With the 2016 NRL season being full of surprises and the 2017 season just a couple of months away I bring you my predictions for the 2017 season and what we can expect from the competition.
Auckland Nines Winners – New Zealand Warriors
New Zealand Warriors will be looking to pick up their first ever trophy at the Auckland nines and playing on home soil will surely give them the advantage. Last year they missed out on the title beaten by the Parramatta Eels (who would later be stripped of this title). With names like Isaac Luke and Shaun Johnson in their squad they have the attacking power to overcome all opposition and win the Auckland Nines.
State Of Origin Winners – Queensland Maroons
Sorry NSW Blues fans but like the past decade I predict that the Maroons will continue to dominate this 3 match series next year however I do think that the NSW team will be putting up a fight with the Queenslanders edging the series 2 games to 1.
Minor Premiers – Canberra Raiders
After coming so close to becoming minor premiers last year (losing out to the Melbourne Storm) 2017 could be there year with world class hooker Josh Hodgson in their ranks and Ricky Stuart coaching them they could dominate the NRL in 2017 and possibly reach the grand final also.
Premiers – Cronulla Sharks
After last years Grand Final success , I think that the Sharks will become the first team since the NRL started to win back to back titles. However they will struggle with Ben Barba being sacked from the club they will have to find a suitable replacement. The Sharks will have to perform like they did last season to become premiers once again and I believe that they have the full capability of doing this.
Top points scorer – Johnathan Thurston
After missing out to Jared Croker , Thurston will once again be looking to become the top points scorer and cement himself as a Cowboys legend , it will be a tough battle once again with Thurston edging it by 30 points over Croker.
Dally M Medal – Cooper Cronk
After sharing the medal with Jason Taumalolo
These have been my predictions for the 2017 NRL season , please feel free to leave your predictions below. The18thman is certainly looking forward to the NRL next year and will bring you all the latest news , results and rumours.