It is time to entrance up

Regardless of my very own NRL crew stinking up the joint, I need to say the 2023 season was one of the gratifying in current historical past. Whether or not it was the feel-good story of the Dolphins early season success, the re-emergence of the Warriors, or Paul Kent disappearing from the general public eye, there simply gave the impression to be extra optimism and happiness this 12 months.

Nicely, until you had been a Tigers fan.

Now the season has sadly concluded, it’s time for me to entrance up and revisit my fearless pre-season predictions.

Only a warning although: this text accommodates some content material that viewers could discover disturbing. Sure, that’s simply how unhealthy a few of this 12 months’s prediction had been.

Let’s rip this off like some outdated ankle tape, lets?

(Photograph by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Photos)

The Dolphins received’t get wood spoon

The overwhelming overwhelming majority of footy followers – and the bookies – had the Dolphins ‘successful’ the spoon in 2023. However not I!

While the media made loads of noise concerning the Dolphins failure to land a marquee signing, it conveniently missed the actual fact the membership landed the most important identify of all: supercoach Wayne Bennett.

Bennett’s no-frills teaching and easy message of ‘run exhausting, sort out exhausting’ was the proper technique for a crew devoid of stars, however massive on effort. The membership ambushed the Roosters in spherical one, and proceeded to be the shock packet of the competitors within the first half of season.

Ultimately their lack of depth caught up with them as accidents and suspensions destroyed their early momentum, seeing the membership fall and end exterior of the eight. But they had been a great distance from the dreaded spoon, and subsequently ship me an accurate prediction first up.

Verdict: 1 level

Matt Burton will take residence the Dally M Medal

Transferring ahead, I really want to take off my Bulldogs jersey once I do these predictions.

Burton confirmed flashes of particular person brilliance all through the season, however was requested to perform a little an excessive amount of for the battling Belmore boys. He was inconsistent, at greatest, and the Canines’ total struggles actually didn’t assist his Dally M trigger both.

Not solely did he not win the medal, he didn’t even end within the prime 10. So I assume you’ll be able to put this down as an incorrect prediction.

Verdict: 0 factors

Penrith have fun a 3rd consecutive NRL premiership within the change rooms. (Photograph by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Photos)

Panthers received’t make the Grand Closing

Penrith received the minor premiership – once more – earlier than demolishing the Warriors and Storm to qualify for his or her fourth straight grand last. Then they received the premiership. For the third 12 months in a row.

In a protracted historical past of shockingly unhealthy predictions, this one would possibly simply be my worst.

I’m tempted to remove the one right level I’ve already been awarded as punishment for the way horrendously unhealthy this take was.

Verdict: 0 factors

Wests Tigers received’t be scorching rubbish

Oh, so the Panthers prediction was my worst ever, huh? Nicely maintain my beer!

Realizing this prediction sounded somewhat ambiguous, I ensured it was somewhat extra tangible by stating: “The Tigers received’t end within the backside 4, and can have a factors differential of -120 or higher.”

Nicely, the Tigers did end within the backside 4 – lifeless final, truly – with a factors differential of -290.


I actually although the Tigers could be higher this season, however they continue to be the unfunny laughing inventory of the NRL.

Verdict: 0 factors

My ladder prediction (with crew’s precise end in parentheses)

1. Panthers (1st)
2. Roosters (seventh)
3. Sharks (sixth)
4. Storm (third)
5. Rabbitohs (ninth)
6. Eels (tenth)
7. Cowboys (eleventh)
8. Bulldogs (fifteenth)
9. Raiders (eighth)
10. Sea Eagles (twelfth)
11. Knights (fifth)
12. Broncos (2nd)
13. Tigers (seventeenth)
14. Titans (14th)
15. Dragons (sixteenth)
16. Dolphins (thirteenth)
17. Warriors (4th)

Actually not the worst ladder prediction I’ve achieved, with the Panthers and Titans picks bang on, and three extra groups inside one place of their precise end.

The most important shocker was the Warriors, who rode their ‘Up the Wahs!’ momentum all the best way to a prime 4 end, and a really, very great distance away from my wood spoon prognostication. A lot to my chagrin, and the glee of my ‘Day One’ Warriors mates.


A rating of 1 level reads quite a bit higher than the fact: these could have been my worst ever predictions! Simply absolute scorching trash, and I deserve any and all scorn from Roarers.

The excellent news is that there’s all the time subsequent season!


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