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The Rock-itt : March 2010
Brisbane Broncos Last year the Broncos had to rely on a final-round win streak to make the playoffs, but the South Queensland based side will need more than that this season. After losing a bulk of their forward pack the past few seasons, and now the exclusions of Kharmichael Hunt and Dave Taylor from their weekly line- up the Broncos may find it hard to find the top half of the 8 this season 2010 Gains: Tim Smith (Wigan Warriors), Scott Anderson (Melbourne Storm), Denan Kemp (New Zealand Warriors), Tim Natusch (Newcastle Knights), Rohan Ahern (Sydney Roosters) 2010 Losses: Karmichael Hunt (Gold Coast AFL), Dave Taylor (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Aaron Gorrell (Queanbeyan Kangaroos), Tom Hewitt (Released), Aaron Sweeney (Penrith Panthers), Isaak Ah Mau (Nth Qld Cowboys), Will Tupou (Nth Qld Cowboys) Bulldogs The newly re-named Canterbury Bankstown finished just one game short of a Grand Final birth last season, and they looked set to go one better this season. The Bulldogs have slowly transformed back into the powerhouse that once made them the most feared team in the NRL and are expecting to finish in the final 4 this year. 2010 Gains: Steve Turner (Melbourne Storm), Dene Halatau (Wests Tigers), Blake Green (Cronulla Sharks), Mickey Paea (St George Illawarra Dragons), Junior Tia Kilifi (Penrith Panthers), Tim Browne (Manly Sea Eagles) 2010 Losses: Hazem El Masri (Retired), Matt Utai (Celtic Crusaders), Daryl Millard (Wakefield Trinity), Greg Eastwood (Leeds Rhinos), Charlie Leaeno (Newtown Jets), John Kite (Melbourne Storm),Daniel Holdsworth (Newtown Jets) Raiders Like every year since the mid-90's no-one expects much from the team based in the Nations Carpital. The team consisting of a workman-like forward pack, young back line, and superstar five-eigth Terry Campese will clinch the occasional upset especially at their home ground where the have a fantastic home record but compared to the squads of other teams, they may find it hard to force themselves in the finals. 2010 Gains: Danny Galea (Wests Tigers 2010 Losses: Phil Graham (Sydney Roosters), Adrian Purtell (Penrith Panthers), Nigel Plum (Penrith Panthers) Sharks After the season from hell in 2009 the Sharks must look at this season with the attitude 'it can't get any worse'. They have re- structed everything from the field to the boardroom and will hope to reap the benefits early in the season in an attempt to attract the crowds, which were non-existant on the Sutherland Shire last season. Expect the Sharks to play a more expansive brand of footy this season with the acquisitions of Manly junior Adam Cuthbertson and Parramatta young gun Albert Kelly. 2010 Gains: Dean Collis (Wests Tigers), John Morris (Wests Tigers), Paul Aiton (Penrith Panthers), Adam Cuthbertson (Manly Sea Eagles), Broderick Wright (Parramatta Eels), Taulima Tautai (Parramatta Eels) 2010 Losses: Corey Hughes (Retired), Ben Ross (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Brett Kearney (Bradford Bulls), Blake Green (Canterury Bulldogs), David Simmons (Penrith Panthers), Mitch Brown (Wests Tigers),Terence Seu Seu (Manly Sea Eagles) Titans The Gold Coast shocked a lot of people snaring 3rd place after the home and away season only to be bundled on by Parramatta in the finals. The Titans will be looking to put that disappointing end behind them and looks to play as well as they have the ability to. The signing of Greg Bird finally gives them stability in the 6 and 7 after having 5 players partner Scott Prince in the halves since their inception. 2010 Gains: Clinton Toopi (Leeds Rhinos), Joseph Tomane (Melbourne Storm), Riley Brown (Sydney Roosters), Marshall Chalk (Celtic Crusaders), Greg Bird (Catalans Dragons) 2010 Losses: Brett Delaney (Leeds Rhinos), Daniel Conn (Sydney Roosters), Siosaia Vave (Cronulla Sharks), Ben Jeffery (Released), Chris Walker (Bradford Bulls) Sea Eagles To most teams, the loss of a player with the capabilities of Matt Orford would result in a season of trial and error, but that's not the case on the peninsula. Coach Des Hasler has two aces up his sleeves in Kiwi international Kieran Foran and Queensland Cup player of the season Trent Hodgkinson, both have the ability to lead the team who will look to re- create the spectacular form of 2008 when the Sea Eagles won the NRL premiership, and were named World Champions in the World Club Challenge. 2010 Gains: Joe Galuvao (Parramatta Eels), Terence Seu Seu (Cronulla Sharks), Matthew Cross (Melbourne Storm), Dean Whare (Dragons NYC) 2010 Losses: Matt Orford (Bradford Bulls), Glenn Hall (Bradford Bulls), Heath L'Estrange (Bradford Bulls), Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (Sydney Roosters), Andrew Suniula (Released) Storm The defending Champions, who on the 28th Febuary will take on the Leeds Rhinos in attempt to take the World Club Challenge, have the team on paper to make an un- precedent 5th straight grand final. A big loss is Dallas Johnson whose departure will definitely be felt in the late stages the game, without Johnson making those desperation tackles, which he has in the past. But you still can't look past the likes of Slater, Inglis, Cronk, Smith and Hoffman to be in a failing side. 2010 Gains: Todd Lowrie (Parramatta Eels), Luke MacDougall (Newcastle Knights), Chase Stanley (St George Illawarra Dragons), John Kite (Canterbury Bulldogs), Atelea Vea (Cronulla Sharks), Daniel O'Regan (New Zealand Warriors) 2010 Losses: Dallas Johnson (Catalans Dragons), Steve Turner (Canterbury Bulldogs), Will Chambers (Queensland Reds RU), Scott Anderson (Brisbane Broncos), Matthew Cross (Manly Sea Eagles), James Maloney (New Zealand Warriors) Warriors If your team were placed as badly as the Warriors in 2009, you'd be pretty upset if they didn't go out and try and get the biggest names on the market. Unfortunately for you Warriors fans, NZ have decided to give the majority of last year's squad a chance to redeem themselves keeping the new arrivals to a minimum. The farewell to NZ's greatest ever Stacey Jones is even another dampener on the Warriors as a player with his skill cannot be replaced. They'll be looking for big