2023 NRL Betting Predictions | Panthers | Sharks | Cowboys

NRL 2023 club-by-club season preview & predictions

NRL 2023 club-by-club season preview & predictions

With overwhelmed grand finalists Parramatta to kick off the 2023 NRL season towards Melbourne at CommBank Stadium in 5 weeks, now’s the right time for our resident rugby league knowledgeable Wayne ‘Ticker’ Heming to run his eye over the 17 groups that can do battle this season.

We are going to start rolling out the golf equipment of their 2022 ending order in a four-part sequence taking a look at every group’s main positive aspects and losses, their strengths and weaknesses, impression gamers, potential Achilles heel, betting odds and eventually our 2023 predictions.

Panthers Logo

Penrith Panthers

2022 document
24-20 – 42pts – 1st

Ivan Cleary

The primary cab off the rank is the Penrith Panthers, who will probably be capturing for a uncommon premiership hat-trick after going back-to-back in 2021 and 2022.

You need to return over 40 years to search out the final membership to assert three premierships in a row when the nice Parramatta sides of the early Nineteen Eighties –coached by the grasp Jack Gibson and together with champions like Peter Sterling, Brett Kenny, Ray Worth, the Zip-Zip man Steve Ella and Michael Cronin — took the Eels to titles in 1981, ’82 and ’83.

It’s but to be achieved within the fashionable period, however many imagine with the sensible Nathan Cleary main them, the Panthers can create historical past.

Penrith Panthers PremiersAfter back-to-back trophies in 2021 and 2022, Penrith will probably be going for a uncommon premiership hat-trick in ’23.

Coach Ivan Cleary’s first mission of 2023 will probably be to win the World Membership Problem towards English Tremendous League champions St Helens at residence on February 20, earlier than internet hosting the Brisbane Broncos within the opening spherical of the premiership — once more at their residence floor, BlueBet Stadium.

It’s a really perfect method for the father-and-son Clearys to look at the group which has misplaced two very priceless gamers in damaging ahead large Villiame Kikau (Bulldogs) and artful hooker Api Koroisau (Tigers), each leaving the underside of the mountain to grow to be the enemy in 2023.

It will be silly to assume dropping these two Fijian-born stars gained’t impression on the Panthers.

How do you exchange a 195cm, 116kg juggernaut like Kikau who’s just about unstoppable near the strive line?

You don’t.

You make changes, which is strictly what Cleary will do that 12 months.

The huge Fijian worldwide ahead has confirmed to be an especially troublesome participant to regulate when he performs on the sting and he was fifth (45) in offloads final season, including to his efficiency.

His defence at occasions is missed due to his work with the ball in hand.

Koroisau is solely a winner.

He already has three premiership rings with Souths and Penrith (twice), which is a credit score to him and the way he performs the sport.

He will probably be working out for his fifth NRL membership since 2014 and his function on the Panthers will probably be stuffed by the proficient Mitch Kenny this season.

Mitch Kenny panthersApi Koroisau’s function on the Panthers will probably be stuffed by Mitch Kenny (pictured) within the coming 2023 season.

Cleary nonetheless has 4 spots on his 30-man roster to fill, however as standard, he has been very lively within the market.

He additionally has one of the best expertise pool within the premiership to search out some future stars with the Panthers sweeping all earlier than them in all grades in a spectacular 2022 season.

They misplaced Cleary’s invaluable back-up Sean O’Sullivan, who will get his huge alternative as an NRL starter with the league’s latest franchise — the Dolphins.

However Panthers followers ought to be pleased along with his alternative.

Whereas Cleary is away on consultant obligation, low season recruit Jack Cogger — who performed 28 video games in two seasons for Huddersfield within the Tremendous League and has a 42-game NRL resume with Newcastle (20) and Canterbury (22) — will fill-in.

Worldwide winger Tylan Might is not going to be seen till spherical 4 — the grand last replay towards Parramatta — after serving a two-game suspension left over from 2022, with the Panthers having a bye in spherical three.

Nothing a lot will change for the Panthers in 2023 with Cleary, Jerome Luai, winger Brian To’o and fullback Dylan Edwards — who loved a breakout season final 12 months culminating within the Clive Churchill Medal — calling the pictures.

Even with out man monster Kikau, the Panthers pack remains to be intimidating with the likes of James Fisher-Harris, Liam Martin, Moses Leota and Isaah Yeo offering the brawn and brains.

Once more, Penrith will attempt to construct their season on their defence, which was impenetrable final season and one of the best within the premiership by a mile.

Taking part in Roster: Dylan Edwards, Brian To’o, Stephen Crichton, Tylan Might, Izack Tago, Sunia Turuva, Jarome Luai, Nathan Cleary, Moses Leota, Mitch Kenny, James Fisher-Harris, Scott Sorensen, Liam Martin, Isaah Yeo, Tyrone Peachey, Luke Garner, Spencer Leniu, Jaeman Salmon, Eddie Blacker, Jack Cogger, Chris Smith, Lindsay Smith, Matt Eisenhuth, Soni Luke, Tom Jenkins, Zac Hoskin.

2023 Penrith Panthers predictions:


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High 2

Sharks Logo

Cronulla Sharks

2022 document
24-18 – 38pts – 2nd

Craig Fitzgibbon

The Cronulla Sharks will take the sphere this 12 months with out Andrew Fifita within the center for the primary time in over a decade, however don’t count on his absence to vary the robust method the Sharks wish to play.

The Tongan worldwide was the membership’s enforcer for 213 of his 252 NRL video games and can at all times be remembered for that strive which clinched the membership’s historic maiden premiership in 2016.

However the Sharks will transfer on and Craig Fitzgibbon would have discovered an awesome deal from his first season as head coach after 9 seasons studying his craft on the Sydney Roosters.

Fitzgibbon did an outstanding job chasing residence tearaway minor premiers Penrith final 12 months however, alongside along with his gamers, would have been upset about not going deeper into the finals.

It’s that disappointment and ache that can drive the gamers for redemption in 2023 and their grinding model gained’t change an excessive amount of even with out retired workhorses Fifita and veteran Aiden Tolman, who will be part of him on the sidelines after a powerful profession of greater than 300 NRL video games.

Whereas Penrith’s scrum-base duo get a lot of the accolades tossed round, Cronulla’s pairing of Nicho Hynes and Matt Moylan are not any slouches and are greater than able to igniting high quality exterior backs like Ronaldo Mulitalo, Siosifa Talakai, and Jesse Ramien, all of whom have been dangermen final season.

Mulitalo ought to be again for spherical one following a knee harm; in any other case, the membership has a fairly clear harm sheet.

Hynes will once more be the purpose of distinction along with his sport taking off final season.

The previous Melbourne Storm utility grabbed his alternative to be a pacesetter with a breakout season final 12 months culminating in Dally M Participant of the 12 months honours.

He relished his new playmaker tasks with 17 strive assists and a season-best 24 line-break assists, and can little doubt be eager to construct on that regardless of figuring out he’ll be part of the ranks of one of many NRL’s most focused playmakers in 2023.

Nicho Hynes sharksAfter a cracking ’22 season, former Melbourne Storm utility Nicho Hynes will probably be one to look at in 2023.

Moylan additionally discovered his mojo in 2022.

He’s exceptionally harmful with the ball in hand and in damaged play, and Hynes provides him sufficient area and time to utilise his sensible working sport.

Fitzgibbon has just a few choice points to confront earlier than the season kicks off, together with the way to finest use ageing skipper Wade Graham with 25-year-old Teigh Wilton placing strain on to begin.

Wilton, a 186cm, 99kg cell back-rower, is the person recognized to ultimately exchange the 273-game, 32-year-old veteran, and Fitzgibbon might but decide to play Graham off the bench extra this season.

Graham’s help play, management and soccer mind are removed from previous their use-by date and he will probably be a priceless asset.

Cronulla’s largest process will probably be attempting to compete on a degree footing with the massive weapons in assault.

There’s no query they’ll play robust up entrance and that they’ve the strike energy from fullback Will Kennedy to halfback Hynes to be a critical risk in 2023.

However they received came upon in final 12 months’s finals sequence when it mattered, and simply how a lot they discovered from that have and the way hungry they need to be to go additional in 2023 would be the key.

The addition of Oregon Kaufusi from the Eels will assist bolster an already robust Sharks pack with Toby Rudolf and Royce Hunt the seemingly beginning props and Blayke Brailey the No.9.

All-in-all it’s a strong squad for Fitzgibbon to work with, possessing a set of high quality halves and sufficient strike out extensive via Mulitalo, Sione Katoa, Talakai, Ramien and Kennedy to play off the again of a ahead pack that will probably be arduous to recover from.

Taking part in roster: Will Kennedy, Sione Katoa, Jesse Ramien, Siosifa Talakai, Ronaldo Mulitalo, Matt Moylan, Nicho Hynes, Toby Rudolf, Blayke Brailey, Royce Hunt, Briton Nikora, Wade Graham, Dale Finucane, Cameron McInnes, Teig Wilson, Braden Hamlin-Uele, Oregon Kaufusi, Connor Tracey, Jayden Berrell, Jesse Colquhoun, Kade Dykes, Lachlan Miller, Matt Ikuvalu, Braydon Trindall, Jack Williams, Mawene Hiroti, Siteni Taukamo, Tom Hazelton.

2023 Cronulla Sharks predictions:


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High 8

North Queensland Cowboys

North Queensland Cowboys

2022 document
24-17 – 36pts – 3nd

Todd Payten

Make no mistake — the North Queensland Cowboys have the gamers and the coach to offer season 2023 an actual shake and any group venturing to the far north this season can count on a troublesome time.

Coach Todd Payten made critics eat their phrases final season and ended up because the Dally M Coach of the 12 months.

He took the struggling Cowboys from fifteenth to 3rd within the minor premiership earlier than falling one sport wanting enjoying within the grand last, dropping 24-20 to Parramatta within the prelims.

It was a heartbreaking loss for all involved and an finish to a fairytale season for the Cowboys.

Nevertheless, it proved to be a productive season for Payten with the North Queenslanders unearthing some particular expertise which they may trip all the way in which to the title in 2023.

Payten made some unpopular choices alongside the way in which — probably the most notable reducing again the enjoying time of damaging ahead Jason Taumalolo, which introduced a wave of criticism and issues of a possible player-coach rift.

He additionally made some modern choice calls that drew criticism however proved to be masterstrokes in the long run.

By the tip of the season, the Cowboys had quite a few new stars and rugby league had found extra wealthy expertise.

The place do you begin?

Younger five-eighth Tom Dearden, struggling to search out his id on the Broncos for just a few seasons, returns residence and performs his method right into a State of Origin jumper for a sequence decider.

The child has all of it and can solely proceed to enhance below Payten and with a richly proficient group of gamers round him.

His assault blossomed and his defence… nicely, his defence has by no means been in query — simply ask just a few of the larger gamers who he buried into the turf final 12 months.

He and former Cronulla recruit Chad Townsend labored brilliantly within the halves with Townsend proving top-of-the-line low season buys of the 12 months.

And what about Scott Drinkwater?

It regarded like he was going to be a utility, shuffled round earlier than settling in at five-eighth after which being pitched into the fullback function by Payten after an harm to Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow.

However Drinkwater is a pure footballer in the beginning, an instinctive runner who performs what’s in entrance of him, and he warmed to his new function and by the tip of the season was high 5 within the voting for the Dally M Participant of the 12 months.

He completed 2022 with 11 tries and 15 strive assists to go together with 70 deal with breaks, a terrific season for a participant who early within the 12 months couldn’t tie down a beginning place.

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They have been all stars together with the likes of Reuben Cotter, Tom Gilbert and Jeremiah Nanai, who all graduated to Origin rookies.

Nanai was a standout, although.

This child can sniff out a strive like a bloodhound can discover a bone within the desert.

He grabbed a forward-record 17 tries final season in all other ways.

He was distinctive within the air, taking kicks from excessive above the pack, he pounced on grubber kicks and he at all times appeared to be there in help to take the ultimate move.

While you have a look at the Cowboys roster, it’s arduous to not be impressed.

Positive, they’ve just a few outdated canine like Kyle Feldt and Peta Hiku backing up, however they merely add high quality and expertise to Payten’s younger aspect.

Other than the gamers already talked about, you may toss in confirmed big-match participant Valentine Holmes and one other Origin member in Murray Taulagi who is aware of his method to the strive line.

Payten has taken a punt on veteran prop James Tamou, bringing the 34-year-old again residence to the membership he led to a historic premiership in 2015.

Tamou will probably be nice insurance coverage with the Cowboys pack sure to offer some Origin gamers once more this 12 months.

On the draw back, the Cowboys have misplaced inspiring ahead Gilbert and the flying Tabuai-Fidow, each recruited by Wayne Bennett to the brand new Dolphins franchise for 2023.

Nonetheless, Payten retains the nucleus of his aspect that stormed into the finals final 12 months, and given lots of them have been relative newcomers, the advance and expertise they take might spur them into this 12 months’s grand last.

The Cowboys have been 9-3 at their new residence floor final 12 months, and if they’ll deposit just a few extra premiership factors at Queensland Nation Financial institution Stadium, they are going to be finals certain for positive.

Taking part in roster: Scott Drinkwater, Kyle Feldt, Peta Hiku, Valentine Holmes, Murray Taulagi, Tom Dearden, Chad Townsend, Jordan McLean, Reece Robson, Reuben Cotter, Coen Hess, Jeremiah Nanai, Jason Taumalolo, Jake Granville, Griffith Neame, Jack Gosiewski, James Tamou, Luciano Leilua, Helium Luki, Mitch Dunn, Ben Hampton, Brendan Elliott, Gehamat Shibasaki, Jake Bourke, Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, Jordan Lipp, Laitia Moceidreke, Riley Worth, Taniela Sadrugu, Jai Hansen. Improvement gamers: Jodeci Baker-Tiraha, Regarive Wavik.

2023 North Queensland Cowboys predictions:


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High 2

Parramatta Eels

Parramatta Eels

2022 document
24-16 – 34pts – 4th

Brad Arthur

It was a massively deflating finish to the season for the Parramatta Eels and their long-suffering followers with the Eels failing to ship them the premiership they’ve been ready for since their 1986 success.

Parramatta had an opportunity to finish the agony and struggling for its blue and yellow military however sadly the grand last was throughout by half time with the Panthers racing to an 18-0 lead and in complete management.

The large query in 2023 is will such a public flogging make the Eels hungrier and extra decided, or will the scars and wounds open up once more round September in the event that they once more discover themselves in competition?

The intestine feeling is the loss could have knocked the arrogance of some gamers, and mixed with the lack of hooker Reed Mahoney and the go-forward of Isaiah Papali’i, the Eels might battle at occasions throughout a really demanding season.

Coach Brad Arthur has work to do to revive some confidence in his enjoying ranks, and far will rely upon how shortly England worldwide Josh Hodgson can slot into Mahoney’s essential dummy-half function.

Hodgson was a sensation when he first joined the Canberra Raiders in 2015, however he’s now 33 and coming off a string of accidents, together with latest ACL surgical procedure.

Does he nonetheless have that sprint? Is he on the finish of the street? Can he ship for the Eels?

Parramatta’s backbone is strong sufficient with Clint Gutherson at fullback, Dylan Brown, Mitchell Moses and Hodgson all high quality gamers.

That’s loads of expertise in key positions.

The Eels nearly bought the farm to maintain Brown, who has probably the most uncommon NRL contract working till 2025 with a six-year choice after that till 2031 ought to he need to lengthen and grow to be a one-club participant for Parramatta.

At 22, Brown’s finest soccer remains to be forward of him and he already is likely one of the sport’s finest attacking gamers.

Dylan Brown ParramattaDylan Brown has a brilliant future with the Eels.

With Moses, who averaged a strive help in each sport he performed final season, additionally agreeing to a contract extension till the tip of 2024, the Eels have a scrum-base pairing that has the standard to win loads of video games.

Not lots has modified for Arthur, who’s near filling his 30-man squad, and teenager J’maine Hopgood seems to be like a great inclusion after being recognized by quite a few golf equipment, together with North Queensland, as a future top-line participant.

Hopgood is a powerful probability to begin for Parramatta with lock Ryan Matterson anticipated to overlook at the least the primary three rounds of the premiership.

He was captain of the Penrith aspect that gained final season’s NSW Cup and captured the NRL State Championship with a 44-10 win over Brisbane’s North Devils, and was additionally named NSW Cup Participant of the 12 months for 2022.

If the whole lot works for Arthur, who will once more have a troublesome time deciding on his finest 13, then Parramatta will threaten once more.

They’ve a really robust pack of forwards with offloading expertise led by Shaun Lane, whose capacity to slide a move in heavy visitors is unmatched.

Reagan Campbell-Gillard will once more cleared the path together with strong Junior Paulo within the go-forward stakes making certain Parramatta’s engine room is firing on all cylinders.

The Eels don’t have the simplest of attracts as they play 5 high sides early, beginning off with the commonly fast-starting Melbourne Storm.

But when Moses and Brown fireplace, they are going to win greater than they lose.

Taking part in roster: Clint Gutherson, Maiko Siva, Will Pinisini, Waqa Blake, Bailey Simonsson, Dylan Brown, Mitchell Moses, Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Josh Hodgson, Junior Paulo, Shaun Lane, Bryce Cartwright, J’maine Hopgood, Jakob Arthur, Nathan Brown, Jack Murchie, Makahesi Makatoa, Ryan Matterson, Jaria Momoisea, Haze Dunster, Sean Russell, Ky Rodwell, Daejarn Asi, Mitch Rein, Ofahiki Ogden, Sam Loizou, Wiremu Greig.

2023 Parramatta Eels prediction:


High 4:

High 8:

Picket spoon:

High 8

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Author: Scott Flores