If you were hoping the NRL was a championship contender in 2016-17, the season has already begun to unfold, with the competition’s biggest names in the spotlight.
Key points:It’s all about finals week and the big gamesIn this preview, we take a look at the key games to watch and the biggest storylines to keep an eye on in the opening months of the season.
Key games to look out for:There are some exciting finals games to be had.
The Raiders and Panthers are both battling it out for the top spot in the finals, while Wests Tigers and the Rabbitohs are fighting for a bye.
Both clubs have the potential to end up in the top four, with Canberra coming out on top against the Dragons, and the Sea Eagles battling to win the NRL title against the RabbitOH.
In the meantime, the Broncos are in a tough spot in a season that has been marred by injuries.
The club has been struggling with its halves for the past two seasons and they are on course for the first time in their history to finish in the bottom three, while the Roosters will be hoping to bounce back from their poor season.
In other key finals games, the Bulldogs are looking to move into the top six and the Broncos will be looking to take a step forward against the Raiders.
The Cowboys have an opportunity to go a long way this season with the coronavirus crisis and they have a number of exciting players, including young stars Michael Morgan and Mitchell Pearce, but the Raiders could still be in for a rough start to the season if the coronave epidemic continues to spread.
The Dragons will also be looking for a bounce back season after finishing fourth last season and they will be desperate to finish higher in the competition.
Tigers’ title hopes are hanging in the balanceA season in which the Tigers were a surprise title contender will have ended badly for them, as the club lost the premiership in 2017.
They will be aiming to do better this year, however, as they have been able to turn things around with a young and exciting roster.
The Tigers will be battling with the Cowboys for the finals spot, while they will also have to battle with the Titans and the Dragons for a playoff spot.
The Titans are on the hunt for a win after a tough start to 2017, while a strong finals campaign will be crucial to the club’s future.
The Rabbitohts are looking for their first finals win since 2007 and they need a big performance to make that happen.
The Rabbitohas have an outstanding young squad, but they will need to come out on the right foot in their first season in the NRL.
The Storm have been on the back foot for a while, losing their first two finals games this season, but that will be their Achilles heel, and they might be able to pick up a win with a performance against the Sharks on the weekend.
The Broncos have a big chance to move up to the top eight with a strong season.
The Broncos are an exciting team to watch in a competitive season and are in desperate need of a win, as this will be the first of three tries in the grand final against the Warriors.
The Warriors have a massive opportunity to make it out of the bottom two, and there will be a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks.
The Kangaroos are looking at a huge win in Canberra, but will be facing a tough battle to get there.
They need a strong performance to knock the Titans off their feet and if they do that, they can move up in to the finals.
The Manly Sea Eagles are set to return to the NRL for the second time in as many seasons after winning the title in 2016.
They have a fantastic squad and will need an impressive performance to get them back into the finals race, as one win over the Titans will give them a massive edge over the Bulldogs and the Roos.
The Sharks are the favourites for the NRL grand final and they should be able of picking up a huge victory over the Rabbitaroos in Canberra.
The Knights will need a win to keep their finals hopes alive, and if the Titans lose, they will lose the chance to return home to Canberra.