but likely not right away. I'd imagine the plan is to transfer Jensen into Willison at some point
4. Piakura was actually pretty impressive on second watch last week, I'd say that 17 spot is earmarked for him.
I think the first 16 will pick themselves...it's that 17th spot that seems to be up in the air... willison, palasia, piakura and you would imagine Kobe (likely when he returns) will be all fighting for that spot
 
Sproj

Sproj

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I think the first 16 will pick themselves...it's that 17th spot that seems to be up in the air... willison, palasia, piakura and you would imagine Kobe (likely when he returns) will be all fighting for that spot

Yeah I agree, though I forgot about Hetherington, he's in the 16 when fit, so I guess the 15 and 17 will at some point come down to a shoot out between Taupau / Jensen / Piakura / Willison / later in the year, Te Kura (who I was super impressed with in both trials, he's got gun written all over him as he develops)
 
ZTop

ZTop

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Kobe has to be in the starting 17.

Personally I'd like to see him in the starting 13.
Yep same, just unfortunately he's out injured.

I'd have Carrigan and Haas as props, Kobe at 13. Walters at 9, paix 14, flegler Jensen and taupau rounding out the bench
 
Sproj

Sproj

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Kobe has to be in the starting 17.

Personally I'd like to see him in the starting 13.

Yep same, just unfortunately he's out injured.

I'd have Carrigan and Haas as props, Kobe at 13. Walters at 9, paix 14, flegler Jensen and taupau rounding out the bench

and that is a very strong forward rotation

I would do that too but I would also swap Jensen/Taupau out for Piakura just for a point of difference...or even Mariner.
 

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